TEAM / Crystal Wagar
Crystal Wagar is a Partner with The Southern Group where she brings a wide range of experience from both the public and private sector. Crystal’s public sector experience includes general counsel for the Black Economic Development Corporation, interim city manager for the Village of El Portal, and chief policy aide and chief of staff to a former Miami-Dade County Commissioner. While in the private sector, Crystal worked at two prominent South Florida law firms prior to opening her own boutique advocacy firm in 2009, the Connor Group Miami.
In her 20 plus year career, Crystal has garnered extensive knowledge of municipal procurement processes, which has translated into winning strategies for a wide diverse client base. Her successes include leading the effort to bring Uber into the South Florida market, winning the Metrorail car bid with Ansaldo Breda – one of the largest procurements in Miami-Dade County’s history, and was one of the key consultants who drove the strategy for the Brightline Miami station build out.
In April 2019, Crystal was elected as Mayor of Miami Shores and completed her term as Councilmember. She made history as the first African American woman elected in the Village’s 89-year existence. Crystal is a former executive board member of the Miami-Dade County League of Cities covering all 34 municipalities and a former executive board member of the Florida League of Cities representing all Florida municipalities. Since sitting on the executive boards, Crystal has built extensive relationships throughout Florida and with South Florida municipalities and municipal stakeholders. As a member of the African American Mayors Association (AAMA), Crystal’s contacts reach well beyond Florida. She has relationships in Little Rock, Arkansas; Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama; St Paul, Minnesota; Kansas City, Missouri; Dallas and Houston, Texas; Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, California; Jackson, Mississippi; New York City; Washington, DC; and Richmond, Virginia.
Crystal has worked just as diligently at giving back to her community as she continuously maintains a strong philanthropic foundation. She is currently on the Board of Miami Children’s Museum, serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Miami Country Day School, where she is the chair of the Diversity Committee, serves on the board of the Zoetic Theater Company and was appointed by the Mayor of Miami-Dade County to the Biscayne Bay Watershed Board. In the past, Crystal served as board secretary of Camillus House, chairperson of the Board of Directors for the Good Government Initiative and was a member of the South Florida National Parks Trust Board. She is also an alumnus of the Miami Fellows Initiative and the United States German Marshall Fellowship.
Crystal was named one of South Florida’s 50 most powerful and influential black business leaders in 2012 and 2019. She received the Thurgood Marshall Distinguished Young Leader Award, the South Florida Women Extraordinaire Award and was named a Miracle Maker by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami. Most recently Crystal was featured in Miami Women, a book about the most influential women in Miami, published 2022.
Crystal is a graduate of Temple University and William Mitchell College of Law.