Chapter 11 For Collection Firm

Hotel Tax

Contracts Awarded: Night Vision

New in Town

Name Changes

Leaving Town

Management Moves


Corrections or additions?

This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the July 16, 2003 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Life in the Fast Lane

Kenneth L. Foxton closed the doors of his Canal Pointe-based

franchise, New Horizons Computer Learning Center, on Tuesday, July

8. Any back pay for eight former employees will be determined by bankruptcy

court, he said in a telephone interview.

Based in Anaheim, California, the New Horizons chain led the pack

of computer trainers by beating out IBM in 2001. Its web page lists

280 centers in 47 countries that deliver about 3 million student training

days per year. But the headquarters office disavows responsibility

for any of its franchisees’ debts and refers all calls to Linda Schwimmer

of Markowitz, Gravelle and Schwimmer, the Princeton Pike-based law

firm that represents the Princeton franchise.

"It’s a general downturn in the training industry. New Horizons

isn’t the only one," says Foxton. "Our corporate clients were

drawing back from purchasing. Our major client was the State of New

Jersey, and they have been buying very little for the last year and

a half. Training is one of the first places that gets cut." He

said he waited until July 1 to make the decision based on state contracts.

"In the new budgets the numbers aren’t there."

Schwimmer says she has filed a motion with Judge Katherine C. Ferguson

of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to do a voluntary conversion of Foxton’s

bankruptcy case from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7. "The people who

were scheduled to take classes are being notified by Mr. Foxton,"

says Schwimmer. "Arrangements to reschedule the classes will depend

on whether the franchise is sold."

Employees who are owed money must get in line behind secured creditors

(such as the franchisor, the landlord, and the bankruptcy trustee)

who will get paid first. The bankruptcy code designates employees

who are owed up to $4,500 as "priority creditors," according

to Schwimmer.

Those who have paid for training could travel to receive the training

in Iselin or King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. "Other New Horizons

locations will honor the training that has been paid for," says

Foxton. Another possibility is that someone will buy his territory

and assume the responsibility. "When we took over this franchise,

Lehigh Valley, two years ago, we honored a ton of free training."

Foxton is an alumnus of the University of Maryland, Class of 1986,

and has an MBA in finance and economics from Chapman in Orange, California.

"I’m not the only one in the economy facing this right now,"

says Foxton. "How I lived my life is that there is always a silver

lining in every cloud. I thought it was the best thing for everybody

involved to throw the towel in and move on to something else."

New Horizons Computer Learning Center (NEWH), 100

Canal Pointe Boulevard, Princeton. Kenneth Foxton, president. 609-452-9770.

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Chapter 11 For Collection Firm

OSI Collection Services Inc., 50 Millstone Road,

Windsor Corporate Park, Building 100, East Windsor 08520. Frank Boni,

director of operations. 609-426-4165; fax, 609-308-7110. Home page:

A collection service company with 100 employees at Windsor Corporate

Park has seen its parent company, Outsourcing Solutions Inc., go into

Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Based near St. Louis Missouri, the holding

company says it is conducting business as usual and refers callers

to a hotline at 972-535-7150.

Before its acquisition, OSI Collection Services was known in New Jersey

as Payco. Among the three dozen other trade names that OSI Collection

Services uses are Furst & Furst; Retail Merchants Collection Service’

American Child Support Service Bureau; and Medical Billing Systems.

As a receivables management service, it helps other companies manage

their credit during the entire collections process.

Isn’t it an irony that a collections company has filed for bankruptcy?

"Some people have pointed that out," says David Garino, a

spokesperson for the firm.

"OSI’s Chapter 11 filing was prompted by a debt burden, not an

operational problem," he explains. "Anticipating a strong

economy, the company had made a series of acquisitions and took on

debt of $600 million. Before the filing, OSI had reached an agreement

with the majority of its creditors to reduce the debt to about $175


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Hotel Tax

With the exception of Trenton, all municipalities in

Central New Jersey are taking advantage of the new tax on hotel stays.

They have introduced ordinances to piggyback their own taxes onto

the state tax that goes into effect on Friday, August 1.

The new law, approved by the state legislature on June 30, allows

the state to impose a seven percent state tax on hotel stays and permits

municipalities to charge an additional one percent tax.

Also under the law, starting next July, the state hotel tax will drop

to 5 percent, and municipalities can increase the local tax to 3 percent.

Even as the legislature signed off on this tax, ground was being broken

on the new Marriott Residence Inn to be built behind AmeriSuites

at Carnegie Center West. Carnegie Hotel Development Association, the

joint venture that includes, among others, Alan Landis and the Paramount

Hotel Group, is building the 120-suite hotel. Bill King of King Interests

is managing the development.

In Ewing near Merrill Lynch’s new campus, a Courtyard Marriott is

under construction. West Windsor has approved a Hilton Garden, and

Plainsboro has three hotels planned, including a Marriott Courtyard.This

month in South Brunswick a Woodbridge-based developer will resume

construction on a Hampton Inn, a project that had been stalled by


As for the city of Trenton — it has decided not to add a municipal

tax because some of its funds are invested in the city’s flagship

hotel, the Marriott Conference Hotel at Lafayette Yard.

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Contracts Awarded: Night Vision

Sensors Unlimited Inc., 3490 Route 1, Building

12, Princeton 08540. Gregory H. Olsen, president. 609-520-0610; fax,

609-520-0638. Home page:

The fiber-optic company has a nine-month $890,000 contract

from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) to develop

a camera that will work under moonless night conditions with no perceptible

image lag.

The camera will be the first all-solid state night vision 640×512

room temperature InGaAs (indium gallium arsenide) camera with this

level of sensitivity. Small, lightweight, and using low power, the

camera will be able to detect a camouflaged man at 100 meters under

starlight only conditions, says Martin H. Ettenberg, director of imaging


"This is the next generation in night vision imaging technology,

and will enable the U.S. to continue its dominance in military imaging,

says Chris Dries, vice president of R&D. "This contract underscores

the military’s confidence in our technological innovations."

DARPA aims to provide the soldier with multispectral imaging information.

It uses networking to let soldiers use what a press release calls

"collaborative visualization."

Founded in 1991 by Gregory Olsen, the 45-person firm makes indium

gallium arsenide (InGaAs) PlN and avalanche photodiode arrays that

are used in shortwave and near infra-red imaging.

MISTRAS Holdings Group/Physical Acoustics Corp.,

195 Clarksville Road, Princeton Junction 08550. Sotirios Vahaviolos

president and CEO. 609-716-4000; fax, 609-716-0706. Home page:

Mistras Holdings has acquired Conam Inspection, a unit of Stavely

Services North America Inc. With accredited laboratories and 750 quality

control experts nationwide, Conam offers quality assurance, quality

control, and training services.

"I can’t think of a better fit as we begin to look ahead at the

expansion of our company worldwide," says Sotirios Vahaviolos,

president and CEO of Mistras Holdings. Founded as Physical Acoustics,

his firm provides technology, equipment, and services for nondestructive

testing and predictive maintenance, including the use of acoustic

emission, ultrasonics, eddy current, and vibration monitoring.

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New in Town

Analytic Stress Relieving Inc., 9A South Gold Drive,

Trenton 08691. Mike Macomber, district manager. 609-588-5701; fax,


Analytic Stress Relieving Inc. has opened a metal heating and heat

treatment for refineries facility in Trenton. Founded in 1979, corporate

headquarters are located in Lafayette, Louisiana. The company sells

equipment and provides service for clients such as PSE&G and the Pennsylvania-based


Fidelity Investments, 3518 Route 1 North and Meadow

Road, Princeton 08540. Robert Taylor, branch manager. 609-544-4719;

fax, 609-716-1821.

Fidelity Investments opened its fifth office in New Jersey at the

Lowe’s center on Route 1 North, opposite MarketFair. "Our decision

to build a full-service Investor Center in Princeton was driven by

the demand from our large base of customers in the area," says

Robert Taylor, branch manager of the 7,300 square foot office. An

alumnus of Ramapo College, he has been with Fidelity for 10 years.

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Name Changes

Axens North America, 650 College Road East, Suite

1200, Princeton 08540. Armand Koskas, president and CEO. 609-243-8700;

fax, 609-987-0204. Home page:

IFP North America Inc. (IFPNA) has changed its name to Axens North

America. Axens was founded in the beginning of 2002 after the merger

of IFPNA and Procatalyse US. Headquartered in France, the company

is a petroleum research and licensing organization focusing on alternative


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Leaving Town

Business Management International Inc. (BMI), 1350

Broadway, New York 10018. 212-643-9530; fax, 609-655-5882. Home


The E-commerce and business consulting company closed an office at

2540 Route 130 in Cranbury. Calls are being taken at the New York


Gindre Copper LLC, 220 Mill Avenue, Greenwood,

South Carolina 29646. 864-227-5262.

Gindre Copper LLC has moved from 2553 Route 130 in Cranbury to Greenwood,

South Carolina, with corporate headquarters in France. The company

provides copper products for the electrical industry, including copper

bars, flat strip in coil, flat and rod wire, and copper components.

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Management Moves

New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, 216 West State

Street, Trenton 08608. Joan Verplanck, president. 609-989-7888; fax,


Anne Evans Estabrook has been elected as the first woman chairman

for the state chamber in its 92-year history. Estabrook, who lives

in Spring Lake, owns Elberon Development Co., a family-owned real

estate holding company, and is also president of David O. Evans Inc.,

a property management and construction company.

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Barbara A. Harvard, 63, on July 2. She was an administrative

assistant at Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland and Perretti in Trenton.

W. David Duthie Jr., 60, on July 6. In 2001 he closed

his Lambertville restaurant, David’s Yellow Brook Toad, to embark

on a round-the-world sailing trip.

Judy Prasch, 50, on July 12. She was an accounting assistant

at the New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Co. on Sullivan Way.

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