Northeast Indiana Launches Survey to Garner Regional Insight for Branding Initiative
Aug03

Northeast Indiana Launches Survey to Garner Regional Insight for Branding Initiative

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership recently announced a new project to develop a strategic brand for the 11-county region to target and attract new residents and talent and is seeking community input as part of the process. The ultimate goal is to create a unified vision and road map for long-term initiatives including an authentic brand, logo and tagline that resonates with skilled talent who want to call Northeast Indiana home. The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership has collaborated with Development Counsellors International (DCI), a specialized place-marketing agency, and Northeast Indiana-based Britton Marketing & Design Group to develop this new brand and forward-looking marketing strategy. President and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership John Sampson explained in a release that Northeast Indiana’s vast opportunities and quality of life are often unfamiliar to or misperceived by both people outside the region and many current residents. In the global war for talent, he noted, the region must do more to attract business and talent. “A strong branding strategy will increase our region’s positive brand awareness. By leveraging our momentum, sense of regional identity and pride, the branding will encourage our own residents to act as ambassadors to promote Northeast Indiana. We believe that reaching talent and businesses outside of Indiana and showcasing the strength of our regional brand will increase the size and quality of the regional labor force. This will positively affect business attraction efforts and result in a skilled, more credentialed workforce and increased per capita personal income.” As part of the first research phase, Northeast Indiana will survey residents who work and live throughout the region to gauge perceptions, strengths and weaknesses of the region as a place to live and work. The survey will be conducted online, and all residents are encouraged to provide feedback that will be used to develop the ultimate brand strategy. If you are interested in participating, please click here to be directed to the survey, which will be conducted through Aug. 15. In the months following the initial research phase, DCI, Britton and the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership will work closely together to develop a branding and marketing strategy for the region. The strategy will be completed in early 2019. To take the perception survey,...

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Build Your Career HERE – Starting a New Business
Apr12

Build Your Career HERE – Starting a New Business

Northeast Indiana is obviously a great place to live and work. In the past few weeks, we have talked to a variety of employers and experts that have given testimony to the opportunities and resources at your disposal here. While it may not be for everyone, our experts agree that sometimes it is okay to venture out on your own. No one knows your passions and work style better than yourself. Taking a bold step toward independently sharing your skills and expertise may just be what the career counselor ordered. If entrepreneurship is in your future, you need to know how to succeed and who is here to help.     What are the best industries in northeast Indiana? Whether you are going for a more traditional work path or venturing out on your own, you need to know what our region has to offer. According to the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, Logistics & E-Commerce, Specialty Insurance, Medical Device & Technology, Vehicles, Food & Beverage, Advanced Materials, and Design and Craftsmanship are the seven target industries in our region. What does that mean? It means that these industries are growing and producing quality jobs in our region. These industries are a result of our region’s culture and need for economic growth. Now that you know the fields, how do you pick which one to pursue? Is one better than another? According to Sonya Snellenberger-Holm, there isn’t really a best. “I’m a fan of all walks of life and all jobs.”  The Partnership is there to promote all fields that could potentially bring growth. On the other hand, Karl LaPan believes health care and financial services offer compelling opportunities as these industries transform and innovate. This translates to more potential opportunities. I sat down and chatted with Rhonda Ladig of Start Fort Wayne, an entrepreneurial resource center in downtown Fort Wayne. She said that successful local entreprenuers are in just about every field. The common industry that most of these local entrepreneurs are connected to is e-commerce. It doesn’t matter if you are selling something physical or a service, it is all selling online. You can effectively run a business from the comfort of your laptop. When you are looking for research on these industries, where exatly do you go? Jim Johnson said “a great resource to answer this question is the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. No one knows more about northeast Indiana more than this dedicated group of professionals. Their website is full of resources and information.” If you want to learn more about the specifics of target industries, you can download a report straight from the website. Theresa Steele added to...

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Build Your Career HERE – Learning New Skills
Mar02

Build Your Career HERE – Learning New Skills

Part of securing yourself in a job is having the skills to go all the way. Yes, you need to know the essential functions of a job before you sign on the dotted line, but if you really want to succeed, you should also know how to communicate, how to be a leader, and how to fail gracefully. Depending on your comfort zone and your age, there are a variety of different ways for you to go out and find a little leadership coaching. Age has been on my side, and I have been afforded the opportunity to be a part of the Emerging Leaders Alliance through the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. This group’s mission is to develop a community of future leaders in Northeast Indiana and create opportunities for action, growth, and regional pride. We do this through working on Vision 2030 committees, hosting social and professional development events, working on strengths training, connecting with our community leaders with professional development book clubs, and of course, supporting our entire region however we can. Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana (YLNI) similarly affords this to me. While it is meant for a larger audience and a broader age range, it has different focus areas and many leadership roles for those who are interested. The opportunities to be vice chair of Living Fort Wayne (part of YLNI) and secretary of the ELA were only because I stepped out of my comfort zone and went out and looked to make myself and my community better. Luckily, many people were there to hold my hand, figuratively. Not everyone is in their 30s and able to dance between the kids and the adults. Some of us have more to lose and need to get the skills and networking now. I went back to the same experts I talked to last week and asked them about where you need to go in order to go far.   What are the best networking groups in the area? I will tell you this now because three people said it, but First Fridays is the place to be. According to Karl LaPan of the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center(NIIC), Theresa Steele of Steele Business Coaching and Jim Johnson of 3 Rivers (also one of the founders), it is the best networking experience in town. According to Karl LaPan, “it is more than a networking group, it is also solid leadership development, so First Fridays is exceptional. This monthly meeting is a high return on investment. On one of my visits, I had five meetings and lunches as a result of attending and participating in the monthly event. The content and...

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Build Your Career HERE – Changing Paths
Feb20

Build Your Career HERE – Changing Paths

How many of you feel like leaving your current job will be a job in itself? Your resume may be solid if you are staying in your current field. The problem is that jobs are limited in many fields and require people to leave the region if they want to advance in your industry. If you want to stay close to your friends or family, sometimes you have to think outside of the employment box. Even if you are ready to do this, your resume can be more of a curse. You work your whole life to make that piece of paper seem exciting and important, but when you decide to take a chance and make a change, it hurts you more than it helps you because your employer only sees your employment history and not your valuable talents. We all get it. Finding a job can be hard. Even if unemployment is low, one line on a resume can make someone else look just a little bit better. So what exactly do you do if you are wanting to make that change? Well, it isn’t quite as difficult as it feels. I talked to some industry experts in business consulting, economic development, management, professional development and entrepreneurial development. Unsurprisingly, these people had some of the same advice.   So how exactly do you find a career that is out of your normal work scope? Even the experts have made big career changes and have found successes. Sonya Snellenberger-Holm, Project Manager for the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership told me, “I made a big shift in jobs when I started at the Regional Partnership. Before starting my job in economic development, I had only worked in the restaurant industry. While the two aren’t related I do think that being a bartender/server helped shape what I really wanted in a career. I knew I wanted a job where I could talk to people and build relationships with them. I also knew that I wanted a job that the result would make people feel happy. People like to go out to eat to socialize and have a good experience; people also like when their personal per capita income is raised, and they have more access to jobs. It takes very different steps to get to the result, but the outcome is the same. I like to make people happy. For anyone switching careers to something that is out of their norm, I would suggest going back to the basics. What makes you happy? Trust in the process and welcome the new change in your life, you never know what new stories you’ll...

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LFW Weekend Fun File
Apr21

LFW Weekend Fun File

Here’s a quick peek at some of the things we are looking forward to this weekend! This is by no means an exhaustive list, and if you don’t quite see what you’re looking for, check out our events calendar. If you’d like to see your event featured in the Weekend Fun File, or added to our events calendar, let us know! Email us at info@livingfortwayne.com.   1. YLNI Hot Spot Thursday, April 21 at 5:30 p.m.           This month YLNI is celebrating the leadership institute class of 2016. John Sampson from the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership will be the keynote speaker and will discuss what leadership means to him and how young leaders can help impact change in Fort Wayne. 2. Pique: Issue Two Release Party Thursday, April 21 at 6 p.m. (Hope Arthur at 8 p.m.)           After the hot spot, head over to Club Soda for some food, drinks, music and celebration of the release of Pique Issue Two! Hope Arthur plays at 8 p.m. 3. Unwanted Medication Collection Friday, April 22 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.             TRIAD and a few local volunteers are hosting medication collections at various Walgreens around town. Bring in your old medication so that it can be properly disposed of! 4. Design Week Closing Party Friday, April 22 7:30 – 10:30 p.m.         Send Design Week Fort Wayne out with a bang! Ticket holders receive one free drink ticket and appetizers by Club Soda. Attendees can hang out in a gallery-type atmosphere and enjoy the live performances of a variety of artists! It’s free for DWFW passport holders or $20 (plus fees) for non-passport holders. 5. The Color Run Saturday, April 23 at 9 a.m.         Get your colorful running on! It should be a beautiful day for this super fun 5K! 6. Touch-a-Truck Saturday, April 23 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.               Free event for the kiddos! Explore a variety of vehicles and chat with their drivers! 7. ZOO Opening Day!! Saturday, April 23 All Day                 I could not be more excited! The Zoo is opening for the season! There’s new animals, baby animals (have you seen the pictures of the baby penguins?) the Australian Outback has undergone more renovations, and it will be awesome! 8. Autism Awareness Event Saturday, April 23 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.         It’s Autism Awareness Month! There will be a variety of sensory activities for the kiddos, as well as experts in...

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