TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ⎯ During an era in which Americans and Floridians have placed a renewed value on integrity in leadership, the Florida State University College of Business has developed a statewide program to recognize and honor ethical leadership in the public and private sectors. On April 22, the college announced the inaugural winners of the first Sunshine State Ethics in Leadership Award during a special ceremony.
The award, which is the first of its kind in Florida, honors two individuals — one in the private sector and one best known for his service in the public sector — who have demonstrated a deep and unwavering commitment to the highest levels of integrity, ethical behavior and principled leadership.
This year’s public-sector winner is former Florida Gov. Reubin O’D. Askew; the private-sector winner is Jeffrey Bartel, vice president of corporate compliance and corporate responsibility officer for FPL Group.
“As an educational institution, we employ an individual approach to teach the complex intricacies of business while at the same time imparting the basic, yet vital, principle that ethics is the key to success,” said Caryn L. Beck Dudley, dean of the FSU College of Business. “We are pleased to honor former Gov. Askew and Mr. Bartel, two individuals who live what they preach and embody the ethical principles we expect.”
Recipients of the annual Sunshine State Ethics in Leadership Award are selected by the college’s Ethics Roundtable, which works to promote and facilitate the highest standards of academic excellence and integrity as the required norms of a serious intellectual community among the college’s students, faculty and staff.
The award recipients are selected based upon their dedication to ethics throughout their lives, including their professional and personal responsibilities, contributions to the public wellbeing, industry and statewide leadership, and their sterling reputations.
As the first Florida governor to serve two full, four-year terms, Askew was selected for his embodiment of all of these characteristics throughout his life in the public sector, which included serving in the Florida Senate and Florida House, as well as local elective service. As governor, he created an Ethics Commission, championed civil rights and led the state to adopt progressive open records and sunshine laws. He was subsequently named one of the 10 best U.S. governors of the 20th century in a 1981 list compiled by George Weeks, then a Kennedy Fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics. Askew later served as U.S. Trade Representative. At Florida State, the Reubin O’D. Askew School of Public Administration and Policy, as well as the Askew Institute on Politics and Society at the University of Florida, are named for him.
Bartel was chosen for his lifelong dedication to ethical leadership. A native Floridian, he has demonstrated ethical leadership throughout a career that includes his early work in federal and local government service, later as a practicing attorney, and now as a senior executive at FPL Group, a Fortune 200 company that operates in 28 states and Canada, and has more than 15,000 employees. Bartel is responsible for the company’s compliance, corporate responsibility and ethics program, as well as strategy, direction and organization across a broad array of operational, regulatory and legal activities for the FPL Group enterprise and its subsidiaries, which include NextEra Energy Resources and Florida Power & Light Company. Recently, Bartel was also honored by Leadership Florida as a Distinguished Member, and he has been honored by other organizations as Humanitarian of the Year and Business Leader of the Year, just two examples of his esteemed reputation.
In addition to receiving the Sunshine State Ethics in Leadership Awards, Askew and Bartel will be featured in Florida Monthly magazine. They will also be invited to speak as part of the College of Business’ Ethics Roundtable Speaker Series and at the college’s annual Leadership & Scholarship Awards dinner later this year.
“In honoring these individuals, the FSU College of Business and Florida Monthly magazine are working to highlight the immense importance of ethics in leadership,” Beck-Dudley said. “We are proud to be starting a tradition of honoring the very deserving Floridians who are dedicated to the core principle of business — ethical behaviors.”
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