“I am very proud to achieve this 25 years milestone and it was heartening to see so many of our clients from the construction industry at our celebratory event at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 6 September,” Dominic Lai, Umow Lai Managing Director commented.
Around 350 people joined Dominic in the Jim Stynes Room which overlooks the score board and hallowed ground, flood lit in honour of Umow Lai’s 25th birthday. (The firm was involved in the recent refurbishment of the room).
“I reiterate what I said on the evening,” Dominic said. “That Umow Lai would not have achieved the success without the continuing support of our clients, architectural colleagues and fellow design professionals, so I’d like to thank our builder friends and mechanical and contracting colleagues. Most importantly, I’d like to thank my fellow directors and all the staff, past and present.”
Co-founder George Umow spoke about the company’s formative days. George said that one of their main selling points as a new company was his and Dominic’s direct involvement with projects as it was then unusual for directors to be so “hands on”.
A commemorative video showcasing many of the company’s achievements was shown to the guests, then three staff members took to the stage, displaying some previously hidden, non-engineering talents.
Weston Lewis played his guitar and told his story. “I grew up Georgia in the US; moved to California where I worked with the best in green building. I got my Masters in Melbourne because I wanted to BE the best. It’s exciting to work at Umow Lai and put what I’ve learned into practice and be a leader of innovation and sustainability.
“To work at a place that that values you and you can make a difference. I knew I found the right place when Dominic took me aside when I first started and told me: ‘We want to hear your voice. Don’t hesitate to tell us what you think. We want to listen.’ This is crucial; when we want to push boundaries, continually improve and innovate. That’s why we are here tonight; to look back at our achievements, to set the challenge for the next 25 years and beyond.
Weston introduced two friends, “not just the engineers, but talented young people who make Umow Lai.” Amita Nayak – electrical engineer – said she was thankful for the chance to be able to break out into other areas and to work with people who are all really helpful. Wilson Ly – hydraulics – told guests that he jumped at the chance to work at Umow Lai and moved all the way from Canberra to Melbourne to do so. (Showcasing their individual personalities, the performances were accompanied by Weston’s strategic guitar riffs).
Chris Grafton-White, Umow Lai Associate and Mechanical engineer summed up the evening. “It was impressive to see the calibre and large numbers of guests who turned up and illustrates the respect and gratitude that our clients have for Umow Lai and its engineers. It makes you proud to work for such a firm.”