In December Montana-based Big Sky Airlines announced it would cease service along the East Coast, including service out of Trenton-Mercer Airport, as of Monday, January 7.
Big Sky, a subsidiary of Delta Airlines, began flying out of Trenton in April, 2007, offering six roundtrip flights per week to Boston. The end of East Coast services leaves Trenton-Mercer Airport with only one commercial airline, the Pan-Am Clipper Connection, which offers roundtrip flights to Bedford, Massachusetts, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
According to a legal notice filed with the federal Department of Transportation, Big Sky cited "severe financial distress due to continuing, extensive, and unsustainable losses" in the Northeast. Big Sky president Fred deLeeuw issued a statement that bad weather and "record high fuel prices" added to the airline’s financial problems here.
Big Sky offered lower-cost fares to and from Boston. Advanced-purchase fares averaged $190 roundtrip, though most roundtrips averaged $250. Comparatively, most airlines connecting Philadelphia to Boston average $300 roundtrip; Newark to Boston averages about $200 roundtrip.
Though the airline will lose around 140 jobs because of the move, no jobs will be lost in Trenton. Big Sky’s main Northeast hub is Boston, where the bulk of jobs will be lost. Watertown, New York, and Covington, Kentucky, will also lose jobs because of the airline’s East Coast cutbacks.
Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes said the county, which operates the airport, is talking with Delta and Big Sky in an effort to find a replacement airline. Hughes added that Delta is expected to inform customers who had booked flights on Big Sky and either refund their money or help in making new arrangements.
The remaining airline, Pan Am, began flying primarily business travelers to and from Trenton in 2004 and is expected to continue its services uninterrupted.
Top Of PageAccountants Merge
December accounting firms Cohen DuFour and the Hermes Group announced they had merged and will now operate as the Hermes Group, based at 4390 Route 1 North. The location has been the home of Cohen DuFour since 1986 and, according to Jeffrey DuFour, provides "just the right fit" for the combined 16-member staff.
There were no staff reductions.
The merger, says DuFour, was a natural fit for the two firms, since hey are so similar in their services, size, and clientele type. DuFour and Ron Sacco, who founded the Hermes Group in 1985, both serve as managing partners.
"We were so equal it’s scary," DuFour says. The union gives Hermes about 500 clients, 60 of which DuFour refers to as significant. Most clients are in the $40 million to $50 million sales range, largely comprised of commercial and corporate accounts, including some pharmaceuticals.
DuFour, who gives up having his name on the business sign, says the se of Hermes Group as the companies’ single identity is because it’s
simpler than adding more names to the masthead. DuFour is a 1976 graduate of Bryant College in Rhode Island, where he earned a bachelor’s in business administration. He started with Elliott Cohen in 1978 when the firm had "six or seven" employees and was made partner at Cohen DuFour in 1984.
Sacco graduated from Brooklyn College with a bachelor’s in accounting and from Long Island University with a master’s in taxation.
Apart from ironing out a few of the details, such as unifying health
plans, DuFour says, the transition has been seamless. The Hermes Group, originally known as Kelly Massad, opened in Carnegie Center in
1985 and later moved to downtown Princeton. The firm moved from Hulfish Street to Palmer Square in 2003.
DuFour and Sacco began talking in July after a chance meeting through a mutual acquaintance. DuFour says the pair had never met but were both looking for an opportunity to expand their businesses. They mediately clicked and realized that, given the similarities, a merge was a wise move.
"When we started finishing each other’s sentences, we knew it was time
to merge," DuFour says.
– Scott Morgan
The Hermes Group LLP, 4390 Route 1, Princeton 08540; 609-924-7200; fax, 609-924-7250. Ronald J. Sacco, Jeffrey DuFour, managing partners. www.thehermesgroup.com.
mcast Continues NJ Expansion
ucking a recent trend in corporate downsizing in New Jersey, Philadelphia-based cable TV giant Comcast announced it created 750 new jobs in the state in 2007. Comcast also expects its Triple Play phone/Internet/cable package sales to increase and further generate new positions here in 2008.
The new jobs, mostly comprised of frontline customer service positions, is part of the company’s 2007 expansion of its customer care, training, and business facilities throughout the state. The jobs also coincide with the recent launch of Comcast’s Business Suite services, which packages Internet, phone and video services specifically for businesses of 20 or fewer employees. Comcast spokesman Fred DeAndrea says the company is hoping to increase its influence among "Main Street" businesses throughout the state.
Comcast (CMCSA), 50 Millstone Road, Windsor Corporate Park, Building 300, Suite 200, , Cranbury 08512-; 732-935-5410; fax, 732-935-5572. Greg Arnold, regional senior vice president. www.comcast.com.
EPV Solar (Energy Photovoltaics Inc.), 276 Bakers Basin Road, Box 7456, Princeton 08543-7456. Scott T. Massie, CEO. 609-587-3000; fax, 609-587-5355. Home page: www.epv.net
EPV Solar, 8 Marlen Drive, Box 7456, Princeton 08543-7456. Scott T. Massie, CEO. 609-587-3000; fax, 609-587-5355. Home page: www.epv.net
Energy Photovoltaics Inc., commonly known as EPV, has changed its name to EPV Solar Inc. This relatively small change comes on the heels of substantially larger developments for the company, which designs, manufacturers, and markets amorphous silicon thin-film photovoltaic solar modules.
In June, the company, which has been around since 1991, reeled in $77.5 million in financing. The capital is being used, according to a prepared statement from CEO Scott Massie, to "transition EPV into a high-volume, low-cost producer of world class thin-film solar modules and products."
Massie’s appointment is also relatively new. He joined the company on February 1 after leaving a position as chief operating officer of EMCORE, a company with a solar technology division that has recently opened an office at 200 Ludlow Drive in Ewing.
In announcing the name change, made to better emphasize its core product, EPV Solar also reported the addition of six people to its upper management team. They are Tom Werthan, chief financial officer; Robert Bryan, vice president of operations; Howard Brodie, vice president and general counsel; Wayne LeBlanc, vice president of business development; Ren Jenkins, vice president of marketing; and William Weisbecker, vice president of sales.
EPV Solar, whose thin solar panels were included in the new Conde Nast corporate headquarters in Times Square, is ramping up to meet an expected surge in demand for solar energy.
New in Town
Princeton Wealth Advisors of Raymond James, 4301 Route 1 South, Princeton 08540. 609-951-8653. Home page: www.raymondjames.com
A new Raymond James office, Princeton Wealth Advisors, has opened at the Guest Supply building on Route 1 South. It plans to move to Carnegie 902 early in the new year.
Catalyst Clinicals Inc., 4365 Route 1 South, Suite 204, Princeton 08540. Piya Paulus, founder. 609-243-0555; fax, 609-243-0557. Home page: www.catalystclinicals.com
Catalyst Systems has established offices at 4365 Route 1 South. The five-year-old company provides project management, software development, staffing, and other IT services for the financial and pharmaceutical industries.
The company is headed by Piya Paulus, who worked for a number of companies, including SYBASE, Prudential Financial Services, and UBS, where she was associate director of the private banking division, before founding Catalyst.
Levin Management, 893 Route 22 West, North Plainfield 07060-; 908-755-2401; fax, 908-756-6757. David Selber, marketing director.
In December Levin Management Corporation of North Plainfield and its affiliate, Levin Properties, assumed full ownership of six New Jersey shopping centers, including Hamilton Square Plaza in Hamilton and Brunswick Shopping Center in North Brunswick, from Federal Realty Investment Trust.
The deal, which shores up 1.25 million square feet of retail space across north and central New Jersey, ends a 20-year partnership between the two entities. Levin acted as the managing agent for the properties, which also include centers in Watchung, Clifton, and Franklin. Now it will become the exclusive leasing agent as well.
Bill Farber, head of Levin Properties, said that Levin and Federal Realty shared a "harmonious" 20 years together, but that "now it makes good sense to go our separate ways, as friends."
Universal Display Corporation Inc. (PANL), 375 Phillips Boulevard, Ewing 08618-; 609-671-0980; fax, 609-671-0995. Steven Abramson, president. www.universaldisplay.com.
Sherwin Seligsohn, 71, stepped down as CEO of Ewing-based Universal Display on January 1 after 12 years in the post. He has been replaced by Steven Abramson, who has served as president and chief operating officer since 1996.
Seligsohn, who founded the company in 1985, will remain on the board of directors. He has also served as director, president and secretary of American Biomimetics Corporation, International Multi-Media Corporation, and Wireless Unified Network Systems Corporation. He is also chairman of the board and CEO of Global Photonic Energy Corporation. He also is a member of the industrial advisory board of the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM) at Princeton University.
During Seligsohn’s tenure, Universal Display has been recognized for repeated innovations in light-emitting diode displays for computers and cell phones. In 2005 CNN honored the company’s organic light-emitting diode (OLED) work as one of the top 25 technological achievements since 1980.
Air Products Sells NJ Facility
Air Products and Chemicals Inc., Allentown, announced on December 11 that it has agreed to sell its interest in a joint venture with Germany-based Wacker Chemie AG, to Wacker for $265 million. The joint venture produces vinyl acetate ethylene (VAE) polymers for use in adhesives, paints, paper, and carpet.
As part of the transaction Air Products also will take full ownership of production facilities in Elkton, Maryland, and Piedmont, South Carolina.
Meanwhile, Wacker, of Munich, will take over facilities in several locations, including South Brunswick and Allentown, Pennsylvania, which is a commercial and research facility.
There are about 430 employees directly associated with the VAE business. Those employees will be offered employment with Wacker, which intends to continue operating the business out of the Lehigh Valley.
Air Products & Chemicals, 11 Corn Road, Dayton 08810-1527; 732-329-4086; fax, 732-274-5000. Michael Gibbon, plant manager.
David Kells Sengstack, 85, on December 25. As president of a family-owned business, the Birch Tree Group, Sengstack was a leader in educational music publishing for more than 40 years and owned the copyright to more than 50,000 songs, including "Happy Birthday to You."