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Tom Ridge, Former Lehman Brothers Executive to Address Compliance Issues at Beard Sustainability Symposium

Tom Ridge, president and CEO of the Ridge Global LLC consulting firm, and former Pennsylvania governor and secretary of Homeland Security, will deliver the keynote at the fourth annual Beard Symposium, Sustainability: The Changing Ground Rules.

The forum on Wednesday, Nov. 3, starts at 8 a.m. and is hosted by the Beard Institute, a part of the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business. It will feature a new, half-day format at the Fairmont Hotel, Downtown.

The Gulf oil spill, the 2008 financial crisis and shale gas extraction will serve as examples of regulation failures that have resulted in loss of stakeholder trust and confidence. Ridge, along with the morning keynote speaker and an executive forum, will show why an integrated sustainability strategy that goes beyond compliance leads to greater innovation.

“The newly created Beard Institute and our annual symposium reflect the school’s ongoing commitment to sustainable business practices,” said Jim Byrne, director of the Beard Institute. “This year’s theme reflects a shift in business strategy, where compliance is no longer enough. Progressive business leaders, who go beyond compliance, see greater innovation and profitability, as well as increased stakeholder trust and confidence.”

Among the progressive business leaders on the program, Lawrence McDonald, former vice president of distressed debt and convertible securities at Lehman Brothers, will open the day’s events with the morning keynote address. Author of A Colossal Failure of Common Sense—the Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers, McDonald has been a contributor for CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, NPR, The Economist, The New York Times, Time Magazine and others. All attendees will receive a copy of McDonald’s book.

An executive forum composed of for-profit and nonprofit players includes:

  • Maura Clark, president of Direct Energy Business
  • Leslie Davis, president of Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC
  • Joe Massaro III, president of Massaro Corp.
  • Robert Schasel, director of energy and resource conservation for PepsiCo.

At this symposium, the Beard Institute also will present its Green to Gold award. The annual award recognizes an American company that demonstrates commercial success in sustainable business practices. The 2010 Green to Gold award nominees include Starbucks, Heinz, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Nike.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.