DMV’s Inspections: Now Private

Route 92 Blues

New in Town


Corrections or additions?

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:

Limit control of the business to members of the original

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.

Plan ahead and watch out for Uncle Sam. "Too many

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


Be ready to change. "We have had to convert a


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

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DMV’s Inspections: Now Private

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.

Parsons Infrastructure and Technology Inc., 3100

Princeton Pike, Building 3, Suite E, Lawrenceville 08648 Larry


general manager. 609-620-0702; fax, 609-620-0100.

Top Of Page
Route 92 Blues

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

a concept.

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."

Top Of Page
New in Town

Real Soft Inc., 4262 Route 1 North, Suite 5,


Junction 08852. Rajan Desai, president. 732-438-6600; fax,


Home page:

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.

Top Of Page

George Osborne Gale, 67, on September 19. He was a


at American Cyanamid.

John E. Douglas, 52, on September 21. He had been a


programmer for Demag DeLaval.

William G. Thomas, 76, on September 21. He had been vice

president of Hill Refrigeration in Trenton.

Margen R. Penick, 65, on September 24. Active in planning

and preservation issues, she was co-vice chairwoman of the Princeton

REgional Planning Board.

Peter Brock Putnam, 78, on September 23. Blinded by a

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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— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.

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