Celebrating 10 Years of Growth

GFW Inc. Turns 10

As we celebrate this significant milestone, it is important to acknowledge the collective efforts and support of our dedicated team, board members, partners, and the community at large. Together, we’ve achieved remarkable results, from attracting new businesses and creating job opportunities to revitalizing our downtown area and promoting a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Looking back, we’ve navigated through tough times and seized great opportunities. Our dedication to working together, thinking outside the box, and creating an inclusive community has guided our efforts.

As we look ahead to the next chapter of our journey, we remain committed to our mission to drive economic prosperity and enhance the overall well-being of our community. Let’s continue working together, united in our vision for a vibrant and thriving Fort Wayne and Allen County.

Join us in celebrating all we’ve accomplished in the last decade. Here’s to many more achievements to come!


Mike Packnett becomes transitional board chair to guide merger of Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce and Fort Wayne-Allen County Alliance.


Mark Becker is hired as the President and CEO of the newly formed Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

GFW Inc. moves into new office space on the 8th floor of the 1st Source Center building.

GFW Inc. merger is touted as one of the community's "wins".


John Urbahns is hired as the Executive Vice President of Economic Development.

Ron Turpin becomes the Board Chair.

GFW Inc. posts a positive net cash balance.


Eric Doden is appointed President and CEO of GFW Inc.

Susan Wesner hired as CFO.

The first Inter-City Visit takes GFW Inc. and guests to Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, MI, to learn more about their growing economic developments.

Regional Cities Initiative Presentation, GM $1.2B project.


The Target Industry Analysis is conducted.

Launch of the 'Opportunity on the Edge of Greatness' vision. This included 5 key projects over 10 years - Riverfront, Electric Works, Event Center, STEAM Park.


Allen County posts positive net migration for the first time in several years.

GFW Inc. and guests travel to Durham, NC for the second annual inter-City Visit.

Riverfront project receives greenlight to begin development.


Andrew Thomas becomes board chair.

Local funding is secured for Electric Works.

Ground-Breaking ceremony held for The Landing.

GFW Inc. and guests travel to Greenville, NC for the 2018 Inter-City Visit.

GFW Inc. wins Indiana Chamber of the Year.

The Diversity and Inclusion Task Force launches.

GFW Inc. Women's Network is launched.


John Urbahns is promoted to President and CEO of GFW Inc.

Brenda Gerber-Vincent is hired as the Chief Impact Officer

Ellen Cutter is promoted to the Chief Economic Development Officer.

GFW Inc. and guests travel to Louisville, KY for the 2019 Inter-City Visit.

GFW Inc. receives an ACCE communications award.

MadeByMe Coalition is launched.

Ground-Breaking ceremony held for the Bradley.

The Chamber Foundation is dissolved.

The Allen County Business Survey is conducted.


Beth Goldsmith becomes board chair.

Onboard Fort Wayne is launched.

GFW Inc. is a finalist for the ACCE Chamber of the Year.

GFW Inc. made adjustments to events and programs due to COVID.

1400 calls are made to members in two weeks as COVID begins to change the way we did business.

GFW Inc. provided assistance with administering the COVID Cares grant and the COVID resources hub.

GFW Inc. begins hosting webinars with Parkview to support businesses with information and knowledge during the pandemic.


GFW Inc. and guests travel to Carmel and Fishers, IN for the 2021 Intern-City Visit.

GFW Inc. is a finalist for the ACCE Chamber of the Year.

C-Suite Socials program is launched as part of Onboard Fort Wayne.

GFW Inc. staff assist in securing READI grant funds for Allen County.


The Allen County Together (ACT) Plan is implemented.

GFW Inc. hosts the first annual Economic Development Summit.

Zach Benedict becomes board chair.


GFW Inc. and guests travel to Huntsville, AL for the 2023 Inter-City Visit.

Gateways for Growth is launched.

The Intern Experience is launched to introduce Fort Wayne and Allen County to college interns.


GFW Inc. celebrates its 10-year anniversary.

GFW Inc. team works closely with local and state partners to bring Google data center site to southeast Fort Wayne.

Celebrate with us

Join us for our Annual Meeting on June 6!

Be there for our biggest event of the year–featuring music, networking, a look back and celebration of our 10-year anniversary, and much more. It’s an evening that’s sure to make you proud of the momentum that’s made Fort Wayne one of the fastest-growing metros in the region and inspired to keep building a nationally recognized economy.