4 firms cited for market integrity
Staffing, PR and tax firms get BBB honor
By Tracy Wainwright
Times Dispatch Staff Writer
Four Richmond companies took home the Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Marketplace Integrity for 1999.
Interim Personnel of Richmond Inc., Judith Fox Staffing Cos., Carter Ryley Thomas Inc. and Peoples Income Tax Inc. received the BBB’s recognition for ethical business practices during a luncheon yesterday at the Holiday Inn Select/Koger South.
The two temporary-staffing companies, the public relations firm and the income-tax business exemplified the BBB’s values of commitment to high standards of behavior, said Tom Gallagher, the bureau’s president.
“A Torch company does things right and honestly,” Gallagher said, “ and they do it even if no one is watching because that’s their corporate culture.”
Each of the four awards honors a company of a certain employee size.
The for-profit competitors submit evidence of their good deeds. Judges review the submissions for demonstrations of ethical standards. Companies winning the Torch Award use ethics policies and training programs have a positive marketplace reputation and extend their values into the community.
For instance, Interim Personnel employees offer time to the Greater Richmond Employment Assistance Team Program and the Salvation Army, in addition to making donations.
“ In our overall business attitude, we not only are involved in providing temporary help to businesses,” said Interim Personnel owner and President Dennis Galligan. “ We take along with that how to be a good citizen and help the area around our businesses,”
Peoples Income Tax President Check McCabe said, “ The award is about being committed to the concerns of people and meeting their needs. It’s about contributing to the community, and encouraging and empowering employees to do it as well.”
His employees will soon have paid time off to participate in community service.
The employee-owned Carter Ryley Thomas works by a set of values to reach its vision of a leading company of character and integrity. Shared values said President and Chief Executive Mark Raper, guide the company’s decisions.
“I really can’t think of a higher compliment to a company than the Torch Award,” Raper said. “Typically PR firms are known as spin doctors and anything but integrity. The award captures the essence of the people here.”
Ensuring that customers receive a high standard of service, said Judith Fox President Susan Durnwirth, starts with employees.
“First it’s important to hire employees with integrity in order to build a culture and collective team of people who value the same things and behaviors, “ Durnwirth said. “ You then demonstrate the values and treat people fairy internally, so they’ll do the same externally.”
Businesses need to remember that their employees and clients are reflection of the values of the company, Durnwirth advised.
“Challenge yourself everyday to make tough decisions about who to bring in and not to bring in,” Durnwirth said, “ and the appropriate client companies to work with that complement your philosophy in ways of doing business.”
Each of the presidents of Torch-winning companies said that their employees allowed the businesses to earn the integrity award.
“I look at it as our whole company’s award,” said Galligan of Interim Personnel. “ The employees have the philosophy, and I just allow them to spread their wings and do it.”