ECU’S PARKER ETHICS LECTURE TO FEATURE WESTON SMITH

Weston Smith

ADA – Weston Smith, a frequent speaker on ethics and integrity within business, will be the keynote speaker at East Central University’s Parker Ethics Lecture on Friday May 3, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Estep Multimedia Room of the Bill S. Cole University Center.

The event is free and open to the public.

Smith is a regular contributor to researchers of corporate fraud and has been featured on CNBC and the Fox Business Network with Neil Cavuto.

He is compassionate about teaching others the fruits of living and working responsibly, and the consequences of unethical conduct. Smith knows first-hand about ethics and integrity in business. He was once a CFO of the Fortune 500 Company HealthSouth Corporation, which over a dozen years became a Wall Street darling as it grew from one location to over 2,000 in all 50 states.

However, underneath the glimmering corporate office, fleet of corporate jets and consistent earning reports was a multi-year, multi-billion dollar financial statement fraud. Weston voluntarily came forward and exposed the fraud to the government and accepted responsibility for his own actions.

He speaks frequently to universities and professional groups in what he calls “Crossing the Line – An Insider’s Perspective of the HealthSouth Fraud”. Smith describes the culture of the company and the mechanics of the fraud and how detection was avoided. For audiences with auditors or regulators, he highlights both financial and non-financial red flags of misconduct. More importantly, he challenges and motivates all groups to simply do the right thing.

Smith is a former CPA and is a graduate of the University of North Alabama.

After Smith’s presentation, there will be a panel discussion on business-related ethical issues from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. with Smith, ECU President John Hargrave, Seminole Nation Chief Leonard Harjo, Legal Shield COO Randy Harp, and Hogan Taylor (CPA firm) CEO Randy Taylor.

The event is being sponsored by the Parker Ethics Center in conjunction with ECU’s  new Student Center for Public Trust. ECU is the first university in Oklahoma and the 16th university in the country to establish a Student Center for the Public Trust (Student CPT) chapter. The campus organization provides an interactive environment where ethical behaviors and ideas can flourish. In the process, it creates opportunities for students to network with the business community and to develop professional leadership skills.

The student organization is supported through the NASBA Center for Public Trust, a non-profit entity affiliated with the National Association of State Board of Accountancy. Student CPT membership is offered across all disciplines and provides a unique forum for business ethics education.

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