One of last year's local Torch Award winners went on to win national recognition for its business ethics.
By CYNTHIA VINARSKY
VINDICATOR BUSINESS WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Three venerable Youngstown businesses and a Salem-based metal stamping and painting company are the newest recipients of the Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics.
The awards, presented Monday by the Better Business Bureau of the Mahoning Valley, honor companies which exemplify ethics, honesty, integrity and community service.
Butler Wick Corp., a family of financial service companies in business for more than 75 years, was the Torch winner in Category IV, for businesses with 149 employees or more. The corporation includes Butler, Wick & amp; Co., Butler Wick Asset Management and Butler Wick Trust Co.
Quaker Manufacturing, with plants in Salem and Austintown, took home the award in Category III for businesses with 100 to 148 employees. A tool-and-die, metal stamping and electrostatic painting company, Quaker supplies the automotive, heavy truck, motorcycle and outdoor power equipment industries.
National Fire Repair, a family-run company in business for 89 years, won the Torch Award for Category II, businesses employing between 31 and 99. An insurance restoration contractor, the company also works with area fire departments on fire safety programs for children, smoke-detector programs and other fire safety efforts.
Canteen Service of Steel Valley Inc., a vending company founded in 1936, took the Torch for Category I, businesses with 30 or fewer employees. Starting out with nickel candy and penny gumball machines during the Great Depression, the company has expanded into hot and cold beverages and fresh food for the workplace.
About the program
The local Torch Award program is held in conjunction with a national BBB Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics program. Packer, Thomas & amp; Co., a Youngstown accounting firm and the local Category III winner in 2001, went on to receive recognition as a national Torch Award recipient.
Patricia Rose, president and chief executive of the local BBB, said the agency began participating in the Torch program last year. She said the award presentation validates, to the BBB and to the community at large, that the area has "good, strong, ethical businesses which deserve respect and recognition."
Participation in BBB Torch Award programs is open to all for-profit American businesses serving the retail and wholesale markets. Nominations can be made by a business, organization or individual, and self-nominations are also accepted.
Nominees must be in good standing with the BBB, although membership is not required, and nonprofit organizations or businesses whose primary markets are local, state or federal governments are not eligible.
Locally, winners and runners-up were selected by a panel of judges from the business and academic community, independent of the BBB board of directors.