The Tulsey’s Recognize Entrepreneurial Excellence

While the Spirit Award encourages the revolution of big ideas into start-up businesses, the Tulsey Award acknowledges those entrepreneurs who have already taken the leap and established their ventures.
The Spirit Award recognizes young or beginning entrepreneurs and helps them expand their concepts into viable, working companies.
The Tulsey Award, the brainchild of Sean Griffin and supported by Mayor Kathy Taylor, applauds all local entrepreneurs, not just those whose businesses are younger than five years old. And, rather than by a panel of judges, the 10 winners of the Tulsey Award are chosen by the community.
Through Nov. 10, locals can vote for their favorite entrepreneurs. The nominees are divided into categories: civic, emerging, entertainment, franchise, green, interactive, legend, restaurateur, serial and young.
The entrepreneur who receives the most votes overall will also be awarded an “Entrepreneur of the Year” prize.
The Tulsey Award is yet another way the city encourages and promotes entrepreneurialism. By recognizing and awarding those who start, grow and keep businesses in Tulsa, city leaders encourage others to do the same.
The nominees are listed below. Voters can read more about the individuals and businesses nominated and vote for their favorites at
The winners will be announced Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. at Cain’s Ballroom, 423 N. Main St. The event is free and open to the public.
Nominees in the civic category are recognized for combining entrepreneurialism with community service. They are: Chris Zenthoefer, New Medio and Tulsa Tough; Donald Tyler, Greater Grace Tulsa; George Kaiser, George Kaiser Family Foundation; Jennifer Patterson, Aim High Academy; Judi Grove, Breast Impressions; Matt Moffett, Tulsa Girls Art School Project; Ray Jarvis, Jarvis Inc.; and Roy Payton, Brighter Day Inc.
Nominees in this category have succeeded in establishing a business, earning customer approval and beginning to generate revenue and have shown readiness for second-stage growth. The nominees have been in operation at least two years. They are: Braden Janowski, TradeHelm; Carey Baker, Part-Time Pros (also a finalist in this year’s Spirit Award); Catherine deCamp, Sage Culinary Studio; Charlie Pilkington, NorthStar Technologies; Clay Slaton, EngATech Inc.; Julie Friend, Diva Girlz Studio; Julie Hakman, AmericanChecked Inc.; Karen Luhring, Forrest and Jenny’s Place Inc.; Melanie Henry,; Phyllis Peabody, Hollywood Fitness Repair Inc.; Scott Smith, BlueJackalope Grocery & Coffee; Shelby Navarro, One Architecture; Sheryl Chinowth, Chinowth & Cohen Realtors; and Steve Cluck, Louis & Cluck.
These nominees represent entrepreneurialism in the television, radio, photography, music and journalism industries. They are: Ben Sumner, Up Late with Ben Sumner; Brad Mathison, Mathison Inc.; Davit Souders, Diabolical Productions LLC; Jack Frank, Jack Frank Productions; John and Sara Cruncleton, Nightingale Theater; Deborah Oldham, Tulsa Belly Dance; Scott Aycock, Folk Salad; Starr Hardgrove, Enchanted Grove Films LLP; and Tom Green, Diversafest.
The entrepreneurs nominated for this category have created a successful business enterprise through franchising. They are required to demonstrate sustained growth for at least three years while also remaining active in the community. The nominees are: Adrienne Kallweit, Seeking Sitters Franchise Systems Inc. (winner of the first annual Spirit Award); Chester Cadieux, QuikTrip (QuikTrip is actually not a franchise; every store is company-owned and operated); Greg Ford, Utmost Enterprises Inc.; Ned Bruha, The Skunk Whisperer Inc.; Shannon Wilburn and Daven Tackett, Just Between Friends Franchise Systems Inc.; and Timothy Dreiling, Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa.
The green category recognizes those who create relationships between economic development and environmental sustainability in their businesses. The nominees are: Heather Oakley, Global Gardens; Kristen McCormick, The Recycling Revolution; Libby Auld, Eloté Café & Catering (a finalist in this year’s Spirit Award contest); Marty Hill, Greener Car Care; Ren Barger, Tulsa Hub; and Tamara Walden, Walden Energy (a judge in this year’s Spirit Award contest).
Nominees in this category are involved in designing, building, managing, maintaining, marketing and promoting Web sites, interactive games or advertising, as well as online video and mobile content. The nominees are: Jeff Rhoton, Imobilize Media; Natasha Ball, (this blogger is also a freelance contributor to Tulsa Business Journal, penning our food page in each issue); Ryan Phillips, Phillips360; Sean McCullough, Inc.; and Susan Reidel, Academic Freedom Academy Online Home School.
This category recognizes entrepreneurs who have made a significant and lasting impact on the local economy. The businesses nominated must have been in operation for a minimum of 10 years, and their founders must have been actively involved in their enterprise. The nominees are: Charles Keithline, Pediatric Dental Group; Charles Kingsley, Coney I-Lander; Jack Allen, CFR; Janet Hudson, JHS Rockstarts; Jerry Reed, RECO Enterprises; Kelley Rash, AVB Bank; Lisa Regan, Garden Deva; Margo Gray-Proctor, The Horizon Companies; Monetta Trepp, National Indian Monument & Institute Inc.; Suzette Jones, TherapyWorks Inc.; and Ted Robertson, Robertson Tire Co.
These nominees have succeeded in starting a restaurant that combines flair and innovation with good business acumen. They are: Blake Ewing, Joe Momma’s; Cheri Asher, The Coffee House on Cherry Street; Darrell Bowen, Brownie’s Hamburgers; Michelle Goldstein, Buns and Roses; and Ryan McAdams, Freckles.
This category recognizes entrepreneurs who have been successful in multiple ventures. The nominees are Dan Roberts, Trak-1 Technology, and Gavin Manes, Avansic.
Nominees in this category are under the age of 35 and have created a successful business. They must demonstrate innovative management skills and creativity, and their businesses must have been in operation for at least three years. The nominees are: Garrett Blackwood, Blue Label Bartending (a finalist in this year’s Spirit Award); John Hill, Family Pet Search; Jonathan Conneely, Bootcamp Tulsa (a semi-finalist in this year’s Spirit Award); and Tiffany Bjorlie, Eco Baby + Kids (third-place winner in the 2008 Spirit Award).

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