Newsletter Archives

Click on the issue dates below to expand/collapse archived issues of the PS&S Newsletter.


December 2015 Newsletter

2015 was a year for PS&S to emerge from being known as one of the “best kept secrets in New Jersey” to being known as a “dominant player” in the region. The industry recognizes the strength of our single source offering for planning, design and regulatory compliance services which has led to significant opportunities to support the reemergence of our region. Some highlights:

  • PS&S is a consultant of choice to support strengthening of our region’s critical infrastructure;
  • We have been selected as the Subject Matter Experts to support new Research and Development facilities in the renewed focus of life sciences in New Jersey;
  • New Health Care facilities in the region have led us to expand our services to support this growing need.

One notable project this year is the first public golf course in Hudson County – The Skyway at Lincoln Park West. The Skyway project is a great example of PS&S’s “one-stop shop” approach. We first started working on the Skyway project in 2007. Back then, the land was overgrown and dormant, a mere remnant of a former landfill. PS&S was hired by the Hudson County Improvement Authority (HCIA) as the overall project manager to turn this forgotten, contaminated land into a 9-hole public golf course. PS&S’s services included the environmental engineering and regulatory permitting, civil engineering, geotechnical engineering and landscape architecture for the course. Also, structural engineering, MEP engineering and architectural services were provided for the course support structures (clubhouse, cart storage and maintenance buildings, etc.). The course opened in June with stunning, panoramic views of the adjacent historic Pulaski Skyway, the NYC skyline and other urban features adding to the public’s enjoyment of this newly created urban oasis. Clearly, the Skyway Golf Course in Jersey City is one of our biggest successes of the year.

2015 will also be remembered as a year of transition and expansion at PS&S. It was a year that welcomed new clients and new employees, and saw tremendous growth, both at our headquarters in Warren and throughout the region.

PS&S is proud to offer our clients multi-disciplined, full-service architecture, engineering, design and environmental consulting services and have been doing so for more than 50 years. This year, we have continued our steady expansion, elevated our firm’s profile and have had the opportunity to work on some terrific projects that diversify our portfolio.

A constant theme in our newsletters this year has been regional expansion and growth. On Long Island, we moved our office to Lake Success; in Cherry Hill, we doubled our office space and greatly enhanced our architecture and Health Care practice with the addition of Charles Clauser, Harry Wright and Stephen Sgro. In addition, we also grew our Cherry Hill land practice to include expanded services in our environmental, civil and survey offerings. Our Wall office has already seen growth in its existing utility/infrastructure and environmental services; this year we hired Bill Salmon as a Senior Director of Land Development to spearhead the enhanced presence for civil engineering and land development in the Monmouth and Ocean county regions. The goal is to double this office in size over the next five years.

Our business is never stagnant. There are continuous advancements in technology, new developments in building materials and ever-changing codes and regulations, which vary sector by sector. Whether it’s riparian design, energy utilities, master planning or remediation, having our integrated disciplines has been advantageous time and time again.

As we close out another great year, we want to thank our team here at PS&S. We think the collective dedication of our employees and collaborative ability to serve our clients with the utmost efficiency and excellence is unmatched and makes PS&S a unique company with which to do business.

We also want to thank our clients for allowing us the opportunity to work with you on your projects. Our success is measured by the success of our clients; the success of each project is our number one priority.

As we enter into 2016, we are excited to implement our growth-focused business plan: expansion into new locations, expansion of our current offerings, and expansion into new disciplines. All will result in career opportunities for current and prospective employees.

Wishing everyone and their loved ones a very happy and healthy holiday season!

For more information, please contact Anthony Sartor at or John Sartor at

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October 2015 Newsletter


In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, PS&S was honored to work on projects that were vital to New Jersey’s recovery and so personal to many of our employees. We opened our Wall Office to focus on Sandy-related projects and worked with towns and counties throughout the state to rebuild.

Now we are three years removed from the devastating storm that changed the region forever. There is no doubt we have come a long way: rebuilding beach communities, repairing damaged infrastructure and navigating the constantly changing rules regarding building in riparian areas, defined as land located along the banks of a body of water. Of course, we all know the job is not nearly over.

From Anthony Sartor & John Sartor

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This month’s newsletter focuses on PS&S’s expertise in riparian design and development. At the heart of all riparian design is the need for creative structural engineering, the discipline upon which our founding members Bill Paulus and Wally Sokolowski were pioneers. We’ll also introduce you to Glenn Kustera, a PS&S Vice President and head of our Structural Department, who has been deeply involved in flood-design projects over the past five years in both new construction and flood proofing existing structures. Glenn has been with PS&S for over 16 years, and is one of the PS&S experts helping to make sure we’re ready and stronger than the next storm.

For more information, please contact Anthony Sartor at or John Sartor at

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Focus On: Riparian Construction


Developing within or near riparian areas can certainly be challenging, especially since Superstorm Sandy in 2012. There have been tremendous changes taking place with regards to federal, state and local regulations addressing development near water, whether at the shore or inland in flood-prone areas. This is significant since Mother Nature is not expected to get any nicer.

In a recent study conducted by researchers at Columbia University, future coastal flood risk will be strongly influenced by sea-level rise (SLR), and the frequency and intensity of storms on the East Coast is predicted to surge.

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FEMA continues to update flood maps to reflect the continuously changing floodplains caused by natural forces and new developments. Riparian areas are found at every elevation and in every landform but can differ depending on local physical conditions (water vs. soil) and locations (elevation, valleys, canyons, etc.). These areas were – and continue to be – directly impacted by flooding.

Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. According to, just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. High-risk areas, or special flood hazard areas (SFHA), require a more in-depth analysis, risk assessment and understanding of changing regulations.

At PS&S, we recognize that one size does not necessarily fit all types of development and construction plans in these areas. Our integrated team of experts encompasses every discipline needed for designing and developing in riparian areas. You can learn more about our riparian experience [here].

For more information or if you have questions regarding riparian construction, please email PS&S at

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Tulsa is the second largest city in Oklahoma and is notable as the birthplace of radio legend Paul Harvey and Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Largent. It was also home for four years for PS&S Vice President Glenn Kustera who headed west after graduating from Rutgers University in 1991 with a degree in civil engineering.

“Finding a job was tough in New Jersey when I graduated,” Glenn recalls. “I answered an ad in the New York Times for a structural engineering job in Tulsa and spent the next four years there. The company’s main business was designing and building Wal-Mart stores across the country, which was clearly a growth business at the time.”

Employee Spotlight: Glenn Kustera

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After Tulsa, Glenn spent the next four years in Dallas working for another consulting engineering firm focusing on retail and commercial projects. But after eight years in the Midwest, New Jersey called again…this time in the form of PS&S Executive Vice President Todd Heacock.

“My PS&S career began with a rescheduled interview on a Saturday afternoon,” said Glenn. “I accepted the job, traveled back east with my wife, and have never looked back.” Glenn joined the PS&S team in 1999.

“Throughout my 16 years here, there has been incredible consistency at PS&S. There hasn’t been a lot of drastic change in terms of how the team works together. In fact, the core group of engineers from 15+ years ago is still here…and we have brought on a great group of recent graduates to keep the company moving forward.”

Glenn serves as Principal-in-Charge of PS&S’s Structural Group and is responsible for project oversight, concept planning, code analysis, design guidance and QA/QC procedures. His experience encompasses a diverse range of project types and all facets of structural design including shallow and deep foundation systems, concrete, steel, timber, masonry and rehabilitation and strengthening of existing structures. In his years at PS&S, Glenn has worked on many high-profile projects including the Showboat casino hotel in Atlantic City, Red Bull Arena in Harrison and the BAPS Hindu American Religious Center in Robbinsville.

In the three years since Superstorm Sandy, much of Glenn’s focus has been on riparian design and development, helping clients navigate the rapidly changing rules on building near water and in flood-prone areas.

“Flood design is complicated because it involves a lot of different engineering disciplines,” Glenn explains. “It’s a collaboration to come up with design solutions where input comes from the civil side, the geotechnical side, and the regulatory side…and clients have to be educated on all these complexities in order to come up with a solution that works.”

While nature in part has caused the increasing demand for flood mitigation projects, Glenn explains that the PS&S team has always been well-equipped.

“Our core technical expertise in this area has always existed, and it’s very helpful that we have the right people in the room to handle any question regarding any discipline. On a PS&S project, there are no road blocks in the design process.”

Outside of the office, Glenn enjoys biking and plays bass guitar in The Needful, a rock cover band. He lives in Long Valley with his wife Janice and his 14-year old son Collin, a freshman at West Morris High School. And if you’re looking for Glenn on an autumn Saturday afternoon, chances are you’ll find him in the blue lot at High Point Solutions Stadium, tailgating before a Rutgers home football game.

“This is a great place to live and work,” Glenn adds. “PS&S has built a great niche right in the middle between the enormous A/E companies and the smaller firms. We’re able to combine “mom & pop” personal service with a broad one-stop-shop with expertise in all areas of design, development and construction. It’s the best of both worlds.”

For more information, contact Glenn Kustera at

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Summer 2015 Newsletter


PS&S is expanding...again. Our Wall office is benefitting from the addition of Bill Salmon who is tasked with integrating his civil land development team with our outstanding environmental and utility services. Monmouth and Ocean counties present enormous opportunities for growth and with Bill as a new Senior Director of Land Development we have the right man in place. Bill joined our company in April and brings 28 years of experience for our current and future clients.

Further south in Cherry Hill, we are thrilled to be adding three architects to our existing team.

From Anthony Sartor & John Sartor

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Charles Clauser, Harry Wright and Steven Sgro are new to PS&S, but with a combined 88 years of experience in the architecture industry, they are certainly not new to the profession, or to Cherry Hill. We are especially excited to capitalize on their collective experience in the Healthcare Sector which is clearly one of the fastest growing industries in our region.

2015 is turning into a year of transition at PS&S from our expansion throughout New Jersey to our executive changes as detailed in NJBIZ. We know many of you are enjoying time at the shore this summer, and we are proud to be part of the rebuilding process in the three years since Superstorm Sandy. PS&S has been involved in projects that have helped restore our shore communities, whether you’re driving down Route 35 or walking the boardwalk in Seaside Heights. In October, we will reflect on the progress we have made and how building in flood-prone areas has changed forever.

For more information, please contact Anthony Sartor at or John Sartor at

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FOCUS ON: Wall Office Growth


With a name like Salmon, where else would you work but near the water? New Jersey-native Bill Salmon joined the PS&S Wall Office in April as a Senior Director of Land Development to spearhead the enhanced presence for civil engineering and land development in the Monmouth and Ocean county regions.

Bill’s familiarity with the Garden state is synonymous with many of his colleagues.

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He grew up in Edison and currently resides in the neighboring town of Metuchen, where he volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and Special Olympics, and also serves as a Deacon at the First Presbyterian Church of Metuchen. Bill earned his degree in civil engineering at Youngstown State University in Ohio.

In his career, Bill has developed expertise in project management, all aspects of engineering design and regulatory permitting with NJDEP, NJDOT, and county and municipal organizations and has provided expert testimony with municipal and zoning boards.

“Land development is important throughout the state, but notably, there is a tremendous market in the Monmouth/Ocean region that we [PS&S] need to fulfill with local flavor,” Bill said. “I know the first priority of this new chapter of my career is getting the civil and land development division up and running in Wall, and I’m excited to make it a success.”

Bill is off to a fast start. His team already has two new projects in the pipeline in Rumson and in Eatontown – both in the planning phase.

Evolving opportunity will be the key. In terms of population, Monmouth County ranks as the 5th largest in the state. Ocean County has been one of the fastest growing areas of the state since the 1990s. And despite the damage the region suffered from Superstorm Sandy, it is well on its way to recuperating.

“The region’s growth isn’t slowing down,” Bill explained. “There’s an attractive advantage to being close to the shore yet also still in the New York metropolitan area – the best of both worlds. Currently, the top two priorities are bringing in new clients and developing a robust on-site support team.”

The Wall office has already seen growth with its existing expertise in utility/infrastructure and environmental services, so integrating civil and land development services comes at an opportune time for the firm. The goal is to double in size over the next five years.

“Having the small firm feel with the large firm support is special,” Bill added. “Having all disciplines readily available at your disposal is an exciting differentiator in the architecture and engineering industry.”

For more information, please contact Bill Salmon at

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PS&S is continuing its expansion in Southern New Jersey with the addition of three architects, formally of Moorestown-based Costanza Spector Clauser Architects (CSCA). CSCA specialized in providing architectural and interior design, project planning and graphics and rendering services with a concentration in the Healthcare Sector.

Charles Clauser will be a Senior Director of Architecture, Harry Wright and Stephen Sgro will both be Senior Architects, all based out of the Cherry Hill office.


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The architectural expertise of Charles, Harry and Stephen will be a great addition to PS&S’s fully integrated offerings and is a clear recognition of the importance of the healthcare industry, not only in New Jersey, but also throughout the entire region.

“This is an exciting time for us,” said Mr. Clauser. “Combining our experience with the existing expertise at PS&S is going to amplify the architecture side of the business – and coupling that with the technical engineering and design excellence is going to create tremendous opportunities.”

After attending Spring Garden College, Mr. Clauser served in the Navy on an aircraft carrier. Following his discharge, he attended Drexel University’s Evening School of Architecture and became a registered architect in 1977. As a partner and President of CSCA, Mr. Clauser was responsible for the daily operations including business development and project scheduling.

Mr. Wright graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from Temple University in 1989 and became a registered architect in 2003. He is a former President of the West Jersey section of the American Institute of Architects. Mr. Wright served as Vice President of Studio Management at CSCA and was responsible for managing CAD production standards and protocols, production quality control, project management and software integration.

Mr. Sgro studied at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and obtained his Bachelor of Architecture from Temple University in 1991. He has been a registered architect since 1996 and a LEED accredited professional since 2009. Mr. Sgro was Vice President of Design Management at CSCA. He was responsible for design quality control, project management, firm IT, and business development including marketing, web presence and graphics. With his LEED certification, Steve guided the firm’s sustainability responsibilities as well.

“These three bring a combined 88 years of experience in the architecture industry,” said Todd Heacock, Executive Vice President of the Building Group for PS&S. “Their in-depth knowledge and astute experience in the business is going to solidify our architecture practice and is the impetus for our big plans in Cherry Hill. We are doubling our office space there which will allow us to serve the growing demand of the region. In addition to the boost in our architecture business, we are also growing our land practice group to include expanded services in our environmental, civil and survey offerings.”

For more information, please contact Charles Clauser at

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MAY 2015

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May 2015 Newsletter
From Anthony Sartor & John Sartor

From the Corner Office

“Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” – Author Jim Collins

“A small company depends on great people much more than a big company does.” - Apple’s Steve Jobs

These two quotes speak volumes about why PS&S is so passionate about recruiting and hiring the best people. We are a relatively small company with great vision, but without great people we will not succeed. That’s why this month, as thousands of college graduates take their first career steps, we are focusing our newsletter on how PS&S recruits, hires and retains top talent.

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We’ll hear from our Vice President of Human Resources Jamie McDonald, a critical member of our Management Committee, who will detail what he looks for in entry level candidates. We’ll also introduce you to three of our most recent hires, all of whom have been at the company for less than two years. Rita Exposito, Brian Liebeskind and Kevin Kaufman brought different experiences and backgrounds to PS&S, but they all share one common trait (besides growing up in New Jersey): They are proof-positive that our passion for hiring great people is on target and vital to our vision for PS&S’s future.

For more information, please contact Anthony Sartor at or John Sartor at

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Finding the best new talent is a challenging but critical component of any organization’s growth and long-term success. At PS&S, Vice President of Human Resources Jamie McDonald knows hiring is as much an art as a science.


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“Sometimes you have to make a commitment to integrate new talent even if you don’t necessarily have a clearly defined opening. A couple of years ago, we made a decision to infuse newly graduated, entry level talent into the company in all of our disciplines. While we’re fortunate to not have a lot of turnover at PS&S, we are growing. Our unique vertical capabilities enable us to attract talented individuals from all disciplines.”

In a constantly evolving industry, McDonald has certainly seen a lot of change in his 14 years at PS&S, most notably the huge advancement in the skill-level of recent college graduates. The ability to step right in and make an immediate difference in the company is directly related to the technological advances in college programs and high-level computer skills.

“Current grads don’t need as much ramp up time as in the past – that’s good for them to get acclimated and it’s good for the company to shorten the learning curve,” said McDonald. “I’m also glad PS&S is headquartered in a geographic region known for its excellent engineering and science schools. We know the programs at colleges such as NJIT, Rutgers and Stevens. And while good candidates can come from any school, we’ve had success recruiting candidates from these three New Jersey programs.”

When the resume of an entry level candidate comes across his desk, McDonald is not only looking for the best G.P.A. He also wants to see what type of initiative the candidate has taken with regards to internships and co-ops. An internship is good: a student spends eight weeks learning the ropes inside PS&S. But a co-op gives the student six months of professional training in a production environment and makes them a top candidate for future employment. Quality co-ops, whether at PS&S or a like firm, give a candidate a leg up in a competitive pool.

“Our co-op students receive a true hands-on, interactive opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of architecture and engineering,” explains McDonald. “At the end of the term, they are much more advanced in their field and have a truer sense of the profession. When possible, we look to hire former co-op participants or interns. When you combine a solid college program with the inside knowledge former co-op students and interns possess, you get a seamless transition into the workplace.”

For more information, please contact Jamie McDonald at

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Employee Spotlights

Employee Spotlights: Rita Exposito, Brian Liebeskind, and Kevin Kaufman

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Rita Exposito, a civil engineer in the Environmental Department who has been with PS&S since July 2014.

Q: Where are you from and where do you live now?

A: I was born in Cuba and came to the United States when I was four years old. I grew up (and still live) in West New York.

Rita Exposito

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Q: What kind of work experience did you have prior to PS&S?

A: My father exposed me to contracting/construction at an early age because he has his own company in North Jersey. While I didn’t have any co-ops or internships, I gained valuable field experience working for my dad. Being bilingual was an advantage because I would translate documents and contracts for him since he mostly only speaks Spanish.

Q: How did you become interested in engineering?

A: Well, growing up I didn’t go home after school and play regular videogames. I always had an interest in this “game” (a computer program that I treated as a game) – it was a program that architects used to model homes on computers. I just loved designing things. One day I was flipping through my older sister’s book; it was about which careers suited which personality types. I was intrigued that I matched up with civil engineering, so from that moment it was always in the back of my mind. Originally, I went to school to study physics, but after realizing how much I love design (and recalling that career book), I decided I wanted to be able to apply physics, so I pursued engineering.

Q: Where did you go to school and what did you study?

A: I studied civil engineering at NJIT. While I wasn’t studying, I kept myself busy with clubs and activities. I was on the Steel Bridge team and also the secretary of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) student team.

Q: How did you hear about PS&S – what attracted you to the company?

A: Through NJIT, I had met Joe Fleming, who continues to be an active alumnus with the school. When he received the Distinguished Alumni Award, he delivered a speech that really resonated with me. He’s a wealth of knowledge and I realized that’s the type of person I would love to learn from.

I applied to a few different companies, but I decided on PS&S because of the people. From the moment I interviewed with Sanjay Patel, I had a good feeling. Sanjay has been an amazing mentor that really looks out for everyone on the team. I always want to work with people like this.

Q: What do you think you bring to PS&S?

A: I think I bring eagerness to the team. I am always looking to get involved in a lot of different things. The ability to speak two languages fluently is also something unique I can do for our team.

Q: Any advice for current college students looking to follow your footsteps?

A: Study hard. Take opportunities. Participate. The more school activities you can get involved with, the more people you’ll meet and you’ll be able to improve your networking skills.

Q: What do you do outside of work?

A: I like a little bit of everything. I enjoy playing the guitar (mostly indie music) and the piano (classical and movie soundtracks). In the summer, I like to skimboard and I also love to paint/draw.

Brian Liebeskind

Brian Liebeskind, a civil engineer in the Civil Department who has been working full-time with PS&S since July 2013.

Q: Tell us about your path to PS&S:

A: I studied at Stevens Institute where I earned my Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering. In May of 2011, I began my co-op here at PS&S. It was a unique opportunity that really enabled me to dive deep into the company culture and work directly with project engineers on a lot of different aspects of engineering: civil, structural and field surveying.

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Having great relationships with the people I worked with was a big part of my experience at PS&S. Patti Ruskan was a great mentor during my co-op and she continues to be today. Working side by side with such a well-rounded engineer has been very educational and enlightening. I joined the team full-time in July of 2013.

Q: Did you have experience elsewhere as well?

A: Before I came to PS&S, I completed co-ops at construction companies, so I was able to gain a relatively well-rounded work experience in the field.

Q: How did you know civil engineering was for you?

A: At age five, I was always playing the videogame SimCity. I loved the idea of designing and building things – defining development zones in a videogame was definitely the beginning of my passion for engineering. Also, while I was completing my co-ops, I was able to take advantage of free elective classes at Stevens. Having the opportunity to explore the different areas at my own leisure really helped me refine my interests and concentrate on civil.

Q: You mentioned taking extra electives that helped you narrow your concentration; did anything else play a role in that?

A: Sure – I’m also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). While in school, I was treasurer of the student chapter – and currently, we are working on a resurging of the Younger Members group in our area as well.

Q: What do you believe you bring to PS&S?

A: I think I bring a certain level of enthusiasm that’s unique. I take great pride in the work we produce and always want to see the clients succeed. It’s rewarding to see your work positively impact your community, too.

Q: Any advice to current students?

A: Get exposed. Get experience. Be proactive. There are truly so many different directions you can go – I suggest taking as many classes as you can to get a sense of the different corners of the field, even if they’re not required.

Q: Tell us something interesting about yourself.

A: I played varsity tennis in college and try to play as often as I can. I am also an avid chess player and am always on the hunt to find new players.

Kevin Kaufman, a structural engineer in the Structural Department who has been working full-time with PS&S since June 2013.

Q: Where are you from and where are you living now?

A: I grew up in Warren County and currently reside in Piscataway.

Kevin Kaufman

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Q: Were you always certain structural engineering was the direction you wanted to go in?

A: I always had an interest in engineering and I was inspired along the way to focus on structural. During school, I worked as an Engineering Aide in the Warren County Engineering Department. Interacting with the team of engineers gave me insight and first-hand experience on multiple types of projects.

Q: Did you complete any internships/co-ops?

A: I did a construction internship with Tilcon where I was in the field and involved in running a long-term construction project. During this time I gained experience interpreting plans and the logistics of road construction.

Q: What attracted you to PS&S?

A: I think the size was a leading influencer. Being part of a smaller company gives you more insight and opportunity. Another huge factor is the people. Working closely with team members that truly care to see you succeed is something you don’t see everywhere – it’s a good feeling being recognized for your efforts.

At a large firm, you may not get to be involved in all phases of a project – but at PS&S, you really get the hands-on experience, which ultimately allows you to continue learning and growing as a professional. In fact, on my very first day, I was able to dive right in on a six-story school building project.

Q: You mentioned continuously learning – does PS&S have any programs to help support that?

A: Yes. PS&S has a Tuition Reimbursement Program for continuing education. I’m actually enrolled in an online Masters of Science Civil Engineering program through the University of Illinois.

Q: Do you have a favorite or most memorable project?

A: I really enjoyed being involved on the Novartis account. The project was supporting a new steam line in their East Hanover location. What I enjoyed most about the project was being able to step up – I was visiting the field site and trusted to interact with the client, which was really great.

Q: What is your advice to students and recent grads?

A: Have a thirst to learn, and ask questions. There’s no such thing as a dumb question. And “quality over quantity” is a quote to live by.

Q: What do you enjoy outside of work?

A: During the winter, you’ll find me in the mountains – I love snowboarding. But I like staying active all year-round, so I bike along the Raritan River canal, go to indoor rock climbing facilities, and I also compete in Tough Mudder races.

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MARCH 2015

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March 2015 Newsletter

From the Corner Office

One of the more popular topics we’ve talked about in these Corner Office stories is PS&S’s expansion beyond our home office in Warren, NJ. This month, we’re heading south to focus on our team in Wall.

Two years after opening the office, great things are happening at our new Route 34 location. This month, our employee spotlight is on Associate Principal Dave Applegate who, in just these two short years, has had a major impact on our Utility Services Group.

From Anthony Sartor & John Sartor

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We’ll also take a look at a project near and dear to Dave: rebuilding the pump stations down the shore close to where he grew up and currently lives. Getting the region “back to normal” after Superstorm Sandy has been a priority for PS&S since the days immediately following the storm in 2012. Having a team in Wall who live and work in some of the hardest hit areas helps us succeed.

One of the valued employees that joined our Wall office in 2013 is Natalya Shimunova, an engineer who was born in the Soviet Union and came to the U.S. at the age of 20. Natalya has embraced PS&S’s culture of giving back to the community and is an active member of Engineers Without Borders. You can read more about Natalya’s unique story in this recently published Asbury Park Press profile.

The technical capabilities brought in by the team of professionals who have joined PS&S have allowed us to continue to pursue and win work and has afforded us ongoing growth. With this growth comes new career opportunities at all levels, not only in Wall, but throughout PS&S. For more about opportunities with PS&S, Jamie McDonald, VP of Human Resources, can be reached at

For more information, please contact John Sartor at

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Case in Point: Route 35 Stormwater Improvements

Case in Point: Route 35 Stormwater Improvements

On December 31, 2012, Dave Applegate drove to the Mantoloking and Bay Head areas of the Jersey Shore and was completely humbled beyond description. Having grown up in Lavallette, one of the shore communities affected by Superstorm Sandy, he knew the area well and thought he was prepared to see the damage and deal with the limited access.

Disorientation came quickly, as he did not recognize portions of the barrier island’s Route 35 corridor, particularly in the Mantoloking section. The photo accompanying this story was the view from a bulkhead for one of the pump stations: a beautiful house had become a houseboat.

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The New Jersey shore is getting ready for its third post-Sandy summer. We’ve all lived through the rebuilding and rehabilitation of the region, and we all know we’re not finished yet. But with the experts in the PS&S Wall Office guiding the way, one project is nearing completion: creating a long-term solution for handling non-tidal storm events and providing a drainage solution along the Route 35 corridor from milepost 0 to 12.5.

It’s an area that includes Island Beach State Park to the south and the towns of Mantoloking and Bay Head to the north, and it’s a project that began about two months after the Superstorm. In December of 2012, Applegate received a call to mobilize to develop a stormwater pump solution for Sandy-affected areas. The challenge was to rapidly conduct site visits with a design deadline of just two weeks. Going forward, project deadlines and reaction times were all placed on a rush, priority basis.

Based on the charge from the client to provide a long-term solution for handling non-tidal storm events, the design task at hand for the project team was to successfully design a stormwater system that:

  1. Provided a drainage solution for the entire Route 35 corridor, milepost (MP) 0 to 12.5.
  2. Handled a 25-year storm event.
  3. Created a robust, watertight storm pipe system.
  4. Separated oil from the collected waters prior to discharge.
  5. Removed 50% of the total suspended solids (TSS) from the collected waters prior to discharge.
  6. Allowed tidal flooding to occur without affecting electrical components of the pump stations.

This required a balance between the need to elevate motor control centers (MCCs) and instrumentation panels at least two (2) feet above, what was at the time, the advisory base flood elevation (ABFE), and aesthetics.

Utilizing PS&S’s diverse expertise in structural, regulatory and water resources, PS&S has transitioned from early design and conceptual work to today focusing on support of the construction activities.

Starting at the northern end, the team of PS&S professionals has worked to ensure that the hundreds of thousands of permanent and seasonal residents have a stormwater pumping system that is best-in-class with a targeted completion date for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. The resultant new stormwater pumping system achieved all of the goals laid out by the client, and also was designed to blend into the built environment of New Jersey’s shore: a win-win solution with a net environmental and engineering benefit.

For more information, please contact Dave Applegate at

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Employee Spotlight: Dave Applegate

He was born in Freehold and raised in Lavallette…now decades after growing up on the Jersey Shore, Dave Applegate is helping to restore the area after the devastating impact of Superstorm Sandy. Who says you can’t go home?

Dave joined PS&S in 2013 as a Senior Director in the Wall Office. He came to the company along with six colleagues during a transitional period in the Monmouth/Ocean County engineering consulting world. The team hit the ground running, bringing access to a new region for PS&S to build a new client base including the largest water utility company in the United States, New Jersey American Water.

Employee Spotlight: Dave Applegate

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“Our goal was to establish a new Master Services Agreement (MSA) with them as quickly as possible,” Dave recalls. “We succeeded within months of starting at PS&S and quickly finished work on the first ever Design-Build project for New Jersey American Water in Egg Harbor. The elevated water storage tank project was completed last year.”

Dave has been working in the industry basically since the day he graduated from the Rutgers College of Engineering in 1985…with one exception.

“I accepted my first job offer knowing I had a big trip planned with three college buddies. It was actually part of the conversation during the interviews. So, one month after starting, I took off for Australia, where I spent a month hiking and meeting some of the nicest people I have ever met. That trip was exactly what I needed to clear my mind and prepare for my career.”

Working in the industry for 28 years, Dave successfully built a reputation of excellence with his clients. In 2013, after considering several opportunities, he found a new home at PS&S. “I was very careful in choosing my next firm and finding my next position. I was looking for a company that recognized the value of my technical expertise and had the capability of leveraging that into winning new work. PS&S is different, from the full-service approach of combining engineering and architecture to the people who work here, it’s the right environment.”

For his first 2 ½ months, Dave commuted from his Toms River home to the main office in Warren. In short time, PS&S established a swing space in Wall Township closer to home near the shore.

“We created a temporary space and even though it was small, people were smiling again since they were avoiding the long trip to Warren,” Dave remembers. “Now the team has grown from about 10 people in that temporary space to 35 employees in our Route 34 office. And we are always looking to add staff and diversify services in Wall.”

The group that came to PS&S in 2013 was the perfect complement to the company’s existing Utility Services practice. PS&S had been seen as an expert in the water resources field, and the new team immediately brought added expertise to an important shore-based project: designing large stormwater pump stations.

“With new federal regulations on the horizon regarding increased flood standards, we have to design around a 25-year storm to get FEMA funding when it involves state highways,” said Dave.

Dave lives in Toms River with his wife Catherine and daughters Molly, a sophomore at William & Mary, and Margit, a high school junior. When not at work, Dave spends about 10-20 hours a week as the President of Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity, which has successfully re-built more than 40 homes since Superstorm Sandy. The organization also began its “A Brush with Kindness” program which helps homeowners who are struggling to restore and maintain a safe and decent place to live with the ultimate goal of keeping homeowners in their homes by embracing the mission of eliminating substandard housing.

Two years into his PS&S tenure, Dave knows it’s a good match. Not only did he bring his potable water experience to PS&S in 2013, he brought his philosophy of strong project management, where project managers are responsible and accountable for their work. He also adds a unique perspective to PS&S’s management team. Reflecting on his career, Dave adds, “Having been a part of both business successes and failures, I know what works well. And maybe, more importantly, I know how to avoid the pitfalls.”

For more information, please contact Dave Applegate at

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January 2015 Newsletter

From Anthony Sartor & John Sartor

This month, we are shining the spotlight on WarrenPro, a company which was designed to assist insurance companies and legal firms in the prosecution and defense of claims. It is led by Joe Lifrieri, who has been in the PS&S family for more than 35 years, starting in 1979 as the Assistant Chief Geotechnical Engineer. Joe has a Ph.D. in Engineering and has decades of service on a variety of multi-disciplined engineering and architectural projects. Our employee spotlight this month is on Renard Barnes, WarrenPro’s Managing Director and General Counsel for the AJS family of companies.

From Anthony Sartor & John Sartor

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WarrenPro had been looking to expand its senior management team to bring on board industry experts that understand the analysis of insurance claims for the benefit of design professionals and insurance adjusters. We could not be in better shape than with these two professionals running the show at WarrenPro.

It is fitting to kick off 2015 with this newsletter that broadens our focus on our sister companies and partner businesses. As we mentioned last month, our companies are growing and expanding, and we think this is the perfect place to share their stories with our clients and employees.

For more information, please contact Anthony Sartor at, or John Sartor at

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From Warren Pro President Joe Lifrieri

From Warren Pro President Joe Lifrieri

For WarrenPro, RISK is a four-letter word. Our business is dedicated to managing, minimizing and reducing liability, or simply put, controlling risk as much as possible. Our services span multiple industries, including insurance, legal, pharmaceutical, and healthcare.

Our clients usually have one key question: Our insurance clients ask “am I liable?” For our attorney clients it’s, “Can I win?” WarrenPro’s engineers, forensics analysts, scientists and consultants have probed and evaluated hundreds of projects, and we use our expertise to answer those questions honestly and see the case through to a successful outcome.

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Built on 45 years of personal experience, WarrenPro’s team is broadly experienced but has a focused and intimate approach to client needs. WarrenPro also carries the exclusive support of more than 250 qualified in-house scientists, engineers and architects and other associates, each of which is specialized within their fields to provide the most in-depth and efficient solutions. Utilizing customized forensic techniques, we probe and analyze incidents objectively. Our job is to identify, educate, and solve.

We know what works, and it all begins with personal relationships – developing them, nurturing them and then following your contacts wherever they go, from company to company, creating new relationships along the way. This allows WarrenPro to be on the “tip of the tongue” of any potential client which will enable us to be successful in 2015 and beyond.

I am excited to be working with Renard Barnes as we look to make WarrenPro the go-to consultant for insurance experts. As you read the following employee spotlight, I think you’ll agree that this is no ordinary lawyer!

For more information, please contact Joe Lifrieri at

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Employee Spotlight: Renard Barnes

He scored four points in an NCAA tournament game, fixed broken steam pipes under the streets of New York and successfully argued a jury trial saving his client hundreds of thousands of dollars. Yes, a man this versatile actually exists. And he’s sitting right down the hall.

Renard Barnes is the Managing Director of WarrenPro and General Counsel for the AJS family of companies, but clearly his story has many, many chapters.

Employee Spotlight: Renard Barnes

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Let’s start at Syracuse University in the 1980’s where Renard was earning his degree in electrical engineering with a minor in mathematics. While tackling such challenging coursework, he decided to attempt the impossible: walking on to make the basketball team for one of the premier programs in the country. Renard succeeded in impressing Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim and joined Pearl Washington, Rony Seikaly and the rest of the squad in their quest for the 1985-86 national championship. “I knew I was a good player,” Renard recalls. “Now I was good enough to wear the Orange uniform.” Unfortunately, the team was upset by Navy in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament, but not before Renard Barnes scored those four points in the opening round game against Brown, forever cementing his name in Syracuse lore.

From SU, Renard worked with several consultants and contractors as a Field Engineer on numerous utility and heavy/highway construction projects in the City of New York and Westchester County, NY. As a field engineer, his job was to make sure the lines and grades were laid out correctly, labor and equipment were in the right locations, and field measurements were recorded for the work performed. He did this while attending law school at Pace University where he earned his Juris Doctorate Degree in June of 1994.

It was while he was a consultant on a Con Ed steam rehabilitation project where one of Renard’s career highlights occurred. There was a dangerous situation at the intersection of 30th Street and 5th Avenue in Manhattan. An old S-bend fitting developed a crack and needed replacing. Con Ed had many of its employees in the area, but asked Renard to figure out how to replace the damaged S-bend. “It was in a funky spot, but I figured it out,” Renard remembers.

About the time he was working in the streets of New York and in law school, Renard married Tiffani, now his wife of more than 20 years. They have 4 children: a 23-year old daughter living in Seattle, a 21-year old daughter who is an academic All-American and track star for the University of Alabama, an 18-year old daughter who is a freshman hurdler at the University of Cincinnati, and a son who is a basketball enthusiast and in the 8th grade.

After getting his law degree from Pace, Renard secured a job in the Construction Management and Law Departments of Con Ed. After working for Con Ed, Renard worked for 2 New York law firms doing construction litigation and then in 2002, he was hired as Assistant General Counsel for Schoor DePalma, until it closed its doors in 2010. Renard was then a Senior Litigation Attorney at the Law Offices of Joseph Carolan, a CNA staff counsel office, where he represented architects, engineers, consultants, and contractors in commercial litigation, personal injury, and property damage matters.

Renard’s 2nd memorable career moment came in the courtroom. “I won a defense verdict in a jury trial for a roofing contractor who was being blamed by a warehouse tenant for damages that occurred during a water leak from a major rain storm,” Renard said. “I convinced the jury the damage was due to faulty piping within the warehouse and the not the fault of my client, saving him hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential damages.”

Renard joined our company in March of 2014, and by his own account, is a natural fit to not only manage the risk for the PS&S entities but to assist in developing, managing, and growing Warren Pro. Based on his past successes, he is more than ready for the challenge.

For more information, please contact Renard Barnes at

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PS&S Newsletter December 2014

From the Corner Office

By Anthony Sartor, CEO and John Sartor, President and COO

“This is a place of the future. With forward looking management and young talent, the leadership model is nimble and very client-focused which will translate well into tomorrow’s world.”

From the Corner Office

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We couldn’t think of a better way to kick off our final newsletter of 2014 than with Marilyn Lennon’s perfect depiction of our company. Marilyn is one of seven newly promoted PS&S employees we will spotlight this month as we reflect on their (and the firm’s) accomplishments and recognize the changes and growth that will lead us into the future.

It’s no secret that our company is bigger and better than it has ever been. There are three key reasons – great clients, dedicated employees and a reputation for technical excellence. Over the past three years, PS&S has grown 40%, and we expect to grow another 12-15% by the end of 2015.

Clearly success leads to opportunity and expansion. Over the past few years we have added our Gas Engineering and Cultural Resources departments, expanded our Environmental Services group (which has doubled its headcount since 2009) and elevated our architecture and engineering capabilities, doing more vertical Design-Build projects. Our Design-Build service capability, now and in the years to come, provides a very efficient way of delivering services than just five years ago. This capability makes PS&S the one-stop shop clients count on for top to bottom excellence. We have also embraced our LSRP (Licensed Site Remediation Professional) practice, combining these professionals with our engineers to focus not just on remediation, but also redevelopment.

Such expansion allows for professional growth as well. By promoting such talented professionals as Bruce Hawkins, Patti Ruskan, Lisa DiGerolamo, Sanjay Patel, Ron Weston, Mary Acciani and Marilyn Lennon, we are not only rewarding them, but we are creating career opportunities for additional junior employees, and opening positions for new hires. In fact, we are looking to add professionals in all our offices.

We hope the “Q&A” with our employees gives you insight to the people who help run PS&S, and maybe even learn something new. We certainly enjoyed seeing the diversity of “favorite” projects and student advice these great colleagues discussed.

In future newsletters, in addition to updates and articles on PS&S, we will also be focusing on our sister companies and partner businesses. Our companies are growing and expanding, and we are well positioned to take advantage of our broadening expertise to continue serving our clients impeccably in 2015 and beyond.

For more information, please contact Anthony Sartor at, or John Sartor at

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Employee Spotlights

Employee Spotlights

This month we focus on seven leaders who were recently promoted at PS&S.

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First up: Bruce Hawkins promoted to Senior Vice President of PS&S.

Q: Tell us about yourself and your time here at PS&S.

A: I live right here in Warren and I’ve been with the firm for almost 35 years. Out of college, I worked for an architecture firm for about two years, and then after a friend made an introduction, I began working in the Civil Engineering department of PS&S.

Bruce Hawkins

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Q: What are some of the most memorable projects you’ve been involved in?

A: I tend to like the projects that are different and “off the wall.” The Monticello Racetrack we did back in 2002 was a really memorable one – it took a lot of research and learning. I also really enjoyed the Trenton Thunder Stadium.

Q: What do you enjoy outside of work?

A: When I’m not following my kids in their college sports, I’m a big fan of cars – specifically working on classic cars.

Q: Do you have any tips for students studying to become an engineer?

A: The more autoCAD classes you can take, the better!

Marilyn Lennon

Marilyn Lennon, promoted to Senior Vice President of Client Management.

Q: Tell us about your work experience and what you bring to PS&S.

A: I first joined in 1983, and climbed my way from associate to senior associate and then SVP. I left in 2000, taking a corporate job, but eventually, I entered the public sector working for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority as the director of strategic planning.

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I also spent four years at DEP, gaining valuable experience in the public sector. Then it came time where I wanted to come home. PS&S is the type of place where you’re allowed to grow intellectually, and that’s what I love about it. November 18 was my 1-year anniversary date of re-joining the PS&S team, and it was so great coming back. Through my various positions, I’ve gained a wide range of knowledge from working in both the private and public sector, and working at a large corporation. I bring a fresh perspective and enthusiasm.

Q: Where did you grow up and go to school?

A: I grew up in Garfield, NJ – though I reside in Seaside Park, which is my true home. I earned my bachelor’s in environmental land use planning at Ramapo College, and then my master’s from Rutgers.

Q: Do you have a favorite project?

A: I would have to say working and redeveloping the former Atlantic City landfill known as the Huron North Redevelopment Area or H Tract. PS&S was selected as the environmental and engineering consultant who addressed all of the issues associated with the former landfill, and provided regulatory and engineering solutions that allowed the beneficial reuse of the site for casino development, including the Borgata casino hotel. The project also included the construction of the "tunnel" that connected the site from the Atlantic City Expressway known as the Atlantic City-Brigantine Connector road.

Q: What’s something you enjoy that some may not know about you?

A: I’m extremely active with the Seaside Park Yacht Club. Interestingly, I’m only the second female to be named Commodore. I love the coast and wouldn’t live anywhere else. My work with them involves supporting sailing as a sport on the bay.

Q: Any advice to students?

A: There are so many different aspects to this industry, so I’d say it’s most important to think about what you like to do – because that will inform you on what you’d be happy doing.

Mary Acciani, promoted to Senior Vice President of the MEPF Group.

Q: How long have you been with PS&S and what attracted you to the company?

A: I’ve been here five years, and I have to say I was impressed with the diversity of services the company provided, as well as the projects being worked on. Over my years of experience, I have become a multidiscipline practitioner, so PS&S was a place where I would have the opportunity to be involved with multiple aspects of projects.

Mary Acciani

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Q: What do you think has been the most challenging project?

A: I would have to say the Montclair State University Dormitories. It was the first P-3 project on State University Property under new legislation and it had an extremely tight time frame. There were a lot of pieces to this project that required creative solutions and the utmost technical excellence. Because PS&S’s multi-discipline team did do the entire project, we were able to design faster and the end products were more coordinated, so the time crunch was met.

Q: What’s your advice to students and entry-level candidates?

A: Have an open mind so that you are looking to continuously learn. You’re not done, you’re just beginning. Always listen to your clients and work with them to solve their problems.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

A: I love listening to music and going to concerts – all different genres. I’m also learning how to speak French.

Ron Weston

Ron Weston, promoted to Vice President of the Architecture group.

Q: Tell us about yourself and your role here at PS&S.

A: Well to start, I grew up in Montclair and attended Syracuse University, where I studied architecture. After 17 years at another architecture firm, I joined the PS&S team three years ago.

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What attracted me most was that PS&S’s fully Integrated Design approach, with architects and engineers working in the same studio environment – that’s unique in this profession – and I’ve always liked to work collaboratively with the engineers. I’ll be overseeing approximately 25 architects and designers. My work at PS&S recently has primarily focused on education projects; however, I have been engaged in all types of pharmaceutical, commercial, institutional, hospitality and mixed-use buildings.

Q: Do you have a most memorable or favorite project?

A: It’s always difficult to choose one, but the Bronx PS317 School we are currently working on is a favorite. This is a project that will be so important for the community and it also marks our breaking into the New York City School Construction Authority, which has a large and sophisticated building program.

Q: What’s something not many people know about you?

A: I’m a total outdoor enthusiast. I love spending time in nature – in fact I’m involved with the NJ Outward Bound Council, an organization that provides experience-based outdoor leadership programs for youth and adults. I’m also on the NJ Advisory Board for the Trust for Public Land, a non-profit that helps communities raise funds, conduct research and planning, acquire and protect land, and design and renovate parks, playgrounds, trails, and gardens. For a guy whose day job is all about buildings, it may be counter intuitive that I actively promote the need for open space and wilderness.

Q: Any advice for students pursuing architecture?

A: I recommend that anyone pursuing a career in architecture keep an open mind and gets a well-rounded view of the profession. By this I mean there are so many different avenues of architecture – and architectural “design thinking” and problem solving can be applied across many fields – getting diverse experience as much as you can is very valuable.

Lisa DiGerolamo, promoted to Vice President of the Civil Engineering Department.

Q: How many years have you been with PS&S?

A: It will be 19 years in April.

Lisa DiGerolamo

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Q: What is it about PS&S that keeps you here?

A: Well, we are fortunate to work on some prestigious projects, ones that garner publicity and recognition – that’s exciting to me. I have respect for those above me – they are truly skilled in the technical areas and always strive for design excellence. The environment fostered at PS&S is a supportive one where the best idea always wins, regardless of who it comes from.

Q: What’s your favorite part of this job?

A: Design challenges. I am an engineer at heart, and I jump at anything involving technical expertise.

Q: If you had to pick a favorite or most memorable project, what would it be?

A: The Daylighting of the Saw Mill River was my favorite. Not only was it the most challenging, it required us to work parallel through all of our disciplines here at PS&S. This was a project like no other – a true team effort that took out-of-the-box thinking.

Patti Ruskan

Patti Ruskan, promoted to Vice President of the Civil Engineering Department.

Q: What is it about PS&S that keeps you here?

A: Well, I’ve been here since 1989 so it’s more than satisfactory. There are plenty of reasons why I’ve stayed but to sum it up in two words: projects and people. I truly enjoy the challenging projects I work on, as well as the people I work with.

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PS&S has always been fair to me and I’ve always worked hard and given back to the firm. It’s a real team environment – we all look out for each other to the finish line.

Q: Where did you grow up and attend college?

A: I grew up in Bridgewater, NJ – where I now live as well. I earned my degree in Civil Engineering at Rutgers University.

Q: What’s your advice to students pursuing a future in engineering?

A: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Questioning is a sign of interest and eagerness to learn.

Q: If you had to pick a favorite or most memorable project, what would it be?

A: I’d have to say I particularly enjoyed Woodbury Common – the [ongoing] project has had so many different phases that bring various challenges. Developing unique solutions to those challenges, and seeing the project move along is a satisfying feeling.

Sanjay Patel, promoted to Vice President of the Environmental Department and will lead the Remediation and Redevelopment group.

Q: Tell us about yourself.

A: I grew up in India, where my father owned a construction company for commercial institutions. As a kid, I absolutely loved land. The notion of buying and redeveloping land was something that always intrigued me. I often made suggestions to my father (who owned a lot of land himself). I earned my bachelor’s degree in India and then came to the United States in 1985 to earn my master’s degree at NJIT.

Sanjay Patel

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Q: How long have you been with PS&S and why?

A: In April, it will be 27 years. The challenging work keeps me motivated. The fact that we have this one-stop shop capability and have a great group of talent that develops solutions across the board is what makes this job so interesting and constantly evolving.

Q: Any challenging projects that stand out?

A: There are plenty…but some of the most challenging ones that I’ve been a part of are actually my favorite ones. For example, the Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island – we had to develop a plan to mitigate the gas and odor control. A design build contractor hired us to develop the solution, which was a system that collected the gas and reduced the smell in the air. I think this was one of our projects that impacted a lot of people and improved the community overall. Another one that stands out is the solar electric project on Rt. 202. It was really an in-depth project that also impacted a lot of people in that it helped save power.

Q: What do you bring to PS&S?

A: I think I bring a unique combination of excellent technical and managerial skills. To be productive and profitable and balance the business side can be difficult, but I think I have a good grasp on how to do this effectively.

Q: What’s something not many people know about you?

A: I like to sing. My family and friends enjoy Bollywood and it’s something fun that brings us together.

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PS&S Newsletter October 2014

From the Corner Office

By John Sartor, President and COO

Horace Greeley may have said, “Go West Young Man,” but 15 years ago, we decided to do the opposite. We headed east to open a regional office on Long Island with the goal of offering our fully integrated services to that huge untapped market.

From the Corner Office

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In the April Newsletter, we talked about our expansion into regional offices and we focused on the man who first advocated for PS&S to expand beyond its Warren headquarters. Executive Vice President Joe Fleming recognized the need to not only identify growth locations, but to put down roots as part of the local community. That idea led to the opening of the Long Island office, first in Melville, then to Garden City where it remains today.

Keith Samaroo was the first person hired to help start and build the New York offices. You’ll learn more about Keith in this month’s “Focus On,” but in his 13 years with the company, Keith and his team have made the Long Island office into a shining example of Joe Fleming’s dream of regional expansion.

The basic tenet behind our regional success is combining local presence with the full weight of our home office. We believe in organic growth employing local residents who live on Long Island, shop on Long Island and know the people they work with on our various projects. They are familiar with local practices and understand the myriad of local regulations and limitations. They are people who “get” Long Island, but who also have the full offerings of PS&S behind them.

This month, as we note the two year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, we want to show our appreciation for the opportunity to support the utilities that were devastated on Long Island. As we saw here at home in New Jersey, the resiliency shown by the people and businesses on Long Island was inspiring, and it was an honor to be part of the resurgence.

Moving forward, we continue to see tremendous growth opportunities on Long Island, both in Nassau County and further east in Suffolk. Frankly, we don’t see any competitors who can offer the services we do, from MEPF Engineering to Land Services to Environmental Remediation and everything in between. We look forward to living with and working with the residents of Long Island for many years to come.

For more information, please contact John Sartor at

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CASE IN POINT: Garvies Point

Case in Point: Garvies Point

In 2008, PS&S got involved with the Garvies Point (formerly known as Glen Isle) project, a site located along the Glen Cove Creek and Hempstead Harbor on Long Island’s North Shore. The firm provided comprehensive civil/site services for the Environmental Impact Statement phase of the 56-acre waterfront redevelopment project. The subject site is a former Brownfield which was heavily contaminated over many years.

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The very companies that had been vital to the area’s economic and industrial prosperity had, over time, done tremendous damage to the area’s natural environment. But the city of Glen Cove had a dream. That dream was to take an abandoned and polluted waterfront and return it to the people of Glen Cove.

Now, six years after the Long Island office secured this project, PS&S continues to work with the project’s developers on this massive job, providing site/civil and surveying services for this redevelopment project. The financial crisis, a change in ownership and the approval process caused major delays, but now the owners and developers are aiming for a 2015 groundbreaking for a job that will take seven to ten years to complete.

“This is a very complex project,” said Patti Ruskan, the site’s project manager. Patti, who was recently promoted to company Principal and Civil Engineering Vice President, is deeply invested in the success of this project. “Incorporating the latest Smart Growth principles into the project design was crucial. The Best Management Practices applied to the design of this project include green roofs, landscaped open spaces, dry wells, infiltration basins and rain gardens. This design will meet all applicable regulatory requirements.” The PS&S project team is also working with the city of Glen Cove on the design of the adjacent and integrated Garvies Point Road Reconstruction Project, which includes significant infrastructure design and coordination in order to maintain services to the existing properties during construction while upgrading the infrastructure to accommodate the proposed redevelopment project.

“The idea is to have this beautiful village within a city,” said PS&S Principal Keith Samaroo. “It’s what many towns are striving for – a walkable downtown with something for everyone.” The waterfront property is proposed to be a mixed-use development including public-accessible open space, public parks, bicycle / pedestrian connectors, new intermodal transit connection, a luxury hotel with conference center, residential units, office space, cultural uses, retail space, restaurants, new marina slips and a new waterfront esplanade and boardwalk.

For more information, please contact Patti Ruskan at

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FOCUS ON: Keith Samaroo

Bruce Springsteen vs. Billy Joel. The Jersey shore vs. Jones Beach. The Garden State Parkway vs. The LIE. The long-running rivalry between New Jersey and Long Island is deep seated and passionate. But in 2001, PS&S took a step towards bringing the two sides together by opening an office on Long Island. Keith Samaroo was the very first employee hired 13 years ago, and today as a company Principal, Keith is responsible for managing both the Garden City and Yonkers offices.

FOCUS ON: Keith Samaroo

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“I was hired by Tony Sartor to start and build a New York office,” said Samaroo. “My background was in energy, but Tony hired me to create business and develop a presence on Long Island. We saw enormous opportunity for PS&S east of New Jersey capitalizing on my expertise and experience working with utilities.”

Looking back, Samaroo remembers the very first PS&S project on Long Island. It is not a fond memory.

“The initial project was a struggle from day one. It seemed whatever could go wrong, did. We made changes on the fly, brought in different people and eventually finished the project on time and to the client’s satisfaction.” The lessons learned have served the Garden City office well. “We realized the importance of building and maintaining relationships with both clients and city officials and those two strengths are still the cornerstones of this office. We are strong believers in PS&S’s culture of ‘us’. It’s never about one person – it’s about everyone supporting the execution and delivery of our services to provide the client with complete satisfaction. That philosophy was engrained in me by Joe Fleming, who was charged in the overall oversight for establishing the regional offices.”

Keith Samaroo was a natural fit to start the New York offices. He grew up in Yonkers, earned a degree in Physics from Fordham University, an Electrical Engineering Equivalent from Manhattan College, and his MBA from Long Island’s Dowling College. He currently lives in Huntington and likes nothing better than to spend the day on the beach with his two sons. Keith is a recipient of the Long Island Business News “40 Under 40” award, and he serves on the Board of Vision Long Island, an organization whose mission is to promote smart growth communities.

Keith and his New York based team have a long list of successful projects and several long-standing client relationships that have grown over the years. After the initial disappointment of the first project, the firm’s second project was a home run.

“The Touro Law School job put us on the map on Long Island,” said Samaroo. “We provided the structural engineering for a state of the art school that measured 170,000 square feet and was completed in 2006. The success of this project led not only to other projects with Touro, but referrals as well.”

Another big win for PS&S came earlier this year with the completion of the Great Neck sewerage plant upgrade. “We were involved from the very beginning when the North Hempstead town supervisor put together a team to value engineer the project.” Samaroo added, “We helped get the project’s costs in line and served more than two years on site as construction oversight.” The finished project was so successful it was awarded the prestigious Vision Long Island’s Smart Growth Award for Sustainability. “All of our departments were involved which was a really great example of how our New Jersey HQ works with the regional offices to complete a project.”

So the Bruce Springsteen vs. Billy Joel debate may go on forever. But, now, after 13+ years and many successful projects completed on Long Island, the Glory Days for PS&S are no longer just in New Jersey. Thanks to Keith Samaroo and his team, PS&S now has a New York State of Mind as well.

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PS&S Newsletter September 2014
From the Corner Office

From the Corner Office

By John Sartor, President and COO

Over the years, public service has been a hallmark of PS&S.

Today, our firm is defined not only by the breadth of high-level professional services we provide to a broad cross-section of clients across engineering and architectural disciplines, but by the commitment our people continually exhibit in advancing the public good.

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That’s always been the case, whether it’s helping to beautify public spaces and landscapes that frame public structures, or realized through the valuable contributions so many of our professionals make to worthy community and charitable organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity or individual church groups.

The PS&S commitment to public service and public projects became an even more essential strategy after we reacquired the firm in 2009. At that time, we developed a business strategy that put greater emphasis on building a strong public sector presence, and making important contributions through community service. Currently, the split between our public and private business is roughly 50-50.

This month’s newsletter features two stories that examine different chapters in the PS&S public service story. The first is a retrospective look at the public service career of CEO Anthony Sartor, who announced his retirement from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey last spring, ending 22 years of public service. The second illustrates one of our emerging practices, the Landscape Architecture group, which indisputably has grown to become one of the most creative and productive design teams of its kind in New Jersey.

Our commitment to the communities and neighborhoods we serve will continue to grow as our firm continues to evolve.

For more information, please contact John Sartor at

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CASE IN POINT: Landscape Architecture

PS&S has established itself as an industry leader in many areas of design and engineering. Much of our work is behind the scenes, but one group is gaining prominence for its vision in helping to shape some of New Jersey’s most distinctive buildings and landmarks. The talents of the firm’s Landscape Architecture group are on public display at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, the Tower Center in East Brunswick and Port Imperial along the Hudson River, to highlight just a few.

CASE IN POINT: Landscape Architecture

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The Landscape Architecture group has been a growing part of the PS&S service offering since 1985 – the year that New Jersey began certifying landscape architects. Today, the PS&S landscape architecture staff identifies and prepares design solutions that integrate site aesthetics, site infrastructure and overall architectural goals. An understanding of scale, texture, color, seasonal interest and the architectural goals of the building design complement and enhance building architecture.

Significant projects currently under way include landscape designs for several New Jersey pharmaceutical campuses, waterfront plazas and rooftop landscapes, with the firm involved as both prime landscape architect and project designer.

Over the years, clients have increasingly come to view PS&S landscape architects as frontline providers of well-designed, fully developed projects, and not simply as “support designers,” as they once were. Working together with the civil engineering group has brought an understanding of each group’s strengths and allowed a better PS&S team approach.

“Having developed our landscape architectural group in this environment provides an understanding of other disciplines,” said project designer Adam Bowles. “It has minimized conflicts which are often created when separate designers develop their pieces of the project without being cognizant of the needs of other disciplines.”

For more information on the PS&S Landscape Architecture group, please contact:

Craig Cartmell at
Brian Meneghin at
Adam Bowles at

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FOCUS ON: Anthohy Sartor

FOCUS ON: Anthony Sartor

Many important public projects in the New York/New Jersey region undertaken over the past 22 years have been developed with the guidance of Tony Sartor. But none hold as personal and professional a point of pride as the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site, creating an impressive new public square from the ashes of 9/11.

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As a commissioner with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey since 1999, and as chairman of the Port’s World Trade Center Redevelopment Subcommittee, Sartor was instrumental in a monumental rebuilding project designed to fill an enormous physical and psychological void.

“It was one of the most difficult, challenging and ultimately satisfying projects I could ever have envisioned,” he said. The committee’s work on the project was a catalyst for the recovery of Lower Manhattan and across the Hudson River in New Jersey.

“Participating in the leadership of the Trade Center project has allowed me to be a part of something important to the national interest,” he said. “It’s given me a sense of immense personal pride, and a chance to help us overcome the sadness and devastation of that awful time.”

Prior to his appointment to the Port Authority board, Sartor served with New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA), where he chaired the Construction Committee. Among other major projects, his committee had oversight of the development of the $300-million Convention Center in Atlantic City, new luxury suites at Giants Stadium and athletic facilities at Rutgers University.

First named to the Port Authority board in 1999, Sartor was appointed to full six-year terms in 2001 and 2007. His last term was scheduled to conclude in June 2013, but he was asked to stay on indefinitely -- a decision that extended his service well past his planned retirement date.

“For me, giving back was never an obligation. It’s always been a privilege,” Sartor said.

For Sartor, his work at the Port Authority in general and rebuilding the World Trade Center in particular was a labor of love. He put in countless hours on his stewardship of Port projects in the region, in addition to serving as chief executive of PS&S.

“It’s a very time-consuming process, if you get involved with the agency as extensively as I did,” he said. “In the busy days, I was spending 30-40 hours a week at my non-paying job, and 30-40 hours a week at my paying job. It’s a challenging experience.”

A source of pride for the firm is not only Sartor’s long and valued contribution to regional public service, but the importance so many PS&S professionals assign to service to their own communities and favored charitable organizations.

“As a company, the employees of PS&S give freely of their time, whether it’s working with local fire departments or emergency services, walking for various causes or working with Habitat for Humanity,” Sartor said, “Making other people’s lives better, that’s our philosophy and always has been.”

His contributions to community and public service also were recognized In November 2013 when Sartor was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, marking his support of the university, its students and the community it serves.

Despite his retirement from the Port board, Sartor remains active in serving outside public and community interests. He continues to be involved with Gilda’s Club, named for the late comedian Gilda Radner and committed to fighting cancer. Recently, he became a trustee of John Cabot University in Rome.

In retirement from the Board, he plans to spend more time with his family – and to continue to helm the engineering and architecture firm bearing his name for nearly a half-century.

For additional information, contact Anthony Sartor at

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IN PROGRESS: Teeing Off in Hudson County

Affordable and public: 2 words you would not expect to associate with playing golf in one of the most densely populated counties in the United States. But that’s all about to change if you can make it through one more New Jersey winter.

IN PROGRESS: Teeing Off in Hudson County

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Scheduled to open in 2015, Hudson County’s first public course will offer 9 regulation holes totaling 3200 yards on 65 acres of land in Lincoln Park West in Jersey City that were once considered unusable landfill. PS&S has been working with long-standing client The Hudson County Improvement Authority (HCIA) and golf course designer Roy Case to create the course, using an ecologically and environmentally friendly design. PS&S Senior Vice President Mike Cohen is in charge of overseeing the project.

The task of completing the course went to Clark-based Construction Company D’Annunzio & Sons and its subcontractor, golf course developer Turco Golf. “This is truly a group effort”, said HCIA’s CEO Norman Guerra. The entire project is the inspiration of long-time Hudson County Executive and avid golfer Tom DeGise who can’t wait to hit the links. DeGise added “combining the talents of these companies will bring a ‘slice’ of golf paradise to Jersey City.” Let the golf puns begin.

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LOCATION UPDATE: As the opportunities in our Camden office have grown, we need to grow. Effective October 1st, our Camden office will be relocating to 1909 Route 70 East, Suite 307, Cherry Hill NJ 08003. For additional information please contact Mark Herrmann: (856) 583-2659

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PS&S Newsletter August 2014
From the Corner Office

From the Corner Office

By Anthony Sartor, CEO, and John Sartor, President and COO

For four decades, PS&S has been the industry leader in providing engineering and design expertise to the region’s key energy utilities. We’ve been a consistent presence, though it’s fair to say the nature of the business has changed substantially.

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The 1970s focused primarily on energy generation, dictated by growing business and personal usage demands. Federal legislation calling for cleaner water and air standards created new regulatory challenges, and opportunities, for the major utilities – many of them, to this day, our valued clients. As consumption and demand increased through the 1980s, the emphasis began to shift to transmission. How to distribute energy efficiently and inexpensively became an important strategic and practical consideration, for the industry and for PS&S.

By the 1990s, remediation had become a rising business concern, for the firm and our energy clients. The utilities infrastructure increasingly was in need of repair and retooling, a result of the aging and deterioration of many electrical substations built in the 1940s and ‘50s.

Since the turn of the century, our focus on energy utilities has continued to evolve. Not only is PS&S working diligently with clients to solve conventional generation, transmission and environmental challenges, we’re increasingly active in the alternative and renewable energy space.

Some of our most innovative projects and plans, such as our Building Information Modeling program, are directed toward drafting state-of-the-art power generation and distribution models. The regulatory and implementation landscape has become more complex, and we’ve responded accordingly. It takes a firm such as PS&S, unmatched in the breadth of engineering and architectural services provided, to keep clients current on regulations, permitting needs and design specifications.

Our August newsletter looks at some of the people, projects and plans that distinguish PS&S in the delivery of energy utility services.

The Focus On feature profiles Senior Vice President L. Miguel Salinas, chairman of our Energy Utility group, and some of the important projects and clients he and his team are overseeing. Our Energy Utility practice has grown in interesting and creative ways over the past five years, and Miguel has been the steady hand on the wheel. In addition, we’re spotlighting Walt Judge, whose work on energy projects has produced an impressive string of client successes and established him as an industry leader.

For more information, please contact Anthony Sartor at, or John Sartor at

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FOCUS ON: L. Miguel Salinas

For executives and professionals involved in the electric utilities industry, the past few years have been enormously challenging as a result of catastrophic natural disasters – first, Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast and more recently Superstorm Sandy – and disabling service stoppages, such as the massive 2008 power outages that left tens of millions of people in the Northeast in the dark.

Focus On: L. Migel Salinas

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Pressures on public utilities to meet energy crises, evolving infrastructure needs and volatile market demands are pushing engineering firms to draft innovative solutions to complex operational challenges -- and PS&S is uniquely suited to provide that breadth and depth of technical and professional assistance.

L. Miguel Salinas, PS&S’s Senior Vice President who chairs the Energy Utility group, noted that the firm itself has evolved in response to powerful market-changing events. In New Jersey and New York, he said, “we’ve always been leaders, at the forefront of understanding and creating solutions for complying with new regulatory programs.”

Four years ago, Salinas said, PS&S developed an Infrastructure Group as one of its main business and marketing components, covering all energy utilities and public sector clients. In 2013, driven by customer needs and client growth, the firm broke the group into two separate lines of businesses – the Public Sector market and the Energy Utility market.

Salinas, who joined the firm in 2007, took the administrative reins of the Energy Utility group and also leads its go-to-market efforts. His professional background features broad experience with the energy utilities in all aspects of planning, engineering and environmental services. He is a licensed site remediation professional (LSRP) in New Jersey and certified professional soil scientist (CPSS) nationally.

“Working with utilities in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York has been a big part of my career,” Salinas said. “Helping clients understand and navigate the regulations has always played a big role in what we do.”

“Regulatory programs have and will continue to evolve,” he said. “Recently, one of our clients told me that the ‘value add’ we bring to the table is not only understanding what the regulation means, but more importantly the unwritten knowledge of how to comply most effectively and efficiently -- without having to spend tremendous time and effort going back and forth with agencies.”

Over the past few years, he added, “we’ve seen radical changes with regulations, technical advances and current thinking.”

Many of those changes are the result of increasing demand for energy in the most densely populated area of the country; the impact of recent severe storms in the aftermath of Katrina; the effect of harsh winters; aging infrastructure, and newly available natural gas resources in the region.

“The weather and storm-related impacts have changed the way we look at flood prevention and protection, flood analysis and all the science behind it,” Salinas said. “That has stepped up the past 10 years or so, and I continue to see that happening.”

PS&S works closely with the major utility companies -- including PSE&G, First Energy/JCP&L, AGL/Elizabethtown Gas, UGI, Orange and Rockland/Con Ed, National Grid and Atlantic City Electric -- to develop new, creative and productive solutions. Recently, Salinas said, the firm has been doing extensive work with PSE&G Long Island, since the utility’s takeover of the Long Island Power Authority infrastructure.

That continues the firm’s solid track record on Long Island, built from its office base in Garden City. Besides its breadth of engineering and architectural talent and services, the firm’s presence in key markets through its development of regional offices is another plus.

“Having our regional offices makes a big difference,” Salinas said. “A lot of the big utilities have regional services that one or more of our offices falls within. That advantage helps us become a local presence, as well as having all of the other technical expertise of the company.”

For additional information, please contact L. Miguel Salinas at

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SPOTLIGHT: Walter F. Judge

SPOTLIGHT: Walter F. Judge

During his more than 22 years with PS&S, Walt Judge has seen his role change substantially. Having effectively served the firm’s gaming/hospitality clients for more than a decade, he now finds himself providing similar services to the firm’s energy utility clients.

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Judge is project manager for many of PS&S’s biggest energy utility clients, including PSE&G and First Energy/JCP&L. He also manages the firm’s efforts for Atlantic City Electric, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. In this role, Judge oversees a wide range of permitting, engineering and architecture projects incorporating nearly all of the firm’s well-respected disciplines.

Through the years, PS&S services to energy utilities have been heavily focused on environmental licensing and permitting. As energy utilities expand existing substations to improve reliability, Judge has worked to introduce clients to other PS&S services, including geotechnical investigation, civil/site design, architectural design, landscape design, sound/noise evaluations and cultural resource management studies.

A licensed engineer who recently obtained certification as a Project Management Professional (PMP), Judge embodies the broad skillsets and versatility of PS&S’s best.

The extent of engineering and architectural experience at PS&S is a significant plus in providing full client service. “We’re a firm that doesn’t need to retain sub-consultants in order to provide a complete proposal or negotiate a fee,” he said. “The person down the hall can do it. In terms of project coordination, the efficiency PS&S brings translates to savings in cost and schedule. The clients appreciate having one point of contact.”

“We like to think of PS&S as having an ‘all under one roof’ approach, and it’s true,” he says.

One particularly creative project that has tapped into that breadth of engineering and architectural experience involves the expansion of an aging electrical substation situated in the midst of a high-end South Jersey Shore residential neighborhood. Community outreach and ultimate buy-in was critical to project success, Judge said. PS&S’s challenge was to enclose the substation equipment in a structure that would resemble a contemporary single-family seashore residence.

Using the firm’s Building Information Modeling platform, the client was able to visualize the structure in 3D and provide design input at each step along the way. PS&S then turned the 3D model into renderings and an animation for presentation to municipal officials and neighbors.

“Our use of animation was a first for this client and the Architecture Department hit a homerun on this one,” Judge said. The project also demonstrates PS&S environmental/land use permitting, civil/site design, landscape design and sound study skills. The project won municipal site plan approval and is expected to be online in 2016.

Judge received his undergraduate degree from the University of Hartford in Civil Engineering and a Master’s from Stevens Institute of Technology in Environmental Engineering. He lives in Spring Lake, N.J. and is a familiar face to clients at both the firm’s Warren Township headquarters and the Wall Township office.

For more information, please contact Walt Judge at

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JULY 2014

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PS&S Newsletter July 2014
From the Corner Office

From the Corner Office

By Anthony Sartor, CEO, and John Sartor, President and COO

When you’re taking a stroll this summer along a scenic Hudson River walkway or the Seaside Heights boardwalk, or spending leisure time in one of the many local parks throughout New Jersey and New York, chances are you’re making a personal connection to PS&S.

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Our firm has been instrumental in designing and engineering some of the most appealing parks and recreation facilities throughout the region. These projects are the product of the seamless integration of our Building and Land groups in environmental reconnaissance and permitting, land survey and geotechnical mapping, landscape design and civil engineering, as well as structural and utility engineering.

We bring a multi-disciplined approach to all of these efforts. As a result, PS&S has become synonymous with the creation of attractive public structures, spaces and parks.

This issue of our newsletter highlights some of the parks and recreation projects that have distinguished the firm over the years. First, we profile Executive Vice President Todd Heacock, the subject of our ‘Focus On’ feature. Todd is a veteran of PS&S with more than 30 years with the firm. He heads the Building Group, and his story recalls some of the memorable projects that have defined his career.

Our Case in Point revolves around a sustained record of excellence in designing and developing a long list of projects as part of the ongoing Hudson River Waterfront Redevelopment, from Jersey City to just south of the George Washington Bridge.

We’ve welcomed the opportunity to take old, blighted public structures and spaces and convert them to something vital to the community. It’s one of our most important service offerings, and a source of pride and commitment for our team of dedicated engineers and architects.

For more information, please contact Anthony Sartor at, or John Sartor at

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Focus On: Todd Heacock

As Executive Vice President in charge of the PS&S Building Group, Todd Heacock has seen his share of memorable riverfront and shoreline projects go from conception to completion over the years.

The Building Group, composed of architectural, structural and geotechnical personnel as well as MEP engineers, has played critical roles in casino design and construction in Atlantic City, renovations of Jersey Shore boardwalks, and numerous creative design and engineering projects along the Hudson River. It has worked effectively with the Land Group to provide a broad, multi-disciplined service capability to clients across all aspects of design and engineering, including civil engineering, permitting and survey work.

Focus on Todd Heacock

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“For the engineers and architects working on these kinds of projects, there is a kind of personal connection and a sense of satisfaction,” Heacock said.

One area that’s benefitted from sustained high-quality engineering and restorative work is the Hudson River Waterfront Redevelopment project. In addition to that redevelopment effort, the firm has been instrumental in rehabilitating other decrepit structures and facilities along the riverfront. In Hoboken, the PS&S team helped transform two neglected landmarks – Pier A and Pier C, north of the waterfront PATH station – into visually appealing recreational centers for the community.

Heacock said the redesign of Pier C, in particular, incorporated an innovative approach. It called for transforming a structure that had always jutted from land directly into the Hudson River into a facility that would now stand parallel to the coast. As a result, it made the permitting process more complicated, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers initially expressed concerns about a structural change of such significance.

While the new facility would be more user-friendly, there were questions about how to preserve and maintain environmental safeguards. PS&S worked closely with the Army Corps to devise plans meeting all environmental and structural needs and lead to a new recreational asset that would be more attractive to tourists and the community.

“Ultimately, the Army Corps was happy, the client (City of Hoboken) was happy, and the public was happy,” he said. “We made it more functional, provided increased recreational value and preserved that beautiful view of Manhattan.”

Heacock has been involved in important public engineering projects since joining PS&S in 1983. A native of Bricktown, N.J. Heacock attended Rutgers University, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, and then earned a Master’s degree in Structural Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston.

One of his first big projects after joining the firm was also one of the biggest construction projects under way at the time on the East Coast: the Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City. Heacock spent nearly four years as a member of the engineering team.

That professional assignment also involved rebuilding the city’s famous Steel Pier, which had fallen into disrepair. PS&S was hired to restore the pier as part of the Taj Mahal contract, and designed a replacement pier built of concrete that pushed about 1,000 feet into the Atlantic. It faced a series of structural challenges, including working around strong waves and water pressure.

“You don’t get to design very many ocean piers these days,” Heacock said. “That was a tremendous structural and geotechnical effort, a lot of coordinated effort.”

For more information on PS&S Building Group projects, contact Todd Heacock at

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Case in Point: Hudson River Waterfront Redevelopment

Case in Point: Hudson River Waterfront Redevelopment

It’s commonly known as New Jersey’s “Gold Coast” – and PS&S has played an integral role in turning a long-neglected, dilapidated stretch of Hudson River waterfront in New Jersey from public eyesores into public landmarks.

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Through their work in developing attractive and user-friendly public walkways, parks, marinas and other facilities – from Jersey City north to the George Washington Bridge – PS&S engineers have made an invaluable contribution to some of the state’s most important development projects.

“When you walk along the waterfront today and see how it’s changed, it’s gratifying to know that we were a part of it,” said Patricia A. Ruskan, a PS&S associate principal involved in many of the key riverfront redevelopment projects.

PS&S has been a part of the rehabilitative process since the early 1980s, when builder Arthur Imperatore spearheaded a campaign to transform the waterfront. The firm’s role in providing essential civil engineering, environmental permitting and architectural services has been extensive, concentrating among other projects on Port Imperial North and South, the development of Weehawken Park, the Port Imperial Marina and a number of private residential facilities.

Among the most prominent and important elements of the redevelopment was the Port Imperial Intermodal Ferry Terminal in Weehawken. The project posed considerable engineering and environmental challenges. Built on a 10-acre brownfields site on Port Imperial North, PS&S engineers were faced with a high level of soil contaminants. Firm services included utility design, grading and storm water management design and a visual impact analysis to ensure views from the top of the adjoining Palisades were not impeded.

Weehawken Park was another spotlight project for the PS&S team. The site had been contaminated over time by chromate waste. Today, due in large part to the expertise of the firm’s engineering and design teams, it is a sprawling sports and recreation facility, featuring baseball and football fields, tennis courts, a multi-purpose rink, swimming pool and a boat launch for kayaking. The sports facilities are balanced by well-designed areas of passive recreation.

Besides other public works projects in Weehawken, the firm has made an impact in the Hudson County communities of Guttenberg and West New York, focusing on the creation of new walkways, pedestrian bridges and park development.

Although the PS&S imprint is visible on so many different waterfront projects, Bruce Hawkins, head of the firm’s Civil Engineering department, said the team never had the time or the inclination to rely on past successes.

“You try to make sure you understand the client’s needs and bring a high level of skill and focus to each individual project,” he said.

For more information on Hudson River Waterfront Redevelopment, contact Bruce Hawkins at or Patricia Ruskan at

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JUNE 2014

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PS&S Newsletter June 2014
From the Corner Office

From the Corner Office

By Anthony Sartor, CEO, and John Sartor, President and COO

One of the most important elements of the PS&S service offering is our work in education – specifically, helping to create state-of-the-art facilities that improve the educational experience for students, faculty, administration and staff.

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Our commitment to top-flight design and providing technical and engineering expertise in the construction of college dormitories, classroom facilities, elementary and high schools, among other structures, continues to be a priority. It has established us as an industry leader.

As the design-build approach to school development and construction has evolved over the past several years, PS&S has been presented with many challenges, and opportunities. We’ve seized those opportunities. PS&S has contributed major design and engineering work to facilities at Montclair State University, Penn State University, Ramapo College and the State University of New York, Albany at the higher education level.

Our firm also is responsible for some of the highest-functioning and architecturally distinctive elementary, middle and high school structures across New Jersey, New York City and New York State.

Designing and building higher education facilities, in particular, have often involved unique challenges.

In the case of the new 2,000-bed dormitory located on the campus of Montclair State University, our team had to map a site plan for property sitting almost entirely on rock and that rested on a steep and difficult to develop incline.

The dormitory project at Ramapo required us to negotiate sensitive wetlands and meet strict building requirements. There were limited opportunities for the siting of the project. But the end result was a project that has earned the firm numerous awards for design and functionality. And we recently achieved LEED Gold certification for our 500-bed dormitory project at SUNY-Albany.

This month’s newsletter explores the progress we’ve made in our Education Market group and focuses on key projects. The Focus On feature examines design-build and the successes of PS&S’s Education Market group, under the direction of Mary Acciani. Our Case in Point details the efforts that went into the first of those projects, the much-anticipated A. Chester Redshaw Elementary School in New Brunswick.

For more information, please contact Anthony Sartor at, or John Sartor at

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Focus On: Mary Acciani

In the old days, taking a public school or university construction project in New Jersey or New York from conception to completion could be a frustrating, time-consuming process.

With the transition to the design-build model, a move that has accelerated the process, PS&S – with its comprehensive full-service engineering and architecture capabilities – has become an industry leader in New Jersey and throughout the region.

Focus On: Mary Acciani

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PS&S Vice President Mary Acciani, PE, CEM, GBE, directs the firm’s Education Market group. By changing the model to enable public entities to work directly with contractors who bring their partner engineers and architects into the picture from the beginning, the timing and delivery of public school and university projects has improved.

For example, under the old model, construction of the 2,000-bed dormitory and 600-seat cafeteria on the campus of Montclair State University, designed by PS&S as part of a design-build team, could have taken about five years to finish. With design-build, the timing was cut to 20 months, Acciani said.

In New Jersey, the Schools Development Authority builds public K-12 schools and is now using a design-build model. It lets bids, contracts with builders and monitors project progress and budget. SDA RFQ’s are very specific in terms of the school architectural layout, MEP systems and material and equipment specifications.

These are more specific than previous guidelines used under the design-bid-build model. Acciani said contractors, architects and engineers must select materials, manufacturers and equipment from an approved SDA list of specifications. Overall, however, design-build has streamlined the building cycle.

“It was more a question of refining some of the mandated requirements than anything else,” she said of the transition between designing K-12 schools for the NJSDA under the old model, and designing them now under design-build.

PS&S is currently working with the NJSDA on four design-build projects. They include the A. Chester Redshaw Elementary School in New Brunswick, the Elliott Street School in Newark, the Caruso School in Keansburg and Paterson’s P.S. 16. The Redshaw School is nearing completion, while construction on the Elliott Street School is ongoing. Design plans are currently underway for Caruso and P.S. 16. Additionally, the firm has contracted with the New York City School Construction Authority to design P.S. 317 in the Bronx. That project is design-bid-build and is currently out for bid.

Challenges in the education sector are unique. Timing of project completion is especially critical; delivery of a project has to be made on time or a school year could be lost. “If you miss an August deadline, you are typically out of it for a year,” Acciani said.

Acciani, a Ewing resident, leads a team of about 30 people in the MEP engineering group and works closely with architectural design and management, structural and geotechnical engineering, as well as civil and environmental engineering. She also heads the Go-to-Market Committee for the Education group. Prior to joining PS&S in 2009, she was Director of Planning and Construction at Rowan University. The PS&S connection was forged during the firm’s work on the development of Rowan’s co-generation facility.

“I was impressed with the work they did on that project,” Acciani. She welcomed the opportunity to shift from public to private sector, help build an Education team and mentor young engineers and architects. The firm’s expertise in both architecture and full service engineering, she said, gives it a decided advantage in winning design-build contracts.

“We’re able to work so effectively together because we’re all here in the same location and we work hard to avoid the siloed approach of many other firms,” she said.

For more information, please contact Mary Acciani at

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Case in Point: A. Chester Redshaw Elementary School, New Brunswick, N.J.

Case in Point: A. Chester Redshaw Elementary School, New Brunswick, N.J.

PS&S’s involvement with the design and construction of the new A. Chester Redshaw Elementary School was something new for the firm – its maiden voyage on a school construction project authorized under the New Jersey Schools Development Authority’s new design-build model.

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“This was the first project out of the gate for the NJSDA design-build program in New Jersey,” said PS&S Vice President Mary Acciani, PE, CEM, GBE, who directs the firm’s Education Market group.

The NJSDA selected Hall Construction Company, Inc. as the design-builder of the facility, a pre-kindergarten through 5th grade school. PS&S partnered again with Hall Construction to win the new public school project. As lead A/E, the firm performed full architectural design, MEP and structural engineering services in bringing the much-anticipated school facility to completion.

The old Redshaw School had been demolished in 2006, with the promise of a more modern replacement that better met the needs of the district and its students. But a state moratorium on new school construction caused by funding shortages led to a protracted schedule of delays. In the interim, students had to attend classrooms located in trailers, makeshift schools without playgrounds.

Redshaw was the first of 10 school construction projects funded by the NJSDA in 2011 once funding was available, and ground broke on the new school in early 2013. The new school is scheduled to open this fall.

Ron Weston, Senior Director-Architecture who spearheaded the project for the firm, noted that because of their successful development formula, Hall Construction and PS&S were awarded four of the first six design-build contracts, including Redshaw, that were issued by the NJSDA.

The facility is a two-story, 135,000-square-foot structure designed for 900 students, a community school that will include 46 classrooms, 12 additional classrooms for special education, basic skills and small group instruction, a cafeteria, a multi-purpose room with stage, gymnasium, media center, art room and a music room.

Because of new guidelines PS&S had to follow under the mandates of design-build, Acciani said the firm faced unique and challenging hurdles. “We had a huge learning curve on Redshaw,” she said. “And there was a learning curve on their (the state’s) part, too. It was more a question of refining the relationship and the work schedule than anything else.”

“We look at it as a strong partnership with Hall Construction and the NJSDA,” she said.

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MAY 2014

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PS&S Newsletter May 2014
From the Corner Office

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Every business that withstood market and competitive pressures and thrived in the marketplace has a story of accomplishment to tell. Of course, the industry is in transition. Some of the great names of the past are gone, acquired and absorbed by one-time rivals. Mergers and consolidation are a continuous process. Globalization has significantly altered the way drugs and medical devices are made and marketed.

At every turn, PS&S has played an important role. We’ve made significant contributions to the design and engineering of corporate headquarters and manufacturing facilities that helped establish these visionary companies as world leaders. That remains true today. Our Life Sciences teams are widely acknowledged as among the best in the business. Our client list features many of the top drug- and device-making companies. We’ve developed strong business partnerships abroad to meet global demand.

Besides technical expertise, it takes foresight, and an ability to adapt quickly to changing market, consumer and regulatory forces, to succeed in such a volatile industry. The May edition of our newsletter explores some of those qualities, and the people and projects that have contributed to our success.

This month, we focus on Emad Youssef, who has overseen the remarkable growth of our Life Sciences group since we handed him the reins more than 25 years ago. Our work with Genzyme Biosurgery (now Sanofi Biosurgery) in renovating a single-product plant to become a modern multi-product manufacturing facility in the Meadowlands has been ground-breaking in many ways. It’s the subject of our Case in Point. Finally, the Employee Spotlight shines on Luis Silvestre, who has been with the firm less than a year but whose talents are already making an impact.

For more information, please contact Anthony Sartor at, or John Sartor at

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FOCUS ON: PS&S an the Life Sciences Sector

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Youssef, who is in charge of the firm’s overall Life Sciences business, has seen enormous changes in the sector over the past two decades, changes that have transformed the industry and increasingly required design, engineering and regulatory advisory services that are innovative and adaptive to client and market demands.

The PS&S connection to the industry was a natural. As Youssef recalls, New Jersey was the “medicine chest of the country” when he arrived at the firm more than 30 years ago. “That was what it was known as at the time,” he said. Many major drug manufacturers had established headquarters and production facilities in New Jersey, and the region continues to be home to the U.S. headquarters of some of the largest and most recognizable companies in the industry, such as Johnson and Johnson, Novartis, Becton Dickinson, Pfizer and Merck.

Over the past three decades, PS&S’s total services capabilities have become a valuable resource for industry clients.

“Not many firms our size can offer the wide range of specialties we have,” said Youssef. Those services, he said, include early site selection and regulatory approvals stage, full design and engineering of complex research and development and manufacturing spaces, and the infrastructure that supports them.

The firm’s reputation for excellence is widely recognized. It consistently ranks among the top firms nationally in the area of pharmaceuticals. The industry accounts for about 30 percent of PS&S’s revenue.

Youssef noted that evolving market and consumer needs have redirected the industry over the last quarter-century. The 1980s and ‘90s were a time of rapid industry growth and expansion. By the beginning of the last decade, many drug companies were facing the "patent cliff" – losing exclusive rights to “blockbuster” medicines and devices they had developed and marketed that are now being produced by generic drug manufacturers.

A wave of major multi-billion-dollar mergers and acquisitions followed, helping companies acquire new drugs in complementary market areas much faster than the time it took to develop them. The biotechnology industry has defined much of the Life Sciences market in developed nations, and the rise of middle-class populations in emerging nations – including the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China – dictated that drug companies should maintain more global operations.

These have provided new opportunities and challenges for the industry, and for PS&S. The firm has established global alliances to serve multinational clients in Europe, Asia and throughout the Americas, Youssef said, while offering the same high level of quality to minimize risks for key U.S-based multinationals. “We’re a presence in every important Life Sciences hub in the Northeast,” he said.

“It’s a highly specialized area, where science and engineering merge to aid in the development of new, much-needed and complex biologics-based medicines,” Youssef said. “We are fortunate that PS&S has attracted some of the best talent in the industry.”

For more information, please contact Emad Youssef at

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CASE IN POINT: Genzyme Biosurgery

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PS&S provided total service capabilities to meet the client’s needs, which entailed process, MEPS, architectural, structural, civil, environmental and other consulting services. The result was the transformation of the facility in Ridgefield, N.J. that featured expansion of 55,000 square feet of LEED Gold/Platinum office and laboratory space, and 80,000 square feet of manufacturing space, including provisions for gowning, warehousing and packaging areas, and upgraded site utilities.

“This has been one of our most interesting projects, and one of our most rewarding,” said PS&S Senior Vice President Emad Youssef, PE, who oversees the firm’s Life Sciences business.

Genzyme (now Sanofi Biosurgery) has seen production grow steadily to meet increasing patient demand for its medicines in the United States and across the globe. The company develops and markets surgical devices and biologics for osteoarthritis pain relief, adhesion reduction, cartilage repair and severe burn treatment.

A multi-year master plan was developed by Genzyme and engineered by PS&S for the repurposing of the plant. Major infrastructure upgrades were undertaken to increase production, and to accommodate biologics and surgical devices production. The installation of new automated process equipment and containment systems increased production and improved worker safety.

Careful planning and execution was required, according to Tom Scally and Gino Nasi, the project manager and HVAC lead, respectively. In addition to working within stringent federal and local guidelines necessitated by the plant’s location in the environmentally sensitive New Jersey Meadowlands location, project designers and engineers had to overcome stifling space constraints to enhance the outdated physical plant.

With program expansion utilizing exceptional strategic planning, manufacturing innovations and an emphasis on product quality and environmentally sensitive design, Genzyme has experienced considerable cost savings in product manufacturing and higher worker productivity, among other benefits.

Lou Cicchese, the client’s Principal Project Manager – Operations, cited the company’s strong working relationship with PS&S for enabling them to achieve a seamless operation that continues to prove effective to this day.

“PS&S is not just another architectural and engineering fim, but a partner in helping us to perform key projects for Genzyme,” he said. “They have a “whatever it takes” approach to completing assignments and programs on time.”

For more information, please contact Emad Youssef at

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His search took him to New Jersey, where he previously had done consulting and design reviews with Bristol-Myers Squibb. “I knew New Jersey had good engineering companies working in pharma,” he said. He wound up joining PS&S in August 2013, working from the Warren headquarters.

“It felt like a perfect fit,” he said. “I liked the way the organization was set up. I was looking for a challenging position, a lead role, and a longer-term relationship.”

Silvestre brought an unusual breadth of experience to his new position. His professional training back home provided a comprehensive grounding in the field and has given him a well-rounded view of the mechanical design trade.

“In Puerto Rico, you don’t have the luxury of focusing on one subject,” he said. “There, we had to carry out our practice to take care of everything. One day I might do ventilation, then maybe piping the next day.”

Among other clients in Puerto Rico, he worked with Pfizer on HVAC and utility projects. Since coming to PS&S, his clients have included Boehringer Ingelheim, BMS and Novartis. His primary areas of expertise with the firm are HVAC systems for manufacturing, R&D and office spaces, as well as utilities.

Silvestre, whose father is a retired Army pilot in Puerto Rico, lives in Montgomery with his wife and two sons. His background in all aspects of mechanical engineering has served him well during his time at PS&S. The variety of assignments, a result of the ever-changing nature of the business and how drugs and devices are manufactured, keeps him busy.

With the pharma industry in New Jersey and throughout the region undergoing a significant makeover as a result of mergers, acquisitions, consolidation and moves toward specialization, Silvestre said the challenges, and opportunities, for PS&S are increasing.

“It’s a more competitive market right now for Life Sciences companies,” he said. “This kind of work is exciting. I like dynamic environments. I’m not one content to sit in a corner, I like to be challenged continually.”

For more information, please contact Luis Silvestre at

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APRIL 2014

PS&S Newsletter April 2014
From the Corner Office
FOCUS ON: Joseph Fleming
CASE IN POINT: Monmouth Park Racetrack
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MARCH 2014

PS&S Newsletter March 2014
From the Corner Office
FOCUS ON: Bruce Hawkins
CASE IN POINT: Federal Business Centers
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PS&S Newsletter February 2014