The Business Ethics Alliance started in 2005, when five Omaha community members, led by Dr. Beverly Kracher, associate professor at Creighton University, recognized the need and interest in local business ethics programs. In spring 2006, Anthony Hendrickson, Dean of Creighton University’s Heider College of Business, and Fr. John Schlegel, President of Creighton University, approved the formal creation of a business ethics group to be housed in the Heider College of Business.
While Creighton University is known as the community leader in ethics education, strength is gained when multiple organizations join forces. Thus, organizers met with David Brown, President and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, and Jim Hegarty, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), to invite their organizations to partner with Creighton’s Heider College of Business on the business ethics initiative.
In the fall of 2006 and throughout 2007, initial business ethics programs were tested for interest in the local community and a strategic committee met regularly to create the structure needed to run the business ethics programs long term. Robert Bates, former CEO of Jefferson Pilot and an engaged and respected member of the Omaha business community, offered his leadership on this initiative.
In March 2008, the Greater Omaha Alliance for Business Ethics (herein the “Business Ethics Alliance”) was legally established. A stand-alone not-for-profit entity, The Alliance enjoys an affiliation with its partners while sending a firm message that the organization is for-and-by the business community. The partnerships that make up the foundation of The Alliance make it a unique and highly innovative organization.
The purpose of the Business Ethics Alliance is to promote an environment where the discussion and practice of business ethics is encouraged and expected. We aim to establish Omaha as the center of business ethics excellence and corporate citizenship. The Alliance has a unique and timely opportunity to make a measured, positive difference in the Greater Omaha business community and the world.