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News release from Greater Fort Wayne, Inc.:

Greater Fort Wayne Inc.’s “Something Greater” 2014 Annual Meeting is hosted at the
Fort Wayne Museum of Art

(May 29, 2014) – Greater Fort Wayne Inc. hosted its 2014 Annual Meeting, an event exclusive to its investors, on May 28 at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Over 260 investors were in attendance for the two-hour event that kicked off with a social hour celebration and continued with an hour of presentations from GFW leadership.

Ron Turpin, Chairman of the Greater Fort Wayne Inc. Board of Directors, reported on the accomplishments of forming the organization. Turpin led with the first announcement on April 9, 2013 that the Fort Wayne – Allen County Economic Development Alliance would unify with the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce. He also noted such important milestones as hiring Mark Becker as the CEO, to relocating both former organizations to one office space, to forming the now 60-member Board of Directors for GFW Inc.

During this time, Turpin also honored the 20-member GFW Transition Board for their service with establishing the organization. The Transition Board was recognized for their time, efforts, and dedication.

Greater Fort Wayne Inc. Transition Board

  • Mark Becker, Greater Fort Wayne Inc.
  • Zach Benedict, Morrison Kattman and Menze
  • Mike Christman, Fort Wayne Newspapers
  • Jim Cook, Chase Bank
  • Ben Eisbart, Steel Dynamics
  • Scott Glaze, Fort Wayne Metals
  • Tim Haffner, Faegre Baker Daniels
  • Charlie Heiny, Haller & Colvin
  • Tom Henry, Fort Wayne Mayor
  • Matt Kelley, One Lucky Guitar
  • Terry McDonald, New Haven Mayor
  • Mike Packnett, Parkview Health
  • Mac Parker, Cole Foundation
  • Pat Pasterick, Design Collaborative
  • Jill Kinder, NIPSCO
  • Nelson Peters, Allen County Commissioner
  • John Stafford, Community Research Institute
  • Pat Sullivan, Hylant Group
  • Bob Taylor, Do it Best
  • Ron Turpin, Lincoln Financial Group

The second half of the reporting to the Greater Fort Wayne Inc. investors was delivered by CEO, Mark Becker. Becker focused on the accomplishments since the organization was established on January 1, 2014 and the first year goals of the organization. He began his discussion with explaining the Competitive Index that GFW Inc. has crafted with the help of IPFW’s Community Research Institute. The Competitive Index benchmarks the Fort Wayne MSA against all other 100 mid-sized MSA’s in the Midwest. This index will illustrate GFW’s progress toward the goals that have been established by the Board of Directors.

“We are working hard to move the needle from our current ranking of 52nd out of 100 mid-sized metro areas,” stated Becker. “Our goal is to be in the top quartile in 10 years. This is our commitment to our investors and how we will measure our overall success in the community.”

Becker also noted the goals of the Greater Fort Wayne Inc.’s strategic plan are currently being aligned with the Vision 2020 pillars at the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, and that the focus of the plan is to build a community that appreciates the following assets:

  • A culturally rich community that attracts talent
  • A community with an innovative attitude that is bold and aggressive in its actions
  • A community of collaborative leaders that have aligned efforts and have a common vision
  • A community that nurtures and applauds spirited entrepreneurs
  • A prosperous community that provides both businesses and individuals with opportunities to grow
  • A competitive approach that develops product and markets our unique assets

Two new announcements were made to GFW investors at the meeting:

The first announcement was that on July 1, Leadership Fort Wayne will become staff of Greater Fort Wayne Inc. The department will be named Leadership Development and Community Engagement and it will retain its signature adult program, Leadership Fort Wayne. Another program, called Opportunity Fort Wayne, is in development which aims to provide new to Fort Wayne executives and spouses the opportunity to learn about the community, build a personal network and engage with business and community leaders. In addition to these efforts, the department will take public and private sector leaders on an inter-city visit to Des Moines, Iowa that will provide engagement and idea generating opportunities for our own community.

The Downtown Improvement District is also working towards a similar arrangement with Greater Fort Wayne Inc. through a memorandum of understanding between both governing bodies. Discussions between both groups are still ongoing as they work towards a formal affiliation agreement.

The second announcement launched the Economic Development department’s Business Retention and Expansion program called, GFW On-Site. GFW On-Site is the outreach program that helps GFW staff better understand what businesses need to succeed in the community. This program will allow the staff to trend aggregate data captured from businesses in Allen County to better provide programs and assistance to help them grow their operations.

The evening ended with a special presentation from Matt Kelley, owner of One Lucky Guitar, Metavari, a local group of musicians, and dAnce.Kontemporary, inspiring the meeting attendees to Be Part of Something Greater.

Sponsors for Greater Fort Wayne Inc.’s, “Something Greater” 2014 Annual Meeting, include:

  • Fort Wayne–Allen County Airport Authority
  • NIPSCO
  • BF Goodrich
  • Indiana Michigan Power
  • Markey’s Rental & Staging
  • Asher Agency
  • Steel Dynamics, Inc.
  • One Lucky Guitar

 

About Greater Fort Wayne Inc.
Greater Fort Wayne Inc. is the new organization that unifies the Fort Wayne?Allen County Economic Development Alliance and the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce, serving as a single point of contact for economic growth in greater Fort Wayne. In addition, Leadership Fort Wayne and the Downtown Improvement District are also working toward an affiliation with Greater Fort Wayne Inc. Together, we’re growing a more prosperous, vibrant community in greater Fort Wayne. To learn more about Greater Fort Wayne Inc., visit www.GreaterFortWayneInc.com.

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