BBB Announces Torch Awards

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The businesses that are the best of the best in our area were honored Thursday for their committment to business ethics.

Thursday afternoon, the Better Business Bureau announced the winners of the annual Tourch Award for Marketplace Ethics.

The Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics was created in 1996 by the Council of Better Business, which is the umbrella organization.

The purpose of the competition is to gain public recognition for companies that maintain a solid committment to conducting their business practices and the willingness and efforts made by businesses to ensure that our community's marketplace remains fair and honorable to everyone.

In 1997, the first awards presentation was held, and it continues annually.

The following are the list of this year's winners:

1. Small Business- Pilger's Tire and Automotive Center- Rick and Beverly Pilger
Pilger's Tire and Automotive Center has been a part of the retail service industry since 1975.

2. Medium Business- Central Texas ENT, Dr. Thomas Salzer
Central Texas ENT has been in business since 1995 and has grown to over 15,000 clients.

3. Large Business- Producers Cooperative Association- Mr. James Deatherage, General Manager
Producers Cooperative Association was formed nearly 60 years ago when a small, but industrious group of farmers and producers decided to pool their resources to save money and buy feed on railroad cars. It is now one of the largest local agriculture supply cooperatives in the nation.

The following are the finalists in this year's competition:

1-Above Pest Control- Dennis and Katey Fink
A.G. Edwards and Sons- Larry Beaumont, Branch Manager, and Rose Van Arsdale
Aggieland Credit Union- Gregg Baird, Vice President
Anco Insurance Managers, Inc.- Kathy Gregory, President
Brenham National Bank-Tieman Dippel, Chairman
Bryan Construction Company-Larry Ridgeway
Central Texas ENT- Dr. Tom Salzer
David Gardner's Jewelers-David and Julia Gardner
MEMdate, LLC- Bob Yancy
Mike Southerland Insurance- Mike Southerland
NAPA Auto Parts- Tom Parlow
PaPa Perez Mexican Cuisine- Michael and Liz Perez
Paradowski Law Office- Jeff Paradowski
Pilger's Tire & Auto Center- Rick and Beverly Pilger
ProStar Industries, Inc.- O.J. Howell
Producers Cooperative Association- James Deatherage
State Bank, College Station Branch- Bill McGuire
Strong Surveying- Curtis and Angela Strong
The Physicians Centre- Michelle Fortune, CEO

When it comes to choosing the winners for the Torch Awards, the BBB first solicits nominations from members of the organization and the community.

Then each nominee is asked to complete an extensive application.
References are called by the Torch committee, then nominees are divided into categories based on the number of their employees.

A panel of judges, made up of leaders in the community, are given the responsibility of making the selection based on the information that is submitted.