Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

May 21, 2012

Chamber keynote speaker: ‘Be proactive’


There were few empty seats Thursday evening at the Herb Rozell Ballroom at Northeastern State University in the University Center, for the 67th annual Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce annual banquet and Recognition Ceremony.
A reception was held outside on the veranda, allowing guests to sample wine and hors d’oeuvres.
Chamber Executive Director David Moore and Todd Enlow, emcee for the evening, greeted guests as the program portion began.
While many award winnders were listed in the program and had been featured in the newspaper, two were kept a surprise until the end of the evening: Chamber Ambassador of the Year and Outstanding Board Member of the Year.
Stephen Highers earned last year’s Ambassador of the Year award and was honored Thursday night with the Outstanding Board Member of the Year Award.
Jarred Vanderheiden was designated the 2012 Ambassador of the Year.
Both men kept their acceptance speeches to two words: “Thank you.”
Other winners included: Pastor James Graham, accepting the Heritage Award for Feed My Sheep; Stanley Young, accepting the Green Business award for Lake Region Electric Cooperative; Robert Jones, Police Officer of the Year; Emily Davis, EMS Medic of the Year; Aaron Garrett, Firefighter of the Year; Jim Wilson, the Jack Kaufman Community Service Award; Kate Kelly, the Martin Hagerstrand Award for Tourism; Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker, the Kruger Corn Economic Development Award; Amber Wright, owner of DreamCatcher Sports, the Horizon Award; and Mayor Jason Nichols, accepting the Heritage Award for the Snowflake Winter Festival.
Every person who volunteers with the Chamber of Commerce or supports it with their membership does so for personal reasons.
Jerry Cook said he has found throughout his travels regionally and around the state for NSU, this kind of community support is rare.
“The Chamber is the only entity that brings the whole community together,” Cook said. “Look at this group: it includes educators, retired people, professional people, the Keetoowah tribe and the Cherokee tribe;  people from all walks of life who share a common vision.”

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