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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The Better Business Bureau of North Alabama, Inc. hosted its 18th Annual Torch Awards celebration Wednesday at the Jackson Center in Huntsville and announced the winners and finalists of its Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics.  The BBB also recognized five North Alabama “Students of Integrity” who were selected to receive this year’s Torch Scholarships. Nucor Steel – Decatur served as the event’s Presenting Sponsor.  Nucor Steel won the 2011 Torch Award for Ethics in the Large Business Category.

Local companies and non-profit organizations were nominated for the Torch Award and were given the opportunity to submit information regarding their ethical relationships with customers, employees and vendors. A prestigious panel comprised of representatives of the academic and business community judged the eighteen entries from businesses and organizations that accepted their nomination and provided an entry for the Torch Award.

The BBB awarded the 2015 Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics to:

  • Axios Solutions, Inc. dba Secure Destruction Services in the Small Business Category (1 to 25 employees)
  • Haley’s Flooring & Interiors in the Mid-Size Company Category (26-99 employees)
  • Long-Lewis Ford Lincoln of the Shoals, Inc. in the Large Business Category (100+ employees)
  • Torch Technologies, Inc. in the Government Contractor Category
  • The CARE Center in the Non-Profit Category.

Axios Solutions dba Secure Destruction Services in Huntsville, AL believes that it doesn’t matter how skillful we are at what we do without the underlying integrity that should lie in our hearts. It is vitally important to embody the ethics and morals you want in your organization if you want your written ethics policy to mean anything at all. He strives to demonstrate why it’s important to do business the right way rather than imposing strict rules.

Haley’s Flooring & Interiors, located in Huntsville, AL, was recognized for its mission to go beyond its core services to be a company that touches the lives of individuals, families and their community. They strive to execute every job with excellence from start to finish. Their goal is to provide quality products at the best price while enriching the lives they come into contact with– one home at a time.

Long-Lewis Ford Lincoln of the Shoals, in Muscle Shoals, AL, is in the business to make a difference in the lives of their employees, families, customers, their community and their industry. Finally, this company is committed to the highest standards of integrity and to adhering to its five core values every day: Character, Attitude, Drive, Energy, and Talent.

Torch Technologies, Inc. of Huntsville, ALconsiders its reputation for integrity and honesty to be its most valuable asset. This company is committed to operating in a manner that is above reproach. They are committed to establishing long-term relationships that are based on a pattern of trust and fair treatment with employees, customer, vendors and even competitors plus accepting social responsibility in the community. Ultimately, the key to success is being consistently ethical.

The CARE Center of New Hope, AL is ever mindful in developing and maintaining trust and confidence in the communities that it serves. It expects all of its employees and volunteers to serve with honesty, integrity and the highest standards in business and personal conduct. They believe that setting a good example and providing strong leadership to children is vital to their success in the future. Finally, this organization believes that a good reputation starts and ends with each and every employee and volunteer.

During the local awards luncheon, six other companies and non-profit organizations were honored as finalists for the Torch Award.

The finalists were:

  • Small:  AnswerTel of Athens, Inc. and Horizon Point Consulting, Inc.
  • Mid-Size:  CIS Financial Services, Inc.
  • Large:   Redstone Federal Credit Union
  • Government Contractor:   WaveLink, Inc.
  • Non-Profit: CASA of Madison County

Carrie Marchese, an investigative reporter for WHNT News-19, served as the Award Celebration’s Emcee.

The Torch Awards celebration also included the 14th annual presentation of Torch Scholarships which are made available to juniors and seniors in North Alabama. When submitting an entry for the Torch Scholarship, students are asked to write a 400 word essay on what Ethics in the Marketplace means to them.

Scholarships in the amount of $1,000.00 each were presented to Michelle Abreo of James Clemens High School, Anna Fiorucci of Sparkman High School, Kayla Holcombe of Florence High School, Harsharandeep Kaur of Ardmore High School and Whitney Stidham of Hazel Green High School.

The scholarships were sponsored by Donny’s Diamond Gallery, Inc., Huntsville Fitness Equipment & Fitness Zone, J.F. Drake State Community & Technical College, Jerry Damson, Inc., Joe Wheeler Electric Membership Corporation, Modern Technology Solutions, Inc. (MTSI) Redstone Federal Credit Union, Secure Destruction Services, Torch Technologies, Inc. and WRSA-FM.