Four Marana businesses and Pima Community College’s Northwest Campus have been recognized for excellence in service by the Marana Chamber of Commerce.
Community and Business Builder of the Year awards were presented Thursday to e-Media Services, Tucson Turf, Breakers Water Park and Comcast during a catered luncheon at Tower Theatres.
“This feels kind of like the Academy Awards,” Mayor Ed Honea said before the first envelope was opened. “Really, these folks are stars to all of us.”
Joan Hale of e-Media Services was recognized for multiple efforts. For eight years, e-Media Services has partnered with the chamber in selling and publishing the annual member directory. Hale, who chairs the chamber’s public relations and marketing committee, also has provided promotional materials for numerous organizations, and supported school activities.
Tucson Turf donated a water-saving artificial lawn toward a “makeover” at Roadrunner Elementary School. President Toby Bourguet is a frequent motivational speaker at Marana Middle School. He advocates for smart water use, coordinates the Marana High Turkey Bowl football game and has volunteered the past four years as coach for Marana recreation leagues and the YMCA.
“It’s a great, great honor to receive the award from the town,” Bourguet said. He’s a Maranan who wants to focus “on the neighborhoods I come from. I take it to heart. It’s a great feeling to be a part of this community.”
Breakers Water Park general manager Steve Miklosi is secretary of the Marana Chamber board, and sits on the town’s business and economic commission and its development services committee. Breakers responds to more than 70 requests each year from charitable causes, gives free admissions to the families of deployed members of the 162nd Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard, supports the Pima County Library summer reading programs, and in September hosted the Marana Education Foundation fund-raiser that drew 1,600 visitors and raised $15,000.
“It’s quite an honor to receive this award,” Miklosi said. “Marana’s one of the best places to live and to operate a business.”
“We’re very proud to be a member of the Marana community,” said Comcast vice president and general manager Joe Atamian. He thanked his employees for their work and efforts in the community.
Comcast’s 215 employees in 2008 gave more than 2,000 volunteer hours to local communities and donated more than $3 million in cash and commercial airtime to non-profit and other community organizations, many of them in Marana. On its annual Comcast Cares Day, 200 employees, family and friends worked with Tucson Parks & Recreation and the Tucson Autism Alliance to build a handicapped accessible campground at Christopher Columbus Regional Park. Comcast is helping fund the town of Marana’s economic development roadmap. It is a Platinum Circle sponsor of the Marana Chamber.
Pima Community College’s Northwest Campus provides volunteer service by staff members and participation in special events. An estimated 37 percent of Marana graduates further their educations at the campus. It offers courses at Marana Middle School, and provides employment for Marana residents as faculty and adjunct faculty, full-time and temporary staff, and student aides. The college stores non-perishable items for the Marana Community Food Bank, and supports Wheeler Taft Abbett Sr. Library, Northwest YMCA, Marana Health Center, Marana Mature Workers, and the Greater Oro Valley Arts Council.
“Our mission is to develop our community through learning,” said Patricia Houston, division dean at the Northwest Campus. She said the college is “very excited” to work “with Marana, hand in hand.”
Marana Chamber of Commerce Community and Business Builder finalists:
1 employee/sole proprietor:
Farm Bureau Financial Services, Courtney Baker
Up & Running Computer Services.
State Farm Insurance, Gary Nicholl
Tompkins Family Chiropractic
Breakers Water Park
Hooters of Marana
51 or more employees:
Humane Society of Southern Arizona
Foothills Optimist Club
Marana Food Bank
Pima Community College, Northwest Campus.