We close our correspondence with two simple words: Energetically yours. Those two words say so much about our history, our culture, and our intention as a firm.

Cofounder Dan O’Brien started using the sign-off soon after creating the company and joining forces with Roy Goodman, Carl Salas, and John Salas to set Salas O’Brien on the path to its success.

“I started using ‘Energetically yours’ because I wanted to use something conveys what we do and how we do it. It also has uniqueness and significance,” Dan said. “To me, using something like ‘Sincerely yours’ or ‘Very truly yours’ can be problematic because they can pass as insincere or common. ‘Energetically yours’ signifies our group consciousness and represents our collective commitment to achieve something.”

Representing What We Do

Dan started the firm out of a garage in 1975 in the midst of the energy crisis, when cars lined up for two to three blocks for a fill-up, families altered their lifestyles to conserve what they could, and policymakers started implementing measures to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

Seeing that crisis firsthand is what inspired Dan to quit his job and go all in on building a firm that is dedicated to making positive environmental impacts.

“As engineers, we have the ability to design things, to changes things, to move things, and to adapt our physical surroundings to change our lifestyles,” he said.

Our initial focus as a firm was on energy management to help bring and maintain equilibrium between energy demands and sustainable supply. Many of our initial projects were energy and technical audits to get clients started on path to reducing their energy usage. Even though we’ve grown into a full-service planning and design firm, saving energy and maximizing energy efficiency is still one of the pillars of our mission.

Representing How We Do It

While the term “energetically” serves as a reference to what we do, it also refers to how we do what we do.

“It was an inspiring sight to see all of us jump headfirst into each project and work collaboratively to accomplish our collective goal,” Dan said about watching the team work together in its early days, setting the standard for how we work today. “And that’s what sets us apart. We’re going to approach our clients’ challenges with the same level of passion and fervor as if they were our own buildings.”

That standard has become engrained in our firm’s culture. Our top priority has always been to understand our clients’ pain points so we can resolve them as quickly as possible. We follow through on our commitments and complete our work with minimal delay while keeping our project partners and clients informed of our progress throughout the project.

“Salas O’Brien has always provided great customer service and excellent design,” said Richard Stevens, former chief engineer at San Francisco State University for 15 years. “They were by far the most reliable, the most thorough, and the most accurate engineering team I’ve ever worked with. The quality couldn’t be exceeded, which is why Salas O’Brien was (and is) our preferred firm.”

Still Living Up to the Standard

Dan said that he’s humbled and proud that he still sees the intention behind the words “Energetically yours” thriving in each Salas O’Brien team member, whether they’re young engineers, administrative professionals, or seasoned team leaders. It’s been more than 45 years since Dan and Carl started the company, and since then we have grown into a nationwide, employee-owned firm with more than 850 team members across 35 offices. But we still bring the same level of enthusiasm that Dan, Roy, Carl, and John brought to their first clients on their first projects as a team.

Jacque Lickteig

Jacque Lickteig

Jacque Lickteig’s diverse career spans across various sectors including non-profit organizations, corporations, and municipal and federal governments, making her a highly experienced communications professional. With a strong background in technology needs assessment, process development and streamlining, Jacque is well-equipped to tackle complex organizational challenges. Jacque serves as the Creative and Brand Manager at Salas O’Brien, where she brings her wealth of knowledge and expertise to enhance the company’s brand and creative direction.

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