Gordon E. Heffern Lecture on Christian Ethics in Business

Alayna Ross

This year’s Gordon E. Heffern Lecture on Christian Ethics in Business will feature Smart Business co-founder Fred Koury, Wednesday, Nov. 20 at the John C. Myers Convocation Center.

Doors will open at 11:30 a.m.for the event, which is free and open to the public, with lunch being served at noon. Parking is available in University lots E and J. Those interested in attending should RSVP by Nov. 8 to [email protected]

The Gordon E. Heffern Lecture on Christian Ethics in Business is an annual event that welcomes a guest speaker to share their knowledge in applying Christian ethics in the business world. Friends and family of Gordon Heffern have established an endowment with the university, which supports the ongoing series of lectures.

Alongside the endowment established in Heffern’s honor, Ashland University and In His Steps Foundation are sponsoring the event, which is hosted by AU’s Richard and Sandra J. Dauch College of Business and Economics.

The In His Steps Foundation embraces the idea of Christian unity, working together in a community toward the common goals and welfare of the community in Christ’s name.

Through this organization, In His Steps Foundation has a general fund for the Northeast Ohio area evangelistic Christian ministries, family giving funds and endowment funds for Christian ministries to build future resources and help promote the ideas of planned and deferred giving and Christian stewardship, according to the website.

Koury, co-founder of Smart Business Magazine, which is a national chain of business management journals that offers insight, advice and strategy for C-level executives.

Koury leads the magazine to have an active role in many local charities, including the United Way, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Youth Challenge, an organization providing activities for children with disabilities.

Dr. Rebecca Schmeller, assistant professor of management, encourages her students and the students studying at the Richard and Sandra J. Dauch College of Business and Economics to attend the lecture.

“It is always an inspiration for the students to listen to these speakers because they are often so humble and reveal real-life struggles they have faced,” Schmeller said. “Students get to learn from people who have actually walked through times where their ethics have been challenged.”

Aidan Ammons, junior at AU, is looking forward to attending the lecture to learn more about how to apply Christian ethics in his future career.

“As a business major and Christian, I think that listening to a lecture like this is a wonderful opportunity to learn how to apply Christian morals to the business world,” Ammons said. “It is especially helping to see that Fred Koury has been so successful in the field all the while navigating with Christian ethics.”

Although The Gordon E. Heffern Lecture is tailored for applying Christian ethics in business, there are many other disciplines that can benefit from this lecture.

Dr. Craig Hovey, religion professor, who teaches many courses in Christian ethics, believes this lecture can benefit students in any field of study and provoke more thought on Christian ethics beyond the workplace.

“No matter what a Christian is doing within their job or outside their job, they should get a sense of what Christian ethics mean to them,” Hovey said. “One has to ask, how are Christians meant to think about their identity within the world, the nations within they reside, and what moral obligations do Christians have to their neighbors, to their churches and to strangers.”

For those students and members of the community who would like to hear more about Christian ethics and morals in business, but may not be able to attend this particular lecture, there are many opportunities to learn more within the Ashland Community.

Christians in Business is a group of faith-driven business owners and professionals that meet every Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Downtown Perk in Ashland.

The group is an opportunity to unplug from the hustle and bustle and connect with other faith-driven professionals in the community. The meetings are free and open to anyone that would like to attend.

“This event is a great opportunity to honor the legacy of Gordon E. Heffern while getting to hear from speakers who have struggled and overcome difficulties in their career and with the lecture being open to the public, I’d encourage the community to join us”, Schmeller said.