Chon New CEO At Bank of Princeton

Stephen Distler has stepped down as chairman and CEO of the Bank of Princeton to devote more time to his other business interests, which include the new Princeton restaurant, Elements, and his high end Manhattan restaurant, Atria. Andrew Chon, an executive with deep experience in the communications and electronics industries, and one of the bank’s founding members, has been unanimously elected by the bank’s board to take over as CEO and chairman.

“We’ve opened four branches in two years,” says Distler, who remains on the bank’s board. “We’re not going to open any more this year. This is the year of consolidation. Andrew is expert at the systems and processes that we need now.”

“This is the year to do balanced growth,” says Chon, “and at the same time to manage profitability, not just grow, grow, grow.”

The community bank, founded by prominent Princetonians from a variety of professions — home building to oncology — has taken in $180 million in deposits and has total assets of $200 million, says Distler. Its new headquarters building is a stone’s throw from Elements, and it has branches in Princeton, Pennington, and Hamilton. Its focus is primarily on commercial lending, but it also makes home equity loans and, says Distler, will begin to offer home mortgages in April.

Chon, not yet 50 years old, thought he was finished with the daily responsibilities of a full-time job when he returned to Princeton in 2003 from a stint with Samsung, where he was executive vice president in charge of new business development, venture investment, and digital convergence. “I wanted to retire at 45, and when I came back from Korea I was already 46,” he says with a chuckle. It was his dream to devote himself to community service, and he has done that. Two of his projects are working to develop an area Korean Community Center and helping the Princeton Symphony.

But business remained in Chon’s blood after a career that included running his own business and working for AT&T and Lucent, in addition to Samsung. “I was thinking of starting a bank,” he says. “But I heard that Steve was going to start a bank and I thought it would be better to join forces than to have two new banks in Princeton.”

Chon, the fourth member of the bank’s board, says that he made “a substantial investment in the bank.” A 1979 graduate of the University of Maryland, who holds an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business, Chon says that he came out of retirement because the bank was at exactly the point where it needed his organizational and planning skills. “I couldn’t wait five years,” he says. “It had to be now.”

Chon, a native of Seoul, Korea, came to this country at the age of 16 with his family. They came, he says, for a classic reason: “My parents wanted us to have a better education.” His father, now deceased, was an auto mechanic, and his mother, who lives in Bethesda, worked in an Italian restaurant. He is one of four siblings.

A Princeton resident, Chon is married to Sook Chon. The couple’s daughter, Monica, a high school student, is an accomplished pianist.

Back at work, Chon laughs when he is asked for his next retirement target: “Soon, I hope!” He says, however, that he will be happy to stay on “as long as I’m having fun.”

The Bank of Princeton, 183 Bayard Lane, Princeton 08542-3719; 609-921-1700; fax, 609-921-8350. Andrew Chon, chairman and CEO. Home page: www.thebankofprinceton.com.

New Direction For a Troubled CRO

PharmaNet Development Group, a CRO, was plagued by a drop off in business, a badly slumping stock price, and class action lawsuits by stockholders toward the end of 2008. The company has now been purchased by JLL Partners, a turnaround specialist, and has launched a division in a new, but related industry.

Its new division, PharmaNet Resource Solutions, offers clinical operations and contract staffing management. It is headed by Susan M. Seroskie, an R.N. whose title is vice president.

The new division offers several contract resourcing services including on-demand staffing, strategic alliances, functional service staffing, and quality control services.

Seroskie has more than 14 years of experience in clinical development. Most recently, she was senior vice president, managed Services at the Clinical Resource Network. She also worked for seven years as a registered nurse in a critical care setting.

PharmaNet’s core business is in clinical-development, including early and late stage consulting services, Phase I clinical studies and bioanalytical analyses, and Phase II, III and IV clinical development programs. The company has approximately 2,400 employees and 42 facilities throughout the world.

PharmaNet (PDGI), 504 Carnegie Center, Princeton 08540-6242; 609-951-6800; fax, 609-514-0390. Jeffrey McMullen, president and CEO. Home page: www.pharmanet.com.

Lease Renewed

GS1 (US), 1009 Lenox Drive, Suite 202, Lawrenceville 08648; 609-620-0200; fax, 609-620-1200. Miguel Lopera, CEO of GS1 and GS1 US. Home page: www.epcglobal.org.

The not-for-profit standards organization GS1 US, formerly known as the Uniform Code Council, has renewed its headquarters lease at 1009 Lenox Drive. The lease includes an office reconfiguration to increase efficiency, reducing the total square footage from 57,000 to 48,000 square feet. Additional terms of the lease were not available by deadline.

Harlan Hollander and Peter Hamburger of Cushman & Wakefield in East Rutherford, brokered the long-term transaction on behalf of GS1 US. Steve Jennings of Radnor, Pennsylvania-based building owner Brandywine Realty Trust served as his company’s in-house representative.

Cushman & Wakefield assisted GS1 US in selecting an architect and project manager for the office renovation, which will launch shortly. “The consolidation and reconfiguration certainly will streamline our operation,” says Jon Mellor, GS1 US’s director of external affairs. “We had expanded onto two floors and now will be in contiguous space on one floor. The end result will be better flow for our employees and a more efficient real estate strategy for our organization.”

Acquisition

Staubach, 7 Centre Drive, Monroe Township 08831; 908-771-0400. Home page: www.staubach.com.

The Monroe branch of Staubach, a real estate and property management company started by former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach, has been closed as the result of a buyout by Jones Lang Lasalle.

Jones Lang Lasalle of Chicago, the world’s largest property management firm, bought Staubach for $613 million in a deal completed in June. The four-person Staubach office in Monroe has since moved to JLL’s Parsippany office and can be reached at 973-404-1500.

Milestones

Estelle M. Sands, on March 6. Along with her husband, now deceased, she founded the George H. and Estelle M. Sands Foundations. Beneficiaries of its funds include the Princeton Public Library and the University Medical Center at Princeton.

Joseph S. Bonanno, 62, on March 5. He was executive vice president of Princeton Hospital from 1981 until 2004.

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