By Andy Ramos
it looked like rain, there was nothing but anticipation and excitement in the air
Tuesday, December 13th. In its 14th year, the BBB Torch Awards is the BBB’s way of
honoring local Accredited and Non-Accredited Businesses who symbolize ethical
and honest business practices in our marketplace. This year’s BBB Torch Awards
presentation luncheon was held at the beautiful Town and Country Resort Hotel
and Convention Center in San Diego’s Mission Valley area.
As the attendee’s filled the ballroom,
they were presented with a delicious lunch while George Chamberlin, Master of Ceremonies
for the 14th consecutive year, kicked off the celebration with a few
short words just before keynote speaker Les Tenney took the stage.
The room fell silent as Les Tenney
described the heartfelt story of his 3 ½ years as a prisoner of war in
Japan. In spite of the brutal and inhumane
treatment he received while on the Bataan Death March and while working in a
Japanese coalmine, he was able to survive because of his strong love of
country, his positive attitude, and his goal-setting philosophy. Lester Tenney
has long ago forgiven the Japanese for the mistreatment meted out to him while
a POW, but he says: “I will never forget.”
went on to read an excerpt from his award winning story, “My Hitch In Hell” a
first person account of the Bataan Death March and life as a POW of the
Japanese. His speech ended in a well-deserved standing ovation from all of our
Along with the Torch Award Winners,
five students were awarded with cash scholarships for writing exceptional
essays about The Importance of
Ethics & Integrity in our Community. The 2011 scholarship recipients are
Andrew Alvarado from Hilltop High School, Eduardo De La Toba from Eastlake High
School, Daimen Sagastume from Monte Vista High School, Lilia Ortiz from Bonita
High School and our top scholarship recipient was Anthony Puzo from Carlsbad
High School, who shared his essay with our attendees.
Puzo wrote about how lack of ethics and integrity “can bring a
country to its knees,” and he cited Iraq and Libya, as well as Germany in 1933.
Puzo wrote: “Ask anyone who has had to deal with the fallout of a person of
poor moral character. They know the destruction.”
seven businesses and one non-profit were presented with a 2011 Torch Award,
while eight other businesses were named as finalists.
year’s winners of a 2011 BBB Torch Award included A 1 Hearing Aid Centers of
San Diego (one-to-four); Health Savings Associates Insurance Services of San Diego (five-to10); Marrokal Design & Remodeling (11-to-24);
Jackson Design and Remodeling of San Diego (25-to-99); ASI Hastings Heating
& Air, Inc. of El Cajon (100-to-249); Barney & Barney LLC of San Diego
(250‑to-499); San Diego County Credit Union (more than 500); Outreach for
Humanity of San Diego (charity/non-profit category).
year’s finalist include Royal Rooter, Inc. of Oceanside (one-to-four); Dream
Design Builders of Rancho Bernardo (five-to-10); ReSource Floors of San Diego
and Toyota Certified of Santee (11-to-24); Bill Howe Family of Companies of San
Diego and Action Air Conditioning, Heating and Solar of San Marcos
(25-to-99); Coles Fine Flooring and Toyota
of El Cajon (100-to-249).
the 14th Annual Torch Award Luncheon was a huge success! The BBB
wants to congratulate all
of our winners and finalists, and give thanks to all of the companies who
entered, as well as the BBB’s sponsors. Your dedication and commitment to
conducting your business in an ethical fashion is commendable. Rain or shine, we
hope to see you again next year!
Presenting Student Sponsor: Sycuan Casino
Ethics Partner: SDG&E
Gold Sponsors: Jack
In the Box
Diego Business Journal
Security Business Bank of San Diego
Ethics & Integrity Supporters: G.S Levine
Silver Sponsors: Cox Communications