Corrections or additions?
These articles were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on March 11,
1998. All rights reserved.
Life in the Fast Lane
For Nike to sponsor a sports event is nothing new,
but this sport is basketball for girls and this event — the Nike
Lady Footlocker 3 For All contest — is being staged by a firm
at 55 Princeton-Hightstown Road. It’s also one more example of how
a business can capitalize on donations to women’s health issues,
breast cancer (see "Clothes for a Cause," page 13).
"We are trying to promote a healthy life style in young
says Tina Dhondt, an account executive at the National Media Group.
Three full-timers and two interns from the events planning division
left Manhattan last fall to move to Princeton. The office will empty
out this week when everyone goes to Orlando to supervise the 3 For
Founded by Peter Kaplan and Michael Goldberg (a sports attorney) in
1980, the National Media Group retains its 25-person office at 1790
Broadway in Manhattan. It works with the NBA, the NHL, and the NFL
on such projects as a videoconference that beams basketball stars
to children’s hospitals — which serves as a technology showcase
for Lucent Technologies. NMG also does public relations and
work for Fleer/SkyBox and customer hospitality at All-Star events
for Schick and IBM. Robyn Stein, an alumna of the University of
Class of 1988, is senior director of events management.
When the final bell sounds the shoemaker and the shoe retailer will
have donated more than $400,000 to the girls’ basketball contest.
"Studies have shown that girls who play sports in high school
have less risk of breast cancer," says Kathryn Reith, spokesperson
for Nike. Other possible benefits: fewer teenage pregnancies, improved
self esteem, and less exposure to abusive relationships.
More than 10,000 young women have entered this contest, and although
none will get a cash prize (the most they can get under the rules
is a free trip to Walt Disney World) they do get free tickets to a
women’s basketball game and the chance to compete in three skills:
the speed dribble, the free throw, and a timed shooting event called
Last fall young women from ages 10 to 17 picked up entry blanks (and
vouchers for free tickets to a women’s collegiate basketball game)
from Lady Footlocker stores. Regional contests were held at the
Intermediate School on December 13 and in Trenton on January 10.
competed at halftime of the women’s college basketball game at St.
Joseph’s in Philadelphia on February 14. Winners from each age group
in 12 markets (Princeton is in the Philadelphia market) are competing
in Orlando and might even get to be on television. The "More Than
a Game" show airs Saturdays at 1 p.m. on Channel 4. (No date has
been set for the airing of this segment).
And what do the sponsors get for their $400,000? "The girls and
their parents are exposed to Nike and Lady Footlocker, and they
that these are two companies that are putting some time and money
and energy into their sport," says Reith.
There is no comparable Nike contest for boys. "Historically girls
have not had as many opportunities," says Reith. "This is
one of the few chances they get to show their stuff."
Road, Suite 109, Princeton Junction 08550. Robyn Stein, senior
event management. 609-716-6200; fax, 609-716-6165.
When 700 College Road was built it was equipped with
redundant systems suitable for computers at the back office of a bank.
But currently Credit Suisse/First Boston occupies only the third
and now Bloomberg Financial Markets hopes to take advantage of the
sturdy systems to install a backup computer.
"We are in the process of signing a lease for the second floor
and part of the first floor," says Bloomberg’s Stuart Bell.
thought it was very good to have a backup computer center, and then,
because we are taking the whole floor, another 100 people could be
training there during the day." Trainees would come from
New York, or around the globe, for two or three-week training courses
in financial reporting, operations, or sales.
Permanent employees at the site would number 150, but because of the
training center Bloomberg has submitted an application to expand the
parking area to a total of 521 spaces. Jay Biggins, of the Coleman
Company and Arete Capital Advisors, represents the prospective tenant.
Bloomberg has 1,079 workers on Business Park Drive; it provides
real-time information, analytics, news and trading systems for all
financial markets. Credit Suisse/First Boston did not return calls.
Trenton 08619. Edward Klinsport, CEO. 609-584-0202; fax, 609-584-0505.
When Strategic Technology Systems spun off from Base
Ten earlier this year, more than just strategic defense interests
were saved. After Base Ten decided to devote its manufacturing
software solely on pharmaceutical and healthcare services —
go of the defense wing of the business — five Base Ten executives,
including then-CFO Edward Klinsport, stepped in, got financial backing
in New York City, and purchased Base Ten’s assets for $5.5 million.
As Jeffrey Billie explains, the principals of Strategic also saved
jobs. "There was another bid by a company in New York, but all
they were interested in were the contracts and designs," he says.
"They weren’t interested in the facility or the people, so in
effect we saved 100 jobs in Hamilton Township."
Along with a New York-based investment banking firm, five principals
of Base Ten were involved, including Klinsport, Strategic’s president
and CEO; Billie, vice president of customer support; Rod Wurst, senior
vice president of operations; Peggy Cole, senior vice president,
and engineering; and Ed Struble, vice president of marketing.
"While Base Ten has decided to go full bore into medical software,
we have decided to continue the tradition of defense building that
we have practiced for the last 32 years," says Billie. This
electronic warfare equipment like data recorders ("black
on Apache helicopters and interference blanker units on Boeing
And, Billie adds, much of Strategic’s work would be featured in the
event of a bombing campaign against Iraq. That would include weapons
control systems on the Apache, cruise missiles, Tornado aircraft,
and the A-10 "tank-killing" aircraft.
All of Strategic Technology Systems’ 85 employees were formerly
at Base Ten. The companies still share the 84,000-square-foot
at 1 Electronics Drive.
Executive Center, Princeton 08540. Giuseppe Dragone, regional
609-951-9195; fax, 609-951-9638. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Home page: http://www.aptechworld.com.
Aptech has a new office on Independence Way, one of 1,000 centers
in 12 countries that have trained more than a million students over
the past decade. Its clients — students, end-users, and
system professionals, can take courses in such major areas as
Y2K remediation, Microsoft (MSCE), Internet, data communications,
client/server applications, and multimedia technologies. It has the
ISO 9001 International Quality Certification for education support
services and was the first organization to achieve this.
As an authorized testing center, partnered with Sylvan Prometric,
it can administer certification tests. It is approved by the state
board of education.
08512. Robert Feinberg, president. 609-409-9010; fax, 609-409-1650.
The 35-year-old company expanded in a move from New Brunswick. It
has 20 employees and manufactures pharmaceutical implants.
08540. Thomas D. Johnson, project manager. 609-430-1320; E-mail:
Home page: http://www.roottech.com.
Root Technologies has been in business since 1987 as a generalized
computer consulting firm in the town of Middlesex. By 1991 it had
begun to specialize in document conversion. Last year, when it moved
into Princeton, it began focusing exclusively on the conversion of
paper documents to electronic forms of all kinds, including, for
MS Word, Acrobat PDF, and HTML.
Princeton 08540. David C. McCourt, chairman and CEO. 609-734-3700;
RCN has announced a two-for-one stock split to improve the liquidity
and marketability of its shares, which are currently trading at nearly
$60. The record date for the transaction is Friday, March 20;
on record will receive one additional share of RCN common stock for
each share held (the distribution date is Friday, April 3). Upon
there will be 54.8 million shares outstanding.
RCN also named Dennis Spina vice chairman of RCN and president of
the company’s nascent Internet services division. Spina was former
president and CEO of Erol’s Internet, the ISP that RCN just acquired
as part of foray into the Internet-via-cable market. Prior to running
Erol’s, Spina was CEO of Suburban Propane, and spent the first 17
years of his career at Federal Express, working his way up the company
ladder from courier to vice president of east coast operations.
Sal Quadrino, Erol’s former CFO, will become RCN’s chief
Some doubt that online businesses pay off, but here’s
one that does. Kathleen Tucker’s firm, Independent Traveler,
interactive travel communities on AOL and the World Wide Web. Though
Tucker relies heavily on 50 "hosts" who help out on the
boards and are paid a nominal sum (amounting to a free subscription
to AOL) for their services, she has eight full-time paid employees
— five in a Pennington office and three who work from their homes.
"We are a profitable business," says Tucker, "and I am
drawing a salary that is more than enough to pay my nanny."
A veteran of 16 years in interactive services, Tucker has had her
own business for seven years. The Independent Traveler site reaches
800,000 households per month, and its advertisers (including American
Airlines, Marriott, and British Airways) pay an average of $40 for
each 1,000 people who view their banner ads. Tucker also collects
significant licensing fees from AOL.
"Travel has always been a passion for me," says Tucker. With
an aunt who sent postcards from exotic places, Tucker cultivated
penpals while growing up in Massachusetts as the oldest of six
In high school she went to France as a Lions Club exchange student.
From then on, she was an inveterate traveler.
After graduating from Stanford in 1981, she was a consultant on the
CompuServe account, doing competitive analysis and business strategy.
From there she went to online services at the San Francisco Chronicle
and then in a small California office of American Online, which has
its headquarters in Virginia.
When she proposed an online travel service, they accepted. She moved
to Princeton five years ago with her husband, an administrator at
Princeton Day School, and they have a two-year-old child. Two years
ago she hired her first full-time employee. Soon she will hire her
ninth, an advertising services coordinator. She recently moved to
Pennington’s Main Street from a home office.
The secret for the success of Tucker’s business could be what most
travelers have discovered — no one except your doting family
wants to hear about your latest trip. It offers the opportunity to
share your travel experiences — maybe boast a little, maybe
a little — and certainly help others to avoid your trials or share
in your joys.
"We give them a place where they can just tell people about their
trips," says Tucker.
Contributors can write trip reports or participate in chats where
first-hand information is exchanged. Most are American. "It’s
generally a baby boomer audience," says Tucker. "They are
hanging out with a lot of kindred spirits. They are finding people
who love to travel like they do, and they don’t necessarily have
in their own circle who like that. One of the fun things about travel
is hooking up with other travelers and exchanging stories."
Her staff does the facilitating or writes the articles
(tips, summaries) that are not destination articles. "We try to
get people to exchange experiences. We facilitate the exchange of
information; we set up the area (a place to recommend hotels in Paris,
for example) and promote it in such a way that people contribute to
"We don’t write travel articles per se," says Tucker. "If
you wanted to go to Nepal, you would check the international message
boards for the threads on trekking, restaurants, and hotels, but it
wouldn’t necessarily be an article. It would be all firsthand
Go to the German bulletin board and download a list of good
or great restaurants, of good places to stay. One writer touts Trier,
another insists that Munich is the best tourist spot.
Message boards are set up to go back 14 months, and for destinations
where there is little traffic and even less information (only one
reference, for instance, is made to a trip to Albania), messages can
survive for up to two or three years. Most of the longer stories must
Particularly popular are the price quotes on air fares when
wars" are taking place. In fact, the three areas that get the
most traffic are the Bargain Box, the Travelers’ Resource area for
practical suggestions, the community area, for interaction and chat.
Another section has book reviews. "The travel store doesn’t get
as much traffic as I would like," admits Tucker.
"It’s a very difficult business to make money in, but there is
a lot of potential and we are making a go of it."
— Barbara Fox
Building D-2, Pennington 08534. Kathleen Tucker, editor and publisher.
609-737-8820; fax, 609-730-9160. E-mail: TheTravler@aol.com.
Behind the plaque on the wall showing the Juris Doctor,
there’s a badge. And underneath his lawyer’s suit is a robe —
a judge’s robe.
At first Robert H. Yostembski traded in an Ivy League education for
a Trenton police badge. Then he traded in his badge for a gavel. Now
he is trading in his gavel for a shingle on Route 1. But for all of
the changes, Yostembski remains convinced that some things don’t change.
"People and situations change all the time while human nature
is constant," he says.
Yostembski’s new law practice, based at 2909 Route in Lawrenceville,
will be centered on municipal court law, including drunk driving,
domestic violence, assault, hit and run, personal injury, drugs, and
Basically, Yostembski, 46, has done just about everything inside a
courtroom except stenography. He got a degree in natural science from
the University of Pennsylvania (Class of ’72), but chose to attend
the Trenton Police Academy and join the police force instead. "I
had a close friend who joined the police department and liked that
job and its opportunities, and I followed him along and was glad I
did," he says.
From 1973 to 1980 Yostembski went to night school and worked the Trenton
beat in a patrol car. He enjoyed "the immediacy of activity, the
Johnny-on-the-spot of the situation where your presence and decisions
could make an immediate and important, positive impact on people’s
lives," he says. "There is some psychic income there if you
look for it."
Concurrently, Yostembski was working in two graduate school programs,
and in 1979 received both a masters in public administration from
Rider and a law degree from Seton Hall University.
At the advice of friends, he made a career change, getting into private
practice as a lawyer in Trenton. "I never had a desire to leave
the police department," he says. "I pursued the education
for its own sake and once I had the degrees I was advised to make
use of it."
After four years at Wherry & Yostembski, based at 124 West State Street,
Yostembski moved to Destribats, Campbell, DeSantis, Magee & O’Donnell
in Hamilton, where he worked until 1986.
Then he became a judge in Hamilton Township, where he served for more
than nine years. In 1996, he moved to Hightstown Municipal Court,
where he worked until opening his new practice.
One criticism of municipal courts stems from the fear that judges
form tacit alliances with the police in the municipalities in which
they serve. Not if the judge is doing his or her job, Yostembski declares.
"If the court is conducted properly it’s not an extension of the
police department but an independent branch of government that it
should be," he says.
If Yostembski had stayed on the police force, last week would have
marked his 25th anniversary. It would also have given him the option
of retiring along with his colleagues from the Trenton Police Department.
Does he miss it? Not really. "It was a good occupation at the
time — when I was younger and physically and mentally better able
to handle it," he says. "I’d recommend that career to anyone.
It’s now simply not a part of me."
— Peter J. Mladineo
08648. 609-882-3750; fax, 609-882-3537.
Diane Sammer, president. 609-409-0909; fax, 609-409-9099. Home
Systems/Link, a developer of software for wireless telecommunications
carriers, expanded to 15,000 square feet at 2540 Route 130, Cranbury.
It moved from smaller quarters on Route 33 in Hightstown. With 60
employees, Systems/Link offers a suite of products that help wireless
carriers track call detail records and deal with cellular fraud.
Its biggest selling product is Roamex, an international, real-time
roamer data exchange network that the company claims covers 95 percent
of U.S. markets, plus major markets in Canada, Mexico, and the
Other products include FraudTec 200, a real-time fraud profiling
with a graphical user interface, and SwitchLink, a real-time switch
data collector with a billing feed. The firm was founded in 1985.
The president is Diane Sammer, a founding partner who became president
in 1995. Sammer has a BA in psychology from North Adams State College
in Massachusetts, and had worked in marketing and sales for Computer
Sciences Corporation, before becoming Systems/Link’s vice president
of marketing and sales.
08620. Ray Kerollis, president. 609-585-4880; fax, 609-585-4882.
Ray Kerollis moved from an office in the home in Hightstown to new
facilities in Yardville. His firm produces multimedia educational
tools for industrial water treatment for industrial manufacturers.
"Water is the only chemical that enters a manufacturing facility
that can shut a whole plant down in a second — and no ones thinks
about it," says Kerollis. An industrial chemist with 34 years
experience, he had a consulting company, the Water Technology Group,
and decided to change businesses when he realized how few training
materials there were on the subject (U.S. 1, July 17, 1996).
D, Pennington 08534. 609-737-7604; fax, 609-818-1458. E-mail:
D, Pennington 08534. 609-737-7604; fax, 609-818-1458. E-mail:
Steven Gifis moved his practice from Straube Center to 1,000 square
feet at 65 South Main Street. The fax number is new.
Gifis, 52, has a degree from Harvard Law School (Class of 1969) and
has a practice that includes corporate law and real estate work. His
clients include Ice Land, Thompson Land, Energy Photovoltaics (EPV),
the Benefits Group, and a handful of smaller clients. "I like
to work with start-ups," he says.
Gifis got his undergraduate degree from UCLA and Berkeley, and taught
at Rutgers Law School after finishing his law degree in 1969. In 1983
he got a job with Chronar Corporation, another solar energy firm in
the Princeton area. He worked for DKM Enterprises, before starting
his own practice in 1990. He lives in the Elm Ridge section of
and has five children, 10 to 19.
Another lawyer, Jeffrey L. Weinstein, shares the space with
Gifis, and has another office in Lambertville (609-397-8400).
Circle, Skillman 08558. Nancy W. Kieling, executive director.
The foundation, founded in 1991 to support non-profit groups with
the greatest need and promote a greater sense of community, has moved
from 15 Roszel Road to Tamarack Circle.
Rachel Lei moved her multi-line insurance office from 44
Road to a home office.
732-346-5100; fax, 732-346-5115. Home page:
Five people from Cranbury joined 55 people moving from Roselle Park
to set up a Celsis laboratory in Edison. "Our product growth over
the last year was in excess of 40 percent, and our service growth
is 30 percent," says Frank Stellato, vice president and general
manager at an office based on the Northwestern University campus in
Evanston, Illinois (847-467-4814; fax 847-467-6602). "We had to
get out of the Cranbury and Roselle operations and really expand."
On the product side, Bob Perry heads the former Roselle Park division;
it deals in bioluminescence-based diagnostic system for rapid
detection for pharmaceutical firms, for food or beverage companies,
and dairies. The minimum cost for one unit is $60,000.
On the service side, formerly on Route 130, Celsis Laboratory Group
is a contract laboratory organization that offers chemistry,
and biology services to the pharmaceutical, personal care, and medical
device industries. Jim Brown is in charge.
Developer Eric R. Keller pleaded guilty March 6 in a
plea agreement that calls for a maximum of five years probation, 100
hours of community service for each of the five years, and restitution
of $102,771.82 owed to Mountainview Partners — his former inlaws
in the Gallup and Laughlin families.
The charges involved defrauding investors in Princeton Capital Credit
Partners, passing bad checks, and trying to record a deed in Somerset
County with a fraudulent signature. At the close of the hearing
charge was revealed — allegedly not paying $2,490 in back child
support — and Keller was arrested on a warrant from Somerset
Though in court he agreed to pay the entire amount to Mountainview
Partners, Keller admitted to stealing no more than $75,000 on the
grounds that the remainder was owed to him for development work on
the family’s Great Road property (U.S. 1, April 30, 1997).
Tamara’s Things, an Oriental antique shop on Route 1 South.
on Princeton-Hightstown Road.
Plan-It on Alexander Road.
at Marazzo’s Manor Lane Florist.
president of the Gandelman Agency on Whitehead Road.
Corrections or additions?
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