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Ted Wright -- last update 7/21/2003 (OKaquarium1.html) Copyright 2003 -- Collinsville, Oklahoma
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Oklahoma Aquarium
July 18, 2003 -- Jenks, OK
Oklahoma's Newest Tourist Attraction

Emily Wright, of Collinsville (above), has been a frequent visitor to the new Oklahoma Aquarium this summer. She has been an occasional volunteer there also, as she is trying to learn some of the behind the scenes information. Emily will be studying marine biology this fall at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida.
Mike Tinker, now Collinsville City Manager, was the Mayor of Jenks in the mid 1990s when an opportunity was recognized. Tulsa officials had just decided against creating a "Tulsa Aquarium" at 71st and Riverside.The local aquarium concept had been around since the 1980s. When Mayor Tinker heard that Tulsa was stalled on the project again, he gathered a core group of Jenks officials and showed up to pitch the project for Jenks. Mike said that for several years after that, he would give his aquarium "dog and pony show" to any official or organization that would listen. He even traveled as far as Washington, D.C., pitching the project.
Tinker admitted there were some tough days along the way to getting the aquarium started, but now that it is a reality, those are all but forgotton. He now enjoys seeing the Oklahoma Aquarium in operation with crowds of all ages enjoying the aquatic displays.
When asked if there were lessons he could apply in Collinsville from his early aquarium experiences, Mike replied that the aquarium in Jenks was a unique situation. He did say that patience and persistence are necessary for any economic development endeavor. He said he is always looking for opportunities for Collinsville, and he was exploring a few at present. -- Ted Wright 7/21/2003
Mike Tinker (Collinsville City Manager)

Dec. 2004 Update Mike Tinker is now back at Jenks. -- Ted
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