Trust, Ethics Don’t Get Stale, Leaders Tell El Paso Group

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Trust and ethics are long-lasting foundations to live and work by no matter the generation, five community leaders agreed during a panel discussion on ethics at the El Paso Better Business Bureau’s annual awards luncheon.

“I think the reason the (El Paso) Chihuahuas are successful, and in another month and a half are going to draw their two-millionth fan, is because . . . you all have embraced us because you trust us,” Brad Taylor, the minor league baseball team’s general manager, said during Wednesday’s panel discussion.

“We screw things up on a daily basis. You don’t always see it. But we believe we need to stand up to it when things happen. We make phone calls to say, ‘I’m sorry’ and fix it if we goof up and give you a cold hot dog or put you in the wrong seat. I think for us, being honest and building trust and building relationships is critically important to what we do.”

Army Col. Michael Hester, Fort Bliss garrison commander, a job likened to being mayor of the Army post, moderated the panel, which also included Sally Hurt-Deitch, market chief executive officer for The Hospitals of Providence; William Serrata, El Paso Community College president; and Stuart Schwartz, a lawyer for the ScottHulse law firm, and chairman of the city of El Paso Ethics Review Commission.

About 400 people attended Wednesday’s luncheon at the Wyndham El Paso Airport Hotel.

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“People can be pretty brave online where they wouldn’t be face to face,” Hester said. “People take joy watching other people’s misfortunes online because they can hide behind a label or something.”

Schwartz said even in leisure hours, people have to realize they are still representing their employer or profession even if you are out of uniform or not wearing a company badge.

“You need to conduct yourself as you would in the office, as you would in your profession, ethically, morally, at all times — whether you’re wearing a badge or not, that’s who you are,” Schwartz said.

Hurt, a registered nurse for 27 years, said getting into a career for money rather than because it’s a calling may produce ethical dilemmas because that can make standing up for a profession or career less important.

“Are you being called to do this, and seeking this as a profession that you are willing to stand up and scream from the rooftops, ‘this is who I am and what I believe and what I stand for’ or are you looking at it as a paycheck, and it’s the dollars that are driving your decision?,” Hurt said.

Marybeth Stevens, CEO of the Better Business Bureau Paso del Norte since January, said after the luncheon that building trust and ethics in the business community is part of the BBB’s role, and that’s why she wanted a discussion about ethics at the annual luncheon.

Ethics is talked about a lot, but it’s often a negative conversation, she said. The discussion needs to be more positive and get people and businesses to look at best ethical practices, she said.

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Nine area students also were given awards for their submissions to the BBB’s 2017 Laws of Life essay and drawing contests.

More information: bbb.org/elpaso

Vic Kolenc may be reached at 546-6421; vkolenc@elpasotimes.com; @vickolenc on Twitter.

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