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2018 Annual Banquet Celebration

on February 2, 2018

The Norman Chamber of Commerce held their Annual Banquet on Thursday, February 1st.  Many individuals and businesses were celebrated during this program.  The awards presented include NEXT Under 40, Greenovation, Women’s Leadership Award, Volunteer of the Year, Small Business of the Year, and Large Business of the Year.  Finally, after a year and a half of service, the Norman Chamber celebrated their outgoing chair of the Board, Curtis McCarty, passing the gavel to the incoming chair, Shelley Coleman-Cox. 


2018 NEXT Under 40 Awards

The best of Norman’s young professionals


Michelle Britz

Valliance Bank


Grady Carter

Metro Brokers


Sabrina DuFran

University of Oklahoma


Sierra Eberle

Arvest Bank


Kevin Garrett

Eide Bailly


Travis Gatewood

Insurance Solutions


Travis Humphrey



Ryan Lassiter

Levant Technologies


Harold Lee

City of Norman


Alesha Leemaster

Norman Public Schools


Lainey Phillips

Republic Bank & Trust


Matt Reikowsky

Republic Bank & Trust


Hannah Rieger

University of Oklahoma


Alexis Trammell

Freestyle Creative


Matt Woods

McMahon Marketing


2018 Greenovation Awards

Norman businesses that invest their time and energy into being green


Small Business Conservation: Salon Audace

Salon Audace is the first of four first-time Greenovation Award applicants this year and we are pleased to announce them as our 2018 Small Business Conservation Award winner!  Through their participation with a program called Green Circle Salons, Salon Audace is able to divert over 90% of their waste from landfills.  This is an impressive figure given their non-traditional materials such as hair color and hair itself.  The owner of Salon Audace also acts as a Green Ambassador for the Green Circle Salons to help spread the word about this environmentally-friendly waste disposal alternative.


Large Business Conservation: Hitachi Computer Products

Celebrating five consecutive years of Norman Chamber Large Business Conservation Awards, Hitachi continues to blow us away with their impressive waste reduction and energy conservation statistics.  Each year, they deliver reports detailing their latest creative solutions to everyday business waste creators.  Not only are these reports impressive for their environmental savings, they are impressive for their savings to the overall bottom line.  These programs often save tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, which really add up over the course of a few years.


Small Business Recycling: MA+ Architecture

As a new applicant this year, MA+ Architecture really impressed us with their creative recycling solutions.  While they recycle most items around their office and provide their employees with recycling bins, what really stood out is what they do with their unused and sample building materials.  By participating in metro programs and working with organizations in the area, MA+ donates their unused materials to be given or sold at a discount to teachers and the public.  These materials can be repurposed for class projects and used to teach students new skills and lessons in a creative way.


Large Business Recycling: Johnson Controls Industries

Johnson Controls, another first-time applicant, is our very deserving 2018 Large Business Recycling Award winner.  They have decreased their total amount of waste each year, ending FY2017 with a 94% waste diversion rate.  Additionally, Johnson Controls is always looking for ways to reduce or reuse packaging to help keep more items from the landfill.  Their facility also implements a “waste free absorbent system”, which contributes greatly to their overall waste reduction.  In 2017, this program alone eliminated 7,887 lbs. of landfill waste!


Small Business Transportation: LWPB Architecture

When it comes to green transportation, location is often everything.  LWPB Architecture, our 2018 Small Business Transportation Award winner, chose their downtown Norman location with transportation in mind.  They intentionally picked a location with a nearby bus stop, bike storage, and nearby restaurants.  They encourage their employees to take advantage of their prime location by walking, biking, and riding the bus as often as possible.


Large Business Transportation: Hitachi Computer Products

Hitachi impressed us again this year with their devotion to efficient transportation alternatives.  Their new Center of Excellence has opened up in Norman, which provides a location for Hitachi team members to configure and assemble equipment for remote client testing, often alongside a Skype session.  This new method saves the Hitachi sales team from having to ship the equipment to the client, travel to the client to walk them through the use of the equipment, and ship the equipment back to Hitachi if the product needed tweaking.  Eliminating the travel portion of the sale save on both air and truck emissions while providing Hitachi and their clients with quicker and more convenient testing opportunities.


2018 Women’s Leadership Award

Celebrating one exceptional Norman woman: Patty Gasso

Having recently completed her 23rd season at the University of Oklahoma, NFCA Hall of Fame head coach Patty Gasso has molded the OU softball program into a national power and permanently placed herself among the elite college softball coaches in the country.  She has won more Big 12 games than any coach in the league's history and has more than twice as many overall wins as any other coach in OU history. OU has claimed 10 Big 12 regular season, including an unprecedented six straight since the 2012 season, and five championship titles under her direction. 


The OU softball success under Gasso has also spilled over into the classroom where the Sooners have been honored with 121 academic all-conference honors. Nine of those have gone on to become Academic All-Americans, including Lana Moran, the 2000 Academic All-American of the Year.  As a proven leader both on and off the field, we are honored to recognize Patty Gasso as our 2018 Women’s Leadership Award winner!


2018 Chairman’s Award

Volunteer of the Year: Ryan Lassiter

Ryan Lassiter has been a devoted and outstanding Chamber volunteer for many years, but especially in 2017.  He is an active member of the Chamber Ambassador Committee and the Chair Elect for Norman NEXT.  As a photographer, he is available for almost all of our ribbon cuttings throughout the year to provide professional pictures to both the Chamber and to our hosts.  He never hesitates to direct those cutting the ribbon to capture the perfect picture.  Whenever we need help, Ryan is always available.  He is quick to lend a hand and offer productive solutions.  We are thankful for his dedicated service as an Ambassador and we look forward to the great things he will bring to Norman NEXT moving forward!


2018 Small Business of the Year

Best of Norman’s Small Business Community: NEXUS Productions/Eskimo Sno

Adrian Buendia, owner of NEXUS Productions and Eskimo Sno, manages to commit so much time to Norman and our community that he often seems to be at multiple places at the same time.  His commitment to the Chamber and to the Norman business community can be seen in his activities throughout Norman, both as a Chamber Board member and as an active business owner.  He was instrumental in sharing the progress of Lindsey Street during their construction with his social media videos.  He quickly offered to provide music and A/V equipment for this past summer’s Lindsey Street Bridge celebration.  He is always one to jump at opportunities to help others in his community and we are grateful for his involvement in the Norman Chamber!


2018 Large Business of the Year

Best of Norman’s Large Business Community: Chickasaw Nation Industries

Chickasaw Nation Industries has been a dedicated member of the Norman Chamber since they moved their headquarters to Norman over a decade ago.  During their membership, they have consistently been a model of involvement with the Norman Chamber and the Norman business community.  While their focus may be on the economic development of the Chickasaw Nation, we all benefit from CNI’s devotion to economic success.  As the tribe continues to expand the number of economic opportunities, it is providing a positive impact for both Chickasaw and Oklahoma citizens.  We are so proud to claim CNI as a Chamber member and applaud them as our 2018 Large Business of the Year!


Thank you to our 2018 Presenting Sponsor, AT&T, and to all of our generous 2018 Banquet sponsors!

Johnson Controls Industries, Entertainment Sponsor; Primrose Funeral Service and Sunset Memorial Park, Wine Sponsor; Republic Bank & Trust, Reception Sponsor; Adair & Associates and Garner Insurance, Centerpiece Sponsors; NEXUS Productions, NightCap Sponsor; RK Black, Program Sponsor.


Platinum Preferred Sponsors: BancFirst, Chickasaw Nation, First United Bank, Floyd Law Firm, Fowler Automotive, Moore Norman Technology Center, Norman Regional Health System, The Norman Transcript, and Oklahoma Natural Gas.


Platinum Sponsors: 1NB Financial Center, Aria Development / Aria Real Estate, Arvest Bank, Byrd Building, Chickasaw Nation Industries, City of Norman, City of Norman, City of Norman, Eide Bailly, First Fidelity Bank, Fleske Holding Company, Hallbrooke Development Group, Havenbrook Funeral Home, Ideal Homes, INOK Investments, Landers Chevrolet of Norman, LifeSpring Home Care, McMahon Marketing, Mercy, Midfirst Bank, OG&E, Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Oklahoma Copier Solutions, Oklahoma State Bank, RCB Bank, Republic Services, Rieger Law Group, RK Black, SportsTalk Media, Tinker Federal Credit Union, Tribute Memorial Care, Valliance Bank, Walden Cleaners, and Yeaman and Associates.


Gold Sponsors: Bergey Windpower, Big Red Sports & Imports, Cayman’s Clothiers, Cleveland County Family YMCA, Embassy Suites Norman Hotel & Conference Center, First Liberty Bank, Gray Blodgett & Company, Great Nations Bank, Hitachi Computer Products, Julia Chew State Farm Agency, MA+ Architecture, Marriott Conference Center at NCED, McClain Bank, Oklahoma City Dodgers, Silver Star Construction, VisitNorman, and Walmart – West.


Silver Sponsors: Bart Conner Gymnastics, Cain & Cain, Cindy K. Nashert, DM Wealth Management, Haralson Enterprises Inc., Lashar Home Comfort Systems,  Mosquito Authority, Norman Public Schools, Pioneer Library System, Quest Executive Services, Thompson Pool & Patio, and Walmart – East.