Emerging Leaders Alliance: 5 Questions with Brad Hartman
Brad attended St. Francis University for four years where he majored in Business Administration with a minor in Finance and Accounting. He currently works for Ash Brokerage in downtown Fort Wayne. He also resides in downtown and has been a member of the ELA since 2015. His main focus right now is work, volunteering, and building relationships.
As an emerging leader, who are you?
I am passionate about helping others. I have been so fortunate with others helping me out. My job is all about impacting people and making lives better. My career goals are focused around creating impact via leadership decisions and things of that nature. If I could give any advice it would be to know why you are passionate about Northeast Indiana and talk about it to others. I was just talking about this at a conference in D.C. Brag about it. "I'm from Fort Wayne! It's the greatest region!" They are so taken back that they have no choice but to listen.
What counties do or have you lived in here in Northeast Indiana?
I currently live in Allen County. Originally, I am from Union County which is just 2 hours south of here. I moved here as a freshman in college in 2012. My sister has lived here for over a decade. Her husband works at SDI and it's great having her here. I mainly came here for my college experience at St Francis University. I played basketball and had five offers but Coach Lacross from St. Francis University called me to tell me about the Epic Program. This program allows students to get placed with a company and a mentor. Much of what I have done so far I attribute to that program. It allows students to receive a mentor as a sophomore and ideally maintain that relationship for three years. My mentor was Chad Towner, the CEO at Dupont Hospital. We would meet at least quarterly and talk about networking and how to connect. Much of it was goal-focused and really allowed me to grow.
What do you love about Northeast Indiana?
It's easy to move to Chicago or New York or Indy, but I love places that haven't quite figured it out yet but are well on their way. I get to be a part of that process. That is what Fort Wayne is to me.
What would you like to see in Northeast Indiana in the future?
Outside of what is being done with Riverfront, I'd love to see Fort Wayne have the ability to hold things like a national conference. I think the Landing is going to be big. I would love more options to go and have a good night out. Recent options like The Golden have exceeded my expectations. I've lived here for four years and I feel like I'm still exploring what our region has to offer.
What is something that you have done in Northeast Indiana that you never expected to do?
I never expected to live downtown. I never thought that I'd want to do that. I grew up in the country and always thought I'd stay in that setting. If you leave downtown and take Clinton Street south for two hours and take a right, you will end up at my old house. My favorite thing is the open staircase at Ash Brokerage. I get off on the seventh floor and walk up to the eighth floor to view the sunrise. You get to see the old style of the Lincoln Tower with the new things that are happening. I can see the Ash Building lit up from my apartment window when I wake up in the morning. I appreciate how many people there are downtown. It's like a bunch of ants going everywhere in the morning. It amazing to watch. I see so many people in Fortezza in the morning and then Dash In is packed at night. It all really impresses me. My window looks out towards the new downtown SFU campus. I missed that location by one semester but it's great to see the kids coming and going.
by Stephen J. Bailey for the Emerging Leaders Alliance, a program of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership