|To celebrate Umow Lai’s 25th anniversary, a veritable who’s who of people associated with the engineering, architecture, property and building industry joined the Directors and staff for a night of celebration in the Jim Stynes Room at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday, 6 September, 2016.
Around 300 people attended on the night and standing proud among them were two of the original employees still involved with the firm, Dominic Lai and Gwen Welshman.Says Dominic: “George and I started our business working out of a small office in St Kilda Road, and I think it’s fair to say that neither of us expected that 25 years later, we’d still be in business, employing well over a hundred and twenty people and have offices in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne as well as affiliates overseas.
“I think much of our success lies in the fact that we strive to keep abreast of trends, do not shirk from the challenges facing the industry, happily embrace innovation and technology and most importantly, are committed to providing personalised services,” he added.
“Another thing that has not changed over the years. Umow Lai’s approach to business: that is to be functional and cost effective,” George Umow commented. “From the outset, we offered a performance based service. This approach was then way ahead of the time and is something we continue to do, and do well.”
Gwen Welshman, who from day one worked with Dominic and George, “doing everything and without modern conveniences such as a computer or mobile phone,” is now the firm’s National Business Manager.
The choice of venue to celebrate 25 years in business was entirely appropriate.
Umow Lai has been involved with a range of infrastructure projects at the MCG, most recently the refurbishment and fit out of the Jim Stynes Room, named in honour of the late Australian Rules football player, administrator, philanthropist, charity worker and writer. Located on Level 2 of the Olympic Stand, the dining room features sweeping views across the playing surface, with theatre style seating behind floor to ceiling glass windows.
In 1991, the firm’s first projects were for Ansett Airlines, AMP, and the Victorian State Coroners Court. Fast forward to 2016, the list includes clients in health care, education, laboratories, government and civic, sport and recreation, justice and commercial buildings such as the Melbourne Recital Centre, Sir Samuel Griffith Centre in Brisbane and the first-class, sustainability world leading building, Legion House in Sydney and Pixel in Melbourne
Image courtesy of Julian Gries Photography