BBB to honor local ethical businesses Nov. 6Written by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Northwestern Ohio and Southeastern Michigan will honor area organizations for exemplary and ethical business practices in five categories at its upcoming annual Torch Awards ceremony.
The public luncheon is set for 12:30 p.m. Nov. 6 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 6165 Levis Commons Blvd., in Perrysburg.
Award categories are small business (1-9 employees), medium business (10-49 employees), large business (50-149 employees), extra-large business (150-plus employees) and nonprofit.
Winners will have demonstrated business practices that exemplify ethics, integrity and exceptional customer service and are chosen by an independent panel of volunteer community leaders, based on criteria established by the BBB, said Marilyn Levine, director of the BBB Foundation.
Winners do not have to be members of the BBB, but must have been in business a minimum of three years and be located in the BBB’s 18-county service area. Winners will receive a trophy handcrafted by local glass artist Mike Wallace. Last year’s event drew about 300 guests, Levine said.
Cost is $48 for a single seat, $38 for a member of a charitable organization or $370 for a table of eight. The event will be emceed by Diane Larson of 13abc.
Yvette McGee Brown
This year’s keynote speaker will be former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Yvette McGee Brown, the first African-American woman to serve on the state’s highest court. Brown, who was former governor Ted Strickland’s running mate in the 2010 election, is also known for her advocacy of family and children’s issues, having worked with survivors of abuse, children in foster care, recovering drug addicts and truant students.
“She’s an exciting speaker,” Levine said. “Her presentation is very dynamic and very real. She gets it. She’s a person who has come from very little and her focus is helping others. She doesn’t have a lot of name recognition in Northwest Ohio, but she’s so worth hearing and I’m hoping people will take the opportunity.”
Also announced during the ceremony will be the winners of two $500 Jim Smythe Memorial Student of Integrity Scholarships, awarded to area high school seniors to further their educations. The winners will read their essays, which detail an ethical situation they encountered and how they handled it.
“Overall, I hope attendees come away with a heightened sense of awareness of what the BBB is all about and that they are encouraged to always strive to do better in terms of business and ethical behavior,” Levine said.
For information or reservations, call the BBB at (419) 531-3116 or (800) 743-4222 or visit toledo.bbb.org.
In Pursuit of Ethics
The BBB recently introduced a new module to its In Pursuit of Ethics series.
In Pursuit of Ethics, developed by the local BBB and filmed in the Toledo area, is a series of accredited ethics training videos now being used by more than 50 Better Business Bureaus throughout the U.S. and Canada, Levine said.
“It’s spreading and growing, so that’s a good thing,” Levine said.
The interactive, discussion-based modules stimulate discussion by presenting realistic ethical dilemmas faced by students and employees.
“Everywhere you turn, every aspect of society, you see an erosion of ethical standards,” local BBB President Dick Eppstein told Toledo Free Press in May. “You don’t see the same kind of immediate demand for ethical behavior anymore. We’re always immersed in news of unethical conduct, and we could use a refresher.”
The most recent module focuses on bullying in both schools and workplaces.
“Right now, there is so much attention focused on bullying in schools and students committing suicide, but the fact of the matter is a lot of bullying goes on in the workplace as well,” Levine said. “It’s not just a teenage problem.”
There are also modules specifically focused on ethics in auto repair, banking, insurance, remodeling and retail and one focused on schools, including cheating and sports.
What is right isn’t always easy, Levine said.
“Everyone knows the right answers. The question is what would you really do in the situation and how would that affect the people around you,” Levine said. “We have a dynamic discussion, in-depth discussion. It’s an opportunity to talk about it without being judged and hopefully you become more aware of what’s going on around you and how you react.
“It takes a lifetime to develop a good reputation and just a few minutes to destroy it,” Levine said. “We see that over and over. You can’t buy trust and respect with money; it’s something you have to earn.”
The BBB of Northwestern Ohio and Southeastern Michigan is one of about a dozen BBBs across the country designated a Center for Character Ethics, Levine said. For more information, visit www.bbbethics.org and www.centerforcharacterethics.org.
Tags: Center for Character Ethics, Hilton Garden Inn, Jim Smythe Memorial Student of Integrity Scholarships, Levis Commons, Ohio Supreme Court Justice Yvette McGee Brown, Perrysburg, The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Northwestern Ohio and Southeastern Michigan, Torch Awards ceremony