April 13, 2017

Minutes of the April 13, 2017 Meeting
The Rotary Club of Mobile
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by club president Les Greer at 12:10 PM. Allen Ladd offered the invocation and Tom Martenstein welcomed members’ guests and visiting Rotarians. Larry Sindel led the club in song and the Pledge of Allegiance
• Dan McDaniel reminded members of the upcoming Rotary Golf Tournament on April 18 and asked that all come out to support the event.
• Les said that the Murphy Interact Club will be sponsoring an intermural sports event on Saturday, April 15.
• There will be no luncheon meeting on April 20. Instead a dinner at the Battle House will take its place that evening at 5:30.
• A Caribbean cruise for the district meeting is scheduled for April 27.
• Les said that we will be honoring the graduating children or grandchildren of Rotarians. Please invite them to the meeting on May 18th.
Program: Aaron Beam: Business Ethics
Bill Kinnaird introduced the former CFO of Health South, Aaron Beam who described his ascent from having recently earned his CPA degree to becoming the CFO of the largest company in Alabama: Health South.
Beam traced the firm back to its beginnings when Richard Scrushy created a company to offer out-patient surgery centers which could provide services formerly only available in a hospital setting, at a fraction of the former cost.
As the company grew its stock price began to skyrocket and Richard Scrushy demanded that the price must continue to climb, leading to “cooking the books” which resulted in 1500 general ledgers and ultimately a $3 billion collapse of the firm.
Beam left the firm to retire in Fairhope and the company’s stellar collapse came a decade later. He was called to testify and Beam said he spent three months in jail and paid substantial fines. Scrushy, on the other hand, “found religion” donated $1 million to an inner city church and walked away from the charges after a six month trial. Jury members later said they could not convict such a “fine Christian man.”
Beam blamed his downfall on simple greed. “It was fun being rich,” he said. He added he was lucky that his wife did not leave him and that had he listened to her in the first place he would probably never have accepted the original offer to work for Richard Scrushy.
Les Greer thanked him for speaking to the club and said that a donation has been made in his honor to the Rotary International Foundation. Mr. Beam said he hoped that he would be invited back to speak to the club to tell the rest of his story.
The meeting adjourned at 1:00 PM.
Tom McGehee