Staff And Advisors
Andrew Hoffman, Executive Director
Andrew became the NeighborLink Executive Director in 2008 after starting out as a volunteer in the organization in 2005. A graduate from Huntington University, Andrew started his career in account services for a couple of advertising agencies. After discerning his career goals, he decided to make NeighborLink home. His vision for the company continues to allow NeighborLink’s mission of practical neighbor-to-neighbor expressions of God’s love to grow. Launching Team NeighborLink in 2011, establishing the NeighborLink Network in 2008, and completing over 7,000 projects since he started in 2008, demonstrate Andrew’s leadership in developing NeighborLink’s mission. Andrew completed his MBA at Taylor University, struggles through many endurance athletic events a year, and is trying to figure out what it means to be a good neighbor with his family in a historic, South Central Fort Wayne neighborhood.
Jeff Shatto, Director of Mobilization
Jeff joined the staff in March 2014 after having been a vital volunteer at NeighborLink since 2006. He's been serving as GO Day director at Fellowship Missionary Church for the past five years and been a NeighborLink Advisory Group member during that time as well. Jeff brings years of volunteer management and leadership experience to our team. Jeff will be responsible for assisting our church partners with their volunteer efforts as well as creating more meaningful service opportunity for our volunteers that don't have an organizing group to participate with.
Derrick Smith, Director of Volunteer Engagement & CDBG Grant Manager
Derrick joined the staff in the spring of 2017 as a jack of trades program manager to help us mobilize volunteers, manage community development block grant programs, and bringing an entire career worth of experience to our operations. At the beginning of 2018, Derrick took on more responsibility and is now leading our volunteer engagement and recruitment efforts in partnership with new staff members. Derrick retired early after 25 years at his previous employer, and has chosen to dedicate his 2nd career years to serving others. Derrick has been a volunteer with NeighborLink for several years learning the ins and outs of serving vulnerable homeowners on a weekly basis. When we had the opportunity to bring him on our team, we jumped at the opportunity.
Megan Chandler, Development Coordinator
Megan joined the NeighborLink staff in early 2018 to help manage the day-to-day office operations and take on small-scale projects that are vital to growth and stabilization of the organization. Megan studied business and international studies at IU, and she has 10 years of residential development experience in Chicago, and with other large-barrier markets. Megan brings an energetic heart and comprehensive, big-city understanding of training and neighborhood development that will help strengthen the way NeighborLink runs and operates as we continue to grow. Her zeal to make an impact by bringing more awareness to others who want to learn and do something is vital to our team as we continue to learn how to train and equip volunteers and move toward more comprehensive neighborhood development.
Bernadette Becker, Community Research Coordinator - AmeriCorp VISTA Member
Bernadette is an AmeriCorps VISTA serving at NeighborLink since June 2019. For this service year, Bernadette, “Bernie,” will be helping NeighborLink research neighborhood health and investigate new possible opportunities to serve. Bernadette loves getting to know people and help them connect to resources. Her background is in economics, business and writing, but she loves learning nearly anything. Bernadette loves to innovate and increase efficacy, i.e. to build capacity, expanding NeighborLink’s ability to serve neighbors. Bernadette’s goal is for Fort Wayne to flourish and move forward cohesively and relationally. To stay updated on her service and research, please see her vlog, “Bernie on a Journey” and her blog posts at https://www.nlfw.org/blog.
Brendan Keen, Videographer
Brendan joined the staff in November 2018 with a zeal for visual storytelling and genuine communication. As part of the new video production group, Brendan helps communicate NeighborLink’s mission to the public, utilizing the videography experience he accrued while working as a freelancer. He places a particular emphasis on making sure his subjects are comfortable with the filming process, and strives to capture the authentic passion that drives NL staff and volunteers.
Heather McKinley, Operations Coordinator
Heather joined the NeighborLink staff in January 2019 as our Operations Coordinator. If you call NL to submit a project, you’ll more than likely get the chance to talk to her. She is a Fort Wayne native, including attending and graduating from I(PFW) for nursing. After 14 years of working in the pediatric intensive care unit, she made the decision to be home more with her four children and her husband, Brian. Working part-time with NeighborLink and as a registered nurse in her kid’s school district gives her the perfect balance of family time and fulfilling her passion of helping others. She is an avid runner and a member of Team NeighborLink.
Steve Erick, Motion Graphics & Design
Steve joined NeighborLink in January of 2019 as our Motion Graphics/Design Apprentice. Steve’s experience in church planting and brand development have made him an accidental creative with a teachable heart and an asset to our Communications team. With the idea that everything communicates something, Steve desires to articulate priorities, passions, and personalities in connecting our mission to the vulnerable in our own backyard. In his spare time, Steve pastors a small church and collects vintage Star Wars figures. He and his wife, Melissa are foster parents with hopes to adopt in the future.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
John Barce, Partner - Barrett McNagny LLP
NeighborLink is a direct result of a vision John had back in the late '90s. He dreamed of what it would be like to leverage the web to begin connecting vulnerable homeowners who were falling through the cracks with the thousands of members sitting in local Churches not knowing where to begin to love their neighbor. John and a small team of others self-funded and build the first web platform in 2002. Since then, John has been committed to the mission as our board president and one of our most active volunteers.
Gwyn Eastom, BKD
Gwyn volunteered for NeighborLink starting in 2010 with her husband, Brandon. In 2013 she decided to dedicate more of her time by becoming a board member. Gwyn’s experience as a CPA and currently as the Director at BKD CPAs and Advisors, aids NLFW in budget development as well as other accounting policies and procedures. Gwyn decided to join the team because, “NLFW is a unique organization that really tries to be the hands and feet of Jesus, as we are instructed to do. Faith & love are action words, and NL allows us to act on our faith.”
Joe Johns, Senior Pastor - Fellowship Missionary Church
Joe’s ongoing passion for service aids the growth of the NeighborLink community. Currently the Senior Pastor at Fellowship Missionary Church, Joe applies his skills in discipleship while teaching others how to integrate the loving ways of our savior, Jesus Christ, into their lives. He expresses his love and appreciation of NL by explaining, “Serving with NLFW is such an adventure. Every posting on the site represents a potentially transformative encounter for both neighbors—the one loving and the one being loved. Few organizations exist that empower such unique relational encounters.”
Heather Schoegler, Owner, Augustus Advisors
Heather has been involved with NeighborLink since 2009 from serving on committees to helping promote Team NeighborLink. Joining the board in 2014, she brings her experience in public relations and community engagement to the organization. She decided to join the team because she believes NeighborLink to be a true expression of God’s love to others. “It’s such an easy way to directly demonstrate generosity and love to others. What better way to simultaneously improve your community and be a testimony of God’s love in your own life.”
Josh Spencer – Chief Actuary, Brotherhood
Josh began volunteering with NeighborLink in 2015 and he to saw an opportunity to invest in the community in an impactful way. After fostering a deeper relationship with the team, he joined the board in 2018. Bringing a knowledge of the data, analytics, and numbers that make organizations thrive, he’s excited to see more growth and exposure for NeighborLink as more people, churches, and business in Fort Wayne learn about it. “I love the staff, I love the technology that they developed, the creative solution to this problem of people and churches want to be a good neighbor but they don’t always know how. NL figured it out in a way that’s working, and I want to see that be successful.”
PJ Thuringer – Real Estate Manager, AWS Foundation
When PJ joined forces with NeighborLink several years ago, he was a planner and project manager in community development with the City of Fort Wayne. From the beginning, he has brought a passion for housing and neighborhoods, and he has been invested in the success and mission of NeighborLink. He has been part of the behind-the-scenes conversations about neighborhood planning, housing, people, NeighborLink and how it all intertwines to help make the city better. “I’m excited to understand and be a part of the organization. I am excited about Andrew's visions for the organization and the future.”