Executive Round Table (ERT)  

About ERT:  The Executive Round Table exists to provide a forum for student leaders, interested faculty, and industry members to share ideas and opinions on a variety of timely, far-reaching subjects. The ERT's purpose is to encourage excellence in its members and to develop future executives dedicated to high standards of leadership and ethics. The "Round Table" environment is one of parity in which the participants may question one another and discuss topics with people from varied backgrounds and interests. This is the essence of the Executive Round Table and the principle that sets it apart from other campus organizations.

Environment:  Membership is comprised of interested student leaders (chosen by the board of directors), talented faculty and well-informed industry members. This mixture - consisting of 4 students, 2 faculty/staff, and 2 business representatives at each table - provides a rich and diverse environment for the exchange of ideas. ERT is distinguished from other organizations by this format. Also, it is the only student organization on campus that interfaces with industry as well as faculty. Students, faculty, and industry members are encouraged to exchange ideas and questions about topics in open and formal discussion. Sitting around "Round Tables" creates an atmosphere of parity among ERT members while preserving the individuality of each member and his/her ideas.

Program:  The program revolves around dinner meetings which are held two times per academic year. Each dinner meeting begins no later than 6:30 p.m. with a period of 'networking' which allows members and guests to become better acquainted with one another. Dinner is served promptly at 7 p.m. with attendees continuing to discuss questions/issues related to the presenter's topic. About 7:30 p.m. a distinguished speaker gives a presentation on a topic of significance. The speaker then gives members and guests time to form questions, which are entertained prior to the program's closing.

ERT History:  The Executive Round Table (ERT) originated in 1956 at the Georgia Institute of Technology at the former Tech YMCA. Charlie Commander, Bob Winn, and Dr. Erwin Harrison recognized the need to encourage and help develop students who displayed outstanding character and leadership. Therefore, they founded the ERT. Membership consisted of students, faculty, and industry and business executives. Students were elected, and faculty and executive members were carefully selected to provide a strong membership balance.
Participation in the ERT by each of the three groups is critical to maintaining the objectives and purpose envisioned by the founders. To ensure that one group does not dominate another, ERT seeks to maintain a ratio of 50 percent students, 25 percent faculty, and 25 percent industry and business members.
Dr. David Martin, Executive Director of the Georgia Council on Economic Education and a member of the ERT at Georgia Tech, invited Berry College to attend a Georgia Tech ERT dinner meeting in January 1989. After attending two meetings, Dr. Ouida Dickey, then Associate Dean of Berry College, and a group of faculty and student representatives decided to found an ERT chapter. In May 1989, a group of representatives from Georgia Tech came to Berry College and laid the groundwork for the Beta chapter of the ERT.  

Past Speakers:

Coca Cola - Frank Ros, Vice President of Hispanic Strategies

Waffle House - Walt Ehmer, President and COO

Southern Company - David Ratcliffe, CEO & President

Chick-Fil-A - Dan Cathy, President and COO

Google - Maureen Schumacher, Director

CompuCredit - Rick W. Gilbert, COO and Co-founder

VF Corporation - Mackey J. McDonald, Chairman and CEO

Federal Election Comm - Hans A. Spakovsky, Commissioner

CNN en Espanol - Christopher Crommett, Senior Vice President

Great American Insurance - Karen Holley Horrell, Corporate Senior Vice President