Finding innovative and creative ways to help others achieve their goals is probably one of the most important facets of quality customer service within any industry. This is especially true of those industries that, by design, must create and innovate to successfully perform their jobs.
Founded in 1995, Infinity Design Group, Inc. (IDG) is such a company, specializing in mechanical and plumbing engineering and computer-aided drafting and design.
Having relocated from Denbigh to City Center, IDG provides a personalized, hands-on approach to clients, ensuring every job is drafted, designed and carried out by the company owner and/or long-term, experienced company members.
Unlike larger consulting firms where multiple people are working on a single project, IDG offers a streamlined process whereby all work, start to finish, is handled by the same company principal or professional engineer. As president of the company, William Lakin, puts it, “It’s like having the CEO out there doing all the work.” Additionally, “large companies hire people right out of college and bill at an engineer rate,” says Lakin. “But with Infinity, you have someone with 25+ years of experience doing those jobs… and we only use engineers with a mechanical master card,” Lakin continues. That someone Lakin speaks of is Jason Holland, IDG’s computer aided drafter and designer who has been with the company 23 years and counting.
Infinity Design Group is known for its award-winning and innovative designs. In 1997, Lakin received a Regional Design Award at the ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) meeting, given in recognition of his innovative design for Tides Inn, a design that modified an existing two-pipe distribution system to heat and cool simultaneously.
As a business that has been around for 25 years, IDG has a longstanding history with many of its clients. Some of those clients include Dog Street Pub, Second Street Restaurant, the Trellis Bar and Grille, Blue Talon Bistro, many of the schools in Hampton Roads and Busch Gardens. “I can go down any road or through Busch Gardens and point out buildings I’ve worked on… and lots of restaurants; I’ve met and made a lot of friends over the years,” Lakin says.
Among the most challenging jobs, says Lakin, are historical buildings because “you can’t have anything visible—if it’s earmarked as a historical building, it’s under a microscope and we can’t make changes that affect the overall look.” This means that IDG has to come up with innovative ways to do its job so as not to compromise what currently exists in that space.
Getting into this profession comes with its own challenges as well. If someone really wants to do this kind of work, Lakin recommends they “get hands-on experience first… and do the work necessary to qualify for the mechanical master card.” These two things coupled together increase the likelihood of success in this business, says Lakin. And, clearly, someone with his experience and background demonstrates the truth of these words.
Lakin’s creative endeavors don’t end with IDG. When he’s not in the office, Lakin enjoys boating and fishing. He recently obtained his captain’s license, requirements of which include passing a physical test, having a minimum of 360 days of boating experience and holding a valid adult CPR and Basic First Aid card, to name a few. “I wanted to be a better captain and, possibly, during retirement use it for charters or repositioning boats,” says Lakin.
Whether at work or at play, Lakin epitomizes Grand’s quote — evolve or become irrelevant. He very evidently has plans to continue evolving—either here in Newport News or in Abaco, Bahamas where he and his wife recently purchased property. “It’s all good!”
or as the Bahamians would say it — “I straight.”
TO THE POINT:
Infinity Design Group, Inc.
Contact: William Lakin, P.E., president