Remembering John Hennessy

Syska mourns the passing of John Hennessy III, the firm’s former chairman and chief executive officer. Mr. Hennessy served in this capacity from 1989 to 2004, a period of rapid growth.

The grandson of co-founder John Hennessy, John Hennessy III played an active role in the A/E/C industry. He was the first chair of ACEC New York and was a past chair of the New York Building Congress.

At the time of his death, John Hennessy III was the managing partner of Hennessy Energy. He was also a director at Con Edison and chairman of the advisory board of the Salvation Army.

John Hennessy III earned a B.A. in physics from Kenyon College, a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and an M.S. in management from MIT Sloan School of Management.

“John was a great leader as well as a genuinely kind person,” says Syska co-president Cyrus Izzo. “He was an avid Mets fan with season tickets next to the dugout, and he used to offer them to us so that we could take our families to a few games each year.”

Mr. Izzo adds that Mr. Hennessy was known for his philanthropic activities and community engagement.

G. Venkata Ramu, former principal and chief engineer who worked at Syska for 50 years, recalls that Mr. Hennessy was “a very good engineer and public speaker” as well as a “baseball nut (Mets).” Mr. Ramu also remembers Mr. Hennessy’s love of new computer gadgets and his emphasis on clarity. According to Mr. Ramu, Mr. Hennessy believed that one should define a topic so completely that there would be very little room for interpretation.

The staff of Syska extends its deepest condolences to Mr. Hennessy’s family, friends, and colleagues.