By SHELLEY SHELTON
A new nomination process has competition for this year’s Wells Fargo Copper Cactus Awards heating up, with the submission deadline Sunday.
“This year, we’re trying to involve the public in the process more,” said Jill Rivera, marketing and community relations manager at Wells Fargo.
For the first time, nomination forms are available at all Wells Fargo branches in southern Arizona.
Nominations also can be made by logging on to CopperCactusAwards.com, Rivera said.
In the past, business owners nominated themselves by filling out an information packet.
While last year’s applications totaled fewer than 100, more than 160 nominations have been submitted this year.
More are expected before the deadline, Rivera said.
“It’s definitely in- creased,” she said.
The three categories are: Best Place to Work, Business Growth and Community Service.
Each category has four winners in the following classes: 1 to 19 employees, 20 to 49, 50 to 99 and 100 to 250.
For the third consecutive year, the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce’s small business leader of the year ceremony will be combined with the Copper Cactus honors.
The criteria are similar and nominations may be made on the same form.
“The small business leader of the year is for one person, the leader,” Rivera said.
“The Copper Cactus Awards are really for the entire company.”
Recipients of the 2002 Copper Cactus Awards included Dakotacom.net, Beyond Bread, Bookman’s, and Chestnut Construction.
Howard Stewart of AGM Container Controls took home the small business leader of the year honor.
This year’s top companies will be honored at a dinner Sept. 18 at The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa.