Torch Awards honor ethics in local businessesWritten by Kristen Criswell | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) announced the winners of its annual Torch Awards during a May 13 luncheon.
The Torch Awards honor area businesses that demonstrate the highest standards of business ethics and conduct. A panel of six judges, made up of community members, chose winners in four categories; small business, one to 10 employees; medium business, 10 to 50 employees; large business, 51 plus employees; and nonprofit.
More than 100 nominations were received for this year’s Torch Awards.
Wesson Builders, established in 1946, was built on “core values of providing high quality construction at a fair price.”
The company has a commitment to ethical business practices it tries to meet by providing a detailed contract and warranty, communicating respectfully with customers, providing a service beyond customers’ expectations and admitting to mistakes or problems and correcting them.
Through its 65 years in business, Wesson has worked to make the remodeling process easier on consumers. The company sends a “Welcome” letter, that stresses good communication, and a “What to Expect When Remodeling” form before each project.
The company also takes suggestions from customer polls that are given after a project, in which it has nearly a 100 percent return rate.
A customer who utilized Wesson’s services in a kitchen remodel wrote a recommendation letter on behalf of the company.
“Throughout the remodel, Wesson demonstrated great professionalism, excellent communication skills and were clear and concise about the project” wrote Tracy Gerken.
Wesson is active in the community. The company has worked with Habitat for Humanity, Extreme Makeover, the National Association of Women in Construction and the House Next Door Project.
Wesson is also an active member in the Toledo Chamber of Commerce, Maumee Chamber of Commerce, Point Place Business Association and the BBB. Wesson Builders is located at 1630 Laskey Road.
SMB Construction Co. Inc.
Since 1979, SMB Construction Co. Inc. has strived to offer a commitment of high standards and teamwork into every job and provide customer service and satisfaction in a timely manner. The full-service general contractor specializes in insurance restoration and treating every building as if it were their own.
The company offers a lifetime warranty on all workmanship in every project and inspects every job upon completion for quality control.
Within customer relations SMB, has always strived to provide ethical, reliable and honest relationships. If something is damaged on a site and SMB can’t prove it was pre-existing or that they didn’t damage it, they repair the damage.
Additionally, SMB deals with customers who often have lost everything, so during times when it responds in the middle of the night, it provides arrangements with a free night and breakfast at a hotel for customers, as well as a cell phone until they can get their own replacement.
In addition to its commitment to customers, SMB Construction is active in the community. The business has been involved with various local charities including Cherry Street Mission Ministries, Northwest Ohio Food Bank and the Toledo Firefighters Museum, as well as raising money for UT’s Glass Bowl Stadium Fund. SMB Construction is also one of the first companies to offer the “Pursuit of Ethics” class through the Better Business Bureau, offering it in December 2009. SMB Construction employees must follow rules in the employee handbook that outline standards of conduct and employee relations.
SMB Construction is located at 5120 Jackman Road.
Gleaner Life Insurance Society is a fraternal benefit society that offers a wide range of life insurance and financial products.
Fraternal societies historically provided mutual aid, benefits and insurance relief to those who shared a common bond.
Gleaner is a general society so it is open to everyone.
Gleaner is based on the motto “Thoughtfulness for the Future” and was founded on a mission of “benevolence, protection and fraternity.” The mission has changed throughout the past 115 years to a mission of “membership, security and community service.”
The company has an arbors system, or local charters, that gives back to the community. Members of Gleaner are assigned an arbor near their home and meet monthly to discuss how to assist the community.
Janet Goulart, vice president of human resources for Gleaner Life Insurance Society, described an arbor system as “good people doing good things for others.”
Gleaner Life Insurance Society supports its arbors through donations and matching fund programs that allow arbor members to devote their volunteer hours to service rather than fundraising.
Gleaner has a high reputation within the insurance industry, Goulart said, and sales representatives contact Gleaner regularly to sell its products because of what Gleaner stands for.
Membership, security and community service set Gleaner apart from other insurance companies.
Gleaner Life Insurance Society is located at 5200 W. U.S. 223.
Sylvania Area Family Services’ (SAFS) mission is “empowering all Sylvania residents to build upon their strengths in order to achieve a better quality of life.”
In fulfilling its mission, the organization adheres to six core values. A “sense of pride,” ensures families are treated with respect, dignity and self-worth, a “safe environment” provides an atmosphere with experiences and caring staff and a “community oriented” focus creates positive relationships within the community. Additionally, values to “provide hope,” “collaboration” and “accountability” ensure fiscal responsibility, ethical practices while creating opportunities to maintain a better quality of life.
SAFS utilizes public and private resources to ensure everyone’s basic needs are met. The 40-year-old organization offers access to emergency and supplemental food and clothing, distributes government commodities, provides utility and rental assistance and sponsors youth programming.
Youth programming includes back to school picnics, afterschool programs, summer camps and the Sylvania Youth Diversion Program. In a letter to Sylvania Youth and Family Services, an elementary school council stressed the importance of the programs.
“Along with both parents working goes the fact that these struggling parents have less time to spend with their children and thus, less time to spend helping their children with homework … There is no way to measure how important the SAFS After-School Mentoring Program is to the parents of the Sylvania community,” wrote Linda Brenner.
In addition, SAFS works closely with other local agencies to provide referrals for services not offered by the organization.
SAFS is located at 5540 Marshall Road.