The other 2007 finalists are Mel Mahler, ADS Security, Nashville; Paula Cirulli, Realty Executives Fine Homes, Brentwood; David Bohan, BOHAN Advertising & Marketing, Nashville, and Lee A. Beaman, Beaman Automotive Group, Nashville.
"The Better Business Ambassador Award is the BBB's highest recognition given to one person," says BBB CEO, Kathleen Calligan. The award, established in 1998, is given to one person annually who actively fosters the Better Business Bureau mission of Trust, Integrity and Ethics.
"A panel of business leaders reviewed over 30 nominations for this year's Ambassador award," says Bob Van Cleave, Chair of the Ambassador Award committee.
"Each of the five finalists is well known for their personal and business integrity. All are deserving--naming just one Better Business Ambassador of the Year was a difficult task."
David T. Craig is a quite, private person who goes about his business the same way he lives out his life--with respect, integrity and humility. You can't be around David for five minutes before you realize that he is firmly grounded in a genuine set of personal values deeply rooted in hard work and compassion for others.
His love of agriculture and the farm land of Middle Tennessee laid the foundation for David and his father-in-law (Auburn Wheeler, now retired after 40+ years in the industry) to start Craig & Wheeler Realty & Auction Co. in the summer of 1973 in Shelbyville, Tennessee. The company, now one of the oldest in the realty and auction industry, has grown into a third generation family business with 14 real estate agents and 8 auctioneers.
Whether David is selling a small lot or a 1,000 acre farm, auctioning a herd of cattle or priceless heirloom antiques, the heart of his business is the compassion he feels for those selling because of hardships or the passing of a loved one. "The monumental obligation to dispose of ones real estate or personal property is not just business to us, it's personal! When you take your business to a personal level, then you will be successful no matter the size of the home, farm or estate," states Craig. David's sincere concern for the people side of business has built a company with deep roots of customer trust.
David served as an officer in the United States Army including a tour of duty in the Republic of South Korea. David is the past president of the Shelbyville-Bedford County Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Shelbyville Lions Club and past president of the Bedford County Chapter of the University of Tennessee Alumni.
He is a sponsor of Habitat for Humanity, a member of the American Legion Post #23, where he has served for many years as Boy's State Chairman, and a member of the VFW. He holds a Tennessee Real Estate Brokers license, a Tennessee Real Estate appraiser's license and a Tennessee auctioneer's license. David has served as the Advisory Chairman for the Better Business Bureau Central Tennessee branch office. David is an active member of the First Presbyterian Church where he serves as an elder. He is married to Belinda Wheeler Craig and has two sons Tad (Teresa), Ben (Lana) Craig and three grandchildren.
"The 2007 finalists are people committed to doing good work by raising the standards in business for customer goodwill, peaceful resolution to conflict, giving back to the communities they serve, and raising the public's trust and confidence in the marketplace by doing what is right" says Doherty. "These finalists are extraordinary people who have embraced integrity in one's life and one's career. They are living examples of all that is right about business in America."