Finalists named for 2023 Champions of Change Awards

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Thirty-nine local leaders have been selected as finalists for the 2023 Champions of Change Awards. The awards celebrate those who mentor and empower women in Allen County. Winners will be announced May 10 at a Greater Fort Wayne (GFW) Inc. Women’s Network dinner.

This year, a winner will be named in each of four categories: corporate, education, nonprofit, and public service.

The finalists in the corporate category are:

Lorie Ailor, The Orthopedic Hospital, Lutheran Health NetworkApril Hinshaw, Cardinal School of Care
Flora Barron, Flora & Lily's Mexican Kitchen / Kanela / PikosoAmanda Muldoon, NAI Hanning & Bean
Megan Crites, MKM architecture + designJarrod Wilson, AEP / Indiana Michigan Power

The finalists in the education category are:

Daniel Boylan, Purdue University Fort WayneKrista Stockman, Fort Wayne Community Schools
Melissa Gruys, Purdue University Fort WayneVeronica Townes, Fort Wayne Community Schools
Giang Petroviak, Purdue University Fort Wayne

The finalists in the nonprofit category are:

Cassie Beer, Community Foundation of Greater Fort WayneBarbara Oliveira-Beckham, Courageous Healing, Inc.
Tammy Crane, Four:10 MinistriesSharon Pohly, Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana
Carmen Cumberland, Community Harvest Food BankShirley Rork, Just Neighbors Interfaith Homeless Network
Amy Dahm Just, YMCA Youth Service BureauDebby Stellwagen, Boys & Girls Clubs of NE Indiana
Aisha Diss, project.METisha Strasser, Bring It - Push It - Own It
Melissa Grossman, Amani Family ServicesJami Thomas, Northeast Indiana Innovation Center
Natalie Harworth, Elevation ChurchEmma Walker, YWCA Northeast Indiana
Mary Ann Mings, Inasmuch Ministry / Circles Allen CountyGina Zimmerman, Allen County Bar Association

The finalists in the public service category are:

Stephanie Crandall, City of Fort WayneNikki Quintana, Fort Wayne Metropolitan Human Relations Commission
Sheila Curry-Campbell, Allen County Democratic PartyDarcy Robins, Fort Wayne Police Department
Lana Keesling, City of Fort WayneSalena Scardina, Indiana Economic Development Corporation
Mitch McKinney, Fort Wayne Police Department / Fraternal Order of PoliceSamantha Taylor, Fort Wayne Police Department
Lori Morgan, Allen Superior CourtSharon Tucker, Fort Wayne City Council / Vincent Village
Zynette Paige, Weisser Park Youth CenterPone Vongphachanh, City of New Haven

Nominations were submitted online by members of the Allen County community. A panel of leaders from Allen County reviewed and scored the nominations on a blind basis.

“Great mentors change the world every day, one person at a time. By investing in others, they make an immeasurable impact on our community,” said Meghan Short, director of investor programs at GFW Inc. “It’s our honor to spotlight our local mentors through the Champions of Change Awards.”

Wendy Moyle and John Dortch were the inaugural winners in 2019. Corinna Ladd and Marty Pastura were the winners in 2020. Leslee Hill and Rachel Tobin-Smith won in 2021, and Alison Gerardot, Jeanné Wickens, and Jeff Roberts were selected as winners in 2022.

The GFW Inc. Women’s Network will present the Champions of Change Awards at a dinner scheduled for May 10 at Ceruti’s Diamond Room. Tables and individual tickets are available; to register, visit

Thanks to support from the Barbara Burt Innovative Leader Fund hosted at the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, each of this year’s winners will be offered a $1,000 grant to assist with continued leadership growth and community impact.

About Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

Greater Fort Wayne (GFW) Inc. serves Fort Wayne and Allen County, Ind., as its 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.