The Better Business Bureau of North Central Texas continued a tradition today, Tuesday, January 22, 2013 by hosting the 16th Annual BBB Torch Awards for Marketplace Excellence at the Wichita Falls Country Club. Businesses were celebrated and acknowledged for their commitment to ethics, integrity and their support of our local marketplace.
Monica Horton, BBB president welcomed guests and thanked them for their time and commitment to ethical excellence. “We are here to honor companies that epitomize ethics and integrity, and present them with a coveted BBB Torch Award. But today's gathering is about much more than that,” said Horton. “Today, we honor one another for our steadfast commitment to doing the right thing for consumers in a time when so many others struggle to remain accountable. Thank you to the Torch Award Judges and the Scholarship committee, and the BBB Staff & Board of Directors.” Horton then asked Ch. Col. Michael Grubbs, Sheppard Air Force Base to give the invocation and begin the luncheon ceremony.
After a break for lunch, Robert Forrester, Professor and Businessman who has generously donated his time hosting the Torch Awards in the past was welcomed to the stage and he acknowledged the distinguished list of business, civic, education and military leader in attendance.
Each year, the BBB honors students attending the Dillard College of Business at Midwestern State University with scholarships based on the excellence of essays they have written on the importance of ethics in the marketplace. The winners this year included Kristen Borton ($1,500), Courtney Forsythe ($1,500), Victoria Johnson ($1,500), Mindy Schroeder ($1,000) and Cynthia Yerby ($1,500).
With that, the awards were underway! Each of the eight businesses and four charities were presented with a certificate. The top awards went to Schenk, Schenk & Haines Attorneys at Law, The Bowie Bank, Patterson Auto Group and Presbyterian Manor in recognition of their commitment to exceptional customer service and ethical business practices. The BBB presented winners with a crystal trophy that they can display or they may promote their status in advertising, marketing and on their websites.
Five other companies and three nonprofits were recognized for their commitments to business ethics and customer satisfaction:
AAA Guardian Foundation Repair
Communities in Schools
Dutton Funeral Home
Hospice Thrift Store-Bowie
Intrepid Healthcare Service
Law Office of Greg Underwood
Businesses were evaluated for their commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices. The independent panel of judges, made up of various community leaders, looks at how the company benefits customers, employees and the larger community. They also must meet BBB ethical, advertising and selling standards. Companies and charities may nominate themselves, or they may be nominated by customers or other businesses.
Schenk, Schenk & Haines Attorneys at Law
Small Category Winner (1-4 employees)
This law firm originated with Cletus C. Schenk who has instilled in the staff, integrity, honesty, hard work, and a deep passion for success. The firm is now run by his daughter Cindy Schenk. Their priority is to zealously represent their clients within the ethical bounds of their profession. The work environment at SS&H is unlike any law firm in this area because of “Clara” their Golden Retriever who comes to their office every day. When you come in, she will put a smile on your face. They are involved in many community events. The attorneys at SS&H are frequent speakers at the Conference for Women held at the MPEC each year. Cindy Schenk plays the fiddle and attends the Bobby Boatright Music Camp each year. For the past two years, the law firm has sponsored an underprivileged child to attend the camp to learn to play either the fiddle or the guitar. Lee Ann Haines, Fran Haines (Lee Ann’s mother) and Cyndi Schenk have also volunteered to be the co-chairmen for the 2014 Cattle Baron’s Ball. Reputation is of utmost importance to this law firm. They believe that they have earned an excellent reputation in this community by working diligently for their clients.
The Bowie Bank
Medium Category Winner (5-19 employees)
The Bowie Bank was opened in April 1998 and is a branch of Jacksboro National Bank, they embrace the mission statement, “Chartered in 1905 as an independent community bank, it is the mission of the Jacksboro National Bank to develop lifetime customers through quality financial services. Their employees, officers and directors understand and believe the only real difference in banks is the way people are treated. It is this philosophy of putting the customer and community first that makes the Bowie Bank more than just a bank. Their team is dedicated not only to their customers and the bank but to the communities they serve including city governments, schools, civic clubs, churches and many other volunteer groups. Integrity and high ethical standards are imperative to the continued existence of a business through challenging time and their growth and success are a testament to their adherence to these factors as they have flourished for over 100 years.
Patterson Auto Group
Large Category Winner (20+employees)
The story begins over 30 years ago in 1970. Harry Patterson was a man with a dream - a dream to one day build his own dealership. From salesman to owner, he made the dream come true. Today that dream is known as Patterson Auto Center. The mission of Patterson Family of Dealerships is to provide total customer satisfaction and uncompromising customer service before, during and after the sale. Patterson has been honored with numerous prestigious awards for customer satisfaction, its high degree of ethics and customer-oriented processes from various manufacturers. Among these are the Chrysler’s Five Star Award, the “Best of the Best” from Mercedes Benz – awarded to only to the top 15% in the nation, and the GM Elite Dealer Award. They believe in the importance of being involved in the community. Patterson’s directors, management, staff and associates have consistently been involved in local charities and clubs, and are currently serving as mentors for underprivileged children.
Non-Profit Category Winner
1n 1980, Presbyterian Manor opened as the first-of-its-kind nonprofit retirement community with an independent living area and a healthcare center for nursing care. In 2006, the House of Hope was added in response to the growing need for specialized Alzheimer’s care in the community. Presbyterian Manor is committed to providing excellence, dignity and quality of care in housing and health care services for the senior adults and family members they serve by enriching their lives through spiritual, physical, social and recreational programs. Presbyterian Manor is a sponsor of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Wichita Falls each year. They took top honors for raising the most funds collectively as a team in 2009, 2010, and 2011. They support the United Way and participate annually in the Chili Cook-off and their Peach Cobbler took first place last year. Presbyterian Manor requires directors, officers and employees to observe high standards of business and personal ethics in the conduct of their duties and responsibilities
About the BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Excellence
The nominees for the Torch Award for Marketplace Excellence are asked to substantiate ethical business practices in all aspects of their business and organizations. Which include: Company Management, Customer/Vendor/Shareholder Relations, Marketing and Advertising and the Support for their industry and the community where they do business. All of the information is judged by a panel completely independent of the BBB.
About the Better Business Bureau/Dr. Louis J. Rodriguez Ethics Scholarship
In 1999, the BBB Education Foundation joined with MSU’s Dillard College of Business Administration in establishing the Better Business Bureau/Dr. Louis J. Rodriguez Ethics Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate high ethical standards based on letters of recommendation and the scholarship application in which the student has to write about an ethical decision and how it influenced them. As a reminder most of the proceeds for this luncheon support this scholarship. For this 2012-2013 school year the Better Business Bureau awarded $7,000.00 in scholarships.
About the BBB
As the leader in advancing marketplace trust, Better Business Bureau is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Every year, more than 65 million consumers rely on BBB Business Reviews® and BBB Wise Giving Reports® to help them find trustworthy businesses and charities across North America. Visit www.bbb.org/us for more information.