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July, 19 2023


Muskogee, OK – Port Muskogee, a leading multi-modal transportation and industrial hub, is pleased to announce the appointment of Heather McDowell as the new Economic Development Director. With her extensive experience and proven track record in driving economic growth, Heather is poised to accelerate the development and expansion of Port Muskogee’s economic activities.

As the Economic Development Director, McDowell will be responsible for overseeing and implementing strategic initiatives to attract new businesses, foster entrepreneurship, and cultivate partnerships that will bolster economic development in the region. Her expertise in building collaborative relationships, identifying investment opportunities, and leveraging resources will be instrumental in positioning Port Muskogee as a thriving economic hub.

“We are thrilled to welcome Heather to the Port Muskogee team as our new Economic Development Director,” said Kimbra Scott, Executive Director of Port Muskogee. “Her passion for economic growth, combined with her wealth of experience in economic development, will be instrumental in advancing our mission of creating a vibrant business ecosystem that drives economic prosperity in the Muskogee area.”

McDowell brings a wealth of experience to her new role, having served in various leadership positions within the economic development field, most recently the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology and the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce. She replaces Darla Heller who took a position building an economic development department in nearby Wagoner County.

“I am honored to join Port Muskogee as the Economic Development Director,” said McDowell, ” I am excited to collaborate with the team and key stakeholders to capitalize on the tremendous potential for growth. Together, we will work towards attracting new businesses, creating jobs, and fostering an environment that supports sustainable economic development.”

McDowell joins the Port Muskogee team at a time of strategic role alignment at the organization including the addition of a new role. Jeff Underwood assumes the position of Deputy Port Director according to Executive Port Director Kimbra Scott. Sara Nichols will assist the team as the new Economic and Workforce Development Coordinator.

With its strategic location on the Arkansas River, Port Muskogee has been a key driver of economic activity in the region for over 40 years. The port’s diverse capabilities, including its extensive barge, rail, and trucking facilities, make it an ideal location for businesses looking to expand their operations and take advantage of the area’s transportation infrastructure.

These new appointments and role assignments mark an important milestone in Port Muskogee’s journey towards strengthening its economic impact on the area. Under this current leadership team, the port is poised to further enhance its offerings, attract new industries, and foster an environment that nurtures entrepreneurship and economic prosperity.

Discover why Muskogee offers an ideal business environment for companies looking to reduce operating costs, reach global markets and access skilled talent.