A capacity crowd of nearly 500 people filled the Forum Ballroom at DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Paradise Valley-Scottsdale to celebrate the 2024 Champions of Change Awards.

MORE NEWS: Meet the finalists for the 2024 Champions of Change Awards

“Champions of Change are those individuals and organizations who lift others up, give them strength, make them better, and in the process, elevate entire communities and business sectors,” said Michael Gossie, editor in chief of Az Business magazine, which hosted the event. “Even though we will designate winners today, the efforts of all of today’s finalists make champions of us all.”

Sponsors of the Champions of Change Awards included BOK Financial (impact sponsor), Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona (spotlight sponsor), Stearns Bank (step-and-repeat sponsor), Maricopa Corporate College at Maricopa Community Colleges (photo booth sponsor), Lerner & Rowe Gives Back (name tag sponsor), REDW Advisors and CPAs (floral sponsor), Center for the Future of Arizona (dessert sponsor) and Silver Cain (table treat sponsor).

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Earning Impact Grants from BOK Financial were Karen Johnson, CEO of New Pathways for Youth, who earned a $2,500 grant as nonprofit leader of the year; and Junior Achievement of Arizona, which earned a $7,500 grant as nonprofit of the year.

Another special awards was the Let’s Give Arizona a Hand Up Award, which was presented by Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona and went to the company whose corporate giving and community volunteer activities are building a brighter future for various Arizona nonprofits and making a direct and quantifiable impact. The winner of that award was the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have invested $20 million to support Arizona youth sports programs and have provided jerseys for more than 60,000 youth softball and baseball players.  

Here are the winners of the 2024 Champions of Change Awards:

Let’s Give Arizona a Hand Up Award: Arizona Diamondbacks

Healthcare leader of the year: Joanne Mizell, Banner Aetna

Healthcare organization of the year: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

Medium sized business of the year: Arizona Commerce Authority

Medium sized business leader of the year: Kyle Kennedy, Bell Bank

Large-sized business leader of the year: James Murphy, Willmeng Construction

Large-sized business of the year: Desert Financial Credit Union

Most innovative company: Exro Technologies

Most innovative business leader: Amy Walters, City of Hope

Philanthropic business leader of the year: Brandon Rafi, Rafi Law Group

Philanthropic business of the year: Salt River Project

Nonprofit leader of the year: Karen Johnson, New Pathways for Youth

Nonprofit organization of the year: Junior Achievement of Arizona