Nomination Process

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To view the 2018 recipients, go to the Nominees & Recipients page here.

The 2019 River Region Ethics in Business and Public Service Awards nominations cycle is underway. The deadline to submit a nomination is January 15, 2019.

Nomination Guidelines

Five awards will be given in the following categories: small, medium, and large businesses*; a non-profit organization or public agency; and an individual**.

Businesses/agencies may self-propose or be proposed by a third party. Individuals must be proposed by a third party only. All potential nominators and nominees must agree to be interviewed by Auburn University Montgomery faculty and students. Potential nominees should be aware that the research process for the award involves a time investment of four to six hours.

Potential nominees will be screened by the nominations committee prior to the research process. Up to six official nominees in each category will be passed on to AUM faculty and students. From the list of official nominees, 15 finalists and 5 award winners will be chosen by an independent selection committee using the research compiled by AUM faculty and students as a guide for their selections. The selection of the Maury D. Smith Award for Excellence in Professional Ethics award will be chosen by the Board of Directors of the Samartian Counseling Center. Official nominees, finalists, and award winners will be honored at an awards banquet in October 2019.

The following bullet points should be used as a guide in proposing a business or agency for an award. This list is not intended as a point by point, required list of traits for all potential nominees, but rather as a guide for one’s thinking in proposing a candidate.

  • Engagement of employees in volunteerism and community service
  • Breadth and depth of support for charitable and philanthropic causes that is effective and meaningful given the mission and purpose of the organization
  • Emphasis on employee health and/or safety
  • Promotion of diversity within the organization
  • Support sustainable use of organizational resources through education, financial support, and operational innovation
  • Longstanding history and general reputation in the marketplace for ethical business practices
  • Demonstrated ethical practices in the buyer/seller relationship
  • Tone at the top of the organization that reinforces the importance of ethics.
  • A culture and strong internal controls that support compliance with laws and regulations.
  • Strong ethics and conflict of interest policies and codes of conduct.
  • Explicit set of core values that guide behavior.
  • Effective risk management practices.
  • Effective strategies to detect and prevent misconduct.
  • Ethically responsive behavior once organizational mistakes have been discovered

Maury D. Smith Award for Excellence in Professional Ethics:

Potential nominees should exemplify strong ethical character through dealings with others, championing ethical practices or programs, and applying personal values in a manner that notably demonstrates integrity and ethics. Business leaders as well as other professionals (attorneys, physicians, educators, etc.) are eligible for nomination. Elected officials are not eligible for nomination. The selection of the Maury D. Smith Award for Excellence in Professional Ethics award will be chosen by the Board of Directors of the Samartian Counseling Center.

About Maury D. Smith

Maury Drane Smith, and his beloved wife Lucile, served as charter board members for The Samaritan Counseling Center from 1997 – 2008. He began the practice of law in Montgomery with the late Senator O. J. Goodwyn under the name Goodwyn & Smith. The firm later merged and became Balch & Bingham. He practiced law in Montgomery for 50 years in the areas of personal injury, eminent domain, criminal law, domestic relations and commercial litigation.

He served as a member of the Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama, as well as the Alabama Department of Archives and History. He was also a past President of the Alabama Heritage Foundation. He was also a past President of the Montgomery County Bar Association, President of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Alabama Bar Association, and a member and past Chairman of the Montgomery Area Committee of 100.

Maury died on May 29, 2009 leaving a legacy of impeccable professional ethics and responsible citizenship through service to others in his community. He was the consummate southern gentleman known for intellect and legal skill rivaled only by the sincerity of his spirit and the soundness of his character. For these and countless other reasons, the River Region Ethics in Business and Public Service individual award is named in his memory.

“The River Region Ethics in Business and Public Service Awards program is helping to transform the mindset of our community in terms of appreciating those who demonstrate strong, positive character in the workplace. For good ethical practices to become the norm in any community, they must first be highly esteemed by the people of the community. This program demonstrates the value, to us all, of having ethical, community-minded leaders in the River Region. At Balch & Bingham, we are particularly proud of, yet humbled by, the legacy left to our community by our leader, Maury Smith. The Maury D. Smith Award for Excellence in Professional Ethics spotlights those leaders who have truly placed “doing what is right and fair” above all else throughout their careers. The legacy and impact of Maury’s life, and of the recipients of this Award named in his honor, cannot be overstated in terms of elevating the business and public service climate in the River Region and beyond.”
William P. Cobb, II, Partner, Balch & Bingham LLP

*Business size is defined by the number of full-time employees. All part-time employees should count as a half employee towards the total. Categories are defined as follows: small business: 1 to 15 FTEs; medium business: 16 to 85 FTEs; large business: 86 FTEs and up.

**Elected officials are not eligible for the individual award.