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Ethics honorees a valuable resource

Kathy Winograd

As you can see in today’s Albuquerque Journal, this is a great day for ethics and ethical behavior in business. Two for-profit businesses, a non-profit organization and two individuals are being recognized for earning the esteemed distinctions of being 2019 New Mexico Ethics in Business Award winners. And the awards are even more special this year, since we’re also celebrating the 20th anniversary of these wonderful awards and the second year of CNM being the proud stewards of the program.

First, I want to congratulate the awesome award winners who are featured in today’s Journal. They were nominated by their peers and had to undergo a very thorough process of ethical evaluation to emerge as this year’s distinguished winners. Each of them has a unique, inspiring story. But the common thread among all five is their unwavering commitment to integrity, honesty, and a culture of ethical behavior. Today, and at the New Mexico Ethics in Business Awards ceremony on April 25, we will honor and celebrate their highly appreciated contributions to ethics in our state’s business community.

When CNM decided to step up to manage this awards program more than a year ago, we viewed it as more than just an opportunity to keep a highly regarded, once-a-year celebration of ethics alive and well in our community. As an institution of higher education with a Vision of “Changing Lives, Building Community” and a Core Value of “Be Ethical,” we saw this as an opportunity to serve our state by helping to elevate discussions related to ethics year-round.

We live in an increasingly complex world, and it’s not always as easy as we would hope for individuals and organizations to make the ethical decision in every situation for every stakeholder. It can be very challenging at times, even for the most well-intentioned, fair-minded people. Getting some advice from sage counsel – somebody who has successfully championed, modeled and nurtured a culture of ethical behavior in their organization – can be a precious resource.

That’s why CNM has launched an “Ethics Exchange” that is now available to businesses and organizations year-round. Your organization can request a former New Mexico Ethics in Business Award winner to come to your location and facilitate an informal discussion with your employees about how to advance a culture of ethics. Whether you prefer a brown-bag lunch discussion, a round-table discussion or another type of session, we will connect you with a former Ethics in Business award winner to engage you and your employees in the ethics topic of your choice. That could range from developing an ethical code; how to avoid common unethical pitfalls in business; addressing environmental concerns in business; the importance of moral leadership; embedding ethics in customer service; and many other potential topics.

At CNM, we’re very proud to provide this new service, and we believe it will help many organizations establish a stronger culture of ethics, which will contribute to a better New Mexico for all. You can submit an “Ethics Exchange” request year-round at ethicsinbusinessnm.com.

The New Mexico Ethics in Business Awards program will also continue to benefit students. Our strong partnership with the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management continues. Students in Business Ethics courses at the Anderson School remain involved in the evaluation process for the awards program, a highly valuable real-world experience with great exposure to ethical business cultures. CNM students also benefit. Proceeds from the annual awards event help fund scholarships in the CNM Foundation that are awarded to students who are dedicated to an ethical career.

We continue to be very excited about these opportunities to help promote a more deliberate focus on ethical behavior in New Mexico. Not because CNM claims to have any ethical superiority, but because we care deeply about our community’s wellbeing and we believe we have the capacity and the partnerships to bring this important cause to a broader audience.

As we try to advance the cause of ethics in business year-round, CNM will also continue doing our best to teach the importance of ethics to students in the classroom and instill a strong culture of ethics among our faculty and staff across the college.

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