Four Rochester companies earn ETHIE Awards: Elevate Rochester honors ESL, Excellus, ITX, Regional Transit Service

ROCHESTER, N.Y.—Elevate Rochester (formerly the Rochester Area Business Ethics Foundation) presented its 2021 ETHIE Awards in December to ESL Federal Savings Bank, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, ITX Corp. and the Regional Transit Service. The ETHIE Award recognizes businesses and organizations that do the right thing through strong ethical foundations, aspirations to high standards of business conduct, and the multifaceted nature of ethics in our daily lives.

After taking a COVID hiatus in 2020, the ETHIE Awards program continued in 2021. “We were pleased to be able to hold our ETHIE Award event virtually,” said Bob Whipple, board chair of Elevate Rochester. “Our judges identified four highly qualified recipient organizations, so we were delighted to celebrate with them, regardless of the social limitations. Each of them has built a durable, ethical corporate culture, and that deserves recognition, Whipple stated.”

2021 ETHIE Award Recipients
This year’s ETHIE Award recipients include organizations in banking, health care insurance, software development and transportation.

ESL Federal Savings Bank—ESL has set expectations for all employees to embrace five Core Values—Caring About People, Accountability, Teamwork, Integrity and Initiative—which were set forth by employees through a series of internal focus groups and surveys. Job satisfaction at ESL is high. In a recent survey, about 93% of employees agreed with positive statements about the company’s mission, vision and values, with a 75% employee response rate. In addition, semi-annual, all-employee forums enable everyone to learn about how the organization is performing, meet new colleagues and share how employees are putting the ESL Core Values into practice.

Excellus—To emphasize ethical decisions, Excellus managers start every meeting with a Lifetime Way Minute, and the company measures employee perceptions of their culture with an Ethical Culture Survey. Excellus is a nonprofit health plan with 1.5 million upstate New York members, with a mission to help people live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care.

ITX—Among the cultural guidelines at ITX Corp. is the company’s 5 Ways We Deliver Value, which include Clarity of Vision and Path, Steady Diet of Done, Stewards of Client Resources, A Smooth Journey and Pride. The ITX Yearbook annually chronicles client work, along with showing how team members have lived the company’s values through delivery of client value. Founded in 1997, ITX helps mid- to large-size companies solve complex business challenges through custom software development.

RTS— As a provider of public transportation, RTS takes plenty of opportunity to show corporate citizenship, with an understanding that the work they do has an effect on the economy, environment, businesses, health care, education, recreation, poverty, the RTS culture and the basic infrastructure of access. RTS is one of five public transit systems in New York state that has committed to meet the goal of operating a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035. RTS provides public transportation for an eight-county area, employs more than 900, and serves in excess of 15 million customers each year.