Leaving Town

Down-Sizing

Name Changes

Management Moves

Deaths

Corrections or additions?

Published in slightly different form in U.S. 1 Newspaper on July

19, 2000. All rights

reserved.

New Jersey Analytical Laboratories

Drinking a glass of water can be a precarious matter

in New Jersey, as Jamie Latham and Allen Thomas know well. These two

ex-Envirogen employees have taken groundwater and well water samples

that would scare the bejeezus out of anyone. "The worst I’ve ever

seen is in Linden," says Latham. "We took a groundwater

sample,

opened the lid, and brown fumes came up."

While water treatment plants filter out most of the contaminants

lingering

in New Jersey’s water sources, well water can be more risky, a concern

that prompted the state assembly to pass a bill last May requiring

homeowners to test their well water for contaminants when they sell

or lease a home.

All that unsavory news is easier to wash down, however, knowing that

environmental scientists like Latham and Thomas are keeping watch.

New Jersey Analytical Laboratories, a start-up the two scientists

launched at 1590 Reed Road, provides drinking water analysis to

homeowners

and environmental or industry groups alike.

An environmental testing lab isn’t your usual kind of start-up, but

Latham and Thomas, who have been friends practically since childhood,

says there is plenty of work to be done. "In the early 1980s,

with the environmental regulations like Superfund, there was a

tremendous

amount of money poured into making industries more environmentally

friendly," says Thomas. "Over the years, with some easing

of the regulations, labs had lowered their prices, and the market

was saturated, dragging the lab prices down so low that many

consolidated

or left. The environmental economy really drilled many out, and in

the last year we’ve seen that lab pricing is now starting to rise

back up. At the same time, the state and federal limitations have

been getting stricter. Our drinking water is a limited resource, and

environmental contaminants are becoming more prevalent because there’s

more industry." Meanwhile, now that water companies must issue

annual water quality reports, consumers are starting to be more

educated.

Earlier this year, environmentalists analyzing federal data concluded

that somewhere between 700,000 and 1.6 million New Jersey residents

are drinking tap water with unsafe levels of arsenic. Latham and

Thomas

have often found MTBEs (an additive in gasoline that mixes easily

with water) and other volatile organic materials lingering around

well water systems. "These gas stations have old tanks that have

leaked, and that goes into drinking water around the town," says

Thomas. "The worst that I have seen is a strong presence of

gasoline,

MTBE, and TCE, a chemical degreaser used by dry cleaners that was

popular in the 1950s. It’s ultimately taken off the market, but what

was dumped in the ground is still there."

"You wouldn’t believe how many people have had that in their

drinking

water," says Latham. "There’s no doubt about it, it’s a

carcinogen,

and you don’t want to be drinking it. It’s a relatively cheap system

to purify the water, you just have to know if it’s there. That’s our

part."

Earth, wind, and water all fall under the domain of NJAL. Latham and

Thomas can analyze drinking water, waste water, groundwater from

naturally

occurring aquifers, soil samples, and finally air. With $200,000 worth

of high-tech equipment ("We have our houses in it and every penny

saved," says Latham), they can analyze bacteria levels, pH, salts,

minerals, nutrients, and residue levels in any given sample, and can

also spot volatile organics (such as MTBE) and the presence of

dangerous

metals such as mercury, lead and arsenic. Oddly enough, only one out

of the five employees that work here need to be out in the field on

any given day. "Laboratories operate differently from other

businesses,"

says Thomas. "You can run around and do your sales and quoting

during the day, and the lab runs itself at night and we evaluate it

the next day."

NJAL is certified by the State of New Jersey and competes for

contracts

by state organizations, but they currently have a dozen private

contracts,

including a $50,000 stream study for a large environmental consulting

firm in Princeton and a job with an environmental engineering firm

in Central Jersey worth $200,000. The company also does a lot of work

for private homeowners and has six or seven home inspection companies

on their client list.

When NJAL opened in February, Thomas and Latham already had a line

at the door. In 1994 the two had been hired to build a analytical

program at Envirogen, the environmental remediation company at 4100

Quakerbridge Road. Although the lab supported a corps of engineers

in research and development, Envirogen never intended to get into

the commercial lab market, says Thomas, which was why he and Latham

left. "We had to turn away so much work because Envirogen was

not in the lab business," he says, "and obviously Jamie and

I wanted to be."

Since 1988, in fact, Thomas and Latham have been on parallel tracks

— in 1988, they met at Chyun Associates in Princeton, a lab under

the directorship of Mike Wright, and in 1991 both hopped over to

Envirogen.

There’s even some evidence to suggest that the link between these

two entrepreneurs goes back further.

Thomas attended Ewing High and earned his BS in biology from Rider,

Class of 1988. He and his wife Robin have two children. Latham grew up

in Pennington and Lambertville and went to high school in Hopewell.

He earned his degree in biology from Rutgers University, Class of

1990, and is married to a special education teacher. Both their

fathers were engineers at RCA in the 1960s, and Latham and Thomas say

they’ve

known "of" each other since the late 1970s.

While studying biology, however, Thomas was also serving as in the

Army Reserve, which gave him an unusual perspective on his profession.

"When I first started out in the industry I just looked at the

testing job as a job," says Thomas, "but while I was going

through college, I was trying to understand about life and the natural

balance in the environment. When you get into environmental analysis,

you discover the contaminants that ruin that process. I’m a major

in the Army Reserve so I have a chance to see a lot of places in the

world that people can’t see, that are pristine and untouched, and

that has an impact when you come to New Jersey, which is so densely

packed. Everything you use from shampoo to laundry detergent has to

be dealt with to make it pure again."

Even before Thomas and Latham had an office or lab, two clients had

given them letters of commitment. The pair installed everything with

their bare hands on nights and weekends. Thomas’ wife is the office

manager. Most of the office is funded through their savings, but the

partners also received some commercial back-up. "We pretty much

we knew where to get the equipment for the best price," says

Thomas.

"If we use the best tools, we can put our resources better

elsewhere."

Although strictly in the business of testing, Thomas, for his part,

would like to play a role in cleaning up the heavily industrialized

areas in northern Jersey around Carteret. "A lot of the samples

that I’ve analyzed are scary," says Thomas. "It’s hard to

understand how someone could contaminate the earth in that way and

just leave it, just pour pure chemicals down the drain. We’ve all

seen samples that are just completely toxic. When we do the

environmental

engineering analysis, we’re playing an integral role in cleaning

up."

Leftover industrial pollutants are a problem, says Latham, but

development

is a potential hazard to the environment as well. "The one thing

that concerns me about the environment is the development that’s going

on right now," says Latham, "the Toll Brothers just buying

up all the land. I think once you start moving earth around, you start

messing with the aquifers and the watershed changes, and you don’t

see the full impact for another 20 years."

— Melinda Sherwood

New Jersey Analytical Laboratories, 1590 Reed Road,

Suite 102A, Pennington 08534. Jamie Latham, Allen Thomas, partners.

609-737-3477; fax, 609-737-3052.

Top Of Page
Leaving Town

ZZSoft Inc., 250 West Center, Suite 200, Provo

84601. Rick Davis, vice president, marketing. 800-769-7638. Home

page: www.zzsoft.com.

After several months at 600 Alexander Road, the five person office

of a database company moved back to its headquarters in Provo, Utah.

Founded in 1987, it provides database solutions for publishers.

ARC: Association for Retarded Citizens, Middlesex

County, 332 Ford Avenue, Milltown 08550. Richard F. Sheridan,

executive

director. 732-247-8155. www.arc-middlesex.org.

The not-for-profit agency moved from 225 North Center Drive in North

Brunswick to Milltown and has a new phone and fax. About 240 people

work for this office that promotes equal opportunities for people

with disabilities.

Essence Dental Studio, 520 Fellowship Road, Suite

A 105, Mount Laurel 08054. Moon S. Ko. 856-231-0301; fax,

856-231-0203.

Moon Ko moved his dental studio from Lawrenceville to Mount

Laurel. He fashions porcelain cosmetics, crowns, bridges, and

implants.

Top Of Page
Down-Sizing

American Express Travel Management Services, 989

Lenox Drive, Building One, Lawrenceville 08648.

The headquarters office of this business travel service closed in

early July. It had lost a major pharmaceutical account, and another

major account, McGraw-Hill, has been transferred to a Piscataway

office

(800-237-7697).

Two American Express travel offices are still in Princeton and one

is on Olden Avenue in Trenton. The Hulfish Street office is for

vacation

travel, and 10 Nassau Street has separate sections for vacation travel

and for small-to-medium sized business, says Victor Kurynow in the

business section (609-921-3888).

Top Of Page
Name Changes

L’Oreal USA, 2400 Route 1 North, North Brunswick

08902. Fred Chalmers, assistant vice president. 732-297-7337; fax,

732-422-2765.

Formerly known as Cosmair, the sign on the door at this 150-person

plant is now L’Oreal. "For better worldwide name recognition,"

says a spokesperson. Cosmair is the parent company.

Career Resource Group, 214 Carnegie Center, Suite

105, Princeton 08540. Karen Smith-Moore, branch manager. 609-243-8960;

fax, 609-243-8970. www.thecittonegroup.com.

Formerly known as the Cittone Institute this personnel placement

agency

has changed its name to the Career Resource Group. It no longer works

exclusively for the Cittone Institute, but it was getting calls meant

for the school division of Cittone that had moved out of Canal Pointe.

Geneva, 2400 Route 130, Dayton 08810. Mahendra

Patel, chief of operations. 732-274-2400; fax, 732-274-8989.

Invamed, which manufactures and markets generic drugs and

over-the-counter

products, has been acquired by Geneva and has changed its name.

Lawrenceville Main Street, 17 Phillips

Avenue,

Lawrenceville 08648. Ann Garwig, executive director.

609-219-9300;

fax, 609-219-9301.

Formerly known as the Main Street Project, the new name for this

non-profit

civic improvement organization is now known as Lawrenceville

Main Street. (U.S. 1, February 17, 1999).

M & T Mortgage (HAVN), 23 Route 31, Pennington

Point, Suite A-28, Pennington 08534. Ed Scanlan, manager.

609-730-1001;

fax, 609-730-0222. www.mandtbank.com.

The name of this mortgage office changed from CFS Mortgage when it

was bought by M&T Bank (Manufacturers, Traders & Trust).

Talent Point Inc., 3131 Princeton Pike, Building

2B, Suite 200, Lawrenceville 08648. 609-896-8404; fax,

609-912-0607.

www.raymondkarsan.com.

Formerly known as Raymond Karsan Associates, this executive search

and human resources consulting firm has changed its name.

Worldwide Employee Benefits Network, Box 55783,

Trenton 08638. Lisa Snyder. 609-538-1943; fax, 609-538-0169. Home

page: www.webenefits.org.

This trade group was formerly known as WEB Network of Employee Benefit

Professionals. Lisa Snyder also has a Trenton-based business, Kistler

Tiffany Benefits.

Top Of Page
Management Moves

Saint Peter’s University Hospital, 254 Easton

Avenue,

Box 591, New Brunswick 08903-0591. John Matuska, president.

732-745-8600;

fax, 732-247-9888. Home page: www.saintpetersuh.com.

Marc T. Edwards MD is the new medical director. An alumnus of the

University of Washington and the University of Colorado School of

Medicine, he did his residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

in Philadelphia and went to the University of Connecticut for the

Executive MBA Program. He has had administrative positions at Blue

Cross Blue Shield of Connecticut, AETNA Health Plans, and CIGNA

Healthplan,

and was most recently manager of health care consulting at Ernst &

Young in Hartford.

Top Of Page
Deaths

Karen L. Ammons Stewart, 39, on July 11. She was manager

of the Dayton Wawa.

Catherine E. Grant, 50, on July 12. She worked with IMO

Industries.

Joseph Gilbert Huber Sr., 69, on July 13. He was chief

engineer plant of the central heating plant at Lawrenceville School.

Kevin S. McManimon, 42, on July 13. He worked with the

building maintenance division of Commodities Corp. on Poor Farm Road.

Rita A. Welliver Bush, 63, on July 13. She had been a

senior secretary at Educational Testing Services.

Louise Kearner, 45, on July 16. She had worked in the

credit department at Dow Jones & Company on Ridge Road.


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