Lonnie Steffens at Hyatt

Negotiate, Communicate

Electronic Funds Transfer

Volunteer Tax Help

Corporate Angels

Hurricane Relief: Cash Counts


Corrections or additions?

10 Consulting Tips

These articles were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on November 18,

1998. All rights reserved.

When people feel that the corporate world does not offer

them what they want, they are inclined to start out on their own.

"It’s exciting and very satisfying," says Veronica


co-founder of Bukowski-Stanton Associates, an international executive

coaching and consulting practice. She discusses "Ten Keys to


Consulting" at the American Society for Quality on Thursday,


19, at the Marriott. Cost: $20. Contact Christine Andreas at


Whether you work alone or in a corporation, she says, the bottom line

is being productive and being able to make a worthwhile contribution.

Bukowski, a graduate of the University of Delaware with an MS in


development from American University, has been in the consulting


for 18 years.

Bukowski points out some common mistakes that beginners make:

Concentrating on a single client. Bukowski says that many

consultants work hard and get one or two big clients and then stop

their marketing efforts. The client moves away for some reason and

the person is left in the lurch.

Losing focus. They turn into "Zorba the


says Bukowski. They say `yes’ to everything and get distracted from

the core objective of their business.

Getting discouraged too soon. Consulting can be a lonely

business, says Bukowski. You should be able to get past


and move on.

Spending too much money. Many beginners go overboard


to build an image, says Bukowski. They spend all their money on their

office and beautiful brochures but have no clients. Spend only what

is necessary to build up clients, she says. Her tips for a successful

career in consulting:

1. A firm belief in your ability to be successful.

2. A concise statement that expresses everything you have

to offer in 15 seconds.

3. Good marketing.

4. Opening relationships rather than selling.

5. Networking.

6. Speaking and writing. Make presentations, write


let as many people know what you have to offer.

7. "Dripping." Approach buyers when they are ready

to buy and not when you are ready to sell. Keep in touch. They could

say `no’ in March but might consider you in October.

8. Develop a personal style that is flexible.

9. Keep your values, passions, and goals close to you.

10. Get a coach. An outside perspective helps to keep

things in focus, says Bukowski.

— Teena Chandy

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Lonnie Steffens at Hyatt

When John "Lonnie" Steffens speaks, people

listen. Steffens is vice chairman of the board of Merrill Lynch and

Company and ranking officer at Merrill Lynch’s Scudders Mill Road

campus, and many people in the county are counting on him to go


with the deal to develop 450 acres on Scotch Road with up to 3.5


square feet of office space. Potentially this campus could include

a retail village, a hotel, a conference center, and even space for

light industry.

Steffens speaks at the Mercer Chamber on Thursday, November 19, at

11:30 a.m. at the Princeton Hyatt. With the topic of "Merrill

Lynch: a Community Partner," he will discuss how Merrill Lynch

is both an international concern and a participant in the community.

Cost: $30. Call 609-393-4143.

Since Steffens was not available for a pre-meeting interview here

are some queries to consider for the Q&A:

Will workforce cutbacks affect Merrill Lynch’s plans to

develop the $400 million, 450-acre park? The first phase of


to be completed in the year 2000, will accommodate 3,500 jobs and

the site could expand to 5,000 jobs. Steffens’ probable answer: No,

we are going forward with the park.

Did the state give Merrill Lynch more than $150 million

to stay in New Jersey? Steffens’ probable answer: No. The state did

come up with a $135 million bond issue that will save Merrill Lynch

$8.1 million in sales tax, but that is a loan. The state buys


for Merrill Lynch to lease, and when the lease expires Merrill Lynch

will have "bought" the equipment without paying the sales

tax. Actual outright grants from the state total $20 million and


$8.3 million to create 1,400 new jobs and $3 million for training

the new employees in computer skills.

Is Merrill Lynch satisfied with its tax bill from


Merrill Lynch and Plainsboro Township are currently in mediation

over the property tax assessment on Merrill’s office complex and


center. Even though Plainsboro is in Middlesex County and this is

the Mercer County Chamber, folks from Middlesex (after all, it is

greater Princeton, isn’t it?) are expected to attend. And anyway,

everyone’s interested in the Bull’s tax problems. Steffens’ probable

answer: No.

Steffens majored in economics at Dartmouth, Class of 1963, and

went right to work for Merrill Lynch as an account executive in his

home town, Cleveland. Seven years later he was promoted to sales


there, and then went to manage the office in Birmingham, Michigan.

In 1975 Steffens came to Manhattan, first to manage the operations

planning department, then to be assistant division director of


products and services. In 1979 he went through the Advanced Management

Program of Harvard Business School. In 1981 he was elected to the

board of directors and became director of marketing for the individual

sales division, and three years later was director of national sales

for the consumer markets sector. In 1985 he became president of that

sector (later renamed Private Client Division.)

Three years ago he served as the chairman of the Securities Industry

Association, and he is currently National Chairman of the Alliance

for Aging Research and a trustee of the Committee for Economic


"The investment in Mercer County by Merrill Lynch has the ability

to transform the total business center of the county," says


Breithaupt, chairman of the Mercer County Chamber and president

and CEO of Trenton Savings Bank (Peoples Bancorp). "John’s view

on the region and the world will also be extremely informative."

"A speaker of Lonnie Steffens’ stature continues the Mercer


tradition," says Bill Mate, the chamber president.

Top Of Page
Negotiate, Communicate

The Forrestal at Princeton is hosting a day-long seminar

on effective communication techniques and negotiation skills on


November 20, at 8 a.m. The workshop is co-sponsored by Meeting


International, New Jersey chapter, and the New Jersey Society of


Executives. Cost: $95; $65 for a half-day. Call 201-998-9157 to


John S. Foster III, an attorney-at-law and certified hospitality

sales executive, will present "How to Negotiate Anything with

Anyone." Foster has used his 20 years experience in law and


to help the beginner and the old pro learn basic principles,


and techniques of negotiating in easy-to-understand language that

can be applied on a daily basis.

Sue A. Hershkowitz-Coore, CSP, will present "Communication

with Success — Talking, Writing, Interacting for Results."

Author of "Power Sales Writing: What Every Sales Person Needs

to Know to Turn Prospects Into Buyers," Hershkowitz-Coore is a

professional speaker who has broken down barriers to communication

problems for corporate, association, and government clients.


says you can learn communication skills that will not only get your

point across, but also get the results you want.

Top Of Page
Electronic Funds Transfer

The U.S. Treasury Department is encouraging Americans

who receive federal government checks to use the Electronic Funds

Transfer (EFT) and have their money directly deposited into a personal

account at a federally insured bank, credit union, or savings and

loan association.

While a number of federal agencies have yet to inform beneficiaries

of their plans for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and waivers, the

Social Security Administration is giving Social Security and


Security Income beneficiaries the option to "do nothing" and

continue to receive checks by mail.

Some banks, financial service companies, check cashing outlets, and

pawn shops reportedly have told some beneficiaries that they must

sign up for the direct deposit option by January 1, or they will


no benefits. Consumer advocates want to make sure the American public

knows its options and doesn’t fall victim to scams.

The federal government is offering EFT to 510,300 New Jersey residents

who now receive their checks in the mail. These residents include

anyone who receives federal payments for Social Security, Supplemental

Security Income (SSI), Railroad Retirement, veteran’s benefits (VA),

federal pensions, and federal employees’ and contractors’


Under EFT, beneficiaries can:

Do nothing unless notified by the government agency


the check.

Sign up for direct deposit to an existing account or open

a new account to receive direct deposit.

Consider an Electronic Transfer Account (ETA), which is

a low-cost account set up by the federal government and scheduled

to become available in 1999.

Or request a "waiver."

Some federal agencies may eventually require beneficiaries to

request a "waiver" from using direct deposit or ETA. According

to the Treasury Department, beneficiaries may not have to use EFT

if opening an account and using direct deposit costs more than cashing

the check; beneficiaries have a physical or mental disability; a bank

is not close by; or beneficiaries have difficulty reading or writing


The Treasury Department claims it saves nearly 41 cents per check

using electronic transfer, which along with administrative


adds up to about $100 million in savings a year.

Top Of Page
Volunteer Tax Help

As preparations for the 1999 tax filing season gets

underway the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) seeks

more volunteer tax-aide counselors in the Princeton area.

AARP Tax-Aide volunteers are specially trained, in cooperation with

the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and New Jersey State Income Tax

Department, to understand many provisions of the tax code,


those that affect older people. Personal assistance is provided to

help the taxpayer complete federal and state tax returns.

Volunteers come from many backgrounds and have experience in filling

out their own returns. They must agree to assist taxpayers a minimum

of four hours per week, from February 1 through April 15, at a senior

center or public library in the area. Individual tax-aide sites are

generally open for four hours, one day per week, Monday through


Hours are usually 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or noon to 4 p.m.

Home study and class participation are required. Training classes

will be held between January 4 and January 12. For information call


Top Of Page
Corporate Angels

The Merck Company Foundation for the seventh year

has awarded the Raritan Valley Community College Foundation

a grant for $50,000 in support of its theater season. "As a


college, we value the opportunity to provide high caliber arts


and arts education to the community and we are pleased to have Merck

help us realize our goals," says Cary Israel, president

of Raritan Valley Community College. The Raritan Valley Community

College, serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents, offers 71

associate degrees and certificates.

The Merck Company Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck and


Inc., has since 1957 provided more than $180 million in support of

educational, cultural, health care, civic, and other non-profit


The New Jersey Unit of Recording for the Blind and


(RFB&D) received a grant of $17,500 from the Fred C. Rummel


of Summit, New Jersey. Patty Byers, vice president of Summit

Bank and a member of the Rummel Foundation’s board of trustees,


the check to Eileen Gallagher, director of development, and

James Amick, chairman of the board of directors of RFB&D’s New

Jersey unit.

The Continuum Group announced the release of a special

issue of limited editions lithographs by artist Ludvic Saleh.

A donation of 50 percent of all proceeds from the sale of the editions

will go to the American Red Cross for their hurricane relief efforts

in Central America.

"The devastation experienced by the people of Central America

has touched me very deeply. I am glad to do whatever I can to


said Saleh. The editions titled "Peace," "Cat," and

"Rooster," in an edition size of 750 pieces are all hand


and numbered by the artist. They are priced at $125 each.

The editions may be ordered directly from the publisher. Call


or visit the artist’s website at www.ludvic.com. Trade Art & Frame,

Monmouth Junction; Art & Frame Source, Menlo Park and Princeton; and

De’Lann Gallery, Plainsboro will carry these editions without any

markup and will be glad to assist with framing needs. See page 33

of this issue for details on other disaster relief efforts.

Top Of Page
Hurricane Relief: Cash Counts

Mud, devastation, and immense human suffering are

the images being sent to North America in the aftermath of Hurricane

Mitch, one of the most violent hurricanes of the past 200 years to

hit Central America. In Honduras and Nicaragua the death toll is


and more than 1 million are homeless or struggling for their lives.

Over 12,000 people are still missing. Hundreds of thousands of people,

desperate for food, water, medicine, and shelter, are becoming ever

more susceptible to outbreaks of epidemics such as malaria, diarrhea,

and cholera.

One television newsman, prone to dramatization, announced that in

his 25 years on the job he had never witnessed such devastation, and

that nothing short of a Cold War-syle Berlin airlift could bring


Former president Jimmy Carter, not known for exaggerating about


was there, too, and he said roughly the same thing.

Yet while our first instinct may be to reach for blankets, clothing,

canned goods, and even baseball equipment, to help Mitch’s victims,

the Red Cross recommends cash donations above all. Launching one of

the largest international relief operations in the organization’s

history, the Red Cross is appealing for cash because the


to receive and distribute gifts in kind has been destroyed.

"The most effective means to assist victims of Hurricane Mitch

is to make a financial contribution because it can be applied to the

rapid relief of the affected region," says David Novack of the

American Red Cross of Central New Jersey, located at 707 Alexander

Road. "The Red Cross is able to move cash instantly through wire

transfer to the affected areas. Moreover the purchasing power of the

U.S. dollar allows the Red Cross to maximize the value of each


With the cooperation of local Red Cross branches, the Red Cross in

Central America will provide food, blankets, chlorine, kitchen tools,

and materials for home reconstruction over a period of two months.

Cash contributions can be made to the American Red Cross

International Response Fund, American Red Cross, 707 Alexander Road,

Suite 101, Princeton, NJ 08540-6399 and American Red Cross


Response Fund, 123 How Lane, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. For credit card

contributions, call 1-800-HELP-NOW or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish); or

locally by calling 609-951-8550 or 732-418-0800. Internet

users can make an online credit card contribution at


and choosing the option International Response Fund.

In Princeton, concerned individuals, organizations, and businesses

are also working to help Nicaraguan hurricane victims:

Jill Carpe of the Salty Dog craft shop at 4 Spring Street is helping

spearhead the area efforts of PeaceWorks to send aid into the region.

"Nicaragua may seem like it’s very far away and has nothing to

do with us here in Princeton, but in fact Princeton Township and


Borough both have a sister city relationship with Granada,


she says.

Carpe, who has visited the area twice in the past, says Nicaragua’s

death toll may reach 4,000. Working with the Central Jersey-Masaya

Friendship Cities Project and the Princeton-Granada Sister City


PeaceWorks is organizing cargo container aid shipments of


food items, clothing, and medical supplies. Donations of goods or

money are tax-deductible. Carpe is earmarking a portion of her


to the relief effort and urges other businesses to do the same.

As it has for the other 32 aid shipments it has sent to Nicaragua

since 1987, PeaceWorks will send the aid to Masaya Without Frontiers

(MASINFA), a professional organization that is serving as a regional

disaster relief organizer in Nicaragua. This aid will help people

with immediate relief assistance as well as long-term community


The deadline for donations is Friday, November 20. For information

or pickup, call the Salty Dog at 609-252-1815.

The Latino Chamber of Commerce of Mercer County, in conjunction with

organizations that include the Latina Women’s Council of Mercer


the Latino Law Enforcement Society of Mercer County, Hispanic-American

Medical Association, the Mercer County Hispanic Association, and the

Puerto Rican Parade Committee, has also launched a relief drive. This

group is collecting non-perishable food, clothing, and medical


To assist the Latino Chamber effort, contact Harry Luna at


Members of the Robert Wood Johnson Health System and Network has also

announced that its affiliated hospitals, health centers, and


communities will collect food and supplies for a Thanksgiving shipment

to Central America on Tuesday, November 24. Non-perishable food,


medicines, summer clothes, flashlights, batteries, baby items,

and building materials are being collected. For the location of


sites throughout the region, call 800-242-0022.

Top Of Page

In Honduras alone, at least 600,000 people were left homeless by the

massive storm and more than 7,000 people are believed to have died.

Much of Honduras has literally been destroyed by Mitch which pounded

the country for several days. Preliminary damage assessments indicate

that Mitch destroyed 70 percent of the country’s bridges, 60 percent

of its water systems, and vast sections of highways and secondary

roads. Those roads and bridges not simply swept away by floodwaters

were buried by massive mudslides. More than 70 percent of the


— with bumper fall crops almost ready to harvest — was


by the storm, a stunning blow to a poor country largely dependent

on its domestic food production for feeding its population and for

export income. Nothing like it has hit since the 1974 Hurricane Fifi

killed 10,000 in Honduras.

In Nicaragua, at least 400,000 people are left homeless, overwhelming

government resources and raising the specter of epidemic. Scattered

cases of cholera already were being reported in some areas, and scorch

teams have been ordered to burn corpses in an effort to prevent the

spread of disease. Hundreds of bodies continue to be pulled from


and mudslides that can be as much as 20 feet deep. The eruption of

Nicaragua’s Cerro Negro volcano only added to the miseries of the


In many areas, the relief operation is being hampered by the


infrastructure. The death toll continues to rise.

A Disaster Action Response Team (DART) from Washington, D.C., has

been recruited to assist relief efforts. More than 8,000 paid and

volunteer staff from national Red Cross Societies in Central America

have been working around-the-clock rescuing those buried by mudslides

and stranded by flooding. Red Cross workers are also distributing

emergency relief and supporting first aid, evacuation, and sheltering


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