Current Blend, the two-year-old cowork space in Huntingburg, has hired Courtney Knies as the organization’s new community coordinator.
The 29-year-old Jasper native has been interested in Current Blend and the nonprofit group’s efforts to develop and support entrepreneurship in the county since it opened in 2015. After recently departing her position as executive director of Mentors for Youth, Knies joined Current Blend to utilize the space to collaborate with members and work on potential business ideas she had in development.
With her background in community development and her appreciation for the long-term vision of Current Blend’s board members, Knies jumped at the opportunity to help the organization in one of its most important goals: to build a community of creatives and entrepreneurs in Dubois County.
After interviewing several candidates, the board decided to hire Knies.
“I am excited,” Knies said. “I was excited when I first learned about Current Blend two years ago and I came to the open house and learned about what you were doing. I understand how a community thrives on business and it is essential for a community to have a place like this to move the needle.”
Current Blend’s creation began in 2014 when a few entrepreneurs, community supporters and business owners came together with an idea to create a collaborative workspace to support entrepreneurship and business development. Through a partnership with OFS Brands and the Menke family, the City of Huntingburg, Grow Dubois County and others, the coworking space was created on Huntingburg’s 4th Street and opened on May 1, 2015.
It features modern amenities in a stylish, contemporary office atmosphere featuring craft coffee, high-speed internet, open-concept furniture and 24-hour access for $50 a month. Currently, 19 entrepreneurs and businesses utilize the space for an office and workspace or meeting space.
A recent initiative by Current Blend’s board members launched Blended Coders, a coding academy for middle school girls that is expected to expand in the future. (Story here https://www.duboiscountyfreepress.com/blended-coders-new-coding-academy-launches-huntingburg/)
The essence of a successful atmosphere of entrepreneurship is based on developing a community in which entrepreneurship is so intrinsic that it becomes dinner table discussion. Recent efforts like entrepreneurship resource mapping and mentorship programming, are creating the base needed to support entrepreneurs in Dubois County.
Knies’ role is to bring people together to open discussions that lead to new business ideas. She will also be developing programs and conferences for Current Blend and residents in the community seeking to become part of the entrepreneurship in Dubois County.
“Current Blend is all about Dubois County and Dubois County has been on the map for entrepreneurship. The mural in Jasper says ‘Founded on Entrepreneurship,’” Knies said. “That word has been part of our story for awhile but I think we have to update that story. A place like Current Blend helps to continue to update that story. ”
Since it’s inception, Current Blend has been a place utilized by groups and individuals interested in exploring new ideas and create a business. Knies will expand on that base and the resources available to continue to build the community conversation around entrepreneurship.
“As president of Current Blend and on behalf of the board, we welcome Courtney Knies as our community coordinator,” Brenda Stallings said. “Current Blend was created for the community and Courtney’s role will be to further bring together local businesses, educators and the general public to foster and support the entrepreneurial talent already growing here.”
Knies is a 2006 graduate of Jasper High School with a bachelor of arts in sociology and political science from DePauw University. She returned to Dubois County to take over as executive director of Mentors for Youth in 2014 and after successfully leading it for three years, recently resigned.
Among her entrepreneurial pursuits, she and Josh Premuda met through Current Blend and partnered to develop unique t-shirt designs for a company they formed called Always Indiana (more information on that here https://www.duboiscountyfreepress.com/always-indiana-features-area-fun-impactful-way/).
“Dubois County is full of talented visionaries, freelancers and entrepreneurs, all people that would benefit from getting to know each other better. We look forward to Courtney’s skill in pulling them together,” said Stallings.