Corrections or additions?
These articles by Barbara Fox and Preeti Bhattacharji were
prepared for the October 20, 2004 issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All
Life in the Fast Lane
In what is termed "an amicable ending of the merger" the crew from
Gravity Shift who had joined Debra Newton to form Newton Gravity Shift
have left to go off on their own again. Pete Sandford and Bob
Christensen opened their new company, NX Level, on Hamilton Avenue in
Hopewell. They took five people with them, including Andy Kienzle and
Sandford and Christensen’s first company, RAC Productions, was founded
in 1987. They changed the name to Gravity Shift after moving to Nassau
Street, and they merged with Newton’s company two years ago.
"It was a good experience," says Sandford of the time spent as a joint
firm, "but we decided to head into different directions. Pharma was
clearly a majority of the Newton Gravity Shift business, but at the
time of the merger we had 40 percent nonhealthcare." NX Level will
continue to work with health, but also with financial and educational
organizations, focusing solely on learning solutions.
Using the tagline "fully engaged learning" NX Level will use "rich
media" (made possible by broad bandwidth) to create high end media
technology with solid instructional design, based on academic research
principles. The concept of "fully engaged learning" has been oversold
as a cost effective means to deliver information, says Sandford. Now
that everyone in the corporate community has enough bandwidth, the
learning programs can be more enjoyable.
Among NXLevel’s learning services are the creation of complete
corporate learning strategies, technology consultation and
integration, and individual courses for existing learning
infrastructures. Its courses range from new employee orientation and
sales training to externally focused training such as Continuing
Medical Education (CME) for physicians. NX Level also partners with
leading subject matter experts to author off-the-shelf courses for
industry-wide use in such markets as pharmaceutical, financial,
government, and education.
Though most products will focus on technology-based learning, the
company could also cloak marketing as consumer education. "We wanted
to leverage the creative bandwidth for simulations and scenarios to
take E-learning to the next level," says Kienzle.
Several former clients have been labeled as "noncompetes," but, as
Sandford says, "we agree it is a fair and open market, and new
business is new business."
NXLevel, 57 Hamilton Avenue, Suite 300, Hopewell 08525.
609-466-2828; fax, 609-466-4322.
Debra Newton founded her firm in 1991, and when she moved from
Lambertville to Pennington Road in 2000, she tripled her space. In
2002, at the time of the merger, Newton Interactive had 50 employees
and had won all kinds of fast growth prizes.
Newton’s new firm is called NewtonEdge. "We wanted to stay within our
core focus of pharmaceutical and biotech," says Newton of the
de-merger. "NewtonEdge will continue to provide our clients innovative
and creative solutions by using sound instructional design principles
and the delivery of blended learning and communications solutions."
Specialties include E-communications and building original technology
application infrastructure that will allow companies to build and
maintain their own websites. Clients have included Bayer,
Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Pfizer, and recent clients are Genentech in
California, MedImmune in Maryland, and Forest Labs in New York City.
NewtonEdge, 2425 Pennington Road. Debra Newton, president.
609-818-0025; fax, 609-818-0045.
Managing your company’s risk means more than just buying a "slip and
fall" insurance policy. It might involve insuring your board of
directors against bad decisions or bankruptcy filing, protecting your
intellectual property, or taking precautions to be sure you comply
with the SEC requirements when your company goes public.
Michael Andersen, executive vice president at the Forrestal Village
office of William Gallagher Associates, aims to take care of all the
property and casualty worries for technology companies. "We do the
whole package – insurance brokerage, risk management, and employee
benefit services for companies with complex risks," says Andersen.
His Boston-based firm covers the technology sectors: life sciences
(biotech, pharmaceuticals, medical devices), high tech (software,
hardware, Internet, telecommunications), energy, and financial
services. Among his Princeton area clients are NexMed, Ocean Power
Technologies, Wave Systems, NanoOpto, Osseus, and Envirogen. With 175
employees and $35 million in revenues last year, it has other offices
in Atlanta, Georgia; Columbia, Maryland; and Paris, France. Last year,
to celebrate its 20th anniversary, the company raised $25,000 for the
New England chapter of the National Association of Autism Research.
Andersen has had his office in shared space at HQ for five years and
has just moved his eight-person office upstairs, in the same Village
Boulevard building, to 4,000 square feet on the third floor. "We
needed our own space," says Andersen. "The advantages of a shared
office become disadvantages once you get past five or six people."
William Gallagher, the founder, started off as a broker but founded
this life sciences specialty company in 1983. "It was the infancy of
the biotech industry and it was a largely ignored sector of the
business," says Andersen. "He took a chance on biotech and developed a
niche. We started to work on high tech in the early 1990s. Today high
tech and biotech account for 75 percent of our company’s revenue."
Andersen grew up in Bridgewater, where his father worked in the
insurance industry and his mother was a nurse. He majored in finance
at Fairfield University in Connecticut, Class of 1985; he is married
to a physical therapist, and they have four school-age children, three
boys and a girl.
His first job was for an insurance company, and then he was risk
manager for a technology firm in Florida and for Schering-Plough in
Madison. (In large companies, risk managers handle all the insurance.)
Andersen joined the Boston office of Gallagher in 1996 and opened the
Princeton office in 1999.
"Too often," says Andersen, "the purchase of insurance is the last
step in the process of founding a company. The value the broker brings
is to help the entrepreneurs understand what their exposures are, to
identify the exposures, and present various ways to finance the
risks." Securing the insurance to protect the exposure is the last
step, he says.
"But a lot of smaller companies view insurance as a purchase
transaction. As they grow, they realize that they need a broker who
understands their business, someone who, from startups to publicly
traded companies, has been through it all. Someone who, as they start
growing, can educate them as to their exposures to loss and make
available the various risk transfer mechanisms."
For example, take the company that wants to go public. "Your exposures
go from 0 to 100 when you become a public company," says Andersen.
"Now the board is exposed to personal liability."
Recent scandals have brought public attention to the need to protect
the board of directors with directors and operators (D&O) insurance.
"But CFOs have always paid attention," says Andersen. For publicly
traded companies, these policies sell "in the high six figures."
As a broker, he sells policies from any insurer, including Lloyds of
London, AIG Chubb, St. Paul, Travelers, Genesis and Axis. His
competitors include Marsh, Willis, and Aeon, but he does not
necessarily go after their business. "We identify the companies that
fit our sweet spot," says Andersen. They include publicly traded
firms, venture capital firms, and biotech or high-tech companies in
his region, including the Princeton corridor. Typically his first
client is the venture capital firm, to whom he sells errors and
omissions insurance. "Then they introduce us to their portfolio
His newest client is based in Germany and opened its American office
in Princeton. It had been traded on the Frankfurt exchange, and then
it went public in the United States, at about the same time it moved
from 1,500 square feet at Deer Park Drive to more than 8,000 feet at
101 College Road, where it has three dozen employees.
How did he get GPC Biotech as a client? Through a client in Cambridge.
GPC was nominating the client to join the board. "My client asked them
who was handling the D&O insurance."
"We did their IPO," says Andersen. "The management liability insurance
that they needed for the exposure on the German exchange was far less
than what they would need here. This is a litigious society, and the
SEC requirements are stringent."
William Gallagher Assoc., 116 Village Boulevard, Princeton
Forrestal Village, Suite 310. Michael Andersen. 609-734-7435; fax,
David Fried, owner of an outsourcing firm Adminasource, is in the news
this week, both for political and business reasons. As a former mayor
and committeeperson in Robbinsville, he favors changing to the form of
government to allow for an elected mayor in that town. He also drew
headlines because an acquisition deal went sour. He had planned to buy
Northfield-based HR Solutions, a company similar in size to his, with
a similar mission – outsourcing for insurance brokerage and benefits
administration, payroll and tax services, and human resources.
"Due to some significant problems with HR Solutions, we have acquired
only the client list," says Fried. "We have picked up 70 of the
customers that wanted to stay with us, but the acquisition is off."
Typically Fried’s clients are small to mid-sized companies with from
20 to 250 employees, and they need back-office support. He claims that
as an administrative service organization (ASO) his services cost 20
to 50 percent less than traditional payroll and staff outsourcing
companies or a PEO (professional employer organization that puts the
workers on its own payroll).
The son of an entrepreneur, Renee Dale, the founder of Force II
Personnel, he majored in political science at Glassboro (now Rowan),
Class of 1989. He started his first outsourcing firm, HRA, in 1992. "I
literally leveraged everything I had. I put most of the company on
credit cards and off I went," he says. In 1998 he sold a minority
interest to HR Logic, a Boston-based firm owned by Fidelity Ventures,
the venture capital arm of Fidelity Investments, and Patricof & Co.
Ventures. It grew to $40 million in revenues, 100 employees, and was
number 20 in the Inc. 500 list. Then Fidelity Investments acquired the
whole company and moved operations to Boston, where it operates as
Fidelity Employer Service Company.
"When I left HRA I took some time off," says Fried. "I got married,
ran for office (committee man in Robbinsville, with a two-year term as
mayor), and had kids." Jobs with large companies required significant
travel, and Fried "wanted to work close to home." So again he started
his own company in early 2002. It is similar but not the same to HRA.
"We used to employ people for other people. Now we do payroll, HR,
benefits, and we are one of the few who do all three."
He recently expanded to 4,000 square feet in the same building at 1
Washington Boulevard. Currently he has $2.5 million in revenue, about
5,000 clients, and 26 employees. He and his wife, who is chief
financial officer of the company, have two children under two, and she
works at the Adminasource office part time. Their home is near the
office, and they go home for lunch.
""I will continue to do acquisitions and open our own offices," says
Fried. "I really enjoy building larger companies. This is all I’ve
AdminaSource Inc., One Washington Boulevard, Suite 5,
Robbinsville 08691. 609-918-2668; fax, 609-918-2664. Home page:
The Mid-Atlantic Venture Conference, staged by the Greater
Philadelphia Venture Group, showcases companies in the Mid-Atlantic
region and attracts more than 300 investors nationwide. Scheduled for
Monday, October 25, at 6 p.m. through Wednesday, October 27 at the
Pennsylvania Convention Center, it features 54 companies, and four of
them are from Princeton. Cost: $650 for one day or $1,500. Call
The Princeton firms at the venture conference:
Dotphoto.com, 800 Silvia Street, American Enterprise at Ewing,
Ewing 08628. Glenn Paul, founder. 609-434-0340; fax, 609-434-0344.
Home page: www.dotphoto.com
Glenn Paul’s dotPhoto is an angel-funded online digital
photo-processing site that went live four years ago. Its vertically
integrated, digital-to-chemical printing process allows it to offer
the most competitive print prices on the web. Currently it allows
members to voice-annotate photos with a standard PC microphone. Users
can also share photos on new color cell phones (www.pictavision.com)
and customers can buy and sell images online.
A 1979 Princeton University alumnus, Paul had co-founded Clancy-Paul
Computers, a $35 million New Jersey hardware distributor that was
purchased by ValCom Corporation (later InaCom) in 1988. He also
founded QwikQuote Development, a sales automation software company at
the Straube Center.
Linguagen, 2005 Eastpark Boulevard, Eastpark at Exit 8, Cranbury
08512. F. Raymond Salemme, CEO. 609-860-1500; fax, 609-860-5900. Home
Linguagen is working on the molecular biology of taste signaling for
the flavor industry, to solve problems associated with bitterness,
excessive saltiness or sweetness and to commercialize products and
systems that are developed. Linguagen selectively eliminates the
perception of bitterness so that fewer additives, such as sugar and
salt, are needed.
The company has 25 employees in 5,000 square feet formerly occupied by
Epigenesis. Raymond F. Salemme joined the company as CEO last June,
replacing Shawn M. Marcell, who has been serving as acting CEO and who
is currently COO. Scott Horvitz is the CFO. Salemme joins Linguagen
from 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals, a company he founded in 1993, took
public in 2000, and sold to Johnson & Johnson in 2003. With a
molecular biophysics degree from Yale and a doctor’s degree from the
University of California at San Diego, he has been a co-inventor of 21
Onconova Therapeutics, 993 Lenox Drive, Suite 200, Box 7693,
Princeton 08543. Stanley Bell MD, director, drug discovery.
609-844-7735; fax, 609-844-7736. Home page: www.onconova.com
Onconova is a virtual company based at shared offices on Lenox Drive,
where Daniel Fox is the project manager. The founder, E. Premkumar
Reddy, directs Temple University’s Fels Institute for Cancer Research
and Molecular Biology, and he is the co-inventor of the most
successful commercial diagnostic test for AIDS.
Reddy developed the cytoprotective drug discovery platform on which
Onconova aims to build. The company is pursuing a diversified oncology
program in these areas: medicinal chemistry, cell cycle molecular
biology, drug development expertise and cancer-related genomics
Transave Inc., 11 Deer Park Drive, Princeton Corporate Plaza IV,
Suite 11, Monmouth Junction 08852. Claire Strupinsky, manager of
corporate administration. 732-438-9434; fax, 732-438-9435. Home page:
Transave is doing research on drug delivery for the treatment of lung
diseases. It began at Princeton Corporate Plaza and currently has 22
people in 12,000 square feet.
Two of its three current products are formulations of off-patent drugs
with toxicity problems, and Transave’s method of administration might
help them to be more widely used. One product is in Phase II clinical
trials and the other was due to enter Phase I/II clinical trials this
year. The third product, a gene for lung cancer, works best if it is
delivered by Transave’s technology. Supported by an NCI grant, it is
scheduled to begin toxicology studies this year.
Co-founder and CEO Frank Pilkiewicz had worked at Bristol
Myers-Squibb, Liposome Company (now Elan), and OncoTherapeutics (now
Biomira USA). Co-founder Roman Perez-Soler, chief medical advisor, is
chairman of medical oncology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine
and the Montefiore Medical Center. He spent over 15 years at the M. D.
Anderson Cancer Center, and his research centered on the development
of liposomal antineoplastic compounds.
Anne VanLent, the CFO of Barrier Therapeutics on College Road and a
former vice president at Sarnoff Corporation, is on the IPO panel at
the Mid-Atlantic Venture Conference’s breakfast program on Wednesday.
Among the other keynoters are Jonathan Tisch, CEO of Loews Hotels and
author of "The Power of We," and Stephen Starr, known for his $100
Creative Business Decisions, a credit scoring company on Roszel Road
that focuses on efficient ways to approve people for loans, has scored
a loan for itself. It gets $361,000 from the New Jersey Seed Capital
Fund, part of the nearly $65 million in tax credits, investments,
low-cost loans, and incentive grants that the New Jersey Economic
Development Authority awarded high tech businesses last month.
"It was difficult," says Harbir Ransi, CBD’s director of product
development who did the paperwork for the loan. A computer engineer
from the University of Delhi, Class of 1980, he also has a law degree.
"We went through a grind. But we learned quite a few things and got to
know quite a few people in the government, and this always helps."
Ransi says he had been unaware of all the different "helps" that the
CBD was founded 21 years ago by Pat Nanda, who has a PhD from the
University of Wisconsin. In the 1980s Nanda saw how inconsistent the
lending rules were within an institution, and bad loans were sending
major banks to foreclosure. He founded CBD to use custom-built
empirical and behavioral scoring models to increase the lender’s
Though it has competitors, such as the much larger Fair Isaacs, CBD
may be unique in having both the expertise and models to develop
custom models for scoring both individuals and companies. Nanda’s
statistical models have applications in the areas of new account
evaluation, tracking the behavior of existing accounts, and
prioritization of collection activity. Clients include American
Express, Bank of New York, Citibank, Lacks Furniture, Mercedes Benz,
and Zales Jewelers.
CBD has nine employees plus numerous at-home and on-location
consultants. It hires occasional data entry workers for big jobs, but
the four permanent positions it is hiring – the ones that qualified
the company for the seed capital loan – are a handful of software
developers and managers familiar with .Net and Java. They will be
working on CBD’s new risk management software to make credit scoring
easier, faster, and cheaper.
Car loans, for instance, should not depend only on a credit report,
says Ransi. "Credit reports are flawed and don’t take everything into
account," he says. "If you were recently laid off and haven’t paid
bills a couple of times, or if you are a recent immigrant, you may be
a very good prospect, but you will be rejected."
To account for such factors, credit reports get analyzed by a
complicated process. Major financial institutions, like banks and big
mortgage companies, buy software and scoring models for about
$100,000, but the smaller companies have had to rely solely on the
credit report and have been losing potential customers. CBD’s software
will be a low-cost – even a no-cost or profitable alternative. These
web-based software products are used with existing scoring models or
"The lenders pass the cost to the customers," says Ransi. "We process
the application and charge them $3 to $10, and the lenders charge $15
The process of obtaining a Seed Capital Loan, says Ransi of CBD, was
like taking a crash course in how to work with the government. "There
are so many things that the government provides," he says, "and we did
not know about them."
Creative Business Decisions Inc., 12 Roszel Road, Suite A 102,
Princeton 08540. Pat Nanda, president. 609-452-9551; fax,
609-452-0614. Home page:
The Seed Capital Loan offered to Creative Business Decisions
represents a tiny percentage of the $65 million disbursed by the EDA
last month. The bulk of the money, $60 million, will go to 231
companies that have yet to turn a profit: In the sixth year of the
Technology Transfer Tax Credit program, they sell tax credits for
their operating losses to more profitable firms for at least 70
percent of their value.
The next biggest amount, $1.25 million in Springboard Fund II
Financing, is shared by five businesses. Each gets $250,000 in
recoverable grants to get products or processes ready for market. The
monies get paid back only when revenues are made, and repayment can
take as much as seven years. Three of them are in Central New Jersey:
Nanonex, 1 Deer Park Drive, Princeton Corporate Plaza, Suite O,
Box 3347, Princeton 08543-3347. Larry Koecher, chief operating
officer. 609-683-3973; fax, 609-683-3974. Home page: www.nanonex.com.
Based on the work of Stephen Chou of Princeton University, the company
has a complete line of nanoimprint lithography (NIL) technology
solutions, including tools, resists, masks, and processes.
Princeton Power Systems Inc., 501 Forrestal Road, Forrestal
Campus, Suite 211, Princeton 08540. Darren Hammell, CEO. 609-258-5994;
fax, 609-258-7329. Home page: www.princetonpower.com
Founded in 2001 by recent Princeton alumni, the eight-person company
develops patented electric power conversion technology for variable
speed motor control, power quality, renewable and distributed
generation applications – to increase energy-efficiency and
productivity in industrial and commercial markets.
Software International Inc. (WII), 1 Executive Drive, Suite 210,
Somerset 08873. Sunel Sawant, CEO. 732-302-9001; fax, 732-302-9008.
Home page: www.softwareintl.com
The six-year-old company went public last April (trading on the OTC
bulletin board for now) and will use its $250,000 Springboard grant to
develop a case management system for customer relationship management
(CRM), initially targeting the legal and insurance industries, and the
healthcare industry in the future. Current product-specific consulting
services include customer value management, equity trading, Sarbanes-
Another $1.7 million is expected to be given out in Business
Employment Incentive Grants to three expanding companies (none in this
area) that might move into or expand in the state.
Yet another boost is the EDA’s contribution of $500,000 to a $2.04
million Sun National Bank loan to QPharma LLC – the EDA guarantees 40
percent of the loan. Qpharma, which currently has its headquarters
with Accumed on Brunswick Pike, makes prescription generic nasal spray
formulations and oral liquid products, and it will use the money for
equipment and working capital.
QPharma LLC, 2572 Brunswick Pike, Lawrenceville 08648. Burgise
Zee TV, 14 Washington Road, Building 5, Princeton Junction
08550. Renu Mann, manager. 609-750-9682; fax, 609-750-9684. Home page:
For South Asian Americans throughout New Jersey, Zee TV offers a
glimpse of home. The India-based television company markets its South
Asian programming through its Princeton Junction office.
Since its founding in 1992, Zee Network has launched Zee TV in more
than 80 countries, offering South Asian serials, sports, and news in
English, Hindi, Gujrati, and Punjabi. Capitalizing on the success of
Zee TV, Zee Network launched Zee Cinema, which offered Americans a
selection of the most popular "Bollywood" movies. Additional channels
have been created since, including Zee News, Zee Music, Zee English,
and Zee MGM.
Yet Zee TV is not the only company tapping into the central New Jersey
demand for South Asian programming; channels such as Bollywood For You
are providing additional options for customers, while America-based
companies such as TV Asia and Sony Entertainment Television (SET) are
providing fresh competition for Zee TV. Customers can contact their
cable and satellite providers to create a South Asian package, ranging
in cost from $15 to $50 per month.
ExpertPlan, 50 Millstone Road, Windsor Corporate Park 400, Suite
100, Cranbury 08512. Tim O’Brien, CEO. 609-918-2500; fax,
609-918-1328. Home page: www.expertplan.com
ExpertPlan, a web-based application service provider for
Internet-based retirement planning services, has landed $8.275 million
in venture funding led by the Argentum Group and First Analysis.
Founded in by Winthrop Cody in 1999, the firm has grown its revenues
by a factor of 12. It has alliances with more than 60 mutual fund
companies and more than 70 private label partners.
Family Guidance Center Corporation, 1931 Nottingham Way,
Hamilton 08619. Mark Lamar MSW MBA, executive director. 609-586-0668.
Home page: www.fgccorp.org
Family Guidance Center Corporation has officially opened the office
for its headquarters and its Consumer Credit Counseling Service in
Hamilton. The site of its former home, next to Wild Oats on Nassau
Street, is under construction.
If you suddenly notice your co-workers from the south arriving a few
minutes earlier than usual in the morning, credit the state Department
of Transportation. After facing some unforeseen delays in its plan to
remove the traffic lights on Route 1 at Nassau Park, the DOT earlier
this month announced that it was investing an additional quarter of a
million dollars to accelerate the most important part of the project
from the point of view of Route 1 commuters. The immediate result:
Removal of the lights last Tuesday, October 12, and an immediate sigh
of relief for rush hour motorists.
Early this week U.S. 1 sent a few of its drivers back on the road to
recreate the traffic survey that was printed in the September 29
issue. The results: Improved times in all directions in both the
morning and the evening.
The limited sampling showed an overall average of nearly two minutes
quicker than U.S. 1 recorded in the survey less than a month ago.
Meanwhile, the DOT is pressing ahead with the rest of its project,
hoping to have the bulk of it done by its original completion goal of
By the second week in November the DOT expects that motorists will be
traveling in the final traffic pattern, which will consist of three
through lanes on Route 1 north with a separated
acceleration/deceleration lane for traffic entering or exiting for
Quakerbridge and Province Line roads.
At about that same time the Route 1 and Quakerbridge Road interchange
will be paved (final surface course will be applied in spring, 2005).
In addition, the "stop" sign at the ramp from Quakerbridge Road onto
Route 1 north will be replaced with a "yield" sign, "reducing traffic
queuing and improving traffic flow," promises the DOT press release.
"The DOT will perform additional work (not in the original project) on
traffic signals at Quakerbridge Road/Mercer Mall Drive and
Quakerbridge Road/Nassau Park Boulevard. This work consists of traffic
signal upgrades, signing, striping, wiring and loop detectors,"
continues the press release.
"This additional work will provide more efficient traffic flow in the
area and will be completed by November 12. As part of this extra
signal work, left turns will be permanently prohibited from Province
Line Road to Quaker Road.
"This change was agreed upon by the Department’s Bureau of Traffic
Safety Programs and the County of Mercer and allows the NJDOT to apply
more "green time" to the other movements in the intersection which
will significantly improve traffic flow for motorists using the
Quakerbridge Road exit from Route 1 north.
"Removal of the jughandle will begin after November 12, unless work is
prohibited by weather. This work will not cause traffic delays or
require any lane closures. If weather prevents completion of this
work in 2004, it will be completed in early spring, 2005.
"The final surface course will be paved (and striped) in spring, 2005.
The permanent median barrier at Nassau Park Boulevard and Route 1 will
be installed in the spring. The construction of the island between
Route 1 north and the acceleration/deceleration lanes will be
completed in spring, 2005. The ramp from Quakerbridge Road northbound
to Route 1 north will be reconstructed and realigned in spring, 2005."
@head 14:Ogilvy Targets Princeton
Beth Kramli had a mission: To get Merck’s cholesterol drug covered in
the sports pages. "We knew we needed to reach men, and that the sports
page was the first place they go."
Working for Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, she helped to pioneer
efforts to pair pharmaceuticals with sports and celebrities, managing
a public relations program that generated editorial coverage of
football coaches Dan Reeves and Bill Parcells. The NFL Cholesterol
Screen Team campaign was the first-ever partnership between the
National Football League and a pharmaceutical company. One of the
coaches had a history of heart disease in the family, and the other
had already had a heart attack. "We were able to tell both sides of
that story," says Kramli.
At a time when many public relations firms are struggling, Ogilvy PRW
is raising the bar of competition in Central New Jersey. Kramli and
her cohort, Michael Lampe, have opened an office of their Ogilvy
subsidiary, Feinstein Kean Healthcare (FKH), in HQ’s shared office
space at Princeton Forrestal Village. Both have the title of senior
FKH is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ogilvy PRW, a 24-year-old global
marketing communications firm with offices in more than 60 cities.
Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it is part of the WPP Group, the
world’s largest marketing communications company.
"The expansion into New Jersey is part of this firm’s ongoing
commitment to offering our clients access to the best talent and to
providing customized solutions to our clients needs," says Marcia A.
Kean, CEO of FKH.
Lampe acknowledges that some of FKH’s biggest pharma clients are in
North Jersey, but he points to the Princeton area’s plethora of small
biotech companies. "One of the reasons why we are in this area is not
only because we want to be closer to our clients in the tristate area,
but also because Feinstein Kean is a strong leader in biotech
communications for 100 different biotech companies," says Lampe. "The
clients do run the gamut from start-ups, at the cutting edge, all the
way up through biotech companies that are out there bringing products
In public relations you have to know how to sell, says Lampe, and he
learned how to sell in his father’s Essex County shoe store. "I
started selling shoes when I was 12 years old, and I learned how to
sell, and how to deal with people, from watching my father. He is not
a pressure person. He didn’t really sell – he let people buy." Lampe
says his father’s method was to talk to the person for a few minutes,
joke around with them, and let them figure out what they wanted. Then
he gave it to them. "It depended on the person. If it meant finding a
particular shoe – or bringing out 25 to 30 pairs of shoes, that’s what
they got. People always seemed happy."
"Having worked with people on a one-to-one level, I looked at public
relations as a way to take that concept to the next level," says
Lampe. "I don’t think I would be able to do my job successfully if I
hadn’t had that experience. Selling one-on-one versus on a larger
scale is not really very different."
"I am always interested in helping to meet the needs of the media or
the advocacy organization or the client I am dealing with," says
Lampe, "and in being able to have that dialogue to figure out ‘What
does this person need?’"
Sometimes what a reporter needs to cover a story are some hard facts,
such as a survey. Being able to point to the date of an event can also
help trigger publicity.
Surveys increase relevance for reporters who would be likely to cover
that area. Says Lampe: "Make sure it reinforces the general
information that we want to convey about the product or disease area."
"One client had a product for insomnia that had been on the market for
several years but had not had a great deal of media exposure," says
Lampe. "We helped develop a campaign to get coverage of issues of
sleeplessness and the benefits of prescription sleep medications
versus over the counter medications. We commissioned several public
surveys that looked at the effects of sleeplessness on people’s
Feinstein Kein worked with sleep clinics to provide stock footage of
people tossing and turning and emphasized that because little is known
about sleeplessness, over-the-counter drugs are not necessarily safer.
Events generate interest. For instance, a symphony concert, sponsored
by Janssen Pharmaceutica, featured the works of composers who
historically suffer from mental illness, and it highlighted an
organization called the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.
Lampe did not start out in PR; earlier he thought he wanted to go into
government. He majored in political science and psychology at
Montclair State, graduating in 1994. He spent one year as a
legislative aide in the state assembly. Then he enrolled at American
University for a master’s degree in communications. He joined FKH in
2001; he and his wife, who works in social services, are moving from
Boston to Metuchen.
Kramli, who is single and lives in Hamilton, grew up in Ewing, where
her mother taught Spanish and her late father worked at Western
Electric. After graduating from the University of Delaware, she came
home for her first job, with the Gillespie Organization, when it was
still on Clarksville Road, from 1988 to 1993. She has also been a
director with BSMG Worldwide (Weber Shandwick).
Over her 15-year career she has focused on disease awareness campaigns
in the areas of cardiovascular disease, men’s health, and respiratory
illnesses. For Meck’s Zocor drug she helped to publicize the largest
statin study ever done. For Pfizer, she helped to build awareness for
the prescription antihistamine, Zyrtec.
She likes to pair the pharmaceutical company with a third party to
broaden the impact of the campaign. For instance, her 12-month
"Charity Challenge" featured seven major-league baseball players who
took a hair-growing drug, Propecia, for one year. The contest was to
see who could grow the lushest head of hair and win the most for their
One of her direct-to-consumer programs was a public education
campaign, Diabetes: Know the Heart Part, that enlisted the help of the
American Association of Diabetes Educators and the Association of
Another was for Listerine. In 2002 a study on Listerine, paid for by
Pfizer, showed that it helped keep teeth healthy. "The data was
published and presented at an international dental meeting, and we
worked to get that information out to hygienists and periodontists,"
"The message was ‘brush, floss, and rinse,’ says Kramli. "It was about
not skipping the flossing step. Our goal was to get that information
featured in a handful of trade publications, and to be sure that it
was positioned importantly." She used spokespersons to deliver the
message, and they also wrote bylined articles in general trade
magazines that delved into the specifics of the study, "a couple of
pages versus one column."
Using the 360 degree approach, Ogilvy PRW’s sister companies did
continuing education classes for hygienists and sent representatives
The biggest hurdle? "It’s a crowded marketplace," says Kramli. "Our
job is to make sure we work with our clients to develop campaigns that
are strategically on target and cut through the clutter. To get the
right number of people to events and achieve the business objectives."
Feinstein Kean Healthcare (WPPGY), 116 Village Boulevard, Suite 200.
609-951-2250; fax, 609-951-2254. Home page: www.fkhealth.com
@head 14:New Owners, But Still Charley’s
Goodtime Charley’s, 4591 Main Street, Kingston 08528. Gabe Baffuto,
general manager. 609-924-7400.
Though Goodtime Charley’s has been purchased by a national chain,
Charlie Brown’s, the menu and the staff are staying the same. Most of
the servers have been here for such a long time, says Gabe Baffuto,
the general manager, that they will not be required to leave their
posts for week-long Charlie Brown training sessions.
"The only thing they may change is the tip structure," says Baffuto,
who predicts that the servers will be allocated fewer tables – four or
five rather than eight. "The Charlie Brown’s way is that the you have
a smaller station to give more attention to that station."
There is precedent for keeping the original name, because the chain
does own other units, such as Jolly Trolley, that don’t go by the
company name. The menu also remains the same, at least for now.
Corrections or additions?
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