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Ida Red owner named Small Business Person of the Year

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Ida Red owner named Small Business Person of the Year

Published Thursday, September 14, 2023 3:00 pm
by Rhett Morgan

The Tulsa Regional Chamber recognized five local organizations Thursday at the Tulsa Small Business Summit & Awards. More than 300 people attended the event, which is hosted by the Tulsa Small Business Connection, a program of the Tulsa Regional Chamber.

The summit, the Chamber’s signature small business gathering, convenes area businesses to build connections, learn key takeaways to expand their businesses and celebrate the local impact of small business.

“Small businesses drive not only the local economy but the regional and national economies, as well,” said Tina Parkhill, chair of the Tulsa Small Business Connection and owner of Parkhill’s Liquors and Wine South“For that reason, it is paramount that we support them. The Tulsa Regional Chamber is proud to be a part of an event that salutes the hard work that small businesses put in every day.”

The Chamber’s Small Business Awards honor Tulsa-area companies for their resilience, innovation and dedication to the local community. Nominees went through an application process judged by chamber of commerce professionals from outside the region. 

The 2023 Small Business Award winners are:

Small Business Person of the Year: Angelene Wright, Ida Red

• Entrepreneurial Success Award: Asemio

Family-Owned Small Business of the Year: Littlefield Agency
Manufacturer of the Year: Extract Companies
• Diverse Small Business Champion: Raise the Bar Investments
Wright in 2008 was involved in the inception of Ida Red, a store that showcases locally themed and made products at its three Tulsa locations.

Her sense of Oklahoma pride was instilled in her by her father, Steve Ripley, former leader of the country/rock band “The Tractors.” Ripley died in 2019.

“Ida Red is a place where you can come and get a smile and a gift, Leon Russell on the playlist and a personal experience that just can’t be found on the internet,” said Wright. It’s always just been my mission to spread joy, and what has given me a true sense of hope is the love, support and feeling of togetherness from the Tulsa community. Tulsa truly is an amazing place to start a small business and pursue entrepreneurship.” 

The event kicked off with a morning session featuring Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum. That was followed by a leadership development and relationship-building session for all attendees led by Jennie Wolek, founder and CEO of the Wolek Group with Keller Williams Realty Advantage.

The story of Tulsa in my mind is the story of the success of small businesses,” Bynum said. You look at so many of the great leaders in the history of our city, they started out as small business people. Many of them built those small businesses up into big companies. Many of them ran small businesses their whole career.

“…I think it is built in our DNA as a community; this is a city that honors and reveres small business owners and isthere as a community to support people in small business.”

The summit also featured keynote speaker Mark Noon, who excelled in military and civilian healthcare leadership for more than 25 years. Noon is an author, actor, speaker and executive coach.

“Small businesses account for the majority of jobs in our region and are crucial for our long-term success,” saidMike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber. “Entrepreneurs and small business owners are integral to northeast Oklahoma’s economy, and we are proud to recognize the local businesses that strengthen our community, promote job growth and make our region prosperous.


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