Business Buzz for the week of April 21

BBB Torch Awards nominations
Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) is issuing its annual call for nominations for awards in business ethics, BBB’s Torch Awards for Ethics. These awards will recognize outstanding companies in Minnesota and North Dakota which lead by way of example through the display of exemplary ethics in their dealings with customers, employees, vendors and within their communities.

Nominees for the Torch Awards must be in good standing with BBB; however BBB accreditation is not a requirement to compete for the award. All for-profit businesses of any size, owned or operated in Minnesota or North Dakota, are eligible. This year’s BBB Torch Awards for Ethics nomination deadline is May 9.

A panel of independent judges will decide the award finalists and recipients. Winners will be announced live at BBB’s 2017-18 Torch Awards for Ethics ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 25, in the Hyundai Club at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Maureen Bausch, Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee CEO, will be the keynote speaker at the event.

Companies can be nominated online by visiting or by sending the company name, contact name, address, phone number and email along with the nominator’s name, phone number and reason for nominating to: BBB, Attn: Mackenzie Kelley, 220 S. River Ridge Circle, Burnsville, MN 55337; or by faxing the information to 651-695-2487. Nominations are open to the public. Area business owners or employees may also nominate their own firms.

Nominated companies will receive an official entry form from BBB. The entry asks each company to demonstrate their commitment to ethics by addressing the six Principles of TRUST!, as established by BBB.

Companies that choose to formally submit entries must do so by 4 p.m. on July 22. Visit for more details on this year’s ceremony and the nomination process.

Blue Cross names executive
Cain A. Hayes has been named executive vice president, chief operating officer and president of the health business for Eagan-based Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota.

In this new position, Hayes is accountable for the strategic management and oversight of all Blue Cross-branded lines of business, including commercial segments, government segments and the division responsible for medical management, pharmaceuticals, provider network contracting, and health and wellness programs.

Hayes, a 25-year veteran of health insurance and financial services, previously served as president of Aetna’s national accounts business.

Hayes’ tenure at Aetna also included service as president of the company’s Mid-America Region and president of the Government-Sector and Labor Division. Before Aetna, Hayes held a number of executive leadership positions at Nationwide and Principal Financial Group.

Hayes earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Drake University and a master of business administration from Webster University. Additionally, Hayes earned the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation from The American College and the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) designation from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Changes at Apple Valley Cub store
The Apple Valley Cub Foods store is getting a makeover and will be leasing the eastern area of the store to Planet Fitness, according to the Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce. The store will remain open throughout the remodel.