Organization overseeing Black Wall Street business could be in jeopardy

TULSA, Okla. — Quick facts:

  • The Greenwood Chamber eliminated Sherry Gamble Smith's paid position.
  • The chamber said they are re-grouping to get back in good financial standing.
  • If they do not, the chamber could be in jeopardy.

The organization overseeing business in the Black Wall Street District could be in jeopardy.

Former president of the Greenwood Chamber Sherry Gamble Smith was terminated Tuesday during a board meeting.

The chamber said they had to eliminate her position because it was a paid position. Smith was getting paid bi-weekly from the chamber.

The interim chamber president Rebecca Marks-Jimerson said the chamber’s financial standing is at a critical low. That said they are in the re-grouping stages to get back in good financial standing. If this is not corrected, the future of the Greenwood Chamber could be in jeopardy.

The Greenwood Chamber oversees all of the business in the Black Wall Street District.

They fund the overhead of the two building located in the district and rely on tenant pay, grants and donations as forms of funding.

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They are a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. None of the board members receive monetary funds for working with the chamber.

Jimerson said the low funding the chamber is experiencing isn’t a result of bad bookkeeping or misappropriation of funds, but rather a significant drop in funding from donors. Some of their big donors were Williams Company and American Airlines. Since those companies have had their own financial hardships, they’ve reducing funding the chamber would receive.

The chamber said over the next few weeks they are having meetings to address getting their funds up.