Torch Award Nominations/Applications/Workshops

February 10, 2014

Better Business Bureau Serving Southeast Texas is conducting its 17th annual Torch Award for Marketplace Trust competition to recognize and encourage ethical business practices in the region.  The deadline for submitting entries is March 21. 

         Conn’s HomePlus, Neches Federal Credit Union, Newtron, Twin City Honda Nissan, and Universal Coin & Bullion, Ltd., are the underwriting corporate Diamond Partners for this year’s application and selection process.        

         “The purpose of this award is to recognize those for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations in our region committed to maintaining exceptionally high standards of ethical behavior in buyer/seller and provider/supporter relationships,” said John Paschall, President/CEO of the BBB.  “I encourage the many outstanding companies and charities in Southeast Texas, small and large, that work to uphold the trust and respect of their customers and supporters to submit an entry for these prestigious awards.” You need not have a formal ethics program or be BBB Accredited to enter.

         Applications for the 2014 BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Trust regional competition will be accepted through March 21, 2014.  Two categories of for-profit companies will be recognized: one large (21 employees and more), and one small (1-20 employees), and one category for non-profit organizations.

         Past Southeast Texas winners of the Torch Award for Marketplace Trust include Newtron, The Chef’s House, Spindletop Center, Star Graphics, Airport Travel Agency, DuPont Goodrich Federal Credit Union, Anderson Ford Mercury, Classic Southeast Texas, Copy & Camera Technologies, Philpott Motors, Ltd., Tony Houseman Companies, Claybar Funeral Homes, The Walters Agency, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Waldman & Smallwood Law Firm, Texas Marine, Anderson Ford Mercury, Winnie Welding Works, Howell Furniture Galleries, Tallman Pools, Bill Clark Pest Control, Entergy, Burris Transfer & Storage, Orange Savings Bank, Jeneal International, Collier Park Retirement Community, Broussard’s Mortuary, Mason Construction, Inc., Southeast Texas Water Conditioning, Inc., Efficient Systems, Inc., and American Valve and Hydrant, Inc.

         The Torch Award for Marketplace Trust awards are open to all for-profit southeast Texas businesses that serve retail and wholesale markets, and also non-profit organizations. A company or non-profit does not have to be a BBB Accredited Business to submit an entry for these coveted awards.  Applicants must be located in one or more of the following counties:  Chambers, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Newton, Orange, Tyler, or the Bolivar Peninsula.

          Southeast Texans are also asked to nominate for-profit or non-profit groups in the region and to encourage those organizations he/she works for, or where they are a customer or supporter, to apply for the award. Over 12,000 entry forms were mailed on January 30 to businesses and organizations in the region.  Applications may be requested from the office of Better Business Bureau by calling (409) 835-5951 x104, toll-free at (855) BBB-SETX, or by writing to BBB at 550 Fannin, Suite 100, Beaumont, TX, 77701.  You may fax nominations and application requests to (409) 838-6858 or email:  

Torch Award Workshops will be conducted on:

Wednesday, February 12 at 10am

West Side Development Center

601-A W Rev Dr Ransom Howard St in Port Arthur

Tuesday, February 18 at 2pm 

Better Business Bureau 

550 Fannin Ste 100 in Beaumont

Wednesday, March 5 at 10am

Southeast Texas Nonprofit Development Center

700 North St in Beaumont

Thursday, March 6 at 9am

Howell Furniture

2018 Hwy 365 in Nederland

Businesses with questions on the entry process are welcome to stop by for assistance.

         A prestigious independent panel of judges from the non-profit sector will score entries and then select the finalists and winners in the two for-profit categories.  The three finalists in each for-profit category will be recognized and the two winners announced at the 17th annual Torch Awards for Marketplace Trust Presentation Banquet to be held Tuesday evening, May 6, at the Beaumont Civic Center.  An acclaimed independent panel of judges from the for-profit sector will score entries and then select the finalists and winner in the non-profit category that will be announced at the banquet as well.

         Revenues from the May 6 banquet and auctions will benefit BBB Consumer Education Foundation, Inc., as well as helping to contribute over $50,000 to the endowed BBB Scholarships at Lamar University College of Business, Lamar Institute of Technology, Lamar State College Orange, and Lamar State College Port Arthur.  BBB Consumer Education Foundation, Inc. has contributed $200,000 to these scholarships over the last fifteen years.

         Better Business Bureau Serving Southeast Texas will offer a unique presentation to those who seek to integrate ethical standards of excellence with solid business practices from a fresh collaboration of local business and thought leaders, all practitioners and models in the area of workplace ethics.  Join us for an incredible evening of “vision, values and experience” as our keynote presenters emphasize the importance of principle-centered leadership.  Corporate tables for the prestigious awards presentation are now available.  For more information and table partnership reservations contact Debbie Bridgeman at (409) 835-5951 x117 or email