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New Ethical Business Award at CBICC’s Awards Program

State College, Centre County, Pa. – Tonight over 270 local business leaders and community members are gathering at the Nittany Lion Inn in State College for the Centre County Chamber of Business and Industry’s Annual Awards Program.

A new Ethical Business Award is being given out. Here’s what the business nominated for the award thought of the interview process.

The four businesses nominated for the award told us they were impressed with the questions Penn State business students asked to gauge their ethical values.

One local nonprofit said it made them look at their practices from a fresh vantage point.

“We do things all the time and when you’re doing it day-to-day, you don’t even really realize it,” said Fran McDermid, Compliance Officer, Employee Development and Enhancement, Strawberry Fields, Inc. “So to stop and force ourselves to look at each of those domains really did force us to see it in a different way.”

Domains like community, respect, responsibility, and integrity were addressed to leaders of nominees like local nonprofit Strawberry Fields, during face-to-face interviews with students.

“The students that were involved in this process had obviously invested a lot of time into researching and studying this concept…and we felt like we felt like we were really being tested when they questioned us,” said Cindy Pasquinelli, CEO of Strawberry Fields, Inc. “They knew exactly what they were looking for…it was a great process for all of us. Very thought-provoking.”

It was a breath of fresh air to Strawberry Fields, who promotes community involvement for those with disabilities. They’re excited to see a younger generation of business professionals looking for a more than just a job.

“They want to support businesses who have a greater cause…They’re not going to stay somewhere that they see cutting corners, and maybe leaving somebody behind at the expense of a bottom line,” said McDermid.

This award may serve as a strong local starting point to show that the community cares about more than dollars and cents.

“I think the concept of this award is such a good concept and it would be a good thing to have this be an ongoing award. Hopefully it will inspire other businesses to do better, to reach higher,” said Pasquinelli.

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