Fort Wayne, Ind. – Ashley Steenman, director of business development for Greater Fort Wayne Inc. (GFW Inc.), has been named a “Forty Under 40” award winner by Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly.
“I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to make an impact on a city I care about as part of my career and appreciate the learning experience I have gained through volunteer work,” said Steenman. “I am honored to be recognized among so many other great people in our community.”
Steenman joined the Fort Wayne – Allen County Economic Development Alliance, now GFW Inc., in December of 2009 after working in the Economic Development Division of the Allen County Department of Planning Services. In her role at GFW Inc., Steenman is responsible for assessing the needs of area businesses to develop resources to aid their growth, represents the community to companies interested in the area, and leads groups such as the Product Development Committee and Manufacturers Council.
“Ashley is clearly a top talent for our community,” said John Urbahns, executive vice president of economic development. “She has been a leader within the GFW Inc. organization, coordinating complex economic development deals, and, over the last several years, Ashley has exemplified herself as a selfstarter focused on improving the community.”
A native of Fort Wayne, Steenman is a 2005 graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Sociology. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Public Management from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and is a 2009 graduate of the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute. In 2011, she became a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) through the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Steenman is also an alumna of Leadership Fort Wayne, a board member of the Three Rivers Festival, chair of Art in the Park for the Three Rivers Festival, and president of Women of Wednesdays Network (WOWnet).
Steenman, along with the 39 other young professionals making a difference on the job and in the community, will be recognized on Thursday, March 19, 2015 at a dinner at Ceruti’s Banquet & Event Center in Fort Wayne. The 40-member class will also be featured in a special edition of the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly. Steenman is the fifth member of GFW Inc. to receive the award. The past Forty Under 40 recipients from the GFW Inc. staff are Marla Schneider, vice president of marketing and communications; Justin Clupper, director of leadership development and community engagement; Melissa Beber, director of business advocacy; and John Urbahns, executive vice president of economic development