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George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Wednesday, January 29, 2003

2003 IU Business Conference examines crisis in corporate governance

SEC's Levitt, NASDAQ's Simmons among presenters

EDITORS: Arrangements are being made for media who wish to interview the conference presenters in advance of the event. Contact George Vlahakis at 812-855-0846 or for more information.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Enron, ImClone System Inc. and Aldelphia.

These companies, previously unknown to most Americans, recently have been involved in scandals that have generated a lack of confidence in American business. Indiana University's Kelley School of Business has never backed away from serious issues in business education, and it has asked three veterans of Wall Street and a successful chief executive to explain how leaders should act in these critical times.

Karen Gibbs, co-host of "Wall Street Week with Fortune"; Arthur Levitt, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission; J. George Mikelsons, founder, chairman, president and chief executive officer of ATA Holdings; and Hardwick "Wick" Simmons, chairman and CEO of The NASDAQ Stock Market Inc., will offer insights at the 57th annual conference of IU's Kelley School on March 5 in Indianapolis.

The theme for this year's conference is, "Who Do You Trust? The Crisis in Corporate Governance." Conference speakers will discuss how successful leaders can meet the challenges of today's marketplace while maintaining their commitment to corporate ethics, personal values and integrity, said Dan R. Dalton, dean of the Kelley School of Business.

"At the Kelley School of Business, we argue that 'preparation and principle equals performance with pride.' The theme of this year's terrific Business Conference strongly underscores that message," Dalton said. "While we all realize that missteps can and do happen on the high road, they are so much easier to defend."

The registration fee is $110 by Feb. 18 and $120 after that. Table registrations are $1,000 for 10 persons or $525 for five persons. Table registrations include reserved seating at lunch and registration to the conference. Information and registration are available at or 812-855-6340.

Registration and networking will begin at 8 a.m. The sessions will begin at 9 a.m. with a presentation by Levitt, "Corporate Leadership Post-Enron." From his unique perspective, Levitt will discuss the public responsibilities of the private sector in the wake of the corporate scandals of the past year.

Gibbs will follow Levitt with her presentation, "Navigating Today's Tumultuous Financial Markets." The veteran financial journalist will offer advice on effective investor strategies for dealing with the uncertainty and opportunity inherent in the contemporary financial marketplace.

In his talk to follow, "Whither the Markets, Investor Confidence and the Banking and Financial Services Community? The Effect of the Ongoing Crisis in Corporate Governance," Simmons will discuss the effects of the continuing corporate governance crisis on the markets, investor confidence and the investment banking/financial services community. He also will discuss the relationship between corporate boards and CEOs.

At lunch, Mikelsons will offer his thoughts on the key elements of responsible executive and corporate conduct necessary to restore investor confidence and preclude further government regulation. The title of his presentation will be "Righting Wrongs, Restoring Confidence, Building Trust: Repairing the Foundation of Our Capitalist System."

The Kelley School will present its Academy of Alumni Fellows awards at lunch to three successful alumni, as well as recognize its distinguished entrepreneur of the year. The program will conclude at about 2 p.m.

About the speakers (in order of appearance):

Arthur Levitt - Levitt served as the 25th chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). First appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993, Levitt was appointed to a second five-year term in 1998. He has the unique distinction of being the longest-serving SEC chairman in its history. During his career as head of the SEC, investor protection was Levitt's top priority, and he worked to educate, empower and protect American investors. After leaving the SEC, he wrote the best-selling book, Take on the Street: What Wall Street and Corporate America Don't Want You to Know.

Before joining the SEC, he owned Roll Call, a newspaper that covers Capitol Hill. From 1989 to 1993 he served as the chairman of the New York Economic Development Corp., and from 1978 to 1989 he was chairman of the American Stock Exchange. Prior to 1978, he worked for 16 years on Wall Street. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Williams College in 1952.

Karen Gibbs - Prior to joining PBS' "Wall Street Week with Fortune," Gibbs spent five years as a senior business correspondent for Fox News Channel, contributing and serving as a substitute anchor on "Your World with Neil Cavuto" and appearing as a regular panelist on "Cavuto on Business." From 1992 to 1997 she was an anchor at CNBC, where she specialized in the credit and futures markets, and hosted such programs as "Money Wheel" and "Minding Your Business."

Prior to joining CNBC, Gibbs spent nearly 10 years at Dean Witter Reynolds Inc., where she was a vice president and senior futures strategist. She began her career at the Chicago Board of Trade as a board marker and left as a member of the Office of Investigations and Audits. She received an MBA in finance and marketing from the University of Chicago.

Hardwick "Wick" Simmons - Simmons joined The Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. in February 2001 as its CEO and was elected chairman on Sept. 26, 2001. Prior to joining NASDAQ, Simmons served as president and CEO of Prudential Securities Inc., the investment and brokerage firm. Prior to joining Prudential Securities in 1991, Simmons was president of the Private Client Group at Shearson Lehman Brothers Inc. In this role, he oversaw the firm's retail organization, which consisted of 10,500 financial consultants in 475 branches, as well as the Marketing and Sales and Financial Services divisions.

Simmons began his career in the securities industry in 1966 when he became a financial adviser at Hayden Stone, a predecessor of Shearson Lehman Brothers Inc. Between 1969 and 1977, he held a series of vice presidential positions with the firm and in 1977, he was named senior executive vice president overseeing marketing and sales for Shearson/American Express. He graduated from Harvard University in 1963 and received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1966.

J. George Mikelsons - Mikelsons created what is now Amtran Inc. from the travel club Ambassadair and American Trans Air in 1973. Mikelsons' vision and leadership have made ATA the 10th-largest airline in the United States, North America's largest operator of military and commercial passenger charters, and one of the fastest-growing scheduled service carriers. His story is a lesson in hard work and the American Dream. Mikelsons was born in Latvia, but fled with his parents to Germany and eventually to Australia after the Russian occupation of Latvia. He immigrated to Indianapolis in 1960, where he was able to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming a pilot. After running an air taxi service for several years, Mikelsons became chief pilot and director of operations for Voyager 1000, an Indianapolis-based travel club.

In 1973, Mikelsons purchased a Boeing 720 and started his own travel club, Ambassadair. A second Boeing 720 was added in 1978. Following deregulation of the airline industry in 1978, ATA was certified as a common carrier in 1981, making it possible for the airline to offer charter flights to the general public. Amtran, formed in 1984 as the holding company for Ambassadair and ATA, completed its initial public offering in 1993. Today, Mikelsons is the majority shareholder of Amtran Inc., the parent company of ATA and seven other subsidiaries including Ambassadair, ATA Leisure Corp., Amber Travel, ATA Training Corp., ATA Cargo, ExecuJet, and the commuter airline Chicago Express. ATA currently operates a fleet of 56 aircraft to over 400 destinations annually.

Conference details:

In addition to the Kelley School of Business, other sponsors of the conference are Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Arvin Meritor, BKD LLP, Baker and Daniels, Ernst & Young, Guidant Corp., Indy Men's Magazine, Johnson Ventures, Kimball Corp., LaSalle Bank, Philip Morris USA and Whirlpool Corp.

Send registrations to Annual Business Conference, Kelley School of Business, 1275 E. 10th St., Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405-1703. Credit card registrations can be sent by fax to Conference Registrar, Kelley School of Business, 812-855-3535. Make checks payable to the IU Kelley School of Business Alumni Association.