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2013 Annual Meeting and Students of Integrity Award Program


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Better Business Bureau Serving Greater Cleveland Presents Annual Meeting and Students of Integrity Award Program for 2013, Guest speaker was Russ Mitchell. Grand Scholarship winner was Alexander Spanos of Brookside High School. Other scholarship recipients included Nichole Chesnokov of Hathaway Brown School, Jennifer Polito of Saint Joseph Academy, Doo Hee Kim of Orange High School, and Alexandra Marincic of Garfield Heights High School.

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2013 Annual Meeting and Students of Integrity Award Program

  1. 1. Annual Meeting and Students of Integrity Award Program ® 2013 Better Business Bureau Serving Greater Cleveland Presents
  2. 2. Today’s Events 7:30 Eat & Greet 8:20 BBB Annual Meeting Presiding: Ingrid Halpert, Chairman Weiss Movers, President Election of Directors & Officers Election of BBB Educational Foundation Directors Vote on Proposed Amendments to BBB By-Laws “Not Your Father’s BBB” David Weiss, President BBB & BBB Educational Foundation Board Recognition 8:35 Presentation of BBB’s 2013 Students of Integrity Awards Presenters Karen Schuele, Dean, Boler School of Business, John Carroll University Scott Miller, Vice-President & General Manager, Dominion East Ohio 8:55 Keynote Speaker & Address Russ Mitchell Lead Anchor, WKYC-TV 3
  3. 3. BBB Board of Directors Chairman: Ingrid Halpert, Weiss Movers Vice Chairmen: Ella Fong, WVIZ/WCPN Ideastream and Moreen Bailey Frater, WEWS NewsChannel 5 Secretary: Jim Lineweaver, Lineweaver Financial Group, Inc. Treasurer: Bill Mann, Joseph, Mann & Creed Immediate Past Chairman: Marlene Herman, Aamco Transmissions President: David Weiss Hal Becker The Becker Group Patrick Hurst Hurst Design-Build-Remodeling Jay Seaton Apprisen Inc. Terry Bishop Dominion East Ohio Chris Kamis Absolute Exteriors, Paul Wadsworth P.K. Wadsworth Htg Marc Blumenthal B & B Appliance Linda Kane Forest City Enterprises, Inc. Charles Wien Marshall Carpet One James Drozdowski North Coast Container Corp Donna Mintz Comfort Seal Windows & Doors Bill Woodburn Choice Relocation Mgmt Greg Faustina The Plumbing Source Ed Montgomery North Coast Seal, Inc. Mitchell Zlotnick One Wish, LLC Andy Fiffick Rad Air Service Centers, Inc Sherrill Paul-Witt Trolley Tours of Cleveland Dan Geller Fish Furniture Alex Petrus Guidestone Bob Gillingham Bob Gillingham Ford, Inc. Elena Ray PNC Bank Tom Holland Cary Root Holland Paving & Sealcoating Root-InfoTech Legal Counsel Jeremy Gilman Benesch, Attorneys at Law BBB Staff David Weiss, President Sue McConnell, Senior Vice President Brigid Woodland, Program Director Ericka Dilworth, Director of Trade Services Christine Roberts, Business Development Director Trade Practices Barbara Andersen Peter Brodnik Betty Creter Nichole Means Sirita Queen Lauren Roth Ed Streich Lou Tekavcic Melissa Trahan Rhonda Whitelock Customer Service Cheryl Horton Linda Jaquays Social Media & Communications Sara Jennings Accredited Business Services Laura Fitzgerald Janice Lightner Business Relations Cindy David Rosemary Farnsworth Michael Seale Project Director Brigid Woodland Data Quality Coordinator Mary Hanes
  4. 4. Congratulations to these outstanding high school seniors who were chosen to represent their schools in the Students of Integrity Competition! Daniel Baran Emily Beck Nichelle Blake Janessa Brickman Sarah Brook Benjamin Bunnell Cassandra Cameron Nicole Chesnokov Elizabeth DeMarco Matthew Dober Mark Friedel Brianna Hawkins Julia Herendeen Deisjia Hocker Emily Hutchison Bryan Jackisch John Kelley Christopher Kenzig Doo Hee Kim Juliana Kosik Richard Kraay Kevin Kuang Susan Lefelhocz Leah Lindak Kaylee Losch Joshua Loveland Alexandra Marincic Allison Marton Zachary Miller Agnes Mirando Anfernee Myers Austin Overberger Jennifer Polito Amy Ritchie Emma Ross Julianne Rossman Sarell Shaw Abigail Skolnik Alexander Spanos Elizabeth Stanitz Shardá Symonette Jami Tatulinski Emma Taylor Shanice Winston Independence High School Elyria Catholic High School Richmond Heights High School Holy Name High School Jefferson Area High School Lakeside High School Berkshire Jr/Sr High School Hathaway Brown School Midview High School Benedictine High School West Geauga High School Solon High School Thomas W. Harvey High School Euclid High School Open Door Christian Schools Perry High School Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin School Cuyahoga Hts High School Orange High School Edgewood High School St. Ignatius High School Maple Hts High School Andrews Osborne Academy North Ridgeville High School Rocky River High School Ledgemont High School Garfield Hts High School Parma Community High School Brecksville Broadview Hts High School Gilmour Academy Berea-Midpark High School Grand Valley High School St Joseph Academy Madison High School Cardinal High School Riverside High School Whitney M. Young High School Firelands High School Brookside High School Beaumont School Jane Addams Business Career Center Mentor High School Pymatuning Valley High School Warrensville Hts High School
  5. 5. Nicole Chesnokov Hathaway Brown School Integrity: a word our teachers, coaches, and parents repeat time and time again, but that we seem to forget and put aside as we get older. The need to succeed, to be the best, and to get there, no matter what it takes, becomes a controlling force that can lead each one of us down the wrong path. Although sometimes difficult, I chose to walk down the right path knowing that it may be more difficult. This year, I was part of the cross-country team for the second year in a row, but I wasn’t able to make it to practice every day because I started a tutoring agency that began to take time away from practice, meaning I would be missing one, or some weeks, even two, practices. I was never a cross-country start and this circumstance would have been the perfect opportunity to throw in the towel and not do any training that day. Instead I chose to adapt the practice to fit into my schedule and planned a workout that would still provide me with the training necessary to stay fit for the season. At times, I was tired and did not want to do the twenty minutes of interval running I had planned nor did I want to do the core workout that followed, but I always looked inside and questioned myself: would I be okay with cutting corners? And the answer to that question propelled me into a workout that thirty minutes later reminded me of why I always answer no to that question. I look at who I am, the people in my life, the decisions I made in the past week, or even day. I find myself looking for traces of integrity, moments where I chose to do the right thing even when no one was there to congratulate me for it. I hope to find traces of this characteristic follow my journey to success and I try to intertwine the two paths and not separate them. If success was measured merely by the amount of money in our bank or the seat we held in the Forbes Richest People rankings than we would live in a world of lying, cheating people. True success is measured by the way your reach you goal, whether you stuck with the morals that have intrinsically run your life, and the values you know to be correct. We can all reach the same goal; some of us will choose to take the easy path with no resistance, but we will end up living a falsified life of solitude. Or, we can take the harder road, tell the truth and pay for the consequences, knowing that looking at the mirror will not make us cringe. Alexander Hamilton once said, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” I stand for integrity and I urge every person I encounter, befriend, or collaborate with, to stand beside me.
  6. 6. Jennifer Polito Saint Joseph Academy I am a person of character and integrity, but I did not get to this place on my own. My brother has been an invisible presence that allowed me to develop this integrity. He was not a person of integrity himself. He was quite opposite. A drug addict that jumped from rehab to homelessness was my role model in life. Jared is my big brother. When he was there, fully there and without drugs, he was absolutely wonderful. The kind of wonderful that leaves despair when it’s gone. That loss of my brother broke me and my family. I devoted my life to never becoming anything like my big brother, who should have been my role model and then I realized that in some ways he is. Jared has taught me courage. He left. Jared chose drugs over us a long time ago and choosing a substance over your own family is not courageous. He didn’t have the strength to fight the drugs. He still doesn’t have the strength to fight the drugs. He lies and steals from his own family, while I fight the repercussions of his actions daily. Jared has taught me that all we have in this short life is our integrity. So I get up every day and make certain that the world knows I am a force to be reckoned with. I held my mom when she fell apart. I picked my brothers up and carried them through the ruins Jared left in his wake. I am resilient and I will fight until my dying day for the things that I love and believe in. I pray that one day Jared may receive even a fraction of the courage he has instilled in me. Jared has been a positive influence on me, but that does not mean a person needs a drug addict for a brother to develop integrity and good character. I choose to show those around me how to become a person of integrity by leading by example. I choose to do what Jared never did, but what my parents and my other brother have done for me, which is being an upstanding person. Every person has the choice to do good. We must look at our mistakes, and others’ mistakes, in the face, and learn from them. I motivate others by doing what is right and just, but mostly by standing up for the things I believe in. When we see others that we look up to, standing up for what is right, we follow. The most important part about being an advocate of good character is having good character yourself. My morals, and those of my other brothers, came to us the hard way, by watching the repercussions of not having any. I don’t want that to happen to the other adolescents of the world. Whether I affect many or few, I will instill morality the right way.
  7. 7. Doo Hee Kim Orange High School Education and access to knowledge are the foundations of all societies. For example, the regional differences that impact global society might come to unity if the educational systems are similar from one part of the world to the next. Therefore, education around the world needs to be reformed in order to provide a more sound community based on character and integrity. Throughout my high school years, I’ve noticed students suddenly having short attention spans and falling asleep in classes but having the highest level of focus and forgoing sleep playing videogames. The reason for this phenomenon is simple: video games are much more entertaining than listening to lectures in classes; however, it is detrimental to students because education is what enables us to make sound judgments; it creates depth in our consciousness and helps us be at a higher level of society. Nonetheless, we can’t alter the entertainment and addiction that is intrinsic to games. Therefore, I question why can’t we incorporate the function of gaming into the world’s education system? Instead of having classes be painfully didactic, why not gamify learning? It would keep students alert in class while raising the competitiveness of learning. Students would be compelled to learn more to win the game. Currently, there isn’t a country that incorporates gaming into their educational system because of the world mentality that learning has to be traditional, but I believe that students can still learn through more entertaining ways. Therefore, taking the initiative to implement my thoughts and motivate others to join me, I sought to change the classroom setting of learning when I had the privilege to volunteer to teach English in a church in South Korea. I know that the classroom atmosphere in that country was more didactic than what I was used to in the United States, but I didn’t think that kids in Korea were better off than kids in America. Thus, since it was my classroom and I was in charge of the lesson plans for the day, I was steadfast in loosening up the tension kids have in classrooms and have it be entertaining for them. I designed various educational games, and the point of all of them was to get kids more involved and focused on learning, and they did. Whenever I had these games set up, kids would be out of their seats being excited and competitive. The aspects of my personality that allowed me to spread the idea of gamifying education to another country were my integrity and character. Seeking to know the truth behind the difference between traditional learning and gamified learning, I strove to initiate my thoughts into actions. After witnessing the effects of bridging gaming and learning, I was compelled to think that the efficacy of education lies in the alertness and willingness of the students. By influencing the young of the integrated education method across the globe, the world can experience a change from generation to generation to eventually shifting the international paradigm on education.
  8. 8. Alexandra Marincic Garfield Heights High School It was 2004. Like most other days, I found myself playing out in the backyard. I did not have close siblings or friends nearby to join me, but I did have two best friends nevertheless: my dogs. Soon enough, my parents called me in for dinner. A generous helping of pork awaited me. As I took a bite, a thought occurred to me. I realized that this pork was the body of another creature who, as far as I knew, was no different than my own dogs. I couldn’t help but imagine the body of my precious dog sprawled across the plate. Subsequently, at age nine, I made my first major ethical decision: I became a vegetarian. These beliefs quickly blossomed into the moral structure by which I now model my life. Mainly, I strive to live by compassion and justice, and I aim to inspire others to do the same. Since then, I’ve acquired many additional human friends, and developed a commitment to serving others. Upon being elected as president of our National Honor Society, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to utilize our group’s seventy talented members. However, I soon learned that most people were in the group for the recognition only, and that participation would be incredibly scarce. At first, I was frustrated, and I responded by criticizing the “slackers,” but that, of course, was more destructive than anything. After a while, I learned how to understand each person’s situation individually. I replaced my frustration with empathy, and my criticism with positive recognition. Things improved tremendously. Our NHS is very active, and our first activity (creating the Homecoming dance) starts during the summer. At these summer “workshops,” I strived to value people’s distinct skills more and ensure that there were ways for everyone to help. Rather than drill people on the importance of the boring, tedious tasks, I encouraged people to start their own projects. From there, people began to find passion in their own work, and participation, as well as the quality of our work, skyrocketed. Each contribution was like a sunflower flaunting its color, and soon we had a dazzling field of them. Because people began to take pride in the group, our mission has become widely recognized, and members all-around feel a common desire to spread our aid to people in need. This year’s group was the first to donate some of Homecoming’s proceeds to charity. When it came time to vote on an organization, we were flooded with passionate suggestions of special charities. Our group ultimately elected the Sudan Relief Fund as this year’s worthy recipient of thousands of dollars. Counting those ballots was one of the most gratifying moments of my life. For me to have good character alone is not enough. I’ve found that one must demonstrate integrity in order for others to discover such character. Hopefully, they will then seek good character themselves, and find a sense of pride in the acquired moral truths.
  9. 9. Alexander Spanos Brookside High School Throughout my years as a high school student, I have had the privilege of observing and studying those who have had leadership positions. I have viewed teachers, both good and bad, and upperclassmen, who wanted nothing more than to feel power from mindlessly ordering their subjects around, and many adults who genuinely wanted to make a positive impact in the lives of those who had been entrusted to them. The place that has helped test and grow my character the most has been in my high school marching band. Our marching band consists of the band director leading seventy to one hundred students. It is not possible for one person to keep track of a hundred people, so he is accompanied by an assistant band director and also enlists the aid of the seniors. Mr. Lawson, the assistant band director during my first three years was also the percussion advisor. He directed the section of the band most known for being crazy and rambunctious. No matter how the section might have acted towards others, we always gave our utmost respect to him, just as he did for us. He showed that he genuinely cared for us and wanted us to grow as percussionists and young adults. He never raised his voice at us and always kept his character of integrity while instructing us, even when problems in his own life made it nearly impossible. During my sophomore year, he was diagnosed with cancer, and all throughout band, I watched it getting worse and worse. In my junior year, he was only able to attend approximately one in every four practices, but when he was able to make it, he brought his caring smile that shined brightly despite his weakened condition. Even when he lost his hearing, he helped us the best that he could. With Mr. Lawson slowly becoming unable to function as leader, I realized that he had transitioned me into a leader. Mr. Lawson passed away, leaving the band in tears. There was grieving and there were changes that we all had to endure. Although this made me quite sad, I chose to be a leader and help those who were grieving in order to progress through this difficult stage. I began encouraging people who were down to do their best. I devoted time to building relationships with many of the band members. As one of the most experienced drummers, I worked during the summer with the other percussionist, sharing the techniques that Mr. Lawson had taught me. A new band assistant was hired and he had a different leadership approach and teaching technique than Mr. Lawson. He was not well received by the students at first. Many began to complain, become bitter and disrespectful. Whenever I saw this occur, I stepped in and explained to my peers that no matter what we thought of his techniques, he deserved our respect. I reminded the students to follow the assistant director’s instructions without negative comments. There were times that I too, didn’t understand the methodology of the assistant director, but I knew that following his leadership would lead to positive development of the drum section. I found myself being a mediator between students and a mediator between students and band directors. As a result, the tension decreased and we became a unified group. We found that his approach may have been different, but had positive outcomes. I continued trying to be not just a good leader, but a good person. I followed Mr. Lawson’s example and showed people that I cared for them, and in return, they respected me as a leader. At the beginning of my senior year, I was honored to be voted the president of our marching band. At the start of the year, everyone was excited for marching band so it was not hard keeping everyone united. As the year continued, the excitement wore off, and we ran into some other issues. One of these was a conflict between a senior and freshman. I took the senior off to the side and reminded him that, yes he was allowed to be demanding, but he also needed to treat the student with patience, kindness and encouragement. The senior adjusted his approach, and the student reacted in a positive manner. There was another situation where many of the seniors became discouraged and began verbally criticizing the underclassmen and each other. Many members started causing havoc and making it more difficult for everyone. This started a large disagreement between the seniors. Tension grew and some threatened to quit. A senior meeting was called. I tried to keep everyone positive and shared with them what I had learned from observing Mr. Lawson and other past leaders. I stressed that screaming and yelling at people does not lead them to do what needs to be done. Instead, I reminded them that the best leaders lead by example. The seniors chose to approach the situation with a positive attitude and tensions decreased. We are having a productive and fun band season, growing in unity and relationships. As I continue to grow as a leader, I reflect back on Mr. Lawson and how he treated others with respect and a loving and caring attitude. I hope that I am able to pass on my leadership and character of integrity to underclassmen as Mr. Lawson had shared with me. Due to the character that I have shown in positions such a marching band, it would be an honor to be considered for the Better Business Bureau scholarship.
  10. 10. Honorable Mentions Popularity is not always the best option, as being in a collective group, an individual can become passive to the majority rule. I strive to stay neutral and possibly against the collective group, to allow others a second choice in mindset... I may often be in the wrong in many situations, but my efforts help strengthen the resolve of others who may be hesitant to think for themselves and stand up for the truth. ~ Kevin Kuang Maple Heights High School When I was about ten years old, I was bullied frequently...because I did not like to break the rules. I would get teased every day because I was the teacher’s pet or because I would not talk about other girls behind their backs...However, I knew that others’ words could never hurt me as much as I could by going against my morals. Thus, for three years I was able to overcome people’s taunts until I found friends that accepted me and provided an environment for my character to flourish. ~ Cassandra Cameron Berkshire Jr./Sr. High School To me, being a man of character involves acts of service. Every day I give whatever help I can to anyone in need. This can include volunteering at the hunger center to working with the Key Club, but it can also be a simple word or favor for a friend or stranger. To me, to truly be a man of character is to always act for the benefit of others. To help when others are in need is essential to create a morally good habit. To be a person of character is to establish virtues that are constantly active. ~ Matthew Dober, Benedictine High School Since some people are only concerned with themselves, motivating others to join me as a person of character is no easy task. There are a number of ways to do this each which offer a wide variety of benefits such as leading by example, recognizing, and praising the good actions of others and sharing what benefits and opportunities I enjoy as a person of character. It is crucial however that I truly care about others and be willing to help, encourage, and mentor them. Hopefully they will realize what the compassion means to them and share it with others. ~ Bryan Jackisch, Perry High School Living as a person of integrity...(is) all about continual growth. Tomorrow, I intend to be a better person than I am today and I intend to spread it onto new people. I will let my obstacles transform me rather than hold me back. My journey is not yet finished. ~ Agnes Mirando, Gilmour Academy The seed of integrity was planted in me long before I knew what it meant or or how it would change my life and the life of others. Lying and injustice seemed to disturb me even as a small child. I could never lie to my parents for the fear of losing their trust and respect. Seeing someone be made fun of hit me so hard I could almost feel his or her pain in the aching of my heart. Young adults find themselves at the bad end of two very different worlds, the responsibility of an adult, but with the freedom of a child, struggling to keep their character. It is like the transition between seasons. Infants are like the spring; new, blooming life that brings joy. Children embody the carefree summer soul. Early autumn ~ Leah Lindak, North Ridgeville High School is when life changes start to occur. Young adults are like the transition from autumn to winter, too confused to nurture plant life, too cold for an [After turning in $90 in cash found on the street, afternoon swim, too little time in the day to thus moving a friend to do the same...] I think accomplish all tasks. However, impressions can the world has seen enough of telling other people still be made, and by holding to moral standards, how to live their lives. Instead, I want to lead by what seems like the worst part of the year, can example. That, above anything else, will motivate become an elegant transition from the colorful people to follow a life of character and integrity. Put autumn leaves to elegant snowy, winter trees. simply, by planting one good action, I hope more will follow, both from me and from others. ~ Mark Friedel, West Geauga High School ~ Richard Kraay, Saint Ignatius High School
  11. 11. Russ Mitchell Lead Anchor at WKYC-TV 3 Russ Mitchell will be the keynote speaker for this year’s event. Mitchell was born in St. Louis and accepted his first television job at age 17 as a nighttime switchboard operator at KTVI-TV. He graduated from the University of Missouri, and began his professional career at KMBC in Kansas City. In 1993 he was named a correspondent for Eye-toEye with Connie Chung and in July of 1997, Mitchell was named co-anchor of CBS News Saturday Morning and traveled extensively as a reporter for the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and 48 Hours. Mr. Mitchell was on the anchor desk with Dan Rather on September 11, 2001 and reported from Ground Zero and other parts of Manhattan on the days and weeks that followed. Most recently, he anchored the live CBS Special Report coverage of the capture and death of Osama Bin Laden on May 1, 2011. th wi ed fill ever y d Ther om o oo In e ha dh ne old t nt t er ve been o a hil v e c man s h I w ll ne to y tim when g a som lway ho i y es w in I hav in tor nc I am .I a be w d I e co and y s ers n rie ay nside .. thou ill , a rs m oth er w ll pe oday r be red t ght t w x rs ber, akin o my T a ct tt re .I he ve he not a g the self; fte ip...] ld e oals p ot ll ot impa a be t be band easy “Jus l o [A sh u g the f n te t be lead road to er i ood wo and to he will y n h in d a ba er, fo r bank nd m life act rget ma ngt ha ght I s, e , jus skip ! I my emn abou ar t go u life stre all th am eo ieve h t help t hom e scie tho , dre som bel an eir c ough nd in e aft to th ol nce fi er cla g at I Iw h th e ma rd hat ho mee t lt n . h sses ll.” It tings wo e t sc h Sc ha ope build t, a u ca but b , , and has Lo h ig eing o ha ,b nw not b go integ a pe lee er H be up o ome them m t at y een rity h rson e ay h v easy s i grea K s e of ch th as a ,t , t thin ~ yR llowe arac giv them help ow o be exam gs. I ck ter a d me h t t ple a belie Ro nd othe ve to ac ha to s up nd I t ve in gi rs to hiev use ay ope ked lead join e my s ing b me. a w I h crac n. tory y to m d o ~ Ja otiva an t it’s uati mi T te atuli a sit nski, th ry Men e tor H ev igh S choo l
  12. 12. Special Thanks to ® Mission Statement The Better Business Bureau is a public service organization that advocates ethical, responsible conduct in the marketplace. Through the support of business members sharing its goals and standards, the BBB offers programs which promote informed buying and giving decisions, truthful advertising and selling practices, and the resolution of marketplace disputes. Better Business Bureau 2800 Euclid Ave 4th Fl Cleveland, OH 44115 Phone (216) 241-4476 Fax (216) 861-6365