Elevate Rochester promotes business ethics

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Elevate Rochester promotes a culture of business ethics and celebrates ethical businesses in the region.

The founder Alan Ziegler and Board member Mark Fuerbacher of Universal Imports discussed the organization’s mission and rebranding Tuesday during News 8 at Sunrise.

“We started in 2003 as the Rochester Area Business Ethics Foundation,” said Ziegler. “It was an outgrowth of a national program that our professional society, the society of FSP put together, called the American Business Ethics Award and they made it available to local chapters. So I came back from a tour as president of that organization and said, you know, let’s do something to celebrate Rochester. I was so sick of how much we bad mouth this great community of ours. I thought, let’s do something about the good news. And that’s what started it. The rebranding, which has been guided by a guy named Glenn Clark of Crafting A Brand who did a magnificent pro bono job, I must say, for us over 12 months ended up with Elevate Rochester. So guess what? Full circle. And we’re still focusing on celebrating ethical cultures.”

Fuerbacher was inspired to get involved after his company was nominated for an ETHIE Award. “Our company was nominated last year for the ethics award and it was such a great honor, but going through the award process was really where the meat of it was,” he said. “It was the ability for our company to look within ourselves at the things that we’re doing right and the things that we can do better. And then it aligned us with some great people in the community that are all ethically minded. So it started as just a wonderful honor to be part of the ethics award. It wound up being more of an honor to be going through the process of the ethics award. And then ultimately I was so impressed with all the people that I met in this organization that I stepped in and wanted to be part of it as well. So all right, now we have our new name and we feel very excited about it and we’re doing a lot of things in the community, not just with the ethics award, but we have lots of resources for ethics and we’re even starting a podcast now. So a lot of interesting things happening.”

Fuerbacher said one of the things that has happened to him through this process is that he is now looking for companies and people who exhibit ethical behavior. “I’m trying to find a way to reward it and to spread it. So whether it’s through positive reviews on social media or even getting them involved with our organization, I feel that this organization has the ability to really expand people’s trust in companies and be able to celebrate ethical culture here in Rochester.”

Ziegler added, “Our vision is for Rochester to be the gold standard for ethical cultures. So back to that old phrase of a rising tide lifts all boats. Think about how much good this would do for the Chamber of Commerce and Visit Rochester and the other organizations that are trying to recruit companies to come here. If this were known as a place where you get ethical behavior and ethical cultures all across the board, that’s the goal.”

To learn more about Elevate Rochester go online to rochesterbusinessethics.com.

Full interview Alan Ziegler and Mark Fuerbacher

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