Brain Trusts: Not Just For the Big Guys

Taking the Turbulence Out of Business Flights

Learn How to Build Better Communities

MTAACC Honors Standout Citizens

Corporate Angels

Donations Needed

Corrections or additions?

This article was prepared for the February 13, 2002 edition of

U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

How an Ad Campaign Made Milk Cool Again

Poor milk. The dinner-table staple steadily fell out

of favor during the ’80s and ’80s. Ironically, it had curdled both

because it was seen as "good for you" and because it had

developed

a reputation as a health threat. Generations of moms insisting that

milk glasses be emptied — or else! — had made the drink

uncool,

and had sent kids flocking to sexier alternatives like soda. Then

the drink began to accumulate bad press as a fat-laden artery clogger,

prompting health conscious Boomers to ban the white stuff from their

diets.

By the mid-1990s, consumption was way down, and New York City ad

agency

Bozell Worldwide was called in to reverse the trend. The result is

the milk mustache campaign, one of the most successful product

makeovers

in the history of advertising. Bernie Hogya, then an associate

creative director at Bozell, was instrumental in putting the campaign

together. The pictures of celebrities, photographed by Annie

Leibovitz,

sporting milk mustaches has spawned a cult-like following, a

comprehensive

website for fans (www.whymilk.com), and a book.

Hogya, an author of "The Milk Mustache Book: A Behind-the-Scenes

Look at America’s Favorite Advertising Campaign," speaks at a

meeting of the Art Directors Club of New Jersey on Tuesday, February

19, at 6:30 p.m. at L’Affaire Restaurant in Mountainside. Cost: $45.

Call 201-997-1212.

The book is a collection of portraits of many of the milk mustache

models, including Bill Clinton, Cal Ripken Jr., Ivana Trump, Lauren

Bacall, and Tony Bennett. It is also the story of the making of a

successful ad campaign. It reveals that the original idea for the

milk campaign featured photos of cows placed upside down on the page.

It talks about how the ad agency pulled together the milk mustache

campaign in just three weeks, and how the client suggested that the

models be famous people rather than Everyman. The book also talks

about how to keep an ad campaign fresh, and how to simultaneously

create an image that says "cool" and "healthy."

Top Of Page
Brain Trusts: Not Just For the Big Guys

The risk you run as a business owner

is that you wonder if people are telling you what you want to

hear,"

says William Rue, president of Rue Insurance. To provide himself

— and his company — with some objective advice, Rue formed

an advisory board four years ago.

On Wednesday, February 20, at 7:30 a.m. he speaks on "Creating

Your Own Brain Trust" at a meeting of the Princeton Chamber at

the Nassau Club. Cost: $23. Call 609-520-1776. Also speaking on the

subject are Steven Portrude, president of Harwill-Express Press;

and Steven Klein, partner in Klatzin & Company.

Rue is the third generation owner of the insurance company that bears

his name. The 52-person company sells personal and business insurance

and provides financial planning services. The company, now located

at 3812 Quakerbridge Road, was founded in Windsor in 1917 by Rue’s

grandfather, Charles E. Rue. A member of the fourth generation is

due to come onboard in the summer when William Rue Jr. graduates from

the Wharton School of Business. "That’s the plan, that he will

join us," says Rue, "but with young people, you never

know."

Rue himself joined the family business in 1969 right after he

graduated

from Rider. He became president of the company 16 years ago. He says

he has learned a lot about running a small business from sitting on

the boards of big businesses. He is a director of Selective Insurance,

1st Constitution Bank, Robert Wood Johnson Hospital at Hamilton, and

Rider University. With this inside view of how larger organizations

operate, he has delineated areas of responsibility and assigned them

to managers, who are given a great deal of autonomy, and, at the same

time, are held responsible for achieving specific goals.

"Every small business operates by the seat of its pants

sometimes,"

says Rue, but he works to keep that approach to a minimum. Goals are

set each year in areas ranging from profitability to HR efforts to

maintaining and growing client bases in each product area. Weekly

management meetings and monthly employee meetings are held to measure

results. Problem areas are addressed by "slice teams" drawn

from employee ranks. The teams meet with a consultant, work at

solutions,

and present their findings to management, and then to the entire

organization.

While each of his employees has someone to report to, and each of

his managers reports to him, Rue says it is important that he, the

owner, also have someone to report to. That is one of the reasons

he created his advisory board. He is not looking for advice on his

business. "No, there are no insurance people on the board,"

he says. "I hear from insurance people all the time."

The fifth member of the board, a hospital administrator just retired,

leaving a banker, a partner in a large law firm, a partner in a large

accounting firm, and a partner in a nationwide accounting firm. The

board is paid, and meets three times a year. Rue says he looks forward

to the meetings, and that they have been valuable.

"We’ve been doing this for four years, so they’ve seen the good,

the bad, and the ugly," he says in reference to the swing in the

fortunes of the insurance industry during the past few years.

Throughout

the cycle, the advisory board has reviewed goals and financial

results,

and has discussed problem areas.

Rather than provide insurance industry expertise, the group provides

a wide perspective. "They give us good insight," says Rue.

"For example, on employee benefits, they let us know what they

are doing." The group also weighs in on specific decisions that

Rue is facing, providing a framework for finding the answer that is

right for the company.

And the board also holds Rue’s feet to the fire. "They challenge

me," he says, analyzing everything from how he is doing at holding

down expenses to how well he is driving the business.

While Rue seeks feedback from his employees and managers on a regular

basis, he also wants the outside feedback he gets from his advisory

board. He chose people he knew and respected, a group he believed

he could trust to "tell it the way they see it." With no

ownership

interest in the business, he believes the advisory board has no reason

to do otherwise.

Top Of Page
Taking the Turbulence Out of Business Flights

Business travelers are beginning to take to the skies

again. "Slowly, but surely, we’re seeing a come back," says

Marie Gallagher, owner of IT Travel, an agency with offices

on Route 206 opposite Princeton Airport. Seventy percent of her

clientele

is made up of small and mid-sized businesses, and in the months

following

September 11, few were sending their people up into the air.

"After September 11, it was awful," says Gallagher. "In

the weeks that followed we were processing refunds. We were always

in the red." Gallagher has been on 12 plane trips during the past

four months, a number of them overseas. She speaks on

"International

Travel Considerations" on Friday, February 22, at 8 a.m. at the

Small Business Development Center at Raritan Valley Community College.

Cost: $15. Call 908-526-1200.

On September 11, some 150 of IT Travel’s clients were stranded around

the world. "We put them on trains, got them in rental cars, or

told them to stay put, and made hotel reservations for them,"

says Gallagher. Every day, she and her staff scanned their computer

screens for outgoing flights. Reservations were made on planes that

were supposed to take off on the 13th, and then on the 14th. Some

of her clients made it home on 15th, some later. Flights had to be

scheduled and re-scheduled.

Travel coordinators at area companies have told Gallagher their

employees

now fear being stranded more than they fear flying itself.

Gallagher herself takes off fearlessly. "I won’t succumb to

terrorism,"

she says. This despite the fact that she has known all of her life

that the world is not a safe place. "People have been through

hard times before," she says. Her father, a Polish Jew, was

imprisoned

in a concentration camp in the Ural Mountains, where many members

of his family died. Along with his mother and two of his sisters,

he escaped when Stalin opened the camps. His mother died in the

journey

from the camp, and his sisters made their way to Israel.

Gallagher’s father, who had been a lawyer in Poland, joined the Allies

and fought his way through Persia and up the coast of Italy. After

the war, he married an Italian woman, and together they ran novelty

shops in Italy before emigrating to the United States and settling

in Spring Lake.

Gallagher, who opened her agency in 1983, is a graduate of Monmouth

University (Class of 1971). She studied foreign languages in college,

majoring in Spanish and Russian. After a stint as a Spanish teacher

in New Brunswick, Gallagher stayed at home for several years with

her children, Corinne Gallagher and Tina Stanton, both of whom now

work with her.

When she was ready to go back to work, she decided she wanted a

change.

The travel field was a natural for her, she says. In Italy, where

she spent a good part of her childhood, travel is taken for granted.

She and her family routinely took trips within Italy and throughout

Europe.

Far-ranging travel became routine for Americans, too, when airline

deregulation and low cost airlines such as People’s Express made it

cheap and easy in the 1970s. Now, all of a sudden, long distance

travel

is somewhat more difficult, and perceived as considerably more

dangerous.

Travel agents are a barometer for travel reluctance. "Thousands

have closed their doors since September 11," says Gallagher.

"People

call us and say `Oh, you’re still open!’ They’re surprised.’"

IT Travel has only stayed afloat, says Gallagher, because she dipped

into her own pocket to fund operations. She also laid off four of

her 15 employees, and cut her salary in half. But after months of

cancellations, after months when even dirt cheap tickets did not bring

out the budget conscious travelers she usually books on flights to

Europe this time of the year, things are beginning to look up.

Business

travelers and leisure travelers alike, borne along on the unstoppable

airstream of life, are coming back.

The travel world these intrepid souls will find is a bit different

from the one they knew before September 11, especially if they are

venturing overseas. Here are some of Gallagher’s tips for smooth

trips.

Check twice for pocket knives. On her last trip —

to Spain — Gallagher’s travel companion packed quickly. "All

international traveler’s pack quickly," she says, speaking from

decades of globe-trotting experience. In her companion’s case, the

haste led him to forget there was a little knife at the end of his

golf bag. "Make sure, no matter how much of a hurry you’re

in,"

says Gallagher, "to pack carefully."

Look at your belongings with a new eye. Even seemingly innocuous items

like hair spray will not make it through the metal detectors at check

points.

Mail those pocket knives to yourself. Making it clear

that she wants to cast aspersions on no gender group, Gallagher

nonetheless

notes that men tend to be enamored of those pocket gadgets sold at

places like the Sharper Image. Many contain knives, almost all contain

sharp tools, and none are allowed onboard. If you put your hand in

your pocket before approaching the metal detectors, and find a

cherished

item of this sort, Gallagher suggests you duck into the nearest

airport

gift shop, buy an envelope, and mail it home to yourself. When items

are confiscated, they are gone forever. "They throw them

away,"

says Gallagher.

Get a seat assignment. "Every plane is going out

full,"

says Gallagher. This is so because, in the face of falling demand,

airlines have cut back on their flights. The result is an increase

in bumping. "Make sure you get a seat assignment," says

Gallagher.

That is the best way to make sure you will leave when you plane does.

But some airlines, especially in the budget category, don’t give

advance

seat assignments, and most airlines do not give seat assignments to

passengers who book close to the date of departure, when the flight

is nearly full.

If your airline can’t give you a seat assignment when you book it

is now imperative that you arrive at the airport early enough to snag

one of the last seats. Passengers with seat assignments should arrive

two hours ahead of time, for both domestic and international flights,

says Gallagher. But those who have not yet gotten a seat assignment

need to get there a good three hours before departure time.

Mend your socks. Guards really do ask travelers to remove

their shoes. On her last trip, Gallagher was mortified to discover

a hole in her stocking toe during the procedure. In addition to

checking

for holes, travelers, especially the less limber or those busy riding

herd on small children, might want to choose loafers or clogs over

lace up boots or similarly difficult to remove footwear.

Don’t joke around. Really, this is no time to kid about

explosives, plots, or powder.

Double-check your name. In the recent pass, airline agents

would let a Betty Smith board with no hassle, even if her photo ID

read "Elizabeth Smith." No more. Gallagher says it is

extremely

common for people in charge of making corporate travel reservations

to use employees’ nicknames. This is now one of the easiest ways to

ensure that those employees will miss their flights. The name on the

ticket must match the name on the photo ID exactly. No exceptions.

Get photo IDs for the kids. Not long ago, it was possible

to board a plane with no photo ID other than, perhaps, a 10-year-old

Princeton University library card. In New Jersey, one of the very

few states not to require photos on drivers licenses, Garden State

passengers boarded with these library cards, or even lesser ID. Now

a passport or driver’s license is essential for adults, and children

also need picture ID, especially when traveling alone. A passport

is a good idea, and a school ID will usually work as well.

Don’t be argumentative. Yes, screening has tightened.

Accept it. Gallagher has seen passengers argue about removing a belt.

Don’t, is her advice. "If you’re argumentative, they’ll respond

in kind," she says.

Dress with metal detectors in mind. There have been

reports

of underwire bras setting off metal detectors. Think about travel

clothes, and choose metal-free items where possible. And, says

Gallagher,

knowing that your belt may have to be removed, choose pants "you

know won’t fall down."

Be aware of your surroundings. "Look in all

directions,"

says Gallagher. Notice who is around you, and what they are doing.

Consider using a travel agent. Gallagher says she doesn’t

want to toot her own horn — or that of her industry — but,

she says, September 11 travelers who had an agent to call were in

a better position than were those who had booked online and had to

fend for themselves. The Internet is fast, and fares are sometimes

less expensive, but when flights are canceled — if only because

of a blizzard — it can be comforting to have the number of a

professional

whose job it is to get you home.

Finally, chill out. Gallagher says some people freak out when

they encounter gun-toting soldiers in airports. She is used to seeing

armed airport guards in Europe, and they make her feel safe. Today’s

international traveler needs to learn to take the guns in stride,

along with the thoroughly screening and the occasional delays. The

world has never been a safe place, despite the happy illusion most

Americans carried so lightly for several decades as they skated into

boarding gates with nary a second to spare.

February 25

Top Of Page
Learn How to Build Better Communities

Now that professional education for volunteers is sought

after, consider the array of workshops for volunteer leaders available

this spring. Marge Smith is the lead trainer in all of them. She

starts

with an all-day session at Allentown First Aid Squad on Saturday,

February 9, sponsored by MCCC’s Institute for Business and

Professional

Development. Joining her for the day will be another MCCC trainer,

Prim Greeves. Sessions will cover Leadership for Volunteers,

Positive Team Building, Public Relations, and the Three Rs of

Volunteering.

Cost: $95. Call 609-586-9446.

Then for MCCC’s Certificate in Nonprofit Management, Smith teaches

a six session course in Financial Management and Fundraising starting

Monday, February 25, at 7 p.m., costing $119. It will be followed

by Fundamentals of Nonprofit Management, on Monday, April 8. The seven

session course is $139. Two other courses in this series will be

offered

in the fall. Call 609-586-9446.

Smith’s organization, Community Works, joins Hands on Helpers at

United

Way of Greater Mercer County for a three-part series on volunteer

management. It is scheduled for Thursdays, April 18, April 25, and

May 2, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the United Way building at 3131

Princeton

Pike. The series costs $30 and different people may attend each

session.

Individual workshops are $15. Call Janet Weber-McCarthy of Hands on

Helpers at 609-921-8893 or Marge Smith at 609-924-8652.

Top Of Page
MTAACC Honors Standout Citizens

The Metropolitan African American Chamber of Commerce

holds its Black Executive Corporate Awards Reception on Thursday,

February 28, at 6 p.m. at the Hyatt. Keynote speaker is Westina

Matthews

Shatteen, first vice president of the private client group at Merrill

Lynch. Honorees this year include:

Catherine Graham. Active in Trenton city government since

1950, Graham served as director of health and human services from

1986 to 1990. She is the founder of the Trenton branch of the NAACP

and of Minority Women for Democratic Action. She is a member of the

New Jersey State Democratic Committee, the National Political Caucus

of Black Women, and the Black Democratic Caucus.

Rev. Willie Smith. Active in McCarter Theater and the

American Red Cross, Smith ran New York City’s Neighborhood Youth Corps

Program in the 1960s, taught at Rutgers from 1969 through 1982, and

has written for the Trenton Times since 1985. He is now that

newspaper’s

associate editorial page editor.

Charles N. Thomas. With Prudential since 1966, Thomas

is now that company’s executive vice president and ethics officer.

He serves on the board of Inroads, the National Eagles Leadership

Institute, and the Metropolitan Trenton African American Chamber of

Commerce. He has served as chairman of the Newark Private Industry

Council.

Vernon Hammond. A native of Trenton, Hammond is an agent

with the Guardian Life Insurance Company. He is a founding trustee

of the Granville Academy, has taken part in 18 crop walks for hunger

relief, and raises money for the Mercer County Muscular Dystrophy

Lock-Up program.

He is on the board of the Capital Health System, the New Jersey

Intergenerational

Orchestra, the Pennington School, New Jersey Network, and other

organizations.

Phillip Woolfolk. Fair lending manager with Sovereign

Bank, Woolfolk is chairman of the board of the Granville School. He

is also active in a number of other organizations, including the

Capital

Area Housing Resource Center, where he serves as treasurer and member

of the executive board.

Top Of Page
Corporate Angels

<d>The Junior League of Greater Princeton has

announced

its 2002 volunteerism scholarship to recognize outstanding service

of high school seniors. The primary criterion for selection is a

demonstrated

commitment to volunteerism, followed by extracurricular activities

and work or family responsibilities.

Two $3,000 scholarships will be awarded to students planning to attend

either college or vocational school. One scholarship will be awarded

based on overall volunteer service, while the other will be awarded

based on demonstrated leadership in a one-time project.

The scholarship is open to women residents of Mercer, Bucks, or

Somerset

counties. Financial need is not a factor for consideration. Call

609-771-0525.

Mark Pratico Jewelers of Hamilton has donated a one-half

carat certified loose diamond to the American Heart Association’s

Heart Rock Cafe dinner dance, set for Friday, February 15, at the

Princeton Hyatt. Those who purchase one of 50 champagne glasses during

the silent auction are eligible to win the diamond. Sidney L. Hofing

of the Eagle Group and Nina D. Melker of Yardville National

Bank are co-chairs. Call 732-821-2610, extension 3082.

Top Of Page
Donations Needed

The First Book program, sponsored by United Way of Mercer

County,

seeks grants and gift-in-kind donations of books. It distributes new

books, at no cost, to children who have little or no access to books.

"Ninety million Americans lack basic literacy skills, and 61

percent

of low-income families have no books in their homes for their

children,"

says Patricia Fordyce, director of First Book for United Way.

"Many children never hear the magic of legends, mysteries, and

adventures."

Last year the program awarded grants totaling $8,200 for 3,280 books

to five agencies serving 316 children. The program seeks grants and

donations of books. Call 609-637-4900 for information.


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