March 2024 by Jeff Eads, Director for Industry Engagement 

Does every town have one of those “best kept secrets”? You know, the kind of place that no one locally seems to know about but people from around the country, or even the world, travel to that town for? Well, I found one of those best kept secrets in Allen County this week.  

I had the opportunity to spend time at Turnstone Center in Fort Wayne. Let me just say, it blew my mind. First off, do you know about Goalball? Check out these game highlights from the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics Semi-Finals (USA Women’s Goalball vs Brazil). Do you know that Turnstone is a U.S. Olympic & Paralympic training site? Have you heard of Power Soccer? Once you get through Googling those you can jump on their website and learn about the hundred other wonderful things happening at Turnstone 

During my tour of their 200,000 square foot facility, I had the pleasure of speaking with Stasha Carrasquillo (Chief Marketing Technology Officer) and Rena Shown (Chief of Development and Strategic Partnerships). Our conversation ranged from talent attraction and quality of place to accessibility in the hospitality industry and many other things. I was in awe that they could host athletic tournaments that involve hundreds of athletes that use wheelchairs or have a visual impairment for example. It’s remarkable to know that their facility has this capability. However, it is perhaps equally amazing that the hospitality industry in the local community is equipped to not only welcome but also serve the unique accessibility needs of all these guests at the same time. Where do they stay? Where do they eat? We were only able to scratch the surface. But the surface included conversation regarding the newly remodeled airport and other community amenities, amenities that were also featured in this BBC article 

While they are continually working strategically with local partners on the visitor experience, they already have significant collaboration with Visit Fort Wayne. Together they recognize the important impact their work has on the quality of life for individuals living in Allen County. In addition, they see great potential for their role nationally, and even globally. Keep your eye on Fort Wayne and Turnstone. They are significant players in the world of adaptive sport.    



Ball State University engages Indiana employers and regions to help our state flourish. Learn more about the simple and accessible ways that our faculty, staff, and students can work with you to add value to your organization. 

Jeff Eads is the Director for Industry Engagement at Ball State University.