TULSA - The Cherokee Nation honored hundreds of Native-owned businesses, including one from Tahlequah during the annual TERO Certified Indian Owned Business Awards Banquet Thursday, Nov. 21, at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
The Tribal Employment Rights Office has approximately 720 Indian-owned companies and more than 100 artists that are TERO-certified vendors able to do business with the tribe and compete for government contracting jobs. In fiscal year 2019, TERO vendors earned around $80 million in contracts with the tribe.
During the banquet, the tribe honored standout TERO businesses with awards.
"Our annual TERO banquet is just one way the Cherokee Nation is able to celebrate entrepreneurship," said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. "We work hard to support TERO businesses and recognize them for what they do for our economy. We are thankful for what our 800-plus vendors and artists do, which includes providing inspiration to other Cherokees who will someday do things such as operate a small business or lead a large corporation."
Eight of the TERO-certified businesses received special recognition for their outstanding performance as part of the annual awards banquet.
The Harmony House of Muskogee, LLC., received the Women Owned Business of the Year Award. The restaurant is a lunch and bakery tea room and has been open for nearly 28 years.
"This is something I never thought I would have this early in my life," said Mandy Scott, owner. "It's always been a dream of mine to have my own restaurant. I've always been very proud of my heritage, and proud of where I've come from. To be a woman and a minority in this time in the world, it's amazing."
The eight certified Indian-owned businesses awarded for 2019 are: Community Leadership Award, Builders Unlimited Inc., Tulsa; Customer Service Award, Camtechnologies LLC, Broken Arrow; Women Owned Business of the Year, The Harmony House of Muskogee LLC, Muskogee; Retail Business of the Year, Wright and Collins dba Dreamcatcher Sports, Tahlequah; Small Business of the Year, Phoenix Plumbing Works Inc., Broken Arrow; Large Business of the Year, Cheyenne MEP LLC, Broken Arrow; Construction Company of the Year, M. Ross Inc., Muskogee; and Foreman-Manhattan Mentor Protégé, Ramona
The tribe also honored Natural Evolution Inc. of Tulsa with an environmental award; Rae Corp. of Pryor for support of re-entry to the workforce; and Harris Contractors of Fort Gibson with the tribe's Pioneer Award. TERO awards were given to three people who have gone above and beyond in working with TERO: David Moore, Tim Pressley and W.C. Gernandt.