SPECIAL REPORT 2016
THE REGIONâ€™S BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Advocating For All
Better Business Bureau Serving Southern Arizona
ADVOCATING After 102 years, the Better Business By Christy Krueger We can all thank one of America’s favorite soft drink manufacturers, The Coca-Cola Company, for creating the Better Business Bureau and initiating its consumer protection advocacy that is still alive and well today, 102 years later. During the early 20th century, false advertising was almost a normal business practice. Even Coke was advertised as a miracle cure. After the company was sued for making such claims, its leadership decided to form an ad re-
view organization to ensure businesses would advertise honestly. Later, the advertising watchdog became America’s Better Business Bureau, now expanded to 113 chapters in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. “We still have ad review and we look at ads. If a consumer thinks there is false advertising, we investigate,” said Alan Schultz, director of marketing and program development for BBB of Southern Arizona, which is now more than 60 years old. The main purpose of the agency, Schultz said, is “to create a marketplace where buyers and sellers can trust each other. Also, we accredit businesses and we vet them. On the consumer side, we
take complaints from consumers and we offer free consultation – either arbitration or mediation.” Schultz is quick to clarify the bureau’s role, which often is misconceived by the public. “We want people to be clear that we are an unbiased, nonprofit reporting agency and we’re not tied to the government,” he said. Schultz often refers consumers to other agencies that deal with the issue at hand. Landlord complaints go to the Arizona Attorney General’s office, and the Arizona Corporation Commission handles reports of businesses operating without proper licenses. Locally, the BBB is upping its campaign to create more public awareness
From left – Alan Schultz, Director of Marketing & Program Development; Denisse Alvarez, Director of Operations; Irene Manzanedo, Director of Finance and Human Resources; Pamela Crim, President & CEO; Celeste Angelini, Director of Business Development
Bureau is still protecting consumers
PHOTOS: AMY HASKELL
and expanding its public outreach. In large part, these are facilitated by the use of social media, which is overseen by Communications Manager Ryan Foster. “There are different things we do with social media; the ones we use the most are Facebook and Twitter,” Foster said. “On Facebook we engage with our accredited members. I ‘Like’ their page and I post a video to their page that shows our reputable brand. Sometimes they share the video.” He uses Twitter to send short messages to followers. “It’s more direct. I sometimes use Twitter chat for giving ID theft tips.” Scam reports are a big part of BBB’s
We want people to be clear that we are an unbiased, nonprofit reporting agency and we’re not tied to the government.
– Alan Schultz Director of Marketing & Program Development Better Business Bureau
outreach efforts, and in 2015 the agency initiated Scam Tracker. Consumers can go to www.bbb.org/scamtracker/Tucson to follow scam reports and where they’re happening. Foster also releases the reports to Facebook followers. One of his primary goals is to connect with millennials, those born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s. “They’re the entrepreneurs. They’ll be controlling the marketplace in the next 10 to 20 years,” he said. The BBB does still rely on traditional media outlets to disseminate information and to publicize its services. Foster sends out news releases on a regular basis, and in January he made 10 television appearances, mostly on local news continued on page 190 >>>
At a Glance Southern Arizona Business Reviews on website: 33,423
Inquiries about businesses: 808,121 Customer leads sent out to Accredited Businesses: 3,334 Complaints processed: 2,799
Pageviews at tucson.bbb.org: 1.5 million
Spring Spring 2016 2016
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BizTucson BizTucson 189 189
Accreditation Orientation Join us monthly to learn how to take full advantage of your accreditation benefits. Regardless if you are a new BBB Accredited Business or have been with BBB for years, the Accredited Business orientation has something for everyone. You’ll learn about: How you can market yourself as a BBB Accredited Business using the official seal How to customize your business review page How BBB delivers consumers to your business Business education classes offered by BBB Upcoming Session
An RSVP is appreciated, please indicate which session you will be attending. May 11
8-9 a.m. June 8 8-9 a.m. BBB Large Conference Room 5151 E. Broadway Blvd. Suit 100 Tucson, AZ 85711 Questions? Call 520.888.6161 See more at: www.bbb.org/tucson/ 190 BizTucson
continued from page 189 shows. Success of these efforts is measurable and the BBB team is proud to publicize them. For instance, last year the number of Facebook fans increased to 1,444 from 779 in 2014, and accredited businesses now number well in excess of 3,000, up from 2,746 in 2014. Many of the bureau’s recent initiatives can be credited to former President/CEO Kim States and now Pamela Crim, who was hired for that position last July when States took a similar position with the Denver BBB. “Pam is just tremendous, a great asset to us,” Schultz said. “She’s taking us to the next level – expanding our outreach; we’re out in the public a lot more. We have more partnerships with other organizations,” such as the local chambers of commerce. Crim is the former owner of DakotaCom.net, one of the early regional Internet services providers based in Tucson. The company started out in the 1990s serving individuals, and then diversified into the business sector. After working in corporate America for several years, operating a small company gave Crim a new viewpoint on business operations. The experience gained, she said, allows her to be more sensitive to the needs and demands of business owners she now works with through the BBB. Her goals when she started as CEO in July 2015 were twofold: making sure to reach businesses in all areas of southern Arizona, not only Tucson; and reaching out to millennials and the Hispanic business community. “Outreach, outreach, outreach” is Crim’s mantra and one that’s been adopted by the BBB board of directors. She stressed that the BBB is here for all businesses, not solely the accredited ones. “We consider the entire community to support and help. The healthier they are, the healthier we are as a community.” Other programs the BBB offers the community are fraud presentations at local businesses and free business courses held in the BBB conference room. Topics range from social media and Constant Contact to relationship
We consider the entire community to support and help. The healthier they are, the healthier we are as a community.
– Pamela Crim President & CEO Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona.
building and QuickBooks. Advantages of being a BBB member are many, including the prestige of being accredited and also having a presence on the BBB site, where many consumers go to look for reputable businesses. “For me, the first main benefit is you get to put our seal on everything – paperwork, business cards, invoices, on the website and Facebook page,” Schultz said. “When you send an invoice, the consumer or business receiving it can feel better about paying the bill. It puts you above your competition when you have an A+ rating and accreditation. “Second, we have hundreds of thousands of consumers going to the website and they see you; that gives you an advantage.”
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Recognizing Marketplace Excellence
Torch Awards Honor Ethics, Good Neighbors, Customer Excellence By Christy Krueger The Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona is in the position of knowing and keeping tabs on thousands of area companies. So it was only natural that an award recognizing the best of the best should come into being The BBB Torch Awards celebrate businesses in our community that exemplify good stewardship and the highest level of business ethics. Started in 2002 as the Ethics Awards, the event first took place during a small breakfast gathering. By 2006 it evolved into a cocktail party at the University of Arizona Eller College of Business with about 35 attendees. The modern Torch Awards began in 2011 and were broken into three categories: Ethics, Good Neighbor and Customer Excellence. This year 500 attendees are expected to enjoy a full-blown gala event with dinner at Casino Del Sol Resort. Congresswoman Martha McSally will be the 2016 event’s keynote speaker and will address the audience from a leadership standpoint. “We’re very excited about having
Martha McSally United States Representative
BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU 2016 TORCH AWARDS Thursday, May 5 Casino Del Sol Resort 5655 W. Valencia Road Sponsor/finalist reception 5-6:30 p.m. Awards dinner 6:30–8 p.m. $95 per person $850 for a table of 10 Register at go.bbb.org/soaz-rsvp or call (520) 888-6161
Martha McSally at the Torch Awards,” said Pamela Crim, President & CEO of the BBB of Southern Arizona. “We are nonpolitical and don’t endorse anyone, so (her invitation) is based on her leadership. She’ll talk about how integrity and trust are part of leadership. It should be a very enlightening experience.” In the U.S. House of Representatives, McSally serves on the Armed Services Committee and Homeland Security Committee. She also is chair of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications. Prior to being elected to Congress, she flew the A-10 “Warthog” with the U.S. Air Force and was the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat. She also was the first woman to command a fighter squadron in combat. As a squadron commander, McSally led her A-10 combat team during Operation Enduring Freedom and was awarded the Bronze Star for her leadership role.
Torch Award Winners since 2011 2011
Green Valley Cooling & Heating
Golden Eagle Distributors
Snell & Wilmer
Oschmann Employee Screening
AGM Container Controls
NOVA Home Loans
Underhill Financial Advisors
Raskob Kambourian Financial Advisors Milex Auto Service
Golden Eagle Distributors
Commercial Cleaning & Restoration
Nicolosi Moving and Storage
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Torch Awards Judges By Christy Krueger
After graduating from the University of Arizona with honors, Ciscomani was selected by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute to participate in its Public Policy Fellowship Program in Washington, D.C. Following his term, he led Take Charge America Institute’s local outreach and youth financial literacy efforts in Arizona. In 2012 Ciscomani was appointed to the Arizona Civil Rights Advisory Board by Gov. Jan Brewer and subsequently received an appointment by Gov. Doug Ducey to head the governor’s Sonora, Mexico, office. Ciscomani also served as VP of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Varney was named President and CEO of the Tucson Metro Chamber in 2011 after serving in a similar capacity for the North Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. Prior to that he was VP of marketing for the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. In his current role, he oversees all aspects of the organization’s operations including planning, government affairs, research and member services. He frequently speaks at chamber of commerce conferences around the country and is actively involved in a variety of chamber-related associations.
With a passion for supporting local businesses, Tieman became the executive director of the Sierra Vista Area Chamber of Commerce in November 2014. Prior to heading up the chamber, she was a member of its board of directors and worked as executive assistant to the chief executive officer of Arizona Workforce Connection. She credits both experiences with preparing her for the opportunity to take the reins and move the chamber forward. Tieman is also a member of the Sierra Vista West Rotary Club.
Terrell had a long career as a business consultant, operating Organization Performance Enhancement Network, a process improvement consultancy firm. Strategic planning, management consulting and training were among the services he offered. His clients included 15 major automotive manufacturers. Now, as executive vice president of SCORE Southern Arizona, Terrell provides client mentoring, workshops and other services to both entrepreneurs just starting a business and experienced clients who request assistance. Terrell helps SCORE clients accomplish their objectives, and he strives to be an integral part of a valued team.
Currently a sophomore at the University of Arizona, Bustillos is pursuing a degree in accounting and is a recipient of the Wildcat Excellence Scholarship. She is secretary for the Delta Sigma Pi professional fraternity and co-chair of the Ethics Center of Eller partnership. Her work background includes retail and project management experiences. In addition to work and education, Bustillos has had the opportunity to travel oversees to study cultural diversity and historical pasts. After graduation, she hopes to work in accounting and real estate property management.
BizAWARDS ETHICS AWARD
2016 Torch Awards Finalists By Christy Krueger The following are finalists in the three categories of the 2016 Torch Awards: Ethics, Good Neighbor and Customer Excellence. Company descriptions provided by the BBB.
Plum Windows and Doors Led by Phil and Kathleen Plum, who understand the importance of quality workmanship, superior energy-efficiency and enhanced security when it comes to maintaining and improving the home. That includes windows, entry doors and skylights, all of which can be created with a blend of value, functionality and appearance in mind. Plum Windows and Doors is committed to environmental responsibility in both construction of the product and its efficiency in the home.
Honors a business for its trustworthy and honorable business practices in every aspect of its operation. This award is open to any for-profit company in southern Arizona that is in good standing with BBB.
Grail Construction Specializes in kitchen, bath and basement remodels; patio designs; commercial renovations and custom home designs. For more than 20 years, its team members have prided themselves for being open-minded and providing a high level of attention to details and schedules while staying within budget. They emphasize a united involvement of all parties from the client to engineers and subcontractors. Grail Construction has an excellent track record based on value-focused planning, and it adheres to a strict ethics code.
Vistoso Automotive Promises exceptional and friendly customer service, honesty, transparent pricing and highly trained technicians. The staff always strives to be Oro Valleyâ€™s best auto repair facility and truly cares about the customers and their safety. Vistoso Automotive even provides complimentary roadside assistance 24 hours a day. Glowing customer reviews are solid confirmation that the company is setting a new standard of convenience and trust in automotive care.
The Garage Center Offers customized storage and organization solutions that allow customers to take back their valuable garage space. Locally owned and operated, The Garage Center serves Tucson and southern Arizona, providing high-quality products with lifetime guarantees and exceptional customer service. The TV show â€œFix It & Finish Itâ€? worked with The Garage Center to provide a lucky Tucson family with a newly outfitted, organized garage. continued on page 198 >>>
continued from page 197 GOOD NEIGHBOR AWARD Recognizes a company that has shown a commitment to making southern Arizona a better place through community service. The nominated businesses and employees play a significant role in support of local charities or community service projects. This award is open to any for-profit business in southern Arizona that is in good standing with the BBB.
Claire’s Café Has been serving the community of Catalina and surrounding areas for 28 years, giving diners an artistic and loving environment to enjoy. Every year on the day before Thanksgiving, the restaurant opens its doors and provides free meals to more than 500 people in need. Claire involves many local business owners to help with the project. The café is a member of Tucson Originals Restaurants, an alliance of independently owned local restaurants and partners working to raise awareness of the culinary options available in the Tucson region.
Bekki Harper Financial Helps clients find the peace of mind that comes from establishing financial security by crafting a living legacy. This is done by considering what’s important in one’s life and creating a road map to get there. Bekki Harper counsels her clients on all financial decisions they make because each one impacts the others. She regularly directs investor workshops and she coordinates scholastic essay contests in Tucson area schools as a way to give back to the community.
Plum Windows and Doors Places a heavy emphasis on community and community involvement. The company assists local organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Humane Society of Southern Arizona, Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona and Community Food Bank, among many others.
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continued from page 198 CUSTOMER EXCELLENCE AWARD The nominated business has an outstanding customer service program and a history of exceeding customers’ expectations. This award is open only to BBB Accredited Businesses in southern Arizona.
Sunshine Experts The only Solatube Skylights dealer and certified installer in southern Arizona. The company also is the state’s designated expert for Sunesta retractable awnings and patio shade. Sunshine Experts strives to set the standard in providing quality products, reputable warranties, a high level of professionalism and customer service, making the top 5 percent on Angie’s List after only three months.
BRAKEmax Car Care Centers A Tucson-based company with 12 locations. The company is a leader in the use of technology for car care, such as offering computer updates, diagnostics and flashing services, while also performing basic services such as oil changes. Providing outstanding, courteous and professional service is the company’s number one priority, as demonstrated in such offerings as online estimate requests, coupons and the “Ask A Technician” program. All the stores are AAA certified and some are also AAA Green locations.
Northwest Pet Clinic A veterinary hospital that is dedicated to serving its patients and clients with the highest level of compassionate care. Its team members understand that pets are family and they treat them as such. The staff attends continuing education and the hospital maintains up-to-date medical equipment to help promote a long, happy life for its patients. It counts itself among only 15 percent of veterinary practices to be accredited with the American Animal Hospital Association. For more than 35 years, Northwest Pet Clinic has always endeavored to do what is right.
Tucson Rolling Shutters Founded in 1979 by a husband and wife team working out of their garage. Today, with three Tucson facilities and a staff of well-trained professionals, they manufacture a complete line of retractable products to improve security, energy efficiency, comfort and privacy for the home and business. Nearly 70 percent of Tucson Rolling Shutters’ sales are from referrals and repeat business, giving testament to the company’s priority of keeping customers satisfied.
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