One of our mottoes is to try to find the right person to write about a particular topic, and when it comes to technical subjects, we often turn to Doug Dixon, who knows how to turn mumbo jumbo into plain English.
Through his company, Manifest Technology LLC (www.manifest-tech.com), Dixon develops technical marketing and product collateral for such clients as Adobe and Intel. Over the past four years Dixon has written more than two dozen U.S. 1 articles — so many that we now call him "the Walter Mossberg of U.S. 1." (Mossberg is the Wall Street Journal editor who has the personal technology column.) In this issue Dixon helps us pick out gifts for the technophiles. See page 48.
To the Editor
My company has been a member of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce for years. Recently, I was dismayed to find that the Chamber awarded two of its own board members as "Entrepreneur of the Year" and "Leader of the Year" for the "Business Leadership Awards Gala" at the Tournament Players Club at Jasna Polana on December 3.
It has always been my assumption that the primary purpose of the Chamber of Commerce is to help promote the health and well being of the community and local businesses at large. The Chamber also has a responsibility (or should have one) to set high ethical and moral standards for the business community. In this day and age of scandals such as Enron, Tyco, and others, it would seem irresponsible — especially for the Chamber of Commerce — to condone self-dealing or unethical business behavior.
Since the Chamber’s board of directors (which includes Peter Dawson and David Holmes who were the "winners" of the above awards) presumably organized and approved the whole process, I find it hard to believe that no one saw the potential for a conflict of interest. Should the Chamber’s own directors be allowed to award themselves such accolades under the auspices of the Chamber and then pass it off as a "community event" and a "newsworthy item?" I thought the Chamber was supposed to fairly represent all of its members and the community at large — not insiders on its own board of directors.
Furthermore, did the Chamber clearly let dues-paying members know that their fees could be used, essentially, to glorify and advertise for the companies (Leigh Photo & Imaging and Eden Family of Services) owned by two of their board of directors? This clearly seems to me to be unethical, deceptive, and self-serving.
Although competition does exist between my company, Taylor Photo, and Leigh Photo in some of our services, my argument is with the Chamber of Commerce not, per se, with my competition. I admire and respect many of my competitors. Healthy competition, like fair elections, is something to be encouraged in our society. And, unfortunately, the Chamber’s recent actions are akin to "stuffing the ballot boxes."
William N. Taylor
Taylor Photo, Alexander Road
For more on the Chamber awards, see www.princetoninfo.com/200312/31203f01.html