Applications now available for Leadership Fort Wayne’s 40th year

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Applications are now available for the Leadership Fort Wayne (LFW) program’s Class of 2022. Entering its 40th year, LFW is a premier program that builds leadership skills and increases community awareness, empowering participants to drive positive change. Applications will be accepted through Oct. 18.

“It’s definitely worthwhile,” said Joseph O’Dell, a 2019 program alum. “The connections you make and the things you learn about Fort Wayne make you a better citizen and allow you to work more effectively in and around the community.”

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 an internship of 6-12 months on a local nonprofit organization’s board.

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 discover their unique strengths and passions, and how they can use those gifts to improve our community,” Schrock said. “When we understand who we are and how to serve, we can make a major impact in Fort Wayne and Allen County.”

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), Design Collaborative president Pat Pasterick (Class of 1997), Fort Wayne Black Chamber of Commerce board chair Clifford Clarke (Class of 2001), 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), Fort Wayne UNITED director Iric Headley (Class of 2019), Founders Spark founder Aaron Robles (Class of 2020), 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. To learn more, visit