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This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the February 5, 2003 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Ex Sarnoff VP Starts An HR Firm
When you are a marketing person, you write a lot of
strategy," says Susan Gauff, former senior vice president of people
and communications at Sarnoff Corporation. "But the real issue
is not how good your strategy is, but how well you can execute it.
Looking broadly across the business, the trials of how to execute
were far more difficult than anything else. By nature, everyone has
a personal agenda and the successful companies are the ones who can
turn the personal agendas into a direction that meets the common good."
Gauff has founded a human capital consulting firm, Growth Solutions
Group, that offers testing instruments to match candidates with job
At Sarnoff she offered executive coaching for the leaders of groups
with high turnover, and the coaching worked. It was based on tests
from a Danish business, Garuda Research Institute. "Eleven of
12 people so dramatically improved their performance and the retention
of their people that it was just remarkable," she says.
When she left Sarnoff she took those tests herself. "They told
me I am an extremely independent person and that I would probably
be happier working on my own." So she licensed the testing software
and, with partner Judith Meskill, opened the Growth Solutions Group.
Most of her clients hire her to help hire the right salespeople. She
has a package that costs from $1,000 to $1,500, including defining
the job, providing interview questions, testing the finalist candidates,
interpreting results, and coaching the hirer through the decision
Garuda has an online version of its test, but the complete version
costs $250, but Gauff has licensed the software and can administer
it less expensively. Asked how it compares to the well known salesforce
testing done by Mount Lucas Road-based Caliper, Gauff says Caliper’s
tests are custom designed and very accurate. "Ours are less expensive
and easier to interpret. We are for the medium-sized business, trying
to use the least amount of consulting time possible."
The components of the Danish test are "the head, the heart, and
grew up in West Virginia and New Jersey. After graduating from Centenary
College, she began her public relations and marketing career at Western
Union, and later she worked for Siemens, Lexmark, Northern Telecom,
and most recently for Sarnoff, where she began as a marketing consultant
and stayed for five years with the title of senior vice president
of people and communications. Sarnoff downsized last year and she
started her own business. Meanwhile, her husband — who was a buyer
and then a supplier for JC Penney, had retired.
Gauff says her job at Sarnoff "helped me focus on how there are
no bad employees, only good employees in the wrong jobs."
"I am using this time in the economy to position the company so
that when things improve it will take off," says Gauff.
Suite 158, Princeton 08542. Susan T. Gauff, CEO. 609-577-7370; fax,
During all the time she worked in doctors offices, says
Gretchen Godwin, she kept hearing the complaints about answering services.
"I thought that an answering service run efficiently by an RN
could be more effective," says Godwin. Now she has the only answering
service in New Jersey run by a registered nurse.
Godwin is accustomed to training nurses and assistants how to deal
with people, and she acquired some of those skills from moving often.
Her father was a colonel in the U.S. Air Force, and the family had
24 homes in 26 years. She was a medical assistant in the optometry
practice of her husband Joseph, a Princeton alumnus, until he decided
to break free of that profession and become a writer and teacher.
The family moved from Colorado to New Jersey, and he taught fifth
grade in Hopewell while she finished her nursing training at Regents
College, a SUNY nursing school locating in Albany.
Godwin worked as clinical office manager at Princeton Eye Group, and
when Wayne Grabowski, a retinal specialist, left to start his own
firm, she moved with him. About the time her husband changed jobs
(he is now working at Educational Testing Service), Godwin bought
Corridor Medical Answering Service from Stanley Pure in 2001 and expanded
it to 12 operators. Lynne Wildenboer of Red Wolf Design Group is also
an investor and designed the logo and brochure for the firm.
Custom tailoring for each account means that doctors can direct calls
to their voice-mail boxes. For emergencies, the caller can speak to
an operator immediately, otherwise the caller can get routine information
(office hours, directions) or leave a message. "It makes the doctor
look professional and high tech," says Godwin.
"We can send text messages to cell phones," she says. "A
doctor can create a triage system of calls or have every call answered
by live operator. Some have created health tips for their voice mails."
Messages from patients needing referrals can be collected and dealt
with all at one time.
Says Godwin: "We don’t triage phone calls but because I am here
I can emphasize to the operators how important what we do is."
27, Kendall Park 08824. Gretchin Godwin, owner. 732-821-2377; fax,
732-422-6566. Home page: www.corridoranswering.com
Aruna Mettler restores old and damaged photographs and
removes watermarks, tears, and scratches. "Most photographers
don’t like doing this because they have to rebuild parts of the photographs,"
she says. "They are like heirlooms. They can be passed from generation
Mettler’s life is like the photographs she works on — retrieved
from an abusive marriage, and healed. Born in New Delhi, her scientist
father was from Germany and her mother from Pakistan. She earned her
bachelor’s degree at Miranda House, a women’s college of New Delhi
University, Class of 1968, and then came to the United States with
her new husband from an arranged marriage. She worked to put her husband
through school and then, urged by her children, left the marriage.
A certified alcohol and drug counselor, she did social work and psychiatric
screening with children and adults.
Seven years ago she married Robert Mettler, the historian of the township
where his family has lived for two centuries, and took art courses
at Raritan Valley Community College. "I love painting, graphics,
and sculpture, and finally I started leaning toward digital photography.
I started fixing my husband’s historic photographs for fun and I liked
what I saw, and the history I saw. Then I did it for my friends. I
just love doing it.
"One photo had been destroyed in a flood, but I restored it and
recreated it into a digital fresco painting — applying brush strokes,
filters, and other tools. To do the color balance, I match each pixel
to the color in the photograph, and recreate the background."
08875. Aruna Mettler, owner. 732-873-2772; fax, 732-873-4949. E-mail:
Sherry Rubel learned at her father’s knee — she
says she grew up in his New Brunswick photography studio. She also
worked with her mother, Jackie Rubel, who had established a nonprofit
organization, Institute for the Arts and Humanities, to promote young
talent. So it seemed natural for the daughter to open a photography
studio five years ago and concentrate on shooting models and actors.
Rubel’s studio was at on Route 27 in Kingston, but when she lost her
lease last fall, she moved to Kendall Park. Rubel does the usual family
portraits and children but her real focus is on helping models break
into the business. She does model testing for New York-based agencies
such as Click. Would-be models from all over the country take the
bus from New York to her studio.
"This kind of photography has so much freedom and creativity,"
says Rubel, "and I realized that there are so many people who
want to get started in the business. I have people send in a cover
letter and a resume with the composite card to all the modeling agencies
in the tristate area. I have helped several people get connected into
Her father, at age 88, is still exhibiting his photographs.
— Barbara Fox
08824. Sherry Rubel, owner/photographer. 732-940-6534; fax, 609-734-0628.
Last year Stephanie Clark founded a nonprofit organization,
My Daughter’s Keeper, to offer support and resources for mothers/caregivers
and daughters, ages 10-17. She aims to help mothers and caregivers
to strengthen their relationships to their daughters and help daughters
identify solutions to problems.
The youngest of 13 children, Clark’s father died when she was two.
She went to the University of Detroit, Class of 1991, and has a certificate
in nonprofit marketing and management from Fordham. In Detroit she
was marketing and public relations director for the Museum of African
American History, and in New Brunswick she was marketing and sales
director for Crossroads Theater Company.
Her organization offers interactive workshops and dinner date packages
on such topics as communications, bridging the generation gap, financial
planning, influences on teen lives, and self esteem. These workshops
can be sponsored by schools, churches, or businesses.
A club for girls ages 10 to 17, called the ReadwRiters Club (RWR),
meets monthly at the North Brunswick Barnes and Noble. The next meeting
is Saturday, February 22, at 1 p.m. when the books to be discussed
will be "The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler"
by E.L. Konigsburg for the younger girls, and Deborah Gregory’s "The
Cheetah Girls" for those ages 14 to 17. Club members write one-page
essays on how the book impacted their life, and these essays will
"My inspiration comes from my own personal angel here on earth,
my 12-year-old daughter Daphne, and from my mother who raised 13 children
as a single mother," says Clark. "I relocated from Detroit
to New Jersey four years ago, left behind my support system, and accepted
the challenge of raising my daughter alone."
"Because of my busy lifestyle," says Clark, "I’m constantly
on the move. This past summer, I finally took time to slow down and
realized my daughter was entering the most impressional years of her
life as a preteen. I’ve always been there for her physically, but
not always emotionally to reciprocate the love and affection she gives
to me. Forming My Daughter’s Keeper Inc. is my way of personally recommitting
myself to provide the love and emotional support that my daughter
and all daughters deserve and require."
"I always said that if my mother could raise 13, I can raise one,"
2, North Brunswick 08902. Stephanie Clark, founder. 732-565-9313;
fax, 732-565-1019. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Home page:
Lawrenceville 08648. Elizabeth A. Duffy, headmaster. 609-896-0400;
In June Elizabeth A. Duffy will succeed Michael Cary
and be the first woman headmaster in the history of the nearly two-century-old
Lawrenceville School. A successful fundraiser and administrator, Duffy
majored in molecular biology, Class of 1988, and is executive director
of the Illinois-based Ball Foundation, known for its efforts to improve
schools and develop careers for students in grades K-12. Lawrenceville
School has 800 senior high students from 25 countries and 38 states,
and almost three quarters of them are boarders.
At Stanford Duffy earned an MBA and a master’s degree in educational
administration. Her jobs have included being vice president of the
Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, working for the Andrew
W. Mellon Foundation, administrator of the student volunteers council
at Princeton University, and assistant master of the university’ Rockefeller
College. She co-authored two books. Married to a graduate of the Lawrenceville
School, John Gutman, she has a two-year-old daughter and a six-month
08544. Maureen Nash, vice president for human resources. 609-258-3000;
fax, 609-258-1294. Home page: www.princeton.edu
Maureen Nash has succeeded Joan Doig as vice president
for human resources at Princeton University. Nash went to Cornell
University and has master’s degrees from Boston University and Fairleigh
Dickinson. Her most recent job was as vice president for learning
and development at Bristol-Myers Squibb. She has also held positions
at Fidelity Investments in Boston and in Tokyo, Johnson & Johnson,
Monsanto Company, and Northeastern University. Daniel Scheiner has
been acting vice president since Doig retired in 2001 and will return
to his job, which focuses on implementing a web-based human resources
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