Better Business Bureau Honors Businesses for Outstanding Ethical Practices and Contributions to Building Trust in the Marketplace

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BBB announces International Torch Award winners.

The Council of Better Business Bureaus today announced the winners of the 2015 BBB International Torch Awards. Two companies will be honored with the BBB International Torch Award for Marketplace Excellence. They are: Choice Comfort Services and Briggs & Stratton Corporation. Four companies will receive the BBB International Torch Award for Ethics. They are: California Pools & Landscape, Dave’s Car Care, Inc., ICC Restoration and Cleaning Services and KleinBank.

“Bringing recognition to these exceptional companies gives BBB an opportunity to shine a brighter light on better business. Each winner and finalist has discovered an important truth. A strong company-wide commitment to doing the right thing inspires loyalty from customers, employees, suppliers, vendors and surrounding community. This loyalty not only boosts sales of their service or product, it also improves the quality of life for those that work for and do business with the company, and contributes to a healthy, more trusted marketplace,” said Mary E. Power, CEO for the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

About the Winners

Two companies were presented with the BBB International Torch Award for Marketplace Excellence. This award is given to a business that demonstrates superior commitment to exceptional standards that benefit its customers, employees, suppliers, shareholders and surrounding communities.    

Choice Comfort Services, Vandalia, OH
Choice Comfort Services offers complete home comfort services, including air conditioning and heating installation and repair, preventive maintenance plans, and electric services. Choice Comfort Services established its business on a solid platform consisting of good business practices centered on a solid mission, a clear vision, and a set of eleven core values. These values are upheld by the company’s owner and its dedicated team members. Choice Comfort Services is focused on fair business practices, treating both customers and associates with respect, and developing long term mutually beneficial relationships. Choice Comfort Services technicians average over 19 years of experience and receive 50 hours of continuing education annually. Through the company’s “Take 2” program, staff members are rewarded for taking two minutes of their time to go above and beyond for the customer. Transparency is crucial, so customers are provided with all options and upfront prices before work begins. Choice Comfort Services is committed to 100% customer satisfaction.

Briggs & Stratton Corporation, Milwaukee, WI
Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Briggs & Stratton Corporation is the world’s largest producer of small gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment. The company’s products are designed, manufactured, marketed and serviced in over 100 countries on six continents. The company’s commitment to excellence, integrity and job creation provides meaningful work for engineers and assembly line workers alike. Briggs & Stratton invests in its employees by providing comprehensive benefit packages, online training and tuition reimbursement for continuing education for all staff. A wide range of online learning courses through the Briggs & Stratton Global Learning Network are offered to enhance employees’ skills. Briggs & Stratton values customer feedback and has an Answer Center dedicated to resolving consumer, dealer and retailer questions and issues. The company includes community support as one of its three pillars in its principles of sustainability, and strives to make a positive impact in the communities around the globe where it operates.

Three additional businesses were name Finalists in the Marketplace Excellence category. They are:

  • Austin Real Estate Partners, a real estate brokerage and residential real estate firm located in Austin, TX, for its dedication to excellent customer service, community involvement and exceptional hiring practices.
  • Granville Homes, a residential home build and design company located in Fresno, CA, for its innovative designs, progressive building techniques, putting the client first and creating an exceptional home buying experience for its clients from beginning to end.
  • The Business Backer, a privately owned provider of specialty finance to small and medium size businesses located in Cincinnati, OH, for providing fair and affordable capital and support to the small business community and creating a positive environment for its team to grow and thrive.

Four outstanding companies were presented the BBB International Torch Award for Ethics. This award is presented to businesses in recognition of best practices in leadership character and organizational ethics. Candidates must be winners of their local Torch Awards for Ethics, a category currently offered by 14 BBB Centers for Character Ethics across North America.

California Pools & Landscape, Chandler, AZ
Family owned and operated since 1998, California Pools & Landscape strives to provide innovative design, quality construction, and excellent customer service into every project they build. California Pools & Landscape prides itself on meeting and exceeding its customers’ expectations. The judges noted that everything this company does revolves around their commitment to the customer. The company also recognizes that in order to provide the highest level of products and services to the customer, they must provide a rewarding work environment for their employees. They do this through recognition programs, affording opportunities for career growth, and by offering ongoing ethics/leadership training. Everyone in the company has the authority to take care of the customer and to do what is right.

Dave’s Car Care, Inc., Glendale, AZ
Dave’s Car Care is an automotive service and repair center that has been committed to strong ethical practices since 1980. Owner David Denmon believes in doing the right thing, the first time, every time. Dave’s Car Care prides itself on providing truthful, high quality service, delivering service on time, while using high quality parts and highly trained technicians dedicated to excellence. Technicians are kept up to date on the latest technology and processes through classroom and hands-on training sessions. When it comes to the company’s customers, it’s always quality over price. The judges noted that the company’s owner is committed to strong ethical practices by setting good examples himself, hiring a coach for his staff to guide them in how to interact with customers and bringing in speakers to talk to staff members about ethics. Dave’s Car Care sees the community they serve as a global community, assisting those in need who live right around the corner and around the globe.

ICC Restoration & Cleaning Services, Woodbury, MN
Since its inception in 1989, ICC Restoration & Cleaning Services has proudly restored over 10,000 properties and helped countless numbers of people get their lives back to normal. ICC Restoration & Cleaning Services is a fire and water and mold remediation contractor. Leading by example, business owner Tom Laska encourages a culture of putting others first and working as a team, which in turn creates a positive work environment. Clear expectations and goals are set for each employee, as well as tailored career paths and growth opportunities to help foster their professional development. As a testament to their excellence in restoration, ICC Restoration & Cleaning Service has been awarded and acknowledged throughout their community and industry as leaders in their field. They strongly believe in giving back to the community as well as the industry.

KleinBank, Chaska, MN
KleinBank was founded on a combination of sound principles and ethical values, along with a business approach focusing on the customer relationship. The company has successfully established honest, long-lasting, values-based relationships with its customers, stakeholders and employees for over 108 years. Judges noted the impressive leadership practices the company exhibits to unify their organization like their KleinStar program for their employees and how regularly they surveyed their customers and employees for feedback. In addition, KleinBank steers performance by setting clear goals for the organization down to the branch level and providing bonuses and incentives to their staff for achieving those goals. Founded as a community bank, KleinBank has maintained its commitment to the communities it serves, through its KleinBank CARES program, which gives its 21 branch offices the opportunity to provide assistance and support to in-need organizations.

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2014, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 4.7 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 113 local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation.

MEDIA CONTACT: Katherine Hutt at 703-247-9345 or khutt(at)council(dot), or Jasmine Turner at 703-247-9376 or jturner(at)council(dot) After hours, use the BBB Media Hotline at 571-422-3584.

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Katherine Hutt
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