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The Journal Gazette

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Thursday, March 10, 2016 10:02 pm

Torch winners announced

Sherry Slater | The Journal Gazette

Jiffy Lube of Indiana and McMahon Tire & Service are two of the employers being honored this year by the local BBB for ethical business practices, officials announced Thursday.

The Better Business Bureau serving Northern Indiana has scheduled the 11th Annual Torch Awards for Marketplace Trust for April 21. Breaking with previous practice, the nonprofit has announced the winners before the ceremony.

"We just wanted to try a different way this time," said Marjorie Stephens, the BBB’s president and CEO.

Stephens hopes more people will attend if they know who is being honored. The three-hour dinner event typically attracts about 400 people.

"It’s certainly open to the public," she said. "It’s a really feel-good event."

Jiffy Lube of Indiana was chosen as the most exemplary for-profit employer with more than 100 employees. McMahon Tire was chosen in the 51 to 100 employees category. Eichhorn Jewelry of Decatur was selected from among companies that employ 11 to 50 workers. B&B Loan Co. was chosen among those with one to 10 workers.

The panel of judges chose from more than 20 businesses nominated in each category, Stephens said. Nominees were suggested by BBB board members, staff and member businesses.

Mustard Seed Furniture Bank will be honored in the nonprofit category as a Charity of Integrity. Jeff Erickson and Rick Erickson of Engine Research Associates were chosen as Entrepreneurs of Integrity. And Mike Nutter, president of the Fort Wayne TinCaps, was selected the Individual of Integrity.

A new award this year, Pillar of the Community, will be given to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.

Four students will receive scholarships of $2,000 each, based on essays they wrote about making ethical decisions in their own lives. They are: Jenna Meyer, IPFW; Shaly Saylor; Indiana Institute of Technology; Brett Holder, Eastbrook High School; and Riley Peppler, Angola High School.

Winning businesses have an A+ rating with the BBB, have few or no complaints, have a long history of BBB accreditation and are considered good representatives of what the award stands for, officials said. 

sslater@jg.net