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Monday, Oct. 24, 2016

PROMOTING ETHICAL BUSINESS PRACTICES

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Better Business Bureau announces Torch Award winners

The Better Business Bureau proudly announced their 2016 Torch Award Winners on Oct. 20. This 12th Annual Award ceremony was held at the East Ridge Country Club in Shreveport and featured guest speaker Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator.

The 2016 Torch Awards honored nominees from all over Shreveport- Bossier, recognizing those businesses that consistently go the extra mile in the community concerning conduct, professionalism, service and quality.

“The Torch Awards recognizes businesses in four different categories, allowing different companies to show their efforts in practicing ethics in the marketplace,” said Andy Fisher, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau.

Each year, businesses are selected through a regional competition to receive the Better Business Bureau's Torch Awards for Ethical Commerce. Recipients at the regional level are awarded eligibility to be considered by the Council of Better Business Bureau's International Torch Awards for Marketplace Excellence competition.

The Better Business Bureau Torch Awards are designed to promote not only the importance of ethical business practices, but also the efforts made by businesses demonstrating a solid commitment to marketplace trust.

The awards were presented in four categories: The Integrity Award, which honors businesses that maintain a solid commitment to ethical business practices; The Customer Commitment Award, which recognizes businesses with outstanding customer service; The Good Neighbor Award, which honors businesses who play a significant role in their involvement in local charities; and The Not-For-Profit Award, which recognizes nonprofit organizations that have positively impacted the communities of Shreveport/Bossier.

“The Better Business Bureau’s purpose is to place consumers and businesses in the market together, to resolve any complaints or recognize good practices of each business,” said Fisher.

The mission of the Better Business Bureau is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. The Better Business Bureau is the most reliable evaluator and objective expert on the topic of trust in the marketplace—therefore, receiving a Better Business Bureau accreditation is a true honor.

The 2016 Torch Awards Finalists in the Integrity Category were Lee Michaels Jewelers, Shreveport Security Systems and Heard, McElroy & Vestal, LLC. The winner was Heard, McElroy & Vestal, LLC. Established in 1946, Heard, McElroy & Vestal has been helping businesses and individuals reach their full wealth potential for more than 70 years. In this time, their firm has established itself as a pillar of trust, integrity and competence, earning the unconditional confidence of their clients. Their core values of commitment, integrity, teamwork and people are at the heart of everything they do. They pride themselves on their long-standing reputation for accounting excellence and high ethical standards. Heard, McElroy & Vestal is one of the largest CPA firms in the area and among the top 15 in the region. With over 110 staff members, their team of professionals brings together many years and diversification of experience.

The 2016 Torch Awards Finalists in the Customer Commitment Category were Bayou Belle Waste, Harrison Paint Company and Porter’s Carpet Cleaners. The winner was Porter’s Carpet Cleaners, and the award was accepted by Jarrod and Michele Horten.

The main focus of Porter’s Carpet Cleaners has always been residential and commercial carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, drapery cleaning and Oriental rug cleaning. The same high standards of excellent customer service that Mr. Porter founded his dry cleaning business on have always been upheld by Porter’s Carpet Cleaners. In 2013, Jarrod and Michele Horton purchased Porter’s Carpet Cleaners. Residential and commercial carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning and drapery cleaning are still staples of the business, but Oriental rug cleaning has be come a major focus. Realizing that the area did not have a certified Master Rug Cleaner, Jarrod and his brother, Shawn, the general manager, both completed the training to become Master Rug Cleaners in 2014.

The 2016 Torch Awards Finalists in the Good Neighbor Category were Vicki’s School of Dance, Home Federal Bank of Louisiana and Webb Professional Remodeling Services, LLC. The winner was Webb’s Professional Remodeling Services, and the award was accepted by Ron and Laura Webb.

The Webbs advertise Webb Professional Remodeling Services as Charity through Remodeling – “Rebuilding lives one job at a time.” Their goal is to search out people in need, and regardless of their race, color or creed, do all that they can to meet those needs. Webb Professional remodeling Services donates a certain percentage of company proceeds to client selected charities they have partnered with.

The 2016 Torch Awards Finalists in the Nonprofit Category were Louisiana Association for the Blind, North Shreveport Business Association and The Glen Retirement System. The winner was The Glen Retirement System, and the award was accepted by Debra Williams In 1890, Miss Mary Files dreamed of providing a permanent home for the homeless elderly women of Shreveport. She passed away before her dream was realized, but left a donation behind to be used toward fulfilling her dream. In 1898, her two sisters formed the “Home for the Homeless,” fulfilling Mary’s dream. The Mission of The Glen is to enrich the lives of older persons through housing, health care and services. The Glen has continued to transform over the years while preserving the mission of the organization and the vision of its predecessors. They have extended their services over the years to offer a multitude of living options to approximately 256 residents of our community, as well as support services and community outreach programs that benefit those who live beyond the campus.

True to the nature of which it honors, the annual Torch Awards ceremony goes a step further in the goal for the evening. “The awards ceremony not only recognizes the businesses, it also honors students from all local colleges with scholarships,” said Fisher.

Proceeds of all tickets sold provided scholarships to students from LSU-Shreveport, Southern University-Shreveport, Bossier Parish Community College, Centenary College of Louisiana, Louisiana Tech in Ruston, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches.

For more information on the Torch Awards, contact Andy Fisher at 797- 1330 ext. 101 or by e-mail at president@ shreveport.bbb.org.

–Betsy St. Amant

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