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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Grad School – How do you decide?
Nov08

Grad School – How do you decide?

Do I need a master’s degree? Is it worth the investment? What’s the point? I must have asked myself these questions a hundred times before deciding that graduate school was, indeed, my next move. Here was my rationale: I enjoy learning. Exploring the gaps of knowledge that encourage me to perform my job more effectively is important to my success. I want to advance my career. Maybe it’s pursuing a leadership role, or finding new ways to develop and apply my skills. Graduate school can help me find my direction. Personal growth is important to me. I want to grow as a professional, but I also want personal fulfillment; that’s something graduate school can facilitate. Finding the Right School & Program A notable difference from my undergrad was that this time around I knew exactly what I wanted out of a program. Some of those needs included: Face to face interaction. Well acquainted with my learning style, I recognized that an online program was not ideal for me. Flexibility to explore other disciplines. The opportunity to take classes outside of my program would enable me to gain diverse perspectives that I could apply to my education and professional career. Quality interaction with advisors and professors. The ability to discuss concerns and questions with faculty without chasing them down was vital. Flexibility. I wanted an outline of what I needed to do to complete the program without pressure to finish within a certain time-frame. Ultimately, the Professional Communication program at IPFW met my needs and was an affordable, convenient option. My personal conversations with friends and colleagues really sealed the deal. A college peer earned her MA in Writing from IPFW through the Master of English program and had wonderful things to say about her experience. Ashley Motia, a friend and mentor of mine, earned her MA in Professional Communication. I remember asking Ashley about her experience in the program when I was researching schools. These conversations, with people who were in my shoes not long before me, were helpful and reassuring as I explored my options. Student-faculty interaction was key in my search for the right school, so, I appreciated how willing and eager IPFW faculty were to meet with me and answer my questions. To quote the wise words of my friend and mentor Ashley, “Your graduate school career should start with and be sustained by quality conversations with faculty and advisors. Those personal interactions are what infuse value into your degree.” The significance of these interactions is obvious, even when I talk to other students. Ian Lese, a graduate student in the Master of Public Management program at IPFW shared...

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Soothe Your Palate at Hideout 125
Jan23

Soothe Your Palate at Hideout 125

One of my favorite things about Fort Wayne is that there are so many options for delicious local dining, and I have one more for you to add to your list (if you haven’t already): Hideout 125. It’s a relatively new upscale restaurant on the north side of Fort Wayne (in the Pine Valley Plaza) and it’s worth every penny. Hideout 125 is owned by Panos Bourounis (also the owner of Cosmos House of Pancakes) and Brian Shreffler. Feeling the need for another evening dining option on the north side of town, they found that the space in the Pine Valley Plaza perfectly fit the “speakeasy” feel that they wanted. Walking into Hideout 125, I instantly sensed its uniqueness. The “prohibition era” theme is unmistakable in the wall décor, even the style of the booths and tables; the restaurant definitely exudes a cool vibe. The music, the ambiance and the lighting make the restaurant inviting, I couldn’t wait to try the food (which by the way was amazing). Once I was seated, I ordered a cocktail called the Barista, an espresso martini that was the perfect blend of coffee and cocktail. Though a tad strong for my taste, it was a delicious treat after a long day at work. When I got to the menu, I was torn between ordering the crab cakes or the tuna (clearly I was in the mood for seafood), but ultimately decided to go with the small plate crab cake and a chopped salad. I was not disappointed. The crab cake was served atop an artichoke-potato soup and drizzled with remoulade (it’s a mayonnaise based sauce, I had to ask). The salad was larger than I expected, and perfectly chopped and dressed. Overall the meal and service was fantastic. Next time you are out in search of a new place to have dinner, try Hideout 125, it won’t disappoint. (If you want to try them on a weekend, consider making a...

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