Invest in YOU Each Month

First Fridays Fort Wayne is designed with YOU in mind all the time.  We strive to bring in compelling, interesting, and challenging speakers each month.  This is your opportunity to invest in your own personal leadership development.  All it takes is a 1 hour investment once a month.

Remember, in April we will be meeting on the 2nd Friday due to Spring Break.  Our guest speaker will be Dr. Eddy Shigley from Indiana Wesleyan University.  Eddy has presented on leadership issues all over the world.  You will love his approach and his insights.  To register, click on the image below.  And remember to invite someone to attend with you!


February 1, 2019 Presentation Announced!

feb 1 2019 featuring barry schrock

The February edition of First Fridays proves to be another value-added event you are going to want to participate in.  Barry Schrock, a First Fridays faithful attendee, will be our presenter.

Barry is a:

Right…that’s a lot!  And you will find Barry to be a thoughtful, influencing, energetic, caring, smart leader who loves to make people think and become better.  It is a passion of his.

We’ve all heard the terms “high performance”.  Where does that come from?  Barry will address this as he unveils his thoughts about how we can lead in the present moment.

Eventbrite registration will be open soon.  Take the time to invite a colleague to attend with you on February 1.  We will announce when registration is open.

Thank you for your ongoing support of First Fridays.   Thank you for inviting friends and colleagues to attend with you.  Thank you for your time investment to become a better leader.  Our community, our companies, and our teams are becoming better as a result.


Communication Skills Can Make or Break Your Career

sharpen your verbal edge bookI am reading the book, Sharpen Your Verbal Edge, written by my friend and First Fridays regular, Elizabeth MacDonald.  Unless you live and work in a cave…alone…not ever communicating with anyone, you MUST buy this book.  It will truly help you become a better communicator!

Elizabeth really got my attention when she wrote the following:

“How important are communication skills?  According to training development specialist Shirley Fine Lee, when people are terminated, 80% of the time, it is because of their lack of leadership or people skills.

Here’s where it gets interesting:  80% of people are hired because of their competence…when people come on board with subpar communication skills, those inadequacies eventually surface and unforeseen challenges arise.”

If you are a manager or leader at your organization, you are expected to:

  • Give presentations
  • Coach/Counsel employees for improved performance results
  • Engage with the community through networking and business building
  • Write professionally

If you find communication challenging, then I recommend you purchase this book.  It WILL help you.  And I know that Elizabeth would welcome the opportunity to directly coach you.  She can help you hone your communication skills that will cause others to take notice – in the best possible way!  My company has brought her in to speak to our entire staff – she is engaging, funny, practical, energetic, and effective.

If you would like more information, please visit Elizabeth’s website at The Verbal Edge.

The Verbal Edge

April 13 – a Change for First Fridays

We want to give you a heads up for our April First Fridays event.  It will not be on the 1st Friday of the month.  Spring Break is the first week of April for many, so we decided not to compete with that.

Instead, we will be hosting First Fridays on the 2nd Friday of April which is Friday, the 13th.  Did you get all of that?

April 13 promo

Mark your calendars now for this great event.  You are not going to want to miss meeting and hearing Dr. Matt Lucas and Coach Jordan Langs from Indiana Wesleyan University.  It promises to be an outstanding morning as both men share about Vision and Culture.  These are dynamic leaders from IWU and have been and will be doing great things for the university.

For those interested, IWU will be hosting a meet and greet time with Coach Langs at 9 am.  Why?  Indiana Wesleyan University has never had a football team until now.  Coach Langs is the leader who has recruited and will field the very first football team for IWU.  Many area high school students will be playing for him this fall.

Just remember in April, we will be meeting on the 2nd Friday.  And just for April.  We’ll be back to the 1st Friday in May and June.

Yes, there’s going to be a quiz…

Registration for this FREE event is now available at:  Special Date: APRIL 13 First Fridays

Lunch with a Leader – Don Cates by Jere Johnson

What happens when IU and Purdue basketball fans have a lunch together?  First, you enjoy lunch.  Second, you get to know each other better and what each other does during the work day, and finally, you agree to disagree about your basketball loyalties.  That was my lunch with Don Cates, CEO of 3Rivers Federal Credit Union.

Don CatesDon has been a tremendous support of our First Friday’s events each month.  So much so, he has agreed to be our presenter in May.  Don started our conversation by getting to know me better and what I do each day for Indiana Wesleyan; this was a welcome visit, because many times when you have a meeting/lunch with someone new he/she only want to talk what they do on a daily basis.  Don was genuinely interested in my role with IWU.

As our lunch continued, we visited about our families, talked about work, but eventually got to both our passion…basketball.  Don, like myself, is a former basketball coach.  He coached at Peru High School in the girl’s program.  It was great to reminisce about teams, players, and seasons.

Don speaking at RTVWhat I realized about Don was that he was a great listener.  Many leaders do not listen well – they would rather others listen to them.  I believe Don is an effective leader because he is caring, concerned for others, and shows compassion where needed.  3Rivers has a wonderful leadership team, in large part, because they have a great coach…Don Cates.