Celebrating Anthony Sartor, 79, longtime leader of PS&S, public servant and industry icon

He loved Sinatra and sambuca — baseball and bocce: Do we really need to say he was a Jersey guy?

Actually, Anthony Sartor is best described as a pioneer in the environmental engineering field — a leader in the commercial real estate industry whose career also included public service projects — including work at Giants Stadium and in the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site.

Sartor, the former longtime chairman and CEO of PS&S, the Warren-based firm that bears his name, died earlier this month. He was 79.

“Dr. Sartor was a pioneer in the environmental engineering field and served as co-chairman of the board of Paulus, Sokolowski & Sartor from 1974 to 2000,” the firm wrote in its announcement. “More importantly, he was deeply loved by his family, friends and all employees who walked through the doors of PS&S.”

Sartor initially got involved in environmental engineering in the early 1970s. He formed one of the first environmental engineering departments while at Paulus and Sokolowski, becoming a name partner there in in 1974.

While he served as co-chairman of the board from 1974-2000, he was one of two principals with overall responsibility for management of the firm, with special emphasis on client development. The firm credits his efforts for its growth from 20 people in 1974 to 300 people in 2000, when it was acquired by National Grid (formerly KeySpan), a Fortune 500 company.

Sartor served as president of KeySpan Business Solutions from 2000-2003, as a senior vice president of National Grid and also as president and chief operating officer of National Grid Energy Services 2003 until April 2009, when he reacquired PS&S from National Grid.

Sartor stepped down from his full-time leadership role at PS&S in 2015, remaining executive chairman while his son, John Sartor, took over as CEO and president.

For all his work as an engineer and businessman, friends said Sartor was most proud of the work he did for his home state.

In 1992, Sartor was appointed by Gov. Jim Florio as a commissioner on the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, where he chaired the Construction Committee and was responsible for the construction of the Atlantic City Convention Center, the luxury suites at Giants Stadium and athletic facilities at Rutgers University. He served until 1999.

He was appointed by Gov. Christine Whitman as a commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in March 1999 — serving there until July 2013. He served as a member of the Operations Committee, the Committee on Governance and Ethics and the WTC Redevelopment Subcommittee, charged with responsibility of rebuilding the World Trade Center site.

Friends and colleagues said working to help rebuild the World Trade Center site was one of Sartor’s proudest achievements.

Sartor, who was born in Fairview, graduated second in his class at La Salle Military Academy and went on to graduate with honors from Manhattan College with a degree in engineering. He earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Michigan, funded by a National Science Foundation Fellowship.

Sartor, who retired to Naples, Florida, died Aug. 5. He is survived by his beloved wife, Alice, his three children, Lisanne, Colette and John, and his six grandchildren. Click here for his complete obituary.