Sexual Harassment

TV Touts New Jersey

For Kids, TV’s Violent,

Corrections or additions?

NJ Resources: New Jersey Entrepreneurial Network

These articles were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on April 28,

1999. All rights reserved.

I am very reluctant to consider myself a success," says

Abhay Joshi, founder of Discovery Semiconductors at 186

Princeton-Hightstown

Road. "This year I could be having a banner year and next year

have a bad year. In business, things change."

By Joshi’s own account he has a long way to go before he reaches his

goal. He is working on monolithic opto-electronic integrated circuits,

which he believes will represent the future of telecommunications

(for microwave and fiber-optic technologies) and for the defense and

space industries.

His goal is lofty: to spend the next 30 years building a giant

aerospace

and telecommunications company on the scale of Boeing or Lockheed.

"I don’t claim that that is going to happen," he says,

"but

that is my ambition."

Joshi started his firm in 1993 and now has 10 employees in 3,100

square

feet (609-275-0011). "More than my entrepreneurship our growth

is due to my good luck in having good friends," he says. Joshi

will make one of the six presentations at the New Jersey

Entrepreneurial

Network resources meeting on Wednesday, May 5, at noon at the

Forrestal.

Cost: $35. Call 609-279-0010.

Entitled "New Jersey Resources: all the advice, services, and

financing alternatives available to small businesses from the

state,"

the meeting will also feature Stash Lisowski of ACE-NET/NJIT

Enterprise Development Center; Ted Marks and Marvin

Wurtzelman

of T/MAC; Sal Sisto of Pinnacle Technologies; Robert

Frawley

of Smith Stratton et al; and Randy Harmon of the Technology

Help Desk and Incubator.

Participating resource organizations: Burlington County College

incubator,

Center for Technology Commercialization, Commerce Bank Central NA,

Defense Procurement Technical Assistance Center, MIT Enterprise Forum

of New York, New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology, New

Jersey Economic Development Authority, New Jersey Entrepreneurs Forum,

New Jersey Small Business Development Center, New Jersey Technology

Council, Picatinny Innovation Center, Princeton University Plasma

Physics Laboratory, Princeton University POEM Center, Rothman

Institute

of Entrepreneurial Studies, Technology Help Desk & Incubator, Trenton

Business & Technology Center, and US Army, HQCECOM in Fort Monmouth.

Joshi insists that success is not related to money or good luck but

to a strong faith in one’s vision. Some of the entrepreneurial tips

he offers come from other people, and some from his own experience:

Start while you are young. Joshi, now 35, grew up in Pune,

India, 100 miles south of Bombay, and earned his bachelor’s degree

before coming to the United States in 1986 to do graduate study at

New Jersey Institute of Technology. He worked for a small company

in Princeton for six years, but his father had warned him to start

a business before he became encumbered with family responsibilities.

In 1993 he was determined to work for himself. He was 28 then, when

he quit his day job and leased space in the Dataram complex. Six

months

later he met his future wife; a year later they were married.

Be blessed with supportive relatives. "My wife,

Sharon,

has been a tremendous support through the venture," says Joshi.

"Her parents also have a small business and she had grown up in

a business environment. When I told her I had a small business she

didn’t laugh at me. Without her it would have been very difficult.

She has been the person who managed cash. I came with ideas but she

is really the one who keeps the show going, the unsung hero."

"My parents had a restaurant business and I had seen the ups and

downs of starting a company. I used to talk with my father in the

early stages. He said, `Just hang in there. He gave very strong moral

support, and he also gave me some money in those tough times."

Save as much as possible before you start. For the first

year, says Joshi, money was very tight, and for almost one year he

was without a paying job. He taught at NJIT as an adjunct, "but

the stress level was high because of anxiety over the new venture.

Since then, we have steadily won research money."

Reach out to those who can help. "When the chips are

down, whom can you reach to? I was fortunate to have really nice

people

helping me," he says, citing fellow alumni of NJIT in Connecticut,

Oregon, and California. Along with family members they invested in

his company. "We have been in touch since we graduated 10 years

ago. They have their own extraordinarily brilliant careers, but they

helped me in a pinch with their hard-earned money."

Network to find resources. In the summer of 1993 Randy

Harmon (now director of the Technology Help Desk and Incubator for

the Rutgers Small Business Development Center) and Joe

Montemarano

(now at Princeton University) helped Joshi find a semiconductor

facility

to fabricate his chips. "They advised me that state universities

are ready to team up with small businesses and work together. Though

I was an NJIT alumni I didn’t know the school was doing that. Randy

played a key role when we won our first proposal with NASA."

Early in the learning curve, attend meetings and classes.

"Randy Harmon was a good resource in the early stages and he keeps

on helping us. He tries to bring information on doing business to

the entrepreneur," says Joshi. "I was on a learning curve

for six years and I used to go to meetings, but lately I am going

to fewer meetings. Last Monday I went to the New Jersey Economic

Development

Authority’s capital conference and found it useful. Last fall Randy

invited me to a valuation seminar; he knows where I am, that I may

need to know the value of my company. I am glad someone like him is

there, who does that kind of work. Information at your fingertips

is always useful."

Believe in the vision, no matter what. "During the

early days of the venture, that is when you get really cold feet,"

he says. "You are not sure that it is going to work. All the

worries

come into play. You think, `Will it be a failure? Will I be a laughing

stock?’ You are basically by yourself at that time. You are an

untested

guy and nobody believes in you. That is why you need to have a strong

ambition and a strong faith in the vision."

Evaluate the odds for getting capital. "The best

option

I thought I had was to leverage the Small Business Innovation Research

program. In my previous company I had worked on the proposals, and

I was familiar with the system. The chances of winning with a proposal

for the SBIR were one in ten. The chances of winning with a business

plan for a venture capital guy were probably 1 in 100."

Leverage the expertise of your colleagues. Joshi says

his CPA accountant, Patrick Alia, has been very helpful, as

has his corporate attorney, David Sorin of Buchanan Ingersoll.

Build brick by brick but move toward doing everything

in-house.

"The only thing we outsource now is the chip fabrication itself.

All the other aspects of manufacturing we do in-house — design,

testing, sales, and marketing — with low overhead," says

Joshi.

"If the business looks very healthy in the next 12 to 15 months,

we will be at a major fork in the road. At that time we will make

a decision to build our own facility to manufacture chips."

Citing "Only the Paranoid Survive" by Intel founder

Andy Grove, Joshi reiterates his desire not to be thought of as

successful.

"The irony was that while he was writing that book, Intel

completely

underestimated the strong current for cheap PCs. He made a big wrong

decision that hit Intel dramatically, and it is no longer the darling

of Wall Street."

"Look at Compaq computers. In one month their stock has dropped

in half," says Joshi. "Don’t call me a success. Don’t praise

me too much."

— Barbara Fox

Top Of Page
Sexual Harassment

Many companies assume that sexual harassment does not

and cannot happen in their workplace and turn a deaf ear to reality,

says Carol J. Northington, of Northington-Doviak, a human

resources consulting firm that conducts training and investigates

sexual harassment claims. Her partner, Lucille A. Doviak, adds

that many companies do nothing until something happens. Their measures

are "remedial instead of proactive" she says.

Every company needs to maintain a strong sexual harassment policy

and it has to be communicated to all employees of the company, say

Northington and Doviak. This decreases the likelihood of a sexual

harassment situation and employees feel that the management cares

about them, says Doviak.

Northington and Doviak both majored in business, at Rutgers University

and the College of New Jersey respectively, and have more than 40

years of experience between them. They were employed in human

resources

with Mobil Corporation at its research facility in Pennington for

more than 20 years. They co-wrote and presented a program that was

used to formulate the sexual harassment policy at Mobil. When the

facility closed in 1996, Northington and Doviak founded their own

company.

The partners will be presenting two "Sexual Harassment

Prevention"

training sessions for officials, managers, and human resources

professionals

on Wednesday, May 5, at 8 a.m. and at 1 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, Route

1 South. Cost: $175. Call 609-924-9711 to register.

The workshop will cover a company’s legal responsibilities and

potential

liabilities with regard to sexual harassment. "Managers and

supervisors

have to be constantly vigilant," says Doviak. "They can be

personally held liable. As agents of the company, they constitute

the company’s sanction of it and hold the company liable as well."

The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission defines sexual

harassment

as "any unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors,

and other verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature. This behavior

constitutes sexual harassment when submission to such conditions is

a term or condition of employment, submission to or rejection of such

contact by an individual becomes the basis of an employment-related

decision, and when such conditions have the purpose or effect of

unreasonably

interfering with an individual’s job performance or create a hostile,

offensive, or intimidating work environment." This has recently

been expanded to include any hostile or offensive conduct by reason

of the employee’s gender, says Doviak.

Companies should provide appropriate training and have in place a

policy that prohibits sexual harassment and a complaint procedure

for employees to come forward without fear. Northington and Doviak

outline the elements of a good sexual harassment complaint procedure:

Provide the option of informing the incident to

management.

Provide an alternative route outside management. An

employee

might not want to go to the direct supervisor, especially if the

supervisor

is the perpetrator.

State that confidentiality will be maintained to the

greatest

extent possible.

State who or which department will be responsible for

the investigation.

State that retaliation is forbidden so others will not

be afraid to cooperate.

Appoint male and female representatives. Though not

mandatory

by law, this would be optimal because female employees may hesitate

to report an incident to a man.

State that unsubstantiated complaints will be closed and

no action will be taken.

When "friendliness" crosses the line and becomes

"offensive"

it constitutes sexual harassment. The line that separates consensual

and offensive is so thin that both Northington and Doviak maintain

that dirty jokes, suggestive posters, sculptures, and the like, should

have no place in the workplace.

— Teena Chandy

Top Of Page
TV Touts New Jersey

In an interesting twist, the long-standing wisecrack

about New Jersey — You’re from Jersey? Which exit? — was

adopted

as the concept for a $1 million dollar television ad campaign to

improve

the state’s reputation. "We decided to take something that was

humorous and turn it into something positive for the state," says

Jill Scherer, a copywriter at Princeton Partners, the Forrestal

Center-based agency that came up with the idea. Prosperity NJ, a

business

advocacy group created by Governor Whitman four years ago, gave the

agency an assignment to attract new businesses to the area and keep

existing companies here.

The creative team of Princeton Partners will talk about the process

behind the ad campaign at "Exits to Opportunity: The Anatomy of

an Ad Campaign" on Wednesday, May 5, at 6:30 p.m. at NJN Public

Television on Ernie Kovacs Place. Moving Image Professionals, the

Princeton Chapter of the International Television Association, is

sponsoring the event. For more information call 609-716-1737.

All businesses in New Jersey benefit if the state maintains a positive

public image, says Stephen Kukan, executive director of

Prosperity

New Jersey. So far, he claims, "the ad campaign generated 200

business leads, totaling up to 30,000 to 35,000 in jobs." Some

of the companies, he adds, are already in the state and are

considering

whether or not to stay.

If you want a copy of the ad to benefit your business, contact

Prosperity

NJ at 609-984-4924.

In June, Prosperity NJ will launch the second initiative in the

"Exit

To Opportunity" campaign — print ads in national magazines

like Newsweek and Time. The television ads will run again in fall,

covering the markets between Boston and Washington.

— Mindy Sherwood

Top Of Page
For Kids, TV’s Violent,

& Also a Wasteland

There’s nothing good to watch on TV. It’s a lament

familiar

to many, including noted authority on the power of television,

Newton

N. Minow. Minow is a Chicago-based lawyer, former commissioner

of the Federal Communications Commission, and former chairman of PBS.

He has been writing and talking about broadcasters’ little-known

responsibility

to act in the public interest for almost 40 years.

Minow will speak on "Television, Children, and The First

Amendment:

What Television is Doing to Children, and What We Can Do About It"

on Monday, May 3, at 5 p.m. in the Betts Auditorium in the School

of Architecture on the Princeton University campus.

This topic was also the subject of Minow’s 1995 book "Abandoned

in the Wasteland: Children, Television and the First Amendment,"

co-authored with Craig L. LaMay. The book is particularly critical

of the amount of violence shown in television programs and discusses

its negative impact on children. For this reason alone, in light of

the Littleton, Colorado, killings, Minow’s Princeton appearance is

sure to be noteworthy.

Back in 1961, while serving as chairman of the FCC, Minow gained

national

attention when he expressed his views on the vacuousness of TV.

Appointed

as chair by President Kennedy at age 34, Minow memorably labeled the

medium a "vast wasteland" during a speech to the National

Association of Broadcasters. He championed the view that the airwaves

should be considered a valuable natural resource whose unfettered

use by broadcasters carriers with it an obligation to produce quality

programming.

In 1997 he reiterated another controversial position advocating the

abolishment of all paid political advertising and requiring

broadcasters

to give free airtime to candidates. Minow previously discussed the

effect access to the airwaves has on national elections in his 1973

book "Presidential Television."

Minow summarized his views on TV and the First Amendment in a recent

interview with the editors of the series Contemporary Authors:

"The

First Amendment does not stand as an obstacle to improvement as long

as we do not confuse the right to do something with the right thing

to do."

— Caroline Calogero


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