Gary's Heating and Air Conditioning was one of three North American companies to win the 2018 Better Business Bureau's International Torch Awards for Ethics.

The 40 year Amarillo business won the 2017 BBB of Amarillo’s TAE, making them eligible to apply for the international award. They were one of 80 applicants who competed in categories based on staff size.

"Our employees deserve 100 percent of the credit for this award," said Gary Ward, GHAC owner. "You have to work very hard at pleasing your customers and pleasing your employees. We have a win-win-win philosophy -- the customer wins, the employee wins, then the company wins."

Ward said he has a staff of 22 people who are live and listening to prioritize their clients.

"Our customer service is very deliberate and we train in that every single week," he said. "We've empowered our employees. If Bob or Betty Homemaker calls in and says, 'I'm not pleased with this or that,' our employees are allowed to ask, what can we do to make you 100 percent happy?"

FirstCapital Bank of Texas was named finalist in their category for the international awards, after winning the Amarillo BBB TAE in 2017.

“It is a great honor to be named a finalist for the BBB International Torch Award for Ethics,” said Mark Hodges, FCB market president for Amarillo. “At FirstCapital, we place the well-being of our customers, team members and communities above all else. This means showing respect and care for our customers and striving to lead our industry in ethical standards.”

Janna Kiehl, Amarillo BBB president & CEO said she was proud of the local recognition on an international platform.

"This is a big deal for Amarillo because it means that our companies are ethical, they do they right thing and business is very good in the panhandle," she said. "It is just a huge honor ... (and) an awesome accomplishment for these companies. We are very proud."

Kiehl received the award at the International Assembly of BBBs in Edmonton, Alberta this week. She said the winning companies know the hard work it takes to remain ethical in the marketplace.

"(The TAE) means that a company upholds ethics with their customers, their communities, their employees -- it means they have ongoing training so that they know customer service is alive and well," Kiehl said. "It (also) means they give back to their community (and) they serve those people who support them."

"A lot of times the media asks us who the bad guys are, what kind of scams are out there, but today it's about the good guys. These are the businesses you should do business with. We want people to know that, so that our economy and their pocket books can stay strong."