September 26th is National Compliance Officer Day. For the next few weeks, ECI will be highlighting a number of our members in celebration of their contribution to our industry. Our goal is to share some insight on two of the groups that comprise ECI’s membership – established CECOs, new CECOs and those who desire to be a CECO.
A conversation with Scott Roney and David Childers, Senior Vice President, ECI.
David Childers (DC) - Please meet a good friend and former Chairman of ECI's board, Scott Roney. Scott is the Vice President - Global Compliance for Adient, and was formerly a partner in the law firm Compliance Systems Legal Group (CSLG), a boutique firm practicing exclusively in the areas of corporate governance, compliance and ethics. Before joining CSLG, Scott was Vice President, Compliance and Ethics for Archer Daniels Midland Company and served as the Company’s chief compliance and ethics officer with responsibility for the global compliance/ethics program and interaction with regulatory bodies worldwide. He led and directed a global team of compliance professionals with responsibilities in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Prior to concentrating on ethics and compliance, Scott served as corporate counsel to Archer Daniels Midland and practiced law in the corporate and securities group of the Nashville law firm Farris, Warfield & Kanaday.
Scott and I met each other many years ago as part of the charter members of the Open Compliance and Ethics Group. We worked together crafting the OCEG Red Book which served our industry by helping to shape the initial formal guidelines for a “Sox compliant” compliance program.
When I sat down with Scott, I asked him the same question I plan to ask each of our highlighted CECOs. First, how did you get into E&C, what creates your commitment to E&C, and where are you with your career journey. This is what Scott had to say.
Scot Roney (SR) - I got engaged - starting in mid-90s when I was asked by ADM’s GC to research the US Sentencing Guidelines and make a recommendation about whether the company (a manufacturing company) should have a formal compliance program.
E&C exposes you to a wide variety of legal issues and is always challenging because you have to learn new things constantly.
- Scott Roney
DC – Scott it is hard to believe that the thought of a formal compliance program only dates back to the mid-90’s.
SR – It is indeed. This was before many industrial concerns, with perhaps the exception of defense contractors, had E&C programs. After reviewing the USSG my recommendation was “yes” and I was always involved from then on. About 5 years later, I made a recommendation to turn the compliance officer into a dedicated full-time role and was asked if I would take the role if the recommendation was implemented.
DC – so Scott, why do you like E&C as a career?
SR - E&C exposes you to a wide variety of legal issues and is always challenging because you have to learn new things constantly. I also take pride that my work is good for the interests of shareholders, employees and communities.
DC – do you miss the practice of traditional law?
SR – not really, I find that E&C layers on top of the challenge of giving legal advice with the challenge of impacting people's behavior. I like being focused on preventing problems before they happen.
DC – Scott you have enjoyed a rewarding career with some great companies and firms. Where are you on your personal career path?
SR - Where am I in my journey - that's a little tougher. I have a great job with a global company - world's largest manufacturer of seats for vehicles. We are in an exciting time because of our recent spin-off from Johnson Controls and standing up as an independent publicly traded company. This role is interesting and challenging and could certainly keep me occupied for years to come. I would like to continue to share my experience and expertise with others in our field, even once I officially retire from the corporate world at some point. I enjoy the field and the passion for those who are in it and want to support development of knowledge and people as long as I can.
DC – Thanks Scott. It is members like you who are willing to mentor and support newer members to our community that gives me confidence in the good work we can do ahead.