President / CEO
John Urbahns joined GFW Inc. in 2014. Prior to his appointment as CEO in 2019, he served as executive VP of economic development. During his time at GFW Inc., John has led an economic development team that has assisted with more than 200 business expansions and relocations in Allen County, resulting in more than 13,500 new jobs and $600 million in new annual payroll.
Prior to joining GFW Inc., John served as the director of community development for the City of Fort Wayne, where he managed the City’s strategic planning, redevelopment, housing, economic development, and neighborhoods services team dedicated to excellence in public service.
John has managed and negotiated aspects of several transformational community investments including The Landing, Electric Works, and The Bradley boutique hotel. He has also facilitated comprehensive, downtown, and neighborhood planning processes. John has spent much of his career engaging with residents, neighborhood groups, elected officials, and business leaders to cast a visionary future for Allen County’s communities.
John graduated from Ball State University with degrees in urban planning and environmental design and is an AICP-certified urban planner. He received an Outstanding Alumni award in 2020 from Ball State’s College of Architecture and Planning.
He is a proud dad to three great kids and a lifelong Hoosier.