Staff Spotlight: Megan Crites

1. Where did you grow up? I grew up in rural Edgerton Ohio (the rural part is important).

2. What makes you come into work every day? The unrelenting drive to improve, to learn, to be with my team, and to work with our clients/partners. I truly enjoy taking these metaphorical puzzles pieces thrown out and working to put them together with the client and design team, to create something special.

3. Where do you go when you’re looking for inspiration? It depends. For me, inspiration can come from books, conversations with colleagues, industry periodicals, or the data base of images I’ve been collecting over the years. I have website images saved (Pinterest, secret boards), file cabinet folders with images, and binders with magazine clippings (does that date my age?)

4. Which projects are you most proud to have been a part of? Boy, this is an unfair question! It’s like asking a mom to pick her favorite child. Defining scope of work on a project is so critical, whether it be a smaller renovation or a larger, new facility. Not having the scope of work under control can devastate a project, hold-back a facility from potential growth, and ultimately affect the end user, which often for me is a long-term care resident. So, having an understanding that the minute details along with the overarching concepts of a project are equally important is the heartbeat of what I do. Lutheran Life Villages recently did a renovation project at their Kendallville facility. We worked with the client to outline potential upgrades to the facility and determine how much and how intense the renovations would be. The renovation was such a success with the added services and facility upgrades (new bistro, larger rehab space, new hobby room, new activity room, memory care wing and updated finishes) that the client utilized funds to complete capital projects that were originally on hold.

5. How do you recharge during your free time? As a wife and mother of three, I must recharge at night when I sleep. However, as a working parent, I know that recalibrating is essential for not only myself but also those around me. So, when I can schedule time to myself, I am usually working on a project in my studio/dining room (studio sounds fancy). I have been sewing since I was 7 years old (yes for 30 years), and I really enjoy it.

6. What’s your favorite quote? “Age doesn’t matter, unless you’re a cheese.” -Billie Burke

7. What are you passionate about right now? I cannot read enough about design for behavior health facilities. The message is a broken record and, unfortunately, there’s not much out there on this type of design. Aside from that, my most recent passion has been an outreach program for high school girls and their future career choices. While I find STEM and trade conversations incredibly engaging, I find it far more important to actively do something about the discussions. To facilitate this effort, I founded the N.E.W. (Nontraditional Employment for Women) Workshop Fort Wayne. This event is a one-day workshop for sophomore high school girls to spend the day with women who are working in traditionally male-dominated fields (i.e., manufacturing, technology, architecture, welding, agriculture, and truck driving). This initiative had its first ever event the first week of October, with 110 students in attendance, and we will be working to do more in the future!

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Megan is a project manager and licensed architect. Coming to MKM three years ago, she specializes in serving the firm’s senior living clients on numerous projects. She received her Bachelors of Science in Architecture from the Ohio State University and is an active member of AIA Indiana.

Fun fact: Megan is right handed, but left eye dominant.

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