Business ethics the topic of Executive MBA-sponsored Vistage event

The Philadelphia-based Penn State Smeal Executive MBA Program recently sponsored an event with Vistage, a peer advisory group that connects business leaders to discuss best practices in business. EMBA alumni were invited to join the event, held on Friday, June 14, in Reading, Pa.

The discussion focused on business ethics and featured speaker Harvin C. Moore III, author of "One Choice Can Change Your Life," in which he presents an account of his career and the consequences of his business choices. Moore dedicated his career to talking about business ethics after spending two years in prison for a white-collar crime.

“Harvin’s focus was on how easy it is to fall off track and get yourself—and your company—into real trouble,” said Chad Burkholder, a 2008 EMBA alumnus who attended the event. “He shared that too many of us assume that we are ‘good people’ with ‘good intentions’ and that those problems won’t confront us. However, that is where the danger really begins for business leaders.”

“Personally, I took away that you really have to stay diligent and focused on what is going on around you — especially as a senior leader — to ensure that your actions and the actions of those around you are meeting the ethical standards and values that you and your company are trying to live up to,” said Burkholder, who serves as the vice president of operations for Catalyst 360, a subsidiary business of The Hartford.

In addition to his own experience, Moore shared some things that top-performing companies do to drive ethical business practices.

“Personally, I took away that you really have to stay diligent and focused on what is going on around you — especially as a senior leader — to ensure that your actions and the actions of those around you are meeting the ethical standards and values that you and your company are trying to live up to."

After Moore’s talk, Vistage led a peer advisory session, facilitating discussion among attendees who included Smeal EMBA alumni, current Vistage members, and Reading-area business leaders.

“The peer discussion reminded me of the discussions we had in the classrooms at Smeal,” said Burkholder. “I was able to share a business issue I am working through at my company and get some perspective from a highly decorated group of senior leaders. The input was tremendously insightful and valuable.”

Vistage is a peer advisory membership organization with more than 15,000 members in 15 countries. The group facilitates executive group discussions and offers one-to-one coaching and expert speakers on various topics important to high-level business executives.

About the Penn State Executive MBA Program
Launched in 2001, the Penn State Smeal Executive MBA Program is a 21-month program designed for working professionals with classes held on alternating weekends at the ACE Conference Center in suburban Philadelphia. The program features personalized executive coaching, intensive communication training, a weeklong international residency experience, and coursework focused on the unique challenges of the students’ firms. Learn more at www.smeal.psu.edu/execmba.

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Last Updated September 10, 2013