WESTMARC, the Western Maricopa Coalition, honored West Valley individuals, businesses, and projects at the 23rd Annual Best of the West Awards held on November 5.

Nearly 500 business and community leaders and elected officials from throughout the valley gathered in a celebration of the Best of the West.

Dr. Marwan Sabbagh was presented with the West Valley Inspiration in Leadership Award for his work at the Banner Sun Health Research Institute. Sabbagh, a board-certified neurologist and geriatric neurologist, hopes to work himself out of a job. Considered one of the leading experts in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, he is the new director of the Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders Division and Professor in the Department of Neurology at the Barrow Neurological Institute. Dr. Sabbagh has dedicated his entire career to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s and other age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

Other award recipients include:

Economic Engine – Aspera

Aspera, a new project in Glendale at 75th Avenue and Loop 101, is underway to impact Arizona as a whole. Cardon Development Group, an organization involved in many different projects in Arizona,  is working on Aspera. The project is a new 80-acre development that will feature new businesses, apartments, senior living, Banner Health and new retail.

Quality of Life Enhancement – Benevilla

Benevilla was created as a not-for-profit organization in 1981 by citizens of the Sun Cities area out of concern that local services were not readily available to the community’s residents. Their mission was to promote health and independence by providing supportive services to their neighbors. By cultivating a caring community of neighbors helping neighbors, Benevilla is able to provide extensive support services for older adults, adults with disabilities, children, and the families who care for them.

Excellence in Innovation – West-MEC Southwest Energy Partner Campus

Arizona’s nuclear power industry is truly powerful. Last year, the APS-operated Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station achieved its 23rd consecutive year as the nation’s largest power producer and, for the tenth time, exceeded its own record for power generation – producing 32.3 million megawatt-hours. A unique, first of its kind partnership was formed when a public utility (APS), a community college (Estrella Mountain Community College) and a technical education high school (West-MEC) created West-MEC Southwest Energy Partner Campus. The curriculum at the new concept campus will provide a gateway for students who are interested in the nuclear power industry and help supplement the plant’s aging workforce. The West-MEC Southwest Campus project, located at I-10 and Verrado Way in Buckeye, will eventually serve 650 students in 12 to 14 different programs.

Regional Advancement – Cancer Treatment Centers of America

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Western Regional Medical Center, experienced and dedicated cancer experts work together in one location, sharing their knowledge, coordinating treatments and, ultimately, providing comprehensive cancer treatment tailored to patients. At CTCA, advances in cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery are fully integrated with integrative oncology services. CTCA uses leading technology to aggressively treat all types of cancer and to promote healing on all levels – body, mind and spirit.

Judges for the 23rd Annual Best of the West Awards were Mike Atkinson, president and CEO of AZ Big Media; Tim Lawless, president of NAIOP Arizona; Rebekah Morris, owner of Arizona Builder’s Exchange; and Deb Sydenham, executive director of ULI Arizona.