Contact: Darla Heller, Deputy Director Workforce Development
October 7, 2022
The Muskogee City-County Port Authority, Indian Capital Technology Center and the Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the 23rd annual Business and Industry Banquet and Awards Ceremony on Thursday, recognizing local businesses and individuals for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the economic growth and quality of life in Muskogee. More than 200 attended the event, in which Dave Howell, President at Premier USA, a staffing and consulting firm, served as the master of ceremonies.
Leslie Arnold was named the 2022 Diddy Pennington Award recipient for Administrative Excellence.
Leslie has served the Legal Assistant/Paralegal to the City Attorney for the City of Muskogee since August of 2007. She has extensive contact, both in person and by phone with the general public, elected officials and civic leaders, as well as the various heads of departments in the city. She also has become one of the centers of information for city operations. Frequently, citizens are directed to her for assistance with unique and challenging problems, for which she endeavors to assist them. Leslie is a vital component of the City Attorney’s Office, ensuring prompt, courteous, and efficient operations are maintained.
The Port of Muskogee recognized the Oklahoma Finance Authorities for the Partner of the Year Award.
The mission of the Oklahoma Finance Authorities is to assist in providing financing for critical
infrastructure and economic development for communities throughout the state of Oklahoma using
conduit bonds, loans, and incentives. Since 2013 $ 7.9M has been invested into public projects and
private businesses in our community thanks to the efforts of the OFA. Those dollars helped retain 2,198 jobs and create 235 more.
This year, Indian Capital Technology Center recognized Trucks For You as their Partner for Progress
Award recipient. Trucks For You has made tremendous contributions to Indian Capital’s CDL training program. They have interviewed and hired students that completed the program. They have allowed tours of the company, brought new semi-trucks to the class so the students can see a more accurate depiction of what they do. They have sponsored breaks and lunches for the students. They have also cosponsored the purchase of the simulator for the training. Trucks For You has a strong work ethic and a commitment to professionalism and success for the organization and the employees.
The Century Club Award went to our Chamber of Commerce this year. The inductees of Muskogee’s Century Club have been in business continuously in the community for 100 years or more. June 12th, 2022 marked the 100th year of the incorporation of the Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce. During the last 100 years, the Chamber has changed into many different forms, all to grow the business community and see Muskogee succeed. With more than 495 members currently the organization is dedicated to seeing the business community thrive through its mission of serving as a voice and resource for business, fostering partnerships and community prosperity as well as cultivating economic growth.
The Community Service Award went to Premier USA, Inc. Their charitable efforts have been on focused big projects such as Project Dream Seeds, The Bridge at Christ Church and they participate in: Wish, Education Foundation, Chamber of Commerce, Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, MAHRA, Gospel Rescue Mission, Kids Against Hunger and Ronald Boren Scholarship Fund to name a few. Over the past few years Premier USA, Inc has fed over 50,000 individuals, donated or raised nearly two million dollars in cash, provided housing, vehicles, furniture, and household supplies for local families, provided school lunches, athletic equipment, educational supplies and office equipment to multiple schools in the area, and they spear headed a program to provide steel toe work boots for employees who can’t afford to purchase them.
The Digital Innovation Award went to Advantage Controls. Through the years, the software development team at Advantage Controls has released a suite of cloud-based tools for remote monitoring, service reporting, and automated customer service designed to provide easy, 24/7 access to critical information on the go. This suite of digital products has grown over the years thanks to the ingenuity of the team: Whether using their remote monitoring service to check on critical water treatment system performance, or the System Builder tool to design a customized, turnkey water treatment control system, quick and convenient access to Advantage Controls is just a click away for their customers.
The recipient of the New Product Development Award was Acme Engineering and Manufacturing. Acme Engineering & Manufacturing has partnered with the most prominent mining container manufacturer in North America to develop a 36” housed propeller fan that efficiently and effectively removes the heat from cryptocurrency miners. Acme’s agility and responsiveness allowed them to develop a conceptual design, work with a vendor on a custom motor, and have drafters create drawings and submittals in one week. Collaboration between engineering and production departments allowed the company to manufacture and laboratory test the unit to ensure it met the required design performance within a couple of weeks. To date, Acme has supplied 8,700 data mining fans for containers used on mining sites throughout the United States. With the work of their production staff and supply chain management group, Acme is in a position to provide up to 17,000 fans annually.
The Business Start-Up Award went to Trafera. Trafera is a national technology solutions provider
headquartered in St Paul Minnesota and opened its Southwest Regional Support Center facility in Muskogee last year in the repurposed National Guard Armory building at Davis Airfield. They opened with 15 employees and have grown to a staff of 36 with an aim to add 75 more within the next three years. The Muskogee location helps support over 3000 school districts across the nation that trust Trafera with ongoing technology support for technology solutions including chromebooks, desktops and laptops, and classroom technology solutions including assistive technology and display solutions.
The Local Expansion Award went to Advantage TerraFab. Advantage TerraFab year-end on 4/30/2022, showed a 30% increase in revenue from the previous year. They added fifteen people to their workforce for a total of sixty-five team members. The company invested in innovative technology that has allowed them to expand their market reach. Their business has four main components: Structural steel components for highway bridges, structural steel for commercial and institutional construction, manufactured items, and commercial powder coating. The investment in technology have allowed the company to be more competitive in all four segments.
Leadership is committed to helping develop the local workforce by introducing students to skilled trade opportunities. TerraFab provides tours and assistance to local high schools and ICTC faculty and students.
They take extraordinary pride in their facility and like to brag about being the only sun-powered fabrication shop in Oklahoma.
The recipient of the 2022 Business of the Year Award was to CaptiveAire. CaptiveAire is the nation’s leading manufacturer of commercial kitchen ventilation systems, and now provides a complete solution of fans, heaters, ductwork, and HVAC equipment. For over 40 years, we’ve led the industry with innovative technologies, unmatched service, competitive pricing, and rapid lead times. This long-time manufacturer is investing $27 million and promises to bring 80 new jobs to the community. The economic impact of this growth will be felt for years to come in Muskogee. Company President Bob Luddy recently said. “Captive-Aire is pleased to double our capacity in Muskogee. We have always appreciated the community here, and we are thankful for the
opportunity to expand our production lines in order to better serve our customers throughout the Midwest.” The Demand for their Paragon HVAC units is rapidly growing as their users wish to provide their facilities with fresh, highly filtered, outdoor air.
The final award of the evening was the Muskogee Lifetime Achievement award. The award, which was presented to Wren Stratton, is meant to recognize an individual who has given many years of service in effort to improve Muskogee.
For more information about the 23rd Annual Business & Industry Banquet and Awards Ceremony, contact Darla Heller at [email protected] or (918) 682-7887.