August 5, 2010

Top Arizona Businesses Named Spirit of Enterprise Award Finalists

TEMPE, Ariz. — Many Arizona businesses are working to help boost our economy and create new jobs as we recover from the recession. The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is honoring 10 of the top companies in the state for their achievements. They are the newly announced finalists for the prestigious Spirit of Enterprise Awards recognizing ethics, energy and excellence in entrepreneurship.

Past winners include well-known names like Cold Stone Creamery, Grand Canyon Railway and Sundt Construction, Inc. Chosen businesses are noted for creating a positive culture both internally and in the community as a whole.

This year’s finalists are:

  • All About People, Inc., a minority-owned staffing and recruitment firm with a chief executive officer known for philanthropy and operations in 22 states using an innovative virtual recruitment model.
  • Arizona Air Boutique, Inc., one of the largest helium distributors in Phoenix and one of the largest nonflammable gas distributors in Arizona, also selling balloon decorations and related promotional products, and donating balloons to various charities.
  • China Mist Brands, Inc., the first tea company to offer fresh brewed iced green, flavored, Fair Trade, organic and herbal teas to food service companies, and with a co-founder working toward a sustainability degree to influence all of the company’s products.
  • David and Sam PR, a public relations and marketing agency with a collaborative, progressive management style that includes no “official” office hours, unlimited vacation time, a focus on creativity and a refusal to lay off staff during the recession.
  • Dircks Moving Services, the top-rated Mayflower moving agent in the country last year and a family-owned business heavily involved in the local Better Business Bureau and pushing for Arizona regulations on the moving industry to better protect consumers.
  • Elontec, a company specializing in technology, telecommunications and commercial relocation, which has a 99-percent customer satisfaction rate, extensive community involvement and a track record that includes tripling its gross revenues in one year.
  • International Cruise & Excursions, Inc., a company that changed the landscape of the travel industry with its “barter-for-travel” initiative offering cruises in exchange for timeshares, airline miles, credit card loyalty points and other alternative currencies, now among the top five cruise providers in the world.
  • Maintenance Mart, a customer-oriented, minority-owned janitorial and facility supply service with a high employee retention rate and a heavy emphasis on recycling and the use of environmentally friendly products.
  • Sanderson Ford, Inc., a 55-year-old, family-owned company ranked No. 1 in Arizona for Ford retail sales and No. 1 in the nation for Ford parts sales and fleet/commercial sales, offering multiple-day test drives and “Sync Saturdays” to address any customer questions.
  • Sunstate Equipment Co., one of the largest equipment rental companies in the country, with locations in eight states, focused on teamwork and delivering impressive customer experiences.

About 1,000 Valley business and community leaders are expected to attend the annual awards luncheon when the winners are announced Sept. 23 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix.

These awards are just one focus of the Spirit of Enterprise Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business, which helps hundreds of businesses each year. The center offers companies the chance to recruit and meet with top student talent, while students get hands-on business experience. Through the center, businesses can access other Arizona State University programs and create connections with community resources. Teams of W. P. Carey School of Business students also conduct research projects to help Valley companies through the Student Teams for Entrepreneurship Projects (STEP) program. The center is self-funded and utilizes community sponsorships and volunteers.

For more information on the Spirit of Enterprise Center, go to For sponsorship opportunities or awards luncheon reservations, contact Gary Naumann at (480) 965-1674 or

The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is one of the top-ranked and largest business schools in the United States. The school is internationally regarded for its research productivity and its distinguished faculty members, including a Nobel Prize winner. Students come from 75 countries and include more than 60 National Merit Scholars. For more information please visit and