Advance Business Systems Selected as Winner in 2019 BBB Torch Awards for Ethics

2019 WINNER – GMD Torch Awards for Ethics Cockeysville, MD | October 16, 2019 The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Greater Maryland has chosen Advance Business Systems as a recipient of the 2019 Torch Awards for Ethics. The annual award honors Maryland-based organizations that demonstrate high standards of honesty and integrity and a commitment to advancing marketplace trust. Other winners this year include, Magothy Payments, and Sontiq.

The Torch Awards for Ethics is presented by the BBB to businesses that exceed marketplace standards for ethics and integrity. Ethical practices must be evident in the business’ relationships with its key stakeholders including employees, customers, suppliers, peers and the community at large. This award is open to private sector and nonprofit organizations of all sizes, and to be eligible, an organization must have been in business for three years or more, have no outstanding financial obligations, and possess a “B” rating or higher with the BBB.

The BBB Torch Awards for Ethics winners were announced the BBB of Greater Maryland’s Big Blue Bash on October 16th at the Baltimore Museum of Industry.

During the evaluation process BBB noted the following activities, practices and beliefs as drivers for their decision to name Advance as a 2019 Torch Award Winner:

Advance views its ethical responsibility to customers, employees and the greater Maryland community as a guiding principal behind every action and engagement their team members have with customers, the community, and one another. Advance is a people company with an intense passion for improving their customers’ businesses and enhancing their team members’ lives…and that is more than just a statement, it rings true in everything that they do.

Community & Customers

Advance takes its commitment to the community in which they live and work incredibly seriously. In fact, in 2019 Advance launched a new initiative to continue their deep history of giving back to the community. The Initiative dubbed, We Live and Believe This Stuff, a play on their iconic tagline, is aimed to make an even greater impact in the community that they’ve called home for over 55 years. The basis of the initiative is to activate Advance’s 170 employees to provide greater support of the Advance’s local nonprofit partnerships and the causes they believe in.

“We believe that it is our responsibility and honor as a local organization to advocate for and take steps to influence true change in the community that has been so good to us for over 55 years. We realized that when we mobilize our entire workforce in this way, we can contribute over 1,250 hours of community service each year, and that can have an incredible impact,” stated Advance president, Jeff Elkin.


Advance believes that by investing in the professional and personal development of its team members, it can, in turn, create greater opportunities to provide an exceptional experience for its customers and the community. For instance:

Feedback and Inclusion are two core elements of Advance’s culture

Advance’s managers meet with their team members regularly and feedback goes both ways. They are open and honest with team members, which encourages and celebrates peer to peer and employee to manager feedback. Employees are empowered to break down silos and incite change in the organization. Some of Advance’s most incredible initiatives have been completed from start to finish by a collection of incredible people from all departments, coming together, looking at all of the perspectives and moving forward to put process or technology in place that is supportive of Advance’s mission and vision.

Development and growth of Advance employees is of the upmost importance

Advance provides additional development programs for team members who have demonstrated extreme passion and congruency with our mission and values to learn about topics such as mindset, problem solving, management and development. The group is then tasked with becoming multipliers of these incredible practices within their respective departments and teams. Many “graduates” have gone on to accelerate in their careers with Advance and make an incredible impact on Advance’s people and the organizations’ future.

Advance also hosts quarterly Q & A sessions where the leadership team fields questions with full transparency as far as where the organization is headed and the changes that they see on the horizon. The content shared during those meetings is then reinforced and continually brought to light during department and one-on-one employee meetings.

Every team member has visibility into Advance’s strategic plan and how their efforts ladder up towards company goals

Advance follows a strategic planning process that brings clarity and continuity to the mission and vision of the organization. Once organizational goals are set, a heavy focus is placed on ensuring all team members feel connected to the impact their department and the initiatives they support are to the success of the organization and realization of our goals. Each department establishes objectives that ladder up to company goals that are then prioritized based on company objectives. Clear targets and measurements are established to ensure progress is being monitored and Advance can make any needed adjustments along the way.


Advance Business Systems is a people company with an intense passion for improving their customers’ businesses and enhancing their team members’ lives. Advance helps organizations become more efficient and more effective through technology, processes and services backed by industry leading support. Whether it’s proactively managing a customer’s IT infrastructure, providing multifunctional devices or an electronic document management software solution, Advance provides solutions for productivity so organizations can focus on their core business. Celebrating over 55 years of serving Maryland businesses, Advance has deep roots throughout the state. As an independent, family owned business, Advance is proud to partner with organizations such as the Baltimore Ravens, Maryland Zoo, Maryland Athletics, and the National Aquarium for office technology and to demonstrate its commitment to the local community.