Corrections or additions?
This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the March 13, 2002
edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Dow Jones Alumna: Digital Branding
Veronica "Niki" Fielding aims to take a
carefully devised branding campaign and, equally carefully, translate
it to a digital environment. She was chief marketing officer and
of Princeton Partner’s interactive division and has launched her own
new firm and web page, www.DigitalBrandExpressions.com (609-275-0935).
"People seeing a TV spot or reading an ad for your brand shouldn’t
be jolted when they get to your site — they should move easily
from one environment to the next, with your messages building on each
other to drive your customers to action," says Fielding. She left
a corporate job at one of Princeton’s largest ad agencies to pursue
this idea. "At Princeton Partners my responsibilities were very
broad, but I saw an opportunity to focus my energies on interactive
marketing area with my own firm," she says.
Fielding has always liked the entrepreneurial environment. The
of a serial entrepreneur, she has two school-aged children. She grew
up in Toms River and went to Rider University, Class of 1981, and
worked at several entrepreneurial companies — Pegasus
Blessing White, Dana Communications — before moving to Dow Jones,
where she ran the division that produced marketing materials to
customers for the interactive division. Later she had bottom line
responsibility for the Private Investor Product group.
In 1995 she and Mark Feffer left Dow Jones to start United Multimedia,
an interactive publishing company that turned into an interactive
ad agency. But Feffer wanted to concentrate on content, so he started
Tramp Steamer Media LLC, now a five-person company. Then Fielding
sold the interactive ad agency to Princeton Partners, and she worked
there for four years as president of interactive division and chief
With these companies Fielding’s clients include Prudential, Merrill
Lynch, Educational Testing Service, Westminster Choir College, and
InsureHiTech. For Prudential, she did a computer-based learning
and for the state of New Jersey, she devised a web-based learning
tool on preventing and surviving workplace violence.
In her first month with this business she has signed four clients,
for whom she is doing E-marketing programs. Princeton Internet Group
designed and programmed her website, Zoe Graphics designed her
identity, and her attorney is Robert Frawley. She plans to hire three
full-time employees by June and is looking for office space.
A job for Digital Brand Expressions might involve re-engineering and
promoting an existing website so it is found more easily by search
engines and directories — or acting as a watchdog to find and
report trademark infringements by other websites.
Here are her tips for aligning a brand experience across
no confusion about your brand and what it means to your customers.
You can’t create a consistent brand experience for the outside world
if the brand’s strongest proponents — your own sales, marketing,
accounting, customer service, and IT people — aren’t clear about
what the brand is and is not.
out what they think of your brand. Get a sense of how they view it
compared to the other options they have for purchasing your
Improve what can be improved, accept what you cannot change, and find
a path for differentiating your brand on what results from this
any. If you’ve got a business worth being in, your customers always
have other choices, even if those choices aren’t "direct"
competitors to your brand. Learn from what your competitors are doing
right with their customer service, with their website, with their
sales presentations — – and integrate their best practices into
your own business so you become the best choice for your most valued
it’s time to redesign your digital environments — website,
customer support systems — focus on your brand and the consistent
experience you need it to create for your customers. Then make
work for, not against, the optimal customer experience.
competency, don’t do it. Consider outsourcing data storage, search
engine optimization, and Web/E-mail hosting. These are areas that
require special and ongoing investments in time, people, equipment,
and/or money. Companies that specialize in these services provide
expertise and resources that most companies can not afford to acquire
and maintain on their own.
big change. She shed her childhood nickname (all her colleagues at
Dow Jones know her as Ronnie). "When I turned 40," she says,
"I decided to change it to Niki, a name I liked."
— Barbara Fox
Cris Maloney’s long-term goal is to recruit people into
the education field who will be happy there. These future teachers
might be undergraduates looking for a first job — or victims of
a corporate downsizing. Maloney has had his own taste of corporate
downsizing, and his wife, Barbara, is a teacher at Princeton Day
so he can approach the recruitment problem from both sides.
Maloney was at Dow Jones for the launch of its interactive business
and was in charge of web development when Peterson’s had a brand-new
website. "When I left, it was 50 percent of the revenue at
he says. Now he is launching the second version of a website entitled
www.SchoolStaff.com, which offers a way to post educational jobs and
search for them.
An education major at Westchester University, Class of 79, Maloney
taught in Virginia Beach and worked on a master’s degree at Temple
before starting to take computer jobs. He did sales and support work
for InfoTron, a maker of data switches, where he was in charge of
the PC environment. In the early 1990s he worked for Dow Jones on
its first web initiative.
In 1995 he moved to Peterson’s to be in charge of www.petersons.com
He describes it as "a fledgling website without income that became
a multi-million revenue generator." He was in charge of its first
three big releases and says there have been two new versions since.
When Peterson’s was sold to the Thompson, the new CEO, Michael
made Maloney senior vice president of marketing. But Brannick left
in March of 2001 and Maloney’s position was eliminated in July 2001.
Maloney also does presentations at job fairs about how to look for
a job on the Web, sells real estate for Princeton Real Estate Company,
and has another company, Princeton Rentals, which is a conduit for
home rentals in Princeton. It also sells moving boxes. He and his
wife have four school-age children, the youngest adopted from China.
Maloney’s website, now ready to launch its second recruiting season,
is an online job board used by job seekers and education employers.
It lets job seekers search free, and eventually it hopes to offer
some career counseling for those who are thinking of entering the
Though most schools aren’t set up to recruit on the web, Maloney’s
fee ($295 per year to advertise all openings all year) is peanuts
compared to the usual forms of advertising. "School districts
are spending teacher salaries every Sunday in newspapers that are
recycled by Monday," says Maloney, quoting the one-time job ad
in the New York Times that costs $5,000.
But school districts are not early users of web technology. "Last
year, what we provided was every bell and whistle that a good jobsite
would provide, and what we found was that the school systems have
a long tradition of getting all their information on one piece of
paper," says Maloney. "Also we gave them the opportunity to
sell the position with color photographs and write a really great
indepth description of the job. But the schools didn’t use it."
In response, he has streamlined both the posting and response
When they register, clients now simply describe their school and
how they want people to apply. Then they point and click on the
they want to advertise. When they receive applicants’ names and
they send out applications by snail mail.
Maloney’s marketing plan includes posters on college bulletin boards.
Last year he had 300 districts participating, but he doesn’t really
know if anyone ever got a job because the site does not require job
seekers to register.
Maloney also has links on his site so that potential educators can
do a self survey provided by Obik, David Collins’ company on Route
27 in Kingston. "We are hoping to expand this to high school and
college students before they have made a career choice," says
Maloney. "Our basic mission to get people who would be happy in
education to select education as a career."
Cris Maloney. 609-730-1095. Home page: www.schoolstaff.com
First Floor, Lawrenceville 08648. 609-895-1717; fax, 609-895-1727.
Moving back into solo practice, Frances Merritt,
with Stark & Stark, has opened a law office at 10 Gordon Avenue in
Lawrenceville. Before joining Stark & Stark, in 1999, she maintained
a law office in Kingston.
Merritt practices family law, specializing in both litigation and
mediation. Her new office is in a space that formerly was a home.
She says the informal atmosphere is important in putting clients at
ease during what is often a difficult time in their lives. "It’s
comfortable, quiet, and private," she says. In place of the
atmosphere of a big law firm, there is soft music, and there are
Merritt says she enjoyed her time at Stark & Stark, and learned a
great deal, but she is drawn to private practice not only because
she can create the atmosphere she wants, but also because it allows
her to "put her signature" on her business. In a big firm
"there is guidance on fees and types of cases," she says.
Whereas, in a solo practice she is free to accept the cases she wants
and to set her own fees. "I like the whole gamut," she says,
"from modest incomes to relatively substantial."
Merritt grew up in Princeton. Her father, John Mack, is now deceased.
He was an engineer at RCA Labs. Her mother, Gloria Mack, has been
a librarian at the Mary Jacobs Library in Rocky Hill for more than
Merritt earned a bachelor’s in psychology from Rutgers in 1972. While
raising her three children, she earned a master’s in voice performance
from the Westminster Choir College. She taught at Westminster for
three years before earning a J.D. from Rutgers in 1986.
Music remains her avocation. Working seven days a week at establishing
her new practice, Merritt says she is nevertheless under pressure
from friends and family to make good on her vow to hold an art song
recital. She explains that art songs are poetry set to music. A
is "a collection of vignettes, usually in multiple languages,
by different composers." The one-hour performance, she says, is
more draining than a full day of physical labor. "It requires
coordination, an understanding of poetry and music, and the physical
act of singing. You have to put the poetry in your soul and interpret
it to make a connection with the audience."
The connection with her life as a lawyer is that both disciplines
rely heavily on communication and persuasion.
For the first part of her career in matrimonial law, Merritt acted
solely as a litigator. Then, in 1995, she began to train in mediation,
earning a certificate from Rutgers Newark, and then spending a year
in an intensive mediation and dispute resolution program at Woodbury
College in Vermont.
She says she handled all of the matrimonial mediation cases at Stark
& Stark, and expects mediation will account for some 20 percent of
her work at her new practice. At her first meeting with clients, she
explains all the options. "Some people have never heard of
she says, "and some are not inclined toward it." She hopes
the balance will tip, and more of her clients will choose mediation,
which, she says, teaches communication and negotiation skills that
come in handy after the divorce, particularly where there are children
Plaza, Princeton 08540. James Mets, partner. 732-355-9800; fax,
James Mets has opened a satellite of Morristown-based law firm
Rodgers, Kleinle, and Mets at Jefferson Plaza. A partner in the firm
since late August, Mets is a resident of Monmouth Junction. He chose
to work from a Kingston office to cut his commute and to be near a
number of his clients.
Mets, a graduate of Montclair (Class of 1987) and of Rutgers Law
specializes in labor law, and in the representation of police and
fire unions. Among his clients are the Plainsboro, Jamesburg, North
Brunswick, and Englishtown Police Benevolent Associations (PBAs).
Uffleman, Rodgers is a four attorney firm with a staff of eight. Mets
will practice full time from the Jefferson Plaza office.
307, West Trenton 08628. 609-882-6010; fax, 609-882-8040.
Philip Levy has left the firm of Albert & Levy. The law firm is now
known by the name of Philip J. Albert PC., and it has moved from
Avenue in Ewing to Bear Tavern Road. Levy has a corporate job with
Congoleum. Albert does tax law, estate planning, and labor law.
08528. 609-921-0268; fax, 609-921-0586. Www.UdecideDivorce.com
Irene Amarel, a divorce mediator, moved her practice from Tamarack
Circle to 4444 Route 27 in Kingston on March 1. Amarel practiced
law for 25 years before disbanding her firm — Ulrichson, Amarel
and Eory — two years ago to concentrate on mediation rather than
A 1975 graduate of Rutgers Law School, Amarel received a bachelor’s
degree in English and education from Douglass College in 1956 and
taught for a number of years before attending law school.
Amarel says matrimonial litigation is draining for all involved,
attorneys. "Divorce is a tough arena," she says. "Clients
are very hostile, very emotionally charged." It is also an area
of practice that demands long hours. In concentrating on mediation,
she is leaving behind 60-hour weeks and clients who "want
to be there for them, yet complain bitterly about the bills."
A resident of Princeton, Amarel finds area residents "receptive
to mediation and becoming more so."
Princeton 08540. Gianni Donati. 609-921-3993; fax, 609-921-2629.
Gianni Donati moved his office from 230 Nassau Street to his home.
A graduate of Amherst, Class of 1974, he went to law school at the
University of Pennsylvania. He focuses on commercial litigation and
collection of unpaid accounts.
Greg Lezynski, vice president and leasing agent. 609-452-0771; fax,
609-452-0330. Home page: www.thegalecompany.com
Forrestal Village, Princeton 08540. David B. Kuna, senior property
manager. 609-799-7400; fax, 609-799-0245. Home page:
Finn Wentworth has made an amicable break with the partnership Gale
and Wentworth LLC, and Stan Gale has changed the name of the firm.
In addition to real estate investment, the Gale Company will also
continue to manage commercial properties.
For a north Jersey firm, this company has had a huge impact on the
Princeton real estate market. First the partners bought Princeton
Forrestal Village from the bank at a fire sale price of $29 million
and sold it three years later for $46 million. Then they took over
management of DKM’s 3 million square-foot portfolio and turned over
a $200 million profit in four years. In 1994 these real estate moguls
paid $650 million for the portfolio of a third big developer in
Bellemead Development Company. At that time Bellemead’s 7 million
square feet of office space was owned by Chubb Insurance.
Gale has even bigger expansion dreams. Backed by the Morgan Stanley
Real Estate Funds he has decided to go national and potentially
his current holdings of 50 million square feet.
"We look to continue our longstanding track record of providing
superior service to our clients and tenants," says Greg Lezynski,
vice president and leasing agent.
John J. Monteleone, president. 609-730-1665; fax, 609-730-1286.
John Monteleone moved his book development firm, Mountain Lion, and
his literary agent business, the Sports Literary Agency, from Research
Park to a home office in Pennington. His current projects include
skills books for high school athletes and the Louisville Slugger
for young people.
University Store, Princeton 08542. Andre Liu, owner. 609-921-7888;
Pequod Communications has moved its retail printing operation from
6 Nassau Street to a location within the Princeton University Store,
where it does printing and copying. It has a new phone and the same
fax. The headquarters of the business — ironically enough, founded
by undergraduates in 1988 to protest the policies of the University
Store — is on Alexander Road and includes a corporate reprographic
service center, with a full range of services, including pick-up and
Michael F. Rooney, COO. 609-951-6000; fax, 609-452-1533.
The consortium that handled asbestos claims canceled a planed move
to Scudder Falls Court in Ewing and moved out of the Carnegie Center
to an unknown location.
Box 6023, North Brunswick 08902. Dave Colatriano, group president.
732-297-5100; fax, 732-422-3949. Home page: www.vertisinc.com
For several years Vertis, the printing and direct marketing firm
known as Webcraft, had been operating its headquarters office away
from the North Brunswick plant, in plusher surroundings on Lenox
Princeton Pike Corporate Center. Last fall it consolidated and moved
the office back to the plant, where there are 300 workers. It is owned
by Big Flower, a Manhattan-based conglomerate, and it has operations
in Chalfonte and Bristol, Pennsylvania.
New Brunswick 08933. Ralph S. Larsen, chairman & CEO. 732-524-0400;
fax, 732-214-0332. Home page: www.jnj.com
William C. Weldon, 53, has been named to replace Ralph S. Larsen as
chairman and CEO. Under Larsen, who retires in July, sales grew from
$9 billion to $33 billion in 11 years. Net earnings for 2001 were
$5.7 billion, up from $4.9 billion the previous year. In the jobs
of president and vice chairman, James T. Lenehan, 53, will succeed
Robert N. Wilson, who will retire in April 2003.
Street, Suite 210, New Brunswick 08901. Bob Franks, president.
fax, 732-342-8449. Home page: www.hinj.org
In 2001 New Jersey-based pharmaceutical companies led the nation in
developing new drugs — 15 of the 24 new drugs approved by the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This announcement was made
by the 20-company organization that aims to raise the visibility of
research-based pharmaceutical and medical device industries in the
The only Princeton area-successes included in this group were Reminyl
from Janssen Pharmaceutica and Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, a
from the daffodil bulb for Alzheimer’s disease; and Ortho
an ultrasound contrast agent by Bristol-Myers Squibb Medical Imaging.
Center, Princeton 08540-5287. 609-720-2000; fax, 609-720-2050. Home
The Carnegie Center-based company has been hired by the Delaware River
Joint Toll Bridge Commission to oversee the arrival of E-Z Pass. The
contract is said to worth more than $1 million. The E-Z Pass
is part of the bridge commission’s 10 year, $526 million capital plan.
dean at Princeton University, associate director of the university’s
computing and information technology department, and most recently
vice president for computing and information services at Vassar
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