September 2014

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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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