Six years after Harry F. Bunn named Ronin Development Corp. after a samurai warrior, he has almost completely reinvented it. Instead of focusing on management consulting, Ronin concentrates on market research in the technology and healthcare industries. It still has 45 workers, but the majority are not based in the United States; the rest are associated with a 150-seat call center in London.
Bunn has had an elegant office, complete with a statue of the warrior, in 14,500 square feet at the Carnegie Center. No longer needing this much space, he will move the 11 people here — plus the statue — to smaller quarters at 2 Research Way. The move takes place on Thursday, February 28.
Bunn has been fascinated with the Ronin warrior from when it was a code name for a project he was doing for a regional telephone company. The company was breaking free from AT&T and "Ronin" symbolized the samurai warrior who breaks free from his warlord masters. Bunn says that such courage and innovation is "a statement of who we are and what we are trying to achieve."
Born in Sydney, Australia, where his father had a gas station, Bunn went to the University of New South Wales and worked 12 years in the United Kingdom for PA Consulting. In 1981 he came to PA Consulting’s former signature building (the one with the unusual superstructure) on Princeton-Hightstown Road.
He founded Ronin in 1986 as a management consulting firm. In 1988 it moved into market research. "Over a period of time the relationship shifted and we set up our London call center," says Bunn, "and got into global research with a vengeance." From 500 to 600 workers, who speak different languages, rotate through the call center, which is located just a block from Buckingham Palace. In the early 1990s the company developed market research software. It is being used by more than 40 market research firms to do web-based data collection on telephone and also by Ronin’s own 150-seat center that reaches 60 countries. The software can manage customer long-term relationships and be used for web-based personalization.
With E-commerce in mind, Bunn broke out the software division as a separate company, 1by1.com "It seemed like a great idea in early 2000 when similar sized companies were being valued at $1 billion plus," says Bunn. Last year the new firm qualified for a New Jersey program that lets cash-strapped high tech companies sell its tax credits. But now Bunn is letting 1byb1.com be reabsorbed as a division of Ronin. Says Bunn: "Now we are concentrating on the core business."
RONIN Development Corp., 103 Carnegie Center, Suite 300, Wing A, Princeton 08540. Harry F. Bunn, president and CEO. 609-452-0060; fax, 609-452-0091. Www.ronin.com
#h#Sarnoff & Security#/h#
In landing a five-year $200 million federal contract, the Sarnoff Corporation is pioneering with a new business model — a private company, backed by the government, will coordinate efforts by 64 private companies, universities, and consortia.
Sarnoff is in a joint venture with its parent company, SRI International, to form the Rosettex Technology & Ventures Group, based in Rosslyn, Virginia. Rosettex and its cohorts are supposed to develop and commercialize state-of-the-art national security technologies.
The $200 million is coming from the National Technology Alliance by way of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA). Based in Bethesda, Maryland, NIMA works on geospatial intelligence — the analysis and visual representation of security-related activities on the earth.
Possible development areas for Rosettex include the imagery of geographic information systems — which might involve technique pioneered by Videobrush, a Sarnoff spinoff that has moved to Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Another area of exploration will be the infrastructure of digital technology, a way of constantly searching the entire Web for pieces of information that are buried in images.
A third focus could be the management of digital processing technology, so military commanders at home can see the entire whole battle-field in three dimensions in real time. "This technology already exists at Sarnoff," says Tom Lento, Sarnoff’s spokesperson.
"In the wake of 9-11, this unique business model is designed to `speed to market’ technologies that will bolster our national security," says Lento. The business model includes a venture capital fund that will invest in technologies, products, and companies that address broad national security needs — and give the government a head start on acquiring the new technology.
Universal Display Corporation Inc. (PANL), 375 Phillips Boulevard, Ewing 08618. Steven Abramson, president. 609-671-0980; fax, 609-671-0995. Www.universaldisplay.com
On February 26 the developer of flat panel display technology announced that it has landed a U.S. Army contract for nearly $70,000 to try to build its flexible display screens inside a soldier’s helmet. If this proves feasible, the next phase of the contract would be $500,000 to $750,000 to develop a prototype. Universal Display Corporation, which had its incubation period at Princeton University, recently doubled its space to 21,000 square feet and installed cutting-edge Axtron equipment from Germany.
Washington Group International (WNG), 510 Carnegie Center, Princeton 08540-5287. Thomas H. Zarges, president & CEO, power. 609-720-2000; fax, 609-720-2050. Www.wgint.com
The Carnegie Center-based company has been hired as a consultant by the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission to oversee the arrival of E-Z Pass. The contract is said to worth more than $1 million.
The Carnegie Center houses the headquarters of the power and infrastructure program groups, formerly Raytheon Engineers & Constructors.
ICONS Inc., 212 North Center Drive, North Brunswick 08902. Sanjay Kalra, president. 732-821-9100; fax, 732-821-9106. Home page: www.iconsinc.com
The information systems security firm expanded from Research Park to North Brunswick and has 10 employees. It does risk management, security architecture development, security audits, and security staff development.
Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, 197 Route 18 South, Turnpike Plaza, Suite 108, East Brunswick 08816. Asghar Kazim, field director. 732-735-3204; fax, 732-729-0506. Www.nmfn.com
The insurance company has nearly doubled in size, going from 10 to 17 employees, and is expanding from New Brunswick to Turnpike Plaza in East Brunswick at the beginning of April.
American Re Corporation, 555 College Road East, Box 5241, Princeton 08543-5241. John P. Phelan, CEO. 609-243-4200; fax, 609-243-4257. Www.amre.com
American Re is beginning to move into new space, 40,000 square feet on 150 College Road West in the Patrinely building. Edward J. Noonan is the current president and CEO and is being replaced by John P. Phelan next month (U.S. 1, January 16). American Re is a leading writer of reinsurance in the United States and is part of the Munich Re Group, which also handles primary insurance and asset management. Other locations are at 655, 675, and 685 College Road East.
Stow Company Mini Storage, 2660 Route 130 North, Cranbury 08512. Lisa Kollman, manager. 609-655-5151; fax, 609-655-5478.
The 17-year-old self storage expanded its satellite branch near Exit 8A by adding 20,000 square feet. It has heated and cooled storage an mini warehouses, up to 1,000 square feet, all monitored by an alarm system. Another site is at 10 Pleasant Hill Road, Cranbury.
KSS Architects LLP, 337 Witherspoon Street, Princeton 08542. Michael Shatken AIA, partner. 609-921-1131; fax, 609-921-9414. Home page: www.kssarch.com
KSS Architects opened a Philadelphia office at 150 South Independence Mall West, Suite 944. The phone number at that location is 215-320-3000. The 35-person firm was founded in Princeton 18 years ago. Among its recent projects is the Princeton Township Municipal Building.
Consani Engineering Ltd., 247 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road, Titusville 08560. Paul Feinsot, president. 609-730-9950.
The engineering firm moved from 182 Nassau Street. Part of a South African conglomerate, Murray and Roberts, the company sells 20-foot tank containers for transportation of hazardous chemicals.
Anixter, 7 Santa Fe Way, Building 7, Suite 702, Cranbury 08512. Ted Vucenich, general manager. 609-860-1647; fax, 609-860-1063.
The wiring systems specialists moved from 32 Commerce Way to a location just off Half Acre Road.
The Catholic Spirit, 146 Mettlers Lane, Piscataway, Box 191, Metuchen 08840. Judith Leviton, business manager. 732-562-1990; fax, 732-562-0969.
The weekly newspaper for the Diocese of Metuchen moved from Kendall Park to Piscataway last October.
Council on Compulsive Gambling of NJ, 3635 Quakerbridge Road, Suite 7, Hamilton 08619. Edward Looney, executive director. 609-588-5515; fax, 609-588-5665. Home page: www.800gambler.org
On March 1 the eight-employee nonprofit group will move from West State Street in Trenton to 2,500 square feet on Quakerbridge Road. Founded in 1983, it provides training, education, and referral on compulsive gambling. Phone and fax are new.
Mullaly Diefenbach, 2109 Pennington Road, Ewing 08638. Paula A. Mullaly, partner. 609-637-9777; fax, 609-637-9779.
The law firm moved from 145 South Main Street, Pennington, to 2109 Pennington Road. Phone and fax are new. The firm focuses on immigration law and wills and estates.
Russell & Company, 106 West Franklin Avenue, Straube Center, Suite F-R2, Pennington 08534. Sam Russell, owner. 609-671-0883; fax, 609-818-9892. Www.russelland.com
The digital video production firm moved from 5 Independence Way to the Straube Center. It does computer and web-based presentations.
Utica National Insurance, 104 Interchange Plaza, Suite 305, Cranbury 08512. Gary LaRouche, district claims manager. 609-308-4500; fax, 609-308-4599.
The regional claims office of Utica National Insurance Company will be moving 40 employees from Interchange Plaza to 11,800 square feet at Windsor Corporate Park. The moving date is dependent upon installation of phone lines, but should be sometime in March, said a company spokesperson. Founded in 1914, the firm is based in New Hartford, New York, and has four regional offices.
El Paso Corporation (EPG), 1095 Cranbury-South River Road, Suite 10, Jamesburg 08831. Barbara Hoover, office manager. 609-409-9403; fax, 609-409-9404.
East Coast Power has changed its name to El Paso Corporation. It had also been known as Cogen Technologies Energy Group. It is a regional office for cogeneration plants.
FastNet (formerly SuperLink), 39 Milltown Road, East Brunswick 08816. Jeffrey Jiang, vice president. 800-811-5888; fax, 732-432-5450. Www.superlink.net
An Internet Service Provider, SuperLink, has been purchased by FastNet, based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Kewill, 2555 Route 130, Unit 3, Cranbury 08512. Stephen H. Cooper, vice president of sales. 609-409-1015; fax, 609-409-1014. Home page: www.kewill.com
Last year Stephen H. Cooper sold his software distribution firm, Evcor Distribution Plus, to Kewill, a London-based company, and the name has changed but Cooper remains in this office. With Kewill.Ship software, it helps companies manage the order-to-delivery process (U.S. 1, February 18, 1998).
Broadcast Architecture, 95 Connecticut Drive, Suite C, Burlington 08016. Allen Kepler, general manager. 609-387-0077; fax, 609-239-4632. Home page: www.broadcastarchitecture.com
Allen Kepler has moved his firm from Hulfish Street to Burlington. It offers broadcast architecture for radio ratings improvement, also production of pre-recorded music radio programs broadcast in Japan, plus research and consulting.
NAIK Consultants Inc., 10 Parsonage Road, Suite 310, Edison 08837. Sanjay Naik PE, president. 732-205-0540; fax, 732-205-0544.
NAIK Consultants, a New York-based civil engineering firm owned by Sanjay Naik, moved from Plainsboro to Edison. The firm handles construction, inspection, site development and transportation projects.
Old Grange Graphics, 40 Scitico Road, Somersville CT 06072. John Leo, president. 860-749-8233. Home page: www.oldgrangegraphics.com
Old Grange Graphics, a graphic design company specializing in the conversion of printed museum posters into oil style, moved from Princeton Pike to Connecticut.
URS/O’Brien Kreitzberg, 340 Scotch Road, Ewing 08628. Ralph Borras, vice president. 609-406-1300; fax, 609-406-9711. Home page: www.urscorp.com
URS Corporation (NYSE: URS) has closed its office at 340 Scotch Road in Ewing. Spokesperson Judith Lillard says that location became part of URS, an engineering and construction firm, as part of an acquisition three years ago. She was not able to say whether employees at that office had been transferred. The corporation has 300 offices in 30 countries. In New Jersey, it has offices in Cranford, Florence, Newark, and Totowa.
Pacific Hardware Inc., 331 Freeport Boulevard, Sparks NV 89431. Margaret Turner, owner. 775-356-6720; fax, 775-356-6725.
In December Margaret Turner moved her seven-person sales and warehouse business from Windsor Industrial Park to Nevada. The daughter of Taiwan factory owners, she graduated from Queens College in 1978. Sourcing factories for stainless steel and cold rolled steel in Patterson and Philadelphia, her company designs and distributes high-end designer fixtures.
Nautilus and Schwinn Fitness, 1690 38th Street, Boulder, CO 80301. Gus Lopez, warehouse manager. 303-939-0100; fax, 609-860-5955.
Riteway Distribution closed a South River Road Park distribution center for Schwinn Cycling and Fitness and GT Bicycles last fall. The Schwinn fitness product center is now located in Boulder, Colorado. The bicycle line is available at Pacific Cycles, 800-645-5086.
Harold P. Furth, 72, on February 21. As director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory from 1981 to 1990, he was known as the father of the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor.