Faces of the Fort: Reneta Ushana Thurairatnam
Jul14

Faces of the Fort: Reneta Ushana Thurairatnam

By Ashley Motia The featured Face of the Fort for this month is Reneta Ushana Thurairatnam. Reneta works in the private wealth management industry by day, which affords her many adventures as a foodie by night. She loves the big city amenities Fort Wayne offers while still feeling like she can easily make a difference in the community around her. Find out more about Reneta and what she loves about our city below. 1.) Tell me about your roots: when did you move to Fort Wayne and what brought you here? I moved here in 2002 for a job, but I was already familiar with Fort Wayne because I went to Huntington University and the Fort was the closest city with decent shopping! My husband Steve is Fort Wayne born and raised–and his father before him and his father’s father before him. He’s never really ventured beyond northeast Indiana, so sometimes he feels like he’s missing out. I think I have given him an appreciation for the city through my eyes. While my sister and I were born in the United States, we definitely didn’t have a traditional American upbringing! My parents immigrated from Sri Lanka in the 70s prior to a 26 year civil war. The effects leading up to war started much sooner for my parents, who were part of the Tamil ethnic group which at that time was being persecuted by the Sinhalese ethnic group. My dad left his job as an attorney to come to the United States and start all over again, bringing his family over once he had established a life here. 2.) What’s your favorite thing about Fort Wayne? I am a foodie. I absolutely love Fort Wayne’s restaurants, and I love the food truck scene. One of the things I love the most is that while Fort Wayne cuisine is predominately American, over the past several years we have opened our arms to several ethnic restaurants including Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Korean, and even Burmese! Fantastic! Now if only we had a Sri Lankan restaurant… 3.) What makes the Fort stand out among other cities? Many people think Fort Wayne is small, but it’s not to me. While I love cities like New York and Toronto because they are constantly active and culturally diverse, I grew up in a town of a couple thousand. With a graduating class of 48, that’s small. What I love about Fort Wayne is that we do things like big cities (festivals, crazy 5k races, and social media events), but we are small enough that your voice can be heard. If I want to be involved in...

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