Christopher Guerin, vice president of corporate communications for Sweetwater, will retire, effective May 29. Guerin joined Sweetwater after serving as president of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. He resigned in 2005 after 20 years in that position.
Sweetwater founder and president Chuck Surack employed Guerin as a consultant in July of 2005, and in April of 2006 hired him full time as Director of Program Development. His title was later changed to vice president of corporate communications.
“Christopher brought a wealth of community knowledge when he came to Sweetwater,” said Sweetwater founder and president Chuck Surack. “It only seemed fitting he transition into a full-time position, eventually heading up our corporate communications and charitable donations. It’s been a privilege to work with Christopher for the past 12 years and I wish him the best in his retirement.”
His duties at Sweetwater included public relations, corporate public involvement, mentoring, and community engagement, including serving on numerous non-profit boards. He worked in several departments in various capacities, including service, the Sweetwater Studios, and marketing. In addition to expanding the scope and reach of Sweetwater’s public relations efforts, he was responsible for executing the company’s first social media program and creating and managing its video department.
“I will always be grateful to Chuck Surack for believing that I could make a difference at Sweetwater, applying my skills to help the company grow. I’ve enjoyed every minute of working with him personally and with the talented and dedicated employees of Sweetwater,” said Guerin.
His accomplishments at the Philharmonic included creating the Holiday Pops program, quadrupling the budget and the endowment, more than doubling the number of full-time musicians, establishing collaborative relationships with the IPFW Theatre Department, Fort Wayne Ballet and others, creating new concert series such as “Philharmonic Unplugged,” and expanding the orchestra’s reach throughout northeast Indiana.
He has served on the boards of the League of American Orchestras, Boys and Girls Club, the Grand Wayne Center, Audiences Unlimited, Arts United, Parkview Field Advisory Committee, Headwaters Park Commission, and the Community Harvest Food Bank, where he lead a successful $5 million capital campaign. He was a member of the Invent Tomorrow, Downtown Blueprint, and Blueprint Plus planning efforts.
He currently serves on the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission, where he’s been President since 2005, and on the boards of the Fort Wayne Community Schools Foundation, the Embassy Theater, Soarin’ Hawk Raptor Rehabilitation, and on the steering committee of Fort Wayne United.
Guerin and his wife Ruth plan to remain in Fort Wayne. He will continue his volunteer work on non-profit boards, and looks forward to writing, reading, and traveling. His book of 200 sonnets, “My Human Disguise,” will be published in April.
According to a Facebook post by the television network, Fort Wayne, Ind.-based WANE-TV’s Heather Herron will replace Guerin upon his retirement.