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The Bottom Line, the student newspaper of the School of Business, features the Botwinick Prizes in their September 18th issue in an article entitled Doing the right thing is the right thing to do... by Vic Dayal.

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Aaron Feuerstein and Washington SyCip (MS '43) Receive 1996 Botwinick Prizes for Ethics

Columbia Business School's distinguished alumnus Benjamin Botwinick (class of 1926) joined Dean Meyer Feldberg on September 11 to present the 1996 Botwinick Prizes in Business Ethics and in Ethical Practice in the Professions to Aaron Feuerstein, president and CEO of Malden Mills Industries, Inc., and Washington SyCip (MS '43), founder and group chairman of SGV & Co. Awarded annually, the prizes recognize the exemplary ethical practice of business leaders in the management of their firms as well as outstanding ethical leadership in the professions.

Aaron Feuerstein
Aaron M. Feuerstein, winner of the 1996 Botwinick Prize in Business Ethics.

  Mr. Feuerstein's uncommon commitment to his employees and his community was recognized with the Botwinick Prize for Business Ethics. When fire destroyed three buildings in his one hundred-year-old factory complex, he pledged to rebuild and to keep his displaced employees on full-salary during the initial shut-down. Like his grandfather and father before him, Mr. Feuerstein believes that the employees at Malden Mills are its most valued asset. This recent, magnanimous gesture is, in fact, representative of a history of dedication to Malden Mills employees and to the Lawrence, Massachusetts community that has been home to the company for three generations.

  This year Washington SyCip celebrates his 75th birthday and the 50th anniversary of the founding of SGV & Co. His half-century of leadership has resulted in SGV & Co. becoming the largest auditing and management consulting firm west of Chicago. Mr. SyCip has had phenomenal success in his field, and was honored on September 11 with the Botwinick Prize for Ethical Practice in the Professions for his integrity, commitment to the people of the Philippines and dedication to the future of South East Asia. Chief among his rich legacy of business and social programs will be his impact on business education. Mr. SyCip was an influential force in the establishment of the Asian Institute of Management, a graduate school of business that has educated more than 20,000 managers, as well as the Management Association of the Philippines, a forum for managers to learn about issues affecting Philippine business. Currently, Mr. SyCip is a member of Columbia Business School's Board of Overseers.

Washington SyCip
Washington SyCip, MS '43, winner of the 1996 Botwinick Prize for Ethical Practice in the Professions.

  In a discussion moderated by Columbia Business School Professor David Beim, both prize winners shared their thoughts on business ethics and the conflicting pressures facing business leaders in today's competitive business environment. Addressing the provocative issues raised by members of the audience, Mr. Feuerstein argued that shareholder value is not compromised when employees are treated and paid well, and Mr. SyCip discussed how cultural differences affect business ethics internationally.

  In addition to the awards, a special proclamation was conferred upon Benjamin Botwinick in celebration of his 90th birthday. Ben Botwinick and his wife Bessie have been longstanding advocates for the teaching of business ethics at Columbia Business School. Their outstanding generosity has underwritten these Prizes as well as three annual scholarships for Columbia MBA students who clearly demonstrate a commitment to business ethics in their academic and professional careers. Past recipients of the Botwinick Prizes include: Anita Roddick, founder and group managing director, The Body Shop; Muriel Siebert, president, Muriel Siebert & Co.; and Eugene Lang MS '40, founder and chairman of REFAC Technology Development Corporation and the "I Have a Dream" Foundation.