MILWAUKEE - Andrew Larson, president of the Gustave A. Larson Co. and a member of the Junior Achievement (JA) of Wisconsin board of directors, got involved firsthand in "Excellence Through Ethics Day" activities.

He recently visited schools in the Milwaukee area and said he was impressed with students' attitudes. "The students were very interested in not only my personal career track but in the Larson Company's philosophy that ethics is a top-down commitment. Their understanding of how personal ethics are reflected in management styles and ultimate success in business was very encouraging to see in our business leaders of tomorrow."

Larson and about 30 other CEOs visited students in the Milwaukee-area high schools during May under the auspices of the JA of Wisconsin. Using JA's learn-by-doing methodology, these business leaders shared basic values and beliefs, and engaged students in discussions on the role of ethics in their school life and in their business dealings.

According to JA, a poll by USA Today/CNN/Gallup revealed that 23 percent of Americans trust CEOs of large corporations; 38 percent of those surveyed see "big business" as a threat to the nation's future.

JA said it asked 1,449 students nationwide to share their thoughts on business ethics. Results showed that nearly nine out of 10 teenagers said they would refuse to work for

a company accused of wrongdoing; three out of four said they would not buy a product from a company accused of wrongdoing.

Publication date: 06/28/2004