Arkansas Democrat Gazette
Story by Mike Masterson
Sunday, April 6, 2014
In a world where awards and plaques are as common as April daffodils, I occasionally notice one that catches my attention. That’s what happened the other day when I read a list of finalists for the 2014 Torch Awards presented each year in honor of commitments made by businesses to ethical practices, which radiate through their employees to customers and across their communities.
In this day of maximizing profits (and when ethical principles have become an afterthought across much of society) it’s downright refreshing to see the Better Business Bureau of Arkansas honoring those who go above and beyond to promote character and high standards.
And I smiled a little broader when I saw three of the finalists (of some 30 nominations statewide) for the four 2014 awards are headquartered in Northwest Arkansas. The finalists: MDA Central Casting Studios of Fayetteville; Main Street Service Center of Harrison; Bud Anderson Heating and Cooling of Lowell; Arvest Bank, based in Bentonville; McCormick Works Inc. and Lewis and Company Construction, both of Little Rock; and Window Mart in Royal. Winners will be selected from each of four categories based on the number of employees ranging from one to over 175.
Mary Glancy, who directs the Arkansas BBB’s Center for Character Ethics, which administers the Torch Awards, said the recognition goes to the top businesses that intentionally pursue ethics as a matter of practice. The sound concepts behind ethical behavior create high character, competency and the most vital of all qualities, trust.
This whole idea behind Torch Awards spread nationally after originating in 1994 with the BBB of Columbus, Ohio. The idea has since spread to include dozens of BBBs nationwide honoring business ethics.
The annual International Torch Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., recognizes companies competing in North America. Arkansas’ four winners will be entered in that competition.
“All these programs help train individual business leaders to intentionally commit to leadership ethics and ethical enterprising,” said Glancy. “The award embodies the BBB Center’s mission of advancing marketplace trust.” In other words, winners of the crystal Torch Award are those who, in the opinion of the independent judges from the business and education community, others will want to emulate. The awards will be presented May 8 at a luncheon at the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock.
Seems to me that this particular honor (and the positive messages it applauds) is one well-worth striving to earn.