Torch Award winners Philpott Motors General Manager Bob Thewman, left, and Owner Relations Manager Jennifer Parker, right, join guest speaker Michael Reagan, center, at the May 5 banquet.
Gisela Houseman, left, representing the winning Tony Houseman Homes at BBB Torch Awards, gets a hug from Michael Reagan, son of the former president and keynote speaker of the event.
Philpott Motors Ltd. in Nederland and Tony Houseman Companies of Orange are the winners of the 2009 Torch Awards for Marketplace Trust presented May 5th by the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Texas.
Author and radio talk show host Michael Reagan, son of President Ronald Reagan, was keynote speaker for the 12th annual awards banquet held at the Beaumont Civic Center.
According the BBB of Southeast Texas, the Torch Awards are presented each year to recognize for-profit businesses in the eight-county region that show a commitment to maintaining exceptionally high standards of ethical behavior in buyer and seller relationships.
A Selection Committee judged the entries and conducted on-site visits to select the finalists and the winners from companies that entered the competition.
At the banquet, the BBB Consumer Education Foundation Inc. made a $10,000 contribution to continue funding the endowed Better Business Bureau College of Business scholarships at Lamar University, bringing total contributions for the past 12 years to $120,000. Proceeds from this year's banquet will go into the scholarship endowment.
Shred-It and the Dispute Resolution Center of Jefferson County each received recognition as "Friend of the BBB."
Finalists for the awards were Classic Chevrolet of Beaumont, Dillard's Department Store in Beaumont and Philpott Motors Ltd. in Nederland in the large business category; and DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Lumberton, Hightech Signs in Beaumont and Nederland and Tony Houseman Companies of Orange in the small business category.
Michael Clayton, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Texas, served as master of ceremonies, while many of the area's television and radio personalities were on hand to present awards.