Desert Tech owner and founder Nicholas Young will speak Friday at the University of Utah's Eccles School of Business on how ethical decisions are not always profitable.
Young will address a discussion hosted by the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative and the Student Center for Public Trust's Ethics Club. The 12:15 p.m. talk at the Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building on the University of Utah campus is free and open to the public.
Young, who owns a Utah-based firearms manufacturing company, withdrew a Desert Tech bid for a sales contract with the Pakistan military that could of potentially generated up to $10 million in sales. The company was one of two finalists for the contract. While Pakistan is an American ally and the sale would have been legal, Young and his employees felt uneasy enough about the unpredictable affairs in Pakistan that they were worried that some of his high-powered sniper rifles could be used against American soldiers, so they rescinded their interest.
"All people, students included, need to understand that a commitment to doing the right thing is not always immediately, or sometimes not at all, financially profitable," said Melissa Lewis, assistant professor of accounting and faculty advisor to the Ethics Club. "Often, doing what is right requires sacrificing financial gain, and Young's presentation offers a perspective on how he came to the conclusion that withdrawing from a legal contract he viewed as unethical was the right thing to do."
The Ethics Club provides a place where ethical behaviors and ideas can flourish, while creating opportunities for students to network with the business community and to develop leadership skills.