M&S Engineering enters San Antonio following M&A deal

Sergio Chapa

One of the Alamo City area’s largest engineering firms now has an office in San Antonio following a merger-and-acquisition deal.

After more than six months of negotiations, M&S Engineering bought the San Antonio Design Group for an undisclosed sum in a deal that closed on Jan. 1. The two companies, which spent the past few months consolidating their operations, only recently announced the deal.

Three of M&S Engineering’s five principals: Shareholder Heath Woods, co-founder Brian and co-founder Keith Strimple outside the company’s headquarters in Spring Branch.

Headquartered in the Comal County town of Spring Branch where it boasts 29 registered engineers on staff, M&S Engineering ranks fourth on the San Antonio Business Journal list of the area’s largest engineering firms. The deal gives the company its first office inside San Antonio city limits and boosts its headcount.

M&S Engineering Partner Heath Woods said the firm also has branches in Georgetown, The Woodlands and New Braunfels, where so far, its focus has been on rural infrastructure projects. The recent deal will enable the company to pursue work with San Antonio Water System, Bexar County and the city of San Antonio.

“We always had a doughnut philosophy about San Antonio and Austin. Now we’re going in,” Woods said.

San Antonio Design Group CEO Tony Saucedo and principal engineer Roy Akiona will stay on with M&S Engineering. Saucedo told the Business Journal that the transition has been pleasant, adding that both companies had strengths that complement each other.


“We have good people, and we give them the tools that they need to do their job, and they go do their jobs, if they stumble, we help them. We don’t micromanage.”


Listed as the only Native American-owned engineering firm in the Alamo City, San Antonio Design Group was able to use its minority-owned status to land lucrative contracts with the city of San Antonio and Bexar County. All of those contracts will be finished under M&S Engineering, although Saucedo said he and his staff will now be more competitive in pursuing private-sector work.

“With M&S coming into San Antonio, we immediately became a powerful competitor as well as a strong contributor to the city of San Antonio,” Saucedo said.

M&S Engineering co-founder Keith Strimple said he worked with Saucedo and Akiona while employed as an engineer with the city of San Antonio — well before starting his own company. The idea of a merger came last year from an M&S Engineering employee who worked with San Antonio Design Group on various projects.

“We’re using that office as our seed office,” Strimple said. “We’ve already hired another engineer.”

M&S Engineering’s other co-founder, Brian Meuth, said the firm is growing but will maintain a culture that has made it one of San Antonio’s top places to work year after year. The company hosts regular events for its staff and converted an old barn at its Spring Branch headquarters into a gym where employees certified as cross-fit trainers host workouts.

“We try not to be overly formal but realize that you still have to be professional,” Meuth said.

Operating under a mantra of enabling its employees to succeed, Strimple said the same philosophy will be applied to the firm’s new office in San Antonio.

“We have good people, and we give them the tools that they need to do their job, and they go do their jobs,” Strimple said. “If they stumble, we help them. We don’t micromanage.”

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