Connie Haas Zuber
Research, analysis, writing
As a kindergartener, Connie Haas Zuber helped her classmates untie the knots in their shoestrings as they got ready for gym class. As an adult she helps grownups on non-profit staffs and boards, in government offices and in neighborhoods make sense of things when they are awash in data or find the information they desperately need. It’s always one or the other.
Research, analysis and then planning and writing are Connie’s interests and strengths. She has used them to do a compare-and-contrast study of how different cities fund, structure and implement snow removal for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. She reviewed the outcomes and economic impact of public-private partnerships funding baseball diamonds and sports arenas in American downtowns when her hometown was considering doing the same. She created a process for a local Girl Scout council to use to get critically important information from its adult volunteers, who were only together for a short time each month at one very busy meeting, with a carefully crafted process that respected each adult’s learning and communication style and still yielded results that guided a successful expansion of the council’s headquarters and service delivery.
Now in her fourth career phase, Connie is doing the research, writing analysis and GIS mapping she loves for Michael Burns Consulting.
Her earlier careers involved two kinds of community-oriented journalism and a consulting practice supporting local non-profits and neighborhoods.
She retired in January 2017 from her third career as editor of Fort Wayne Magazine and its sister publications, all owned by Fort Wayne Newspapers, where she had worked since 2004. There she built a staff to grow the magazine from six to 12 issues a year and created its four special annual editions.
Her second career was with her own consulting business, working with non-profits, neighborhoods and congregations on governance and information and evaluation processes and doing research, facilitation and marketing support from 2001 through 2007. During this time she was also pursuing a master’s degree in sociological practice from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, where she was granted three fellowships. One was as a research assistant for a program evaluation project, which she later took over in her consultation practice. The other two were teaching assistantships.
Her first career was as a newspaper reporter for the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, where she discovered her interests lay squarely with the most local of local news. She and staffs she led received Hoosier State Press Association Awards for community service in 1996, 1999 and 2001. Connie personally was honored in 1997 at the national Neighborhoods USA conference as a NUSA Notable for Service to Neighborhoods. And she is honored to have been a member of The News-Sentinel staff that won the Pulitzer Prize for General Local Reporting in 1983 for our coverage of a devastating flood that shut down the city for the better part of a week.
Technically now in semi-retirement, Connie maintains an active volunteer career, having served on the Fort Wayne Plan Commission since 2003 and as its president since 2008. She serves on the boards of ACRES Land Trust, Inc., and Friends of the Parks of Allen County, Inc., and is a member of Fort Wayne Quest Club, for which she is president for the 2017-2018 season.