Brad McMullan never thought the day would come when he would return to his hometown of Norman.
On Friday, the president and CEO of bfac.com, a mobile app development company, celebrated his homecoming at the University of Oklahoma.
Situated at the University Research Campus, the Norman location will house the company’s new Mobile App Development and Operations Center and serve as the second location for the company. Currently located in Ridgeland, Miss., bfac.com will join 15 private companies at the Research Campus.
“This is our big expansion,” McMullan said.
The arrival of his company means the creation of up to 100 new jobs in its first year in Oklahoma, with a similar plan for the next year. The jobs will include sales, graphic design, client services and marketing, along with programming positions.
During a Friday gathering at the new company headquarters, McMullan, who was born and raised in Norman, praised the many colleges and universities across Oklahoma for its continued commitment to higher education and the many highly-trained job seekers they have collectively produced.
“They have created a great workforce, so it’s not going to be hard for us to find people to fill the positions that we’re looking for in creating apps,” McMullan said.
McMullan, an Oklahoma native and a two-time Emmy award winning journalist, said he was pleased to return to his home state. He said state officials were very interested in having the company come to Oklahoma, offering incentives for the recent expansion.
“Oklahoma is a very special place with a proven record of success for growing businesses around the globe. We hope bfac.com grows the state’s economy with mobile apps the way oil and gas companies have grown the state with energy.”
McMullan reflected on the history of his company, which began nine years ago while he working as a broadcast journalist.
“I think nobody ever saw us getting to the point where we could become one of the largest mobile app building companies in the world and to be able to expand and see everything happen and the trials and tribulations of starting a business. To get to a point now, where we are completely debt free and to see the horizon of technology is exciting,” McMullan said.
Bfac.com now currently counts 41 states, the U.S. armed forces and Fortune 500 companies as its clients. Macmillan focused on the present and onward, expressing his hope to make technology a statewide economic driver.
“I want BFAC to lead that cause and bring high paying jobs to the state of Oklahoma and bring the best of the best all over the world right here. It all starts right here in Norman,” McMullan said.
Hands shot up during the Friday celebration when he asked the audience how many used mobile apps.
“In the state of Oklahoma, there are more cell phones than there are people. There are 34 million more active cell phones in the Unites States than every man, woman and child alive … We all have a cell phone.
“While a lot of people see us as a technology company, I see us as mostly a relationship company. We want our clients — whether it’s a Saks 5th Avenue Company or 7-11 or Pepsi-Cola — to be able to have better relationships with their companies. The way you have a better relationship, is you talk to them. The one thing that everyone has in a company is a cell phone,” McMullan said.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin said she is excited to welcome Macmillan back to Oklahoma, calling the expansion “a great day for Oklahoma.” Fallin said pro-business policies, great quality of life and the low costs of doing business in Oklahoma has been key to cultivating a prime location for technology companies.
“We have worked very hard to build a great business climate in our state. We’re excited and we hope that can continue to build the technology sector and we already have — we have great technology companies in Oklahoma in a great technology environment,” Fallin said. “This is a big deal for the Norman campus and a big deal for Oklahoma and we’re very, very excited to have a cutting edge company here.
Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal welcomed McMullan and expressed her appreciation for his company.
“We call them boomerangs when some of our Sooner grads come back to settle here. It’s special when you come back and you bring opportunity for our students who don’t have to go away, but can instead find great jobs here and stay in our community and help build a great community.”
Norman Economic Development Coalition President and CEO Jason Smith said he appreciates the company’s willingness to put their confidence in the Norman community.
“Anytime someone is investing their resources into their community, that shows they have a great deal of confidence in what’s going on, and so it’s a positive and a tremendous asset for us now to retain young people in the community and now have technology jobs available,” Smith said. We’re excited and we’re ready to help them when we can.”