The Woodward News

Local News

April 5, 2013

Industrial Foundation holds annual meeting

Woodward, Okla. — For the Woodward Industrial Foundation, "2012 was a busy year," according to WIF Chair Alan Case II.

Case discussed some of the major happenings for the foundation during the WIF Annual Meeting held at the Woodward Conference Center on Thursday.

The eventful year presented a number of challenges for the foundation and some for the greater Woodward community and area as a whole.

Such as the deadly tornado that ripped through the west side of Woodward on April 15, 2012.

Destroying dozens of buildings and damaging many more, Case said, "the tornado stagnated business in Woodward for a couple of months as we worked to get back on our feet."

However, he said, "if there was any good thing to come out of it, it was the realization of the type of people who live in Woodward.  I know we're not alone in the world, but we're within the upper class of people that give and give and reach out to help one another."

Then speaking to the crowd of local business leaders who were in attendance representing the WIF's many member organizations, Case recognized them for being "actively involved with the rebuilding efforts."

"It cannot be stated enough how much we did for our own community," he said.

As a sign of the community's ability to pick itself and move on and move forward after the tragic tornado, Case said that just 10 days later the WIF continued its annual tradition of hosting a turkey hunt, bringing in "some perspective clients" as part of the foundation's industry recruitment efforts.

But the tornado wasn't the only weather-related misfortune that affected local businesses in the past year.  A blizzard in February dumped several inches on the area, causing a variety of damage from broken tree limbs to collapsed roofs, including creating what Case referred to as "a 165 foot by 40 foot skylight at the Siemens plant."

However, he said quick action was taken to keep the damage to the building from damaging the plant's productivity.  "Temporary walls were constructed and there was no stopping of the business," he said.

But not all the foundation's challenges over the past year came in the form of natural disasters.  Case also discussed the foundation's legal issues as it challenged a decision from the District Attorney's office that ruled the WIF was a public body.

Since the WIF leaders "disagree vehemently" with the ruling that it is a public body, Case said the foundation has since worked to "restructure ourselves" and "restructure our contract with the city of Woodward," with the hopes that the ruling may eventually be changed.

"But that's a decision that's not up to us," he said.

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