Face to Face with Rob Finnegan

Founding partner Rob Finnegan started his career in 1976 as a draftsman and has practiced in Las Vegas ever since. This article offers a glimpse into his day-to-day life along with a few fun facts about him.




FEA Consulting Engineers


Type of Business: Engineering firm


Based In: Las Vegas, NV


Hails From: Las Vegas, NV


Years Org. has been in Nevada: 32


Years w/Organization in Nevada: 32


Employees in Nevada: 45


How did you get into your profession?


I wanted to be an architect, but realized I had more mathematical than artistic abilities.


Who has been instrumental to your success?


The two most important people in my path to success have been my business partner, Boyd Erickson, and my ex-boss and mentor, Ed Butera.


How do you motivate your team?


Understanding that their thoughts, dreams and desires are very similar to my own. I try to adapt to that. As an owner of a company, you want to take a Friday off every once in a while. So does everyone else! I motivate by understanding that “Work Hard, Play Hard” can be accomplished.


What metrics do you consider important when hiring employees?


Desire and accountability – if you have those, you are 90 percent there. I’ll take that over a PhD any day.


What is your favorite business book?


“How to Win Friends and Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie. It teaches you about sales, how to address people and how to solve problems. [It is] a timeless business book.


What would be the title of your autobiography?


“Balance.” I’m getting there.


What career advice would you give to someone just starting in your industry?


Head down the path or specialty you’re interested in…and when you get an opportunity to diversify, take it!.


What was the most difficult experience you encountered as a leader?


Understanding that when you lead a group of people who are very diverse … you have to understand that [diversity]. Understanding that we have to balance diversity in our own company, with our clients and in our lives.


What leaders do you look up to?


Richard Branson for his perpetual optimism. Napoleon Hill, who was one of the first motivational speakers. He wrote the classic business book, “Think and Grow Rich.”


What do you hope future generations can learn from your professional journey?


Hard work pays off.


This article was originally published on Nevada Business Magazine.

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