published Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Ex-whistle-blower, convict to speak at Chattanooga prayer breakfast

Mark Whitacre, a former Fortune 500 executive, former FBI informant and federal convict, will be the featured speaker for the 35th Chattanooga Area Leadership Prayer Breakfast.

Now chief operating officer and president of operations at Cypress Systems Inc., a food ingredient company in Madera, Calif., he was the highest-ranking executive of any Fortune 500 company in U.S. history to become a whistle-blower when he helped uncover a price-fixing scandal at ADM in the early 1990s. He later was convicted of embezzlement.

Whitacre's subsequent work with the FBI was the inspiration for the motion picture "The Informant," which starred Matt Damon.

The prayer breakfast will be April 30 at 7 a.m. at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Doors will open at 6:45 a.m.

Free parking is available at Finley Stadium. A free shuttle bus will transport attendees from Finley Stadium to the convention center every five minutes, beginning at 6:15 a.m.

The purpose of the event, according to its executive committee, is to "encourage morality and ethics in the lives of all people in positions of leadership in business, government and in professions."

Tickets are $20 and may be ordered online at or by sending a check to Prayer Breakfast, c/o Jackson Wingfield, 2205 Holtzclaw Ave., Chattanooga, TN 37405.

For more information, call Carol Brown at Wingfield Scale at 698-0100 or email

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