While there are many “top” lists and awards, none specifically address trustworthy business behavior – perhaps because the word “trust” presents a definitional challenge. For three years Trust Across America has been working with a growing team of experts to study, define and quantify trustworthy business behavior. While our research is nowhere near complete, we know that an organization cannot be deemed trustworthy without a culture that embraces the following characteristics: Financial stability and strength, Accounting conservativeness, Corporate integrity, Transparency, Sustainability and long-term Reputation preservation.
During the course of our research, we have met with and spoken to hundreds of thought leaders, across a variety of silos that, when their efforts are combined, help create trustworthy companies. Many of these people are well known and have received numerous honors and accolades, while others are quietly working behind the scenes. It is our intention to shine the spotlight on both groups, hoping that the world focus will begin to shift from the “scandal of the day” to the trustworthy leaders and organizations of the day.
Welcome to Trust Across America’s second annual list of Top Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior. The first was published in December 2010, followed by our Top Thought Leaders Europe/Middle East list in July 2011. This year’s list is limited to North America.
Our nomination period remained open and was broadcast for approximately eight weeks, closing on November 15, 2011. Our team reviewed hundreds of entries, narrowing applicants to those who were recommended by colleagues, have made the news, fit the philosophical and geographic profile, and/or are generating change.
After the initial “cut”, a panel of six judges, four from the United States and two from Canada reviewed the remaining nominees. The judges hail from academia, corporate and consulting, and from specialties including corporate governance, ethics, trust, integrity, sustainability and CSR. The judges assisted us in compiling this final list.
We would like to thank all who took the time to send in nominations, and our judges for helping make this list as relevant and powerful as possible.
Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior 2012
1. Patricia Aburdene – A world-renown speaker, author and advocate of corporate transformation. Having won global recognition as co-author of the Megatrends books, Patricia now inspires audiences with a concrete blueprint of how values and consciousness will transform business. Her newest book is Megatrends 2010: the Rise of Conscious Capitalism. www.patriciaaburdene.com
2. Mark Albion – Dr. Albion was a student and professor at Harvard for 20 years, after which he co-founded six organizations, including Net Impact. Most recently, he served in the Office of the President at Babson College, helping to integrate social values into the college. His articles, books and award-winning short films can be found at www.makingalife.com and www.more-than-money.com
3. Nicholas Aster – Founder and Publisher at Triple Pundit, bringing companies, organizations and individuals into the greater conversation about sustainability – for the benefit of people, planet, and profit. www.triplepundit.com
4. Michael Beer – The Cahners-Rabb Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus at the Harvard Business School and Chairman of TruePoint (formerly the Center for Organizational Fitness) a research based consultancy he co-founded. Beer works with senior executives who aspire to transform their organization into a high commitment and performance system through honest conversations about the organization’s alignment with strategy and values. He is the author of Higher Ambition: How Great Leaders Create Economic Value. www.truepoint.com
5. Warren Bennis – Founding Chairman of USC’s Leadership Institute, distinguished professor of business administration at the USC Marshall School of Business and advisory board chairman of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School. One of the world’s foremost experts on leadership, Dr. Bennis has written 30 books including his latest, Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership. www.warrenbennis.com
6. Ronald E. Berenbeim – Authority on business ethics and corporate governance issues and has written over 50 Conference Board studies. He is an Adjunct Professor at the NYU Stern School of Business Administration where he has taught Professional Responsibility: Markets, Ethics and Law since 1995 and a Senior Fellow at The Conference Board. www.conference-board.org/publications/bio.cfm?id=64
7. Anna Bernasek – Author of The Economics of Integrity. Writer, professional speaker and business consultant. Bernasek helps companies build, protect and profit from their integrity through The Integrity Partnership, a consulting firm she co-founded in 2010 with Dan Mongan. www.theintegritypartnership.com
8. Hank Boerner – Chairman of Governance & Accountability Institute. Hank is recognized for his expertise in dealing with a broad range of ESG factors and issues. www.ga-institute.com
9. Roger Bolton – President, Arthur W. Page Society and co-author The Dynamics of Public Trust in Business- Emerging Opportunities for Leaders. Also co-leads the Project on Public Trust in Business, a major and ongoing effort to engage leading organizations in developing and implementing a long-term strategy to build public trust in business. www.awpagesociety.com
10. Dan Bross – Senior Director Corporate Citizenship at Microsoft. Dan is responsible for citizenship strategic planning and program development; field readiness and training; marketing and communications; business integration; and stakeholder engagement – including managing Microsoft’s strategic relationship with the World Economic Forum. www.microsoft.com
11. Henk Campher – Senior Vice President of CSR and Sustainability at Edelman, he has more than 15 years global experience in corporate responsibility and brings a range of unique perspectives and experiences as an NGO activist, policy analyst, social entrepreneur and advisor to companies on issues including sustainability strategy & communications, stakeholder engagement, risk management, consumer-driven CSR, public-private partnerships, international development, supply chain, labor and human rights. www.edelman.com
12. Ram Charan – A business advisor and speaker famous among senior executives for his uncanny ability to solve their toughest business problems. Identified by Fortune as the leading expert in corporate governance, Dr. Charan is helping boards go beyond the requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley and the New York Stock Exchange by providing practical ways to improve their group dynamics. He is the author of multiple books, including his latest publication, Owning Up: The 14 Questions Every Board Member Needs to Ask. www.ram-charan.com
13. Mark Chussil – Founder and CEO of Advanced Competitive Strategies, Inc. Mark lectures and consults globally about strategic thinking, business war games, and strategy simulation. His most recent book is Nice Start: Questions Only You Can Answer to Create the Life Only You Can Live. www.whatifyourstrategy.com
14. Randy Conley – Director of Client Delivery Services and Trust Practice Leader at The Ken Blanchard Companies. Randy’s dual focus enables him to deliver authentic presentations and learning sessions that bring a real-world perspective on the importance and value of leaders developing relationships based on trust. www.leadingwithtrust.com
15. Stephen M.R. Covey – Co-founder and CEO of CoveyLink Worldwide. A sought-after and compelling keynote speaker and advisor on trust, leadership, ethics, and high performance. He is the author/co-author of several books including The SPEED of Trust and Smart Trust: Creating Prosperity, Energy, and Joy in a Low-Trust World. www.more-than-money.com
16. Aron Cramer – President and CEO of BSR, Aron is recognized globally as an authority on corporate responsibility. He advises senior executives and is regularly featured as a speaker at major events and in a range of media outlets. Aron is co-author of the book Sustainable Excellence: The Future of Business in a Fast-Changing World, about the corporate responsibility strategies that drive business success. www.bsr.org
17. Michael Crooke – The former President and CEO of Patagonia Inc., he is currently an assistant professor of strategy at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management. Dr. Crooke coordinates the school’s new Certificate in Socially, Environmentally and Ethically Responsible (SEER) Business Practice Program and he teaches the capstone course on responsible business practice. bschool.pepperdine.edu/programs/full-time-mba/seer/michael-crooke.htm
18. Stephen M. Davis – A nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and Executive Director of the Yale School of Management’s Millstein Center for Corporate Governance and Performance. His current focus is on capital markets, fund governance, corporate board chairmanship, environmental and social risks, board-shareowner communications, and director accountability. mba.yale.edu/faculty/profiles/davis.shtml
19. David A. DeLorenzo – The Chief Executive Officer and President of Dole Food Company Inc. since June 5, 2007. Mr. DeLorenzo served as Consultant of Dole Food Company Inc. from January 2002 to January 2007. Mr. DeLorenzo served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Dole Food Company Inc. from March 1996 to February 2001. Dole Food Company was named #4 in Trustworthy Business Behavior by Trust Across America in 2011. www.dole.com
20. Daniel Diermeier – A professor of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences at the Kellogg School of Management, and Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University. He is director of the Ford Motor Company Center for Global Citizenship, where his work focuses on reputation management, political and regulatory risk, crisis management, and integrated strategy. He is the author of the new book Reputation Rules: Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset. www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/faculty/diermeier/personal/
21. Robert Eccles – A Harvard faculty member and co-author with Michael P. Krzus of One Report: Integrated Reporting for a Sustainable Strategy, also a member of the Steering Committee of the International Integrated Reporting Committee. www.integratedreporting.org
22. Jed Emerson – An internationally recognized thought leader in sustainability and sustainable finance, impact investing, social entrepreneurship and strategic philanthropy. Emerson has played founder roles with some of the nation’s leading venture philanthropy, community venture capital and social enterprises. www.blendedvalue.org
23. Peter Firestein – President of Global Strategic Communications, Firestein is a strategic advisor to senior corporate management. He helps them build market value and sustainability by strengthening support among investors and social stakeholders. He helps them identify risk, leverage hidden employee assets, and realize their full potential as leaders. Firestein has described original techniques for creating these results in dozens of publications and in his book “Crisis of Character – Building Corporate Reputation in the Age of Skepticism.” www.firesteinco.com
24. Charles Fombrun – Chairman and Co-founder of Reputation Institute. Author of numerous books including Reputation: Realizing Value from The Corporate Image. www.reputationinstitute.com
25. Bejamin (Ben) G.S Fowke III – Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Xcel Energy. He previously served as President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) with responsibility for overall corporate operations as well as Xcel Energy’s four operating companies, which do business in eight states. Xcel Energy was named #2 in Trustworthy Business Behavior by Trust Across America in 2011. www.xcelenergy.com
26. R. Edward Freeman – Elis and Signe Olsson Professor, Freeman is academic director of the Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics. He is a senior fellow of the Olsson Center for Applied Ethics at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. In March 2010, the University of Virginia Board of Visitors named Freeman as a University Professor. He is the first faculty member in Darden’s history to be given this rare honor. www.darden.virginia.edu
27. Thomas Friedman – An internationally renowned author, reporter, and columnist—the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes and the author of five bestselling books, among them The World is Flat and Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution-and How it Can Renew America. www.thomaslfriedman.com
28. Francis Fukuyama – Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), resident in FSI’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. He has written a number of books, among them Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity. www.stanford.edu
29. Leslie Gaines-Ross – Chief Reputation Strategist at Weber Shandwick, responsible for thought leadership. She is a corporate strategist, blogger and author of CEO Capital: A Guide to Building CEO Reputation and Company Success and Corporate Reputation: 12 Steps to Safeguarding and Recovering Reputation. www.webershandwick.com
30. Robert Galford – A managing partner of the Center for Leading Organizations. He divides his time across teaching on Executive Education programs and working with senior executives at the world’s leading firms on the leadership issues that lie at the intersection of strategy and organization. Rob is the co-author of The Trusted Advisor, The Trusted Leader and Your Leadership Legacy. www.centerforleading.com
31. David Gebler – A recognized thought leader in values-based ethics and culture risk management. Author of Creating a Culture of Compliance and The Power Values: How Commitment, Integrity, and Transparency Clear the Roadblocks to Performance. www.skoutgroup.com
32. Mary Gentile – Creator and Director of the “Giving Voice to Values” curriculum and Senior Research Scholar at Babson College; expert on ethical decision making; and author of Giving Voice to Values: How To Speak Your Mind When You Know What’s Right. www.GivingVoiceToValuesTheBook.com www.GivingVoiceToValues.org
33. Bill George – Professor of management practice at Harvard Business School. He is the author of four best-selling books 7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis, True North, Finding Your True North, and Authentic Leadership. www.billgeorge.org
34. Charles H. Green – Speaker and executive educator on trust-based relationships and Trust-based Selling in complex businesses. The author of Trust-based Selling and co-author of The Trusted Advisor and The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook. www.trustedadvisor.com
35. Patricia J. Harned, PhD – President of the Ethics Resource Center. During her tenure, ERC has gained a reputation as a respected, independent research organization dedicated to the advancement of high ethical standards and practices in business, government and nonprofits. www.ethics.org
36. Hazel Henderson – Founder of Ethical Markets Media, a futurist, evolutionary economist and author of award-winning Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy, and developer with Calvert Group of the widely used alternative to GNP, the Calvert-Henderson Quality of Life Indicators. www.hazelhenderson.com
37. Jeffrey Hollender – Leading authority on corporate responsibility, sustainability and social equity. Hollender is the author of The Responsibility Revolution: How the Next Generation of Businesses Will Win and co-founder of Seventh Generation. His mission is to inspire and provoke business leaders to think differently about the role they and their companies play in society. Jeffrey is also co-founder and a board member at the American Sustainable Business Council, a national coalition of over 150,000 executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders committed to changing the rules of business. www.jeffhollender.com
38. Tony Hsieh – CEO of Zappos and the author of Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose. Tony “believe(s) that getting the culture right is the most important thing a company can do.” www.zappos.com
39. Robert Hurley – An award-winning Professor at Fordham University and President of Hurley Associates. He has been a core faculty member in Columbia Business School’s Leading and Managing People Program for the past 15 years. He is the author of The Decision to Trust. www.drbobhurley.org
40. David Hutchens – A bestselling author whose book series, known as The Learning Fables, has been translated into more than a dozen languages. His new book (with Barry Rellaford) is “A Slice of Trust: The Leadership Secret with the Hot & Fruity Filling.” A former advertising copywriter, David has designed learning programs for Wal-Mart, IBM, The Coca-Cola Company, Nike, FranklinCovey, and many more. www.goteamresources.com
41. Mitch Jackson – Vice President Environmental Affairs and Sustainability at FedEx Corporation. He develops the sustainability strategy and vision to ensure that FedEx minimizes its environmental footprint while still delivering outstanding customer service. Mitch shares environmental leadership insight at blog.fedex.com/mitchjackson. www.fedex.com
42. Michael Josephson – One of the nation’s most sought-after and quoted ethicists. Founder and president of Josephson Institute and its Character Counts! project, he has conducted programs for more than 100,000 leaders in government, business, education, sports, law enforcement, journalism, law, and the military. www.josephsoninstitute.org
43. Rosabeth M. Kanter – Holds the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professorship at Harvard Business School, where she specializes in strategy, innovation, and leadership for change. She is the author or co-author of 18 books including SuperCorp: How Vanguard Companies Create Innovation, Profits, Growth, and Social Good. www.hbs.edu
44. Paul Klein – A pioneer in corporate social responsibility and community investment, he is the founder of Impakt, a Toronto based firm that helps large corporations to strategically align business and social outcomes. Paul is a regular contributor to Forbes, works closely with Fortune 500 companies, and lectures at York University and Queens School of Business. www.impaktcorp.com
45. Jim Kouzes – The Dean’s Executive Professor of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University, and an award-winning speaker, cited by the Wall Street Journal as one of the ten best executive educators in the U.S. He is the coauthor of over thirty books and workbooks, including the bestselling The Leadership Challenge. www.leadershipchallenge.com
46. Dean Krehmeyer – Executive Director Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics. His contribution bridges the corporate and academic worlds, ensuring that leading research about trust gets translated into practice—and that leading practice becomes ingrained into academic research. Co-author of “Breaking the Short-Term Cycle: Discussion and Recommendations on How Corporate Leaders, Asset Managers, Investors, and Analysts Can Refocus on Long-Term Value.” www.corporate-ethics.org
47. Chris Laszlo – A managing partner and co-founder of Sustainable Value Partners. He counsels senior leaders in some of the world’s largest companies to transform societal opportunities and risks into sources of competitive advantage. He is an Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management, where he is the Faculty Research Director at the Fowler Center for Sustainable Value. He is the author of Embedded Sustainability: the Next Big Competitive Advantage. www.sustainablevaluepartners.com
48. Greg Link – Co-founder, President and CDO (Chief Deal-making Officer) of CoveyLink, Link has taught Principle Centered Leadership and advised executive clients at numerous leading enterprises, including Hewlett Packard, U.S. Navy Resale, U.S. Navy Supply, Sony, Chevron Oil, San Diego Gas and Electric, IBM, Microsoft, and numerous other organizations. He is the co-author, with Stephen M.R. Covey of Smart Trust: Creating Prosperity, Energy, and Joy in a Low-Trust World. www.coveylink.com
49. Linda Locke – Principal of Reputare Consulting, a firm that helps organizations understand how they are perceived, and what they can do about it. She conceptualized, created and led the global corporate reputation practice for MasterCard Worldwide as Group Head and Senior Vice President, reporting to the Chief Marketing Office. She is a strategist, speaker, and innovator. She is a leader in the use of business intelligence to predict and mitigate eroding levels of trust. www.reputareconsulting.com
50. Eric Lowitt – A student and teacher of strategy and sustainability – how companies grow, innovate, and become more agile by embracing sustainability. Having invested several years into the topic, Eric has led Accenture’s sustainability research program, and served as Specialist Master in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s sustainability practice. He is the author of The Future of Value. www.ericlowitt.com
51. Robert Porter Lynch – Spent the last twenty-five years studying how exceptional leaders energize collaboration to produce sustainable innovation in teams, alliances, and acquisitions. He has written several books on strategic alliances, serves as Adjunct Professor at the Universities of Alberta and British Columbia, and is founding Chairman Emeritus of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals. Lynch is co-author of Trusted to Lead: How Leaders Unlock the Code to Prosperity & Profits. www.warrenco.com
52. Chris MacDonald – Writer, speaker, and consultant on ethics. He teaches business ethics at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada, and is a Nonresident Senior Fellow at Duke University’s Kenan Institute for Ethics. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Rotman School of Management. www.businessethicsblog.com
53. Simon Mainwaring – Founder and CEO of WeFirst, a branding firm specializing in the integration of profit and purpose. An award-winning former Nike creative at Wieden & Kennedy and worldwide creative director for Motorola at Ogilvy, he is a member TED and serves on the Advisory Board of the Center for Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California. Simon’s blog, “The Business of Social Transformation” can be found at www.simonmainwaring.com
54. Edward Marshall – Senior Partner in Organizational Leadership at the Center for Creative Leadership, based in Greensboro, NC. His work focuses on cultural transformation in national and global businesses and organizations, and working with senior executives to develop leadership strategies to address business challenges. Mr. Marshall’s trust work focuses on creating and coaching collaborative executive teams. His latest book is Building Trust at the Speed of Change. www.ccl.org
55. Roger Martin – Dean of the Rotman School of Management since 1998. He is an advisor on strategy to the CEO’s of several major global corporations. He writes extensively on and is a regular columnist for BusinessWeek.com, the Washington Post’s On Leadership blog and to Financial Times’ Judgment Call column. He has published several books, including: The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage and The Future of the MBA: Designing the Thinker of the Future. www.rogerlmartin.com
56. Susan McPherson – Senior vice president at Fenton, the nation’s leading public interest communications firm, Susan focuses on corporate responsibility programs for the firm’s clientele and regularly writes and speaks on sustainability communications and the value of public/private partnerships. She also is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative. www.fenton.com
57. Nell Minow – Editor and Co-Founder of The Corporate Library. Ms. Minow was named one of the 20 most influential people in corporate governance by Directorship magazine in 2007 and was dubbed “the queen of good corporate governance” by BusinessWeek Online in 2003. www.thecorporatelibrary.com
58. Philip Mirvis – Organizational psychologist whose research and private consulting centers on large-scale organizational change and the impact of business on society. Author of The Cynical Americans (on public trust) and Beyond Good Company (on CSR). Research fellow at Boston College. www.bc.edu
59. Monika Mitchell – Founder and CEO of Good Business International, and an internationally known business ethics and women’s leadership expert. She is a member of the United Nations Global Compact and founding member of the NGO Values & Business Working Group where she focuses on economic empowerment for women in developing nations. She founded Good Business International, Inc. (Good-b) in 2008 based on her deep belief in the need for 21st century business to become a social force for good. www.good-b.com
60. Terry Mollner – Founder, Chair, and Executive Director of Trusteeship Institute, Inc., a think tank and consulting firm founded in 1973 that focuses on the development of socially responsible businesses. In 1982 he was one of the founders of the Calvert Socially Responsible Investment Fund, the first such fund with the full panoply of social screens. He also provided leadership to create the Calvert. www.trusteeship.org
61. Robert Monks – Pioneering shareholder activist and corporate governance adviser, Robert AG Monks, has written widely about shareholder rights & responsibility, corporate impact on society and global corporate issues. Mr. Monks was a founder of Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), now the leading corporate governance consulting firm. He also founded Lens Governance Advisers and co-founded The Corporate Library (now Governance Metrics International.) www.ragm.com
62. Brian Moriarty – Adjunct Professor of Management Communications Darden School of Business and the Director at the Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics where he leads the Project on Public Trust in Business. www.corporate-ethics.org
63. Nitin Nohria – The tenth dean of Harvard Business School. He previously served as co-chair of the Leadership Initiative, Senior Associate Dean of Faculty Development, and Head of the Organizational Behavior unit. His intellectual interests center on human motivation, leadership, corporate transformation and accountability, and sustainable economic and human performance. www.hbs.edu/dean/
64. Indra Nooyi – Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, in 2010 named Fortune’s Most Powerful Woman in Business and received the FIRST International Award for Responsible Capitalism. www.pepsi.com
65. Mark Parker – President & Chief Executive Officer, NIKE, Inc. Parker joined Nike as one of its first footwear designers back in 1979.For more than 30 years, he’s brought innovative concepts and engineering expertise. Parker is responsible for the growth of NIKE, Inc.’s global business portfolio, which includes Cole Haan, Converse Inc., Hurley International LLC, and Umbro Ltd. Nike was named #3 in Trustworthy Business Behavior by Trust Across America in 2011. www.nikeinc.com
66. Mike Paul – Considered one of the top crisis public relations and reputation management consultants in the corporate world. Business Week Magazine termed him the “Master of Disaster” for his counsel in leading corporate clients in times of trouble. He is not about “spin” but rather assisting clients in building trustworthy business behavior, integrity and character in communications and corporate behavior. Mike Paul’s website
67. Tom Peters – Credited with almost single handedly inventing the “management guru” industry. Co-authored In Search of Excellence. His most recent book, The Little Big Things: 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence. www.tompeters.com
68. Jeffrey Pfeffer – The Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. He is the author or co-author of thirteen books including The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First, The Knowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Companies Turn Knowledge Into Action, and What Were They Thinking? Pfeffer’s latest book is entitled Power: Why Some People Have It—And Others Don’t. www.jeffreypfeffer.com
69. C. Larry Pope – President and Chief Executive Officer of Smithfield Foods, Inc. Mr. Pope joined Smithfield Foods in 1980 as controller, became vice president, finance in 1999, chief financial officer in 2000, and was named president and chief operating officer in 2001. Smithfield Foods was named #1 in Trustworthy Business Behavior by Trust Across America in 2011. www.smithfieldfoods.com
70. David E.I. Pyott – Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Allergan. Mr. Pyott joined Allergan in January 1998 as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and now serves as Chairman of the Board (since 2001), President and CEO. Allergan was named #6 in Trustworthy Business Behavior by Trust Across America in 2011. www.allergan.com
71. Doug Rauch – In his over 31 years with Trader Joe’s Company (the last fourteen as President), Doug Rauch played a pivotal role in their growth from a small retail chain in Southern California with nine locations, to a nationally acclaimed retail success story with more than 340 stores in 27 states. Having retired from Trader Joe’s in 2008, Doug currently is a Fellow at Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative; a Trustee at Olin College of Engineering; and serves on a number of for-profit and non-profit boards, including Conscious Capitalism, Inc. www.aptacapital.com/team/Partners-DougRauch.html
72. Rory Read – President and chief executive officer of AMD and also serves on the company’s board of directors. Prior to joining AMD in August 2011, Read served as president and chief operating officer of Lenovo Group, Ltd. He previously spent 23 years at IBM serving in various global leadership roles. AMD was named #5 in Trustworthy Business Behavior by Trust Across America in 2011. www.amd.com
73. Frederick Reichheld – Bain Fellow and Founder of Bain’s Loyalty practice which helps clients achieve superior results through improvements in customer, employee, partner, and investor loyalty. His pioneering work has quantified the linkage between loyalty, profits, and growth. He wrote Loyalty Rules!: How Today’s Leaders Build Lasting Relationships. www.loyaltyrules.com
74. Barry Rellaford – Co-founder of Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust Practice, and a globally sought-after leadership development expert. He regularly speaks and trains internationally, having led programs in 15 countries with participants representing over 50 different nations. Barry is co-author of A Slice of Trust with David Hutchens. http://www.speedoftrust.com
75. Laura Rittenhouse – President of Rittenhouse Rankings Inc, a CEO advisory and investor relations company that conducts an annual benchmark survey of CEO candor. This research shows that companies consistently striving to promote candor will typically gain competitive advantage and superior market performance. The Rankings’ metrics reveal which companies do or don’t excel in candor. Rittenhouse is the author of Buffett’s Bites and Do Business with People You Can Trust. www.rittenhouserankings.com
76. Paul Rooke – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lexmark International, Inc. He became chairman of the Lexmark board of directors in April 2011 after being named President and CEO and elected to the board in October 2010. Lexmark was named #10 in Trustworthy Business Behavior by Trust Across America in 2011.This is the second year that Lexmark has been named to our “Top Ten.” www.lexmark.com
77. Judith Samuelson – Executive Director Business and Society Program, Aspen Institute. A leading public policy advocate with a background in business, public-private partnerships, philanthropy, her work focuses on the role and impact of business in society, and strategies to align business, and business schools, with the long term health of society. www.aspenBSP.org
78. Carol Sanford – Has lead major consulting efforts in both Fortune 500 and new-economy businesses for more than 30 years, Carol believes that business can and will play a major role in creating a better world. She is the author of The Responsible Business: Reimagining Sustainability and Success. www.carolsanford.com
79. Howard Schultz – CEO of Starbucks. Asked the secret of his success, Schultz recounts four principles: “Don’t be threatened by people smarter than you. Compromise anything but your core values. Seek to renew yourself even when you are hitting home runs. And everything matters.” www.starbucks.com
80. Jeffrey Seglin – Lecturer in Public Policy, writes “The Right Thing,” a weekly column on general ethics that has been syndicated by Tribune Media Services since September 2010. From 2004 through 2010, he wrote an ethics column distributed by The New York Times Syndicate. He is the author of The Right Thing: Conscience, Profit and Personal Responsibility in Today’s Business. jeffreyseglin.blogspot.com
81. Dov Seidman – Founder and CEO of LRN, a company that helps businesses develop ethical corporate cultures and inspire principled performance, and pioneer around the idea that the most principled businesses are the most profitable and sustainable. He is the author of HOW: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything…in Business (and in Life). www.lrn.com
82. Dr. Pamela Shockley-Zalabak – Chancellor and Professor of Communication at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. One of three authors of Building the High Trust Organization: Strategies for Supporting Five Key Dimensions of Trust. www.uccs.edu
83. Joe Sibilia – CEO of CSRwire.com, the social responsibility newswire service that distributes and archives corporate social responsibility/sustainability news worldwide. A visionary of the socially responsible business movement and founder and CEO of Meadowbrook Lane Capital. He is also the co-author with David Mager of Street Smart Sustainability: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Profitably Greening Your Organization’s DNA. www.csrwire.com
84. Doyle R. Simons – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Temple-Inland. Doyle joined the company in 1992 serving in various capacities, including corporate attorney, Director of Investor Relations, Vice President of Administration, Chief Administrative Officer and Executive Vice President. Temple-Inland was named #7 in Trustworthy Business Behavior by Trust Across America in 2011. www.templeinland.com
85. Tony Simons – Author of The Integrity Dividend: Leading by the Power of Your Word, Associate Professor at Cornell and President of Integrity Dividend LLC, where he teaches people, groups and companies how to excel through integrity. www.integritydividend.com
86. Aman Singh – Editorial Director of CSRwire, Singh is a CSR practitioner, experienced journalist and social media strategist. She is the founder of Singh Solutions, offering research and advisory services on corporate social responsibility strategy, sustainable business practices, employee engagement and communications. www.csrwire.com
87. Raj Sisodia – Professor of strategic marketing for over twenty-five years, one of the founders of the Conscious Capitalism movement and author of Firms of Endearment. www.bentley.edu www.consciouscapitalism.org
88. Andrew Sobel – Leading authority on client relationships and client loyalty. Author of All for One: 10 Strategies for Building Trusted Client Partnerships – voted one of the top 10 professional services sales and marketing books of the decade. www.andrewsobel.com
89. Frank Sonnenberg – Marketing strategist and founder of Sonnenberg & Partners. Author of over 300 articles and four books including Managing with a Conscience: How to Improve Performance Through Integrity, Trust, and Commitment, (2nd ed.). Industry Week selected the first edition as one of the top ten business books of the year. www.franksonnenbergonline.com
90. John Spence – Leading authority in the areas of Strategic Thinking, High-Performance Teams, Advanced Leadership Development, and Delivering Consistently Superior Customer Service. Author of Awesomely Simple-essential business strategies for turning ideas into action. www.johnspence.com
91. Dave Stangis – Vice President, CSR/Sustainability at Campbell Soup Company. Responsible for designing and leading Campbell’s overarching CSR/Sustainability strategy. He heads a global CSR Network organization and oversees the development of CSR and Sustainability goals, policies, programs, engagement and reporting for the company. www.campbellsoupcompany.com/csr
92. Richard K. Templeton – Chairman, President and CEO of Texas Instruments. Texas Instruments was named #9 in Trustworthy Business Behavior by Trust Across America in 2011. This is the second year that Texas Instruments has been named to our “Top Ten.” www.ti.com
93. Alice Tepper Marlin – Pioneer in corporate social responsibility, starting with a Peace Portfolio in 1968 and culminating today in the establishment of Social Accountability International (SAI), the pre-eminent global social standards organization that developed the SA8000® certification standard for decent work. Also the author of the 1988 bestseller Shopping for a Better World. www.sa-intl.org
94. Jeffrey Thomson – President and CEO of the IMA, the worldwide association for accountants and financial professionals working in business. He is considered an expert on risk management, and a global thought leader in the emerging area of GRC – governance, risk and compliance. He is quoted as saying “Make values your anchor.” www.imanet.org
95. Dave Ulrich – A Professor at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan and a partner at the RBL Group a consulting firm focused on helping organizations and leaders deliver value. He studies how organizations build capabilities of leadership, speed, learning, accountability, and talent through leveraging human resources. He has written over 20 books including the Leadership Code and the Leadership Brand with Norm Smallwood. www.rbl.net
96. Eric Uslaner – Professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland-College Park, where he has taught since 1975, and author of The Moral Foundations of Trust. Eric is also the author of Corruption, Inequality, and the Rule of Law and Segregation and Mistrust. www.umd.edu
97. Curtis Verschoor – CEO of CC Verschoor & Associates, his expertise is in auditing, corporate governance, applied business ethics and internal controls. He is a research scholar at the Center for Business Ethics at Bentley University and a Fellow of the Corporate Governance Center at Kennesaw State University. He serves as the Editor and publishes an ethics column in Strategic Finance. email@example.com
98. David Vidal – Global corporate citizenship research director at The Conference Board. Vidal joined The Conference Board in 1997. As director of The Conference Board Center for Corporate Citizenship & Sustainability, he is responsible for research and program development in corporate citizenship and sustainability, corporate responsibility, corporate philanthropy, and community engagement. www.conference-board.org
99. Brian C. Walker – Chief Executive Officer of Herman Miller Inc. since July 26, 2004 and President since March 6, 2003. Mr. Walker served as the Chief Operating Officer of Herman Miller Inc. since March 6, 2003. Herman Miller was named #8 in Trustworthy Business Behavior by Trust Across America in 2011. www.hermanmiller.com
100. Robert Whipple – “The TRUST Ambassador” is a nationally recognized consultant, author and teacher, and an expert at helping organizations build higher levels of TRUST. Author of three books including, Leading with Trust is like Sailing Downwind. www.leadergrow.com
It’s back! Each year, I put together my list of the top 10 reputations in crisis for the year and the following is the official Reputation Doctor’s Annual Top 10 List of Reputations in Crisis for 2011. This list is compiled by and solely the opinion of top crisis public relations and reputation management expert, Mike Paul, known globally as The Reputation Doctor®.
10. Bank of America Debit Card Fiasco
Bank of America thought raising debit card fees in a recession was a wise idea. Protests like Occupy Wall Street and the power of social media as a tool for upset customers proved otherwise. All of those in leadership who approved this unwise idea should be fired for forgetting the golden rule of business: the customer is always right! Here is what Bank of America said when they finally changed their mind under duress: “We have listened to our customers very closely over the last few weeks and recognize their concern with our proposed debit usage fee,” said David Darnell, co-chief operating officer. “Our customers’ voices are most important to us. As a result, we are not currently charging the fee and will not be moving forward with any additional plans to do so.” Sadly, as Bank of America said in their own words above, it took weeks to make this decision! In the court of public opinion today, an hour is a lifetime! A few weeks is a century! As a result, Bank of America made it to my top 10 reputations in crisis list.
9. News of the World/News Corp. Phone-Hacking Scandal
News of the World was a national Sunday tabloid newspaper published in the UK, famed for celebrity scoops – selling an average of 2.8 million copies. Its fondness for sex scandals gained it the nickname “News of the Screws”. From 2006, allegations of phone hacking began to engulf the newspaper. These culminated in the revelation on July 4, 2011 that, nearly a decade earlier, a private investigator hired by the newspaper had intercepted and deleted the voicemail of missing British teenager Milly Dowler, who was later found murdered. Amid a public backlash and the withdrawal of advertising, News International, a division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., announced the closure of the newspaper mid July 2011. The final edition signed off with headline “Thank you and goodbye” and included an apology.
In my opinion, News Corp., the Murdochs and other newspaper officials handled this crisis very poorly with incomplete answers and apologies which most felt were not heart-felt. Most believed they were more sorry for getting caught than for the damage they caused to many lives and reputations. The liberal media will continue covering the details on the more conservative media house of News Corp. until the last drop of blood is drained. The crisis continues as the legal process drags on and the court of public opinion continues to hound them. Look for the crisis to continue with more details into 2012.
8. Herman Cain
Herman Cain, was perhaps the least likely to rise to the top of the Republican pack in the Presidential campaign. A former pizza executive with no political experience, little campaign organization to speak of, and a schedule tailored more to selling books than winning votes, was forced to “suspend” his campaign. The accusations of sexual misconduct rocked the campaign of a candidate who professed to be a devout Christian and family man. And some of the details were graphic.
During his campaign, four different women accused him of sexual harassment over the years. From the moment the harassment accusations were revealed, Mr. Cain proclaimed his innocence and began to cast blame for what he called a smear campaign. Then, a fifth woman, Ginger White, came forward, saying she and Mr. Cain had only recently ended a 13-year extramarital affair. Shortly after, Cain “suspended” his campaign for president.
Cain was also featured in Barbara Walters’ “10 Most Fascinating People” special. He revealed to the legendary interviewer that he has “been doing my homework” after being mocked for mispronouncing Uzbekistan, and that he would like to be considered for Secretary of Defense now that he is no longer in the presidential race. “I believe that in the court of public opinion I have not been treated fairly,” he said. “Because the accusations were false, but they continued to be spun as if they were true.”
Give me a break! In my opinion, Cain lies like a rug, would have never beat President Obama and was an embarrassing sideshow, which was comical to watch! He is now positioned as the Black Republican candidate who went down in flames over many claims of sexual harassment. He embarrassed himself, his family and most importantly, his wife with an alleged 13-year affair. Look for him to be an active talking head in the news during the remainder of the Presidential campaign. He just won’t shut up.
7. Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK)
On May 14, 2011, a 32 year old maid, Nafissatou Diallo, at the Sofitel New York Hotel alleged that Dominique Strauss-Kahn had sexually assaulted her after she entered his suite. Strauss-Kahn was formally indicted on May 18th and was granted $1 million bail, plus a $5 million bond, the following day. He was ordered to remain confined to a New York apartment under guard. A semen sample was found on the maid’s shirt, and on May 24th it was reported that DNA tests showed a match to a DNA sample submitted by Strauss-Kahn. He was arraigned on June 6, 2011, and pled not guilty. On June 30, 2011, the New York Times reported that the case was on the “verge of collapse” because of problems with the credibility of the alleged victim, who had, according to sources within the NYPD, repeatedly lied to the police since making her first statement. According to prosecutors, the accuser admitted that she lied to a grand jury about the events surrounding the alleged attack. Diallo claims that the translator on June 28, 2011, misunderstood her words. Strauss-Khan was released from house arrest on 1 July.
After completing a lengthy investigation, prosecutors filed a motion to drop all charges against Strauss-Kahn, stating that they were not convinced of his culpability beyond a reasonable doubt due to serious issues in the complainant’s credibility and inconclusive physical evidence, and therefore could not ask a jury to believe in it. The motion was granted by Judge Obus in a hearing on August 23, 2011. In a TV interview in September, Strauss-Kahn admitted that his sexual encounter with the maid was “a moral fault” and described it as “inappropriate” but that it “did not involve violence, constraint or aggression.”
As a result of his behavior, Dominique Strauss-Kahn lost his powerful position at the IMF and his bid to run for the presidency of France also went up in flames. He also acquired the nickname DSK in the tabloids and he will forever be known as the ultimate dirty old French man by Americans. DSK continues to have both legal and reputational trouble in Europe today because of other lawsuits regarding his sexual prowess. DSK’s legal case is an important lesson for all. The court of law is very important, however, the court of public opinion is equally as important, as it is where all of our reputations reside. Why? Because our reputations are everything!
6. Michael Jackson’s Doctor, Conrad Murray
Michael Jackson’s personal physician Conrad Murray (born February 19, 1953, in St. Andrews, Grenada) was charged with involuntary manslaughter of Jackson. The trial, which started on September 27, 2011, was held in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County in Los Angeles, California, before Judge Michael Pastor.
The prosecutors in the case told jurors that “misplaced trust in the hands of Murray cost Jackson his life.” Murray’s defense counsel claimed Jackson, who was tired and under pressure from rehearsing, took eight tablets of Lorazepam, a sedative. “When Dr. Murray left the room, Jackson self-administered a dose of Propofal that, with the Lorazepam, created a perfect storm in his body that killed him instantly. The whole thing is tragic, but the evidence is not that Dr. Murray did it,” Murray’s attorney said.
Testimony during the trial showed that Murray had stayed with Jackson at least six nights a week and was regularly asked — and sometimes begged — by the insomniac singer to give him drugs powerful enough to put him to sleep. Jackson, Murray told authorities, was especially eager to be administered Propofol, a surgical anesthetic that put him to sleep when other powerful sedatives could not. Testimony indicated that Propofol, in conjunction with other drugs in the singer’s system, had played the key role in his death on June 25, 2009. In November 2011, the jury found Murray guilty after about eight hours of deliberation, and he was sentenced to four years in prison.
Dr. Murray’s reputation is now mud worldwide because of his crimes against the King of Pop and the strength of the Michael Jackson reputation and brand worldwide and those who miss him dearly. He will forever be known as the doctor who killed Michael Jackson, which is not exactly the reputation any doctor wants to have. When he is released from prison he will obviously need to find himself a new career!
5. Charlie Sheen
Carlos Irwin Estevez, better known by his stage name Charlie Sheen, is a film and television actor. He is the youngest son of actor Martin Sheen. In 2010, Sheen was the highest paid actor on television, earning $1.8 million per episode of Two and a Half Men.
Sheen’s troubled personal life made major headlines in 2011, including reports about alcohol and drug abuse and marital problems as well as allegations of domestic violence. He was fired from his role on Two and a Half Men by CBS and Warner Bros. on March 7, 2011. Sheen subsequently announced a nationwide tour.
The one-liners from Sheen’s tour and crisis alone will go down in history as cultural milestones. His personal life might not have changed so much, but his career has bounced back already with him signing another big contact for an upcoming TV show. Remember, the root of Charlie’s crisis was not his acting ability. The root of his crisis was his behavior off the set! Let’s hope he has really cleaned himself up from his boozing and drugging or, sadly, we’ll see him on my list again. And instead of saying winning, others will be calling him loser!
4. Anthony Weiner
On May 27, 2011, Congressman Anthony Weiner sent a link to a sexually suggestive photograph of himself via his public Twitter account to a young woman who was following him on Twitter. After several days of denying he posted the image, Weiner held a press conference at which he admitted he had, “exchanged messages and photos of an explicit nature with about six women over the last three years.” He apologized for his earlier denials. After an explicit photo was leaked through the The Opie & Anthony Show, Weiner announced on June 16, 2011, that he would resign from Congress, and he formally resigned on June 21st. In the special election held on September 13 to replace him, Republican businessman Bob Turner defeated the Democratic candidate, state assemblyman David Weprin, to fill Weiner’s seat. Prior to the crisis, Weiner was considered among the front-runners to become the next mayor of New York City.
Weiner was the top story in the news for many weeks and his reputation crisis taught us all a lesson about tweeting and photos, especially as an elected official! Don’t tweet nude or lewd photos of yourself over the Internet, which is to the world! As a result, the former U.S. Congressman has made my list as #4 of the top 10 reputations in crisis for 2011.
3. Wall Street and Big Business
Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is a protest movement which began September 17, 2011 in Zuccotti Park, located in New York City’s Wall Street financial district, which was initiated by the Canadian activist group Adbusters. The protests are against social and economic inequality, high unemployment, greed, as well as corruption, and the undue influence of corporations — particularly from the financial services sector — on government. The protesters’ slogan, “We are the 99%,” refers to the growing income and wealth inequality in the U.S. between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of the population. The protests in New York City have sparked similar protests and movements around the world. The honor of Time magazine’s 2011 “Person of the Year” goes to “the protester” — from the demonstrators across the Arab world to the Occupy Wall Street movement that continues to make headlines.
In my opinion, the protests led by Occupy Wall Street, which spread across the U.S., damaged the reputation of big business in America and changed grassroots protesting forever. The change will impact not only American protests, but protests worldwide. Social media demonstrated how powerful a tool it can be to lend a hand to the voice of the oppressed. With the example of Bank of America and others, big business is now more concerned than ever about the voice of the 99%. Wall Street and big business realize they truly are the top 1% and will be held accountable in a much more direct way in the future. Transparency reigns supreme on Wall Street and big business and they will continue to face tremendous accountability for unfair, unjust, as well as, fraudulent and illegal business practices.
2. Penn State and Syracuse University
The Penn State sex abuse scandal refers to allegations that former Pennsylvania State University football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulted or had inappropriate contact with at least eight underage boys on or near university property. After an extensive grand jury investigation, Sandusky was indicted on 42 counts of child molestation dating from 1994 to 2009, though the abuse may date as far back as the 1970s. In 2011, per the findings of the investigation, several high-level school officials were charged with perjury, suspended, or dismissed for allegedly covering up the incidents or failing to notify authorities. In the wake of the scandal, head football coach Joe Paterno was dismissed from his position and university president Graham Spanier was forced to resign. Sandusky has denied the allegations.
In November 2011, in the wake of the Penn State sex abuse scandal, two former Syracuse University ball boys alleged on ESPN’s Outside the Lines program that they had been molested by Syracuse University’s assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine from the late 1970s to the 1990s. Fine and head men’s basketball coach Boeheim denied the charges. Because the incidents occurred over 10 years ago, District Attorney William Fitzpatrick indicated that the statute of limitations would probably bar any prosecution. And it has, thus far. Syracuse University placed Fine on administrative leave and said it would cooperate fully with the investigation. Subsequently, another person claimed to have been molested by Fine in 2002 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The United States Secret Service searched Fine’s house and seized file cabinets, computers, and other potential evidence. On November 27, 2011, it was announced that Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor had fired Fine in response to the allegations. Cantor said she made her decision after ESPN released a tape of a 2002 phone conversation between one of the former ballboys, Bobby Davis, and Fine’s wife Laurie. In the tape, Laurie said she knew about her husband’s behavior, but felt powerless to stop it. In response to a USA Today editorial calling for an explanation for why it kept Fine on the job in 2005, Cantor said that had Syracuse known about the tape at any point prior to November 27, Fine would have been fired on the spot. Give me a break!
Although I know Penn State and Syracuse University are not the exact same crises, nor the same universities, the similarities are too daunting. Both crises involve alleged sexual abuse by assistant coaches at two powerful universities known to many first as “sports schools” and followed by their academic achievements.
Full disclosure: I am doing some pro bono litigation-support PR, reputation counseling and reputation repair work for the survivors of both universities’ sexual abuse cases. My goal is to speak publicly for them and help share their stories with the world to give them the proper opportunity to face their pain, begin the healing process and help others who have been sexually abused to have the courage to come forward.
Both former assistant coach Fine and former assistant coach Sandusky deserve to have their cases heard in the court of law. They also deserve to have darkness become light surrounding their alleged crimes against innocent boys, who are now survivors of sexual abuse. If these coaches truly raped or abused these young innocent boys, they will need to pray for God’s forgiveness because if found guilty, they will be among the most hated men in the world for the rest of their lives. Their wives have an opportunity to do the right thing and tell the truth to help their own reputations, but mainly to help those abused by remaining silent all these years. And as I have said publicly many times, the board of trustees at both universities need to step down or be forced to step down. This all happened on their watch and they need to be fired! Both universities and their assistant coaches share the #2 spot in my list of the top 10 reputations in crisis for 2011.
1. Casey Anthony
Caylee Marie Anthony (August 9, 2005 – indeterminate ca. June 2008) was a two-year-old girl who was reported missing in Orlando, Florida, in July 2008, and whose remains were found in a wooded area near her home in December 2008. Her then 22-year-old mother, Casey Marie Anthony, was tried for the first degree murder of Caylee but was acquitted. She was, however, convicted of misdemeanor counts of lying to police officers.
Caylee lived with her mother, Casey, and her maternal grandparents, George and Cindy Anthony. On July 15, 2008, Caylee was reported missing with a phone call to 9-1-1 by Cindy, who said she had not seen Caylee for 31 days and that Casey’s car smelled like a dead body had been inside of it. She said Casey had given varied explanations as to Caylee’s whereabouts and finally admitted that day that she had not seen her daughter for weeks. Casey fabricated various stories, including telling detectives the child had been kidnapped by a fictitious nanny on June 9, and that she had been trying to find her, too frightened to alert the authorities. With the child still missing, Casey was charged with first degree murder in October and pled not guilty. On December 11, Caylee’s skeletal remains were found with a blanket inside a trash bag in a wooded area near the family home. Investigative reports and trial testimony altered between duct tape being found near the front of the skull and on the mouth of the skull. The medical examiner mentioned duct tape as one reason she ruled the death a homicide, but officially listed it as “death by undetermined means”.
The trial lasted six weeks, from May to July 2011. The prosecution sought the death penalty and alleged Casey murdered her daughter by administering chloroform, then applying duct tape, because she wanted her freedom. The defense team, led by Jose Baez, countered that the child had drowned accidentally in the family’s swimming pool on June 16, 2008, and that Casey lied about this and other issues because of a dysfunctional upbringing, which they said included sexual abuse by her father. The defense did not present evidence as to how Caylee died, nor evidence that Casey was sexually abused as a child, but challenged every piece of the prosecution’s evidence, calling much of it “fantasy forensics”. Casey did not testify during the trial.
On July 5, the jury found Casey not guilty of first degree murder, aggravated child abuse, and aggravated manslaughter of a child, but guilty of four misdemeanor counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officer. With credit for time served, she was released on July 17. The verdict was greeted with public outrage, and was both attacked and defended by media and legal commentators. Some complained that the jury misunderstood the meaning of reasonable doubt, while others said the prosecution relied too heavily on the defendant’s allegedly poor moral character because they had been unable to show conclusively how the victim had died. Time magazine described the case as “the social media trial of the century.”
Let’s peel back more on Casey’s character and her reputation. During the months that passed between Caylee last being seen alive and her grandparents calling the police, Anthony enjoyed wild parties joining friends on nights out to local bars and clubs. On June 20, four days after Caylee drowned, Anthony went to Fusion, a restaurant and nightclub in Orlando, dressed up in a clinging blue knit dress. She was in a Hot Body contest. She was partying and having a good time, drinking, dancing, and to many people, simply a party girl! Not at all seen as a grieving mother who just suffered the death of her 2-year old daughter.
In a national survey seeking to know who was the most hated person in America, Casey Anthony took the prize! In the survey 94% of those who said they knew her, greatly disliked her. As we focus on the story of Casey Anthony, let us not forget the short life of her lovely daughter, Caylee Anthony. Caylee did not deserve to die like this. She was an innocent baby that had a mother who did not appropriately care for her and many people think much worse. Many believe that Casey, got away with murdering her baby daughter, Caylee. May we all say a prayer for young Caylee today and vow that her death will not be in vain. RIP little Caylee. We take solace in knowing you are in a better place. A place called heaven.