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While the news industry is inherently busy, things have been particularly crazy around the Tucson Local Media offices the last few weeks as we hosted events, wrapped up competitions—and of course—kept an eye on all of the developments across Tucson’s north side.

In case you’re curious, here’s a quick peek behind the curtain:

Just last week we recognized the female leaders who lend a substantial hand in shaping Southern Arizona at our annual Women of Influence Awards, hosted by Inside Tucson Business at Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment, Sahaurita. To put it mildly, the event was a smashing success, including a record-breaking 640-plus attendees.

This year, we received more nominations and votes than ever before, and choosing the winners from our large list of finalists was more difficult than ever. This just goes to show the massive amount of talented women in a variety of industries throughout the Greater Tucson Metro Region. 

We hope by highlighting these awesome people, we show them their work is appreciated, and we encourage all local residents to strive higher. 

These women are an inspiration not only to our staff here at Tucson Local Media, but to the community as a whole. Whether they’re creating new start-ups, handling cross-border real estate transactions or aiding victims of human trafficking, the amazing women we honored last week work tirelessly to make Tucson a better place.

To see how the whole thing turned out, flip over to page 8.

While planning out an event for that many people is in and of itself a monumental task, handled with poise by our circulation and special events manager Laura Horvath, the editorial department has also been busy with projects of their own.

While Christopher Boan and I have moved from the basketball courts to the dugouts to cover the baseball and softball teams of the six high schools in our region, Kathleen B. Kunz recently wrapped up a massive endeavor into the scams plaguing Pima County Residents. 

By the time you’re reading this column, the editor duo of Jim Nintzel and Jeff Gardner will be taking in all of the live performances, demonstrations and presentations they can handle at the annual South by Southwest conference in Austin. 

Though he’s been busy trying to compile artist schedules and plan his trip, Jeff recently shared with me what he’s most excited for on the eve of SXSW.

“At South by Southwest, there are more artists performing than you could ever hope to list, so you really never know what you’ll see or hear,” he said. “But you can rest assured they’re held to a very high standard. I’m also excited to see some Arizona artists perform in Austin, and to see how global audiences enjoy our local music.”

Keep an eye out in the coming weeks in our LivenUp section for a recap of their conquests through the world of art, music and film.

While they’re out in Texas, the rest of the team will be busy putting together the finishing touches on this year’s Best of the Northwest. And for those of you who’ve patiently waited for the past few months for an update on our annual reader’s choice competition, I have a bit of good news to share: We received roughly 3,000 additional votes this year, bringing the grand total to 7,258 votes. That’s more than double the total in 2017 when I oversaw my first iteration of the contest.

For those of you who’ve been living under a rock: Every year, the Explorer, Marana News and Foothills News host a competition highlighting the region’s most impressive (and popular) businesses and community members: Restaurants, bookstores, first responders, vet clinics, movie theaters and just about everything else you can think of. 

This year’s competition launched in December and ran through mid February, and includes dozens of categories like “Best Burger,” “Best Mom & Pop Shop,” “Best Bike Trail” and plenty more.

The results come out next week, so keep an eye out!

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