24th annual Copper Cactus Awards

Local Arizona community members submitted 255 applications for the Copper Cactus Awards categories, which has been whittled down to 33 finalists.

“This year’s finalists represent such diversity in industry,” Chamber President and CEO Amber Smith said. “It’s an honor for all of us at the Tucson Metro Chamber to recognize our region’s small businesses every year at the Wells Fargo-presented Copper Cactus Awards.”

The finalists listed below were chosen by 14 judges who scored businesses under different categories.

STARTUP OF THE YEAR
(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.

BEST PLACE TO WORK
(sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield)

3–50 Employees  

  • Better Business Bureau Serving Southern Arizona
  • The Motive Physical Therapy Specialists
  • Onyx Creative, Inc.
  • Silverado Technologies

51–200 Employees 

  • Pain Institute of Southern Arizona
  • Premier Auto Management

SMALL BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR
(sponsored by CopperPoint)

  • Dr. Richard Austin | Reglagene
  • Joshua Belhumeur | BRINK
  • Jana Westerbeke | Gadabout SalonSpas

BUSINESS GROWTH (sponsored by Cox Business)

  • Paragon Space Development Corporation
  • Re-Bath
  • Solgen Power

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, and INCLUSION CHAMPION
(sponsored by DPR Construction)

  • Community Investment Corporation
  • Hotel McCoy
  • ILLUME Advising
  • Snell & Wilmer

INNOVATION
(sponsored by Nextrio)

  • Avery Therapeutics, Inc.
  • Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation
  • Startup Tucson

EMPLOYER/EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT
(sponsored by Pima Community College)

  • AGM Container Controls
  • Cadden Community Management
  • Tucson Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Program

SOCIAL IMPACT (sponsored by Tucson Electric Power)
Revenue up to $500,000 

  • Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace/Mission Garden
  • Greater Tucson Leadership
  • Izi Azi Foundation/Felicia’s Farm

Revenue between $500,000–$2M 

  • ASU Office of Community Health, Engagement, and Resiliency
  • Earn to Learn
  • YWCA Southern Arizona

Revenue between $2M–$5M 

  • United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona
  • Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona