Board of Directors

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is the governing body of YLNI. Their big-picture approach is to guide the organization to fulfill our mission. The day-to-day happenings include approving activities, securing funding, being advocates for our demographic, and generally trying to figure out what we’re doing. The board meets formally once a month and all members welcome your input. Have a question or comment for the board? They can be reached at the emails below or at

Meet the 2017-2018 YLNI Board of Directors

Savannah Robinson, Interim President
Savannah is the Director of Legal Personnel Administration at Barnes & Thornburg LLP and serves as the Office Administrator of the Fort Wayne Office. Savannah is responsible for managing attorney, paralegal and technical legal resources at Barnes & Thornburg. Additionally, she oversees all operations of the Fort Wayne office, including but not limited to human resources, personnel, marketing, facilities and finance. Savannah earned her bachelor’s in public affairs and legal studies and her master’s in public administration from Indiana University-Fort Wayne. Following graduation, she lectured at IPFW on human resource management and environmental policy for several years. She is currently a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM); the Human Resource Association of Northeast Indiana (NIHRA) and a member of the National Association of Law Placement (NALP). She is a member of the Association of Legal Administrators and serves on the Professional Development Advisory Committee. She is also a member and serves as Vice President of the Northeast Indiana Association of Legal Administrators.

Savannah is active in the community and passionate about giving back. Prior to becoming Secretary of the YLNI Board, she served as VP of Membership and co-chair of the communications, marketing and membership task force. In addition to serving on the YLNI Board of Directors, she currently serves as President of the Board of Directors for the Fort Wayne Dance Collective; serves on the Fall Committee for SCAN, Inc. and serves on the Paralegal Committee for the Allen County Bar Association. Savannah was chosen as one of Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly’s Twenty Millennials Making a Difference in Northeast Indiana and as one of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Finest Young Professionals in Fort Wayne in 2014 for her hard work and dedication to the community and workforce in Allen County.

Sarah Verpooten, Secretary
Sarah has lived in Fort Wayne since 2011 and is currently the Marketing Coordinator for Strahm Building Solutions. In 2011, she received her bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from Ball State University. Sarah grew up in Elwood, Indiana, and has embraced Northeast Indiana as her new home and loves being involved in the growth of our amazing community. Since becoming a member of YLNI in 2012, Sarah’s involvement includes serving as Co-chair for the 2014 My City Summit, Living Fort Wayne Film Series Chair, Social Chair, a number of YLNI committees, and now Director at Large for Fund Development. She is a graduate of the 2015 YLNI Leadership Institute Class and was named as one of Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly’s “40 Under 40” award recipients for 2015. She is also involved with the Arts United Quality of Life Committee. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys spending time with her fiance, their dog and friends. During the summer, it is a must to make time for the lake in between all of the wonderful events happening throughout Fort Wayne!

David Curry, Treasurer 
David was born in Fort Wayne and has always lived in Northeast Indiana. He graduated from East Noble High School and attended Trine University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in FinanceDavid currently works at Lake City Bank as a Commercial Loan Administrator. He has been with Lake City Bank since graduating college in 2014. David is a 2017 graduate of the YLNI Leadership Institute and has been involved with YLNI since 2016. Outside of work. David likes to hang out with friends and family. He is an avid golfer and enjoys playing tennis and being outside.

Patrick Florea, Director at Large of Executive Committee
Patrick, a life-long Fort Wayne Native, currently serves in the role Director of Account Management at JH Specialty, Inc. where he has found a home since 2007. This current position has him working directly with Medium to Large size businesses within the greater Fort Wayne area to enhance their online identity, brand awareness, and customer acquisitions. Patrick earned a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Indiana University-Purdue University of Fort Wayne, where he played Division I golf all four years. After graduating from the YLNI Leadership Institute in 2013, he has served on the YLNI Membership Committee as the Ambassador Co-Chair for a year before taking on his currently role as Director at Large for Leadership Development. As his first year serving on the YLNI board, Patrick brings a multitude of different skill-sets, including Marketing, Digital Advertising, and overall Leadership through Community Engagement. In his downtime, Patrick enjoys activities with family and friends that include golfing, tennis, skiing, biking, hiking, and most other activities outdoors. Patrick also serves on the Board of Directors for the American Advertising Federation of Fort Wayne. 

John Felts, Vice President of Communications
John is the Public Outreach Coordinator for the City of Fort Wayne. In his role, John coordinates and creates public outreach initiatives for Mayor Tom Henry and city departments. Previously, he worked at Visit Fort Wayne, serving as a Communications Manager. In addition to serving on the YLNI Board of Directors, John volunteers with Weather the Fort, Downtown Improvement District Clean & Green Corps, and Bishop Luers High School football team. He is graduate of the 2014 YLNI Leadership Institute and is a 2014 “20 Millennials Making a Difference” honoree.  John graduated from Indiana University in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in Sports Communications and a minor degree in Telecommunications. He attended Bishop Luers High School. In his free time, John enjoys attending community events, playing the drums for Swimming Into View, spending time with family and friends, and cheering on the Indiana Hoosiers. Follow John on Twitter at @johnpfelts.

Pone Vongphachanh, Vice President of Community Impact

Pone is a lifelong resident of Fort Wayne. She is currently the Public Affairs Officer for the Upstate Alliance of REALTORS┬«. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Affairs and a master’s degree in Public Management — both from Indiana University-Purdue University of Fort Wayne. Prior to starting her first term on YLNI’s Board, she was involved with YLNI the Vote and the YLNI Social committee. In the areas of civil service, Pone is the treasurer of the Fort Wayne Downtown Improvement District Board and secretary-treasurer for the Fort Wayne Housing and Neighborhood Development Services Board, served on the City of Huntington’s comprehensive plan review committee, and has also served on Mayor Henry’s Legacy Champion Committee and Tree Commission. Her other board and committee experience includes the Embassy Theatre Foundation, the Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association, IPFW Alumni Association, the New Allen Alliance, the Regional Opportunities Council, the policy committee for the Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana, Taste of the Arts, Knight Foundation Advised Fund and Community Foundation Grant Review Fund. She is an honoree for Business Weekly’s 40 under 40, an Athena nominee and is a 2012 Leadership Fort Wayne graduate. Pone has one daughter and comes from a large family of nine. Besides enjoying time with her family, Pone’s interests include travelling, volunteering, reading, and socializing with friends.

Abigail Zimmer, Vice President of Membership

Abigail was born and raised in Auburn, Indiana and has been resident of Northeast Indiana for four years. She is currently the staffing manager for Creative Financial Staffing, where she specializes in the placement of accounting and financial talent across a broad range of industries. She has previously served as the YLNI's Masquerade Ball Chair and Membership Chair. Abigail has been an active participant with the American Heart Association, American  Cancer Society and the United Way through team fundraising and awareness. In her spare time, she likes to spend time with her family, Husband Louis and daughter Mallory, DIY projects, and traveling. 

Kelly Rentschler, Vice President of Social

Kelly was born and raised right here in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where she works as a Right of Way Agent with EASi, an Aerotek Company. A graduate of Northrop High School, she attended Indiana University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Tourism Management and then went on to attain her master’s degree from Ball State University in Urban Planning and Real Estate Development. Kelly was formerly the YLNI Social Chair and helped to oversee events such as the Living Fort Wayne Concert Series and YLNI Masquerade Ball. In addition to her involvement with YLNI, Kelly is also a Big Sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana, and enjoys scuba diving, craft beers and traveling!

Kourtney Teegardin, Vice President of Leadership Development

Kourtney, a lifelong resident of Fort Wayne, is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator at Design Collaborative. She has been actively involved with YLNI since she graduated from its Leadership Institute in 2015. She served as a Co-Chair of the Leadership Institute organizing committee for the 2016 and 2017 classes. In addition to serving on the YLNI Board of Directors as the Vice President of Leadership Development, Kourtney has been involved in several organizations as a volunteer. These include Arts United, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana, the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, and SCAN, among others. Kourtney graduated from Indiana University-Bloomington in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

Christopher Reeve, Vice President of Fund Development 

Chris is the Commercial Loan Officer for ProFed Federal Credit Union, where he has worked since 2012. Before that, he lived in North Carolina for seven years, while serving over three years in the United States Army. Chris was born in Bluffton and raised in Berne, Montpelier, and Columbia City. Chris returned to Northeast Indiana in 2009 to finish his bachelor’s degree with a double major in Finance & Economics and a Bank Management Certificate. He served in various roles on campus including Chair of Ways and Means Committee, Vice Chair of Allocations Committee, Finance Society, Delta Sigma Pi and Accounting Society.  Since becoming a YLNI member in 2013, Chris graduated from the 2015 YLNI Leadership Institute and has co-chaired the Leadership Institute committee for two years before joining the board as the Director at Large of Fund Development. Chris continues to be involved with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program since 2010 providing free tax preparation for low- to moderate-income residents.

John Foxworthy, Director at Large of Fund Development
John is a graduate of Ball State University with a degree in Finance. He is a financial planner at Mahara Wealth Partners, a locally-owned financial planning and investment management firm. John returned to Fort Wayne after college and has a passion for improving the community. He has served YLNI as the Masquerade Ball Chair and Social Chair over the last 3 years. John also serves on the board of the Fort Wayne Estate Planning Council and is active with the Mizpah Shriner’s Steel Drum Band. John is dedicated to increasing financial wellness in Fort Wayne, teaching financial planning courses at IPFW, the Fort Wayne Community Center, and many local businesses. His commitment to the community earned him the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly “Forty Under 40” award in 2014. John loves to spend his spare time with his wife, Jill, and their two sons. They enjoy spending time together outdoors, visiting new places, and listening to live music. 

Rena Burton, Director at Large of Leadership Development
Rena Burden is the chief development officer at Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities.  A native of western Kentucky, Burden has rooted herself into the Fort Wayne community and is passionate about improving the quality of life of all people in northeast Indiana. Previous to Turnstone, she held development positions at United Way of Allen County (Community Campaign Director) and Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne (Director of Development). In her role at Turnstone, Rena finds the resources needed to help create positive solutions for our community and encourages community members to support Turnstone’s mission. Before calling Fort Wayne her home, she lived in Busan, South Korea and taught English as a second language. Rena holds a B.A. in Political Science from Eastern Kentucky University where she graduated with honors. She now proudly resides in downtown Fort Wayne with her husband, Fort Wayne native Patrick Shown, a member of the Fort Wayne Fire Department.

Chris Polhamus, Director at Large of Technology

Chris was born and raised in Fort Wayne, where he currently works as an Account Manager for JH Specialty. Chris earned his bachelor's degree in Marketing from Butler University. He uses his experiences from Butler in his role today at JH Specialty to help businesses, large and small, overcome obstacles and frustrations relating to sales and marketing ensuring that efforts are seen as an investment and not an expense. Chris graduated from the YLNI Leadership Institute in 2014 and has been a member of YLNI ever since. In his downtime, Chris enjoys spending time with his family as well as being a sports enthusiast and outdoorsman.

John Hudson, Director at Large of Community Impact

Born and raised in Northeast Indiana, John has been engaged within YLNI since returning to Fort Wayne in 2009, serving within various roles as chair of Community Engagement and Advocacy (CEA) and most recently chair of YLNI the VOTE. Currently, John works as a Graduate Architect for Viridian Architectural Design. He graduated from Ball State University with a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Architecture.  John has been involved with Rotaract and served as a board member of Family and Children's Services dba Headwaters Counseling. He enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters.

Tim Zink, Director at Large of Living Fort Wayne
Tim has called northeast Indiana home for all, but nine months of his life. He grew up just outside of Leo-Cedarville in northern Allen County. Tim earned Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), where he was involved in a variety of activities like student government, student media, and AmeriCorps. Currently, Tim works for both IPFW and a local television station in Fort Wayne. In his free time, Tim enjoys biking, landscape photography, comedy, and community engagement.

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    Fort Wayne, IN  46853

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