YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – This year will be one of leadership change at the Better Business Bureau of Mahoning Valley as Melissa Ames takes over as president.
She is replacing Carol H. Potter, who was been the president and CEO for nine years. Ames, whose appointment took effect Jan. 1, formerly served as vice president of business services. She will work with Potter, who will remain CEO until she retires in May.
During Potter’s tenure, the Youngstown-based BBB chapter established the Torch Awards for Marketplace Trust, a signature event that honors local businesses, nonprofits and civic leaders. In the process, Potter also became a champion for establishing new partnerships – notably, the BBB’s TrustBuilders, which includes PNC Bank, Farmers National Bank, Premier Bank and Huntington Bank.
Potter also developed partnerships with Farmers Trust Co. and Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC to create the BBB’s Ethics and Integrity Scholarship.
In a year marked by pandemic, the BBB showed buyers the importance of conducting transactions with a trusted business. According to the bureau’s 2021 Trust Report, trust is one of the most important factors (8.6 out of 10) that influence a consumer’s hiring decision, Potter says.
The BBB’s accredited businesses showed their commitment to upholding standards for trust throughout the pandemic, she says. In a recent survey of North American consumers, 90% of respondents felt that the BBB seal represented a reputable business and 83% said they are more likely to purchase from a business that has a high BBB grade.
“As the marketplace is shifting, it is more important than ever for businesses to distinguish themselves as trustworthy and reliable,” Potter says.
This year, BBB’s goal is to continue advancing marketplace trust by directing consumers to trusted businesses and assisting BBB accredited businesses in finding growth opportunities.
This year, BBB will implement the BBB4Good Initiative in the Mahoning Valley. The initiative will address the growing segment of consumers who want to support businesses that deliver outstanding service to consumers and give back to their communities.
Through its network of BBB branches throughout North America, BBB4Good will:
• Create an online directory of social impact businesses in each community.
• Spotlight, celebrate and recognize organizations that integrate social impact into their business plans.
• Partner with like-minded organizations that support social impact organizations.