She Means Business

2023 Special Section
Oct 2, 2023

Welcome to She Means Business. In this section, we are proud to introduce you to local professional women who are leading their organizations and improving the lives of those in our area. Get to know these women, the services they offer and what sets them apart. If you are interested in being included in this section in the future, please contact your account executive or Emily Burnworth at eburnworth@businesspeople.com


 

Lyndsey Emerick
Assistant Vice President of Finance
3Rivers Federal Credit Union

lemerick@trfcu.org  |  (800) 825-3641  |  3riversfcu.org

Known for her curiosity, intentionality and drive, Lyndsey Emerick serves as the Assistant Vice President of Finance at 3Rivers, is a Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Global Management Accountant, and holds an associate degree in business and a bachelor’s in accounting. She is excited to take on challenging responsibilities such as asset liability management, financial analysis and liquidity management at 3Rivers. Emerick has a passion for learning and loves to share knowledge with others to help them learn and grow, as she believes that connecting with people at their level and connecting the dots in relatable ways are invaluable.
 
Sherry Grate
EdD, Sr. Vice President, Community Impact Investing
Ambassador Enterprises
sherry.grate@ambassador-enterprises.com |  (260) 257-1010  |  ambassador-enterprises.com
 
Sherry Grate recognizes the significance of forging strategic alliances and collaborative partnerships as fundamental to community outreach and engagement. She fosters relationships with multiple northeast Indiana organizations to leverage their strengths and impact outcomes.

Grate has convened a team of stakeholders to address childcare and early childhood education challenges that negatively impact our workforce’s economic growth. 

She has diverse leadership experiences in the classroom, as a principal, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction (K-12), and superintendent of schools.


Jesica L. Thorson
Attorney
Beers Mallers, LLP
jlthorson@beersmallers.com  |  (260) 426-9706  |  beersmallers.com

Jesica Thorson has been an attorney with Beers Mallers her entire legal career. She is a member of the Elder Law and Trust & Estate Planning sections at Beers Mallers. Jesica assists families in the areas of guardianships, estate administration and estate planning. She has counseled numerous families regarding the intricacies of asset preservation planning, whether it be in crisis planning mode or long-term planning. Jesica regularly presents to various local groups and organizations on issues of Medicaid eligibility, estate planning and probate matters. She also is an accredited attorney by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), enabling her to counsel qualifying wartime Veterans on compensation and pension benefits. She is a member of the National Association for Elder Law Attorneys and the Elder Law Section of the Indiana State Bar Association.  

Jesica strives to give back to her community and volunteers through the Volunteer Lawyer Program in Fort Wayne. She is also an active board member with Stillwater Hospice and Aging and In Home Services. She and her husband stay busy keeping up with their three teenagers and watching them play sports. Jesica also enjoys traveling with family.


 

Jan Diaz
Vice President
BBB Serving Northern Indiana
jan@northernindiana.bbb.org  |  (260) 918-2060  |  bbb.org

Jan Diaz was born and raised in the Windy City and moved to Fort Wayne after marrying her high school sweetheart. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana Wesleyan University and throughout her career has demonstrated a history of working in public, private and social sectors, including higher education. 

Throughout her tenure in Fort Wayne, she has served on multiple boards that have strongly supported the growth and development of the northeast Indiana community of businesses and leaders. Her deep passion for businesses closely aligns with the mission of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), where she has served as Vice President since January 2022.


 

Rachel Bowers
Director of Operations
Crosswinds Counseling
rachel.bowers@crosswinds.org  |  crosswindscounseling.org

Rachel Bowers is the Director of Operations for Crosswinds Counseling. Before her arrival, Crosswinds was 100% dependent on grant support. Bowers helped lead the team in moving toward a self-sustaining financial model by supporting both self-pay and insurance payment options for clients. Throughout her six years, the Crosswinds Counseling team has grown 47% and is now serving more than 13,000 clients annually, in six locations. Bowers feels blessed to be part of this amazing growth: “To see us help so many people is not just a testament to the amazing team we have, but a testament to our God.”


 

Angie Hathaway
Owner
Cleaning Queen, LLC
cleaningqueenangie@gmail.com  |  (260) 226-9173 

Angie Hathaway is the owner of Cleaning Queen, LLC, with 15 years of experience in the cleaning industry. Cleaning Queen specializes in residential, commercial, business and post construction cleans and provides excellent client service with high-quality results. The business was voted as one of the best residential cleaning services by Reader’s Choice, sponsored by the Journal Gazette in 2023.

Cleaning Queen focuses on providing clients with not only a clean atmosphere, but a close family relationship. Hathaway believes that free time is priceless, and she wants her clients to be able to truly live life without having to worry about cleaning their home or business. The goal for Hathaway is to see her clients use that time and invest it in meaningful moments with family, friends and themselves.

Hathaway’s passions are found in advocating for mental health and self care, two topics she holds dear to her heart after her son, Ryan, passed away seven years ago by suicide. She has several mental health certifications and has gone through grief facilitation training. Hathaway is avidly incorporating and fulfilling two legacies through Cleaning Queen, LLC — herself and her son’s. 


 

Kaelin Brock
Funeral Director
DO McComb & Sons Funeral Homes
Kaelin.Brock@SCI-US.com  |  (260) 426-9494  |  McCombCares.com

Kaelin Brock has been working in the funeral industry since 2015 and became a licensed director in 2018, while earning a bachelor’s in funeral service management. She excels in connecting with people and truly making them feel at ease during one of the most difficult times in their lives.

A positive experience with a funeral director following her grandmother’s passing called her to this career path where she can help people every day while planning a unique funeral or memorial service for their loved ones.


 

Jessica Menor
Business Development Coordinator
Fort Financial
jessica.menor@fortfinancial.org  |  (260) 432-1561  |  fortfinancial.org

For nearly 20 years, Jessica Menor has helped northeast Indiana residents understand and improve their financial health. As business development coordinator, Menor partners with business leaders and community representatives to promote financial wellness. She recommends credit union solutions and also administers the credit union’s financial education program, partnering with area employers, schools and nonprofit organizations.

In her role, Menor gathers direct feedback on the needs within the community to assist Fort Financial’s efforts to continually improve its products and services to benefit all of northeast Indiana.


 

Chloe Blythe
CFP®, Owner/Principal
Galecki Financial Management
chloe@galecki.com  |  (260) 436-8525  |  galecki.com

Chloe Blythe is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and has extensive experience working with retirees, helping clients through the complex financial transition of retirement. Blythe also works with young professionals and families needing guidance on a retirement savings plan, their children’s education planning, insurance needs and inheritance planning. She enjoys being a resource for all questions and issues that inevitably occur as we navigate through our financial lives. 

Blythe joined Galecki in 2012 and became a shareholder in 2019. She has over 12 years of experience in the financial planning industry. 


 

Melanie Colwell
CFP®, CDFA®, Owner/Principal
Galecki Financial Management
melanie@galecki.com  |  (260) 436-8525  |  galecki.com

Melanie Colwell is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™. She has developed a strong reputation for working with women during life transitions who need sound financial planning and investment advice. Through her CDFA® designation, she can analyze the financial impact of a divorce settlement and work closely with the legal team through the divorce process. 

Colwell joined Galecki in 2005 and became a shareholder in 2010. She has almost 20 years of experience in wealth management.


 

Rachel Bruce
Client Executive
Hylant
rachel.bruce@hylant.com  |  (260) 969-3912  |  hylant.com

Rachel Bruce is a seasoned professional dedicated to helping companies thrive. With a background in project management, implementation and HR, she brings innovative solutions to the benefit insurance space. As a collaborative employee benefits advisor, Bruce excels in navigating the complex landscape of HR, benefits and compliance. She works closely with a skilled team to ensure organizations remain successful, and her out-of-the-box thinking and commitment to cost containment solutions make her a valuable partner for companies at every stage of growth. With her guidance, businesses can expect tailored benefits, improved culture and optimized operations, achieving their growth objectives.


 

Nikki Galbraith
Market President
Hylant
nikki.galbraith@hylant.com  |  (260) 969-3955  |  hylant.com

Nikki Galbraith is responsible for leadership, business development and overall performance efforts for the northeast and northwest Indiana market. Her 15+ years of expertise and experience rests in traditional and alternative risk financing approaches for property, casualty, professional liability, cyber and executive liability exposures.


 

Lisa D. Givan
CDE®, CP-HIL™, Vice president of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Belonging; Chief Diversity Officer
Indiana Tech
ldgivan@indianatech.edu  |  (260) 422-5561  |  diversity.indianatech.edu

Lisa D. Givan is responsible for leading efforts to develop and maintain a welcoming environment that supports and celebrates diversity. A Certified Diversity Executive®, Givan understands the importance of building strong relationships and fostering trust within organizations. As a Certified Practitioner in High Impact Leadership (CP-HIL™), she is committed to making a positive difference in the realm of leadership development. Givan is an award-winning facilitator and leverages her diverse industry experience to deliver exceptional results for her clients.

Erin E. Martin
AIF®
Phillips Financial Management, LLC
erin@1phillips.com  |  (260) 420-7732  |  1phillips.com

Erin E. Martin shares her passion on retirement planning and awareness serving as a Retirement Plan Adviser at Phillips Financial Management, LLC since 2006 and as Partner since 2020. Martin works closely with employers to design a retirement plan that best fits the long-term goals of both the employer and employee. She also works directly with her clients to engage their plan participants/employees on educational topics as it relates to investment advice, saving for retirement and navigating all facets on maximizing retirement plan benefits. Martin has earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) designation, focusing on fiduciary compliance. 


Kim McMahon
President
McMahon’s Best-One Tire
kim@mcmahontires.com  |  (260) 483-9594  |  bestonetire.com

Kim McMahon serves as president of McMahon’s Best-One Tire and has been with the company for 23 years. Prior to her tenured career with McMahon’s, she worked for Fort Wayne National Bank in its trust department for 18 years. She holds a degree from Valparaiso University, has two intelligent and wonderful sons, enjoys golf with her husband of 37 years, and is incredibly passionate about giving back to the community and various nonprofit organizations. While the reach of Kim’s achievements is vast, here are just some of the things she’s accomplished with the McMahon’s team:

Awards/Accolades

  • 2023: Best Places to Work, Top 4 in the United States by Tire Business magazine
  • 2022: Named the Tire Business magazine Humanitarian of the Year. She is the first woman to win this award outright in the 29 years the award has been given
  • 2022: Spirit of Excellence Award from Veterans National Memorial Shrine & Museum
  • 2022: Three Rivers Festival Parade Mayor’s Award – Most Original Float
  • 2020: Best Places to Work, Top 4 in the United States by Tire Business magazine
  • 2019: The Governor’s Half Century Award for longevity and service to its employees, community and the state
  • 2016: Tire Review magazine: Top Shop presented by Coats — Top Shop Finalist. This award seeks to honor the best-of-the-best independent tire dealers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico
  • 2016: Inaugural Mr. Tire/Big 3 Tire Top Shop award winner by Tire Review, presented by Hankook Tire and O’Reilly Auto Parts
  • Annually: Fort Wayne Newspapers Readers’ Choice Award, Best-Of Top 3

Milestones

  • 2023: McMahon’s annual charity golf outing raised over $25,000 for local charities, the largest dollar amount raised to-date. This year’s charities were Fort Wayne Trails and Veterans National Memorial Shrine & Museum
  • September 2023: Acquired Berger Auto INC with two locations in Fort Wayne; currently seven tire and full-service automotive repair locations
  • September 2022: Acquired Best-One of Auburn
  • January 2022: Acquired a retread plant — Best-One Retreading of Fort Wayne
  • February 2021: Opened a newly-built retail store with 10 bays next to the McMahon’s Truck Center

Hannah Ponce
Mortgage Loan Originator
Old National
hannah.ponce@oldnational.com  |  (260) 310-6847  |  oldnational.com/ponce

Hannah Ponce has been working in the financial sector for 20 years where she applies her passion for customer service to provide individualized recommendations for her clients’ mortgage needs. Ponce enjoys building lasting relationships with both her customers as well as other trade partners. Making the transaction seamless and stress free on the borrower is her number one goal while providing exceptional customer service.

Ponce started at Old National in 2008 and has worked in its retail branches, private banking department and mortgage field. She has an associate degree from Ivy Tech State College in Construction Technology.


 

Michelle Widenhoefer
Mortgage Loan Originator, VP
Old National
Michelle.Widenhoefer@oldnational.com  |  (260) 341-5046  |  oldnational.com/Widenhoefer

Michelle Widenhoefer has been with Old National since 2016, currently serving as mortgage loan originator. She attended the University of Kentucky and has over 20 years of mortgage lending experience. She uses her extensive knowledge to originate home purchases, construction loans and refinances, and is committed to customer service and a smooth loan process for her clients and business partners.

Widenhoefer is also involved with the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity and Woodlan High School’s Basketball Boosters.


 

Susan Steffy
MD, FACP
Parkview Health
(260) 373-9250  |  parkview.com/susansteffymd
 
Susan Steffy, MD, has been an internal medicine physician at Parkview Health for 24 years. She is the Chief Medical Officer for Parkview’s Graduate Medical Education programs. These programs are accredited by the ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education) and provide training in a variety of medical specialties. The training programs, commonly known as residencies, are the next step in training for physicians after medical school completion. Dr. Steffy is known for her leadership in the development of training programs for resident physicians and providing expert, compassionate care to her patients.
 
After receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Biological Science from DePauw University, Dr. Steffy attended the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis where she received her medical degree, graduating with high honors. She then completed her internal medicine residency at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, where she served as chief resident. Dr. Steffy is board certified in internal medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.

 

Maja Hasic
Vice President & Relationship Manager
PNC Business Banking
maja.hasic@pnc.com  |  (260) 461-7480  |  pnc.com 

Maja Hasic helps deliver a comprehensive set of advice and solutions designed to help businesses grow and thrive across the region. Hasic joined PNC in 2009 as a branch teller and has remained committed to advancing diversity and inclusion, workforce development, and financial wellness initiatives for employees, clients and the community.

She finds inspiration in giving back, citing countless individuals who helped her transition after arriving in the U.S. in 1995 as a young Bosnian war refugee. Since 2018, she has volunteered to advance the impact of Amani Family Services, an organization dedicated to serving local refugee and immigrant families in Allen County. 


 

Maria Marchesano
Head Coach, Women’s Basketball
Purdue Fort Wayne
mamarche@pfw.edu  |  (260) 481-6970  |  gomastodons.com

In March of 2021 Maria Marchesano was named head coach of the Purdue Fort Wayne women’s basketball program. Marchesano attended Butler University and was a four-year letter recipient as a member of the women’s basketball team before graduating in 2005 with a bachelor’s in integrated communications. She received her master’s in athletics administration from Northcentral University in 2013.

Marchesano led the ‘Dons to the semifinal of the Horizon League Championship in 2023 and has maintained her team’s focus in the classroom as well, having earned a 3.59 team GPA — the 19th-best in the country in 2022-23.


 

Kate Miller
CTFA, President, Private Advisory
Star Bank
kate.miller@starfinancial.com  |  (260) 428-7036  |  starfinancial.com
 
Kate Miller holds the prestigious position of president in the Bank’s Private Advisory department. Her strong educational background includes a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a Master’s in Science of Accountancy, both earned from the University of Notre Dame.

In addition to her role at STAR, Miller actively contributes to various organizations. She serves as a director on the development committee at the University of St. Francis, and as a board member for Erin’s House for Grieving Children and Kate’s Kart. Miller is also a 2021 winner of the Forty Under 40 Award by Fort Wayne Business Weekly.


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