Who We Are

Board of Directors

The Start Fort Wayne board was created by local entrepreneurs and professionals to provide a broad range of experience and expertise to fulfill our mission. We are a working board, with everyone taking on different roles and devoting an enormous amount of free time and energy to make Start Fort Wayne go.

Dave Sanders

President

Dave is the co-founder and President of Avenue 80 Inc., a local software development consulting company, and has a long background in technology and business. He also founded and operates CoWork Fort Wayne, a downtown coworking space, and has spent the past several years learning about coworking and entrepreneurial development.

Crystal Vann Wallstrom

Secretary

Crystal Vann Wallstrom is the director for the Center for Creative Collaboration (C3). She is an entrepreneur, eternal optimist, and avid connector. After 15 years in San Francisco, Crystal, her husband, and twins moved to Fort Wayne in June 2015 to start a new adventure. She brings her years of experience in project management, business and brand strategy, marketing, event planning, and operations to Fort Wayne, Indiana—the new home that has captured her heart. She is passionate about making Fort Wayne and the region the best it can be.

Jeremy Diller

Treasurer

Jeremy Diller is the founder and owner of Scenario Seventy Seven, a software development consulting firm in Fort Wayne. He has been an avid proponent of coworking and the shared office environment and a strong supporter of tech entrepreneurship and startups locally.

Dave B. Goode

Dave had more than two decades of branding and marketing experience executing strategies in customer-focused communication markets. He also serves on marketing committees for the Three Rivers Festival, Night of Lights, Fright Night, and TEDx Fort Wayne.

Ashley Motia

Ashley lends a strategist's eye with over a decade of marketing experience to the board. She is a digital content editor with a local, full-service advertising firm in addition to helming Pilcrow Media, a digital marketing start-up. Ashley prides herself on helping others and facilitating a spirit of community in our region.

Jon Rehwaldt

Jon is a professional educator with ten years of experience in Fort Wayne area schools. He has worked with all grade levels in the areas of technology and English and develops curriculum in those areas to grow proficiency in communication skills. His professional focus is on assessment and data and how to leverage those tools to better understand and serve the needs of students.

Jon Swerens

Jon is the founder of local startup Rockhill Design LLC, which focuses on marketing consulting and web and print design. Jon also brings an understanding of small businesses and nonprofits to the SFW board from his years working for the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce. Before that, he worked for 20 years in the journalism industry.

Advisory Board

Start Fort Wayne has invited various business and organization leaders in our area to be on our Advisory Board. We rely on the advisory board for constant advice, contacts, and evangelizing of our organization.

Sherry Aden
Vice President, Brightpoint
Dana Berkes
Public Affairs Manager, NIPSCO
Jim Cook
Executive Director, JP Morgan Chase
David Corcoran
Digital Cowboy And Venture Capitalist
Jim Hoch
President, Hoch Associates
Mike Landram
President, Literacy Alliance
Richard Leverett
Director External Affairs, ATT
Fred Nash
President, Main Street Venture Fund
Alan Tio
Executive Vice President, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership

Partners

Start Fort Wayne is partnering with various businesses and organizations in our region so we can work together and combine forces to get things done faster, easier, and be more effective.

Indiana Tech

Indiana Tech is a regional university with a large campus in downtown Fort Wayne. Besides having a board member from Indiana Tech in our organization, Indiana Tech has provided legal and financial help to get Start Fort Wayne organized, and provided a generous grant for the creation of Atrium. We also work with the Center for Creative Collaboration (The C3) at Indiana Tech for broader programs and opportunities for our members and their students.

Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities, and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. Knight Foundation was a generous supporter of the Atrium project.

Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne

The mission of the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne is to serve as a community leader to improve the quality of life by building permanent endowments, promoting effective grant-making, fostering philanthropy, stimulating community dialogue, and helping donors achieve their charitable goals. We have worked with the Foundation on several projects, including Atrium and Tech Tour 2016.

Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

Greater Fort Wayne Inc. is the new organization that unifies the Fort Wayne – Allen County Economic Development Alliance and the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce, serving as a single point-of-contact for economic growth in Greater Fort Wayne. GFW helped provide funds for the Atrium project and Tech Tour 2016.

Journal Gazette Foundation

AT&T

AT&T is a nationwide telecommunications company that knows that the future is in technology. AT&T has been investing in coworking, technology education projects, and competitions across the country, including helping fund Atrium and our Project Rocket education platform.

Providers

Providers are companies in the area who share Start Fort Wayne's Vision and who we have worked with on our various projects. We are proud to associate with such great community minded companies and organizations.

Hoch Associates

Hoch Associates, an architecture and design firm based in Fort Wayne, has been a growing firm doing major design projects across the country. Hoch provided the design and architecture of second floor of their building for the Atrium project. Hoch has tremendous excitement for this project, sees it as a valuable addition to the city and its contribution to downtown Fort Wayne's vibrancy.

Brightpoint

Brightpoint focuses on helping to combat poverty with various programs, including a strong entrepreneurial and funding services. Brightpoint helped by being Start Fort Wayne’s fiscal agent while the non-profit awaited the official 501(c)(3) designation from the IRS.

Frontier Communications

Frontier is a regional telecommunications and high-speed Internet provider in Fort Wayne. Frontier agreed to run their FIOS service to our location at their own expense, which will enable our members to have high speed internet connectivity and allow for future expansion for years to come.