A new partnership between the Better Business Bureau Serving Central California & Inland Empire Counties and Fresno State’s Lyle Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and The Ethics Center will celebrate ethical leadership and highlight the good work done in our community.

The “Celebration of Ethical Leadership” event, at noon to 1:30 p.m. on May 9 in North Gym 118, is a combined effort that stems from BBB’s annual “Excellence in Ethics” and Fresno State’s “Ethical Leadership.” Fresno State President Dr. Joseph I. Castro will provide opening remarks.

For the past two years, the Ethics Center and the Lyles Center have worked together to support reflection on ethics, and to encourage ethical behavior in their students while hoping to have a positive impact on the larger community.

“Last year, we created the “Ethical Leadership” award as part of this effort,” said Dr. Andrew Fiala, director of The Ethics Center.  “This year, we are connecting the Ethical Leadership award with the BBB business ethics awards, as part of our effort to inspire students and the community about the importance of ethical leadership and ethical business practices.

Better Business Bureau strongly believes in its vision and mission of creating an ethical marketplace where buyers and sellers trust each other, and for years has been promoting ethics in the marketplace by awarding businesses that demonstrate an outstanding level of ethics and integrity with the “Excellence in Ethics” award.

Last year’s Celebration of Ethics honored Richard Johanson, a leader in the business community. The May 9 Celebration will honor its second annual ethical leadership award winner.

“This year, we are honoring Jim Boren, retired executive editor of the Fresno Bee,” Fiala said. “Jim has devoted his career to the Central Valley. He has encouraged political leaders to show integrity and ethics. He has been outspoken in defense of journalistic ethics and the importance of media literacy in the fake news era.”

Boren is now teaching reporting to Fresno State students in the Media, Communications and Journalism Department.

Since this year’s event is a collaboration with the Better Business Bureau, ethical businesses will be recognized in three categories — small-, medium- and large-sized businesses.

Better Business Bureau president and CEO Blair Looney said he couldn’t be more pleased with this partnership:

“This partnership is a great opportunity to highlight those who are ethical and do the right thing, but it’s also a way to remind the students at Fresno State and in the community that ethics matter and we all succeed when we are committed to doing the right thing.”

The hope of this alliance is to continue to inspire students and the community and to bring public attention to the importance of ethics.

“The event is a catalyst for further conversations and an occasion to reflect on the importance of ethics for good business, for a thriving community, and for a good life,” said Fiala. “We are calling a “Celebration of Ethics” as a way of reminding people that (however trite it may sound); it is good to be good.”

The “Celebration of Ethical Leadership” event feature keynote speaker Michael Clayton, who will also be speaking later that day, from 4-5 p.m. in the Alice Peters Auditorium of the University Business Center. Jenny Toste, social media specialist for Fresno State’s University Communications, will host the event.