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Life in the Fast Lane: New Bank
Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on January 20, 1999. All rights reserved.
At a time when many familiar banks are fading into
obscurity with mergers and acquisitions, other community banks are
rising in their wake. The newest central New Jersey entry: New Millennium
Bank in New Brunswick. Grand Bank on Route 1 in Monmouth Junction;
Hopewell Community Bank; and Village Financial in Pennington are three
other community banks that were launched in 1998 and hope to begin
operations this year.
The founders of smaller banks believe that the mergers going on in
the banking industry make this the perfect time and environment to
start smaller community banks that will provide more customized and
personal services. "Consolidations in the banking industry have
resulted in a deterioration of personal service and a market niche
is opening up for community banks which emphasize such personal services,"
say the organizers of New Millennium Bank.
Organized and incorporated by a group of former bankers, lawyers,
and entrepreneurs, New Millennium Bank is going through the preliminary
stages for a commercial community bank charter. The application for
a charter from the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance
to create a commercial banking corporation was filed on January 4.
The minimum capital for a new bank is $5 million, and a minimum of
seven organizers are responsible for putting up at least 25 percent
of that. They must proffer 20 percent of that pledge in cash to fund
front-end organizational expenses. The incorporators have subscribed
to 6,250 shares at $20 per share for a total of $125,000 in capital
stock of the bank.
If and when the conditions of the Department of Banking and Insurance
and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation are fulfilled, the bank
will apply for a Certificate of Authority from the department and
begin business as a commercial bank. The bank will be located in the
old YWCA building at 57 Livingstone Avenue.
The chairman of New Millennium Bank, Mayo Sisler, 76, was president
of Franklin State Bank, Somerset, which merged to form United Jersey
Bank. In 1986 he founded the New Era Bank in Somerset, and was chairman,
president and CEO until its merger with United National Bank in 1995.
Chris Van Der Stad, 41, president and chief financial officer, was
formerly the comptroller-vice president of United National Bank in
Bridgewater. Van Der Stad holds a BS in business administration accounting
from Montclair State University, and is a member of the American Institute
of Certified Public Accountants and New Jersey Society of Certified
The other directors: Kenneth J. Duane, 54, attorney; Alfred J. Lattanzio,
52, owner of Lattanzio Lumber Company, Somerset; David P. Lonski,
37, partner in the New Brunswick law firm of Shamy, Shipers, and Lonski;
Susan Petri, 43, owner of Robert P. Petri and Daughter Insurance Agency,
East Brunswick; Michael Ross, 55, CPA and partner, with Ross, Anglim,
Angelini, Valla and Krawitz in Watchung; Stephen Schnitzlein, 39,
vice president of Wade Ray and Associates Construction Inc., Monmouth
Junction; Henry F. Sica, 44, CEO of Vanguard Holdings Inc., South
Plainfield; and his daughter Bobbiann Sica, 25, executive operations
officer of New Brunswick Plating Company, New Brunswick; and Joan
Sisler, 49, wife of Mayo Sisler and former director and assistant
to the president of New Era Bank, now United National Bank, Somerset.
Richard B. Reading of Richard B. Reading Associates, an economic,
demographic, and market research firm located at 759 State Road, acts
as consultant to the applicants and helps with the regulatory processes.
New Millennium Bank’s primary trade area will include the city of
New Brunswick and the contiguous portions of North Brunswick and Franklin
Townships. It will be one of the only locally owned and managed commercial
banks in New Brunswick.
The bank intends to operate six days a week with extended evening
hours, remote pick-up and drop-off services of deposits, banking by
mail, banking by computer, etc. New Millennium Bank intends to engage
in general commercial banking with emphasis on the banking needs of
individuals, small to medium-sized businesses and professional firms.
— Teena Chandy
Fire your employees and lease them back from a middleman,
suggests James W. Bell Sr. The middleman, says Bell, can save you
money. He and his son, James W. Bell III, founded A Better Employee
Leasing Company (ABEL) in 1992. A year later he had accumulated 250
employees. Now he is handling the paperwork and potential aggravation
for 4,000 leased employees, and he has expanded his space.
In November the firm moved from 4,600 feet at 2650 Route 130, Constitution
Center, to occupy 7,000 feet of a 13,000-foot space near Lenox at
2 Corporate Drive in Cranbury. In doubling the space, he halved his
rent and has a 10-year lease; he hopes to sublet 5,000 feet to a company
that needs storage. Doug Bansbach of Jacobson Goldfarb & Tanzman helped
find the space. Bell Jr., a Kean College alumnus, was the construction
manager for fitting out the new space.
Bell Sr., 53, served as a radar technician in the Navy and went to
Rider College. He worked at Johnson & Johnson for eight years, going
through the management training program for accounting and administration.
"I worked with and for people who were so good that when they
walked in and said `Good Morning’ you wrote it down," he says.
He also worked for General Dynamics, Bachman foods, and another leasing
The Bells outsource all employer payroll and benefits administration
for companies up to 350. Unlike some payroll firms, this company —
recently valued at $5 million — also does recruiting and other
duties of a human resources department. Outsourcing HR functions is
a growing industry, says Bell, particularly at a time when government
red tape is becoming more onerous.
"As you sit with a small manufacturer and suggest that he should
have a labor distribution or job cost analysis, and that you can do
it for him at no additional charge, the owner will often show surprise,"
says Bell. "Worse yet, he was doing it manually."
"Typically when you start a business you call your insurance person
to set up a business liability package. But when you start, you have
no employees. A year or two later, you take on employees but forget
to tell the agent. It’s not an accountant’s job to ask if you have
workers’ comp. They should but they don’t. I have come across companies
with no workers comp and they didn’t even realize they didn’t."
He ticks off the onerous list: Social Security, federal personal income
tax, federal unemployment tax, state income tax, state unemployment
tax, state disability tax, and workers comp. "I love to go in
on a sales call after someone gets a penalty letter from the IRS that
he doesn’t understand, let alone agree with."
Employees who are leased have the opportunity to get good benefits.
"I am carrying 12 health plans right now," says Bell. "We
offer almost double the services that any of the other leasing companies
offer — two dental plans and vision care." He has 401k plans
with a company contribution of $250 per year, a credit union, an employee
assistance program, placement and recruiting services.
"We also have a full-time human resources separtment, and recruiting,
reprimanding, and terminating is part of the package," he says.
A sample client is Electrim, a Research Park-based technology firm
with under 10 employees.
The hardest job to fill? "I am always looking for full charge
bookkeepers," says Bell. "A high school graduate used to be
able to be a full-charge bookkeeper in five or six years at one company,
but they don’t stay in jobs, and they never get the foundation. You
have to know where to put things and how to classify them in the general
ledger. Accountants have tried to fill the gap but accountants aren’t
08512. James W. Bell Sr., president. 609-860-0400; fax, 609-860-0440.
Frank Vucolo of Pentad Inc. has a small firm in the
fast growing market of managed support service; he wants "do it
all for you." Like Abel Leasing Company, he outsources many HR
functions, but he also adds training to his mix.
"We become your fulfillment service or your call center —
whatever service a company desires to insource," says Vucolo.
"You have all the benefits of outsourcing with all the comforts
and control of an inhouse operation. We like to tag it as support
He has set up headquarters at 707 State Road, but the office itself
is fairly small, since the employees work on the clients’ premises.
He has 60 employees two major clients so far, a publishing company
(McGraw Hill), and a telecommunications firm that cannot be named.
Payroll leasing firms, he points out, typically do not recruit, hire,
and fire. But firms like his will multiply, he predicts.
"The benefit load, as a percent of salary for an entry level individual,
often makes it prohibitive for a Fortune 100 company to hire support
staff," says Vucolo. A $9 an hour employee could have a benefit
package that could double the cost of the employee. Are temps, therefore,
the answer? Using his service is better than hiring temps, says Vucolo,
because it is a one-stop shop.
At a small training center on State Road he provides training and
assessment tests in basic telephone and customer service skills. "We
build staff models, to match staff hours against demand in a call
Though his employees don’t rake in the largesse of the major corporations,
they do get some benefits, including holidays and vacations; medical,
dental, and prescription plans, competitive wages, and bonuses. "We
are not out to be cheap labor, not out to exploit federal and state
programs," says Vucolo. "We are ready to provide a real solution.
We may not have quite the benefit package of the Fortune 100 companies,
but our employees often end up being hired into Fortune 100 companies
because of the exposure," he says.
Vucolo, 41, went to Rutgers and worked for DHL Airways and also in
Manhattan for a security firm, McLane Associates. After managing support
services and facilities and getting to be vice president, he purchased
a piece of the business to form his own company two years ago. He
and his wife live in Amwell with their 15-year-old daughter.
State Road, says Vucolo, "is a great location, close to my home,
and directly between my two big clients."
08540. Frank Vucolo, president. 609-466-4337; fax, 609-466-8938. E-mail:
Nancy Napier went to Paris to play the flute, stayed
to open a restaurant, then founded a fast-growing direct marketing
firm. Thirteen years later she repatriated herself and has opened
a branch of a full-service employment firm based in Oklahoma City,
The firm has divisions that do employee leasing, direct hire, and
professional search services, but Napier’s agency, for now, does strictly
temporary or temp-to-perm. Nevertheless, it is among the temp agencies
that offer such benefits as medical insurance (with employee participation
at a much reduced price), a 401k retirement plan, holiday and vacation
pay after a certain number of hours, as well as vision and dental
Using temp employees is not necessarily a way to avoid paying benefits,
says Napier. "Many companies have gone to a more streamlined core
staffing to find a more flexible way that corresponds better with
production. It used to be that they had to keep everyone busy all
the time. Now they make widgets to order and the workforce has flex
staffing," says Napier. "Our employees get benefits also,
most after only three months. The person who had been laid off —
we would put them back to work immediately."
The firm was founded by Robert A. Funk, whom Napier describes as "charismatic,
a hands-on director, who started from scratch." It has nearly
400 offices employing nearly 250,000 people internationally, and 1998
revenues were more than $1 billion.
The firm is a relative newcomer to New Jersey (this is one of a half-dozen
offices here) and so, says Napier, "if they open up the Yellow
Pages they aren’t going to choose me. I counter this with excellent
customer service. In the end, the customer needs an agency that is
going to serve their needs consistently, whether it is for clerical
office skills or industrial."
One high-tech client is based in France, and Napier was able to get
past the receptionist (supplied by a rival) by confessing she would
like to use her French by speaking to the office manager. Once inside,
the manager said he had gone through seven unacceptable temporaries
and had been told, "I think you are expecting too much from a
temp." Napier sent the client three candidates and all three were
"Why a smaller compamy like mine does really well in a town like
Princeton is that all the big name companies are tied up sending their
best people to the big names," says Napier. "A small customer
will perhaps get the less qualified candidates. Express does particularly
well in areas that are like this, which have many medium and small
companies. I have found the Mercer County area just wonderful."
Napier grew up near a naval base on the Potomac River, and she went
to the University of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff, Class of 1983.
She went to Paris, to the Ecole Normale, to study flute with Benoit
Fromanger (she plays now with Westminster Community Orchestra, under
the direction of Barbara Barstow) and stayed 13 years. She was married
to a Frenchman, and they opened a restaurant in the garment district.
But seven years ago she started her own marketing company, Euro Services,
and she still owns and runs the firm with her French partner. In a
country not known for its customer service standards, she organized
sales promotions at big chain stores, "three-day or three-week
promotions with a stand, a banner, balloons, and a supply of sales
people." Her clients were generally makers of technical products
or consumer goods such as automobile tires, products that require
a knowledgeable sales force. "In French stores, there is never
In contrast, she did not have trouble hiring. "Unemployment is
at 12 percent, and kids just cannot get work," says Napier. "They
are ages 18 to 25 and for some of them this is their first job. We
have 350 full time employees, and 500 more on an as needed basis."
In 1998 her French firm was ranked by Dun & Bradstreet as one number
26 in the 500 fastest growing companies in Europe, and number four
Why not stay in France with such a great business? "They have
high taxation for single people. They are going to 35 hours a week
over there and I feel their workforce is pretty pampered. They have
a certain work ethic that I adapted to for many years. You adapt to
it but you never espouse it. And I just felt that, after almost 15
years, I was ready to be in America again," says Napier.
Like Vucolo, she says the real value of working for less than optimum
wages is the chance to advance. "A lot of people don’t want to
start working at $6 an hour, but anybody who does, moves up,"
says Napier. "They get a raise after one month. After three months
they can get another raise. I don’t know any employer who won’t bend
over backwards to keep their good people."
The toughest job to fill: collections and accounts receivable. "It’s
such a high turnover industry," says Napier. "Generally someone
who has done it once doesn’t want to do it again." Her tactic:
"Someone on my staff, Veronica Lett, gives a one-day training
course. She used to work for Ford Motor Credit and a bail bond organization,
and she is good at getting the people who need to pay becoming more
responsible in their lives."
08648. Nancy Napier, owner. 609-393-2003; fax, 609-393-2004. Home
08540. 609-419-4000; fax, 609-987-9008.
The global consulting firm has closed its office at 103 Carnegie Center,
Suite 203, but plans to reopen it in the near future at 5 Vaughn Drive.
Meanwhile, it has an operating office at 101 Eisenhower Parkway, Roseland
07068, 973-403-6100. A spokesperson notes that the lease had expired,
so the firm took the opportunity to move closer to the train station.
Brunswick Pike, Suite 204, Lawrenceville 08648. John R. Weil, president.
609-989-8989; fax, 609-989-8866. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The educational nonprofit moved from 1,200 square feet at Princeton
Service Center to Brunswick Pike and has a new phone and fax. "Fifty
percent of our classes are held in Trenton," says John Weil, the
president, "and now we are closer to Trenton." Junior Achievement
volunteers teach schoolchildren about business and economics.
Code, 101 South Broad Street, Box 816, Trenton 08625-0816. William
Connolly, director, division of codes & standards. 609-292-7899; fax,
More than 150 people moved from Princeton Pike to Trenton, to consolidate
all the Department of Community Affairs offices in one spot. Those
who moved worked with construction codes and construction code review.
Blawenburg 08504. Mary Caterson-Marshall, director. 908-431-9500;
The Rock Brook School has moved from 432 Route 518 to a bigger facility
at 109 Orchard Road. "We expanded at the old site in anticipation
of this move," says Mary Caterson-Marshall, director. This school
for children with speech, learning, and language disabilities, now
has 60 students.
Boulevard, Suite 200, Ewing 08618. Richard J. Dulcey, branch manager.
609-895-0050; fax, 609-895-0111. Home page: http://www.erm.com.
Richard J. Dulcey PE has replaced Andrew Huggins as manager of the
New Jersey office of this global environmental, health, and safety
consulting firm. He has degrees in chemical engineering from Villanova
and managed the Superfund Cost Recovery Group for the federal Environmental
08540-6293. Heinz Gartlgruber, general manager. 609-987-1234; fax,
When Eden Family of Services hosted its annual gala on Saturday, January
16, John Kroll was there, but as a committee member not as general
manager. Kroll and his family have been reassigned to a Hyatt property
in Virginia. The new general manager is Heinz Gartlgruber. A native
of Graz, Austria, he lives at the property with his wife, Maria, from
Bern, Switzerland. He has 40 years experience in the hospitality industry
and has been the general manager for five Hyatt properties in the
United States; he transferred from the Hyatt at Lake Tahoe.
08628. 609-538-1928. Home page: http://www.davidksmith.com.
David Smith, marketing manager for Photon Instrument Company on Route
1 in South Brunswick for 10 years, last year started out on his own,
operating from his residence. He does marketing, brochures, and print
Jefferson Road, Princeton 08450. Margaret Bleier. 609-279-1515.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Margaret Bleier offers translations
of Spanish-English documents. She has experience with legal, financial,
medical, and pharmaceutical documents. A Spanish instructor at Mercer
Community College, Bleier offers private tutoring in Spanish for children
and adults. Bleier has an MA from St. John’s University.
Bleier believes her services are greatly needed by the growing Latino
population in the Princeton area. "There are many people who come
from Latin American countries with diplomas, school transcripts, medical
records, birth certificates, etc. who would greatly benefit by having
their documents properly translated. This would help them get more
suitable employment, appropriate placement in schools, or in obtaining
proper medical care in the United States."
admnistrator at IBM in Dayton and had worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb.
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