Management and Consulting Services

From a “Perp on the Podium” (hopefully) to a Survivor of the Hanoi Hilton

10/12/2015

Criminal Speaker
OK, my patience has run out. My last existing nerve I had on this particular topic just got numbed-out, not working, deadened…I’m (so) done with this.

The local chapter of a senior financial organization (the management roles targeted for membership in this organization include: CFO, VP-Finance, Controller, Treasurer, and equivalent). The group’s choice for this season’s kickoff speaker and the 2015-2016 program year was:

…wait for it…

Andy Fastow.

You think I’m kidding, right?

Unfortunately, I’m not.

Most of us remember Hurricane Katrina (for a number of reasons, much less the idiocy and bias in the press). The two parts of that national disaster which still come to mind for me are:

  • The tremendous outpouring of service, charity, donations of time and money and generosity (once again) by the American citizenry—simply another outstanding example of the caring and concern of the people of this great country – still makes me proud;
  • 2nd was General Russel L. Honore’, best known for serving as commander of Joint Task Force-Katrina, responsible for coordinating military relief efforts for the Katrina-affected areas across the Gulf Coast, who gave that famous quote when he told a reporter not to get “stuck on stupid” in reference to a question about the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina.

Correspondingly, I feel that same way when I see such downright silly decisions made…like putting a criminal fraud felon on the podium and paying him to give a speech to a bunch of senior finance and accounting types. When I heard about this “choice,” I sent a two-line note to the local chapter’s admin email address which basically said (paraphrasing), I cannot think of a worse choice of a speaker; it’s just pitiful and naïve for you to do this.

I (obviously) did not attend.

But, after receiving and responding to defensive (and further) email correspondence from the local chapter—“spare me” on one, and a host of facts for the other…well…

I went one step further. I gave two of the group’s sponsors an idea on how to offset such a dumb choice of speaker. I recommended a former resident of the Hanoi Hilton who was with John McCain. This person is quoted often on many of the news networks, and he gives both inspirational, leadership, ethical, and…

…wait for it…

Speeches on making good choices.

Hell, if the group actually has him as a future speaker…I’ll both attend, and pay to do so.

“Wisdom is knowing the right path to take. Integrity is taking it.”  (M.H. McKee)