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MEDIA RELEASE: Torch Awards for Ethics Panel Speak to Why Ethics are Important in Business


April 28, 2017
Release Number:
BBB-2017 - April – 02

Torch Awards for Ethics Panel Speak to Why Ethics are Important in Business

for the Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan, Inc.

REGINA,SK - In celebration of exemplary leadership in ethical business practices and service excellence by Saskatchewan business and professional organizations, the BBB will host the 12th Annual Torch Awards for Ethics on Thursday, May 4th, 2017 at the Conexus Arts Centre in Regina.

As a lead-up to the Awards ceremony and dinner, a one-hour discussion panel will be held at the Conexus Arts Centre starting at 4:00pm. The Panel for the Pursuit of Ethics was first introduced at the 2016 Torch Awards for Ethics event, and proved to be a popular pre-Awards learning opportunity for business and organizations attending.

This year, the Panel will be conducted by strong business and communities leaders. The Panel will be led by Victor Thomas (President, Global Bridgeway), Prabha Mitchell (CEO, Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Inc.), Collin Pullar (President, Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association), and Karen Smith (CEO, Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan Inc.). The theme of the discussion is “Commitment - To Business. To Ethics. To Community.”

“The purpose of hosting a pre-Awards event such as the Panel is to continue the tradition of the BBB’s duty to inspire, facilitate and coach businesses utilizing learning experiences,” says BBB CEO, Karen Smith. “The Panel is a purposeful avenue to elevate discussion on the importance of ethical decision-making and leadership, and to link those experiences with successful growth and marketplace trust.”

Collin Pullar, President of the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association and Torch Awards Panelist, explains the importance of ethics, from his experience: “The most impactful leaders in the construction industry generally embrace safety of their employees for at least one of the following reasons: 1) They legally have to; 2) They are morally and ethically motivated; 3) It makes great business sense.” He continues to explain that leaders have found that ethical approaches to the management and care of their employees can have substantial benefits in terms of trust from customers, reputation with the public and long-term profitability. “These notions are absolutely in line with the goals of the Better Business Bureau and their celebration of ethical business practices with the Torch Awards for Ethics,” Pullar says.

The Panel for the Pursuit of Ethics may be attended by any member of the public who has an interest in ethical discussion surrounding a business point-of-view. Seats may be reserved online at and will cost $42 (GST included). The BBB is a non-profit organization, and all proceeds collected from the Torch Awards program help fund continued educational outreach and consumer protection initiatives.

About the Panelists:

VICTOR THOMAS, President of Global Bridgeway

A proud Canadian, born and raised in Saskatchewan, Victor Thomas Consults in the area of corporate governance, strategy, and international business development with high growth companies, governments and post-secondary institutions in North America, Asia and Australia. Victor is a former chair of the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce and was the youngest ever to serve in the position in its 30+ year history.

He serves on several boards, councils and committees throughout Saskatchewan and across Canada - including the Governor General of Canada's Rideau Hall Foundation Board.

Victor completed his Master of Administration in Leadership from the University of Regina. He attended the Directors College Program where he earned the designation Chartered Director through McMaster University and also holds their Human Resources and Compensation Committee designation. Victor has received several recognitions for his leadership including the Public Policy Forum's Emerging Leaders Award for Canada (2011), the University of Regina Alumni's Crowning Achievement Award (2013) and the Canadian Red Cross' highest honour, the Order of the Red Cross (2014).

COLLIN PULLAR, President of Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association

Collin Pullar has been serving as president of the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association since May of 2014; leading the industry-driven organization in providing construction safety training, advisory, and auditing services to more than 9,000 companies in the Saskatchewan residential, commercial and industrial sector, with key operational bases in Saskatoon and Regina.

Collin holds a Master of Business Administration and Masters Certificate in Public Management. He currently serves as Vice-Chair of the University of Saskatchewan Horizon College and Seminary Board of Governors, Board Director of the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Leaders Council for the Paul J.Hill School of Business and Levene Graduate School of Business at the University of Regina. Collin speaks regularly on safety as an attribute of high performing companies, the strategic case for safety, and the intangibles of exceptional and highperforming leadership for a range of industry, academic, and sports audiences. He is a regular contributor to Canadian industry magazines (including the Journal of Commerce).

Collin has been a life-time advocate for drug-free sport and brings successful training and team philosophies to the business environment. In addition to loving leadership-related topics, he continues to compete at the national and international level. Collin has represented Canada in the International Powerlifting Federation, currently holding provincial/Canadian Championship titles and strength records. He’s won Gold in the 2016 World IPF Classing Powerlifting Championships (Bench Press) and is expected to again, represent Canada in the 2017 World IPF Championships in Minsk, Belarus later this year.

Collin and his wife, Terri, enjoy their 2 boys, Matthew (18) and Michael (14).

PRABHA MITCHELL, CEO of Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Inc.

Prabha Mitchell, (Hon.) CPA, CGA, M.S.W, is the Chief Executive Officer of Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Inc. Prabha is responsible for the operations and strategic management of the organization that has over 800 members. The organization provides a wide spectrum of support for women starting, buying, or growing a business. These resources include business planning and advising, financing, training, mentoring and networking.

Previously, Prabha was the CEO of the Certified General Accountants (CGA) Association of SK and had served in that capacity for seven plus years. Her role entailed development of a Business Growth Strategy including enhancement of the Brand and Profile. Working with the Board of Governors, Prabha was also accountable for supporting the Board to ensuring effective Governance and stewardship. Most recently, Prabha was a key player in leading the organization through the Unification of the Accounting Profession, bringing together the three accounting bodies namely, Certified General Accountants, Certified Management Accountants and the Chartered Accountants as Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA).

Prabha has had a diverse career spanning 20 years that includes: being a faculty member at a postsecondary institution in Manitoba teaching in Health and Human Service for 5 years; a senior consultant in the for- profit/business development arm of a University in Manitoba for 5 years; and a Regional Director in a leading non-profit organization in Saskatoon. Alongside the primary careers, Prabha had also operated a consulting business focusing on Strategic Planning, Board Development, Curriculum Development, Project Evaluations/Assessments etc. for several years.

Prabha has led project evaluations and program reviews, authored research reports, and conducted focus groups and consultations. She has led and facilitated strategic planning sessions in her current role and previous roles.

Prabha has a Masters of Social Work in Community Development, Policy and Planning and was conferred an honorary CPA by the CGA SK Board of Governors for her role in the Unification of the Profession of Accounting. She was also nominated for the Women of Distinction Award in 2014 in the Leadership and Management category. Prabha served as the first President of the Leaders Council of the Paul J. Hill and the Kenneth Levene Schools of Business at the University of Regina, and is currently a member of the Paul Hill Advisory Board, University of Regina. She serves as a Judge for some of the community’s Business Awards and is also a Prairie Regional Judge for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Prairie Award. Most recently, Prabha became a member of the Saskatoon Public School Foundation Board.

KAREN SMITH, CEO of Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan Inc.

Karen Smith is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan, Inc. Karen brings a wealth of experience and a commitment to lifelong learning. She is a founding member and current President of the Saskatchewan Administrative Tribunal Association (SATA). She also serves on the Saskatchewan Advisory Board of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD). Karen is also a member of the Leaders Council at the Hill & Levene Schools of Business, University of Regina.

Karen served as the Employer Representative on the Saskatchewan Worker's Compensation Board from June 2005 until August 2015, meeting and communicating with various industries. This role also encompassed serving as a tribunal panel member on thousands of appeals. In addition, Karen draws from her previous marketing and administration experience as Director of Employee Benefits Plans for the Saskatchewan School Boards Association.

Karen also served as a member of the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals (CCAT) representing Saskatchewan. She has served on the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce Human Resource Committee. Karen has served as a Board Member for the Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency, Regina Crime Stoppers, the Killarney Village Condominium Association and St. Jerome’s Parish Council. Her extensive previous community involvement includes organizations such as the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute, and the Human Resource Associations of Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Karen has both C.Dir (Chartered Director Program through McMaster University and the DeGroote School of Business) and CTAJ (Certified Tribunal Administrative Justice through the Foundation of Administrative Justice, Alta.) designations and is accredited as a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist through Dalhousie University.

Karen has two children, their spouses and three grandchildren.

About the Torch Awards for Ethics:

This celebration of ethics in business was first held in Saskatchewan in 2005. Its legacy continues to recognize businesses that have submitted demonstrations of their commitment to achieving the highest standards of leadership character and organizational ethics. These Awards embody the BBB’s mission of advancing marketplace trust, and provide further opportunity to continue the BBB’s duty to inspire, facilitate and coach businesses in the importance and value of ethical decision-making and leadership.

Beginning this year, businesses will be awarded according to size (based on full-time and equivalent fulltime employees); recipient categories are the following: 1-9, 10-49, 50-99, 100+, non-profit/charity.

Seats can now be reserved online. Please visit to ensure your spot at the Panel and Gala.

For more information about the Torch Awards and the judging criteria, visit

“The BBB… developing, encouraging and promoting
ethical business practices in the marketplace.”


Media Contact:
Karen Smith, CEO
Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan, Inc.

980 Albert Street
Regina, Sask.
S4R 2P7

About BBB:

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews, all available for free at BBB serving Saskatchewan is one of 108 local, independent BBBs across North America. In 2015, consumers turned to BBB Serving Saskatchewan more than 270,000 for pre-purchase Inquiries regarding specific businesses in Saskatchewan and processed more than 400 complaints.

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