GFW Inc. welcomes Leadership Fort Wayne Class of 2024


GFW Inc. welcomes Leadership Fort Wayne Class of 2024. The 60-member cohort is the 42nd and second-largest class since the start of the program.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The Leadership Fort Wayne (LFW) program is officially underway for the Class of 2024. Greater Fort Wayne Inc. introduced the 60-member class this past Thursday, the forty-second and second-largest cohort since the start of the program.

LFW is a nine-month program that provides an in-depth view of the Fort Wayne / Allen County community while developing each participant’s leadership skills. By developing these skills, participants become better prepared to make a positive impact in the community and their workplaces.

Since 1983, LFW has graduated more than 1,500 individuals, many of whom now serve on or lead nonprofit boards, hold elected office, or own businesses.

This year’s class recently kicked off its schedule with orientation sessions at the Historic Woman’s Club hosted by the University of St. Francis. Starting next month, the Class of 2024 will participate in monthly program days covering such topics as community history, public safety, as well as inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. Program days will continue through September, with graduation scheduled during the Leadership Fort Wayne alumni breakfast in October.

“As we kick off the 42nd cohort of Leadership Fort Wayne, it’s both exciting and humbling to welcome one of our largest classes ever. This milestone not only represents the growing interest in community leadership but also showcases the boundless potential within Fort Wayne and Allen County,” said Meghan Short, Director of Investor Programs at GFW Inc.

GFW Inc. is intentional about making LFW more accessible for leaders from all backgrounds. Contributions by AWS Foundation, Journal Gazette Foundation, WGU Indiana, James Foundation, community members, and LFW alumni helped remove barriers to participation.

“Our participants bring diverse perspectives and skills, setting the stage for an impactful journey,” Short said. “We are eager to see how each member will grow their influence and leave a lasting impact on our community. This cohort is not just about leadership development; it’s about shaping the future of our vibrant region.”

Members of the Leadership Fort Wayne Class of 2024 and their sponsoring individuals/organizations are:

Kirstie Bailey  
Ash Brokerage

LaRae Bane    
Allen County Public Library

Timothy Boggs              
Three Rivers Federal Credit Union

Stephanie Brickley      
Lincoln Financial Group

Joseph Brown 
Fort Wayne Community Schools

Halie Brown    
The League

Rachel Bruce  

Nathan Burnell             
Lake City Bank

Jessa Campbell            
Visit Fort Wayne

Corey Clark    
MKM architecture + design

Matthew Cloud             
Canterbury School

Brittany Derengowski
East Central Fire and EMS Protection Territory

Alyssa Ehinger              
Parkview Health

Sherif Elfayoumy          
Purdue University Fort Wayne

Derek Fahrer   
L3Harris Technologies

Jonathan Flickinger    
Fort Wayne Fire Department

Nikeshia Fomby           
City of Fort Wayne / SEED

Kristen Ginder
Don Ayres Honda

David Godwin
Indiana Air National Guard, 122nd Fighter Wing

Melissa Gratz 
Manchester University

Spencer Haber             
Indiana University Fort Wayne

Jared Harvey   
Indiana Tech

Mark Heine      
Steel Dynamics, Inc.

Ryan Heine      
Summit Brands

Tesa Helge       
Allen County Prosecutor’s Office

Angela Hormann          

Parkview Health / PVPMG

Adam James   
Design Collaborative

Andrew Jones 
Liberty Group Realty & AM Group Investments

Lloyd Jones     
Life Adult Day Academy

Shubitha Kever             
Purdue University Fort Wayne

Mark Klinger   
Premier Bank

Nitish Kulkarni              

Jesse LaFromboise     
Indiana Michigan Power

Emily Lahr
Stillwater Hospice

Brok Lahrman
Lake City Bank

Tara Ledet        
L3Harris Technologies

Jacqueline Lonis          
PNC Bank

Richard Lower
City of New Haven

Kyla Madison  
STAR Financial Bank

Curtis Metz     
Farmers & Merchants State Bank

Alison Miyauchi            
University of Saint Francis

Marty Oehlhof
JH Specialty

Lisa Otis            

Matt Pettit        
Lutheran Health Network / Community Health Systems

Emmanuel Rodriguez
Fort Wayne Fire Department

Eric Ruppert    
Fort Wayne City Utilities

Matt Saines     
Do it Best Corp.

Justin Scheumann       
Indiana Air National Guard, 122nd Fighter Wing

Heather Schillinger     
Supportive Behavior Services, LLC

Andrew Skillman         
1st Source Bank

Justin Sklenar
Pacific Impressions

Erica Smith      
Brotherhood Mutual

Tracina Smith 
Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne

Kaicey Stubbings         
3DE Schools by Junior Achievement

Amber Targgart             
Early Childhood Alliance

Justin Treft       
Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority

Cynthia Wellman         
Lincoln Financial Group

Kimi Wilder     
Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

Elaine Wilson 
Saint Anne Communities

Kelli Witter      
Michelin North America / BF Goodrich

Individuals interested in participating in next year’s class can email for more information about applying.