Mr. Innovation Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2009
Finalist
Manufacturing

Stephen K. Melink wanted to influence change, and that’s exactly what he’s been able to do at Melink Corp.

During the past 20 years, Melink has watched his company evolve from measuring airflows to implementing renewable strategies and systems. Long before Melink started his own company, he worked at a large multinational corporation where he quickly became frustrated. He watched as jaded systems and a lack of flexibility slowed any change mechanisms that would make the company more efficient. As a result, he left that company to join a much smaller company where he could regularly develop innovation and drive change. With a sense of ownership and entrepreneurship building inside of him, he was able to tackle myriad tasks ranging from marketing to team leadership.

By 1987, he realized an opportunity to break off on his own. He saw beyond the regional cottage-industry approach of the ventilation industry to a system that allowed air-balancing services with a national, account-driven approach. This simple, yet new, business strategy was the genesis of Melink, which began in his home with his own capital.

Melink first served just the air-balancing industry, measuring and adjusting the airflow from HVAC and exhaust ventilations systems at a local level with a long-term focus on targeting large-scale national accounts. Gradually, the business grew, and with his willingness to adapt his company, Melink grew to 35 technicians spread nationwide to service accounts such as Panera and Texas Roadhouse.

Always willing to evolve, Melink realized another opportunity as his company grew, offering restaurants a drop in energy costs by controlling air systems to prevent too much conditioned cool air from being expelled by kitchen exhaust systems. This step into energy savings has helped drive the company’s most recent growth, as it now has 85 employees and three business units — including one dedicated to renewable energy products.

How to reach: Melink Corp., (513) 965-7300 or www.melinkcorp.com