2009 BBB Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics
The Better Business Bureau announced the winners of the 2009 Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics. The businesses selected to receive this year's prestigious award are: Empire Carpet, Monroeville PA; and Legacy Remodeling, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA.
There was one company who received runner-up distinction: Baker’s Waterproofing Company Inc., Bentleyville, PA.
The BBB, founded with a mission to see that all share in the opportunity of a fair and equitable marketplace, established this annual awards program to gain public recognition for local businesses that maintain a solid commitment to conducting their business practices in an ethical fashion.
"These companies were selected by an academic independent panel for their exceptional conduct in the marketplace," said Warren King, president Better Business Bureau. "Each winning company clearly demonstrates superior character on a daily basis and consistently exceeds marketplace standards for ethics in its relationships with customers, employees, suppliers, industry peers and the communities in which it does business.”
About the Winners:
Empire Today is a leading national provider of installed home furnishings and home improvements. The company was founded in 1959 as a Chicago-based, family-owned business. Almost 50 years later, the company has grown to service over 35 major metropolitan areas across the United States with an office located in Monroeville, PA. With more than one million satisfied customers, Empire Today prides itself on world-class customer service and ethical relationships with employees, customers and suppliers.
Today the company provides next day Home Improvements and Home Furnishings, including Carpet, Ceramic, Laminate, Hardwood, Vinyl, Window Treatments, Bath and Shower Liners. Their business model provides customers with the convenience of an in-home shopping experience.
“Their mission statement is more than a marketing slogan for Empire Today. The ethical principles of trust and integrity are at the core of what Empire does every day and how they engage with their customers”, states Dr. Jim Weber, Professor of Business Ethics and Management at Duquesne University and one of the Torch Award judges.
Legacy Remodeling, Inc.
Legacy Remodeling is a family-owned business that has been serving Western Pennsylvania and regions of Ohio and West Virginia for more than 22 years. It started when CEO Ken Moeslein and his wife Linda founded Swing Line Windows in 1987 with a mission to “do the right thing.” While this might seem like a basic business principle, he knew that an ethically-based company in the home remodeling industry would be a trailblazer, both in Western Pennsylvania and beyond.
In 1988, after only a year in business, satisfied customers began requesting additional home improvement services from Swing Line. The company decided to expand and began offering doors, siding, roofing, gutters, and various other home remodeling projects in addition to windows. The company expanded even further in 2007 when it merged operations with an Owens Corning Basement Finishing franchise that had been owned and operated by Ken and his son Jeff Moeslein since 2003. The business continued to expand as it added an Owens Corning SunSuites franchise to its product mix in the fall of 2007, and began offering Owens Corning
AttiCat insulation in the fall of 2008.
“In reviewing Legacy Remodeling’s application, their ethical principles are demonstrated by their mission statement which emphasize high standards without compromising quality or value, treating all customers, suppliers and co-workers as they would like to be treated and continuing to exceed customer expectations,” states Warren King, President of the BBB. “In essence, they have committed to do the right thing!”
About the Runner-up:
Baker’s Waterproofing Company Inc.
Baker’s Waterproofing was started in 1975 by the owner, Tim Baker. From the company’s inception, the primary goal was to offer honest, effective and economical solutions to wet basement problems. The company grew and prospered over the years.
In 1991 Baker’s became a dealer of Basement Systems products used for waterproofing basements. The innovative products and methods offered unique methods of problem solving and improvements continue to this day. In 1992 Baker’s also became a dealer with Grip-Tite. The Grip-Tite Wall Anchor System was a unique and effective solution to foundation walls that experienced inward movement (bowing) as a result of ground pressure against the wall.
“It’s clear from Baker’s values that their daily operations are guided by the premise of what is the right thing to do for their clients, employees and suppliers and has a direct correlation on their continued success as a leader in the industry,” states Warren King, President of the BBB.
About the BBB Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics:
The panel of judges for the 2009 BBB Torch Awards was:
- Dr. Faith Bjalobok received her BA from Chatham College, a MA in Criminology from IUP, and a MA and Ph.D. in Philosophy from Duquesne. She is Fellow of Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. She is an adjunct professor of philosophy at Duquesne and also teaches at Chatham University, Waynesburg University and West Virginia University specializing in ethics and applied ethics.
- Dr. Virginia Gerde is an Associate Professor at Duquesne University who teaches business ethics, strategy and sustainability, and information ethics at the undergraduate and graduate level. As the new Director of the Beard Center for Leadership in Ethics, she supports ethics in the business school curriculum and programs promoting integrity and ethics for the business community. She received her Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in Management and has published research in Business & Society, Business Strategy and the Environment, and Journal of Business Ethics. Her research examines environmental issues, corporate performance, and organization theory.
- Dr. James Weber is currently a Professor of Business Ethics and Management, and Chair of the Management Department. Jim also is the Senior Fellow and founding Director of the Beard Center for Leadership in Ethics at Duquesne University. He received his Ph. D. in Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh and M.B.A. from Saint Louis University. With the Beard Center, he is involved in developing ethics training seminars for business and community organizations and forums for discussions of critical ethical issues in business. His research interests include the assessment of values, moral reasoning and ethical behavior on both the individual and organizational levels. He has published numerous manuscripts in various management and business ethics journals and is the co-author of 13th edition of Business and Society: Stakeholders, Ethics, Public Policy, published by Irwin/McGraw-Hill, Inc.
The BBB Torch Award program is open to all for-profit companies (accredited and non-accredited businesses) who are located in the 28 county service area of Western Pennsylvania. Companies were evaluated against criteria that included commitment to and demonstration of ethical practices in the marketplace; high standards of behavior toward customers, employees, suppliers, shareholders and the communities in which they do business; long-term value of ethics policies to shareholders, customers and employees; and training and communications programs to assist employees in carrying out established ethics policies.
For more information on the 2009 BBB Torch Awards, visit the BBB website.
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About the BBB
BBB is an unbiased organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free business BBB Reliability ReportsTM and charity BBB Wise Giving ReportsTM, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses when there is difference in viewpoints. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, 128 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring more than 4 million local and national businesses and charities. Please visit www.bbb.org for more information about the BBB.