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OCU Creates New Office of Corporate Relations to Strengthen Community Ties

Oklahoma City University is boosting its ties to the business community in Oklahoma City and surrounding areas by instituting a new Office of Corporate Relations to work with its Advancement team and other university leaders.

“We are excited to announce this program that will fulfill our promise to serve as Oklahoma City’s university,” said Lynann Sterk-Brooks, vice president for University Advancement. “We will be able to serve our partners more strategically and effectively while listening to their workforce needs and incorporating those into our student programs. Solidifying these partnerships is an important component of our mutual success.”

The new initiative will help support the university’s mission by gathering and providing feedback to the university regarding employer needs and workforce development, guiding OCU’s efforts to prepare students for their future careers and to meet these needs. Additionally, the office will connect the interests of corporate partners with strategic priorities on the OCU campus, maximizing the effectiveness of corporate engagement and investment.

“We have been able to witness the impact of our partnership with Oklahoma City University first-hand,” said Jacob Rodriguez, vice president of analytics at Jasco Products Co. “They bring a unique entrepreneurial spirit and level of engagement to our relationship."

The university has partnered with Frank Franzese to direct the new program’s efforts. In addition to serving as principal of a consulting firm, Franzese has more than 35 years of experience in corporate leadership, holding executive-level positions at Dobson Technologies, Nextel Communications, Cincinnati Bell, and Cricket Communications. Franzese also created and managed his own company, Pride Training and Development, a service organization that provided sales and leadership development to a variety of business clients. He currently serves on the Meinders School of Business Dean’s Advisory Board and co-instructs for the school to provide real-world examples that correlate with his class’s concepts.

“Over the years I’ve worked with the university, I saw an opportunity to more deeply connect its talented students, faculty, and staff with current and potential corporate partners,” Franzese said. “I’m looking forward to facilitating these connections to strengthen our mutually beneficial relationships.”

The Office of University Advancement is responsible for cultivating relationships with various constituencies of OCU including alumni, students, trustees, and donors. The new initiative, led by Franzese, will join the Office of Development and individuals in various university leadership roles to support these relationships in a more cohesive capacity.

“We are glad to have a more complete team to advance the university’s efforts to garner success in our community,” Sterk-Brooks said. “With the assistance of the Office of Corporate Relations, we hope to better understand the needs of corporate employers and how we can integrate them into our preparation of the future workforce as well as how we can better utilize our partnerships.”

To learn more about the Office of Corporate Relations, visit okcu.link/corporate.