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This article was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on September 30, 1998. All rights reserved.
H.M. Royal and Family Business Awards
How can a family business endure through three
With a cooperating attitude between six family members and the
says H.L. Boyer Royal. He is the president of H.M. Royal Inc., a raw
materials distribution business founded by his father in Trenton in
His firm is one of the semifinalists for New Jersey Family Business
of the Year awards, sponsored by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s
Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies. An award ceremony
a luncheon at the Doubletree Hotel in Somerset on Tuesday, October
6. Marcy Syms, CEO of Syms Corp., will deliver the keynote address.
Call 973-443-8880 for more information.
Royal says he knew he would go into the business when he was seven
years old and wrote a school paper on the subject. He went to Lehigh,
Class of ’61, as a chemical engineer, and after a stint in the Army,
he earned an MBA from Wharton and then came to Trenton to work for
his father. The business now has 40 employees in Trenton and about
25 in California. His facility on Pennington Avenue is a 100,000
feet warehouse with an office.
His advice to family businesses:
family and their offspring. Involving spouses only adds unnecessary
Royal says the succession problem has not been difficult, so far,
because he has two older brothers, born five years apart. His oldest
brother has retired, and the second-oldest brother is CEO. His son
is in the business, and three nephews are also active in the firm.
"Four of the five boys chose to come in," says Royal, and
though none of the girls made that choice he insists they were not
discouraged from doing this. He is sure that a Royal family member
will hold the top post here for some years to come.
of the people we have known have had to sell. "Uncle Sam tried
to put us out of business," he says. "We had a plan in place for
my father’s stock in 1982." In 1992, when his father died, the
IRS tried to get out of that agreement. "We had a signed off
and we went to appeals court on an inheritance tax closeout, and we
won," says Royal. Phil Griffin of Fox Rothschild et al was his
business local to Trenton and Los Angeles into a nationwide selling
group. That we have done, so we have nationwide coverage."
The business has changed from supplying raw materials
to the rubber industry to being a supplier of materials for any
including pharmaceutical. "We sell to the guys who mix stuff
says Royal. "Of our top 30 customers in the mid ’60s, none of
them exist now. We chase the rubber guys nationwide, but locally we
have had to scrap around and gotten into the pharmaceutical business.
We have changed the industry."
Some things do stay the same. The founder’s office had been kept as
is and, in fact, was used in filming "IQ" as department store
magnate Louis Bamberger’s office. "There is a lot of tradition
to the business," says Royal. "It is good honest work, and
everybody seems to enjoy it. We are all kind of inbred with the sales
ability. We all sell."
— Barbara Fox
Last week 482 state inspection lane workers
received pink slips and the invitation to apply for other jobs. That
was part of the contract for the new enhanced emissions testing
awarded to a private operator in August. Parsons Infrastructure &
Technology Inc., of Sacramento, California, will be handling all
of the project — design, construction, operation, and maintenance,
but state law requires the firm to offer new jobs to all current
in the inspection lanes.
In anticipation of its hiring frenzy, Parsons has opened up a
office at 3100 Princeton Pike. "This recruitment campaign is in
the event that not everybody wishes to join Parsons, so that there’s
no diminution of services," says Carl Golden of DKB & Partners,
the Morristown-based firm in charge of media relations for Parsons.
The numbers indicated that there may be an excess of job vacancies.
According to a press release issued by the New Jersey Department of
Transportation, three-fourths of the 482 full-time workers in the
state’s vehicle inspection system are eligible to apply for 224
in other DMV-related areas. Parsons will be offering at least 482
jobs for the time being. Some might get filled by the more than 150
"interim" employees now working the inspection lanes (who
received no job guaranty), but there will be hundreds more openings
when the program is fully operational in December, 1999. By then,
Parsons will need a total of 726 employees.
The Parsons deal came with a moderate amount of controversy. When
the state put out its request for proposal, Golden explains, a
companies expressed interest in bidding. However, all of the other
companies dropped out of the bidding process for a variety of reasons,
and in June the contract was awarded to Parsons, for $62 million over
seven years. "Because there was one bid there was some criticism
that state should have gone out and rebid the thing to get more,"
says Golden. "The problem was, the state was under the gun from
the federal government to comply with the federal Clean Air Act."
However, Golden points out, the Parsons’ bid met all of the state’s
specifications. "There was literally no basis for rejecting the
bid," he says. In a June press release, the DOT noted that the
bid submitted by Parsons would save roughly $2.07 per car inspected.
Parsons quoted a price of $24.25 per enhanced inspection; the state
treasury estimated that the same inspection would cost $26.32 if done
by public employees.
Princeton Pike, Building 3, Suite E, Lawrenceville 08648 Larry
general manager. 609-620-0702; fax, 609-620-0100.
Route 92 has been no more than a conversation piece
for the last six decades and now, after the federal government
on it again, it appears as if good ol’ 92 will continue to be just
The proposal for the 6.6-mile connector from Exit 8A of the Turnpike
to Route 1 near Ridge Road has received another negative
from the federal Environmental Protection Agency. After requesting
a traffic analysis from the Turnpike Authority, the road’s sponsor,
the EPA ruled that Route 92 would alleviate only part of the east-west
traffic problem in central New Jersey. In January, 1997, the EPA
an earlier 92 proposal because of wetlands concerns. The New Jersey
Turnpike Authority then rerouted and elevated parts of the proposed
The Department of Environmental Protection now has 30 days to accept
or decline the federal recommendation. If it chooses to decline, the
proposal will be handed off to the Army Corps of Engineers for further
Plainsboro mayor and Route 92 supporter Peter Cantu said he hopes
the DEP will provide "a more balanced assessment" of 92’s
traffic impact. Marvin Reed and Phyllis Marchand, mayors of Princeton
Borough and Township respectively, are adding this request: If Route
92 is scrapped, then so should be the proposed Millstone Bypass over
Route 1. In a letter to the state transportation commissioner, they
wrote, "Without adequate east-west connectors, the economy of
this part of the state will soon be in free fall."
Junction 08852. Rajan Desai, president. 732-438-6600; fax,
Home page: http://www.realsoftinc.com.
The software consulting firm moved from Menlo Park to 3,000 square
feet on Route 1. The headquarters has 12 employees and roughly 120
consultants on billing, says Rajan Desai, the president.
The firm specializes in Unix, NT consulting, Internet and intranet
software solutions and sends its employees to work with large
telecommunications, insurance, and pharmaceutical firms.
"We hire our own employees and contract them out to these
says Desai. "We also take on the many of the software projects
directly and we end up finishing them up at our location."
Desai, 38, has a masters in computer science, from Texas Tech
and a bachelor’s in chemical engineering from M.S. University of
in India (Class of ’82). He started the business in 1991 after stints
with AT&T, Lehman Brothers, and Paine Webber. "I saw the need
that there were major corporations that wanted to contract
Real Soft moved down the road from a direct competitor, Web Sci, at
4214 Route 1 North, but has signed a three-year lease and expects
to grow out of its space in that time frame. "We’re growing at
50 percent a year," says Desai.
at American Cyanamid.
programmer for Demag DeLaval.
president of Hill Refrigeration in Trenton.
and preservation issues, she was co-vice chairwoman of the Princeton
REgional Planning Board.
self-inflicted gunshot wound when he was a student at Princeton, he
was an author, lecturer, fundraiser, and president of the Princeton
Memorial Society. He was active with the Recording for the Blind and
Dyslexic. A memorial service will be Sunday, October 4, at 4 p.m.
at the Unitarian Church on Cherry Valley Road.
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