FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Greater Fort Wayne (GFW) Inc. Thursday presented five awards to those making an impact across Allen County. The awards, distributed each year as part of GFW Inc.’s Annual Meeting event, honored an up-and-coming small business, an area nonprofit, and three local leaders.
This year’s award winners are:
- Small Business of the Year Award – The Hoppy Gnome: This award celebrates the success of small businesses and honors their contributions to Allen County’s economic growth. To be eligible, each nominee must be a Greater Fort Wayne Inc. investor in good standing, located in Allen County, have been in business for more than five years, have 50 or fewer full-time employees, have revenue of less than $5 million in 2021, and be an independently owned and operated, for-profit entity.
- Nonprofit Organization of the Year Award – Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne: Given for the first time in 2022, this award celebrates the local nonprofit organizations that strengthen our community and improve the quality of life for Allen County residents. Eligibility criteria are identical to those for the Small Business of the Year Award, except nominees must be IRS-recognized nonprofit organizations.
- Barb Smith GFW Inc. Service Award – Beth Goldsmith: This award honors exemplary service to GFW Inc. and dedication to Allen County’s economic growth.
- Maclyn Parker Swagger Award for Community Vision and Leadership – Jim Marcuccilli: This award is given to an individual who exemplifies the persistence and will to make Fort Wayne-Allen County a thriving community by being a strong advocate for economic development.
- Elected Official of the Year Award – Indiana Sen. Dennis Kruse: This award honors exceptional efforts by elected officials to build a stronger community—and grow jobs and wages—by creating the best environment to attract and retain talent and business.
“We are among the fastest-growing communities in the Great Lakes region because we work hard, and we work together. We are proud to recognize these award winners for all they do to help propel Allen County forward,” GFW Inc. president and CEO John Urbahns said. “It’s an honor to serve a community full of people who are committed to making a positive impact.”
The award presentations were part of GFW Inc.’s Annual Meeting event, which celebrated the community’s accomplishments from 2021 and shared plans for a bright future in Allen County, including the Allen County Together economic development action plan. About 500 people gathered for the music-themed event Thursday evening at the University of Saint Francis Robert Goldstine Performing Arts Center.
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.