CNB earns Sikorsky Gold Supplier status

05/17/2017 08:00 AM
STILWELL, Okla. – Cherokee Nation Distributors, a company within the engineering and manufacturing segment of Cherokee Nation Businesses, has again been named one of the most prestigious suppliers in the aerospace industry.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, recently awarded CND with its Gold Supplier status.

CND received the esteemed Gold Supplier status for its best-in-class performance in quality, delivery, lean techniques and customer satisfaction. The recent honor marks the company’s fourth year to receive the award since earning the Sikorsky Gold Supplier Certification in 2012.

The Supply Management Council for Lockheed Martin is recognizing CND for its superior operational performance in its manufacturing of main wiring harnesses for the MH-60S SEAHAWK and S-92 aircraft. CND is one of 13 companies selected from Sikorsky’s more than 300 vendor supply base.

“A commitment to excellence is imbedded in our company’s culture,” said Steven Bilby, president of CNB’s diversified businesses. “Our longstanding relationships with industry leaders such as Sikorsky and the growth and success of our diversified businesses are great testaments to our companywide dedication to first-class service.”

The company hosted an appreciation lunch to thank employees for their hard work and exemplary performance. Representatives from CNB and Sikorsky attended and presented staff with a Gold Supplier banner to display at the Stilwell location.

“Our employees’ dedication to providing the highest-quality products to each of our clients is unmatched,” said Chris Moody, CNB executive general manager of engineering and manufacturing. “We are very proud to see their efforts recognized with this prestigious honor.”

The framework for the Cherokee Nation’s economic prosperity was laid in Stilwell more than 40 years ago. The tribal enterprise specializes in aerospace and defense manufacturing, telecommunications and distribution services.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Connecticut, is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture and service. Lockheed Martin, based in Bethesda, Maryland, is a global security and aerospace company that engages in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.


News Writer
07/20/2017 12:00 PM
STILWELL, Okla. – For more than 48 years, Cherokee Nation Businesses Engineering & Manufacturing Companies have provided award-winning products and services to clients across the United States, as well as jobs for the Cherokee people. With its main office in Stilwell, locals mostly refer to the company as Cherokee Nation Industries. However, a few years ago Cherokee Nation Businesses placed the company within the Engineering & Manufacturing division of Cherokee Nation Businesses along with Cherokee Nation CND, Cherokee Nation Red Wing, and Cherokee Nation Aerospace & Defense. “We decided to come up with a name that more represented who we are and what we do,” Chris Moody, CNB’s Engineering & Manufacturing Companies president, said. “We provide engineering and manufacturing services, so engineering and manufacturing as part of Cherokee Nation Businesses became our name.” While CNI is largely known for assembling “military aircraft products”, that is only a portion of what CNB’s Engineering & Manufacturing division does. “Military aircraft is our primary niche, and wire harnesses and electrical assemblies is the primary product that we supply,” Moody said. “We also added additional capabilities, which are machine and metal working, and integration, which would be taking our electrical capability and our metal capability and combining them into a single product.” Established in 1969, CNI began as a small business constructing relay switches for Western Electric Company with roughly 12 employees. Today, it is has 300-plus employees, full-time and part-time, and four companies that make up Engineering & Manufacturing Companies: Cherokee Nation Distribution, CNI and Aerospace and Defense in Stilwell and the Redwing defense office in Huntsville, Alabama, and manufacturing in Pryor. The companies have contracts with commercial clients such as Sikorsky, Boeing and Bell, but officials said they hope to start working directly with the federal government. “Right now most of our work is commercial. A couple of years ago we started moving our strategy to focus more on government work,” Moody said. “Now we’re starting to win more work with the Navy, the Air Force and the Army. It hasn’t been a big piece of what we have done, but it will be as we are really going after that work and wanting to work directly with them.” He said government clients have different product requirements that will allow the CNB business to grow. As business grows, the need for expanding may be a factor in the near future. “The interesting thing about this business is we could get a call tomorrow, and it could be huge program, and in six months we cold be talking about needing another 40,000 square feet. So if something like that came up, we would be looking to expand,” Moody said. The growth in employees, companies and clientele is not the only thing that has changed since the company opened its doors. Moody said the work the employees do is more sophisticated than ever. “We started with a more simple product with WEC, and it was an electrical product, so the biggest changes are really in the complexity of the product we’re able to manufacture verses what we could initially and the technology it takes in order to communicate with our costumers,” he said. He also said a few employees from 1969 are still with the company. “We still have some of those original employees who are still providing really good service,” he said. “That’s one of the encouraging things. We’ve seen our employee base move along with the complexity of the product and technology.” Moody credits the employees for the company’s success. “The people are our greatest asset, and what makes us so unique is the value of our people,” he said. “That’s our product – the skill, talent and performance of our employees here.” CNB’s E&M companies have 20 full-time and part-time production positions open. For more information about open jobs, visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
07/19/2017 08:45 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – From Atari 2600 to PlayStation 4, from Donkey Kong to Link, there has been several memorable consoles, games and characters that have played a role in people’s childhoods that continue to stick around. Les Wallace, Cherokee Nation citizen and Game Barn owner, is helping put those consoles, games and characters back into the hands of those who grew up with them and the younger generations. “People like games, so I’m making people happy by providing this service for them to find games at reasonable prices,” he said. “If it was a game that they remember playing as a child or as a teen, and I can have that in the store for them to purchase at a good price, then that makes me happy too, to see them happy.” Wallace began the business after his former job took a “toll” on him. “I just wanted something different where I could control my own outcomes, make my own decisions and just try to make more money to try to provide for my family,” he said. He said his customers can also find consoles, games and accessories such as controllers and power cords. “I try to keep the store where somebody will come in, and they’ll find something that they like,” he said. “People are different, and they like different things, so I try to keep a variety of things.” Wallace said Game Barn, which has a buy/sale/trade model, gives customers a chance to buy new games at a decent price. “Basically, my goals are to make this a place for the customers to come here and trade their games in and give the people that hasn’t played the games a chance to buy the game at a reasonable price. That’s why I’m so for pre-owned games because you can’t go in and buy the latest game for $25. The games are expensive,” he said. “So I just want to make this place a place for the community of people who play video games to come in and trade off and pass it on to the next person, so they can get a game at a reasonable price.” In the case of trade-in goods, Wallace said he tests them before he sells them. “Everything in my store, I test before it goes out in the cases or on the shelves. If something should happen to get by, I make sure that I make it right with the customer,” he said. Wallace said although he takes trade-ins, he doesn’t do console repairs. “I do some work with the old cartridges like cleaning them and refurbishing them and replacing the batteries, but that’s about the furthest extent that I go as far as repairs,” he said. With games ranging from $2.95 to $32.95 and consoles from $21.95 to $99.95, Wallace said he tries to keep his inventory at “fair market value.” “I try to run promotions, like on some of my handheld game cartridges I offer buy two, get one free of equal value or lesser. On my trade-ins, I offer a little more for trade-ins than most video game stores, I’m pretty sure, that way it gives people an opportunity to get the most for their trade so they can get that game that they’re looking for,” he said. He said he also runs weekly specials for those who wear video game-themed or Game Barn T-shirts. Wallace said he wants customers to know that this is “your game store.” “My phrase is, ‘Game Barn Video Games, Your Game Store.’ So it’s the people’s video game store,” he said. “It’s not my video game store. I’m just the mediator. I just present it and provide a place for people to come trade and sale and buy games.” Game Barn is at 1000 S. College Ave., and open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, visit Game Barn on Facebook or call 918-457-9663.
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
05/12/2017 08:15 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – From her house to Tahlequah’s main street, Cherokee Nation citizen Alyssa Henson began her creative journey of fashioning clothes with Indigenous flair approximately three years ago. On May 9, she held a grand opening for her brick and mortar shop on Muskogee Avenue. Henson said she opened the shop because the demand on Facebook for custom orders was “too high.” “The demand was too high on Facebook to just keep it running from my house, so it called for me to have a location that people can come to so that it would make it a lot easier,” she said. Henson said when customers enter her shop they will see Native-inspired clothing made by her or purchased from vendors. “What I’ve actually made is all of the Cherokee-inspired skirts. I make men’s vests and boy’s vests, which I will be putting more out. I make some bags too, as well, that are also Cherokee-inspired with the designs,” she said. She also has some of her customized hoodies along with backpacks, purses, jewelry and other Native-themed wears. Henson said in time she would like to create a place in her shop where she could sew. “I’m trying to make it where I’ll have a little place to sew here while I’m here,” she said. She said the goal is to have the store act as an “intertribal” gift shop. “Not just Cherokee, but I really care about the other tribes that we have that are in and around the Tahlequah area. You know, just a place where you can go and you can really find some authentic Native-made things, jewelry, the traditional skirts or just in general a tribal skirt or a vest.” Henson said she is still taking custom orders as she did before opening the store. “You can come here and get things customized. Like if you even bring your own hoodie in and you wanted a certain color or anything like that, I really try to be open,” she said. She is also working on creating a website for the 7 Clan Stand, and she’ll be updating customers on her Facebook page about its progress. “I’m going to be creating my website…where you can put things in a cart, pretty soon,” she said. “I can’t really say when, but I will be updating that on the (Facebook) profile.” She also plans to have a “grand opening” sale in which she will offer 20 percent off on some of her items. “We’ll have to get that set, and I’ll post that on the (Facebook) page as well.” Henson’s 7 Clan Stand is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and is located at 306 N. Muskogee Ave. For more information, visit “7clanstand” on Facebook or stop by the store.
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
05/03/2017 08:15 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Opened in 1979, The Speckled Hen has changed ownerships throughout its nearly 40-year journey. But under Cherokee Nation citizens Bill Campbell and Cheryl Horn – along with help from family members, previous owners and those who rent space at the establishment – the antique flea market still is providing timeless treasures to the Tahlequah area. Cheryl said her mother and stepfather purchased the business in 1999 and sold it in 2002. “When they first bought it they added the booths. Then they added the, we call that the ‘add-on’ room. As the other buildings became available they added toward the north,” she said. She said the business was later sold to Bob and Luella Lankford and her uncle and aunt Johnny and Carol Horn before eventually going to Cheryl’s cousin Robbie. In March 2016, Campbell bought the business when Cheryl's cousin decided to pursue other interests. Cheryl said over the years the shop has expanded and now has five “rooms,” which includes the “add-on” room. Campbell said he wasn’t sure on the shop’s size, but to give a scope of how big it is, the customers’ first reaction usually is “this place just keeps going and going and going.” “Most of the comments we get are, ‘I didn’t realize this place was this big,’ or they will say, ‘this place just keeps going and going and going.’ That happens a lot,” he said. Campbell said the store has roughly 140 booths, or rentable spaces, that include shelves and wall space, with approximately 130 vendors. “There are a few vendors that do have more than one booth,” he said. The store offers an array of items from antiques to more recent items. It also has a wall dedicated to cast iron cooking wares. Campbell said the items are typically “affordable.” Quality collectables and practical usability items are also available. “Nine times out of 10 I would dare say within these walls it is uber affordable. Not trying to say we’re undercutting anyone, but our vendors set their prices. We don’t set the prices,” he said. Campbell said it means a lot to him that the store offers items that people “treasure.” “It really ties into that one person’s junk is another person’s treasure. I judge it by the comments. You get the standard, ‘I had one of those when I was a kid. I’ve been looking for one of those for forever. I can’t believe you had this.’ Or you get, ‘this is the item that I’ve been looking for that’s going to be the perfect birthday, wedding gift.’ That happens a lot,” he said. “There is value in those emotions. There is value in those rewarding moments. Just by being here and being open and someone coming in and finding that item, you made their day.” Campbell said he credits the store’s longevity to it staying family orientated and local. “I think one of the reasons why it’s lasted is it has stayed local. It has stayed family. People coming in the door already knew these people outside of here. So it’s friendly in nature,” he said. Horn credits some of the store’s longevity to its parking space. “We have more parking sometimes and it’s easier to get in and out,” she said. The Speckled Hen is located at 5227 S. Muskogee Ave. and is on Facebook under “The Speckled Hen Antique Flea Market.” The Speckled Hen is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday and closed Monday. For more information, call 918-458-0032 or visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
04/20/2017 08:15 AM
MONKEY ISLAND, Okla. – Credit scores act as buffers between consumers and banks or institutions from which they wish to borrow money. Whether it’s for daily items, a car or a house, credit scores play roles in many expenditures, so it’s important to know about them and how they affect consumers. Cherokee Nation citizen Brian Hartley, an Oklahoma State Bank employee, offers a two-sheet guide that provides a look into credit scores and what they entail. He said it’s important to first know what exactly a credit score is. “A credit score is a scoring system to let creditors know what type of past history you had,” he said. “Meaning that if you paid on time and have not been in any trouble you’ll have a high score, and it tells creditors like a bank or an institution that the likelihood of this person paying is very high compared to someone who may have a low score. It’s the possibility that the low score is a person that could be very non-paying or late-paying or have some other issues that may have came into their past.” Hartley said a credit score is determined from various factors. “It’s anywhere from paying your bills to getting credit lines or getting a car installment payment or any type of other credit out there as well as medical. I mean, your whole life is tied to your credit score almost,” he said. He said the credit score range is typically between 350 to 850, and Transunion, Equifax and Experian all calculate a score for the consumer, which typically vary but closely reflect each other. Hartley said when it comes to calculating scores there are various types of credit that come into play – anything ranging from bank and gas cards to personal finance companies loans. For bank cards, he said consumers would be considered “lowest risk” if they only have two cards. “So if you have zero cards you’re considered a high risk because you don’t have a line open. If you have one your risk goes lower. If you have two of them it automatically is the lowest risk level that you can get. It’s not lowering your score, it’s just a lower risk,” he said. “As soon as you get three or more then that risk goes up. It’s not helping your score.” As for travel and entertainment cards, Hartley said, if a consumer has more than one card from this group the consumer is considered “high risk.” “You have travel and entertainment cards, which is Diner’s card, American Express. If you don’t have one no problem, it’s a neutral zone. If you have just one you’re at a lower risk, but if you have more than one you’re automatically considered high risk,” he said. He said the same goes for department and gas cards. He said if a consumer has just one loan from a personal finance company the consumer is considered “high risk.” “Here’s where most people get in trouble – personal finance companies, payday places and other places. If you have one of these open, doesn’t matter just one, you’re automatically considered a high risk. Unfortunately we have a lot of people that go and utilize these companies and they serve a need for several people, but it’s not helping their credit score,” he said. Hartley said even if the consumer has the suggested amount of credit lines open he or she is considered “high risk” for the first 12 months the credit line is open. “So once you open it and you’re paying great you’re still considered high risk until one year. After you’ve paid non-stop for 12 months your high risk status goes down to neutral level,” he said. Hartley said once a credit line is open, if payments are missed it can hurt one’s score. “Now if you are to hit 30, 60, 90, 120 days (late) or anything else during that time it automatically counts against you and the higher the risk goes,” he said. “Just try to keep those down as low as you can and to zero as much as possible.” Hartley said if payments are not paid on time or missed completely “derogatory” marks would be on a consumer’s record for “seven years.” “The seven years don’t start when you start having problems. It’s when the credit line has been resolved in some fashion,” he said. He said the “seven years” applies to everything except for bankruptcy. “Once it’s (bankruptcy) finalized and they put it on your record, it stays on your credit score for 10 years.” Hartley said credit scores mean more to consumers than they realize. “Everyone is looking at them,” he said. “Some people are looking at it for employment or say if you’re renting a apartment. That’s going to be looked at as well. So it’s very important that people pay attention, pay their stuff and not get over extended in credit.” Hartley said Transunion, Equifax and Experian give consumers free looks at their credit scores annually. He said consumers can also check their credit scores at <a href="" target="_blank"></a> or <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. <strong>Seven-day Rule</strong> Hartley said when consumers are looking to purchase a car, home or do anything where they need to get their credit checked, it’s best to fit it within seven days. “In a seven-day period you can go and shop 100 different (car) dealers and have them all pull your credit and everything else and it only counts against your credit score one time,” he said. <strong>Percentage of Credit Used</strong> Hartley said when dealing with lines of credit it’s best to use only 20 to 30 percent of credit that is allotted to the consumer, which is considered “low risk,” and that reaching 70 to 80 percent of credit used could determine that the consumer is considered “high risk.”