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Coweta Chamber honors Business of the Year, Citizen of the Year and other award winners

A capacity crowd was on hand Tuesday, June 1 at Rick’s Place when the Coweta Chamber of Commerce honored business and individual excellence during its annual Awards Banquet.

The evening featured a Hawaiian Luau theme and Chamber President Jake Dwyer served as emcee for the evening. Award nominees were introduced by Chamber Director Christy Wheeland and winners were announced by Chamber Vice President Sarah Wells. Dwyer presented the awards.

“It was a great evening to celebrate the men, women and businesses of our community who display excellence in what they do daily,” Wheeland said after the program. “During the challenges presented by COVID-19 and the pandemic’s effect on our community, these award winners and nominees all rose to the occasion. Everyone in the room did the same.”

“We had to think outside of the box, reach beyond our comfort zone and come up with new business plans to keep things running,” she added. “We adapted and overcame.  As individuals, we stepped up to do more to hold us all together. You are all a success story.”

The following awards were presented, with descriptions provided by nominees:

Coweta Business of the Year: The Coweta area business that contributes to and promotes the economic growth, stability and improvement of the community.

Winner: Indigo Tie Dye. Indigo Tie Dye owner Shelby Brewster and her team have created a fun and unique atmosphere that brings groups of people to the Downtown Broadway District. The beautiful, hand-painted murals on her building make Indigo a destination for visitor photo opportunities. Her television appearances have brought many new customers to the area.  She is very generous when it comes to donating to local organizations and events.

Other Nominees:

Cactus Cones, owned by Candy and Travis Ginn. In the middle of the pandemic, Cactus Cones took a building that sat empty for years and turned it into a tourist destination. Their business has been featured on local news stations and most recently on Travel Oklahoma, helping to put Coweta on the map. Behind the amazing treats is a family with a heart of gold. They have used their platform to donate thousands of items to the Coweta food pantry. Through auctions and fundraisers, Cactus Cones has helped support other businesses and organizations in the community.

BancFirst. BancFirst Coweta has served this community well throughout the years and has proven to be an asset to the community. The bank was dedicated to local small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic by helping companies obtain PPP Loans and Forgiveness, OBRP Grants and other SBA assistance to stay afloat during this crazy year. They give generously to community projects to ensure the stability of the community. Staff members dedicate time and resources themselves to civic organizations within Coweta.

4 Tons of Blessings Boutique, Craft Store & Home Décor Store, owned by Misty and Greg Edwards. Throughout the years, Misty has volunteered for various community projects and donated countless art projects, volunteer hours and contest prizes to support others in Coweta. Aside from her generous heart, she has a listening ear. If that is not enough, there is always the candy bowl.

Coweta Manor Nursing Home. Coweta Manor endured so much during COVID but was able to find creative and effective solutions to persevere. The staff takes care of those who are unable to take the best care of themselves. Their health and risk ratings are excellent!


Coweta Citizen of the Year: This individual has consistently demonstrated excellence in professional and community leadership and made significant contributions to the welfare of the community.

Winner: Dr. Kayse Shrum.  A lifelong Coweta resident and 1990 Coweta High School graduate, Dr. Kayse Shrum has just been appointed as the 19th president (first female) of Oklahoma State University. In 2013 she was named president of the OSU Center for Health Services, becoming the youngest president and dean of a medical school in Oklahoma.  Under her leadership at OSU-CHS, student enrollment has more than doubled as new academic programs have been established to meet the healthcare workforce needs of Oklahoma. She is a fervent champion of rural health and primary care medicine. She serves as Secretary of Science and Innovation on Governor Kevin Stitt’s cabinet and led Oklahoma’s rapid response in COVID-19 testing expansion across the state. Dr. Shrum is active in a host of charitable and professional organizations.

Other Nominees:

Jason Howard - Jason singlehandedly raised funds throughout the community for our Community Special Athletes Organization when their major fundraiser had to be cancelled due to COVID. He gave greatly of his personal finances and his time to make sure that the athletes were not negatively impacted by COVID.

Misty Edwards - Throughout the years, Misty has volunteered for various community projects and donated countless art projects, volunteer hours and contest prizes to others to support Coweta. Aside from her generous heart, she has a listening ear.

All First Responders – Coweta Police, Coweta Fire, Wagoner County Emergency Management, Doctors and Nurses. While risking their health, they have kept us healthy. While serving, they have kept our community safe. While asking for nothing, they have given so much. Coweta, Oklahoma proudly salutes its first responders.

Coweta Public Schools Staff - During the past year, the faculty, staff and leaders of Coweta Public Schools have been forced to adapt and adjust like no other.  Every level of educator changed the way they delivered the most valuable part of our children’s lives - their education.  From drive-thru meal distribution to google meets and video presentations, CPS staff stepped up to the challenge. Thank you to all who helped our children make it through the 2020-2021 school year. You are all heroes in our eyes!


Dr. Shawn Lee Leadership Award: Nominees are individuals who have achieved positive change by using innovative strategies and whose work has a measurable record of accomplishment.

Winner: Brian Woodward – Over the past year, Brian has stepped into many leadership roles in our community. He has taken the lead in cleaning up many code violations in the city and stepped into the role of interim fire chief, thus leading the fire department during the worst stages of the pandemic. As deputy fire chief, he fully assists his new fire chief. He volunteers with the Youth World Bowfishing organization and coaches many little league teams.  He exemplifies many of the same leadership traits of Dr. Lee.

Other Nominees:

Pam Morris – Pam is dedicated to helping customers, both business and personal, with their lending and banking needs. She makes each customer she serves a priority every day.

Coweta Police, Coweta Fire and Wagoner County Emergency Management - Members of these departments have worked tirelessly to serve our community in multiple capacities under difficult circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roger Kolman - There is nothing too big or too small for Roger to work on. He is instrumental in bringing new businesses to Coweta. Through COVID, he developed a grant program awarding small businesses a grant that returned their paid taxes back to them. He is impeccable with his word. I have watched him try anything that is asked of him.            


Community Volunteer of the Year: Nominees go the extra mile to get involved in programs and activities that benefit the community.  They display leadership, initiative, creativity and dedication while inspiring people to get involved and make a difference in the lives of others.

Winner: Jessica Morris – For the past 21 years, local business owner Jessica Morris has made a tangible difference in her community. A 20-year volunteer with the Community Special Athletes Organization, her dedication to this organization and its families has been demonstrated by spending countless hours as a certified Special Olympics coach and board member. Jessica’s commitment can always be seen, especially in her role as chair for the CSAO’s annual Fall Festival Pie Auction fundraiser.  Her desire to support Coweta’s youth does not stop there. She is a regular supporter of the local school programs, including the Coweta Band. Jessica’s passion and love for the community has impacted hundreds of lives and she shines as an example of putting others first and helping them succeed.

Other Nominees:

Yvette Elless – Yvette Elless has taken the initiative to host the Community Farmer’s Market in Coweta. She is also involved with helping the Downtown Activities Committee.

Coweta Assembly Church – The Coweta Assembly of God did not hesitate to volunteer the use of their location for various community outreach opportunities during the COVID pandemic. The church held several Farm to Family food box distributions for area residents and served as a distribution site for COVID-19 vaccines to thousands of local and regional residents. For years, Coweta Assembly has generously offered the use of its facility for monthly Coweta Chamber meetings, Fall Festival talent show rehearsals and a host of other school and non-profit activities.

Natalie Bonham – Natalie is present at nearly every community event and has such a positive attitude toward serving the community. It does not matter what you ask Natalie to do; she shows up like a ray of sunshine!

Misty Edwards - Throughout the years, Misty has volunteered for various community projects and donated countless art projects, volunteer hours and contest prizes to others to support Coweta. Aside from her generous heart, she has a listening ear.


Ruthe Harp Chamber Volunteer of the Year: This award is named after the late Ruthe Harp, who was ever-present at all Chamber events. She dedicated her time to make sure all projects were executed with excellence. She was a champion of the Coweta Chamber.

Winner: Matt Shell – Matt Shell has consistently gone above and beyond for our chamber and community.  He has graciously served as Chamber board secretary; serves as vice-chair of the Downtown Activities Committee and has played an active role in reenergizing the Downtown Broadway District. Matt volunteered in all aspects of every event we held in 2020. He donates pizza regularly and has helped many churches, schools and youth teams by hosting fundraising nights at Goodfella’s. His love for Coweta shows through his work. He is the first to support other businesses and help in any way he can.

Other Nominees:

Jake Dwyer – For working late nights and weekends trying to get his small business customers a PPP loan when we truly needed it to stay in business. He also serves on the Chamber board and is very active in the community, supporting many events and charities.

Sarah Wells – Sarah is a Swiss army knife to the chamber. Her past involvement is worth her weight in gold. Even though she has an abundance of experience, she is willing to try new ways for the benefit of the Chamber.


In following with tradition, the Chamber Awards Banquet included both a live and silent auction where participants were generous with their bids to support the business organization.

Tim Kelley served as auctioneer and Miss Fall Festival Whitney Jennings, Miss Teen Fall Festival McKayla Brooks and Little Miss Fall Festival Rylie Abel – assisted with the auction.

The Coweta Chamber’s focus now turns to Fall Festival which will commence Sept. 16-18 in the downtown Broadway District.

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