by Barbara Fox and Michele Alperin
Antoine Elghossain spends lots of time in airports, because he must travel from one cable television site to another. So when he needed to expand his business,
he looked for a site that was close to home. A 19th century barn, built with dark brown cedar, is the new office for his 21st century telecommunications firm, Information Automation Corp., and it is just two minutes from his Cranbury Manor home. "I fell in love with it at first sight," he says.
Elghossain doubled his company's space with the move from 1,100 square feet on Route 33 in Hightstown to the 3,000-foot space on South Main Street, with another entrance on Old Trenton Road. Elghossain says he also needs to double his 15-person staff, and he is hiring sales people plus a telecommunications engineer.
The property consists of two buildings, and Elghossain has the lower floor of one of them. On the second floor is his landlord and designer of the space, architect Richard Schroeder, who bought and renovated the building in 1985. Other tenants of the complex arethe Atlantic Group, Balezzi & Associates, Biomira, Cranbury Business Systems, the law office of Martin J. Spigner, Selective Nanny, Zanghai Enterprises, and Fallon Interior Design. In 2006 Schroeder plans to start construction on 12,500 square feet in two more buildings.
Kevin Coleman of Commercial Property Network helped Elghossain find this property. Seth Josephson of Windsor Business Park is his attorney, and George Hurley his accountant.
For such cable television firms as Adelphia and Comcast, the firm builds headends and hub sites. A headend is a data center with satellite dishes that feeds the hubsites with computer programming. The hubsite, a smaller installation, connects to the homes. "We build the electronics, we do the wiring, we install satellite dishes, we bring in the signals from the programmers inside the headend, and we connect the electronics inside so they feed the hubsites. At the hubsites we do the same thing and turn it on for them," says Elghossain.
Elghossain says his firm has done dozens of headends at $500,000 each, and it is a fourmonth project for four or five people. The hubsites require two orthree weeks for two or three people. The firm also focuses on phones for the local market. "We do consultation, design, fulfillment, installation, monitoring, voice over IP, large data networks, security. hardware and software," says Elghossain. "We do have some Fortune 1000 companies but I like to work with medium to small size companies. We think we can help them efficiently and provide them with a complete one source solution. Most of them do need those kinds of services."
Elghossain came to this country from Lebanon in 1976. He majored in electronics engineering at Rutgers and worked for Motorola for 10 years and also for Codex before founding this business in 1998. His wife, Nina, is in the business, and they have three children, one in college at Rutgers.
In Lebanon, he was one of four children, and his father was in the wholesale produce business. Remembers Elghossain: "My father kept telling me, you won't inherit land, you won't inherit money. I am willing to sell it all for education. Your asset will be your brain, he said."
Information Automation Corp. (IAC), 68 South Main Street, Cranbury 08512; 609-
409-0550; fax, 609-409-7440. Antoine Elghossain, owner. Home page: www.iacnetwork.com.
WithumSmith+Brown, 5 Vaughn Drive, Suite 201, Princeton 08540; 609-520-1188; fax, 609-520-9882. Leonard H. Smith CPA, shareholder in charge. Home page: www.withum.com
Manuel S. Newman & Company, Certified Public Accountants, has moved to 5 Vaughn Drive, where it has merged with Withum-Smith+Brown. "Now our clients will gain access to the considerable resources of a growing, well-respected regional firm with eight offices and an international affiliation," says William E. Newman, CPA, former managing partner of the Newman firm.
Meanwhile WithumSmith+- Brown has taken 6,000 additional square feet for a total of about 25,000 square feet on the second floor at 5 Vaughn Drive. The space, now under renovation, was formerly leased to FloorGraphics,
which moved to the American Metro Center. The accounting firm expects to move in next month.
Aubrey Haines of Mercer Oak Realty represented the tenant and Toni Casiano represented Mack-Cali, the landlord. The accounting firm came to Vaughn Drive two years ago, when it moved from Princeton Overlook, also a Mack Cali property. WithumSmith+Brown has 75 people at this location and a total of 320 employees. Other offices are in Toms River, Red Bank, New Brunswick, Flemington, Livingston, and Newtown, Pennsylvania.
Accurate Softwares International Inc., 196 Princeton- Hightstown Road, Building 1, Suite 11, West Windsor 08550; 609-750-7100; fax, 609-750-7177. Ravinder PS
Saini, president. Home page: www.accuratesoftwares.com
Accurate Softwares International moved on October 15 from 408 Plainsboro Road to Princeton- Hightstown Road. The new quarters, at nearly 2,000 square feet, are twice the size of the old ones and will provide space for expected growth and the hiring of new marketing staff.
Icon Engineering Inc., 3759 Route 1 South, Suite 100, Monmouth Junction 08852; 732-951-2101; fax, 732-951-2106. Behram Turan, principal. Home page: www.iconengineering.com
Icon Engineering, the environmental geotechnical department of CME Associates, has moved to larger offices at 3759 Route 1, Suite 100, in South Brunswick. Icon Engineering's staff has doubled to 15 over the past year, requiring larger quarters. It expects to grow to about 20 to 25 staff members.
AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, 1230 Parkway Avenue, Parkway Corporate Center, Suite 311, Ewing 08628; 609-671-2908; fax, 609-671-2922. Krista Breithaupt, director of psychometrics. Home page: www.aicpa.org
This office of a professional association that creates and grades CPA certification examinations will expand early next year. Many staffers from the Jersey City office of the AICPAwill relocate to North Carolina, but the examination team will move to Parkway Corporate Center. The association also has sites in Manhattan, the District of Columbia, and Lewisville, Texas.
Coaster Company of America, 45 Stults Road, Dayton 08810; 732-562-0119; fax, 562-903-0839. Angela Errico, office manager. Home page: www.coastercompany.com
Earlier this month a 50-person furniture distributor was scheduled to move from 91 New England Drive, Piscataway 08854 to 300,000 square feet in a new building constructed by Matrix Development Group. The company imports and distributors ready to assemble furniture and accessories in the United States and Mexico. It is hiring customer service and warehouse employees.
LG Electronics U.S.A. Inc., 7 Clarke Drive, Cranbury 08512. 609-860-8456; fax, 609-860-0666. David Johnston, vice president, marketing. Home page: www.lgiris.com
LG Electronics U.S.A. Inc. moved last week from 1095 South Cranbury Road in Jamesburg to 7 Clarke Drive in Cranbury. This is the sales and technical support office for the firm's iris recognition system for access control. The company needed more space for warehouse, testing, and training as its business has broadened beyond just security applications.
LG Electronics is working on an entitlements management program in Andhra Pradesh in south India, where government officials require a one-to-one correspondence between government-issue ration subsidy cards and the households
authorized to have them. Eventually 80 million people will be authenticated by iris recognition to ensure that no duplicate cards are issued. When completed, this effort will allow the state's government to offer other identity-dependent services to its citizens and residents.
Last year the firm landed a contract to put in high-integrity security at 29 airports in Canada. Eventually 150,000 to 200,000 airport employees will be enrolled in this access-control system. Other applications have included securing credentials for the most recent Democratic National Convention; a system to protect artistic assets at the Paul Klee Center in Basel, Switzerland; and a system at Hotel Nine-Zero in Boston to recognize high-profile guests to avoid waiting at check-in.
The company has also introduced new products, including the third-generation Iris Access 4000 and the Iris Accelerator, which performs quick processing for large database jobs.
Korea-based LG Electronics was the first company to license and produce a commercially viable iris recognition platform, and it has second generation products in more than 1,000 locations on six continents. LG licensed this technology from Moorestown-based Iridian Technologies, the company that resulted from the stock-swap merger of IriScan and Sensar, a Sarnoff spinoff.
New in Town
Cummings/Riter Consultants Inc., 1230 Parkway Avenue, Parkway Corporate Center, Suite 201, Ewing 08628; 609-538-8700; fax, 609-538-8701. Kevin Gawason, Easter Regional Development Manager. Home page: www.cummingsriter.com
Cummings/Riter Consultants Inc., a consulting firm in Pittsburgh, opened a satellite office in environmental consulting at Parkway Corporate Center in August. The company has a total staff of 34.
Its environmental practice provides consulting and technical services to the regulated community in support of environmental projects and programs. These services include environmental investigation, design, and compliance as well as remediation management.
Sentron Windoware Inc., 121 Commons Way, Montgomery Commons, Princeton 08540; 609-252-0050; fax, 609-252- 0049. Larry Tiankee, director. Home page: www.sentronwindoware.com
A sales office for window treatments moved to Montgomery Commons in August. Based in LaVerne, California, it sells and installs vertical, vinyl, and vinyl-plus mini-blinds.
QuGen, 103 Main Street, Princeton Forrestal Village, Suite 300, Princeton 08540;
609-987-1134; fax, 609-987-1150. Varun Suri, director business development. Home page: www.Qugen-Inc.com
QuGen, a sales office for a contract manufacturing firm, opened at Forrestal Village earlier this year. A subsidiary of Morepen Labs, a large pharmaceutical company based in New Delhi, it plans to launch nearly three dozen new products in the next several months. According to a press release, it is the second firm that has filed in the United States to sell a generic form of Lipitor. Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals, on College Road, was the first.
Ibin Furkon Fashion LLC, 33 Wall Street, Princeton 08540; 609-279-0023; fax, 609-279- 0447. Kassim Muhammad, founder/CEO. Home page: www.ibinfurkon.com
Ibin Furkon Fashion moved to Research Park earlier this year. Little information is available on the web page, other than that it has locations in New York and California and has fashions "for the runway of life." The company did not return calls.
Lorven Technologies Inc., 55 Princeton-Hightstown Road, Suite 108, Princeton Junction 08550; 609-918-9607; fax, 609-918-9608. Bala Shan, president & CEO. www.lorventech.com
Lorven Technologies, a fouryear-old software consulting firm, opened an office at 55 Princeton-Hightstown Road last summer.
No Red-eyed Clients
Redeye Inc., 5835 South Broad Street, Hamilton 08620; 732-475-2717; fax, 732-475-2716. Ed Wenzel and Andrea Ongaro. Home page: www.redeye-inc.com
Whether you associate "redeye" with a flight from California, with tears of sorrow, or with just plain lack of sleep, the word has a glum connotation. But Ed Wenzel and Andrea Ongaro founded their computer consulting company on the premise that they will burn the midnight oil just so the small business owner can snooze peacefully.
The pair, who are certified as Microsoft Small Business Specialists, offer networking, security, disaster recovery, servers, desktops, workstations, and custom software.
"I welcome being on call 24/7 for my own clients," says Wenzel, "but I don't want to be on call for a stressful job with a big Wall Street firm, where I am just a number and I have no control over the quality of somebody's else's work."
Wenzel got the urge to start his own business last year, when he turned 30. His father worked for a welding supply company in Trenton. His wife, Tara Marie Loughman, is starting an interior design business, and they have two school-aged boys.
Ongaro's father is a Bell Atlantic alumnus; his mother teaches Spanish in Allentown. The firm's logo was devised by David Weed, a graphic designer in Lambertville, and Dino Spadaccini of Franklin Corner Road is their attorney. The entrepreneurs are getting business advice from a SCORE counselor in Wall Township.
They met when they worked on a data cabling project to convert Fleet banks into Bank of America banks, and they both have Fortune 500 experience. Ongaro worked at a medical transcription company. Wenzel went to Chubb and then worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Keystone Mercy Health Care, and Princeton eCom. At the latter company on College Road he did storage area networking and worked on Unix servers.
"It's kind of fun working on a computer worth $3 million," says Wenzel, "but when you do that type of work, you are on call, and you must immediately respond. It's that `large company' attitude toward technology that Redeye brings to small companies."
"We want to be accountable to our clients, to our own business, and to the community," says Wenzel. "Why make the big people rich when we can help the small people and get rich together?"
Visiting Angels, 812 State Road, Suite 105, Princeton 08540; 609-430-8499. Christian Kongolo, director. Home page: www.visitingangels.com
A husband and wife team, Christian and Kami Kongolo, are opening a caregiver franchise on State Road. Called Visiting Angels, it will offer non-medical respite care that can include a range of tasks, from running errands and taking clients to doctors' appointments to light housekeeping and hygiene.
Christian Kongolo grew up in Keyport, where his mother was a health aide and his father an accountant. He had worked as a network analyst for AT&T in Dayton, and his wife is a speech and language therapist in Franklin Township.
"My wife and I were looking for our own business. We like this company's system and its marketing," says Kongolo. Visiting Angels is based in Havertown, Pennsylvania, and has more than 150 franchises nationwide, including one in Monroe Township www.va-nj.com). Kongolo says he found his office space, owned by Thompson Land, through a U.S. 1 ad.
The Kongolos are accepting applications from caregivers with a minimum of one year's experience, and they expect that many future employees will have had jobs in nursing homes. Starting pay will be $10 an hour, and caregivers must have transportation, and must pass a background check. Clients can choose the caregiver, and they pay $17 an hour for a minimum visit of three hours.
Lighthouse Business Group Inc., 812 State Road, Suite 223, Princeton 08540; 609-915-3491; fax, 413-845-4828. Peter C. Haas Jr. www.lighthousebg.com
Peter C. Haas Jr., a former director of the Big Four accounting firm KPMG, has opened a loan company on Route 206. A 1969 graduate of the New York Institute of Technology, he spent most of his career in banking with First Fidelity, now called Wachovia. Other offices of the Lighthouse Group are in upstate New York and Connecticut.
Haas offers real estate loans, equipment leasing, and business loans.
The Legend Group, 215 Commons Way, Princeton 08540;
609-720-1991; fax, 609-720-1211. Jeff Davner, registered principal.
The Legend Group has consolidated the offices for its New Jersey/ Pennsylvania region at 113 Commons Way, Princeton, and 100Canal Point Boulevard into the office at 115 Commons Way. A securities firm with a total of 14 employees, two at this office, it is a member of NASD/SIPC.
Spectrum Scientific Recruiters, 666 Plainsboro Road, Suite 220, Plainsboro 08536; 609-936-8850; fax, 609-936-9344. Scott Nagrod, president, senior recruiter. Home page: www.spectrumscientific.com
Spectrum Scientific Recruiters moved last week from Suite 220 to Suite 1010 at 666 Plainsboro Road to "more efficient space." A professional search and recruitment firm, it focuses on the pharmaceutical and biotech industries.
At 34 Chambers
Healthy Advice Networks, 34 Chambers Street, Suite 206, Princeton 08542; 609-924-9030; fax, 609-924-1012. Rick Granato, executive vice president, client business development. Home page:www.healthyadvicenetworks.com
dLife, 34 Chambers Street, Suite 206, Princeton 08542; 609-924-9030; fax, 609-924-1012. Howard Steinberg, CEO. Home page: www.dlife.com
Healthy Advice Networks, which provides medical information to patients in waiting and exam rooms, is in the process of being sold to a company in Cincinnati. It provided flat-screen monitors, equipped with medical information, to patients in waiting and exam rooms.
In the same suite at 34 Chambers Street, Howard Steinberg, a diabetic himself, had founded dLife, which provides diabetics with health information, inspiration, and connection with others.
Steinberg's company uses online, broadcast, and print media, including dlife TV, which airs weekly on CNBC. The Princeton office, which handles sales and marketing for the company, expects to hire about two additional employees over the next year. Production and editorial control are out of a 2,000-square foot space in Westport, Connecticut. The total number of employees is 15.
Verto Institute, 303-B College Road East, Princeton.
After two years the Verto Institute closed its office on College Road East. A Verto office still exists in Stamford, Connecticut. The organization sponsored research on neuro-endocrine cancer, which affects about 5,000 people in the United States annually.
Laidlaw Transit Inc., 3349 Route 138, Building A, Suite A, Wall Township 07719; 732- 556-0255; fax, 732-556-0670. John DeMaiolo, regional finance director. Home page: www.laidlaw.com
The regional office of Laidlaw moved from 1009 Lenox Drive to Wall Township last May. With a parent firm based in Napierville, Illinois, this part of the company, Laidlaw Transit Services, provides school bus transportation and is based in Overland Park, Kansas. Phone and fax are new.
AUL Reinsurance Management Services LLC, 5 Independence Way, Suite 200, Princeton.
The reinsurance management service of American United Life moved from 5 Independence Way, Suite 200, to Burlington. Phone and fax are new. The firm is based in Indianapolis.
Business Xpress, 660 Plainsboro Road, Plainsboro 08536. Home page: www.business-xpress.com
After 13 years at Princeton Meadows Shopping Center, Business Express has closed. The telephonenumbers have been disconnected.
The company did computer training, computer repair and upgrades, color printing, shipping, and mailbox services