Inside IONIC

Push to the Finish

I have ran a lot of marathons over the last few years and no matter how exhausted I am near the finish, I always manage to dig deep and push at the end to cross the line. Always trying to finish strong.

So what do we do at work when we get to December? Stop short? Slack off? Coast through the holidays? Yep…..that’s what we often feel towards the last days of the year. Everybody else is doing the same, right?

So…..Welcome to the last month of the year! While it might be tempting to take your foot off the gas, coast through the remainder of the year, and set your sights on how great next year is going to be (and it’s going to be great, without question), consider a few things:

1. December is 1/12th of the year – equal to 8.333% of your productivity and bottom line.

2. Would you light more than 8% of your income on fire just because you needed amusement?

3. You have a couple of choices for December: double-down on any goals you haven’t quite achieved yet, or relax and let the chips fall where they may.

I have never seen a race where the leader eases up at the end, only to lose the race to the guy who is giving his all? I suggest you run through the tape (in this case, December 31st…..however I’ve never been able to run through a tape….never been first), which also means you’re going to have some pretty sweet momentum as you start the new year!

Even if you take off the last couple of weeks of the year, you can finish strong and set yourself up to win big time next year.

Now, I’m sure wondering how you finish strong and start next year with momentum. I’m glad you asked …

Step 1: Create a plan for December and be intentional about the days you work, and the days you don’t. Set 3 goals for the month, find some accountability, and go for it like you mean it!

Step 2: Schedule time (1-2 hours at most) to do a review of the year.
1. What worked?
2. What didn’t work?
3. How did you do on your goals this year (so far)?
4. What would you do differently if you had the year to do over?
5. What did you learn about yourself?
6. What was great about the year?
7. Any wins you might want to celebrate?

Step 3: Schedule another block of time to create an Annual Plan for next year and Goals, and then do a 12 Week Plan so you exponentially increase your odds of achieving your desired outcomes.


Happy Holidays and here is to your best December and New Year yet!

Two offices to serve you better. Headquarters in Hampton Roads. Second office in Central Virginia.

Welcome Daniele Garcia

We would like to formally introduce one of our recent additions to our IONIC family, Daniele Garcia! With a bachelors in Architecture and Urbanism from Brazil, Daniele brings a wealth of experience in design, construction documentation and interiors. She not only worked in Brazil but also owned and operated her own practice DG Architecture & Interiors in Curitiba Brazil for several years focusing on many high-end custom homes.

Daniele has been working with IONIC on our new restaurant projects as well as other various small commerical designs. She is currently working on some custom home renovations for local clients as well as some in northern Virginia.

With her talents extending into interiors and finishes, she will be consulting on many of those needs within both offices as well. Her skills in producing high end rendering solutions for the interiors are key to our continued success and development in our field of design and architecture. She will be primarily based out of our Virginia Beach office.

We wish her great success.

Two offices to serve you better. Headquarters in Hampton Roads. Second office in Central Virginia.

Meet Chris Warren

We are excited to anounce the addition to our Virginia Beach team, Chris Warren Associate Architect. Chris grew up in Hampton Roads and graduated at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2011. Previously he worked at Cox, Kliewer & Co. working on construction documents for many apartment complex projects from schematic design to final CDs. His vast experience in commercial work will help IONIC continue to deliver our projects on time and on budget.

Chris is also highly active in various community organizations such as YAF – Young Architect’s Forum, AIA Hampton Roads, P40 Network, tHRive as well as others.

Currently, Chris is helping us develop some master plans for a church in Richmond as well as construction documents for another historic church in Virginia Beach.

We look forward to seeing Chris continue to grow.

Be sure to welcome him the next time you see him out and about.

Two offices to serve you better. Headquarters in Hampton Roads. Second office in Central Virginia.

Expanding Our Territory

One of the most exciting parts of architecture isn’t so much the act of designing something, it’s the revelation during it’s conception. And by conception, I mean the act of creating the space, structure, building etc.

As architects and engineers, we try to do our job at creating the “visual”. Creating the “how-to”. Creating the “inspiration”. But honestly, it comes down to great builders that take our doodles, our ramblings, our piles of paper and turn them into living breathing buildings.

Too far? Ok maybe!

For twenty five years, I have heard the argument between architects and contractors. One fighting the other. And unfortunately, we’ve have experienced it. IONIC has chosen to work with the best in the industry to accomplish the work….not just for us, but especially for YOU, our clients.

As a team comes together from the conception of a project idea, vision or dream, it’s so satisfying to know that the contractor has your back and you have his. A common goal for our client.

To produce a product seamlessly and efficiently without forsaking aesthetics or foregoing economy is one of the primary goals that we strive for at IONIC.

Enjoy some of our pictures of a Wendy’s restaurant “Smartbuild” in Portsmouth, Virginia. Its not often we get the opportunity to celebrate a Grand Opening. The owner invited our team and the entire community to celebrate in the new store.

Thanks to the entire team to help get this one completed.

Custom Designed Millwork

First thought that pops into your mind when you hear “CUSTOM”?…..yes, I want it…..probably too expensive.

EXACTLY! We hear it at IONIC all the time. Clients really want that WOW piece as customers walk in their doors but too often it just cannot be affordable.

First let me define MILLWORK so we can share our thoughts on what we will be discussing. If it’s what you’re thinking then you can keep on reading or just jump to the pictures.

MILLWORK typically refers to a type of cabinetry product….made in a mill shop. It can be a reception desk, counters, kitchen cabinets, desks, credenzas, sales counters and more. Doesn’t always have to be made of wood but often is for ease of customization.

So what makes it custom? Well it can be a one of a kind. A unique piece that is made especially for your office, store or home. The colors and materials are what you want, the finished are what you want and most importantly IT FITS WHERE YOU BUILT IT FOR.

Another aspect that a custom MILLWORK piece can provide is function. Along with the custom look and custom fit, this piece can meet your specific needs when it comes to function. Most standard pieces are made to be very flexible without too many specialties so that the end user can FIT their stuff in. Unfortunately, more often than not, the fit doesn’t meet the end users expectations. They are just too generic.

Let me give a few quick easy examples. How about a food sales ordering counter? You know there will be equipment on the top and underneath. How will your equipment fit? Will it still have easy access? Will the refrigerator fit underneath? Can supplies be stored inside or quick use? With a custom built MILLWORK piece the answer is often YES!

How about a reception desk? We have found over the years that most offices often have a person that is a greeter when you walk into an office or other business establishment. First impression is the desk or counter they are working behind. So often this piece is used as an impressive piece and first introduction of the business.

So is it just a pretty cabinet? Heavens no! They are not just answering phones there either. The front desk typically has to function as a full fledge office desk too. Computer, monitor, printer, console phone, storage plus all the traditional pens, paper, etc that need to be there. Oh yes, and look nice too when your customers walk in and not appear as a mess!

Or how about a crazy desk made from reclaimed pieces of Shipping container….or anything else? Sometimes it doesnt have to be made of wood and laminate or metal, a creative mind can construct something that will be one of a kind imaginative piece specifically for your business.

Two offices to serve you better. Headquarters in Hampton Roads. Second office in Central Virginia.

Find out more about IONIC

We’re Hiring!

Our offices have been blessed with being awarded some great projects recently. Now we need help getting them out the door.


We have our continued accounts with fast food chains that have kept us busy over the years and continues to grow. Lots of production work throughout Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. We even have one in California.


Our office has always had a foundation in retail work. Currently we are doing concerts for numerous new and renovated sites throughout Virginia. Conceptual designs and production talent needed. We are even starting construction on a project outside Chicago.


We have several projects requiring space planning, permit documents and interiors for fit-outs, new builds and renovations. Looking for someone that is quick and efficient in their time to help us with these types of projects.


Our Richmond office has had a long history of doing great church projects. We continue to need help with master planning, space planning, conceptual designs and construction documents. Our office has several new master planning projects as well as projects rolling into construction documents. New construction and renovations/additions for both traditional type churches and contemporary. We are doing work throughout Virginia, North Carolina and California. If you have an interest in working with churches, give us a call.

IONIC is looking for individuals that have talent in design, efficient in production with knowledge in Autocad and Revit, creative problem solvers, energetic and self motivated, team focused and a desire to work in a firm with a long history of success and culture of cultivating award winning projects.

If you have an interest in a carreer like this with IONIC. Send you interest with a resume and digital portfolio to

We look forward to hearing from you.

Creating place and spaces that enrich the lives of those who use them.

Independent Contractor? We want to work with you!

IONIC is looking for independent contractors who are experienced architectural drafters and designers to assist in the production of construction documents on a reoccurring basis. The candidate must be in possession of all the requisite skills, equipment and current software to complete tasks as assigned by the project manager. Must be proficient in CAD or Revit. Indicate either or both. Please send your experience and examples to

Two offices to serve you better. Headquarters in Hampton Roads. Second office in Central Virginia.


Find out more about IONIC:

IONIC – Wendy’s Portfolio

IONIC Churches

IONIC Retail, Restaurant & Office Solutions

IONIC Vision: Creating Places and Spaces that Enrich the Lives of Those Who Use Them.

VHDA Certified

We spent the morning at the VHDA office in Richmond getting our certification for Universal Design. I had seen the office several times as it was only three minutes from the hotel I stay at when I visit IONIC Richmond. So that means about a mile away from from our office.

What does VHDA do? A lot, but for starters:

I was impressed with the amount of information we were educated on and the process about how they focus on design that accommodates more users. Universal Design is not the same thing as ADA American Disabilities Act. It has different criteria.

As we continue to move forward with mixed use and multi-family projects, this will help us guide our clients in a manner that could certainly benefit them.

One of the interesting displays that they had at their headquarters was a full mock up that you could roll a wheelchair through. It’s not as easy as you might think. The circle depicts the 5’ handicap circle required in commercial work. Rumor has it they may be increasing it to 66”.

Examples of ways a cabinet can appear perfectly normal for a residence but a few adjustments in the cabinet can help those with disabilities still function in their own kitchen. This drawer was cut in half and a lower counter or cutting board was added.

Make sure your projects have the appropriate backing for support of grabbars (other side of the wall). I’ve seen these installed just in the drywall and get pulled out the first time someone really needs them.

A great day spent getting some valuable information in order to better help our clients find solutions to their design and construction problems.

Two offices to serve you better. Headquarters in Hampton Roads. Second office in Central Virginia.

Find out more about IONIC 

IONIC Vision: Creating Places and Spaces that Enrich the Lives of Those Who Use Them.

Community Architect

As we conclude one year, we begin again new. Ponder what you have accomplished and what has been lacking. What have you done to benefit others?

May 2018 bring you amazing blessings.

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses, but smaller families; more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, yet more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.

(Written by others)

D. Eugene Thompson

Founder + President

Three Chopt Presbyterian Dedicated!

Three Chopt Presbyterian Church in Richmond, VA celebrated its 50th anniversary with a dedication of its renovated facility. IONIC helped Three Chopt from conception to completion of this $2,000,000 renovation project and is ecstatic to hear that the church has responded enthusiastically to the final product.

Feel free to browse a few of our other completed projects in our portfolio.

Two offices to serve you better. Headquarters in Hampton Roads, a second office in Central Virginia.