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  • Operation ALL - Invest in Women, Accelerate Progress

Operation ALL - Invest in Women, Accelerate Progress

  • 03/13/2024
  • 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Sweetwater 5501 US Hwy 30 W Fort Wayne, IN, 46818


Registration is closed

On the heels of International Women’s Day (March 8, 2024), Women & Hi Tech invites you to a panel discussion focused on improving and increasing diversity and gender inclusion in the Indiana STEM community, "Operation ALLTM - Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress” on Wednesday, March 13.

According to the United Nations, achieving gender equality and women’s well-being in all aspects of life is more crucial than ever if we want to create prosperous economies and a healthy planet. However, we are facing a key challenge: the alarming $360 billion annual deficit in gender-equality measures by 2030.

Through better understanding of our gender biases, together we can lead as allies in helping to advance women in their STEM careers and build more inclusive, innovative, and fulfilling workplaces.

This event is open to ALL (members, non-members, male allies, friends, supporters of Women & Hi Tech, etc.).

Women & Hi Tech will facilitate a robust discussion with a panel of male allies who will speak to their experiences and share perspectives on supporting women in STEM, traversing topics such as inclusion, promotion, advancement, sponsorship, mentorship, feedback, challenging people equally, and how allies in leadership and management positions can support and promote gender equality in the workplace.

Attendees will walk away with new perspectives and actionable steps on how to serve as allies in the workplace.

This event will be hosted by the Event Sponsor, Sweetwater, at their location on the west side of Fort Wayne (5501 US Hwy 30 W). 

The first 30 registrants to arrive at the event will receive a complimentary copy of inclusive leadership trainer, and highly acclaimed author Julie Kratz's Allyship in Action: 10 Practices for Living Inclusively and accompanying Allyship in Action workbook.


5:30 pm - 6:00 pm – Registration, Networking and Refreshments

6:00 pm - 6:45 pm – Panel Discussion

6:45 pm - 7:00 pm – Table Discussions

7:00 pm - 7:30 pm – Networking and Refreshments

Meet Our Panel

Moderator: Michelle Chambers, Councilwoman At Large, Fort Wayne City Council

Michelle Chambers is a trailblazing leader, who etched her name in history in January 2020, as one of the first two African American women elected to the Fort Wayne City Council. With a commitment to public service that spans over three decades, she has made significant contributions to her community. Currently, she serves as the Co-Chair of the City Regulations Committee, where she plays a pivotal role in shaping and guiding policies. Educationally, Michelle is equipped with a master's degree in Public Administration, which has laid a solid foundation for her impactful career. Additionally, she leverages her expertise as the Principal Consultant at EduStrive, an esteemed position she currently holds.

It is evident that Michelle is driven by her passion for public service, evident through her notable achievements. She proudly holds the distinction of being a National Urban Fellow, a recognition that speaks to her commitment to nurturing urban leadership and addressing critical issues within this context. In addition, her dedication to fostering positive change has been acknowledged through her status as a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow, an honor bestowed upon individuals who exemplify outstanding service.

Michelle's personal life is equally fulfilling, as she is the cherished wife of Dr. Benny Fair Jr., DPM. Her unwavering dedication to her family and community is a testament to the values she upholds. With Michelle at the helm, Fort Wayne City Council has been fortunate to have a remarkable leader who embodies professionalism, dedication, and compassion. Through her relentless efforts, she continues to make a lasting impact, paving the way for future generations.

Fox Campbell, Agile Coach, Ninety.io

Fox Campbell is an Agile Coach with Ninety.io assisting in the development/management of software designed to help teams build great companies. A Fort Wayne native, Fox has served various roles with local businesses such as Parkview Health, Orthopedics North East, and Sparq (formally Rural Sourcing). During his time in healthcare Fox rose through the ranks starting as tech support, became team-lead of tech support, and finally the cybersecurity system administrator before shifting his focus towards management. The last 5 years Fox has been a senior consultant in project management working with startups as small as 10 people to some of the largest Fortune 500 companies, most notably UPS, always advocating for the equal treatment of all genders.

Fox holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and a Master’s in Business Administration, both from Purdue University.

John Dortch, President/CEO of The Fort Wayne Black Chamber of Commerce, The Penta C.S. Group LLC , Minority Entrepreneurial Center, and Fort Wayne Ink Spot LLC, A Minority Newspaper. Owner of The Preston Joan Group, Inc.

John P. Dortch hails from a small rural town in Camden, Alabama. When John graduated from High School he did not attend college right away. After staying out from High School for two years John enrolled in college at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee and graduated cum laude in 3 years. There are a total of 11 children in John’s family, and they are all college graduates, but John is the only one who stayed out for 2 years before he attended college. And this was because he was immature. John’s father had a 6th grade education and his mother had an 8th grade education.

After graduating from college John accepted a job with the Internal Revenue Service for 2 years in Nashville, Tennessee. John then accepted a job with Navistar in Fort Wayne, Indiana where he stayed 3 years. John left there and accepted a job with Parkview Hospital. He began a career in Human Resources with the position of Assistant Director. John was later promoted to Director of H.R., then he was promoted to Division Director of Human Resources, then John was promoted to Vice President of Corporate Human Resources. After 15 years as Vice President John decided to leave Parkview in May of 2004 to start his own company which is a Human Resources and Management Leadership consulting company, The Preston Group, Inc. that specializes in leadership development. In May of 2024, this year the company will be 20 years old and still going.

In February of 2011 John started the Fort Wayne Black Chamber of Commerce along with 6 other individuals. In November 2015 John bought a vacant Medical Clinic, on South Calhoun Street and it has been renovated and is known at The Penta C.S. Group, LLC. (a Minority Entrepreneurial Center) that consists of 9 offices for rent and 3 conference rooms. It is a Minority Entrepreneurial center that is available to minorities to rent if they are in business or starting a business. The building is currently filled with no vacancies, and the conference rooms are rented most of the time.

In 2017, John helped his granddaughter who was 9 years old at the time start a business More then An Art. In 2019 John helped his granddaughter who was 12 at the time start another business J&J LLC, a bracelet business that she continues to still own at the age of 16 today.

In March of 2018 John started another business, Fort Wayne Ink Spot, LLC which is a Minority Newspaper with over 800 subscribers, and growing.

In 2019 John became the Executive Vice President of JAAN Enterprises, LLC a family owned Real Estate Venture in Alabama that consists of an 80 acre farm and a 5 bedroom house in Camden Alabama. In March of 2023 John started another business, The Dream Center, that consists of 5 enclosed offices and 16 co working offices.

John is very involved in the community by serving on various boards, or volunteering in other areas of the community. In November of 2012 John started a program for young people who have been incarcerated for minor offenses and were having a hard time getting jobs. The name of the program was SCORE (Securing Confidence On The Road to Employment) A total of 30 young men were placed on jobs within companies around the area, and most of them are still gainfully employed.

John was also involved with SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) by working with high school dropouts through a program by the name of: ( Be Someone Now). John was involved with this program for 6 years. He does workshops on How to keep a job, What is professional etiquette, decision making, leadership skills, How not to lose a job, and Entrepreneurship (How to Start a Business and Stay in business.

John has also started a program for middle and high school students that is named, STAR (Skills That Are Required). The focus of this program is on manners and character.

John wrote a book in 2009 titled “In My Father’s House, These Were The Rules”. This book is about John’s deceased father and the impact he had on his upbringing. He has sold over 25 thousand of these books. John has written another book titled: “Built To Lead-A Guide to Mentorship”. Mentoring is so important because it provides the necessary support to be successful. John has just just completed a third book titled. “Your Pocket Guide To Corporate America. 14 Rules To Help You Become All You Want To Be. The main focus of this book will be to help individuals as they climb the Corporate ladder maneuver the skills necessary to be successful without breaking the rules.

John currently does workshops on being an entrepreneur.

John believes so strongly in giving back that he gives out over 400 papers a month to the following locations, Allen County Jail-100 copies, Rescue Mission 50 copies-, Allen County Juvenile Center-50copies, YMCA Women Shelter –25 copies, and the Women Shelter on Lake -50 copies., and Charis House 50 copies. All of these papers are donated free by John to these facilities.

John has served on many boards in the past and is a member of Turner Chapel A.M.E. Church. John has received numerous awards and recognition for his committed services to the community. John is very committed and has a passion to help others. He currently serves on the board of Smith Academy, and is the Chairperson of TEA (Talent Education Academy) in Montgomery, Alabama

John’s motto is: “If I can help somebody as I pass along, then my living will not be in vain.”

Omar Habayeb, Director of Skills and Pathways Programs, TechPoint

Omar Habayeb is a visionary leader in the Indiana digital economy, championing skills-based hiring and informed optimism. With over a decade of experience working remotely, he has honed his expertise in communication, leadership, data analysis, research, and technical skills to drive meaningful change. Currently serving as the Director of Skills and Pathways Programs at TechPoint, Omar collaborates with employers to identify crucial tech roles and develop skills-based initiatives that bolster the tech sector's growth in Indiana.

Omar's career is marked by significant contributions to various educational and technological institutions. His tenure at Martin University as Director of Institutional Research involved leading data collection and analysis efforts to support decision-making and planning. At Colorado Christian University, as Data & Analytics Manager, he played a pivotal role in developing data-driven solutions across the university.

His work at Cleary University and Midwest Technical Institute further underscores his ability to leverage data for operational improvement and strategic decision-making. At Harrison College, Omar led data and research programs, pioneering innovation in higher education. His roles have spanned from managing online learning divisions to directing admissions, where he developed strategies for recruitment and program implementation.

With a Master's in Organizational and Professional Communication and Development and a Bachelor's in Political Science and Communication from Ball State University, Omar is a well-rounded professional dedicated to advancing Indiana's tech community. His leadership is characterized by a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and the empowerment of underrepresented groups in technology. Omar Habayeb is a transformative force in the tech industry, driving innovation, and talent development with a forward-thinking approach.

Zach Sauder, CPA, CGMA, Partner, Finance & Accounting Services, Katz, Sapper & Miller

Zach Sauder is a partner in Katz, Sapper & Miller’s Fort Wayne office and leads the firm’s Outsourced Finance & Accounting Services Group. From day-to-day accounting functions to CFO advisory services, Zach transforms back offices by utilizing the latest technologies and streamlining accounting processes, providing clients with accurate and timely financial reporting. He leverages this data to provide strategic business analyses and insights to his clients, helping them navigate challenges and make forward-thinking decisions for their businesses.

As a member of KSM’s male allyship program, Zach believes it is critical for men to foster a work environment of respect and equity in which everyone is celebrated, respected, and given a voice. He is an ongoing learner of how males can better advocate for, and be better allies to, women and other underrepresented groups.

Zach received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and finance from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. He has earned the Chartered Global Management Accountant® designation and has training in lean manufacturing and operations as well as talent management. He is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, the Indiana CPA Society (INCPAS), and Financial Executives International (FEI).

An active leader in the Northeast Indiana business community, Zach serves as treasurer for Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Indiana; previously served on the leadership cabinet for INCPAS; and served as membership director and vice president of programming for FEI’s Fort Wayne chapter. He is also a graduate of the Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana’s Leadership Institute; a recipient of a Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly Forty Under 40 award; and a recipient of the David A. Bobilya Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership Award.

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