The Cherokee Nation honored eight standout certified Indian-owned businesses for 2014 during a dinner Thursday at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.
“We have more Indian businesses working for our tribe on contracts and subcontracts than ever before in our history. This kind of growth will continue to keep the Cherokee Nation successful,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “Economic opportunity drives what we do as a tribal nation. When our small businesses are strong and growing, our communities are strong and growing. When we help create jobs in Indian-owned businesses, we play a critical role in providing a greater sense of hope in our communities.”
Chief Baker served as the keynote speaker during the seventh annual TERO Awards Banquet, where dozens of Indian business owners and family members attended.
The Cherokee Nation in 1983 established a Tribal Employment Rights Office. TERO negotiates for job vacancies with contractors doing business with the tribe and refers qualified Native American workers to fill vacancies. TERO also maintains a list of more than 800 Indian-owned businesses and offers preference to the Indian-owned vendors who bid on Cherokee Nation contracts.
In 2014, TERO vendors earned more than $45 million in contracts.
“The number of TERO-certified vendors has quadrupled in the past seven years,” said Cherokee Nation Tribal Council Speaker Tina Glory-Jordan. “Through the increase in vendors, more Cherokees and other Native Americans are able to support their families while helping the local economies grow, which in turn grows the great state of Oklahoma and Cherokee Nation’s economies.”
The top eight certified Indian-owned businesses for 2014 are:
—Cherokee Ready Mix, of Colcord, for Community Leadership Award
—Stilwell Hardware, of Stilwell, for Customer Service Award
—CGA Engineers Inc., of Tulsa, for Consulting Firm of the Year
—Cooper Construction, of Salina, for Construction Company of the Year
—J & E Feed Distributors Inc., of Muskogee, for Retail Business of the Year
—Camco Promotional Products Inc., of Stuart, for Woman Owned Business of the Year
—Adamson Electric Inc., of Tahlequah, for Small Business of the Year
—Contech LLC, of Broken Arrow, for Large Business of the Year
Contech LLC owner Bryan Adair thanked Chief Baker, Deputy Chief Crittenden and Tribal Council for their vision and effort to create the opportunities for Native-owned businesses.
“The Cherokee Nation’s help means everything to TERO-certified businesses,” Adair said. “It gives the businesses a much better ability to work and serve, and also compete with other businesses. It’s just a tremendous help to our company and many others.”
For more information on Cherokee Nation TERO, visit www.cherokeetero.com.