Release – Solar panels boost The Summit’s goals for innovation, sustainability
Dec22

Release – Solar panels boost The Summit’s goals for innovation, sustainability

Release from The Summit There may be snow in the forecast, but one Fort Wayne neighborhood just got a little greener. An array of solar panels now graces the roofline of The Summit Athletic Center on West Rudisill Boulevard. One of the city’s largest solar installations, the 100-kilowatt unit produces enough electricity to power 10 homes. “At The Summit, we want to offer great space at a fair price to community-building organizations,” said Melissa Dessaigne, executive director, in a prepared release. “Energy and water account for more than 17 percent of our expenses, and energy prices are outpacing inflation, so this investment in renewable energy is an important step toward keeping our space affordable. We’re trying to build the best space for the best organizations in a way that is economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable.” The Summit Athletic Center is home to AWP Sports and Parkview Sports Medicine. The building’s new solar array is expected to generate approximately 132,000 kilowatt-hours of power each year. That’s enough to offset the building’s entire energy bill, depending on weather and facility use. “It’s like saving 116 acres of forest,” explained Spencer Mize, director of strategic initiatives, in a prepared release. “Each year, the renewable energy from this solar array will offset the equivalent greenhouse-gas emissions of burning 107,407 pounds of coal or 11,047 gallons of gasoline. The idea that we can save money while being good stewards of the environment is what fueled our desire to make this investment a reality.” Sustainable energy is right in line with The Summit’s focus on innovation. Five years ago, The Summit debuted a modern collaborative classroom to foster twenty-first-century learning. In 2015, campus opened CookSpring, one of the region’s first shared commercial kitchens for culinary entrepreneurs. “Now in 2017, we’re testing the idea that even urban campuses can harness energy produced by the sun,” Mize said. “If the project proves successful, there may be additional sustainable energy initiatives in The Summit’s future.” The Summit is a shared campus of socially-minded organizations and entrepreneurs working together to create thriving community. Partner organizations work to achieve social impact in the areas of education, economic development, social sustainability, health & wellness, and spiritual vitality. In addition, The Summit offers top-quality space for meetings, conferences, and retreats. To learn more, visit The Summit’s website. # #...

Read More
Entrepreneurship Spotlight – CookSpring
Jul06

Entrepreneurship Spotlight – CookSpring

Editor’s note – CookSpring at The Summit will be hosting an open house in celebration of doubling in size on Saturday, June 10 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at their 4,800 square foot space at The Summit at 1025 W. Rudisill Blvd. in Fort Wayne.  CookSpring staff will be conducting tours and providing guidance on starting culinary businesses during the event. Pastries from Hetty Arts Pastry and hot dogs from The Hot Dog Boyz will be available for the first 50 guests.  When The Summit was purchased in 2011, they immediately began looking for ways to use their commercial kitchen on the former campus of Taylor University Fort Wayne. They wanted to be intentional about using the space to support the local food community, and after some research, decided to use the space as a shared kitchen for culinary entrepreneurs in Fort Wayne. Entrepreneurs can rent space in the kitchen (it’s open 24/7) through bookings and even (very affordable) monthly memberships. In addition to access to the kitchen, members have the opportunity to participate in classes and other business-related services provided by Northeast ISBDC, and can receive free or discounted space for events at The Summit’s Atrium event area. CookSpring began in 2015 with one member and has now grown to 24 members! You’ll find many of your favorite food trucks are members, and CookSpring is becoming a huge platform for growth. Smith spoke a little bit about entrepreneurship in Fort Wayne, here’s what he had to say. Why was Fort Wayne an ideal place for CookSpring? Beginning in Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana wasn’t a conscious decision so much as a default instinct – NEI is our home, and we want to see it have all of the neat opportunities that other cities have. Out of our desire to spur on entrepreneurship, we developed CookSpring into a platform where anybody can give their culinary dream a shot. Recently, Northeast Indiana has been making a strong push to recognize our regional food production as a local asset rather than an export. This investment in local products really helps to encourage food entrepreneurs and in turn makes CookSpring a more vibrant community. What resource in the community has helped you thrive in the community? We have been able to partner and collaborate with local businesses and groups who are dedicated to impacting entrepreneurs and business growth in Fort Wayne. These groups act as referral sources for new clients and we are able to direct our clients back to them for business services. In addition, the local food culture in Fort Wayne has really taken off in the past few years, which makes...

Read More
YLNI’s My City Summit 2015 to Connect and Celebrate Fort Wayne Community  
Jul01

YLNI’s My City Summit 2015 to Connect and Celebrate Fort Wayne Community  

If you are a fan of Fort Wayne and looking for like-minded people to take this town to the next level, YLNI’s My City Summit 2015 is a must-attend event for you. Designed to “Cultivate Innovation, Community, Connection,” this year’s expanded four-day event will create a city experience like no other.   Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana (YLNI), a volunteer organization committed to enriching the Fort Wayne community, created My City Summit in 2012. The event was created to strengthen local community attachment for young college graduates. Both in 2012 and 2014, this collaborative event has drawn over 200 young professionals and community leaders to celebrate the city and share ideas on how to make Fort Wayne a more vibrant and attractive place to live and work. This year, the Summit will have a longer program and many new social events to rejuvenate and inspire you.   “Young talent and emerging leaders are critical to the future of Fort Wayne. These inspired individuals are the future of our economy and the cornerstone of cultural development that will continue to shape Fort Wayne as an attractive place to live and work for all generations,” said Heidi Colone, Chair of YLNI’s My City Summit. “YLNI’s My City Summit is a chance for our community to come together; to talk, share, collaborate, invigorate and be inspired. This is a chance to get involved and be a part of defining this city that we love and call home.”   The Summit will kick off on Wednesday, July 29, with the My City Summit Concert highlighting the local talent of Fort Wayne’s Funk Orchestra and Trichotomous Hippopotamus. The concert is a free event and will be accompanied by food and beverage vendors, including Affine, Sol Kitchen and Whip & Chill food trucks. The concert will also be next to Registration, where you can pick up your four-day Summit pass, event guide and registration gifts. A limited number of VIP ticket holders will have access to extra social events, so don’t miss your chance to buy tickets now!   On Thursday, July 30, you can choose from a number of educational sessions taking place around Fort Wayne’s downtown Arts Campus that suit your interests. This is your moment to share ideas on how to make Fort Wayne a more attractive place to recruit and retain talent. Each educational session will feature inspirational, dedicated individuals, who will be exploring a range of topics – entrepreneurship, marketing our city, enhancing diversity, building a better community and creating a future rich with innovation and culture.   The discussions won’t end here. On Friday, July 31, attend the My...

Read More