In 1959, Winston-Salem-based corporate titans joined forces to help make the case for a local Better Business Bureau®. This month, BBB® Serving Northwest North Carolina will celebrate the founding Accredited Businesses who, after more than a half-century, still meet BBB Standards for Trust and are publicly committed to working with integrity.

The 2016 BBB Annual Meeting and Dinner, sponsored by Hayworth-Miller Funeral Homes, is slated for Thursday, June 16, at Wake Forest University’s Bridger Field House. Different from Annual Meetings past, the nonprofit has made the invitation public so any resident or business can join in the celebration.

“We are excited to bring the entire community together to hear about what our organization has accomplished in the past 12 months, but also to say ‘thank you’ to the businesses who played such a vital role in helping us get our start locally,” said BBB President Brian Wright.

“This event will serve as our Annual Meeting, including Board member introductions and awards, but it will be much more than that. It’s a commemoration of local business history that shouldn’t be missed.”

According to staff, the celebration of BBB history will continue with archival table displays – areas at the event featuring images, advertisements, letters, newspaper clippings, and more, that date back to its founding year. One such item is a typed letter sent to all R.J. Reynolds staff in 1960, signed by both the chairman and president, to describe what role BBB will play in the community. A passage states, “Please keep in mind that your Company joined and supports the Better Business Bureau to help protect you and the people of this area from dishonest schemes.”

In addition to recognizing the founding Accredited Businesses, BBB will honor two Board Directors. The John A. Richardson Award will distinguish the director who demonstrated excellence, contribution and integrity that will leave a lasting legacy. The BBB Spark Award will recognize an incoming director whose participation and energy creates a spark for BBB’s future.

The evening will kick off at 5:30pm with a reception and live music, followed by dinner and the Annual Meeting presentation. Attendees will receive a drink ticket, hors d’oeuvres and a seated dinner. Individual tickets are $40 and are available for purchase online at until Friday, June 9. Business sponsorships are still available.

About BBB

BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. All BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Please visit for more information.