Bloomberg’s Backup

Base 10’s Spinoff

New in Town

Stock News

The Road to Web Profits

Law Man: Yostembski


Crosstown Moves

Leaving Town

Keller Guilty


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

All finals.

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

the supershot.

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."

National Media Group Inc., 55 Princeton-Hightstown

Road, Suite 109, Princeton Junction 08550. Robyn Stein, senior


event management. 609-716-6200; fax, 609-716-6165.

Top Of Page
Bloomberg’s Backup

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.

Top Of Page
Base 10’s Spinoff

Strategic Technology Systems, 1 Electronics Drive,

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.

Top Of Page
New in Town

Aptech Worldwide Inc., 5 Independence Way,


Executive Center, Princeton 08540. Giuseppe Dragone, regional


609-951-9195; fax, 609-951-9638. E-mail:

Home page:

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.

HydroMed Sciences, 8 Cedar Brook Drive, Cranbury

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.

Root Technologies Inc., 14 Wall Street, Princeton

08540. Thomas D. Johnson, project manager. 609-430-1320; E-mail:

Home page:

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.

Top Of Page
Stock News

RCN Corporation, 105 Carnegie Center, Suite 300,

Princeton 08540. David C. McCourt, chairman and CEO. 609-734-3700;

fax, 609-734-3875.

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



Top Of Page
The Road to Web Profits

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

be downloaded.

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

The Independent Traveler, 65 South Main Street,

Building D-2, Pennington 08534. Kathleen Tucker, editor and publisher.

609-737-8820; fax, 609-730-9160. E-mail:

Top Of Page
Law Man: Yostembski

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

juvenile law.

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

Robert H. Yostembski, 2909 Route 1, Lawrenceville

08648. 609-882-3750; fax, 609-882-3537.

Top Of Page

Systems/Link Inc., 2540 Route 130, Cranbury 08512.

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.

Industrial Water Institute, 33 Maitland Road,


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).

Top Of Page
Crosstown Moves

Steven H. Gifis, 65 South Main Street, Building

D, Pennington 08534. 609-737-7604; fax, 609-818-1458. E-mail:

Jeffrey L. Weinstein, 65 South Main Street,


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).

Princeton Area Community Foundation, 188 Tamarack

Circle, Skillman 08558. Nancy W. Kieling, executive director.


fax, 609-688-0342.

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.

Prudential Insurance, 1 Edith Court, Lawrenceville

08648. 609-799-9593.

Rachel Lei moved her multi-line insurance office from 44


Road to a home office.

Top Of Page
Leaving Town

Celsis Inc., 165 Fieldcrest Avenue, Edison 08818.

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.

Top Of Page
Keller Guilty

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).

Top Of Page

Tamara Moore, 77, on February 23. She owned and operated

Tamara’s Things, an Oriental antique shop on Route 1 South.

Nancy M. Novak, 57, on March 4. She worked at McGraw Hill

on Princeton-Hightstown Road.

Steven VanZile, 39, on March 5. He worked at the Daily

Plan-It on Alexander Road.

Neal C. Palmer, 40, on March 7. He was a floral designer

at Marazzo’s Manor Lane Florist.

Marvin Gandelman, 75, on March 9. He was the founder and

president of the Gandelman Agency on Whitehead Road.

Corrections or additions?

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