Each year, Az Business magazine, a publication of AZ Big Media, presents the Champions of Change Awards to recognize those dynamic innovators and trailblazers who are changing Arizona’s business landscape through leadership, visionary thinking and philanthropy. The Champions of Change Awards honor both individuals and organizations. The Champions of Change Awards will be held Thursday, May 16, 2024. Each day leading up to the event, we will preview one category of finalists. Today, meet the Champions of Change finalists for large-sized business leader of the year.

Sponsors of the Champions of Change Awards include 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) and Center for the Future of Arizona (dessert sponsor).

To learn more about the Champions of Change Awards, click here.

Large-sized business leader of the year finalists

Michael Crow

President // Arizona State University (ASU)

As ASU’s sixteenth president, Crow steadfastly continues to support and cultivate ASU as one of the world’s best public metropolitan research universities. Under his leadership, ASU has established more than 25 new transdisciplinary schools, including the School of Earth and Space Exploration and more.

Howard Epstein 

Executive // Bank of America

In 2019, Epstein founded the Arizona Housing Fund, a philanthropic effort created to encourage private-sector involvement to fund more housing for vulnerable people. To date, more than 5,000 donations have been made under Epstein’s leadership, totaling nearly $2 million. 

Mike Greenawalt

CEO // Rosendin

In 2021, with retirement on the horizon, Greenawalt began building his vision to give young adults low-cost career training that supported Arizona’s growing construction needs. By Sept. 2022, Grand Canyon University’s (GCU) Pre-Apprenticeship for Electricians launched, with funding covering the first 80 students.

Jeffrey B. Guldner

CEO // Pinnacle West Capital Corporation (APS)

Guldner leads Pinnacle West Capital Corporation and its primary subsidiary, Arizona Public Service Company (APS). Additionally, he serves on the boards of directors for Edison Electric Institute, the McCain Institute, Nuclear Energy Institute and the Smart Electric Power Alliance, as well as several community-impact organization boards.

Barb Kozuh

Executive director // Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation

Kozuh and her team work to make a positive impact to improve the health and wellness of the underserved and under-represented people across Arizona. The foundation focuses on funding a variety of initiatives from oral health to food insecurity programs.

James Murphy

CEO // Willmeng Construction

Under Murphy’s leadership, Willmeng has flourished, earning the company ENR SW Contractor of the Year in 2023. He also helped spearhead (and teaches) The Willmeng Academy (TWA) year-long, 6-week internal training program dedicated to teaching company culture. 

Kevin Rowe

Founder and principal // Lerner & Rowe

A 2023 Champions of Change awardee, Rowe established the Arizona 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation, Lerner & Rowe Gives Back to advocate for the improvement of children facing poverty, illness, disease and other areas of need. 

Ken Udenze

Partner // Deloitte

Udenze has been recognized for his development of the Arizona Hispanic/Latinx Mentorship Program, focused on providing undergraduate business students the opportunity to network with influential business leaders and gain access to professional development and tools to help them successfully transition into their professional journeys.