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Pictured left to right are James E. Traut, Karen McIntyre and Brian Shuttleworth.
Karen McIntyre, Ph.D., senior vice president for Academic and Student Affairs and dean of faculty, joins guest speakers James E. Traut (left) and Brian Shuttleworth from H.J. Heinz Company.

How does the H.J. Heinz Company meet the challenge of ethical leadership? This was the focus of the Sept. 13 ethical leadership event, hosted by Point Park University's Department of Global Management and Organization and the H.J. Heinz Company.


This event was part of the Ethical Leadership Speaker Series, held each semester to continue the discussion on ethics. It featured Heinz guest speakers James E. Traut, C.P.A., C.G.M.A., vice president of enterprise and risk management and ethics and compliance, and Brian Shuttleworth, director of operational risk management and sustainability.

Approximately 140 people attended including individuals from the Pittsburgh business and university communities as well as Point Park graduate students, alumni and faculty.

The event was part of Point Park's "Ethical Leadership and Sustainable Organizations" special topics course offered in the M.B.A. program.

Taught by Point Park professors William Breslove, Ph.D., James M. Haley, Ph.D., Helena Knorr, Ph.D., Archish Maharaja, Ed.D., and M.H. Sidky, Ph.D., the course examines how ethical leadership can create sustainable learning organizations by helping students discover which values make a leader ethical and effective and what unites organizations to become sustainable in a complex and dynamic global environment.

"I learned that high profile companies like Heinz take ethical leadership more seriously than I previously thought. It was a great event and gave me the chance to meet with other students," remarked M.B.A. student Lisa Smith Reed.

The "Ethical Leadership and Sustainable Organizations" course has received a considerable amount of positive feedback from students.

According to a survey recently conducted by Haley and M.B.A. alums Michael DeSantis and Dawn Parasolick, 96 percent of students agreed that this should be a required course in the management concentration track of the M.B.A. program. Research results of this survey will be presented at the Northeastern Association of Business, Economics and Technology's 35th Annual Meeting on Oct. 25 and 26, 2012.

"Having ethical leadership keeps the whole organization sustainable and profitable. It helps create trust and loyalty throughout the organization and among consumers. The presentation was very informative and it made me really think about how to be an effective manager," said M.B.A. student Leslie Payne.

Ethical leadership event with H.J. Heinz Company

Photos by Sean McKeag, junior photojournalism major

M.B.A. student Wael Hamade interviews Brian Shuttleworth from Heinz

Hamade: Please tell us about your journey with Heinz.

Shuttleworth: I have been with Heinz for nearly 20 years. I started in a Heinz plant and worked my way up the ladder. My numerous positions with Heinz taught me the specific skills and systems required to make every plant safe and productive. I set out every day to ensure that every plant meets those expectations and continues to improve.

Hamade: In your own words, what is corporate social responsibility and how does Heinz meet this criterion?

Shuttleworth: Every CEO dating all the way back to the founder of the company has a deep-rooted passion to improve the community in which they work. Every company's responsibility is to invest in its community as that investment yields a return that is higher than anything related to a financial gain.

Hamade: Heinz has a reputation for caring about internal and external customers, stockholders, the environment, and its communities. Very few organizations can do this and be profitable at the same time. What is the key to your company's success?

Shuttleworth: There is a uniform consensus at Heinz with the items you just mentioned. Starting with the CEO and working down, everyone should understand the culture at Heinz and always strive for improvement. A focus only on the bottom line is short-sighted and doesn't yield long-term success. Ensuring these different entities are constantly monitored will enable organizations to stay ahead of the game and remain top performers.

Hamade: Can you please share an experience where a person made a decision, intentionally or accidentally, that negatively affected Heinz. How did you respond?

Shuttleworth: Part of operational risk is to have enough checks and balances in place so detrimental decisions do not happen. The last time I can recall something remotely similar to that was 10 years ago. The system today is tight and many controls exist that have fortunately kept Heinz out of trouble. My job in operational risk includes measuring potential human error and how to improve standards to avoid problems.

H.J. Heinz Video on Ethics and Sustainability

For more information on topics discussed in the "Ethical Leadership and Sustainable Organizations" course, visit the course's pages on YouTube and Facebook.

Please note that the Ethics, Leadership and Sustainability Facebook page will have a live feed of pictures and presentation talking points from the NABET conference on Oct. 25, 2012 beginning at 9 a.m.


More About: student workshop, M.B.A., graduate programs