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These articles by Barbara Fox were prepared for the May 26, 2004
issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Life in the Fast Lane
After last year’s really bad winter, this business couple moved to Florida. Actually, the weather was not the only reason that Cynthia Avery and Edward Schlueter picked up stakes and moved their executive recruiting firm, Avery Schlueter, from Montgomery Commons, but the good weather in Naples is certainly a benefit.
Money talked too. "The tax considerations became very profound," says Schlueter. "For a similarly priced house, our tax bill is 60 percent of what it was in New Jersey, and there is no state income tax. The business tax is slightly less, and automobile insurance, for the same coverage, is less than half of what we were paying." He cites a website that figures 71 cents in Princeton will buy a dollar’s worth of living in Naples.
Avery Schlueter searches nationally for senior sales and marketing positions, general management, and presidents in these industries: packaging and food processing machinery, and pharmaceutical processing.
The couple had moved to New Jersey to be near his terminally ill mother. "Now that she is gone," says Schlueter, "my in-laws in Naples hoped to have us nearby. Couple the financial considerations with the awful winter we had and it was a simple decision. Our house sold in 11 hours at full price."
The couple has set up their firm, Avery Schlueter, in one wing of a big house "which we couldn’t legally do in New Jersey," he says. "As recruiters in New Jersey, we could not have home offices. We were subject to state blue laws that went back to the Civil War."
Schlueter graduated with a chemistry major from Hunter College in 1964 and has a master’s degree in management from at Brooklyn Polytech. He had worked at InterChemical, Tidland Corporation, and Big Three Industries (a Houston-based conglomerate), and moved to Princeton in 1989. His wife, Avery, had been a biochemistry major at Wheaton College in Massachusetts and had worked for American Cyanamid and Celanese before going into the recruiting business 25 years ago. She and her husband opened their business in 1978.
Avery Schlueter Inc., 6663 Glen Arbor Way, Naples 34119. Cynthia A. Avery, president. 239-348-2610; fax, 239-348-2651.
Anand Rangarajan, executive vice president of Worldwater Corp., did get to travel to Baghdad for the last week of April as he had hoped (U.S. 1, "Pumped by the Sun," April 14). Of the six Pennington-based Worldwater employees that had hoped to make the trip, three were able to go: Rangarajan, S. Schuyler Morehouse and Alex Takahashi. They consulted with the Sandi Group, the international development company that is partnering with Worldwater.
Although any trip to Iraq must have been accompanied by worries and fears, Rangarajan says only that "it was very successful. We have found business opportunities there, and we expect to be working closely with our Iraqi partner in the implementation of these projects."
This month the firm is shipping equipment worth $1.75 million, to the Cerro Coso Community College solar project in Ridgecrest, California. This $8.9 million contract represents the largest PV installation at any community college campus in the nation.
"We’ll be sending a truckload of solar equipment every day during the last week of May," says CEO Quentin T. Kelly. The project, slated for completion in June, is expected to supply 50 to 60 percent of the college’s total electricity and reduce overall energy consumption.
Worldwater is a full-service international solar energy and water management company with high-powered solar technology for water supply and energy problems. It has also announced a $377,500 grant to develop solar projects in New York from Rochdale Cooperative Ltd., an urban electricity cooperative.
At the Friday, May 28, stockholder’s meeting for ITXC, a vote will be taken on the merger of ITXC and Montreal-based Teleglobe. If the merger goes through shares will begin to trade on Nasdaq under the symbol "TLGB" starting on June 1. If ITXC stockholders fail to send in a proxy vote for a May 28 stockholders meeting, it will be the same as voting no, cautions Tom Evslin, chairman and CEO of ITXC.
"The ITXC Board of Directors unanimously recommend acceptance of the proposed merger with Teleglobe because the merger is in the best interests of shareholders," said Evslin, in a statement. "The new company will not only be the leader in Voice over IP but also the largest voice wholesaler of any kind. It will have the advantage of Teleglobe’s extensive IP network and portfolio of voice value added, mobile, and data services and ITXC’s VoIP technology portfolio." Evslin founded ITXC six years ago and would be chairman designate of the new company.
Keller Williams of Princeton has made a strategic alliance with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Stan Sobieski, who is a home mortgage consultant and construction specialist with Wells Fargo, is operating with his team from the Keller Williams location on Canal Pointe Boulevard. The main Princeton office of Wells Fargo remains at 600 Alexander Road.
"I’m proud to be associated with such a successful and growing organization," says Ellen Affel, team leader at Keller Williams.
Onepath Networks, also known as Foxcom, moved this month from 600 College Road to Forrestal Village. Established to design, manufacture, and market broadband fiberoptic transmission systems, this privately-held Israeli company had dropped from 35 people to three people, and had been subleasing space on College Road to Shawnee Chemical. Shawnee moved with Onepath to the Village and shares 2,500 square feet.
Before it changed its name, Foxcom had become well known in the satellite communications industry, says John Murphy, director of North American operations. The firm offers fiber optic transmission solutions for the satellite, broadcast, and multi-dwelling unit (MDU) markets.
"We didn’t need 6,000 feet for three people," says Murphy. Matthew Malatich of CBRE represented the tenant, and Greg Lezynski represented the Gale Company.
Satellite communications "was our main bread and butter, and that has been my focus," says Murphy, joking that he is "the last man standing," and that "I got promoted by attrition."
Murphy, 51, grew up in Missouri, where his father had a union job and his mother was an administrator for a real estate developer. After attending St. Louis University he enlisted. During 12 years in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, most recently as a staff sergeant, he learned about satellite communications. He met his wife at Fort Monmouth. She works in satellite communications for the Army, and they live in Jackson. They have three grown children and one grandchild. He is earning his undergraduate degree on a distance learning program from Marywood University in Scranton and plans to graduate in 2005.
Soon Murphy expects to announce a sale to a major government contractor on Research Way, and he hopes to add more staff.
"Our main focus is on video, but we will re-expand, this time in a profitable manner, into other areas such as Fiber To The Premise (sometimes called fiber-to-the-curb, now called FTTX, with X being whatever you want it to be)."
Another potential product is video overlays with voice and data. "We will put your telephone and data and video all on a single fiber, triple play. We are looking to partner with companies that do the data part and we would offer the video solutions," says Murphy. For this he will concentrate on multiple dwelling units, such as apartment buildings and office buildings.
Shawnee Chemical moved from 600 College Road, where it shared space with Onepath Networks, to another office shared with Onepath in Princeton Forrestal Village. Founded in 1980, the company offers sales, distribution, and marketing services to producers of PVC and additives for PVC systems.
The NJTC Venture Fund will chip in $1 million to InMat’s current funding round. InMat uses nanotechnology to make functional nanocomposite coatings for such products as tennis balls and work gloves.
The firm was co-founded in 1999 by Harris Goldberg and Carrie Feeney, who acquired all the rights to the nanocomposite coating technology that had been developed by their team when it was part of Hoechst. Commercial sales started at the end of 2000.
"We are excited about the enormous potential of InMat’s barrier coating technology in several different industries", says Jim Gunton of the fund (www.njtcvc.com). "InMat exemplifies how talented, experienced entrepreneurs have spun-out top technology from a leading corporate R&D program."
With its functional nanocomposite coating approach, InMat has solutions to a generic problem in the rubber industry – rubber is too permeable for most of its applications.
InMat’s first product is used in Wilson Sporting Good’s Double Core tennis balls, the official ball of the Davis Cup. The firm is also developing automobile tires that will be less expensive, more efficient, safer, and that could reduce disposal costs. Other potential products are gloves with elastomeric barrier coatings for the chemical protective glove market, flexible food packaging, beverage containers, and medical packaging and devices.
Voxware has new products for what it calls "wearable voice technology." "The VLS-410 wearable wireless technology packs more onboard memory and a faster processor than competitive systems, and it manages power effectively – delivering 10-hour battery life," says Tom Drury, Voxware CEO. "With this announcement, we are delivering significant new capabilities to our customers while at the same time positioning Voxware to scale its business."
The VLS-410 is entirely voice-driven, enabling users to perform virtually any task from sign-on to application selection to work assignments simply by speaking. Also new is the new VLS Smart Charger, which simultaneously analyzes and charges eight batteries so that any worker will have enough power to last through an extended shift.
Amicus Therapeutics, headquartered at the Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies, has landed $31 million in a Series B private equity financing. Amicus develops new small molecule drugs to treat human genetic disorders, particularly lysosomal storage diseases. It occupies four of the incubator spaces in the center developed by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (U.S, 1, May 14, 2003). Founded two years ago by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and CHL Medical Partners, the firm has 10 employees, the same number it had last year.
"During the fund raising we were able to stay focused on ensuring that the pre-clinical development of AT1001, our lead product candidate for treatment of Fabry disease, remained on track," says CEO Norman Hardman. Those who suffer from Fabry disease have such early symptoms as neuropathic pain, heart disease, kidney disease, skin problems, and an inability to sweat.
Amicus Therapeutics uses the term chaperone to describe its pharmacological solutions to genetic disorders, and it focuses on orally active drugs that are simple and convenient to administer. Its "pharmacological chaperones" help misplaced or "misfolded" proteins get to the appropriate site of activity and perform their appropriate biological function.
AT1001, the small-molecule drug that might be able to treat Fabry disease, received fast track (orphan drug) designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in March. Hardman plans to have this drug in the clinic by October of this year and also to work on therapies for Gaucher Disease.
The lead investor in the financing round is Canaan Partners.
Once more Roland Pott is managing the 450-seat night club that he co-founded with his partners in Trenton Makes. Pott assumed control recently, at the departure of the three-person Philadelphia-based management team that took over in September.
As for the restaurant that was to replace the Urban Word cafe, Congress Rotisserie, it closed in April. Pott remains optimistic that he will find the right proprietor for both the restaurant and the nightclub.
Prevention Education Inc. has a new name, PEI Kids, a new logo, and a new design for collateral materials. What the agency did and who it served often needed to be explained.
"The new name, PEI Kids, clarifies the agency’s client base and focus, while maintaining the historical acronym of the agency," says the organization in a press release. "P-E-I now represents the agency’s activities: prevention, education, and intervention."
Founded as a private, nonprofit organization in 1985, PEI Kids offers the most comprehensive array of children’s services in Mercer County, says Evelyn A. Gill, executive director. "Through education about abuse, bullying prevention programs, crisis intervention, supervised visitation, outreach to juvenile offenders and other services, we offer children and their families important services to make them safe and well."
A memorial service for Clara Lidz, who died in January, will be Friday, June 4, at Kelsey Theater, Mercer County Community College in West Windsor. She was the director of nursing education at MCCC for more than 30 years.
William J. Brennan III 71, on May 17. The son of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr., he was a senior partner at Smith Stratton Wise Heher & Brennan on College Road.
Loretta A. Rockino Falco, 86, on May 22. For more than 50 years she was a chef at the Nassau Inn.
Eyvonne Michalski Clayton Guido 58, on May 23. She had worked at Princeton Foot and Ankle Associates, the Pavilions at Forrestal, and Amici-Milano Restaurant.
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