About the Winners:
In 2000, Next Level Purchasing was founded with a simple, two-prong mission: to help organizations achieve better business results through smarter purchasing and to help purchasing professionals have more rewarding careers. To fulfill this mission, Next Level Purchasing developed one of the most modern and results-oriented purchasing education and certification options available.
Next Level Purchasing designed a series of courses and certification programs available entirely online in order to provide purchasing professionals with access to the same, high-quality training, regardless of geographic location. The courses, based on purchasing best practices that are applicable regardless of location, culture, industry type or size, cover topics including strategic sourcing, negotiation, services contracting, business ethics, and much more, and offer purchasing professionals a fun and effective way to learn processes and tools necessary for delivering measurable results in the workplace.
Since its launch in 2004, students in 69 countries around the world have completed Next Level Purchasing’s Senior Professional in Supply Management® Program and earned the SPSM® Certification, making the SPSM® a global standard for excellence in the purchasing profession. Today, SPSM®-Certified purchasing professionals can be found in companies ranging from small businesses to the Fortune 100, representing just about every industry from oil and gas to healthcare to business services. In 2009, the SPSM2® Certification was released. This credential, which can be earned by those who are already SPSM®-Certified, offers an even higher level of education for the most ambitious professionals in purchasing.
Next Level Purchasing realizes that part of the purchasing community - including those who are unemployed and employees of organizations in developing nations - can benefit from its services but lack the funding to obtain the education necessary to advance their careers and increase their contributions to their employers. Therefore, Next Level Purchasing has maintained a commitment to providing an array of educational services at no cost to complement its portfolio of for-fee offerings. The company began a bi-weekly e-newsletter, PurchTips, in 2002 to provide free educational content to anyone who could benefit from it. Throughout the years, additional free educational offerings were made available, eventually evolving into the Next Level Purchasing Association (NLPA) in 2011. The NLPA provides all of the same benefits of a traditional association (networking, online magazine, educational webinars, etc.) at no cost to members. Today, the Next Level Purchasing Association has over 222,000 members around the world, making it the largest professional purchasing association in existence.
Torch Award judge Dr. Jim Weber states, Next Level Purchasing's "organization-wide discussion and review process is a solid ethical marketing approach with clearly serves the firm and its customers well."
"Ethics and integrity is of paramount importance to Next Level Purchasing," said Charles Dominick, "as we not only operate with high ethical standards, but our clients- mid-size and large businesses- trust us to teach their employees how to do business with their suppliers ethically and profitably. It is a true honor to win the Better Business Bureau's Torch Award as there is no name more synonomous with business ethics than the BBB."
Looking forward, Next Level Purchasing plans to continue its focus on innovation by continually offering new courses that cover rising trends in the purchasing field and developing course delivery techniques and student services which enhance the students’ experience and the value achieved by their employers. The company has been honored with the Innovative Business of the Year Award (2006) from the Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber of Commerce and was the only certification provider to be named to the Supply and Demand Chain Executive 100 list of the top supply chain service providers for each of the past five years (2006-2011).
In 1929, Jerome L. Staab, along with his wife Edna M. Staab, began “Jerome L. Staab Heating Company” at their home located at 218 Goldbach Street in the Arlington district of Pittsburgh. Weathering through the depression era, the company initiated the business ethics of good workmanship, reliability, honesty, integrity, and 24-hour emergency service, along with the slogan “Doing it Right the First Time”.
The company’s reputation began to grow throughout Allegheny County with Jerome and a helper in one truck doing the selling and servicing and Edna answering the phone and holding down the office, which was their living room at home. His shop was at his sister’s garage one half block away, where Jerome would build his own ductwork and store all his parts and supplies. As time went on, Jerome and Edna birthed five sons and a daughter. As the sons grew, so did the business, and all five sons – Ronald, Gerald, David, Thomas, and Michael – all entered the business and were trained by their father in everything from engineering, selling, servicing, installing, and ethics, which was part of the school each of them went through.
“In reviewing Staab & Sons application, their position regarding integrity and ethics are not just words. They strive to meet customer’s expectations, and in fact, to go beyond their expectations. Do what is right by the customer is what is stressed to each and every employee,” states Warren King, President of the Better Business Bureau.
During the formative years of the 1950’s and 1960’s, the business continued to grow from one truck to three trucks and so did their expertise as they expanded into the gas and electric air conditioning markets. In 1972, the company relocated to 1917 Saw Mill Run Boulevard in the Overbrook section of Pittsburgh where the family built their own sheet metal fabrication shop and storage building, which still stands today.
In 1974, the business incorporated into Jerome L. Staab & Sons, Inc., and Jerome L. Staab retired but still participated in the business. In August of 1980, Edna M. Staab (co-founder) passed away. Gerald, David, and Michael Staab continued to operate the business through the 1970’s and 1980’s, at which time the business and reputation continued to grow. They had to start hiring employees as the business expanded into the surrounding three counties, employing twelve to fifteen employees operating ten trucks in the field. In the late 1980’s, the four sons of Gerald A. Staab and one son of David W. Staab entered the business, along with two of their daughters, and the evolution process started to begin all over again.
In 1985, the company purchased the property at 1921-1923 for more office and shop space. The company experienced difficult times in the 1980’s with the steel mills going down. Then, in October of 1994, Jerome L. Staab (founder) passed away. The company reorganized in 1997 as Staab & Sons, Inc. with Gerald and Michael Staab, along with their sons and daughter: Raymond G. Staab, Gerald A. Staab, Jr., Matthew M. Staab, and Kellie L. Work (Staab).
The company expanded in 2001 into the plumbing market along with the heating and air conditioning business. In 2000, Branden Jerome Staab (fourth generation), son of Raymond G. Staab, entered the business and the evolution process began once again. Now, 82 years later, the ethics and principles that worked for Jerome in 1929 are still at work today in 2011.
“Staab & Sons, Inc. is honored to receive this award,” states Mike Staab. “We hope that leading by example will encourage other businesses to hold to the same ethical values that have sustained us over the past 82 years.”