The Cincinnati Better Business Bureau's 2006 annual Torch Awards recognized 22 businesses and non-profit organizations in the Tristate for their commitment to marketplace ethics and basic values such as truth, integrity, honest competition, fair play and truth in advertising. "The Torch Award encompasses the spirit and tradition of the BBB unlike anything else," says BBB President Jocile Ehrlich.

Recipients were chosen by a distinguised panel of independent judges, and feted at a gala evening at Music Hall.
Cincy Business asked the winners to share their feelings about being honored, and the meaning of the Torch Awards.
More information about the awards and the 2007 nominations process is available at www.cinbbb.org.

Bachman's Inc.
We were able to research how our founder instilled his core beliefs in the company by publishing and practicing a code of ethics as early as the 1950's. It was enjoyable learning about the history and reflecting how the company started. In today's society we stress profits and growth, and tend to leave out ethics. There is no doubt that profits and growth are important, but we feel we can achieve those two goals while maintaining ethics and integrity. We believe in the long run ethics and integrity should steer the company in all decision-making processes.
Rod E. Bachman, Bachman's Inc., 4058 Clough Woods Dr., Batavia 45103. (513) 943-5300. www.bachmansinc.com.

Caracole Inc.
Applying for the Torch Award was an excellent opportunity for our staff and board to examine our practices in all areas of operation. It was affirming that our behavior, practices and policies were congruent with our values. Actually receiving the award was gratifying because as a small non-profit with very little public recognition, we were able to call attention to the issue of HIV/AIDS in our community.
Mary Jo G. McClain, Development and Marketing Director, Caracole, Inc., 1821 Summit Rd., Suite 001, Cincinnati 45237. (513) 761.1480. www.caracole.org

Center for Chemical Addictions Treatment
The application initiated a useful dialogue among our staff members about ethical issues in our organization and how we have handled them. It is very validating to get a seal of approval from an organization such as the Better Business Bureau. To know that the ethical standards we have had in place for many years are considered a best practice made our entire staff and Board even prouder of the work we do in association with the Center for Chemical Addictions Treatment.
Center for Chemical Addictions Treatment ("The CAT House"), 830 Ezzard Charles Dr., Cincinnati 45214. (51) 381-6672. www.ccatsober.org.

Hixson, Inc.
Attendees found it both uplifting and encouraging that so many other organizations attach the level of importance to meeting such high standards. In addition, the program provided a great way to re-connect with valued acquaintances, as well as the ability to make new connections. In particular, we were impressed by the warmth and friendliness of the past winners who took the time to congratulate us.
Hixson Architecture Engineering Interiors, 659 Van Meter St., Cincinnati 45202. (513) 241 1230. www.hixson-inc.com.

The Malibu Group
It was an honor and a privilege to be in the same room with so many outstanding businesses that practice ethical behavior every day. Every business was deserving of recognition, and we are grateful to have been among them. 
Our board members and our mentors along the way have all modeled integrity. We've tried to learn from their examples.
Peter Kubasek, founding partner, The Malibu Group, 10101 Alliance Rd., Suite 109, Cincinnati 45242. (513) 583-5413. www.themalibugroup.com.

Matthew 25: Ministries
The application process provided Matthew 25 with an opportunity for detailed self-analysis in the key areas of employees and volunteers, decision-making, marketing and solicitations and return to the community. While Matthew 25 approached the process with confidence that organizational business is conducted with the utmost concern for ethical practices, it was an illuminating exercise to actually document the process for each aspect.
Matthew 25: Ministries is an international humanitarian relief organization helping the poorest of the poor locally, regionally, nationally and internationally regardless of race, creed or political persuasion. By rescuing and reusing products from major corporations and manufacturers, Matthew 25: Ministries provides basic necessities, educational materials, skill development opportunities and disaster relief across the US and worldwide.
Joodi Archer, Matthew 25: Ministries, 11060 Kenwood Rd., Cincinnati 45242. (513) 793-6256. www.m25m.org

Ritter Daniher Financial
Advisory, LLC
These are the companies that have recognized that strong corporate ethics and morals not only help a business survive; they are the primary reason why a firm will succeed in the first place.
In these days of corporate scandals and individual shortcomings among so many in the public light, we need to remind the consumers that there are firms that are striving to maintain ethical behavior in all that they do.
John K. Ritter, Registered Financial Advisor, Ritter Daniher Financial Advisory, LLC, 7529-A State Rd., Cincinnati 45255. (513) 233-0715. www.ritterdaniher.com

Ronald McDonald House
To us, winning the Torch award represents that we have achieved the highest standard of integrity, truth in advertising, and being careful stewards of our donors' gifts. We are incredibly grateful for the trust our donors place in our charity, and this prestigious award was proof that we have worked hard to earn this trust.
Jennifer L. Goodin, Executive Director, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Cincinnati, 350 Erkebrecher Ave., Cincinnati 45229. (513) 636-7642. www.rmhcincinnati.org.

Widmer's
Integrity and ethics in the dry cleaning industry seem to be the exception rather than the rule. Since 1910, Widmer's has built a business with the deepest respect for their customers and employees. We have won our share of recognition from industry peers, trade associations and the community we service, but not one of those awards means as much as the Torch Award.
Widmer's, 2016 Madison Rd., Cincinnati 45208. (513) 321-5100. www.widmerscleaners.com.