It’s that most wonderful time of year. The time when leaves change colour and drift to the ground in colourful blankets. The time when our minds begin to drift to Christmas and it’s planning for the holidays. And it is also when the Better Business Bureau of Western Ontario holds its annual Business Integrity Awards.
This year the BBB of Western Ontario celebrated its 17th Annual Business Integrity Awards. It continued its commitment in honouring businesses in Southwestern Ontario that hold a high ethic and integrity in their business practices. This year they made a few changes to the process though. In previous years, three companies were nominated for the coveted Business Integrity Award. After popular demand, this year they expanded the categories to; Category I (1-10 employees), Category II (11-25 employees), and Category III (26+ employees). That meant that the field of nominations also expanded and the selection committee now considered nine esteemed companies for their final choices for awards.
While all the companies considered had many reasons to be selected, only one company in each category was deemed worthy of the 2014 Business Integrity Award. This year’s winners are;
Category I – Fantastic Nails and Spa
Category II – Memorial Funeral Home
Category III – Cindy’s Home & Garden
Congratulations to these great companies that hold themselves to the highest level of business practices.
The morning did not end with the presentation of awards, nor even with the cheques presented from the Rotary Club for these businesses to support a student of their choice in furthering their education. No. Breakfast was eaten, thank you’s were said. It was time for the Keynote Speaker of the day – Trish Stratus.
You will be forgiven if you don’t know the name, but for those not in the know, Trish is a power to be reckoned with. Literally. She was a World Wrestling Entertainment Champion and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013. That’s right. We had a female wrestler ushered to the stage to speak to the assembled people at the Business Integrity Awards. And she was a perfect choice.
While Trish enjoyed six years of taking garbage pail lids to the face and body slams on the mat, she recognized that her wrestling career had a shelf life. Due to the very physical nature of the business and the very real injuries that they caused (the knuckles on her right hand are scarce), she knew that she would not be able to continue forever. So after winning seven Championships, she retired and changed her focus. She got married to her high-school sweetheart and took the time to physically recover from the exertions she had punished herself with. A herniated disk led her to a different mat – the yoga mat. It was there that she awakened a new passion.
The passion for yoga drove Trish in a completely new direction in life. Like so many others, she was at a career crossroad. She decided to take her love for yoga and transition it into a new career path. She became a certified yoga instructor and started Stratusphere.
This is where Trish’s message shone brightest this morning. So many entrepreneurs are blessed with passion. That passion is what drives us and makes us so good at what we do. It helps people to inspire others to join them and build their businesses to be the best that they can be. As she noted, when you love what you do, it no longer becomes work. And when you share that message with others, are true to your business and yourself, that is when you embody the best form of integrity.
BBB Board Chair, Mark Malerba didn’t need to be put into a headlock to agree to those sentiments. And neither did the many other business leaders that filled the room at the Hilton this morning. It is obvious why Trish won the Business Woman of the Year award in 2010. Her warm and open manner were enough to convince anyone in attendance to go after their dreams. She left us with a thought that Oprah Winfrey mentioned to her, and which I would like to end with. Let me know if you agree;
“Real integrity is doing the right thing and not necessarily having to be recognized for it”