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Leadership nonprofit, Greater Fort Wayne merging

Leadership Fort Wayne Inc. will become a part of Greater Fort Wayne Inc. effective July 1, officials announced Wednesday.

GFW was created by merging the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce and the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance last year to become a single point of contact for businesses considering operations in Fort Wayne and Allen County.

GFW officials have openly talked about their desire to have Leadership Fort Wayne join the fold after the leadership-oriented nonprofit’s fiscal year ends Monday.

Officials hope the adult Leadership Fort Wayne program will become more sustainable, collaborative and engaged in the community. One goal is to offer new training opportunities to GFW members.

Leadership Fort Wayne’s signature program, a yearlong exposure to the community and its challenges, will continue unchanged. Applications are being accepted through Monday for the fall class.

Cheri Becker, Leadership Fort Wayne’s executive director, will become an employee of GFW on Tuesday. She will be a vice president with responsibility for the organization’s Leadership Development and Community Engagement department and other initiatives, including a new executive program scheduled to begin in November, internship and graduate retention programs, and the Women’s Leadership and Athena Award program.

Becker is married to Mark Becker, GFW’s chief executive.