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Top businesses named Spirit of Enterprise Award finalists

September 15, 2008

Ten of the best businesses in Arizona are being honored as the finalists for this year’s Spirit of Enterprise Awards. The awards are given out by the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University to recognize businesses that demonstrate ethics, energy and excellence in entrepreneurship, boosting our state’s economy and helping our community.

Past award winners include such big names as Cold Stone Creamery and such success stories as Gold Canyon, a candle business with 25,000 distributors nationwide that was started in a home kitchen by a mom who just wanted to spend more time with her kids.

This year’s finalists are:

  1. American Traffic Solutions Inc., an industry leader in the deployment of red-light and speed camera enforcement programs in more than 120 communities across the country.
  2. ATS Electric Inc., a commercial electric contracting company that has shown remarkable revenue and employee growth over the past few years, even starting an Employee Stock Ownership Plan.
  3. Community Tire and Automotive Service Specialists, a car repair and tire replacement company that focuses on keeping employees excited about their jobs and treating customers with respect.
  4. CRS Temporary Housing, a company that places disaster victims into temporary housing, providing consolation to stunned victims, fronting security deposits and billing insurance companies directly for them.
  5. Global Water, a water resource management company that developed a Total Water Management model addressing the issues of water supply, scarcity and conservation through water reclamation and reuse.
  6. NextCare Urgent Care, a leader in the urgent care industry with 37 clinics in six states that offers discount fees for under- and uninsured patients and free care for domestic abuse victims.
  7. Sleep America, a sleep products and services company that has donated more than 500,000 used customer mattresses to the St. Vincent de Paul Society and more than $300,000 to nonprofit Valley organizations.
  8. Sundt Construction Inc., a 100-percent employee-owned construction company that emphasizes teamwork, training and education, plus giving back to the community through its nonprofit Sundt Foundation.
  9. TASER International Inc., creator of technology used by more than 13,000 law enforcement agencies in more than 40 countries that is aimed at safely incapacitating people in order to save lives.
  10. Televerde, a high-tech marketing company that brings training and opportunities to women housed in the Arizona Department of Corrections’ Perryville facility.

More than 1,000 Valley business and community leaders are expected to attend the awards luncheon when the winners are announced on Sept. 25 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix.

The awards are just one focus of the Spirit of Enterprise Center, which helps hundreds of businesses each year. The center offers companies the chance to recruit and meet with top student talent, while also allowing students to get hands-on business experience. Through the center, businesses can access short, non-degree programs for busy executives and create connections to other Arizona State University business resources. Teams of W. P. Carey School of Business students also conduct research to help Valley companies. The center is self-funded and utilizes community sponsorships and volunteers.

For more information on the Spirit of Enterprise Center, go to For sponsorship opportunities or awards luncheon reservations, e-mail Jennifer Coombs at or call (480) 965-0474.