Mackenzie Inc. and O’Brien are teaming up to tackle a big Design-Build housing project in Newport for Oregon State University (OSU). This new 77-unit building provides homes for students and professionals connected to the Hatfield Marine Science Center and helps to ease Newport’s housing crunch while expanding OSU’s coastal campus facilities.

Situated conveniently close to the Marine Science Center on Yaquina Bay, this housing spot is prime coastal real estate. But before construction could start, O’Brien’s team had to clear some existing small and scrubby trees from the site. It wasn’t smooth sailing though. Local mills didn’t want the trees because they thought they weren’t worth much and didn’t have the capacity to process them.

O’Brien’s team got resourceful and partnered with a habitat restoration company, Integrated Resource Management (IRC), and the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) through MidCoast Watersheds Council’s (MCWC) salvage log program. The team carefully coordinated with IRC and ODF for the tree removal process, providing over 120 trees – roots and all – from the OSU housing project site for sustainable reuse. The trees were sent to a nearby creek restoration project run by MCWC, which is a win for both the environment and the community.

MCWC has been doing this kind of restoration work for a long time – over 20 years, in fact. Their projects have used salvaged logs to spruce up streams, tidal channels, and floodplains, making life better for all sorts of species. These logs aren’t just wood; they’re homes for fish, helpers with flood control, and champions for healthy ecosystems. MCWC is always looking for like-minded volunteers and as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, donations to its efforts are tax deductible. With creative teamwork and a focus on sustainability, they’re making a difference in the Mid Coast watersheds.

And with projects like this new housing development at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center, it’s clear that taking care of the planet is a top priority for O’Brien’s team. Here’s to literally building a greener future! 🌍🏠

Shoutout to the project team! Dave Deardorff is the Project Manager, Meysha Lovrien of Lucas Design Build is the Assistant Project Manager, and Tony Gaines is the Superintendent. This is a collaboration effort between O’Brien and Lucas Design Build, which combined is called O’Brien Lucas Ventures.

Alex Mallett family

Q&A with Alex

I grew up around construction, my dad has been in the industry my whole life and so it was something that I was familiar with. When I got out of the Marine Corps in 2007, the skill set that I had gained didn’t translate to civilian work very easily as Artillery is not commonplace outside of the military. I had an opportunity to get involved in architectural sheet metal and the three-dimensional aspect of it really captured me. October 28, 2009, I was working as a superintendent on a jobsite and ended up losing my right eye. Over the course of the next year or so I was really struggling with what I wanted to do. I had a great friend who was a detailer for a large sheet metal company who started showing me how to use cad, do take-offs and really break the blueprints down. That led to an opportunity with a small company who gave me a shot as a project engineer. I was pulled into a couple of hard-bid projects and found that I had an affinity for estimating. I grabbed that opportunity with both hands and spent the next 7 years absorbing everything I could and learning from anyone who gave me a chance. That naturally led to a shot at becoming a preconstruction manager, a position that I kind of understood but not really. Over the course of the last year, I have found that Preconstruction Management is what I never knew I always wanted to do.

I live in Terrebonne, OR. If you look out my front door you get to see Sisters and other mountains, if you look out my back door, you get to see the beauty of Smith Rock. My main office is in our Bend location. I am a bit lucky though because in my position I am frequently traveling to all our other locations and involved company wide in projects. That may be one of my favorite things about my role in O’Brien. My family relocated to Terrebonne because we love the community. About 12 years ago we went to a wedding at Smith Rock and that sparked a discussion with my wife about where we wanted to end up. It took about 10 years to make happen, but we found our home.

I think the most important lesson to date has been not dwelling on the past, focusing on our identity and who we want to be and making it happen. To learn from the past and not lean on it as my mentor says. As a very optimistic yet competitive person I tend to take it hard when I get bad news. By slowing things down, and taking a moment to Stop, Understand, Plan, and then Act, I have found more success. The last part of that is learning to be the calming presence in the room, the voice of reason moving forward.

A couple of relationships that I have been focusing over the last year on have opened the door to multiple opportunities. I have been able to see the results of the efforts come to fruition in real time. I really enjoy the client development aspect to my job and to see opportunities come through the door has been great!

The first thing I think that new employees should take advantage of is the support system that O’Brien has in place. Help is only a call away, and I cannot think of one person who will push you off. Over the 5 offices that O’Brien has, we have lifetimes worth of knowledge to be shared, use the resources. Secondly, take time to realize and embrace our core values. They aren’t just for show. As a new employee if you take the time to really understand the core values, it will help you to be able to articulate who, why and what we are and want to be. Lastly, take advantage of educational opportunities and the technology available. O’Brien has so many tools that assist in our success, but they require effort and investment by the individual. Embrace it.


With five offices throughout Oregon, opportunities abound for O’Brien’s team members to get outside and enjoy all that the region has to offer for recreational activities. To celebrate Earth Month, we asked a team member from each region in which we have offices to share their personal “hidden gem” so that others can discover and explore Oregon’s natural beauty.

Central Oregon

“I love, love waterfalls in the spring–especially in Central Oregon. This time of the year, the snow is melting and the waterfalls get huge and have a lot of water volume coming over the edge. A couple of local favorites are Tumalo Falls and Benham Falls. But one that I love and have been going to since I was a kid with my parents is Sahalie Falls. It’s a gem in between Bend and Springfield off the Mackenzie Hwy and is absolutely amazing this time of the year. I definitely recommend a good waterfall!” – Leonard Jarvis, Assistant Project Manager.

Sahalie Falls and Koosah Falls are located along the McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass and West Cascades National Scenic Byways off Highway 126. The Waterfalls Loop Trail, part of the McKenzie River National Recreation Trail, connects the two waterfalls and offers up close views of the wild McKenzie River. Sahalie Falls is a mass of foaming white water plunging 100 feet (30 m) over a natural lava dam. This famous falls can be spotted in Disney’s movie Homeward Bound.

Portland Metro

“Big fan of Dog Mountain in the Spring! A little more challenging of a hike but there are wildflower fields near the top that are beautiful.” – Alex Noble, Project Manager

Located East of Stevenson, Carson, and Home Valley, WA; West of White Salmon, WA, and across the river from Cascade Locks, OR, Dog Mountain Day Use Area and Trailhead is the access point for two of the most scenic trails in the Gorge, Dog Mountain Trail #147 and Augspurger Trail #4407. These two trails form a popular loop hike, if you connect via the 1.5 mile Dog-Augspurger Tie Trail.

The area is most popular for its spring-blooming yellow balsamroot meadows, which occur at its upper meadows. Look for other wildflowers, such as white phantom orchids, Indian paintbrush and purple lupine, that add color to the mix. During the peak spring wildflower season, a permit is required to park at the Dog Mtn Trailhead parking lot on Saturdays and Sundays. Permit season for 2024 is April 27 – June 16 and Memorial Day. If there are no permits available, hikers may take the shuttle from Stevenson and a hand stamp will serve as your hiking permit.

Oregon Coast

“Kayaking in the Yaquina Bay gives you a great experience to get up close to sea lions and the NOAA research vessels, and check out a huge variety of waterfowl, including Great Blue Herons and Brown pelicans. On the south side of the Yaquina Bridge by the Rogue Brewers on the Bay is a non-motorized boat launch–and a great walking pier you can fish and crab from, or just enjoy the view of the bridge.” – Rian Martinsen, Director of Safety.

Kayaking Yaquina Bay provides enthusiasts with an intimate way to explore its diverse ecosystem, from its tranquil estuaries to its bustling harbor. Paddlers can enjoy lovely views of the Oregon coast while gliding through calm waters, encountering wildlife such as seals, seabirds, and even occasional whales. With convenient launch points and opportunities for both leisurely paddling and more adventurous exploration, Yaquina Bay offers recreation for kayakers of all skill levels.

Willamette Valley

“My recommendation is Silver Falls. There are several really nice hikes around the falls and the adjacent area. There is a sort of a cave behind the falls that is part of the trail where you can sit and have a snack while enjoying the view.” – Jeff Stafford, Superintendent

The Trail of Ten Falls at Silver Falls State Park in Oregon is a breathtaking hiking experience renowned for its natural beauty and cascading waterfalls. Spanning around 8.7 miles, this well-maintained trail winds through lush forests, offering stunning viewpoints of ten majestic waterfalls along the way. As visitors explore the Trail of Ten Falls, they are immersed in the tranquil ambiance of the Pacific Northwest, making it an unforgettable outdoor adventure.


Earth Month is a vibrant celebration of sustainability and environmental stewardship, with communities coming together for events like tree plantings, beach cleanups, and educational workshops. Throughout April, we highlight projects and activities that protect the region’s diverse ecosystems, promoting a greener and more sustainable future for generations to come.

NATURE’S HIDDEN GEMS

With five offices throughout Oregon, opportunities abound for O’Brien’s team members to get outside and enjoy all that the region has to offer for recreational activities. To celebrate Earth Month, we asked a team member from each region in which we have offices to share their personal “hidden gem” so that others can discover and explore Oregon’s natural beauty.

Central Oregon

“I love, love waterfalls in the spring–especially in Central Oregon. This time of the year, the snow is melting and the waterfalls get huge and have a lot of water volume coming over the edge. A couple of local favorites are Tumalo Falls and Benham Falls. But one that I love and have been going to since I was a kid with my parents is Sahalie Falls. It’s a gem in between Bend and Springfield off the Mackenzie Hwy and is absolutely amazing this time of the year. I definitely recommend a good waterfall!” Leonard Jarvis, Assistant Project Manager.

Sahalie Falls and Koosah Falls are located along the McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass and West Cascades National Scenic Byways off Highway 126. The Waterfalls Loop Trail, part of the McKenzie River National Recreation Trail, connects the two waterfalls and offers up close views of the wild McKenzie River. Sahalie Falls is a mass of foaming white water plunging 100 feet (30 m) over a natural lava dam. This famous falls can be spotted in Disney’s movie Homeward Bound.

Portland Metro

“Big fan of Dog Mountain in the Spring! A little more challenging of a hike but there are wildflower fields near the top that are beautiful.” Alex Noble, Project Manager

Located East of Stevenson, Carson, and Home Valley, WA; West of White Salmon, WA, and across the river from Cascade Locks, OR, Dog Mountain Day Use Area and Trailhead is the access point for two of the most scenic trails in the Gorge, Dog Mountain Trail #147 and Augspurger Trail #4407. These two trails form a popular loop hike, if you connect via the 1.5 mile Dog-Augspurger Tie Trail.

The area is most popular for its spring-blooming yellow balsamroot meadows, which occur at its upper meadows. Look for other wildflowers, such as white phantom orchids, Indian paintbrush and purple lupine, that add color to the mix. During the peak spring wildflower season, a permit is required to park at the Dog Mtn Trailhead parking lot on Saturdays and Sundays. Permit season for 2024 is April 27 – June 16 and Memorial Day. If there are no permits available, hikers may take the shuttle from Stevenson and a hand stamp will serve as your hiking permit.

Oregon Coast

“Kayaking in the Yaquina Bay gives you a great experience to get up close to sea lions and the NOAA research vessels, and check out a huge variety of waterfowl, including Great Blue Herons and Brown pelicans. On the south side of the Yaquina Bridge by the Rogue Brewers on the Bay is a non-motorized boat launch–and a great walking pier you can fish and crab from, or just enjoy the view of the bridge.” Rian Martinsen, Director of Safety.

Kayaking Yaquina Bay provides enthusiasts with an intimate way to explore its diverse ecosystem, from its tranquil estuaries to its bustling harbor. Paddlers can enjoy lovely views of the Oregon coast while gliding through calm waters, encountering wildlife such as seals, seabirds, and even occasional whales. With convenient launch points and opportunities for both leisurely paddling and more adventurous exploration, Yaquina Bay offers recreation for kayakers of all skill levels.

Willamette Valley

“My recommendation is Silver Falls. There are several really nice hikes around the falls and the adjacent area. There is a sort of a cave behind the falls that is part of the trail where you can sit and have a snack while enjoying the view.” Jeff Stafford, Superintendent

The Trail of Ten Falls at Silver Falls State Park in Oregon is a breathtaking hiking experience renowned for its natural beauty and cascading waterfalls. Spanning around 8.7 miles, this well-maintained trail winds through lush forests, offering stunning viewpoints of ten majestic waterfalls along the way. As visitors explore the Trail of Ten Falls, they are immersed in the tranquil ambiance of the Pacific Northwest, making it an unforgettable outdoor adventure.




At O’Brien, we believe in prioritizing the health and well-being of our employees. As you’ll recall the first quarter of 2024 is our Preventative Care Incentive campaign! We understand the importance of proactive healthcare measures in maintaining a happy and productive people, which is why we’re incentivizing our employees to prioritize their health through preventative care.

What’s in it for You?

Starting January 1st, 2024, until March 31st, 2024, O’Brien will be giving away a $100 gift card to each employee who completes their annual preventative exam. Yes, you read that right – a $100 gift card just for taking care of yourself! It’s our way of showing appreciation for your commitment to staying healthy and proactive about your well-being.

No Cost to You

Worried about deductibles or out-of-pocket expenses? Fear not! Our preventative care is 100% covered, with no deductible required, by providers that are In Network with Cigna. This means you can take advantage of a wide range of preventative services without worrying about what you might have to pay.

What’s Included?

Immunizations

Age-appropriate exams and health screenings

Mental health screenings

Cancer screenings

Women’s health screenings

Well child exams

How to Participate

Participating in our Preventative Care Incentive Program is easy. Simply schedule your annual preventative exam with an In Network provider with Cigna between January 1st, 2024, and March 31st, 2024. Once you’ve completed your exam, Cigna will provide a report of who completed their preventive care appointments. No information other than your name will be given to us, of course. For those of you not on the Cigna plan, you can simply provide a document signed by your physician that you had your visit. Gift cards will be distributed by the end of April.

Remember, your health is your most valuable asset. Take advantage of this opportunity to prioritize yourself and earn rewards while doing so. Let’s make 2024 the healthiest year yet for all of us at O’Brien!

If you have any questions or need assistance scheduling your preventative exam, don’t hesitate to reach out to HR. We’re here to support you every step of the way on your journey to optimal health.

Stay healthy, stay proactive, and let’s reap the rewards together!