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Texas State University

Enron, 20 Years Later

Tuesday, October 19, 2021  |  11:30 a.m.
Live Online via Zoom

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Black graphic with blue/red/green Enron logo and white text: "20 Years Later"

In 2001, the Enron scandal shook America. Just one year after claiming $101 billion in revenues, Houston's energy giant — “America’s Most Innovative Company” — collapsed after revelations of massive accounting fraud. Enron was suddenly bankrupt, with 29,000 employees out of work and their retirement savings gone. Twenty years later, we are left with questions.

Join Texas State University's McCoy College of Business and industry experts for a retrospective on the long-term ramifications of Enron's fraud and 2001 collapse. We'll examine accounting, regulatory, ethical, and business management perspectives as we ask: What happened? What have we learned? How has the business world changed? What can we expect moving forward?

Panelists

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Sherron Watkins

Executive in Residence
McCoy College of Business, Texas State University

Enron Whistleblower
2002 TIME Magazine Person of the Year

Sherron Watkins, an internationally recognized leadership and ethics advocate, is perhaps best known for her work as Vice President of Corporate Development at Enron. Watkins was the "whistleblower" who first notified Enron leadership, and ultimately the U.S. government, about her suspicion of accounting irregularities. She later testified before both House and Senate committees about Enron's fraud. Prior to Enron, Watkins worked as an auditor at Arthur Anderson and as a vice president at Metallgessellschaft. She has written extensively about the Enron crisis and is currently serving as Executive in Residence at McCoy College of Business, where she counsels students and faculty on behavioral ethics, whistleblowing, corporate governance, and corporate culture. She earned her B.B.A. in accounting and business honors and her master's degree in professional accounting from the University of Texas at Austin.


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Michol Ecklund

Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary at Callon Petroleum

As Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of Callon Petroleum (NYSE: CPE), a publicly traded independent oil and natural gas company, Michol Ecklund oversees the legal, human resources, land administration, and ESG activities of the company. Prior to joining Callon in November 2017, Ecklund was Deputy General Counsel for Operations & Commercial Law at Marathon Oil Company, where she oversaw the legal team for global operations, acquisitions, and divestitures, as well as corporate communications. During her 15 years at Marathon Oil, Ecklund served in progressive positions including compliance, litigation, human resources, investor relations, corporate communications and tax. She started her career at Baker Botts LLP in Houston. Ecklund received a B.A. in economics, political science, and managerial studies from Rice University and earned her J.D. at Harvard Law School.


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Dr. Nate Cannon

Scott Emerson Professor in Business Administration and Associate Professor of Accounting
McCoy College of Business, Texas State University

A prolific scholar and endowed professor, Dr. Nate Cannon studies auditing and financial reporting, with foci on auditor judgment and decision-making and audit policy. Dr. Cannon earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Brigham Young University and his Ph.D. from Bentley University. He previously worked for KPMG.


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Dr. Stephanie Solansky

Associate Professor of Management
McCoy College of Business, Texas State University

Dr. Stephanie Solansky serves as the Business Communication and Professional Development coordinator for the McCoy College of Business. She is a frequent consultant, keynote speaker, panelist, and author in the areas of leadership development, change management, and business ethics. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Moderator

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Evan Smith

CEO and Co-Founder of The Texas Tribune

Evan Smith is the CEO and co-founder of The Texas Tribune, a pioneering nonprofit, nonpartisan digital news organization whose deep coverage of Texas politics and public policy can be found at its website, texastribune.org, in newspapers and on TV and radio stations across the state, and in the print and online editions of the Washington Post. Since its launch in 2009, the Tribune has won international acclaim and numerous honors, including a Peabody Award, 23 national Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association and three general excellence awards from the Online News Association. Evan is also the host of “Overheard with Evan Smith,” a weekly half-hour interview program that airs on PBS stations around the country. Previously he spent nearly 18 years at Texas Monthly, including eight years as the magazine's editor and a year as its president and editor in chief.

Hosts

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Dr. Sanjay Ramchander

Dean
McCoy College of Business, Texas State University

Dr. Sanjay Ramchander became Dean of the McCoy College of Business in August 2020. He is a professor of finance and holds the Darren Casey endowed professorship in business. As a financial economist, Dr. Ramchander studies the intersection of asset pricing and investor behavior. In his role as Dean, Dr. Ramchander leads the college in its mission to foster an engaged learning community that prepares students for successful business careers. He earned his Bachelor of Commerce from Nizam College, Osmania University, his M.B.A. from Saint Louis University, and his D.B.A. in finance from Cleveland State University.


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Dr. Alexis Stokes

Associate Dean for Faculty and Research
McCoy College of Business, Texas State University

In her role as associate dean, Dr. Alexis Stokes facilities faculty policies, professional development, research programs, global engagement, and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. Her own scholarship focuses on securities litigation, corporate governance, and international dispute resolution. Dr. Stokes earned her B.A. in Economics, Political Science, and Managerial Studies from Rice University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.


The McCoy Conversations series offers topical webinars for the business community to bridge academic and industry perspectives. For more information, please contact Dr. Alexis Stokes, McCoy College of Business Associate Dean for Faculty and Research, at McCoyResearch@txstate.edu.