Air Products, EcoTech earn Societas Awards at DeSales University

By - Last modified: January 31, 2014 at 10:50 AM

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Air Products' chief risk officer, George Bitto (left), accepting the 2014 Societas Award from Kevin Flemming, president of Integrity Personnel.
Air Products' chief risk officer, George Bitto (left), accepting the 2014 Societas Award from Kevin Flemming, president of Integrity Personnel. - (Photo By Christopher Holland)

Air Products and EcoTech Marine won 2014 Societas Awards on Thursday for responsible and corporate conduct in a ceremony at DeSales University, Center Valley.

For the first time, the award was presented to two businesses: Air Products in the category for companies with 500 or more employees and EcoTech for companies with fewer than 500 employees.

Air Products of Trexlertown and EcoTech Marine of Allentown were honored for demonstrating responsible corporate conduct in terms of legal compliance, corporate and individual accountability, commitment to stakeholders, and social responsibility. Along with the awards, both companies will receive a one-year corporate membership to the Forum for Ethics in the Workplace.

"It's a true honor to be standing here accepting this award," said Tim Marks, president of EcoTech Marine, which engineers aquarium equipment.

George Bitto, chief risk officer, accepted the award for Air Products, which supplies industrial gases, performance materials, equipment and technology worldwide.

"We've upheld the highest standards of business ethics throughout our years in business," Bitto said. "It's a privilege for me to accept this award on behalf of our 23,000 employees."

The ceremony kicked off with a luncheon and was attended by about 150 people before the awards were announced. Kevin Flemming, president of Integrity Personnel of Allentown, presented the awards.

The winners were chosen by an independent panel of judges using data from a numerical scoring method developed by DeSales' Master of Business Administration program director, David Gilfoil.

Last year's [2013] winner was the Jaindl Companies in Orefield.

The Forum for Ethics in the Workplace is a nonprofit, wholly-owned subsidiary of DeSales University that seeks to provide opportunities for people to come together for study, reflection, conversation and action on ethical issues in the workplace.

The Societas Awards competition is open to all for-profit companies headquartered in eastern Pennsylvania.

To be considered for the award, companies submit detailed information about their business that addresses recognized elements of ethical business practices such as accountability in all levels of the organization, strong compliance systems and corporate citizenship.

The competition was introduced in 2011 with the goal of honoring companies that apply ethical business practices in day-to-day operations.

Along with the Societas Awards, the forum hosts a quarterly breakfast series at DeSales that features guest lecturers on topics of controversy or current interests that have real-world implications.

The first of this year's breakfast series is March 16.

For more information, visit or contact Kevin Flemming at 610-433-3500 or

Christopher Holland

Christopher Holland

Christopher Holland is a researcher for Lehigh Valley Business and blogs on arts and entertainment in the region.


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