Claybar Funeral Home (in Beaumont, Bridge City, and Orange) and The Walters Agency of Beaumont are the winners of the 2008 Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics presented Tuesday night, May 6th, by the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Texas during its 11th annual awards presentation banquet. The event was held at the Beaumont Civic Center.
The BBB Consumer Education Foundation, Inc. made a $10,000 contribution to continue funding endowed Better Business Bureau College of Business scholarships at Lamar University, bringing total contributions for the past 11 years to $110,000.
Vesta Brandt, Vice-President and Market Manager for Clear Channel Radio in Beaumont also received this year's recognition as the "Friend of the Bureau." Stephen M.R. Covey, author of The Speed of Trust and CEO/co-founder of CoveyLink Worldwide, was the keynote speaker.
Finalists for this year's awards included Anderson Ford Mercury of Cleveland, Claybar Funeral Home in Beaumont, Bridge City, and Orange, and Jackson Hewitt Tax Service in Beaumont, Bridge City, Liberty, Orange, Port Arthur, and Vidor in the large business category. DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Lumberton, Hightech Signs in Beaumont and Nederland, and The Walters Agency of Beaumont in the small business category. Claybar Funeral Home was the winner in the large business category and The Walters Agency was the winner in the small business category.
Michael Clayton, President/CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Texas, was the Master of Ceremonies at this year's award gathering. Bob Phillips, host of "The Texas Country Reporter", Bill Leger and Kelli Phillips of KFDM-TV, Deedra Wilson and Dave Hofferth of KBMT-TV, Dana Melancon and Andrew Chung of KBTV-TV, Don Dodd and Jerry Jordan of The Examiner, Jack Pieper and Harold Mann of KLVI-AM, and J.B. and Skeeter of KD101-FM introduced award finalists and announced the two winners. The Live Auction was conducted by Gary Lee Love of KD101-FM.
Proceeds from the Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics presentation banquet, and silent and live auctions benefited the BBB Consumer Education Foundation, Inc., to support the endowed Better Business Bureau College of Business scholarships at Lamar University.
For more information about BBB, visit www.bbb.org. In Southeast Texas, call 409/835-5348 or 800/685-7650.

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