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Greater Fort Wayne Inc. names Becker first CEO


Greater Fort Wayne Inc. has named Fort Wayne Deputy Mayor Mark Becker as its first CEO.

The non-profit organization is the merger of the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce and the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance.

"After interviewing several highly qualified candidates from our local community and across the country, we believe Mark's proven leadership ability and experience in business services and economic development clearly offer the best fit for Greater Fort Wayne Inc.'s community vision," Mike Packnett, board chairman for the organization, said in a statement. Packnett is also president and CEO of Parkview Health.

The Greater Fort Wayne CEO search was launched in April after organizers unveiled the new entity's name and structure.

Becker has held the deputy mayor post twice. He first held it from 2005 to 2008, and was named to it again in April 2012.

In between the two, he worked as executive cirector of the Northeast Indiana Fund, the agency that oversees management of the charitable foundation that provides support to the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership – the primary economic development marketing organization for the 10-county Northeast Indiana region.

Before he was appointed deputy mayor the first time, he served as the city's director of the Division of Community Development. He has also been the city's director of Economic Development, the executive vice president of strategic development for the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce in Greenville, S.C., the vice president of business development for the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce and the Community Development Manager for NIPSCO.

Becker has served on the boards of the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance, Northeast Indiana Workforce Investment, Fort Wayne Urban Enterprise Zone, Fort Wayne-Allen County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Downtown Improvement District.

Mike Landram has been president of the Chamber since 2009. Mick McCollum, a longtime member of the Alliance's board, has been leading the Alliance on an interim basis.

Greater Fort Wayne's staff is moving into the eighth floor of the 1st Source Center, 200 E. Main St., by early November.

The organization's goal is to create a common vision and speak with one voice when talking to employers about investments and job creation.

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