Emerging Leaders Alliance: 5 Questions with Brett Gauger
Brett, 24, is the youngest of three boys. He has lived in Allen County since 1997. He graduated from IPFW in 2015 with a major in Health Services Administration. He has been a member of the Emerging Leaders Alliance since 2015. He is currently a Brand Advocacy Coordinator at Cyclone Social in Fort Wayne were he has worked since February, 2016.
As an emerging leader, who are you?
I am a person who has a passion to build and expand pride in Northeast Indiana. I feel a sense of empowerment to make change for the future and guide the people of tomorrow into a new path. I want to connect people in the region with their goals and purpose here. It is my work and my way of crafting it. This region is small enough to make change but big enough to see the difference. If you want to add fuel to a movement in Northeast Indiana you can because of the pride people have here. Dedication and devotion is a big part of being an active leader in our community. We can't move forward without some idea of leadership and progress. Without leaders we would all be stagnant.
What counties do or have you lived in here in Northeast Indiana?
I live in Allen County. My experience is that there are different categories in Allen County. Urban settings are where I spend a lot of my time. I love the progress and initiatives happening in these areas. I also spend time in southwest Fort Wayne because it's where I grew up. However, I also love rural areas from northeast Fort Wayne to Leo-Cedarville. There is so much more than just Fort Wayne in Northeast Indiana. It is the second largest city in Indiana but it is surrounded by little towns that support it and make it great. I used to live in Aboite Township but now live in the expansion of the City of Fort Wayne. Each area of Fort Wayne has its own identity, and I love exploring all of it.
What do you love about Northeast Indiana?
I love the people. I want to be a friend to all and to those that are receptive to my friendship. What has happened here in the region is due to what everyone has done together. One of our pillars is the hope of what everyone sees coming. I love the activity that is growing in so many areas here. Each county has their own identity. It's not just the people but the drive of the people to work together and get the ball rolling that is so appealing to me. Some of my favorite things in Northeast Indiana are the streets of Downtown Fort Wayne, the McMillen Ice Arena in southeast Fort Wayne, exploring the east coast feel of Roanoke's art and architecture, the character of Auburn, and the growth of entertainment and dining found at the Dupont and Lima Road intersection.
What would you like to see in Northeast Indiana in the future?
I would love to see more growth in youth engagement. This is a great way to expand and build for the future. I want to see more of an outreach towards organizations that are community based. We need to build partnerships with others. I believe that like-minded company can build a larger movement than it can alone. More youth empowerment and engagement is the key to attaining our goals and an all-around better environment.
What is something that you have done in Northeast Indiana that you never expected to do?
I stayed and went to college here. When I was a senior at Homestead High School, I felt going somewhere else was the only way to change myself. When I thought it through, I didn't see much advantage of getting out of here. Staying here allowed me to become a great human being and dig in deep to be a member of the community. I went to IPFW for my first semester of college. I thought I would transfer to somewhere else but I saw that by staying here, I could get closer to a community that I love. I wanted to get closer. I believe my reason to live is to stay in this region and connect with those around me.
by Stephen J. Bailey for the Emerging Leaders Alliance, a program of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership