Editor-In-Chief: Al Anderson
Feature Editors: Erin Clinch, Faith Ragan
Sponsored Content Editor: Tina Barni

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People Helping People: Charles M. Salter Associates

I recently had a chance to touch base with Katie Spurlock, Past President of SMPS SFBAC and Marketing Director of Charles M. Salter Associates, Inc., and ask her a few questions about her firm, which is one of our Silverado Trail Sponsors.

tina barni: Tell us about your firm and services.

KATIE SPURLOCK: Charles M. Salter Associates consults in acoustics and designs audiovisual, telecommunications, and security systems for buildings. With offices in San Francisco and San Jose, we are involved in over 900 projects per year worldwide. Salter’s team of more than 55 comprises Professional Engineers, LEED Accredited Professionals, Certified Technology Specialists, Registered Communications Distribution Designers, Fellows of the Audio Engineering Society, Fellows of the Acoustical Society of America, and a PhD, as well as individuals with interdisciplinary and advanced degrees in architecture, music, linguistics, business, and forensics. We draw from this diverse expertise to develop solutions tailored to each project.

How many years have you been in business?

43 years.

could you tell us about some notable projects?

For The Commonwealth Club of California’s new headquarters, Salter consulted on the acoustics, audiovisual, telecommunications, and security aspects of the adaptive re-use project. The 22,600-square-foot building along San Francisco’s Embarcadero is used to host and broadcast events featuring world leaders and cultural influencers.

A highlight from our past is consulting on the Lucasfilm Skywalker Ranch Technical Building, for which we won an Engineering Excellence Honor Award from the American Consulting Engineers Council (ACEC) in 1988. Salter provided acoustical consulting services and design for this film, sound-recording, and post-production building. The recording stages established new thresholds for quiet background noise produced by ventilation systems.

Tell us about some of your firm events.

Every year, Salter participates in the LEAP Arts in Education Sandcastle Classic competition to help raise money for local schools. We’ve also partnered with the iHEARu app to help raise awareness for ear-friendly restaurants and community spaces.

What differentiates your firm in terms of approach, talent, tools, and values?

We’re not just engineers, we’re people helping people. Our team comes together around the values of dedication, creativity, and fun. Beyond our legacy of 40 years of award-winning projects, our success is measured by how well we translate complex engineering into language you can understand. For us, technical excellence is asking the right questions, and creativity is seeing potential in every direction. From projects small to large, we strive to bring personal connection to engineering. 

How long have you been a sponsor of SMPS?

For many years! Salter has been supporting SMPS since its inception. 

What are some the memorable or key events of SMPS that your firm has been involved with?

As a long time-supporter of SMPS, Charles Salter encourages his marketers to be involved with the organization. I joined SMPS the first month of starting at Salter and have volunteered on every committee, as well as serving as the Chapter President for the 2015-2016 term. Erin Lopez, our Senior Marketing Coordinator, has volunteered on the Membership and Programs Committees and won the SMPS SFBAC Rising Star award in 2015. We’ve also won several local and national SMPS marketing awards for our holiday videos, which we create entirely in-house every year to showcase the talents of our staff. 

About the Author

Tina Barni is the Marketing Manager for RHAA Landscape Architecture + Planning. She writes for the Shortlist and is on the SMPS SF Communications Committee. She can be reached at

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