BBB Rings NYSE Bell to Celebrate Centennial


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New York (July 27, 2012) - To celebrate its Centennial and 100 years of fostering marketplace trust between businesses and consumers, Better Business Bureau (BBB) executives and guests visited the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today to ring the closing bell.

Carrie A. Hurt, President and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, rang the closing bell to mark the organization’s 100th anniversary. BBB was founded in 1912 as the Advertising Vigilance Committee by corporate executives who were fed up with deceptive advertising and fraudulent claims. Samuel Candler Dobbs, a vice president of Coca-Cola, drafted “The Ten Commandments of Advertising,” and dozens of corporations signed the manifesto. Later that year, the first local group was founded in Minneapolis.

The Better Business Bureau name was suggested in 1916 by Arthur F. Sheldon, the founder of a school on salesmanship, and the organization continued to grow. The first national office opened in 1921 in Cleveland, Ohio, and the first Canadian BBB opened in 1928 in Montreal. The organization today has 115 local, independent BBBs across the U.S. and Canada that maintain BBB Business Reviews on more than four million businesses, handle dispute resolution for nearly one million complaints a year, and alert consumers of scams and fraudulent business practices.

For a century, BBB has fostered trust in the marketplace by helping consumers make smarter buying decisions through BBB Business Reviews; resolving disputes between consumers and businesses; and educating the public on scams and fraud.

370,000 BBB Accredited Businesses are committed to following the organization’s strict Code of Business Practices, which includes guidelines on ethics, customer service, transparency, financial management, advertising and privacy. They also must maintain at least a B rating in order to remain accredited. The support of these businesses enables BBB to offer virtually all of its services to consumers for free.

In addition to Hurt, guests on the platform included:

  • Claire Rosenzweig, President and CEO, BBB of Metropolitan New York
  • Sheryl Bilbrey, President and CEO, BBB San Diego and chair of the BBB Operating Committee
  • Rhonda J. McLean, Chair of BBB of Metropolitan New York and Deputy General Counsel, Time Inc.
  • Lisa Davis, Vice Chair of BBB of Metropolitan New York and Sr. Director Communications & Public Affairs, Sony Corporation of America
  • Brian F. Doran, Treasurer of BBB of Metropolitan New York and Region Executive, New York Metro Region & Director of Governmental Affairs, Popular Community Bank
  • Michael Portegello, Vice Chair of BBB of Metropolitan New York and Partner, Ernst & Young LLP
  • Valerie Reardon, Vice Chair of BBB of Metropolitan New York and Senior Vice President, Compliance, Internal Audit and Internal Controls, EmblemHealth
  • Edward J. DeSalvio, Board Member of BBB of Metropolitan New York and Managing Director, Asset Recovery Division, BNY Mellon
  • Beverly Baskin, CBBB Senior Vice President, Client Services
  • Lee Peeler, CBBB Executive Vice President
  • Katherine Hutt, CBBB Director of Communications and Media Relations


A video of the bell ringing will be available shortly after the market closes at Photos will be available on Council’s Facebook page at

For 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2011, consumers turned to BBB more than 100 million times for Business Reviews on more than 4 million companies and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 115 local, independent BBBs across the United States and Canada, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution and industry self-regulation.  BBB Metro New York was founded in 1922 by the New York Stock Exchange to fight investment fraud, a mission that continues today.

MEDIA CONTACT AT CBBB: Katherine Hutt, or 571-422-3584

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