The Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce held its annual Meetings and Awards Breakfast at the Hilton El Conquistador Resort on Aug. 23.
Sponsored by chamber partners, the event recognized the success of businesses and individuals throughout the Town of Oro Valley in a variety of categories, including Small Business of the Year, Mid-Size Business of the Year, Large Business of the Year, Non-Profit of the Year, Community Leader of the Year, and Legacy Award.
Prior to honoring the award recipients, chamber President/CEO Dave Perry recognized outgoing chamber chairman Colin Keating, who took a moment to speak about the chamber’s recent accomplishments.
“We’re focused on the long-term relationships with the businesses that serve our community,” he said. “We’ve worked lately to increase our involvement in the Town of Oro Valley on issues that are important to our members, including sign code, as well as acting as a liaison between business owners and the Town’s economic development process to help streamline the construction process for new businesses in the area.”
New chairwoman Kathy Farmer of AAA Landscape will replace Keating. Farmer addressed her fellow chamber members.
“I want to encourage all of us to continue as active members so that we can continue to support local business in our community,” she said.
Steve Ochoa, former KOLD News 13 staffer and President of Sharpen Your Mind, then named the recipients of the business and individual awards.
Among other nominees including Hiremath Family Dentistry, Cheers to You Nutrition, and Cappozzo Family Chiropractic, Skin Care by Design was awarded Small Business of the Year.
“It’s been a privilege to have had a business in Oro Valley for the last eight years, and I’m looking forward to many more,” owner Linda Barr said. “You’re a great group to work with, and I appreciate your support.”
Nominated for Mid-Size Business of the Year were Century Theaters at the Oro Valley Marketplace, and Casa de la Luz Hospice. Casa de la Luz Hospice, a business dedicated to helping manage and provide support for individuals in their final stages of a terminal illness, was granted the award.
“I want to thank everyone who works for Casa de la Luz,” said CEO Lynette Jaramillo. “We take care of about 1,300 to 1,500 people per year. That’s a lot of our neighbors and friends.”
Wal-Mart was awarded Large Business of the Year, and the Non-Profit of the Year went to Catalina Community Services, which provides food, clothing, job options, and other resources to community residents.
Oro Valley resident Bill Adler was recognized as Community Leader of the Year for his efforts.
Adler, an avid volunteer and regular voice at Oro Valley Town Council meetings, was humble in accepting his award.
“I don’t really consider myself a leader,” he said. “I am a serious volunteer. This is a great town we have and it’s a privilege to volunteer in Oro Valley. We have probably the finest staff in Oro Valley that I can remember in the 22 or 23 years I’ve lived here. We have great non-profits, a great business community, as exemplified by the turnout today. We have a lot of great leaders, so I’m privileged to be considered one of those.”
Dr. Vicki Balentine, a 40-year educator and 12-year superintendent of the school district, received the Legacy Award. She was nominated alongside the late Kenneth “KC” Carter, a long-time Oro Valley resident and former councilmember.
“I’d like to thank and remind you to continue to hold our schools and students with high expectations and to continue supporting and celebrating our successes,” she said.
The Chamber of Commerce is scheduled to follow up its awards breakfast with the Oro Valley State of the Town on Thurs., Sept. 13,.