Thirty-eight businesses in Tucson have been selected as finalists for the 2008 Wells Fargo Copper Cactus Awards, according to a release.

Additionally, six individuals have been nominated for the Tucson Chamber of Commerce Small Business Leader of the Year Award, to be presented in conjunction with the Copper Cactus Awards.

The Copper Cactus program is in its 11th year.

“In the decade since we began the Copper Cactus program, public interest has increased greatly,” said Larry Finuf, regional president for Wells Fargo in Southern Arizona.  “We’ve grown from about 200 nominations in that first year to 535 today, and our honorees are considered the ‘best of the best’ among locally owned small businesses.

The awards will be announced Oct. 2 at the Westin La Paloma Resort. The awards reception begins with cocktails at 5 p.m., followed by dinner and the award presentations at 6.  The event will be hosted by MIIX-FM’s Bobby Rich and KOLD’s Chuck George. The Wells Fargo Copper Cactus Awards are open to the public, and tickets for the evening can be purchased at http://www.coppercactusawards.com">www.coppercactusawards.com.

Winners are honored in three categories: Business Growth, Community Service and Best Place to Work. To qualify for an award, a business must have 250 or fewer employees and be locally owned and operated, profitable and in operation more than two years.

Finalists are:

Best place to work -- Advanced Ceramics Research; American Home Mortgage; Blue House Catering, Inc.; BodyCentral Physical Therapy; CAID Industries; Cemrock Landscapes, Inc.; Cozzetti Construction, Inc.; LeCroy & Milligan Associates, Inc.; Lizard Rock Designs, LLC.; Majestic Drywall; Pepper Viner Homes; Randall & Richards, Inc.; Ridgetop Group, Inc.; Simpleview; Veterinary Specialty Center of Tucson.

Business growth -- AGM Container Controls, Inc.; Andrew Rosen Orthodontics; Barker Morrissey Contracting, Inc.; Blue Sierra, Inc.; Catalina Pointe Arthritis; Citron Paint; Glaz-Tech Industries; Heinfeld, Meech, & Co.; McCaleb Construction, Inc.; Mirage Plastering; Pace Technologies; Scientific Technologies, Corp.

The Metal Man; Wing Stop.

Community service -- Beach, Fleischman & Co.; Bon Voyage Travel; Commotion Studios, LLC; Film Creations, Ltd.; Mesch, Clark & Rothschild; Old Pueblo Anesthesia; Robin Stancliff Photography; Strongpoint, LLC; Western Sky Communications.

Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce small business leader of the year -- Todd Hanley, Hotel Congress; Gus Montiel, MDC Mobile Detailing Concepts; Marylee Pangman, The Contained Gardener; Julie Davey and Linda Fahey, Dark Horse Media; Christopher Litten, BodyBasics.

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