Sixteen nominated for 2021 Champions of Change Awards

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Sixteen local leaders have been nominated for the 2021 Champions of Change Awards. The awards, which will be distributed June 10 at Greater Fort Wayne (GFW) Inc.’s Annual Meeting, celebrate those who mentor and empower women in Allen County.

“This year’s nominees are dedicated to empowering women to reach their full potential. Every day, their work makes a positive impact in our community,” said Brenda Gerber Vincent, VP of community and corporate impact at GFW Inc. “It’s our honor to spotlight their important work through the Champions of Change Awards.”

The awards are given each year by the GFW Inc. Women’s Network to two extraordinary individuals from Allen County. Wendy Moyle and John Dortch were the inaugural winners in 2019. Corinna Ladd and Marty Pastura were the winners in 2020.

The nominees for 2021 are:

  • Sarah Arnold, SociallySeasoned
  • Michelle Chambers, Signing Closers LLC
  • Ruth Dewit, Volunteer Lawyer Program of Northeast Indiana
  • Linda Dunno, AARP Indiana
  • Melissa Gruys, Purdue University Fort Wayne
  • Kara Hawley, Bring It-Push It-Own It
  • Leslee Hill, Northeast Indiana Innovation Center / WEOC Women’s Business Center
  • Erica Hines, Gibson
  • Ezra Kokonaing, NineHouse
  • Jennifer Norris-Hale, Mission: Motherhood
  • Nikki Quintana, Fort Wayne Metropolitan Human Relations Commission
  • Josh Raines, STAR 88.3
  • Jeff Roberts, FWCS New Tech Academy
  • Tisha Strasser, Bring It-Push It-Own It
  • Rachel Tobin-Smith, Executive & Career Coach
  • Jarrod Wilson, Indiana Michigan Power

Nominations were submitted online by members of the Allen County community. They will be reviewed and scored on a blind basis by a panel of chamber of commerce and economic development leaders from outside Allen County.

The GFW Inc. Women’s Network will present the Champions of Change Awards on June 10 at the Grand Wayne Convention Center, as part of the GFW Inc. Annual Meeting event. Tables and individual admissions are available; to learn more and to register, visit

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.