Businesses and Individuals Honored at Awards Banquet

Contact: Darla Heller, Deputy Director Workforce Development
(918) 682-7887
October 7, 2022

The Muskogee City-County Port Authority, Indian Capital Technology Center and the Greater Muskogee
Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the 23rd annual Business and Industry Banquet and Awards
Ceremony on Thursday, recognizing local businesses and individuals for their outstanding achievements
and contributions to the economic growth and quality of life in Muskogee. More than 200 attended the
event, in which Dave Howell, President at Premier USA, a staffing and consulting firm, served as the
master of ceremonies.

Leslie Arnold was named the 2022 Diddy Pennington Award recipient for Administrative Excellence.
Leslie has served the Legal Assistant/Paralegal to the City Attorney for the City of Muskogee since August
of 2007. She has extensive contact, both in person and by phone with the general public, elected officials
and civic leaders, as well as the various heads of departments in the city. She also has become one of the
centers of information for city operations. Frequently, citizens are directed to her for assistance with
unique and challenging problems, for which she endeavors to assist them. Leslie is a vital component of
the City Attorney’s Office, ensuring prompt, courteous, and efficient operations are maintained.
The Port of Muskogee recognized the Oklahoma Finance Authorities for the Partner of the Year Award.
The mission of the Oklahoma Finance Authorities is to assist in providing financing for critical
infrastructure and economic development for communities throughout the state of Oklahoma using
conduit bonds, loans, and incentives. Since 2013 $ 7.9M has been invested into public projects and
private businesses in our community thanks to the efforts of the OFA. Those dollars helped retain 2,198
jobs and create 235 more.

This year, Indian Capital Technology Center recognized Trucks For You as their Partner for Progress
Award recipient. Trucks For You has made tremendous contributions to Indian Capital’s CDL training
program. They have interviewed and hired students that completed the program. They have allowed
tours of the company, brought new semi-trucks to the class so the students can see a more accurate
depiction of what they do. They have sponsored breaks and lunches for the students. They have also cosponsored the purchase of the simulator for the training. Trucks For You has a strong work ethic and a commitment to professionalism and success for the organization and the employees.
The Century Club Award went to our Chamber of Commerce this year. The inductees of Muskogee’s Century
Club have been in business continuously in the community for 100 years or more. June 12th, 2022 marked the
100th year of the incorporation of the Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce. During the last 100
years, the Chamber has changed into many different forms, all to grow the business community and see
Muskogee succeed. With more than 495 members currently the organization is dedicated to seeing the business
community thrive through its mission of serving as a voice and resource for business, fostering partnerships and
community prosperity as well as cultivating economic growth.

The Community Service Award went to Premier USA, Inc. Their charitable efforts have been on focused big
projects such as Project Dream Seeds, The Bridge at Christ Church and they participate in: Wish, Education
Foundation, Chamber of Commerce, Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, MAHRA, Gospel Rescue Mission, Kids
Against Hunger and Ronald Boren Scholarship Fund to name a few. Over the past few years Premier USA, Inc
has fed over 50,000 individuals, donated or raised nearly two million dollars in cash, provided housing,
vehicles, furniture, and household supplies for local families, provided school lunches, athletic equipment,
educational supplies and office equipment to multiple schools in the area, and they spear headed a program to
provide steel toe work boots for employees who can’t afford to purchase them.

The Digital Innovation Award went to Advantage Controls. Through the years, the software development team
at Advantage Controls has released a suite of cloud-based tools for remote monitoring, service reporting, and
automated customer service designed to provide easy, 24/7 access to critical information on the go. This suite of
digital products has grown over the years thanks to the ingenuity of the team: Whether using their remote
monitoring service to check on critical water treatment system performance, or the System Builder tool to
design a customized, turnkey water treatment control system, quick and convenient access to Advantage
Controls is just a click away for their customers.

The recipient of the New Product Development Award was Acme Engineering and Manufacturing. Acme
Engineering & Manufacturing has partnered with the most prominent mining container manufacturer in North
America to develop a 36” housed propeller fan that efficiently and effectively removes the heat from
cryptocurrency miners. Acme’s agility and responsiveness allowed them to develop a conceptual design, work
with a vendor on a custom motor, and have drafters create drawings and submittals in one week. Collaboration
between engineering and production departments allowed the company to manufacture and laboratory test the
unit to ensure it met the required design performance within a couple of weeks. To date, Acme has supplied
8,700 data mining fans for containers used on mining sites throughout the United States. With the work of their
production staff and supply chain management group, Acme is in a position to provide up to 17,000 fans

The Business Start-Up Award went to Trafera. Trafera is a national technology solutions provider
headquartered in St Paul Minnesota and opened its Southwest Regional Support Center facility in Muskogee
last year in the repurposed National Guard Armory building at Davis Airfield. They opened with 15 employees
and have grown to a staff of 36 with an aim to add 75 more within the next three years. The Muskogee location
helps support over 3000 school districts across the nation that trust Trafera with ongoing technology support for
technology solutions including chromebooks, desktops and laptops, and classroom technology solutions
including assistive technology and display solutions.

The Local Expansion Award went to Advantage TerraFab. Advantage TerraFab year-end on 4/30/2022, showed
a 30% increase in revenue from the previous year. They added fifteen people to their workforce for a total of
sixty-five team members. The company invested in innovative technology that has allowed them to expand their
market reach. Their business has four main components: Structural steel components for highway bridges,
structural steel for commercial and institutional construction, manufactured items, and commercial powder
coating. The investment in technology have allowed the company to be more competitive in all four segments.
Leadership is committed to helping develop the local workforce by introducing students to skilled trade
opportunities. TerraFab provides tours and assistance to local high schools and ICTC faculty and students.
They take extraordinary pride in their facility and like to brag about being the only sun-powered fabrication
shop in Oklahoma.

The recipient of the 2022 Business of the Year Award was to CaptiveAire. CaptiveAire is the nation’s leading
manufacturer of commercial kitchen ventilation systems, and now provides a complete solution of fans, heaters,
ductwork, and HVAC equipment. For over 40 years, we’ve led the industry with innovative technologies,
unmatched service, competitive pricing, and rapid lead times. This long-time manufacturer is investing $27
million and promises to bring 80 new jobs to the community. The economic impact of this growth will be felt
for years to come in Muskogee. Company President Bob Luddy recently said. “Captive-Aire is pleased to
double our capacity in Muskogee. We have always appreciated the community here, and we are thankful for the
opportunity to expand our production lines in order to better serve our customers throughout the Midwest.” The
Demand for their Paragon HVAC units is rapidly growing as their users wish to provide their facilities with
fresh, highly filtered, outdoor air.

The final award of the evening was the Muskogee Lifetime Achievement award. The award, which was
presented to Wren Stratton, is meant to recognize an individual who has given many years of service in effort to
improve Muskogee.

For more information about the 23rd Annual Business & Industry Banquet and Awards Ceremony, contact Darla
Heller at or (918) 682-7887.