Sell It Yourself

Biotech Hiring Crunch

Bank Hiring Crunch

High Tech Traffic

One Hand or Two:

Job Book Directories

Corporate Angels

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Melinda Sherwood and Barbara Fox were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on June 2, 1999.

All rights reserved.

Don’t Fight, Mediate

If there is one thing Americans agree on, it’s that

we don’t like to agree. A majority of us would rather air our grievances

in court — or the Jerry Springer Show — than lose an inch

of ground with compromise.

When the culture of dispute seeps into the workplace, however, it

can obstruct goals and destroy morale. Thomas A. Fee, a professional

mediator by trade, says that, all too often, companies do not even

recognize that they are headed for trouble. "What we often witness

is `I don’t have a conflict,’ or `I don’t have a problem,’" he

says. "Usually it’s the board of an organization that will call

in mediators before a company starts to lose ground."

Third party mediation — or Alternative Dispute Resolution —

is a growing field and Fee will be the keynote speaker at the conference

sponsored by the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators on Friday, June 4, at 9 a.m. at

the Hilton in East Brunswick. Robert A. Baruch Bush, a professor

of Alternative Dispute Resolution Law at Hofstra University School

of Law, will be the luncheon speaker. Attorneys, mental health professionals,

accountants, business executives, human resource people and others

who can benefit from user-friendly methods of conflict resolution

are invited to attend the day of workshops and discussions on issues

of security, divorce, employment, and the future of Alternative Dispute

Resolution. Call 609-799-8898. Cost: $199.

Fee, a native of Livingston and resident of Freehold, holds a BA in

comparative religion from Rutgers, Class of 1977, and went to law

school at Rutgers. In 1995 he opened the Agreement Zone, an independent

mediation consultancy firm that partners with national organizations.

During the 1980s, Fee worked in the country’s first statewide office

of mediation, the Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution in New

Jersey. He also spent six years with the National Institute for Dispute

Resolution in Washington, D.C., where he was executive vice president,

director of research and development, and the senior program associate.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Fee explains, is "a return

to what lawyers used to be called: Counselors of Law. The belief behind

it is that there is a whole spectrum of ways to address a problem,

only one of which is litigation."

Although initially used to alleviate scheduling logjams in courtrooms,

third-party mediation has become prevalent in the past 20 years. "The

area that is still growing is the mediation of complex public disputes,"

Fee says, citing as an example the various federal and state agencies

that jockey for resource allocation. "When there are many stakeholders

then there’s a need for a team of people who are impartial to manage

and facilitate the conversation." Fairness, says Fee, is the ultimate

goal.

For those attempting to work out their own disputes, Fee offers the

following advice:

Admit conflict. Find an area of agreement, he says. "Our

instincts seem to take us to where we have a great argument. The best

thing to do is find where we have a common ground first."

Share Information. A lot of disputes result from "misunderstandings."

It may not be a matter of communicating the wrong things; it may be

that we’re not communicating enough. "We’re trained to withhold

information because we think we’ll show our cards too quickly,"

Fee says. "Maybe we need to rethink that premise."

Clarify the power structure. Misunderstandings concerning

how decisions are made can be extremely disruptive, Fee says.

Although Americans will always cherish their right to speak

up, Fee believes that there is a deep yearning among people for respectful

— rather than spiteful — conversations and debates. "People

are in search of an etiquette for living within a society that has

so many different kinds of people," he says. One day, he hopes,

the tools of mediation may get us beyond adversarial democracy, litigation,

and maybe even Jerry Springer.

— Melinda Sherwood

Top Of Page
Sell It Yourself

Consider selling your business yourself, says Al

Warr, and if you do go to a broker, watch what you pay: "The

fees are totally unregulated, 5 percent, 10 percent, I have run into

20 percent."

At the Business Owners Institute in Bridgewater, Warr hosts a seminar

on how to sell your business. On Thursday, June 3, at 10 a.m. at 676

Route 202/206 North, he will be joined by Sam Gallant, vice

president of Business Management HELP Inc. The seminar is free; call

908-526-1500 for reservations.

Another "sell your company" workshop opportunity will be on

Tuesday, June 15, at 11:30 a.m. at the Westin in Morristown, when

the Venture Association of New Jersey presents Daniel J. Donoghue,

managing director at U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray. Call 973-631-5680.

Warr and two partners operate the institute to help businesses expand

or enter the start-up phase. But, like Jeff Milanette of New

Jersey Entrepreneurs Forum, Warr’s major job is to help businesses

get funding. "Our main function is not seminars but to help people

find the money they need to start up or go public or sell it and retire,"

says Warr.

Through the Business Owners Institute he runs nuts-and-bolts workshops

for entrepreneurs — some of whom will become his clients. His

mantra for the institute is that no one can give a class unless they

have had hands-on experience in that topic. "We never have a session

given by anybody who has not lived through whatever the subject is,"

says Warr.

Also, no one can be a director at the institute unless they have had

both corporate experience and small business experience, says Warr,

"because the entrepreneurs are most likely coming from corporate

jobs and are about to lose all their money. They are in for the shock

of their lives. It is a different world, a different language, with

different concerns."

A chemist, Warr went to Mercer University in Georgia and did rocket

research during the Sputnik era. He left a job at an oil company at

Exit 8A to found a graphics company that pioneered in high-end computerized

typesetting for Wall Street businesses. In 17 years he grew it to

be a $5 million firm and then sold it. He has also had a documentary

film company, a real estate firm, and a classical music publication.

In the light of these experiences, here is his advice on selling a

business:

1.) If you can’t find the right person, continue looking,

says Warr. "Selling a business is not like selling a house. There

are not that many people looking, and you are looking for a special

type of person."

Don’t be chauvinistic and limit your search to men, warns Warr: "My

opinion is that women make better business owners than men. Men are

more logical and tend to go out on a limb and saw it off, whereas

women rarely make a bad business decision."

2.) Always try to write the money contract between you

and the buying partner. "A lot of people say they want a million

dollars and to walk away, but you make lot more if you hold a great

deal of the paper (the mortgage.)"

You may be able take advantage of high-powered techniques usually

thought of as reserved for big companies. Holding the mortgage is

just one of the "stretch-out" mechanisms to increase sale

price, reduce taxes, or otherwise make the sale more in line with

what you deserve.

3.) Plan for a transition for the business. It’s a very

critical phase, and you need to help the owner, says Warr. "Then

they are successful and you are better rewarded."

Other points to consider:

Is your business ready to sell? Can you make changes ahead

of time that will make it more attractive?

What is the best time to sell, based on your industry,

the economy, and the market? Also consider your personal tax liability

and legal considerations.

Can you sell just a piece of the business? From the point

of view of the marketplace, do you have more than one business?

What types of buyers should you avoid? Maybe your next

hire could be someone that might buy your business.

Top Of Page
Biotech Hiring Crunch

Stock options may no longer be a trump card for luring

competitive, executive leadership into growing biotech firms. Heavy

competition within the industry has caused stock values to dwindle,

says Gene Mancino of Blau Mancino Associates, a 29-year-old

executive search firm at 12 Roszel Road. "Smaller companies have

not been able to get their products approved, therefore stocks have

taken a tumble," he says. "There are too just many companies

and not enough qualified management."

How can companies lure the remaining few good men and women? Think

competitive and think big, Mancino says.

He will join the Biotechnology Council of New Jersey and representatives

from Pricewaterhouse Coopers for "Compensation for a Competitive

Advantage: Benchmarks of Executive Compensation in the Life Science

Industry," on Wednesday, June 9, at 8 a.m. at the Marriott. Tom

Carbone and Ed Speidel of PricewaterhouseCoopers will present

the findings of a recent survey on executive compensation in biotechnology

and medical device and diagnostics fields across the country. Jay

Moorin, partner at ProQuest Investors, will also join the discussion.

Cost $50. Call: 609-890-3185.

A native of Guttenberg, New Jersey, Mancino received a BA in psychology

from Princeton University, Class of 1978, and worked in sales at Proctor

and Gamble before joining Blau Kaptain Associates — the predecessor

of Blau Mancino — in 1979. Blau retired in 1985, and Mancino became

principal owner of the firm in 1995.

Today Mancino leads a headhunting agency with a niche market: pharmaceutical,

biotech, diagnostics and medical products companies. For roughly one-third

of a sought-after candidate’s salary, Mancino and his four staff members

launch a full-scale executive search.

Benchmark salaries within the biotech industry have remained steady

over the last five years, Mancino says. "There are formulas out

there that most companies use, whether or not they are in an early

stage or late stage." For example, CEOs of a medium-sized biotech

company (between 15 and 30 employees) can expect $225,000 to $250,000

base salary, plus a bonus opportunity of 30 percent to 50 percent

based on performance and milestones, with stock options between four

and six percent of outstanding stock. A vice president’s compensation

is roughly $150,000 to $200,000 base salary, plus a bonus opportunity

of 20 percent to 25 percent, and a half percent of outstanding stock.

Since biotechs aren’t cash-rich, a generous stock package has typically

given a company a competitive advantage in recruiting senior-level

management. Mancino says that may no longer be the case. "A lot

of stock options granted to executives have become worthless,"

he says.

The reason: unnecessary competition. "They’re killing each other

as opposed to getting together," he says. "They have a product

or potential product, but that does not mean you can create a company."

Rather than dilute both stock value and the pool of qualified executives,

Mancino suggests biotech firms be more realistic and team up:

Underpromise and overdeliver. "Be brutally honest

with the investment community," he says. "Companies are out

there today still making promises about their products or technology

and those promises are not being fulfilled."

Consolidate. Partnerships between the pharmaceutical companies

and smaller biotech firms, Mancino says, could be good for everyone.

"Big pharmaceutical companies need to fund the biotech industry

so that those companies can produce products that the big pharmaceuticals

can develop in order to get their research pipelines up and running."

As it is, both industries are competing for the same resources

— manpower and a portion of the market.

— Melinda Sherwood

Top Of Page
Bank Hiring Crunch

Banks are in the same boat as the rest of us — they

are having trouble hiring in a tight labor market. At a meeting designed

for the CEOs and officers of community banks, Paul Dorf will

discuss how banks can attract and maintain high quality employees.

Dorf, a Hofstra alumnus with a Ph.D. in human resource management,

is on the faculty at Seton Hall. He has worked for three of the Big

Five consulting firms and is now managing director of Compensation

Resources Inc.

Sponsored by the New Jersey Bankers Association, the conference will

be Tuesday, June 8, at 8:30 a.m. at Forsgate. Cost: $125. Call 609-924-5550,

extension 520.

Another participant at this conference, Jay Singer of KPMG in

Short Hills, will discuss how a bank can effectively use the Internet

— the value and use of a Web page, and Internet security. An alumnus

of Stevens Institute with an MBA from Rutgers, Singer directed data

processing operations for a big Manhattan-based thrift bank and was

vice president and operations manager for two multi-billion dollar

bank holding companies.

Theodore Rosen of Vertical Solution partners will teach how

to identify and mitigate business risk — in the shadow of the

Y2K problem. An alumnus of Penn State, Rosen has trained federal bank

examiners on Y2K issues and had been president of a wholesale distributor

for RCA, Whirlpool, and Armstrong Flooring. Also touching on security

issues will be John Maher of Elizabeth-based Coin Depot Corporation.

Maher went to Fordham and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking and

used to work at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Two current

employee of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Richard

Lusk and Jim Hand, will tell how small banks can effectively

handle pressures of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

Top Of Page
High Tech Traffic

Or Road Kill?

With all the traffic on the Information Highway, there’s

bound to be more than a few accidents. Bill Ringle, managing

director of StarComm Development Inc., is trying to help businesses

stay on the road. The Web veteran (even at 31) travels around the

country presenting his popular seminars on communicating via the Internet:

Driver’s Education for the Information Highway and How To Be Brilliant

Using the Internet. Just because your company is on the road now,

he says, doesn’t mean it can’t be left behind. "You pick up any

newspaper or magazine and you can’t avoid hearing about the Internet,"

he says, "but there’s a lot of fundamental information that people

still don’t understand."

Ringle speak at the New Jersey Communications, Advertising and Marketing

Association’s New Technologies Conference on Tuesday, June 8, at 8

a.m. at the Forrestal Hotel. The half-day program includes exhibits,

networking opportunities for members of the advertising community,

and unique insights from professionals in the marketing and advertising

field. Nick Pahade, CEO of Beyond Interactive LLC, talks about

how companies can boost their Web traffic and make an online media

buy. Jamie Brooks of Indigo Inc. discusses the latest innovations

in customer specific marketing. Allan J. Jacobson gives legal

tips for protecting creative work on the Internet. Cost: $45. Call

609-890-9207.

Ringle received a BS in computer science at Rennselaer, Class of 1985.

Despite a leaning towards science, Ringle also minored in industrial

psychology and literature. He fused together the two disciplines —

science and communications — at Drexel University, where he completed

a master’s program in 1991.

Ringle claims he spotted the business application of the Internet

almost immediately. "I had been using the Internet since 1980,"

he says, "and I thought: how long is it going to take before businesses

wake up to how cost effective this is as a medium?"

Capitalizing on an unusual combination of technical and communications

expertise, Ringle founded StarComm Development, Inc. in 1989. The

company assists nearly 20 clients in the creation of "frictionless"

websites. Most importantly, he says, StarComm approaches the companies

from a layman’s perspective. "Some consulting companies want to

show off how much they know," he says. "We’re communicating

the technology so that people really get it."

In How to Be Brilliant Using the Internet, a look at business applications

of the Internet, Ringle points out what he calls the "Four I’s"

of Web development:

Information. Corporate websites should be information-rich,

not just loaded with glossy marketing information, he says. They should

provide sound information about a given product and enable potential

customers to do searches.

Interactivity. More of it, he says. "Too many websites

right now are first generation, with just text and graphics,"

he says. People need as much control over the navigation process as

possible.

Individualization. If customers are returning to a site

frequently, marketing tactics should be personalized — customer

specific.

Integration. "The biggest mistake a company can make

is to allow the information systems department to run the website,"

he says. "It needs be integrated throughout the organization."

Customer service, technical support, product development, leadership

and management divisions should all be involved.

As E-Commerce moves out of its infancy, companies will need

to rethink who they are and how they should best present themselves,

and that will mean the cooperation of everyone.

Top Of Page
One Hand or Two:

To Play the Piano

<B>Jay Schiller, a research scientist for Taylor

Technology at 301 College Road East, will demonstrate an award-winning

prosthetic hand at the annual Discover Magazine awards for technological

innovation on Saturday, June 5, at Epcot at Walt Disney World Resorts.

Schiller’s left arm was destroyed below the elbow after an electrical

accident 11 years ago, and he will use this hand to play the piano

during the gala.

The Tendon Activated Pneumatic (TAP) hand was developed by a Rutgers

research team: Bill Craelius, associate professor of biomedical

engineering, postdoctoral researcher Rochel "Ricki" Abboudi,

and Nicki Ann Newby, president of Somerset-based Nian-Crae Inc.

The hand was selected from among 4,000 technologies to be one of three

finalists in its category.

The TAP hand could replace the metal "claw" or soft plastic

hand in which only the thumb and first two fingers move. It harnesses

the movements of "phantom fingers," finger muscles and tendons

that extend up to the elbow. Sensors in the hand send the signals

in these muscles and tendons to a computer that relays the information

to the hand and directs the fingers to move. The TAP hand could become

commercially available next year (http://opl.rutgers.edu or

http://niancrae.com).

The judges for these awards were astronauts Buzz Aldrin and

Wally Schirra; Marvin Minsky, the pioneer of artificial

intelligence; Sylvia Earle, undersea explorer; futurist Danny

Hillis; and magicians Penn and Teller. The ceremony will

be televised.

Top Of Page
Job Book Directories

Last week three readers called to ask where they could

find a directory, in any way similar to the U.S. 1 Directory, for

north Jersey and Philadelphia. We referred them to the reference desk

of the public libraries in those locations (a safe answer at any speed)

but promised to review any farflung directories that came our way.

The Adams Media Corporation’s "New Jersey JobBank" is a worthy

contender, useful not only to jobseekers but to anyone looking for

leads in companies located outside the Princeton area. (The U.S. 1

Directory is, we think, still superior in Central Jersey, if —

like the Adams editors did — you can supplement our listings with

information from home pages.)

Founded by Harvard Business School graduate Bob Adams, the 65-employee

Adams Media Corporation (http://www.careercity.com) publishes

business self-help books and jobbank directories for 32 cities and

two industries — computer/high tech and health care. The Metropolitan

New York book was selling so well, says Michelle Kelly, assistant

managing editor, that her company branched off to do one for Connecticut

last year and for New Jersey this year. "We had a lot of people

calling in asking for a New Jersey book."

Among its good points are its sensible organization by industry (rather

than by SIC codes) and inclusiveness. It prints what it has, even

if that is only the address and phone number. Sometimes that’s just

what an upwardly mobile professional needs.

"Since most professional job openings are filled without the placement

of help-wanted ads, contacting the employers in this book directly

is still a more effective method than browsing the Sunday papers,"

says the introduction.

Each of the major listings has some of the following information:

Company positions, a list of job titles that the company

commonly fills — not openings currently available.

Educational backgrounds sought.

Benefits.

Special programs such as training programs, internships,

and apprenticeships.

Parent company. "Use this information to supplement

your company research before contacting the employer."

Number of employees.

Some examples: Wang Global’s listing on Cranbury South River

Road is packed with information, whereas the listing for Princeton

Softech is minimal, and Nettech Systems, a fast-growing 45-person

wireless communication developer on Alexander Road, is not included

at all.

The book has Princeton’s heavy hitters in the biotech and pharmaceutical

area but mysteriously omits the contract research organizations (CROs)

that are desperate for personnel. Covance, the CRO at the Carnegie

Center, is funding its own college-based training programs, but it

is not listed here, nor are its competitors. And Bracco, which employs

240 people on College Road, is included only in the "other small

employers" and therefore does not show up in the index.

The small print listings of "minor" employers are rather random.

The chain restaurants listed are those in north Jersey, and the school

listings are particularly disorganized.

Each chapter opens with an industry summary that is useful for those

not in the industry — but will probably evoke a big ho hum from

insiders. For instance, the computer introduction says that "computer

operators will see a decline in opportunities due to automation and

advances in user friendly software." Also that "personnel

who can read old programming codes are needed, and many qualified

workers from other segments of the computer industry are leaving their

current jobs to work as Year 2000 consultants." At the end of

the chapter is a useful list of professional associations, online

services, and job-related magazines.

Adams Media has started selling the information electronically, nine

cents per company for one-time use and 15 cents for a year’s use,

exported in a text format that can be used in a mail merge. A list

can be plucked by choosing a location, an industry, or specific positions

that it hires for, but not by size of the company.

The biggest difference between the U.S. 1 Business Directory and the

JobBank book is in how the information is gathered. Adams takes information

from companies contacting them, and their editors also — in this

cyber information age — do research on large employers on the

World Wide Web. They do a confirmation mailing and get a four percent

response rate. In contrast, U.S. 1 gets some of its company information

from the team that delivers the newspaper, with followup calls from

reporters and a fax-out or mail-out. U.S. 1 gets more than a 30 percent

response rate.

If you want a good picture of New Jersey’s business scene, the Adams

book is a price performer at $16.95 in bookstores. To order (paying

$4.95 postage) call 800-USA-JOBS or fax 800-872-5687. For electronic

format listings call 800-872-5627, extension 5304 or E-mail jobsbank@adamsonline.com.

— Barbara Fox

Top Of Page
Corporate Angels

The annual Stark & Stark EMS Recognition Award —

a plaque and a $500 check — was presented to Harry Towner,

an emergency medical technician with the Plainsboro Rescue Squad.

Albert M. Stark praised Towner for his 20 years of tireless

work and service for the squad and the residents of Plainsboro.

The Independent Insurance Agents of New Jersey raised

over $1,200 at its annual convention golf outing to benefit the Make-A-Wish

Foundation. Another golf outing will be held on October 5. Make-A-Wish

Foundation grants the wishes of children under 18 with life-threatening

illness.


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