The Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority (CIEDA) announced that Dr. Keith Ballard, has been elected as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. He replaces Mr. Phil B. Albert who retired from the Board in June 2016.
The board consists of Dr. Keith Ballard (Chairman), Mr. Ryan Neely (Vice Chairman), Mr. Jeff Jensen, Mr. Tim Fleetwood, Mr. Wade Welborn, Mr. Brian Green, and Mr. Mick Webber.
"There are not words adequate to express how much Phil Albert has meant to CIEDA," Ballard stated. "While I am sad to see him exit this work, I do know that he is continuing to improve our state through his service to the Tulsa Regional Chamber and the OU Board of Regents."
CIEDA entered a new season in 2016 with an enhanced strategy and new approach to pursue the area’s prosperous, innovative, skilled, and livable future. This will be accomplished through key initiatives and aggressive tactics for business attraction and retention; entrepreneurship and small business development; workforce readiness and attraction; and community advocacy and development.
"It is time for economic development in a big way in Claremore. It is time to move aggressively forward with quality restaurants, retail, and continue our development in manufacturing," said Ballard.
"Jeri Koehler is a very strong leader who is doing great work. Supported by Mayor Flannagan and City Manager Thomas working with a talented and progressive CIEDA board, good things will happen in Claremore and Rogers County. I am very pleased that CIEDA has begun to reach out to the County Commissioners to expand Industrial and Economic Development efforts in all of Rogers County. With progressive County Commissioners, and the talented people from CIEDA, and the City of Claremore, Industrial and Economic Development is poised for great work!"
Currently serving as as director of the Professional Development and Leadership Academy and professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at OU-Tulsa, Ballard previously served as the superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools, executive director of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association and Superintendent of Claremore Public Schools.
In the fall of 2015, Ballard was inducted into the Claremore Hall of Fame joining the likes of J.M. Davis, W.R. Howell, Elizabeth Gordon, Clem McSpadden, Patti Page, Andy Payne, Lynn Riggs, Frank and Ludmilla Robson, Clem Rogers, Will Rogers, Stuart Roosa, Stratton Taylor, and Helen Walton.
Dr. Ballard began his career in education as a teacher in Coweta, Oklahoma in 1972. In 1974, he took a position as a teacher in Oologah, Oklahoma; and then became assistant high school principal in 1977, assistant superintendent in 1983 and superintendent in 1986.
In 1992, he joined Claremore Public Schools as superintendent and also served as an adjunct professor at Oral Roberts University. In 2000, Dr. Ballard became the executive director of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association before becoming superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools.
The Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority is a public trust organization that oversees development at the Claremore Industrial Park and Claremore Regional Airport along with retail development.