The mission of the New Allen Alliance is to create a unified voice for the communities in East Allen County to foster a coordinated effort in community and economic development, resulting in new investment, job creation, and improved quality of life.


East Allen's Rural Revival is a bold vision to improve Quality of Place in all seven East Allen County communities. Proposed projects will help connect people in our areas (think downtowns, parks, trails, and housing developments). Our vision is to grow our population by enhancing the livability of our rural areas, which will attract and retain a talented workforce that benefits all of Allen County and Northeast Indiana.

Core Values

Core values provide a platform to support the mission of the NewAllen Alliance, shape the culture of the organization, and clarify its identity. They provide a foundation for collaborative decision-making and can be an important tool to set the terms of engagement between communities, stakeholders and the public. 


  1. Collaboration: Cooperation based on relationships among communities in areas that go beyond set jurisdictional boundaries, recognizing both local and regional perspectives.

  2. Economic Diversity: Support of a wide variety of business and industry.

  3. Empowerment: Enabling communities to take action to achieve their goals.

  4. Individualism: Each community is unique and provides value.

  5. Leadership: Cultivated individuals and groups that have the tools and resources in addition to the authority or influence to make good decisions and positive action for a community.

NewAllen Alliance Priorities


NewAllen Alliance supports the development of communities in a way that is effective, responsible and strategic. This will be accomplished through the proactive management of growth in addition to advancing a community and economic development approach relevant for rural and suburban communities.

NewAllen Alliance communities identify themselves as being small, rural, friendly and family-oriented. Future growth and development should allow for the retention of these characteristics while creating healthy, thriving communities. Quality of place investment strategies include preserving and capitalizing upon authentic heritage, revitalizing downtowns, and improving the quality of and access to parks.

Healthy, thriving communities must also provide a foundation built upon having a range of quality housing options at a variety of price points, as well as adequate built and civic infrastructure to support both existing and future development.



NewAllen Alliance communities are situated in the eastern portion of Allen County, the area is next to the City of Fort Wayne, Indiana's second-largest city. Allen County is in the northeastern corner of the State of Indiana, a region with a population of approximately 700,000 that is within a two-to-three hour drive from major Midwest cities such as Chicago, Detroit, and Indianapolis.


The population of the area served by the New Allen Alliance is 56,491 which is approximately 16% of Allen County's population of 360,259 according to ESRI Community Analyst data for 2013 provided by the IPFW Community Research Institute. This population is also larger than that of 65 of Indiana's 92 counties. The NewAllen area has 20,124 households and 21,496 housing units with a 6.4% vacancy rate. Top industries by employee are Manufacturing, Wholesale and Retail, and Education & Health Services.

Board of Directors



    Kent is the Chief Development Officer at Lasting Change, Inc. Previously, he was the Executive Director of Fort Wayne Trails (2016 - 2018) and the Founder/Executive Director of the Cornerstone Youth Center from 2000-2016. He holds a bachelor's degree in business management from IPFW, was named to the 40 Under 40 in 2013 by Fort Wayne Business Weekly and is a 2003 graduate of Leadership Fort Wayne. He also holds various board positions within Allen County.


    Vice President


    Barb is the owner of B. Smith Office Services. She has been a leader in the chamber of commerce in Leo-Cedarville for many years and has been a tireless leader for various community nonprofit groups and is one of the founding members of the Leo-Cedarville Foundation. She also sits on the Board of Directors for the Community Center Foundation in Fort Wayne, Greater Fort Wayne Inc., and Black Pine Animal Sanctuary


    Board Member

    New Haven

    Pone Vongphachanh is the Community and Economic Development Director for the City of New Haven, Indiana.  She has served in this capacity since March of 2020.  She previously served as the Public Affairs Officer for the Upstate Alliance of REALTORS® (UPSTAR). Pone holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Affairs and a master’s degree in Public Management— both from Indiana University-Purdue University of Fort Wayne (IPFW).




    Kevin is a lifelong Grabill area resident. He was raised on his family's Hoosier Homestead farm which has been in the family since 1853. Kevin currently serves as Vice President at First Merchants Bank specializing in business lending. He is a graduate of International Business College. He serves his community as a member of Grabill Missionary Church, a board member for the Grabill Chamber of Commerce & Grabill Development Corporation, and the local chapter of Foods Resource Bank.


    Board Member


    Carol Martin, Board Member, Woodburn - Carol Martin, Board Member, Woodburn, is a lifelong Woodburn area resident. She has held various positions in the United States Postal Service, including Postmaster in Harlan and Woodburn. She is a founding member of the Woodburn Community Association, serving on its board for many years. She is an active member of her church, serves on the Board of Woodburn's Main Street organization and an avid supporter of various other community groups.


    Board Member


    Andy was born and raised in Harlan and works at Century 21 as a Realtor & Auctioneer. He also serves as the Youth Pastor at The Ekklesia in Harlan.


    Board Member


    Larry has been the Street and Utility Superintendent for the Town of Monroeville for the last 15 years and before that he had experience in the skilled trades.  Larry oversees the implementation of all capital improvements on behalf of the town.


    Board Member


    Jon is the owner of Niemeyer Builders. He has been part of many residential and commercial development projects in Allen County, including the Hawks Nest housing development in Hoagland.  Jon is a member of the Hoagland Chamber of Commerce as well as the Hoagland Area Advancement Association.

NewAllen Rural Liason

Kristi Sturtz

NewAllen Rural Liaison

Kristi Sturtz, AICP has twenty-five years of experience as a Community and Economic Developer.  As the owner of Sturtz Public Management Group, she has worked with several organizations and communities throughout the State of Indiana on a range of types of projects including Collaboration, Quality of Life, Neighborhood Livability, Downtown Revitalization, Comprehensive Planning, Annexation, Infrastructure Development, Sustainability Planning, and Strategic Fund Development.


Kristi is a Master of Liberal Arts Degree Candidate for Development Practice at Harvard Extension School.  She also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Affairs with a concentration in Public Management from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University.  Kristi is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, a Qualified History Professional with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and an accredited Grant Administrator for the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. 


and Partners



Nelson Peters, Allen County Commissioner

Marilynn Hissong, Superintendent - EACS

Adam Welch, Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

Kim Sabrosky, Community Affairs Mngr. - NIPSCO

Pone Vongphachanh, Public Affairs Officer - Upstate Alliance of Realtors

Dana Berkes, Woodburn City Council

Mike Martin, Woodburn City Council

Tom Harris, Allen County Council

Tracy Davis, Ivy Tech Community College

Erika Willitzer, Paulding Putnam Electric Co-Op



We work with other regional groups that help inform, support and enhance our mission and priorities. Read on for more information on two of those organizations, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and Greater Fort Wayne, Inc.

NewAllen Alliance History

Founded in 1991, the NewAllen Alliance is an all-volunteer organization that works to bring people to the table who have a passion to see the communities in East Allen County thrive and excel. Member communities who have representative board seats include Grabill, Harlan, Hoagland, Monroeville, New Haven, Leo-Cedarville, and Woodburn.


The organization was started with a $150,000 revolving loan grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to offer low interest loans to the businesses in the area being served, for equipment or infrastructure improvement needed to expand the business helping create jobs and added commerce. Through the interest earned on this program, New Allen was able to launch a façade grant program that offers a rebate back to business owners who do work on the outside façade. This grant allows for a 1/3 match up to $1,000 back. These programs continue today as a part of the organization.


Community collaborations have always been important to the NewAllen Alliance and the regular monthly meetings have included representatives from the following organizations:

  • Allen County Commissioners

  • Allen County Council

  • East Allen County Schools

  • Greater Fort Wayne, Inc. 

  • Northeast Indiana Regional Chamber


  • Indiana Michigan Power

  • Paulding Putnam Electrical Co-Op

  • UPSTAR - Upstate Alliance of Realtors

  • Ivy Tech Community College


In 2014, the organization went through a strategic planning process where a new strategy was defined to

improve growth, economic stability and to help give the organization a stronger voice in Allen County. Most of the goals were organizational capacity building goals with outreach opportunities to build more collaboration and communication with elected officials within each community and Allen County; and to better improve relationships with Allen County and Regional economic development agencies. Through this strategic planning, the following goals were created and met through the fall of 2015:


Goal 1: Clearly define the unified agenda for NewAllen Alliance

Goal 2: Establish a communications and stakeholder engagement plan

Goal 3: Become an active partner in regional economic development

Goal 4: Determine appropriate technical assistance opportunities for NewAllen Alliance communities

Goal 5: Align organizational bylaws and meeting structure around goal achievement


Full Organizational Action Plan - June 2014:

In 2014, NewAllen Alliance petitioned the new board of directors of Greater Fort Wayne, Inc. to have a seat on the board. That invitation was extended and a seat was created and solidified by the GFW policy manual to include the president as a standing board member. The NewAllen's involvement in GFW is needed to ensure the voices of the residents in East Allen are heard and considered when discussing major decisions for Allen County's economic future.


In the fall of 2015, the organization received a grant from the Allen County Capital Improvement Board. This grant was to be used to create a Strategic Investment Plan that outlined the needs of the community and how they are planning for future viability and growth. The goal of the planning was to identify capital needs of each community and to understand what commonalities might exist between the communities to encourage collaboration and efficiency. Through this process we defined our priorities as they relate to the priorities of the county and the region.

© 2019 Newallen Alliance

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