Art as Business

Biz Winners

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Emily Heine and Catherine Moscarello were

prepared for the October 4, 2000 edition of

U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Look Out for GLOB

Bankers and financial consultants, take note. By next

July you will need to be even more careful about disclosing your

clients’

personal information.

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, signed by President Clinton last November,

was widely hailed because it repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, which

has kept banks, securities firms and insurance companies apart since

1930.

Title V of Gramm-Leach-Bliley (irreverently known as GLOB) is another

matter. It adds tough new regulations to protect consumers’ financial

privacy, and these are having a huge impact on the banking community,

says Dennis Casale of Jamieson Moore Peskin & Spicer, the Alexander

Park-based law firm.

"Federal banking agencies have adopted regulations that will

affect

every bank — and every consumer — by July 1, 2001," he

explains. Bankers who are struggling to comply with the nitty-gritty

of Title V can get help from Casale and Leonard A. Bernstein

of Reed Smith Shaw & McClay at a conference sponsored by the New

Jersey

Bankers Association and the New Jersey League — Community &

Savings

Bankers. "Financial Privacy Regulations: How Title V of

Gramm-Leach-Bliley

Will Affect You" will be held at Forsgate Country Club on

Thursday,

October 5, at 8:30 a.m.. Cost: $150. Call Peggy O’Brien (609-924-5550,

extension 503).

To be discussed: The definition of a "financial institution,"

rules concerning nonpublic personal information, and privacy notices,

including "opt out" notices and exceptions. Also on the

agenda:

details on state law, enforcement, and penalties.

Gramm-Leach-Bliley, also known as the "financial modernization

act," places far-reaching restrictions on information management

and information-sharing practices among financial institutions.

Besides

banks, the regulations apply broadly to savings associations, credit

unions, broker-dealers, investment companies, investment advisers

and insurance companies. They even apply to non-bank financial

institutions

that aren’t affiliated with a bank.

The June 1 Federal Register devoted 74 pages to what financial

institutions

must do to safeguard customer information and comply with Title V.

It even explained precisely what the act means by "customer"

(a consumer who has a relationship with a bank); "nonpublic

customer

information" (information that can’t easily be obtained from

government

records, widely distributed media, or disclosures required by law);

and "nonaffiliated third parties" (parties that aren’t paid

by the bank directly or indirectly, e.g., via a bank holding company).

Under Title V all financial institutions must disclose detailed

privacy

policies to their customers at the time the account is established

and annually after that. They must tell customers the following:

What types of information are being collected.

The categories of institutions and persons with whom

information

is being shared.

Practices for sharing information within a corporate

family.

Before certain information is shared, financial institutions

must offer consumers the opportunity to opt out of such sharing and

explain how to do so.

In particular, financial institutions cannot disclose an account or

credit card number to a nonaffiliated third party for use in direct

marketing to consumers.

The act also makes it a felony for any person to obtain or attempt

to obtain any customer information from a financial institution by

use of "false, fictitious or fraudulent statements" or

"fraudulently

obtained or fictitious documents."

Small wonder that bankers everywhere are hastening to develop an

information

security program that identifies risks, provides a written plan,

implements

and tests the plan, and provides adjustments as needed.

A policy and a plan aren’t the end of the matter. "Once they have

written their policies on information privacy, banks have to make

sure their practices match them," Casale says. "The policy

may comply perfectly with the new regulations but a division or

department

can get into trouble by not following it to the letter."

Small slip-ups could mean big trouble for banks next year, but Casale

isn’t worried for them. "Responsible use of private information

is a high priority with banks," he points out. Although they may

need help with details, "most banks are light years ahead of other

businesses in protecting consumers’ private information."

— Emily Heine

Top Of Page
Art as Business

Quick! Think of a noun that goes with

"starving."

Artist, right? But it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way, says

Gail Cohen, director of the Trenton Arts Connection (E-mail:

TArtsC@ aol.com). Given the formidable task of organizing and

mentoring

a group of individuals with that one hallmark, individuality, Cohen

maintains that art has to be approached as a business, true to its

own rhythms and structure.

"I have an artist friend who has been struggling on his own for

the past 25 years while making a living from his art," she says.

"He has marked, photographed, journaled, and categorized all of

his works and personally knows all the owners of his art. This is

not just a whimsical attempt at creative expression or a stab at

immortality.

He is thoroughly committed to his craft."

Further, the Trenton business community can and does look to the arts

to enhance, revitalize, and develop neighborhoods and areas in the

city. Art sells. And a healthy arts community sells the city that

nourishes it. A study of economic impact done by the State Council

on the Arts attests to the fact that investment in the arts creates

reinvestment two to three times the amount of the initial investment.

To help promote this concept, this fall TAC is sponsoring "Arts

Transforming Trenton’s Image," a series of workshops for artists,

arts organizations and developers. The second in the series,

"Treating

Your Art as a Business," concludes the numerous events making

up Small Business Week on Saturday, October 7, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

at the Urban Word Cafe, 449 South Broad Street. It is free but

registration

is required by calling 609-695-8155. A cash lunch will be available.

Trying to assess the depth and breadth of the Trenton arts community

is difficult because so many artists involve themselves in so many

different mediums. "It’s a very fragmented group," says Cohen,

"and we’ve only just begun to convince artists of the necessity

of pulling together to achieve our goals. In the past, artists found

themselves competing against one another for funding or political

clout." As a business group, artists are largely overlooked by

marketing agencies that often focus on bigger clients with more

conventional

products or services.

One goal of TAC is to give artists technical support in

"maximizing

the business potential of their work." The workshop will show

how to intensify guerrilla marketing, examine legal issues, and

develop

portfolios.

Along with Cohen, presenters for the workshop are Theresa Peelerd,

chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Sports, Entertainment

and Art Law committee; Susan Schear, president of ArtIsIn,

a comprehensive business development and management service for visual

and performing artists; and Barbara Swanda, executive director

of Artworks, a nonprofit, visual arts school and gallery located in

Trenton.

Cohen’s experience with small business development and retention grew

from her role as executive director of Main Street Wildwood Inc.

There,

in close partnership with the business community, she developed a

comprehensive plan for downtown development. Cohen received her BA

in fine arts from Carnegie Mellon and masters from Yale University.

She draws upon an extensive background in the arts as a theater troupe

manager and entrepreneur/publisher. A former real estate professional

and a community activist, she is passionate about the importance of

artists in connection with the economic vitality of the region.

Says Cohen: "Every working person has his own expression of doing

business, whether he’s an artist or not. The artist just uses

different

tools to make a living."

— Catherine Moscarello

Top Of Page
Biz Winners

Tracey Syphax, CEO of Capitol City Contracting,

and Mark Feffer, president and publisher of Tramp Steamer Media,

have been named by Douglas H. Palmer, mayor of Trenton, as winners

of the Mayor’s Small Business of the Year Award.

Syphax, CEO of the long-established construction company, serves on

the advisory board for the Minding Your Own Business Program at the

Arthur J. Holland Middle School, is a member of the Metropolitan

Trenton

African American Chamber of Commerce, and serves on the board of the

Mercer County Business Association.

Feffer, who founded Tramp Streamer Media in 1997, has had more than

15 years of experience in multi-media products and programs, now

serves

on the board of trustees of Passage Theater Company, and is the

president

of the Lions Club in Lawrenceville.


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