With the announcement of Pone Vongphachanh as the new community and economic development director at his State-of-the-City address, New Haven Mayor Steve McMichael stated that “the senior staff team is now complete.”
She hit the ground running and because of the COVID-19 situation has been working tirelessly to ensure the community’s safety. Whenever that subsides she’ll be focusing on infrastructure needs and downtown development. As the mayor stated, “She’ll be working to attract new businesses, and improve the economic well-being and quality of life of our community by creating and retaining jobs.”
Vongphachanh, who came to Fort Wayne as an infant in 1978, graduated from South Side High School and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Affairs and a Master’s Degree in Public Management from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.
Following graduation she worked for Upstate Alliance of Realtors. She has been heavily involved in the Fort Wayne Downtown Improvement District Board and has served as its chairperson for several years. She will continue to serve in that capacity until the end of 2020. She’s was also secretary-treasurer of the Fort Wayne Housing and Neighborhood Development Services Board.
Vongphachanh also served on Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry’s Legacy Champion Committee and Tree Commission, is currently chairperson of the Fort Wayne DID and was on the City of Huntington’s Comprehensive Plan Review Committee. She was on the board or served on committees of the Embassy Theatre Foundation, the Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association, IPFW Alumni Association, the New Allen Alliance, the Regional Opportunities Council, Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana (YLNI), the Policy Committee for the Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana, Taste of the Arts, Knight Foundation Donor Advised Fund, the executive team for the DID and Community Foundation Grant Review Committee.
The new community and economic development director was awarded the YLNI Dedicated Service award in 2018, is an honoree for Business Weekly’s 40 under 40, was an Athena nominee and is a 2012 Leadership Fort Wayne graduate.
“I’m really excited to be part of the Mayor’s team. In fact,” she said, “I took the position because I was impressed by his enthusiasm and vision of what needs to be done to keep the city moving in the right direction.”
Vongphachanh’s 23-year-old daughter, Salina, is following in her footsteps by studying human services at IVY Tech Community College.