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
Beers Mallers, LLP
email@example.com | (260) 426-9706 | beersmallers.com
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.
BBB Serving Northern Indiana
firstname.lastname@example.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.
Director of Operations
email@example.com | 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.”
Cleaning Queen, LLC
firstname.lastname@example.org | (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.
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.
Business Development Coordinator
email@example.com | (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.
Galecki Financial Management
firstname.lastname@example.org | (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.
CFP®, CDFA®, Owner/Principal
Galecki Financial Management
email@example.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.
firstname.lastname@example.org | (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.
email@example.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
firstname.lastname@example.org | (260) 422-5561 | diversity.indianatech.edu
Erin E. Martin
Phillips Financial Management, LLC
email@example.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.
McMahon’s Best-One Tire
firstname.lastname@example.org | (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:
Mortgage Loan Originator
email@example.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.
Mortgage Loan Originator, VP
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.
Vice President & Relationship Manager
PNC Business Banking
firstname.lastname@example.org | (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.
Head Coach, Women’s Basketball
Purdue Fort Wayne
email@example.com | (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.
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.