Ethical leadership event reminds people ‘it is good to be good’

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  • Reading and Beyond

Ethical leadership event reminds people ‘it is good to be good’

Fresno State and the Better Business Bureau will host a Celebration of Ethical Leadership luncheon to highlight good work done in the region and to encourage ethical leadership on campus and in the community.

The celebration will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8, at Pardini’s Catering and Banquets (2257 W. Shaw Ave.).

The event is made possible by a partnership between the Better Business Bureau Serving Central California and Inland Empire Counties, the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and The Ethics Center at Fresno State. The combined effort stems from the Better Business Bureau’s annual “Excellence in Ethics” and Fresno State’s “Ethical Leadership Award.”

This year, Fresno State will recognize Luis Santana, executive director of Reading and Beyond, as its third annual Ethical Leadership Award winner. Santana founded the nonprofit organization in 1999. Reading and Beyond is dedicated to empowering children and families to live productive, self-reliant lives.

Santana has led the organization for two decades with a commitment to helping children and youth succeed academically, find meaningful careers as college graduates and become tomorrow’s leaders and parents who will create a brighter future for their own children and communities. Under Santana’s leadership, the organization has expanded its programs into eight California counties with more on the way.

Previous Ethical Leadership Award winners include Richard Johanson, chairman emeritus of the Fresno Business Council and founder of Johanson Transportation Services, LLC; and Jim Boren, executive director of the Fresno State Institute for Media and Public Trust and former executive editor of The Fresno Bee.

This is the second year Fresno State has partnered with the Better Business Bureau and its ethical businesses recognition program. The Better Business Bureau will also recognize ethical businesses in three categories — small-, medium- and large-sized businesses.

Better Business Bureau president and CEO Blair Looney said he couldn’t be more pleased with the partnership. “This partnership is a great opportunity to highlight those who are ethical and do the right thing,” Looney said, “but it’s also a way to remind the students at Fresno State and in the community that ethics matter, and we all succeed when we are committed to doing the right thing.”

The luncheon will feature keynote speaker Victoria R. Bernhardt, an attorney with McCormick Barstow LLP, who will speak on the topic of ethics in the age of social media.

“The event is a catalyst for further conversations and an occasion to reflect on the importance of ethics for good business, for a thriving community and for a good life,” said Dr. Andrew Fiala, director of The Ethics Center. “Our Ethical Leadership Award recognizes moral exemplars and our Celebration of Ethical Leadership event aims to remind people that it is good to be good.”