Applications now available for Leadership Fort Wayne Class of 2021

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Applications are now available for the Leadership Fort Wayne (LFW) program’s Class of 2021. LFW is a premier program that builds leadership skills and increases community awareness to drive positive change. Applications will be accepted through June 30, 2020.

“[LFW] was such an encouragement for me. To see the people in the community and the great things they’re doing, it spurs me on to get more involved,” said Daniel Schmitz, a 2019 program alum. “You can’t help but want to be part of that.”

Cohort members participate in panel discussions with heads of local organizations, discussing the pressing issues and opportunities facing the community. They also receive leadership training, focused on the most pertinent topics in today’s ever-changing society. In addition, class members participate in Community Action Projects, job-shadow experiences, personality and talent assessments, and can serve a one-year internship on the board of a nonprofit organization.

The program is guided by Barry Schrock, Greater Fort Wayne Inc.’s director of leadership programs. He brings nearly 30 years of relevant experience to the role. Schrock previously owned a consulting firm that specialized in leadership training and coaching for individuals, teams, school districts, nonprofits, and private-sector companies. He has also served as a basketball coach, educational leader, a featured keynote and conference speaker, workshop trainer, and a personal coach to numerous C-suite executives including CEOs, vice presidents, and managers.

“We want to help people achieve their full potential and find their niche to serve Fort Wayne and Allen County,” Schrock said. “When we succeed, everybody succeeds–the individuals, their families, their employers, and the community.”

LFW was founded in 1983 to identify, motivate, develop, and train future community leaders. Since that time, LFW, which merged with Greater Fort Wayne Inc. in 2014, has provided more than 1,400 individuals a behind-the-scenes look at all aspects of the community, ranging from the arts to government and economic development. Notable alumni include Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry (Class of 1986), University of Saint Francis president Sr. Elise Kriss (Class of 1988), Allen Circuit Court Judge Thomas J. Felts (Class of 1988), Design Collaborative president Pat Pasterick (Class of 1997), Allen County Homeland Security Director Bernie Beier (Class of 2007), MKM architecture + design principal Zach Benedict (Class of 2008), Fort Wayne–Allen County Airport Authority executive director Scott Hinderman (Class of 2009), Embassy Theatre president / CEO Kelly Updike (Class of 2009), and many more.

Interested individuals can apply online at All applications must include a letter of recommendation, preferably from an LFW alumnus. For additional information, email or call (260) 420-6945.

About Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

Greater Fort Wayne (GFW) Inc. serves Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana, as its metro chamber alliance and primary point of contact for economic growth. GFW Inc. focuses on prosperity and community vibrancy through economic development, advocacy, programs, and resources that support business success, leadership development, graduate retention, and community engagement.