Now in its 40th year, our Leadership Fort Wayne program inspires emerging leaders to embrace the community, get involved, and drive positive change.
Join our next cohort to get:
Go behind the scenes to meet some of the city’s iconic institutions and leaders.
Grow your abilities in a fast-paced, engaging, and inspirational learning environment.
Put your skills to work in an optional nonprofit board internship.
A POWERFUL NETWORK
Connect with the LFW alumni network–more than 1,400 members strong.
Leadership Fort Wayne is an nine-month program that consists of:
- A two-day orientation (typically in January).
- Eight immersive program days (one full day per month, typically February-September) where area leaders and experts provide in-depth insights about the community and its history, institutions, socioeconomic composition, and current issues.
- Teaming up with a local nonprofit to develop a Community Action Project (CAP).
- Increasing your awareness, understanding, and appreciation for community organizations and services.
- Learning cutting-edge leadership concepts with practical, real-world application and practice.
- An optional internship on a nonprofit board of directors.
The purpose of Leadership Fort Wayne is to train, prepare, and inspire individuals to positively impact greater Fort Wayne-Allen County through meaningful engagement.
We do this by:
- Instilling an understanding of community trusteeship and a lifelong commitment to community service.
- Providing information about the community: its history, people, strengths, challenges, and opportunities.
- Delivering opportunities to practice leadership skills and utilize knowledge gained through intentional and best-practice leadership training.
- Creating opportunities for networking and connections that benefit participants personally and professionally.
All participants must:
- Currently be working and/or living in the greater Fort Wayne area.
- Have full support from their employer or sponsoring organization.
- Possess the ability to achieve professional, personal, and program goals.
- Have the necessary time and resources to commit to each program day, Community Action Project (CAP) work, and, if applicable, an internship on a local nonprofit board.
Participants are expected to make a commitment to the program, including:
- Attending the mandatory two-day orientation in January.
- Attending at least 80% of the nine monthly, full-day sessions (February-September).
- In addition to completing pre-work class assignments, class members will work on a team to complete a Community Action Project and, if applicable, serve as an intern on a local nonprofit board.
Each month, participants meet for a “program day,” getting behind-the-scenes looks at the building blocks of our community, featuring insights from key leaders. These topics are:
- Community history.
- Arts and recreation.
- Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
- Public safety.
- Health services.
- Government and economic development.
- Community agencies.
Key dates for the Class of 2023 (subject to change) include:
Application deadline: Oct. 11, 2022
Selection day – cohort members notified: November 18, 2022
Virtual Meet & Greet event: Jan. 5, 2023
Orientation: Jan. 19-20, 2023
Program days in 2023:
- Feb. 16
- March 16
- April 20
- May 18
- June 15
- July 20
- Aug. 17
- Sept. 21
Graduation: October 2023 (at the Leadership Fort Wayne Alumni Breakfast)
Tuition fees are:
- $2,000 for employees of GFW Inc. investor companies.
- $2,400 for employees of non-investor companies and individuals.
Tuition may be paid by an employer, a sponsoring organization, or the participant. A limited number of sponsorships to underwrite program days or Designated Seat sponsorships are available to GFW Inc. investors only. Sponsorships are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.