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Okemah officials partner to find Economic Development Coordinator

For cities everywhere, economic development is of utmost importance when it comes to growth, prosperity and quality of life for citizens. 

In Oklahoma, the only continuing funding source for cities is sales tax from the businesses within the city limits, so growth of the retail sector and economic development are imperative for cities to thrive. 

That’s why the City of Okemah, the Okemah Chamber of Commerce and the Okfuskee County Industrial Authority are teaming up in an effort to fill a void in economic development by contracting with someone to serve as the area’s Economic Development Coordinator. 

Officials said they are seeking someone who is passionate, motivated, intelligent and dedicated.

“This is something this community has needed for many years,” Okemah Chamber of Commerce President Alan Oatsvall said. “The ability for three organizations to come together to fulfill this need is big.” 

Professional-level management support will be provided by a committee consisting of Oatsvall, Okemah City Manager Dustin Danker and Industrial Authority President Chris Dixon. 

General responsibilities will include coordinating and implementing projects and programs that support commercial, office and industrial development; business attraction; business retention; development of public facilities and infrastructure; small business development initiatives; community events and other economic development, redevelopment or capital improvement programs or projects. 

The knowledge, skills and abilities required for this position include marketing and public outreach principles; thorough research methods; public relations principles; knowledge of applicable federal, state and local laws, rules, ordinances, statutes and regulations; adequate report preparation methods and grant contract administration practices. 

The individual will need to possess the ability to prepare a variety of reports, compile and analyze data, monitor budgets, coordinate programs, coordinate event activities, speak in public, conduct outreach activities, facilitate groups, prepare marketing materials, assess the consequences and outcomes of program initiatives, ensure compliance with applicable internal and external program requirements, network and cold-call, organize trade show efforts, facilitate prospect tours, build strong relationships and demonstrate independent problem solving and decision making. 

This is not intended to describe fully the nature and level of work to be done by the Economic Development Coordinator, as the scope of work will likely evolve. The job description is subject to change as the needs and requirements of the job change. 

“Inspiration is contagious, and excitement is contagious,” Danker said. “We are excited about what is going on in Okemah and very excited about big things coming in the future. We want someone to join the team that is inspired and excited about what they can do for this city just as we are.”

“This is a newly developed program we are initiating within the governance of this city and county,” he continued. “Okemah needs more businesses, which will only increase the quality of life for citizens here. The new economic development coordinator will be someone with a focus on good growth, responsible development and making Okemah a better place for those that live here and those that visit.”

Oatsvall mirrored that sentiment. 

“The success of this program will require the attention of someone full-time,” he said. “We have been working on this for several months, and we are excited for what this will bring to everyone in this community.”

Interested individuals should submit their resumé, portfolio and a proposal for services to the attention of Alan Oatsvall at P.O. Box 508, Okemah, OK 74859.

The requested information can also be emailed to 

Resumés, proposals and portfolios will be accepted through April 3, 2019. 

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