Sun, Dec. 15

New brand, sames sense of pride, for Verde Valley Community Champions

VERDE VALLEY - For 29 years, the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce and Verde Independent have honored citizens who continually raise the bar on improving the quality of life in the Verde Valley.

Formerly called the Verde Pride awards, these annual awards are now known as the Verde Valley Community Champions.

"The Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce and the Verde Independent are increasing how we brand these special people," explained Chamber President Lana Tolleson. "We continue to take pride in who and what they represent and what they do, but today and in the future they will be recognized as the Verde Valley Community Champions.

"We continue to recognize educators that inspire, students that achieve, tourism champions who promote, organizations and businesses that excel and those who have spent their lives in service to their community.

"These are the champions of the Verde Valley."

The 2015 Tourism Champions include Drake Meinke and the Copper Art Museum in Clarkdale and the Verde Valley Archeology Center in Camp Verde. The business champion is Highlands Floor Coverings.

This year's Lifetime Achiever is Max Castillo.

Danny Watkins of the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District is the 2015 Champion Teacher. Mingus junior Evan Snyder is the Student Champion. Citizen Champion is Darrell Dierks and the Organization Champion is the Jerome Elks Lodge #13.

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