Larry Craig of Craig Automotive recieves a TORCH award from the Better Business Bureau on Nov. 1. (Photo by Ryan Collins)

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Five Springfield companies received awards from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for outstanding ethics and marketplace trust at a luncheon on Nov. 1.

BBB’s TORCH Awards went to five businesses: Air Services Heating, Cooling, Plumbing and Electrical; Club Z! In-Home Tutoring; Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Ozarks; Craig Automotive Services; and Sharlin Health and Neurology.

“These organizations are shining examples of marketplace trust,” said Pamela Hernandez, BBB Springfield Regional Director. “They make a positive impact on their customers and communities.”

About 120 people attended the TORCH Awards, which took place at the White River Conference Center on East Sunshine Street, Hernandez said. It was the first public ceremony for the awards since 2019. No ceremonies were held over the past three years due to public health concerns and economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We appreciate businesses we can trust,” said Joy Robertson, journalist and on-air host who was the emcee at the event. “It means everything to the consumer.”

A student from Mt. Vernon High School, Emma Tobey, was awarded a $2,500 Student of Ethics scholarship at the event.

Doug Hunt, director of entrepreneurship for the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, gave a unique keynote address that highlighted how passion can translate to profit for small businesses, and how ethics plays a role in directing that passion.

“I’ve never seen a purely ethical business flounder,” Hunt said. “The passion for serving your customers, that is your profitability.”

Ryan Collins

Ryan Collins is the business and economic development reporter for the Springfield Daily Citizen. Collins graduated from Glendale High School in 2011 before studying journalism and economics at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He previously worked for Bloomberg News. Contact him at (417) 849-2570 or More by Ryan Collins