The Rochester Area Business Ethics Foundation has announced that, in the Small-Sized category (less than 50 employees), the "Ethie" Award recipient is Saelig Company Inc., 71 Perinton Parkway Fairport, NY 14450. The R.A.B.E.F. celebrates and encourages ethical business cultures and practices. It is convinced that high standards of ethics drive high levels of performance for businesses and not-for-profit organizations. A key activity of the foundation is the "Ethie" Award, which has grown to be one the premier awards of the region and is a valuable tool to recognize and promote companies doing things the "right way." The R.A.B.E.F. established the "Ethie" Award in 2003, with almost 30 companies having received the award.
"Sometimes,” said Saelig Co. Inc. founder Alan Lowne,“being ethical and aboveboard in dealings can actually hurt the bottom line. Like when Saelig absorbed thousands of dollars in costs from equipment that did not work (and the manufacturer would not refund). Having and keeping a good name is what makes us ethical," said Lowne, one of three 2013 Rochester Business Ethics Award winners.
The Perinton measurement and test equipment distributor won in the small company category. Lowne said that behaving ethically - which often means putting customers and employees first - can hurt a company's bottom line, at least in the short term. But treating employees well cascades down into good operations, while treating employees well creates a brand that can't be bought by advertising, Lowne said.
"We basically rely on biblical principles," said Lowne. “For gray areas where the right answer is not as clear,” he said,"we'll err on the side of the customer."
The "Ethie" is modeled on the American Business Ethics Award, which was founded in 1994 by the National Society of Financial Service Professionals. Several of Rochester’s award recipients have gone on to participate and win national recognition in the American Business Ethics Award competition. The judges examined competitors’ business practices and ethics, and determined how the companies handled ethical issues.