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Business ethics speaker shares experiences

Helen SharkeyThe ExxonMobil Executive in Residence Program introduces Helen Sharkey, a professional ethics speaker; to present her talk entitled “How I Became a White Collar Criminal” September 21 at 12:30 p.m. in the Galloway Business Building, Landes Auditorium. Sharkey is the first of four speakers to talk at the College of Business this semester.

“These professionals help to teach the students lessons that they can’t learn in a classroom. By attending these lectures, students have access to business secrets that they wouldn’t otherwise have,” said Kayce Stutzman, marketing coordinator for the College of Business.

Sharkey worked in the 1990s as an accountant Dynegy, a Houston-based energy trading company where she became involved in white-collar crime. When the Securities and Exchange Commission investigated Dynegy’s finance transaction team, the findings led to criminal charges from the Justice Department against Sharkey and two others.

Sharkey pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. Her participation led to her conviction and 28 days in a maximum-security federal prison. Today, Sharkey shares her experience with crime and her perspective on ethics.

“Sharkey has a very interesting story that is very close to her heart. She talks about how she didn’t trust her gut instincts on a project that produced major legal red flags,” Stutzman said. “Helen’s experiences can be a lesson for the students. Right and wrong will not always be in shades of black and white.”

Other speakers to present at the College of Business will be Chad Briggs, vice president of sales and technology of Air Liquide (Oct. 5), Alex Banayan, world’s youngest venture capitalist (Oct. 26) and Jennifer Warren, LU alumnae and CMO of At Home: Learning Business from the Best (Nov. 9).

The College of Business’s ExxonMobil Executive in Residence Program brings experienced business executives to the campus to share their knowledge allowing members of the College of Business and LU to learn from their success.