MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

November 15, 2012

Cherokees honor Indian-owned businesses


Associated Press

— The Cherokee Nation recognized eight certified Indian-owned businesses of the year for 2012 at the tribe’s fifth annual awards banquet, a media release states.

The Cherokee Nation Tribal Employment Rights Office has a list of 747 certified Native American-owned business vendors that it buys supplies from or hires to complete construction and infrastructure jobs. Each fall, those companies helping the tribe further succeed are recognized with an award.

In the past year, the Cherokee Nation has spent more than $40 million on contracts with Native American-owned businesses and invested more than $1 million in Cherokee entrepreneurs.

The 2012 awardees include:

• Consulting Firm of the Year – Scott & Associates, Muskogee.

• Retail Business of the Year – Meigs Jewelry, Tahlequah.

• Woman Owned Business of the Year – Inara Creative Specialties, Tahlequah. Owner Kristene Watson is a Cherokee citizen from Claremore and a Northeastern State University graduate.

• Small Certified Indian Business of the Year – Springwater Fence Co., Tahlequah. Owner Kristene Watson is a Cherokee citizen from Claremore and a Northeastern State University graduate.

• Community Leadership Award – TEDCO Properties, Chelsea.

• Customer Service Award – RC Sales/Adventures in Advertising, Miami, Okla. Bob Smith and his wife, Martha, started RC Sales in 1989 in Miami.

• Construction Company of the Year – Rill Construction, Stilwell. Lewis Rill has been in the construction business for more than 30 years.

• Large Certified Indian Business of the Year – Flintco, Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Springdale, Ark. Flintco is the largest Native American-owned company and one of the largest commercial contractors in the nation.