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Program Summary

River Region Ethics in Business and Public Service Awards

The River Region Ethics in Business and Public Service Awards is a program of The Samaritan Counseling Center, Inc. in collaboration with Auburn University Montgomery’s School of Business and School of Sciences.


The purpose of the program is to bring the importance of business and public service ethics to the forefront of communities throughout the River Region and to honor those individuals and companies that practice and believe in good ethics. It is hoped that businesses and agencies throughout the community will aspire to be considered for this award.

The Awards

Five recipients are selected each year from businesses, non-profit organizations/public agencies, and individuals that have demonstrated exceedingly high ethical conduct, integrity, and civic responsibility as reflected in their dealings with individuals, businesses, employees and the community. Organizational awards are given to small, medium, and large businesses, as well as a non-profit organization or public agency. An individual award, the Maury D. Smith Award for Excellence in Professional Ethics, is also presented.

The History

The River Region Ethics in Business and Public Service Awards is based on a program created more than 16 years ago by the Samaritan Institute in Denver, Colorado, the accrediting organization for The Samaritan Counseling Center, Inc. These Founders felt that individuals and companies who have successfully integrated ethical business conduct and social responsibility into their daily decision-making should be publicly honored.

The Process

A public announcement for nominations will occur annually in the fall. Up to six (6) nominees per category will be passed on to AUM Schools of Business and Sciences faculty and students. Business and public administration students at AUM will interview and conduct research with individual and organizational nominees as part of thier semester couse work.  A Selection Committee of community leaders will review the results of the students’ research and narrows the field in each category to three (3) finalists and one (1) award winner to be specially recognized.

The Event

The 2014 awards luncheon was presented on Oct. 20, 2014 at Wynlakes Golf and Country Club. Jim Corman, a successful entrepreneur, teacher, and mentor, was the keynote speaker for the awards luncheon.

The Beneficiaries

Proceeds from the event benefit The Samaritan Counseling Center, Inc. to strengthen individuals, families and organizations and AUM’s Schools of Business and Sciences to further the study and teachings of ethical business and organizational practices.


Edward Welch, Overall Chairman

Selection Committee:

  • Rabbi Elliot Stevens, Chair
  • Anna Buckalew
  • Gary Burton
  • Josh Bush
  • Cheryl Carter
  • Dr. Linda Dennard
  • Dr. Azriel Gorski
  • Dick Huckaby
  • Mike Jenkins, IV   
  • Dr. Scott Kiker
  • Steve Meany

Event Committee:

  • Nan Barganier, Chair
  • Beth Bolger
  • Leslie Davis
  • Nancy Ellis
  • Charlene Holtsford
  • Susu Millsap
  • Susan Scott

Sponsor Committee:

  • Robert F. Runkle, Co-Chair
  • Edward V. Welch, Jr., Co-Chair
  • Christy Holding