MotorCities National Heritage Area
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Story of the Week

EDITOR’S NOTE: Today, we begin Black History Month by sharing an interview recently conducted by Brian Yopp, MotorCities’ Deputy Director, with Crystal Windham, Executive Director of Global Industrial Design.

Crystal Windham headshotCrystal Windham (General Motors)

Windham first joined GM in 1994 to design vehicle interiors. Her assignments included multiple vehicle brands, as well as special project work abroad. She became the director of Cadillac Interior Design in January 2016.

Now in her current position, Windham is shaping a Lunar Rover that will eventually travel to the moon and is the first designer to tackle such a project in 50 years.

Crystal Windham resized

Among her accolades, Windham became the first African-American female director in GM Design’s history in 2008 and spearheaded several award-winning interiors, including the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu and 2014 Chevrolet Impala.

In addition, Windham encourages students to consider higher education and careers in art and design through GM Design’s You Make a Difference program. Her awards include Urban Wheel Designer of the Year, the Emerging Leader Award from the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Automotive News 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry, and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2022 from the Ajamu Group’s 11th Annual Multicultural Media Luncheon.

Crystal Windham Brian resizedCrystal Windham with Brian Yopp of MotorCities (General Motors)

Windham holds an industrial design degree from the College for Creative Studies (CCS), an MBA from the University of Detroit-Mercy and is a member of the school’s MBA alumni board.

You can watch the interview here.

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