01 Jul, Friday
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Ethical Leadership Awards Honors the Best in Commercial, Nonprofit and Government Organizations

Salt Lake City—Trustworthiness, transparency, the Golden Rule and other ethical standards—and the companies and organizations living by them—were recognized at the third annual Utah Ethical Leadership Awards Friday.

Hosted at the University of Utah, companies, nonprofit and government organizations alike gathered to honor those who had displayed ethical principles in their operations. The program was sponsored by the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative at the David Eccles School of Business, the Community Foundation of Utah, the Daniels Fund, Utah Business Magazine and Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah.

Gov. Gary Herbert said he was proud of the state for having so many good examples of ethical business, as well as the fact that such behavior was being recognized.

“I appreciate the fact that we’re rewarding good behavior,” he said. “I think if we do that and eschew bad behavior, we’ll see more ethical behavior in more areas of our lives.”

Because of the pervasiveness of media and news gathering and broadcasting, Herbert said, missteps—including breaches of ethics—are more widely known than ever before. The companies and other organizations quietly going about their business and doing business honestly are often lost amid the scandals of their less-ethical peers. While they might not get as much attention as bad behavior, good practices are the backbone behind a strong economy, he said.

“It means being honest and fair, and treating others the way we’d like to be treated—the Golden Rule should apply to every aspect of all of our lives,” he said, noting that despite a lack of coverage of good business principles, people who practice good ethics can be a good example to those around them.

Among ethical companies, WCF Insurance and Tink’s Superior Auto were named as finalists, while Mark Miller Subaru was the winner. The car dealership was recognized for its transparency in pricing and efforts to stand behind their products. Jeff Miller, general manager of Mark Miller Subaru, noted that building an ethical reputation in the automotive sales industry was an uphill battle against public perception.

“It’s really about doing the right thing. If you do that, the rest of it comes easily,” said Miller. “It has to be in the DNA of the company, from entry-level employees to the very top.”

In the nonprofit category, Communities United and Camp Kostopulous were finalists for the award, which ultimately was given to the National Ability Center. Gail Loveland, executive director for the Park City nonprofit, said trustworthiness and confidentiality was vital in their mission, working with people who have different physical or developmental challenges and abilities.

“I’m glad we’re that organization that’s doing the right thing and making people want to work with us,” she said.

Coalville City and the Utah Commission on Service and Volunteerism, or UServeUtah, were finalists for the award in the category for government entities, and the Utah Developmental Disabilities Council was given the award. Deborah Bowman, council chair, said ethical behavior was key in their efforts to help give people with developmental disabilities opportunities to be engaged in their community and have more control over their own lives.

“We do our best to honor the rights of the people we serve, and encourage others to, too,” she said.