Gamma-Tech Settlement

New in Construction Management: Currie & Brown

Hanscomb Faithful

Start-Up: Medical Device Firm

New in Town


Contracts Awarded

Name Changes

Crosstown Moves

Moving to Trenton?


Corrections or additions?

These articles by Barbara Fox and Kathleen McGinn Spring were

prepared for the February 18,

2004 issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Life in the Fast Lane: RCN

After naming a new president on Thursday, February 12, and missing a

$10.3 million interest payment on Saturday, February 14, RCN

Corporation, reeling under its debt load, is preparing to file for

Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Barak Ben-Cohen, vice president for public relations, says that the

company has entered into a forbearance agreement with creditors that

extends until March 1. "We anticipate reaching an agreement with bond

holders and banks, and proactively using the Chapter 11 process to

consummate the deal," he says. And if no agreement can be reached?

"Chapter 11 is a vehicle the company can use to protect itself," is

his response.

The company went public in 1997, and saw its stock rise to a high of

$75 early in 2000. Its plan was to go head to head with the country’s

largest communications services providers by winning customers for its

bundled cable, phone, and Internet service. Going for some of the

country’s largest markets, RCN built infrastructure in seven markets,

including New York City, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and

Washington, D.C.

In doing so, it incurred a mountain of debt. The company, which has

lost more than $4 billion in seven years, is carrying $1.7 billion in

debt. It spent $56 million on debt service in the last quarter.

With a debt restructure its top priority, the company named John Dubel

president and COO. Dubel is known as the man who restructured


Dubel is a principal with Michigan-base AlixPartners, which has also

been retained by RCN to help in financially restructuring the company.

Dubel was CFO of WorldCom during its restructuring, and a press

release cites his experience "in both out-of-court and in-court

financial restructurings, operational reorganizations and cost

reductions, strategic repositioning and divestitures."

In 2002 RCN raised $165 million from the sale of its Princeton-area

cable system, but nine months ago the workforce had been slashed by

almost 50 percent and was down to about 2,700 people. In October, 2003

RCN hired Merrill Lynch to help figure out ways to raise money.

Billionaire Paul Allen, who had invested $1.65 billion in RCN in 1999,

got just three cents on the dollar when he sold 40 percent of that

investment earlier this year. Allen still owns a 14.9 percent stake

and is RCN’s second-largest shareholder.

At his most recent assignment Dubel made a job leap to CEO, bypassing

the CFO’s job. He was CEO of Cable & Wireless USA, the US subsidiary

of the British telecom giant that bought the assets of MCI. In

December, 2003, Dubel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for

Cable & Wireless, announced the sale of its telecommunications and

Internet assets, and said that more layoffs would be added to the

already massive layoff list.

David C. McCourt retains his position as chairman and CEO. The company

has launched a new website, at, to address its

situation, and McCourt appears, smiling and confident, on its first

page. He tells customers and investors that, while other telecom

companies with massive debt have gone under, RCN will survive. The

reason, he says, is "vision."

RCN Corporation (RCNC), 105 Carnegie Center, Princeton

08540. David C. McCourt, chairman and CEO. 609-734-3700; fax,

609-734-4586. Home page:

– Kathleen McGinn Spring

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Gamma-Tech Settlement

Princeton Gamma-Tech, CN 863, Princeton 08542-0863.

Kalevi Onnela, CEO. 609-924-7310; fax, 609-924-1729. Home page:

After 12 years of legal negotiations, Princeton Gamma-Tech will pay a

$21.5 million settlement, and the money will be used to build a water

treatment plant for removing high levels of the potentially cancerous

compound trichloroethylene from wells in Rocky Hill and Montgomery.

In this Superfund case, the insurers – Hartford, North River, and

Federal – will likely be the ones to pay. In 1997 Gamma-Tech

successfully proved that it had insurance protection from the charges

that it had contaminated the groundwater. The volatile organic

compound was discovered in Rocky Hill in 1978.

Founded in 1965 and now a member of the Outokumpu Group of Finland,

the 45-employee firm develops and manufactures high-technology

radiation detectors and micro-analyzers.

The consent decree does not require PGT to admit guilt in the water

contamination matter. Currently Rocky Hill borough water is being

treated by an air stripper, and most Montgomery households are now

using public water.

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New in Construction Management: Currie & Brown

Architects do it, and engineers do it, but only dedicated construction

managers confine their services to construction management, a

combination of skills that include accounting, design, and of course

actual construction knowledge.

Currie & Brown has moved to town to join a handful of construction

managers that have set up shop here. Like many of its compatriots,

including Hanscomb Faithful & Gould, it hails from Britain, which is

known for training people for this niche.

The president of the United States business and the director of the

international division is Iain McWhinney. A native of Glasgow, where

his father was an engineering designer, he started with the company

straight out of high school and went to college, Caledonia University,

part-time. He came to the United States in 1994.

Founded in 1885, Currie and Brown has just under 100 technical staff

people operating from five primary offices in the United States, and

globally it has 1,400 people in 75 countries. The Princeton office has

25 technical staffers in just 7,500 square feet, but because of the

needs of the business – getting out there to the job sites – only 8 or

10 people are in the office at any one time.

Last year McWhinney moved an office from King of Prussia, outside of

Philadelphia, to Princeton. "Most of the staff from the Princeton

office supports pharmaceuticals," says McWhinney, with a still

noticeable Irish accent. He names eight of the top 12 pharmaceutical

companies as clients, including J&J, Merck, Glaxo, Wyeth, Novartis,

and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

He says the pharmaceutical business seemed to be migrating to New

Jersey rather than to Philadelphia and Delaware, a comment that state

boosters of New Jersey’s pharma business will be glad to hear. "The

move was driven by the workload, and the location was far better," he

says. "We can get down to the Philadelphia clients and up to the New

York clients easily. We are right in the center."

As for the actual job: "I continually have to explain what we do. The

discipline that we are in is a service very clearly recognized in the

UK and other parts of the world. But elements of what we do done by

engineers, project managers, architects, and accountants. We like to

feel we represent the best elements of all of those professions."

Don’t architects resent having some of their job, overseeing their

beloved project, farmed out to an outside firm? "They do at the

beginning," says McWhinney. "But we have developed some excellent

relations, with companies like Hillier (the architecture firm) and

Vanderweil (the engineering firm that actually has an office in the

same building with McWhinney). "We ‘bed’ in with them," he says,

breaking into a Scottish expression.

Is it money out of the architects’ pockets? "More often we are engaged

by the client," he says. "Large corporate clients are making the

separation, passing on the construction supervision and the accounting

elements to us."

He contrasts his job now with an earlier one, the building of an

industrial gas facility in an old gold mining camp in Wyoming. "We

were surrounded by cowboys, and the nearby towns were called ‘Hole in

the Wall’ and ‘Dead Man’s Butte.’ But construction the world over is

very similar. There are all these personalities involved. New Jersey

has these characters like any other part of the world."

Currie & Brown, 731 Alexander Road, Suite 101, Princeton

08540. 609-759-7000; fax, 609-759-7001. Home page:

Top Of Page
Hanscomb Faithful

This month the CEO of Hanscomb Faithful & Gould moved to Princeton,

and this office doubled in space in one year to 10,000 feet and in

staff from 25 to 50 people. Until the merger two years ago there were

separate Princeton offices, one for Hanscomb and one for Faithful &

Gould, both companies with roots in the United Kingdom (U.S. 1, July

10, 2002).

The company acts as owners representatives and independent project

managers that do risk management, program management, project

controls, and value engineering. "Project services such as cost

estimating and cost management are our bread and butter," says Sarah

Mannino, regional marketing manager. "Most of our major competitors do

not have certified value specialists on staff."

In 2002 Atkins, which trades on the London stock exchange, bought the

privately-held Hanscomb for $27.5 million. Both companies had been

founded immediately after World War II to assess bomb damage in

London. Atkins already owned Faithful & Gould, so it named the

combined firms Atkins Hanscomb Faithful & Gould. But the Atkins name

rings no bells in the United States. So to brand the company and

showcase the Hanscomb and F&G names, the Atkins name was dropped, says


In February Paul Wood moved to Princeton with his family. He graduated

in 1981 from the University of Westminster in the United Kingdom and

is HFG’s CEO and COO. Chris J. Taylor remains in this office with a

new title, chief business officer, and Duane Roggow is in charge of

human resources.

Hanscomb Faithful & Gould, 100 Canal Pointe Boulevard,

Suite 212, Princeton 08540. Paul Wood, CEO. 609-514-0900; fax,


Top Of Page
Start-Up: Medical Device Firm

Shawn Huxel has opened a medical device company at Princeton Pike

Corporate Center, Osseus LLC, joining more than a dozen similar firms

in Princeton. In this closely held private company incorporated in

Florida, Huxel’s partner and co-founder is Dean Cole, a Florida-based

trauma surgeon, who invents innovative orthopedic implants, a new

generation of internal fracture fixation devices for use by

orthopedic, trauma, and reconstructive surgeons.

Huxel oversees the manufacture, packaging, and sales of the patented

surgical instrumentation and implants. The son of a retired United

States Air Force NCO, Huxel is an engineer from Hofstra, Class of

1987, with graduate credits in engineering from Rutgers and a master’s

degree and MBA from NJIT. He worked at Stirn Industries as well as for

Johnson & Johnson, and then he consulted in biomaterials and urology

before opening the business with Cole. He and his wife have two

daughters at Stuart Country Day School.

Huxel officially started the business last September, and he hopes to

grow his company to 5 or 10 people. Dick Woodbridge of Synnestvedt

Lechner & Woodbridge on Nassau Street is his intellectual property

attorney and Feld Creative in Hopewell designs his materials. Contract

manufacturing is done in New Jersey.

The company’s first product in the orthopedic trauma market (worth

more than $2 billion worldwide) is a hard tissue fixation device to

repair fractured bones. Under the Osse-Lign label, it received FDA

approval in March, 2003. Since then, sales have been through an

independent Florida-based distributor. "We are currently entertaining

other distribution interests around the United States and being

evaluated by a multibillion dollar global organization for exclusive

market and distribution rights," says Huxel.

"The growth of Osseus will come from rounding out the Osse-Lign

Portfolio, targeting the niche areas of orthopedic trauma, spine, and

sports medicine," he says. A second FDA application has been

submitted. "We are developing a fair amount of intellectual property

and intend to partner with more surgeons and organizations to realize

more applications for our products and expertise."

One money-saving strategy that Huxel offers to other entrepreneurs is

to use an Internet phone service, voice over IP, for $40 a month

inclusive "which saves a ton of money." But he warns that the quality

depends on the Internet Service Provider and sometimes that has been

spotty. So he ends up using his cell phone for most of his outgoing


Osseus LLC, 3131 Princeton Pike, Building 5, Building 5,

Suite 200, Lawrenceville 08648. Shawn T. Huxel, 908-997-0127; fax,

908-842-0347. E-mail: Home page:

Top Of Page
New in Town

Hewlett-Packard Company, 5 Vaughn Drive, Suite 301,

Princeton 08540. Bill Horne PhD, research scientist. 609-514-0682;

fax, 609-514-0359.

It might seem unlikely that Hewlett Packard would have an office that

is not merely a branch sales office in Princeton. But five people at

Vaughn Drive do research in cryptography and computer security. This

office opened in Princeton partly because the principals live here,

and partly because Princeton University is a center for cryptography.

Until 2002 Robert Tarjan and Bill Horne were operating the STAR Lab

for Intertrust Technologies on Alexander Road (U.S. 1, June 20, 2001).

At that time they focused on protecting digital rights for artists and

producers. Intertrust closed that lab in 2002, and Tarjan and Horne

went elsewhere. But soon they had found positions at Hewlett Packard,

and last year they opened on Vaughn Drive.

Horne has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the

University of Delaware (Class of 1986) and a Ph.D. in electrical

engineering from the University of New Mexico. Tarjan has a bachelor’s

degree in math from the California Institute of Technology (Class of

1969) and a Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford.

Indotronix International Corporation, 666 Plainsboro

Road, Suite 1100, Plainsboro 08536. Venkat S. Mantha, account manager.

609-750-0700; fax, 609-750-1212.

An IT solutions firm with major facilities in Hyderabad, India, and

Poughkeepsie, New York, moved to Princeton Meadows Office Center last

fall. IIC was founded as a software development company in 1986 and is

now a full-fledged IT service firm.

International Computer Graphics Inc., 18 Van Dyke Avenue,

New Brunswick 08901. 732-247-9401; fax, 732-249-0401. Home page:

The computer monitor firm recently signed a 23,040-square-foot lease

at 18 Van Dyke Avenue in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Newmark’s William

J. Cariste and Douglas Bansbach represented the tenant in this

transaction. The company declines to provide more information.

RK Design, 141 Burholme Drive, Hamilton 08691. Ray Kern.


Ray Kern moved his industrial design practice to Hamilton when he

moved from Berkeley Heights last fall. A graduate of the Philadelphia

College of Art, Class of 1960, he worked in Short Hills at

Schnur-Appel Design Consultants before opening his own industrial

design practice – graphics, architecture, and packaging.

A retail expert, he designs stores for malls and chains that sell

men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, jewelry, and luggage. "My work is

throughout the country," he says, "as well as in Caracas, Montreal,

and Toronto."

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Primesyn Lab Inc., 11 Deer Park Drive, Princeton

Corporate Plaza, Suite 205, Monmouth Junction 08852. Surendra

Chaturvedi, owner. 877-774-6303; fax, 732-274-0907. Home page:

Primesyn Lab has taken more space at Princeton Corporate Plaza, moving

from 550 to 1,200 square feet. It has two full-time and two part-time

employees. This specialized lab makes difficult and unusual DNA for

diagnostics and pharmaceutical companies (U.S. 1, September 17, 2003).

Top Of Page
Contracts Awarded

KSS Architects LLP, 337 Witherspoon Street, Princeton

08542. Michael Shatken AIA, partner. 609-921-1131; fax, 609-921-9414.

Home page:

Clive Samuels & Associates Inc., 105 College Road East,

Princeton 08540. Clive Samuels, president. 609-520-1600; fax,


KSS Architects has been named architect of record for Gale Company’s

new positioning of Princeton Forrestal Village. Also, College

Road-based Clive Samuels Associates will be engineer of record. They

are charged with creating a "more pedestrian friendly environment and

to attract new world-class tenants."

Founded in 1983, KSS Architects has such clients as NJ Economic

Development Authority, Princeton University, Kean University,

Princeton Township, Mercedes Benz USA, and L’Oreal USA.

The 24-year-old engineering company has such clients as Chase

Manhattan, Lockheed Martin, the University Medical Center at

Princeton, Kings Supermarkets, American Home Products, Hilton Garden

Inn, Rutgers University, and Seton Hall University.

Reid Plumbing Products LLC, 371 Route 31 North, Hopewell

08525. Andy Reid. 609-466-1785. Home page:

Andy Reid has received a patent for his PumpChamberT, which converts a

standard submersible well pump to an end-suction pump, so that it can

collect from bodies of water as shallow as two inches. One of the

models can be used in atmospheric water tanks, cisterns, dug wells, or


"Submersible well pumps are used around the world in all sorts of

applications, in ways the designer never imagined. Many of these

creative applications fall just outside the design limits of the

pump’s motor. That’s why PumpChamberT is so important," says Reid. He

says that when contractors lay submersible pumps on their side in

cisterns and storage tanks, this drastically reduces life expectancy,

and vessels can be emptied to only about seven inches.

The wall-mounted version of PumpChamberT, for pressurized piping

systems, can be used as a booster to correct low-pressure problems or

to draw water from a tank or open body of water up to 15 feet below

the pump.

MISTRAS Holdings Group/Physical Acoustics Corp., 195

Clarksville Road, Princeton Junction 08550. Sotirios Vahaviolos CEO.

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

TubeScan testing devices from a Mistras Holdings company passed

performance tests at a facility in Charlotte, North Carolina. Using an

automated rotating-mirror device, the TubeScan ultrasonic inspection

system can identify inner or outer wall corrosion in bridges and other


Mistras Holdings Group includes Physical Acoustics and four other

companies that secure the environmental safety of gas and oil

pipelines, petrochemical storage tanks, components of nuclear and

fossil fuel plants, metal and concrete bridges, aerospace vehicles,

and other structures.

Sarnoff Corporation, 201 Washington Road, CN 5300,

Princeton 08543. Satyam Cherukuri, president & CEO. 609-734-2000; fax,


Employing technology that came from Sarnoff, Locus Pharmaceuticals has

obtained a patent for computerized drug design, licensed to Locus to

use in developing new therapies for such diseases as AIDS, cancer, and

rheumatoid arthritis. Frank Guarnieri, principal founding scientist of

Locus, developed the technology when he was at Sarnoff. It uses a

supercomputer cluster to find the ideal binding site for a small

molecule on a protein that is typical of a particular disease, thus

making it easier to design a drug to attack the disease.

"We are gratified that the patent office has recognized the uniqueness

of our approach in helping make drug discovery faster and more

accurate," says Carmen Catanese, executive vice president at Sarnoff.

"This and future Sarnoff innovations promise to play a major role in

drug design and development, and in shortening pharmaceutical research

and development cycle times."

Joseph Reiser, who until two years ago was CEO of Cytogen on College

Road, is now president and CEO of Locus Pharmaceuticals, located in

Blue Bell, Pennsylvania.

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Name Changes

Carstar Pennington, 65 Route 31, Pennington 08534. Robert

and Cynthia Joyce. 609-737-1200; fax, 609-737-3805.

Robert and Cynthia Joyce have bought the Bridge Auto Body business

from Lucy Robson, wife of the late Russell Robson. Under the name

Carstar the Joyces also own auto shops in Hamilton and Bridgeport,

Pennsylvania. Carstar is a franchise but the shops are individually


Phase IV LLC, Box 193, Rocky Hill 08553. Josh Raymond,

president. 609-683-8118; fax, 609-683-8812.

Josh Raymond has changed the name of his practice to Phase IV LLC to

indicate a broader scope. A management consultant who went to Williams

College, Class of 1975, he does executive coaching, change management,

communications, training, and conflict mediation.

He had worked for International Paper, and he numbers Liberty Mutual,

New England Life, and AT&T among his clients.

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Crosstown Moves

Joseph R. Ridolfi & Associates LLC, 1245

Whitehorse-Mercerville Road, Suite A-402, Box 3314, Hamilton 08619.

Joseph Ridolfi, president and CEO. 609-581-4848; fax, 609-581-5511.

Home page:

Realtor Joseph Ridolfi moved from Nottingham Way to

Whitehorse-Mercerville Road and has a new phone and fax. His

12-year-old firm offers corporate real estate services, office,

industrial, commercial and investment properties.

Nassau Communications Inc., 115 North Gold Drive,

Robbinsville 08691. Kenneth M. Fisher Jr., president. 609-208-9099;

fax, 609-208-9855.

Nassau Communications moved from 55 Route 31 South in Pennington

Business Park. Founded in 1984, the 12-person company does commercial

printing and desktop publishing.

Noble Limousine, 521 Route 130, East Windsor 08520. David

S. Beans, owner. 609-490-1122; fax, 609-490-0993. Home page:

A 40-person limousine firm moved to a new address in East Windsor.

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Moving to Trenton?

Clarke Caton Hintz is considering moving its architecture practice

from Ewing, where it has offices in the West Trenton Train Station, to

the third floor of the Masonic Temple on Barrack Street, just a couple

of blocks from the Statehouse. If these plans go through, Clarke Caton

Hintz would follow Hill Wallack, a 138-worker private law firm now at

the Carnegie Center, into the center of downtown Trenton.

Built in 1928, the Masonic Temple is a majestic beaux arts building

with an unfinished third floor. The architectural firm would need to

chip in $1 million of the $1.4 million needed to finish the third

floor of the temple, and the city would obtain an Urban Enterprise

Zone grant for the remainder.

Clarke Caton Hintz focuses on urban planning and affordable housing,

architecture, landscape architecture, historical preservation, and

environmental studies. Current contracts include designing schools for

the state’s Abbott program, designs for a minor-league baseball

stadium in Camden, and renovations to Morven, formerly the governor’s

mansion. In the regime of the late mayor Arthur Holland, one of the

firm’s founders, John Clarke, was the lead planning official for


Clarke Caton Hintz, 400 Sullivan Way, Station Plaza, West

Trenton 08628. Philip B. Caton, president. 609-883-8383; fax,

609-883-4044. Home page:

Top Of Page

AAA Midatlantic, 2 South Gold Avenue, Hamilton 08691.

Janice Foster, general manager. 800-374-9806; fax, 609-890-1596.

The auto association just went through a merger and a move, but some

jobs are likely to move again next year to a new headquarters that

will be built in Wilmington, Delaware. The headquarters had been in

Philadelphia. Delaware offered a $7 million incentive package.

South Gold Drive has the call-center, retail and insurance services

operations, and those workers are likely to stay put.

Meanwhile, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority has approved

$7.85 million in incentives based on AAA’s plans to spend $10.5

million on an information technology facility in Mount Laurel and move

as many as 90 jobs there.

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