Rotarians honor two individuals, business for ethics

Shown here, from left to right, are the president of the Rotary Club of Gainesville Buddy Irby, business award winner Joe Cirulli, individual award winner Luis Diaz and Chris Conner, head of the Ethics Award committee. Individual award winner Dr. DePaz could not be at the event because he was with a sick relative in Puerto Rico.

Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 5:45 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 5:45 p.m.

To recognize contributions to business excellence and high ethical standards, the Rotary Club of Gainesville on Tuesday named two individuals and one business winners of the 2013 Ethics in Business Awards.

The business award went to the Gainesville Health and Fitness Center. Individual winners were Dr. Oscar DePaz, founder of Southeastern Integrated Medical, and Town of Tioga developer Luis Diaz. It was the first time the Rotary Club had honored two individuals in the three years of the awards.

Rotary solicited nominations from the community. Students from the Poe Center for Business Ethics Education and Research at the University of Florida College of Business Administration interviewed nominees, and a committee of Rotarians made the final selections.

“The awards demonstrate that it's possible to be both ethical and very successful,” said Chris Conner, awards committee chairman.

DePaz began practicing medicine nearly 30 years ago. Southeastern Integrated Medical employs about 400 people. According to a news release from the Rotary Club, the company stresses excellence, respect and fairness.

Diaz, who is also president of Tioga Realty, was cited for his customer service, fair dealings and support for organizations such as the Cade Museum and the Reichert House.

He talked about the welcome his family received here when they arrived from Venezuela.

“One of the things we noticed right away was the way people in this town wanted to help us,” he said. “That's the ethics you follow and that we want to follow for the betterment of the whole community.”

Gainesville Health and Fitness, founded by Joe Cirulli more than 30 years ago, was noted for its free summer memberships for teenagers and for families staying at the Hope Lodge and Ronald McDonald House while family members receive medical care. GHFC also supports a number of nonprofit organizations and is active in the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce.

“At our organization we've narrowed ethics down to seven words, which are ‘Just do what you're supposed to do,” Cirulli said.

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