1975O’Brien & Associates was founded by Dan O’Brien at the height of the 1970s energy crisis.
1975Inflation was in the high teens, people lined at gas stations to fill up on “even or odd” days and waited hours to fill their tanks. Dan’s passion was to improve energy efficiency, sustainability, and be a better steward of our environment.
Name changed to Salas O’Brien Engineers, Inc.
First big project was a 300,000-square-foot facility assessment for San Jose Hospital.
1981San Jose Mercury News featured Salas O’Brien Engineers as the first “energy auditing firm” in the United States, highlighting the firm’s vision, passion, and experience relating to energy efficiency, sustainability, critical systems, and power generation.
1983The firm hosted and sponsored the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in San Jose. The parade has been a tradition in San Jose ever since, underlining the firm’s fundamental commitment to the communities where our team lives and works.
Darin Anderson, Chuck O’Neal, and Paul Silva purchased 85% of the company from Carl and Marianne Salas. Darin became CEO, and Paul became President & COO.
Revenue was $4,800,000.
Salas O’Brien began working with AT&T under a five-year Alliance Partner contract.
Several leaders were invited to ownership in the firm and “principals” were created in the organization, representing the senior leadership of the firm that is responsible for the values, strategy, and operation of the firm.
Continuing the firm’s community leadership, Salas O’Brien sponsored and supported the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” fundraiser benefiting the San Jose YMCA.
Salas O’Brien was listed as an MEP Giant for the first time at #97. Revenue was $9,800,000.
KDW PS, founded in 1983 and based in Seattle, joined Salas O’Brien. KDW was recognized for their mission-critical capabilities as a full-service architectural, engineering, and interiors firm. The five owners of the firm continued as principals with Salas O’Brien: Arnold Kraakmo, Steve Boie, Randy Jones, John Siefken, and Doug Diel (founder). Arnold became managing principal of the Northwest region.
John Salas became managing principal of the California region. Despite a significant recession across the United States from 2008–2012, Salas O’Brien had only one year with billings less than the previous year.
Salas O’Brien was awarded a new master services agreement (MSA) as a global architect/engineer for Microsoft. An expanded MSA for Verizon was also signed.
The firm was listed for the first time on the Inc. 5000 list of list of America's fastest-growing private companies. Revenue was $18,000,000.
Kalmans Marshall Engineering, Inc. (KME), founded in 1980 based in Houston with offices in Dallas and Baton Rouge, joined Salas O’Brien. KME's primary clients were school districts and commercial clients, including both hospitality and retail. The firm was a recognized regional leader for its high-quality mechanical, electrical, and plumbing design work and outstanding client relationships.
The five owners of the firm continued as principals with Salas O’Brien: Brad Kalmans, Karl Marshall, David Bonaventure, Keith Gassman, and Mel Kalmans (founder). Brad became managing principal of the Texas/Louisiana region.
Salas O’Brien was awarded a new contract with the GSA in a partnership with Gensler for the Southeast.
The firm also made Engineering News-Record’s list of Top 500 Design Firms list for the first time, listed at #433.
Salas O’Brien started the “Orange County Dodge (ball) for a Cause” corporate tournament and raised over $34,000 for the Second Harvest Foodbank and Orangewood Foundation.
2015HESM&A, Inc., founded in 1989 based in Atlanta, joined Salas O’Brien. HESM&A’s primary clients were in education, healthcare, corporate/commercial, telecommunications, hospitality, and retail. The firm was recognized for its high-quality mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire-suppression design work as well as commissioning. The eleven employee owners of the firm all continued with Salas O’Brien, including the six principals: Stan Everett (founder), Tim Gilbert, Tom Evans, Toby Hunt, Dan Clifford, and Tim Brawner. Stan became managing principal of the South region.
KLG, LLC, founded in 1990 and based in Atlanta, joined Salas O’Brien’s South region. KLG’s primary clients were in higher education, corporate/commercial, and hospitality. The two owners of the firm, Danny Lundstrom (founder) and Robert Zendejas Jr., became principals of Salas O’Brien.
Salas O’Brien jumped 133 spots to #300 on ENR’s list of Top 500 Design Firms.
Revenue was $42,000,000.
2016Minick Engineering, Inc., founded in 1984 and based in Atlanta, joined Salas O’Brien. Minick’s primary clients were higher education, healthcare, industrial, and corporate/commercial. The two owners of the firm, Mark Minick and Debra Segal, continued as leaders in Salas O’Brien.
Salas O’Brien became a 100% employee-owned firm, fulfilling the vision of Darin, Chuck, and Paul from the acquisition 10 years prior. All Salas O’Brien management and principals remained with the firm.
Revenue was more than $60,000,000.