Five awards will be presented to collaborations and champions located within the borders of the defined Northeastern Oklahoma region.
The collaboration (program) must demonstrate a benefit to the Northeastern Oklahoma region and could be from a period or project began prior to or separate from the Regional Summit.
Anyone can nominate any group and voting can be done once for each category by any person. Voting for all awards except Crossing Borders will be done on-line at www.neokregion.org
up until the Regional Summit.
The Crossing Borders nominees will be highlighted at the Regional Summit and attendees will vote during Summit 2011. All awards will be announced on October 13 at the Regional Summit.
Collaboration must be able to serve as a model for others to duplicate, nominees must present a booth during the Summit, and award recipients will present a workshop in the next year and serve as a contact to assist other communities and collaborations.
Prize money must be utilized to further the work of the awarded project and awarded projects from one year may not be nominated for the same award category in the subsequent award year
Emerging Collaboration Award--$2,000 given to a collaboration that was formed within the last three years.
Successful Collaboration Award--$2,000 given to a mature collaboration whose impact can be measured.
Innovative Collaboration Award--$2,000 given to a collaboration not been previously attempted in our region.
Community Champion Recognition Award given to a business or organization that “gives back” a significant contribution to its community, county, or region.
Crossing Borders Collaboration Award--$5,000 given to a collaboration that encompasses two or more communities or partnerships working together that creates a benefit to multiple communities.
Emerging Collaboration Nominees
Adair County Food Pantry Orchard Road Community Outreach (ORCO) and Adair County Resource Center Food Pantry formed a collaborative with the assistance of the Carson Foundation two years ago to form a food pantry to assist the communities within Adair County with a shared building and services.
The Summit Infrastructure Team, Broadband Collaborative Work Group (BCWG) is comprised of regional community leaders who share an interest in proliferating and expanding broadband access throughout the region.
Through a series of educational discussions and presentations over the past year, focusing on the ever-shifting telecommunications industry, from terrestrial based investments to wireless investments, the group has identified several key issues that could impact broadband growth significantly in Northeastern Oklahoma. These issues include the following: Federal Universal Service Fund (FUSF) reform, Oklahoma Universal Service Fund (OUSF) reform, and the AT&T/T-Mobile merger. Each of these critical issues has the opportunity to bring faster broadband speeds to more of the region. BWG will target the following: increasing broadband speeds in the region, educating communities on the opportunities they ahve to enhance business efficiencies, health care delivery, educational opportunities, and agri-business applications that come with broadband access.
Successful Collaboration Nominees
The Muskogee Area Educational Consortium began in July 1994 between local public schools, career education centers, and higher educational institutions to foster quality educational programs. Their success includes agreements and strategies to promote opportunities, to honor teachers, to honor business leaders, and to hold an annual event for teachers. A major success is their increased partnership with healthcare coalitions and investment boards to foster curriculum and increase education attainment in the Muskogee County.
The Green Country Marketing Association serves 18 counties within the region with 125 partners by developing marketing co-ops and distributing publications. Their success has contributed to saving money and time by increasing marketing campaigns and utilizing research provided an economic impact of 2.1 billion dollars to the region. Their impact has created a 69% growth in the tourism industry and generated $172.4 million dollars in state and local tax revenue.
The Vian Community Charitable Trust is a 501 (3)(c) non-profit organization with a collaborative of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreational Department, USDA, Vian public schools, the town of Vian, Vian Chamber of Commerce, Cherokee Nation, and private sector with 51% Cherokee membership. Their success has contribution to new pathways, walking trails, revitalization of parks, community recreational facilities, and developing community buildings and revitalization of the down town district. In addition to their impacts to Vian, the organization promotes other communities by being a sponsor of the Red Fern Festival in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
Innovative Collaboration Nominees
Entrepreneurship Camp The Cherokee Nation Small Business Assistance Center, Rogers State University Innovation Center, Northwest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) and its Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), and Maryetta Schools formed a collaborative to introduce an innovative Entrepreneurship Camp to 50 rural students to demonstrate the possibilities and impact of youth entrepreneurship. The result produce business plans and products that were marketed and sold during an Entrepreneur Expo with the potential of some student received small business loans to continue their business.
The Tahlequah Area Community Campus Coalition began in 2010 with 13 partners that include two health coalitions, two hospitals, three educational institutions, technology centers, EODD, health care work force centers, and the county health department. Their innovation will create recruitment of high school and pre-professional students for careers in health. Future projects include expanding health clubs, providing a specific web-site for opportunities and learning, and implementing service learning programs to orient student with their communities, expanding rural health care.
The Zoe Institute and the Cherokee County Christian Ministerial Alliance began collaborating in August 2005. Their innovation has changed the face of benevolence activities throughout Cherokee County. Their impact has created a community warehouse and food bank, an annual back to school event to distribute school supplies to kids in need, an annual coat drive, unison of over 60 volunteers across churches in the county, and the most significant is a successful avenue for volunteer energy and investment in time for the rural area.
Community Champion Nominees
BancFirst operates under giving back to their community as an integral part of its mission. The organization not only provides sponsorship for events but also supports fundraising and benefits for local charities and several employees serve on boards to foundations and organizations in a financial capacity. The organizations they provide a service to include many organizations throughout Tahlequah, events such as the Cherokee County Livestock Show and Northeastern State University Foundation, and charitable organizations such as CASA, Habitat for Humanity and involvement with boards such as Tahlequah Main Street Association, Tahlequah Public Schools, Eastern Workforce Investment Board, and various other organizations. In 2010, each employee graduated from Tahlequah TRUE, a program focused on educating community members on tourism and leadership.
Horizon Hospice is a family centered care approach of doctors, nurses, social workers, home health aides, counselors, and trained volunteers that cover 26 counties and impact our region. The provide services to several communities including Relay for Life events, raising money for youth shelters, assisting disabled veterans, senior Olympics, WAHOO project working with paralyzed veterans and sending WWII veterans to Washington D.C., host annual fishing tournaments, providing assistance to disabled community members, work with area nursing homes, assist with area blood drives, and any project that provides assistance to the elderly population with our region.
The Lake Region Electric Cooperative has partnered with communities and the Cherokee County Christian Ministerial Alliance to provide over $20,000 to assist in food distribution, clothing, furniture, and staple goods of the rural needy and disadvantaged citizens living in Cherokee County. They have provided funds to assist in the construction and expansion of a food pantry and benevolence facility that serves over 300 families each month, and they provide school supplies to over 500 children each year.
Crossing Borders Nominees
Certified Work Ready Communities: A collaborative was formed in 2009 to work towards the Governor’s Council on Workforce and Economic Development Certified Work Ready Communities Project. The Certified Work Ready Collaborators were Cherokee Nation, Eastern Workforce Investment Board, Northeast Workforce Investment Board, Indian Capital Technology Center, Northeast Technology Center, Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, Northeastern State University, Rogers State University, NORA, Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology, and Muscogee Creek Nation. This collaboration accomplished the largest certified work ready region for Oklahoma.