As a part of our Leadership Development Series, the one-year M.B.A. cohort has historically been involved in selecting the preliminary finalists for the Buffalo Niagara Business Ethics Competition.  In 2006, the Buffalo Niagara Business Ethics Competition was founded to “recognize local companies that embrace and practice these admirable [ethical] standards.” After a company is nominated, they must formally apply by submitting various supporting documents, including an executive demonstration of business ethics, a corporate code of ethics, evidence of sound ethical business practices, and proof of ethical commitment to the company’s stakeholders.

Our class was divided into two groups, with one group responsible for the small companies (under 50 employees) and the other responsible for the mid-sized (50-100 employees) and large companies (over 100 employees). The primary challenge in analyzing the applicants was trying to decipher between an ethical executive from an entire ethical company. Additionally, while a company may have good intentions to be ethical with a valid mission statement and code of conduct, their intention must translate into verifiable action.

After much debate, we have selected the preliminary finalists for the competition. These finalists will be presented to the judging panel on May 9, 2013 at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens, where the winners will be chosen. Last years’ recipients include Allpro Parking, Mollenberg-Betz, Inc., and Cortese Construction Services. Good luck to the 2013 applicants!