2006 Minnesota Business Ethics Award Recipients Announced

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Bob Shoemake
Director of Programs and Operations
Phone: (651) 962-4127
Email: rcshoemake@cebcglobal.org

Calling it a win-win and not a tie, the judges for the 2006 Minnesota Business Ethics Award (MBEA) chose two companies to receive the midsize company award, the Board of Pensions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Premier Banks. These companies, while similar in size use different and yet complementary strategies to reach the same high standards of ethical excellence. In the large company category, the judges selected General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems.

The ELCA Board of Pensions provides retirement, health and related benefits and services to enhance the wellbeing of those who serve through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and other faith-based organizations.

In recognizing this company, the judges noted this organization’s strong systems which allow it to reach ethical excellence. These include creative strategies for engaging employees, from determining the company’s values to a highly transparent model of ethical problem solving to evaluating employee performance in light of the organization’s values and ethics. It extends this systematic approach to treatment of other key stakeholders, including customers and vendors.

Premier Banks is a 32 year-old family-owned company with more than 20 branches across Minnesota. The MBEA judges were impressed by the highly intuitive and relational approach this business uses to achieve ethical excellence. Using the Minnesota Principles as a point of reference, this company attends carefully to both internal and external stakeholders. It cares for its employees through, for example, strong mentoring and profit-sharing programs. It cares for its customers through policies and practices which go above and beyond routine banking behavior. It cares for its suppliers by building long-term relationships which allow both parties to grow jointly. It cares for its communities through philanthropic giving of over 7% of its pre-tax profits. As a result of these practices, it has cared for its owners with consistent growth for over 30 years.

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems (GDAIS) designs, develops, manufactures, and integrates information solutions for defense, intelligence, and homeland security. The judges saw in this company the robust ethics and compliance program which is now expected for large companies. They noted that GDAIS moves from the expected to ethical excellence through a number of strong initiatives intended to reinforce the ethical dimensions of its corporate culture. Examples include the President’s Integrity and Ethics Award, designed to honor employees whose actions demonstrate the highest standards of integrity and ethical business conduct, and systematic training for supervisors and managers focused on their role as ethical leaders.

The MBEA was established in 1999 by the Twin Cities Chapter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals and the Center for Ethical Business Cultures at the University of St. Thomas. Its purpose is to raise the standards for business ethics in Minnesota and to honor those companies that exhibit the highest standards. In 2004 the Rotary Clubs of Edina and White Bear Lake joined as award sponsors.

Originally published on May 08, 2006

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