Chicago's Own John W. Rogers, Jr. Embodies the Burnham Spirit
Chairman and CEO of Ariel Investments Honored at the 20th Annual Burnham Award Dinner
Scott Swanson (left) and Andrew McKenna (right) present the Burnham Award to John Rogers, Jr.
Chicago – Hundreds of attendees, including many of Chicago’s top business leaders, joined the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce at the Hilton Chicago on Thursday, November 10 to celebrate the accomplishments of John W. Rogers, Jr., the 2011 Burnham Award winner.
Each year, the Chamber presents the Burnham Award to an individual who best embodies Daniel Burnham’s philosophy of “make no little plans”. The winner acts as a civic leader of today and uses their leadership and vision to shape the city of the future.
John W. Rogers, Jr. has made a significant positive impact on Chicago’s business community. He founded Ariel Investments in 1983 to focus on undervalued small and medium-sized companies. Beyond Ariel, John is a regular financial contributor to Forbes Magazine and currently serves as a board member of Aon Corporation, Exelon Corporation and McDonald’s Corporation. Additionally, he is a former chairman of the Economic Club of Chicago, a director of the Chicago Urban League, a trustee of the University of Chicago and a member of the board of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, where he chairs the investment committee.
After the award reception dinner, Andrew McKenna introduced award winner John Rogers, Jr., discussing what makes him such an important leader in Chicago’s business community.
“I’ve had the privilege of serving on a number of boards with John – he is a man of great passion, of great intellect,” McKenna said. “I can’t think of anyone more deserving for this award.”
Rogers’ acceptance speech focused on the important role minority companies, particularly African-American companies, play in Chicago. A city that was once a hub for thriving minority companies has lost some of that distinction in recent years, and Rogers spoke on how we can make Chicago an attractive place for minority companies once more.
“Those companies are so important to our city,” Rogers said. “They create a lot of jobs, they create a lot of philanthropy, and we lost a lot of that. It’s important for us to bring that back.”
Before and after the reception dinner, attendees had the chance to win several exciting prizes during the silent auctions. Prizes ranged from a three night stay world-class resort in Abu Dhabi to tickets to Chicago Cubs, White Sox and Blackhawks games. Presenters and attendees also paid tribute to former Chamber Board Chairman Jim Tyree, who passed away in March after a battle with cancer.
Chamber Board of Directors Vice-Chair Scott Swanson closed the evening with more praise directed at Rogers.
“Your leadership in business and your commitment to our region’s civic and charitable causes epitomize Daniel Burnham’s ‘make no little plans’ vision,” Swanson said. “Your work and tireless efforts on behalf of Chicago and its communities inspire each and every one of us to reach our full potential in all of our endeavors.”
Click here to view photos of the event on Flickr.