A VISIONARY FOR WAYNEDALE – Community Spotlight
by Camille Garrison
I’d be surprised if you didn’t know Alex Cornwell. Armed with his affable grin, you can depend on him to be involved at any major Waynedale happening like the recent Christmas Wreath Auction or upcoming Easter Egg Hunt. He most likely had a hand in helping organize the event, either brainstorming the idea, pulling the committee together, creating the flyer or running around with a walkie talkie coordinating the occasion. If it encompasses the community of Waynedale, you can count on Alex to be in the thick of things.
Promoting Waynedale is Alex’s passion. He co-founded the Waynedale Business Chamber and the Waynedale Community Improvement Team. He is President of the Avalon Place Civic organization where he is a homeowner. A member of the Southwest Conservation Club since 2014, he joined their Board of Directors in January 2016. For the past three years, Alex has also been the Membership Chair of the Waynedale Lion’s Club. And in January of 2015, Alex became a co-planner as a well as a sponsor of the annual Waynedale Community Picnic. He is also leading the charge for a Corridor Project in downtown Waynedale and supporting the Waynedale Trails and Sidewalks Initiative.
To put it mildly, Alex stays rather busy. As sole Owner & Publisher of The Waynedale News, his responsibilities at the newspaper include staff management and community outreach. Alex is fortunate to work with his brother, Jordan Cornwell who is one of The Waynedale News’ Advertising & Client Relations Representative, as well as his mother, Cynthia Cornwell, who is the newspaper’s Executive Editor. The Waynedale News has been in operation since September 2, 1932 and this year it celebrated its 83rd anniversary. Alex has owned it for seven years of its extensive history.
He states, “The primary focus of the newspaper is to positively promote the Waynedale community and serve as a hub for community improvement and information. The Waynedale News reaches 35,000 readers every two weeks and is hand-delivered to homes and businesses in the South/Southwest Fort Wayne area. All articles are non-biased, positive, family-friendly and free for all to read in print or online. We focus on news that is specific to the South/Southwest side of town and is unique and interesting to our community. The newspaper continues to be free of cost to all readers and serve the community through the community support of advertising revenue and private donations.”
Alex originates from the small town of Oregon, Wisconsin, where his father and other family members still reside. He moved to Fort Wayne, taking the opportunity to attend the University of Saint Francis to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications Art and Marketing. While in college, he worked for The Waynedale News as a sales representative and designer. He also has worked as a freelance print and website designer for various clients and held a lead design and marketing position for a well-known international sporting goods brand.
In 2012 Alex received the Distinguished Young Alumni Award from the University of Saint Francis for his work and good stewardship in the community. This award is presented to one graduate each year who has “attained prominence through their professional accomplishments in religion, commerce, industry, technology, the arts, education, government or other worthy endeavors.” As he was only 22 years old and owner of The Waynedale News, at that time he was considered the “Youngest Newspaper Owner/Publisher in America.”
Another significant interest for Alex is the Southwest Honey Co. He, and Megan Ryan, co-founded the organization in January of 2016. They strive to help the honey bee population through conservation, beekeeping, education and fundraising. Southwest Honey Co. is made up of volunteers and sponsors who want to help the declining honey bee population that if extinct, would have a devastating effect on our food, nation and world. Since its origination, due to the overwhelming success and attraction by the public, they have grown to managing many local apiaries on natural and preserved properties, holding K-12, adult and senior educational programs, and selling raw local honey. You can learn more at www.southwesthoney.com.
All work and little play, Alex seldom relaxes. But when he does, he enjoys new experiences, traveling, finding new restaurants and trying unusual food, and fishing and shooting at The Southwest Conservation Club. He is also somewhat of a hobbyist inventor.
Alex’s personal philosophy is that, “We need to spend time to take care of where we live and work. We made this our home for a reason; we need to look after it. Some people call it volunteering, but I think of it as a social responsibility as we can’t depend on someone else, the city or some other organization to create change. Entertainment takes over so much of our lives that many of us can find at least one hour a month to dedicate to a cause and make it happen. If you see something that needs to be improved, don’t gripe about it, roll up your sleeves, find people who want to see the same and make it happen. If we all look after each other, we can see a real positive impact and live a happier life.”
Link to original article printed on Dec. 16, 2016: waynedalenews.com/2016/12/a-visionary-for-waynedale-community-spotlight/