Business leaders from across Minnesota gathered on Wednesday, May 19, to honor ethical excellence with the presentation of the 2010 Minnesota Business Ethics Award (MBEA).

Three companies from around the region received the award. They are:

  • Certes Financial Pros, a placement firm for senior level financial professionals located in Golden Valley;
  • Great Clips Inc., an Edina-based hair care franchise company; and
  • Imation Corp., a developer and marketer of digital storage products with global headquarters in Oakdale.

Bradford L. Hewitt, president and CEO of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, presented the keynote address.  In his talk, he explored the relationship between one’s personal ethics and the organizational systems in which those ethics operate. 

According to Hewitt, the ethos of a company can either support or inhibit the exercise of ethical behavior.  He challenged the audience to build business enterprises that support the highest standards of ethical performance.

MBEA recipients are selected based on company size; categories are small (under 100 employees), midsized (100 to 500 employees) and large (more than 500 employees).  Certes Financial Pros received the small-company award.  Great Clips Inc. received the midsize-company award.  Imation Corp. received the large-company award.

The MBEA was established in 1999 by the Twin Cities Chapter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals and the Center for Ethical Business Cultures at the University of St. Thomas.

Its purpose is to raise the standards for business ethics in Minnesota and to honor companies that exhibit the highest standards of ethical performance.  In 2009 the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants joined as an award sponsor.