TZL 1416 (web)


TZL: What benefits does your firm offer that your people get most excited about? ST: In addition to traditional and professional benefits, our firm offers a number of work-life integration benefits that are very popular. We have flexible work schedules, and during the summer months we have “Get-Away-Fridays” where we close the office at 1 p.m. It’s our most popular benefit and contributes to our staff’s work-life balance. In addition to an annual holiday party, we have several other corporate events, including Super Bowl and St. Patrick’s Day luncheons, beginning and end of summer cocktail parties, a golf outing, and an “Employee Recognition Week” in November. “Trust is earned through always acting with integrity and in the best interest of the client. It’s always important to understand the needs of the client and the factors influencing their decisions.” TZL: Did you ever imagine that the internship you held 30 years ago would lead to a lifelong career? What’s most motivated you to stay with the firm and what do you hope today’s interns will get out of their experience that you once did? ST: I don’t recall having a long-term vision when I started in May of 1987. However, there was a well-established hierarchy, from intern to director, and advancing to the next level was always a secondary goal, with constantly doing a good job being the daily focus and the primary goal. I was always eager to learn, and French & Parrello Associates offered me an opportunity to improve my knowledge base and skill set. They constantly offered

picture” of how you do business (i.e., new technology, new skills, etc.)? Please explain. ST: A lot has changed. There were no computers or cell phones. If you were in the field and wanted to call the office, you needed a payphone and a pocket full of quarters. Then came the calling card followed by the 800 number. Next there were pagers, cell phones, and then finally smart phones. The change has been remarkable. The impact of the computer was just as significant. We went from everything being hand-drafted to the use of CAD- based drafting and design; from letter writing to emails and text messages. Needless to say, the internet has also had a huge impact. In the 1980s, if you wanted information, you either got it from a book you owned or a mentor and their accumulated resources. Now, access to information is tremendous, and this has been revolutionary to the way we market ourselves and develop business. Fast forward to today, even the pandemic has led to changes in the way our teams coordinate internally and externally using virtual communication tools, which will likely stick around for many years to come. The bottom line is technology is constantly changing, and we are constantly adapting with it. “Having a client-focused approach is a core tenet to our business philosophy, and meeting and exceeding our client’s expectations has been integral to the success of our firm.” TZL: It is often said that people leave managers, not companies. What are you doing to ensure that your line leadership are great people managers? ST: We try to identify staff with management potential early in their careers and begin to gradually increase their level of management responsibilities, including staff oversight. We provide mentoring and educational opportunities in-line with their progression and potential. Being a successful manager requires experience, and that takes time

HEADQUARTERS: Wall Township, NJ NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 170 YEAR FOUNDED: 1974 OFFICE LOCATIONS: ❚ ❚ Wall, NJ ❚ ❚ Newark, NJ ❚ ❚ Hackettstown, NJ ❚ ❚ Camden, NJ ❚ ❚ Bethlehem, PA ❚ ❚ King of Prussia, PA ❚ ❚ New York, NY ❚ ❚ Atlanta, GA MARKETS: ❚ ❚ Residential ❚ ❚ Commercial/industrial ❚ ❚ Transportation

❚ ❚ Education ❚ ❚ Healthcare ❚ ❚ Parks and recreation ❚ ❚ Solid waste ❚ ❚ Water resources ❚ ❚ Environmental ❚ ❚ Telecommunications SERVICES: ❚ ❚ Land development ❚ ❚ Land surveying ❚ ❚ Municipal services ❚ ❚ GIS services

❚ ❚ Landscape architecture ❚ ❚ Geotechnical engineering ❚ ❚ Transportation engineering ❚ ❚ Water resources engineering ❚ ❚ Building design services

new opportunities and challenges. Ultimately, my longevity at FPA is

directly related to the people and work atmosphere. There’s a team environment, and the people are friendly with a high- level of integrity. As for today’s interns, I expect that they will take the opportunity to learn from their assignments and the opportunities offered. TZL: Since you’ve been with the firm, what’s the most significant change you’ve seen that’s really affected the “big

❚ ❚ Renewable energy ❚ ❚ Telecommunications

❚ ❚ Environmental services ❚ ❚ Solid waste engineering ❚ ❚ Landfill gas services ❚ ❚ Construction phase services ❚ ❚ Permitting services

See INTEGRITY, page 8

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EMBER 8, 2021, ISSUE 1416

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