Better Business Bureau Institute Honors Four Outstanding Businesses for Leadership, Character and Organizational Ethics

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The Better Business Bureau Institute for Marketplace Trust today announced the winners of the 2017 BBB International Torch Awards for Ethics.

The Better Business Bureau Institute for Marketplace Trust today announced the winners of the 2017 BBB International Torch Awards for Ethics. These awards are presented to businesses in recognition of best practices in leadership character, and organizational ethics. The winners are:

  •     Tri-City Transmissions, Tempe, AZ (category 1 – 1-10 employees)
  •     Coastal Payroll Service, San Diego, CA (category 2 – 11-99 employees)
  •     Baker Electric Solar, Escondido, CA (category 3 – 100-499 employees)
  •     WPS Health Solutions, Madison, WI (category 4 – 500 or more employees)

“These companies deserve public recognition for the steps they take each day to ensure ethical treatment of their customers, employees, vendors and suppliers, stakeholders, and the communities in which they do business,” said Genie Barton, President of the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust.

Winners and finalists are selected by an independent panel of judges. Businesses are evaluated against criteria including leadership character; commitment to and demonstration of ethical practices in the marketplace; high standard of behavior toward customers, employees, suppliers, shareholders, and communities; truthfulness and accuracy of advertising and sales practices; ethical reputation among industry peers and communities in which they do business; and training and communications programs to assist employees in carrying out established ethics policies. To be eligible for entry in the BBB International Torch Award for Ethics, a business must first be a winner of their local BBB award program.

About the Winners

Tri-City Transmission, Tempe, AZ
Purchased in 2006 by Owner Dave Riccio, Tri-City Transmission is a family-owned auto repair shop that specializes in service, repair, and replacement of automotive transmissions in Tempe, Arizona. The company’s pledge is “We do the right things, for the right reasons, even when no one is looking.” The company prides itself on providing honest, reliable, and trustworthy service to each of its customers. From its leadership commitment to the industry, to customer interactions, to its innovative approach to hiring the right people, everything is done with a purpose and is a reflection of the company’s values and commitment to upholding the highest ethical standards. Staff gets to work in a collaborative environment where everyone is encouraged to give their feedback and ideas, as well as receive team bonuses for work well done. Tri-City Transmission is recognized nationally by the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association as an industry leader and contributor. The company is also a winner of the 2016 BBB Torch Award for Ethics, presented by the Better Business Bureau serving Greater Arizona.

Coastal Payroll Service, San Diego, CA
Founded in 2007, Coastal Payroll Services provides human capital management solutions for employers across the United States. The dedication to providing ethical and honest service begins with the company’s executive team who believes in leading by example; always putting its clients and employees first and abiding by a set of values that govern their daily actions. Coastal Payroll employees undergo a rigorous interview process that includes personality and problem solving tests to ensure each employee align with the company’s culture and values. Employees enjoy generous work perks and benefits like company fun days, time off to volunteer at events, tuition reimbursement, wellness months and much more. Coastal Payroll is active in leading payroll industry organizations promoting best practices and helping companies stay abreast of industry news, compliance, and regulations. The company has received numerous recognitions including being named one of San Diego’s 150 Fastest Growing Companies, Fortune Magazine’s #29 best small business to work for in the country, as well as consistently landing a spot on the Inc. 5000 list. Coastal Payroll is also a winner of the 2016 BBB Torch Award, presented by the San Diego Better Business Bureau.

Baker Electric Solar, Escondido, CA
Family-owned and operated since 1938, Baker Electric Solar is committed to delivering premium solar and home battery systems to homeowners across Southern California. Baker prides itself on doing business “The Baker Way” – requiring a solid set of ethics including honesty, integrity, and responsiveness. Regular customer feedback and reviews ensures that every Baker team member is held responsible for delivering an extraordinary customer experience through the demonstration of those ethics and best-in-class skills. Because the company does not subcontract, homeowners have peace of mind that they will work directly with Baker throughout the process of system design and installation and for any service after installation. In addition, the company’s 25-year workmanship warranty, unique in the industry, provides further assurance to homeowners. Recognizing its most important asset, Baker’s annual Leroy Awards honor a select few employees whose significant contributions to the business and its customers serve as real-life examples of the “The Baker Way”. Employees also receive competitive pay, end of year goal bonuses, on-going training, anniversary celebrations, holiday parties, wellness seminars and team building events. Baker Electric Solar has been recognized on both local and national levels for its service and contributions to the rise of renewable energy in Southern California. The company is also a winner of the 2016 BBB Torch Awards presented by the San Diego Better Business Bureau.

WPS Health Solutions, Madison, WI
With roots dating back to 1946, WPS Health Solutions is committed to conducting business with honesty and integrity, and strives to exceed its customers’ expectations for excellence and service. WPS is a not-for-profit health insurer and administers health benefits for millions of seniors, active-duty military, veterans, and their families. The heart of the company’s corporate responsibility efforts is the Code of Conduct, a guiding document that helps employees live up to its core values: Individual Responsibility; Mutual Respect; Customer Focused; Driven and Passionate. They take an active role in the health and well-being of the communities their customers and employees call home. Their key areas of support include women’s and children’s health, and support of military personnel and veterans. For the past eight years, WPS Health Solutions has been named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® by the Ethisphere® Institute. It also is a winner of the 2016 BBB Torch Awards for Business Ethics and Integrity, presented by the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau Foundation.
Three additional businesses were name finalists in the competition. They are:

  •     Gary’s Heating & Air Conditioning, an air conditioning and heating service company located in Amarillo, TX, for its dedication to excellent customer service, providing quality workmanship and exceptional hiring practices.
  •     Hawaii Employer’s Mutual Insurance Co., Inc. a provider of workers’ compensation insurance located in Honolulu, HI, for its best in class customer service, training in safety and risk management, and maintaining a healthy, collaborative and supportive work environment for all its employees.
  •     Weather Tight, an exterior home remodeler, located in West Allis, WI, for creating a positive work environment for its team to grow and thrive.


About the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust
The BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust is the educational foundation of the Council of Better Business Bureaus and a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Its goal is to advance trust in the marketplace through programs that promote best practices and business ethics, raise consumer awareness and training about scams, fraud, and deceptive advertising, and build financial and digital literacy. The Institute offers in-person and online training, print and digital educational resources, scholarships and programs, and work with BBB offices in all 50 states, Canada and Mexico.

Media Contacts: For more information, journalists should contact Katherine Hutt at 212-705-0131 or

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Katherine Hutt
Council of Better Business Bureaus
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