A packed house of 600 joined together at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center yesterday for the 15th annual Ethics in Business & Community Awards, recognizing outstanding ethical business practices and celebrating the idea that doing good is good business in Central Texas. Award recipients in five categories were honored, followed by the presentation of the Anita & Earl Maxwell Lifetime Achievement Award. The theme of the awards program is encouraging the partnership between business and community in order to make Central Texas stronger.
Award recipients were announced as follows:
Large Business: Silicon Labs
Mid-size Business: WP Engine
Small Business: Five Stone Tax Advisers
Nonprofit: Mother’s Milk Bank at Austin
Individual: John Lorek, CTX Ability Sports
Lifetime Achievement: John Garrett, Community Impact Newspaper
Lifetime Achievement: Susan McDowell, LifeWorks
Nominations are made by the community online at RecognizeGood.org, then vetted by business students at Concordia University before being trimmed to three finalists in each category and presented to a selection committee of distinguished Leadership Austin alumni. Dr. Lynette Gillis, Dean of the College of Business at Concordia University Texas leads the program for Concordia along with adjunct professor Dr. Jack Allen of Dynamic Coaching, LLC. Proceeds from this event benefit the Samaritan Center, who presented the Ethics in Business Awards until the program’s adoption by RecognizeGood in 2011.
“Here in central Texas we’re blessed that we do live in a community that understands that doing good is what’s normal here,” Jenkins told the crowd. “What we’re doing here today is worth protecting – it’s something that’s worth all of us standing up for, because when we’re doing good and we’re providing that good environment we form a foundation that all of the business community is built on. And ultimately when we do that we all are better, we all thrive – the businesses and the community – and that’s something that’s really worth fighting for.”
While accepting one of two Lifetime Achievement awards presented yesterday, John Garrett of Community Impact Newspaper was reminded of the saying that birds of a feather flock together. “The idea that businesses in this room that are being recognized as award winners and individuals – we need to flock together. We need to hold each other accountable, we need to help each other, inspire each other, motivate each other. We’re not perfect, we all know that, but we can help each other be even better.”
“The Ethics in Business & Community awards program is truly an exceptional educational experience,” Gillis said, praising the program and its impact on her students. “Our students have the opportunity to witness firsthand a community that comes together to support and celebrate ethical business practices of honesty, fairness, respect, social justice, and sustainability.”
Finalists for this year’s awards included H-E-B and NXP Semiconductors in the Large Business category, Kasasa and Lamb’s Tire and Automotive in the Mid-size Business category, Corvalent and Per Stirling Capital Management in the Small Business category, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area and Foundation For The Homeless in the Nonprofit category, and Fayruz Benyousef and Ashley Spence Clauer in the Individual category.
Founding RecognizeGood board members Earl Maxwell of St. David’s Foundation and Bobby Jenkins of ABC Home & Commercial Services emceed the event, and awards were presented by previous winners including Sandy Dochen of IBM, Russell Bridges of 3M, Andrew Cooper of the TyRex Group, Dave Holden of Radiation Detection Company, Megan Potts of WAG-A-BAG, Wayne and Pam Gonzalez of Gonzalez Solutions for Business, Missy Strittmatter of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas, Nancy Krenek of Ride On Center for Kids, Jerry Davis of Goodwill Central Texas and Brett Cenkus of Cenkus Law. The official ballot-counter for the awards was Atchley & Associates.