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BBB News Release

BBB Announces Businesses with Integrity
Maui Jim, Schieler & Rassi Quality Builders, Inc., Fortner Insurance Agency, Inc. and Zara’s Collision Center -  take top honors.
May 26, 2011 –Central Illinois
For Immediate Release

The Better Business Bureau presented the Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics at a dinner held at the Gateway Building in Peoria, attended by nearly 200 area business leaders, on May 26, 2011.  

Chris Spears is Deputy General Counsel and Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer for Caterpillar Inc., was the keynote speaker for the event and gave a presentation about “Global Ethics”.

 “Maui Jim, Schieler & Rassi Quality Builders, Inc., Fortner Insurance Agency, Inc. and Zara’s Collision Center (Springfield Illinois) competed against other like sized businesses in three categories to be selected as the winners of the BBB’s 2011 Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics,” said Jessica Tharp Vice President of the Central Illinois Better Business Bureau, which serves 36 counties in central Illinois.  “The winning companies were deemed to exercise integrity and consistently meet very high standards in their relationships with customers, employees, vender/suppliers, industry peers and our community.”  

Betty Ekstrand of Hediger & Meyer Insurance was named recipient of the Jeff Bell Customer Service Award.  Her nomination for the award said “Betty is the definition of customer service. She goes so far above and beyond the call of duty”. This award is named for Jeff “Bubba” Bell, a longtime supporter of the BBB; he worked at Coleman Printing for 24 years. His dedication to his family, community and customer service was extraordinary.   

The Partners in Trust award was presented to the Journal Star.  Each year the BBB relies heavily on the local media to provide educational materials, scam alerts, and warnings, to the entire community.  “The Board of Directors recognizes one Central Illinois member of the media who has excelled in assisting the BBB in promoting its mission” said Tharp.

A special recognition this year included a special recognition by the BBB for Dale Burklund.   “We wanted to recognize Dale for his longstanding commitment to the BBB’s mission, values and goals”, said Bonnie Bakin, BBB President, “Dale gave us his sage advice, his unwavering support, and most importantly his time.”

About the BBB Torch Award:
The mission of the Better Business Bureau system is to promote and foster the highest ethical relationship between businesses and the public through voluntary self-regulation, consumer and business education and service excellence. The Central Illinois Better Business Bureau established an annual award program to gain public recognition for Central Illinois companies that maintain a solid commitment to conduct their business practices in an ethical fashion.  The Torch Award is designed to promote not only the importance of ethical business practices, but also the willingness and efforts made by outstanding business to ensure that our marketplace remains fair and honorable for all Americans. Companies do not need to have a full-scale ethics program in operation in order to compete. They simply need to demonstrate that they meet the judging criteria.