After graduating from the Doermer Business School at IPFW in 1984, Nancy has been an influencer at the state and local levels in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. A leader in financial services, risk management, and economic development, her distinguished career included 31 years of progressive roles at Lincoln Financial Group, 12 of which were as a Senior Vice President and Fort Wayne Key City Lead. During her time as President of the Capital Improvement Board, Nancy helped drive initiatives that contributed to Fort Wayne being a nationally recognized city, including The Ash Skyline Plaza, Riverfront Transformation, and Rural East Allen Revival. Her role with the Capital Improvement Board helped her reconnect with her alma mater, using food and beverage tax dollars to fund an Aerospace Sciences initiative at Purdue Fort Wayne. In 2015, Nancy was recognized as one of the Business School’s distinguished alumni as well as a Doermer School of Business 50 Outstanding Alumni.
Nancy’s commitment to serving the community began while she was enrolled in the IU Business program. She began working as Financial Director for MLK Montessori School, a United Way agency, while finishing her degree. She then went on to a lengthy record of serving Northeast Indiana in various volunteer roles. Notably, she worked with the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, an organization dedicated to growing business opportunities in the 11-county region. While working at MLK Montessori, where she could apply her education in a real-world setting, Nancy discovered her skills could make a difference for families in Fort Wayne. This experience sparked a passion for community improvement. “That’s what makes for a rich career, outside of the money you earn,” said Jordan.
Nancy’s public service at the local level led to an opportunity that she could not decline: a request from Governor Eric Holcomb asking her to serve on the Indiana Next Level Teacher Compensation Commission. The Commission members, made up of Teachers Union representatives, school administrators, and business leaders, were tasked with finding solutions for fair pay for Indiana teachers. They worked for over a year to put $1.9 billion back into the State budget for additional teacher compensation.
Jordan explained, “I went in there with a business hat on. But what I learned very quickly, in listening to teachers and focus groups, is that our teachers in our schools are really an extension of our families. In many cases, these teachers are the most stable people in students’ lives. They are critical to our future. They do so much to help our families.”
Nancy’s commitment to community improvement also includes her work with the IU Fort Wayne Alumni Association. She credits her quality education at IPFW as being a springboard into her career, with smaller class sizes and the ability to really get to know the faculty as benefits of her educational experience. Her husband and daughter also attended the university.
Now, she desires to help other local IU alumni get reconnected to what’s happening at IU Fort Wayne. “For IPFW grads who have IU degrees, even if those programs don’t exist, we can still have a relationship with each other and the school. As we emerge from COVID-19, we can rekindle relationships with other alumni.”
Jordan sees the potential for a greater relationship between IU alumni and the university. She hopes others can “recognize the gem we have here with two leading universities. We are able to get such good talent coming out of our schools. There is still a strong IU presence here. We have a quality medical curriculum right here to partner with the [all the] local hospital systems.”
When asked what she would like others to know about what’s happening in Fort Wayne and the Indiana University Fort Wayne, Jordan said, “This is an amazing community. Get involved! Check it out. Walk around the university. See the upcoming events! Make sure that you join us!”