Success Story…Meek Machine & Manufacturing
With the confidence and exuberance of youth, Derrell Meek started his first business at age 24. Opening his doors and eager to conquer the world, Derrell quickly found there was far more to business ownership than he could have imagined. “I didn’t like the stress. I could produce the products, but I needed more experience in management and finance.”
For the next eleven years, Derrell worked as a manager for Surgical Specialties, Inc., an Ada manufacturer with national distribution. When they closed their doors in 2003, Derrell once again had a lifetime opportunity to acquire precision machine equipment and to be his own boss. Needing help and needing to act quickly, he turned to the Ada Jobs Foundation. They referred him to Ann Ritter and the staff at the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center located at East Central University.
With the capital he needed and help from the Ada Industrial Development Corporation, Meek located a building site. Not willing to accept the bids he received for the building construction, Derrell’s entrepreneurial spirit went into overdrive, and he made the decision to do most of the work himself. Looking back, Derrell might have reconsidered, had he known how much harder he would have to work in the very near future.
With the many contracts he made while working with Surgical Specialties, Derrell had more contracts than he could fill. Within ten months, Meek found himself back at the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center and talking about expansion needs with Ann Ritter. By late November, he had installed more equipment and hired an employee with his second SBA loan. The OKSBDC, the Ada Jobs Foundation, the AIDC, the Pontotoc Technology Center and First National Bank and Trust of Ada helped Derrell ensure his success. “All the community resources worked together. We wouldn’t be here without them,” says Meek.
Meek’s future could not be brighter. He plans to branch out and is looking forward to developing an internet presence. From the very beginning, Derrell had the spirit, the drive and the enthusiasm to ensure he would succeed. With a little time, some valuable experience and expert help from area resources, Derrell can conquer the world.