Long-time, experienced Better Business Bureau leader Kip Morse to head IABBB
New CEO joins the International Association of Better Business Bureaus after 20 years as president of the BBB in Columbus, Ohio
ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Christopher “Kip” Morse has been selected as president and CEO of the International Association of Better Business Bureaus, the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The IABBB Board of Directors endorsed the Search Committee’s unanimous selection of Morse, who has been president and CEO of the BBB of Central Ohio in Columbus for the past 20 years.
“Kip’s commitment to BBB and its mission of marketplace trust has been the core of his professional life,” said IABBB board chair Jim Hegarty, president and CEO of the BBB based in Omaha, Nebraska. “He has been with BBB since 1989, a CEO since 2000, and has led or supported improvements and expansion of important BBB programs focused on trust, character, and ethics.” Hegarty described Morse as “a warm, collaborative, and focused leader for our professional staff, as well as a passionate and visionary leader of our brand and our mission.”
Morse’s Ohio colleagues agree with that assessment. “For 29 years, Kip has been a dedicated servant leader in BBB’s mission of advancing trust in our community,” said Sara Gordon, board chair of BBB of Central Ohio and vice president of marketing at Scotts’ Miracle-Gro Company, a BBB Accredited Business. “His vision has helped grow the BBB brand and has inspired high standards of character ethics among businesses and partner organizations in Central Ohio. It has been a privilege to work with Kip and I’m thrilled that he will use his insight, creativity, and passion for the BBB mission in leading the IABBB supporting local BBBs across North America.”
After several years with the BBB in Jacksonville, Florida, Morse joined BBB of Central Ohio in 1992 and was named CEO in 2000. During his tenure, he grew the organization from 1,900 Accredited Business members (ABs), 12 employees, and a $500,000 budget to 5,300 ABs, 29 employees, and a $3.6 million budget. He launched the Business Integrity Awards, which led to the development of the BBB Torch Awards for Ethics that 50 local Better Business Bureaus across North America now present annually. He was also instrumental in the development of the BBB Center for Character Ethics, the BBB Spark Awards for entrepreneurs, and the BBB TrustScore, an employee trust assessment. He has held numerous positions within BBB, including five years on the board of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB), the precursor organization to IABBB, and for seven years on the board of BBB’s foundation, the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust.
The Search Committee was made up of BBB leaders and chaired by Jay Newman of the BBB based in Dallas, vice chair of the IABBB board. The committee was assisted by Koya Partners, which specializes in serving mission-driven clients with a rigorous recruitment and screening process. Koya focused on identifying and recruiting strong leaders with diverse experience in the private and nonprofit sectors known for bold risk-taking and innovative leadership. They solicited referrals from more than 600 leaders and interviewed almost 50 before presenting the strongest candidates to the Search Committee.
Morse will succeed IABBB’s interim executive director, Colleen Rudio, founder of Cascadia Business Development, a BBB Accredited Business based in Missoula, Montana, that specializes in helping organizations in transition.
Hegarty commended Rudio for her leadership during the transition period that began with the restructuring of the former CBBB in 2019: “I want to thank Colleen for her incredible support and unflagging energy over the past 20 months as we have created and launched this association. Thanks to Colleen’s organization and leadership during our transition period, Kip will be able to hit the ground running.”
Morse holds a B.A. in criminal justice from Kent State University and is active in the Ohio law enforcement community as the founder and chair of the Consumer Fraud Advisory Group (attorney general, state and local law enforcement, and regional offices of the FBI, Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of Homeland Security). Among the many honors and recognitions he has received is the National John Templeton Freedom Award in Ethics
He and Leslie, his wife of 33 years, have three grown daughters. They are active in the Columbus community, especially with causes related to autism and Down syndrome, which have impacted their family. IABBB is based in Arlington, Virginia, but its staff is fully remote from 17 states, allowing Morse to remain in the Columbus area as he takes over the association’s leadership on January 11, 2021.