Mission & History
Big things are happening in Northeast Indiana. Our community, with its heart in the city of Fort Wayne, is a vibrant, fun place to live and work—full of opportunities for economic, social and cultural growth.
And growth is the very essence of Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana. With a finger on the pulse of our community, we are an empowered group of young professionals who are engaging our community head-on, making a positive impact on the places in which we work and live.
Our members come from throughout the region: entrepreneurs, artists, businesspeople, musicians, accountants, doctors, lawyers, teachers, students, and everyone in between. There’s no strict age limit, but in general we’re 20- or 30-somethings with great ideas and a desire to make a difference, or at the very least be a big part of it. We’re passionate about living in a community that gives back as much as we put into it, and then some.
To attract, develop and retain emerging leaders through community, professional and social engagement.
1000+ person network
- Social and cultural events throughout the year like the Masquerade Ball, Barr Street Market, Hot Spots, and more
- Immersive community involvement that makes a real difference
- Six development initiatives are providing active members with valuable leadership development and networking opportunities
- Personal/professional development programs available to YLNI network
- Networking “Hot Spots” ongoing since June 2005 to build a YLNI community
Northeast Indiana is an attractive region influenced by diverse, emerging leaders who are engaged, inclusive and attached to their community.
The YLNI Story
The concept took root years ago when there was a lot of talk about the “brain drain,” a reference to the large number of young professionals leaving Indiana to live and work in other states. In 2004, the Northeast Indiana Corporate Council started surveying groups of young professionals to find out what they wanted from their community. The Council wanted to know how to attract and retain talented young professionals in northeast Indiana.
The young professionals surveyed started networking, became friends, and found they had a lot in common. Since the community at large was interested in what they had to say about life in Fort Wayne, they realized that, as a group, they had the ability to influence the direction of economic and cultural growth. Far from becoming a part of the brain drain, they organized themselves into Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana, more resolved than ever to see their region succeed.
Truly, the growth of northeast Indiana is what YLNI has been about since its inception. Since then, more than 1,000 members have joined the ranks and made a big impact on the community and themselves. We have a lot of big ideas in the works, and even more on the horizon.
The YLNI Foundation
Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana is a membership-based, 501c4 non-profit organization that is supported in part by the YLNI Foundation as their 501c3 fiscal agent of record.