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Featured Events | Jan 29, 2012 |

Enron whistleblower will visit Fordham on Feb. 2

At the end of 2001, the energy company Enron collapsed into a spectacular heap, taking down thousands of jobs, retirement funds and reputations with it. Burned into the public memory even a decade later, the fall of this company was foreseen by a woman named Sherron Watkins — a vice president at Enron who spoke her mind early on about Enron’s sketchy accounting practices.

On Thursday, February 2, at 5:00 p.m., Ms. Watkins will be here on campus.

Come to hear her talk about approaching then-CEO Ken Lay with a grave warning about Enron being on a road to scandal. Learn how she testified before Congressional committees that handled the aftermath of the Enron disaster. Part of the business-ethics speaker series that Ernst & Young is sponsoring at Gabelli, this is a chance to hear what it was like to realize that this massive company was headed for ruin — and to decide to do something about it.

Gabelli students must register via GSB Access. (Click the red button in the right-hand column to log into your account.) Non-Gabelli students must register by e-mail: GSBevents@fordham.edu. The registration deadline is January 30. Ms. Watkins’s speech will be on campus, but depends on how many people sign up. Registrants will receive an e-mail before the event with the exact location.

Ms. Watkins shared Time magazine Person of the Year honors in 2002 with two other women, in recognition for her bravery in stepping forward to report what she saw. Before her career at Enron, which ended in 2002, Ms. Watkins worked for three years as the portfolio manager of MG Trade Finance Corp.’s commodity-backed finance assets in New York City and for eight years in the auditing group of both the New York and Houston offices of Arthur Andersen.

A certified public accountant, Ms. Watkins earned a master’s degree in professional accounting and a bachelor’s degree with honors in accounting and business from the University of Texas at Austin. She is co-author, along with journalist Mimi Swartz, of Power Failure: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Enron.

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