Fort Wayne Taking New Economic Approach, Forms Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

April 9th, 2013

News Coverage:

April 9, 2013

News Release

Fort Wayne, Ind. -- Private and public sector leaders today unveiled "Greater Fort Wayne Inc." as the name of a newly created economic development organization.

Leaders expressed a unified vision for a new beginning of collaboration and positive momentum that will make Greater Fort Wayne the best that it can be.

Today’s announcement is the culmination of efforts that began last year to examine the possible coordination of economic development activities with the goals of stronger alignment and increasing the competitive position of the community.

A steering committee with representatives from the business community, the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance (Alliance), the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce (Chamber), the Downtown Improvement District (DID), the City of Fort Wayne, and Allen County have been studying what the benefits would be of creating a more competitive, opportunity-rich community by aligning the economic development efforts of each entity.

Following a thorough analysis and benchmarking of other cities that have experienced successful transitions, the decision was made to move forward with an integrated organization.

Over the past few months, Parkview Health President and CEO Mike Packnett has served as Transition Chairman to help leaders reach a final decision on a structure and strategy for the new organization.

The boards of directors of the Alliance and Chamber have adopted the new organizational structure and the Chamber membership has ratified the changes. Operations and management have transitioned to the steering committee that now serves as the Transition Board for Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

Due to its governance structure being dictated by state statue, the DID will remain its own entity and maintain its current board of directors. It’s being proposed that the DID will be co-located with Greater Fort Wayne Inc. and that DID staff will have a reporting relationship to the new chief executive officer. Specifics will be defined by an agreement that’s being developed.

A final decision on a location for Greater Fort Wayne Inc. is expected in May. In addition, a selection of a chief executive officer will be made in the next few months.

Economic development efforts by all partners will continue to move ahead to assist current and prospective businesses as the location and executive searches move forward and a consolidated budget and work plan are finalized.

Greater Fort Wayne Inc.s mission: Together, we’re growing a more prosperous, vibrant community in Greater Fort Wayne.

Greater Fort Wayne Inc.'s vision: Greater Fort Wayne will be recognized among the top metro centers in the country, home to innovative business, collaborative leaders, spirited entrepreneurs and a culturally rich, prosperous community.

Goals and objectives for Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

*Achieve more with a common vision
*Grow jobs
*Create entrepreneur-rich landscape
*Attract talent
*Increase business investment
*Engage and develop leaders
*Enhance community’s overall competitiveness

Greater Fort Wayne Inc. Transition Board members
*Mark Becker, Fort Wayne Deputy Mayor
*Zach Benedict, Morrison Kattman and Menze
*Ben Campbell, STAR Bank
*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 Perillo, NIPSCO
*Nelson Peters, Allen County Commissioner
*John Stafford, Community Research Institute
*Pat Sullivan, Hylant Group
*Bob Taylor, Do it Best
*Ron Turpin, Lincoln Financial

Source: City of Fort Wayne

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