BBB TORCH Awards Photo Gallery, Event Summary

BBB 2015 TORCH Awards winners

TORCH Award winners group photo: Front row, from left: Sylvia Jackson of The Women’s Safe House; Scott Mosby, Mosby Building Arts; Dan Laughlin of O.J. Laughlin Plumbing Co.; Nichole Berlie, KSDK anchor; Michelle Corey, BBB president & CEO; Carolyn Sandgren-Kempf of Elite Travel; Dawn Weinhardt of Weinhardt Party Rentals; Staci Maneage of The Gutter Cover Co.; Jan Albus of Variety, the Children’s Charity of St. Louis; Student of Ethics winner Leah Krafft. Back Row, from left: Paul Birner of Renewal by Andersen; Don Padgett of Padgett Building & Remodeling; Tom Reeves of Pulaski Bank; Rick Barthelmass of General Grant Car Wash & Detail Center; Jim Maneage of The Gutter Cover Co.; Student of Ethics winners Chris Barnett and Travis Whitt; and Bob Frederic of Frederic Roofing Co.

More than 500 people joined Better Business Bureau serving Eastern Missouri and Southern Illinois in honoring 11 businesses, two charities and four students at its annual TORCH Awards event on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, at the Chase Park Plaza.

T. William White, BBB Board chair, reviewed BBB’s accomplishments, which were also summarized in a fast-paced video.

“It’s been a phenomenal year,” White said, with the number of Accredited Businesses surpassing 7,000 and impressive gains in service and visits to BBB’s website. “That’s 58 percent more Accredited Businesses than when I joined BBB’s board in 2008.”

Better Life founders Tim Barklage and Kevin Tibbs shared their story of developing plant-based cleaning products that work well and are safe for the environment. “It all started with our kids,” said Barklage. The duo wanted safe, effective cleaning products for their home, and when Tibbs, a formulation chemist, was able to come up with them, they decided to start a business.

Nichole Berlie, anchor of KSDK’s Today in St. Louis, was emcee.

Eleven companies and two nonprofits were recognized for their commitments to exceptional business ethics and customer satisfaction:

Businesses and charities are evaluated for their commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices. The awards committee, made up of previous winners, looks at how the company benefits customers, employees and the larger community. They also must meet BBB ethical, advertising and selling standards.

Four high school students received Student of Ethics awards of $2,500 each to be applied toward college or trade school expenses. They were selected from 135 students who submitted essays, transcripts and recommendations. The winners are:

  • Christopher Barnett, Eureka High School, Wildwood, Mo.
  • Leah Krafft, Washington High School, Washington, Mo.
  • Jenna Liu, Rock Bridge High School, Columbia, Mo. Liu was unable to attend the event.
  • Travis Whitt, Altamont Community High School, Altamont, Ill.

BBB is sharing photos of the events below. Click on a picture to expand it, and then you can page through the gallery.




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