For Scott Glaze, it is all about community: "There's a synergy of things I want to see work together as northeast Indiana communities become even better places. I believe in community. I also believe we each need to find what we love, then spend our life doing it in the community we value."
His beliefs developed as Glaze watched his father, Ardelle Glaze, work as a teacher and baker before opening Fort Wayne Metals in 1946. As the business grew and pioneered new applications for stainless steel wire, Glaze says his father remained dedicated to satisfying his customers, his suppliers, and his employees.
"My father was dedicated to the relationships within a business. Through that commitment to people he created a family type of company, one generation at a time," Glaze says. "I embraced and continued that philosophy. That's why today Fort Wayne Metals remains focused on relationships at every level of the company and in every international location around the globe."
Glaze says his father always wanted him to join the company, so he worked summers and weekends while studying metallurgical engineering at Purdue University. Then, he continued to work at the company while pursuing a business degree at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW). When work intervened, however, Glaze put college aside. He returned to IPFW 10 years later to finish his coursework, ultimately earning a history degree.
"As an optimistic person, I believe everything is possible. As a historian, I know things can happen, because time will pass, whether we do or do not do something," Glaze says. "I'm dedicated to doing things."
In 1985, at the age of 27, Glaze assumed the leadership of Fort Wayne Metals and its 30 employees. Over the years, he grew it into a company that employs 500 people and is an internationally recognized manufacturer of high-quality precision wire. Throughout its growth, Glaze has maintained the company's dedication to highly valued workers and to the practices and employee programs that make successful relationships possible. The company earned the Indiana Chamber of Commerce's first annual "Best Places to Work in Indiana" recognition.
No matter what the accomplishment, Glaze has never forgotten the sense of community that has made success possible. When he began traveling for work, Glaze says he started to see "how the rest of the world lives. I saw cities I loved, and I saw how I could get involved in my community."
To get involved, Glaze joined numerous state, regional, and local organizations dedicated to economic and community development. Those involvements have included, for example, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Northeast Indiana Corporate Council, Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance, and most recently, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.
"I see how much more we can become, and I want to be part of it," Glaze says. "I also see the potential for Fort Wayne to become more, too. I want to live in a place with an urban atmosphere that is rich and many-layered. To help make that happen, I bought the space for and opened JK O'Donnell's in downtown Fort Wayne. It's designed as a neighborhood gathering place, a place you can walk to and where you see people you know."
Glaze says he believes in spending his time doing what matters. He also says that in doing what matters, he plans to continue his investment in making things happen in his company and in his community.