Local entrepreneurs take honors in growing competition
BY LAURIE WINSLOW World Staff Writer
Friday, November 19, 2010
11/19/10 at 5:28 AM
As the newly named winners of the Tulsey Awards, several entrepreneurs received hand-cast bronze Golden Driller statuettes Thursday night.
A crowd gathered for the awards ceremony at the Cain's Ballroom, where winners were announced in 11 categories.
Rusty Rowe of Mod's Coffee & Crepes, whose 1,257 votes were the most received by any of the nominees in this year's contest, was voted Entrepreneur of the Year category as well as the winner in the Restaurateur category.
This year, 21,114 votes were cast in the online competition for 39 nominees. The number of votes for the third annual competition climbed from about 14,000 last year and 8,500 in 2008.
The Tulseys are now a "big deal," with nominees using creative ways to campaign, such as YouTube and social media, to publicize their names and encourage voting, said Sean Griffin, founder and chairman of the Tulsey Awards.
The Tulseys are separate from the SpiritBank/Tulsa Community College Entrepreneurial Spirit Award, a competition that attracted more than 100 contestants this year.
That contest, which kicked off in April, included a rigorous process in which some entries received coaching to hone their business models. Spirit Award winners were announced Tuesday night.
The Tulsey Awards, by contrast, was a publicly driven contest where people could submit nominations online. The online voting, which was open to everyone, took place from Oct. 13 through Nov. 3.
Residents were invited to nominate entrepreneurs for a Tulsey Award in 10 categories: civic, emerging, entertainment, franchise/license, green, interactive, legend, serial, young and restaurateur. The business receiving the most votes in one of those categories was named Entrepreneur of the Year.
An additional award, selected by a committee, went to Dean VanTrease, president emeritus of Tulsa Community College, whose help was instrumental in the success of this year's Tulsey Awards and Tulsa Global Entrepreneurship Week. He helped raise 90 percent of the funds, which topped $42,000, to support the efforts, Griffin said.
VanTrease was honored with the "Above & Beyond" award.
Entrepreneur of the Year - Rusty Rowe, Mod's Coffee & Crepes
Civic - Judi Grove, Breast Impressions
Emerging - Elizabeth Frame Ellison, Hi, Cupcake
Entertainment - Chris Crawford and Courtneay Sanders, Playhouse Theatre Tulsa
Franchise - Adrienne and David Kallweit, SeekingSitters Franchise System Inc.
Green - Kristen McCormick, Shikoba Recycling
Interactive - Sarah Roe, MoneySavingQueen.com
Legend - Forrest Cameron, Greater Tulsa Reporter Newspapers
Restaurateur - Rusty Rowe, Mod's Coffee & Crepes
Serial - Chris Zenthoefer, New Medio
Young - Garrett Blackwood, Blue Label Bartending
Above & Beyond - Dean VanTrease, TCC president emeritus
Laurie Winslow 581-8466