Good Neighbors – Andie Hines
Jan16

Good Neighbors – Andie Hines

Andie Hines – Supporting Women Entrepreneurs, Supporting Fort Wayne “The number one thing that makes businesses thrive is a strong peer community.” In Fort Wayne, there is an entire network of women entrepreneurs who are killin’ it in their field and making invaluable contributions to our community. Andie Hines is one of those people—she started Red Tree Pro in 2014 as a print brokerage, but soon realized that she had much more to offer her clients. Now, Red Tree Pro provides services in event planning, brand development, and marketing consulting. Her client list includes a wide range of organizations and businesses, including Tolon, University of Saint Francis, and Berne Apparel, to name a few. On top of this, Andie is the founder of Own Your Success, a non-profit dedicated to empowering and supporting female entrepreneurs in the area. Recently, I had an opportunity to sit down with Andie to talk about her journey through entrepreneurship in Fort Wayne, and her contributions to the community through both her business and non-profit. What were some of the first jobs you had that led you to start Red Tree? I sold paper for the first 10 years of my career, very much like in “The Office.” My job was to work with graphic designers in the community to help them find the best paper for their project, more of the fine art aspect of paper. That was a sales and marketing role—I did that for ten years and I loved it. Part of the sales aspect was that I would do ‘Paper’ lunches and invite graphic designers in the community to come learn about new products or new print techniques. That was really the launch into all of this. I was on the board for the Advertising Federation for around eight years and did programming most of that time. I planned the ADDY awards two years in a row and was president for two terms in a row. So, I was really active in that and that was all sales, marketing, and events. I worked for a couple ad agencies, but in early 2014 I found out I had cervical cancer. That was a big wake-up call that I didn’t want to keep doing what I was doing. As soon as I was well I wanted to start my own company. When I started, I was just a print broker, but I quickly found that my clients wanted more from me and just continued to shift from that. Now, Red Tree is essentially a full-service marketing firm, plus events. Tell me about your non-profit—how did it come to fruition? About six months...

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Exploring local and ethically-sourced food with Heartland Communities
Oct25

Exploring local and ethically-sourced food with Heartland Communities

Local food and green collar industries have seen renewed interest in recent years. Living Fort Wayne recently caught up with Heartland Communities’ Jain Young and Rowan Greene to discuss the mission of Heartland Communities and their vision for the future. LFW – How does Heartland Communities plan to help facilitate the emergence of “green collar industries”? Heartland Communities – We hear about a “triple bottom line” these days – people – planet – profit or the 3 p’s of sustainability. At Heartland Communities, we have held those values as our mission since before the phrase was coined and we called it economic, environmental and cultural sustainability. As a community economic development organization, we are focused on creating opportunities to put those values into action in business, jobs, and entrepreneurship. To take it a step further, Heartland is organized to help create cooperative and worker-owned enterprises. Heartland’s current focus is bringing green infrastructure to the food industry with Plowshares Local Food System Project, which began in 2014 with a USDA grant through the Local Food Promotion Program for research and planning. Plowshares works with intention and organizing to re-establish local food system infrastructure, which changed over the last 50+ years from local to global. Now, four years into the project, we are launching a local food distribution business called Plowshares Food Hub. It will create efficiencies for local farms and business while making locally grown and processed food more accessible. The Sustainable Indiana 2016 initiative gave Heartland a “Green Light Award” for Plowshares. As we create a local food system, food production is a green collar industry when farmers use regenerative methods that require less water and fuel, build our soil, and protect pollinators. As food moves from farms through the value chain to the consumer, food jobs become “green” when the transportation miles are reduced, so locally produced food is more green than the same food that rides in a truck from California or Brazil. In Indiana, the average meal travels 1,500 miles while we import 90 percent of our food from out of state. So you might think of a green collar industry as a solar panel manufacturing plant but sometimes it is doing the things we have always done but finding a way to be good to the planet and value your people with good jobs, while being successful financially. Another Green Light Award was given to an organization Heartland incubated as fiscal agent and through organizational development over a period of seven years. The nonprofit Save Maumee Grassroots Organization has become a green collar industry in watershed management and jobs have been created with nearly $200,000...

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What is Ambassador Enterprises?
Aug09

What is Ambassador Enterprises?

Who are they Ambassador Enterprises is a philanthropic equity firm. They are active partners assisting leaders in optimizing for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Known for their incredible mission, team and culture, it is no wonder Ambassador Enterprises earned a spot on the 100 Best Places to Work in Indiana list. The Mission Their approach is rooted in the idea of building a better community by combining the efforts of public, private and nonprofit partnerships. “We do this by optimizing our investment partners through customized assessments, leader development retreats, training and consulting. Once a company is equipped with the tools needed to achieve their mission, they can successfully develop their own circle of influence in the community in which they operate.” The Team Staffed with individuals who share a desire to grow intellectually, socially, emotionally, physically and spiritually, Ambassador is committed to investing in their employee’s success. “Our goal is to ensure that everyone does work that they see as meaningful and to offer an environment where learning happens every day.”   The Culture Ambassador Enterprises is full of skilled professionals who demonstrate integrity and have a desire to serve others. They’re not just a group of individual contributors; but are a team built on the belief that relational effectiveness drives organizational performance. That is why they are deeply committed to creating a work environment that provides collaborative learning opportunities and is safe for people to share perspectives openly and take risks. Individual & Team Development Learning time Every Friday, all team members gather together to reinforce Ambassador’s commitment to lifelong education and growth. Conversations are led by members of the leadership team, nonprofit partners, our affiliates and missionary partners and span a variety of topics and training experiences. Special events Ambassador hosts a variety of events for team members and their families. Past activities include a 5k fun run, company picnic, Fort4Fitness Spring Cycle and Fall Festival and lake day, Thanksgiving luncheon and Christmas are also celebrated in the office. Individual improvement plans All team members create an individual development plan to grow personally and professionally. Employee match Programs Team member donations given to nonprofits in their communities are matched dollar-for-dollar through the Employee Match Program. Library A selection of books are available for team members to read, lend or provide as a gift. Lunch café Their lunch café and outdoor patio sets the stage for personal connections and employee interaction. Service Programs Team members are eligible for one week each year to invest in their community through the Corporate Service Program. Collaboration All team members participate on optimization teams, designed to serve other departments and be faithful stewards of...

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Pasjion Daniels, Force Community – Entrepreneurship Spotlight
Aug03

Pasjion Daniels, Force Community – Entrepreneurship Spotlight

The “Living Fort Wayne Entrepreneurship Spotlight” series returns today with a spotlight on a unique boutique public relations agency. Pasjion Daniels, owner of Force Community, answered our small business questionnaire recently. Ms. Daniels operates her business from the Atrium co-working space in downtown Fort Wayne where she also serves as supervisor Here’s what she had to say about her journey as an entrepreneur in northeast Indiana. What is Force Community? Force Community is a boutique PR agency that focuses’ on community engagement, and event planning and designing. Force is owned by Pasjion Daniels, who desires to host and bring “un ordinary” events to Fort Wayne through Force Community. It all started with the “When Life Hands You Lemons Brunch” event dedicated to creatives and bloggers. The brunch gave them skills to get over sore spots in business, and provided a safe place to network. From there, Daniels took her desire for planning, designing, and career in PR to the next level. Force Community was birthed. Feel free to follow them on Instagram & Facebook at : @forcecommunity What made you decide to open a business in Fort Wayne? The vision that I had for my business was something that Fort Wayne lacked. I was tired of having to go to Indianapolis, Chicago, or Ohio to attend trendy and amazing events. Fort Wayne is growing, and there was no greater place to launch. What resource in the community has helped you thrive in the community? The Atrium! The Atrium is a coworking space downtown which has offered me the greatest connections and a greater network. It’s truly all about your network and the Atrium is the best place to grow in that area. Not to mention, I get to work a cool 9-5 there as well. 🙂 What is the biggest challenge you have worked to overcome in starting your business? Being a one-woman-show has so far been the biggest challenge. I am the content creator, creative director, accountant, social media manager, etc. It takes time, but it all gets done. What person has helped you the most in your journey? I would hands down have to say that Jesus himself has helped me the most on this journey. This journey of being an entrepreneur is no easy thing at all and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. When I’m overwhelmed or don’t have the knowledge in an area, I’m always free to go to him. What is some advice you would have for new entrepreneurs? The advice I would give new entrepreneurs is to take the vision and run with it. Everyone doesn’t have to believe in it, but if...

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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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