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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on February 23, 2000. All rights
JustBalls: New CEO
In a move calculated to grow his company quickly —
and probably prepare it to go public — Justballs! founder Jim
Medalia has stepped aside as CEO and named as his replacement a high
profile marketer from Hollywood, Jim Klein. David S. Wetherell, a
major investor known for his hot Web picks — he helped launch
Lycos and GeoCities — has stepped in as board chairman. In two
and a half years the firm has grown from 5 to 17 employees. "I was
chairman, CEO, president, and founder, and I am a lot
today," says Medalia, who retains his president title. "We
engaged Spencer Stuart, one of the top three executive search firms,
and we were very fortunate to get two senior partners on the account.
The minute we told them what we were looking for, they said they had
a guy who would be incredible."
JustBalls! has grown from offering 800 items last year to 1,800
this year. It even has the cachet of being involved in a lawsuit with
a major national chain store, Sports Authority. In an attempt to
the Sports Authority’s "Authority Marks" the chain filed suit
in Michigan Court on December 9 to protest the use of the words
Ball Authority" on justballs.com and the company’s registration
of the domain name ballauthority.com, ballauthority.net, and
"We have a very steep growth curve to be able to execute our
plan, and it will add more value to the company if we work with
who has done that before," says Medalia. "Jim Klein is a
builder of brands and of top line revenue."
A graduate of Rutgers, Klein was president of Universal Studios
Products Group, where he grew the consumer products division from
15 people to over 125 people and an excess of $1.5 billion in retail
sales. "He orchestrated one of the top three entertainment
programs of all time for Universal — the `Lost World’ movie,"
says Medalia. Klein is also credited with being the driving force
behind major brand names like Avon and Swatch and revitalizing
Inc. into a leading toy and gift companies.
Privately held, JustBalls.com is the first retailer to specialize
in the sales of balls of every type. In addition to Wetherell the
investors include Lycos CEO Bob Davis, Blue Rock Capital, Jafco
and Bantry Bay Ventures.
Medalia quotes Klein as saying JustBalls! had a real business model
— strip away the hype and at the end of the day there is a real
business. "I’m looking forward to helping this company achieve
entirely new levels of performance," says Klein.
08528. Jim Klein, CEO. 609-497-2400; fax, 609-497-0113. Home page:
100, Lawrenceville 08648. R. Shankar, regional manager. 609-620-4800;
fax, 609-620-4860. Home page: http://www.ramco.com.
The information technology firm has moved from 5 Independence Way
and has 40 employees at Crossroads Corporate Center. It provides
planning and asset management solutions based on the Windows NT
Clients include mid-size process and discrete manufacturing companies,
retail firms, and Internet businesses. Together with regional offices
in Connecticut, Chicago, Texas, and California, there are 100
in North America.
"We have recently expanded our liens of business to include
and consulting services," says Kamesh Ramamoorthy, the
More than 1,000 employees operate in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Phone and fax are new.
Moving your office is a powerful incentive to houseclean
your files. That’s what 193 employees at Mathematica found out when
they moved from Morgan Lane to the new building at 600 Alexander Park.
After long days of sorting and tossing, punctuated by pizza and ice
cream parties to keep the troops happy, they were rewarded by a better
view: Their new quarters overlook the lake in the Hillier-designed
complex. (That’s president Charles Metcalf, above, in his new office.)
Mathematic does public policy research and surveys for federal and
state governments, foundations, and private-sector clients and
its telephone operations center at 311-H Enterprise Drive, where 27
permanent full-timers work. More than 300 part-timers work there at
600 Alexander Park should not be confused with 600 Alexander Road,
the building occupied by Nassau Broadcasting on the west side of Route
Park, Princeton 08540. Charles E. Metcalf, president. 609-799-3535;
fax, 609-799-0005. Home page: http://www.mathematica-mpr.com.
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