Exceptional Community Hospital, Felix Appliance claim top chamber awards

WAZ Business of the Year award winners from Exceptional Community Hospital, from left: CEO Saeed Mahboubi, CNO Julie Willoughby, COO Bruce McVeigh and CMO Dr. Fredrick Johnson.

The Maricopa Chamber of Commerce gathered at Elements Events Center at Ak-Chin Circle April 23 to recognize a few of its own for outstanding achievement during its 15th annual awards banquet.

Nominees for the WAZ Business of the Year award were Exceptional Community Hospital and Karsten’s Maricopa Ace Hardware. The hospital won the award after just opening in December. The 20,000-square-foot facility is the first facility of its kind in Maricopa.

Saeed Mahboubi shared his thoughts following the award ceremony, “First, let me say that this wasn’t just a win for Exceptional Community Hospital – Maricopa but the city of Maricopa and its citizens.  So many people have made this hospital a reality for the community. Mayor Price, Vice Mayor Manfredi, all the city council members, Chief Miguel, and the Ak-Chin community have been instrumental in our success. Because of the community’s support, over 250 lives have been saved in our hospital, which we’re here to accomplish. We are continuing to pour our resources into this hospital and the community with the addition of the Fast Track clinic and increasing our staff because we are making a meaningful contribution by saving lives, healing the sick, and providing a hospital for the exceptional community of Maricopa.”

Family-owned-and-operated Felix Appliance Heating & Air was recognized as Small Business of the Year. Owner Robert Felix started his business in 2018 and had been nominated for the chamber award twice before.

Robert and Maria Felix accepted the award for Small Business of the Year.

“It was exciting to be recognized by our business peers. More than anything, we wouldn’t be in the position we are out without our team members,” said Felix, who dedicated the award to his nine employees.

Felix and his family live in Homestead.

Other nominees were Copa Craze, Cotton Blossom Flowers, Liquidate AZ and Northern Lights Therapy.

City Councilmember Amber Liermann took home the Sonny Dunn Citizen of the Year award. Liermann, who was elected to City Council in 2020 and works as a counselor at Maricopa High School, was met on stage by Will Dunn, son of the late Sonny Dunn. Brenda Campbell and Chrystal O’Jon were also nominated.

onny Dunn Citizen of the Year award to Amber Lierman.
Saeed Mahboubi of Exceptional Health Hospital presented the Sonny Dunn Citizen of the Year award to Amber Liermann.

Maricopa Pantry volunteer Jennifer Connelly was recognized as the Renate Chamberlin Volunteer of the Year, beating Jim Irving, Tiffany Isom and Chrystal O’Jon.

The Be Awesome Youth Coalition won Nonprofit of the Year over Boys and Girls Club, Faces of the Future, Maricopa Pantry and Operation Support Military Heroes. Be Awesome works to develop confident, connected and successful youth through mentoring, education and community programs.

The final presentation of the night was the Chairman’s Award, given by the Chamber’s board chair Yolanda Rodriguez. The recipient was Brenda Campbell, a volunteer for various local nonprofits and staff member in the City’s Community Services department. Brenda is a longtime resident silent force for city – and community and was featured on an InMaricopa cover story earlier this year.

Dr. Yolanda Rodriguez, left, presented the Chairman’s Award to Brenda Campbell.