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Nike's U.S. Central Region General Manager Larry Harper Named African-American Person of the Year By His Peers

Nike's U.S. Central Region General Manager Larry Harper Named African-American Person of the Year By His Peers

Published 03-07-05

Submitted by Nike Inc.

Beaverton, OR - Larry Harper, General Manager for Nike's U.S. Central Region, joined a group of his peers at Nike's world headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. last week to celebrate the close of a series of employee-led events celebrating Black History Month. Held in the Stanford Theater inside the company's Tiger Woods Conference Center, guests listened as a group of speakers and musicians spoke to this year's theme of "One Belief Springs a Dream," celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Niagara Movement. A precursor to the NAACP that was spurred by W.E.B. DuBois, the Niagara Movement is considered to be the earliest organized effort of the civil rights movement.

Toward the end of the two-hour event--and much to Harpers's surprise--it became apparent that he was the focus of the celebration as Karen Spencer, General Counsel for Nike Golf and Chair of Nike's African-American Diversity Network, named him Nike's African-American Person of the Year.

"In his time with Nike, Larry Harper has been an inspiration for not only this company's African-American employees, but for all who have worked side-by-side with him," said Spencer. "Larry leads by example and with passion, whether it be within the African-American Network, in his daily business duties or in the many contributions he's made to the community."

Harper has donated his time to numerous community organizations, including Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Park District, the Uhlich Children Advantage Network, First Step Basketball Program, the Otis Wilson Foundation and Cabrini-Green Tutoring Program. He currently serves on the board of directors of PUSH Excel, a program that focuses on keeping inner-city youths in school and providing them with job placement.

Nike's African-American employee network is one of six voluntary employee networks at Nike honoring diversity in the following areas: African-American; Asia-Pacific Islander; Disabled; Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender; Latino; and Native American. The African-American Network's goal is to connect Nike employees with the community and likewise bring the company's passion for honoring diversity to others. The network has organized Black History Month celebrations for the last six years, and at the conclusion of the month, honors one outstanding individual for his or her accomplishments within the network, Nike and his or her community.

Harper joined Nike in 1999 as the company's Director of Global Sales Strategic Planning. In his current role, Harper works out of Nike's Westchester, IL office in a newly created position, leading the development of Nike's central United States business region. Prior to working for Nike, Harper held positions at Proctor & Gamble, Polaroid, SC Johnson and Warner Brothers Home Video. Harper received an MBA from the University of Redlands in Redlands, CA in 1995 and his BS in Education from Miami University in Ohio in 1975, where he was an all-conference football player.

About Nike
NIKE, Inc., based in Beaverton, Oregon USA, is the world's leading designer and marketer of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Nike recognizes the value of diversity, and honors diversity in its hiring practices, employee benefits, business practices and corporate culture. For more information, visit www.nikeresponsibility.com.

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Nike Inc.

Nike Inc.

NIKE, Inc. based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly-owned NIKE subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories and Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes surf and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories. For more information, visit www.nikeinc.com.

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