Corrections or additions?
(These articles were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on December 2,
1998. All rights reserved.)
Dreams of Bonuses More Meaningful Than Money
During the holiday season, it’s easy to see the value
of gift giving, but for Bill Dorf of Special Recognition the
trick is to get clients to give gifts all year long. That’s because
the Whitehouse Station-based firm specializes in putting together
motivational and incentive programs of all types for employees and
Dorf will conduct a seminar on non-monetary incentives at the
Chamber of Commerce Business Over Breakfast series Wednesday, December
9, at 8 a.m. at the Brunswick Hilton in East Brunswick. Cost: $30.
Special Recognition is a distributor of incentives from major
companies, gift ware companies and sporting goods companies. Service
and "lifestyle" based incentives such as trips, maid services,
sauna/spa, and landscaping services are also part of the non-monetary
Dorf contends that a non-monetary item won by an employee recipient
as part of a corporate incentive program has more lasting value than
cash for both the company and the recipient. "Money is spent once
and then forgotten," says Dorf, "but a gift like a television
will be enjoyed not only by the recipient, but by his or her family
as well. Every time they turn the set on, they’re going to remember
where it came from."
Dorf cites four reasons why cash as an incentive does not work as
well as a long term non-monetary reward program:
you showed someone your paycheck," says Dorf.
cash like it’s nothing. They’ll go out and buy lottery tickets.")
programs create a situation where the participant `goes for the gold.’
Each time another hurdle is crossed there is always that next level
of incentive items to go for."
behavior," which he defines as "creating a situation where
people will do something that they ordinarily won’t." Take the
example of the dairy company that had a real problem with plastic
milk crates not being picked up by their dairy truck drivers. Each
carton was worth $38. An incentive program was developed that rewarded
the drivers the equivalent of about $1 per crate for bringing in a
set number of crates. The program worked so well, "that they
bringing back competitors’ crates." The company, "went from
a $70,000 loss to an actual gain over a six-month period," says
Dorf, 53, was one of the original founders of Rickel Home Centers
and also started a warehouse home center in Florida, which eventually
became Home Depot. He got involved in the incentive business through
a friend. "I saw a definite need in corporate America to motivate
employees, salespeople and customers," says Dorf.
He has worked with corporate giants J.C. Penney and Supermarket
and has been at Special Recognition since 1985. He majored in
science and business administration at C.W. Post and has an MBA from
the University of Michigan. He is married with two grown daughters.
The journey towards building a quality incentive program begins by
sitting down with the client to see what the problems are at a
company. Many questions are asked of clients and prospective clients
as to industry status, competitive information, and client strong
and weak points. "Everything is customized for each client,"
says Dorf. "Every single company has its own situation due to
the industry, employee base, the working environment." The package
the firm puts together for real estate offices to motivate real estate
agents to work longer hours to increase listings and sales will be
very different from the program it develops for a large pharmaceutical
manufacturer that is concerned about safety in its packaging area.
Small business owners sometimes feel that planned incentive programs
are something only large corporations can afford to do. But Dorf feels
that is not the case at all. "Motivating employees is motivating
employees is motivating employees, it doesn’t matter how large or
small you are.
— Jeff Lippincott
In dealing with the Year 2K problem, a business must
carefully examine all key business relationships and then
how the Y2K problem could disrupt those relationships," says
A. Jones, an attorney with Reed Smith Shaw & McClay at Forrestal
Jones co-hosts a workshop presented at the Hyatt on Thursday, December
3, at 8 a.m. Geared for health care and insurance firms, it is part
of a series sponsored by Technology New Jersey. Call 609-419-4444.
Jones is experienced in representing health care providers in dispute
resolution, reimbursement and regulatory matters. He will be
methods for limiting liability and how critical business relationships
may be soured or destroyed by the Y2K problem.
Jones will be joined by Stephen L. Grimes, a biomedical engineer
who has assisted in the development of clinical engineering shared
services for hospitals and established risk management systems for
medical technology in 150 hospitals, will speak on the implication
of the Year 2000 problem as it relates to the use of medical devices
in hospitals and other health care organizations.
It is not enough to simply determine how the systems in one’s own
company will be affected, Jones says, it’s important to consider how
the systems of key business partners will be affected. "The issue
for most companies isn’t so much who is going to sue us or even who
can we sue, but a more practical problem is will this Year 2K problem
cause a commercial divorce to occur for me," says Jones.
Jones contends that it is a firm’s legal duty to conduct internal
investigations to determine what could go wrong for them and external
investigations of the companies they do business with. "Among
the things a firm should be doing, and they should consult an attorney
on this, is determine whether business partners can get out of their
contract if there is a Y2K problem," says Jones. "If there’s
a big enough problem, people are going to look at their contracts
and say `hey can I get out of this thing.’ People are going to get
mad at each other and the question is will they be able to get out
of their contract."
Another factor to consider: Y2K could be a convenient scapegoat for
any number of other business difficulties from which a company might
want to extricate itself. "There may be strains in existing
relationships, maybe market conditions have changed so that somebody
is not getting the kind of deal they thought they were getting, and
they’re looking for a way to get out of a deal," said Jones.
Getting to know your customers and suppliers and keeping them happy
are vital considerations in successfully meeting Year 2000 challenges.
Companies who really investigate their key business relationships
from the perspective of identifying potential Y2K snafus early on
will be able to ideally solve the problem and at the very least be
able to say, "I didn’t ignore this problem, I did everything I
could and look at what I did."
Jones, 37, has been with Reed Smith for a year and a half. Before
that he practiced law with a North Jersey firm, Sills Cummis, and
with Stroock Stroock and Lavan on Wall Street. A New Hampshire native,
he majored in accounting at Northeastern University and has a law
degree from Boston College.
For hospitals, Jones says, "the key relationship is the
between the hospital and the physicians who practice there."
the referrals from physicians, the financial health of the institution
could be threatened. With a few exceptions, doctors in New Jersey
hospitals are not employees of a hospital and are free to refer
to any of a number of hospitals. "If the physicians have a serious
(Y2K) problem with a particular hospital, they could very well refer
their patients to another hospital, and that would have serious
consequences for the hospital," says Jones.
Because of the importance of this business relationship, hospitals
are looking for ways to develop relationships with physicians. One
way hospitals accomplish this is through the formation of separate
legal entities for medical billing purposes called physician hospital
organizations (PHO). If there is a serious Y2K problem at the PHO
that delays doctor reimbursement, the doctors could blame the
"The PHO has to be sensitive to those issues," says Jones.
Physicians need to be concerned with the management service
(MSO) that many of them subscribe to. MSOs typically provide
functions for a physicians group. Jones feels that doctors need to
be cognizant of how the MSO will deal with the Y2K issue. Conversely,
MSOs need to be concerned for the same reasons. "If the physicians
don’t get paid or if there is some other problem that causes concern
to the physicians, the physicians may say, you know what, can we get
out of this contract," said Jones, "or maybe the physicians
think they can get a better deal someplace else and along comes the
Y2K problem and gives them an excuse."
— Jeff Lippincott
Manufacturers: You may find yourself unprotected from
assaults on your business-critical site processes if you concentrated
your Year 2000 efforts on code remediation and spent little effort
on business-risk analysis. John C. O’Connor, Year 2000 project
manager for Philips Lighting Company in Somerset, will give this
at a Technology New Jersey seminar on Tuesday, December 8, at 8 a.m.
at the Hyatt. Cost: $30. Call 609-419-4444.
O’Connor will talk about risk identification and analysis and show
how a business continuance plan can be created. The seminar is
by the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program Inc. and
Steven E.C. Sroczynski, director of channel, sales, and
at Visionet Systems Inc., will discuss how Time Dimensional Analysis
can be used to make sure an application is Year 2000 compliant. In
his presentation "Testing Across the Millennium." Sroczynski
will explore date fields within an application, critical dates, and
why testing a system is so important.
Learn about the Y2K Self-help Tool, a computer-based process developed
by the Manufacturing Extension Partnership to help manufacturers in
Y2K efforts, from Mitchell Darer, director of the Center for
Information Age Technology at NJIT. In his presentation "Y2K and
the Manufacturer," Darer will discuss the best approaches to
with Y2K such as inventory, mission-critical systems assessment,
plans development, and remediation project planning and management.
What works for Video Valley can also work for biotech
and medical research, as three electronics firms (Siemens, Sarnoff,
and NEC) have demonstrated (U.S. 1, November 18). But more needs to
be done, says Dan Tripodi of the Sage Group, to link
firms with biotech researchers.
"AT&T has so much technology that is applicable to biotech, and
it is untapped," says Tripodi. "That is true with many of
the companies throughout New Jersey." Tripodi is a founding
of the Bridgewater-based Sage Group, which provides biotechnology
consulting services for early stage companies.
A football player at the University of Delaware, Class of 1960,
has a PhD in immunochemistry from Temple and spent 20 years with J&J,
most recently as vice president of R&D for Therakos. He co-founded
the six-partner Sage Group in 1995. His current venture is a company
hoping to use data on brain function to more effectively diagnose
central nervous system diseases and choose which drug to prescribe.
"My recommendation would be to come up with some ways to force
the dialogue. The dialogue is not occurring," says Tripodi.
York State, Delaware, and Utah have done a pretty good job, even
There is no mechanism in New Jersey to do that."
Here’s how Tripodi says his plan would work: Quarterly or semi-annual
meetings would be held for an invited group of R&D directors,
groups each time, with an agenda tailor-made for the particular group.
"You limit it to 10 or 12 people and pick six or seven people
on each side. I found out that by locking these guys up together,
and really going through five or six key issues, they come away with
a hell of a lot more understanding of what each other is doing, and
perhaps how they could cooperate."
"Biotechnology Council of New Jersey would love to be involved
with something like that," says Debbie Hart, BCNJ’s
Individual companies can’t do it on their own, Tripodi says. Sarnoff
is doing some of this video-to-biotech transfer, he admits, but
limits itself to its own in-house technology. R&D directors are
too busy to think about networking. "If I were running the
for Bell Labs, I would be busy putting out fires. The same thing is
true for a guy with a biotech company who is not aware of the
to be tapped."
Biotech is almost impossible to define, says Donald
Drakeman, CEO of Medarex and president of the Biotechnology Council
of New Jersey (BCNJ). Drakeman compares it to the definition of
produced by the supreme court judge. The judge ended up not being
able to define pornography, though he "knew it when he saw
"The strictest definition is the use of biological sciences
from living cells (such as recombinant DNA or monoclonal antibodies)
for the development of products in any field," says Drakeman.
"But that would exclude a lot of people. Anyone who wants to
the kind of goals we are pursuing is more than welcome," says
At BCNJ’s annual meeting on Thursday, December 3, at 5:15 p.m. at
the Nassau Inn. Robert S. Esposito and Gordon V. Ramseier
will present their annual biotech industry report. Esposito is the
Lenox Drive-based national director of biotechnology and life sciences
at KPMG Peat Marwick. Ramseier is executive director of the
Sage Group. Their report will cover the stock market downturn, Celgene
bringing a product to market, and the multi-million dollar deal that
Medarex made with Novartis. An "Industry Executive of the
will be named. Cost: $85. Call 609-890-3185.
Drakeman will talk about how BCNJ has worked to provide new
to access capital for the biotech industry. BCNJ helped engineer an
unusual way for young companies to sell tax credits to larger, older
companies. It goes into effect next year. "A couple of years ago
we worked so that the state pension funds could invest in biotech.
And now we’ve got this. This is really pathbreaking," says
"Other states are looking to model it."
Cash flow is even more important for biotech companies than for most
other technology-based firms, in part because biotech products take
an inordinate length of time to develop. Wall Street has been
uninterested in biotech for the last couple of years, says Drakeman.
"Especially for companies with market values of less than $500
million, there have been no IPO opportunities to speak of, and scant
few secondary opportunities." Yes, he admits, the market in
is unkind to IPOs, but the biotech segment has been lower for longer
Says Drakeman: "The way the industry has tended to define itself
— if you are in the drug development business and are losing
you are doing biotech."
Prospect House, the former residence of Woodrow Wilson
when he was president of Princeton University, serves as the faculty
club for Princeton University and, as such, it is closed to the
public. But at least twice during December the general public can
gain admission — with appropriate payment of course — to see
Prospect House decked out in all its holiday glory.
The Mercer Chapter of the New Jersey Association of Women Business
Owners will host its holiday celebration at Princeton University Art
Museum and the historic Prospect House on Tuesday, December 15, at
4 p.m., starting with at tour of the museum and continuing with
and dinner at Prospect. Cost: $37. Mail checks by December 6 to NJAWBO
Holiday Party, Box 2384, Princeton 08543. Include your address, and
tickets will be mailed to you. Call 609-924-7975 for information.
The second opportunity is less cut-and-dried. You may have to ante
up a nice contribution, but it would be to a worthy cause. Vivian
Shapiro is on the board of Isles Inc., which will kick off its
$3.5 capital campaign on Thursday, December 3, 4:30 to 6 p.m. at
House. She will speak at the event, and so will her husband Harold
Shapiro the university’s president. Other honorary co-chairs of
the event are Paul Volcker, Federal Reserve chairman, and
Bradley, former U.S. Senator. Actual co-chairs are Thomas
of First Union Bank, Barbara Coe, and Sam Hamill.
of heavy hitters are helping this 17-year-old charity.
Call Debby D’Arcangelo, Isles’ campaign director, at
extension 14, to find out how to get on the heavy hitters list and
get an invitation to this event. Money raised will create an endowment
plus establish an urban Environmental Education Center in Trenton’s
For the third chance to see Prospect House you need to be able to
get something out of a lecture entitled "Design and Development
of an Angiotensin II Receptor Antagonist: a Case Study in Drug
by John Primeau of Wyeth-Ayerst Research. The Princeton chapter
of the American Chemical Society starts its meeting on Thursday,
10, at 6 p.m., with a $20 dinner at Prospect House, then moves to
Frick 324 for the lecture. Call 609-258-3922 for reservations.
The New York Times did indeed discriminate against its
women reporters, as Nan Robertson documented in her 1992 book
"The Girls in the Balcony: Women, Men, and the New York
Robertson appears on a panel with two women who sued the Paper of
Record, Betsy Wade (Boylan) and Grace Glueck
Years Later: Women’s Progress in Journalism since Boylan v. The New
York Times," will be presented on Wednesday, December 9, with
a reception at 5 p.m. and the panel at 5:30 p.m., at Rutgers Center
for Women and Work, Crockett Building, 162 Ryders Lane, Douglass
It is free to those who register. Call 732-932-1463.
Boylan v. the New York Times was a class-action discrimination suit
filed by women journalists at the New York Times. The suit was settled
out of court 20 years ago; it led to wage equity and increased
and hiring of women at the Times, while heightening public awareness
of women’s roles in journalism. Boylan was the Times chief copy editor
on the foreign desk at the time of the suit and is now its travel
columnist; Glueck retired as a Times’ art critic in 1991.
The panel is co-sponsored by Rutgers School of Communication,
and Library Studies, and the Institute for Women’s Leadership. Boylan
and Glueck will be joined by Robertson, a Pulitzer Prize winner who
teaches journalism at the University of Maryland, and Kathy Barrett
Carter, a Star-Ledger reporter who covers education issues and
the appellate court. Journalism professor Linda Steiner will
The latest in wired and wireless communications will
be on display at the 14th annual IEEE Sarnoff Symposium, scheduled
for the College of New Jersey on Wednesday, March 17. Area college
students are invited to submit poster presentations. Topics include
Systems on a Chip, Digital TV, Cable Systems, Small Office/Home Office
Technology, and Antennas. A cash prize will be awarded for the best
student poster presented.
The symposium will be co-chaired by John Riganati, technical
director of communications systems and networking, and Stewart
Perlow, head of wireless components, both of Sarnoff Corporation.
Over 50 exhibitors from top communications companies will display
The event is co-sponsored by IEEE Princeton Section, the College of
New Jersey Engineering Department, the College of New Jersey IEEE
Student Branch, and the Sarnoff Corporation. For more information
on the student paper competition call Desiree McDermott at
Both hosts and guests need to prepare for holiday
say the spin doctors and the underwriters. Hosts need to keep from
serving too much alcohol, so that their guests not get involved in
an accident. Guests, in addition to going slow on the booze, should
remember to think of the party as a business opportunity.
Prepare for a holiday party like you would get ready for a business
meeting, says Peter Giulano of Executive Communications Group,
based in Engleside. He has these tips on how to make an impact on
your cohorts and your bosses. These strategies are also useful at
purely social occasions.
Show others that you are more than the person they see in the office
— know what’s going on in the world and have a variety of
topics in your head. Plan to discuss more than just "shop
office gossip, and gripes. Have an appropriate toast, anecdote, or
funny story to entertain your audience if called upon.
complete their sentences and have a logical flow in what they say.
If you want to make an impression, say "memorable" things
in a memorable fashion. You can do this by rehearsing — say it
aloud, tape it, and listen how you sound.
business issues such as rumors of downsizing.
listen, you can be perceived as a brilliant communicator. You’ll
and deepen your relationships by communicating through the way you
listen. Also, asking well thought out, open-ended questions shows
sincerity and interest.
with someone who spends time at a party crying in their beer about
a bad work situation at work, home, or in every day life, especially
around the holidays. Besides, having a positive attitude has
for life and business, and brings an upbeat tone to the party.
not too stiff. Limit yourself to one drink. Remember you are there
to see and be seen.
Andrew C. Harris, President of Professional Insurance Agents
of New Jersey (PINJ), based at 28 West State Street in Trenton.
must be courteous and entertaining, but they most also be responsible
and conscientious about the alcohol they serve."
He has these tips for hosts:
alcohol the main focus of the social event.
are on the guest list.
and dessert one or two hours before the end of the party.
<B>IBM Corporation announced the donation of 12 IBM
Pentium desktop computers and one IBM Think Pad to support various
agencies throughout the greater Mercer County area. The donation is
part of a nationwide contribution being distributed through Gifts
In Kind International, the leading charity in the field of product
philanthropy (U.S. 1, September 2).
Nationwide, IBM’s donation will provide over 2,700 Pentium desktop
computers and 250 ThinkPads valued at $5 million to support more than
1,000 charities nationwide. The computers were distributed to
that provide youth education, adult training, literacy programs, and
support for the disabled/disadvantaged.
Comcast donated a total of $9,000 raised through its Third
Charity Sports Tournament to six chapters of Literacy Volunteers of
America/New Jersey Affiliates.
"We are extremely gratified to be able to help Literacy Volunteers
of America in New Jersey, as the financial contributions will funnel
towards those adults most in need of strengthening their reading,
writing, and speaking skills," says Joseph J. Fischer, area
vice president, Comcast, who presented the donations to the executive
directors of the chapters.
Corrections or additions?
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