Editor-In-Chief: Al Anderson
    Feature Editors: Marika Docous, Karen Roberson
    Sponsored Content Editor: Tina Barni

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    The Shortlist

    SMPS SFBAC Sponsor Spotlight: Salter

    Tell us about your firm and services.

    After many years of design consulting, Salter is excited to share our fresh new look for the future. Our new mark represents the balance of our work in acoustics, audiovisual, telecommunications, and security.

    Salter consults on over 900 projects worldwide each year with headquarters in San Francisco and branch offices in San Jose, Honolulu, and Seattle. In 1975, Charles Salter founded the company on principles of sound engineering, scientific process, inquisitive problem solving, and personal integrity. His motto was simple: to be better every day. Having grown from 1 engineer to a team of 60 that includes acoustical, audiovisual, telecommunications, and security experts, that commitment remains the same.

    How many years have you been in business?

    45 years.

    Could you tell us about some notable projects?

    How do you preserve the historic charm of a 1917 San Francisco cinema while making it functional for modern-day live theater? Salter collaborated with SOM and the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) on acoustics, telecommunications, and security to do just that. The A.C.T. Strand Theater project called for a custom-engineered solution to celebrate the building’s historic identity while bringing it up to modern standards.

    To meet the challenge, we listened closely to the client, as well as the design team’s goals and concerns while discovering what was possible. Our process included:

    • A detailed menu of options including practical compromises and benefits
    • Adapting to the asymmetrical nature of the space featuring box seating along only one side of the house
    • Custom fit reflective panels exposing the existing building without compromising the room’s function
    • Designing a modern telecommunications/data infrastructure for point-of-sale and general network data applications
    • Intrusion, access, and video surveillance systems to secure the theater at its Mid-Market location


    Today, the A.C.T. Strand Theater meets contemporary acoustic, telecommunications, and security standards while maintaining the look and feel of a charming older theater.

    Another 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.

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

    We’re not just engineers, we’re people helping people. Beyond expertise, our success is measured by how well we translate complex engineering into language you can understand. We ask questions until we get clarity, uncovering design options and delivering experience-based recommendations with a human touch. Charles Salter is the first one to work each morning, greeting everyone who walks through the door and taking interest in their current projects. That’s why people say Salter is like family: we go out of our way to help each other. Our team unites around values of dedication, creativity, and fun.

    How long have you been a sponsor of SMPS?

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

    What are some of 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 during the 2015-2016 term. Erin Lopez, our Proposal Manager, 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 in-house every year to showcase the talents of our staff. Speaking of holidays, we’ve had the pleasure of hosting the SFBAC holiday party in our office! 

     Tina Barni Aday is the Marketing Director at Lea & Braze Engineering. She writes for the Shortlist and is on the SMPS SF Communications Committee. She can be reached at [email protected].

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