Northwest Oklahoma Alliance (NwOA) is having their quarterly networking luncheon Thursday, Jan. 31 at 11:30 a.m. at the Woodward Conference Center. The topic of the day will be Oklahoma Oil & Gas Industry Trends.

“NwOA is a force of which all of our small rural communities should want to be part.  We focused on water and put together the Northwest water plan before others were doing such; we've focused on housing; and more recently workforce was our focus,” said James Leonard, economic development coordinator from the Town of Buffalo.

Lana Shaffer, CEO at the Harper County Community Hospital, said, “I’m new to the board and am appreciative of the work they try to do across our area.”

NwOA is an organization designed to coordinate, consolidate, develop and promote regional resources; providing a platform to unite Northwest Oklahoma.

Northwest Oklahoma’s over qualified workforce and lower than average wage base presents challenges NwOA want to help solve. The organization focuses on providing opportunity for constructive change by helping combine efforts of individual communities to work in unity.

According to NwOA, they have identified four industry sectors to work through in shaping the region’s future. They’ve identified these sectors as Agriculture and Tourism, Business and Industry, Education and Health Care, and Transportation and Utilities.

On Dec. 1, 2018, Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association (OIPA) and Oklahoma Oil & Gas Association (OKOGA) merged.

“Chad Warmington will provide an overview of the oil and gas industry and insight into what this merger means for the energy industry in Oklahoma and our area,” Shaffer stated. “NwOA Board Members have worked with Chad Warmington in various roles. As the President of OIPA-OKOGA, Chad has always been helpful in addition to well versed in the issues of the oil & gas industry and Northwest Oklahoma’s role.”

Warmington has been president of OKOGA since June of 2013. He has served as chief of staff to three Speakers of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, field representative to former U.S. Senator Don Nickles and executive vice president for the State Chamber of Commerce.

“Northwest Oklahoma is stronger together and we’d love to have more communities, chambers of commerce, economic development groups, businesses, and individuals join us,” Shaffer said.

NwOA has four quarterly luncheons each year. Each meeting highlights a guest speaker to discuss important regional topics, according to Shaffer.

Shaffer said they also host an annual legislative event in Oklahoma City, providing an opportunity for members to interact with elected officials.

“NwOA is a valuable "lobbying" group as well. We have been holding an increasingly successful Legislative Reception every year for several years,” Leonard said. “Our's is one that our governor always tries to make.

For more information on becoming a member, attending a luncheon, or getting involved call (580)233-4232.