The Journal Gazette
Thursday, May 12, 2022 4:25 pm

Greater Fort Wayne Inc. honors 3 for mentoring, empowering women

LISA GREEN | The Journal Gazette

A community foundation executive, a financial officer and a local educator today received 2022 Champions of Change Awards from the Women's Network of Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

Alison Gerardot, Jeanné Wickens and Jeff Roberts received the honors at an awards luncheon at Camp Red Cedar.

Champions of Change Awards, based on nominations, recognize individuals with "unwavering passion and commitment" and whose work to mentor and empower women in Allen County stands out.

Gerardot, chief impact officer at the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, received the award in the nonprofit category. She has counseled families and individuals, coached and mentored aspiring female artists and dancers, and been a driving force in creating the Women's Fund of Greater Fort Wayne, which is dedicated to closing opportunity gaps for women and girls regardless of place, race or identity, a news release said.

Wickens, the winner in the corporate category, is chief financial officer at Parkview Health. Wickens started “Women Who Work Hard Play Hard,” an informal group for local professional women to meet regularly.

Roberts, the winner in the education category, is part of Fort Wayne Community Schools' New Tech Academy. Along with his teaching duties, Roberts is a founder of two nonprofit organizations -- 4WARD and the Pave the Path Youth Leadership Program. The organizations provide mentorship, internships and networking opportunities to local students, enabling them to lead and succeed in life.

“Alison, Jeanné, and Jeff each embody what it means to be a mentor and servant leader,” Meghan Short, director of investor programs at GFW, said in a statement.

The winners were selected from a field of 24 finalists. Nominations were reviewed and scored on a blind basis by a panel of nonprofit, corporate and education leaders from outside Allen County.

This is the fourth year the Champions of Change Awards have been presented. Wendy Moyle and John Dortch were the inaugural award winners in 2019. Corinna Ladd and Marty Pastura were the winners in 2020. Leslee Hill and Rachel Tobin-Smith won in 2021.

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