Your Better Business Bureau serving San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties held its 20th Annual Torch Awards for Ethics ceremony in celebration of the commitment to ethics made by local companies. The awards bring attention to the practices that these organizations employ to generate a high level of trust among their employees, customers and communities. The award embodies BBB’s mission of advancing marketplace trust. This year’s ceremony awarded participants from San Diego and Orange Counties. Winners were met with the Better Business Bureau Torch Award on November 28th, and categorized by number of employees. The winners from San Diego County are as follows: Health Savings Associates Inc. with 5-10 employees, Perry Plumbing Heating & Air with 11-24 employees, Jackson Design and Remodeling with 25-99 employees, Anderson Plumbing, Heating & Air with 100-249 employees, and Mission Federal Credit Union of the 500+ employee category. Finalists from San Diego County include Marrokal Design & Remodeling, Quality Controlled Manufacturing, AimLoan.com, and Bill Howe Family of Companies. Orange County winners include ALS Limo & Car Service (5-10 employees), Nelson Brothers Property Mgmt. (100-249 employees), Reborn Cabinets (250-499 employees), and Optima Tax Relief (500+ employees). Our Orange County finalist was American Advisors Group. We are proud to introduce an Environmental Stewardship Program honoring the businesses that take it a step further by increasing their efforts toward a more sustainable footprint. Supporting vendors who are local and eco-friendly, Organik SEO took the Environmental Stewardship award in the small category. Winner of the medium category, Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank, has implemented a sustainability program that reduces impact on the environment. As one of the largest hunger-relief organizations in San Diego County, funds saved through their environmental efforts are used to increase food purchase and distribution. Sharp HealthCare, winner of the large category, dedicates all resources to deliver high quality patient-centered care, the latest medical technology, and superior service. We are thrilled with the businesses who have made a commitment to sustainable energy and green initiatives in the inaugural year of this program. The BBB acknowledges that the preservation of ethics and trust in a business is derived from the very individuals who have maintained these values in themselves. For this reason, the BBB conducts an annual scholarship program in conjunction with the Torch Awards for Ethics. Open to all high school juniors and seniors in San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties, students are asked to submit an essay over “The Importance of Ethics and Integrity in our Community.” An independent panel of judges evaluates the student essays and awards scholarships to the top five students who convey the importance of ethics in the marketplace. The 2017 scholarship recipients include Kamdyn Shaeffer from Heritage Christian School ($500), Jeanette Chen from Monte Vista High School ($750), Maya Ghosh from Valley Center High School ($1,000), and Haley Felberg from Eastlake High School ($1,250). First place winner, Tanner Curnow from Fallbrook High School ($1,500), delivered his winning essay to the audience at the Torch Awards for Ethics ceremony. His testimony to ethics stems from his experience mowing lawns in the community, an insightful story that highlighted the importance of integrity and the payoff that can follow. This year’s sponsors, without whom the Torch Awards for Ethics would not have been possible, include SDG&E, Barona Resort & Casino, KUSI, Marsh & McLennan Agency, San Diego Business Journal, Baker Electric Solar, Bollotta Entertainment, Coastal Payroll, Reborn Cabinets, San Diego Padres, Swenson Advisors, Swenson Children’s Foundation, Sycuan Casino, The San Diego Union Tribune, and Gatto, Pope & Walwick. Together we maintain Southern California’s reputation as a great place to do business. Your Better Business Bureau serving San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties thanks all sponsors, attendees and entrants of this year’s ceremony. Congratulations to all winners and finalists of the 20th annual Torch Awards for Ethics. For more information on the Torch Awards for Ethics or the Torch Award Scholarship Program, contact Shelley Bradley at email@example.com. Be sure to check out this year’s photos on our Facebook page!