Past Executive Breakfast Forums

March 6, 2014

Once again, the Center for Ethics and Corporate Responsibility and Edelman came together to present the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer Breakfast – an Executive Breakfast Event. Informed by the results of Edelman’s 2014 Trust Barometer, the program provided breakfast and a panel discussion on the state of trust in 2014. The Trust Barometer is Edelman’s annual global survey that explores people’s attitudes about who they trust and why. The event began with a short presentation of this year’s findings by Julianna Richter of Edelman U.S. A panel comprising Richter and center director Steve Olson, joined by Tino Mantella of Technology Association of Georgia, Mark O’Brien of The HoneyBaked Ham Company and Rob Ward of Tsys, followed. The panel discussed the implications of the findings for organizations in the Southeast and then responded to questions from the audience.

View the global version of the results slides (which includes the U.S. results) »

February 27, 2013

The Center for Ethics and Corporate Responsibility and Edelman joined forces to present the 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer Breakfast, Edleman’s annual survey of the global state of trust and leadership. The findings, presented to a capacity crowd, were presented by Edelman vice chairman Alan VanderMolen. A distinguished panel of experts including Roy Blount, chairman and CEO of JI Ventures, Inc., Helene Gayle, CEO of CARE USA, and Bert Roughton, managing editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, offered insightful analysis and perspective on the findings.

March 16, 2012

Major Dan Dowd, head of Ethics, Warfighting Division at The Basic SchoolCol Dale Alford, Commanding Officer, and LtCol Michael Samarov, Commanding Officer, Instructor Battalion at the The Basic School, Marine Corps Base Quantico presented What Now Lieutenant? Preparing Leaders for Moral Crisis. These well-decorated officers shared their hard-won insights from combat and training young Marine officers, reflecting with us on how these lessons of leadership and organizational ethics from one of the world’s most ethically intensive institutions can be applied to corporate leadership. The Basic School, famously described as “The MBA of Leadership,” trains all newly commissioned Marine officers to succeed in the Four Block War environment.

June 9, 2011

participants at the June 2011 Executive Breakfast ForumMajor forces are shaping our lives, organizations, institutions and futures. Thoughtful leaders in diverse fields have come to a consensus regarding many of these forces. At the Executive Breakfast Roundtable entitled What’s Next for Leaders? The Corporate Responsibility Agenda of Our Future, center leaders Steve Olson, Linda DiSantis and Rob Williams shared some of what lies ahead for responsible leaders in business, government and non-profits.

April 28, 2011

a Marine and guest from the Leadership Lessons breakfast eventThe Center for Ethics and Corporate Responsibility presented Leadership Lessons from the Marine Corps: How Values Based Training Transforms American Citizens into Ethical Warriors, an opportunity to explore the Marines’ Value Based Training program with Colonel Eric M. Mellinger, Commanding Officer of the Recruit Training Regiment, and Lieutenant Colonel D. Clint Benfield, Commanding Officer of the 1st Recruit Training Battalion. Stationed aboard the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C., Mellinger and Benfield offered a unique perspective on developing ethical leaders and shared what the Marines know about integrating values throughout an organization facing ever-evolving challenges — an important lesson for all of us.

December 2, 2010

Frank McCloskey at the December 2 Executive Breakfast ForumThe Executive Breakfast entitled Beyond Good Intentions: The Ethics of Leadership and Religious Expression featured a dialogue with two national leaders on the perennial and thorny issues of leadership and religion in the workplace. Frank McCloskey, Vice President of Diversity at Georgia Power and Bill Nigut, Southeast Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League, led this lively exchange as we looked at the increasingly complicated concerns such as the responsibilities of leaders regarding religious expression and when inclusion unintentionally excludes.

April 28, 2010

Dr. Walter Earl FlukerDr. Walter Earl Fluker, executive director of the Leadership Center at Morehouse College was featured at the April Executive Breakfast Roundtable entitled Ethical Leadership: Advancing Our Common Good by Tackling Our Toughest Issues. Dr. Fluker led a conversation about the personal and communal virtues we can cultivate to see us through our toughest public challenges together. Walter Earl Fluker is also the Coca-Cola professor of leadership studies, and editor of the Howard Thurman Papers Project. Known as an expert in the theory and practice of ethical leadership, Fluker authored the book Ethical Leadership: The Quest for Character, Civility and Community. A book signing followed the program.

View the presentation slides »PowerPoint icon

October 14, 2009

Steve NygrenThe Urban Land Institute suggests that 70 percent of future building will occur on greenfield sites. And, thus, we are faced with this increasingly critical issue. How can we accommodate our growing population while developing in the most responsible way, ensuring the health of our environment, our bodies and our wallets? At this Executive Breakfast Forum, Steve Nygren shared the story of Serenbe and the Chattahoochee Hill Country, along with their lessons of balanced growth that preserve land and protect air and water quality. An optional break-out session for further discussion of the issues raised by Steve Nygren took place immediately following the regular program.

May 20, 2009

Martin Melaver, CEO of Melaver Inc., converses at the May 2009 Executive Breakfast Forum.An Executive Breakfast Roundtable entitled Big Sky, Small Place, Tiny Footprint: Constructing a Restorative Model for the 21st Century featured Martin Melaver, CEO of Melaver Inc. and author of the newly published book Living Above the Store: Building a Business that Creates Value, Inspires Change, and Restores Land and Community. Speaking at The Capital City Club in downtown Atlanta at 7:30 a.m., the author shared management principles and practices for running an environmentally sustainable business. At the conclusion of the program, the author signed his latest book.

April 21, 2009

David Ratcliffe, chairman, president, and CEO of Southern CompanyManaging Integrity Inside and Out took place from 7:30-9 a.m. at the Capital City Club, downtown Atlanta. David Ratcliffe, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Southern Company provided his view on the ethical role of senior management, both inside and outside the corporation. Mr. Ratcliffe explored how leaders can guard a corporation’s integrity and protect its reputation, especially when thrust into issues where passions run deep. No stranger to such situations, Mr. Ratcliffe addressed the “C-Suite” challenges facing Southern Company in balancing environmental concerns and the growing energy needs of its 4.4 million customers.

February 19, 2009

Aaron Beam, former CFO of HealthSouthThe Center for Ethics and Corporate Responsibility presented Fixing the Numbers: Lessons of Fraud and Failure at HealthSouth. The program, held at 7:30 a.m. at the Capital City Club in downtown Atlanta, featured Aaron Beam, a key player in one of the biggest corporate scandals in recent history. Convicted of bank fraud for his role in HealthSouth’s fraudulent accounting practices, Aaron Beam served three months in federal prison. He provided a different perspective on the importance of ethics in business, as he spoke about his experiences with white-collar crime. Beam reflected on the environment and culture that led to “cooking the books,” as well as the executive pressure that resulted in the reporting of exaggerated earnings. The program was made possible with support from Navigant Consulting.

March 7, 2008

John Knapp, Wes Cantrell and Steve OlsonHigh Performance Ethics with Wes Cantrell took place at 7:30 a.m. at the Capital City Club. Event speaker Cantrell is the retired CEO of Lanier Worldwide and author of the book High-Performance Ethics: 10 Timeless Principles for Next Generation Leadership, in which he contends that principles reflective of the Ten Commandments make way for better morale, greater productivity and increased returns for shareholders.

September 20, 2007

This event, entitled From Compliance to Decency: The New Management Imperative, was held from 7:30-9 in the morning at the Capital City Club in downtown. Steve Harrison, author of The Manager’s Book of Decencies, led the program, after which he conducted a book signing. In addition to having written a book that management expert Tom Peters calls “simple and profound,” Mr. Harrison is a highly successful entrepreneur and chairman of Lee Hecht Harrison, a global career management firm with 240 offices in 36 countries.

July 26, 2006

Dr. David Vogel at the July 26 breakfast event and book signingThis Executive Breakfast Forum was led by Dr. David Vogel, author of The Market for Virtue: The Potential and Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility, a book that provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of the realities of CSR. Dr. Vogel is the Solomon Lee Professor of Business Ethics at the Haas School of Business and professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He also is editor of California Management Review. Dr. Vogel (pictured right) signed his book for guests after the program. The breakfast was hosted by BellSouth Corporation at its Campanile building in midtown Atlanta. It was followed by a Summer Seminar on the same topic in the same location.

This program was made possible with support from Assurant.

March 30, 2006

An Atlanta presentation and discussion entitled How Much is Enough? CEO Pay and Responsible Corporate Governancewas led by Mr. Ric Marshall, chief analyst with the Corporate Library, an organization that rates corporations on governance practices. Mr. Marshall is responsible for guiding the firm’s research and company rating activities, oversees the work of the Corporate Library’s senior research analysts and associates, and is a founding principal of the organization and chief architect of its Board Analyst database. He addressed questions including:

  • Is there an objective basis for compensation, regardless of how much the individual might be “worth” in the larger marketplace?
  • How do analysts take into account all facets of the compensation equation – salary, bonuses, stock options, severance packages, etc.?
  • What are the best examples – and the worst – regarding CEO pay?
  • What might be the results of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s newly proposed rules mandating full disclosure of executive compensation?

The program was made possible with support from Navigant Consulting.

March 22, 2006

A Charleston, South Carolina, forum on Ethics, Leadership & the CEO featured a panel discussion with highlights from the center’s 2005 Southeast Survey of CEOs on Business Ethics. Our panelists were D. Maybank Hagood, president & CEO, William M. Bird and Company; Charles Van Rysselberge, president & CEO, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce; and Bill Settlemyer, executive publisher, Charleston Business Journal. It was sponsored by Lee Hecht Harrison.

February 1, 2006

The Hon. Robert BenhamAn Atlanta election-year forum, Winning at All Costs: The Loss of Civility in Political Campaigns, featured the Hon. Robert Benham, justice of the Georgia Supreme Court (pictured right); Mr. Tom Baxter, political editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; and Dr. Kerwin Swint, political scientist and author of the new book Mudslingers: The Top 25 Negative Political Campaigns of All Time. A break-out session including a book signing by Dr. Swint followed the program.

October 21, 2005

This Executive Breakfast Forum in Atlanta, in conjunction with the national conference of Character Education Partnership, featured a panel of CEOs on the topic of preparing today’s youth to meet the ethical challenges of tomorrow. Panelists were Ms. Tammy Driggers, Georgia President of First Horizon Bank; Mr. Jeff Haidet, chairman of McKenna, Long & Aldridge; and Dr. Beheruz Sethna, president of the University of West Georgia.

September 20, 2005

James Copeland, former chairman of Deloitte & ToucheThis Executive Breakfast Forum in Atlanta featured Mr. James Copeland, former chairman of Deloitte & Touche, on the future of public accounting firms in the aftermath of corporate scandals and the demise of Arthur Andersen. The program was sponsored by the J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University.

August 31, 2005

This Executive Breakfast Forum in Birmingham, Alabama, entitled strong>Ethics, Leadership & the CEO, featured a panel of business leaders: Mr. Jay Grinney, president & CEO, HealthSouth Corporation; Mr. Dudley C. Reynolds, president & COO, Alagasco; and Mr. Van L. Richey, president & CEO, ACIPCO. They discussed issues raised by the center’s inaugural Southeast Survey of CEOs on Business Ethics. The center’s founder and president Dr. John C. Knapp led the program, which was broadcast by Alabama@Work, a two-part program on Alabama Public Television, in December 2005.

May 25, 2005

This Executive Breakfast Forum in Greenville, South Carolina, was conducted in collaboration with the Greenville Chamber of Commerce and Clemson University. Ethics, Leadership & the CEO featured a panel of CEOs and highlights of our new Southeast Survey of CEOs on Business Ethics.

April 18, 2005

Gerald Grinstein, CEO of Delta Air LinesThis Executive Breakfast Forum in Atlanta featured Mr. Gerald Grinstein, CEO of Delta Air Lines. He spoke about the challenge of maintaining trust in the challenging situation faced by his company and industry. Articles about his presentation appeared in the business press.

March 1, 2005

This Executive Breakfast Forum in Atlanta featured a panel of CEOs responding to the findings as they were presented. They included Mr. Jack Ward of Russell Corporation (a large public company), Mr. John Bekkers of Gold Kist (a newly public company) and Mr. Earl Shell of Hardin Construction Company (a large private company). Their personal perspectives sparked a lively discussion of the topics covered by the Survey of Southeast CEOs on Business Ethics. After the program, a break-out session was held for those who wished to talk further about the issues raised.

Fall 2004

The forum was led by Mr. Derek Smith, chairman and CEO of ChoicePoint. He spoke about the ethical tension inherent in protecting individual privacy while also protecting national security. He is author of the new book The Risk Revolution: Threats Facing America & Technology’s Promise for a Safer Tomorrow. ChoicePoint is the nation’s leading provider of identification and credit verification services.

May 14, 2004

The forum featured Dr. John Knapp, president of the Center for Ethics and Corporate Responsibility, moderating a discussion with the CEOs of two Atlanta-based public companies: Mr. Jack Ward, Chairman and CEO of Russell Corporation (and a member of the center’s Board of Governors) and Mr. Ian McCarthy, president and CEO of Beazer Homes. Topics included:

  • How can CEOs lead their companies to achieve long-term shareholder value and restore investor confidence?
  • How does today’s CEO, in the face of a slowly recovering economy and continuing corporate scandals, ensure that multiple stakeholder audiences remain confident about the company and its future?
  • What roles do consistent messaging and a solid brand play in building trust among investors, as well as customers, partners and employees?

The event was held in conjunction with the National Investor Relations Institute.

April 20, 2004

This Executive Breakfast Forum examined the legal and moral questions confronting doctors and patients when medical errors occur. Our speaker was Dr. John Banja, medical ethicist at Emory University and one of the nation’s leading authorities on the problem of medical error – how frequently it occurs, the consequences for patients, and the issues facing physicians regarding disclosure of errors. This meeting was conducted in cooperation with Emory’s Center for Ethics.

February 17, 2004

John Wieland, founder and chairman of John Wieland Homes and NeighborhoodsThis forum featured Mr. John Wieland, founder and chairman of John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, the Southeast’s leading builder of semi-custom homes. Wieland recently stepped away from the position of CEO after 34 years. His presentation was entitled Looking Back on Lessons Learned: the Leadership Challenges of Building a Company in Today’s Environment.

Other Programs for Leaders

Since 1993, the topics addressed by our forums for leaders have included global trade, environmental performance, corporate ethics management, responsible investing, truth in advertising, product safety, values-based management and other timely issues. The programs have also featured such speakers as Mr. Jack Ward, CEO of Russell Corporation; Dr. David Batstone, author of Saving the Corporate Soul and executive editor of Sojourners magazine; James P. Kelly, Chairman of the Board and CEO of UPS; Arthur M. Blank, president and CEO of The Home Depot; Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin; Robert J. Rutland, Chairman of the Board, Allied Holdings Inc.; James R. Lientz Jr., recently retired president of Bank of America’s MidSouth region; Leo F. Mullin, chairman and CEO of Delta Air Lines; Dr. Edward Zinbarg, author of Faith, Morals & Money: What the Major World Religions Say About Ethics in the Marketplace; Neil Williams, general counsel of AMVESCAP, plc; James S. Balloun, chairman, president and CEO of Acuity Brands; Robert Kuttner, syndicated columnist for The Washington Post and BusinessWeek; Edward Petry, executive director of the Ethics Officer Association; Ray Anderson, chairman and CEO of Interface Inc.; Stephen L. Carter, best-selling author and Yale law professor; John Swanson, creator of the well-known ethics program at Dow-Corning Corp.; Robert Benham, chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court; Dan Cathy, president and CEO of Chick-Fil-A; Dr. Robert Holland, former member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and senior fellow at the Wharton School; Tom Chappel, CEO of Tom’s of Maine; Peter Kinder, author of Investing for Good; Charles Brewer, CEO of Green Street Properties and founder and former CEO of MindSpring Enterprises; James Blanchard, chairman and CEO of Synovus; and Fritz Heimann, U.S. chairman of Transparency International.