History of IQI
The foundation for the companies that fall under IQI’s corporate umbrella, was laid in a two-car garage by Kevin Smith’s father, Earl. The year was 1971, and Smith was tired of working as a metal shaping journeyman.
Little did he know that the two-car garage would spawn a multi-faceted corporation less than a decade later. But Smith did know one thing – he knew that his son Kevin could help by working at Deluxe.
Kevin learned the metal shaping and bending business firsthand by working at Deluxe, doing the same skilled work that his father was doing. And the pay helped put him through college at Notre Dame. Whenever there was a break at school, Kevin could be found earning more tuition money be working in the sheet metal shop.
When Kevin Smith graduated with a BA degree in Psycho-Physiology from the University of Notre Dame in 1978, he was the first in the family to go to college. As an undergraduate, he co-authored an article published in the Journal of Psycho-Physiology on “Hemispheric Asymmetry and Learning Strategies”. Kevin attended the University of Notre Dame’s Graduate School and was given a position with the Swiss government. After returning from Switzerland, Kevin’s love of history and architecture led him to purchase and renovate the passenger portion of Union Station.
In 1985 Kevin built out space in Union Station for telecommunication carriers. Expansions in 1998 and 2000 increased the available telco space for interested carriers. By 2003, Union Station built out 38,000 square feet of carrier grade space for the following tenants – WorldCom, CenturyTel, ACI/SBC, Adelphia, McLeod, AFN/AEP and Dominion. Currently Union Station houses MCI, CenturyTel, US Signal, WilTel Communications, Kentucky Data Link, Infinity Fiber Network, Cavalier and Qwest. After the failure of some of the telco tenants, Kevin adapted the carrier space into Data Suite Space. Global Access Point (GAP) was formed to market and service Data Suite customers.
Currently, the University of Notre Dame is a customer housing supercomputers at Union Station. Infinity Fiber was formed and purchased distressed telco fiber assets throughout the state to create a ring that connects the two state carrier hotels (Union Station and Indy Telecom Center), biotech industries in Warsaw, as well as several other Indiana communities and the City of Chicago.
Kevin is also working to create a new power/environment model to convert Union Station into a “Green Data Center” environment. The Green Data Center concept creates a robust, energy-efficient and scalable central plant for the ever- increasing demands of computers.
In the midst of the Union Station telco expansions, Kevin formed another company, Lonewolf Enterprises and purchased 30.65 acres of land in northwestern South Bend at the interchange of the Indiana Toll Road and the US 20 Bypass. His purpose was twofold: provide a home for the new advanced workspace for Deluxe Sheet Metal and to provide future expansion for a High Tech Park. Deluxe Sheet Metal moved to their new facility at the end of 2003. Instead of building a “tin box” to house the manufacturing, three stories of “Class A” offices were built on the front end creating a state of the art facility.
The Deluxe Sheet Metal building is a “Lit building” with built in fiber connectivity to Chicago and Indianapolis, VoIP, and internet connection. Deluxe is the anchor building for the adjacent 30 acres owned by Lonewolf. Plans are to develop this acreage into a high tech office and business park.
Lonewolf is also a construction company with design/build capabilities providing general contracting for telco build-outs ranging from coordinating and installing phone lines to racking and DC systems. Lonewolf has worked with a number of carriers including MCI/WorldCom, CenturyTel, Adelphia, McLeod, Dominion and AFN.
Ever looking toward the future, Kevin purchased a telco building from Broadwing Communication that was previously owned by CBLD (Cincinnati Bell Long Distance). The building is located near Lonewolf and is virtually connected to the Union Station providing telco expansion and similar services. The building was purchased with marketable telco infrastructure and connection with the toll road fiber route.
Since 2007 Kevin has been developing his own system to better control energy usage in his data centers. In the latter half of 2008 Kevin discovered Cisco was developing a new product called EnergyWise and has been collaborating with them as a beta tester. EnergyWise provides a ready-made, standardized framework of information that can feed in to the energy management system Kevin is developing.
Today, Kevin Smith the inventor, developer, businessman, has founded the Renaissance District in South Bend, Indiana. At the center of the District are the remaining automotive assembly buildings that Studebaker built as part of the auto giant’s design and assembly campus over a hundred years ago.
The buildings sit atop one of the largest concentrations of cross-country data cable in the United States. And Smith is busy using the buildings, access to plentiful power and fiber connections, to reinvent a social/digital ecosystem that is already drawing new high tech companies to the Renaissance District. With 1.2 million square feet of high tech space available in his buildings alone, the Renaissance District promises to be the largest mixed-use technology center in the Midwest.