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This article was prepared for the February 6, 2002 edition of U.S.
1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
On the Move: Women in Business – Start-Ups
Alison Donald and Kate Kaeli are laying the foundation
for kma events LLC, a corporate event planning business. They are
filling their days with visits to vendors and potential clients. The
two women met at McCarter Theater last year after growing disenchanted
with corporate life in the big city.
Donald had been a commuter, taking the train from Princeton to her
job in the communications department of American Express, where she
planned sales meetings and other events. A 1994 graduate of Penn
she had moved to American Express after a stint at a similar job at
Prudential in Newark.
Working in the city has advantages, she says, including a choice of
high-paying corporate jobs. But, newly married to Tim Donald, who
works for Blue Cross/Blue Shield in Newark, she found commuting to
New York left her little time or energy for enjoying her life in
Meanwhile, Kaeli, a 1995 graduate of Radford University, was both
living in New York and working there. The daughter and sister of
Smith Barney stock brokers, she had worked for that firm, and also
for Alliance Capital, in event planning. A native of Rumson, she was
ready to leave New York and return to life in a small New Jersey town.
Both women came to McCarter at about the same time, Donald as the
theater’s manager of special events, and Kaeli as director of its
annual fund. Each took a 50 percent pay cut to make the switch, but
felt the quality-of-life improvement outweighed the salary reduction.
At McCarter, the two worked together closely on events for donors,
and soon started talking about going out on their own. They plan to
spend the next few months building a client base among area
and non-profits and learning how to run a business. "We already
know about event planning," says Donald. "Now we have to learn
about marketing, sales, and accounting."
fax, 609-688-0773. Home page: www.kmaevents.com
Melissa Tenzer opened the 24th office of Careers USA,
a personnel agency, at 3371 Route 1 in Lawrence on January 7. A
USA employee for the past seven years, her last position was regional
vice president of the Boca Raton, Florida-based company, responsible
for its operations in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
Tenzer made the leap to business ownership because of "less travel
and more money." Hers is the first franchise that Careers USA,
a privately held, woman-owned business, has granted since the
The company, with branches from Maine to Florida, fills a middle niche
in the industry. It is larger than many mom and pop staffing agencies,
but smaller than a number of national firms. Within three years she
plans to open offices in North Brunswick and New York City.
Careers USA specializes in placing support personnel with accounting
firms and law offices, but also works in other industries. It handles
direct hire, temp to permanent, and temp positions.
Tenzer, who studied marketing at Rider (Class of 1994), has been in
the staffing business long enough to see the employment market do
a couple of quick flips. By the late-’90s, even marginal job
were hard to find as employers faced one of the toughest hiring
in memory. Then, suddenly, an economic downturn hit, and, once again,
employment became a buyer’s market.
Says Tenzer of staffing circa winter 2002. "You have to be
in establishing relationships with employers. You have to be
with price." She advertises for job seekers on Monster.com and
in local newspapers, and is finding plenty of people eager to land
a job. The bulk of applicants, she says, were recently downsized out
Commitment-shy employers, not sure where the economy is headed, are
showing a decided preference for long-term temporary workers. Job
candidates, Tenzer says, often have to be willing to accept a
assignment to get a foot in the door. Employers, she says, are now
finding it "a lot easier to find the right person."
Lawrenceville 08648. Melissa Tenzer, president. 609-919-9100;
fax, 609-919-9101. Www.careersusa.com
The Children’s Health Environmental Coalition is about
to launch E-House at its Internet site, www.checnet.com The non-profit
was founded in California by Nancy Chuda, who lost her daughter a
non-genetic cancer she believes the child contracted through exposure
to environmental toxins. Two years ago, Elizabeth Sword agreed to
become CHEC’s executive director, and the non-profit’s headquarters
moved to Princeton, at 145 Witherspoon Street.
The organization exists to educate parents, caregivers, and health
professionals about the dangers common toxins hold for young children
and for the unborn. Maureen Marchetta, a trained microbiologist and
the organization’s program director, points out that children are
more vulnerable than adults not only because of their small size and
immature nervous systems, but also because they live differently.
"Children roll around in the grass," she says. They also crawl
on carpets, and have been known to lick crumbs from kitchen floors
and to gnaw on windowsills. These activities put children at greater
risk of ingesting or inhaling toxins that could harm them.
CHEC’s website already has a quiz for homeowners, asking, for example,
whether they enforce a no-shoes-indoors policy (pesticides can be
tracked in) and whether they have wall-to-wall carpet, which can be
full of chemicals.
The new E-House feature, which is funded by HUD and is produced by
Whitehurst, a Pennington-based Web company, will provide substantially
more information on assessing — and possibly getting rid of —
indoor toxins. Some of the information will be directed toward parents
and other caregivers. More technical material for researchers and
physicians also will be available.
Marchetta, who earned a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from
Douglass College in 1972 and a master’s in microbiology from Rutgers
in 1978, was a special education instructional aide for the Princeton
Regional Schools before she began work for CHEC.
Sword earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth in 1979 and is the
editor of A Child’s Anthology of Poetry. Before taking over as CHEC’s
executive director, she was the director of PLANET (People Linking
Across Networks), a project that created the first comprehensive,
interactive database of service opportunities for K-12 youth on the
145 Witherspoon, Box 1540, Princeton 08542. Maureen Marchetta, program
director. 609-252-1915; fax, 609-252-1536.
Susan Hoskins has opened a socialization and support
program for individuals in the early stages of dementia or
"Our trip-based program fits a niche that is not addressed
says Hoskins. "It is a social and cognitively stimulating program
for those with early memory loss."
Located in a remodeled house owned by Quaker Settlement at Stony
a project of the Princeton Friends Meeting, the program is coordinated
by Kay Leahy. More clients will soon join the program, which has an
optimal size of 10 to 12. Chandler Hall is a Quaker-sponsored health
services organization based in Newtown, Pennsylvania.
Princeton 08540. Kay Leahy, coordinator. 609-924-9715; fax,
manager with Wild Oats on Nassau Street.
of Princeton University Chapel, he is the former prisoner of war who
wrote "Through the Valley of the Kwai," soon to be a movie,
"To End All Wars."
safety and insurance with A-1 Limousine Inc. on Emmons Drive.
president of administration at Siemens Corporate Research.
for tobacco control, he directed the program for addictions at the
School of Public Health at UMDNJ.
the Breast Cancer Resource Center (see page 4).
in the audio/video department of the Princeton Marriott.
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