Another round of trustworthy businesses is recognized.

The relatively young age of Ohio Basement Authority belies the experience behind the brand. Owner Doug Secrest is a fourth-generation foundation specialist, and now his 7-year-old company focuses on creating a great foundation for its 100 employees.

After serving on the front lines and in executive positions in other similar businesses, Secrest is clear about keeping the purpose of his company front and center. “Our purpose is to redefine our industry and set these high standards for other contractors,” he says in support of Ohio Basement Authority's Torch Award application.

“Profits are important and necessary, but we want to put our purpose first. We want our employees to know that their work has greater meaning than just earning a paycheck. What they do daily matters to so many people,” Secrest says.

Secrest is also clear that a key to redefining his industry is recognizing employees as his company's top asset. “We strive to show our employees a better version of themselves. We allow that opportunity for personal and professional growth. We believe there is no such thing as a ‘work-life balance,' but more so a work-life integration,” he explains.

As Secrest sums up his approach, “We believe that if we can create an environment here at Ohio Basement Authority where employees feel full, passionate and fulfilled, they can go home after a hard day's work and be proud, hold their head up high and create a happier family. Those happier families will create happier communities and happier cities. In other words, we believe that fulfilling work creates fulfilling lives.”

He doesn't beat that drum alone. Plenty of employees stand with Secrest in support of why Ohio Basement Authority is a 2017 BBB Torch Award winner.

Megan Pettry began as the only person in the company's appointment center and now manages the appointment center and marketing. “Ohio Basement Authority has changed my outlook and made me a better, more ethical leader,” Pettry says. “I want my team members to understand the value of what they are doing and how valuable each of them is,” she adds.

Company controller Mengying Li says managers talk in their weekly meetings “about how we want our customers to be treated and how important the ‘do the right thing' mindset is for our company. The great and positive company culture and ethics is one of the most important reasons why I love my job every day and why I enjoy working for OBA so much.”

External Marketing Coordinator Jacalyn Brown tells about the support her team received to develop and implement a creative campaign to engage realtors and others in the company's “Fix It to List It” program, designed to address issues that could slow or hamper real estate transactions. “Ohio Basement Authority has opened my eyes to what a business should really stand for, and who employees can become when their mindset is in the right place.”

Appointment Center Representative Jason Evans, who with Secrest is one of seven military veterans on staff, says volunteering with Veterans Stand Down to provide services to homeless veterans “has been one of the most fulfilling things I've experienced while working for our company. Being able to help other veterans through their struggles was rewarding because I could understand them on a personal level. I take pride in being able to help a fellow veteran who has the courage to come to the event and ask for help.”