Lincoln Schrock, who helped Fort Wayne launch an economic development organization during the depths of recession in 1982, is leaving its successor group, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.
Schrock, now 66, left the administration of former Mayor Win Moses Jr. to start the organization after the city became a national poster child for Rust Belt blues-an image compounded by the shuttering of Harvester's sprawling manufacturing operations, according to The Journal Gazette.
Schrock hit jackpots-including landing Steel Dynamics Inc. headquarters and a General Motors Corp. pickup truck assembly plant-but also had struggles, especially in the early years, when economic development as a discipline was in its infancy, the newspaper reported. He is stepping down as the partnership's director of local economic development
A nine-page advertisement in Business Week magazine back then touting a business-friendly environment netted only 60 calls instead of the anticipated 1,000.
And the first year Schrock organized a regional economic development forum, a list of 4,000 invitations resulted in only 10 positive responses. The meeting gained legitimacy and became an annual event after then-Gov. Robert Orr arrived unexpectedly and gave a keynote speech.
One of Schrock's greatest accomplishments was to help persuade the nine-county area that now operates through the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership to work together rather than fight each other for projects.