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Better Business Bureau of Southeast Texas
News Release
Monday, February 13, 2012

Beaumont, Texas - The Better Business Bureau that serves all of Southeast Texas is conducting its 15th annual Torch Award for Marketplace Trust competition to recognize and encourage ethical business practices in the region. The deadline for submitting entries is March 23. Again this year, there will be a category for non-profit organizations as well.

CHRISTUS Hospital, Classic Southeast Texas, Conn's, Neches Federal Credit Union, and Universal Coin & Bullion, Ltd., are the underwriting corporate Diamond Partners for this year's application and selection process.        

"The purpose of this award is to recognize annually those for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations in our region committed to maintaining exceptionally high standards of ethical behavior in buyer/seller and provider/supporter relationships," said John Paschall, President/CEO of the BBB. "I encourage the many outstanding companies and charities in Southeast Texas, small and large, that work to uphold the trust and respect of their customers and supporters to submit an entry for these prestigious awards." You need not have a formal ethics program or be BBB Accredited to enter.

Applications for the 2012 BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Trust regional competition will be accepted through March 23, 2012. Two categories of for-profit companies will be recognized: one large (21 employees and more), and one small (1-20 employees), and one category for non-profit organizations.

Past Southeast Texas winners of the BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Trust include Anderson Ford Mercury, Classic Southeast Texas, Copy & Camera Technologies, Philpott Motors, Ltd., Tony Houseman Companies, Claybar Funeral Homes, The Walters Agency, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Waldman & Smallwood Law Firm, Texas Marine, Anderson Ford Mercury, Winnie Welding Works, Howell Furniture Galleries, Tallman Pools, Bill Clark Pest Control, Entergy, Burris Transfer & Storage, Orange Savings Bank, Jeneal International, Collier Park Retirement Community, Broussard's Mortuary, Mason Construction, Inc., Southeast Texas Water Conditioning, Inc., Efficient Systems, Inc., and American Valve and Hydrant, Inc.

The BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Trust awards are open to all for-profit southeast Texas businesses that serve retail and wholesale markets, and also non-profit organizations. A company or non-profit does not have to be a BBB Accredited Business to submit an entry for these coveted awards. Applicants must be located in one or more of the following counties: Chambers, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Newton, Orange, Tyler, or the Bolivar Peninsula.

Southeast Texans are also asked to nominate for-profit or non-profit groups in the region and to encourage those organizations he/she works for, or where they are a customer or supporter, to apply for the proud recognitions. 13,000 entry forms were mailed the first week of February to businesses and organizations in the region. Applications may be requested from the office of the Better Business Bureau by calling (409) 835-5951 x104, toll-free at (855) BBB-SETX, or by writing to the BBB at 550 Fannin, Suite 100, Beaumont, TX, 77701. You may fax nominations and application requests to (409) 838-6858 or email: Torch Award Workshops will be conducted at the BBB office on Thursday, March 1, from 1:30-2:30pm and Wednesday, March 7, from 9:30-10:30am. Businesses with questions on the entry process are welcome to stop by for assistance.

A prestigious independent panel of judges from the non-profit sector will score entries and then select the finalists and winners in the two for-profit categories. The three finalists in each for-profit category will be recognized and the two winners announced at the 15th annual Torch Awards for Marketplace Trust Presentation Banquet to be held Tuesday evening, May 8, at the Beaumont Civic Center. An acclaimed independent panel of judges from the for-profit sector will score entries and then select the finalists and winner in the non-profit category that will be announced at the banquet as well.

Proceeds from the May 8 banquet will benefit the BBB Consumer Education Foundation, Inc., which will make another $10,000 contribution to continue funding endowed College of Business scholarships at Lamar University. The BBB Consumer Education Foundation, Inc. has contributed $140,000 to these scholarships over the last thirteen years.

Special guest speaker at this year's event will be Mark Sanborn of Sanborn & Associates. He is an internationally known author, speaker, and publisher; learn more at The BBB in Southeast Texas is honored to have broadcast legend Larry Beaulieu as this year's event emcee. Corporate tables for the prestigious awards presentation are now available. For more information and table partnership reservations contact Debbie Bridgeman at (409) 835-5951 x117 or email

Remembering Jim Guidry Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership

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