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NEWS

May 23, 2006

RSU Business Partnership Recognized by State Regents

Rogers State University's partnership with Manufacturing Service and Innovations (MSI) was recently honored by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Partnership Recognition Program.

MSI is a Tulsa-based service company serving northeastern Oklahoma's growing manufacturing sector using robotics and automation. Throughout the company's start-up process, MSI utilized the RSU Innovation Center's entrepreneurial training services to prepare its business plan, secure financing and educate its management team, said Dr. Ray Brown, RSU vice president for economic and community development.

As part of the partnership recognition, the state regents and RSU provided a $1,000 grant to be used for the tuition of an employee of the recognized business, pay for an internship for a current student to work at the business, provide a faculty externship with the business, or enhance the partnership with additional equipment, material or supplies. MSI has elected to utilize the grant to develop the company's Web site using RSU students and graduates.  

Established in January, MSI repairs electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic and mechanical components of automated manufacturing systems. The company offers service for a wide range of customer needs, including turn-key automation design, repair service and preventive maintenance to production equipment. Additionally, MSI provides consulting services for designing systems, developing programs and integrating automated equipment for manufacturers.  

MSI is a limited liability company started by Jim Pacula, Mark Hoyt, Ken Keitel and Garland Kinslow. The company, which is located at 1844 N. 106th E. Ave. in Tulsa, started with two of the partners working full-time at MSI. The volume of work has increased significantly and the company now employs all four partners full-time. Company officials said revenue is projected to increase 20 percent annually during the next three years, and they expect to add employees in the third quarter

The RSU Innovation Center training program provided the company staff with a strong set of entrepreneurial skills they would not have acquired otherwise, said Pacula, MSI president.

Pacula and the MSI management team were active participants in the Innovation Center's entrepreneur education programs and business workshops. The men were among the initial participants in RSU's online Virtual Entrepreneurship Training, which the Innovation Center launched earlier this year.

The Innovation Center is charged with fostering economic development and addressing the educational needs of area business and industry in northeastern Oklahoma. The center provides business counseling services, training and resources for area entrepreneurs and expanding businesses in northeastern Oklahoma. The center also focuses on newly emerging companies such as MSI that have the potential for substantial growth and wealth creation, Brown said.

For more information on the Innovation Center, call (918) 343-7533 or click the Innovation Center link on the RSU homepage at www.rsu.edu. For information on MSI, call (918) 392-2400.