- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 3, 2006

After 15 years of watching Crystal City change, Angela Fox is now a part of it.

Mrs. Fox this month was named executive director of the new Crystal City Business Improvement District, aimed at making the austere Arlington neighborhood more appealing to residents, commuters and shoppers.

“The focus is to really help market the space and create an emotional experience in Crystal City,” Mrs. Fox said.

The district was formed in April to work with restaurants, offices and retailers to make Crystal City more vibrant, secure and attractive, similar to the way a business improvement district has changed the District’s downtown area.

“Initially, downtown [Washington] was an area where there was a lot of crime and had a lot of urban issues that weren’t being dealt with,” Mrs. Fox said. “They went from focusing in on a level of ‘clean and safe and friendly’ to a level of vibrance. I think the BID had a large role in that.”

Mrs. Fox intends to focus on Crystal City’s enviable transportation infrastructure, which offers easy access to Metrorail and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

“Every major transportation artery is basically right here,” she said. “All the transportation options that you have in Crystal City make it accessible for people to come in to dine there or work there. I think it also makes it very accessible for people that come in for tourism.”

Mrs. Fox also wants to promote the diverse personalities of Crystal City.

“There are different areas of Crystal City, and we’re really too big to be considered one neighborhood,” she said. “People want to feel like they’re in the area where there’s a lot going on.”

Mrs. Fox received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech in 1991. She joined Bell Atlantic’s executive development program and helped create the company’s Internet access service, Bell Atlantic.net, before becoming executive director of Cultural Tourism DC last year.

Besides her executive duties, Mrs. Fox serves on several boards. She recently helped the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Co. raise $8.5 million for a new theater, which opened last year at Seventh and D streets Northwest.

Mrs. Fox said her new job differs from her old ones, but that the overall goal is the same.

“I love that sort of transformative, ‘Go into something and change it and take it to the next level,’ ” she said.

Mara Olguin, president of the board for the Crystal City Business Improvement District, is confident in Mrs. Fox’s attitude and experience.

“She brings that rare mix of strategic and tactical skills” to the job, she said.

Mrs. Fox, 38, lives in Arlington with her husband, Jim Oliver, and their son, Tatton.

— Jonathan Swigart

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