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Fort Wayne, Ind. (April 30, 2021)Elevate Northeast Indiana, a recently renewed partnership between Indianapolis-based Elevate Ventures and the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership that promotes entrepreneurship, has added new members to the board who bring experience in startup commercialization and business development.  

“Northeast Indiana is fortunate to have a partner like Elevate Ventures to bring new opportunities to startups through mentoring, investments and partnerships,” said Charlotte Gabet, director of Parkview Health’s Innovation program and Advanced Simulation Lab. “Between my experience in the startup world and my time at the Parkview Mirro Center for Research and Innovation, I plan to bring those skills and that knowledge to bear on behalf of startups in northeast Indiana.” 

The three-year partnership includes new funders and a refocus on the core mission of assisting, mentoring and funding high-growth, high-potential northeast Indiana companies.  

The new board members include:  

  • Tony Armstrong, president and CEO of Indiana University Research and Technology Corp. d/b/a IU Ventures. Armstrong, an Indiana native, has cultivated economic growth in Indiana. 
  • Jason Blume, executive director of Innovation One at Trine University. Blume is a northeast Indiana native and has an extensive knowledge of lean manufacturing principles, product development, problem solving, quality systems and customer service. 
  • Sarah Earls, chief financial officer of Ruoff Home Mortgage. Earls has over 10 years of experience in the financial institutions industry and is active in the Fort Wayne community. 
  • Charlotte Gabet, director of Parkview Health’s Innovation program and Advanced Simulation Lab. Gabet has a background in developing teams and supporting startup growth. 
  • Brandon Noll, director of business development for the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. Noll has a strong background in sales and business development and is passionate about northeast Indiana and the region’s rural communities. 
  • Eric Ottinger, executive vice president and chief commercial banking officer of Lake City Bank. Ottinger graduated in 1992 from Ball State University, where he majored in Entrepreneurship, and from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne in 1999 with an MBA. 
  • Lisa Peckham, director of soft project management at Medical Informatics Engineering. Peckham has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare and discovering innovative ways to use technology to create business value. 
  • Rick Poinsatte, vice president of business development and treasurer at Steel Dynamics. Poinsatte holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Notre Dame and has worked in domestic and international finance.  

To find the complete list of board members, visit Elevate Northeast Indiana. 

“I’m really excited to be joining the board at a pivotal time in the growth of northeast Indiana,” said Armstrong. “I am anxious to help get Indiana University more closely connected to this work. We can make northeast Indiana an attractive destination for entrepreneurs leaving the coasts with Elevate’s programs.” 

A five-member executive committee of the board will be formed to vet Community Ideation Fund opportunities. 

Throughout the next three years the board will designate up to $500,000 to entrepreneurship initiatives throughout northeast Indiana, including the Eleven Fifty Academy partnership. An event will be held in May to explore the initiative further.  

Entrepreneurs looking for assistance in northeast Indiana can visit the Elevate Northeast Indiana website