May 2021 PS&S Newsletter

 

MAY 2021 NEWSLETTER

FROM THE CORNER OFFICE

It has now been two months since the untimely passing of our longtime, fellow PS&S employee, Marilyn Lennon on March 11. Marilyn was an integral part of PS&S and a major contributor to the company’s success over a period of five decades. She was technically excellent, a tremendous manager and able to deal with the most challenging projects and clients. More than that, she was a great friend and big part of our family at PS&S.

Since her passing, we have asked ourselves what would be a fitting tribute to Marilyn? As some of you may know, she was a two-time breast cancer survivor, and, while that was not the cause of her death, Marilyn was deeply committed to raising awareness of breast cancer and helping to find a cure.

To further this cause, I am proud to announce that Team PS&S Cares will honor the life and legacy of Marilyn with a 5K breast cancer walk at Point Pleasant Beach on Sunday, October 17. Please see the Save the Date with more details at the end of this email. I hope you will participate or attend to honor Marilyn’s memory and to raise funds to fight cancer.

Marilyn touched so many of us and we have asked people to share their memories and thoughts in this special newsletter. A special thank you to Marilyn’s brother and fellow PS&S employee Mark Lennon for his contribution to this tribute during this difficult time for him and the Lennon family.

Of the many things Marilyn did so well, treating others with kindness and always being there for support were among her most valued attributes. Let’s keep Marilyn’s spirit alive at PS&S by remembering to listen, respect and support each other every day.

John Sartor
President and CEO, PS&S

SENTIMENTS

PS&S has lost one of its staunchest allies, and dedicated employees with the untimely passing of our dear friend and colleague Marilyn Lennon!

Marilyn joined the Environmental Department at PS&S in the early 1980’s and had an immediate impact on the success and expansion of the Department, ultimately leading it to become the premier group in the state of NJ and surrounding states. She became the premier marketing executive not only for the Department but for all PS&S during her two tenures here.

When PS&S was acquired by KeySpan Energy, Marilyn became the VP in charge of their Environmental Department at KeySpan. Upon the sale of KeySpan to National Grid, she decided to enter the Public Sector and had subsequent management roles at the NJTP and NJDEP and finally returned to her “home” here at PS&S (which was repurchased by current ownership from National Grid in 2009) for the balance of her career.

She will be missed by all at PS&S, especially those who knew her well. God be with you Marilyn!!!

Anthony Sartor, PhD, PE
Chairman Emeritus, PS&S

I knew Marilyn three decades, she hired me in 1992. It wasn’t until she returned to PS&S in recent years, however, that we became close friends. We were assigned a very challenging project but roles were reversed this time. She was now the Robin to my Batman. Numerous times we traveled the long distance to the client’s office in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. She claimed she didn’t like driving long distances anymore, so I drove. These trips all started the same. I picked her up in the very early hours of the morning, usually in the dark. We’d get on the road and she would break into tune, “Why-o, Why-o, missing” and the tone was set for the ride.

I quickly realized along with the client, that with Marilyn, we were getting equal parts regulatory expert, political strategist, lobbyist, legal counsel and, maybe above all, fierce advocate. She moved with ease among State powerbrokers, on a first name basis, and quickly opened doors that I could never have. She could spar with the best of them. She fought my battles several times and always won.

And she wasn’t fooling me for a second about being uncomfortable driving long distances, she just wanted to be on the phone! During our trips, calls came in and went out constantly. I didn’t mind, I listened. As she talked with current and former colleagues, clients, yacht club people, Seaside Heights friends and of course, her dear brothers, I realized that the fabric of this woman’s life was rich and multi-layered. To all these people she was more than a friend or a sister. She was an advocate, an advisor, a consoler, a celebrator and, above all, she was loyal to them. “Robin” isn’t really right. I think she was the “Wonder Woman” to my “Batman.” I’ll miss my friend.

Walter Judge
Vice President, PS&S

Marilyn Lennon for me, and so many, was an amazing colleague, friend, always welcoming and a trusted advisor. Marilyn was able to tie together lessons, social engagement, genuine concern and thoughtfulness and, of course, fun. Marilyn is one of the reasons that PS&S became my home when I left government after many many years.

Knowing Marilyn was here, if I needed her, was extremely comforting in making the move. I will always be reminded of the lessons Marilyn taught me, the integrity with which she lived, the good judgement and dignity she did it with and I will pass it along. She would like that.

Marge Della Vecchia
Vice President, PS&S

Marilyn and I started at PS&S two months apart in 1983. We spent the next few years working closely, spending 5 to 7 days a week in Atlantic City, helping to establish the PS&S presence there that has lasted to this day. [Not exactly relevant – but interesting to note that John Sartor was just finding his footing in Middle School at the time].

I have worked with, dined with, and had a glass (or two) of wine with Marilyn many times over these last 38 years…and I would only say that Marilyn was indeed one-of-a-kind. She lived life her way and through many circumstances always maintained her composure, sense of humor and unique style. Marilyn was about a lot of things; she was indeed a champion of the environment, she was well read and informed, she loved to travel, and she loved her wine.

But when I think of the things that clearly meant the most to her, first and foremost was her family; she clearly loved them above all else. And the other was PS&S. I dare say that the company has never had a more ardent supporter and dedicated employee – she spent her many working hours always trying to help the company grow and improve. We will all miss her dearly.

Michael P. Cohen
Senior Vice President, PS&S

Preparing for the weekly Land Development/Client Relationship Manager meeting, the passing of Marilyn Lennon, arguably one of the most enthusiastic contributors of these strategic 30-minute sessions, severely compromised my ability to focus.

I opened the virtual meeting by acknowledging our loss, our colleague and friend that was a venerable strength for PS&S for multiple decades. Pulled from the stage in the middle of her song, we agreed that a moment of silence to mark the moment would be woefully inadequate. I invited the meeting participants to feel free to share their reflections of Marilyn in their lives.

By the meeting conclusion, it was clear that Marilyn was universally understood to be a source of professional encouragement to all, one of the first upper management members to reach out and welcome newcomers, an ethical professional with integrity, and a successful rainmaker for PS&S. These short reflections are best re-told by Marilyn’s friends and colleagues; they are truly inspiring.

As Marilyn and I occasionally shared our Catholic Faith and Irish heritage, we both understood that death is the thinnest of veils between life temporal and life eternal and while I will miss her joyful presence, we all can rejoice in her place in Paradise.

Joseph J. Fleming
First Executive Vice President, PS&S

My family and I have received the most generous outpouring of sentiments from so many of my sister Marilyn’s friends and colleagues from PS&S, the NJDEP, the Turnpike Authority, clients, friends, and people that Marilyn literally just passed on the street.

We were touched but not surprised to hear that several of New Jersey’s business and industry groups, and environmental interest groups held moments of silence in Marilyn’s honor at the beginning of their recent meetings; it is fitting that organizations from both sides of the land use/natural resources debate provided the same tribute.

The owners and staff from at least five local seaside restaurants came to pay their respects at Marilyn’s memorial service, some with tears in their eyes, as they related how kind Marilyn was to them… and they seemed to know me and my family so well, just from the stories Marilyn told them. You can now visit Marilyn’s plaque at Chef Mike’s Atlantic Bar and Grill, mounted over her favorite chair. The owner of Betty & Nick’s Bait and Tackle shop posted a tribute to Marilyn on his webpage. Why? Because Marilyn would see him on her daily sunrise walks, and would always stop and ask: “How’s the fishing, and how are you?” Marilyn was always glad to meet you, listen to you and learn about you, and become your friend.

We received so many phone calls, emails, cards, and letters that used the same words: welcoming, supportive, a mentor, an ally, and a trusted and valuable friend. God has been generous by giving us such a beautiful and loving soul, and Marilyn’s memory will continue to be a blessing, a source of great pride, and a joy to us forever.

Thank you again for your kind words and heart-felt sentiments. They provide great comfort to us.

On behalf of the Lennon Family,
Mark Lennon

Footer
Follow us on LinkedIn!