December 2, 2011

Torch Awards Honor Ethics in Business


By Steve J. Bernas

The Better Business Bureau of Chicago and northern Illinois is pleased to announce the 2012 honorees of the 15th annual Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, which spotlights companies that exemplify ethical business practices.


This awards luncheon ceremony was held Dec. 1 at the Hilton Rosemont Chicago O’Hare in Rosemont and hosted by Hosea Sanders, an anchorman of ABC 7’s “News This Morning.”


Winning awards were presented to AT&T; Hyatt Regency Chicago; West Suburban Bank; Clune Construction Co.; Vintage Tech Recyclers Inc.; Luna Chicago LLC; and LaPelusa Home Improvement Inc. Honorable mentions were awarded to XSport Fitness, Varco Windows & Doors and Seal Chicago LLC.


As the headlines have reflected, ethical business practices have taken a beating on Wall Street, the banking industry, housing and other marketplaces.


The Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics honors companies that make a demonstrable effort to promote ethical business practices, and we are pleased to see the number of businesses who, in the eyes of their customers and other associates, meet that threshold


The award recipients are selected by an independent panel of judges each year.


This year’s participants and winners have reaped many rewards as a result of their commitment to achieving and maintaining high ethical standards including stronger customer loyalty, enhanced reputation and greater employee commitment.


This year’s award recipients came from the largest field of nominations and entries ever with over 2,060 nominations from a wide variety of businesses.”


Companies were judged in five categories based on their number of employees. Bernas noted that the presentation of awards was just the tip of the iceberg for companies that “do it right” by working with their customers, suppliers and other organizations in an ethical manner. It remains important for people to inform the BBB when they have done business with a company that did an exemplary job.


This variety in entries and the subsequent winners and honorable mentions reflet an increasing interest by more and more companies in using ethical business practices in their operations as their primary method of self-regulation.


This belief is the cornerstone of the BBB system.


This year’s event was made possible through the generosity of the following sponsors: AAA Chicago; ABC 7 Chicago; Abt Electronics; Access One Inc.; ADP; the Apartment People Ltd.; AT&T; CDW Corp.; Champion Windows; Clune Construction Co.; Combined Insurance Co. of America; Cray, Kaiser Ltd.; Delaware Place Bank; DeVry Inc.; Dex One Corp.; Discover; Empire Today LLC; Firestone Complete Auto Care; Four Seasons Heating and Air Conditioning; Grant’s Appliances, Electronics & More; Hallberg Commercial Insurers Inc.; Hanson Material Service; Hilton Chicago Hotel; the Inland Real Estate Group Inc.; Integrated Project Management Co. Inc.; Luna Chicago LLC; Midas International Corp.; NBC Universal; the Pampered Chef Ltd.; Plumbing Council of Chicagoland; Sears Holdings Corp.; Sun-Times Media; Tiffany & Co.; Total Merchant Systems; Tribune Media Group; Urban Imaging Group Inc.; U.S. Cellular; Walgreens; West Suburban Bank; Vintage Tech Recyclers Inc. and XSport Fitness.


Consumers can nominate an ethical business for the 2013 Torch Awards at


Steve J. Bernas is president and chief executive officer of the Better Business Bureau.