Jefferson Hills firm honored at Pittsburgh Business Ethics Awards

Sign up for one of our email newsletters. Being recognized Wednesday for its commitment to maintaining an ethical foundation meant more to the Kurt J. Lesker Co. than receiving just another award. It was personal, said Kristin Lesker Eisel, global human resource...

Jefferson Hills firm honored at Pittsburgh Business Ethics Awards

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Being recognized Wednesday for its commitment to maintaining an ethical foundation meant more to the Kurt J. Lesker Co. than receiving just another award.

It was personal, said Kristin Lesker Eisel, global human resource manager.

“There's a lot of different awards we get nominated for, but this one showing that we have strong ethics means a lot, not only for the company but for the family,” Lesker Eisel said.

Kurt J. Lesker Co., a family-owned global business employing about 360 people headquartered in Jefferson Hills, was honored with the Pittsburgh Business Ethics Award for a medium-sized company.

Michael Baker International, based in Downtown Pittsburgh, received the large company award, and Synergy Comp of Sharon, Mercer County, took small company honors.

Since 2001, the Pittsburgh chapter of Financial Service Professionals has chosen companies that best demonstrate a commitment to ethical practices from nominees in the small, medium and large company categories. Judging is based on factors such as how a company demonstrates its commitment to ethical practices to employees and customers, how those ethical standards are applied in daily business as well as in challenging times and whether a company consistently offers high quality products and/or services.

Founded in 1954, Kurt J. Lesker Co. manufactures and distributes equipment that creates vacuums — chambers, hardware and pumps — as well as lab equipment and thin film systems.

In layman's terms, assistant controller Jenna Lesker Lloyd said, the company helps enable technological development.

“We provide tools to universities, to government labs, to synchrotrons that allows them to do the research to create smart pills to fight cancer, to do whatever it is they're working on,” Lesker Lloyd said. “When we say our mission is to enable technology for a better world, that's literally what we're doing.”

In 2012, late president Kurt J. Lesker III led the company through a yearlong process to define the values that would determine how it would conduct business moving forward. A team of 128 representatives from all departments and locations worldwide met in groups throughout the year and came up with the core values of sustainability, passion, integrity, respect and innovation.

“I was working alongside my sister, Jenna Lesker, at the time, and I said, ‘Can we come up with an acronym?'” Lesker Eisel said. “She put all the words down and said, ‘If we had a ‘T,' it would spell spirit.' My father, who was Kurt J. Lesker, jumped out of his seat and said, ‘Team! Team! That's my value.' We always called him our head coach so that team was what rounded out our corporate values.

“It's really something we hold dear in our company.”

Karen Price is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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