Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – July 30, 2012 - To celebrate its Centennial and 100 years of fostering marketplace trust between businesses and consumers, Better Business Bureau (BBB) executives and guests visited the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Friday to ring the closing bell. A video of the bell ringing was made available shortly after the market closed.
Carrie A. Hurt, President and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, rang the closing bell to mark the organization’s 100th anniversary. BBB was founded in 1912 as the Advertising Vigilance Committee by corporate executives who were fed up with deceptive advertising and fraudulent claims. Samuel Candler Dobbs, a vice president of Coca-Cola, drafted “The Ten Commandments of Advertising,” and dozens of corporations signed the manifesto. Later that year, the first local group was founded in Minneapolis.
The Better Business Bureau name was suggested in 1916 by Arthur F. Sheldon, the founder of a school on salesmanship, and the organization continued to grow. The first national office opened in 1921 in Cleveland, Ohio, and the first Canadian BBB opened in 1928 in Montreal. The organization today has 115 local, independent BBBs across the U.S. and Canada that maintain BBB Business Reviews on more than four million businesses, handle dispute resolution for nearly one million complaints a year, and alert consumers of scams and fraudulent business practices.
For a century, BBB has fostered trust in the marketplace by helping consumers make smarter buying decisions through BBB Business Reviews; resolving disputes between consumers and businesses; and educating the public on scams and fraud.
370,000 BBB Accredited Businesses are committed to following the organization’s strict Code of Business Practices, which includes guidelines on ethics, customer service, transparency, financial management, advertising and privacy. They also must maintain at least a B rating in order to remain accredited. The support of these businesses enables BBB to offer virtually all of its services to consumers for free.
In addition to Hurt, guests on the platform included:
● Claire Rosenzweig, President and CEO, BBB of Metropolitan New York
● Sheryl Bilbrey, President and CEO, BBB San Diego and chair of the BBB Operating Committee
● Rhonda J. McLean, Chair of BBB of Metropolitan New York and Deputy General Counsel, Time Inc.
● Lisa Davis, Vice Chair of BBB of Metropolitan New York and Sr. Director Communications & Public Affairs, Sony Corporation of America
● Brian F. Doran, Treasurer of BBB of Metropolitan New York and Region Executive, New York Metro Region & Director of Governmental Affairs, Popular Community Bank
● Michael Portegello, Vice Chair of BBB of Metropolitan New York and Partner, Ernst & Young LLP
● Valerie Reardon, Vice Chair of BBB of Metropolitan New York and Senior Vice President, Compliance, Internal Audit and Internal Controls, EmblemHealth
● Edward J. DeSalvio, Board Member of BBB of Metropolitan New York and Managing Director, Asset Recovery Division, BNY Mellon
● Beverly Baskin, CBBB Senior Vice President, Client Services
● Lee Peeler, CBBB Executive Vice President
● Katherine Hutt, CBBB Director of Communications and Media Relations
About the BBB System
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 BBB Business Reviews and 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, 115 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 System.