It was just a few weeks ago that we were alerted to a tornado warning up in Marana, a sure sign we've been stirring up a bit of magic in these parts. It has surely been a whirlwind of activity here in the Tucson Weekly offices as we've assembled this latest edition of Best of Tucson®.
Huge thanks go out first and foremost to our readers, who are certainly not lacking in brains, heart or courage. Over our two rounds of voting, more than 12,500 of you cared enough to cast ballots for your favorite local shops, cafes, restaurants and more. The emphasis here is local—nothing against our national chains, but Best of Tucson® is about celebrating our local institutions. We added a new wrinkle this year, too, to allow us to celebrate even more people and places: Businesses could only win once in each section. So in some cases, winners were bumped to a second-place spot at our editorial discretion.
Huge thanks to web editor Jamie Verwys, who was on the job for about 48 hours before we told her she would be running point on the balloting and tabulating the votes. I don't think you're in Sierra Vista any more, Jamie!
Once the votes were tallied, our editorial team—managing editor Logan Burtch-Buus, associate editor Jeff Gardner, staff reporters Christopher Boan and Kathleen Kunz, calendar editor Emily Dieckman and Jamie the web editor—were off like flying monkeys on a quest to explore our little corner of the land of Az. Receptionist Sheryl Kocher donned her ruby reading glasses to melt away our typos.
The sales team—Associate Publisher Casey Anderson and sales reps Kristin Chester, Candace Murray, Lisa Hopper, Brek Montoya, Tyler Vondrak, Meredith Hansen and Liane White—headed down every last yellow brick road in Tucson to give our local businesses every opportunity to be part of this magical production.
The production crew, headed by newbie David Abbott, kept the show on the road. Louie Armendariz, Nicole Baloo and Madison Wehr tackled the job of assembling the paper like lions and tigers and bears, oh my.
A special thanks goes out to Hector Acuña, a longtime friend of the Weekly who stepped up to handle the art direction of Best of. If ever, oh ever, a wiz there was, Hector is one because, because, because, because, because—because of the wonderful things he does.
Distribution manager Alex Carrasco and his team of munchkins made sure the paper got out on the street and into your hands, while general manager Jaime Hood and numbers tracker Claudine Sowards took care of business. Their endless reserve of magic would put Glinda the Good Witch to shame.
Great and Powerful Publisher Jason Joseph remains the man behind the curtain.
And now, it's your turn to click your heels together three times and say: "There's no place like Tucson!"