Westminster Sale Leaves Option to Close School

Rider University’s agreement to sell Westminster Choir College to Kaiwen Education, a Chinese company, includes a provision that the school must be operated for 10 years, with its current academic programs for five years. But an open public records request by Rider’s faculty union has revealed a provision that allows the new owner to close the school under certain circumstances.

“[Kaiwen] shall not be obligated to continue any specific programs or the Programs of WCC, or to continue to operate or to maintain the College, if the affected Buyer Party determines, in good faith, that such continued action would be substantially impracticable, economically infeasible or would substantially adversely affect WCC,” the section reads.

Neither Rider nor Kaiwen had revealed the entire agreement to the public, the Rider chapter of the American Association of University Professors filed an open public records request and obtained the document, releasing its contents on March 25.

“This provision effectively allows the Buyer at its discretion to negate the five- and ten-year promises at any time,” the union said in a statement.

Rider defended the agreement, saying in its own statement that Kaiwen would only retain the same right that Rider has, noting that the 1991 agreement under which Rider acquired Westminster contains very similar language.

Westminster Choir College of Rider University, 101 Walnut Lane, Princeton 08540. 609-921-7100. www.rider.edu/westminster.

Management Moves

NJM Insurance Group, 301 Sullivan Way, West Trenton 08628. 609-883-1300. Mitch Livingston, president and CEO. www.njm.com.

NJM Insurance Group has named Chris Malone, a former Ameriprise executive, to the post of chief financial officer. He will oversee the company’s financial and actuarial departments.

Mitch Livingston, NJM president & CEO, said that Malone’s “background, training, and experience in finance, along with his passion for strategic planning and product management, make him a perfect fit at a time when we are expanding both geographically and by product line.”

Malone most recently served as the vice president and lead financial officer for Ameriprise Auto & Home Insurance in De Pere, Wisconsin. He has also held various leadership positions at Plymouth Rock Assurance Company, Travelers Companies and the Hartford. He has an MBA from Yale School of Management and a bachelor’s in accounting from Villanova.


Church & Dwight, 500 Charles Ewing Boulevard, Ewing 08628. 609-683-5900. Matt Farrell, CEO. www.churchdwight.com.

Church & Dwight will acquire the Flawless and Finishing Touch brands of electric hair removal products from Ideavillage Products Corporation, based in Wayne, for $475 million in cash plus an additional payment of up to $425 million based on sales through 2021.

In a prepared statement the company said traditional hair removal products are marketed at legs, whereas Flawless is focused on the face and eyebrows.

“Women today are more focused on hair removal from their bodies,” said Matthew T. Farrell, CEO of Church & Dwight. “Flawless provides simple, fast, dermatologist-approved solutions for face, brows, and legs. Flawless is a beloved brand by look-conscious consumers who want to be ‘selfie-ready’ at any moment.”

Ideavillage will support the Flawless business through a separate long-term services agreement with Church & Dwight. The companies expect a “transition period” to be complete by the end of 2019.

First Bank (FRBA), 2465 Kuser Road, Hamilton 08690. 609-528-4400. Patrick L. Ryan, CEO. www.firstbanknj.com.

First Bank, based on Kuser Road in Hamilton, has acquired Grand Bank in a $19.4 million deal. It will be First Bank’s sixth branch in Mercer County if the transaction is finalized in the third quarter of 2019 as expected. First Bank’s most recent expansions have been in Pennsylvania. Grand Bank has a branch on Route 33 in Hamilton Square and another on Edinburg Road in Mercerville.

“If you look at our network of branches in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Mercer County is the heart,” said First Bank CEO Patrick L. Ryan. “As a relationship-driven, community bank, we would never neglect our own backyard.”

The bank has approximately 180 employees working throughout New Jersey in Burlington, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset and Morris counties, as well as in Bucks and Chester counties in Pennsylvania.

BESLER Consulting, 3 Independence Way, Suite 201, Princeton 08540. 609-514-1400. Philip A. Besler, chairman.

BESLER, a healthcare consulting company that specializes in revenue recovery and hospital reimbursement, has acquired Essential Consulting, a firm in the same field.

“By combining two companies with broad reimbursement experience and complementary, but not overlapping technology-enabled services, hospitals will now have access to an expanded platform of reimbursement software tools and a larger, integrated team of service professionals to ensure that their reimbursement is protected,” said Jonathan Besler, CEO of BESLER.

Essential Consulting has long been known for its cost report preparation, Medicaid eligibility and IME/GME software and services. Essential Co-founder Jeff Wolf will lead BESLER’s reimbursement services organization and other members of the Essential Consulting team will join BESLER as part of that team. Co-founder Rick Sutton will continue to develop and support new and existing software for the new company.

New in Town

LionOBytes, 2 Research Way, Princeton 08540. 609-531-0899. Arun Upadhyay, CEO. www.lionobytes.com.

LionOBytes, an IT and software company, has opened a new headquarters at 2 Research Way. The company will place five employees in the new office initially and plans to hire more workers in the coming months in order to meet the demand for its customer relations management solution, LionO360. LionO360 is a mobile-based CRM platform.

“We are delighted about this expansion and the opportunity it presents to not only to serve alongside other tech companies in the area, but also to better serve and grow our U.S. customer base,” said Arun Upadhyay, CEO and founder, LionOBytes. “With this new location, we are better equipped to provide our customers and prospects with a dedicated support and sales team that we will scale over the year.”

Leaving Town

Treato, 104 Carnegie, Princeton.

The pharma marketing company has left its Carnegie Center office and its website was down.

TMA Tobacco Merchants Association, 231 Clarksville Road, West Windsor.

The trade association has left its Clarksville Road office and is moving to Raleigh, North Carolina.


Laura Wooten, 98, on March 24. She spent 79 years as an election poll worker, longer than anyone else in the nation. She grew up in Princeton, where she began working at the polls in 1939, when schools were still segregated. She worked her last shift on Election Day of 2018 at the Lawrence Road Firehouse polling station. In her work career, she was employed by Princeton Medical Center as a nursing assistant. She began working as a food services employee at Princeton University at age 72 and continued greeting students in dining halls until shortly before her death.

Karl Zaininger, 89, on March 22. He earned a doctorate in electrical engineering at Princeton and was a research scientist at RCA’s David Sarnoff Laboratories for 20 years where he worked on many groundbreaking inventions. He worked at Siemens in Princeton starting in 1980, establishing Siemens Corporate Research and Support Inc., where he was vice chairman and CEO.

John C. Citrolo, 84, on March 24. He was retired from the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory after 34 years of employment. He was a graduate of Brooklyn Polytechnic and the University of Rochester, where he received his master’s degree.

Charles Nicholas “Charlie Paris” Piazza, 89, on March 19. He was a well-known business owner in the Chambersburg area, owning Paris Europa, a menswear fashion store.

George Martin Knowles III, 68, on March 25. He was employed by Oppenheimer Funds in Princeton. He also played professional baseball as a pitcher in the Cincinnati Reds organization.

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