Home Features AFM News Best of Our Valley 2012 Winners


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For the third year, AZFoothills.com has asked readers who and what their favorites are, offering thousands of nominees chosen by e-mailed nominations from the public, editors and focus groups. After millions of votes were casted at AZFoothills.com over the past 60 days, the winners have been determined and the best of each category this year will be featured in the March 2012 issue, a tell-all guide to the coolest people and places in the Valley of the Sun. Stay tuned because you are all invited to Scottsdale Quarter for the Best of Our Valley Finale Party!

With the wide variety of categories and a number of nominations, you are bound to recognize some of the names of your favorite Valley people, places and things. Find out if your favorite burger joint, golf community, radio personality or even a Valley resident is the winner for the Best of Our Valley. Check out the categories for Best of Our Valley 2012 winners.

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Bret Michaels won with the total most votes and will be featured on the cover of the March 2012 Issue! Johnjay and Rich, from 104.7 KISS, came in second with just a few votes behind! This is the second year in a row that a male has won the cover, a different approach from always having a beautiful lady grace our pages.

Your favorite people in the Valley have been chosen. Alison Johnson, American Cancer Society, took the lead as the Most Fashionable Woman Over 30 this year. It was a close race, but William Smith, DJ, won Most Fashionable Men Under 30 with his amazing colorful Nike Shoes. If you are always looking for a good party, Steve LeVine, Owner of Steve LeVine Entertainment & Public Relations, is the man for the job, the winner for the Marketing Guru category.

We always want to know what rock stars are doing, and we found out thanks to Bret Michaels, who won Top Celebrity Twitterer with 70 percent of the votes.   For the second year in a row, Bob Parsons, Founder and CEO of GoDaddy.com, won with 70 percent of the votes too in his category for Most Influential Man in the Valley. Parsons and Renee also won Favorite Valley Couple. Go Bob! Your vote for Most Influential Woman in the Valley is Kari Yatkowski, Founder and President of Haven Charitable Foundation. Father Reese, President of Brophy College Preparatory Academy, won The Most Influential in Valley Education.

The Best News Station this year is 3TV. From dawn to dusk, 3TV’s award-winning journalism team satiates the Valley’s local and national news cravings. Presenting news updates throughout the day and informative broadcasts at convenient hours, 3TV has earned a reputation as Arizona’s go-to news source. As a testament to the Valley’s appreciation for the news station, it took home 12 Best of Our Valley nods. News Anchor of the Year, Beverly Kidd, joined the 3TV family in August 2001. Starting off on the anchor desk for the weekend morning show, Kidd is now the evening news anchor and health reporter. She knows how to get our attention and tell us everything we need to know! For the third year in a row, your Favorite Local Morning Show is “Good Morning! Arizona.” Everyone dreads an early alarm clock, but Valley residents agree that the morning slump is easier to get over when “Good Morning! Arizona” is on. For the second year in a row, your Favorite Nightly Newscast is News at 10, 3TV. When looking to catch up on the day’s events, our voters chose 3TV’s News at 10 as the best broadcast to watch when the sun goes down.

We have to give the biggest shout out to Carey Pena, 3TV and Nadine Toren, KPHO TV. These lovely ladies battled it out for Most Fashionable News Anchor until the very end. Carey Pena took the win by only 0.66 percent.  Congrats Carey!

Who was the winner that successfully helps drivers navigate rush hour? This year, the Best Traffic Personality is Jason Christopher from 102.5 KNIX. Although he is the co-owner of Muscleman Music & More, he makes it his priority to tell you where traffic is.

Lady La has more than three years of Phoenix morning show experience and nearly 50,000 MySpace, Facebook and Twitter fans/followers. Clearly, she has a loyal fan base that wanted to bring her to the top and be recognized as this year’s Best Local Radio Talk Show or DJ. Although the race was close between Johnjay and Rich 104.7 KISS morning show, she managed to take the win. However, Johnjay and Rich won Best Local Radio Talk Show or DJ: Morning Drive. The rush hour grind can put a damper on any day. Luckily, Johnjay and Rich blasts an epic lineup of sidesplitting segments like 'War of the Roses' and 'Second-Date Update' that make our voters want to stay in their rides longer.

For more wins in media, your favorite Best Local Radio Talk Show or DJ: Daytime was Aaron Taylor, 104.7 KISS. Taylor is the reason fans don’t touch the dial during drive time. Taylor “represents DJ’s and people all over the world that dust off the hates and do what makes them happy regardless of what others say!” Super Snake, 101.5 KZON won Best Local Radio DJ: Afternoon Drive. Super Snake, the “Voice of the Valley,” has made his claim to fame as the top radio personalities in the country though his extensive history as a radio extraordinaire. His flamboyant voice keeps listeners intrigued. 92.3 KTAR won Best Talk Radio Station. When getting from A to B, Valley voters tune into 92.3 KTAR for all their news and talk radio fixations. However, country fans and Arizonians believe the Best Radio Station is 107.9 KMLE. Scooping up the nod for Best Radio Station, it is clear that listeners love to hear all things country. When you have the best hits all day, it makes it hard for people to change the station.

For three years and counting, Eddie Matney won Most Influential in Valley Food. We are proud to share that Matney, owner and chef of Eddie’s House in Old Town Scottsdale, has been a culinary force in the Valley since 1986. For those who visit him at Eddie’s House, he suggests his favorite: the mint Sumac-grilled lamb chops. When he isn’t sautéing, braising or searing, he loves spending time with his family and fly-fishing.

The Best Catering, Benedict’s Catering, won over second-place competitor, M Catering by Michael’s. As for more tasty treats, The Mint Bar and Lounge won the Best Sushi.

Luci's Healthy Marketplace won with 81.59 percent of the votes for Best Grocery Store and Best Cup of Coffee.  For the second year in a row, The Best Speakeasy was Mabel’s on Main with 71.62 percent of the votes. The Best Bakery Classic Cakes & Confections won, the third year in a row, with an astonishing 76.08 percent of the votes.  Your favorite yogurt place, Tasti-D-Lite, won again this year too with 74.52 percent of the votes.

The Mint Bar and Lounge also won for The Most Glamorous Place to Party beating out the competition by 41.76 percent. Smashbox was also another great contender for the best places to party in Scottsdale and ended up winning this category.

There were many close calls and fierce competition this year. We had many people who won by only a few percentages. Find out who won and proves to be the Valley’s Best.

The Best Dermatologist was a close call Dr. Burrell Wolk won by only 2 percent. Wolk had 50.87 percent of the votes, while his competitor, Dr. Paul English, had 48.4 percent of the votes.

The Best Department Store Dining only had two contestants, Café Nordstrom at Nordstrom and NM Café at Neiman Marcus. However, the competition was aggressive with Café Nordstrom winning by 2 percent, with 51.85 percent of the votes. NM Café was close behind with 48.15 percent of the votes. This clearly was no landslide, but our voters finally supported Café Nordstrom with the win.

 The Best Home Accessory Store was the next category that had intense competition. Your favorite place to shop for lamps, sofas and decorations was between two fabulous stores. Copenhagen came in second place with 39.58 percent of the votes and Domestic Bliss won with 41.67 percent of the votes.

 Best Custom Home Builder was also a huge contest between Argue Custom Homes, Desert Star Construction and Kitchell. Argue Custom Homes won with 37 percent of the votes, but Kitchell came in second with 7 percent of the votes behind them. Desert Star Construction stayed in the race coming in third with 27.7 percent of the votes.

All in all, it was an amazing contest this year, and we are excited to feature all of our winning contestants in the March Issue. 


For now, take a look at all the winners:

To see the winners in the People category, click here.

To see the winners in the Media category, click here.

To see the winners in the Arts and Entertainment category, click here.

To see the winners in the Health and Self category, click here.

To see the winners in the Kids category, click here.

To see the winners in the Companies and Professionals category, click here.

To see the winners in the Food and Restaurants category, click here.

To see the winners in the Nightlife and Cocktails category, click here.

To see the winners in the Home and Design category, click here.

To see the winners in the Stay and Play category, click here.

To see the winners in the Escapes category, click here.

To see the winners in the Shopping category, click here.

To see the winners in the Transportation category, click here.

To see the winners in the Golf category, click here.


To download your Best Of Our Valley Winner Logos, click here.

To advertise in Best of Our Valley 2012 Issueclick here and click here.

You can brag about your success by ordering reprints, postcards, or wood plaques, click here for your order form and click here for the website.

We are now accepting nominations for Best of Our Valley 2013, click here.