The community visitation program provides a platform to accelerate transformational change in greater Fort Wayne by bringing business and community leaders together to learn from other community’s and to bring those lessons back to adapt for our own success. Community leadership visits offer the opportunity to learn from model communities who have successfully implemented the changes Fort Wayne desires.
The goal of the community visitation program is to inspire vision, change, and collaboration for a better community.
2015 Inter-City Visit: Grand Rapids & Kalamazoo
The 2015 Inter-City Visit will explore the cities of Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids on October 29th and 30th. Participants will spend two days learning from two best-in-class cities and their efforts to stimulate and grow their economies and communities. We might even call it a tale of two cities!
In 2014 the Brookings Institute named Grand Rapids, Michigan as the 9th fastest growing economy among the 300 largest metros in the world. Located less than an hour south, Kalamazoo was named 69th on the same list. Both cities have experienced a resurgence, if not a renaissance. Grand Rapids is home to a newly revitalized downtown scene, and the world-renowned ArtPrize, while Kalamazoo has capitalized on its pharmaceutical and medical science industry strengths, and is becoming a leader in the craft brewing industry. Both cities are prime examples for greater Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana as we look to grow and improve our economy and quality of place.
Our agenda begins with a stop in Kalamazoo to learn from Southwest Michigan First Group of Companies, a cluster of privately funded economic development advisors who act as a catalyst for economic growth and whose CEO, Ron Kitchens, is the best-selling author of Community Capitalism: Lessons from Kalamazoo and Beyond. Following a visit with the City of Kalamazoo we will continue on to Grand Rapids where we will experience the historic Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. Over the past 30 years Grand Rapids has seen $42 billion in investment that has helped transform this community into a vibrant and growing economy.
There are just 48 seats available for this year’s Inter-City Visit. Registrations are discounted to $1,000 per person, for GFW Inc. Board Members and Investors. Trip cost includes transportation, lodging and meals. The deadline to register is Friday, September 25, 2015. Attendees are required to travel together as part of the program which is also intended to foster conversation, inspire ideas and cultivate relationships as we work together to grow our economy and community.
- 2014 – Des Moines, IA
- 2013 – Reverse City Visit in Fort Wayne – An introspective review of the activity currently happening in our own city.
- 2012 – Wichita, KS
- 2011 – Denver, CO
- 2007 – Chattanooga, TN
- 2006 – Providence, RI
- 2005 – Greenville, SC