That’s the common refrain from the five recipients of this year’s Samaritan Counseling Ethics in Business Awards, who emerged from a field of 26 nominees after a long and rigorous selection process.
Teams of students from the UNM Anderson School of Management shone a spotlight on each nominee, interviewing them and scrutinizing their decision-making processes as part of a semester-long course on ethics. They then reported their findings to an independent volunteer committee that made the final selections.
“They (the students) are told to dive as deep as they possibly can and ask probing questions,” said Tom Antram, president and CEO of French Funerals and Cremations. He was chair of the committee that selected the winners.
Those who received the award demonstrated a consistent commitment to making tough choices, Antram said, facing dilemmas and gray areas that might not present a clear-cut alternative between right and wrong, but which could affect the quality and integrity of how business is conducted on a daily basis. “To me, that’s the core of the thrust of what ethical practice has to be. It’s not a one-time instance. It’s repeated practice over and over again,” Antram said.