New Jersey State Museum, 205 West State Street, Box 530, Trenton 08625-0530; 609-292-6464; fax, 609-599-4098. Eric Pryor, executive director. www.newjerseystatemuseum.org.
Eric Pryor, who has served as president of the Summit-based Visual Arts Center of New Jersey since 2002, has been named the executive director of the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton. Pryor will succeed Barbara Moran as of November 3.
Pryor is credited with refining and augmenting the Art Center’s mission, initiating one of the most innovative educational programs for children and adults in New Jersey. In 2005 Pryor led the center through a major renovation project, which included the addition of new galleries and expanded education facilities.
Prior to his tenure at the Visual Arts Center, Pryor served for seven years as the executive director of the Center for Arts and Culture of Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation in Brooklyn. There he was responsible for program development and management. He has also served as an artist advisor to the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and the General Services Administration of New York, and as an art critic for the Philadelphia Tribune. He has been a visiting professor at Buffalo State College, an art instructor at the Fleisher Art Memorial Education Program in Philadelphia, and an art history professor at CUNY.
Pryor attended the Columbia University Graduate School of Business and has a masters in painting from Temple. He also has a bachelor’s from Wayne State University in Detroit.
New in Town
Organization Change Resources LLC, 22 Elm Ridge Road, Pennington 08534; 609-651-1025. Stuart Ferguson, Ph.D., president. www.stuartfergusonphd.com.
OCR, a human resources and organizational consulting firm that closed up three years ago is open for business again.
In 2005 owner Stuart Ferguson closed the business to teach domestic and international business at Northwood University in West Palm Beach, Florida. On October 20, Ferguson announced that he had returned to Pennington and that the business would resume its mission of serving the strategic planning and implementation needs of its clients. The firm originally was founded in 1997 and built a customer base ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 multinationals.
A 30-year businessman, Ferguson says he drew “plenty of reference fodder for the classroom.” Conversely, he says, teaching has helped him rethink his business. But what brought him back was family.
Ferguson’s wife, Susan, a teacher at Princeton Day School, and his daughter encouraged him to accept the teaching job in Florida on the condition that he come home every couple weeks. Which he did. And then it was every three weeks, then every month. Finally, he says, “it was, ‘Who are you?’” So Ferguson realized he did not want to pass up his daughter’s senior year in high school and returned to the business he ran for 10 years.
Ferguson received his Ph.D. in business administration from Kennedy Western University in Cheyenne in 2001. Before that he had earned his masters in adult education program management from Georgia State in 1983 and his bachelor’s in business administration from Northwood University in Midland, Michigan in 1979.
Mercer Regional Chamber Expands
The Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce has added Bordentown to its list of member chapters.
The Greater Bordentown chapter is the seventh member of the Mercer Chamber. Despite being located in Burlington County, Bordentown borders Hamilton and offers a large business base, including a downtown.
The Greater Bordentown chapter is chaired by Michael Burkitt of HeartStone Group, a payroll services company owned by PrimePoint and located at 163 Route 130. MRCC liaison Art Cianfano stated, “the new chapter is intended to be inclusive and hopes to become a collaborative partner with the Northern Burlington Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Bordentown Business Association and other community groups working toward the common goal of improving our region’s economy and general quality of life.”
Regular meetings will be held on the second Tuesday of each month. Additionally, the monthly meetings will include a networking component to facilitate members referring one another to new business opportunities. The next meeting will be held on November 11 at PrimePoint.
The ceremonial launch of the Greater Bordentown Chapter is scheduled for Tuesday, November 25, at 5:30 p.m. at Alstarz on Route 206, next to Mastoris Diner. Cost: $10. To register for the kick-off event call 609-689-9960 or visit mercerchamber.org.
Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce, 1A Quakerbridge Plaza Drive, Suite 2, Mercerville 08619; 609-689-9960; fax, 609-586-9989. Michele Siekerka Esq., president and CEO: www.mercerchamber.org.
Princeton Power Systems Inc., 501 Forrestal Road, Forrestal Campus, Suite 211, Princeton 08540; 609-258-5994; fax, 609-258-7329. Darren Hammell, CEO. www.princetonpower.com.
Princeton Power Systems, based at 501 Forrestal Road, TDI Power of Hackettstown, and WorldWater and Solar Technologies of Ewing, have been named among 12 energy manufacturing firms in the country to be part of the federal Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Grid Integration Systems, or SEGIS, program.
The firms are developing designs for a 100 kilowatt demand response power inverter based upon technology developed by PPS. The contract is good for nine months, but has a one-year extension optinon worth $6.5 million overall, if the extension is enacted next year.
Research and development under SEGIS aims to maximize the benefits of commercial solar energy systems for owners and utilities and introduce photovoltaic systems into the utility grid.
The DOE contract enables Princeton Power to design a low-cost, solar converter able to store energy and control load. “With this program,” says PPS chief technology officer Mark Holveck, “we will produce a new, more efficient, and more reliable inverter.”
Millner Kitchens Inc., 1561 North Olden Avenue, Ewing 08638; 609-396-9944. John Millner, president. Home page: www.millnerkitchens.com.
Millner Kitchens has moved from 231 Bakers Basin Road in Lawrenceville to Ewing, in the neighborhood that is also home to Heath Lumber.
Sylvan Learning Center (), 25 Route 31 South, Pennington Shopping Center, , Pennington 08534-; 609-737-6444; fax, 609-737-1879. Joyce Magliaro, executive director. www.educate.com.
Sylvan Learning Center’s Pennington school has been closed, its operations merged with the center’s Ringoes location.
The national chain still operates centers on Quakerbridge Road in Hamilton and in Langhorne, near Oxford Valley Mall.
The Ringoes center can be reached at 908-806-4010.
Nora M. Dupraz, 89, on October 26. She had worked for Opinion Research and Princeton University and along with her late husband, Lawrence Dupraz, she hosted annual reunions for Daily Princetonian alumni. The funeral will be Friday, October 31, at 9:30 a.m. at the Kimble Funeral Home in Princeton followed by Mass at St. Paul’s Church.
John Hughes, 49, on October 25. He was the senior computer services technician at the Hun School of Princeton.
JoAnn Marie Lindauer, 57, on October 25. A 35-year educator in the Hamilton Township School District, she was named teacher of the year in 2005.
Gloria Pessel Mack, 84, on October 12. She helped establish the Mary Jacobs Memorial Library, where she worked for more than 30 years.
Geraldine Boone, 86, on October 8. She helped to organize the Princeton Association for Human Rights, the Youth Employment Service, and the Child Placement Review Board for abused and neglected children. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 29, at 11 a.m.
SureTech, 332 Wall Street, Princeton 08540; 609-920-0331; fax, 609-228-7464. Alberto Molina, owner. Home page: www.suretech.com.
Zirius Inc., the Wall Street computer networking firm specializing in online backup, system tools, and subscription services, has been acquired by New York-based Topaz Group and renamed SureTech. The new name also brings a new direction and a new president.
Topaz and SureTech are the brainchildren of Alberto Molina, who now heads up the enterprise. Born in Colombia, Molina came to Rhode Island when he was 3 years old, when his father attended Brown to earn his Ph.D. in biomechanical engineering. Molina’s mother also attended Brown, earning a master’s in genetics.
Molina himself, however, was drawn not to science. He wanted a career in the theater. He had hoped to study acting at Yale, but couldn’t as an undergraduate because its program is only offered at the graduate level. He attended Yale anyway and earned his bachelor’s in literature in 1993, before setting off for New York to run his own theater company.
The venture was not a success. “It didn’t make money,” he says.
But the temping market was good in New York and the jobs to which he was assigned got him familiar with offices and corporate styles. Soon he found himself building a database for Schlumberger, training people to work in web applications, and, before the Internet bubble popped, worked for iTurf.com, a popular teen culture website that went belly-up in 2001.
With acting out of his plans (if not fully out of his blood), Molina decided to work in computer technology. He and a partner started Triserve in 2002 to do large-scale media applications. The company became Topaz in 2003.
Within a few years Topaz had built a solid customer base, and by default, Molina says, he expanded the number and types of web technologies he could provide simply because people kept asking him, “Hey, you do tech — can you help me out?”
He quickly realized the need for businesses to have technicians and technical advisors on call, but not on the payroll. Almost by accident, he says, he understood that his new business model should be providing on-call service to clients who are either unable or unwilling to have an IT department in-house.
While his career has developed through happenstance, his move to Princeton was calculated. His wife, Dana, is a Princeton native and they wanted to live near her family. But Molina thanks Einstein’s Alley, the Kingston-based advocacy group whose mission partly is to promote high-tech businesses in the Princeton area, for the fact that he — and his business — have settled here. “I have to give props to John Romanowich because he created an atmosphere that’s great for entrepreneurs, and to Congressman Rush Holt for developing Einstein’s Alley,” he says. “I wouldn’t be here without them.”
Romanowich, a member of Einstein’s Alley, is president and CEO of SightLogix, which develops high-tech security systems for large outdoor areas, and is based on Alexander Road.
In his search for ways to expand his business in the area, Molina found Zirius, owned by David Henry. He established SureTech as an entity under the umbrella of Topaz, bought Henry’s “nice roster of clients,” and kept Henry on in sales and service to his former clients. The marriage, he says, is the combination of Henry’s ability to do sales and marketing and his own technical skills.
This environment, Molina says, is good for a business like SureTech. Now is the time when companies are starting to realize that there is a great value in finding a middle ground between expensive web applications and freebies like Google. Back in the early 1990s, he says, few companies had the money to afford powerful new information technology platforms like Microsoft Exchange (the E-mail, calendar, and unified message software). Those who could afford the tens of thousands of dollars it took to buy the software often had no money to expand it (companies with many employees often require multiple versions of Exchange) or no money to afford anyone who could maintain it.
But then along came websites like Google, which offer free business E-mail and advanced — and also free — calendar builders, word processing capabilities, and a host of other office-friendly services. And while it for a time seemed a no-brainer that companies would forgo the purchase, registration, subscription fees, and staffing required by expensive information systems in favor of the freebies, companies began to find that they had no idea what they were doing. High price tags at least came with technical support, while free programs leave you out on your own.
Those companies starting to realize the need for qualified IT service providers are the ones Molina targets. But, he says, he wants to keep a level head about it. “We don’t want to maximize performance to the Nth degree because then it becomes prohibitive,” he says. Rather, he wants to maintain a balance between performance, flexibility, security, and cost. Ultimately, the goal of any task, he says, is to find what clients need individually and to frame it among available programs in order to wed needs with reason.
SureTech will continue to provide online back-up services for Zirius’ former clients, but Molina says he wants to zero in on medium-size businesses and help them establish more efficient computer systems. TerraCycle, the Trenton-based manufacturer of goods and chemicals made from recycled materials, is one of his clients and an ideal business for him to partner with. TerraCycle, he says, offers many possibilities for expansion through its product line and will need continuing tech support.
SureTech, 332 Wall Street, Princeton 08540; 609-920-0331; fax, 609-228-7464. Alberto Molina, owner. Home page: www.suretech.com.