FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — While Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry will do the bulk of the speaking at Wednesday’s State of the City address, he won’t be the only person to talk.
Fort Wayne entrepreneur John Dortch has been tasked with a quick introduction.
“One and half to two minutes,” Dortch said, when asked how long he was told to go.
The time limit for the introduction is shorter than Tuesday’s interview with WANE 15 to talk about the introduction.
Dortch runs human resource company The PrestonJoan Group, founded minority newspaper Fort Wayne Ink Spot and has served as president of the Fort Wayne Black Chamber of Commerce for a decade along with being part of countless boards and leadership groups.
He has also found time to meet with Mayor Henry every six weeks for more than a dozen years.
“Oftentimes, [the conversation] will be issues affecting the minority community,” Dortch said, but added the topics have been wide ranging since they’ve known each other since Dortch was a vice president at Parkview Hospital – long before Henry was mayor.
Dortch has not seen the text of the mayor’s speech, but expects Henry to advance further bipartisanship. “A great opportunity to continue to move forward with that.”
With fewer than 24 hours before Wednesday’s noon start, Dortch was still editing his comments.
“I will repeat what has been happening over the last 16 years since he has been the mayor. A lot of good things have happened. And a lot of young people that left are coming back now because of what’s going on in the city.”
Dortch wasn’t feeling any nerves, since he expects to know most of the people in the audience at the Grand Wayne Center.
“I’m used to going into places cold. Growing up in the deep south with my experiences, you just do what you got to do when you got to do it.”
WANE 15 will broadcast and stream the State of the City address at noon Wednesday.