Another round of trustworthy businesses is recognized.

The Eco Plumbers has been around for a decade, but the second half of its existence has been transformational.

As owner and CEO Aaron Gaynor explains in his application for the 2017 BBB Torch Award, “‘It starts at the top' became my personal rallying cry about five years ago when I knew that to transform and grow the company to higher standards, I would need to grow as a leader.”

That epiphany set Gaynor on a path of studying business leadership books, seeking relationships with supportive networks, securing the right software applications to build and grow his business, hiring the right people and then communicating clearly with staff where the company is going and how it will get there.

Gaynor's quest for growth led to Eco Plumbers joining Nexstar, a network of independent residential contractors who share a strong code of ethics and have access to coaching, workshops and industry best practices. Next he secured software designed for the home services industry, giving Eco Plumbers intelligent systems to provide technicians, customer service and customers the green technology needed to communicate efficiently.

“Sharing information with our associates has been a good thing, and being clear about the expectations and prioritizing the focus on greatest needs first are helping The Eco Plumbers build a transparent, data-driven company culture that connects our team,” Gaynor says.

“Another important step to ensuring ethical character within The Eco Plumbers has been hiring the right types of associates to work here. This has been a strong focus of 2017. We now look for people who can share our core values and have the desire to be customer-centric, who want to grow, will go the extra mile and be accountable, start to finish,” he says.

Five core values dictate how The Eco Plumbers intends to meet the company's customer service-focused mission of delivering “an amazing residential plumbing experience.” The values focus on building strong customer relationships, bringing essential skills and attitudes to every situation, taking ownership start to finish, achieving common goals and committing to doing whatever is needed.

Taking time to recognize staff, have fun and give back to the community are also important. Each month the leadership team recognizes associates for being most improved and the most valuable player. Monthly team-building activities—often including family members—range from bowling and baseball to whitewater rafting and food-truck lunches.

Charitable service opportunities have focused on supporting health issues important to team members, such as breast cancer and men's health awareness, to donating cash and plumbing services to Star House, a nonprofit serving homeless teens in Columbus.

“By leading better, maximizing our service systems and investing in our associates and local communities, The Eco Plumber team is not only driving our business forward to meet ambitious goals, but we get to make a difference in people's lives, every day. In times when we must analyze, reflect and respond swiftly to stay on course, we never forget our true purpose, one that we hold high: ‘Saving the day, protecting the future,'” Gaynor says.