Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

03-27-08

Contacts:

Scott Hamilton, The Great River Group, (601) 214-1133, shamilton@thegreatrivergroup.com

Brad Shrader, Management, (515) 294-3050, cshrader@iastate.edu

Dan Ryan, College of Business, (515) 294-5800, djr@iastate.edu

Mike Ferlazzo, News Service, (515) 294-8986, ferlazzo@iastate.edu

ISU grad Hamilton provides lessons from two of nation's largest disasters in April 10 talk

AMES, Iowa -- Some people are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. That was the story for Scott Hamilton -- twice.

A 1982 management graduate from the College of Business at Iowa State University, Hamilton was vice president of investor relations at WorldCom when it spiraled into bankruptcy amid the country's largest accounting scandal. And then he was a public information officer for the State of Mississippi during Hurricane Katrina. That put him on the front lines of two of the nation's largest disasters -- one man-made, and one natural.

Currently a partner in a public affairs consultancy in Jackson, Miss., Hamilton will draw on those experiences during a talk titled "From Bad to Worse: WorldCom to Hurricane Katrina. Lessons from Two of the Nation's Largest Disasters from Someone Who Was Involved in Both," which he'll present on Thursday, April 10, starting at 4 p.m. in Room 2117 of the Gerdin Business Building. The event is free and open to the public.

"What Scott's going to do is tell some stories about his role in these two events," said Brad Shrader, the Ralph and Jean Eucher Fellow in Business Ethics at ISU, who also helped found the Bacon Center for Ethics at the College of Business. "I think what he wants to try and do for students is talk with them about how to keep an ethical compass pointing true north when everything else is fouling up the compass. And I think he'll shoot pretty square with them about things he did right, and things he could have done better. I think he's really in a reflective mode right now because he's seen some bad things -- and some view the teaching of ethics as a reflective exercise."

In his role as director of communications for the Mississippi Development Authority -- the State of Mississippi's lead economic developer -- he directed the authority's marketing and public relations efforts. They included programs that helped establish the public's generally positive perception of Mississippi's response to Hurricane Katrina, which sped the state's economic recovery.

Hamilton became vice president of investor relations for WorldCom in February 2000, just as the Internet bubble was bursting. He spent the next three years communicating what he later found out was tenuous financial information to Wall Street and main street investors. He had joined WorldCom when it acquired SkyTel, the pioneer in wireless text messaging, where he served as vice president of corporate communications.

Hamilton began his communications career with MCI Communications in Washington, D.C., where he held staff positions in corporate communications and investor relations.

His background also includes communications and marketing leadership positions in corporate, government and agency environments. Most recently, he was vice president and group account director for The Ramey Agency, a Jackson, Miss.-based advertising firm.

In addition to his degree from Iowa State, Hamilton holds an MBA in international business from George Washington University.

He and his wife, Kimberly (Raeside) -- a 1981 ISU graduate -- have one daughter, Emily.

The lecture is made possible through the support of the Caterpillar Foundation, the Bacon Center for Ethics, Ralph and Jean Eucher, and the Committee on Lectures (funded by the Government of the Student Body). Additional information is available at the event's Web site at http://www.bus.iastate.edu/outreach/scotthamilton.asp.

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ScottHamilton

Scott Hamilton

Quick look

ISU graduate Scott Hamilton will draw on past employment experiences during a talk titled "From Bad to Worse: WorldCom to Hurricane Katrina. Lessons from Two of the Nation's Largest Disasters from Someone Who Was Involved in Both," which he'll present on Thursday, April 10, starting at 4 p.m. in Room 2117 of Iowa State's Gerdin Business Building. The event is free and open to the public.

Quote

"What Scott's going to do is tell some stories about his role in these two events. I think what he wants to try and do for students is talk with them about how to keep an ethical compass pointing true north when everything else is fouling up the compass. And I think he'll shoot pretty square with them about things he did right, and things he could have done better."

Brad Shrader