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Leadership Column: Personal Reflections on the First Ten (Jan/Feb 2015)

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Ethics Matters

January/February 2015

Each time we celebrate a 10-year anniversary milestone, it gives us the opportunity to reflect on the past and to plan and dream of the future. It also gives us an opportunity to show appreciation for those who helped us achieve the milestone as we look ahead to the excitement of the partnerships that will lead us to the next milestone. In the next sentences, I invite you to share my reflections with me.

After the NASBA Center for Public Trust (CPT) completed its first year of operation, I had a lunch conversation with Founder, David Costello, where he introduced this intriguing organization to me. A few months later, I joined David and his team at NASBA assisting with the development of the CPT and other areas within NASBA. Since then, I have seen this organization grow significantly, through good times and challenging times.

In the early years, the CPT focused only on professional programming, collaborating with Pepperdine University, Lipscomb University, Vanderbilt University, the University of Texas and Baruch College to host ethical leadership conferences. The most successful of them, the Annual Ensuring Integrity Conference, with Baruch College in New York City, continues to be very well attended. In addition to the conferences, The CPT’s Being a Difference Award is still one of the best professional programs. To date, 19 deserving individuals or organizations have won this coveted award. We are very proud of the award and each of its recipients.

I saw the CPT make a strategic shift in 2009. A decision was made by the board of directors and the staff to begin offering programming for college students. The first StudentCPT chapter was piloted at Lipscomb University. The following year, Birmingham Southern University established its chapter, and the CPT was committed to growing the exposure to ethical leadership in this new marketplace, the college campus.

TheCPT.10yrProviding innovative supplemental activities for ethics education became a major focus area for the CPT in 2010 and 2011. During this time, the Ethics in Action Video Competition and the Student Leadership Conference were birthed. Today, they are thriving programs within the StudentCPT. Perhaps the most significant activity in 2011 and 2012 was the extreme growth in student chapters. When Ken Bishop and David Costello asked me to lead the organization, we made a commitment to grow. With the help of key board members at the time, Jerry Esselstein, O.C. Ferrell, Linda Ferrell, and several other key stakeholders, we began to grow the StudentCPT chapters at an extremely rapid pace. We went from two chapters in 2011 to 25 chapters at the conclusion of 2014. We are happy for the past growth and excited about the future growth projections. In addition to the StudentCPT chapters, we are impacting students through the Ethical Leadership Certification Program, thanks to our financial support from the Daniels Fund. This program launched last January. Nearly 1000 students from across the country have enrolled.

My personal reflections would not be complete without thanking all current and former donors, strategic partners, and board members who have given countless hours to make the CPT what it is today.

I extend a special thanks and congratulations to former staff members Lisa Axisa, Jennifer Bouchard and Amy Walters. I also salute the current team at the CPT, Ryan Hirsch, Lara Loewl and Ronald Taylor. Finally, I thank all the leadership and staff at NASBA for its continued support over the past 10 years. The next 10 will be greater.

— As Always, Lead With Integrity!

Alfonzo Alexander
President, CPT

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