Better Business Bureau Honors Businesses with Prestigious International Torch Awards for Ethics

September 06, 2016

Arlington, VA – The Better Business Bureau Institute for Marketplace Trust today announced the winners of the 2016 International Torch Award for Ethics (ITAE). Four companies will be honored with the award.  They are: Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Jon Wayne Service Company, Victory Auto Service & Glass and Merry Maids of Metro. The award is given to businesses who demonstrate best practices in character leadership and organizational ethics.


In addition, six companies were named finalists.  They are:

  • Albert Moving & Storage, Wichita Falls, TX
  • JNBA Financial Advisors, Minneapolis, MN
  • Main Street Service Center, Harrison, AR
  • North Star Resource Group, Minneapolis, MN
  • Secure Destruction Service, Huntsville, AL
  • The Business Backer, Cincinnati, OH


The ITAE winners and finalists will be honored at a special luncheon ceremony on September 20, 2016 at The Westin Indianapolis in Indianapolis, IN, as part of the International Assembly of Better Business Bureaus.

“These outstanding companies consistently exceed marketplace standards for ethics in their relationships with their customers, employees, suppliers, industry peers and the communities in which they do business. By awarding them the 2016 International Torch Award for Ethics, we are demonstrating to the business community that adhering to Better Business Bureau ethical standards is the hallmark of successful, competitive companies,” said Genie Barton, president of the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust.  

About the Winners:
Category 1(1-10 employees):   Merry Maids of Metro, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
For more than 35 years, Merry Maids has been a leader in the home cleaning industry.  The company prides itself on providing honest, reliable and trustworthy service to each of its clients. From its employee hiring process, to customer interactions, to the methods they use to clean a client’s home, everything is done with a purpose and is a reflection of the company’s values and commitment to upholding the highest moral standards.  Before an employee can join the Merry Maids team, they must go through extensive criminal record and reference checks.  They also participate in a 45-question interview, developed for the parent company ServiceMaster, that guides their companies on how to recognize service oriented people. Employees receive training developed at Merry Maids University, where they learn proper cleaning tips and techniques, and also learn about accountability and ethical business practices. Internal communications are frequent and open to ensure that all maids are prepared to do business at a higher standard in order to “wow” every client. From providing free house cleaning services to cancer patients and other charitable organizations, to participating in fundraising and community events, Merry Maids of Metro believes in giving back to the community.


Category 2 (11-99 employees):  Victory Auto Service & Glass, Fridley, Minnesota
Victory Auto Service & Glass is a family owned and operated automotive repair and glass business with five locations in the suburbs of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota and one location in St. Petersburg, Florida. In 1997, the company was founded with a commitment to providing exceptional service to those in need of automotive repair and maintenance, as well as being passionately dedicated to the communities they serve. From their clean and friendly work environment, to providing fair and accurate estimates, to carefully explaining every diagnosis and repair needed, Victory Auto strives to live their motto: honest, dependable service. From day one, both the company’s owner and general manager lets new employees know that working at Victory Auto will be different than their experiences at other shops. Their standards and procedures are communicated from an employee’s first day and then continually reinforced after that. Victory Auto also helps those in need in their community. It is not uncommon for Victory to donate vehicles to single mothers, as well as the use of its shop tools and facility to individuals who also volunteer labor hours. Victory has proven time and again that integrity is, in fact, good business.


Category 3 (100-499 employees):  Jon Wayne Service Company, San Antonio, TX
Founded in 2001, Jon Wayne Service Company is the largest residential air conditioning, heating, plumbing, and electrical company in South Texas.  The company prides itself on an excellent reputation for performance and as a place to work.  Jon Wayne has become a pace-setter for these industries, providing the highest quality of service, using leading edge equipment and technology; all while maintaining highly trained and knowledgeable staff. All technicians are trained and certified through the Jon Wayne Academy, a first class instructional facility that gives their employees hands on experience in the newest and best technology.  Jon Wayne’s goal is to make sure every customer has a “WOW” experience, which is made possible through its No Excuses training program. If the customer is not more than 100 percent satisfied with the outcome of a job, the company will do all it can to make it right or the customer doesn’t pay. Jon Wayne employees enjoy a wide range of benefits, including a variety of health options, competitive pay, on-site gym, ongoing training and other perks including company parties, awards, retirement and more. For four consecutive years Jon Wayne Service Company has been voted one of the “Top Places to Work” in its area.  The company proudly supports, contributes to, and participates in numerous community events and donates its time, money and talents to various organizations. 


Category 4 (500 or more employees): Harley-Davidson Motor Company Milwaukee, WI
Since 1903, the Harley-Davidson Motor Company has been committed to providing an exceptional customer experience.  Harley-Davidson has developed an incredible level of trust with its shareholders, customers, suppliers, employees and communities around the world. The Motor Company’s Code of Business Conduct is based on common sense values and behaviors that promote ethical decisions and compliance with law and regulations.  Harley-Davidson also ensures that each employee has the tools and resources to always do the right thing. Harley-Davidson invests in innovative new technologies, manufacturing processes and products that continue to lower its environmental impact – generating less waste, using less energy and creating fewer greenhouse gases.  For more than 100 years, Harley-Davidson has remained connected and committed to its neighbors and neighborhoods.  The Harley Davidson Foundation has donated millions of dollars of in-kind services and gifts to worthy charitable causes in a variety of areas, including education, health and the environment through its Volunteer Hours Program, where employee volunteer hours at an organization are matched with grants from the Foundation.

About the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust
The BBB Institute is the educational foundation of the Council of Better Business Bureaus and a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.  Its goal is to connect targeted consumer populations to BBB services, promote consumer awareness and financial literacy, and advance business ethics in the marketplace.  The organization offers in-person trainings, print and digital educational resources, scholarships and recognition programs that promote ethical enterprise and fraud prevention in all 50 states.