December 2014

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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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