Sally Brands focuses on getting the job done |

Sally Brands focuses on getting the job done

Kay Vasilakis
Post Independent Staff

RIFLE ” If you want to get something done, get Sally Brands on your team.

“Hand me a problem, and I’ll get the job done. I’m much more a problem solver than a visionary,” said Sally.

Her biggest wish for Rifle is to sustain and manage growth, and to develop industry that will carry the area beyond the current natural gas industry boom.

And she also wants a five-plex movie theater so she can see more movies. Sally thinks people would go to see more movies in Rifle if there was a nice place to see them. “It’s much more fun to go see a movie than to rent a movie,” she said.

Sally Brands co-owns Savage Land Company with her husband, John Savage. Her husband is the developer and she is the builder of homes in Rifle. She enjoys designing custom homes, and solving the problems of getting the clients what they want and what they can afford on the lot they choose.

“It’s fun to build houses, and you get to work outside when you get tired of the inside, and work inside when the weather is not cooperating,” she said. “It’s a good variety of work.”

Sally says she offers something unique to the profession.

“In general, I think I bring a different perspective than the guys don’t have, to the construction industry. Certainly the floor plans and especially the kitchens.”

Sally is also involved in several committees, including Rifle’s Downtown Development Authority, the Community Integration Initiative, St. Mary’s Church Choir and is a board member for the Academy of Western Slope Artists and Musicians.

What is her motivation?

“For a Catholic, I have a very strong Protestant work ethic,” she chuckled. “We were raised to be contributors to society.”

How does she juggle all these things?

“I’ve been fortunate enough to work at a job I enjoy. I have a lot of flexibility. I can work 70 hours a week, but I can also take off and drive kids to a horse show.

Sally has four children. Catherine Savage went into the Peace Corps in Peru for two years, and is now teaching Spanish in a Denver middle school. Maria Savage went to France to become a nanny after graduating from college, and is now working for a publishing company in Ireland. Louis Savage is teaching English, is an undergrad major and teaching assistant in a law school at Jiaotong University in Xi’an, China. And Jeb Savage is working in Denver.

“My children are all out of the house now, and my husband is fairly low-maintenance, she said with a laugh. “I have excellent assistance in my business, who takes over a lot of the tasks of building houses beyond the design. I also have excellent sub-contractors who I’ve worked with for a long time, who take care of their parts of the jobs.”

If she magically had an extra four hours per day, she would work on one or two more nonprofit boards. We’re trying to be more available for other things in the community.”

“We’ve purposely cut back on our building schedule, we’re only building about 15 houses per year. “

“I already have a fair amount of time to travel and see my children, and I’m not that big on relaxing. I might play more golf, but I just can’t play golf seven days a week. You have lots of time if you don’t cook or clean house,” she said, laughing again.

“As we were trying to make this LIFT-UP building happen in Rifle, I mentioned it to Sally, said LIFT-UP executive director Mike Powell. “She asked me to give a presentation about LIFT-UP to a religious study group in Rifle.

“She called me a couple days later and told me she got approval from the city and approval from the bank, and talked to guy who owned the land. She and her husband bought the land to take it off the market until we could get the money to buy the land. She oversaw the construction and leveraged her time to get other people to donate their time. A lot of people donated their time or materials for our building because of her. Sally is a LIFT-UP hero.”

Sally is a little concerned of her tough persona. The one thing she would like people to understand about her is, “My bark is worse than my bite.”

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