"You have to live with yourself everyday, and your reputation is very precious, and if you lose that reputation you may never regain it and that may prove disastrous for you," he said. "If we don't have people in our society thinking and acting ethically, we won't be successful as a country."
The theme of the third annual ethics institute, which was sponsored by the University's center for business ethics and social responsibility, focused on ethics within small businesses.
Aaron Feuerstein, former CEO of Malden Mills, manufacturer of Polartec Fleece, was also a keynote speaker. In 1995, Feuerstein’s Massachusetts plant burned down. Instead of shipping the jobs overseas, he rebuilt his factory. During the rebuilding process, he paid all 3,000 of his employees and became a role model for corporate responsibility.
Seminar panels also addressed legal vs. ethics duties, values within the Cincinnati business community, and business crises and the media's perspective during the daylong event.
The goal of Xavier’s ethics institute is to educate and inform faculty, staff, students and the broader business community about the roles and responsibilities of corporate citizens in society, and to provide appropriate context regarding the impact of ethics on individual and organizational performance. The center also serves as a resource for the local, regional and national business communities.
Sponsors of this event included the Cincinnati Business Courier, Fidelity Investments, the division of University relations at Xavier, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Better Business Bureau, Dinsmore & Shohl, Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease, Keating, Muething & Klekamp, the Williams College of Business entrepreneurial center, Xavier's ethics/religion and society program, the Institute of Business Integrity and Wright State University.