The board of directors at Sarnoff Corporation, beleaguered in recent years, has persuaded its former leader to return. Satyam Cherukuri resigned as CEO on August 11, and Jim Carnes was introduced as interim president and CEO at an employee meeting that day.

Former Carnes associate Curt Carlson, who is now CEO of Sarnoff’s California-based parent company, SRI International, reportedly attended the meeting.

Carnes had retired in 2002 at age 62, after 33 years at Sarnoff and nearly 12 years in the top job. Satyam Cherukuri, then 44, took over as president and CEO. In the intervening four years, Sarnoff instituted some layoffs. The company that reported 800 employees in 2001 now says it has 540 employees at this location.

Carnes was known for instituting a business model — spinning off technology into new businesses — that kept Sarnoff workers at home yet let them reap the fruits of their inventions. But the venture capital market collapsed, and investment possibilities dwindled.

“We are concentrating on our core R&D business,” says Lou Ann Wingerter, spokesperson.

Sarnoff Corporation, 201 Washington Road, Box 5300, Princeton 08543-5300; 609-734-2000; fax, 609-734-2040. James Carnes, interim president & CEO.

Peterson’s Sold

Thomson Corporation has sold Peterson’s, the company founded by Peter and Casey Hegener in 1966 to publish college guides. The buyer is Nelnet, a 3,400-person student loan company based in Lincoln, Nebraska. Peterson’s will retain its 220-person office and current management team at Princeton Pike Corporate Center.

Peterson’s provides education and career-related materials in the areas of education search, test preparation, admissions, financial aid information, and career assistance. Thomson has another office, Thomson Prometric, in the same building.

News of the pending sale had surfaced in February, when a company spokesperson affirmed that “It is not a reflection on the performance of Peterson’s but of making sure our organization is aligned with core businesses — professional and institutional customers versus delivering primarily to consumers.”

Nelnet (National Education Loan Network) originates, consolidates, securitizes, holds, and services student loans, principally loans originated under the Federal Family Education Loan Program of the U.S. Department of Education. Founded in 1996, its roots go back to a regional bank in Nebraska. It has net student loan assets of more than $22 billion ( “As far as holders of student loans or servicers of student loans, we are the third largest in the nation,” says Ben Kiser, spokesperson for Nelnet. Nelnet competes with other regional banks and with Sallie Mae, which is no longer a public entity and is now publicly traded.

Nelnet owns Sacts Management, a tuition payment company in Lincoln; Student Marketing Group in New York State, and CUNet, a lead generation management firm for for-profit colleges and universities based in Wyckoff, New Jersey.

Peterson’s, according to a press release, reaches an estimated 105 million consumers annually. It will become a part of Nelnet’s Education Services division, and keep the Peterson’s brand.

“We look forward to joining an organization that aligns with our vision of guiding every student toward the realization of their education and career dreams,” said Mary Gatsch, president of Peterson’s, in a press release.

Peterson’s, a Nelnet Company (NNI), 2000 Lenox Drive, Princeton Pike Corporate Center, Suite 300, Lawrenceville 08648; 609-896-1800; fax, 609-896-1811. Mary Gatsch, president. Home page:


Ascendia Brands/Lander Co. Inc. (ASB), 100 Lenox Drive, Suite 108, Hamilton 08619; 609-219-0930; fax, 609-219-1238. Joe Falsetti, chairman and CEO.

Ascendia Brands/Lander has accomplished its planned expansion from 9,000 square feet at 2000 Lenox Drive to 16,000 square feet at the American Metro Center. The firm was represented by Jerry Fennelly of NAI Fennelly.

The parent company, formerly known as Cenuco Inc., changed its name to Ascendia Brands, Inc. in order to focus on its health and beauty care products. The Lander division offers private label health and beauty care products.

SJH Engineering PC, 26 Jefferson Plaza, Princeton 08540; 732-438-8504; fax, 866-812-1207. S. Jayakumaran PE, principal. Home page:

SJH Engineering, founded in 2003, moved into a commercial office space in July, “to grow the business,” says principal Mahendra Patel. Patel and his colleague, S. Jayakumaran, supervise the design and construction of highways, design and inspection for bridges, and they do building design for school rehabilitation.

Patel earned his bachelor’s degree in India in civil engineering in 1985 and has a master’s from Rutgers University in structural engineering. The partners have professional engineering licenses in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Sitrof Technologies, 5 Mapleton Road, Suite 200, Princeton 08540; 609-897-9180; fax, 609-897-9182. Bryan Reynolds, CEO. Home page:

Sitrof Technologies, a document and records management consulting company, moved from 9 Greene Drive in Princeton Junction to Mapleton Mills. The move took place in early June.

With six people at this location, 15 over all, Sitrof does document and records management consulting for Fortune 500 companies, particularly pharmaceuticals, helping them deal with corporate records and compliance issues. “We will choose solutions that work best and help them integrate those into their infrastructure,” says CEO Bryan Reynolds.

Reynolds graduated in 1966 with a major in information assets management from the University of New Mexico and took additional classes at the University of Maryland. After working for several architectural and engineering firms, he teamed with colleagues who had pharmaceutical experience to start his own firm.

Last year Sitrof partnered with Xerox Corporation to develop a document system for pharmaceutical firms called the DocuShare Compliance Module. “Pharmaceutical companies can buy a document management tool that is robust but no expensive, and with our service bolted onto it, it is much cheaper than anything on the market,” says Reynolds. “We bring a lot of pharmaceutical knowledge to the table.”

The original name of the company was Fortis, a Latin word meaning strong, powerful, and energetic, but someone else had a product by that name. “We wanted to keep it as a part of our history, so we reversed it,” he says. Even in this version, he says, the name connotes an image “that we are different — we charge less, we do more work, and we bring high-level people to the table.”

Leaving Town

Spherosils LLC, 11 Deer Park Drive, Princeton Corporate Plaza, Suite 206A, Monmouth Junction 08852-1923; 609-537-0061; fax, 609-537-0063. Pradyot A. Agaskar PhD, president.

Spherosils LLC, a company devoted to materials research, has left the area. The phone has been disconnected, and the website is not functional.

Valaran Corporation, 212 Carnegie Center, Suite 201, Princeton 08540; 609-716-7200; fax, 609-716-8463. Andrew Maunder, CEO.

Valaran Corporation, a provider of dynamic network and business process and network integration software to the global communications market, has left the area. The telephone was disconnected and the website is no longer live.


Margaret “Peggy” Hayes Prescott, 61, on August 6. The minister of outreach at Trinity Episcopal Church in Princeton, she was a founder of Housing Initiatives of Princeton.

Michael Stepanoff, 43, on August 9. He had worked at Medical Inter-Insurance Exchange on Lenox Drive.

Ryan G. Lamoreaux, 30, on August 10, as a result of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in North Jersey. He was a store supervisor at CVS Pharmacy in Plainsboro.

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