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Krannert, Boiler Business Exchange Announce Inaugural Business Hall of Fame Inductees

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Boiler Business Exchange of Indianapolis, Inc. (BBE) has teamed with Purdue’s Krannert School of Management to unveil its inaugural Business Hall of Fame class. The Business Hall of Fame has been created to acknowledge and showcase esteemed business leaders who have achieved exceptional success in the business arena and have predominant ties to both Purdue and the State of Indiana.

The inaugural class will be inducted at the Krannert Leadership Speakers Series Dinner to be held at the Indiana Roof on September, 29th at 6:30 pm. Event highlights include a video introduction of each inductee, a keynote speech by David Boudia, a Purdue alum and Olympic gold medalist, recognition of Krannert distinguished alumni, and comments from Purdue President Mitch Daniels and Krannert Dean David Hummels.

The 2016 inaugural Class of BBE’s Business Hall of Fame include: Robert Bowen, Jim Dora Sr., Charlie Jones, Fred Klipsch, Eugene Parker, and Jerry Semler.

Robert L. Bowen – Civil Engineering ’62 Founder and CEO of Bowen Engineering Corporation, a national general contractor for water/wastewater and power projects. The company has been recognized as a Top 25 Best Places to Work in America. In addition to his business success of Bowen, Bob is devoted to his community. His contributions include board or leadership roles with: Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, Fine Arts Society of Indianapolis; Big Brothers-Big Sisters, Center for Leadership Development, and Indiana Commission for Higher Education.

For their generous philanthropic efforts, The Bowens received the Outstanding Philanthropist Award. These efforts include: Bowen Foundation – providing post-high school scholarships to underprivileged students in Marion County; Science Bound, a Purdue program to encourage students from Indianapolis Public Schools to pursue sciences and technology careers; and their endowment toward the Robert L. and Terry L Bowen Laboratory for Large-Scale Civil Engineering Research in addition to its Bowen Laboratory Student Advisory Council (BSAC). Bob’s additional honors include: Michael A. Carroll Award, Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from Purdue University, Honorary Doctor of Business Administration from University of Evansville, Distinguished Member of ASCE award, ASCE OPAL Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Construction, and Indianapolis Public Schools Hall of Fame. Bob is a graduate of the esteemed Harvard OPM Program (Owner/President Management).

James E. Dora Sr. – Management ’78 Jim founded General Hotels Corporation, a developer and operator of award-winning hotels throughout Central Indiana. He enjoyed remarkable success in his other life affiliations as well – Sigma Chi Fraternity, Purdue University, and the city of Indianapolis. Too numerous to mention, his achievements include: several national Sigma Chi awards – Significant Sig of Sigma Chi, Sigma Chi Hall of Fame, and Order of the Constantine; involvement in numerous Purdue endeavors – Chairman to the President’s Council, Vision 21 Capital Campaign, Advisory Board for the RHIT Hotel School, a Purdue Order of the Griffin, and an Honorary Doctorate Degree; and active in numerous Indianapolis board and committees – Capital Improvement Board including serving as President ’85-’93, Educational CHOICE Charitable Trust, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, the Corporate Community Council, Downtown Indy, Indianapolis Progress Committee, Indiana State Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Waterways’ Task Force, and the 500 Festival Board of Directors. Jim was named Sagamore of the Wabash twice. Through the James and Shirley Dora Foundation, the Doras quietly provided educational grants to over 200 of Jim’s hotel employees, their children, and grandchildren. He enjoyed 57 years of marriage with his Purdue sweetheart, Shirley and his five children. A posthumous induction, Jim passed away June 2016.

Charles (Charlie) Jones – Science ’49 From the humble beginning of owning a single abstracting and title insurance company, Charlie championed the growth of what is now known as Royal Title Services – boasting multiple branch offices throughout Indiana and servicing the entire nation. Through perseverance and goal setting he created a wide network of real estate related companies which manage, develop, invest, research and/or insure residential and commercial properties. His volunteer life started with 4-H and church and blossomed into numerous leadership roles, including: Chamber of Commerce, Jaycees, Elks, Moose, Kiwanis, Rotary, Board of Realtors, various Masonic Lodges, in addition to service on both the Indiana and American Land Title Association Boards.

Living near Purdue made it possible to participate in many facets of post-Purdue life. In addition to many decades of supporting and attending football, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball and CREW team, he is a Charter/Life member of the President’s Council, Life Member of the Alumni and John Purdue Clubs, Charter Member of the Friends of Convocations, Founder of the Purdue Club of Boone County, Member of the Purdue Clubs of Clinton, Hendricks, Bartholomew Counties, and Indianapolis, and has visited countless other Purdue Clubs throughout the country. He and his wife, Dr. Elizabeth Jones (’49, ’55 and ’71), were awarded the prestigious Black Coat Award for their continuous support of Purdue.

Frederick S. Klipsch – Industrial Education ’64 Past Chairman and CEO of global speaker manufacturer, Klipsch Group Inc., Fred’s life work exemplifies his multi-faceted leadership philosophy. In addition to the explosive growth of Klipsch Audio Technologies at his helm, at Purdue he has served on its Indianapolis Campaign Steering Committee, Old Masters program, and College of Technology Dean’s Executive Council. He received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Purdue. He was active in Air Force ROTC while at Purdue and served as an officer in the Air Force Space Systems Division in California. While station there, he earned an MBA at California State College, Long Beach. Due to his business acumen, he has been invited to serve on numerous corporate boards. Through his career, Fred has been highly is active in many civic and philanthropic organizations: School Choice Indiana, Hoosiers for Economic Growth, Educational Choice Charitable Trust, and Education Committee for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. He was the recipient of the Central Indiana Business Hall of Fame award, Indiana Heartlands Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and NCEA Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Award in recognition of his lifelong dedication to Catholic education.

Eugene E. Parker – Management ‘78 Eugene was a four-year starter on the Purdue men’s basketball team where he was a team captain for two years and earned All-Big Ten awards and the coveted John Wooden Award as the MVP for Purdue. While he was drafted to play professional basketball, he instead pursued his law degree and enjoyed a successful legal career. He ultimately formed his own firm, Parker & Associates – later renamed to Maximum Sports Management – then merged with other top sports agencies to form Relatively Sports, where he served as CEO of its football division. Eugene was selected by Black Enterprise Magazine in 2005 as a “50 Most Powerful Blacks in Sports”. He has similarly been honored by other media outlets, including Forbes Magazine, Sports Business Journal, Sports Illustrated, and ESPN. He was most proud to be a devoted husband to the love of his life, June and loving father to his five children. A posthumous induction, Eugene passed away March 2016.

Jerry D. Semler – Industrial Economics ‘58 Jerry had an incredibly successful career with insurance giant, American United Life (AUL) Insurance. Starting as a management trainee he rose to the ranks of Chairman, President, and CEO. At Purdue, Jerry has been involved on the President’s Council and Krannert School of Management Dean’s Advisory Council. He is also a graduate of Stanford University Business Executive Program.

His civic contributions are numerous: United Way of Central Indiana, James Whitcomb Riley Memorial Association, “500” Festival Association, Indiana Sports Corporation, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Downtown Indy, Indiana Chamber of Commerce, and Catholic Community Foundation. He was recipient of the Business Leader of the Year by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. Jerry’s honors include: Lifetime Achievement Award from the Indiana Association of Life Underwriters, Unsung Hero Award from Million Dollar Roundtable, twice named Sagamore of the Wabash, Whitney Young Award from the Indianapolis Black Community, and Horatio Alger Award from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Indianapolis.

Net proceeds from event will be used to augment funding for Krannert scholarships. Sponsors of the evening’s event: A.T. Kearney, Boiler Business Exchange, Gadomski Foundation, Eli Lilly, Republic Airways, Inside Indiana Business, Lafayette Printing and Purdue Alumni. Individual tickets are $100 ($50 for expenses and $50 that can be considered a charitable contribution). Tickets can be purchased online:

Boiler Business Exchange of Indianapolis, Inc.

The Boiler Business Exchange of Indianapolis (BBE) was formed by a group of businessmen and women in the Indianapolis area who share a common passion for all things that are Purdue. The goal of the organization is to raise the profile of Purdue University in Indianapolis and to support Purdue University, the Purdue Alumni Association and the John Purdue Club. This is a nonprofit group that has tapped into the business community of Indianapolis to help promote Purdue by hosting high profile events, encouraging attendance at the various Purdue events and keeping its members engaged with the University.