NeighborLink Fort Wayne

Neighboring Check-In With Andrew

This is a special check-in addition of Neighboring due to me having surgery on a vocal cord and not being able to speak for a week. I give some quick updates on some projects, where we are at with Neighboring, and invite you to join us for our Be A Good Neighbor Week at NeighborLink. I'll be back in a couple of weeks with new episodes.

Link to The Video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview.


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Episode 27: Sweetwater Neighborhood

Sweetwater, the No. 1 online retailer of music instruments and pro audio gear, experienced another record-setting year in terms of sales growth and job creation in 2018. They added just over 400 employees to go over 1,500 employees in 2018. With that type of growth, organizational culture is vital to manage that growth in a healthy way. Nate Edwards and Nate Burkhardt, two members of the sales team, share about how Sweetwater has been using a "neighborhood" concept for over 15 years to structure their growing team into smaller groups for relational connectivity and co-worker support. Caring for people has been a foundational ethos of Sweetwater since Chuck Surack started the company from a VW bus. It’s a main reason for extremely high employee retention and attraction to NE Indiana. Listen to hear how neighboring in the workplace can make all the difference.

Link to Their Video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview.


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Episode 26: Adventure Widely

Jason Eicholtz and his daughter, Kylie, haven’t let much stop them from enjoying the adventures they’re seeking for the past five years. Many of the things they find themselves doing are far beyond the comfort level of most parent/kid relationships, such as rock climbing, road cycling, and backpacking. Many of us let the logistics, lack of experience, kids attitudes, or the belief that our kids aren’t ready or old enough keep us from choosing new or challenging experiences. Jason shares how to overcome those fears, how to approach experiences at a kid friendly level, and the positive impacts that he’s seen on his daughter and their relationship. Jason shows us that our kids are more ready than we think they are, and can teach us a few things about being a good neighbor as we journey in the adventure with others.

Link to Their Video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview.

Jason has his own website and YouTube channel, Adventure Widely. Check it out if you’re interested in learning from them as they explore.


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"Neighboring" is now available wherever you listen to podcasts: 

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Episode 25: Volunteer Insights with Jeff & Derrick

Volunteering can be hard, especially when you encounter challenging circumstances or difficult situations when attempting to help neighbors navigating the vulnerabilities of their lives. I invited Jeff Shatto and Derrick Smith who manage and oversee all things projects and volunteers at NL to share a few stories and offer some advice on how to work through those challenging projects. The insights they share are relevant whether you're taking on a NL project or volunteering at a different organization. If we've chosen to volunteer to help someone overcome there crisis or transform their circumstances, we need to be prepared for the challenge that will be for them, but for us as well. With over 15 years of experience, we know that this work is often far more about our own transformation than what we're attempting to transform, which is why we love the NL model because that's what we ultimately want as compassionate or faith-driven people.

Link to Their Video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview.


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"Neighboring" is now available wherever you listen to podcasts: 

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Consider subscribing, sharing, and give us a rating if you appreciate the content and want us to keep creating.

Episode 24: Pettit Rudisill Neighborhood

Pettit Rudisill candidly talks about their part of town, The "06.” Laurie and her husband Randy have raised their family in Laurie’s childhood home after they moved back to Fort Wayne in 1986. Mark migrated to that area with his family for proximity to their church and the cost of living. It's often said that Pettit Rudisill is in the "not so good part of town". But Mark observes that once moving to the southeast side of Fort Wayne, that "People are people. There are people that make good choices and there are people that make poor choices. And yet, for the most part, people want to be known, they want to be cared for, they want to be liked, as we all do." Pettit Rudisill may be in the "Southeast side" of Fort Wayne, but it's a strong neighborhood that has been writing a different narrative than the one that gets told about it for decades.

NeighborLink is conducting a comprehensive research project that is attempting to answer the question, "What makes healthy neighborhoods, healthy?" We'll be introducing you to the five specific Fort Wayne neighborhoods we are working with over the next five weeks.

Link to  Their Video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview.


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"Neighboring" is now available wherever you listen to podcasts: 

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Consider subscribing, sharing, and give us a rating if you appreciate the content and want us to keep creating.

Episode 23: Intentional Retirement

Mark and his wife, Geri, made a conscious decision for Mark not to search for a new job at 58 years old when his career of 31 years at the local General Electric facility ended upon the business unit he worked for re-located to a different community. Instead of moving with GE or finding another job locally, he made a commitment to volunteerism and community engagement. Mark doesn't really consider himself in retirement, just in a new career that doesn't pay in monetary terms, but in impact. Mark is an extremely humble man and I admire Mark for many reasons. I wanted to talk to him about how he managed work/life balance, whether volunteerism and service were always a part of his life, whether he ever questioned whether he was on the right career path, and what motivates him to be so involved as a volunteer. As someone in my late 30s, I have a lot to learn from guys like Mark. We also talk in-depth about the rise of men and women entering retirement at a younger age and how many are finding purpose and community as they transition via volunteerism.

Link to  Mark’s Video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview.


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Episode 22: Hoagland Masterson Neighborhood

We talk to two residents, Arline and Jim, from the Hoagland Masterson Neighborhood Association about the characteristics of their neighborhood, the challenges faced by being more marginalized than most neighborhoods, and what they think makes their neighborhood healthy despite those challenges. Arline always wanted to own and restore a grand Victorian home and after locating one in this neighborhood, was encouraged by the realtor and her insurance agent to reconsider due to the reputation of the neighborhood. Jim and his wife happened to end up on HM due to their daughter purchasing a home just prior to taking a military assignment. They ended up moving into the home after some time and have been residents for almost 10 years. HM has some of the most challenging issues of any neighborhoods we've researched as Arline and Jim share. It feels like the rules are the same and they've been passed by for a lot of years, until recently due to the advocating of some neighbors and the speculation of downtown development. It's a fascinating conversation on a neighborhood fighting to be seen, heard, and cared about.

NeighborLink is conducting a comprehensive research project that is attempting to answer the question, "What makes healthy neighborhoods, healthy?" We'll be introducing you to the five specific Fort Wayne neighborhoods we are working with over the next five weeks.

Link to  Arline & Jim’s Video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview.


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"Neighboring" is now available wherever you listen to podcasts: 

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Consider subscribing, sharing, and give us a rating if you appreciate the content and want us to keep creating.

Episode 21: West Central Neighborhood

We talk to two residents, Ben and Tyler, from the West Central Neighborhood Association about the characteristics of their neighborhood and what they think makes their neighborhood healthy. Ben has lived in the neighborhood for about a decade and been president for the past two years. Tyler is buying and renovating his first home in West Central, but began his connection to the neighborhood as a renter eager to get more involved. Ben and Tyler talk about the history, growth, diversity, and some of the challenges within of one of the most prominent and attention getting neighborhoods in Fort Wayne.

If you've wanted to know more about what happens behind the scenes WC, this is a great start to the discussion.

NeighborLink is conducting a comprehensive research project that is attempting to answer the question, "What makes healthy neighborhoods, healthy?" We'll be introducing you to the five specific Fort Wayne neighborhoods we are working with over the next five weeks.

Link to  Ben & Tyler’s Video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview.


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"Neighboring" is now available wherever you listen to podcasts: 

Subscribe at any of these places:

Consider subscribing, sharing, and give us a rating if you appreciate the content and want us to keep creating.