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April 5 , 2005
CONTACT: Ward Mullens
734.487.4400
ward.mullens@emich.edu

EMU College of Business recognizes president of Gene Codes Corp. with Merlanti Ethics Award

YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University’s College of Business presented its 2005 Merlanti Ethics Best Practices Award to Howard Cash, founder and president of Gene Codes Corp. of Ann Arbor.

The award was presented to Cash at the COB’s annual awards banquet April 1.

“We had outstanding candidates this year and the decision was a challenge,” said John Waltman, director of the Merlanti Ethics Program at EMU. “What tipped the scale was Cash’s strong ethical leadership at Gene Codes Corporation, his positive modeling of corporate social responsibility and his clear sense of humility.”

Gene Codes Corp. is an international bioinformatics firm specializing in research software for DNA sequencing and analysis.

Cash and his company put a major project on hold in order to assist with the identification of the victims of Sept. 11. While the original contract with New York was for $10 million, Cash billed only for real hours and expenses for a lower total.

“We made a decision early on not to try to profiteer on this project,” Cash said in an interview with Bio-Tech magazine. “If in the process we had brought some comfort to these hundreds of families, but in the end we had lost the company, I would still have thought we had made a good investment and the right decision,” said Cash.

“Most ethical dilemmas are not a choice between right and wrong, but rather a choice that has to be made between two meritorious arguments. For the World Trade Center project, we allocated nearly 100 percent of our technical staff to developing the tools used to identify the remains of those killed so that they could be returned to their families,” Cash said.

Gene Codes Corp. was founded in 1988 and developed a computer program which helps scientists identify and map all human genes.

The award is part of the Ernest and Jeanne Merlanti Ethics Initiative, which was established in December 2001. The initiative was created to help with the pressing need for expanded business ethics training.  The initiative is named for Ernest and Jeanne Merlanti, of Ann Arbor, area business leaders and entrepreneurs. The Merlantis founded Personnel Systems, Inc. in 1970, to help resolve problems other companies faced in hiring quality employees, including the need to screen resumes and interview and qualify candidates.

Eastern Michigan University is a public comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.

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Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.


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