CEO and environmental advocate to discuss working with coal industry for social change
Kissito Healthcare founder and CEO Tom Clarke will discuss his work with the coal industry to protect human and environmental health as the featured speaker of the Del Alamo/Hogan Symposium on Business Ethics, hosted by the Pamplin College of Business.
Clarke's talk is at 7 p.m. April 20 in Colonial Auditorium of Virginia Tech's Squires Student Center.
Clarke said he believes business has an ethical responsibility to work with all stakeholders to address the human and environmental impact of business activities. He will discuss his experiences in collaborating with coal industry executives to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and the challenges of making ethical, not just profitable, decisions in rural health care.
His talk is titled “Beyond Corporate Social Responsibility: The Ethical Responsibility of Business in Social Change.”
Kissito Healthcare is a Roanoke-based nonprofit, and its human and environmental health initiatives "focus on the care of vulnerable peoples and ecosystems,” he said. “Kissito's health focus includes caring for our elders, contributing to the health needs of rural Appalachian communities, and providing basic health services to vulnerable populations in South Sudan.”
Its environmental work includes more than 100,000 acres in conservation, forest carbon sequestration, and mine land reclamation, he said. The company works with environmental, energy, and governmental partners to reduce the rate of growth in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Clarke has held leadership positions in the University of Massachusetts Medical School, including associate administrator and chief financial officer. He has a master’s degree in business with a concentration in health care management from Husson College.
During his visit, Clarke will meet Pamplin faculty and students for an informal seminar. “Kissito’s activities relate to several major focus areas in Pamplin, including ethics, global consciousness, and entrepreneurship, especially social entrepreneurship,” Management Professor Rich Wokutch said. Faculty and students from Pamplin and other colleges, he said, have worked with Kissito in a variety of activities.
The symposium, now in its 24th year, will be part of a series of campus events that explore ethical issues in various disciplines during Ethics Week, April 20-24.
“As in previous years, we will be tying this symposium in with several graduate and undergraduate courses taught in Pamplin, including those in strategic management and business ethics,” said Wokutch, who teaches in the area of business ethics. “We invite faculty to take this opportunity to explore ethical issues related to their teaching and research topics during this week.”
The symposium is sponsored by the Business Leadership Center of the Department of Management and by Pamplin accounting alumni Robert F. Hogan Jr., who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting in 1978 and 1980, respectively, and Jorge Del Alamo Jr., who earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1969, and his wife, Lin. Previous symposium speakers have included academics, authors, government officials, and executives from SAIC, Tyco, Enron, Arthur Andersen, and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts.
The talk is free and open to the public, and no tickets needed. Find parking information online. For assistance, call 540-231-6353. The talk will also be video recorded. Questions about the speaker and other ethics-related events should be addressed to Richard Wokutch.