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Illinois business among BBB’s Torch Award winners


From Illinois Business Journal news services

ST. LOUIS –  Better Business Bureau serving Eastern Missouri and Southern Illinois will present Torch Awards to 11 businesses and two charities and Student of Ethics awards to four students at a luncheon at noon Friday, Nov. 13, at the Chase Park Plaza in St. Louis.

“To succeed in today’s business environment, businesses need be ever more connected to their customers and, at the same time, continue to earn their highest level of trust,” said William L. White, BBB board chair and senior vice president of Commerce Bank. “Our Accredited Businesses and Charities have met those challenges, and the Torch Award recipients for 2015 reflect some of the best examples we can offer in terms of their exceptional service and ethical interaction with those with whom they come in contact.”

Tim Barklage and Kevin Tibbs, co-founders of St. Louis-based Better Life, will be the keynote speakers. Better Life, which was featured on the ‘Shark Tank’ television show, produces a line of environmentally friendly cleaning products.

Nichole Berlie, anchor of KSDK Channel 5’s “Today in St. Louis,” will emcee the event.

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

Padgett Building & Remodeling, Swansea

Elite Travel Inc., Cape Girardeau

Frederic Roofing Co., Brentwood

General Grant Car Wash & Detail Center, Marlborough, Mo.

The Gutter Cover Co., St. Charles

O.J. Laughlin Plumbing Co., Valley Park

Mosby Building Arts, Kirkwood

Pulaski Bank, Creve Coeur

Renewal by Andersen, Maryland Heights

ServiceMaster of Columbia, Columbia, Mo.

Variety, the Children’s Charity, Maryland Heights

Weinhardt Party Rentals, St. Louis and Kirkwood

The Women’s Safe House, St. Louis

Businesses 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.

Companies and charities may nominate themselves, or they may be nominated by customers or other businesses.

BBB presents winners with a crystal trophy that they can display. They may promote their status in advertising, marketing and on their websites.

Four high school students will receive 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:

Travis Whitt, Altamont Community High School, Altamont, Ill.

Christopher Barnett, Eureka High School, Wildwood, Mo.

Leah Krafft, Washington High School, Washington, Mo.

Jenna Liu, Rock Bridge High School, Columbia, Mo.

The event begins with networking at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 13, in the Khorassan Room at the Chase Park Plaza.

Tickets for the noon luncheon are available at $60 a person, or $600 for a table of 10. Patron sponsorships, which include luncheon tickets, are available for $1,500.

To reserve a table or a seat at the event or for information on sponsorships, go to For more information, call (314) 645-0606 or send email to

About BBB

BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. All BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Reviews on more than 4.7 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit for more information.

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