The Informant Came to Kuyper

January 26, 2016

Continuing this school year’s Inspiring Leaders lecture series, many in the Kuyper community and an ethics class from Davenport University came to the Vos Chapel to hear from Mark Whitacre, a nationally recognized business speaker and Christian, who was The Informant to the FBI in the Archer Midland Daniels (ADM) price-fixing scandal of the 1990s (inspiring books and the 2009 Hollywood movie starring Matt Damon). Whitacre’s involvement in that scandal landed him in prison for almost nine years. During that time, he gave his life to Jesus Christ through the work of Prison Fellowship founder Chuck Colson and others. Now back in the business world, his life is a valuable testimony of business, ethics, and redemption through Christ.

Working for ADM—a Fortune 100 Company and the largest agricultural company in the world—Whitacre, at only 32 years old, was as monetarily successful as a person could be by the world’s standards, complete with an impressive annual salary, a mansion, and private jet access. However, in the midst of this prosperity, he participated both in ADM’s illegal international price-fixing conspiracy and in embezzling millions from ADM.

Now, though, as a COO of a biotech company and a speaker, Whitacre speaks with transparency to 90+ groups per year at various events, sharing how Christ has redeemed him and the ways that other Christian businesspeople can strive for ethical practices in their own companies. At Kuyper, he challenged his listeners “to live a life of significance in helping others rather than choosing a life of success as defined by the world,” showing how “business, ethics and faith all work together,” explained Professor Marc Andreas, Kuyper’s Business Leadership Program Director.

This encouraging and practical lecture series will continue on February 16 from 12:20-12:50 in Kuyper College’s West Dining Hall, this time featuring J.C. Huizenga, founder of National Heritage Academies.