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The Dyer Grant Program

The Dyer Family Foundation has generously supported leaders and non-profits over the years, which has made a great impact in the areas that Tammy and Jack Dyer felt passionate about. The Dyer Family Foundation was founded by Tammy and Jack Dyer in 2001. Jack and Tammy have raised their family in the city of Fort Wayne since 1973 and they have taken on various volunteer roles throughout the years. The Dyer Family Foundation’s mission is to provide financial support to small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Fort Wayne market. The Dyer Grant Program was developed and geared to support Black-Owned Businesses. The Dyer team is hopeful that the grant funds will provide working capital to qualifying applicants.

Joe Jordan and Iric Headley birthed The Dyer Grant Program for Black-Owned businesses under the Dyer Family Foundation umbrella. Jack and Tammy Dyer had an unfeigned desire to support the African American community in a purposeful way, and Jordan and Headley brought that desire to life by developing a vision, bridge, and vehicle for the support to be given to African American Business Owners according to Tamara Headley, the Director of Administration.

Tamara Headley joined the Dyer team because she loves the hearts of Jack and Tammy Dyer for innumerable reasons, but specifically because of how they demonstrate their love for others, and their community. They haven’t been gratified with merely providing grant dollars to Black-Owned Businesses, but they also take the time to build sincere relationships with many of the grant recipients. Headley says that within the first few months of the program’s developmental stages she was asked to provide administrative assistance to the team, which then turned into her role being more centered on directing the operations and grant processes. The Dyer’s hearts, kindness, generosity, gentle spirits, and Headley’s love of the work she does, are the reasons that she enjoys working with the Dyer Family Foundation.

The Dyer Grant Program’s purpose is to help for-profit small businesses in key markets of Greater Fort Wayne, with financial support in amounts up to $25,000 based on program guidelines. The Dyer Family Foundation team includes the founders, Tammy and Jack, Chuck Surack of Surack Enterprises, Iric Headley of Surack Enterprises, Joe Jordan, of the Boys and Girls Club, Lafayette Jordan of the Indiana Black Expo Fort Wayne Chapter, and Tamara Headley. During the grant process season, the team comes together to look through every application to learn if the applicants meet the program’s requirements and fit into their pillars of focus.

After those steps, the team then uses their best discernment and collective experience to decide which businesses make it to their final round, which then determines the businesses that they personally visit to see them in action according to Headley. The Dyer Grant Program has awarded grant dollars to almost 30 Black Owned Businesses with a total of over $300k in grant dollars awarded over the past 2 years. There has been a vast compass of Black-Owned Businesses that have received dollars, some of the professions include Optical Landscaping, Fitness, Artistic Creations, and 13 Childcare Facilities over the past 2 grant cycles. Headley says that Tammy and Jack have special hearts for the African American community and want to journey with these businesses as they work towards continuous success.

When asked what advice she has for someone who may be interested in starting a foundation that gives grants, Headley expressed that there are several extraordinary Foundations in Allen County that contribute meaningful resources that result in amazing work being done. The Dyer Family Foundation is happy to be a small foundation with one program that is specifically centered on one mission. Headley’s only advice for anyone or group aspiring to start any effort that would support others is to stay focused on your mission. She says, there are always great needs within our community and beyond, and the temptation to meet every need comes from a great place but focus and discipline helps us all to make an impact in our specific lanes.

If you would like to reach out to The Dyer Family Foundation with questions or for more information you can email them at contact@dyerfamilyfoundation.com. The Dyer team is grateful for the opportunity to partner with some of the most innovative, talented, and persevering leaders in our community.

This column is sponsored by The Fort Wayne Ink Spot, a black-owned Indiana newspaper focusing on regional and national stories, especially those impacting African Americans and minorities. This collaboration with The Waynedale News aims to promote diversity, inclusivity, and appreciation for the local black community. By representing all residents’ voices, unity and understanding flourish. Follow FWIS on Facebook and Instagram, or find a retailer at www.fwinkspot.com.

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La’Crystele Brown

FWIS is a black-owned, Indiana based newspaper that discusses regional and national stories that highlight individuals in the community as well as topics that affect African Americans (and other minority groups). > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer