2021 Annual Meeting & Inauguration
2021 Annual Meeting
Muskogee, OK January 28, 2021: As a Chamber we depend heavily on strong volunteer leadership to fulfill our mission and serve the businesses in Muskogee. To help recognize individuals who have shown exemplary success and distinguished themselves in their profession, and in Muskogee, we honored the service of six Chamber members at our Annual Meeting on Thursday, January 28, 2021.
The 2020 Volunteer of the Year winner was Mike Carman. This award is reserved for the Chamber member who has demonstrated the traits of exceptional volunteerism by taking a leadership role with the Chamber. Mike stepped in to help the chamber in a big way in 2020, and you can see his smiling face at the front of most ribbon cutting photos. Mike is a part of the Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors Committee, the Muskogee Baptist Association, Gideons, the Muskogee Optimist Club, graduated from Leadership Muskogee class 26, and even rang bells during the holiday season for the Salvation Army.
The Young Professional of the Year winner was Bill Shelby. This award strives to promote the accomplishments of young business professionals, their contributions, and resulting impact to our community. Bill started at his family farm, obtained his bachelor’s degree at Oklahoma State University, his Master of Commerce Degree from the University of Sydney and is now the Muskogee Market President for Armstrong Bank.
The Non-profit of the Year winner was Fostering Hope Muskogee. Muskogee has a large number of non-profits in the area, and the Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce saw a need to start recognizing them. Fostering hope went from a Sunday school project, to having the first program in the state of its kind. Their new facility brought lawmakers from across the state to bring recognition to the needs of children entering the foster care system.
The Muskogee Small Business of the Year winner was Blossom’s. This award is given to a Muskogee business and Chamber member with 10 or less full-time employees and whose roots were started and have stayed in Muskogee. Blossom’s saw that 2020 would be an upward climb and quickly adapted, to ensure they could serve their customers all while keeping our community safe. Blossom’s was among the first to start pre-ordering of their merchandise online, curbside assistance, and took a serious approach to a no touch service.
The Muskogee Business of the Year recipient was Love Botting Co. The Muskogee Business of the Year award goes to a Chamber member who has demonstrated their dedication to Muskogee in several ways that include: playing an active role in the community through diverse, philanthropic efforts; employees are active in volunteer work and participate in community activities; and have had a long-standing part of the success of the Chamber. Love Bottling plays a large role in many community events and organizations such as the Muskogee Golf Club, Muskogee Hotel & Lodging Association, Leadership Muskogee, Youth Leadership, Jeep Jam, and the Chamber’s Agriculture and Veteran’s Appreciation Dinners. As well, they are on the fore front of looking out for our planet and are part of the Coca-Cola global effort to eliminate waste, recycle materials, and promote sustainability. The Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce would like to give is award in remembrance of the late Love Bottling CEO and President Barry Love.
The Okie from Muskogee Award recipient was Dan Morris. In 2009, the Chamber awarded the first Okie from Muskogee and each year since, a volunteer and member of the Chamber has been recognized. Dan Morris, an U.S. Army Veteran, stands up for the people of the Muskogee, and truly makes everyone feel welcome. He has sat on many boards including Bridges Out of Poverty, City of Muskogee Foundation, Lake Area United Way, American Parkinson Disease Association, and the Greater Muskogee Manufacturers Alliance. After working with Bridges out of Poverty, Dan saw a need in the community and created his own non-profited, Advantage AutoWorks. This program is to teach Bridges Out of Poverty graduates how to get an auto loan, all while receiving a reliable car at a discounted rate. Dan’s philanthropy goes past himself, as he motivated his employees, at Advantage Controls, to go out, get inspired, and to become a part of our community.