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  • Writer's pictureCourt Newkirk

A Very Unique Situation

As of July 1st, the Okmulgee Area Development Co. will be under new leadership for the first time in four years. Dr. Bill Path will end his marathon leadership role as the Chairman of our Board of Directors.

The OADC, as most people call us, has had several Board Chairmen who have served more than one term, but never four in a row. Dr. Path had already been a board member for many years, so he had more than paid his dues to become the Chairman.

Under his leadership, some new and exciting projects began to take shape. A great example is the 18 months it took to research, engineer concepts, fill out forms and write the narrative for our grant application to the US Economic Development Administration.

When you’re doing community development, especially in the economic development world, you become heavily invested in the success of those projects and plans. Little did Dr. Path nor the OADC staff know at that time, the completion of the Okmulgee Business Complex (industrial park) would be measured in years, not months.

During this same time period, the OADC concluded the sale of 15 acres in the OBC to a local company that has plans to build a new building and hire several dozen local employees. Hopefully, they will announce their plans in the near future.

Under the direction of Dr. Path, the OADC welcomed in a partner in the expansion of the OBC. The Muscogee Nation has agreed to rebuild Fairgrounds Road. This will greatly improve the movement of traffic in and out of the industrial park, but also enhance traffic flow during all the athletic events and rodeos held on the tribal festival grounds, the Claude Cox Omniplex.

Obviously, Dr. Path is about all things educational. He made a lot of contacts to help with the establishment of the STEM Lab at Dunbar School during his tenure.

He has also made great strides in diversifying the expertise and experiences of the members of our Board of Directors. Dr. Path also had to contend with several hard to fill board seats as members of the board were promoted at their jobs and moved to another state.

Dr. Path leads a large group of professionals as the President of Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology, his other Okmulgee job.

It has been a great pleasure for Deb and I to work with our Chairman, we have learned a great many things during his tenure. Both Deb and I will remember these years very fondly.

A Very Unique Situation

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