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Former Malden Mills CEO Aaron Feuerstein speaking at Heroes of Professional Ethics event March 30

03/24/09

Aaron Feuerstein was the third generation owner and CEO of Malden Mills in Lawrence, Mass., which was the inventor of Polartec fleece fabric. He gained national notoriety after the company's building burned down and he he elected to continue to pay his 3,000 employees their full salaries and benefits for the six months while the plant was being rebuilt.

While the move went against common business practices, Feuerstein told Parade magazine that he couldn't justify in his own mind doing anything else.

"I have a responsibility to the worker, both blue-collar and white-collar," he said. "I have an equal responsibility to the community. It would have been unconscionable to put 3,000 people on the streets and deliver a deathblow to the cities of Lawrence and Methuen. Maybe on paper our company is worthless to Wall Street, but I can tell you it's worth more."

Feuerstein is speaking about that and other experiences on Monday, March 30, at 6:30 p.m. in the Schiff Family Conference Center as he latest speaker in the Heroes of Professional Ethics lecture series from the Cintas Institute for Business Ethics. The event, which is free and open to the public. To learn more about Feuerstein click here. To learn more about the Heroes of Professional Ethics Lecture Series click here.