The Sandbulte Center for Ethical Leadership is dedicated to fostering a robust discussion of ethics and their application in the Duluth community. It is through this conversation, this back and forth with one another, that our individual ethical compasses can point in the same direction.
This academic year the Sandbulte Center for Ethical Leadership is sponsoring a speaker series that focuses on executives and entrepreneurs. Speakers are being asked to discuss their career path and offer advice on what helped them succeed as a leader. Listen to previous speakers on this page (click here).
A special thanks to business executive Bruce Stender who helped Rick Revoir plan the series.
(Left to right) Sandy Sandbulte retired Chairman and CEO of Minnesota Power, Rick Revoir St. Scholastica, Bruce Stender Vice Chairman of Labovitz Enterprises and retired Board Chairman of Allete.
February 6, 2020
Patrick Cutshall, Treasurer, Allete
Dr. Barbara McDonald, Mr. Sandy Sandbulte, Mr. Patrick Cutshall (left to right-center)
Pat shared his career path experiences from Public Accountant to Vice President and Corporate Treasurer and the ethical dilemmas he encountered along the way. He emphasized the importance of building an ethical culture, much like the one Mr. Sandbulte built at Allete. Pat concluded by encouraging students to internalize ethics and reminding them that a good reputation is priceless!
October 17, 2019
Scott Burns, CEO, Structural
Bill Burns, Attorney
Scott Burns (left) and Bill Burns (right)
Scott Burns CEO of Structural and his father, Duluth attorney Bill Burns led a unique on-campus discussion.
Scott has co-founded and led two tech firms based in St. Paul. He discussed the challenges of financing and operating a start-up. He shared ethical dilemmas he has faced as an entrepreneur. He emphasized the importance of transparency and dialogue when dealing with investors. Students had an opportunity to ask Scott and Bill many questions.
April 2, 2019
Kristi Stokes, President, Greater Downtown Council
Left to right (back): Rick Revoir, Brandon Olson, Paul Khoury, Sandy Sandbulte
Left to right (front): Kathy Modin, Lynda Bostrom, Kristi Stokes, Jennifer Pilon
Kristi opened by explaining how her parents instilled an entrepreneurial spirit by supporting her efforts to raise cattle in order to help pay for college. She shared how building relationships and learning from others has been critical to the success of her organization including their work on the medical district expansion, beautification of downtown and the Superior Street reconstruction. She encouraged students to follow their passions and discussed how students can stand out in their jobs. Listen to Kristi Stokes' speech.
February 12, 2019
Jessica Stauber, Director of Marketing and Business Planning: St. Luke's Hospital
CSS MBA alum
Left to right: Rick Revoir, Jessica Stauber, Kathy Modin, Melissa Goodson, Lynda Bostrom
Jessica engaged students in a discussion on how to be a great employee. She offered specific advice including: being committed to growth, having a strong work ethic, staying focused on personal goals and to be a person of integrity. She discussed her wide variety of experiences in television, public relations and marketing. Listen to Jessica Stauber's speech.
November 1, 2018
Nicole Johnson, Vice President of Human Resources, Allete Corporation
Left to right: Rick Revoir, Nicole Johnson, Sandy Sandbulte, Bethany Owen, Al Hodnik
Nicole discussed her variety of experiences over her 22 year career at Allete. She encouraged students to own their personal growth and development plan throughout their career and to seek out mentors. She discussed how ethics is woven throughout Allete's culture and the importance of achieving the right results in the right way. Listen to Nicole Johnson's speech.
October 2, 2018
Steven Dastoor, CEO of Citon Corporation
Steven Dastoor was the opening speaker for this year's series. He is the co-founder and CEO of Citon Corporation an IT services firm based in Duluth. Steven discussed the evolution of his company and provided students with a lot of great career advice. He encouraged students to be life long learners, to care deeply about their work and to be accountable for their actions. Listen to Steven Dastoor's speech.
February 13, 2018
Gunnar Johnson, City of Duluth Attorney
Since 2008 Mr. Johhson has served as the Duluth City Attorney managing all legal affairs of the city. Gunnar explained how he is able to help people through his work as an attorney. He discussed his professional background and his personal passions that include completing the Idiatrod dog sled race in 1992 and 2017. He told students they are capable of accomplishing more than they may expect from themselves. He encouraged students to be ambitious because you only have one life to live. Gunnar emphasized the importance of developing good habits in your personal life and to stay healthy. Listen to Gunnar Johnson's speech.
January 30, 2018
Brad Sorenson, SVP of Manufacturing and Supply Chain, Boston Scientific
Photo L-R: Rick Revoir, Brad Sorenson, Sam Sorenson, Sandy Sandbulte.
Mr. Sorenson has over 20 years of medical device manufacturing experience. He oversees medical device manufacturing facilities all over the world and discussed the opportunities and challenges of doing business in 90 countries. He encouraged students to never lose sight of their priorities and emphasized that integrity and ethics are non negotiable. Listen to Brad Sorenson's speech.
December 7, 2018
Bethany Owen, Senior Vice President, Allete Corporation
Ms. Owen serves as SVP, Chief Legal & Administrative Officer and Corporate Secretary. She encouraged students to think about what kind of leader they want to be and to be open to accepting challenging positions. She emphasized the importance of embracing strong values and acting with integrity in everything you do.
October 31, 2017
Marty Weintraub, founder of Aimclear
(Left to Right) Rick Revoir, Sandy Sandbulte, Marty Weintraub, Lynne Hamre
Marty Weintraub, founder of digital marketing firm Aimclear, engaged students in an educational and entertaining session. Marty discussed his career path and reflected on what it takes to develop a successful organization. He provided students with advice to help them develop their personal brand.
October 12, 2017
Greg Sandbulte, Senior VP of Amsoil
(Left to Right) Greg Sandbulte, Kathy Modin, Lynda Bostrom, Sandy Sandbulte, Rick Revoir
Greg Sandbulte was the opening speaker for the 2017-18 Sandbulte Center for Ethical Leadership Speaker Series at the College of St. Scholastica. Greg discussed his career path and offered students advice on things that he has learned throughout his career. Students also learned about the variety of market segments that Amsoil operates in and how the company continues to innovate to meet customer demand. Listen to Greg Sandbulte's speech.
Lisa Bodine, President of Giant Voices
February 23, 2017
Lisa Bodine, President of Giant Voices discussed her career path and ethical and leadership challenges that she has faced as a marketing and advertising executive. Ms. Bodine discussed what it takes to be a business owner and emphasized the opportunities and challenges of owning a business. Listen to Lisa Bodine's speech.
Joel and Emily Vikre, co-founders of Vikre Distillery in Duluth
December 1, 2016
The Vikre's discussed opportunities and challenges of operating a startup gin distillery as a husband and wife team. They discussed how the triple bottom line philosophy: people, profit and planet guides their strategic decision-making. The Vikre's emphasized keeping values at the front of mind and the importance of modeling values for employees. In 2016 Vikre was voted the #1 Best Craft Specialty Spirits Distillery in the US by USA Today readers. |
Mat Johnson, CEO of GeaCom
Mat Johnson, CEO of GeaCom discussed his experiences as an entrepreneur and his innovative product the Phrazer that enables healthcare providers and patients to communicate in multiple languages. Mr. Johnson also serves as a trustee at CSS. Listen to Mat Johnson's speech.
Steve DeVinck, CFO of Allete
November 17, 2016
Mr. DeVinck provided observations on leadership based on his years of experience as an executive. He encouraged students to be resilient as they embark on their careers. He emphasized the importance of building a strong team through trust and effective communication. DeVinck explained how ethics and values are at the core of his decision making.
Left to right: Lynne Hamre, Rick Revoir, Steve DeVinck, Verna Sandbulte, Sandy Sandbulte
VP Community Health Wellness and Engagement, Essentia Health
September 20, 2016
Mr. Ron Alston discussed his career path at the Mayo Clinic and Essentia Health. He offered students a variety of career advice. He stressed the importance of students having a mentor throughout their careers. He encouraged students to always be engaged and to realize that someone is always watching you and opportunities can arise from doing even the simplest of things. Mr. Alston recommended students to be confident, approachable, accountable, respectful, competitive and to always surround yourself with good people. Click below to hear Ron Alston's speech.
March 8, 2016
George Goldfarb, CEO of maurices
Left to Right: Rick Revoir, George Goldfarb, Sandy Sandbulte, Lynne Hamre
Students and faculty learned about the "secret sauce" of maurices' corporate culture that has led to exceptional employee engagement and long term financial growth. Over the past four years maurices has been named a top workplace. The company is committed to giving back to the community and each year they close their Duluth offices for one day to volunteer in the community. He discussed the importance of supporting ethical behavior at work by setting the tone at the top of the organization, reinforcing value across the company and to call out unethical behavior quickly.
February 16, 2016
Karen Tonnis and Laura Mullen, co-founders Bent Paddle Beer
The founders shared the importance of preparing a detailed business plan early on and the process of obtaining financing. Students learned about the successes and challenges involved in starting up a new business. Sustainability is a key aspect of their business and they explained why they chose to use cans instead of bottles for their beer. They discussed how their company gives back to the community through their Paddle it Forward initiative. The speakers explained how detailed planning, strong partnerships and persistence has led to significant growth for their three year old company.
February 2, 2016
Dale Klapmeier, co-founder and CEO of Cirrus Aircraft
Mr. Klapmeier explained the evolution of Cirrus over the past 20 years and discussed the company's rollout of its new jet. He encouraged students to follow their passions and strive to be the best in what they do. He explained how Cirrus designs planes for pilots and passengers with safety, comfort and performance in mind.
December 3, 2015
Emily Larson, Mayor-elect, City of Duluth
Pictured Left to Right: Verna Sandbulte, Sandy Sandbulte, Emily Larson, Rick Revoir, Lynne Hamre
On November 3rd St. Scholastica alum Emily Larson was elected mayor of Duluth. Larson discussed the importance of her education at CSS and shared her personal and professional experiences that have led to her new role as mayor. She explained how her career began serving individuals, evolved to serving organizations and now she is focused on serving the community of Duluth. She shared three key areas that have shaped her path to leadership. Larson stressed the importance of knowing and defining your ethical compass.
Click below to hear Mayor-elect Larson's speech.
November 12, 2015
Greg Benson, CEO of Loll Designs
Greg Benson and his business partners started out making skate board ramps and they now own three companies based in Duluth that employ 104 people.
Benson discussed the evolution of his companies and how sustainable manufacturing practices are both good for the environment and business.
Click below to hear Mr. Benson's speech.
October 1, 2015
Lucie Amundsen, Co-founder Locally Laid Egg Co.
Ms. Amundsen co-founded the first pasture raised egg company in Minnesota. Her company was runner up out of 15,000 small businesses in the Small Business Big Game contest sponsored by Intuit.
Listen below to learn about this company that incorporates sustainable business practices.
Click below to hear Ms. Amundsen's speech.
Leadership at the CEO and Board Level Speaker Series: 2014-2015
The Sandbulte Center for Ethical Leadership sponsored a speaker series that focused on leadership at the CEO and board level. Speakers included for profit CEO's, not for profit CEO's and government leaders. Speakers discussed their career path and offered advice on what helped them succeed as a leader. Speakers offered their insights into what organizations can do to encourage ethical behavior at work.
A special thanks to business executive Bruce Stender who helped Rick Revoir plan the series.
April 14, 2015
Mayor of Duluth, Don Ness
Mayor Ness discussed the challenges and accomplishments of his administration over the past seven years in office. He encouraged students to stay grounded throughout their life and to try things outside of their comfort zone. He discussed his reasoning for not seeking a third term and why he declined a $19,500 pay increase. Twin Cities Business Journal named Ness the "2013 Person of the Year" and the 2013 National Citizen Survey showed that residents of Duluth gave Mayor Ness a 90% job approval rating.
Click below to hear Mayor Ness' speech.
March 5, 2015
David Gaddie, CEO of Republic Bank
David Gaddie stressed the importance of doing the right thing every time. He emphasized the importance of building relationships and encouraged students to seek out good mentors. He distributed the bank's code of ethics and discussed its importance to the bank's operation. He provided examples of ethical dilemmas that bankers confront on a regular basis.
Mr. Gaddie is Chairman, President and CEO of Republic Bank in Duluth. He is an active member of the community. He is involved with Republic Bancshares, Area Partnership for Economic Development (APEX) and serves on the Essentia Board of Directors.
Click below to hear Mr. Gaddie's speech.
February 10, 2015
Dr. Bruce Jackson, Institute of Applied Human Excellence
Dr. Jackson gave an engaging presentation on leadership and discussed Attentional Leadership Theory and Finding Your Flow a model that helps individuals focus in order to maximize performance.
He is the founder of the Institute of Applied Human Excellence a training firm dedicated to helping individuals achieve peak performance. He is an expert in leadership, training and organizational development. He has worked with numerous organizations including several Fortune 500 companies.
Click below to hear Dr. Jackson's speech.
January 20, 2015
Jim Hoolihan, CEO of Industrial Lubricant
Jim Hoolihan presented students with real world ethical dilemmas and challenged them by asking "What would you do?" Jim encouraged students to develop a core competency, seek and receive help, be persistent and to dream about how they want to live their life. Jim is the CEO of Industrial Lubricant and serves on the Allete board of directors and is a trustee of the Blandin Foundation.
Click below to hear Mr. Hoolihan's speech.
December 4, 2014
Dr. Peter Person, CEO of Essentia Health
Dr. Person gave students specific leadership and career advice and discussed ethical dilemmas facing the healthcare industry. He served as President of the Duluth Clinic in 1995 and was named CEO of SMDC Health System in 1997. In 2004 Essentia Health was formed and Dr. Person was named CEO. Essentia Health is the largest employer in Northeastern Minnesota.
Near the end of his speech Dr. Person discusses the top 10 things he has learned over the past 20 years while serving as CEO.
Click below to hear Dr. Person's speech.
Al Hodnik, Chairman & CEO of Allete
Pictured left to right Al Hodnik, Sandy Sandbulte, Rick Revoir
November 20, 2014
Al Hodnik is Chairman and CEO of Allete a publicly traded energy company headquartered in Duluth. Mr. Hodnik provided an engaging speech where he discussed how he and his team are leading Allete forward during a period of rapid change. He discussed the importance of ethics and integrity in Allete's culture and offered advice on developing life skills that will help students succeed in their careers.
Please listen to Mr. Hodnik's speech below.
Ethical Leadership MOOC
The Sandbulte Center for Ethical Leadership will offer the Ethical Leadership Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) beginning September 15, 2014 free of charge. Students can enroll through December 1st. Students who successfully complete the course earn a certificate of completion. The creation of the MOOC was funded by the C. Charles Jackson Foundation and by the Sandbulte Center for Ethical Leadership. More information can be found at go.css/learn
October 21, 2014
Dr. Larry Goodwin, president of the College of St. Scholastica, provided an engaging presentation on different leadership styles. He had a chance to visit with Sandy and Verna Sandbulte after his speech (pictured above).
September 23, 2014
Jo Ann Hoag, retired President/CEO of Lake View Hospital
CSS alum Jo Ann Hoag spoke about her variety of leadership experiences in healthcare and discussed ethical dilemmas she has faced. Ms. Hoag retired in July 2014 from her position as the President/CEO of Lake View hospital. She is co-owner of Lake Superior Brewing and has served on a variety of boards
April 22, 2014
Marc Courey, Director of Risk Advisory and Forensic services for Wipfli
Marc spoke to 120 students about his work helping companies investigate fraud. Marc stressed the importance of monitoring and testing internal controls. He also discussed what organizations can do to encourage ethical behavior.
April 1, 2014
Three inmates from the Duluth Federal Prison Camp gave a presentation on campus. Brad, Nathan and Frank were convicted of corporate crimes and they discussed how their actions led to time in prison. The inmates discussed the role of corporate culture and the importance of testing and enforcing internal controls. Students had many questions for the inmates and one student commented "they seem like normal guys who not long ago sat in a college classroom just like us." Students discussed with inmates how "short cuts" and a corporate culture of "just get the job done" contributed to fraudulent behavior.
March 27, 2014 MBAA International Conference
Faculty members Dr. Rick Revoir and Dr. Tom Buck along with students Tyler Rohr and Krystal Hoheisel attended the MBAA International Conference in Chicago which attracts business academics from around the world. Tom Buck won the best paper award for his article titled Living the Case Study: Teaching Management and Leadership Ethics Online Through Serious Games. Rick Revoir gave a presentation titled: Developing and Delivering a MOOC Focusing on Ethical Leadership. Students Tyler Rohr and Krystal Hoheisel submitted papers to the conference that they had written for their management ethics class.
The C. Charles Jackson Foundation awarded our college a grant to fund the updating of the undergraduate Management Ethics class. This course is offered online and face to face and positively impacts 200 students per year.
Dr. Rick Revoir published an article titled: Exploring Learning During a YouTube Business Ethics Simulation in the Journal of Academic and Business Ethics.
Interview with Mayor Don Ness
Would you decline a $19,500 salary increase? On November 25, 2013 the Duluth City Council voted to increase the salary of the mayor by 25%. Dr. Rick Revoir met with Mayor Don Ness to discuss his decision to decline the salary increase. Please listen to the audio below to learn more about the mayor's decision.
November 19, 2013
Pascha Apter, CEO of Giant Voices
Pascha discussed her experiences working in the marketing industry and shared ethical dilemmas she as faced. Her firm specializes in branding, advertising, public relations, e-solutions and training.
October 31, 2013
Mark Weitz, PhD, JD, shareholder with Leonard, Street & Deinard
Mark provided an analysis of the mortgage collapse of 2008 and what it tells us about behaviors in a free enterprise system. Mark focuses his practice on general corporate law, finance and securities law, and mergers and acquisitions. He is recognized as one of America's Leading Business Lawyers by Chambers USA and has been selected for inclusion in Minnesota Super Lawyers for the past 15 years.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Deborah Adele, Author, The Yamas and Niyamas: Exploring Yoga's Ethical Principles
Deborah Adele, MA, has a background in theology, business and yoga philosophy. For over 14 years, she used her knowledge to build Yoga North, now a thriving yoga center in Duluth, MN. Deborah has made several trips to India for study and exploration and currently spends her time writing and teaching. She is the author of The Yamas and Niyamas: Exploring Yoga's Ethical Principles and two CDs The Art of Relaxation and The Practice of Meditation.
Deborah feels it is important to continually ask ourselves the question, "What does it mean to be human?" by putting ourselves in places we can be challenged and changed, by telling ourselves the truth, and by sitting in some form of prayer, meditation, or reflection daily.
Click below to listen to the talk.
April 3, 2013
Dr. Rick Revoir gave a presentation to the Duluth Chamber of Commerce titled: Encouraging Ethical Behavior at Work. The presentation was part of the Chamber's Professional Development Series.
March 26, 2013
Federal Prison Camp Inmate Presentation
Two inmates from the Federal Prison Camp, Duluth visited campus to discuss their experiences. Over 100 students listened to the presentation by Brad, a former hedge fund manager and Nate, a former accountant as they shared how their decisions and actions led to time in prison. Students asked many questions during the presentation.
After the presentation one student commented, "I learned about how the culture of an organization is truly one of the biggest influences in forming an atmosphere of ethical or unethical behaviors." Another student noted, "I agree with Brad that we don't just make one bad decision but a series of smaller decisions that lead us to a point where we don't automatically do the right thing."
March 21-24, 2013
Society for Advancement of Management International Business Conference
School of Business and Technology faculty members Rick Revoir and Tom Buck along with students Thad Picott, Nate Beaufeaux, Brian Houdek, Matthew Feuling and Jake Snyder were in Washington, D.C. March 21-24, 2013 to attend the Society for Advancement of Management International Business Conference. The students presented papers they wrote for their Management Ethics course.
Senior Thad Picott discusses the ethics of transfer pricing
at the Society for Advancement of Management
The group met with Senator Amy Klobuchar's
staff to discuss higher education issues.
On March 22nd, after a tour of the Capitol,
the group sat in the Senate gallery to observe
the historic "voto-rama" on the federal budget.
March 1, 2013
SB&T faculty members Jennifer Pilon, Bob Hoffman and Rick Revoir presented at the MBAA International Conference in Chicago, IL. The title of their presentation: Unethical Behavior and the Collapse of Eurozone Economies. The MBAA Conference draws business academics from around the country.
Kurt Linberg, Ph.D. and Kathy Modin, M.A. had the article "Strategic Initiatives to Advance Business Ethics Education: Reflecting on a 17 Year Journey" published in Journal of Academic and Business Ethics. http://www.aabri.com/manuscripts/121388.pdf
Briana von Elbe was the guest speaker for the November 27th Character Builder Lunch. She spoke about her experiences as a marketing entrepreneur and ethical dilemmas she has faced.
Briana von Elbe is a lifelong resident of the Northland. In 1998, at the age of 23, she started her advertising agency, Pearson & von Elbe Advertising LLC. Ten years later she launched a promotional products company, Footprint Promotional Advertising. Briana assists clients in building, maintaining and executing their marketing campaigns in the most efficient and cost effective way while having the greatest impact. She believes in putting out the highest quality of work for her clients so that it produces the biggest results for their business and, in turn, their customers.
Briana volunteers for many organizations in the community. She is a board member of PAVSA, Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank and the MN Ballet; a member of the Duluth and Hermantown Chambers of Commerce and the Arrowhead Builders Association and she serves as a volunteer on several committees for non-profit organizations and assists them with their marketing, special events and fundraising efforts.
Dr. Perwaiz B. Ismaili, Assistant Professor and a member of the Multicultural Organization Development (MCOD) team within the School of Business and Technology was invited to present talks in Atlanta. He delivered two sessions one in Duluth, GA, and the other in Atlanta, GA, exploring The Communal Ethics of Elderly Care Using a Faith-based Approach. Both sessions were well received by the community in attendance of 461 in Duluth, GA and 675 in Atlanta, GA.
Skip Fischer, Ph.D., retired Senior Professional Staffer, U.S. Senate Banking Committee, presented "Ethical Dilemmas Involving Defense Contractors and Congress" from noon to 1:00 p.m. in Burns Wellness Center 249 on October 18th. Dr. Fischer served as a legislative assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives and as an Assistant for Foreign Policy
Weren't able to attend Dr. Fischer's presentation?
Click below to listen to a recording.
Bob Hartl, M.A., Associate professor, Management, The College of St. Scholastica, School of Business & Technology, presented "Continuous Change and the Ethics of Decision-Making" from noon - 1:00 p.m. in the Duluth Chamber of Commerce Office, 5 W. First Street, Suite 101, Duluth, MN on October 3rd.
Fall Semester 2012
SB&T alum Eric Vanderstelt ('08) met with students to discuss his experience working abroad and ethical issues that he faced. Eric also gave students career advice as they prepare to apply for internships and full time positions.
Karen Schuder, MA in Management Alumni and member of the SB&T Business Ethics Committee presented at the 8th International Catholic Social Thought and Business Education conference in Dayton, OH. Her paper is titled "Expanding Business: A Qualitative Study of Business Schools Integrating Ethics."
Summary of 8th International Conference on Catholic Social Thought & Management Education.
Renewing Mission and Identity in Catholic Business Education
University of Dayton, Ohio, June 18-20, 2012
by Rev. Karen Schuder
With support from the Sandbulte Endowment I was blessed to represent the CSS School of Business and Technology at the 8th International Conference on Catholic Social Thought and Management Education at the University of Dayton in June. The theme of the conference was "Renewing Mission and Identity in Catholic Business Education" with an emphasis on integrating ethics and applying Catholic Social Thought principles to business school curriculums. Individuals from more than 23 countries participated in speeches, research presentations, and discussions focused on the integration of ethics and social principles in business education.
Sabah Alwan, Associate Professor in Leadership and Organizational Behavior , School of Business and Technology was notified that his paper titled "Leadership Ethics between Supportive Application and Reluctant Endorsements" will be published by the Global Business Development Institute.
Arend J. "Sandy" Sandbulte
Arend J. Sandbulte is the former president and CEO of ALLETE, Inc. (formerly Minnesota Power) and a strong believer in the importance of ethics not just in business but in everyday life as well.
Sandbulte is a leader in the Duluth community, having served as a member of the Duluth Chamber of Commerce, the State of Minnesota Commission on Reform and Efficiency, St. Scholastica's Board of Trustees, the Duluth United Way Campaign, the Duluth Industrial Development Task Force, the Lake Superior Center, and the St. Luke's Hospital Board.