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Women’s Network Luncheon – “Embrace Equity: A Discussion on Cultural Advancement for Women”

March 8, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global celebration on March 8th around the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. This day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality and equity, while raising awareness about discrimination.

In honor of #IWD2023, the GFW Inc. Women’s Network has partnered with Amani Family Services for a luncheon titled “Embrace Equity: A Discussion on Cultural Advancement for Women” to highlight multicultural leaders and the impact they are making in our community. On par with the global theme of #EmbraceEquity, we believe that everyone has the power to drive change from grassroots action to wide-scale momentum. Join us for an intimate conversation about what we can do to create a more inclusive community that supports continued growth and belonging!

Meet Our Panelists:


  • Flora Barron, Owner & Founder, Flora & Lily’s Mexican Kitchen and Kanela Blended Drinks |  Flora Barron and her husband immigrated from Mexico to Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1993.  She worked various entry level jobs, from cleaning apartments to factory work, all while earning a Bachelor’s degree in education and later a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Flora worked for Fort Wayne Community schools for nearly twenty years. In 2017 she and her husband opened their first business in the form of a food truck called Flora and Lily’s Mexican Kitchen. Currently, Flora dedicates her time managing and promoting their three companies and enjoying their precious grandkids. 
  • Farah Combs, Honors Program Director and Senior Lecturer in Arabic, Purdue University Fort Wayne | Farah is an immigrant and the daughter of Palestinian refugees. She is a Palestinian, but was born and raised in Kuwait as a “Without”. The “Withouts” are a group of people who do not have an identity of belonging to a country or a homeland. Her identity / lack of identity is the primary reason she immigrated to America as a young adult. Not knowing the language or the culture in America, she was able to persevere and push through to build an identity. She currently teaches all levels of the Arabic language at PFW and International Communications.
  • Ines Etheridge, Loss Mitigation Specialist, PNC Bank | In addition to her role at PNC, Ines serves as a Community Advisory Board member for Amani Family Services. She immigrated to Fort Wayne in 1996 as a war refugee from Sarajevo, Bosnia. Ines graduated from North Side High School and received her bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Purdue University Fort Wayne.
  • Malak Heiny, City Attorney, City of Fort Wayne Malak Heiny was appointed by Mayor Henry as the City Attorney in 2022. Since 2013, Malak has served as associate city attorney for the City of Fort Wayne. She has been instrumental in providing leadership and direction on legal matters. Prior to her service with the City, Malak was a judicial law clerk for Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Patricia A. Riley. Malak holds a law degree from IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law. She is first generation Arab American and lifelong resident of Fort Wayne. Malak is a graduate of South Side High School and Indiana University, Bloomington. Malak is on the Amani Family Services Board and the Allen County Bar Association Board.
  • Nikki Quintana, Executive Director, Fort Wayne Metropolitan Human Relations Commission | Nikki is responsible for representing the Commission, directing the staff, and overseeing operations of the civil rights agency to eliminate unlawful discrimination. She is dedicated to promoting an environment of inclusivity and acceptance within the City of Fort Wayne. Nikki has trained and spoken on civil rights and discrimination at the local, state, and national level. She is sought after for advice in case management, employment discrimination, diversity and inclusion, and fair housing. Nikki holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Saint Francis and a Juris Doctorate from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. In 2018, she was named “Up and Coming Lawyer” by Indiana Lawyer. and in 2020, she was named in Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly’s Forty Under 40. In 2022, Nikki was an inaugural recipient of the Indiana Latino Institute Elevated Latinos Under 40 award. She is active in her community and is a member of the Mayor’s Commission on Domestic Violence, Rape, and Sexual Harassment, The League for the Blind and Disabled, Advancing the Voices of Women, and other organizations that promote equity for all.

Meet Our Event Partners:

Ewelina Connolly, Melissa Grossman, & Keiara Carr 
Amani Family Services is a private nonprofit organization devoted to serving refugee and immigrant families and individuals who have made Allen County their home.

Event Details:

  • Catered lunch will be provided. Please note if you will need dietary accommodations in your registration.
  • Registration Deadline: Friday, March 3rd
  • NOTE: Payment is considered your reservation and is non-refundable.

Thank You to our Women’s Network Program Sponsors:

For sponsorship opportunities or questions, contact:
Meghan Short, Director of Investor Programs, mshort@greaterfortwayneinc.com


March 8, 2023
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
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Greater Fort Wayne Inc.
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Parkview Mirro Center For Research & Innovation
10622 Parkview Plaza Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46845 United States
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