Anthony Wayne Rotarian Sarah Horacek was featured in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette for her community leadership.  Congrats Sarah!


Passion and mentoring key

Marketing director also values adaptability, accepting responsibility


Photos by Swikar Patel | The Journal Gazette

Sarah Horacek is the marketing director at Towne House Retirement Community.



Kathryn Moore reacts with Horacek after they ran into each other on a walk through the Towne House.

Name: Sarah Horacek, 33, is marketing director at Towne House Retirement Community

Community and leadership involvement: Member of the Anthony Wayne Rotary Club and on the board, which elects club members for two-year terms; also on the board of directors for Homebound Meals, which is similar to Meals on Wheels, and provides food to the elderly and disabled. Has been involved as a “Big” volunteer mentor for six years with Big Brothers, Big Sisters.

Most recent accomplishment: Towne House exceeded resident census and budget goals for 2012, which was partly because of marketing. Last year, Horacek also went from being a full-time employee to part time. “We were able to exceed goals, even with me being there less,” she said.

What makes a leader: Having passion for the job or project. “I think that transcends then to the people you are leading,” she said. Leaders also must be good mentors to people they are leading and be able to adapt to change. “You have to stay ahead of the game and be willing to make the change,” Horacek said.

Leadership traits you most value: Adaptability and accepting responsibility. The ability to learn from mistakes and move forward, a willingness to get “down in the trenches,” integrity and honesty.

Best leadership book you’ve read: “Life Management for Busy Women” by Elizabeth George. The book is geared toward helping make your life more efficient and effective, providing guidelines based on God’s plan for your life. “My faith is very important to me so that spin” was interesting, Horacek said. When she shifted from full to part time at work, Horacek said she had to learn to be more efficient.

Best ways to overcome self-doubt: “I like to talk to a peer or a mentor if one is available, to kind of talk things through and bounces things off of,” Horacek said. Some times, though, she simply leans on her experience. If she starts to get nervous, Horacek reminds of past experiences and successes. “I try to be a glass is half full person as much as possible and try to be positive.”

Time management tips: “I’m definitely a list person. I do those all the time,” she said. Also based on a training session she attended in the past, Horacek said she learned to think of things on her lists as poker chips: some things are not as high priority or worth much (a $5 chip vs. a $50 one). “It’s been very helpful to make me prioritize … so that I’m being productive and getting what’s most important done first,” she said. Another tip, learned from her husband, is to “only touch things once,” including email. “If it’s only going to take you a minute, do it now,” she said.

Role model(s) and why: “I look at a role model as someone you really want to be like,” Horacek said. “It kind of hit me I really have never had a real role model. I more admired traits in people or skills, whether it was my parents – who were hard workers – or my sister, she’s older than me; she worked her way through nursing school, those sorts of things. I really tried to emulate those skills because I admired how it paid off for them in the end.”

Describe one leadership challenge and how you resolved it: Horacek said she has been at the Towne House since she was 18 years old, starting with a part-time job after school in the kitchen. She has worked in various departments, holding various jobs there since. Over the years, Horacek said she was sometimes younger than peers and the people she supervised. She first became a supervisor at age 20. “I couldn’t even go to a bar, and here I was supervising people,” she recalls. Proving she can do the job, despite being younger, has always been a challenge, but Horacek said she tries to show through her work ethic that she is capable. “It’s not going to happen overnight; respect is earned,” she said. “I feel like, I hope, I have accomplished that with my peers.”

What are your goals: Horacek wants to continue on the path she’s on – being involved with the community organizations and activities she is devoted to. She also wants to continue at the Towne House. “I’m proud to be part of a place that has believed in me over the years,” she said. Along with those things, Horacek said she wants to continue mastering how to balance professional, family and community life. “I don’t want to just be there, meaning present, but I want to make a difference in the best way possible,” she aid.

Hobbies: Spending time with family and friends and reading. Horacek and her husband occasionally do a 5K run, such as Fort For Fitness.

Family: Married to David Horacek Jr.; Her first son, Tristan, would be 4 now, but died at 2 months old; the second son, Braxton, is 1 and another child is due in June.

Compiled by Lisa Green, The Journal Gazette