Our Team

DSC_1803-REDO Dan Copeland, publisher

Dan Copeland was born in 1955 and spent the first 19 years of his life in Jackson, Michigan. He graduated from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1984. In 1987, Dan moved to Fort Wayne, Ind., to start Business People. For over 30 years, Dan has led the company. He has two daughters, one who is active in the business and the other lives and works in Michigan. He is involved in the local community through various non-profit agencies. He enjoys golf, snow skiing and travel. 


Alicia Tharp, editor 

Alicia first came to Business People in 2010 as an editing intern and always hoped for the opportunity to return as a full-time employee. She attained that goal in May 2017 when she joined Business People as editor. After spending six years at the Journal Gazette as a copy editor and later as night city editor, the Huntington native and 2011 graduate of Indiana University-Bloomington is thrilled to return to the Business People staff. Armed with a BA in English and her AP Stylebook, Alicia eagerly brings her love of editing. In her spare time, Alicia is an avid reader, movie watcher and lover of all things that get her outdoors. She spends as much time as possible with her family and friends, traveling to see those who don't live locally. Her German Shepherd Molly is her constant shadow and source of joy. Alicia teaches 2nd-graders about the community as a Junior Achievement volunteer and was previously a Big Sister. 

DSC_8907 Emily Burnworth, vp of operations 

Emily started working for Business People in 2004 as the ad coordinator. After gaining experience and learning about all aspects of the company, she took over the office manager position in October 2009 and was promoted to VP of Operations in 2014. She has a degree in marketing from IPFW and strives to bring a fresh perspective to Business People. Emily got married in March 2015 to Mark Burnworth and they welcomed their son, Colin, in March 2016. Emily enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends and has a passion for magazines. She feels privileged to work with the Business People team and feels blessed for the opportunities she has been given. 

Deb-Retouched-FINAL Deb Fulton, senior account executive 

Deb began her sales career when she was barely out of her teens, selling for an office supply company, a food distributor, a communications company and for a TV commercial/video production company, before she finally landed at Business People magazine. In July 2019, she will be celebrating her 19th year anniversary as an account executive for Business People. For Deb, this job has been the most rewarding by far. Each day, she has the pleasure of meeting with companies to discover how and why they started their business and how she can help them continue to grow. Deb has been an ambassador for Greater Fort Wayne Inc. and currently sits on several nonprofit marketing committees. She organized and launched a women's networking group (3W3) in 2005. She is a member of the Northwest Area Partnership and in her spare time, she is a regular movie-watcher, animal activist, book-reader, walker, gardener, photographer and scrapbook artist. She enjoys traveling with her husband and spending time with her granddaughter, family and friends.

Andrea_D_EDIT Andrea Copeland, account executive

Though Andrea has had a varied career path, a common theme prevails - sales. When you’re good at something, why rock the boat, right? During her 20 year career in sales, she was a corporate travel agent, helped schools meet their goals while working at Scholastic Books, worked as an account executive for a technology company and then joined the Business People staff. Though she loved her position at Business People, she wanted to broaden her scope of experience, so in 2009 she left to join the Holiday Inn staff. There she wore many hats and gained a wealth of experience, but when a position in non-profit was presented to her, she couldn’t turn down the opportunity. Though her career led her all over the Fort Wayne business landscape, she always had a desire to come back to Business People. In August of 2013, her dream came true. She rejoined the Business People staff and says that “it feels good to be home.” Andrea has one son who is her pride and joy. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening. She dreams of perfecting her golf game (though she says she still has a ways to go), is always looking for the best bargain and believes that when all else fails, the perfect pair of shoes can save the day.  

Kendra Sinak

Kendra Sinak, account executive

Kendra originates from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2008. After moving to Fort Wayne in 2009, she spent ten years in a variety of marketing and event roles at Franklin Electric before joining Business People in 2019. Outside of work, Kendra enjoys being outdoors, running, yoga and keeping up with her daughter, Eden, who was born in December of 2018. She also enjoys attending church, traveling and spending her summer weekends at Lake Tippecanoe with her family.


Danielle Hoelle, art director

Danielle joined Business People in September of 2012, a year after graduating from IPFW with a degree in graphic design. She continues to be an active member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society. Outside the world of design, Danielle loves the art of self-expression through other creative outlets such as writing and photography. She also enjoys reading, music, watching movies, cooking and baking, spending time with her friends and her annual family vacations to North Redington Beach, Fla.

Elle_050_EDIT Elle Helm, graphic designer

Elle joined Business People in January 2017 as a graphic design intern during her last semester of college at the University of Saint Francis. After receiving her degree in May 2017 she joined the BP team as a full time graphic designer. At the University of Saint Francis she studied graphic design and photography, and loved being involved with the various art organizations on and off campus. She is now a proud USF alumni. In her free time she enjoys gardening, cooking and eating with her family and friends. She also enjoys learning more about art history, design, metal crafting and alternative photography techniques.


Whitney Kaiser, sales/marketing

After spending four years as a marketing manager in the tax industry, Whitney joined BPPromos, a division of Business People, in April 2017. She graduated from IPFW in December 2015 with a BS in business, with concentrations in marketing and finance. During her time at IPFW, Whitney founded the IPFW chapter of She’s the First, a non-profit organization that sponsors girls’ education in developing nations. She is also a member of Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society. During her spare time, you can find Whitney traveling with her husband, playing fetch with her dogs, Oakley and Copper, spending time on the lake with her family or watching a good movie. 


Vanessa McCarty, account executive

After 10 years of retail sales and management, primarily in the cosmetics industry, Vanessa McCarty joined the team at Business People in 2010 as an account executive. In 2012, she had her second child and took the opportunity to stay home and raise her children. Vanessa came back in August 2019 and is now an account executive for BPPromos, a division of Business People. She has three girls, ages 10, 7 and 4, who are the light of her life. In her spare time she loves to run both competitively and for fun. She also enjoys baking, exploring new foods and all things beauty related, keeping with her roots in cosmetics. 


Brennah Yoder, sales & marketing

Brennah joined BPPromos, a division of Business People, in September 2019 after graduating from Grace College in December 2018. Graduating from Grace College with two degrees in marketing and facility and event management; she now fills the marketing and sales support role for BPPromos. During her time at Grace College, Brennah assisted with coordinating the Women's Ministry Program and was awarded with membership in the Sigma Beta Delta Business Honor Society. Presently, she enjoys being a part of her church community in Fort Wayne. In her spare time, you can find Brennah exploring new coffee shops with her husband Caleb, hosting friends and family in their home, running on the Fort Wayne trails, or laughing along to the popular comedy Friends.