AFTON – Nearly two dozen area municipal and agency leaders from Craig, Delaware and Ottawa counties came together Dec. 14 for lots of useful information, and networking opportunities at the Winter Mayor and Municipal Leaders’ Summit held at the Afton Campus of Northeast Tech.

After a continental breakfast provided by Heartland Plaza Assisted Living Center and a brief greeting from NT’s Tony Cordray, the meeting kicked off with Representative Ben Loring’s presentation addressing recent and upcoming events in the Oklahoma State House of Representatives. Loring discussed the recent budget issues and the potential effects they will have locally as well as a bill he will be co-sponsoring that will impact many in our area.

The summit continued with Oklahoma Works Miami Office Manager Paul Marquez and his presentation on the many ways that Workforce Oklahoma Centers and their partners help to streamline the employment process.

Patrick Peer, CEO of Community Health Center of Northeast Oklahoma completed the morning session with updates on the efforts of community health centers to continue to improve the availability of quality primary health care services to people throughout the country. Peer then addressed how the local health centers impact both the health and economy of our area. Following his presentation, the group was served a great lunch provided by Flavours of SODEXO.

The afternoon session began with Liberty Shere of Northeast Tech discussing the large variety of programs and training available through regional tech centers. Her presentation included several videos of area people who have used and endorse their programs.

Finishing out the day was a presentation from Jennifer Hinson, Executive Director of Grand Nation, Jordan Barlow, President of the Partners for Ottawa County, Inc. (POCI) and Jenniffer Clark, President of the Delaware County Community Partnership. They discussed a variety of programs including Men in the Making, Harvesting Hope, Cafeteria Staff Chef Training, TurnChange, Poverty Simulations and much more. These coalitions strive to bring area resources together to facilitate the improvement of the quality of life for area residents.

One attendee commented, “Great networking, good time management, and excellent useful information.”

Another summit is in the works for next Spring.

For more information about any of the groups above, go to and click on the area-resources page.