Leading Minority Owned Business Recognized

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October 2008 – Leading Minority Owned Business Recognized
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By LAURIE WINSLOW World Staff Writer
Published: 10/8/2011  2:16 AM
Last Modified: 10/8/2011  5:36 AM

Leading Minority Owned Business Recognized Natural EvolutionSeveral businesses were honored during the 21st Annual Minority Business Leadership Awards Dinner held Thursday at the Doubletree Hotel Tulsa-Downtown.
The event was presented by the Oklahoma Minority Supplier Development Council Inc., together with the dinner sponsorship by OGE Energy Corp. and title sponsorship by ConocoPhillips.

Outstanding Minority Businesses of the Year awards are given to minority-owned companies that have demonstrated excellence in service and business performance, the council says.

The awards were given in four classes: Class 1, annual sales less than $1 million; Class 2, sales from $1 million to $10 million; Class 3, sales from $10 million to $50 million; and Class 4, sales greater than $50 million.

Natural Evolution Inc. was the Class 1 award winner. The Tulsa-based, American Indian-owned electronics recycling company handles anything with a circuit board but doesn’t accept items with bio-hazards, flammable liquids or Freon. Traci Phillips, president and CEO, accepted the award.

Claremore-based Cherokee Data Solutions won in Class 2.

The American Indian-owned company has five distinct divisions offering commercial off-the-shelf product, customized product and solid supply chain management nationally.

The company says it’s designed for customers to make “one call for anything inside the business wall.” Offerings include information technology including hardware, software, managed services, office supply and furniture, promotional and marketing products and services, medical and janitorial supply and training, and a full line of firearms and tactical gear.
“Nine years ago nobody knew us. I didn’t have an employee. I didn’t have a customer, and through the Oklahoma Minority Supplier Development Council and the networking opportunities that they bring, and also the introductions to the corporations, we know all of the top corporations, many of whom we’re doing business with,” said Pamela Huddleston Bickford, CEO, owner and founder of Cherokee Data Solutions.

Last year, Bickford’s company was named 2010 National Supplier of the Year by the National Minority Supplier Development Council. Also, Bickford was recognized as the 2010 Oklahoma 8(a) Minority Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

She noted that the latest honor will open doors for doing more business nationally with contractors who look for diversity suppliers.

Oklahoma City-based I.S. Technologies LLC was the Class 3 award winner.

Sand Springs-based Cust-O-Fab Inc. won the Class 4 award, which was accepted by the company’s president, Berry Keeler.

ConocoPhillips was selected as the Outstanding Corporation of the Year.

The Oklahoma Minority Supplier Development Council says it promotes business relationships between major corporations and minority businesses through outreach programs and activities designed to promote information exchange and effective communications.

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