Press Release: Ada Jobs Foundation Welcomes Matthew Stephens to Team

ADA, OKLAHOMA – Matthew Stephens joins the Ada Jobs Foundation (AJF) as the Accelerator Manager for Southwest Oklahoma’s Conduit Initiative. Through this role, Stephens is responsible for developing and implementing an entrepreneurial training program that reaches a 10-county region of Southern Oklahoma to inspire local entrepreneurs to start businesses in our area.

“The Ada Jobs Foundation believes that innovation and economic growth in our community depends on our region becoming an inclusive and thriving tech startup ecosystem. Through the Conduit Initiative we support and provide the training and resources local entrepreneurs need to start their business, in the communities that they already live in, “said James Eldridge, President and CEO of the Ada Jobs Foundation. “We’re thrilled to have Matthew join our team, his background and experience as a military veteran, public relations professional, and working with the Chickasaw Nation are assets which will strengthen our team.”

The Accelerator Manager position was created through the Build to Scale Award that AJF received from the Economic Development Administration (EDA award number ED21HDQ0240067) in 2021. This position will be grant funded through at least 2024.  Others working on the Conduit Initiative with Stephens on the Conduit Initiative include Sunnie Smith, the Ecosystem Digital Content Manager, Ashia Todd, the Startup Community Manager, and Jake Cantrell, the Scalable Investment Associate.

“Since 2016 I’ve lived in Southern Oklahoma and have been engaged with supporting and coordinating outreach efforts to grow community involvement,” said Matthew Stephens. “Working with entrepreneurs and providing opportunities for success will grow our region and state. I’m excited to bring my experience to the great team of people working on this initiative.”

Most recently Stephens served as a public relations officer for the Chickasaw Nation for six years, supporting and coordinating numerous outreach efforts including annual publications, special events, and community involvement. Stephens is a Navy veteran with ten years of naval intelligence experience. His work involved supporting operations, planning and training in various locations, including California, Nevada, and across the Far East. He is a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Currently enrolled at East Central University, Stephens is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship.

We want to hear from you. Do you want to be a part of our entrepreneurial training efforts and Conduit Initiative to grow southwest Oklahoma? Contact Matthew at

Let’s Grow Ada Together