Whistleblower to speak about Enron’s crash

Former Vice President of the Enron Corporation, Sherron S. Watkins, will be speaking at the University on Tuesday, Nov. 14 as part of the President’s Speaker Series to discuss ethical leadership and what she feels went wrong at Enron. The discussion will be held at 11:00 a.m. in the Killinger Auditorium at the Criminal Justice Center.

Watkins, who alerted chief executive officer Ken Lay that there were accounting irregularities within the company before its dissolution, will be discussing her thoughts on the equity market system and how companies can avoid situations like Enron.

Since Watkins’ warning to Lay and the fall of Enron, she has testified before Congressional Committees in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate investigations of the Enron scandal. She was named one of TIME magazine’s three 2002 Persons of the Year for her efforts, as well as being honored with the Court TV Scales of Justice and Everyday Heroes Awards. Watkins was also awarded with the Women’s Mean Business Award from the Business and professional Women/USA Organization and the 2003 Woman of the Year Award by Houston Baptist University.

In 2003 she co-authored a book with Mimi Swartz called “Power Failure, the Inside Story of the Collapse of Enron,” a behind-the-scenes narrative about her involvement with Enron. With several more awards and honors in her name, Watkins now spends her time consulting and independently speaking.

Watkins will be one of many distinguished speakers visiting Sam Houston State University as part of the President’s Speaker Series, which has brought prominent leaders like Dan Rather, Ken Jennings and Drayton McLane to campus to speak about their successes. The series was created in January of 2002 by Sam Houston State University President James F. Gaertner and is supported by a grant from long-time benefactor Lu Ellen Gibbs.

The President’s Speaker Series brings leaders like Sherron S. Watkins to SHSU to “give our students yet another opportunity to learn and grow from people who are living successful and principled lives.”

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