FAQ about Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

Greater Fort Wayne logo

Greater Fort Wayne logo.

FAQ for Greater Fort Wayne Inc.:

Greater Fort Wayne Inc. Frequently Asked Questions

Greater Fort Wayne Inc. is the new organization that unifies The Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance and Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce. As a single point-of-contact with one voice and one vision, Greater Fort Wayne Inc. will help our community’s economic prosperity and vibrancy flourish.


What’s the name of the new organization?

While the proper name of the organization is Greater Fort Wayne Metro Chamber Alliance Inc., we go by Greater Fort Wayne Inc. Our logo includes service line / departmental subheads, including Member Services, Economic Development and Business Advocacy. Many also refer to the organization as GFW.


What is Greater Fort Wayne Inc.’s mission?

Our mission is our core purpose, our reason for being:

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


And the vision?

Our vision is what we hope to achieve and create:

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.


What’s driving the consolidation?

Stronger alignment of effort: One Vision – One Voice! has been the rallying cry.

The big idea here is not a merger for the sake of a merger. The big idea is what we can do tomorrow, that we could not do yesterday. Greater Fort Wayne Inc. will be a leader, with perspective, vision and resources.

Private and public sector leaders in Fort Wayne and Allen County are intent on positioning our city and county strategically to compete more aggressively on a global scale to grow jobs, spur entrepreneurial activity, attract talent & business investment and engage & develop leaders.

Our higher purpose is to become one of “America’s 100 top cities,” as described in Gallup CEO Jim Clifton’s book, The Coming Jobs War.


What’s the current status? (April 9, 2013)

The Transition Committee—made up of leaders from the Alliance, Chamber, DID, City and County—is making steady progress on the alignment of programs, work plans, budget and other aspects of the consolidation, in addition to a search for a CEO and a new location.

The location search is under way and is expected to be completed by the end of May.

The CEO search is under way and is expected to be complete by the end of June.

A consolidated budget and work plan are in development.

Greater Fort Wayne Inc.’s marketing and communications plan is in development. A new website will roll out after the location and CEO are named.

GFW’s capital campaign will begin in June.


What will happen to the boards?

The current Transition Committee will serve as the Transition Board for GFW through a 6-9 month transition period. By the end of 2013, a new Governing Board will be seated, recognizing that time is needed to give thoughtful consideration toward nomination of a truly diverse and representative group of leaders. The Governing Board is expected to be 35+ directors strong and will be private-sector led.

The boards of directors of the affected organizations are being dissolved and operations/management will become the responsibility of the Transition Board.


Is the DID part of Greater Fort Wayne Inc.?

Because its governance structure is dictated by state statute, the DID will remain its own entity and maintain its current board of directors. It is 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 CEO. The specifics of this relationship will be defined by an agreement being drafted by the two parties.


How will Greater Fort Wayne Inc. relate to regional economic development efforts?

Greater Fort Wayne Inc. will oversee all economic development efforts within Allen County, and will work closely with the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership in its lead marketing role for the region.

The regional Vision 2020 initiative has resulted in a strong Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, and a strong Regional Chamber. Northeast Indiana needs its urban core, Fort Wayne, to be strong as well in order to ensure our region’s competitiveness and long-term success. As such, GFW’s goals will be closely aligned with the priorities of Vision 2020.


What’s different, if each “department” is still doing the same kind of work?

Initially, stakeholders should see no change in service levels or program offerings, and all current programs, initiatives and staff will become part of Greater Fort Wayne Inc. Through the transition, and especially under the leadership of a new CEO, every program will be fully evaluated to ensure that GFW is on the leading edge of community engagement, economic development and member services.

We believe that leveraging our combined assets and programs will allow us to achieve more, and to do so synergistically. Consolidation is not an attempt to do the same with less, or even more with less. Instead, this is an opportunity to re-invent, to shoot for excellence and to raise the bar on our own aspirations and performance as a community. Every decision is being made with the intent that the whole will be greater than the sum of its parts.


Who is on the Transition Board?

  • ?Mark Becker, Fort Wayne Deputy Mayor
  • Zach Benedict, Morrison Kattman 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 at IPFW
  • Pat Sullivan, Hylant Group
  • Bob Taylor, Do it Best
  • Ron Turpin, Lincoln Financial


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