The Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) announced its 2022 award recipients at the 45th Annual Rocky Mountain Regional Emmy Awards ceremony on Saturday, October 1 at Chateau Luxe.

Boasting a sold-out crowd, the awards ceremony honored a variety of television production professionals in more than 100 categories that included news, sports, entertainment, environment, weather, politics, business and education. The Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of NATAS includes Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and El Centro, CA.

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“This is a remarkable year for our nominees and recipients, and we are fortunate to celebrate each of these talented individuals at our awards gala this year,” said Doug Mummert, National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter president. “It is always a great honor to applaud the devoted and talented professionals in the television industry, and each year, we are thrilled to appreciate excellence in television and beyond.”

One of the younger winners of the night was Arlinka Viljoen, who won in the Graphic Arts category for her work on “Strange Places: An Improper Use of Shading” by Phoenix Rising Motion Picture Group. The sci-fi/horror limited TV series by creator, director and producer Andy McCradic aired on AZTV 7 and was nominated for two Emmys. “He (McCradic) gave me a few sketches of the idea he had in mind,” said Viljoen. “Based on those sketches, I finalized the design and made some sketches of my own to improve it a bit. Then I actually had to make it. I used software like Maya and ZBrush – all those types of 3-D software to make it as terrifying as possible!”

Former vice president of NBA’s Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury and general manager of the Mercury Ann Meyers Drysdale was in attendance for the evening, marking the first time she had attended The Rocky Mountain Emmys. “(I appreciate) the hard work that everybody puts into being about the news, being how journalism is so important in this country and freedom of press,” she said. Meyers Drysdale took home an Emmy as part of the team for Live Sporting Event Season for the Phoenix Suns 2021-2022 season.

Dr. John Craft was honored as the recipient of the Governor’s Award for a lifetime of service in fostering and cultivating exceptional journalism. Craft, who retired in May 2022 from ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, primarily taught documentary production in his last year at the school. “I’ve taught almost everything in the broadcast sequence,” Craft said. “We used to teach management and programming, announcing, directing… Many things. And I ran the graduate program for twelve years.”

Mummert was just re-elected for his final two-year term as president, and his journey with The Emmys was perhaps a bit untraditional. “I’ve been involved with the board of the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter for a little over 20 years,” he said. “I came up through the fire department as a fire chief. So, I have a totally different perspective than everyone else. When I met our fellow board members, I was meeting them as either a battalion chief on an incident or a public information officer for the department.” He ventured into television production through the fire department and the City of Phoenix and worked with the board of the Southwest Chapter of NATAS and now serves as its president. “It’s been an awesome experience… And a way to work with some great people!”

High school and college level students involved in television production were recognized by the Southwest Chapter of NATAS earlier in the day at Chateau Luxe. Awards were given in categories including news reporting, commercial, music video, fiction and nonfiction, sports, talent and public service announcement.

The televised Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards ceremony is now available online and on mobile devices on the Rocky Mountain Southwest YouTube channel and The Emmy® App. The Emmy® App is a dedicated platform powered by Vimeo.

The full list of this year’s nominees and recipients can be accessed here:

Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards Nominees & Recipients

Student Production Awards Nominees & Recipients

For more details about the 45th Annual Rocky Mountain Regional Emmy Awards ceremony, visit