Forum targets business ethics
April 24, 2003
California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB)
students hear from Salinas-area experts
School of Business, CSUMB
James F. Bracher
Founder of the Bracher Center for Integrity in
- A panel of area business leaders batted around issues
of ethics in business Thursday during a public forum
at California State University, Monterey Bay.
It was the first of what may become an annual public
forum on business ethics and corporate-social responsibility.
The panel served up a lively discussion for an audience
made up largely of CSUMB business students.
At the heart of the discussion was how to hold companies
and individuals to high standards of ethics and how
to proceed when real-life circumstances blur the lines
of ethical behavior.
Colleen Mullery, a CSUMB professor and director of
the school's entrepreneurship program, moderated a panel
that consisted of Jim Bracher, founder of the Bracher
Center for Integrity in Leadership; Myra Goodman, who
along with her husband, Drew, found and run the Carmel
Valley-based organic grower Earthbound Farms; Susan
Merfeld, Vice President of human resources for Pebble
Beach Co.; and Bill Barton, Chief Financial Officer
for Watsonville-based Granite Construction.
Bracher recalled the words of an 88-year-old mentor.
Years ago the mentor said there are two things that
are most important: The first is that there is nothing
more important than the truth. The second one the mentor
Goodman said companies need to take a long-term view.
Earthbound Farms supports about 100 nonprofit events
and organizations. "What goes around comes around,"
Mullery challenged the panel to share experiences of
personal or corporate ethical dilemmas.
Merfeld recalled a senior executive being fired for
violating Pebble Beach Co.'s code of conduct. The executive
was turned in by a lower-level employee for an after-hours