Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority named Meggie Froman-Knight as the Executive Director.
Froman-Knight said she is honored to have the opportunity after nearly five years to continue to watch CIEDA, the city of Claremore and Rogers County grow and evolve.
“To be able to have a small influence and now to be a stronger driver in that initiative is very exciting,” she said.
Froman-Knight is a sixth-generation Claremore resident and came to CIEDA in 2016 as the team’s Talent Development Manager. She accepted the position of Associate Director in 2020.
“We are thrilled to formally name Meggie Froman-Knight the next executive director for CIEDA,” CIEDA Board Chairman Ryan Neely said in a media release. “For the last several months, Meggie has worked tirelessly to support the board and staff amid a season of transition within the organization, while simultaneously working to keep Claremore moving forward to meet the changing needs of our community in the face of the pandemic. Meggie brings years of experience to the position both professionally and personally, and as a native Rogers County resident, has a true heart of service for Claremore.”
One of Froman-Knight’s goals as the Executive Director is to continue to support existing manufacturers.
“What a time to be in leadership in the middle of a pandemic,” she said. “CEIDA’s had a strong influence within our manufacturers sector and so continuing to support those companies who's certainly been dramatically impacted by the economics within the energy and aerospace sector.”
Another goal of Froman-Knight is to play a strong role in supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses. She said she wants to help them grow by providing access to resources.
“A little over 80% of Rogers County has 10 or less employees,” she said. “The small business, taking care of your neighbor and shopping local is more important than ever.”
She also plans on working with the City of Claremore’s new districting and residential initiative.
“We want to make sure as we’re recruiting companies that those individuals have quality things to do and quality places to live within our community,” she said.
Froman-Knight said her job is challenging, but that challenging aspect is a driver for her.
“I really liked to be challenged,” she said.
Froman-Knight said CIEDA is constantly working with other organizations and industries.
“My favorite most enjoyable aspect are all the interactions with the people we get to work with,” she said. “To see everyone, particularly in a time thats divisive, seeing everyone work together to achieve the grater good is something that you walk away form feeling a purpose.”
This career she loves isn’t one she planned on.
“I grew up wanting and striving to be a teacher,” she said. “That was always my goal.”
Froman-Knight attended Northeastern State University where she received her Bachelor's of Arts in Corporate Communication.
While teaching English in China, Froman-Knight realized this wasn't what she wanted to do as a career.
“One of the things that has always been important to me, regardless of what job or career I had, was that it had to tie back to education,” she said. “So in 2016 I had the opportunity to come to CIEDA form the university and do things like the Partners in Education program and workforce initiatives that very much influence students and their future and career path.”
Notable community programs, such as the Partners in Education initiative, CIEDA’s Learn and Earn student placement effort, and the Boost Reverse Job Fair, have benefitted from Froman-Knight expertise, according to a media release.
“It’s very much the same elements that you might find in a classroom, but in a different environment,” Froman-Knight said.
Froman-Kinght continued her education at Rogers State University where she received a Masters in Business Administration.
“Being a servant is really important to me,” she said. “Service above self is what has lead me to this point which is a very exciting time.”
Froman-Knight said she enjoys getting to work with students and citizens and seeing what they’d like to see in Claremore.
“Certainly CIEDA would not be successful, I personally wouldn’t be successful, without all the different individuals and staff rallying behind all the initiatives that were trying to move forward,” she said. “I feel blessed to have Johns leadership over the last three years and to learn from him. I am excited to see that unity between CIEDA and the City of Claremore.”