NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. — As Mark Whitacre, COO of Cypress Systems, Inc., walked the red carpet on September 15 during the premiere of “The Informant,” he had something to say: he is NOT the same man who blew the whistle on his employer in the early 1990’s, putting him in the spotlight of one of the largest price-fixing schemes in corporate history and ultimately landing him in federal prison for over eight years.
Whitacre is the subject of the already-heralded Oscar contender movie starring Matt Damon, which premieres in New York City on September 15 at the legendary Ziegfeld Theater and begins a roll-out to theaters nationally on September 18. The movie tells the story of Whitacre’s horrific experience from company man, to corporate whistleblower and FBI undercover informant, to convict. But the movie ends where Whitacre’s real life begins. His prison sentence marked the beginning of a remarkable 180-degree turn from his focus on corporate greed to a life as an “agent of change.”
It was during the early part of his incarceration that Whitacre says his life actually took a turn for the better. “For me, it took going to prison to figure out what really matters in life,” says Whitacre. “I thought money and success would bring me happiness, but I was fortunate enough to figure out by losing it all that the only thing that really matters in life is serving others.”
Whitacre’s primary focus now is helping others, namely generating awareness of cancer prevention. His employer, Fresno, CA-based Cypress Systems, Inc. (www.cypsystems.com), manufactures a branded selenium ingredient, SelenoExcell(R), which has been shown to reduce prostate, colon and lung cancer by as much as 63 percent. Whitacre’s Ph.D. work at Cornell University focused on the health benefits related to the biochemical role of selenium, making his new profession a natural transition for him.
His new Web site, www.healthyodds.com, serves as a platform to help him spread the word about health, cancer prevention, and how people can manage their own health by becoming educated and informed. The Web site features tips and information for people on the importance of and how to adopt a healthy lifestyle, as well as resources for information on cancer and cancer prevention from experts and advocacy groups.
Whitacre’s authorized biography, “Mark Whitacre Against All Odds” (ISBN-13: 978-1441541338) was recently published and provides an intimate snapshot of his and his family’s journey through his life before, during and after incarceration, and his very personal sharing of the lessons learned through his experiences.
Commenting on his redemptive transformation and the effects it has had on his life and career, Mark reflects on his path: “I would not be alive today if not for my wife, Ginger. She has always focused on serving others and that is why she forced me to blow the whistle on the cartel in order to protect consumers. From her, I learned that serving others is the only way to bring true happiness into our lives. I am also incredibly grateful for the opportunity to serve others by using my education and professional career at Cypress to further the critical cause of cancer prevention. Advocation became my vocation.”
For more information about Mark Whitacre visit www.markwhitacre.com and www.markwhitacreagainstallodds.com .
About Cypress Systems, Inc.
Cypress Systems, Inc. is a manufacturer of premium food forms of organically bound minerals and nutritional yeast products, which are distributed throughout the global nutraceutical, functional food and animal nutrition markets. CEO/President Paul A. Willis founded Cypress Systems, Inc. in 1995 with the primary goal of developing a specialty fermentation, biotechnology and nutritional yeast company. For more information about the company, SelenoExcell(R), our Branding Partners and how to become one, and the Excell Health Campaign, visit www.cypsystems.com .