Around the Institute

Mentors, Moderators and Overseers

March 14, 2013  • Henry Crown Fellows Newsletter

Leigh Hafrey took on the creation, coordination and teaching of the two-year-plus leadership curriculum for the Leaders for Global Operations at MIT this past year.

Joanne Ciulla reports:  “Mary Uhl-Bien, Patricia Werhane and I compiled a three volume collection called Leadership Ethics. It is the first reference collection on the subject. It contains some of the best academic articles and has extensive introductions that lay out the field of leadership ethics as an area of applied ethics. It will be published in the Sage Benchmarks in Leadership Series in March. I was recently elected president of the International Society for Business Ethics and Economics (ISBEE), an international group of scholars who meet every four years for what they call the “Olympics of Business Ethics.” ISBEE also initiates research projects and has a book series that they publish with Springer.”

Alice Young writes:  “I spent 4 wonderful days at the Aspen Global Cultural Diplomacy Summit in Tokyo this October, with the daunting task of interviewing Madame Sadako Ogata , former UN High Commissioner on Refugees,  for the  Women in Diplomacy program. I also had the pleasure of presenting the Aspen Cultural Diplomacy Emerging Voice Award to President Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of Nigeria, and  Mehri Madarshahi, President, of the Melody for Dialogue Among Civilizations Association . Damien Pwono and Elliot Gerson  with the Aspen team and ICU created a conference with a buzz that was true to the Aspen spirit , with fascinating interactions among representatives from Governments, NGOs, the arts and business- the art activist who began the Pimp My Carroca movement in Sao Paulo to honor street cart recyclers was one of many amusingly profound  examples of thoughts leading to action! My husband Tom is recuperating, so if his cardiologist gives the okay we will try to get to Aspen for the Board meeting this summer.”

Lynda Resnick reports:  “Improving the lives of the residents of a proud agricultural community in California’s Central Valley continues to be a labor of love for my husband Stewart and me. Located 42 miles west of Bakersfield, Lost Hills is a close-knit town of 2,412 mostly immigrants and their children. Today, if you drive along Highway 46, just a few miles from our company’s pistachio and almond processing plant, Lost Hills looks very different than it did just a couple of years ago. We’ve paved and widened streets, and we’ve added bike lanes, sidewalks and storm drains across town. We’ve installed new stop signs and streetlights where none existed before; replaced 80 dilapidated fences; and landscaped public areas with drought-resistance trees and shrubs. It’s amazing to see how these changes have transformed the town’s physical appearance and bolstered community pride.

But our most exciting initiatives have been more than cosmetic. We renovated the Lost Hills Park, creating a safe and beautiful environment for families to gather. And the park’s new recreation center has a huge community kitchen so families can take classes in cooking and basic nutrition, as well as participate in activities ranging from arts and crafts to martial arts to Zumba fitness. The rec center is now even hosting church services on Sundays.

And to promote health and wellness, we’ve launched a subsidized produce market, so residents can shop for fresh mangos, pineapples and tomatoes, and keep their families healthy in a town otherwise limited to fast-food restaurants. We’ve even opened a health clinic at our plant where our employees and their families can access both urgent and preventive care at no cost.

Lost Hills is part of our larger vision to transform the communities where our rural employees live and work. The cornerstone of these efforts has been in the area of education. Ninety middle-school students attended our new Paramount Farms Summer Youth Academy—a six-week program that blended academic learning with fun enrichment activities. We’re investing more than $3 million annually in education programs throughout the Central Valley to increase the number of students who graduate high school and complete college. We’re also providing up to five years of college scholarships to employees’ children who meet a minimum GPA requirement. So far, we’ve sent more than 700 students on to college.

Also, during this academic year, we awarded $300,000 in grants to area high schools to fill gaps in the public school system. And we’re providing tutoring and offering workshops to students and their parents to help them navigate the college application process. We know parental involvement is so critical. That’s why we’re partnering with the Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE) as part of a major new campaign to empower moms and dads in more than two dozen local schools to help advance their children’s academic progress. We’ve been very busy indeed, but this has been some of the most fulfilling work of my life.

I’m inspired by the generosity of so many in our Paramount family who’ve given their time and energy in the Central Valley. And I’m proud to say our work won’t stop here. In fact, we’ve only just begun.”

Many thanks to Lynda and Stewart for making a generous lead donation to help underwrite the Aspen Leaders Action Forum (  We hope to see everyone there July 29–August 1!