Before the financial meltdown of 2008-09, there was Enron, an energy and investment company that wildly overstated its profits and in 2001 was the largest bankruptcy in history to that time, according to CNN.

The whistleblower who brought the suspect accounting practices to light, Sherron Watkins, a former Enron vice president, will appear on an ethics panel at Weber State University 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31 in Wattis Business Smith Lecture Hall Room 206. The event is free.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Enron Vice President of Corporate Development Sherron Watkins, left, Former Enron Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Skilling, center, and Jeffrey McMahon, right, are sworn in on Capitol Hill Tuesday, February 26, 2002 prior to testifying before the Senate Commerce Committee hearing on Enron. PHOTOGRAPH BY CHUCK KENNEDY/KRT Photo credit: Tribune News Service

The panel will also feature Dr. Brad Agle, author of “The Business Ethics Field Guide” in 2016 and “Research Companion to Ethical Behavior in Organizations: Constructs and Measures” in 2014 and a professor of ethics and leadership in the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University. Agle also serves as president-elect of the International Association for Business and Society and is on the editorial board of Business Ethics Quarterly.

Watkins had alerted Enron’s then-CEO Ken Lay to accounting irregularities in 2001, and in 2002 was named with two others as Persons of the Year by Time magazine, which called them “people who did right just by doing their jobs rightly.”

Agle’s research focuses on business ethics, religious influences on business, managing stakeholders and CEO leadership.

According to a WSU press release, Tuesday’s presentation will be based on a quote from Andy Biersack, “Stand for what you believe in, even if it means standing alone.”

It is sponsored by the Center for Leadership in Corporate Social Responsibility in the John B. Goddard School of Business & Economics.


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