Corrections or additions?
These articles were prepared for the June 9, 2004
issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Life in the Fast Lane
When employee complaints get noticed by gossip columns, the subject of
company morale goes public. That happened at Bloomberg on Sunday, May
30, when Bloomberg gripes were the lead item for Liz Smith, the
national gossip columnist who is syndicated in the Trenton Times.
Smith noted that one of her cohorts had talked to some disgruntled
employees who were taking their complaints to founder Mike Bloomberg.
When he took office as mayor of New York in 2002, he had put Lex
Fenwick in charge and relinquished control of his company.
"It may give him a tiny tweak of delight to say what I hear he says to
these idiot complainers who want him to mix his public policy posture
with his former business," wrote Smith.
She quoted the mayor as laughing, and saying, "Sorry you’re unhappy.
Nothing I can do about that. And nothing I would want to do about it,
since I understand that Bloomberg is making money and just had one of
the best business quarters in its history.’"
More than 1,200 people work at Bloomberg’s Princeton locations,
including the data center on Business Park Drive, just off Route 518
in Montgomery Township, and the newsroom at 400 College Road.
Some of the people whom Smith labels "idiot complainers" are long-term
employees who are rebelling against current management. Their
diatribes show up on at least two websites, www.vault.com (for
jobseekers) and www.ourbloomberg.com (maintained by a union, the
Union rumblings stirred in the spring, when reporters and editors on
College Road were told they would be transferred to Manhattan and a
54-story glass skyscraper, now under construction on the block bounded
by 58th and 59th streets and 3rd and Lexington avenues. "All we are
moving is our news room, 125 to 150 people in Princeton," says David
Wachtel, Bloomberg spokesperson. "Our editor-in-chief, Matt Winkler,
feels the news bureau should be close to the markets we cover."
Barry Lipton, president of the Newspaper Guild of America in New York,
confirms the guild is trying to organize Bloomberg, and that it put up
the website in late March. "We have met with a lot of people before
and after that time. This process is not something that happens
overnight." The Newspaper Guild belongs to the 700,000-member
Communications Workers of America. In New York it has 20 contracts and
represents 3,700 employees, including those who work at the New York
Lipton says that 525 Bloomberg journalists who work in the United
States are eligible to join the union, and that about one-third of
them are based now on College Road. Lipton says he was told that the
chief executive informed them that they must "choose between Bloomberg
and your family and its needs."
"Where there is a union," says Lipton, "you can bargain over the
effects of a move and try to do things to soften the relocation.
Without representation the company doesn’t have any obligation to talk
The Business Park Drive employees are not the target of union
organization, but on the vault.com website they decry the sudden
departure of Stuart Bell, one of the company’s three earliest
employees. Until several years ago Bell had been in charge of the
Princeton data center, but more recently he was working in New York,
where he reported to Fenwick.
Mike Bloomberg had cited Bell in his 1997 autobiography as being one
of the first on the sales force, "one of the people who joined before
we had much of a business and have stayed through the tough times.
That’s the kind of loyalty that binds us together and earns a mutual
respect that survives to this day."
Bell apparently walked away from his desk last month without fanfare.
The company has no comment on Bell’s departure, and he declines to be
interviewed. Though his house is on the market, he and his wife are
building a new house in the Princeton area.
Some workers fear that Bell’s departure – and the reports that
emphasize profitability – mean the company is being readied for a
sale. The company has no comment.
When a founder leaves, no matter well he has delegated, people look to
see if the organization will run as well as before. Company dynamics
change. And many of those writing diatribes on the websites seem to
believe that things changed for the worse since Mike Bloomberg’s move
from business to politics.
Prior to founding his company, he had been general partner at Salomon
Brothers, where he headed equity trading, sales, and systems
development. In 1981 he founded his eponymous online network, a
service with data, analytics, electronic trading, and straight-through
processing tools on a desktop terminal called the Bloomberg. Bloomberg
News, including the radio and television networks, was created as a
value-added service for owners of the terminals. Now 1,600 reporters
worldwide in 94 bureaus write more than 4,000 news stories daily.
But change is good, according to what Bloomberg told Inc. Magazine in
October, 2001. Three years ago, he said, he had ousted nine top
managers from their jobs, appointed deputies in their place, and told
them to work elsewhere for two months.
"From the moment people start a new job, two things happen: they
acquire experience, and they get increasingly jaded. When you move
people around, they take the experience with them, but they start from
scratch in the jaded arena," said Bloomberg in the Inc. interview.
"Yes, it’s true that the new people don’t know as much as the people
they’re replacing," said Bloomberg. "But the reverse is also true: the
new people are just at the beginning of their learning curve. And
generally – not always, but most times – they go blasting right
through where their predecessors were and move on to higher levels the
company would never have achieved otherwise."
"It’s easier in a small company," said Bloomberg. "You have fewer
people to move. And the management typically is more direct. It’s more
focused on the bottom line. The great danger in a small company is
that you become overly dependent on one or two people. And that’s all
the more reason to move them around."
As a result of this two-month management exercise, Lex Fenwick
suggested that the company should eliminate his job. Fenwick, who had
been recruited by Bell, had been in the London office in charge of
European operations. Bloomberg was impressed and made Fenwick the
company’s chief operating officer during the mayoral campaign, and
Fenwick is now the top executive.
"I watched what he did in London. More of the innovation in this
company was coming out of the London office than from the New York
office," said Bloomberg in the Inc. interview. He believed Fenwick
would preserve Bloomberg’s culture. "I think he’ll make our culture
even more unique."
But Bloomberg demonstrated a feeling of responsibility for his
workers: "I’ve got 7,900 employees. I have an obligation to those
people. They need to know that we have young, innovative management
looking out for their careers."
Perhaps it is this protective attitude that the employees miss today.
— Barbara Fox
Taking out the traffic signal at Nassau Park Boulevard might help the
bottleneck on Route 1 North, but it did not solve the problem of how
to get northbound shoppers into the mall. The New Jersey Department of
Transportation has announced the second part of its plan: It will
provide another way for northbound shoppers to enter the big box mall.
"By taking out this jughandle, we are actually taking away half of the
cars that are going into the shopping center, going northbound," says
John Lettiere, head of the NJDOT. "We had to figure out how to get
that volume of cars, which can no longer use the jughandle, back into
the shopping area. One way is to go to the back."
Already underway, the $2.4 million project will create a new frontage
road to run parallel to three lanes of Route 1 North. Similar to the
frontage road along Route 1 near MarketFair, it will allow a free flow
of slower-going traffic from Route 1 into the back entrance of the
shopping center from Quakerbridge Road near Province Line Road. The
project is slated to be finished by early November.
"We’re not taking any property," says Lettiere. "We’re redesigning
things in the background that will allow for better movement behind
this shopping area." He says that business owners will not foot any of
the costs and are generally supportive of the project.
The bottleneck at Nassau Park creates a particularly dangerous
situation for morning commuters because traffic heading for Route 1
North backs up all the way to I-95. Drivers going in excess of 60
miles-per-hour quickly encounter cars, at a dead stop, lined up to
make their exit. With the Nassau Park light gone, the first traffic
signal that northbound motorists will encounter is at Carnegie
Lettiere admits that some motorists will not immediately embrace the
plan. "Is it a longer ride? Yes, in distance, of course, because you
are coming in the back rather than going in the front," says Lettiere.
"But you don’t have to stop for a signal either."
Southbound Route 1 traffic will still be able to enter the shopping
center by making a right-hand turn, but drivers exiting the shopping
center onto Route 1 will only be able to travel south.
The project will take place in three segments. In June and July the
traffic signals at the current back entrance of the shopping center
(on Nassau Park Boulevard and Quakerbridge Road) will be synchronized
with the traffic signals within the shopping center. This will allow
for better traffic flow from the intersection. "The traffic volume is
too heavy already for a helter-skelter of traffic signals," says
Lettiere. Also, utility, curb, and deceleration lane changes will be
created on Route 1 North near Quakerbridge Mall to ease the movement
of vehicles in the right lane.
In August and September the new frontage roadway will be installed
alongside Route 1 North. Also, work crews will modify ramps that carry
motorists through the Route 1 North and Quakerbridge Road
intersection. While no lanes on Route 1 will be closed, the ramps may
be closed briefly during non-rush hours.
October and November will see the lengthening of the deceleration lane
on the exit ramp from I-95 North to Route 1. Also, the Route 1 and
Quakerbridge Road interchange will be repaved.
"The closing of the jughandle will be the last thing that will be
done, because we have to provide all these other aspects in order to
take out the jughandle," says Lettiere. "After we put in the frontage
road, do some paving work and regrading of the ramps, once all that is
finished, then we can take the light out. Not until that time,
otherwise folks will have a hard time getting into the shopping area."
Throughout the construction, the impact on Route 1 traffic is expected
to be negligible. "Right now we are moving some utilities out of the
way, which will impede traffic a bit, but that will be done fairly
quickly," says Lettiere. "Once we are done moving the utilities we
will be maintaining three lanes of traffic, so all this work won’t
interfere with traffic."
Weekday work hours will be from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and any required
lane closures will take place during that time or at night. Weekend
work may also be necessary. Motorists are being asked to follow the
safety and directional messages on the variable message signs (VMS)
along Route 1 and on I-295 and I-95. Information will also be
available at www.state.nj.us/transportation, www.njcommuter.com, and
The DOT has planned a massive public awareness campaign, distributing
fliers at affected malls and shopping centers, mailings to residents
from surrounding communities, and installing in-store displays
alerting shoppers. "The communications piece of this is really the
important part," says Lettiere. "We want to make sure that we reach
not only commuters who use Route 1 every day, but the shoppers who use
these shopping centers, especially on the weekends."
Although the DOT has been aware that there has been a problem at the
Nassau Park Boulevard jughandle and Route 1 for the past five years,
Lettiere says that it has taken this long to come up with a workable
solution. "It’s been very controversial, but I think it will make
folks happy," he says. "It will be safer. There will be a little
better free flow of traffic. There won’t be people backed up out on
the interstate. Motorists can still get in and out of the shopping
area more safely."
And what if the actual project works better on paper than it does in
reality? "If we have to tweak anything once the project gets in, we’re
going to do that," says Lettiere. "We have to make sure that the
traffic synchronization is correct. We’re going to have a lot of
signage and make sure that we separate the traffic. If we find it is
not adequate or we have to make changes, we will do that."
Zargis, a company being incubated at the Siemens Corporate Research
facility on College Road, has received Food and Drug Administration
approval to market the first computer-aided stethoscope, a medical
device to support physicians in analyzing heart sounds for the
identification of suspected murmurs, a potential sign of heart
disease. The product, called Zargis Acoustic Cardioscan, took seven
years to develop.
Cardioscan has its roots in an invention by Raymond Watrous, a Siemens
scientist who founded a company called Sound Diagnostics (U.S. 1, May
11, 2001). At that time both Siemens Corporate Research Inc., a
subsidiary of Siemens Corporation, and Speedus.com (www.speedus.com)
had a stake in the company, and Speedus now has a majority share.
"It’s been seven years since we started on this project, and we have
had an excellent team working on it and excellent clinical
collaborators," says Watrous, chief technology officer at Zargis. "A
lot of people have contributed to this accomplishment. We are looking
forward to introducing this product to physicians."
If Cardioscan can identify valvular heart disease that might otherwise
go undetected, yet improve the recognition of innocent heart murmurs,
it could reduce the number of unnecessary referrals for more expensive
It consists of a laptop loaded with Zargis software and an electronic
stethoscope that is manufactured in Texas. It amplifies the heart
sounds and provides an output that can be used to store the heart
sounds in a computer where it can be printed or played back. It gives
the physician a baseline and a way to detect and track changes over
time. "We leverage that with some powerful signal processing
algorithms to identify the heart murmurs," says Watrous.
Clinical studies proved that Cardioscan can detect heart murmurs with
a sensitivity of 91.8 percent and a specificity of 68.0 percent. This
far exceeds the average hospital physician’s score. An American
Medical Association study showed that internal medicine and family
practice physician residents could identify heart murmurs at rate of
about 20 percent.
"Zargis is the only company that has been able to achieve this
significant milestone, which demonstrates our outstanding technical
expertise and core competency in this clinically important field,"
08540. Shahram Hejazi, president and CEO. 609-734-6510; fax,
609-734-6565. Home page: www.zargis.com
Ford Motor Company is closing its New York Parts Distribution Center
in Teterboro and opening three distribution centers, including one in
300,000 square feet at Corporate Park Cranbury, 280 Prospect Plains
Road. About 140 people will work there. The first hourly employees
will report for training in early August, and they will work nearly
round the clock, with shifts starting at 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Steven Spinweber represented the Parsippany-based developer, the
Sudler Companies, in a lease valued at more than $13.5 million.
Greenfield Builders is in the final stages of construction of the
prefab concrete building, and it is expected to open in October.
Overall, Ford has split eight warehouses into 21 locations. Until
January, the 600,000 square foot Teterboro location was sending parts
to the entire east coast. That territory was split three ways, and
distribution centers have already opened in Hartford, Connecticut, and
Winchester, Virginia. "The new center will enable us to provide daily
delivery service to more 480 dealers in an area ranging from Maryland
and Philadelphia north to almost all of New York state," says William
E. Stewart, the PDC manager. "We wanted to be closer to our dealers
and provide daily service. Now they can order on Monday afternoon and
have parts delivered on Tuesday."
The Cranbury distribution center will carry 35,000 of the more than
200,000 parts required by Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury, and the rest
will be shipped from Livonia, Michigan. Other Ford-owned companies,
such as Volvo, Jaguar, and Mazda, have their own distribution center.
This warehouse is one-third the size of the new Volkswagen facility on
Station Road in Cranbury, but Stewart says that smaller warehouses
actually reduce the technology needed. "We have simplified our system
by taking the conveyor systems out. The system we have now is driven
to meet critical delivery times. Most of the picking of very small
parts is in 20 minute increments, and it is easier to do without the
mechanization we used to have."
Ford can be counted on to be active in the community (making
appropriate charity contributions) but this facility is not
necessarily a good place to apply for jobs that pay about $25 an hour.
"Our hiring needs are undetermined," says Stewart. "We have an older,
experienced work force, many with more than 30 years service, and many
will decide to retire rather than make the drive."
Laid-off employees from Ford’s plant in Edison would have priority, as
would those who had worked at the Teterboro plant before it was split
between New Jersey, West Virginia, and Connecticut. "The prospect of
anyone being hired, other than on a temporary basis for the summer, is
Stewart grew up in Missouri and Iowa and majored in finance and
accounting at the University of Iowa, Class of 1973. He went to work
for Ford that year as a financial analyst in the controller’s office
and earned his MBA from the University of Michigan. In Ford’s customer
service division he has had a variety of jobs, including working at
the Teterboro Parts Distribution Center and managing the PDC in San
Francisco, before returning to Teterboro as the manager. "I have had
all the jobs you can have at PDC except opening a new facility," says
Stewart. He lives at Canal Pointe and will soon be joined by his wife;
they have four grown children.
Ford has sold its 606,000-square-foot building in Teterboro for $32
million to AMB Property Corp., a San Francisco-based real estate
investment trust, and a new tenant has been found. The company already
has another division in Cranbury, the Ford Motor Credit Company, which
has about 20 employees at Interchange Plaza.
"We are very happy to join the Cranbury community. Most of the
employees are very excited about coming to work in a new building,"
says Stewart. "Our current building was built in 1953, and it shows
it. "Based upon past history with these facilities, the customers will
be happy with it."
— Barbara Fox
07608. William E. Stewart, plant manager. 201-288-9400; fax,
201-393-4247. Home page: www.ford.com
Individuals with substantial fortunes, and the inclination to give
them away, are nervous. High-profile controversies over the possible
misuse of funds, like the one that swirled around the American Red
Cross after 9-11, and over the possible disregard of a donor’s intent,
like the one that has had trustees of the Barnes Foundation in court,
"send chills down the spines of potential large donors," says Jeffrey
DuFour. A partner in accounting firm Cohen DuFour at 4390 Route 1, he
has just founded the Tillit Group, a company that will certify that
trustees of non-profits are conversant with sound fiscal management.
DuFour was born in Camp Kilmer, where his mother was working as a
dispatcher during the Korean War. His father was in the Coast Guard.
Keeping track of money runs in his family, he says, noting that his
mother told him his birth "only cost her $8."
He is a graduate of Bryant College in Rhode Island (Class of 1976). An
accounting major, he went on to earn his CPA right after graduating.
He started with Elliott Cohen in 1978, when the firm had "six or
seven" employees and was located in New Brunswick. Cohen DuFour has
grown to 13 employees and moved to Route 1 North.
Tillit means trust, and DuFour formed it as a separate entity, he
says, "because I always had an involvement in non-profits, and I saw a
need for more organized practices on the administrative side." In
looking for a framework, he found out that 27 best practices "for
managing money not your own" had just been codified. He became one of
the first people to earn accreditation from the Foundation for
Fiduciary Studies (www.ffstudies.org), a Sewickley, Pennsylvania-based
not-for-profit that develops and promotes practice standards defining
a prudent process for investment fiduciaries.
Tillit, drawing upon the principles of the Foundation for Fiduciary
Studies, is the first company to offer certification to trustees of
non-profits. DuFour expects that most people who will seek this
certification will be volunteer trustees of smaller non-profits. "When
you get into multi-million dollar foundations, you have paid,
professional staff," he says. But legions of smaller non-profits rely
on unpaid trustees. The new company’s niche is non-profits that are
small, but not too small. "We’re looking at non-profits with
endowments," he says.
His research indicates that trustees of these mid-size organizations
often have little financial sophistication. Many, he says, can not
even define "fiduciary." Yet, they are fiduciaries; they are
responsible for the prudent management of funds donated to their
"The role of fiduciary is in an oversight capacity," says DuFour. It
is a two-pronged responsibility. "Trustees need to see that assets are
managed in accordance with the law and with written investment
policies," he says, "and they need to know that their organization is
spending in accordance with the trust policies. Spending and
investment work together."
While fiduciaries have to put in place a prudent process for
overseeing funds, they do not have to do the work themselves.
"Delegation is huge," says DuFour. Prudent delegation, in fact, is one
of the most important jobs a trustee has. The director of the
non-profit may be the natural person to handle the money, or at least
to hire an investment firm to do so, but it is important to check his
background. Has he worked in accounting or finance? If not, he may be
the wrong person to carry out this task.
It is also important for trustees to understand at least the basics of
their non-profit’s spending goals, and how those goals fit in with its
investment style. If a steady cash flow of, say, $1 million is
essential, money should be invested in such a way that that amount
will be available year after year – no matter what the stock market
Investing money costs money, but the fees that come with getting a
good return should not eat too far into that return. It is the
trustees’ job to oversee investment costs – or to appoint a
professional to do so. It is also important to make sure that there
are no conflicts of interest between investment advisors and trustees
or officers of the non-profit.
The certification that Tillit is offering to trustees is designed to
educate them on their responsibilities – and how best to carry them
out. But it serves another function, too. It is a tool fundraisers can
use to assure donors that the money they are investing in educating
handicapped children or helping the poorest people in Third World
countries start businesses or curing breast cancer will grow and be
spent in accordance with prudent financial practices.
"It gives donors peace of mind over whether their wishes will be
carried out in 30, 60, or 100 years," says DuFour.
– Kathleen McGinn Spring
08543. Jeffrey D. DuFour. 609-452-8735; fax, 609-243-0118.
Barrier Therapeutics, Inc. announced that in May it began enrolling
patients in a Phase III clinical trial for a drug that can treat
seborrheic dermatitis, which causes a red, scaly, itchy rash on the
face, scalp, hairline, eyebrows and trunk.
Seborrheic dermatitis often reoccurs, and it affects from three to
five percent of the U.S. population, or about 8.5 to 14.3 million
people. The current treatments focus on topical ketoconazole creams
and topical steroids and require multiple applications per day over
periods of up to four to six weeks. Barrier’s proposed therapy,
Sebazole, is a waterless gel with an antifungal agent, 2.0 percent
ketoconazole, and it is applied just once a day for a two-week period.
The company hopes it can get results in 28 days, 14 days after the
treatment stops. Its study involves 440 patients at 22 centers in the
United States. The trial will conclude by the end of this year and, if
successful, it will result in a new drug application to the Food and
Phase III trials in January, involving more than 900 patients at 50
centers in the United States and Europe, tested two therapies against
a placebo. They were a gel with 2.0 percent ketoconazole plus .05
percent steroid desonide, and gel with only the .05 percent desonide.
After these trials were successful, the FDA requested that Barrier do
a trial with ketoconazole (Sebazole) alone.
"Seborrheic dermatitis can be a severe and chronic disease, making it
difficult for some patients to control long-term," says Barrier’s CEO
Geert Cauwenbergh. "A treatment that would provide long lasting
efficacy, and one which would require only one-fourth the number of
applications as currently available treatments, could constitute a
significant therapeutic advantage in terms of compliance."
Suite 3200, Princeton 08540. Geert Cauwenbergh, CEO. 609-945-1200;
fax, 609-945-1212. Www.barriertherpeutics.com
Leighton E. Cluff MD, 80, on April 14. He was the second president of
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on College Road.
Joan G. Morgan on May 29. She had been credit manager for McLean
Winton H. Manning 74, on May 29. Formerly a senior vice president at
ETS, he did research that influenced the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1978
Bakke decision, upholding affirmative action in college admissions.
Richard Switlik Sr., 85, on June 4. He was president of Switlik
Parachute Company, which was founded by his father in 1920.
Corrections or additions?
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