Emerging Leaders Alliance Positions Young Leaders to Get Involved

December 4th, 2017

It was just a few years ago when I remember first hearing this outrageous new idea – hosting a two-day, multi-stage music festival in downtown Fort Wayne. At first, I didn't quite know what to think. College was over and I was working a full-time job in downtown Fort Wayne. I had yet to go to a music festival myself. However, I was compelled to change that.  

Then I purchased tickets to Firefly, a nationally recognized music festival in Dover, Delaware. After attending Firefly, I learned that a music festival provided an unbelievable experience and I came back inspired to see an event like this blossom in Northeast Indiana.

As a music fanatic, I believe that Middle Waves has the potential to transform from a humble Midwestern festival into a nationally-recognized festival that plays a key role in attracting talent to Northeast Indiana.

In the first year of the festival, I participated just as an attendee. Then, the next year I jumped at the first opportunity to impact the community and Middle Waves as the Ticket Coordinator.

My role included leading the operations around ticket sales for the festival. As a developing young leader, this was a big opportunity to plan for and ultimately lead a team of volunteers providing a great experience for festival-goers.

Except for a few hiccups, which is typical for any large-scale event, the weekend of the festival was executed extremely well across the entire team of volunteers.

I can still recall my favorite memory of Middle Waves 2017. I was watching the national headliner, MGMT, and I remember looking out across the thousands of people in attendance in awe. It was a moment that still brings me chills. It validated all the things I believe about Northeast Indiana – that this is a place to be proud of. We are more than cool enough, and we are a region experiencing momentum unlike any other. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

Most of my volunteer involvement revolves around developing a better Northeast Indiana. That’s why I serve as president of the Emerging Leaders Alliance (ELA). Our mission is to develop a community of future leaders and create opportunities for action, growth and regional pride.

It was through my involvement with the ELA that opened the door to serve as the Ticket Coordinator for Middle Waves. My community involvement goes beyond that, too, as I now sit on the steering committee for year three of Middle Waves.

I encourage other young professionals to learn more about the ELA and how you can make an impact in the community you call home.

To learn more about the ELA, visit the website or contact Rachel Stephens.

- By Brad Hartman, President of the ELA

Categories & Tags Emerging Leaders Alliance