Nomad Donuts. Credit Tim Otto Photography

Five small business owners were recognized by Business For Good with community heroism awards during the nonprofit organization’s annual celebration in North Park.

The awards recognize outstanding social responsibility within the business community and demonstrate the role that local business owners play in making the county a more equitable and sustainable place, said Mikey Knab, Business For Good board chair and Director of Operations of Ponce’s Restaurant.

The 2019 honorees are Brad Keiller, owner of Nomad Donuts in North Park; Jay Buys, owner of Visceral in Hillcrest; Lindsay LaShell, owner of Diamond + Branch Marketing Group, also located in North Park: Dr. Cindy J. Jin, CEO and co-founder of San Diego-based HOVE Social Good Intelligence; and Michael Torti, Vice President of C&M Motors, Inc. in National City.

Keiller, who showed his employees, customers, and community how businesses can treat all people with dignity when he stood up for a homeless man outside his store in response to a negative Yelp review, received the Housing and Homelessness Hero Award.

Buys received the High Road Employer Award for his commitment to his employees by covering 100 percent of their healthcare, matching California-state parental leave, supporting 40 hours of volunteer time, and matching charitable donations made by his team.

LaShell, whose digital marketing agency created the Welcoming San Diego website to support the City of San Diego’s initiative to advance the civic, social, and economic integration of immigrants and refugees, received the Immigration Advocate Award.The Environmental Champion Award had two recipients —Lin, for her data analysis company’s innovative approach to measuring the tangible impact of local efforts to improve public health and create a more sustainable environment; and Torti, for exemplifying the role businesses play in creating a more sustainable home by advocating for the City of San Diego’s single-use plastics ordinance and expanding the Ocean Friendly Restaurant program, which he co-created in 2014.

“Tonight, we celebrate the contributions of some dynamic business owners who have committed to changing the narrative about the voice of business in San Diego,” Knab said. “These heroes have given their time and leveraged their reputations to support the long-term health of their employees and their communities.”

Business For Good is a group of small business owners whose aim is to drive policies that improve the community, with a focus on immigration, homelessness, environmental health and small business investment.

— Staff report

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