U.S. 1 might have more of a vested interest in this year’s class of “Helping Hands” than it has had in any other year since we initiated this annual year-end feature back in 1986.

In our business, literacy is the price of the ticket to get through the door. And as our founding editor and publisher has said on many occasions, U.S. 1’s real customers are not the advertisers but rather the readers. Without them, no one would have any reason to advertise.

As is usually the case, we selected this year’s honorees by going to the established non-profit that supports the cause and asking that organization to suggest some names. We are not looking for people who are paid to provide community service by employers. While those efforts are appreciated (and noted in our ongoing “corporate angel” features), putting the spotlight on those folks would mean that the efforts of employees of smaller businesses and self-employed people would be largely ignored.

So instead we look for people who work in the greater Princeton business area and who contribute their time and energy outside the regular work day. In Paula Rossi and Michael Thiel, we believe we have found two such people. We thank them for their efforts and for helping us publicize this very worthwhile (in our somewhat biased opinion) cause. See page 12.

As for our own readers we thank them here and also with the distribution of the annual U.S. 1 wall calendar. Each office should receive one with the delivery of the December 20 issue of U.S. 1. If you don’t find one but would like one, see Richard K. Rein’s column on page 57. He describes a way you can get one for free. In his usual oblique manner, it’s his way of thanking all of you, as well.

Holiday Schedule

Our office will be open as usual, but there will be no issue of U.S. 1 next Wednesday, December 27. The advertising and editorial deadline for the first issue of the New Year on Wednesday, January 3, will be Friday, December 29. Happy New Year.

To the Editor

We thank U.S. 1 for the feature article on Bot Fortified Water (August 9, 2006). In regards to the “follow up” article on Bot (U.S. 1, December 13), we wanted to add some clarification.

We set out to conduct a test market, which is currently in execution. We produced a low volume of Bot to best understand and tweak the production process as part of our test. In doing so, we became educated on the production capabilities amongst all the moving parts for our beverage product (bottle, cap, label, 6-packing, etc.) without having diluted a huge sum of product at the expense of our fiscally responsible roadmap.

As marketers and entrepreneurs know, the outsourcing of certain capabilities is best left to the experts of said disciplines. Having spent 10 years at a top marketing agency, Fortune 40 clients left the expertise to my agency to develop strategic and insightful marketing programs that met or exceeded their brand’s marketing objectives.

We are doing the same for Bot — using TDA Advertising & Design for our packaging design, web, and collateral; using a flavor company to formulate Bot (which also formulates top global brands); using an experienced co-packer to produce a top quality product in a facility that’s equipped to support significant growth.

Bot’s first blush at retail at Pennington Quality Market (PQM) has been measurable through 360 feedback from PQM management, merchandisers, and customers themselves. We will apply our best practices when we roll out to other retailers and channels. Lastly, we thank PQM for its support of our business and in return hope the trend of strong sales continues.

We welcome the insight on entrepreneurship that U.S. 1 has shared with its readers and we hope that what is best demonstrated is the flexibility, perseverance, passion, and support that comes with the territory. Cricket Allen


United Way’s Way

As a result of United Way of Greater Mercer County’s annual holiday food drive and the generosity of many caring people, Thanksgiving 2006 was one of joy and promise for over 300 economically disadvantaged Mercer County families who were recipients of all the fixings for a traditional holiday meal — including gift cards to purchase turkeys.

On behalf of the individuals whose lives have been touched by these acts of selflessness and kindness, I would like to express a heartfelt “Thank You.”

We salute the following companies for their continued support of our efforts: Berlitz, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Convatec, Delaware River Basin Commission, Ortho-McNeil Janssen Pharmaceutical, JC Penney, Johnson & Johnson Consumer & Personal Products Worldwide, Klatzkin & Company, Lowe’s, Macy’s, Mercer Business, Merrill Lynch Hopewell Campus, Michael Baker, Jr. Inc., Monroe Township Recreation Track Coaches, Navigant Consulting, NRG, Rhodia Inc., Saul Ewing, Sean John, Stony Brooke Elementary School, Trane, UPS-SCS, Wachovia Wealth Management, and Waste Management.

Thank you to Young Leaders United for providing much-needed volunteer help and to the local human care agencies that work daily to help foster self-sufficiency and assist individuals in moving beyond poverty. These are the folks that partnered with United Way to distribute the food to those in need.

The goal of today’s United Way Community Impact Agenda is to engage the community in focusing on our most pressing needs, to create partnerships that will generate lasting solutions, and to produce results that improve lives and neighborhoods. Everyone involved in this initiative was instrumental in helping to fulfill that goal. Together, we will create a more caring community. Together, we will make a difference.

Gene Marsh

Chair, Board of Trustees, United Way of Greater Mercer County

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