By Sheena McFarland, communications specialist, David Eccles School of Business
Newsfeeds are often filled with stories of companies that have made an ethical gaffe and gotten into hot water because of leaders’ bad decisions.
It’s not often we get to celebrate the vast majority of companies that are making the right choices.
The Utah Ethical Leadership Awards is one of those times.
The David Eccles School of Business Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative, the Daniels Fund and the Community Foundation of Utah honored nine companies, nonprofits and government agencies at the third annual awards ceremony on Sept. 9, 2016.
More than 30 organizations applied for the awards, and winners and finalists were announced at a breakfast award ceremony in the Bill & Pat Child Family Community Hall in the Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building.
The winners and finalists:
Winner: Mark Miller Subaru
Finalists: Tink’s Superior Auto Parts; WCF Insurance
Winner: National Ability Center
Finalists: Comunidades Unidas; Kostopulos Dream Foundation/Camp K
Winner: Utah Developmental Disability Council
Finalists: Coalville City; Commission on Service and Volunteerism
Gov. Gary Herbert spoke at the ceremony, emphasizing the importance of ethical practices in all facets of Utah professional life.
“I appreciate that we’re awarding good behavior. That’s good parenting, to reward good behavior and eschew the bad. I appreciate we’re here honoring those who are doing it right and that we’re making a big deal out of ethical behavior, which I believe most of us do every day,” Herbert said. “We all have an opportunity to be an example, and we have the opportunity, and the responsibility, to make society better by being a good example.”
Jeff Miller, general manager of Mark Miller Subaru, was honored that the company his father built was recognized for its ethics, joking that it probably seemed funny to have a car dealership accepting an ethics award, but that perception is why he works hard to ensure every employee follows strong ethical practices.
“We talk about ethics at Mark Miller Subaru because it’s so important to our company to do the right thing,” Miller said. “It has to be in the DNA of the company.”
Two winning organizations that work with people with disabilities focused on the importance of the trust they create with their clients and the community.
“It’s the families, the veterans and the kids we serve who are an example of ethical leadership to us every day, and they are an inspiration,” said Gail Loveland, executive director of the National Ability Center.
Deborah Bowman, chair of the Utah Developmental Disabilities Council, hopes Friday’s recognition helps Utahns realize the importance of providing services to help keep people with developmental disabilities with their families and be welcomed into the community.
“We want communities to value all people of all abilities and to realize that all people can contribute to society, which they can’t do if they are segregated from society in an institution,” Bowman said. “It’s an honor to serve the people we serve and to be recognized for how far we’ve come. While we have a long way to go, we have come a long way, too.”
The awards recognize organizations that embody the spirit of ethical leadership exhibited by businessman Bill Daniels, who believed deeply in ethics and integrity, and in the importance of absolute ethical principles.
Nominees for the awards were judged based on eight criteria:
- Integrity – Act with honesty in all situations
- Trust – Build trust in all stakeholder relationships
- Accountability – Accept responsibility for all decisions
- Transparency – Maintain open and truthful communications
- Fairness – Engage in fair competition and create equitable and just relationships
- Respect – Honor the rights, freedoms, views and property of others
- Rule of Law – Comply with the spirit and intent of laws and regulations
- Viability – Create long-term value for all relevant stakeholders