Twenty-four finalists named for 2022 Champions of Change Awards

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Twenty-four local leaders have been selected as finalists for the 2022 Champions of Change Awards. The awards, which will be distributed May 12 at a Greater Fort Wayne (GFW) Inc. Women’s Network luncheon, celebrate those who mentor and empower women in Allen County.

“Great mentors change the world every day, one person at a time. By investing in others, they make an immeasurable impact on our community,” said Meghan Short, director of investor programs at GFW Inc. “It’s our honor to spotlight our local mentors through the Champions of Change Awards.”

This year, three awards will be given by the GFW Inc. Women’s Network to extraordinary individuals from Allen County—one from each of three industries: education, nonprofit, and corporate. Wendy Moyle and John Dortch were the inaugural winners in 2019. Corinna Ladd and Marty Pastura were the winners in 2020. Leslee Hill and Rachel Tobin-Smith won in 2021.

The finalists for 2022 are:

  • Madeleine Baker, Early Childhood Alliance
  • Deborah Beckman, Imagine More LLC
  • Katie Jo Dilling, Affine Hospitality Group
  • Karen Francisco, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette (retired)
  • Alison Gerardot, Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne
  • Beth Goldsmith, Sold by the Gold
  • Amy Hanna, RespectTeam
  • Patti Hays, AWS Foundation
  • Iric Headley, Fort Wayne UNITED
  • Jennifer Hope, The Mom of an Addict, Inc.
  • Jackie Martinez, Healthier Moms and Babies
  • Sharon Miller, Bulldog Consulting Services
  • Kyle Mills, Elevate City Church
  • Ann Obergfell, Indiana University Fort Wayne
  • Chynna Presley, Huntington University
  • Jeff Roberts, FWCS New Tech Academy
  • Maria Saldana, Freedom Freight Solutions
  • Jama Smith, American Red Cross
  • Carly Thompson, Indiana University Fort Wayne
  • Terry Valmassoi, Master Spas
  • Kristal Walker, Sweetwater
  • Denita Washington, Fort Wayne Girlz Rock
  • Jeanné Wickens, Parkview Health
  • Jill Zahm, Parkview Heart Institute

Nominations were submitted online by members of the Allen County community. They were reviewed and scored on a blind basis by a panel of education, nonprofit, and corporate leaders from outside Allen County.

The GFW Inc. Women’s Network will present the Champions of Change Awards at a luncheon scheduled for May 12 at The Lodge at Camp Red Cedar. Tables and individual tickets 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.