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
DPR Construction’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Champion
The Drawing Studio
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
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.