25th annual Copper Cactus Awards

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.

2022 Copper Cactus, Presented by Wells Fargo, Finalists:

(sponsored by Tech Parks Arizona)

FreeFall Aerospace is developing revolutionary new antenna technology for ground, air, and space. Our innovative spherical antennas are drawing interest from various commercial and government organizations, offering a wide field of view, efficient beam steering, and low mass and power to dramatically simplify and improve satellite communications. FreeFall was founded in Tucson as a spin-off from the University of Arizona in 2016 and maintains a close connection with UA faculty and supporters. FreeFall Aerospace earned the 2019 Startup Innovator of the Year Award by the Arizona Commerce Authority and Arizona Technology Council.

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

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