Keith Gillenwater, President and CEO of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation (EDC), was recently named to the Greater Ft. Wayne Business Weekly’s 40 Under 40 list.
Winners were selected by a panel of judges based on their career achievements and community involvement.
“It is an honor to be recognized by the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly and a panel of previous “40 Under 40” award winners,” Gillenwater said. “I think it is a testament to the good things we are doing here in LaGrange County, the positive attention we have received from not only the media but from our peers in economic development around the state.”
Although the award doesn’t say who nominated the winners, Gillenwater confided he knew of at least two of his nominators. One was Rob Cleveland, an economic development director for Indiana-Michigan Power, who had previously served as Executive Director of the Blackford County EDC. Gillenwater noted that the other person who nominated him was “probably a little biased” as it was his wife, Carrie, who he called “the most important cheerleader I have.”
“I have had a number of mentors along the way,” Gillenwater said. He pointed to Bill Bradley in Jay County, Bill Konyha in Wabash County and Alan Tio in Whitley County, who all lent an ear of helped him out along the way.
“I am especially thankful to a number of my present and former board members for taking a chance in hiring me in LaGrange County, including Joe Pierce at Farmer’s State Bank, County Commissioner Jac Price, Mark Lew of the LaGrange County REMC, and former commissioner George Bachman,” Gillenwater said.
“I love the opportunity that LaGrange County has presented me, but we still have a long way to go. We will keep pursuing these capacity building projects like the shell building project because we know that they are what is needed and the right thing to do,” Gillenwater said.