Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO John Mackey drew the wrath of many longtime customers in August with a Wall Street Journal opinion piece that proposed free-market alternatives to healthcare reform, but the article was vintage Mackey, combining the iconoclastic executive’s strong beliefs in the power of capitalism and the importance of social responsibility in business.
On Friday, Oct. 16, Mackey will be in New Orleans to deliver the luncheon keynote presentation at the 2009 Tulane Business Forum, which this year focuses on the theme of corporate consciousness.
“The whole idea of corporate consciousness goes back to the basic business fundamentals of doing things in an ethical manner and being responsible and purposeful in how you gear your business,” says Tom Spiers (MBA ’01), board member of the Tulane Association of Business Alumni (TABA), which organizes the annual event. “We thought this would be a good way to focus on how to return to core values and how certain large organizations are doing it and succeeding at it.”
In addition to Mackey, other speakers addressing corporate consciousness, ethics and social responsibility include Mark Quartermain, president of Shell Energy North America; Alan R. Yuspeh, senior vice president and chief ethics and compliance officer of HCA; and Gary Jay Saulson, director of corporate real estate with PNC Financial Services Group.
The forum will also feature a panel discussion on alternative energy and financing featuring Jon Guidroz, director of project development with Free Flow Power Corp.; D’Juan Hernandez, president and CEO of Sun Energy Group; and Eldon Klaassen, CEO of Allegro. The discussion will be moderated by Michael L. LeBourgeois, principal of NGP Energy Technology Partners in New Orleans.
The 2009 Tulane Business Forum will take place at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. Registration and continental breakfast will begin at 8 a.m. and the forum will begin at 8:30 a.m. For more information about this year’s program, visit tulanebusinessforum.com.