Attending the partnership banquet recently were Oklahoma chancellor Glen D. Johnson, State Regent Ann Holloway, Brennen Robinson and Natalie Currie representing Craft Pies Pizza, and from Southeastern, Seth Dutton, Keith Baxter, Blake Allen, and Dr. Brad Ludrick.
DURANT, Okla. – Twenty-seven business and higher education partnerships throughout the state were recently recognized as innovative collaborations that further the education of Oklahoma’s workforce.
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award is designed to highlight successful partnerships between higher education institutions and businesses and to further cultivate the higher learning environment through State Regents’ Economic Development Grants.
Among the award recipients were Southeastern Oklahoma State University and the Craft Pies Pizza Company.
The Craft Pies Pizza Company opened for business in Durant in 2019 and quickly became involved in supporting the community. This is their third location, with the other two restaurants located in north Texas. The company was founded by three area businessmen: Rusty Robinson, Brad Robinson and Bryan Beaver.
Armed with an entrepreneurial dream, a shoestring budget and a pizza oven that didn’t work, these three individuals set out to create the best possible fast-casual pizza experience. Craft Pies Pizza has partnered with the Southeastern Department of Intercollegiate Athletics to provide products and fan-engagement opportunities at athletic events. In addition, a number of Southeastern students work at the restaurant.
Oklahoma State Regent Mike Turpen served as master of ceremonies for the event. Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell and State Regent Ann Holloway also participated.
“Our colleges and universities collaborate with leaders in the private, public and nonprofit sectors to strengthen our workforce,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “These partnerships between businesses and our state system institutions advance Oklahoma’s efforts to build the skilled workforce required to compete in today’s global economy.”
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Special Assistant to the President/Director of University Communications