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‘Influencers, Experiences and Relationships…..Matter”

John E. Harmon, Sr., IOM | 4/4/2016, 2:37 p.m.
For some time now I have been providing my perspective on a monthly basis about the challenges and the triumphs ...
John E. Harmon, Sr

Moreover, during the luncheon, Mr. Rogers spoke about growing up in Chicago, a city with a number of positive influencers including John H. Johnson, Founder of Johnson Publishing, the producers of Ebony and Jet Magazines, and Ebony Fashion Fair; George Johnson, Johnson Products, makers of Afro Sheen; Harold Washington, Chicago’s first and only black Mayor; Carol Mosely Braun, the first black woman in the US Senate. It is also the home of Jessie Jackson, and the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition headquarters, and it is the community that reared a young community organizer named Barack Obama that went on to become the 44th President of the United States.

Mr. Rogers spoke at great lengths during the luncheon about having real life examples of success in his community and the daily flow of encouraging news about representatives and businesses in Chicago. All of which had a cumulative positive effect on the shaping of Ariel Investments and its success today. Mr. Rogers’ 33 years in business is truly remarkable in itself given that according to the Small Business Administration, 50 percent of African American businesses fail in the first 3 to 5 years.

In addition to running a successful multi-billion dollar corporation, Mr. Rogers made the point of how he is a committed advocate of diversity and inclusion through his service on the boards of McDonalds, Exelon and the University of Chicago. He gave a number of examples of his work with the procurement personnel of these organizations to ensure that diversity and inclusion were a part of their core beliefs and when executed properly could provide a societal impact on minority and women owned businesses.

Although Mr. Rogers has become a highly regarded professional in the Financial Services Arena; built a well-recognized global corporation, and co-chaired the inaugural committee for President Obama, he has also concluded that there is value being derived from his membership investment in the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey.

Therefore, I encourage you to continue to support the South Jersey Journal as well as the AACCNJ, because just as in John Rogers case during his early development in Chicago, there are positive and nurturing influencers in New Jersey as well. However, it’s up to you to seek them out and build a mutually beneficial relationship.

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