Emerging Leaders Alliance: 5 Questions with Katie Robinson

March 7th, 2017

Katie Robinson, 27, has worked at the Fort Wayne International Airport for almost 3 years after a previous position with Visit Fort Wayne. She has been married for the last 3 years and lives in Allen County. As a member of the ELA for almost 2 years, she hopes to do more in our community and be involved in continuing to improve the quality of life in Northeast Indiana. 


As an emerging leader, who are you?

I am still finding who I am as a leader but I have been given opportunities recently to move into leadership roles. I am more introverted. I am not the first to speak up in meetings but my wheels are always turning in my head. I am always taking notes and listening to others. As a leader, I am a listener that has a lot of thought about how people are feeling. I want to understand them and I want to be a collaborator. In the jobs I have had so far in my career at Visit Fort Wayne and Fort Wayne International Airport, I love that they bring a sense of community. They have taught me how to talk to others about how awesome Fort Wayne and the outer regions are. I want to help lead the effort and be a voice to let others know that where we live is awesome. That concept has really drawn me in and pushed me towards believing in our future.


What counties do or have you lived in here in Northeast Indiana?

I have lived in Allen County most my life. I attended Carroll High School and then went to IPFW before graduating from Ball State University in 2013 with a major in public relations and a minor in marketing. Since then, I have lived in the northwest central area of Fort Wayne before moving to the suburbs, but I still have a lot of love for the heart of our city. 


What do you love about Northeast Indiana?

I love how diverse Northeast Indiana is geographically and culturally. You can have so many different and great experiences without having to go far away. Fort Wayne has the city vibe, and my family has a lake house in Noble County on Sylvan Lake in Rome Ciy. There's an ice cream shop there that I love. There are also really cool niche small towns like Huntington. My husband and I love Antiqology in Huntington County. They have great sodas. I also love going to Amish Country in LaGrange County in the summer. There have been so many great experiences so far and I can't wait to explore more.


What would you like to see in Northeast Indiana in the future?

I would like to see people that live here take more ownership and love the heck out of our region. In my circle, it can be easy to be a champion for this city but it hasn't always been that way. There are a lot of people that live here that haven't taken the time to see what our region has to offer. Northeast Indiana is awesome but not just because of the job opportunities. Things are changing downtown at an incredible rate. I'd love for that to grow even more and change on a higher level. I want to see more people at festivals, more people talking about our regions' strengths, and more people owning the positive aspects of living here.


What is something that you have done in Northeast Indiana that you never expected to do?

Live here. Before things started changing downtown, the mentality was different. When I was in high school, the mentality was to leave and never come back. I knew people in Indy and Chicago that looked down on Fort Wayne. I used to have that mentality. Then I started exploring. I would sneak out with friends and explore downtown and photograph it. We loved it. I came home to Fort Wayne because of my fiancé. When I started working for Visit Fort Wayne, I fell in love with Fort Wayne more than ever. Because of my husband's career we have had the opportunity to move to a larger city but we made a commitment to live here. We want to buy a house here and have kids here. I used to think that I had to move away to succeed and have fun, but that just isn't true. I am here to stay and in it for the long haul.



by Stephen J. Bailey for the Emerging Leaders Alliance, a program of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership

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