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© 2020 Fort Wayne Pride. All rights reserved.
Pride has been celebrated for decades in Fort Wayne, but the celebration we know and love today began in 1998 at Freimann Square. From there venues changed from Foellinger Theater to Lawton Park to the West Side of Headwaters to our current home of the East Side festival plaza. Throughout the years our crowds have grown from 100 to over 15,000 during the two day event. One thing has remained the same and that is Pride's commitment to bringing safe, fun events to the LGBTQ community and our straight allies. None of this would be possible if it wasn't for our volunteer Board of Directors. FW Pride is a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to educating the community about LGBTQ issues and addressing needs that arise within our community. Pride also gives back to the community in various ways including supporting other nonprofits, providing assistance to low-income LGBTQ families, and awarding scholarships to LGBTQ people pursuing higher education. All donations are tax-deductible. 
Meet the Board of Directors
Director- Nikki Fultz- This is Nikki's 20th year on the board of directors. She enjoys putting together LGBTQ-positive events for our community. Nikki and her wife are both teachers and have three 25 year old daughters, Katelynn, Keela, & Indira as well as an 8 year old son, Tegan and a 2 year old daughter Riley. Nikki obtained her Masters in Nonprofit Management & Leadership to help further the growth of Pride. She has worked with several local nonprofits in the past, but Pride remains the one she is most passionate about. She enjoys teaching 3rd grade at Waynedale Elementary & spending time with family and friends! nikki@fwpride.org

Treasurer; Vendor Coordinator- Arin Spiller- Arin joined the board nine years ago to become more active in the community. She lives in Fort Wayne with her wife, Amanda, and 21 year old son Hank. She has her bachelors in Business Management and is the Admissions Coordinator at Kingston Care Center. She is excited to continue working as a vendor coordinator. vendor@fwpride.org

Secretary; Volunteer Coordinator- Kristy Lindeman- This is Kristy's sixth year on the board of directors. Kristy has her masters in Organizational Leadership and is the director of social services at a local nursing and rehab facility. She enjoys spending her free time creating, visiting with friends, and spending time with her girlfriend, Chrissy. Kristy has a passion for providing resources to the LGBTQ+ community, especially to our teens. Her dream is to open an LGBTQ+ community and resource center in Fort Wayne in the future. volunteer@fwpride.org

Beer Tent Coordinator- Kara Fultz- This is Kara's 15th festival to help organize. She and her wife have four daughters, Keela, Katelynn, Indira, and Riley and a son, Tegan.  She is a teacher at South Side in Fort Wayne and the GSA supervising teacher. She is a member of the Fort Wayne Women's Rugby team and also plays softball at Turners. Kara is excited about the continued growth of the beer tent. 

Drag Coordinator- Amanda Spiller- Amanda joined the board of directors nine years ago. She has been a drag performer (Barry Chrisp) for fourteen years. She and her wife have a 21 year old son. She joined Pride to be involved in the community and enjoys seeing Pride evolve each year. 

Volunteer Coordinator- Jenn Ferguson- Jenn joined the board of directors seven years ago to become active in the LGBT community. She is an Occupational Therapist at a local hospital. She is working with Kristy as a volunteer coordinator. She and her partner, Michele, live in Fort Wayne with Michele's two daughters.

KidSpace Coordinator- Lori Larko-Wilch- This is Lori's seventh non-consecutive year on the board. Lori is involved in Free Mom Hugs Fort Wayne and Stonewall Democrats. She believes that over 50 years after Stonewall there are still many reasons to stand together in love. She and her wife Jay have four children.

KidSpace Coordinator- Jay Larko-Wilch- This is Jay's sixth year on the board after several years volunteering behind the scenes. She joined the board to help Pride grow in Fort Wayne. Jay is working with her wife Lori as a KidSpace coordinator. They live in New Haven and have four children together.

Pride Wear Coordinator- Blaine Hall-  Being new to the Fort Wayne area, Blaine was thrilled to find the Fort Wayne Pride organization. While not new to volunteering at pride events, he is new to Fort Wayne. He loves being part of an organization that provides a safe place where our community can come together to celebrate our diversity. "We are stronger together and our diversity makes us powerful. Love each other." This is Blaine's third year on the board.

EMS/ Safety- Penny Aker- ​After volunteering for a couple years as a paramedic for Pride, Penny decided she wanted to become more involved in the LGBTQ community and help in any way she can, so she joined the board three years ago. She's been happily married to her husband Michael who is a lieutenant with the Fort Wayne Fire Department. They have two sons who are 24 and 20. She sincerely looks forward to helping the LGBTQ community. 

EMS/ Safety- Tracey Wilkinson - This is Tracey's second year as a committee member. Tracey has volunteered as a medic previously for Pride and wanted to become more involved within the community and the production of great events that promote diversity. Tracey has been a professional firefighter/EMT in Fort Wayne for nearly 24 years. She is happily married to her wife Jenna. She is also a mother to a 2 year old daughter Elliott and 24 year old son Andrew. Tracey will continue to work as a medic and ensure that FW Pride events are staffed with people to provide great EMS care, with safety being a top priority.

Beer Tent Coordinator- Wendy Strayer- Wendy joined the FW Pride committee two years ago & looks forward to being more involved in the growth of the LGBTQ community. She works at Micropulse, Inc. as a Process Engineer. She and her fiancée, Bailey, have been together for 11 years and have 2 children, Jackson age 7, and Avery age 3. She has been a drag performer (Teagan Kennedy) since 2004. She also enjoys spending her time with friends and family, working in the garden, watching sports, and helping with her sons t-ball team. #GoCubsGo

Mark Jones- Mark first volunteered at the LGBTQ Day of Service in 2018 and subsequently during Pride both that year and in 2019. He feels that if his visibility during the festival helps just one person become more comfortable with their orientation and who they love, he has done the most important work of his life. While this is his first year on the Pride board, for many years, he volunteered and held leadership positions in collector car club arena through which he organized events and initiatives.

Jacob Durnen- This is Jacob's first year on the Board of Directors. As a high school teacher, he helps students to share their personal voiceand to see from other perspectives. For Fort Wayne Pride, he strives to promote education, HIV awareness, and better interpersonal communication.

AiJaye Crowder- Albert Crowder, Jr, also known as AiJaye, was born in Birmingham, AL, but moved to Fort Wayne with his mother as an infant. He's made his mark on the city as a dancer for many events over the past years. He started at 10 years old at a local Boys & Girls club, but officially at 16. He grew up to love the art of expression and love the feeling of sharing that love with others. AiJaye joined the Fort Wayne Pride Board of Directors this year as a full time member. He wanted to learn more about what the Pride board does and help plan more events and share more ideas of what he thinks would be fun for everyone to do together. AiJaye hopes to see more change in a positive light in our community where everyone can come together and support each other no matter the label. "We are all strong individuals, but together we can take over the world!"

Nikki Ausland- After three years of volunteering with Fort Wayne Pride, Nikki decided she wanted to do more to help. She has been married to her wife, Sarah, for 2 years. They have three fur babies, Diesel, Dexter, and Duke that take up all of their time. She works at Bunge in Decatur as a maintenance clerk and also as a part time dispatcher at the Adams County Sheriff's Department.

Robert Anweiler- Robert has been involved with festivals throughout his life and enjoys the process of what makes them work and the effect they can have on a community. After 25 years involved with both Germanfest and Fort Wayne Sister Cities, he felt it was time for a new path to become more involved with the community and what he could do to make it better. Robert was the President/ Treasurer of Fort Wayne Sister Cities, the Treasurer/ Plaza Chair/ Board Member of Three Rivers Festival, and the Treasurer/ Marketing Chair/ Board Member of Germanfest. He is the owner of Anweiler Financial Management and has been a certified financial planner since 1994. Robert enjoys traveling and experiencing new cultures.

Spencer Ginter- Spear- Spencer joined Pride because he liked helping the community. His first Pride was six years ago, and he understands that it is a lot of hard work. He began volunteering last year at pride and wanted to join to meet new people and help in any way he can. He's been married for three years to his husband, Tim, who is a Registered Nurse and drag queen. Spencer is a certified nursing assistant and in school to further his nursing career.