Capital Improvement Board

Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement
Board of Directors

In addition to directing the disbursement of the Allen County Supplemental Food & Beverage Tax, the Capital Improvement Board oversees the operations of the Grand Wayne Convention Center (GWCC) in downtown Fort Wayne.

The CIB's directors are appointed by the mayor of Fort Wayne (three) and the Allen County Commissioners (three), and together they select a seventh director to preside over the board.


James E. Cook

President OF THE BOARD

Jim Cook is the Executive Director/Market Executive for Northern Indiana. A position he has held since 2004.

Jim has been in banking with Chase and its predecessor banks since 1985 where he started his career after attending Indiana University, majoring in Economics. He started as a Credit Analyst with Summit Bank in 1985. He has had several different roles within the bank and prior to his current position managed a group of bankers in Fort Wayne before expanding his role in 2009 to include the Elkhart/South Bend and Northwest Indiana markets.

Jim is active in the Fort Wayne community and serves on the Boards of the Fort Wayne – Allen County Economic Development Alliance, Greater Fort Wayne Inc., Fort Wayne Downtown Development Trust and Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.

Jim and his wife Ruth have four children, and they currently reside in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

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Ben Eisbart

Vice President
Steel Dynamics, Inc. (retired)

Ben Eisbart is vice president and chief compliance officer for Steel Dynamics, Inc. He has been active in charitable, civic and governmental affairs for more than 4 decades and has served the State of Indiana, Allen County and the City of Fort Wayne in various elected and appointed positions.

Currently he is vice-chair of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic; secretary of the Fort Wayne Civic Theater, co-chair of Greater Fort Wayne Biz Pac, a member of the AWS Foundation, and a member of the Board of Visitors of Indiana University's Jewish Studies Program.

Eisbart’s professional experience includes working as an investment executive with Shearson Hammil in New York and Connecticut, Executive Director of the Fort Wayne Jewish Federation, Vice President of L&S Equipment and Executive Vice President's Administration and Corporate Compliance for OmniSource. He also owned an executive search consulting company, The Eisbart Group.

Eisbart served two terms on the Fort Wayne City Council, twice elected as president. He served as secretary on the Fort Wayne Community School Board; was president of the Fort Wayne Plan Commission; president of the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission; chairman of the Metropolitan Human Relations Commission, Allen County Democratic Party (City Chairman); and chairman of the Allen County Economic Opportunity Council. Eisbart was a founding board member of the Enterprise Zone-Fort Wayne and Science Central and was appointed as an Allen County representative for the Economic Development and Redevelopment Councils. Eisbart also served as the Governor's representative and was the chairman of the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor Advisory Council. He was president of the Fort Wayne Civic Theatre and he chaired Mayor Tom Henry’s Transition Team.

Eisbert earned his undergraduate degree in English from Alfred University and a Master of Science degree in Counseling from Alfred University. He served tours with the U.S. Army in the Far East and Washington, D.C., was honorably discharged as a first lieutenant and awarded the Army Commendation Medal. In 1993, Eisbart was named a Sagamore of the Wabash by Governor Evan Bayh.

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Steve Brody

Brody Consulting, LLC

Steve Brody came to Fort Wayne in 1987 when he joined Lincoln National Corporation. After retiring from Lincoln in 2006, Steve was project manager for the Harrison Square mixed use development in downtown Fort Wayne. He has also been involved in a number of other public sector initiatives.

Brody is a past board member for the Fort Wayne Allen County Convention and Tourism Authority, Indiana Tech and the Downtown Improvement District. In addition to his responsibilities with the CIB, he is currently on the boards for the Downtown Development Trust, Erin’s House for Grieving Children, Fort Wayne Community Schools Foundation and The Malpas Trust.

Brody and his wife Carolyn are the proud parents of Jon (Emily and grandson Benjamin), Amanda, Tom and Daniel.

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Yogi Parikh

Azar Incorporated

Yogi Parikh joined Azar Incorporated in 1989 as vice president of finance. As current president, he spearheads strategic planning, acquisition activities and investments, as well as overseeing the day-to-day management of the company. The Azar Incorporated portfolio includes banquet/catering operations, restaurants, hotels, real estate and numerous investments in three different states.

Parikh's current community involvement includes serving as a board member for the Allen County Capital Improvement Board and the Anthony Wayne Area Council, as well as annual fund raising for different organizations. Past community involvement includes serving as a finance committee member of the CDC, Canterbury Schools and BSA Troup 430 volunteer.

Parikh earned his master's degree in business administration from Xavier University in 1976.

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Donald B. Steininger

President of Steininger Development

Don is President of Steininger Development as well as a number of related companies. He has had an outstanding career in a number of professions including Commodity Trader, Claims Adjuster, Tax Shelter Accountant and Law Partner with Snouffer, Haller and Colvin, and in private practice for many years. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Akron, and Doctor of Jurisprudence from Indiana University. He has served on countless Boards in the community covering all areas from the arts, social service, foundations, and private sector boards. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement, Brooks Construction, Summit Initiatives Foundation and Headwaters Junction.

Don is a native of Auburn, Indiana, and he and his wife Kathy have one daughter.

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Tim Pape

in the law firm of Carson Boxberger LLP

Timothy M. Pape is a partner in the law firm of Carson Boxberger LLP. He provides legal counsel in corporate, governmental and personal services law. Tim has served as the firm's Managing Partner since 2008.

Tim is a member of the Regional Opportunity Council and serves as a co champion for the Downtown Fort Wayne Riverfront Development Initiative. Tim served as Mayor Tom Henry's appointee to the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance. He is also a Greater Fort Wayne, Inc. Board Member, serving on its Campaign Chair and Advocacy Committees. Prior Thereto, Tim was an appointee of Mayor Henry on the Legacy Task Force and the Legacy Fund, Economic Development Team.

Tim served twelve years as a Fort Wayne City Councilman (2000-2011). Through his role as City Councilman, he served on the Board of the Central City Housing Trust Fund, the Downtown Improvement District, the Economic Development Alliance, and the City's Compensation Committee. He was chair for the Council's City Utilities, Regulations, and Public Works Committees.

Currently, Tim serves as a member of the Allen County Election Board and Fort Wayne Allen County Public Health Board.

Tim was honored with the Future 40 Award by Fort Wayne Business Journal in 2005. Also that year, he received the Dreambuilder Award from Neighbor Works for his work in economic development. Tim is also a proud graduate of Leadership Fort Wayne.

Tim is a Fort Wayne native and graduate of Bishop Luers High School. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown University and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Indiana University School of Law. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Becky Pape. Tim and Becky have three children: Will, Madeleine and Hillary.

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Lisa Starks

Barnes & Thornburg, LLP

Lisa D. Starks is an associate in both the Finance, Insolvency and Restructuring and Corporate Departments in the Fort Wayne office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP. Ms. Stark's law experience includes creditor representation, commercial litigation, bankruptcy and real estate law. She is also a member of the firm's diversity committee.

Ms. Starks serves as president and board member of the Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana, Inc. She also serves on the Manchester College President's Leadership Council, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership Advisory Board, the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce Board and the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance Downtown Development Committee. Ms. Starks was recognized as a 40 Under 40 honoree by the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly in 2010, a Leadership in Law Up-and-Coming Lawyer by the Indiana Lawyer in 2011 and an Indiana Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2012 and 2013.

Ms. Starks graduated magna cum laude from Manchester College with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance. She received her Doctor of Jurisprudence cum laude from Indiana University School of Law: Indianapolis.

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