Over 400 people attended the inaugural Midland Business Alliance annual meeting Thursday in Midland’s Great Hall.

Alliance President and CEO Tony Stamas says the organization started some two years ago links traditional groups like the Chamber of Commerce and Midland tomorrow to spur economic growth. Stamas added an Alliance sponsored Innovation Center designed to help budding entrepreneurs turn their business ideas into reality is growing. He says future goals include diversifying the economy while attracting and retaining great talent to boost development.

Honors distributed  included the ATHENA Award for Leadership to long time Dow Chemical Media Relations Specialist Sarah Opperman who supported community initiatives like United Way and also mentored other women business leaders. Opperman also served as Interim Alliance President and CEO until the appointment of Stamas late last year.