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Urban League of Northwest Indiana to host 7th annual luncheon

Cimcor founder, and former state senator to be honored at  March 21 event

Business and community leaders, along with minority advocates are invited to join with the Urban League of Northwest Indiana at the 7th Annual Diversity & Inclusion Awards Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. March 21 at the Avalon Manor in Hobart, Indiana.

The event annually attracts more than 500 guests from across Northwest Indiana, according to Dr. Vanessa Allen-McCloud, president and CEO of the Urban League of Northwest Indiana.

“This is a great event to bring people together to celebrate the many organizations supporting our mission of celebrating cultural diversity and expanding economic opportunity across Lake, Porter and La Porte counties,” said Allen-McCloud.

This year, businesses, nonprofits, civic organizations and educational institutions will be showcased, along with two community leaders, for their commitment to diversity across Northwest Indiana.

Purdue University Northwest (PNW) Chancellor Thomas L. Keon, chairman of the Urban League Board of Directors, encourages all organizations to enhance their efforts in behalf of diversity and inclusion.

“Enhancing the social, educational, and economic conditions of underrepresented groups boosts the quality of life of our Region and makes for a better place in which to live and work,” said Keon.

Honorees to be recognized

Allen-McCloud announced that the Minority Business Award will be given to Robert E. Johnson III, president and founder of Cimcor. The Lifetime Achievement Award recipient will be former State Senator Earline Rogers. “These two giants of service represent the vision and spirit we hope will inspire all in our community,” said Allen-McCloud.

Robert E. Johnson IIIJohnson co-founded Cimcor in 1997. His company develops cutting edge IT security software for companies. Additionally, Johnson is an inventor of several patented and patent-pending technologies. Having received an associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees all from Purdue University Northwest, he has authored numerous articles, contributed to several books and spoken at conferences worldwide. Johnson was inducted into the Society of Innovators in 2011 and the NWI Times Business & Industry Hall of Fame in 2017.

Active in the community, Johnson currently serves on the Chancellor’s Council for Purdue University Northwest, board of directors for Methodist Hospitals and is chairman of the board of directors of the Legacy Foundation. Among his numerous previous appointments, he has been a committee co-chair of the Northwest Indiana Good Government Initiative and was appointed by the Governor of Indiana to the Board of Commissioners for the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana (SSACI). He continues to serve as an advisor to departments and committees at Purdue University Northwest, Indiana University Northwest, Valparaiso University and Westwood College.

Indiana Senator Earline Rogers served in the Indiana General Assembly for 38 years beginning with her election as a state representative in 1982. She won election to the Indiana Senate in 1991 and served until her retirement in 2016. Her most notable accomplishment was creating pathways to expand casino gaming in Indiana, which encouraged interstate competition and created jobs across the Region.

Earline Rogers

A proud alumna of the Gary Public School system, Rogers was a tireless advocate for greater educational opportunities for Indiana’s children. She was the ranking Senate Democrat on the Education and Career Development, and Family and Children Services committees where she authored several legislative advancements, including the state’s first bi-literacy program, educational measures to protect students from dating violence, and improvements in school bus safety and teacher training.

Event information

Event tickets are available now. Individual admission is $75 and a small business package of up to three is $175. Six sponsorship levels are available starting at $1,000.

More information about the event, including admission pricing, is available on the web at or by calling 219-887-0020.

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