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Innovative Surfaces is chamber's 'Business of the Year'

Bruce and Sherry Akins love Hastings, and work to keep it nice in both their personal and professional lives.

The couple owns Innovative Surfaces, which was recently given the Business of the Year Award from the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce.

"They've been active in the community for some time," said Michelle Jacobs, president of the Hastings chamber.

Among the reasons Innovative Surfaces was nominated, Jacobs said, was their generous donations to local youth sports, Gobble Gait and Hastings Family Service.

"We really believe in thins community," Bruce Akins said. "It's been good to us."

Akins said he likes Hastings' great recreation opportunities, and said many of the 65 employees at Innovative Surfaces have kids in youth sports, which is why they choose to donate to them.

The business is a sponsor of Gobble Gait, the annual Thanksgiving Day run that raises money for Hastings Family Service, and the employees at Innovative Surfaces run a food drive that benefits HFS every year.

"We want this community to be strong," Akins said.

Around the holidays, the business adopts a family through HFS, and the employees raise the money and do all the shopping when the times comes.

Sherry Akins is a co-owner of Innovative Surfaces, but isn't involved in the actual operation of the business. She taught in the Hastings schools for 28 years, and is now an active volunteer in the community, delivering for Meals on Wheels and volunteering at Carpenter Nature Center.

A little about Innovative Surfaces

In a nutshell, Innovative Surfaces designs, fabricates and installs custom countertops and surfaces. The company works on both small and large-scale residential and commercial projects, and has been in business in the industrial park since 1994.

If you attended a Gopher football game at TFC Bank Stadium this year, you may have seen some of Innovative Surfaces' work.

Or, if you plan to catch a Twins games this summer at Target Field, you might see what Innovative Surfaces can do, too.

The company worked as sub-contractors on both projects, and Akins was the project manager for both.

"The process was very fun to watch," he said. "And they're landmarks that are going to be in the state of Minnesota for a long time."

In the new Twins ballpark, the company did the countertops in the locker rooms, suites, and club and bar areas.

Most of the business is done on a wholesale basis to other contractors and sub-contractors, but they also work on individual projects in homes, businesses, healthcare facilities and food-service locations.

Bruce and Sherry's son, Todd Akins, is in charge of production at Innovative Surfaces, and Todd's wife, Kellie, coordinates sales and marketing for the business.