City of Tulsa economic development director gets salary bump

TULSA, Okla. — The City of Tulsa’s economic development organization voted Thursday to increase the annual base salary of its executive director.

Kian Kamas was the city’s former chief of economic development but was named executive director of the Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity last year.

The annual base salary for that position is about $140,000.

PartnerTulsa, the rebranded Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity, went into executive session at their Thursday meeting to discuss Kamas’ request for a pay raise.

They ultimately voted to retroactively increase her salary for the 2021-22 fiscal year to $192,000, agreeing to a lump sum payout. The trustees bumper her base salary 6% for the 2022-23 fiscal year, which started July 1 and ultimately secured that $203,520 salary.

Kamas said compared her salary to similar positions in the Tulsa Regional Chamber and nonprofits in her request for a raise.

By comparison, Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum makes an annual salary of $105,000.

He, however, released a statement saying in part:

“The board felt this was a salary level appropriate for the executive director of a public entity with a proven track record of coordinating significant private sector investment. There are many important stakeholders who help Tulsa achieve the economic success we’ve seen over the last several years, and TAEO plays an important part in that broader team.”

You can see the board’s agenda here.