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These articles by Barbara Fox and Kathy Spring were prepared for the March 31, 2004 issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Life in the Fast Lane
Powered by profits of the sale of his company, Greg Olsen, founder of Sensors Unlimited, is headed into orbit. Olsen is set to become just the third civilian to travel to the International Space Station. Proceeds from the $700 million he fetched from selling his company provide more than enough spending money to fund the week in space, which is expected to cost at least $20 million.
After selling the company in 2000, Olsen led a management buy-back in 2002, purchased the company name and licenses to some technologies, and now serves as president of the re-formed company.
The first civilians to take the ride to space, Dennis Tito and Mark Shuttleworth, were relatively passive passengers, but Olsen, whose company makes fiber optic elements, plans to bring along infrared sensors to analyze pollution in Earth’s atmosphere and to assess the health of agricultural systems. In addition, he wants to discover whether the weightlessness of space is conducive to growing better versions of special crystals used in infrared sensors and other high-tech applications.
A Brooklyn native from a blue collar family, Olsen plans to use his trip to inspire youngsters, particularly those from families of modest means. He is hoping to put together a video link with the Trenton school district while he is up in space, and to report on his experience in visits to students in Trenton High School after he returns. While he is on the verge of truly reaching the greatest heights a businessman can achieve, Olsen got off to a slow start.
An indifferent high school student, his admission to Fairleigh Dickinson was delayed while he re-took a course in trigonometry. But he was able to gain academic traction and to earn degrees from both Fairleigh Dickinson and from the University of Virginia. He then set out, in a desultory manner, to emulate his father, an electrician. He went from wanting to be an electrician to wanting to be a TV repairman. Then, after the launch of Sputnik, he decided to become an electrical engineer, and then a physicist, before settling down in the semiconductor industry.
Olsen begins his journey into space by traveling this week to Star City, Russia, to begin six months of training for his flight aboard the Soyuz to the International Space Station. The trip is being arranged by Space Adventures, the Arlington, Virginia-based company that sent Tito and Shuttleworth into space.
Olsen is expected to blast off in April, 2005, but could leave gravity behind him as early as next fall.
– Kathleen McGinn Spring
Paul Winn is the new president, CEO, and board chairman at Princeton Softech, and former president Lisa Cash is now president of global field operations.
Cash came to Princeton Softech in 1998, the year that founder Joe Allegra sold the company to Computer Horizons. A 1987 graduate of Penn State who had made her mark at Bell Atlantic, she was president of North American sales when Allegra retired in 2000, ceding to her the president’s job.
Like Sensors Unlimited, Princeton Softech decided that 2002 was the time for the employees to buy the company back. Apax Partners was one of the two investment firms that made the buyback possible.
Evangelos Simoudis, a venture capitalist at Apax Partners and the former chairman at Princeton Softech, notes that Winn has been a CEO for more than 13 years. "He will broaden our executive team and position Princeton Softech for continued leadership in the database archiving and ILM markets," says Simoudis.
A mechanical engineer from Utah State, Class of 1969, Winn was vice president and general manager of IBM’s systems Printing, software and copier, and graphic systems business units. . At his most recent CEO position, he moved a software technology company, PowerQuest, from retail markets to enterprise solutions markets, and it was bought out by Symantec Corporation.
Simultaneously the company released news of a partnership with Veritas on data/information lifecycle management solutions. Princeton Softech’s database archiving solutions will function with Veritas’ Data Lifecycle Manager and its data management portfolio to manage structured data and application performance.
Darlene Gentry, the former personal secretary to T. Joseph Semrod, was sentenced on March 22 to at least four years in jail, the maximum criminal sentence for mail fraud and tax evasion. She had settled out of court on civil charges for stealing as much as $6 million from the former CEO of Summit Bank.
Gentry handled Semrod’s personal finances from 1983 to 2001. She had been earning $90,000 annually plus bonuses and benefits, and had even been promoted to the post of secretary of Fleet New Jersey, the subsidiary created when Fleet bought Summit.
Starting in 1995 Gentry wrote the first of more than 100 cashier’s checks against Semrod’s accounts, the trial revealed. Among her expenditures were more than $600,000 on vacations to exotic places and $78,000 on a Range Rover. Her tax evasion started in 1996, prosecutors said, with failure to report $314,634 in embezzled funds, and it escalated until the year 2000, when she did not report about $2.3 million in embezzled funds.
In a statement read by Kevin Carlucci, an assistant federal public defender, Gentry said, "I don’t know why I did what I did. I wish there was something I could do to fix it," About $1 million has been recovered, and Gentry is also supposed to pay back $5.1 million.
U.S. District Judge Garrett E. Brown Jr. presided over the criminal trial. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stuart Rabner quoted Semrod as saying "`I trusted her too much.’"
PharmaSeq has been awarded a patent for a method to use microtransponders in assays with multiple analytes. PharmaSeq’s assay system consists of microtransponders, high-speed reading instruments, associated software and diagnostic kits. Because microtransponders can instantly identify the type of molecule on their surfaces, and because they are very small, they are a viable alternative to using combinatorial chemistry or biochemical assays.
Thacker and Frank has extended its contract with Yardville National Bancorp and for a second year is the agency of record. To its consumer marketing projects, it will add public relations services. "We’re excited about the opportunity to establish a dialogue with the community through our new consumer public relations efforts," says Brian K. Gray, the bank’s first senior vice president.
Thaddeus Mikulski joined Roger Mitchell and moved his law practice from 2109 Pennington Road in West Trenton to Lambertville. They do personal injury, professional malpractice, construction law, and employment law.
Formerly known as Princeton Business Systems and listed as management consultants, this 13-year-old business has changed its name and is focusing on commercial real estate.
Formerly known as Utilities Auditors and Energy Inc., Remco audits energy use and utilities.
In December the semiconductor sales office for Actel moved from Center Drive in Jamesburg to Sicklerville. The firm is based in Sunnyvale, California, and it has an office in Totowa.
Carlson Travel closed its office on Independence Way, but it has 11 other offices in the state, including one at 3086 Route 27, Suite 6, Kendall Park 08824 (732-297-6600).
Richard C. Nadler moved his office from Kingston to Spring Valley New York. He sells and leases mobile offices, office trailers, and prefabricated buildings.
Pennsylvania National Insurance moved from Crossroads Corporate Center and calls are being referred to Harrisburg. This office does claims, underwriting, and centralized service.
In December, 2003, Seabrook Industries relocated from the Straube Center to Florida, according to one of the principals. It sold specialty surfactants.
Testware Associates moved from Old New Brunswick Road in Piscataway and has a new phone and fax. It does testing, consulting and training for design, implementation and improvement of software testing processes.
Frank Aiello moved his architectural practice from 501 Calhoun Street in Trenton to Sea Girt last year.
The New Jersey chapter of Prevent Blindness has merged with chapters in New York and Connecticut to form Prevent Blindness Tri-State, presently located at 984 Southford Road, Middlebury CT 06762 (800-850-2020). A permanent location has yet to be determined.
The national organization was founded in 1908, and the New Jersey chapter opened in 1978.
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