Encourages teams to develop action plans by late spring

Fort Wayne, Ind. – Mayor Tom Henry this week announced appointments to the three Legacy Fort Wayne Champion Teams. The eight-member groups have been charged with an in-depth analysis of the recommendations made by the Legacy Fort Wayne Task Force, in the ongoing effort to determine the future of the community’s more than $75 million legacy. 

The Legacy process concentrated the extensive input from the public and the evaluative work of the task force into three major focus areas: economic vitality, downtown and riverfront development, and youth and youth/prep sports. The Champion Team members were selected to reflect civic leadership and the subject-matter expertise required for this investigative phase.

The teams will have their initial meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Omni Room of Citizens Square, 200 East Berry Street.

“Each of the Legacy Fort Wayne recommendations represents a unique opportunity to enhance Fort Wayne and better position our community for growth,” Mayor Henry said. “Each demonstrates our collective determination to build on our investments, build on our strengths and build on the promise of tomorrow.”

The Youth/Prep Sports team members include: Dan O’Connell, Visit Fort Wayne; Tiffany Gooden, Fort Wayne Sports Corp.; Mike Nutter, Fort Wayne TinCaps; Matt Lindsay, Bishop Luers High School; Tom Didier, Fort Wayne City Council; Dan Dickey, NAI Harding Dahm; Ashley Steenman, Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance; and John Gibson, Carroll High School.

The Downtown/Riverfront Development team consists of Dan Wire, river advocate; Irene Walters, Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne (IPFW); Wendy Stein, Stein Advertising; Rick Samek, Carson Boxberger and Fort Wayne Board of Park Commissioners; Dave Corcoran, Symantec; Steve Brody, downtown advocate; Tom Smith, Fort Wayne City Council; and Pon Vongphachanh, Fort Wayne Area Association of Realtors.

The Economic Development team includes: Tim Pape, Carson Boxberger; John Stafford,  Community Research Institute at IPFW; Stacey Smith, Prairie Quest Consulting; Wendy Robinson, Fort Wayne Community Schools; Nancy Jordan, Lincoln Financial Group; Glynn Hines, Fort Wayne City Council; Ben Eisbart, OmniSource; and Jill Perillo, Indiana Michigan Power.

The Champion Teams were created when it became apparent that the magnitude of the task force’s high-level recommendations would require significant additional research and refinement before they could be advanced. Led by City of Fort Wayne staff, the teams have been asked to explore their designated focus area in detail to determine feasibility, priorities, needs and resources, and to develop action plans or other appropriate proposals. A late-spring timeframe is anticipated for completion of the work.

“Our Legacy Fort Wayne funds are a community treasure,” added Mayor Henry. “They are the key to transformative change. Through the work of the Champion Teams we will get down to the business of determining how realize the Legacy recommendations and best use these once-in-a-lifetime resources to build our city’s stronger, more vibrant future.”
The over $75 million Legacy Fort Wayne funds have come from two sources: 1) the $39.2 million City Light Lease Settlement, reached between the City and Indiana Michigan Power; and 2) the approximately $36 million Fort Wayne Community Trust, established by the City 35 years ago using a portion of the annual Light Lease payments.

Information about Legacy Fort Wayne and the final report of the task force can be found online at www.LegacyFortWayne.org.

#  #  #