February 28, 2014
(Feb 7, 2014 – Hobbs, NM) Former Enron VP and one of the key witnesses in the Enron trials, Sherron Watkins, will be the featured speaker at University of the Southwest’s annual Free Enterprise Dinner.
Sponsored by the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation, the dinner will begin at 6:00 p.m., March 25, in the Jack & Mabel Maddox Student Life Center on the University of the Southwest campus. The dinner’s purpose is to celebrate initiative and citizens’ rights to participate in the productive commerce of free enterprise. The dinner hosts speakers who represent the ideals and values of the late Texas Legislator Hatton W. Sumners (1875-1962), so they may share their insights and business practices with the community.
Sherron Watkins is the former Vice President of Enron Corporation who, in August 2001, alerted then-CEO Ken Lay to accounting irregularities within the company, warning him that Enron ‘might implode in a wave of accounting scandals.’ She has testified before Congressional Committees from the House and Senate investigating Enron’s demise. Lauded in the press for her courageous actions, Time magazine named her, along with Coleen Rowley of the FBI and Cynthia Cooper of WorldCom, as their 2002 “Persons of the Year,” for being “people who did right just by doing their jobs rightly.”
Watkins has received numerous honors in recognition of her outstanding demonstration of ethics in the workplace, including the Court TV “Scales of Justice Award” and “Everyday Hero’s Award,” the “Women Mean Business Award” from the Business and Professional Women/USA Organization, and the 2003 “Woman of the Year Award” by Houston Baptist University. Glamour Magazine named her one of its 2002 “Women of the Year,” and Barbara Walters included her as one of the “10 Most Fascinating People” of 2002.
Watkins is co-author, along with prize-winning journalist, Mimi Swartz, of Power Failure, the Inside Story of the Collapse of Enron, published in 2003. Currently, she lectures around the country on the subject of Enron and the erosion of trust in this country’s capitalist system due to many corporate and Wall Street scandals.
In addition to Watkins’s keynote address, the Free Enterprise Dinner will award the “Trustee of Free Enterprise” to Hobbs resident, Gary Schubert. Schubert is a long-time resident of Lea County and has owned and operated Schubert Construction since 1980. He volunteers more many local organizations and is a well-known community leader.
The “Trustee of Free Enterprise” award is University of the Southwest’s most distinguished award and is given for outstanding business achievements, for an established reputation for conducting responsible and ethical business practices, for community leadership, and for investment of time and resources toward the preservation of a free society.
Sponsorships for the event are available at different levels and include designated tables for the dinner and recognition in the event program. Individual tickets are $50 and student sponsored tickets are $25. For more information, contact Laurie Dean, director of development operations & public relations, at 575-492-2108, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.