Designing a Legacy of Service

At Elevatus Architecture, involvement in bettering people’s lives is essential.
Dec 1, 2016
Donna Detweiler
Steve Vorderman & provided

Great architecture can enhance people’s life experiences. Elevatus Architecture has embraced that potential and taken it a step further, making positive community impact a driving force at Elevatus.

“While our business is architecture,” says Mike Gouloff, senior partner, “life is about trying to make a difference in people’s lives. What we do is critical to our success as architects, but it’s who we are that defines us as individuals.” 

Do the Right Thing
For Elevatus, doing excellent architecture is a big part of its identity. There is a reputation for professional excellence, quality work, dynamic team building and a commitment to relationships. Earning recognitions, certifications and design awards for its work illustrates a passion of great architecture.

But striving for success is not all that shapes the company culture. Gouloff’s business philosophy is simple: Do the right thing. “You always know what the right thing is, and we strive to do that,” he says.

Elevatus is committed to giving back to the community. “We do things that help our firm make a positive impact. It’s important to me to see our city succeed.” 

A New Launch in 2015
Elevatus Architecture, previously known as SchenkelShultz Indiana, has a long successful history in Fort Wayne. Founded in 1958, it grew into one of the top 50 architectural firms in the country with several offices in North Carolina and Florida. Gouloff, a Fort Wayne native, bought in when the founders retired in the mid 1980s. 

With the economic changes in the last several years, Gouloff acquired the North Carolina and Fort Wayne assets from SchenkelShultz in 2014. Cory Miller joined the firm in 2006 and became his partner in 2015. Cory Dietz, development and marketing, came onboard in 2013. In 2015, with the separation from SchenkelShultz completed, Elevatus Architecture launched. 

Elevatus seamlessly continues to add to its long history of cutting edge local, national and international architectural design innovation and award winning projects. Specializing in education, justice, government and aviation, its design excellence can be seen in some local landmark facilities, including: 

Indiana Tech’s Academic Center, Cunningham Business Center, the Law Building, the Aero Center, IPFW’s Rhinehart Music Center, Regional Public Safety Academy, North Side High School, South Side High School, and Citizens Square as well as the Lincoln Events Center at Parkview Field. Worldwide work includes detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, several federal and state correctional facilities, and multiple high-performance schools for the Department of Defense at Fort Bragg, Fort Benning and Fort Jackson. 

“We are also involved in the new downtown arena, another catalytic piece for the continued enhancements in downtown Fort Wayne,” says Miller. “Our ability to collaborate within, as well as lead, a large design team is the key to our successes in some very complex markets. This skill is also the core reason we are currently involved in multiple game-changing projects for the Northeast Indiana Region and Fort Wayne.”

Partnering for Community Transformation
Elevatus’ special community focus is on the needs of women, children and families. “We support the Hope House, now part of the YWCA, which helps women who are fighting addiction and homelessness,” says Miller, who has served on numerous local boards and committees with these foci throughout his 20+ years here in Fort Wayne. 

“Blessings in a Backpack” is a major philanthropic effort of Elevatus. The Gouloffs and others learned that many school kids live in food challenged households and don’t eat on the weekends. In 2006, in partnership with Fort Wayne Community Schools and Meijer, 350 kids started receiving food for the weekend. Today, in partnership with Fort Wayne Community Schools, Parkview Health and Sodexo, Blessings feeds 1,640 food challenged kids every weekend. “Blessings in a Backpack,” now a national organization, feeds nearly 89,000 kids every weekend in 1,001 schools and 47 states across the US. 

Gouloff, Miller and Dietz and their team are involved in multiple charities and serve on many boards, including Cross Connections, Riley Hospital for Children, Mustard Seed Furniture Bank, and Ivy Tech Community College Foundation. Elevatus also supports Big Brothers Big Sisters, Kiwanis, Erin’s House, Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, Literacy Alliance, 2016 Fort Wayne Air Show and others. It hosts tables and sponsors many other community organizations. 

“No Shave November is an office wide fundraiser for cancer research,” says Dietz. “The partners match proceeds donated by employees during the month. It builds camaraderie and promotes our values.”

Defining Success 
Everyone in the office is encouraged to get involved. “It’s an important part of our company,” says Gouloff. “The Millennial generation’s passion in making a difference is critical to their feeling of success. Architects can define themselves by working for us.” 

“This is what sets us apart. What we do with our lives and in our business is our legacy. Success is doing great architecture and having our people invest in other people’s lives.” 

Elevatus Architecture

Owner(s): Michael S. Gouloff, AIA and Cory D. Miller, AIA

Address: 111 East Wayne Street, Suite 555 Fort Wayne, IN 46802

Phone: (260) 424-9080



Years in Business: 2 as Elevatus, 58 including time as SchenkelShultz

Number of Employees: 11

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