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Three businesses, two community leaders and a nonprofit were recognized last Thursday when the Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce held its 2019 Annual Meeting and Awards Breakfast at El Conquistador Tucson, A Hilton Resort.

The software company Simpleview was named the chamber’s Outstanding Large Business for 2019. Other honorees are Prickly Pear Clean, outstanding small business; Right at Home In-Home Care & Assistance, outstanding mid-size business; and Treasures4Teachers Tucson, outstanding nonprofit organization. Paul August and Ray Woosley, leaders of Oro Valley Innovation Labs, were named Community Leaders of the Year.

A crowd of 390 guests also heard remarks from Jill German, head of Roche Tissue Diagnostics in Oro Valley. Jaime Vinck, CEO of new chamber silver member Sierra Tucson, welcomed the audience.

Outstanding large business

Simpleview, a software technology company founded by local people nearly 20 years ago, has grown into an international leader in the travel and tourism industries, serving more than 900 destination marketing organizations. Last year, Simpleview moved its world headquarters into the former Pulte Homes Building, a 40,000-square-foot space on the east side of Oracle Road in Oro Valley. It now has some 200 employees under one roof, and continues to grow.

Other nominees in the category were Meritage Homes, Pima Federal Credit Union, Quail Park of Oro Valley and Sierra Tucson. Outstanding NonProfit Treasures4Teachers Tucson provides teachers with useful supplies and raw materials while taking trash out of the waste stream. From plastic bottle caps to fabric scraps, golf balls to office supplies, teachers find the materials they need without paying from their own pockets.

A teary-eyed director, Adrienne Ledford, expressed her thanks to a network of volunteers who help make it happen. Donations are always welcome; for more information, go to t4teachers.org. It is located at 6800 N. Camino Martin, Ste. 124.

Other nominees in the category were Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse, Oro Valley Church of the Nazarene and the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance.

Community leaders

Paul August, vice president of biology at Icagen in Oro Valley, and Ray Woosley, leader of AzCERT, have led the effort to open a bioscience incubator and accelerator in Oro Valley’s Innovation Park.

After years of effort, Oro Valley Innovation Labs is expected to break ground in early fall. OVIL directors have raised nearly a half-million in public and private funds to operate the space, which will be constructed by Venture West.

August and Woosley were acknowledged for their determination and perseverance. 

Outstanding Mid-size Business

Right at Home In Home Care & Assistance is operated by franchisee Karen Kochhar, who believes in taking care of her caregivers and employees so they in turn can take care of their clients. Right at Home has received Caring Star Agency recognition two years in a row. Last year, Right at Home became the first occupant of a building in Oro Valley’s Rancho Vistoso.

Last Thursday, Kochhar thanked her husband, Sunir, for encouraging her to take the risk of opening the business, and stepping away from a corporate engineering career to do work that touches her heart.

Other nominees in the category were OneAZ Credit Union, OOROO Auto, Oro Valley Country Club and Town West Realty

Outstanding Small 


Prickly Pear Clean is a Tucson-proud, woman-owned, woman-operated full-service cleaning business. Owner Melissa Cordero empowers and encourages team members, giving them the freedom to explore, innovate, take risks and learn. In accepting the award, an emotional Cordero thanked her staff and clients for helping Prickly Pear Clean find its footing.

 Other nominees in the category were Clear Vision Express, Funtasticks Family Fun Park, Picture Rocks Cooling, Heating and Plumbing, and totalride.

Chamber adds to board

In other news, three new board members have been seated by the Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce for the 2019-2020 chamber board year.

Dinny Cosyns of NorthStar Strategies, Ron Arenas of Picture Rocks Cooling, Heating and Plumbing and El Ndoye of Canyon Community Bank were officially welcomed to the board at last Thursday’s annual meeting.

They succeed outgoing board members Alan Dankwerth of Market Considerations, Kay Williams of the Southern Arizona Veterans and First Responders Living Memorial and Mark Mitchell of Mark Mitchell CPA.

In addition, Otton Suarez, new general manager at El Conquistador Tucson, A Hilton Resort, has been tapped to complete the term of previous GM Mike Platt.

For the second year, the Chamber board is led by Greg Durnan of Acacia IT. Other members of the executive committee are Nancy Boyle of Splendido at Rancho Vistoso, vice chair; Peter Minot of Southwest Solutions, treasurer; and Anne-Marie Braswell of the Golder Ranch Fire District, secretary.

Dave Perry is the President and CEO of the Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce.

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