Tulsa Metro Chamber Pays Tribute to Small Businesses

AWARD WINNERS: From front left, Tulsa Metro Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal, Carmelita Skeeter, Andrew Kinslow, Isabelle Estes, Brad Frank and Small Business Council Chairman Dave Grim. From back left, Small Business Vice Chairman Lynda Wingo, Dr. Jeffery Magee, Robert Marshall, Robert Austin and Thomas Bennett.

DAVID JONES for GTR Newspapers

The Tulsa Metro Chamber honored area small and emerging business award-winners at the 2008 Small Business Awards April 29 at the Marriott Southern Hills.

Small business is the backbone of the American economy, leading the way in innovation and bringing new ideas and technology to the marketplace. In fact, 80 percent of Tulsa’s business community consists of small businesses with 10 or fewer employees.

“We’re recognizing some of the best of the best,” says Mike Neal, Chamber president and CEO. “A small business owner is an entrepreneur in its truest form. These awards provide an opportunity to honor businesses that have demonstrated best practices of entrepreneurship such as, sound business planning, fiscal responsibility and innovation in operating his or her business.”

Serving as keynote speaker is David Rutkauskas, president and CEO, Beautiful Brands International. BBI is a Tulsa based innovative restaurant development company responsible for the successful launch of worldwide, franchised brands including Camille’s Sidewalk Café, Coney Beach and FreshBerry. A proclamation from the City of Tulsa regarding small businesses in the Tulsa region will be presented at the award ceremony.

Winners included: Andrew Kinslow, Small Business Person of the Year; Dr. Jeffery Magee, Small Business Journalist; Bob Marshall, Veteran Small Business Champion; Brad Frank, Family-Owned Business Person of the Year; Thomas E. Bennett III, Financial Services Champion; Carmelita Skeeter, Minority Small Business Champion, Robert Austin, Small Business Exporter; and Isabelle Estes, Women in Business Champion.

Updated 05-20-2008

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