John Woods Oklahoma

Business Development Officer

John Woods has guided, directed, and managed teams and operations of multiple companies and organizations as an executive director in Oklahoma. As a former executive director of the Norman Chamber of Commerce, he developed innovative criteria and implementation strategies to improve staff productivity, growth, satisfaction, and retention. John Woods worked at the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Fund for two years. There, he achieved a long-delayed tobacco tax hike taxes and improved the grantee program in the research, community, and school sectors.

In 2018, the University of Oklahoma hired Mr. Woods as executive director of government affairs. During his tenure, he helped to secure $20 million in state appropriations for engineering, cancer research, aerospace, and defense projects. he also worked to increase the university's appropriations so it could sustain low tuition levels.

Presently, he is the business development officer for Aria Development, a development company. He is responsible for spearheading business growth opportunities and devising strategies for real estate development companies.

  Norman, OK, USA

Work Experience

Business Development Officer   •  Aria Development

Spearhead business growth opportunities for commercial and subdivision real estate development company. · Create marketing strategies that maximize lead generation. · Interface with current and potential clients, landowners, investors, homebuilders and commercial brokers to advance acquisitions, commercial leases, residential lot sales and development agreements for company.

September 2021 - Present

Executive Director of Government Affairs   •  University of Oklahoma

Maintain meaningful relationships with elected officials in municipal, state and federal levels of government · Research, write and approve final graphic copy of materials for presentation of University legislative and funding request as well as updates on the status of University operations and budget · Advocate University policy goals and budget requests to state legislative leadership · Formulate with internal working groups requests for federal appropriations and advocate for said requests · Weekly brief internal leadership on status of system wide legislative goals, track legislation and funding · Create reporting and KPI documentation to ensure growth of research portfolio · Advise President and institutional leadership on areas of concern and offer recommendations for mitigation of problematic areas or issues · Served as board member and fundraiser for Oklahomans for Higher Education PAC

December 2018 - August 2021

Executive Director   •  OK Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust

Serve as director of state agency overseeing 23 employees and $49 million budget · Establish relationships and work with legislators on policy issues, advancement of agency goals and in defense of agency role and budget · Oversight and administration of grant awards in excess of $30 million annually ensuring proper documentation, execution of grants and use of grants, created grant award events that captured community and media attention · Report to seven-member board of directors and assist the board in creating cohesive goals, providing detailed documentation and support services to assist their success · Create strategic vision for long-term success of agency mission including deliverable outcomes, track progress and assign tasks to outside advocates, third party groups and staff to implement annual and multi-year work plans · Offer testimony to legislative committees and interim studies · Serve as spokesperson and advocate to community groups and press outlets, delivering interviews and speeches across Oklahoma · Track, assess and offer draft revisions to proposed legislation · Build coalitions of support for agency mission with diverse partners · Review and approve diverse and complex contracts and provide oversight for medical research grants, media consultants and public health grants among others

November 2016 - December 2018

Executive Director   •  Norman Chamber of Commerce

Worked with a thirty-member Board of Directors to advance a 1500-member business association · Oversee and assist in professional development of seven-member staff · As core institutional board member for Norman Economic Development Coalition assisted and advised in business development and recruitment. Includes expansion of IMMY and Johnson Controls. · Oversight and responsibility of raising funds for one-million-dollar budget , financials, budget planning, audit response and long-range fiscal planning · Built coalitions with hospital, university, government entities and private businesses to advance public policy goals · Interfaced daily with interest groups, public officials at all levels of government, public and private entities to bolster positive recognition and outcomes for board and members · Crafted federal, state and municipal annual legislative agendas through committee and staff input · Led delegation annually in lobbying federal elected and agency officials in advancement of policy positions · Frequently lobbied municipal, county and state officials to advance association goals · Served as board member of Norman Economic Development Coalition · Established Norman Business PAC, oversaw fundraising and criteria for disbursement of political contributions · Led coalition groups to pass first quality of life package in a generation for Norman, OK – Norman Forward initiative passed with over 70% of vote · Created media strategies both earned and paid and served as spokesperson for press requests and public events · Produced criteria and implementation strategies for results-based outcomes in membership growth, retention and satisfaction

March 2016 - November 2016

Policy Advisor   •  OK House of Representatives - Office of the Speaker

Recommended policy positions for Speaker of the House and House leadership team · Oversaw House Majority Whip operation · Crafted legislative proposals and worked with Senate, Gubernatorial and agency heads to define concerns, solve issues, and bolster support for desired policy outcomes · Reviewed and provided strategic advice on press strategies, public outreach and education strategies and offered advice and counsel to legislative members to advance policy outcomes · Tracked legislation and created strategies to ensure passage or defeat of targeted legislation · Served as point of contact for outside entities, lobby interests and state agency heads

December 2006 - December 2010

District Director   •  US Congressman Tom Cole (OK-4)

Managed staff of eight employees for Congressman Tom Cole’s three Oklahoma offices, oversaw budgetary and administrative functions for district offices · Reviewed and approved all external communications from press releases to constituent response letters · Provided political and policy advice to Congressman Cole · Served as primary contact to state and local elected officials, industry leaders, tribal governments, military installations, hospitals, universities, the business community and a multitude of external organizations · Served as chief spokesperson and delivered remarks to groups across the state on behalf of Congressman Cole · Reviewed and tracked federal legislation affecting Oklahoma entities and prepared impact studies and response notifications

January 2002 - December 2006

Various Roles   •  Congressman JC Watts (OK-4

· Served as Field Director for Congressional office from 1998-2002 · Served as Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director in 2000 campaign · Served as Field Representative in 1996 campaign

January 1996 - January 2002


1996 - 2000

University of Oklahoma

Political Science


  • Competitor analysis
  • Business research
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