BBB announces the winners of its 2020 Spark Awards


DAYTON – Better Business Bureau serving Dayton and Miami Valley will present its second annual Spark Awards at the Eclipse Integrity Awards on July 28 at the David H. Ponitz Sinclair Center.

The Spark Awards, an award for entrepreneurship, recognizes business owners 35 and younger or business owners of any age operating for less than three years who demonstrate a higher level of character, generating a culture that is authentic about its mission and connect with community. The Class of 2020 honorees are Butler Heating And Air Conditioning, Fox In Socks Soapery and Wilderness Agency.

The Class of 2020 honorees will not only be spotlighted at the event before Miami Valley business leaders, they also will be involved with telling their stories at BBB events throughout the year. Thanks to Sinclair College, they also will receive a $500 scholarship for continued professional development.

Butler Heating and Air Conditioning is a residential and light commercial heating, cooling and plumbing company.

“When all three components – character, culture and community – are connected, the success for a business is long term,” said Nick Lamb, Butler Heating & Air Conditioning president and CEO, who’s recently acquired the business. “A company can only advertise ‘community’ for so long until they’re figured out. It’s the businesses with leadership who make character a priority that naturally build a company culture that relates to and includes community – our clients, the geographical area around us, other local businesses and our industry. It’s an honor to be noticed for that and to receive BBB’s 2020 Spark Award. My hope is that this recognition is a spark for Butler Heating & Air Conditioning to experience another 70 years of success and amazing support from the Greater Dayton community.”

Fox in Socks Soapery is a one-woman organization started in the founder’s kitchen. It launched its own children’s line of specialty soaps in late 2019 with 25 percent of the proceeds going to Dayton Children’s Hospital.

“I have been given a gift, and that gift is my business and the opportunity to use it to do good,” Katie Hall, owner artisan, said.

“When I started Fox in Socks Soapery, I knew that I didn’t want to be just another soapery; I wanted my small business to have an impact. Winning this award has shown me that even a small business can promote big changes. My passion for community drives my business and my product lines. As my small business grows, I intend to stay true to my mission to support and change the community one bar at a time. I am so honored to win this award and want to thank all of my local partners that have helped me achieve my dreams. This award is more fuel for my passion and makes me even more excited to support local businesses.”

Wilderness Agency is a hybrid agency that works with a virtual team of creatives to produce customer solutions that drive top line revenue for clients across the country in a multitude of industries.

“Business moves at the speed of trust,” Richard Kaiser, Wilderness Agency founder, said. “It is my belief that trust is the most valuable currency in the business world. It opens doors, attracts best in class talent and ensures long term success. This award is a reflection of the culture that we have created at Wilderness Agency. The foundation of that culture is rooted in an ethos of trust, fellowship and servitude for our clients and our teammates.”

The Eclipse Integrity Awards reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. The dinner and awards presentation will start at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the event are $99 per person, or a table of eight can be sponsored for $999. Reservations can be made by calling 937-610-2277.

“This Class of 2020 BBB Spark Award winners are remarkable,” John North, president and CEO of the BBB serving Dayton and the Miami Valley, said. “The diversity among these businesses demonstrates that all businesses can excel, whether the leader takes over an existing business, develops a second business or starts from scratch. We are so excited to honor them at the awards dinner and hope you’ll join us in recognizing marketplace leaders like these. Their actions kindle the spark that builds into a fire for many to become successful entrepreneurs.”