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November 22, 2004


Enron Whistle-Blower To Speak At WOCCU's 2005 World Credit Union Conference

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Madison, WI—Sherron Watkins, the former vice president of Enron, famous for blowing the whistle on internal power abuses, is scheduled to Keynote World Council of Credit Unions' World Credit Union Conference in July of 2005. Watkins will speak on the importance of governance and the role of ethics in business.

Watkins is the winner of numerous awards, including TIME Magazine's Person of the Year Award in 2002, Court TV's Scales of Justice and Everyday Hero's Awards. Since resigning from Enron she has been lecturing throughout the country about her experience and what she has learned from it and testified before Congress on the collapse.

Watkins began working for Enron in 1993, initially managing its $1 billion-plus energy portfolio. She later transferred to mergers and acquisitions of energy assets, and then to the company's broadband unit. She alerted then-CEO Kenneth Lay about accounting irregularities in August of 2001, leading to the exposure of unethical behavior and the demise of the corporation. She has since co-authored a book on the topic, entitled Power Failure: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Enron.

According to Watkins, white-collar crime involves three factors: "extreme pressure to meet a goal... the opportunity to cheat [and] the rationalization that it's not cheating." She will expound upon these factors and discuss governance in her keynote address at the International Credit Union Conference next year.

Watkins is one of many bright, distinguished leaders in the financial service industry who will set the tone for WOCCU's new World Credit Union Conference. With the recent addition of "Good Governance" to WOCCU's list of missions, Watkins is a pertinent choice for keynote speaker. The World Council will also present International Credit Union Governance Principles to its General Assembly for adoption in Rome.

The 2005 Conference marks a turning point in WOCCU's history, as it will be the first time its International Credit Union Leadership Institute and International Credit Union Forum are combined into one meeting. WOCCU has high hopes for the first World Credit Union Conference, which will be held in Rome, Italy. At last summer's Leadership Institute, attendance topped 1,000. WOCCU anticipates the return of many of these attendees in 2005, as well as the presence of the dedicated professionals who regularly attended its Forums; the new Conference will be the preeminent gathering of credit union leaders worldwide. The 2005 meeting will feature 20 breakout sessions with four different tracks including: strategy, finance and operations, human resources and marketing and developing movement initiatives.

For more information on the World Credit Union Conference, please visit the WOCCU website at www.woccu.org or contact the WOCCU meetings department at emonroe@woccu.org or 608-231-8838.



World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.

World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 57,000 credit unions in 103 countries serve 208 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.

 



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