Corrections or additions?
These articles by Michele Alperin, Catherine Moscarello, and
Vivian Fransen were prepared
for the January 31,
2001 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Julia Heinrich, Woman in Science
Julia Heinrich envisions the Central Jersey Chapter
of the Association for Women in Science (CJC-AWIS) as a nurturing
environment for networking among women scientists. As immediate past
president of the organization and an early member, Heinrich is less
concerned with a gender-based analysis of the scientific workplace
than with making connections among the women who work within it.
Women need such an organization, says Heinrich, simply because they
constitute such a small percentage of the scientific workplace, and
"there is less opportunity to stumble across networking and
CJC-AWIS offers these women moral support, a place to "talk
a place to learn, and also, at times, a place to "discuss
as a woman." Heinrich’s emphasis is on the positive. "I don’t
want AWIS to be a time to vent or complain," she explains. "I
want it to be a resource for women."
For Heinrich, networking at AWIS has meant meeting people — in
universities and in industry — whom she would otherwise probably
not have encountered. "It is a way to feel different careers,
different options, and to meet different women and see their
says Heinrich. The organization also provides an opportunity,
for young women in academe to see what industry is like, when they
are deciding what path to take. She notes that networking at AWIS
is also important for women taking time off from work. "AWIS
an opportunity to meet in a friendly, scientific atmosphere,"
At the time of CJC-AWIS’ founding, Heinrich might best have
been characterized as a hanger-on, but positive feedback from the
CJC-AWIS audience and personal growth opportunities quickly won her
loyalty to the organization. The idea of establishing a local chapter
of AWIS was hatched among Heinrich’s female colleagues at American
Cyanamid. Physical proximity got her involved, as their ideas wafted
through her doorway. She admits that early on she was a bit wary and
attended meetings only to show support for her colleagues. "It
sounded good, but I was not that interested in an all-women’s
and the implication of it being a place to vent feelings."
But as she attended meetings, she found herself getting more involved
— making suggestions, writing grants, and then asking for
support. The first sponsorship, from American Cyanamid, came at her
initiative. "I phoned human resources, and they said, `Write a
letter.’" And she did — with success. Sponsors today include
BASF Corporation, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Wyeth-Ayerst
and Lab Support.
Having personally requested money from her employer, Heinrich felt
an increasing sense of obligation to maintain the health of the
"Once we got money," she says, "I felt responsible for
the group continuing. I wanted to update the sponsors and tell them
how their sponsorship was being used."
For the most part, Heinrich does not see the role of the local chapter
in terms of political agendas. "We don’t go after issues,"
she says. She sees issues of discrimination as more the prerogative
of the national AWIS organization, although she does post articles
about discrimination on the CJC-AWIS website.
Although research and lobbying is done at the national level, another
goal of CJC-AWIS is to increase the numbers of women in science.
of women are scared off by science," says Heinrich. But she feels
that early exposure can change incorrect perceptions. "The sooner
that girls are exposed to science and woman scientists, the sooner
that they realize there are opportunities in science and ones that
are kind of fun." When asked, CJC-AWIS provides speakers to talk
to girls about scientific careers, but, says Heinrich, "we don’t
have a formal mentoring program, because no one has time."
CJC-AWIS does offer an annual $500 award to a high school senior
to major in science. Up to 70 applicants compete each year by
an essay about their own relationship to science, and the corporate
sponsors provide the money.
Heinrich herself chose science "because science seemed a more
secure career and came more naturally" to her than her original
choices of art history and journalism. She also remembers, at age
18, being inspired by Eva Curie’s book about her mother, Madame Curie.
Heinrich was born in Israel, but when she was eight,
her father died, and she came to the United States for a one-year
visit with her aunt and uncle. Her older sister was first offered
the opportunity and refused, but Heinrich was ready; she says, "I
packed my bags. I always liked adventure."
The year extended into a lifetime in the United States. When Heinrich
graduated from Brown University in 1977 with a B.A. in biology, she
needed a job and a green card. She began working with Michael Czech
at Brown on insulin action, and then moved with him to the University
After her green card came through, she studied insulin action at
Sloan-Kettering, an affiliate of Cornell, and earned her PhD. in 1989.
She worked on chemokines as a post-doctoral fellow at Bristol-Myers
Squibb and then moved to American Cyanamid in 1994. About two years
ago, her group, which works on steroid receptors, was transferred
to Wyeth-Ayerst as part of the American Cyanamid sale, and it joined
the neurobiology group.
When it comes to controversial gender questions, Heinrich does
certain difficulties for women in the scientific workplace. She has
strong opinions about the role of assertiveness, but she couches her
opinions in personal terms. "I don’t think it’s so much gender
issues as personal style," she explains.
Although she sees herself as being quite confident in her scientific
ability, she says, "I’m very cautious, and I think that’s not
interpreted well. Most people who are successful are assertive and
aggressive and will go after what they want very strongly —
it’s a man or a woman." However, with prompting, she admits that
often men will go after things more assertively. "Women often
want to test the water first, but then the ship has left."
Heinrich raises other issues with clear gender implications. At
she has noticed that often comments by men are acknowledged when the
same comment by a woman was ignored. Also, at scientific meetings,
speakers are disproportionately male. She is also concerned about
universities that have provided women professors with less space and
resources than their male colleagues.
Because there are more men than women in scientific environments,
Heinrich says, "it’s easy to be left out. There is a certain
between the men." In her own research group, she is the single
female PhD scientist working with three male PhDs. But to keep things
balanced, Heinrich adds, "I have worked for a woman, and it was
not a very empowering experience. It was a nightmare. I don’t think
she did anything to support women."
Whether for male or female scientists, the scientific work environment
is not always an easy one. But Heinrich believes that changes in
technology and subject matter are allowing greater integration of
the professional and the personal. "When I started in biochemistry
and started a purification, I had to be there 24 hours a day,"
she explains. But with the increased use of computers, it is now
to leave an experiment and come back to it.
Even with such flexibility in the scientific environment, science
continues to demand intense dedication from its devotees. In response
to a question about her personal life, Heinrich muses, "Personal
life? Unfortunately, most scientists who are really devoted are
And if you want a family, if you want a social life, in many ways
it is in conflict."
— Michele Alperin
Julia Heinrich’s intimate experience with the early
development of CJC-AWIS has given her insight into what it takes to
create a successful association. She heartily recommends attending
the annual Community Works Workshop, set for Thursday, February 1,
at 5 p.m. at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. Cost: $25.
Reservations may still be available at 609-924-8652 or 609-924-4361.
These workshops focus on volunteering in nonprofit organizations.
"I have attended two," says Heinrich, "and have been on
the steering committee and found it to be full of useful
can be related. Referring to this past year’s theme, "The Year
of Local Women Scientists," Heinrich says, "almost anything
can be related to anything, but it actually helped keep me
Heinrich gleaned this idea from a previous CJC-AWIS session on how
to conduct a meeting.
and the Web to learn about a speaker’s track record. Reflecting on
her own mistakes, she advises that the program organizer be reachable
right up to meeting time. She says, "Get a cell phone; make sure
you know how to access your voice mail by telephone; and have a
program in case the speaker cancels at the last moment."
encourage people to share with strangers as well as to learn new
about friends and acquaintances.
Pick up immediately on suggestions and convert them quickly to defined
tasks. "Do not let issues of personal style get in the way."
— Michele Alperin
Author Harry Beckwith ends his latest book, "Selling
the Invisible," with an admonition to use the Collision Principle:
If you just are out and about, things happen." His recommendation
is — get out there, almost anywhere, let opportunity hit you.
That’s a favorite principle for Katherine Kish, the owner of
strategic marketing and development firm Market Entry, and a volunteer
extraordinaire who gives her time to everything from encouraging
women in Russia to matching area residents with handicaps to good
jobs to helping arrange for the installation of peace altars around
Kish bubbles with enthusiasm as she hits on highlights of her
activities. "It’s real important that you do stuff that tickles
your fancy," she says.
One such experience was a 1996 trip to Voronezh, a Russian city of
1 million people 400 miles southeast from Moscow. Traveling to the
little-known city under the auspices of U.S. Agency for International
Development, Kish shared expertise gained in her years as the owner
of a small business with the Russian women she says are the best hope
that country has of establishing a merchant business structure.
"I think Russian women are wonderful," Kish observes.
are holding the country together." She keeps in touch with many
of the women she met on that trip via E-mail.
Another of the causes about which Kish is passionate also has a
connection, and she came to it through none other than the Collision
Principle. "I was brought in on the Nakishima Foundation because
of my interest in Russia," she says of her involvement with the
group formed to carry out the vision of artist and sculptor George
Nakashima saw a magnificent, tall tree, Kish recounts, and formed
the idea of fashioning a series of great altars from such trees,
them all around the world as Peace Altars. Now deceased, Nakashima’s
work is being carried on by his daughter, Mira N Yarnall, and by
"The third altar had a marvelous journey over the last year,"
she says. "It traveled to Moscow via the Hague and had all kinds
of exciting adventures. It was so big that they had to open an 18th
Century door to get this huge table in through an exterior wall of
the National Academy of Art."
While her interests are as expansive as the world peace altars, Kish
also takes on nitty gritty issues like improved technology for the
Chamber of Commerce for the Princeton Area. As chair last year, only
the fourth woman to serve in that position in 40 years, one of Kish’s
focuses was improving the organization’s website and upgrading its
"Technology is so important," she says, explaining that it
lets an organization coordinate scores of programs and activities
and hundreds of volunteers in a time-efficient manner
During her tenure as chamber chair, Kish also worked at funneling
members’ open jobs to area residents who most need work. "Small
businesses don’t have time to call a lot of agencies," she says.
"We asked our members to call the chamber with their job
In a win-win plan, members who need workers are connected with
working with individuals in need of employment.
In another "collision," Kish became interested in workforce
issues in inner city areas and among handicapped individuals through
work with a client, Jack Canfield, author of the Chicken Soup books
and founder of the Foundation for Self-Esteem. "Yes, yes,"
Kish says, "it sounds so obvious." But, she became convinced,
a lack of self-esteem is indeed an important factor in
in school and in difficulties in starting a career. She put Canfield’s
organization in touch with Mercer Street Friends, where his program
is in place.
Extending a helping hand in yet another direction, Kish is
excited about Princeton Future, an initiative that seeks to shape
the future of that community. In yet another "collision,"
Kish became involved as a result of the work of Reeves Hicks, a
fellow member of the Princeton Chamber. Hicks, after obtaining funding
from the Foundation for Free Enterprise, of which Kish is a trustee,
spearheaded a project that took a look at future options for
Kish is exploring options for Princeton’s business community.
is the business future of the town?" is the question Kish says
she is investigating. "It’s so exciting," she says after
part in meetings where area residents were shown images of what the
town could look like given varied placements of new structures and
plantings. "We can shape our environment."
Kish is doing her share to shape many dimensions of the environment.
But how does she find time for it all? Time is significant in
Kish says, not only for her, but for every organization that relies
"People are so pressed," she says. "You see people running
faster and faster." At the same time, she has observed that
are not as willing to fund community good work as such. "There
has to be a marketing payoff," she says of the corporate attitude.
One effect is that "you’re not seeing the middle managers who
used to volunteer as part of their jobs. Everyone," Kish says,
"is going back to the same well" in search of organizers and
Kish says one key to her ability to serve so many volunteer
is technology. "With E-mail and voicemail, you don’t always have
to be together to make things happen," she explains.
Born in Mississippi and raised in Ohio, Kish is the daughter of a
family physician and a social worker. She majored in history at
College in Pennsylvania, did graduate work at Williams and the
of Hawaii and earned a master’s degree in education from Antioch.
She taught history and world cultures before landing marketing jobs
with NBC, Singer, and Harcourt Brace.
Kish started her business, which helps clients manage
all kinds of change, including starting a venture or repositioning
a product, in Boston in 1982. "Then," says Kish, "I fell
in love." William Kraft, the object of her affections and now
her husband and the father of her son, William Kraft III, was offered
a job in Princeton in 1983, so Kish transplanted her new venture to
"My job is to help clients by giving them a dose of
says Kish. "I challenge gheir basic assumptions about the shape
and size of their operations and help them determine if their products
or services fall in line with what the market really needs. Sometimes
business leaders come to me with a temporary euphoria about their
new product or service. I help facilitate the thinking, serving as
sort of a corporate shrink."
Applying the same pragmatism to volunteering, Kish offers the
advice on becoming involved in community and professional
have a special meaning to her. "You have to care about the mission
and goals of the organization and feel good about it," says Kish.
in various groups has several benefits. "It’s a good way for
to get to know you," says Kish. "People see your work style
in action, which increases one’s comfort level and trust in you. Even
though you may never talk about your business while working with
in putting on a pancake breakfast, trust does develop," adding
that all business relationships must be based on trust.
people are working independently," observes Kish. In particular,
she believes that women are by nature social and gregarious creatures
who benefit from the advice, comfort, and linkages with others. She
sees Chamber meetings as offering opportunities to congregate with
other business leaders at "a larger water cooler."
of "fresh faces and fresh ideas to sweep out the cobwebs."
The interactions and training available through groups are especially
helpful for those who want to further develop their skills.
stretch themselves too thin. "There needs to be a unifying concept
to what you do," says Kish.
is motivated by reasons beyond networking alone, she can comment on
the impact of these activities on her business: "Associations
give me the opportunity to test concepts, as well as develop and
leadership skills, in a comfortable setting."
She recalls that while working with NBC, her supervisor encouraged
her to learn the broadcasting industry by joining her first trade
association. "It was non-threatening and the contacts and
there were all beneficial," adds Kish. She also notes that making
a mistake with an association usually does not cost the entire group,
which may not be true if you made the same mistake in your own
"Perhaps it’s the teacher in me that inspires me to keep learning
and encourages others," says Kish. "Getting involved with
different groups is a logical step . . . to widen your circle."
— Vivian Fransen
When the nearly 1,000 members of the New Jersey
of Women in Business (NJAWBO) convene at the Doral Forrestal
Center from Wednesday, April 25, through Friday April 27, two Mercer
County businesswomen will breathe a shared sigh of relief. Co-chairs
Lisa Harrah of Harrah & Associates and Kathleen Maguire Morolda of
Cranbury Station Art Gallery are elbow-deep in running their
and bringing together an annual meeting for their associates’ first
visit to the Mercer County area.
Their plan is to showcase the region, local merchants and the talents
of members in the Mercer chapter of NJAWBO, tying into the proximity
and resources of Princeton University. NJAWBO was incorporated in
1978 and lays claim to being the largest statewide women business
owners’ organization in the United States.
Focusing on the theme "Learning to Earn," Harrah says that
every attendee can look forward to walking away with the techniques
or tools necessary to earn more and to help her business grow. This
year, especially, workshops will guide those businesswomen who are
ready to sell or pass on their already developed businesses. The
is open to non-members of NJAWBO as well as members. Registration
information is available on the website www.njawbo.org (732-560-9607).
While they are putting together the components of a successful
conference, each woman has had to cope with the stress of keeping
her own business viable and reacting to the personal challenges of
raising a family. Both have risen to the occasion.
Her youngest child was just a year old and she also
had a six-year-old and a four-year-old when Kathleen Morolda decided
to open Cranbury Station Art Gallery in an old blacksmith shop near
her home in Cranbury. That was 17 years ago: "I must have been
The new business grew fast and Morolda says she was fortunate to
have good help. "I tried keeping Zachary close at hand in a crib
upstairs at the gallery. But he would wake up when customers came
in and I was always picking up toys that he threw down, so I hired
a babysitter to take care of him at the house. I became a stay-at-home
mom who also worked. My kids learned to help out at very early ages,
doing simple tasks like recycling cardboard."
Morolda’s business flourished as it attracted several corporate
and retail customers. The Woodbridge native relied on knowledge she
acquired from an associate degree in business and by taking art
on her own. She now owns three galleries: the original location in
Cranbury, one on Palmer Square that opened 10 years after the first,
and the newest gallery at 353 George Road, Dayton (609-655-1193).
Morolda’s father always encouraged her to take business courses, even
though her first love was painting. "Dad was in the advertising
business and he warned me that job postings for artists brought people
standing in lines for interviews. The jobs requiring business
skills often went begging."
For the first 10 years, while her gallery was thriving, Morolda didn’t
display her own artwork. "My husband had the `real’ job and I
only thought of my painting as a way to relax, to wind down when I
had some free time."
But Morolda showed one of her paintings to a designer who was
a corporate customer’s building. The designer snapped it up and that
broke the ice. "I`m really sorry that I waited so long."
Because of her numerous contacts with art distributors, Morolda was
able to find a publisher who took 24 of her works to print. "I
still feel amazed by the reception my work gets. Just recently, I
was speaking with an advertising rep from a newspaper and a customer
came in and bought one of my paintings. That wasn’t what impressed
me. Instead, I was astonished to see my work printed in the newspaper
Morolda credits her parents with fostering both her artistic and
skills. "Dad dealt constantly with artists and he knew a lot about
silk-screening. He also had a flair for being creative with words.
My mom was a nurse but she always wanted her own business. She had
a part-time job in a gift store at Menlo Mall when she was older.
She was always looking for a business opportunity that would combine
her love of crafts and her responsibilities as a wife and mother.
I opened my first gallery before she died and she would have been
so proud of how that first idea grew to three separate locations."
Rounding out Morolda’s home team — they now have a fourth child,
Nicholas — is her husband, Nick. "He’s the practical one.
He keeps up with important things like knowing when the taxes are
due and managing the details of the business."
Working with co-chair, Lisa Harrah, has been one of the big paybacks
for volunteering to work on NJAWBO’s annual meeting. "I could
never do this by myself. We’ve come up with a lot of good ideas for
the convention. But before we can implement them, we have to answer
to the state association and that can be frustrating at times. The
good side of it all that is I’m forced to keep to a schedule and keep
up on my planning skills."
Morolda maintains membership in the Cranbury Business Association
and serves on the board of the Borough Merchants of Princeton but
limits her association activity to the Mercer chapter of NJAWBO, where
she has been a member for two years. "I am constantly amazed by
this group. Lisa and I have had so much help from people who really
don’t get the credit for all their hard work."
Lisa Harrah works alongside her husband, Scott, who
is president of Harrah & Associates, an independent insurance agency
on Nottingham Way (www.harrah-assoc.com, 609-587-8030). "I started
as a salesperson, part time, after my now six-year old twin sons were
born and I soon learned that I loved this business." A finance
degree from St. John’s University and an MBA from Rider prepared
for what originally started out as a career in banking. A native of
Flushing, Queens, Harrah worked for Chemical Bank in New York and
New Jersey and then in retail banking.
"I had lots of business contacts in New York and North Jersey
but I found that I needed to know people in this area. That’s how
I first got started with NJAWBO. Most of my peers in the insurance
industry, even today, are male. There might be only three women out
of a gathering of 150 heads of agencies. NJAWBO helped me overcome
the frustration and loneliness of being so often the sole female in
my field. I feel very comfortable with this group."
When Harrah returns each day to her Yardley home, she’s glad to talk
with her husband about non-business related matters. "Even though
we see each other every day at work, we hardly get time to talk. And
we make it a point to avoid talking about work when we are away from
Does such daily interaction help or hinder? "Scott and I are so
opposite that it helps us work together because we bring different
insights to the same issues. It helps us find the middle ground."
Harrah has opened the eyes of other members of this family-owned
as well as those of her husband. "My mom wasn’t a businesswoman
but she always concentrated on letting me know I could do anything.
My husband is constantly amazed at my level of self-confidence. My
father-in-law often says that he can’t believe he never considered
an opportunity for his wife to be more involved in the business
handling the clerical work."
— Catherine Moscarello
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