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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 18: Invest In Yourself

Sam is a Fort Wayne native and developed a passion for serving others at the YMCA in 2012 when she started in a member services role. Sam is a young professional with a commitment to being the best person she can be by wrestling with the tension of when life, vocation, and purpose all intersect. Her love for coaching and developing others is partnered with a desire to strengthen community for all people. This is all allowing her to make an intentional impact to better lives in Downtown Fort Wayne Since as a neighbor and as the Membership Director at the Central Branch YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne.

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


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Episode 17: Finding a Friend

Meet Mrs Kolde and Mary. Two neighbors connected through a request for help who became quick friends. A cleaning project turned into an ongoing relationship that includes long conversations over shared interests, trips to beautiful places, and a growing friendship that spans a couple generations in age. One of our greatest desires at NeighborLink is that you may find a friend in the neighbor you've just showed up to help. We get to learn how our experiences impact our friends through story, how Mary and Mrs Kolde found each other, and the lessons they're learning along the way. This story a beautiful glimpse into what getting to know your neighbors or choosing to engage relationally through your volunteerism can do if you're open to it. It doesn't always happen, but the opportunity always exists.

Link to Mary & Mrs Kolde’s Video and Andrew's written reflections from the interview.


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Episode 16: Tim Hallman

Tim has been on an intentional journey of learning what it means to be a good neighbor for over 15 years. Tim pastored a small church in the heart of a socio-economically diverse downtown collar neighborhood for 20 years before becoming the Christian Emphasis Director at the YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne a few years ago. In the past 10 years, we’ve had more conversations on the role of the “Church” or Christians in neighborhood and community development with Tim than just about anyone else. Tim is the connector, pastor, and friend that can lead you to hopeful, strategic, and affirming kinds of conversations that always end up with you seeing something new in what you're working on that will leave you encouraged and optimistic that you're making progress. Tim wants to be a better neighbor and wants to do that with you for the sake of learning together being better for us all.

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


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Episode 15: Katie Jo

Katie is Fort Wayne famous for many reasons. Katie is known around town as the person “Slinging Sunshine” and spreading joy. Katie is someone you find at a lot of local events scooping people up who are strangers and transforming them into close friends. She cares for the people she interacts with in a really extraordinary way. Everyone that knows her feels the genuine love and care she has for them. She has a way of turning brief interactions she has with people into long-lasting feelings of gratitude and kindness. Katie looks after everyone around her. Are they well? Do they have what they need? Can she do anything for them? Do they realize how unique they are? Off the clock she makes a point to be a cheerleader, encouraging people to keep believing in themselves. Katie pours herself out to people and gives it all she’s got. She is transforming our community with each and every interaction she has with people.

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


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Episode 13: Jenn Nickell

Jenn Nickell, the new principal at Lindley Academy, avoided the teacher life for several years, pursuing a degree and career in acting instead. But 11 years ago, she started substitute teaching and thus began her career in the school system. She’s found that inside the walls of a school lives a microcosmic neighborhood. She would argue even that kids understand what it means to be a good neighbor in a much better way, with much higher emotional intelligence than we as adults give them credit for. As an educator, Jenn pulls us into what it looks like to be a neighbor inside a school.

Link to Jenn'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.