Innovation Connector Home and Resource Partner to Shafer Leadership Academy

Programs held at the Innovation Connector by Shafer Leadership Academy educate people on how to become leaders in their communities. Photo provided.Programs held at the Innovation Connector by Shafer Leadership Academy educate people on how to become leaders in their communities. Photo provided.

By: Tracy Dishman—

Muncie, IN—A professional and beautiful building, and amenities such as plenty of free parking and back-office staff support,  adds to the credibility and professionalism of an organization. Align these attributes with matching values and missions and you find a resource partner that calls the Innovation Connector their home—The Shafer Leadership Academy.

“Shafer Leadership Academy is a non-profit organization that helps people learn how to lead. Our mission is to grow local leaders for East Central Indiana,” said Mitch Isaccs, Executive Director for Shafer Leadership Academy. Isaccs, along with program director, Tisha Gierhart, agree that the Innovation Connector adds to the success of their organization because people see the Innovation Connector as highly credible. “When we can hold classes in a beautiful facility like the Innovation Connector, it is a huge benefit,” stated Mr. Isaccs.

The Innovation Connector is well known as the place to go to grow entrepreneurial ideas, thus, creating more 21st century businesses. The seamless connection between the Innovation Connector and Shafer Leadership Academy is not only having similar values and missions, but believing connection drives innovation.

“In the 20th century economy, you picked a company, worked there for 20-30 years, retired with a pension and you lived a very nice middle-class lifestyle, “explained Isaccs. “The reason why places like the Innovation Connector are so important is that this is NOT the economy of today. In the 21st century economy, the average person is going to have seven jobs in their career. They have to be able to innovate. They have to be able to be adaptable. The Shafer Leadership Academy nurtures this. And by nurturing entrepreneurship, the community is nurtured.”

Most people find Shafer through professional development opportunities provided by their employer. In honor of it’s ten year anniversary, Shafer Leadership Academy recently launched a scholarship campaign with goals to increase scholarship opportunities. For example, if you are a non-profit under one million dollars, you may be eligible for Shafer Leadership Academy scholarships. Neighborhood Associations are also a growing group of organizations that are eligible for scholarship consideration.

“The Innovation Connector is a perfect home for the Shafer Leadership Academy. Our values and mission expectations align so well that this makes a great partnership,” said Ted Baker, Executive Director of the Innovation Connector.

Shafer Leadership Academy offers workshops that last a day or less, eight week programs and custom programming for human resource managers, business leaders, nonprofit teams, and higher education.  Detailed opportunities can be found at

“Being here at the Innovation Connector has opened doors for meaningful connections and friendships.  I feel the Innovation Connector creates an environment that influences others to be energetic, inspiring and authentic. I am and feel I can be myself at the Innovation Connector. The Innovation Connector is home to me,” said Tisha Gierhart, Program Director of Shafer Leadership Academy.

Emergence: Personal Foundations of Effective Leadership is Shafer Leadership Academy’s core leadership program. It is an eight-week highly interactive and engaging training opportunity ideal for emerging or experienced leaders seeking to enhance their leadership capabilities. At the end of the program, participants can expect to be better equipped to lead the change they want to see in the businesses, non-profits, civic groups, and communities they represent.


Tracy McCormick-Dishman is a local Marketing & Communications Consultant, who writes about her visits to area businesses and agencies. Follow her travels on Facebook,  Twitter (#HeyDish) and