Ada — Ada Jobs Foundation held its annual Business and Industry Night Out on Thursday evening to honor local businesses.
“This is our third annual Business and Industry Night Out,” said Ada Jobs Foundation President and CEO Mike Southard. “We’d like to thank each and every business in Ada for their accomplishments in the past year and for the hard work they do improving the Ada community.”
State Sen. Susan Paddack presented Ada business leaders with awards for their efforts in improving Ada’s business climate and employing its many residents.
“Tonight is a celebration of what is so right in our community,” Paddack said. “It’s a celebration for all those business and industry leaders who do a superb job. We’re here to honor them and to thank them.”
Among award recipients were Ziegelmeier and Company with the New Business Award for their toasted pecan butter, East Central University with the Innovations Award for the creation of the arts incubator in Arts District of Ada, and Chickasaw Nation with the Environmental Award for their work in improving the environment. Pontotoc Technology Center Superintendent Greg Pierce won the Economic Development Leader of the Year Award.
“Truly Ada and the surrounding areas are better for (these businesses’) leadership and their service,” Paddack said. “This is why we can all come together and celebrate.”
Southard presented an economic forecast for Ada’s next fiscal year, which included population growth for Ada.
“Our workforce is greater than many cities that are larger than us,” Southard said.
He said retail sales have risen slightly in 2011.
“We’re still maintaining our range in the top five cities in Oklahoma for per capita retail sales,” he said.
Southard said Ada will probably add 550 new jobs next year if the city continues its current rate of growth and the city’s average wage is $16.33 per hour.
“That’s greater than Shawnee, Norman and Durant,” he said. “We’re moving up.”