#PeopleofNEI: Crystal, inspiring innovation

Northeast Indiana is evolving. These are the people shaping its future. #PeopleofNEI

This week's feature:

Crystal has been the Managing Director of Innovation at Electric Works since January, 2018. A native of Tulsa, OK, she spent years in San Francisco before moving to Fort Wayne three years ago with her spouse and two children. "When I came to Fort Wayne, I didn’t know what to expect. My thoughts were more stereotypical than reality. What I found is that Fort Wayne is a land of opportunity for anyone willing to role up their sleeves and get dirty. You just have to dive in. This G.E. campus and its untapped potential is one of the first things I noticed when I moved here. What I love most is the idea of where this city can go. I want my children to grow up in a city that is going somewhere and taking everyone with them. The managing director of innovation is a role that I filled that was also tailored for me. I do a lot of work with community stakeholders to understand their needs. There is a total of 1.2 million square feet with 18 buildings on the campus. My focus is 90,000 square feet of the west campus. The east campus will come later based on demand. The gym and the bowling alley will be rehabbed with a restaurant and bar added in the basement. We will be working with F.W.C.S. for STEAM High School so that local students can spend a semester here like they would if they were studying abroad. There will be a food hall open seven days a week with local vendors. There will be an innovation area with office space. Businesses can move into larger office spaces as their business grows. There will be residential spaces from the second floor to the fifth floor with retail on the first floor, and a brewery and a live music area. We will also be featuring public art on the inside and the outside. The outside pedestrian walkways will have courtyards and gathering spaces. Street parking will be available with raised parking coming later. We hope to start opening in the fall of 2020. This is a long play. This is not opening our doors to instant success. This is an investment in our future and our children. If it takes a village to raise a child then it is going to take all of us to raise a region. I believe it starts right here with Electric Works.” #PeopleofNEI

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Read more articles by Stephen J. Bailey.

Stephen J. Bailey is a Fort Wayne native and the owner of PH Digital that was founded in 2006. Based out of the Anthony Wayne Building in downtown Fort Wayne, he specializes in web development, SEO development, social media management, and digital marketing campaigns with numerous companies in northeast Indiana. Stephen loves road trips, sushi, his pups, and spending time on our three rivers.
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