‹ Back to All Blog Posts

Cushing Takes Home a Torch Award


As 2018 comes to a close, so much has transpired in and around the Cushing color graphics lab.

Where do we begin?

We engaged with the community on many fronts and are spoiled by the enthusiasm of our Cushing team, who continually reaches back and contributes to on and offsite seminars like theses:

We hosted various tours and educational sessions for Graphic Design students, including the Young Entrepreneurs group from the University of Chicago.  We added hands-on educational tours with Marwen Foundation and ACE Mentor Chicago who was assigned to build a structure for IIT.

Cushing Takes Home a Torch Award 2 Candid Marwen

Marwen Students During Their Cushing University Field Trip

Here’s an image of ACE students working together.

Cushing Takes Home a Torch Award 3 ITT Structure and Graphics

Students from the ACE Mentor Program working together at ITT

We were delighted to continue supporting ACE Mentor, City of Hope’s Spirit of Life dinner, March of Dimes Construction & Transportation Award Luncheon, and Veterans of America, among many other causes supported by our employees and clients.

Cushing Takes Home a Torch Award 4 Panelists at Chicago Design Museum

Cushing co-hosted a panel on public art, design and collaboration at Design Museum of Chicago

I think this is a good time to mention Cushing was named a Loyola University’s small Family Business Award winner! 

Yes, that is correct, what a fantastic honor!

Cushing Takes Home a Torch Award 5 Cushing Loyola Photo Family Business Award

Cushing Won The Illinois Family Business Awards – Small Business Category

And the dinner at the Four Seasons was spectacular.

The newly launched Wide Format Impressions asked Cushing to be a columnist. And we’re proud of the new “expert” status that it provides us… who knew!?

Along the way, our team literally printed and installed hundreds of environmental graphics projects. See Some here or click the image.

Cushing Takes Home a Torch Award 6 Latest Projects Image Link

The latest exciting news?

Cushing received the 2018 BBB Torch Awards for MARKETPLACE ETHICS.

Team Effort

I work closely with our marketing department (Catie Duffy and Jon Davis). We’re thinking constantly about our search engine optimization, guest blog writing, event marketing, recruiting and PR opportunities. Suffice to say, we stay busy!

Cushing has been an accredited Better Business Bureau (BBB) member for a dozen years. The Torch Awards came across our radar when their amazing Director of Public Relations, Thomas Johnson joined their team.  An incredible guy, I’ve served on boards with him. Remember him from NBC local News?

Tom has gently reminded us each year to consider the application.

What are the Torch Awards?

The Torch award is presented to businesses that not only believe in the high ethical standards of BBB but consistently acts on them and integrates them into daily business practices. 

The application was daunting!  Lots of detail.  But our Marketing team: Jon Davis and Catie Duffy took this on, and, here we are.

As Cushing approaches ninety years in business (2019!), the organizational philosophy continues to focus on these tenets, and this became a focus of the application:

  • Celebrate employees
  • Improve the customer experience
  • Build fair and balanced business relationships with clients and vendors

The deadline rapidly approaching, we submitted our Torch application and hoped for the best.

September to Remember

In September, Cushing made the final round. Exciting news to be sure! We felt the application was strong – made no assumptions, and we’re happy to be nominated.

Jon asked me to be sure to attend the November 1 luncheon. If anything, it would be a productive networking opportunity. So, thinking this was the announcement event only, I headed to Oak Brook with zero expectations.

Cushing Takes Home a Torch Award 7 Scene In the BBB Room

Attendees at The Torch Awards

An hour and half later? Firm names are being mentioned, Cushing was still in it – and they weren’t just announcing the finalists, they were handing out the TORCH !! I started to realize we might be picked.

Cushing Takes Home a Torch Award 8 BBB Torch Steve

Steve Bernas, President and Chief Executive Officer for the Better Business Bureau of Chicago

In fact, in the category of 11-100 employees, the list was even smaller. I literally tucked my shirt in tighter and wished I had worn a tie.  Alan Krashesky of ABC local news, calls Cushing and specifically my name!!

Cushing Takes Home a Torch Award 9 Joe Shaking Hands

Joe Cushing Receives The Torch Award from Alan Krashesky

Completely unprepared, I was happy to recite that any firm in the room was worthy of this, but, using the measure of integrity in the workplace as the barometer, I was delighted to accept on behalf of my sister, father, grandfather, and all the great co-workers we have here !

Cushing Takes Home a Torch Award 10 Joe at Podium

Joe Cushing Reflects on Receiving The Award

Congrats to everyone on the Cushing team, we are completely humbled and happy to be listed among many great Chicagoland firms as a Torch award winner.

We are excited for 2019!


Joe Cushing

As Cushing’s Executive Vice President, Joe Cushing, oversees the management team and leads the overall direction of the organization. Joe has served as ReproMAX Chairman of the Board and is active in the Society for Marketing Professionals (SMPS) Chicago Chapter. Joe supports numerous charities, and serves as the head of City of Hope’s Construction & Real Estate council (and received City of Hope Spirit of Life Award in 2017.) Joe plays an integral role in ACE Mentor Chicago.  He provides insights on wide format, the Chicago business climate and industry trends.



Leave a Reply