Andrew Wiand, Executive Director of EnFocus,
Speaks to the Club
President Scott Puckett opened the meeting. Jack Cittadine led the prayer, pledge, and Four Way Test.
Sergeant Scott Franco collected money for those who favored specific sports programs, or didn’t know the club’s centennial history.
The speakers came from Enfocus. Executive Director Andrew Wiand discussed the organization’s plan to regionally facilitate economic development through talent attraction, innovation, and talent retention. Put another way, this business is an attempt to stop ‘brain drain,’ as Indiana is 14 out of 50 states for college graduation rates, but 48th for retention.  It is modeled after the ‘American Underground’ program in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina. Recent college graduates are selected as fellows and interns and then put to work helping specific community organizations by performing business and efficiency analysis; can work-flow be improved through better processes or technology upgrades.
Chief Strategy Officer Lex Dennis discussed organizations that have been helped by this program, now in its 4th year including the City of South Bend, TRANSPO, Beacon Health, St. Joseph County Community Foundation, South Bend School Corporation and Tire Rack. Enfocus is now expanding into Elkhart County and is currently helping: Elkhart County include Elkhart County Community Foundation and Horizon Education Alliance.
Finally, Program Mentor Mike Bieganski discussed the reason they especially enjoyed talking to Rotary, ENFOCUS needs entrepreneurial mentors to counsel the young adults. He got involved because his kids didn’t stay in the region and by show of hands, few Rotary members’ kids stayed in the region either. Mike said it was important to build an ecosystem for young professionals to encourage them to stay and he felt this business was a good first step.
The program has received multiyear funding from Lilly Endowment. The plan is to make it sustainable as Enfocus builds a track record. So far, the fellows and interns have helped generate over $20 million. The graduates spend 70% of their time on specific projects and 30% working on projects to improve the community.  For more information, visit the following websites:
Upcoming Programs:
Sept 26, 2016--Iris Hammel and Amish Shah discuss St. Joe CEO Program
Oct 3, 2016--Sara Stewart, Executive Director of the Unity Gardens
Oct 10, 2016--Pete McCown, President of Community Foundation of Elkhart County
Oct 17, 2016--Jackie Walorski, Representative, Indiana 2nd Congressional District