BBB names 2016 Torch Award winners

CASA of Southeast Texas, Sparkling Roof, LLC and K.A.T. Excavation and Construction Inc. were named winners of the 2016 Torch Awards for Marketplace Trust. Sparkling Roof won the Torch Award in the For-Profit Small Business category, K.A.T. Excavation & Construction Inc. won the Torch Award in the For-Profit Large Business category, and CASA of Southeast Texas won the Torch Award in the Not-For-Profit Charity category. Their awards were presented Tuesday night, May 10, by the Better Business Bureau Serving Southeast Texas during its 19th annual banquet at the Beaumont Civic Center with nearly 500 in attendance.

Factors considered in choosing award recipients were ethical behavior; promoting ethics on a daily basis among employees, vendors, contractors and competitors; promoting ethics in marketing and advertising; as well as involvement with the local community, volunteer and charitable organizations, said John Paschall, BBB Serving Southeast Texas president.

Also at the event, BBB Consumer Education Foundation Inc. contributed to the funding for scholarships at all four-area higher education institutions - Lamar University, Lamar Institute of Technology, Lamar State College – Port Arthur, and Lamar State College – Orange. Proceeds from the Torch Award Banquet allowed BBB to contribute toward scholarships for college students across Southeast Texas. Total contributions over the past 19 years are now a quarter of a million dollars.

The event featured Beth Misner, co-founder of Business Network International (BNI) and BNI Foundation, as the keynote speaker. Howell Furniture’s vice president Shawn Hanley served as master of ceremonies. Christy Harrison, BBB LIT scholarship recipient, and Kennedy Andrews, Legacy Christian Academy sixth grade student and Laws of Life first place Essay Award winner, were speakers at the event as well.

The 2016 Friend of the BBB award went to Jed Dollinger, who has retired from Wathen, DeShong and Juncker, LLP.

Paschall also announced that the Southeast Texas BBB office ranks No. 2 out of all BBB locations in North America.

“Due to our passionate and engaged visionary leaders – our Board of Directors, the amazing team of professionals at the BBB, and the support of businesses and consumers across our eight-and-a-half county service area in Southeast Texas, the BBB Serving Southeast Texas has the second highest market share of accredited businesses in the entire North American BBB System, which includes 110 BBB (offices) across

Canada, the United States and Mexico. The average BBB has around 6 percent of all businesses in their service area accredited. We stand today at 18.7 percent,” Paschall said.

“This is a testament to the long hours, hard work and commitment to our mission from the team at the BBB, as well as to the general business climate of our area. Folks in this area know what good business looks like, and they choose to do business with those who do it right and will treat them fairly and ethically. These businesses understand the importance of accreditation and have committed to uphold the standards of ethical business practice demanded from all businesses accredited with the BBB.”


Photo by Christina Tallant - K.A.T. Excavation & Construction, Inc. won the Torch Award in the For-Profit Large Business Category.