Host an Expo; Reel In Your Customers

Is There a Cure For Malpractice Mess?

Anti-Sprawl Equals Pro-Downtown

Douglass Gift

Deadline Nears For Tech Fund Transfers

Media Watch

Corrections or additions?

This article by Kathleen McGinn Spring & Bart Jackson was prepared for the June 4, 2003 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Chemists Meet For Science and Jobs

Wherever she goes, Fiona Case, president of the

Princeton chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS), runs into

chemists. "Wine tastings, the theater, chemists are everywhere!"

she exclaims. "I used to joke to friends that I can’t get away

from chemists."

Finding a chemist-free space in Princeton will be especially challenging

starting on Sunday, June 8, at 5 p.m. when the Trenton ACS chapter,

with some help from the Princeton chapter and from the Princeton University

chemistry department, hosts ACS’s three-day Middle Atlantic Region

Meeting (MARM) at Princeton University. Registration, which includes

most events, is $126, but students, post doctoral candidates, teachers,

and unemployed chemists attend for as little as $10, and some sessions

are free to all comers. Visit chemistry.org/meetings/regional/calendar.html

for full details.

Case, who works in the Princeton area for a major consumer products

company, says it is not hard to figure out why chemists pop up at

social gatherings throughout central New Jersey. "Just think of

what we have here," she says. In addition to a plethora of pharmaceutical

operations, she points out, this area is home to Rutgers University,

Princeton University, and any number of biotechs and manufacturing

companies that require the expertise of chemists.

The Trenton and Princeton chapters have some 1,500 members, just about

evenly divided between the two. And the state has one more chapter,

in North Jersey. Active in ACS, Case says she has traveled to parts

of the country where one chapter serves three — or even five —

states. "We have more scientists than any other state," declares

Case. She says she got the statistic from a state website, perhaps

that of Governor McGreevey, and she is quite sure it is true, based,

at least in part, on her own experience.

There is something for every chemist at every career stage and in

every specialty at the MARM event, at which Nobel Laureate Alan

G. MacDiarmid, co-developer of the field of conducting polymers,

gives the keynote. Major symposia center around the themes of pharmaceutical

and medicinal chemistry, chemical education from K-12 through college,

solid-state and materials science, including nanotechnology, and energy

concerns.

Other featured sessions include the role of chemistry in homeland

defense, education, and patent law — and the role of women in

chemistry. Also on the agenda, along with a number of social events,

are sessions on thermal analysis and the study of pharmaceutical materials.

Technical sessions address a number of specialties, including forensics,

biochemistry, organic chemistry, and biophysical chemistry.

In addition to the nuts of bolts of chemistry, the science, MARM devotes

substantial time to chemistry, the career. Here is where Case comes

in. She is helping to put together MARM’s career component. Among

the draws is a job fair and industry showcase. "In the current

economic situation," observes Case, "some companies may not

have open positions, but they may want to meet people who might work

for them in the future."

Workshops, many put together by ACS’s national office, complement

the job fair. Some are designed to help neophytes with basic job hunting

skills. In chemistry, says Case, a Ph.D. is often the entry level

requirement, and after spending so many years in academe, new chemistry

Ph.Ds may lack basic skills, including the art of putting together

a winning resume. While some workshops cater to those seeking a first

job, other sessions address the needs of chemists in transition, and

lay out the range of career possibilities — including some rarely-considered

alternative careers — open to chemists.

Mark Galley, who has been an ACS member since 1967 and is publicity

chairman for the Trenton section, is embarking on a career transition.

His experience is a good example of the not-commonly-known niches

available in the field. Formerly the director of U.S. regulatory affairs

for American Cyanamid, he did not make the move when the company was

acquired and its operations were moved to North Carolina. Instead,

he started his own company, Registrations by Galley (www.registrationsbygalley.com),

which has its offices at 14 Jill Drive in West Windsor.

Galley, who earned his Ph.D. at Syracuse University, has a specialty

in registering pesticides, and it turns out that doing so can be a

formidable undertaking.

"Eight hundred companies need to register federally and locally,"

says Galley. "They need to send information to the FDA, and then

register again in every state, or sometimes in each county, in which

their product is sold." Only 10 major companies handle the active

ingredients in a pesticide. Registering a new active ingredient, he

says, requires 90,000 pages of science, an undertaking that can easily

cost $100 million. And that, he adds, is before a pesticide using

that ingredient can be formulated or manufactured.

Why would any company want to register a new active ingredient that

badly? The reason, Galley explains, is that the FDA is constantly

evaluating pesticide safety, and on occasion pulls less-safe products.

The goal is to use as little pesticide as possible and to do as little

harm to surrounding life, soil, and water as possible. "At American

Cyanamid we developed a new herbicide," he gives as an example.

"One thimble full replaced two pounds. It was essentially non-toxic.

If you drank the whole thimble full it wouldn’t hurt you."

The pesticide industry generates sales of $35 billion a year globally.

The vast majority of companies in the industry do not seek to register

novel active ingredients, but rather formulate products using approved

active ingredients. After working for one of the biggest players,

Galley is focusing his new business on registering pesticides for

smaller companies, although he does have BASF, the company that acquired

American Cyanamid, as a client.

"When you go to a store to get something for the garden,"

he says, "you see active ingredients listed at a certain percentage.

The formulators mix it different ways to best get at the pest."

While sales of pesticides to consumers is a $2 billion industry, Galley

wryly observes that "everybody is anti-pesticide." Or at least

everybody is anti-pesticide "until ants show up in the doorway."

Galley tells a story about a former colleague whose attorney husband

was "very anti-pesticide" until he began to tame his backyard

"and promptly got a horrible case of poison ivy." After breaking

out in the miserable rash, the attorney implored his wife to bring

home an herbicide to wipe out the poison plants.

Helping companies to register such products is fascinating work for

a chemist, says Galley. It involves a great deal of biology in addition

to chemistry, and also calls for legal and regulatory knowledge and

a thorough understanding of FDA procedures.

Now Galley is adding another layer of expertise as he makes the shift

from corporate employee to entrepreneur. Busy getting his website

up and running, he says he is enjoying the challenge. With downsizing

— and resulting overwork and tension — still poisoning the

atmosphere at any number of large companies, his is a path other chemists

might consider following.

Top Of Page
Host an Expo; Reel In Your Customers

Within every two-year period, McCormick Place in Chicago,

the nation’s largest trade show facility, plays host to scores of

industry groups. The housewares show is its biggest event, and in

second place is the biennial industrial packaging show.

This information comes from Neal Magaziner, executive vice president

of the industrial packaging company, Hughes Enterprises, a 45-person

operation that has its offices at 2 Industrial Drive in Hamilton (609-586-7200,

www.hughesent.com).

At first blush it is surprising to learn that packaging is such a

huge industry. But, look around. Every pencil, Diet Sprite can, book,

legal pad, stapler, and keyboard on your desk had to have spent some

time traveling in close contact with many — probably thousands

— of its mates. No plastic cup makes the trip from factory to

distribution warehouse to shelf alone. Most often, pallets, containers,

heavy-duty tape, shrink wrap, bar codes — and sometimes plastic

peanuts or sheets of that cool, bubble-filled plastic sheeting —

are involved.

On Monday, June 9, at 9 a.m. Hughes kicks off a three-day Packaging

Equipment Expo at its offices. At the expo, the first installment

of what Magaziner hopes will become an annual event, manufacturers’

representatives showcase their wares. Included in the roster of participants

are 3M, Sealed Air, Storopack, Samuel Strapping Systems, Weber Marking,

and Progressive Handling.

"There’s going to be a conveyor belt," says Magaziner. "You

can watch the packages come down." Many packaging manufacturers,

he says, are loathe to ship samples of their wares to potential customers.

It is just not cost efficient. At the same time, companies, about

to commit to a substantial capital outlay, tend not to be satisfied

with a CD-ROM demonstration. Generally the only way customers can

see equipment in action is to fly to its manufacturer’s plant. But,

says the Hughes executive, the fact that he plans to attract at least

200 potential customers to his three-day expo has been enough to induce

many manufacturers to go to the expense of assembling and shipping

demonstration pieces of equipment.

But, wait, what’s in this for Hughes? Why’s to keep expo attendees

from ordering directly from the manufacturers they meet there?

"In our industry that is just not done," responds Magaziner.

Purchasing a machine that "palletizes" one’s folding chairs

or boxes of crayons is a far more complex transaction than is purchasing

a toaster for the break room. For one thing, installation is required,

and manufacturers in this sector, according to Magaziner, do not provide

it. Hughes, and companies like it, keep installers on staff.

The second reason that Magaziner has no worries that expo attendees

will deal directly with manufacturers they meet at his offices is

that purchases of packaging equipment tend to be linked to purchases

of related equipment — often from a number of different manufacturers.

For example, a new system to automate packaging might integrate a

bar coder from one manufacturer with a taping system from another.

Hughes now specializes in consulting on, and implementing, such integration.

But that was not always the case.

"Our whole business changed three or four years ago," says

Magaziner. The reason, in large part, is the Internet. Hughes used

to concentrate on selling commodities such as equipment and supplies.

Doing so in the pre-Internet era involved sales forces and substantial

marketing efforts. Now, it is easy for just about anyone to sell just

about anything online — usually at discount. With competition

up and margins down, Hughes shifted tactics and became more of a technology

consulting company, helping clients to figure out the best way to

save money through automating packaging tasks.

In tough times, saving money is a potent automation driver, but, increasingly,

there is another prime driver. "Everyone’s worried about security,"

says Magaziner. In the packaging world, these concerns are raised

not only by terror attacks, but also by employee theft and by counterfeiting.

More automation means less human involvement with merchandise, and

manufacturers, he says, want as few humans in the packaging process

as possible.

But while manufacturers have compelling reasons to invest in automation

to get their goods to market, many have snap shut their checkbooks

during the past several years.

"We absolutely have found a reluctance to buy in the last year

or two," says Magaziner. Anyone selling to manufacturers who reports

a different sales climate, he suggests, is not being completely honest.

It’s tough out there. But he says his company has found a powerful

anti-reluctance weapon. "We combat it with leasing," he says.

Clients who do not want to go to upper management with a request for

a capital outlay are far more open to a no-cash-upfront leasing arrangement.

The strategy has seen Hughes through a difficult few years, and Magaziner

says that the spending drought may now be ending. "We’re seeing

more confidence," he says. Potential clients that were given quotes

12 to 18 months ago are now calling to express a readiness to buy.

This is not the first down cycle Magaziner has been through. He started

working part time for Hughes as a teen-ager. The company was founded

by his uncle, Max Polin, an 82-year-old who still stops by three to

four days a week. In 1988, Polin sold the privately-held company to

his son, Stephen Polin, and to Magaziner. The cousins divide up management

responsibility, with Polin largely concentrating on purchasing and

trucking and Magaziner heading up sales.

Magaziner grew up in the Philadelphia area and graduated from Philadelphia

University in 1983 with a degree in science and finance. He says he

was offered a job in a brokerage at graduation and "thought long

and hard" about taking it, but his uncle urged him to join Hughes,

and he accepted. He says he has never regretted the decision, and

cites the dynamic nature of the packaging industry as a reason. He

is hoping that his company’s display of some of the new technologies

moving the industry will make its first expo a popular, and profitable,

event.

Top Of Page
Is There a Cure For Malpractice Mess?

The operation is over, the drugs are just wearing off,

and the bill — for $10,000 — is in the mail. While the bill

may be itemized, listing operating room charges and drugs, one item

bulking up the charges will not be broken out. Approximately $1,000

of the price charged for the $10,000 operation will go to pay medical

malpractice insurance. The initial diagnostician, the surgeon, the

hospital, everyone involved pays increasingly large premiums, which

threaten to continue to move in only one direction.

This issue, seen as an untenable burden by many New Jersey physicians,

some of whom closed their offices in protest last winter, is the topic

of "Causes and Potential Solutions of the Medical Malpractice

Crisis," a seminar sponsored by the Hunterdon Chamber, and taking

place on Tuesday, June 10, at 11:30 a.m. at the Copper Hill Country

Club in Flemington. Cost: $35. Call 908-735-5955.

The featured speaker is J. Anthony Manger, partner in the Somerset-based

law firm of Norris McLaughlin & Marcus. He addresses the effect sky-high

premium costs have on medical centers and healthcare professionals,

and shows how these costs filter down to seemingly unrelated businesses

and individuals.

"It would be nice if we could just point our fingers at greedy

doctors, greedy insurers, greedy patients, or greedy lawyers,"

says Manger, "but the solution to the malpractice crisis is infinitely

more complex than purging a single villain." For the past 25 years,

Manger has worked on issues related to healthcare law. Born and raised

in Cranford, Manger, a C.P.A., graduated from Duke University with

an accounting major, and then earned his law degree from Columbia.

"Lawyers are notoriously bad accountants," he laughs. In fact,

when he was called to help a large physicians group establish the

Medical Inter-Insurance Exchange (MIIX,) back in the late 1970s, he

recounts, "I told them that I was not only an attorney, but also

a C.P.A., and I watched their shoulders visibly relax."

Ours is a litigious society, and there are indeed reasons to sue a

physician — there always have been. So why is the medical malpractice

issue suddenly so urgent, leading some doctors to leave practice and

others to predict that soon it will be difficult to find a doctor

to perform certain procedures — including basic ones like delivering

a baby? Here are some factors:

A major medical malpractice insurer collapses. Back in

the late-1970s, when malpractice claims began exploding, insurance

companies sprang into action. Most pulled out of this unprofitable

business and those remaining boosted premiums to literally laughable

figures. In response, physicians and individual hospitals banded together

to form physician-financed insurance firms. Manger dislikes the term

"self-insured," which could conjure up a picture of two or

three doctors pooling pocket money just in case. "In fact,"

he says, "most of these firms handle hundreds of physicians and

are capitalized in the tens of millions."

MIIX grew rapidly, becoming the largest medical malpractice in the

state. But last year it collapsed under crushing debt. This not only

leaves thousands of doctors uncovered statewide, explains Manger,

but it lessens competition in the medical malpractice arena, a situation

that is bound to cause premium costs to rise.

Markets and interest rates tumble. Insurance companies

do not profit primarily from premium inflow versus payout outflow.

Insurers depend heavily on policy premiums. In good markets the premiums

can easily earn double-digit returns. But with stock returns low to

deeply negative, and interest rates on everything from preferred stock

to tax free municipals hovering at historic lows, those premium dollars

are not multiplying at anything like the rate they did just a few

years ago.

Typically, malpractice insurers can net handsome earnings, even in

choppy markets, because of payout longevity. "Medical suits take

so long to try in court," notes Manger, "and so long to prove

and process that premiums get invested for substantial periods."

This is fine, unless your invested premiums are loosing value year

after year. At times like these, many large insurance companies look

abroad and loan money to foreign governments at rates that are higher

than the return on cash that is invested domestically. However, major

insurance players have traditionally avoided the very volatile malpractice

market, leaving it to smaller firms, which often do not have the wherewithal

for more complex international investment schemes.

Managed care makes the premiums even more unaffordable.

The healthcare industry is pressuring physicians to perform more work

for less and less pay. "The doctor graduating today cannot hope

to earn anywhere near the money that his colleague did 30 years ago,"

says Manger. And, at the same time that revenues are down, physicians

must hire staffers — and sometimes whole departments — whose

sole job is to interact with the insurers.

The individual doctor no longer is reimbursed even at cost by most

insurance firms for some of the most basic procedures. One result

is that only large laboratories can take enough X-rays or draw enough

blood to make a profit from insurance reimbursement. Nevertheless,

if an individual physician decides to go ahead and draw his own patients’

blood, malpractice insurers may hit him with a monthly premium surcharge

for offering this basic, traditional service.

Patients’ expectations rise. Within the past two decades

the public’s demands have become literally limitless. "We absolutely

expect perfection from physicians," Manger says, "and our tort

system is willing to award damages for anything less." This risk

does nothing to encourage insurers to take a chance on the medical

malpractice field.

The term "solutions" may be a bit too optimistic to

be used in the same sentence as "malpractice crisis," notes

Manger. But he suggests a few improvements. With MIIX going under,

he sees a climate akin to the late-1970s, when physicians and hospitals

united to take care of their own insurance needs. The average American

doctor graduates from medical school with a diploma and $175,000 in

student loans. If he can join a physician-owned insurance system,

and pay relatively reasonable fees, he may just be able to hang out

his shingle.

An ideal solution, in Manger’s view, would be a new, statewide insurance

firm, owned and capitalized by physicians and perhaps individual hospitals,

that could fill this need. A second option could be a similar company,

administered by insurance professionals. Another workable scheme could

be the recruitment of a customer-capitalized out-of-state insurer.

Any such new major force would add reasonable competition, allow physicians

to get rid of outlandish bureaucratic rules, and provide coverage

at a still high — yet manageable — cost.

As the average American’s number of annual doctor visits continues

to increase, medicine becomes a larger portion of our lives and finances.

We may never return to the personal care we remember; the house call

is not likely to reappear any time soon. But we need to find a way

to keep our physicians from being insured out of business.

— Bart Jackson

Top Of Page
Anti-Sprawl Equals Pro-Downtown

Governor McGreevey is making an attack on suburban

sprawl one of the most important items on his agenda. This can only

be good news for the state’s downtowns, many of which have been leaching

people, jobs, and entertainment basics like movie theaters to the

suburbs around them.

Even before McGreevey announced a Smart Growth policy, however, the

state’s downtowns had begun an upswing. Impetus for any number of

improvements, and help in making them a reality, has come from Downtown

New Jersey (www.downtownnj.com), an organization that has been involved

in many a turnaround.

On Thursday, June 12, at 8 a.m., Downtown New Jersey holds its full-day

annual conference at the Grand Summit Hotel in Summit. Cost: $325.

For more information call Beth Lippman at 973-992-8800.

On the agenda are workshops on smart leasing strategies, making the

best use of second-story space, reclaiming brownfields, attracting

the arts, and creating transit-friendly villages. There will also

be case studies of successes in Summit, Livingston, and Lyndhurst.

Governor McGreevey has been invited to deliver the keynote.

Top Of Page
Douglass Gift

Thanks to $1.25 million from Regina Best Heldrich, Class

of 1942, Rutgers has restored its 79-year old chemistry building on

the Douglass College campus. The building has been renamed for her.

The project included an enhancement of the exterior and interior of

the building, built in 1924.

Top Of Page
Deadline Nears For Tech Fund Transfers

High technology and biotechnology companies have until

June 30 to apply to New Jersey’s Technology Business Tax Certificate

Transfer Program to raise cash to finance their growth and operations.

The competitive program, now in its fifth year, enables high-tech

and biotech companies to sell tax losses or research and development

credits to other businesses. It is administered by the New Jersey

Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) in conjunction with the New

Jersey Division of Taxation and the New Jersey Commission on Science

and Technology. Approvals are announced early in the fall.

Last year 166 companies were approved to share the $40 million available

annually through the program, which has proven to be effective in

providing support to high-tech businesses seeking to continue their

research, raise capital, and grow their companies.

To be eligible for the program, a company must be a new or expanding

technology or biotechnology business with a maximum of 225 employees,

at least 75 percent of whom must be based in New Jersey. The program

enables such companies to sell unused net operating loss (NOL) carryforwards

and unused research and development tax credits to other New Jersey

corporations for 75 percent of their value.

In turn, companies selling NOLs or research and development tax credits

are able to use the money they receive to finance business expenses,

including the purchase of equipment, facility expansions, or working

capital.

For more information visit www.njeda.com or call 609-292-0187.

Top Of Page
Media Watch

<d>Princeton Partners has formed a joint venture

with Ware Anthony Rust (WAR), a British firm based in Cambridge, to

provide strategic marketing campaigns and expert, local knowledge

to companies operating both in the United Kingdom/Europe and the United

States.

Working together, the agencies expect to be able to provide clients

an alternative to the huge multi-national agencies that often are

unable to provide strategic, cost-effective, customized marketing

solutions, said Tom Sullivan, president of Princeton Partners, based

at 100 Village Boulevard (609-452-8500; www.princetopartners.com).

The agency does advertising, interactive public relations, direct

marketing, database marketing, and sales promotion.

ELS Language Centers, a division of Berlitz Company, has a new

look courtesy of the creative team at Alan Brooks Design of

20 Nassau Street (609-924-3838; www.alanbrooks.com). The six-month

project began with extensive research of ELS and its long history,

its competitors, and several key ELS employees. The culmination of

this assignment was the design of a logo, stationery system, PowerPoint

design format. Also included in the project was a graphic standards

guide, which was built as a mini website to allow easy access to information

and files by domestic and international offices.

Alan Brooks, president of the agency, said in a written release: "The

biggest challenge to this assignment was to create a mark that would

be relevant internationally. We had to ensure that the design and

colors did not offend any cultures where the logo appears. Several

interviews with ELS personnel from overseas, and with foreign students,

gave us insight into what would be pertinent."

The agency has also signed the Franklin Institute Science Museum’s

sales and catering department, which has given it the task of creating

its new sales and capabilities brochure.

Creative Marketing Alliance (www.cmasolutions.com) has

won two new New Jersey-based clients, the Home Health Assembly of

New Jersey and Independent Distributors of Electronics Association.

CMA, based at 191 Clarksville Road (609-799-6000; www.cmasolutions.com),

will arrange Home Health’s strategic planning retreat and will provide

branding, marketing, creative services to Independent Distributors.

In addition, CMA is set to implement a national public relations launch

and an on-going campaign for Independent Distributors.

Scozzari Builders has selected Wenzel & Company of 230

West Delaware Avenue, Pennington (609-737-9200; www.wenzel.us), to

provide advertising, marketing, and public relations services. Founded

in the early 1940s by Nicolo Scozzari, the building company specializes

in concept-through-completion construction for commercial, industrial,

and institutional clients.

Hollyrock/Miller of 116 Village Boulevard (609-919-9292;

www.hollyrockmiller.com) has been signed to design ads and collateral

materials on behalf of the Delaware Smash, a World Team Tennis team.

World Team Tennis was co-founded by Billie Jean King in 1974. Its

roster includes Paul Goldstein, a former Davis Cup player, and Samantha

Reeves, who is ranked among the top 100 singles and doubles players

in the country.


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