San Francisco International Airport

With each passing year since our working relationship began in 1999 I have remarked upon the excellent reputation TSAO DesignGroup has established here at the San Francisco International Airport as one of the premier design firms in the San Francisco Bay Area. As the airport’s Chief Architect and as the senior member of the Airport Design Review Committee overseeing all design work performed at the airport, I have had the opportunity to witness first hand, on countless occasions, the extraordinary level of care that your organization gives to your clients, for whom you have completed numerous projects throughout our facility.

— Amir Koleini, Chief Architect


Sephora’s distinctive stores set the standard for innovation and design for the beauty industry. With our design parameters in constant evolution, TSAO DesignGroup has shown the ability to understand the drivers behind new fixture and planning ideas and has helped us to implement changes seamlessly. Sephora has recently set the goal of attaining LEED certification for all of our 2010 new stores. With TSAO Design’s assistance and expertise, we feel confident that we will be able to meet this goal.

— Aimee Spence, Director of Architecture & Store Planning

Best Buy

I have collaborated and worked with TSAO DesignGroup on large-scale urban projects as well as smaller, more intimate remodeling projects. Your firm’s ability to adapt to any programmatic challenge is commendable. TSAO DesignGroup has proven itself as a quick problem solver and a cost-conscious partner no matter what the project type.

— Mark Vaida, Project Development Manager


Your accomplished team has juggled budget considerations and scheduling, all the while delivering a design concept that expresses Citibank’s vision and professional image.

TSAO DesignGroup has distinguished itself as a reliable and dedicated firm. I look forward to opportunities for further collaboration.

— Michael W. Charles II, Senior Vice President


Through the course of our relationship, you have provided excellent designs incorporating practical solutions to problems with a great deal of sensitivity to aesthetics. Your team has always looked for cost-effective solutions that are an essential way of conducting business in these tough economic times.

— Jim Flannery, Director of Facilities


The positive feedback from our employees and customers was immediate and enthusiastic. Your people were professional and creative, even when cost considerations came up.

— Robin R. Smith, General Manager


Your design company has created a phenomenal place for people to treat themselves well. This has been a wonderful and profound process to witness, and I thank you and your company for showing me the value of a well-designed, high-quality space for healing and relaxation. 

— Jeanne Marie Besanceney


I have especially enjoyed working with your talented and caring staff, many of whom donated countless hours to support our fundraising efforts. Your associates’ professionalism, obvious passion for the PAWS mission, and selfless dedication to the highest design standards, has set the bar very high for the other firms! The annual TSAO creations at Petchitecture are the highlights of the event. For me personally, they are a symbol of a great partnership between a local nonprofit organization and a leading member of the business community. I am so grateful for everything TSAO has given to the community over the years, and I look forward to working with you in the future.

— John L. Lipp, President/CEO

University of California

Jonathan Tsao and his associates are truly an amazing group of human beings. Their work at the San Francisco General Hospital will serve to memorialize the wonderful life of Ashlyn Dyer and provide a warm and welcoming environment for the hundreds of families whose loved ones will experience a critical injury or illness. I could not recommend them more highly.

— Geoffrey T. Manley, MD, PhD, Chief of Neurosurgery


I’ve known and worked with Jonathan Tsao for the last two years, and in that time he’s proven to me that TSAO DesignGroup has the expertise and know-how to successfully tackle large multi-million dollar projects. I’ve also witnessed that TSAO DesignGroup shows a great amount of passion for the communities of the San Francisco Bay Area. As an active member of the Northern California Minority Supplier Development Council’s (NCMSDC) Minority Business Enterprise Input Committee (MBEIC), Jonathan has shared his experiences as a minority entrepreneur, and is always encouraging and leading other minority firms.

— Madison Gunter III, Business Development Manager


I write to express my sincere thanks for the community involvement and continued support that TSAO DesignGroup has displayed for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) here in the Bay Area. Your participation in the 2008 Stars of San Francisco program, and event geared to the top level executives in San Francisco, was a fantastic demonstration of your personal and corporate commitment to your community. The event raised $42,000 to support health services provided by MDA to local families living with muscular dystrophy, and we could not have done it without you!

— Leslie Uptain, District Director


Jonathan Tsao’s ability to ensure that TSAO DesignGroup consistently focus on the specific needs of their customer through delivering results, on-time project completion and cost synergies has earned his firm an outstanding reputation among their stable of many satisfied loyal customers. His quest to always provide the utmost in professional customer service coupled with consistently delivering cost synergies all merit recognition.

— Walter Smith, Supplier Diversity Manager

Robert Half International

Working with TSAO DesignGroup was a great pleasure. They were able to apply architectural insight and talents in collaboration with RHI’s ideas and style to blend concept into reality. Combining technical aspects, expertise and creative know-how, our renovated space became a masterpiece! Our beautiful new space now captures the imagination and wonder style in contemporary form and has become an instant classic overlooking the San Francisco Financial District.

— Kathleen Trimble, Director, Supplier Diversity

San Francisco General Hospital

Since joining the Board in 2003, you have helped redesign the Main Lobby in the hospital and made it a more welcoming place where people of all faiths can come for contemplation and spiritual renewal. Your current project of improving the three rooms in the Intensive Care Unit will make a family’s stay during a time of hardship more comforting. But more than just accomplishing these improvements, your designs have an elegance and beauty that is your trademark. SFGH is the hospital for the people of San Francisco so your contributions are a gift to the entire city.

— Judy Guggenhime, President

Kaiser Permanente

TSAO DesignGroup has provided quality design services for special projects at various Kaiser Permanente facilities in Northern California. TSAO DesignGroup is professional, dependable and above all focused on meeting the needs for their customers…Kaiser Permanente looks forward to further developing our business relationship with TSAO DesignGroup.

— Ariana Willie, Project Manager (Diversity Services)

Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa

TSAO DesignGroup has always provided innovative design concepts and offered unique solutions which have served to enhance our retail, spa and public spaces… I appreciate TSAO’s ability to be flexible in the ever changing environment of capital budgets and commend your commitment to remaining upbeat and dedicated to every project independent of size or scope.

— Sharon Zamojski, Architect/ Capital Projects Manager/ Sustainability Chair

Fremont Properties

…We interviewed several San Francisco firms including some that were significantly larger…in the end we selected TSAO DesignGroup for several reasons, perhaps the most important being the high quality of their work and dedication to client service. In situations where involvement by principals has been appropriate, we have always found Jonathan Tsao ready, willing and able to invest his time and expertise to assist us. We believe with TSAO the client gets the best aspects of both the large and small firm-the resources and experience of a large firm, with the responsiveness and personal attention of a smaller firm.

— Lori Schryer, Asset Manager


With every space planning assignment TSAO performed above the expectations of DHL. In my role as Director of Corporate Real Estate, I’m dependent on the quality performance of the TSAO team to lower costs and minimize timelines…during my role as Director of Corporate Real Estate at UPS, the largest project assigned to TSAO was the new corporate headquarters in San Francisco for UPS Global Logistics, a highly sensitive project because it occupied senior executives…the project received workplace ratings from the executives indicating it was the most efficient and well designed space they have experienced at UPS.

— Gary Taylor, Director of Corporate Real Estate

DPR Construction Inc.

In design and construction, successful projects are always the outcome of good relationships between owners, consultants and contractors. Excellent communication is the cornerstone of such relationships because the timely and accurate exchange of information between team members is critical to cost, time and outcome…your organization is exceptional at communication. Constructability, completeness, and clarity are what a builder appreciates in contract documents and your drawings are exemplary, project after project. I can only conclude that you attract and retain top talent and maintain excellent quality management practices.

— Bill Schalich, Senior Estimator

Cushman & Wakefield

Jonathan has created an accomplished team of design professionals in his image of “service-first” and attention to detail…I am pleased to present my clients to TSAO DesignGroup for what I believe is their most distinguishing feature: personal and professional integrity-something I hear from my clients about them time and time again.

— Edward Caulkins, Senior Director

Grubb & Ellis

By quickly interpreting tenant requirements and producing preliminary layouts, TSAO DesignGroup establishes and maintains a high level of tenant interest during lease negotiations…additionally the accuracy and completeness of the information are truly impressive, with the result that construction permits are approved and issued in a fraction of the time normally required.

— Denis Plehn, Senior Broker


Thank you for the high quality of the professional services that your firm has provided. As our projects are always fast-paced and continually changing, it is a credit to your staff that the commitment to schedule and quality remains constant.  I also appreciate your personal involvement in the work…it is reassuring that you remain in touch with the project and can be called upon for support and counsel.

— Jon Boyes, Vice President, Corporate Realty Services


On behalf of ChevronTexaco Business and Real Estate Services, we would like to recognize and thank you for your excellent work in the 2002 Bay Area Merger and Relocation projects. We value your individual contribution that helped the team achieve ChevronTexaco’s goals of completing the Merger within an ambitious schedule and within budget. We acknowledge and applaud the professionalism and real estate expertise you demonstrated.

— Steve Berg, General Manager, BRES

Charles Schwab

In my nearly nine years of service here at Charles Schwab, in various roles ranging from Director of Branch Expansion to Corporate Real Estate Portfolio Manager, I am reminded from time to time of the relationships that we develop, nurture and maintain with other professionals in the course of meeting the challenges we face every day. I come to the simple conclusion that we are sometimes fortunate enough to connect with very special people, with extraordinary talent, who help us to meet these challenges and turn them into successes. You are the perfect example.

— Glenn Sims, Portfolio Manager, Corporate Real Estate

Barnes Construction

Our experience with you underscores the difference between architectural firms who claim to be team players and those who are. The quality of your contract documents minimized surprises from subcontractors and vendors. The result was
a smooth transition from design to construction and occupancy…

— Marv Peper, Vice President

Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

I write on behalf of the boards and staff of the Asian Art Museum, with thanks for your most excellent work in the renovation of Adrian Gruhn Court…we are absolutely delighted with its new image!

— Rand Castile, Executive Director

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo and TSAO DesignGroup have enjoyed a professional relationship dating back to the mid 1980s. As one of the premier architectural firms in the San Francisco Bay Area, TSAO has consistently provided high quality services to the bank for a variety of projects that include administrative and executive offices and retail branches. Of particular note are the offices for our San Francisco-based International Operations and multiple branch locations throughout northern California, including Antioch, San Jose, Concord, Fremont, and San Francisco. On the basis of these projects, we have found TSAO to be a highly responsive service provider and an innovative design consultant.

— James E. Terrell, Vice President

Union Bank of California

I understand from our Corporate Real Estate Group that congratulations are in order to you and your company on the partnership recently formed to provide a wide range of services to Union Bank.
The path to this point was not easy and frankly is designed to ensure that we have the right company in place to provide the ultimate service, at a competitive price, in a timely manner. Our due diligence process has shown that TSAO DesignGroup possesses the capability to service Union Bank for years to come.

— Richard Chacon, Vice President and Supplier Diversity Manager