Nov 8, 2018
Another major step on our sustainability journey will be the design and construction of a second headquarters in 2018 and 2019. As Melink continues to grow, we will need more office and warehouse space than our first building can provide.
Fortunately, we have the land next to our current HQ1 in which to build HQ2. It will be of a similar size and layout – with the courtyard facing our current building. And like our first building, it will be super-green. Except our second building will take green to a whole new level!
In addition to it serving our future workplace needs, it will serve as a model Zero-Energy Building (ZEB) for architects, engineers, and contractors to learn ZEB best practices. The goal will be to show a cost-benefit analysis that will make other building owners want to emulate and mainstream ZEB.
A growing segment of the building industry is calling for all new buildings to be Zero-Energy Building by the year 2030. We want to show that this can be easily achieved, 10 years ahead of schedule, with a relatively simple design strategy.
Since the largest energy loads in most commercial buildings are lighting, HVAC, and hot water, we will focus on showing how these can be minimized – and offset by a slightly greater amount of solar PV electric generation. Nothing new, except HQ2 will do this better than HQ1.
But the main innovation will be around our super-hybrid geothermal HVAC system. Don’t worry, we’ll figure out a cool brand name for it. The point is, this new system will help advance the energy savings of geothermal without the high cost normally associated with it.
If you think we have received lots of regional and national attention with HQ1, wait until you see what happens with HQ2. Through countless tours and presentations, we will influence thousands of additional building professionals and continue building a green brand unlike any company.
By the way, if any of you would like to work in this new super, high-tech, and beautiful workplace, you better get an electric car first. Because only EVs will be permitted to drive and park on its new green parking lot of the future.
The Melink Energy Revolution is just beginning…
Road-tripping in a non-Tesla 100% EV
Sep 26, 2018
You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.
I have the unique pleasure of working with an employee-owned organization, Melink Corporation, that is dedicated toward making the world a better place. Our vision is to help advance clean energy such that it transforms the world through improving our global economy, security and environment – for ourselves, our children and future generations.
Though energy efficiency and renewable energy are at the core of what we do, sustainability is central to who we are. If we don’t lead by example, who will? So, in addition to operating a Net-Zero LEED® Platinum headquarters facility, we have a super-green fleet of vehicles. Our National Network of Service Technicians each drive hybrid vehicles. Our parking lot has over twenty electric-vehicle charging stations. In total we have over forty hybrids and seventeen EVs in our fleet driven. 61% of our employees drive either hybrid or electric.
I, personally, drive a 2018 Chevy Bolt and have done so for about nine months. The car has a 238 EPA estimated range and does not have the luxury of accessing Tesla’s Supercharging Network. I have a 45 mile commute, one-way from my home to my office. Fortunately, by driving an EV, living in a home and working in an office that are both powered by renewable energy, my ‘electric gas’ is very clean. I have three young kids, and it is very important to my wife and I, that we set a good example; not only so we guide them toward making their own integrity-based decisions as they mature, but also so in a direct effort preserve their future. As Abraham Lincon said, You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.
This month was the first time I took the Bolt on a good old fashion, American road-trip. I knew it would be a challenge but as another President said, nothing in the world is worth doing unless it means effort pain and difficulty. Here’s how it was (and can be) done.
The Hardware. You’ve got to have an EV that has an extended range. Here’s a list, for your reference, of the longest range EVs on the market today. But you’ve also got to have the capacity for Level 3 charging. On the Chevy Bolt the hardware cost an incremental $750, from the factory. GM advertises 90 miles of charge in 30 minutes, up to the 80% mark and the speed begins to taper to protect the battery.
The Fuel. There are of course Plug-in Hybrid EVs such as the Chevy Volt and Honda Clarity. Those models have about 30 – 50 miles of battery capacity with traditional gasoline as a backup. This isn’t the kind of EV I’m talking about here; I’m talking about 100% electrons. And I must acknowledge that during my road trip the electrons pulled from the grid may be coming from brown-power sources; but not necessarily. Wal-Mart, for example, has solar on many of their locations. And one of the two EVgo stations I charged at was at a Wal-Mart. Nonetheless, what’s the advantage of driving an EV vs. a traditional internal-combustion engine that uses gasoline? For one, EVs convert about 60% of their energy from the grid to power at the wheels; gasoline only converts about 19% of the energy stored to the wheels. Also, electricity, even from a coal-fired power plant, is a domestic energy source. Finally, you can get your electricity from renewable sources such as solar and wind.
The Apps. Before making any long-distance road trip, pre-planning the locations of charging stations (and their distances from one another), is critical. There are a number of apps you can use to see what’s out there: PlugShare, ChargePoint, and EVgo are the ones I use.
The Infrastructure. EVgo is America’s largest Public Electric Vehicle Fast Charging Network, with over 1,000 chargers in 66 markets. As a non-Tesla driver, this network is vitally important for the emerging EV market.
The Planning. A few days before my trip from Southwest Ohio to Eastern Tennessee, a 350 mile commute, I identified two Level 3 Fast charging stations and one Level 2 charging station for my trip. The first Level 3 charger I stopped at was only 35 miles from my house, located at a Wal-Mart in Florence, Kentucky. I topped off and drove another 239 miles to Knoxville, Tennessee… quite literally almost no margin for error between charging stations. Fortunately, during my planning I learned of an EVgo charging station that’s being installed about 3/4 that distance, along I-75 near Williamsburg, Kentucky. So the infrastructure is continuing to develop. After making it to the next fast-charger in Knoxville… I had 8 miles to spare. Nonetheless, I made it. So I charged for about one hour (180 miles). While I waited I was able to eat lunch and catch-up on some work. Then I drove another 35 miles to my final destination, which was for business purposes There I stayed for about 30 hours, plugged in to a residential 120V outlet at 12 amps. I got my charge up to about 90% before making the return trip… back to Knoxville, then to Florence, then home. Similar to my first-leg, I made it back to the Florence charger with about 6 miles to spare.
Lessons Learned. For one, my tire pressure was relatively low when I left my house. It took the necessity of my thin battery margin to realize the impact it had on my mileage efficiency. So, I filled them almost to max-pressure and the Bolt was ‘intelligent’ enough to roll this new information into its algorithm, thus giving me an increased range by about 10 miles from where I was before. Second, I noticed that by turning off my air conditioning, the algorithm gave me another 10 mile boost in my range. Also, I tried to keep my speed (on I-75, no less) at around 65 mph. You’ll notice in this chart the relationship between speed and range; the faster you drive, the less efficient your mileage.
In order to change the world, we’ve got to do things differently. Otherwise, if we continue to do the same things, nothing will change. This trip wasn’t easy. An otherwise normal five-hour trip took me about seven-hours, one way. I didn’t want to leave the house at 5am and I certainly didn’t want to get home at 2am. But I wanted to demonstrate it could be done, in the hope that just maybe it inspires others to make the leap, not only to an EV, but to a brighter future.
Sep 25, 2018
The older I get and the more people I meet, the more it is confirmed in my mind that curiosity is a highly desirable trait. Curiosity is a simple recipe for improving intelligence, persevering through hard times, and achieving meaningful goals. Without curiosity, one is too easily content to settle for the status quo and not grow – personally or professionally.
A couple years ago, an executive friend shared with me that his Fortune 500 company specifically tests for curiosity when recruiting new talent. The idea is, candidates who demonstrate curiosity are more likely to improve their education, training, and leadership ability. They never stop reading and asking questions; and become more effective in their line of work as a result.
Of course, being curious is also a great way to build personal friendships and working relationships. Have you ever met someone who loves to talk about themselves and their weekend, but never turn things around and ask about your kids or whatever? I would bet they are not on your list of favorite people. Curious people are naturally more understanding and fun to be with.
Curiosity is getting more attention and research all the time. The most recent issue of Harvard Business Review has made it a feature article as well. According to HBR, curiosity can improve a firm’s adaptability and performance.
Additionally, this same article posits that curiosity leads to fewer decision-making errors. A deeper level of analysis and number of options come from asking more questions. Curiosity also reduces group conflict and leads to more open communication. And it can mean viewing problems more creatively – with less stress.
Some people assume that asking questions in a meeting shows a lack of understanding, or that they are not as smart as other people in the room. But the opposite is true. Asking questions shows you are engaged, that you want to learn, and you care about the end-result. Don’t be a bump-on-the-log that just attends but does not participate in meetings. This is a waste of company time.
So be curious! Every day, with every person, and in every challenge. Experience the joy of finding new pathways to better relationships and success. In fact, how can we live our core value of innovation at Melink – without being curious?
We Just Became An ESOP....But What Does That Mean?
Jul 6, 2018
We want you to join our team. Not only is it a special place to work, Melink became an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in 2018 and here’s what that means to you as an employee of Melink.
Melink is unique. An ESOP is a rare and valuable benefit. Melink offers this unusual opportunity for employee wealth building.
Another unique feature at Melink is that it is provided to employees with no out-of-pocket cost. And is a qualified defined contribution retirement plan that is invested primarily in the common stock of the sponsoring company. Unlike a 401k plan, which requires an employee to contribute his or her own money, there’s no cost to employees.
Melink’s ESOP directly correlates to our company culture. We act like a start up every day and our ESOP helps us to further build our ownership culture that rewards people both monetarily and intrinsically. Employees are part of something bigger at Melink, because everyone is working to build his or her (and everyone else’s) successful future. Increased company performance typically leads to a higher share price and therefore a higher balance in employee ESOP accounts. Simply put, when the company does better so will our employees. The ESOP plan provides a return on their sweat equity.
At Melink, we value our employees’ ideas, opinions and inputs to successfully serve our customers and growing the business. Melink is building and sustaining an environment that fosters an ownership culture.
Meet Allison Sternad, Marketing Manager
May 21, 2018
Melink Marketing Manager
What is your personal philosophy?
Look for opportunities to leave the world a better place.
What did you do before coming to Melink?
I was a digital marketing manager for a software suite for the automobile industry and I was a marcom manager for a building products company. I have always had a love for communication and telling a brand’s story.
What is your favorite aspect of working at Melink?
The people and the culture hands down. It probably sounds repetitive to what everyone else said, but it is so true! We are a big family here; we support each other, challenge each other, and truly enjoy being around each other. When your office is basically your second home, it is nice to be surrounded by amazing people and a welcoming environment! It truly is a Great Place To Work!
What do you like to do in your time off?
I love to be active outside, especially with my kids! We love to play sports, go on bike rides and walks, and enjoy picnics at the park. I also run quite a bit. While I can’t say it is my favorite thing to do, I love challenging myself and running really pushes me mentally and physically. Plus, there is something amazing about touring your city during a run!
Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I played ice hockey growing up both competitively and recreationally. I was even on the same team as my brother through high school!
What are you most proud of?
My kids. Watching them grow absolutely blows me away and I have learned more than I ever thought possible from them. I love hearing their views on current topics and seeing their personality blossom through conversations. Also, their perseverance and attention to detail is beyond anything I could ever imagine. That is mostly a good thing until they remember what you promised them last year! They may be young but they are mighty and I am confident they will make great things happen.
What are your hopes for our industry?
That renewable energy becomes mainstream. That people don’t stop trying to make a change because it is against the grain or “too hard”. Nothing worthwhile comes easy and we have to continue questioning, researching, and innovating.
Motto or personal mantra?
It’s never too late to be what you might have been.
Steve Melink presents the 2017 Xavier University Commencement Address
Aug 17, 2017
Steve Melink gives the 2017 Xavier University Graduate Commencement Address and emphasizes the importance of integrity in developing a personal brand. Like corporate brands, nothing is more valuable and indicative of future success than one’s reputation. Based on his experience, success and happiness depend more on living a life of integrity than chasing jobs and money. Find your purpose and pursue it with passion. The world needs transcendent leadership now more than ever.
Steve Melink is a national clean energy expert with three decades of successful experience as founder and CEO of Melink Corporation. He also is author of the book CEO Power & Light: Transcendent Leadership For A Sustainable World.
Greater Cincinnati businesses can lead despite Paris climate retreat
Jul 11, 2017
President Donald Trump recently withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord. The backlash was immediate, significant and deserved.
The agreement was signed by almost 200 countries. This was a landmark achievement in a fractured world. More countries agree on the why and how of fighting climate change than how to battle terrorism.
Furthermore, the agreement was supported by many of the largest and most successful companies in the U.S., including Apple, Google, Microsoft, P&G and General Electric. Most major U.S. universities and many religious groups also urged the president not to withdraw from the agreement.
President Trump justified his decision by saying jobs would be lost. But the opposite is true. The greatest economic opportunity of the 21st century is a global shift to clean energy. The solar and wind power industries are growing by double digits and far outpacing new jobs in coal and natural gas. New batteries and electric vehicles are leveraging these industries. Tesla, for example, is now worth more than GM and Ford.
China, however, is leading the world in clean energy research, manufacturing and deployment. In fact, China’s leadership and investment are resulting in the U.S. becoming increasingly dependent on it. This means our national economy and security are at risk in the name of sovereignty, coal and politics.
More importantly, our global health and environment are at risk. Climate change is universal and irreversible. And it is largely caused by human activity, based on the research of 97 percent of climate scientists around the world. (Despite what they say, politicians, fossil fuel companies and the media do not know more about this than the scientific community.)
The logical extension of our planet warming 4-8 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of this century is that it will continue even faster next century. This will result in many plant and animal species becoming extinct and higher sea levels slowly flooding coastal cities.
What is our opportunity and risk mitigation strategy? Where government fails us, businesses can lead and win. Pivoting to clean energy will get us on the right side of history. This will make our corporate brands stronger so we can attract and retain the best talent. Renewables will also secure for us the lowest long-term cost of energy, because the fuel sources are free.
Therefore, Tri-State businesses should consider five simple strategies to successfully compete in the 21st century:
– Divest of fossil fuel and utility stocks and mutual funds that impede a clean energy future. Invest instead in clean energy stocks and mutual funds.
– Reduce your enterprise carbon footprint 50 percent by 2025 and 100 percent by 2035. This can be accomplished by investing in energy efficiency, as well as renewable energy, onsite and offsite.
– Purchase clean power rather than brown power from utilities.
Invest in workplace charging stations to promote electric vehicle use by your employees.
– Push similarly high standards and expectations on your supply chain.
Move over, politics. Businesses will step up and save the world. Future generations will thank us for this ultimate legacy.
As seen in the Cincinnati Business Courier.
Steve Melink's 30th Anniversary Keynote - The Clean Energy Revolution
Jun 6, 2017
Steve Melink celebrates his company’s 30th anniversary by inviting partners and friends to join the clean energy revolution. The U.S. led the flight, computer, Internet, and every other age of the 20th century, but risks losing the biggest opportunity of the 21st century to China. The world’s population growth from 7 to 12 billion will not be sustained by fossil fuels. For economic, security, health, and environmental reasons, the U.S. needs to pivot to clean energy. Fortunately, the business sector is starting to lead the way to attract Millennials and build brand power. Solar and wind energy, along with battery storage and electric cars, are the way of the future. Kick the
fossil fuel habit and become a leader in your industry and community by doing the right thing for the planet and future generations. Not to mention your children.
A Letter To Employees From Steve Melink Regarding The Paris Climate Agreement
Jun 2, 2017
MELINK DEVELOPS VAST SOLAR FARM FOR NC COUNTRY CLUB
Dec 1, 2016
We recently completed our largest solar array project to date. At 5.25 megawatts, it will produce enough solar energy to power over 500 homes annually.
Melink is certified by the International Trade Council
Nov 18, 2016
As of August 2016, Melink is a Qualified Accredited Manufacturer of the International Trade Council.
Melink quoted in ohio renewable energy story
Oct 17, 2016
A recent article published on October 17, 2016 by Cincinnati.com titled Ohio produces less renewable energy than Kentucky. Is that okay?, quotes Steve Melink.
Melink awarded 2016 Goering Center Award for Private & Small Business
Oct 3, 2016
Melink Corporation certified as a Great Place to Work
Aug 12, 2016
Based on our 2016 company-wide survey, 91% of Melink Employees rate Melink as a great place to work.
STEVE MELINK'S 30TH ANNIVERSARY KEYNOTE - THE CLEAN ENERGY REVOLUTION
Jun 6, 2016
Steve Melink celebrates his company’s 30th anniversary by inviting partners and friends to join the clean energy revolution. The U.S. led the flight, computer, Internet, and every other age of the 20th century, but risks losing the biggest opportunity of the 21st century to China. The world’s population growth from 7 to 12 billion will not be sustained by fossil fuels. For economic, security, health, and environmental reasons, the U.S. needs to pivot to clean energy. Fortunately, the business sector is starting to lead the way to attract Millennials and build brand power. Solar and wind energy, along with battery storage and electric cars, are the way of the future. Kick the fossil fuel habit and become a leader in your industry and community by doing the right thing for the planet and future generations. Not to mention your children.
CEO Power & Light' intriguing new executive book
Nov 5, 2015
National clean energy expert and corporate CEO Steve Melink also is an author with an urgent global message. His book CEO Power & Light is now available and already on its way to becoming a business classic on transcendent leadership.
Melink is presented 2015 Ohio EPA Environmental Excellence award
Oct 8, 2015
Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Bulter presented 10 Ohio organizations with Encouraging Environmental Excellence (E3) Awards. The E3 program recognizes businesses, non-profits, and government agencies in the Buckeye State for going above and beyond to demonstrate environmental excellence.
Melink Visited By Ukrainians Studying Green Practices
Sep 3, 2015
A delegation of Ukrainian government workers traveled to the U.S. to learn how Greater Cincinnati recycles, uses solar energy, filters water, and generates heat and electricity. They visited Melink Corporation, which sells its clean energy solutions to customers like Walmart and the Cincinnati Zoo.
Meet Steve Melink of Melink Corp.
Jun 15, 2015
Steve Melink is featured as a person to know in the energy industry.
Steve Melink Awarded 2015 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Ohio Valley Region
Jun 4, 2015
Steve is awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year award in the manufacturing solutions category
Op-Ed: Utilities On Wrong Side of History
May 27, 2015
Steve Melink presents a call to action to Senator Portman regarding Ohio’s advancement in clean energy.
Amid energy law freeze, Ohio solar market stalls
Sep 18, 2014
Melink Corporation in Milford, Ohio, is already shifting its business focus. The company’s previous solar energy projects in Ohio include a 6,400-panel array at the Cincinnati Zoo.
Melink Partners with Equity Industrial Partners Corp. to Utilize Extra Space for Solar Facility
Sep 15, 2014
Melink Corporation recently developed and installed the largest rooftop solar PV system in the Midwest on property owned by Equity Industrial Partners Corp. (EIP).
Cincinnati Zoo Spotlights Solar Energy
Jul 8, 2014
A giant solar panel canopy, constructed by Melink Corporation, is exceeding expectations by cutting electricity costs for the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. At the same time, 1.5 million visitors each year get an up-close look at clean energy.
Melink Is One of Three Clermont Companies Recognized for Manufacturing Excellence
Jun 9, 2011
The awards recognize companies that have shown success in five key areas: creating great workplaces, designing new products, making breakthroughs, charting growth, and creating jobs.
Melink Receives 2010 Renewable Energy Project of the Year Award
Jul 9, 2010
The Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) confers prestigious awards each year to individuals and organizations that have achieved national and international prominence in promoting the practices and principles of energy engineering and energy management.
Steve Melink Featured In Cincinnati For Being Green
Jan 1, 2010
To many, he is Cincinnati’s Mr. Green Jeans. Those in the green movement all say that Melink is the man to see. Ohio Governor Bob Taft and Ted Strickland both made visits to his Milford-based headquarters.