Tucson Metro Chamber Announces 2022 Copper Cactus Awards Finalists

The Tucson Metro Chamber’s 25th annual Copper Cactus Awards, presented by Wells Fargo, will celebrate Southern Arizona’s outstanding small businesses and charitable nonprofits in person at the Tucson Convention Center—a new venue for the event—on Friday, Sept. 23, at 5 p.m. The event will showcase accomplishments from the following small businesses within categories such as the best place to work, business growth, innovation and more.   

Approximately 270 nominations were submitted by members of Southern Arizona’s community in support of locally owned small businesses and charitable nonprofits. “It’s hard to believe that it has already been 25 rewarding years of recognizing small businesses in partnership with Wells Fargo!” said Tucson Metro Chamber President and CEO Michael Guymon. “We are proud to continue this great tradition of bestowing Copper Cactus Awards to small businesses that stand out and contribute greatly to our community.”  

A panel of 11 independent judges reviewed and scored the applications. The highest scores in each category were selected as the 36 finalists. There will be 12 winners who will be awarded a solid copper trophy.     

A brand-new category was introduced this year to honor Ms. Shirley Wilka, who retired in 2021 after working at Tucson Metro Chamber for 50 consecutive years. She started as a high school intern and worked full-time after she graduated from the University of Arizona. This award celebrates dedicated employees who have worked for a company for at least 10 years.          

2022 Copper Cactus, Presented by Wells Fargo, Finalists  

Blue Cross Blue Shield Best Place to Work  

3 to 50 employees  

  • HiMS  
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities  
  • Startup Tucson  

51 to 300 employees  

  • Contact One Call Center  
  • KB Home  
  • Snell & Wilmer  

CopperPoint Small Business Leader of the Year  

  • Dr. Sheila Farhang | Avant Dermatology & Aesthetics  
  • Ms. Amanda Powers | Benevolent Sports Tucson DBA FC Tucson  
  • Dr. Patrick Marcus | Marcus Engineering, LLC  

Cox Business Growth  

  • Paradigm Laboratories  
  • Premier Auto Management  
  • Starfish Care Homes  

DPR Construction Diversity & Inclusion Champion  

  • The Drawing Studio  
  • Power Over Predators  
  • Women’s Foundation for the State of Arizona  

Nextrio Innovation  

3 to 50 employees  

  • University of Arizona Center for Innovation 
  • CorporateCARE Solutions
  • Reglagene  

51 to 300 employees  

  • Paragon Space Development Corporation  
  • Pain Institute of Southern Arizona  
  • San Miguel High School  

Tech Parks Arizona Start Up of the Year  

  • FreeFall Aerospace  
  • The L Offices  
  • Sonoran Stitch Factory  

The Shirley Wilka Perseverance Award  

  • Shelly Glandon – Blue Canoe Marketing  
  • Anne Helwig – PureBuild Homes Inc.  
  • Vanessa Bechtol – Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance  

Tucson Electric Power Social Impact  

Up to $500,00 revenue  

  • Amphi Foundation  
  • Earn to Learn  
  • The Pima JTED Foundation  

$500,00 – $2MM revenue  

  • Ben’s Bells  
  • Community Foundation for Southern Arizona  
  • Tu Nidito Children and Family Services  

$2MM – $5MM revenue  

  • Arizona’s Children Association  
  • Community Investment Corporation  
  • JobPath  

Winners will be announced Friday, Sept. 23 at the Tucson Convention Center, from 5 to 9 p.m. Encouraged Attire: 1920s flapper. 

Purchase sponsorships, tables, or individual seats now at TucsonChamber.org/CopperCactus.                    

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