History

Mission statement

We Can, We Will, Watch Us
Discover and respond to our customers’ needs for technology and office products and services with consistent and timely performance that our customers can depend on.

Vision statement
Creation of quality technology jobs that promote Economic Self-sufficiency in Indian Country, serving our customers, and doing our part to protect the environment.

 

Who we are
Cherokee Data Solutions is an Oklahoma based customer-focused enterprise primarily engaged in providing sales and support for technology and business products. Our services include full life-cycle management by offering environmentally responsible recycling services of technology products. We are a Business-to-Business enterprise committed to meeting the demands and expectations of our customers. We strive to understand our customers’ needs and anticipate opportunity to be responsive in fulfilling those needs with integrity, commitment and quality. Failure is not an option. We will do what it takes to be competitive, respected, and profitable.

Company history
Founded in October of 2001 as a sole-proprietorship, Cherokee Data Solutions is fulfillment to a dream of Pamela Huddleston Bickford. The business plan was formed with an eye to the economic and social needs of northeastern Oklahoma and Native American tribes. As a small Woman Owned/Disadvantaged Minority business, the business plan highlights commitment to promote employment of minorities. CDS has experienced consistent controlled growth. The company maintains a base of nearly 300 customers within our target market of Federal, Tribal, State and Local government, Health, Education, and mid-to-large size corporations. CDS continues to operate as a long term debt free company..

The logo of the company is taken from Chief Oconostota, Pamela was his ninth generation grand-daughter.  The Bickford and Huddleston families have rich Cherokee and Creek heritage with direct lines to both the Ross and Lowery families. Templin Ross served as commissary for the Trail of Tears removal, he would bury his wife and five children along the forgotten path, in unmarked graves. Templin died within a month of arriving in the new country leaving the eldest son Andrew Ross to care for the remaining children in this unknown place. He was 18 years old. Andrew opened a store in Webbers Falls along the soldier trail with his son, Jesse T Ross. All of these being grandfathers of Pamela it is no wonder that her father Ross Huddleston was a natural entrepreneur and developed that instinct into Pamela. Her father, Ross attended Ballou Indian School and built several companies in the Tulsa area. Ross currently sits on the CDS advisory council as an elder and close adviser. Her mother, also an entrepreneur (one of the few women in construction in the early 60's) was her closest mentor in building the company and instilling true integrity and the value of keeping your word, in life and in business. Former Chief Wilma Mankiller was instrumental in helping Pamela to develop leadership skills and often gave her sage advice, mainly on dealing with men in the business world, and to never giving up.

In March of 2016, Pamela slipped the surly bonds of Earth and entered into the arms of our Heavenly Father where she was reunited with Paul, her husband of 35 years who passed away in 2013. She is missed daily in the lives of not only the company but of her family and myriad friends and business partners she held closely to her heart. CDS will continue to follow Pamela's plan and vision in the days to come, as her children have taken the torch and are already running strong in her stead.

Matthew, Chrystal and Benjamin Ross retain ownership with Chrystal maintaining majority ownership and control of daily operations as CEO. Chrystal has been involved with the company in many capacities since the foundation, and is honored to carry in her mother's mighty footsteps. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences with an emphasis in microbiology and some Master's work in secondary education. Benjamin "Ross" began his company relationship by running deliveries while still in high school, and continued while studying Business Administration and Marketing at Bacone and Mid-America Christian University until coming to work full time at CDS in 2006. He currently serves the company as President and manages the NDNINK line of promotional products. Matthew is currently located out of state and helps remotely with IT and data management. We look forward to serving our customers and our community as we continue to grow and adapt.

Business Community Reputation

Our reputation in the community is proven by the recognition received though awards granted by our customers, agencies, and industry ranking. Cherokee Data Solutions actively supports promotion of minority and small business development within our market. Under Pamela’s leadership the company has received over 25 National, Regional and State Awards. We enjoy our local community, our tribal community and our state community. We are active in several organizations that promote cultural competence/awareness, protect the environment and encourage growth and economic stability in Indian Country and in Oklahoma. Locating in Oklahoma is intentional. We celebrate a rich heritage here, enjoy low cost of living and Oklahoma is one of the top 5 best places to do business! Getting to locate within our tribal lands is our biggest blessing.

Annually we support trade shows and events that share our vision such as the American Indian Chamber of Commerce, Indian Country Business Summit; the Cherokee Nation TERO trade fair and outreach events; the Oklahoma Minority Supplier Development Council trade fair and outreach events as well as national trade shows and organizations like REI and Tribal Government Institute.

Pamela served through her participation on the Rogers State University Presidents Club, The Oklahoma Academy, The Rogers County Cherokee Cultural Association (founding member), and the Cherokee Nation Economic Development Trust Authority as Treasurer. As president of CDS, Paul served as President of the American Indian Chamber of Commerce, an active member and board director for local Rotary Club and served two appointments to the EPA Standards boards as an IEEE and IEEE/SA member. Chrystal and Ross will continue membership and relationships with these groups as well as seek out new ways to serve.

All employees are encouraged and supported to participate in community, state and national organizations that help them to develop their skills, both business and personal. It is the culture of CDS to build in order to give back. When you work with a Cherokee Data representative, you will always find them intelligent, polite and honest.

 

Logo History

The logo or company seal is taken from our family's ancestral grandfather's war shield. Chief Ocanostota served the Cherokee Tribe as War Chief in the 1700's. He fought for sovereignty of the Nation and for the original lands of the Cherokee People. That sovereignty continues today. The variation of the shield entails two simple vertical marks that create the C and the D within the S. The outer rings represent the history of our family: Red, the original 'Real People'; Blue, the suffering and losses of our ancestors' land, rights and freedoms; Black, the death of our grandparents, aunts and uncles on the Trail of Tears; White, the spiritual awakening and renewal in Christ; Red inner ring represents the return to our heritage. The seven outer marks represent the seven clans of the Cherokee; the seven-sided council house; the seven types of wood for the sacred fire and the seven directions: North, East, South, West, Up, Down,

... and Where I stand Now.

 

Chief Oconostota
Portrait of Cherokee Chief Oconostota
by Francis Parsons 1762
Chief Oconostota Shield
Original War Shield of Chief Oconostota
from which CDS logo was inspired