Fort Wayne wins statewide Community of the Year award

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Quality-of-life improvements, new business investment, and job growth have built strong momentum in Fort Wayne and Allen County in recent years. That momentum propelled Fort Wayne to a statewide honor: the 2020 PNC Community of the Year award, announced today by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

“As the state’s second-largest city, Fort Wayne continues to gain prominence as an outstanding place to live, work, and raise a family,” Indiana Chamber president Kevin Brinegar said. “It’s a testament to the dedication of business and community leaders in attracting new talent, retaining top talent, and enhancing quality of life.”

Indiana Chamber officials highlighted improvements like Promenade Park, renovations on The Landing, and The Bradley boutique hotel as eye-catchers during the judging process. The community has also seen a dramatic improvement in its ability to attract and retain talent–according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Allen County posted a net positive of nearly 1,500 residents via net domestic migration in 2019, its best year on record and third consecutive year with a positive number. Allen County also added nearly 1,200 new jobs and more than $52 million in new annual payroll last year.

“This award is an achievement for everyone in Fort Wayne and Allen County,” said John Urbahns, president and CEO of GFW Inc. “We have worked together to not only transform downtown Fort Wayne, but to upgrade our neighborhoods, enhance our rural communities, and grow jobs and wages. We’ve come a long way, but we must keep improving to reach our goal of becoming a nationally recognized economy.”

“We’re honored and humbled to receive the 2020 Community of the Year Award,” Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry said. “We’re proud of the collaboration. We’ve had a number of employers compliment the city of Fort Wayne for trying to make sure they’re as comfortable as possible even during this COVID pandemic. It all goes back to relationships and communication.”

Fort Wayne will be presented the honor at the Indiana Chamber’s 31st Annual Awards program, held Nov. 10 as a virtual event. The online ceremony is free to attend via Zoom and will feature the live announcements of five other statewide awards.

About the Indiana Chamber of Commerce

The Indiana Chamber partners with 25,000 members and investors – representing over four million Hoosiers – to achieve the mission of “cultivating a world-class environment which provides economic opportunity and prosperity.” Learn more at

About Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

Greater Fort Wayne (GFW) Inc. serves Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana, 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.