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Emerging Leaders Alliance

The Importance of Young Leadership

Today's young professionals are risk takers, innovators, doers, and creators. We are a generation of young leaders just like you, and we are influencing the progress of Northeast Indiana.

The Emerging Leaders Alliance (ELA) is a network of young professionals committed to developing a community of future leaders and together creating opportunities for action, growth, and regional pride.

The ELA is a young leader's place for advancement, growth, and powerful possibility.

ELA members are appointed by members of the Regional Opportunities Council, the Regional Partnership's investor board. Serving as an advisory body to the Regional Partnership and supporting the Vision 2030 initiative, the ELA works to help the region maximize its potential and become an even greater place where businesses and people can thrive.

What do Emerging Leaders Want in Northeast Indiana?

A voice. Emerging leaders in our region want the opportunity to have a seat at the table and to be involved in the happenings of our communities.

These young leaders are looking for volunteer and mentoring opportunities, the chance to pursue higher education and the ability to support local businesses. They’re also looking to be able to use their voice as a means of community advocacy, political action and promoting the visibility of non-profit organizations.

Being in the ELA, young professionals are given the chance to work side-by-side with CEOs and business executives in the region’s 11 counties.

Young professionals, with their unique position in the workplace, are critical to the success of our communities and the region. A mix of desire and passion makes young professionals quite magnetic, and this passion is what fuels the region’s progress.

The Regional Partnership and the ELA are working to achieve three goals by 2030 — we call this plan Vision 2030.

  • Increase per capita personal income (PCPI) to 90 percent against the national average
  • Grow population to 1 million residents
  • Increase the percentage of Northeast Indiana residents with high-quality degrees or credentials to more than 60 percent

Why Young Professionals?

The ELA was originally established as the Millenial Leaders Alliance following the outcome of a 2012 survey of 2,700 millennials in Northeast Indiana, which asked young residents in our area for their thoughts on the region’s greatest assets and biggest challenges.

The results were eye-opening. We learned that in order to compete in the global marketplace, increase business investment, and attract and retain a talented workforce, we needed to include the voice of our future leaders. Those future leaders include you.

And they’re right.

Young leadership, innovation, and grit are critical to helping Northeast Indiana increase business investment and compete in the global marketplace. 

Involvement Matters

“What I love most about Northeast Indiana is the inclusion of young leaders. My voice as a young leader is valued in the ELA. I love being involved in our community. The last couple of years have really changed for me here in Northeast Indiana, and I know it's because I chose to get more involved. Opportunities like the ELA are so important,” said Justin Hayes, ELA member and Small Business Lending Officer at Lake City Bank.

Meet Our Current Members

  • Alison Podlaski - Barrett McNagny
  • Andie Mosley - AWS Foundation
  • Baily Beiswanger - Micropulse Inc.
  • Brad Hartman - Ash Brokerage
  • Brianna Tackett 
  • Christen Wheeler - 80/20 Inc.
  • Conner Wheeler - Don Ayres Honda
  • Claudia Krock - Fort Wayne Metals
  • Colton Geiger - Zimmer Biomet
  • Courtney Harvey - Honeywell Foundation
  • Crystal Ringer - Trine University 
  • Dan Gabbard - The Zacher Company
  • Dani Falk Fredrickson - Ash Brokerage
  • Derek Lamle - Katz, Sapper & Miller
  • Dustin Grogg - Brotherhood Mutual
  • Eldin Hasic - Faegre Baker Daniels
  • Elizabeth Hire - Pathfinder Services
  • Emily Owen - Whittle Strategic Accounting 
  • Jaclyn Hartwell - Central Insurance
  • Jake Coker - Group Delphi
  • Jamie Holt - 3Rivers Federal Credit Union
  • Jared Wurtzel - PNC Bank
  • Justin Hayes - Lake City Bank
  • Lindsay Boidock - PNC Bank
  • Lucas Weick - Embassy Theatre
  • Megan Grimes - MKM architecture + design
  • Mike Niezer - Design Collaborative
  • Molly Stronczek - Britton Marketing & Design
  • Morgan Ferguson - Steel Dynamics, Inc.
  • Morgan Miller - C&A Tool
  • Nicole Kurut - Catholic Charities 
  • Rachel Stephens - Brand Innovation Group
  • Ross Hensley - Physicians Health Plan of Northern Indiana
  • Ross Messer - INGUARD
  • Sami Blair - Fort4Fitness
  • Seth Sailors - Katz, Sapper & Miller
  • Sean Weigand - Building Contractors Association 
  • Shannah Markley - Flagstar Bank
  • Taylor Vanover - Clean Fuels National 
  • Thayne White - West Point Financial Group
  • Tiana Maclin - WFFT-TV
  • Tom Tippman - New York Life