Why the BBB Torch Award for Ethics Means So Much

January 12, 2018 | Terri Miracle

Photo of BBB Torch Award.

As I write this blog, I have in front of me for creative inspiration the award that is my subject matter: the 2017 BBB Torch Award for Ethics. It’s a beautiful clear obelisk that the Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties presented to Mission Fed on November 28, 2017 as recipient of the 2017 BBB Torch Award for Ethics, category 500+ employees. The award recognizes Mission Fed for its strong commitment to integrity, customer service and community involvement, and we were delighted to accept it on behalf of our customers, whom we call members, employees and community partners. This symbol means a lot to Mission Fed, and to me.

The BBB has a longstanding reputation for supporting ethical business practices, and you’ve probably seen the BBB logo on Mission Fed’s website, as well as proudly displayed by other local businesses. For the past 20 years, the Better Business Bureau serving San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties has hosted the Torch Awards for Ethics to celebrate the commitment made by businesses and non-profit organizations to the highest standards of leadership, character, ethics, and ethical enterprising. The awards bring attention to the practices that these organizations employ to generate a high level of trust among their employees, customers and communities.

I always think it’s interesting that the award itself is clear. To me, that seems to reinforce the concept that the BBB Torch Award for Ethics program is based on encouraging organizations to be transparent in their business practices and rewarding those who are determined to live by those guidelines.

When Mission Fed accepted the award in 2015 for the first time, we were thrilled! We shared the news with our members, employees and community partners and thanked them for their ongoing loyalty and trust. According to the program rules, we couldn’t submit another nomination until the 2017 program, but in a way, I feel like earning the award for the second time is even more special. This second award recognizes that we continue to put our words into action. We were also in a different category, because in 2015, we were in the category for 250-499 employees, and in 2017, we were in the category for 500 plus employees, which could include some very large businesses.

We always have a lot of good things to say about what Mission Fed can do to help our members reach their financial goals, how committed we are to coaching, training and supporting our employees and how seriously we take our role as a community partner of choice. What was interesting about the application this year was that it challenged us to talk about our organization in a new way, exploring our organization in depth based on BBB criteria in six different areas of trust:

  1. Transformation at the top
  2. Reinforce and build
  3. Unite the team
  4. Steer performance
  5. Treasure people
  6. Enthusiastically reinvest

As we worked on our application, it made us feel really good about not just what Mission Fed says, but how we put those words into action. And even further, that it’s not what we do; it’s how we do it. We were able to describe some of the processes that we do as a normal course of business, such as enhancing services to make them more useful to our members; having collaborative meetings to get input and ideas; and working with educational and other nonprofit community partners to help them achieve their goals. Writing the application was like telling a story that you know very well to someone who is hearing it for the first time, and getting the chance to appreciate it through their eyes. Whether we had earned the award or not, I think that preparing the nomination packet was a very valuable experience. Of course, I’m very grateful that we did receive it!

Because Mission Fed is a not-for-profit financial institution, our mission is focused on serving our membership. Our goal is to help them reach their goals, whether it’s buying a new car, finding a fee-free ATM, saving time with Mobile Banking or getting a better night’s sleep because they were able to reduce their monthly mortgage payment. We follow ethical business practices in a culture that supports the credit union principle of people helping people, and that makes this a very nice place to work. We start the day knowing that we’re going to be able to help people, and we drive home at night with the feeling that we’ve made a difference.

If you’d like to learn more about the BBB Torch Award in particular, or the BBB in general, I encourage you to take a closer look and see if this is something that your company would like to participate in. The Torch Awards program is open to all businesses and organizations that serve San Diego, Orange and/or Imperial County markets. Companies must be in good standing with the BBB; however, BBB Accreditation is not a requirement for entry or consideration.

Now I’d better wipe my fingerprints off this BBB Torch Award and return it to our lobby. The clear glass is beautiful, but you’ve got to keep it clean.

Offer is good for new Credit Cards with Mission Fed. Balance transfers are for non-Mission Fed Credit Cards. Introductory APR will apply on purchases and balance transfers posted within the first 90 days of account opening, ending on the closing date of the first billing cycle after the account is open 12 months. APRs are current as of 1/5/18. In order for your balance transfer to qualify for the 0% APR promotion, you must conduct the balance transfer by using a Cashier’s Check issued by a Mission Fed Branch or the Contact Center. Electronic balance transfers do not qualify. The balance transfer and cash advance fee is 2% of the amount of each item ($2 minimum). The foreign transaction fee is 1% of the amount of each transaction in U.S. Dollars. Maximum $20,000 in balance transfers per member. The 10,000 Mission Rewards points will be awarded one time for the first $1,000 in purchases that post within 90 days of opening the account, and will be credited approximately 120 days after account opening. This offer cannot be combined with other Mission Rewards points promotions. Certain restrictions may apply. All loans are subject to approval. Programs, rates, terms, conditions and services are subject to change without notice. Mastercard and the Mastercard Brand Mark are registered trademarks of Mastercard International, Inc. 1/18

The content provided in this blog consists of the opinions and ideas of the author alone and should be used for informational purposes only. Mission Federal Credit Union disclaims any liability for decisions you make based on the information provided. References to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name in this article by Mission Federal Credit Union is for the information and convenience of its readers and does not constitute endorsement, control or warranty by Mission Federal Credit Union.

Terri Miracle

Terri Miracle

Terri Miracle is VP Creative and Communications at Mission Federal Credit Union. She loved writing as a child, composing newspapers for her dolls, followed by her first paid writing job: a monthly magazine for her grandmother at 25 cents a copy. Many years later after college graduation, her dad told her to join a credit union “because they’re better than banks.” So she did, and enjoyed the “people helping people” experience so much, she decided to make member service her career.

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