I recently attended the American Foundation of Counseling Services (AFCS) Ethics in Business award luncheon. Festival Foods was awarded the honor in the business category this year. This is a unique event because AFCS believes in recognizing healthy work environments when so often these days there are growing concerns about ethical and moral business practices. Each year AFCS recognizes an individual, a business, and a not-for-profit organization. The 2013 recipient for the individual category is Diana Brown and Golden House, Inc. in the not-for-profit category. There are many good organizations both for profit and non-profit in northeast Wisconsin so it is an honor for Festival Foods to be recognized. I was extremely proud to represent Festival onstage at the event and it gave me the chance to reflect on what this award means to how we do business. I can trace "doing the right" thing all the way back to my grandpa although I didn’t know him very well because of his passing when I was 6. And while I didn’t get a chance to learn directly from him I have heard many stories over the years about the good things he did for both guests and associates. Having ethical leaders who operated on integrity (my grandpa and then later my parents) formed our company into what it is today. While we (as a company and myself personally) are not perfect, I feel like we have seen things done the "right way" for so long that when situations arise where we have a choice to make it only feels natural for us to do the right thing. Our values – servant leadership, service, execution, associate development, community involvement – act as our moral compass and lead us along the ethical path in business. Doing what is right for our associates, doing what is right for our guests, and doing what is right for the communities we serve just feels good! I would like to send a big “Thank You” to the American Foundation of Counseling Services for creating this distinction and for choosing to honor Festival Foods this year. The first Ethics in Business Award luncheon was hosted six years ago and I believe will remain an important event in northeast Wisconsin for years to come.
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