Local Businessman in Hall of Fame

Article by KPC Media | KPC News | February 23, 2019 

FORT WAYNE — Junior Achievement recognized two local businessmen during its DeKalb County Business and Education Leadership awards ceremony Tuesday at the Parkview Mirro Center in Fort Wayne.

Mark Fogt, president and chief executive officer of Garrett State Bank, and Chris Straw, president of Team Quality Services in Auburn, were inducted into the JA DeKalb County Business Hall of Fame.

The hall of fame recognizes outstanding contributions to industry, business and the community.

Junior Achievement also presented Excellence in Academic Achievement Awards to seven DeKalb County volunteers:

• Mark Beakas, a volunteer from Eaton Corp.;

• Jody Betley, a teacher at DeKalb Middle School;

• Lori Kaiser, a counselor at Eastside Junior-Senior High School;

• Gary Morris, a volunteer from Therma-Tru;

• Mike Ley, a volunteer from Signature Construction;

• Deb Smith, a teacher at J.E. Ober Elementary school; and

• Stacy Schmidt, volunteer and city champion for Lemonade Day DeKalb County.

The awards honor educators and volunteers involved in the Junior Achievement programs for their

innovation, outstanding dedication, past involvement, promotion of the program and the excitement

they generate for work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.

Profiles of the hall of fame inductees:

Mark Fogt

As a third-generation banker, Fogt started his career as a teller and moved to controller at First National Bank of Findlay (Ohio) during his college years. He graduated from the University of Findlay with an undergraduate degree in accounting and earned his Master of Business Administration degree at the University of Dayton. Fogt started working at an accounting firm and missed the connection with people. He returned to the banking world and to his hometown of Sydney, Ohio. Later, at the age of 34, Fogt became the youngest bank president in New Jersey.

On Dec. 20, 1993, Fogt started his career at Garrett State Bank. The bank made Seifried & Brew’s list of the top 15 percent of community banks in the nation for 10 years in a row. He celebrated his 25th year at Garrett State Bank last December and has been the bank president since 1994.

Fogt helped cultivate the old Sacred Heart Hospital project in Garrett and helped maintain a grotto on the northeast side of the property that has become a special place for the community.

He has been active on many boards and associations on the state and local level. He is a 40-yearclub member of the Indiana Bankers Association. Locally, Fogt serves as the Junior Achievement board president, an officer and board member of DeKalb Health Medical Group and as a member of the Garrett Board of Works and Safety. He was granted a Sagamore of the Wabash award in 2002.

Junior Achievement said Fogt has taken a small community bank and shown how it can compete consistently with larger banks.

Chris Straw

Born and raised in Auburn and a DeKalb High School graduate, Straw graduated from Purdue University’s flight school and later joined the Air Force Reserves at Grissom Air Force Base. He spent the next nine years flying refueling tankers for the Air Force. He finished his military career as a captain and aircraft commander.

Straw found an opportunity working as a part-time quality liaison for companies supplying automotive components at General Motors in Fort Wayne. He grew the opportunity into full-time contracts for 10 different companies.


The model of Team Quality Services emerged in 1997. Businesses were coming to Straw to find quality liaisons in other locations. In only two years he had a global reach, developing operations in Canada, and by 2000 expanded to Mexico.

The company has continued to expand beyond the automotive business and works with the energy, health care and appliance sectors. The company has more than 200 employees at 80 service locations in three nation. In 2011, Team Quality Services was recognized as a company to watch in the state of Indiana.

Involved with his family and in his community, Straw encourages his employees to volunteer for projects such as the United Way and Junior Achievement.

In 2016, he created Launch Tank for high school student entrepreneurs in DeKalb County to present their business plans and ideas in a competition that awards scholarships from local colleges and universities to the winners. The Launch Tank competition has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships over the last two years. He also supports Auburn through donations to groups such as Auburn Main Street, United Way, Tri Kappa Pink Out Fund and others.

Team Quality Services is building a new corporate headquarters in downtown Auburn.

Entertainment for the event was provided by the DeKalb High School jazz band and the Lakewood Park Christian School choir. The title sponsor for the event was Garrett State Bank; a silver sponsor was Katz Sapper & Miller; and Bronze Sponsors were Brinkerhoff & Brinkerhoff Attorneys-at-Law and Ron and Connie Dicke.

Serving more than 140,000 pre-kindergarten through high school students in 30 northern Indiana and Michiana counties and one county in Ohio each year, Junior Achievement is dedicated to educating and inspiring young people to succeed in a global economy. JA partners with more than 4,700 educators and 7,100 positive adult role models, who volunteer their time in schools, JA BizTown, and JA Finance Park economic education programs that focus on work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. 

Article source: https://www.kpcnews.com/thestar/article_5075e861-92b8-5110-8d79-c1e376a5a18b.htm

Sarina Harig