Ardmore Chamber of Commerce president and CEO retires

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Ardmore Chamber of Commerce president and CEO retires


ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) – After 18 years of serving Ardmore, Mita Bates is retiring from her positions as the president and CEO of the Ardmore Development Authority, the Ardmore Tourism Authority and the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce.

Bates said she’s seen the city change drastically since her first day, starting with her first big project, the Ardmore Convention Center.

“It’s always been my baby since that time,” Bates said. “But when the convention center was built, Rockford was still a two lane road that didn’t even go all the way to 12th Street. And so part of the thought was, if we got that convention center to anchor on one end, we already had Lowes, then we would develop that Rockford corridor. And over the last 18 years we’ve seen tremendous growth.”

And the growth hasn’t stopped since- from building a dollar general fresh food distribution center last year, a new transportation and warehouse park that broke ground this year, to a new green energy plant.

“It truly will put ardmore on the roadmap in alternative energy and sustainable energy,” Bates said. “They’re all great on their own, but it’s been quite a satisfying way to end a career.”

Bates said the growth was a team effort, so she expects it to continue.

“I think we’ve established ourselves in this energy sector with sustainable and renewable energy so I am just so excited to see that move forward,” Bates said. “The global transportation piece is part two of that, because if you have those two pillars in place it’s going to allow us to attract a talented workforce that then creates that quality of life so that we just all build on each other.”

Bates said she’s excited to spend more time with her family and new grandchildren.

But she’s not leaving the city she worked so hard to build- she’ll be sticking around Ardmore, advising the airpark.

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