"You can tell a good man by the press of his pants." Sound ridiculous? Such an outmoded yardstick would have turned away the notoriously ill-kempt Thomas Edison or the seldom-scrubbed Howard Hughes. Yet this is an example of the irrelevant selection criteria too frequently employed both for hiring from without and for assigning projects from within. Only recently has the entire process of enticing top candidates and selecting the ideal individual come to be recognized for what it is: identifying the person with the most important business skills.

The twisty path of the corporate talent hunt, with all its legal, human, and experiential ambushes is the topic of "Help Wanted: The New Rules of Recruiting" on Wednesday, December 10, at 3:45 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick. The speaker is Stephen Rice, founder of the training and development firm PerforMAX in Monmouth Beach. His talk is part of the New Jersey Society of Association Executives’ conference, "Surviving and Thriving in Challenging Times." Cost: $99. Call 732-985-1919 or visit www.NJSAE.org.

"The real problem is that about 75 percent of all hires are made from the gut," says Rice. Even though the interviewer knows the job specifics, he often accepts or rejects a candidate based on a superficial first impression. Instinct is not a bad hiring tool, Rice says, but it must follow, not precede, a matching of individual competencies with skills required.

Rice has been in the recruitment field for three decades, including a stint as vice president of human resources for a large New Jersey firm. After 20 years as an employee, he went out on his own in l994, founding PerforMAX, which helps mid-size and large corporations develop leadership potential. He also owns a marketing company, International Corporate Golf, and has created the Strategic Planning Toolkit for the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM.)

"In the end," noted philosopher Henry David Thoreau, "most men hit what they aim at." Recruiting top talent company demands that employers not only hunt where the game is prime, but also that they continually fix their aim on what they truly need.

Cast a wider net. The initial advertising for a job ideally serves to broaden the search area and at the same time winnow the chaff. "You may have all the formal feelers out at a college on recruitment day," says Rice, "but how well connected are you with the alumni population?" Also consider tapping the talent of retiring faculty, and don’t forget to consider current faculty as potential consultants. Somewhere out there lurks a better techie than Bill Gates. He may be flunking art history at a community college or chaffing in a sales position in your competitor’s firm. It’s your job to find him.

Advertising content is key for Rice. The typical three-line ad, whether online or in print, is adequate for the budget-driven company. It winnows the unqualified, but not much more. "The last time I required a really top-talent executive," recalls Rice, "I sat down with a marketing person. Together we worked out a total theme for the company and based on that, he wrote a full, but succinct ad and suggested a campaign. It cost me a lunch, but I have never had more and better people apply."

The right ask. Give candidates textbook questions and it can scarcely be a surprise that you get textbook answers in return. Applicants have not come to open their souls; they are sitting in your chair trying to sell you on their competence and character. Ask a man if he is a self starter and you are not likely to hear, "On no, I like to be prodded into doing any work at all." So, forget the basic questions and try to determine an individual’s character by having him recount his experiences. One of Rice’s favorite questions is "Tell me about a time when you bent the rules to accommodate a customer." The response to this reveals oceans.

The right stuff. Mark Shapiro, general manager for the Cleveland Indians, says "many players have the gift, but we are always looking for a kid who’s got that special heart for the game. It gives him the dedication to weather all the pressures." Not too surprisingly, Rice seeks the same from his team’s players in the International Corporate Golf sales force: "The one quality I set above all others is passion — excitement for the job. I can teach the industry to a person, but I cannot teach passion."

Discerning this is not always easy. Outward flamboyance does not necessarily connote more passion than the stone face. But having the candidate recount both his successes and failures in his interviews may reveal if your job will excite him.

How much of a team player do you want? Not every position requires it, and a few even discourage it. Some sales departments set their workers as individual bulldogs, all competitively snarling at the same bones. Such an individualistic spirit, they say, heightens production. Dropping a cooperative Joe into this pit would prove disastrous.

Finally, after your entire hiring campaign is set, Rice suggests running all the advertisements, interview questions, and methods through a legal review. Wrongful hiring snares abound throughout the selection process. Hiring is a fine art performed in a tough, competitive environment. However, once mastered, it will bring the most important element to your business — the right staff.

#h#Broke on $500K/Yr? It’s Not Hard#/h#

"It is common for people to have a high income and spend it all, and in fact more," says Kenneth C. Fink, CEO of Minneapolis-based Family Wealth Counselors. "I have met many people making more than $500,000 who are beyond broke," he adds.

He provides advice on avoiding this sorry state when he speaks on "Moving from High Income to High Net Worth" on Thursday, December 11, at 6 p.m. at a meeting of the Wharton Club of New Jersey and the Harvard Club of New Jersey. The meeting takes place at the offices of the New Jersey Society of CPAs at 425 Eagle Rock Avenue in Roseland. Also speaking are Richard F. Lert of Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer and Barry Sziklay of Cipolla Sziklay. Cost: $40.

Fink is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (Class of 1983). Significantly, he paid for the lion’s share of his education himself, despite the fact that his father, after being "the biggest agent for Prudential — ever," had built a successful consulting firm. His family could have paid his college tuition without strain, but thought it was better for him to do so himself. His family, specifically one of his grandfathers, a man who had owned restaurants and bars, steered him toward conservative investments. He was not happy about taking out college loans, which it took him 10 years to repay, and he chaffed at low investment returns during the stock market’s late-1990s boom, but he now appreciates the value of his family’s guidance.

Apparently, a number of his contemporaries were not brought up with the same discipline. Still, how does one overspend on $500,000 a year? "It’s not hard," says Fink. "Not in our consumer society." Look, he points out, the first $200,000 goes to taxes. "Then there is the second house, the country club, two kids in college, at $30,000 a year apiece. Add two big family vacations a year, and it doesn’t take long."

As income increases, the common tendency is to upsize lifestyle, too. All income is pulled into the effort, but even well into six figures, it isn’t enough. A recent tendency, fueled by rising home prices and low interest rates, is to draw on the family home to keep the upsizing going.

"Many people have refinanced to the hilt," says Fink. "It’s a big trap." In many cases, he says, 30-year fixed rate mortgages are being traded in for much more volatile five-year, or even three-year, adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs). Many times, the house itself is traded in. "People have to have bigger and better houses," says Fink. "They have a huge debt load, and end up with more bills a month than they have money."

Meanwhile, little is going into savings accounts, or even into equity. Income is growing, but wealth is not. Here is Fink’s advice for reversing course:

Write it all down. "Be honest. Create accountability," says Fink. The first step down this road goes under the decidedly untrendy term "budgeting." Write down what you’re spending. "It’s a wake-up call," he says. "Many times people don’t know what they’re spending. Most are shocked to find so much is falling through the cracks. People are usually spending much more than they think. It takes place at all income levels."

Save as much as you spend. After determining where the money is going, tote up how much is needed for subsistence. Then, Fink advises, spend one-third of the remainder and save one-third of the remainder.

This is not easy for most families, but he believes it can be done, no matter what the income level.

Use smart tax strategies. Fink says he was surprised to read recently that only 50 percent of employees are enrolled in 401 (k) plans or similar tax-favored retirement programs. These retirement booster plans are "largely under-utilized." Take advantage, is his advice, and also invest in IRAs and in 529 education savings plans. (See page 15 for separate story on 401(k) plans.)

There are a number of other tax savings vehicles, too. Some are sophisticated, but others are as simple as setting up medical savings plans at work or signing up to have mass transit commuting expenses deducted, tax free, from a paycheck. A relatively small percentage of people bother with the minimal paperwork involved to obtain these tax savings.

Consider investing in tangibles. Fink says that it is only a good idea to invest in a second house if it is "not a stretch" to do so. At the same time, he points out that the recent market bust indicates that investing in tangible assets like a house at the shore can be a good idea.

"Many 401(k)s are now 201(k)s," he says. "Many 60-year-olds were entirely invested in the stock market, and were badly hurt." Beyond the risk of putting all savings in equities, these investments yield little immediate pleasure, whereas a vacation home or art collection may appreciate handsomely while providing the family a good deal of enjoyment.

Stamp out "affluenza." Many parents feel they must provide their children with all electronics, trips, sports experiences, and home entertainment systems that their schoolmates enjoy. Not to mention a spacious, gracious home in which to play, followed by an Ivy education, and first class graduate school training.

Such generosity may be creating a generation of "65-year-olds bagging groceries," says Fink, who also believes it is not good for the youngsters.

He is grateful that his family required him to participate in paying for his education, and believes he appreciated the experience more because he was contributing toward it. He was told that if he went to a state school, his family would pay two-thirds of the costs. If he chose a more expensive option, their contribution would be limited to what they would have spent on a state school.

Eager for more excitement than he thought college in Minnesota would offer, he chose the University of Pennsylvania, and shouldered most of the cost. "It took me 10 years to pay off the loans," he says. "I wasn’t thrilled at the time."

There is not a trace of lingering resentment, though. Parents may fear losing a child’s love if they force hard choices, but Fink is devoted to his family, and started his career working in his father’s firm.

Be honest with the kids. Fink’s parents were honest with him. They could afford to pay for Ivy, but chose not to. He finds that many parents take a different road, telling their children they can not afford whatever it is the child wants, be it a Play Station II, a new SUV to drive to high school, or four years at Harvard.

"The kids know," says Fink. "They see the lifestyle. They see what they’re parents are spending on themselves."

Don’t use the "we can’t afford it" excuse when that is not true. Far better to level with the children about the family’s general financial status and its goals and values. "That doesn’t mean you have to show your financial statements to your nine-year-old," Fink says. He advocates frequent family meetings that include talk about finances. These meetings occurred once a week in his home, and served as a way to air all sorts of issues and to foster a climate of shared values.

Don’t put off estate planning. Many people get serious about estate planning "on their way to the emergency room," says Fink, who adds that this approach is almost always "too little, and too late."

His firm holds retreats for families while everyone still has a good chance of enjoying many more years on earth. Parents, adult children, and sometimes grandchildren join in a discussion of the family’s financial goals. The focus often is a charitable mission. This takes the emphasis away from "`how much am I going to get when you die’" and shifts it to higher — and less threatening — plane.

While some families send children around the house labeling the paintings they hope to inherit, Fink puts the emphasis on the good the family, acting together, can do for others.

Consider a mentoring trust. According to Fink, no one says "yes" to the question: Would you give your child $10 million today? That being the case "Why design an estate plan to do that?" he asks.

Parents fear, often with justification, that their offspring will lounge around, take up dangerous pastimes, and generally lose all incentive to achieve and be of use to others if they suddenly come in to vast amounts of money. A way to handle this fear, says Fink, is to set up a mentoring trust, through which the amount and rate of inheritance can be modulated according to any number of criteria.

The inheritance can be tied to income. For every dollar an heir earns, for example, the trust could kick in 50 cents. Or the inheritance could be tied to the achievement of educational goals, vocational goals, or service to humanity.

For folks punching a time clock for a decidedly five-figure income, it appears that those pulling down $500,000-plus have it made. Fink, with an inside view, says the reality can be far different, with financial woes multiplying right along with income. It doesn’t have to be so. Consumerism, like other addictions, can be tamed. When the kids clamber for a 60-inch plasma screen TV, just like the one all their classmates are getting, consider just saying "no." And do the same when your friendly mortgage broker calls offering an interest-only refinance on the family castle.

#h#Infernal Revenue Or Helpful Agency?#/h#

Has the IRS truly become kinder and gentler? Or is that like asking a shark to turn vegetarian? With a snarled economy and slow customer demand for virtually all products, the weight of ponying up your fair share of government may seem greater than ever. Yet for the sake of your company’s survival, it may be worth viewing the Internal Revenue Service less as an intractable foe and more as an agency with which you can work.

Tax solutions as well as many other legal mysteries unfold in "Small Business Survival Strategies for Tough Times" on Tuesday, December 16, at 6 p.m. at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick. Cost: $119. Call 732-214-8500. Attorney Michael Rambert of Archer and Greiner at 700 Alexander Park moderates this roundtable discussion. Speakers include Peter Sascia and Stephen Packman, also from Archer and Greiner; Hope Blackburn, director of New Jersey’s Division of Purchase and Property; and Preston Pinkett of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

Sponsored by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (www.ICLE.com), the seminar discusses business restructuring, selling to the government, ensuring timely customer payment, avoiding labor problems, and more. The program is designed not only for accountants and legal professionals, but for small business owners as well.

"Probably the one thing which most characterizes, and is least realized, about IRS agents," says Sascia, "is that they are all woefully overworked." He cites as an example the mere 81 agents obligated to handle the half-million new non-profit forms, along with all the old ones. This makes individual negotiating difficult, but that is Sascia’s specialty. Born, raised, and still living near Voorhees, Sascia earned an accounting and business degree from Rutgers University, followed by a law degree from Temple University.

The companies which seem to shoulder their tax burden most easily, Sascia says, are those that view taxes as a steady part of doing business. They foresee taxes as part of their regular cash flow, rather than as an occasional unexpected ambush. This attitude allows them to avoid the many tax pitfalls facing the small business person.

Riverboat gambling. It seems like such an ideal loan. All those employee tax withholding funds are just sitting there quietly in escrow. Not a penny is due for weeks, while creditors are hammering at your door this very hour. "It’s the old conflict of short-term struggle vs. long-term optimism," laughs Sascia, "and entrepreneurs tend to be unquenchable optimists."

But dipping into the tax escrow accounts in your safe to pay a vendor who is in your office with his hand out is the major cause of desperate tax debt and liability in the country, says Sascia. There is actually nothing criminal about dipping into withholding, trust, or sales and use tax accounts. Legally you can use that money to pay a vendor or even make a car payment, provided you make your periodic IRS obligations on time. If the loans-to-yourself cause a shortfall in money on hand to pay a tax bill, however, the 5 percent penalty axe falls, accompanied by interest charges. Additionally, this tax debt can land right at the door of your home, even should the company be dissolved.

Debt restructuring. The IRS extends several debt installment plans to the hard-pressed taxpayer. Realizing that foreclosure and tax sales are often more costly than they are worth, the IRS has greatly expanded its willingness to enter into installment situations, and has made interest accumulations less crushing.

Such installment plans, however, cannot be arranged ahead of time. "If you’re having a really tough quarter and call a tax agent to negotiate a future installment, he will laugh, turn you down, and probably give your form extra scrutiny," says Sascia. But once you have fallen behind in payments, it is best to give the IRS a courtesy call before the three months mark when the IRS officially might legally threaten levy.

Offer and compromise. The Federal Tax Offer & Compromise program is the primary example of a gentler IRS trying to blunt its fangs. Under certain circumstances, it is possible for a company or an individual to pay less than 100 cents on the dollar of his tax debt. The debt can be discharged over 60 months, or in a lump sum.

"This is not, however, a Let’s Make a Deal proposition," warns Sascia. "There are definite qualifying categories, defined payment formulas, and frankly it’s a situation you do not want to qualify for."

Taxpayer advocacy. As a last bastion of hope, Sascia recommends enlisting the service of the National Taxpayer Advocate program. This is less to lighten the debt load than to tear down brick walls. When a businessperson finds an agent with whom he just cannot deal, or forms have continually been lost, or answers are never forthcoming, an advocate can escort the taxpayer through the process. It’s a little like having a local lawyer handle your traffic summons in a strange town. He knows the folks and the system.

Gentler or not, the tax bill comes due to us all. We grind our teeth over all the government excesses that make the news, and wish we could earmark our tax dollars for the government initiatives of which we approve. We forget the schools, the generally smooth highways, and the squad car that passes by our building, watching out for us, affording us protection and the opportunity not to do business from a compound.

Thinking of the good our tax dollars do, and making sure to budget for tax payments in the same way that payroll and electricity are built into the expense column, taxes should go down a little easier.

— Bart Jackson

#h#Of Genes and Genomes#/h#

Geneticist David Botstein gives a lecture on genes and genomes on Wednesday, December 17, at 4:30 p.m. in Wolfensohn Hall on the campus of the Institute for Advanced Study. Call 609-734-8118 for more information.

Botstein became director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute of Integrative Genomics at Princeton University in July. A Harvard graduate, he received his Ph.D. in human genetics from the University of Michigan. He has been a professor of genetics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, vice president for science of Genentech, and, most recently, chair of the department of genetics at Stanford University’s School of Medicine.

Botstein’s research has centered on genetics, especially the use of genetic methods to understand biological functions. He has also contributed to understanding the regulation and evolution of temperature bacteriophages.

He began his theoretical contributions on linkage mapping of the human genome in 1980. Recent research activities include studies of yeast genetics, genomics, cell biology, and the development of DNA micro-array technology and analysis methods and their application to classifying and understanding human cancers.

#h#How Sincere Praise Boosts Productivity#/h#

"People work for money, but live for recognition." So says Carol Kivler, a consultant who helps companies learn how to retain and motivate employees through a system of rewards that cost little or nothing, but can make an enormous difference in morale and productivity.

Kivler speaks to the Princeton Chamber on "Motivating Without Money" at a breakfast meeting on Wednesday, December 17, at 7:30 a.m. at the Nassau Club. Cost: $25. For more information, call 609-520-1776.

Kivler, a graduate of the College of New Jersey (Class of 1972), holds a master’s degree in human resources from Fordham. She founded Lawrenceville-based Kivler Communications (kivlercom@att.net), which does motivational speaking and coaching as well as consulting work, in 1987.

Far from New Age frills, a system of recognition can have a dramatic effect on productivity. Employers may not realize it, but new studies show that many of their workers are doing little more than marking time. Kivler quotes some startling statistics. "Seventy percent of staff are less motivated than they used to be," she says. "Eighty percent of staff could perform significantly better if they wanted to, and 50 percent are putting in just enough effort to get the job done."

Why is this so?

"We have a very disenchanted workforce," says Kivler. "They see no allegiance to them, with downsizing, or rightsizing, or whatever they’re calling it now. I met a woman today. She worked for a company for 15 years. It merged. She’s out."

In addition, says Kivler, managers, overloaded and unsure about the future of their own jobs are "very disgruntled." A third factor, in her opinion, is that "the old guard is still in." These top down managers may not see the value in managing their people in a positive way.

To turn attitudes around, many companies are investing heavily in training a new generation of managers on the importance of motivating their people. "Corporate training is booming," says Kivler. "It’s so big. The new generation won’t manage the same way."

A major blunder of the old guard, says Kivler, is the attitude that "I give them a paycheck. Isn’t that enough?" It isn’t, she stresses. Here are her suggestions for adding recognition to the compensation package:

Put employees on your to-do list. Managers are so busy, and under so much pressure. "You have to make employees part of your to-do list," she says. Meting out praise does not come naturally to many people. They have to be trained to make it a habit. The managers who have the most trouble with giving praise are those who never received it.

In working with managers, Kivler sometimes has them put five pennies on one side of their desks, and then move them, one at a time, to the other side each time they provide feedback. "Every time you praise, move the penny. Do it five times a day."

This exercise, which can also be done by moving the coins from one pocket to another, begins to establish a habit.

Make it specific. Even pre-schoolers know when praise is insincere. Studies have shown that gushing over everything a three-year-old does only lowers his self esteem. Even at that age, he knows that his hastily thrown together nursery school art project is no masterpiece.

Office workers, too, know when they have performed well — and when they haven’t. "Praise needs to be sincere, timely, and specific," says Kivler. It’s important to take the time to identify exactly what was exceptional in an employee’s performance. "Don’t just say `great work this week,’" she says. Rather, express gratitude for a late night, a project completed ahead of time, or an exceptionally well put together report. The more specific the feedback, the better.

Make it individual. Consider each employee’s personality before expressing praise. Some people thoroughly enjoy a fuss. Praise them in front of their peers, says Kivler. Maybe even attach a balloon to their chair, or hang a sign over their desk. Others would be thoroughly embarrassed by such displays. Talk to them quietly. Give them praise privately.

Write it down. Praise can be oral or written, and will probably end up being a mix of both, but Kivler says the written note of appreciate has a greater impact. Put it on a Post-It note, or better yet, on a postcard.

"Everyone has a me file," says Kivler. "As I go around offices, I see the notes tacked up on cubicle walls. People read them again and again."

Spend time one-on-one. When an employee appears to be unmotivated, it is important to find out why. It can be a good idea for a manager to take him out to lunch, and to try to find out what is going on. Perhaps he is bored, unchallenged. Perhaps there is something going on at home that is distracting him. The fix may be simple, and could boost productivity, or could result in the retention of a potential star who is being underutilized.

Give non-monetary rewards. Who doesn’t appreciate an extra $50 in a paycheck? Yes, the money is nice, says Kivler, but a gift is better. While the $50 will quickly disappear into the checking account, a gift certificate to a restaurant has a bigger impact. As the employee plans the evening, includes a friend, and enjoys the meal, he is actively aware that it is a reward for a job well done and proof that his employer values his contribution.

Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate. Notes, words of praise, and gifts are ways of keeping individuals’ morale up. Parties and outings are ways of building team spirit and collegiality. These events need not cost a lot of money. Kivler says that nothing beats a gathering where each employee brings in a food particular to his culture and the whole team enjoys a meal together.

Other easy, low-cost celebrations can be built around pizza deliveries or ice cream sundaes. As an alternative, the whole team can be given the afternoon off as a reward for good work on a project.

During the first years of the millennium, hiring has been a buyer’s market in nearly every industry. Economists are beginning to see signs of a shift. As the labor market opens up, employers must be ready to attract and retain the best workers. To do so, Kivler stresses, they need to be aware that every employee craves not only a paycheck, but also affiliation, meaningful work, achievement, control over the job — and a pat on the back at regular intervals.

On the Road: Better Bike Maps

In an effort to encourage bicycling, Greater Mercer TMA has produced a Mercer County bicycle suitability map through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The map shows roadways in the county that have separate bicycle lanes, off-road paths, as well as roadways that were evaluated for bicycle suitability based on their lane width, shoulder width, speed limits, and traffic volumes. In addition to the evaluated routes, the map shows other non-evaluated routes that are commonly used by cyclists.

Bikeways Engineering of Belle Mead performed the roadway evaluations for the TMA.

"The primary purpose of the map is to help residents and visitors identify safe routes for travel by bicycle," said Sandra Brillhart, executive director of the Greater Mercer TMA, in a prepared statement. "Using a bike instead of a car for short trips can help reduce traffic congestion, reduce the demand for parking, and contribute to a healthy life style. Because the map is the first of its kind for Mercer County, we hope that it will also serve to identify areas where more can be done to accommodate bicycles."

To further assist bicyclists and pedestrians, Greater Mercer TMA has also added a bicycle/pedestrian message board to its website. This comes in response to repeated requests from commuters for a place to exchange commuting tips with others, and especially with those who seek alternatives to traveling to and from work by car.

The bicycle maps are available by writing to the Greater Mercer TMA at 15 Roszel Road, Princeton 08540 or from the organization’s website, www.gmtma.org.

#h#Corporate Angels#/h#

Seventy-five students who are studying science and health technologies at Middlesex County College have received financial awards of up to $1,000 each through educational grants provided by Johnson & Johnson. Since the late 1960s, Johnson & Johnson has provided grants to the Middlesex County College Foundation. In the past few years, the company has directed its financial support toward financial assistance for MCC students who are preparing to enter health care professions.

Through this program, the grant recipients are receiving financial assistance for tuition, books, and equipment for the current semester and, pending their academic performance, will have the reward renewed in the spring.

The College of New Jersey will be donating 75 to 100 computers to the Boys and Girls Club of Trenton. The computers will be given to the kids at the club who don’t own computers.

Nadine Stern, chief information officer at the college, joined the board of the Boys and Girls Club this year, and decided that the gift would be a good match with the youngsters’ needs. The computers, which are four to five years old, are due to be replaced at the college, but are still well able to support many of the programs their young recipients use.

The goal of the program is to eventually make sure every member of the Boys and Girls Club of Trenton has his or her own computer. Presently, most of the children do not own computers. The first computers will be distributed through a rewards system and a lottery. Tickets for the lottery can be earned in a number of ways, including making the honor roll and reading 24 books.

Burgdorff ERA has raised more than $100,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Court Appointed Special Advocates of New Jersey through a silent auction and raffle.

#h#Apply, Please#/h#

The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants has scholarships available for New Jersey college students pursuing a CPA accounting career path. In April, 2003, the NJSCPA awarded more than $275,000 to 80 New Jersey students at its annual scholarship awards ceremony. With the successful completion of the Millennium Scholarship Campaign in 2001, which surpassed its $1 million goal and through ongoing fundraising, the NJSCPA is now able to support even more students in their pursuit of an accounting education.

The NJSCPA College Scholarship Program provides scholarships to New Jersey residents attending in-state colleges, who are majoring in accounting. Students who have attained junior-level status in undergraduate accounting programs and students in their senior year who are entering an accounting-related graduate program in fall 2004 are invited to apply. Award amounts range up to $3,000 per student.

For more information and to obtain an application, call 973-226-4494, ext. 209 (www.njscpa.org).

The Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies of Fairleigh Dickinson University has announced its 2004 New Jersey Business Idea Competition. High school students in grades 9 through 12 in the central New Jersey counties of Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon, Somerset, Union, and Hudson are eligible to apply.

The objective for this new initiative is to foster an entrepreneurial mindset among New Jersey’s students and to recognize those who develop the brightest and most commercially feasible ideas.

The competition divides the state into three regions: north, central, and south. Each region will recognize five finalists and ten semi-finalists, who will be awarded $150 and $75 respectively. Winners from each region will receive an additional $250.

The competition will be judged by the faculty of the Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies. Sponsors include the Edison Venture Fund, Wachovia, and the Discover Business Teen Camp at FDU..

The deadline for applications is Friday, January 9, 2004. For more information, visit the Rothman Institute website at www.fdu.edu/rothman or call 973-443-8842.

The Executive Women of New Jersey invite employers to participate in EWNJ’s Honor Roll award, which will be announced at the 2004 Salute to the Policy Makers Dinner on May 6 at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick.

Criteria for the award include development and implementation of gender parity as corporate policy; a working environment that encourages all employees, particularly women, to fulfill their potential; women on the board of directors and a significant number of women in senior positions; and programs to encourage and support women in middle management positions.

Additionally, the Business Honor Roll award recognizes New Jersey companies that have made significant gains in the degree to which women are represented at the highest levels of the corporation and are actively involved in corporate governance, and whether the company has successfully implemented policies that help employees balance work and family responsibilities.

eannine LaRue, senior vice president of Saint Barnabas Health Care System, is co-chair of the award’s committee. In a prepared statement she said that "some examples of dynamic programs that we have seen in past years include women’s leadership conferences, company sponsored external training programs, formal one-on-one coaching for women, and participation in Menttium 100, an executive development program for mid-level, high performing women."

ast winners have included Johnson & Johnson and Schering-Plough.

Proceeds from the awards dinner fund $60,000 in scholarships awarded annually to New Jersey women pursuing advanced degrees. To date, 201 women have received over $600,000 in scholarship money.

For more information, call 973-812-7272 (www.ewnj.org).

Participate, Please

DeVry University is looking for employers to take part in its Part Time Job Assistance Program, which is designed to help its students find employment to offset education and living expenses.

The school points out that its students are in school all year, making them attractive candidates for long-term part-time employment. The students range in age from 17 to 55, and have all types of levels of work experience.

For more information, call Allison Fisk, student life coordinator, at 732-435-4880, ext. 3219.

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