A new awards program is underway as Shawnee Forward President and CEO Tracy Qualls works to recognize leadership in the community; she is seeking nominations now.

Qualls said she is really excited to be able to offer an awards program similar to ones like OKnStyle Publishing's NextGen Under 30 or the Journal Record's Achievers Under 40.

“The goal is that we are able to recognize some up-and-coming leaders, and some that maybe have a little more experience,” she said. “We want this award to be a very prestigious, sought-after award.”

Her hope, she said, is that leaders will want to set a goal to achieve this recognition.

“Business leadership is the prime goal,” she said. “We will be incorporating the awards into our annual banquet.”

To nominate someone, a $25 nomination fee will be required, along with a letter of nomination (200-500 words) in Word explaining why the nominee should be considered for this award and send to awards@shawneeforward.com.

According to the application form, career achievements, leadership skills/examples, and, if applicable, any community or industry activities should be included.

“Please note that this letter holds the most significant weight during judging,” Qualls said. “Applications are due March 22.”

Forward 15 Awards will be presented at the annual Shawnee Forward Banquet June 4 at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center.

For a form or for more information, visit shawneeforward.com or call (405) 273-6092.