NOW HIRING: President and CEO

Job Type:                             Full Time
Organization:                     Ada Jobs Foundation
Location:                              Ada, Oklahoma

The Ada Jobs Foundation is searching for a candidate for the position of President and CEO. The Ada Jobs Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit economic development organization in Southern Oklahoma and is the lead economic development organization in Ada and Pontotoc County, Oklahoma.

The President and CEO is responsible for leading the Ada Jobs Foundation’s strategic vision, implementation, and carrying out goals and policies by the board of directors. The President is responsible for all of the day-to-day operations of the Foundation and is effective at managing all aspects of a non-profit business, including budgeting, staffing, operations, and administration. This person is a dynamic leader who utilizes a broad range of technical and interpersonal skills to creatively implement the strategic vision and goals of the board in an entrepreneurial manner, is effective at building and maintaining relationships and putting together complex agreements, and has an outstanding record of integrity, ethics, and personal responsibility.

The President and CEO reports directly to the Ada Jobs Foundation Board of Directors in accordance with the by-laws. The position will report on a regular basis to the Board Executive Committee (Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary/Treasurer, and Immediate Past Chair).


1. Oversee the Operation and Administration of the Organization

  • Manage the financial activities of the operation and ensure the organization’s financial position is accurately communicated to the Board of Directors. This can include the preparation of annual budgets, negotiating and executing contracts, ensuring invoices are paid, maintaining financial records, filing taxes, maintaining 501(c)3 status with the IRS, grant reporting and ensuring the organization is in good financial standing overall.
  • Ensure the organization is adequately staffed to carry out the mission of the organization and ensure all professional development requirements are met.
  • Oversee all other day-to-day administration activities of the organization.
  • Work with the board to identify and secure sources of revenue from public and private sectors.

2. Implement Local Business Development Programs

  • Oversee Business Retention and Expansion efforts for local export industries by the organization.
  • Coordinate workforce development efforts in the community between education providers and employers to target the development of critical skills needed by local employers.
  • Conduct labor, demographic, market, and economic impact analyses as needed.
  • Administrate local incentive programs and make recommendations for the application of incentive funds.
  • Promote export-industry investment in the local community through various means, including trade shows, call trips, and targeted marketing programs.
  • Design and carry out local business grant programs.
  • Promote and maintain a positive business environment for new and existing businesses.

3. Develop and Implement New Business Recruitment Programs a. Analyze the region to determine appropriate target industries.

  • Work in partnership with the Ada Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) to ensure Ada has sufficient properties available for new business locations and existing business expansions.
  • Maintain an inventory of available sites and buildings on a variety of databases and online
  • Respond to requests for information or proposals (RFIs, RFPs) issued by the State of Oklahoma, Site Locators, Utilities, or other sources.
  • Maintain data and relationships needed to recruit businesses to Ada and respond to RFPs

4. Lead Community Entrepreneurship Development

  • Implement all current federal grants, including the Build to Scale grant with the EDA.
  • Carry out efforts to create a set of supportive programs and networks to support new entrepreneurship development in Ada.
  • Build and maintain key partnerships for entrepreneurship at the local, state, and national levels.
  • Apply to new grants to build capacity for future entrepreneurship support programs.

5. Provide Community Development and Planning Technical Assistance

  • Provide day-to-day support and technical assistance with the City’s long-range and comprehensive planning efforts.
  • Provide technical assistance and data to the City of Ada for current planning efforts and decisions.
  • Engage in other community development programs as needed

6. Carry Out a Strategic Vision for the Community

  • Work with AJF Staff, Board and the City of Ada to identify challenges, needs, issues and opportunities.
  • Ensure the organization develops a strategic plan for economic development that will meet these challenges, needs, issues and opportunities, implement the plan, and work to organize and update this plan as needed.
  • Evaluate all economic development programs annually and adjust as needed
  • Create and present an annual Plan of Work to coincide with each fiscal year.
  • Communicate the strategic planning process, implementation, and successes to the community.

7. Maintain Expertise Needed to Implement the Organization’s Activities

  • Ensure the Ada Jobs Foundation is an Accredited Economic Development Organization (AEDO) with the International Economic Development Council
  • Develop new professional and technical knowledge in the field
  • Build and maintain key partnerships for the organization.
  • Advise the Board of Directors on new policies and programs needed to carry out the organization’s mission.
  • Participate in state and national economic development organizations

8. Communicate, Represent, and Advocate for the Interests of the Community

  • Assist the City of Ada with State and Federal Advocacy efforts.
  • Communicate the mission, strategies, activities, and accomplishments of the organization.
  • Develop and maintain an open line of communication with the City of Ada
  • Oversee all marketing efforts and represent the organization and the community to key industries, investors, and real-estate professionals.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Ability to create a Strategic Vision for Economic and Community Development for both the organization as well as the Ada community
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to communicate and build relationships with a broad and diverse range of people and communities.
  • Entrepreneurial, innovative and creative approaches to solving problems.
  • Knowledge of local, state, and federal political landscapes.
  • Team building and human resource development
  • Coalition building, relationship management, and assembling complex agreements.
  • A strong command of communication skills, including written, oral, and visual communications.
  • Technical skills, including economic analysis, geographic information systems analysis, land use analysis, policy drafting, and grant writing.
  • High standards of integrity, professional ethics, trustworthiness, and responsibility.


  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in economics, business, urban planning, public administration, or a related field is required.
  • Credentials: A current Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP), Graduate of OU EDI, or other economic development or city planning related credential is preferred.
  • Experience: A minimum of 5 years of experience in executive management of economic development organizations is required.

Salary and Benefits

  • $110,000 per year, depending on qualifications and experience.
  • Health/dental/vision insurance
  • Employer matched SIMPLE IRA
  • A vehicle and cell phone allowance
  • Paid holidays and annual paid-time off
  • Opportunities for employer-paid professional development.


Candidates interested in applying for this position should submit a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three professional references by March 18th, 2024.

All applications can be addressed to Peggy Saunkeah and sent via  The position will remain open until the position is filled.

About the Ada Jobs Foundation
The Ada Jobs Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit economic development organization in Southern Oklahoma and the lead economic development organization in Ada and Pontotoc County, Oklahoma. We are an accredited economic development organization through the International Economic Development Council. Since 2020, we have worked with the Center on Rural Innovation to develop a digital economy strategy and we are a member of the Rural Innovation Network. Recently, we have led a dynamic and community-focused strategic development effort, and we are working to expand our economic development work to encompass local business expansions, workforce development, and community revitalization efforts. We are committed to hiring a diverse and talented team that can best serve the needs of our community and further our goals for inclusive economic development.

Let’s Grow Ada Together