Before Elevecture, I worked in the finance department of a Fortune 500 company. I was recruited by Elevecture during a time of renewal as the ownership was about to change hands. I had a strong background in financial analysis and process management but was starting a role in a completely different industry that I did not know much about.
On my first day working for Elevecture, I took the train from my suburban home on Long Island and rode into NYC to meet what seemed like millions of people at Penn Station during morning rush hour. When I got off the train, I was met with what looked and felt like a sea of people. I was pulled into the current of the crowd and drifted to the subway which took me downtown to The Innovation Center, a showroom demonstrating inspiring glass designs for architecture to meet Corning’s Interior Architecture team. I was intimidated, but eager to learn more about my new role at Elevecture and the innovative products that have since become my life.
When I walked in, I was met by warm, smiling faces and a beautiful space covered in what I now know as Elevecture panels using Corning® Gorilla® Glass for Interior Architecture. My nerves drifted away as we began to introduce ourselves and I realized that Erica from Corning was just starting in her new role as Account Manager with Corning’s Emerging Innovations Group as well. We immediately gravitated to each other as the “newbies” and started feeding off each other’s excitement about this new endeavor we were about to start together.
The Elevecture team was small but mighty, and the Corning Interior Architecture team was highly technical and data driven. I quickly realized during that meeting that I could use my entrepreneurial spirit coupled with my experience working for a Fortune 500 company to bridge the gap between Elevecture’ s culture as a small startup and Corning’s culture as a sophisticated organization. I quickly started to put processes and reporting capabilities in place to be able to provide Corning the data they needed. I focused on the operational side of the business and worked closely with Erica to create efficiencies in how our two companies worked together. Erica was an amazing partner, and together, we explored all the possibilities. From creating efficiencies in the ordering process, to working on various joint marketing initiatives, to developing new products and applications together. Erica has truly been one of Elevecture’s biggest allies and cheerleaders.
In 2017, The Innovation Center was moved to its current location at 740 Broadway. This required a tremendous amount of coordination and planning. There were countless meetings, calls, and even late nights of building the panels that currently hang on the walls. It was very exciting for me to work so closely with the panels that we sell and see the full process, from fabrication to installation. The panels were both beautiful and extremely easy to install in all applications such as the ceilings, walls, and even in the cabinets of our little office kitchen. It was a huge undertaking for Elevecture as we were providing all materials and project managing the renovation of the lobby at 740 Broadway while simultaneously moving and renovating The Innovation Center. We would never have been able to pull it off without the help and support of Erica and Corning’s Interior Architecture team. Elevecture and Corning worked together on marketing, and having Corning on your team is certainly a big deal. When it was all said and done, we had press releases, media coverage, and the culmination of it all was a grand party with some of NYC’s most prestigious architectural firms and developers.
Planning the launch party was a huge undertaking as well. We worked hard to cultivate the guest list, plan the flow of the event, create Corning® Gorilla® Glass favors for our guests, and most importantly, make sure there was plenty of food and drink to go around. The launch party also marked the end of the renovations and was a celebration of all our hard work. Erica and I spent the day of the party looking back at all we had accomplished together while getting our hair blown out for the event.
Though the specifics of our engagement with Corning have evolved over the years, and we no longer share the Innovation Center space, our collective efforts and mutual spirit of collaborative innovation is still alive and well with Corning’s continued support of Elevecture as a customer.
Working with Erica and the Corning Interior Architecture team has been such an amazing partnership that continues to grow and strengthen. Today, we continue to work with the Corning Interior Architecture team on new products and applications for Elevecture using tough, lightweight Gorilla Glass in exciting and inventive ways. As Erica and I both come up to our 4-year anniversaries, I look back at all that we have accomplished together and am hopeful for the future.
Erica Lawes, Account Manager – Corning Gorilla Glass for Interior Architecture
“It has been a great opportunity and experience working closely with Ilana over the past few years. I am excited to see Elevecture evolve and continue to redefine the possibilities of elevator and building interiors.”