The foundation of BBB Serving Central Ohio and the Center for Character Ethics begins with trust—trust in others, in businesses, in our leaders and in our community.

BBB is known as the go-to resource to find trusted businesses and charities. BBB provides support to businesses and charities when evaluating their commitment to upholding trust, training their leaders and staff, and recognizing best practices.

In order to provide guidance with assessment, training and recognition, BBB developed a variety of tools for businesses and charities to utilize. BBB's TRUST! Framework is made up of six best practice principals that give companies a benchmark on which to reflect, evaluate their current organizational model, and determine what will drive their mission and goals.

The TRUST! Principles are the basis for the Torch Awards for Ethics entry process. Those principles are known as Transformation at the Top, Reinforce and Build, Unite the Team, Steer Performance, Treasure People and Enthusiastically Give Back. The framework is designed to help guide business leaders, nonprofit executives and community leaders to take an intentional, introspective look at how they execute each of those principles on a daily basis.

The Torch Awards continue to be a respected celebration in the Central Ohio community, honoring trusted businesses and charities whose leaders are committed to building a culture of trust, integrity, and ethical principles. This year, we will learn about unique insights from the Columbus Trust Study in addition to honoring our recipients and learning from their path to trust.

Roberta Camp-Albert

Program Director

BBB Center for Character Ethics

Kip Morse

President & CEO

Better Business Bureau Serving Central Ohio

The framework is designed to help guide business leaders, nonprofit executives and community leaders to take an intentional, introspective look at how they execute each of those principles on a daily basis.

A Proven Path

BBB Torch Awards celebrate local enterprises that follow a recognized and reliable route to trust.

The Torch Awards are a celebration of trusted businesses and charities throughout our community. At this year's luncheon, we will hear from leaders who build higher levels of trust with customers and employees, and learn unique insights based on the 2017 Columbus Trust Study.

Join us as we honor our recipients and are encouraged by and learn from their path to trust.

The Columbus Trust Study provides unique, actionable, community-specific insights as well as relevant guidance for business leaders who want to initiate and sustain higher levels of trust with consumers and employees.

The study, conducted for Columbus PR firm FrazierHeiby, by research partner Illuminology describes a path for business success that relies on building and maintaining trust with employees, customers and community. Qualities that help build trust with those three key audiences include competence, character and connection, the 2016 study found.

The initial study revealed key actions to help build and maintain trust cultures with employees, customers and communities. Some examples for business and nonprofit leaders to follow include: listen to your customers; communicate face-to-face with employees as much as possible, and build up team members in front of their peers and superiors.

Torch Award winners have all demonstrated that they are committed travelers on the path to trust.

Findings from the 2017 Columbus Trust Study are being presented by the BBB Center for Charactor Ethics in a new partnership with Frazier-Heiby and Illuminology.

Praising BBB's work in helping businesses and charities build trust, Frazier-Heiby President and CEO Bryan Haviland said, “We're thrilled to have their support for year two of our study.”

Carrying the Torch for Ethics

It's one thing for a business or nonprofit to be able to tell its customers and clients that it is Accredited by the Better Business Bureau. That mark of integrity has long been a highly-sought badge of reliability. Businesses aspire to it and customers rely on it.

Imagine how much better, then, to attain one of BBB's coveted Torch Awards for Ethics, the highest honor bestowed by BBB serving Central Ohio. More than 80 businesses and charities in the 21-county local BBB service area have received Torch Awards, and five more have claimed that status for 2017.

Annual Torch Awards were created in 1994 to celebrate enterprises that not only promote the importance of building trust but also are doing more to create an honorable marketplace.

BBB Torch Awardsshowcase ethical companies and charities in Central Ohio that build trust, advertise honestly, tell the truth, remain transparent and honor their promises. The Torch Awards spotlight winning organizations to demonstrate how their actions help to advance marketplace trust.

The BBB Center for Character Ethics created the Torch Awards, which are now an international program. Local winners go on to compete for the Council of Better Business Bureaus' Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics.

The process begins with companies or nonprofits applying or being nominated by others. To be considered for the awards, organizations must demonstrate that they comply with six trademarked BBB TRUST! Principles: Transformation at the Top, Reinforce and Build, Unite the Team, Steer Performance, Treasure People and Enthusiastically Give Back.

Going through the online application process requires organizations to undergo a rigorous review of their business or nonprofit's ethics and character—providing value even if they are not ultimately selected for the awards.

Entries are reviewed and winners are selected by an independent, voluntary panel of judges drawn from business and community leaders.

Congratulations to the 2017 class of five Torch Awards for Ethics winners, profiled on the following pages.

Judges for 2017 Torch Awards

Cathy Blackford, Columbus Builders Exchange Director (Retired)

Tim Burnham, Varo Engineers CEO

Tom Durflinger,, Grove City Police Crime Prevention Coordinator and BBB board member

Brian Brooks, EE Ward Moving & Storage President

Joe Cole, Sequent Inc. VP Business Strategy

Tom Welch, Grange InsurancePresident and CEO (Retired)

Marchelle Moore, Motorists Insurance Group SVP Chief Legal Counsel

Shannon Lee, Rela Leadership Executive Director

For more details on Center for Character Ethics programs or the 2018 Torch Awards, please visitbbbtorchaward.comor send an email totorchawards@centralohio.bbb.org.

Connect today to learn how your organization can become a Torch Awards recipient, find out dates for info sessions and how to further build your trusted brand! #PathToTrust #TorchAwards