Check back often for the latest news regarding Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana.

  • 12 Jul 2018 9:00 AM | Jasmine Bejar

    Seventeen emerging leaders have been named to the Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana Board of Directors for 2018-2019.

    Effective July 1, Savannah Robinson begins a two-year term as president, and Sarah Verpooten serves as vice president.

    The Board of Directors, which meets monthly, is the governing body of YLNI that will guide the organization to fulfill its goals.
    • Savannah Robinson, President
      Barnes & Thornburg LLP
    • Sarah Verpooten, Vice President
      Strahm Building Solutions
    • David Curry, Treasurer
      Lake City Bank
    • A.J. Stites, Secretary
      First Insurance Group
    • Patrick Florea, Director at Large, Executive Committee
      JH Specialty, Inc.
    • Kourtney Teegardin, Vice President, Membership
      Design Collaborative
    • Justin Hayes, Vice President Leadership Development
      Lake City Bank
    • John Hudson, Vice President, Community Impact
      Viridian Architectural Design, Inc. 
    • Jasmine Bejar, Vice President, Communications
      One Lucky Guitar
    • Britny Berndt, Vice President, Social Programming
      Keystone Graphics
    • Chris Reeve, Vice President, Fund Development
      ProFed Federal Credit Union
    • Chris Polhamus, Director at Large, Technology
      JH Specialty, Inc.
    • Tim Zink, Director at Large, Living Fort Wayne 
      Purdue University Fort Wayne
    • Kelly Rentschler, Director at Large, Fund Development
      American Electric Power
    • Rena Burden, Director at Large, Leadership Development 
    • Brandon Noll, Director at Large, Community Impact
      Reusser Design
    • Katie Robinson, Director at Large, Communications
      Fort Wayne Airport

    The board's day-to-day activities include a variety of tasks, such as event planning, securing funding, and serving as advocates for the emerging professional demographic in our region. 

    "I am excited to lead this board of passionate and dedicated emerging leaders who are committed to making Northeast Indiana a better place,” Robinson said. “We're excited to continue to strengthen this organization to positively impact our community.”

    Established in 2005, YLNI is a group of dynamic emerging leaders that aims to engage the community and make a positive impact in Fort Wayne and the surrounding area. The mission of the 2,500-plus person network is to attract, develop, and retain emerging leaders through community, professional and social engagement.

  • 09 Jul 2018 8:00 AM | Jasmine Bejar

    Join YLNI for View from the Top with teds market owner Brian Hench on Wednesday, July 25! YLNI Board Member Rena Burden will moderate.

    The event will take place at teds market from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Pizza and appetizers will be provided. Cost is $10 to attend.

    Get Tickets 

  • 06 Jun 2018 3:44 PM | John Felts

    YLNI is proud to present our premiere annual General Membership Event, where current members, potential members, and established community leaders are invited to come together to celebrate the growth of our community and the accomplishments of our organization in the past year!

    This year's celebration will take place on Thursday, June 21 from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at Three Rivers Distillery Company. This event will be the perfect opportunity for you to connect with our various committees, as well as enjoy tasty food from TRDC, Fort Wayne-inspired beverages, fun outdoor games, and live music from Will Certain. Admission is free, but register below to attend. 

    Register here 

  • 06 Jun 2018 3:41 PM | John Felts

    YLNI is excited to compete in the 4th annual Fort Wayne Dragon Boat Races on Saturday, June 23! We invite you to join our team and help us paddle our way to victory.

    Each team member is asked to raise and donate a minimum of $50 in pledges, which goes towards the team entry. If you are interested in participating, please email Mike Weber at

  • 23 May 2018 3:31 PM | John Felts

    Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana (YLNI) is excited to announce the inaugural High School Leadership Institute program. The program will take place over two weeks in June, with 21 participants learning about various topics from community leaders.

    Local high school students will explore topics on temperaments and interaction styles, interpersonal communications, networking opportunities, and financial strength and basic budgeting. They’ll also explore the city, taking a tour of the Allen County Courthouse, meeting Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, touring the beautiful Embassy Theatre and the award winning Parkview Field, and getting a hands-on experience at the U.S. Paralympic Training site at Turnstone Center for Children & Adults with Disabilities.

    The students participating in the program are:

    • Steve Alvarez – South Side High School
    • Janae Andrews – Snider High School
    • LaKayla Armour – Snider High School
    • DeMisha Billingsley – East Allen University
    • Carter Bonecutter – Leo Jr./Sr. High School
    • Luke Casterline – New Haven High School
    • Austin Caudill – New Haven High School
    • Berenice Cruz – South Side High School
    • Claryce Dager – Homestead High School
    • Jurneé-Len Davis – Snider High School
    • Emily Farler – Woodlan Jr./Sr. High School
    • Jesus Gonzalez – East Allen University
    • Rachel Kitzmiller – New Haven High School
    • Shelby Kruckeberg – East Allen Choice Alternative School
    • Jaydiin Moye – East Allen Choice Alternative School
    • Victoria Rader – North Side High School
    • Austin Richards – Homestead High School
    • Martavius Sherrill Jr. – Snider High School
    • Luke Spangler – Woodlan Jr./Sr. High School
    • Sierra Svozzi – Homestead High School
    • Zachary Trocchio – Snider High School

    The new program is organized by a group of seven YLNI volunteers, led by committee Chair Stephanie Taylor.

    “High School Leadership Institute is a way for youth to advance themselves in our community through learning and networking with their peers,” Taylor said. “Getting them in a room with these community professionals would not be possible, but for this program. The exposure they’ll gain to each other, community leaders, and to physical spaces they might not have accessed before is what I am most excited about for the participants.”

    The YLNI High School Leadership Institute is made possible thanks to the following sponsors: Strahm Building Solutions, Design Collaborative, Turnstone Center for Children & Adults with Disabilities, Arts United, Hoppy Gnome, Indiana Michigan Power, and Foellinger Foundation. 

    For more information on the program, visit 

  • 21 May 2018 9:00 AM | Jasmine Bejar

    We've been chatting with some of our members, finding out why they love being an active member of our YLNI community. 

    Get to know Tiana Maclin, Marketing Specialist at Regal Beloit.

    What is your involvement with YLNI, and how long have you been involved? 

    My involvement in YLNI is the strategic marketing manager on the Living Fort Wayne committee, a leading destination for everything great about living, working and playing in our community. I also enjoy going to Hot Spots and other events when I can. 

    Why did you decide to join YLNI?

    I decided to join YLNI after learning about the group from the Greater Fort Wayne, Inc. fellows program. I was excited to learn about a group devoted to growing and inspiring the young professional community in Northeast Indiana. 

    What do you hope to accomplish as a member of YLNI?

    YLNI has a diverse group of young professionals wanting to make where they live, work and play the best it can become. I am also one of those. I also want to grow my network around me and learn more about the young individuals that make Fort Wayne so great. 

    What makes you most proud to be a young leader in Northeast Indiana? 

    I am most proud of the opportunities and ability to grow. I moved to Fort Wayne shortly after graduating from college. Having the chance to jump in and be a part of the group in a position in which I can truly contribute was a breath of fresh air. 

    If you were showing someone around Northeast Indiana who had never been before, where is the first place you would take them?

    I love the museums and would take them there in a heartbeat. Wunderkammer or the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Also, the food! Club Soda, Pint and Slice or the Dash-In are some of my favorite downtown picks. 

    Everyone has a reason for being a part of this community of leaders. Why are you YLNI?


    Written by Jasmine Bejar, YLNI Communications Committee Member
  • 17 Apr 2018 9:48 AM | John Felts

    ABC21: Your Weather Authority

    YLNI president Savannah Robinson and board member Patrick Florea sat down with Dirk Rowley of INsight to talk about how YLNI is making an impact in our community. 

    ABC21: Your Weather Authority

    ABC21: Your Weather Authority

    ABC21: Your Weather Authority

    Part I
    Part II
    Part III
    Part IV 

  • 20 Mar 2018 2:32 PM | John Felts

    Join us for View from the Top with Hop River Brewing Company owners Ben Jackson and Paris McFarthing on Monday, April 23!

    Ben and Paris will present their experiences on developing a new brewery in downtown Fort Wayne and share their thoughts on community development.

    The event will take place at Hop River from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Appetizers and beer samples will be provided. There will also be a tour of building to showcase brewing operations. Cost is $10 to attend.

    Get Tickets

  • 20 Mar 2018 2:29 PM | John Felts

    Are you interested in building personal relationships with community leaders?

    Meet with some of Fort Wayne's most respected business leaders during the YLNI Power Lunch Series. This personal interaction grants YLNI members personal access to community leaders. They'll share their experiences and insights in an informal, relaxed setting over lunch. Each group will have the opportunity to build lasting relationships with these community leaders.

    Registration is limited. The first 20 applicants will be selected to participate in the Power Lunch Series.

    Register Now

  • 20 Mar 2018 1:43 PM | John Felts

    Attention, YLNI members!

    This year, YLNI will participate in the 2018 Great American Cleanup on Saturday, April 21. The cleanup will take place from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at a location determined by the City of Fort Wayne or YLNI Board of Directors. Volunteers will be provided with an event t-shirt, gloves, and garbage bags. There is a volunteer post-cleanup party at Headwaters Park from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    We are looking for 20 YLNI members to volunteer for our team. This will be a first come, first serve basis. If you are interested, please contact us at by Wednesday, March 28. Thank you for your support and interest in keeping our community clean!

P.O. Box 10774
Fort Wayne, IN  46853

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