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Norman Chamber Members Recognized at Annual Awards Banquet

Norman Chamber Members Recognized at Annual Awards Banquet

Chamber News

NORMAN, OK (Jan. 21, 2022) – The Norman Chamber of Commerce honored several of its members for their service to the Chamber and the Norman community and celebrated another successful year at its Annual Awards Banquet on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022.

Awards presented included NEXT Under 40, Women’s Leadership Award, Ambassador of the Year, Teacher of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Small Business of the Year, and Large Business of the Year. The Norman Chamber also celebrated its outgoing chair of the Board, Mandy Haws, operator of Sooner Bowling Center, who passed the gavel to the incoming chair, Richie Splitt, president and CEO, Norman Regional Health System.

2022 NEXT Under 40 Awards (Sponsor: Eide Bailly)

The best of Norman’s young professionals:

  • Cinthya Allen, City of Norman
  • Isaac Badayos, Armstrong Bank
  • Katelyn Bell, MA+ Architecture
  • Jessica Bergen-Elliott, Calypso Cove Marina
  • Andrew Coulter, Red Brick Bar
  • Bobby Goldsberry, Professional Engineering Consultants
  • Liana Gray, Norman Regional Health System
  • Walker Hinds, Great Plains Bank
  • Miranda Hoos, Norman Regional Health System
  • Ashley Irons, Norman Regional Health System
  • Dana Johnson, First Fidelity Bank
  • Taylor Johnson, City of Norman
  • Kurt Lee, University of Oklahoma Foundation
  • Travis Lightsey, University of Oklahoma
  • Cat Miller, Big Brothers/Big Sisters
  • Kevan Parker, Rhombic
  • Meg Perry, Norman Regional Health System
  • Anthony Purinton, City of Norman
  • Wade Thompson, City of Norman
  • Caroline Trommels, Premiere Pediatrics
  • Joel Wilson, University of Oklahoma
  • Rachel Wyatt-Swanson, Convergint Technologies

2022 Women’s Leadership Award (Sponsor: Armstrong Bank)

Jennifer Baker, executive director, Sooner Theatre

Jennifer Baker was born and raised in Norman. Paving her own path through college, she wowed audiences across the country with her onstage talents and choreography returning home to give back to the community. She has directed and choreographed shows for theatres and schools, served on numerous committees and boards for arts and civic organizations in Norman. She is the guiding tour de force for the United Way of Norman's Celebrity Sing production and is known to her theatre parents as a “magic maker.”

2021 Teacher of the Year Awards (Sponsor: Valliance Bank)

Juan Renteria, teacher, Norman Public Schools

Juan Renteria is a fifth-grade teacher at Truman Elementary. He is also active at the district level, participating in the Norman Public Schools Recruitment Cadre where he helps the district seek out and recruit the best educators in the state to come to Norman. A member of the NPS Diversity and Enrichment Council, Juan also is passionate about making sure all NPS students have a voice and that they are welcomed, valued and appreciated for their unique backgrounds and experiences. Besides being Norman’s first Rookie Teacher of the Year, he is also currently a finalist for Oklahoma Teacher of the Year.

2022 Ambassador of the Year: (Sponsor: OG&E)

Randy Gardner, president and CEO, Cleveland County Habitat for Humanity

As part of the Norman Chamber Ambassadors, Randy Gardner is an exemplary volunteer. As a leader of this unique group of volunteers Randy has attended events, made calls to new or prospective members and helped host Ribbon Cuttings and networking events.

2022 Chairman’s Award Volunteer of the Year (Sponsor: Valliance Bank)

Jim Wade, BancFirst

Jim Wade is a long-time supporter of the chamber, he serves on our board of directors and is a former board chair. He has also served on the board at United Way, the Norman Public Schools Foundation, and Norman Regional Hospital Foundation to name but a few of his leadership roles. Wade is someone who many community leaders call on for wise counsel and support. Besides his volunteerism, he has made civic engagement a priority, embracing the Chamber’s mission to advocate for vitality and prosperity. This last year he has gone above and beyond to educate and engage our elected officials to the benefit of the community.

2022 Small Business of the Year (Sponsor: Arvest Bank)

BOLD Multimedia, Krystyn and John Richardson

The Richardsons are longtime supporters of the community. Known for taking a BOLD approach, this team has created brands and strategies for many Norman small businesses and nonprofits including Cruise-In Auto Spa, Norman Stamp & Seal, Campus Corner, and Center for Children and Families. They are often on the frontlines at various events as photographers and devote time to the Chamber by attending events and volunteering. They also volunteer with several local non-profit boards, and John serves as chair of our Chamber Ambassadors. Together, they help make Norman a special place.

2022 Large Business of the Year (Sponsor: BancFirst)

Hal Smith Restaurant Group

Hal Smith has been a champion in the Norman community for decades. An Ardmore native, Hal Winston Smith, began his career in the restaurant industry while attending the University of Oklahoma and working at Across the Street Restaurant. In 1973, Hal joined Steak & Ale Restaurant Corporation as a manager trainee before being named president and COO, and ultimately chairman and CEO. His next ventures took him to being president and COO of Chili’s and Chi Chi’s Mexican Restaurants.

In 1986, Hal ventured out on his own and founded Hal Smith Restaurants, a restaurant management company headquartered in Norman, OK. HSM is responsible for many of your favorite restaurants including Charleston’s, Red Rock Canyon, Ted’s Café Escondido, Louie’s Bar & Grill, Pub W, El Heuvo Mexi-Diner, Neighborhood JAM, Mama Roja, and Notorious PIE to name a few. HSR operates more than 84 restaurants in 7 states employing more than 6,000 nationwide including 11 stores and 650 employees right here in Norman, OK!

He has donated tens of thousands of dollars to benefit so many state and local nonprofits that have positively impacted countless children’s lives for decades. HSR also supports OU & OSU and other various civic groups. Hal was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2017.

Thank you also to our generous sponsors!

AT&T, Presenting Sponsor

Johnson Controls Industries, Entertainment Sponsor

Primrose Funeral Service and Sunset Memorial Park, Wine Sponsor

Landers Auto Group and Sooner Station at University Park, Centerpiece Sponsor

RK Black, Program Sponsor

Table Sponsors

Platinum Preferred

BancFirst, Chickasaw Nation, First United Bank, Floyd Law Firm, Moore Norman Technology Center, Norman Next, Norman Regional Health System, Norman Transcript, Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Oklahoma Natural Gas, Valliance Bank, Vision Bank


1NB Financial Center, Aria Real Estate Group, Armstrong Bank, Arvest Bank, Chickasaw Nation Industries Inc., City of Norman, Eide Bailly, Espire Dental, First Fidelity Bank, Flintco, G E Johnson Construction Company, Ideal Homes, INOK, JE Dunn, LifeSpring Home Care, Midfirst Bank, Moore Norman Technology Center, Nelson Mazda, OG&E, RCB Bank, Rieger Realty LLC, SportsTalk Media, Tinker Federal Credit Union, University of Oklahoma Foundation


Adair & Associates, Bergey Windpower, Byrd Building, Embassy Suites Norman Hotel & Conference Center, First Liberty Bank, Garner Insurance, Gray Blodgett & Company, Havenbrook Funeral Home, Julia Chew State Farm Agency, Lashar Home Comfort Systems, MA + Architecture, McClain Bank, Parkhill-Cardinal Engineering, Restore Behavioral Health LLC, Shellback General Contractors, Silver Star Construction.


Alliance Maintenance, DM Wealth Management, Harold Haralson MD, Norman Public Schools, Pioneer Library System

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