Chicago business leader earns Vincentian award for ethical approach to business

DePaul University PRESS RELEASE

Oct. 18, 2013

CHICAGO — Entrepreneur and corporate chief C. Richard Panico was recognized by DePaul University for his firm’s ethics-driven philosophy and uncompromising integrity. The award was presented by the Institute for Business and Professional Ethics at DePaul during the 20th annual International Vincentian Business Ethics conference on Oct. 18.

Panico, founder and president of Integrated Project Management Company, Inc., was selected as the first recipient of the International Award for Corporate Ethics and Excellence. It is presented to companies and leaders that demonstrate how business ethics need not be compromised to achieve profitability and success, according to Patricia Werhane, DePaul’s Wicklander Chair of Business Ethics and managing director of the institute.

Panico decided to dedicate himself to a new business venture after 15 years of service in the manufacturing, engineering and maintenance groups of the consumer and personal products divisions at Johnson & Johnson. He founded Integrated Project Management Company in 1988 on principles of quality, trust and honesty. Since then, he has built the firm into a company that serves global giants and startups alike, always on the same set of values. The Chicago-based firm specializes in the life sciences, consumer goods, industrial and healthcare sectors.

“This award was established to recognize good companies,” said Werhane. “You don’t always hear about businesses that are doing good and doing well. Rich is so determined and so smart. He does a really good job of doing business with people who share his mission and values. If they are not aligned with his, he chooses not to do business with them.”

The annual International Vincentian Business Ethics Conference is organized in collaboration with New York-based Niagara University, St. John’s University and DePaul. It was conceived as a natural extension of the basic mission and values of those institutions that share a commitment to the vision of St. Vincent de Paul and his dedication to academic excellence, community service, access to education and respect for the individual.  

The conference brings together members of the academic and corporate communities to examine how business ethics are impacted by dynamic issues of financial crisis, human rights, globalization and corporate culture.

DePaul University has long encouraged its students to engage in ethical deliberation, first requiring philosophy courses for all students attending the university and later building on this tradition through facilitating the creation of various centers and programs, including the Institute for Business Ethics in 1985.

From a research perspective, the Institute has created a body of work that is influenced by engagement with both the academic and business worlds. A significant portion of the Institute's work attempts to further the notion of moral imagination by engaging undergraduate and graduate students on ethics and moral decision-making.