Twenty-one individuals from the Ada community have successfully completed the 2016-17 Leadership Ada program. 

The program, coordinated by the Ada Area Chamber of Commerce, provides a variety of immersive experiences in community leadership. Participants for the seven-month program were selected from a field of applicants and have met one day per month from September through March. 

“Leadership Ada began many years ago and has continued to be a popular and effective program for people wanting to learn more about and get involved in our community,” said Karen Hudson, Ada Area Chamber president. 

Sessions covered during the program included local history, quality of life, criminal justice, health care, social services, education, workforce, and government. Experiences ranged from a walking history tour of Ada, a poverty simulation, celebrating with kindergarteners at a “Leader in Me” assembly, to making street signs with Ada Public Works employees, and peering into the origin of Ada’s water source at Byrd’s Mill Spring.

“Volunteers who are experts in each area actually plan and coordinate the different sessions,” said Hudson. “So the program is an excellent way to foster future community leadership.” 

Additionally, participants were required to attend at least one quality of life event; a local school board, city council, or county commissioner meeting, and volunteer locally for two hours.

Participants who successfully completed all requirements of the 2016-17 Leadership Ada program are:

Kevin Bishop, Senior Electrical Systems Engineer at People’s Electric Cooperative

Neela Brown, Patient Access/PBX Manager at Mercy Hospital Ada

Chelsea Butler, Mortgage Loan Processor at Citizens Bank of Ada

Bethany Carroll, Office Manager with The Chickasaw Nation

Adam Drannon, Cemetery Preservation Technician with The Chickasaw Nation

Miranda Elliott, Tribal Communications Manager with The Chickasaw Nation

Susie Godwin, Senior Projects Manager/Marketing Director at Kellogg & Sovereign Consulting, LLC

Tina Gregory, IT Applications Support Manager with The Chickasaw Nation

Elizabeth Hernandez, Assistant Branch Manager/Lending Officer at Vision Bank

James Jackson, Executive Director for the Ada Regional United Way

George (Ca-Te) Jesse, Field Specialist with the Chickasaw Nation Protective Services

Sara Jones, Emergency Manager with The Chickasaw Nation

Stacie MacCollister, Executive Assistant with The Chickasaw Nation

Tamara Mankin, Director at Monte Vista Academy, Inc.

Jinger McClure, Community Relations Manager at Mercy Hospital Ada

Jill McDonald, Creative Services Director with The Chickasaw Nation

Angela Portwood, Apprentice Program Manager with The Chickasaw Nation

Jennifer Marsh, Loan Secretary at Citizens Bank of Ada

Vick Teagan, Account Manager with Kellogg & Sovereign Consulting, LLC

Jeremy Wood, AVP/Special Assets Officer at Vision Bank

Rachel Wood, Internal Audit Manager with The Chickasaw Nation

The application period for the next Leadership Ada class opens in July. Interested individuals should contact the Ada Area Chamber of Commerce at 580.332.2506 or check the chamber website at for applicant information.