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W. Michael Hoffman Receives Lifetime Achievement Award and Mary Chiasson Honored for Dedicated Service in Ethics and Compliance
Dr. W. Michael Hoffman, the founding executive director of the Center for Business Ethics (CBE) at Bentley University and co-founder of the Ethics and Compliance Officer Association (ECOA), was honored with a lifetime achievement award in the field of ethics and compliance by the ECOA. Mary E. Chiasson, the CBE’s senior associate director, was also honored with an outstanding service and dedication award for 20 years of service with the ECOA.
Hoffman, Bentley, the ECOA, and indeed the worldwide business ethics movement are innately associated, having joined forces in 1992 when the ECOA was formed and the newly constituted board of directors named the CBE its facilitating institution and appointed Hoffman as the fledgling organization’s first executive director. For the next five years, the CBE, with Hoffman in leadership and Chiasson on staff, administered the ECOA.
“I think it is so appropriate for the ECOA to have its historical roots grown in the soil of an institution of higher learning such as Bentley and in a research institute such as the CBE,” says Hoffman. “Without education and research into new ideas, a profession would wither and die.”
As the association grew, Bentley, the CBE, and the ECOA continued working individually and in tandem to solidify and strengthen the ethics and compliance movement. Hoffman served on the ECOA’s board of directors, then served as a board advisor for 10 years. One of the most significant collaborations between the CBE and the ECOA was the development of the certificate-bearing executive education course, “Managing Ethics in Organizations,” which continues today at Bentley with Chiasson administering. After 17 years, approximately 1,000 ethics and compliance officers have MEO certificates, which, according to Hoffman, still stands as perhaps the most important and prestigious credentials in the ethics and compliance profession.
“I consider my work with the ECOA to be one of the highlights of my career,” reminisced Hoffman. “It was work that made me grow as an educator and a person.”
The Yawkey Foundations have recognized Bentley University’s longstanding commitment to service-learning and awarded the university $500,000 to educate students to effectively lead nonprofit organizations and expand student efforts to help community groups.