Tucson Metro Chamber Copper Cactus Awards Honor 12 Small Businesses

The Tucson Metro Chamber announced 12 winners of the prestigious Copper Cactus Awards at its signature annual event at the Tucson Convention Center on Sept. 23.

The Tucson Metro Chamber Copper Cactus Awards, presented by Wells Fargo, celebrate the accomplishments and innovations of Southern Arizona’s small businesses and charitable nonprofits. This year marked the 25th consecutive year of the Copper Cactus Awards and there were more than 400 people in attendance. Nominations totaled 270. Winners received a solid copper trophy and finalists received a certificate to commemorate their accomplishment.

The mass majority of the attendees embraced the Roaring 20s theme by wearing attire to reflect the era. The Max Schmid Jazz Trio entertained the audience during the cocktail hour, and the emcee, Missy Paschke-Wood, kept the audience engaged throughout the evening.

A brand new award, the Shirley Wilka Perseverance Award, was created to honor its namesake after she retired in 2021 from working for the Tucson Metro Chamber for 50 years. Finalists for this inaugural award had to have worked for an organization for at least 10 years.

2022 Tucson Metro Chamber Copper Cactus Awards Winners  

Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Best Place to Work  

With 3 to 50 employees – Health Information Management Systems 

With 51 to 200 employees – Snell & Wilmer

CopperPoint’s Small Business Leader of the Year   

Amanda Powers – Benevolent Sports Tucson DBA FC Tucson

Cox Business’ Business Growth  

Paradigm Laboratories

DPR Construction’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Champion  

The Drawing Studio

Nextrio’s Innovation   

With 3 to 50 employees – University of Arizona Center for Innovation

With 51 to 300 employees – Paragon Space Development Corporation 

Shirley Wilka Perseverance Award

Vanessa Bechtol – Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance, Inc.

Tech Parks Arizona’s Start Up of the Year  

Sonoran Stitch Factory

Tucson Electric Power’s Social Impact  

With revenue up to $500,000 – Amphi Foundation

With revenue between $500,001 to $2MM – Tu Nidito Children and Family Services

With revenue between $2MM to $5MM – Community Investment Corporation 

Sponsors included:

Title Sponsor:  Wells Fargo Bank 

Category Sponsors:  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company, Cox Business, DPR Construction, Nextrio, Tech Parks Arizona, Tucson Electric Power 

Visionary Sponsor: Pima Community College

Showman Sponsor: Rio Nuevo

Media Sponsors: Arizona Lotus, BizTucson, Tucson Media Partners

Dance Break Sponsors:  Community Investment Corporation and Startup Tucson

Table Sponsors:  Starfish Care Homes, Amphi Foundation, Involta, Tu Nidito Children and Family Services, Community Foundation of Southern Arizona, Community Investment Corporation, Paragon Space Development Corporation, Contact One Call Center, San Miguel High School, Startup Tucson

Gift Basket Donors: Flores Concepts, University of Arizona, Tucson Electric Power, Tech Parks Arizona, Tucson Orthopaedic Institute, Arizona State University, Tucson Appliance Company, Desert West Cleaning Specialists, Coffee X Change, Reed Compounding Pharmacy, Maloney Plastic Surgery, Southwest Airlines, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Tucson Federal Credit Union, Tucson Acupuncture and Wellness, Spoke Coworking, Edmund Marquez: Allstate Insurance, Tucson Airport Authority, Farhang & Medcoff, Paragon Space Development Corporation, Pain Institute of Southern Arizona, JKaiser Workspaces, and Basket Butler.

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