President and CEO of NCB Chuck Snyder Encourages Active Ethical Reason
On Monday, Oct. 28, president and CEO of National Cooperative Bank (NCB) and JMU alumnus Chuck Snyder returned to JMU to speak about his experience working in community-focused social banking. Hosted by the Gilliam Center, Snyder’s presentation, “A Banker’s Musings: On Ethics, the Financial Crisis, and Running a Community Cooperative Bank,” focused on his mission to enhance cooperative values and ethical principles in the financial service industry.
During his presentation, Snyder emphasized the importance of working for an establishment that is purpose-driven and ethically responsible. He explains, “The National Cooperative Bank does well to do good. It isn’t all about making money, but instead, what you do with it. It is good business these days to care about your customers and establish an ethical high ground for yourself and your company.”
Among those in attendance included the director of the Madison Collaborative, Dr. William Hawk. In an effort to teach students ethical decision-making skills that can be applied to personal, professional, and civic life, the Madison Collaborative: Ethical Reasoning in Action is a program that offers coordinated and enhanced opportunities for students to employ an ethical reasoning framework during undergraduate student learning. By applying the eight-key questions to specific ethical scenarios, students are able to make the most enlightened decision in a given situation. Most importantly, the Madison Collaborative prepares students to utilize ethical reasoning in the future.
Snyder’s presentation coincides well with the mission of the Madison Collaborative—both encourage students to approach situations from an ethical perspective. During his visit, Snyder was introduced to the Madison Collaborative and he addressed the success of the program during his presentation. To JMU students, he advises, “Pay attention. With the Madison Collaborative, JMU is ahead of the curve in preparing students with ethical reasoning. Ethics sets the tone—so you must ask yourselves questions, and look to your inner core to decide what is right and what is wrong. It isn’t just about legality, it’s about personal accountability.”
Students attending the presentation were able to draw connections between Snyder’s presentation and the efforts of the Madison Collaborative. Following the presentation, students were given a survey in regards to the quality of the material presented as well as the major lessons gained from attending the presentation. Student responses included, “Your ethical integrity is extremely important and will serve you well in the business world, even if it’s not easy,” “Don't need to trade ethics for success,” “It pays well to focus on other things such as environmental and social responsibility rather than just profit,” and “Ethical reasoning extends beyond the classroom. The work force will cause you to define and hold true to your values.”