Quest Ties To BBB’s Mission

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Quest For “The Better” Ties to BBB’s Mission
by Bryan Redemske, World-Herald Correspondent
2012 Integrity Awards

Before he rose to success in the business world as CEO of the Hearst Newspaper Group and vice president of the Hearst Corp., Bob Danzig bounced from house to house as a foster child in Albany, N.Y.

Tuesday, he told of being a high school graduate working at the Albany Times Union as an office boy when, after about six months, he was pulled aside by a superior — a former foster parent.

“She said, ‘I’ve been observing you, and I believe you’re full of promise,’” Danzig said. “At that moment, she gave me permission to have ambition. She gave me permission to seek the better.”

Danzig was the featured speaker at the Nebraska Better Business Bureau 2012 Integrity Awards luncheon Tuesday at the La Vista Conference Center. He drew parallels between his lifelong quest to do great work and the BBB’s mission to help members of the business community uphold the highest standards of ethics and business practices.

Doing things the right way includes choosing to be leaders and role models in a tough business climate.

Danzig relayed a story about a friend, Richard Ruffalo, who lost his sight at age 32. A teacher at the time, Ruffalo embraced his ability to inspire others while competing in a track and field meet for disabled athletes. After meeting a group of blind children, he threw the javelin (yes, Ruffalo was a blind javelin thrower) 40 feet farther than ever before.

“He knew he had to use his abilities to inspire other people,” Danzig said. “He knew he had to be a giver of light. And that’s what the BBB does here in Omaha. It says, ‘Join us as light givers. Join us in being ethical and promoting integrity.’”

The banquet celebrated winners of the BBB’s highest honor — the Integrity Award — as well as the organization’s 100th anniversary. Five local companies were honored during the event for their commitment to uphold the trust of their customers.

“It’s really gratifying to have everybody here,” said Nebraska BBB president and CEO Jim Hegarty. “For me, since I spent so much time in the trenches working on stories about schemes and scams and unfavorable business practices, it’s a pleasure to spend time with such a huge group of businesses that are all committed to doing things the right way.”