WESTMARC Best of the West winners spread announced

Held at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, WESTMARC's Best of the West Awards dinner recognized the West Valley's emerging leaders, investments and programs. (WESTMARC/Submitted)

WESTMARC, or the Western Maricopa Coalition, which is a public-private partnership of the 15 communities, the business community and the educational sector in the West Valley, recently held the 30th annual Best of the West Awards dinner. Winners were spread from numerous cities around the West Valley.

Held at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Oct. 27, the evening recognized the West Valley’s emerging leaders, investments and programs. WESTMARC recognized great programs positively impacting the region.

The categories were Excellence in Innovation, Economic Engine, Quality of Life Enhancement – Education, Quality of Life Enhancement – Community, and Quality of Life Enhancement — Education.

Excellence in Innovation

City of Peoria Police Department

Training Academy

Economic Engine

Goodyear Civic Square – GSQ

Quality of Life Enhancement –


Mission of Mercy Arizona

Quality of Life Enhancement –


• Northern Arizona University/Littleton and Tolleson Elementary

• School District Partnership to Grow our Own Teachers

In addition, the WESTMARC Board of Directors recognized projects and individuals that inspire leadership and advances the West Valley.

Inspiration in Leadership Award

Dr. Kathleen Geoppinger, Midwestern University

Regional Advancement Award

Central Arizona Project

President’s Choice Award

Rep. Joanne Osborne

President’s Choice Award

Rep. Lorenzo Sierra

“WESTMARC is the West Valley’s true champion,” said Sintra Hoffman, president and CEO of WESTMARC. “Our members and leaders have been highlighting great people and projects for the past 30 years. As this region and state continues to grow, it’s important to ensure we’re preparing the future leaders to take the helm and make even greater advancements. I’m excited that our newest program — West Valley Emerging Leader Impact — is doing just that.”

This year, WESTMARC presented a new award — the Emerging Leader Impact Award. The award recognizes individuals who are 40 years of age or younger, living and working in the West Valley, and making an impact in their community. There were five rounds of nominations, and the finalist of each round was considered for the award.

The winner of the inaugural award was Sebastian Porchini, who is a senior vice president at FirstBank.

“Young talent attraction and retention has been an ongoing dialogue, regionally for the past several years. As the West Valley continues to grow, we are keenly aware of the importance of illustrating the diverse, skilled and talented workforce that we have, for the purpose of business attraction and economic development,” said Kimberly Jordan, executive vice president of WESTMARC. “WESTMARC actively works to identify ways to engage young professionals in regional strategy, planning and problem solving, to provide a platform for engagement and strengthen community involvement. We received 22 outstanding nominations for the 2022 West Valley Emerging Leaders Impact Award.

“Sincere congratulations to Sebastian Porchini, for all of the ways he is working to make a positive impact in our communities and for our residents.”