Wells County Chamber of Commerce Monthly Newsletter
Helping You Lead the Way
March Member of the Month:
Shelton Financial Receives Recognition

Shelton Financial originally opened in Ossian in 1995. Jeff Shelton and his wife, Jill, decided to open the business because they preferred to be an independent firm instead of being affiliated to a larger parent company. Shelton Financial Group became a reality as Jeff grew the business and Jill worked full-time as an RN.

Two years later, Jeff hired Amy VanMeter, who is still with the firm today. “We made our first acquisition of a small insurance agency on the north side of Fort Wayne but still kept the Ossian location. I divvied up time at both locations. A year and a half later we merged the two offices and moved to Jefferson Pointe and stayed there for about 5 years; then moved to Coventry Lane near Kroger for 5 years; in 2008 we moved to the current location at 7617 W. Jefferson Blvd. and have been there ever since employing 15 individuals,” explained Jeff.

Jeff decided to open an Ossian location again in September 2020 because he and his family have a strong sense of community pride in Wells County. “We live here, we go to church here, my kids go to school here; even when we didn’t have an office presence in Wells County, we wanted to be financial contributors to the community and this was a way to really expedite that goal,” explained Jeff.

Thank You to Our Gold Member!
Thank You to Our Gold Member!
Megan Jinnings
PO Box 253, Decatur

Amy Houtz
7824 Bluffton Rd, Fort Wayne

Sandy Garcia
Individual Member

John Stauffer
118 N Main Street, Bluffton

Stephen Burns
301 N Polk St, Monroe

Mari Topp
135 W Market St, Bluffton

Sandy Garcia

Thank You to Our Gold Member!
Thank You to Our Gold Member!
Quarterly Luncheon
Mayor's Turnaround Awards & ICE Student of the Year

Tuesday, May 4th
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Timber Ridge Golf Course
2330 East 250 North

Lunch $15
Seating will be limited. If you would prefer to register by phone or email, contact the Chamber office at 260-824-0510 or email: eprible@wellscoc.com or scampbell@wellscoc.com.
Reservations are required! If reservations are made and not cancelled within 48 hours of the event, you will be invoiced for the lunch.
Please RSVP by April 27th.
Microsoft Excel Trainings Being Offered
Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Classes
Wednesday, May 19 and Thursday, May 20
8am to 12pm Both Days

Wednesday, June 2 and Thursday, June 3
8am to 12pm Both Days

Tuesday, June 22 and Wednesday, June 23
8am to 12pm Both Days
Limited Seating....RSVP today!
Email Erin to reserve your seat: eprible@wellscoc.com or call 824-0510 ext. 2.
Wells County Leadership Academy
Applications Being Accepted for the
2021-2022 Year
Deadline: June 11th

Anyone who wants to improve their leadership skills, develop stronger communication skills, and focus on creating a network of peer-mentor-business relationships. Our desire is that these individuals would then make a life-long commitment to community service, mentor new leaders, and make a positive impact in the workplace.

As an employer are you looking for a leadership training program for your employees?
As a working professional, do you need a program that will enhance your career, teach you principles of leadership and help make a difference in Wells County?
YOUR SOLUTION...the Wells County Leadership Academy offers participants solutions to the fast-paced ever-changing needs of business and industry in the 21st century.

Please contact Erin Prible at 260.824.0510 ext. 2 or eprible@wellscoc.com for questions or additional information.
Thank You to Our Gold Member!
Groundbreaking for New Rental Center at Markle Do It Best
The Wells County Chamber of Commerce staff with Mark Schaufelberger and Whitney McBride, owners of Markle Do It Best Hardware, broke ground for a new rental center. The new center will be located on the north side of the parking lot at 250 E South Street in Markle.

Schaufelberger and McBride have been investigating for the past four years the possibility of having a rental center on the premises. Customers have been asking over the years about renting equipment.

“There aren’t any other businesses in Markle that have this service, so we decided this past year to move forward,” stated Schaufelberger. “We need more room in the store and this is a great time build another building and offer rentals at the same time.”

Meyer Building will be constructing the 3,000 sq foot building in April with finalization the first of July. “Rental items will be in stock by mid-May and as our fleet comes in, we will start renting equipment,” explained McBride. “We will have up to 80 items in our fleet from log splitters, saws, pressure washers, staple guns, small power tools, trenchers, lawn equipment, carpet cleaners, lawn rollers and more.”

As the demand increases, Schaufelberger and McBride said they will continue to add product. “Markle is a loyal community, and we want to honor them. We are excited about supporting Markle and we hope Markle is excited to support us.”
Toppings Ice Cream Parlor Opens in Bluffton

Toppings Ice Cream Parlor is owned by Mari, Angie, and Chip Topp. Mari said she knew since seventh grade that she wanted to do something in life serving others. Six years later her vision was to open an ice cream shop, which was inspired by her grandmother, who passed away last year. Mari said, “if she were here today, she would be trying to help and do what she could because she was a servant. Mom (Angie) thought I was crazy when I suggested we open an ice cream shop; but, here we are and this is for God’s glory and my prayers are that you feel Jesus whenever you come here.”

The Topp family took possession of the space last December and renovations to prepare the space moved forward. “There was a lot to remodel to get the space ready such as removing partial walls, prepping work for the bathrooms and kitchen, fixing holes, installing new electricity and plumbing, and pulling up four layers of flooring,” explained Angie. “It was exciting to get the floor down to the wood that has been there since the mid 1800’s.”

Keeping another piece of the nostalgia from the mid 1800’s of the building are the original pipes that come down holding the unique light fixtures. “The pipes provided gas to the lamps to give light in the space,” said Angie.

It's official...our dear friend Frosty is gone. We had a lot of fun with all those in the community that participated in the "When Will Frosty Go Contest." 102 individuals submitted a date and time when they thought Frosty would melt away. We are happy to announce that Alicia Hill guessed the correct date and had the closest time when Frosty officially melted; March 9 at 10:00 am and she guessed March 9 at 2:12 pm. Thanks to all who participated...until next year!
You might commonly see a bow like this in a small girl's hair, right?

She feels pretty when she wears it. Her ability to have such a confident belief that she is beautiful when she wears that bow is because of her innocence. She is unaffected and naïve to things in this world which would cause her to believe otherwise.

That big sparkly bow represents innocence.
Unfortunately, that is not reality for many children. The abuse and neglect that many families suffer has resulted in their inability to live abundant life, like described in John 10:10.

That innocence has been taken from so many women, men, and families.
Helping Hands is so excited to bring back our BOW CAMPAIGN. It will take place throughout the month of April, and we'll be representing over 100 children in Wells and Blackford counties who are currently removed from their homes and placed in foster care.

Helping Hands' programs and services help families struggling to make healthy decisions regarding their children.

The  BOW CAMPAIGN is to bring awareness and financial support for these types of programs and services Helping Hands offers.
Each bow's number (1-100) is also the financial amount to give.
For example, if my favorite numbers are 8 and 27, I could pick these two bows and give $35!
There are also special glitter bows for $500.
If you have a FaceBook account, you can check out more information there!
Helping Hands * 824-4263
First Bank of Berne supports Community Care of Wells County
Bluffton, IN – First Bank of Berne is a community bank who believes in giving back to the communities it serves. This belief was evidenced this week as bank representatives Erica Bennett, Bluffton Branch Manager and Kent Liechty, President and CEO of First Bank of Berne presented a $5,000 check to Chris Walker, Operations Manager of Grace and Mercy and Kelley Householder, Executive Director of Community Care of Wells County.
Community Care of Wells County is an organization consisting of four different programs: The Connecting Center, Change Up Thrift Store, Grace & Mercy Transitional Housing, and Man Up Transitional Housing. Their mission is to offer practical, emotional, and spiritual support to women, men, and children who are seeking assistance with difficulties in their daily lives.
First Bank of Berne’s $5,000 donation will go towards installing an additional bathroom for the residents at Grace & Mercy. While they hope to have the project completed prior to May of 2021, more funding will be needed.
If you would like to volunteer or make a donation to benefit this worthwhile organization, contact Chris by phone 260-353-1006, email Christine@CC-WC.org or Kelley at Kelley@CC-WC.org. Monetary donations are accepted as well as items for their thrift store. They accept household, cleaning, and personal hygiene donations.
Outdoor Concepts gathered to celebrate March and April birthdays on Monday, March 29th. Conor Burns, the Nursery Manager, celebrated not only his 40th birthday, but also 20 years as an employee of the company. As a thank you, Outdoor Concepts awarded Conor with a plaque to commemorate the occasion, as well as a brand new grill. Outdoor Concepts is grateful for all of their employees and the dedication they show.
Standing in front of Conor’s new Blackstone grill are from l-r: owner Landon Gerber, owner Steve Gerber holding the celebration cake, Conor Burns with his plaque, Conor’s wife Nicole Burns, and owner Gayla Gerber.
Purdue Extension and Indiana AHEC Network invites you to Grand Rounds for Healthcare Professionals and Students. Click on the link below for the flyer about this opportunity for anyone in health related occupations. This can include counselors, social workers, educators, students in related fields etc. You can sign up for any or all of the sessions. Registration is due by April 30, 2021. CEUs available. The programs will be held on Tuesdays and Thursday in May 11 AM and 12 PM via Zoom. 
Indiana Farm Bureau Now Offering Health Plans

Indiana Farm Bureau Health Plans provide members of all ages with affordable and competitive rates for medical, dental and vision coverage. Great health coverage options for both individuals and families.

  • Individual & Family Plans
  • Medicare Supplement Plans
  • Dental/Vision Coverage

Contact the Bluffton Office at 824-2234 for more information.
Thank You to Our Gold Member!
Community Events
Click on any event for more information
Thank You to Our Gold Member!