Firewalking for Fortune

Hazmat Chutzpah

Executing Wills

Bridging Science and Sales

An EDF from PSE&G

Workfare Wants You

Rethinking Careers

For Entrepreneurs,

Abstinence Pays

For Developers

Extra Expo Space

The Book on MBAs

Engineering’s Best

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Peter J. Mladineo were published

in U.S. 1 Newspaper on February 25, 1998. All rights reserved.

Future Shocks

What do antigravity, nuclear fusion, perpetual life,

and teleportation have in common? As far-fetched as they seem, they

each have a fairly good chance of being achieved in the coming


thinks Richard Woodbridge.

A patent attorney who in the last 25 years has seen hundreds of ideas

pass through his office, Woodbridge doesn’t give these predictions

as favorable odds as he does his shorter-term predictions like


cars and cloned body parts. But Woodbridge is certain that the future

will have unimaginable advances in store. "Somebody once said

that there exists unthinkable thoughts," he says. "And you

have to think unthinkable thoughts in order to be honest with


A senior partner of Woodbridge & Associates at 15 Chambers Street,

Woodbridge, 54, is a former mayor of Princeton Township and Princeton

University alumnus (Class of 1965) and has practiced patent law in

the Princeton area since 1973. He speaks at the Princeton Chamber

on "Future of the Future: The Year 2000 and Beyond," on


March 5, 11:30 a.m. at the Forrestal. Call 609-520-1776.

"This is the first time I’ve had a chance to do some really wild

spitballing," he says. "It’s really been kind of fun. The

best part of this is I’m going to be so dead by the time any of this

stuff happens that nobody is going to care."

The complications with calling the future arise, he says, because

most people perceive the future as a single, unmalleable entity.


you think about the future I think everybody tends to close their

eyes and think of a set time," he says. "The problem with

the future is there are many futures just as there are many past


We are limited in our ability to observe by the instruments we have

to observe with."

Woodbridge maintains that advances like wireless society, digital

photography, electric cars, and flat screen PCs and TVs are nearly

certain to become widespread. In fact, most of these near-term


have already arrived, he reports. "Pretty soon the majority of

people will have some sort of a wireless communicator that they carry

with them all the time. Flat screen PCs and TVs are virtually here.

I can remember as a patent attorney 30 years ago when they were just

getting to work on these things."

He also delves into longer range, more controversial predictions like

cloning, smart pills, a single human race, or — sure to rock the

world of Creationism — perpetual life.

This, he reports, could be achieved by keeping a separate cloned body

in store, but it might have some unintended consequences. "If

people have the ability of being able to hang around longer than their

lifetime, then we have a real problem — overcrowding," says

Woodbridge. "If people don’t get off the train to make room for

other people, you’re going to have a very crowded train."

Since futurism implies that there is a future, Woodbridge might be

mistakenly labeled as an optimist. But his vision also cites some

possibly devastating futurescapes. And some hit close to home. He

is especially vocal about problems that could arise from New Jersey’s

extremely dense population and warns about impending health disasters

caused by fast-moving plagues transported into the country via


or malevolent dictators. "I lost two great uncles during the


flu epidemics of 1918 — the result of people floating around


the two continents during World War I."

Also on the negative side, Woodbridge predicts a further erosion of

personal liberties at the hands of the information revolution.


happening is it’s getting harder and harder to disappear into the

woodwork, especially when you start moving into the area of electronic

commerce," he says.

He coins a phrase, "people farming," to describe what happens

when you mix an Orwellian nightmare with Huxleyan overpopulation


"It’s a little bit like an extension of `Animal Farm,’" he

explains. "As the population continues to increase it’s going

to be harder from a practical point of view to manage those people

— so you’ll have to continue to exert more pressure to keep people

in a conformed state. It’s getting to be to the point where there

are so many ways you can affect people’s attitudes that it’s going

to be increasingly harder to do original thinking."

On the medical side, Woodbridge anticipates the development of


MRI/CAT diagnostics" — the ability to use medical technology

to anticipate future health problems. For example, a future


MRI scanner would be able to look at someone’s arteries and determine

that the person will someday suffer a heart attack.

Within 100 years, expect inventions like super batteries (to be used

to power electric cars) and super magnets (to help keep levitated

trains "afloat"), as well as conductive polymers and cheap

and efficient solar power. Some longer-term innovations — like

cloning or smart pills — are now already becoming media hits,

but Woodbridge is concerned with where these innovations will lead.

"Cloned parts are virtually here," he says. "It’s not

too far a stretch to think about the possibility of keeping an


of a headless self. Say you get lung cancer, you go to this self


and get a lung. That’s the sort of thing that is probably doable,

but you’d have to have a very enlightened type of political


to help bring it about.

The bottom line, Woodbridge concludes, is not technological but


and commercial in nature. He mentions Chester Carlson, the


of the modern Xerographic process. He got his patents in the early

’30s, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that the first major Xerox machine

was shipped.

"I often tell a client I like to think of a successful idea as

a car with four tires," Woodbridge says. "One tire is a good

idea, the second is having good business sense, the third tire is

being able to market the idea, and the fourth tire is being able to

get the financing. Those tires don’t have to be inflated to the


They can be a little soft. But if one of those tires is flat you’re

just going to go around in circles. The big mistake that people make

is thinking that having a good idea is going to be all you need."

Woodbridge takes umbrage at Emerson’s oft-quoted slogan, "If you

can build a better mousetrap the world will a beat path to your


That’s nonsense, he says. "Edison was correct when he said


was one percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration. How hard


really pushes for something makes a tremendous difference in whether

it will come to pass. Without that real hard push it won’t


— Peter J. Mladineo

Top Of PageFirewalking for Fortune

More than 2,000 people will converge on the Garden State

Convention Center in Somerset for the Anthony Robbins’


the Power Within" weekend starting Friday, February 27, at 6 p.m.

Some will participate in the Firewalk — storming barefoot across

a hot bed of glowing coals.

You’ve heard of Tony Robbins and seen him on TV. His promotional


says that he has advised President Clinton, members of two royal


members of Parliament, Olympic and professional athletes, and CEOs.

The weekend program is given four times annually and costs from $695

to $895 depending on where you sit in the hall. Call 800-898-8669,

extension 6280.

You can expect, the promotional material states, to "know how

to instantly place yourself in peak emotional, mental and physical

states with unstoppable courage — to achieve results beyond your

dreams" and to "condition yourself mentally, emotionally and

physically for consistent and overwhelming success."

The Firewalk is supposed to serve as "the ultimate metaphor for

your newly emerging mastery." If you think you might be tempted

to make the Firewalk, eat only light meals after noon on Friday


maximize the energy available to you" suggests the brochure. And

wear pants that roll up. You want to inflame your ambition, not your


Top Of PageHazmat Chutzpah

Late last year, a hazardous waste truck traveling on

Interstate 80 ignited when one type of liquid waste it was hauling

leaked into another kind of dry waste on board. The truck was only

partially loaded but the small amount of ignited waste still managed

to incinerate the trailer. Luckily, the truck driver had noticed the

smoke early and was able to disconnect from the trailer and watch

the blaze safely from a distance.

Now, imagine that very same truck igniting with a full load in the

Holland Tunnel. "I think you could put together the outcome,"

says Gary Bezilla, a state trooper who speaks at the


Service Engineers Society on Thursday, February 26, at 6 p.m. at the

Holiday Inn on Route 22 West in Springfield. Call 201-794-0055 for


After most of the motorists finish their swim with the fishes, they

would be outraged to learn that, for the most part, shipping hazardous

materials through tunnels or bridges is strictly forbidden. But that

doesn’t stop thrifty shippers from doing it anyway, Bezilla reports.

At the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel, for instance, the side of the road just

before the entrance is marred with tire tracks and extra-yellowed

grass. That’s evidence of truckers pulling over to remove their


before entering the 13-mile tunnel, Bezilla says.

"A lot of companies will actually take off their placards and

run through these bridges and tunnels illegally," he says.


the scary part. If they were to have an accident in a tunnel or on

a bridge it could cause mass destruction. There’s no doubt about


"With hazardous materials there is oftentimes a hazardous


shipping charge. Some shippers are cutting corners so bad they won’t

even pay the shipping charge, and they’ll lie to the regulators. We

lobby very heavy fines on these people," says Bezilla, who can

be found inspecting tractor trailers on I-78 as part of the State

Police hazardous materials transportation enforcement group.

A hazardous material is "an item or product that can cause harm

to you physically," Bezilla reports. Of the nine kinds, the most

common are flammables (gasoline or fuel oil), corrosives (things like

sodium hydroxide that would cause burning if they are spilled),


(legally shipped in minuscule portions and heavily regulated), and

poisons (usually transported in cylinders).

"Basically this nation runs by chemicals," says Bezilla.


lot of these corrosives like sulfuric acid or hydrogen sulfides are

used to make things. You’d probably shudder if you were informed about

all of the hazardous materials in your home."

And trucks laden with hazardous materials are about as common on New

Jersey roadways as are radar guns. Says Bezilla: "Approximately

five out of every ten trucks would have some sort of hazardous


on board." With a thousands of tons of freight coming into and

out of New Jersey every day, that adds up to an awful lot of hazmats.

Besides damning tunnels and bridges, the act of not labeling hazardous

materials can have other devastating consequences, Bezilla warns.

In early December, a truck driver was injured when he touched some

leaky cargo that was misleadingly labeled as fish bait. This "fish

bait" turned out to be a boiler cleaning compound that should

have been labeled as a corrosive. "He wasn’t seriously injured,

but it could have been more severe," says Bezilla. "Acid could

have burnt a hole right through his hands. This happens out here."

Bezilla has always had a penchant for excitement. At 38, he has spent

the last three years tracking down hazardous materials offenders.

Bezilla first served with the U.S. Coast Guard on the iceberg cutter,

Northwind, which worked the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean and off

Antarctica. He joined the State Police 10 years ago, and spent some

time providing escorts for politicians and visiting dignitaries such

as George Bush, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Dan


and numerous foreign leaders. "You name them and we were


he says. Perhaps that stint was the true origin of his hazmat


— Peter J. Mladineo

Top Of PageExecuting Wills

After his uncle died last year, Richard Bergman

became the executor of his will. For Bergman, this was his third will

(he had done those of his mother and father) and it caused him to

begin thinking about making a business out of it. "After you’ve

done it three times you start to wonder if what you learned has some

potential," says Bergman. "I’ve actually begun to wonder if

there might be some consulting market for people who didn’t want to

have an attorney as their primary executor."

Bergman and his wife, Victoria, already co-own three other businesses:

Project Masters Inc., a medical record systems business, Savant


a healthcare and environmental safety consulting business, and a small

medical and scientific stock photo business. They are all based out

of their home at 134 Leabrook Lane.

Bergman and David Mulchinock, a Princeton attorney, are giving

a class, "Being an Executor: Duties and Surprises," at the

Princeton Adult School, beginning Thursday, February 26, at 8 p.m.

at Princeton High School. Call 609-683-1101 to register.

"This is a time where there is going to be an enormous transfer

of assets from one generation to the next," Bergman says. "The

average folks are stacking away much more money than they thought

they would."

Mulchinock, 53, has been practicing probate law since 1974 and has

a JD from Cornell University (Class of 1970). He also was executor

of his father’s will. "You have to deal with everything,"

he says. "It isn’t just the business aspects of it. You’re


helping people get through a difficult time and for a lot of people

it’s very foreign what they’re going to experience. You have to


and help them get through the emotional part of it and make sure


protected and try to minimize the annoyances and the trauma of


He explains that there are three phases of executing wills. The first

is to collect the decedent’s assets. Then any debts, including estate

taxes, must be paid using those assets. Finally, the executor


the property.

The problems usually begin with the first step. "Even if you’ve

gotten involved early it’s difficult to find and locate the


says Bergman. "Number two, the taxes sometimes have a few


in them."

The issue of distributing property gets complicated when the emotional

aspect comes in. "Sometimes people have emotional attachments

to a property and find it hard to let go," says Bergman.


once gave me a quotation, `Being an executor is 80 percent emotion,

20 percent substance.’"

Bergman hired Mulchinock for two out of his three wills, and has found

his help indispensable. "Every case is a little bit different.

I find that almost on a weekly basis there is a question I have to

run by David, in part because being an executor has some liability

attached to it." That’s right — the executor is personally

held liable for the taxes. "The better course is not to distribute

until you know all the reasonable taxes have been paid," says


The tax aspect on large estates can also be oppressively time


"If there are no taxes, the estate can be wound up in a matter

of months," says Mulchinock. "If there’s a federal tax you

would file the federal estate tax from nine months after the person

dies, then you have to wait another four to six months for the IRS

to contact you and send a closing letter or do an audit. In that case

it takes a couple of years before the estate is finally wound up."

Hardly offsetting the risk and responsibilities is the fact that an

executor is paid a commission, the amount of which varies from state

to state. In New Jersey, executors get five percent of testamentary

assets (property in the decedent’s name alone) on the first $200,000.

That amount decreases as the size of the estate increases, Mulchinock

explains. Pennsylvania executors get a flat five percent of all


But, says Bergman, don’t expect to earn a profit from this avocation.

"My experience has been, at least with the estates I’m talking

about, what you get paid really doesn’t compensate for the amount

of time you put in it," he says. "I’m basically doing it


my uncle asked me to."

— Peter J. Mladineo

Top Of PageBridging Science and Sales

The ability to interpret what’s going on in a scientific

experiment is the same as the ability to interpret what’s going on

in a sales situation. That’s the thesis of Elizabeth Antry,

who speaks at the Association for Women in Science on Wednesday on

February 25, at 5:45 p.m. at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Call 609-716-2266

for more information.

Her talk is entitled "You’ve Got What It Takes" and it’s about

making the jump from science to sales. As the marketing communications

director for Dalloz Safety in Reading, Pennsylvania, Antry made that

jump herself.

After getting an associate’s degree in chemical technology from Cedar

Crest College in Pennsylvania, her career started at Victaulic


as a quality control manufacturer, using an electron spectrophotometer

to analyze the quality of steel. It was at Victaulic that she says

she got an "on-the-job education in manufacturing," which

she capitalized on to help further her sales career. "To get my

foot in the marketing door I first took on an extra project while

I was still in sales," she says. "One of the departments at

Air Products was working on a carbonizing annealing process for steel

using methanol and nitrogen, and they couldn’t get market research

information from their own customer base. I talked to my boss about

it and she volunteered me to write a usage and competitive analysis

report. When a market analyst position opened, I was able to say that

I had done some of that type of work."

Here are some other suggestions Antry has for aspiring scientific


Brush up on those interpersonal skills. "You have

to be perceptive and stay one step ahead," she says. "I was

continually polishing my verbal and written skills learning to be

flexible enough to handle a wide variety of situations. One of the

biggest challenges I faced was going into situations with potentially

poor outcomes and trying to end the encounter on a positive note."

Go to trade shows. "You never know who you’ll meet.

My current position came out of a contact that I made at a


trade show — and it’s not even in the same field. But marketing

is marketing."

Get additional experience and education. Besides her


degree, Antry also has a BS from Cedar Crest College and an MBA in

marketing management from Wilkes University. She has also done


work at the University of Michigan. She has nurtured a healthy


for learning. "From time to time I try to brush up on my skills

and build on them, whether it’s by taking a writing class or joining


Become a savvy computer user. "You could use Power

Point software to develop a presentation showing a director new


for a product," she says. "Or you could put together a mini

research report with ideas from the customer base. Run it through

the proper channels in your company and CC key people to let them

know what you’re doing."

Last but not least, she says, there is much to be gained from

networking. "Make yourself a visible part of the process."

Top Of PageAn EDF from PSE&G

PSE&G is bolstering state incentive programs with $30

million of its own money. Its New Millennium Economic Development

Fund is a series of loan and loan guarantee programs for companies

to use in conjunction with state or private funding.

The fund can be used to help companies getting New Jersey Economic

Development Authority Business Employment Incentive Program rebates

see the money quicker. The rebate is a stream of payments that usually

starts two to three years after a relocation. The PSE&G fund will

loan the projected payments to the company up front. The company


the loan by assigning its future rebates to PSE&G.

The fund also augments loans from the NJEDA, local or county


or private institutions for expansion and relocation. It covers


for moving, equipment, training new employees, electric and gas


and tenant fit-out. This program is intended to reduce the loan cost

or to provide credit support of the project.

While companies of any size are eligible for the fund, PSE&G is


"projects that would not happen if we were not giving that added

assistance," says Tim Comerford, PSE&G’s manager of area

development. "We are looking to assist companies that come close

to meeting EDA standards but fall a little short." For more


about this fund, call 973-430-6861.

Top Of PageWorkfare Wants You

Hire a welfare recipient and you will be helping New

Jersey’s economy. That seems to be the message from New Jersey’s


of Human Services, which is touting its Work First New Jersey


Partners program.

Work First not only encourages business to hire and retain former

welfare recipients, but it also provides those companies with


technical assistance, and the support necessary to ensure success.

Membership is open to all businesses that have hired or will commit

to hiring at least one welfare recipient, or will commit to furthering

the goals of welfare-to-work efforts through other supportive


Signed into law last year, Work First New Jersey incorporates several

features of the federal welfare reform law, including elimination

of federal entitlement to cash assistance, a 60-month lifetime limit

on use of federal funds for cash assistance, and the institution of

block grants to states.

New Jersey’s law includes setting a five-year time limit for receiving

welfare benefits, providing subsidized child care and extended


benefits for up to two years, ensuring that both parents contribute

to the financial well-being of their children, and requiring that

those receiving welfare to get a job or participate in work readiness

activities. More information is available at

Or call 609-588-2401.

Top Of PageRethinking Careers

Anyone thinking about changing jobs or careers is


to weekly meetings of Jobseekers at Trinity Church, 33 Mercer Street

in Princeton, says Neils Nielsen, founder and facilitator. The

next meeting is Tuesday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. Call 609-924-2277 for


The format alternates between open discussion and support group one

week and topical workshops by professional speakers the next. Subjects

include marketing strategies, resumes and cover letters, career


finding job opportunities, networking and information interviews,

phone and personal interviewing skills, managing finances and emotions

while unemployed. Spouses and partners are welcome, and there is no


Top Of PageFor Entrepreneurs,

A Workshop

Find out if you have the Right Stuff to start a business

by taking a workshop at the Entrepreneurial Training Institute


March 3, at 6 p.m. at Galilee Baptist Church, 440 Martin Luther

King Boulevard in Trenton. For $15 registration call 609-292-1890

or come 30 minutes early. Or E-mail to >

Sponsored by the New Jersey Development Authority for Small


Minorities’, and Women’s Enterprises (NJDA), the program offers


for new and would-be entrepreneurs. After the introduction, those

who qualify can enroll in a seven-session $150 class covering


from business planning and goal setting to making decisions on


and marketing.

Those who graduate can apply for financing from a revolving loan fund

established by the NJDA and supplemented by staff and facilities


by members of the Entrepreneurial Training Institute Consortiums.

The class will also be held in eight other locations, including


College in Long Branch on Monday, March 2.

Top Of PageAbstinence Pays

Christie Whitman’s call for sexual abstinence

in young people is now backed with $765,000 in federal funds.

Nonprofits can apply to the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior

Services for one-year grants. The money will be awarded to programs

that teach children from 10 to 14 that abstinence is the only certain

way to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The money

will also go to programs that teach skills for refusing sexual


and that teach the importance of delaying sexual activity until the

child is self-sufficient.

For every $4 in grant money received, programs must supply $3 in


funds. The application is Wednesday, March 25. Decisions will be made

in early May and the grants will be awarded by July 1. The state


to fund from 10 to 20 programs. For more information, call


Top Of PageFor Developers

The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency is

offering federal tax credits to developers to build new rental


or rehabilitate existing units for low-income families.

In this program, low-income housing tax credits are allocated to


by the federal government on an annual per capita basis. The HMFA

is the designated housing credit agency for New Jersey, and is


for the annual allocation of $10 million in federal tax credits.

The federal housing tax credit program has spurred construction of

more than 13,000 new rental units statewide since 1987. The HMFA will

be offering free tax credit training workshops for developers


in learning more about the application process. The dates are Friday,

February 27, at 8:15 a.m. at the Center Point Holiday Inn in Jamesburg

and Tuesday, March 3, at 8:15 a.m. at the Eatontown Sheraton. For

more information call 609-278-7578.

Top Of PageExtra Expo Space

There is still prime exhibit space available for the

Middlesex Chamber’s 44th Annual Business and Industry Expo. The event

will be held on Wednesday, March 18, at the New Jersey Convention

and Exposition Center at Raritan Center in Edison. Booths are $400

and islands are $900. The luncheon costs $25.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for $1,000, $3,000, or $5,000

contributions. For more information call 732-821-1700.

Top Of PageThe Book on MBAs

The degree used to be scorned as shallow and mercenary;

now it’s nearly a must for anyone kowtowing to illusions of guaranteed

income. Carter A. Daniel, director of business communication

programs at Rutgers Faculty of Management, recently published a book,

"MBA: The First Century," which chronicles the "turbulent

growth of the master’s program." The book begins the founding

of America’s first such program at Dartmouth University in 1900 and

traces its evolution to a "complex hybrid in education" shared

by more than one million Americans.

"The first challenge for business education was simply to have

it become an acceptable idea," says Carter. "To universities,

business seemed a lowly and unworthy topic. Businesses, just as


scoffed at colleges as idle and irrelevant playgrounds for the


Call 973-353-5366 for more information.

Top Of PageEngineering’s Best

One fixes bridges, one fixes highways, and the other

provided counter-intelligence during the Vietnam War. But despite

their differences, all three will be given awards at the Mercer County

Professional Engineers Society awards dinner Saturday, February 28,

at 6:30 p.m. at the Hopewell Valley Golf Club. Call 609-890-3636.

The recipients: James J. Silimeo, vice president of New

Jersey operations with Shah Associates at 340 Scotch Road, wins the

1998 Engineer of the Year. Silimeo’s notable projects include the

resurfacing of Route 29 in Trenton, the East Duke’s Parkway bridge

replacement in Somerset County, and the Calhoun Street Bridge in


The 1998 Young Engineer of the Year award goes to Michael

D. Helmlinger of Parsons Brinckerhoff at 506 Carnegie Center. His

projects include the final design of road improvement projects for

the new Hudson/Bergen light rail transit system. He also led the


design efforts for the interim interchange improvements between Route

1 and the Garden State Parkway in Middlesex County.

Earle S. Rommel, director of public relations at Rider

University, wins the 1998 Citizen of the Year award. Known for his

publicity and staging work on the Mercer County Science and


Fair for the last six years, Rommel has a BA in journalism from Rider

and served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War as a


agent with Vietnamese language training. He was decorated with several


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