City of McAlester announces new economic development director

The City of McAlester announced Kenneth J. Wimer, Jr. will bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his role as the new economic development director.

Wimer brings a distinguished 30-year career in the Air Force and extensive experience in civil service that makes him an invaluable asset in leading the City's efforts in industrial recruitment, business expansion, job creation, growing the tax base, and more.

“We’re excited to have Ken on board to continue building on our community’s momentum and keep McAlester moving forward,” City Manager Dave Andren said. “His extensive experience and proven leadership will enhance our economic development initiatives and make a positive impact on McAlester."

"I am honored to join the City of McAlester as the Economic Development Director,” Wimer said. “I look forward to working with the community and stakeholders to create new opportunities and drive sustainable growth for our city."

Wimer will be responsible for fostering economic development opportunities and driving regional growth. His duties include collaborating with businesses, developers, government agencies, and community groups to promote a thriving economic environment in McAlester.

He enlisted in the Air Force 1974, the same year his father retired from the service. Wimer started working on fighter jets before transitioning into flying Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) for 20 years. He rose through the ranks and retired as a chief, which he considers himself the beneficiary of supervisors who allowed him to be successful.

Wimer served as Chief of the Product Data Services Branch at Tinker Air Force Base, where he was responsible for supporting and advising the Product Data Services Division Chief in the overall operation and administration of the Product Data Services processes by providing guidance, coordination, and direction.

Following a 30-year active-duty Air Force career, Wimer began his civil service career in 2005 as the Chief of Community Relations for the 552d Air Control Wing at Tinker Air Force Base. He was later selected as a Program Analyst in the Special Plans and Programs Directorate in the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center (OC-ALC) and went on to serve as the Tinker eTool Site Implementation Manager in the Engineering Directorate. He also served as the Section Chief for the Critical Mission Systems Software Section and the Chief of the Security Assistance Technical Order Program office.

Some of Wimer’s accomplishments include Air Force Outstanding Civilian Career Service Award in 2018, Logistics Directorate Civilian of the Year nominee in 2015, OC-ALC Commander’s Excellence in Action Award in 2007, and more.

Wimer and his wife, Debra, live in Pittsburg County and enjoy traveling and spending time with their children and dogs.