Willow Wetherall, Ignite Michiana; South Bend, IN
The Road to Adaptive Reuse: The integration of sustainable design, the triple bottom line, and technology in the Studebaker Redevelopment Initiative – The Renaissance District, an 80 city block area that surrounds the former Studebaker campus, is the site of significant efforts being made to work with neighboring businesses and non-profits to improve the economic and social condition of the people who live in the District. These efforts include establishing pathways for employment in the district, beautification with native trees, and educational opportunities for under-represented minorities. Combined, these efforts seek to become a national model for large scale economic development that integrates the triple bottom line and reshapes the local and regional economy. Learn more about the community engagement efforts for the Renaissance District and the Studebaker Redevelopment Initiative, an effort to transform 1.1 million sq ft of historic manufacturing space into the Midwest's largest mixed-use technology campus.
As a 2012-13 Sustainability Fellow, Willow Wetherall launched Ignite Michiana, events which showcase South Bend’s revitalization. Since 2012, she has produced or facilitated over 75 unique events, engaging 25,000+ people, and generating over $200,000 in revenue for local businesses and non-profits. Willow Wetherall, a Maine native, has planted roots in South Bend. She is the executive director of Ignite Michiana and produces events to promote South Bend revitalization. Her tireless work promoting South Bend culture and business initiatives has earned her a SoBe Award from Downtown South Bend for her commitment to city revitalization, and recognition for outstanding community engagement by the Women's Entrepreneurship Institute of St. Mary's College.
Part of IUSB's Sustainability and Innovation Lecture Series 2017