Corrections or additions?
These articles by Barbara Fox and Kathleen McGinn Spring were
prepared for the September 4, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All
After having a year to think about it, most companies
in the greater Princeton business community are still struggling with
how to handle the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks of
11, 2001. When U.S. 1 called three dozen firms last week, two out
of three companies had not yet made their decision.
What is appropriate? Should employees be allowed paid-time off?
talk about the "anniversary effect," that at anniversaries
emotions run high. But they also can be a time for healing.
Management needs to acknowledge the fact that the 9/11 anniversary
will not be a typical workday in terms of productivity, says
T. Blythe, who was quoted in a newsletter issued by
Blythe is CEO of Crisis Management International (CMI) and author
of "Blindsided: A Manager’s Guide to Catastrophic Incidents in
the Workplace" (Portfolio, Penguin Putnam, August 2002).
in Atlanta, CMI has a network of more than 1,300 mental health
and former FBI agents who specialize in the human side of crisis and
threat of violence preparedness, response and recovery.
Though he does not expect much will be accomplished on September 11,
Blythe does not suggest giving everyone the day off. Rather than
employees to be absent and isolate themselves, instead they should
come to work to be part of the activities. Whatever is decided, the
day’s actions need to be appropriate and meaningful for all involved.
He offers these alternatives:
the company or families of employees, at a minimum, the CEO should
write a letter or distribute an E-mail (depending on corporate
to everyone in the company acknowledging the day’s significance and
offering sympathy for their losses.
a tribute or memorial to give employees a chance to come together
in remembrance of the events of 9/11. One option is to solicit input
from the employees in advance about what they want to do — plant
a garden, contribute to a victims’ fund, or participate in a community
impacted by the attacks should provide trained crisis mental health
professionals for the employees. The company should publicize the
effort to employees, but not make any sessions mandatory." These
opportunities could be critical stress debriefings for groups, with
optional signups, or individual consultations.
in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, he says that "it is
apparent that there is no simple answer for what every company should
do to commemorate the day. A company’s actions should vary depending
on the corporate culture, degree of direct impact and geographical
location. However, for everyone in America September 11th will be
a difficult day."
Several of the companies contacted last week are compiling lists of
area memorial services to post on the firm’s intranet bulletin board.
A preliminary list of memorial observances has been compiled by U.S.
1 and is printed on page 38 of this issue. It is also available
the events directory at www.princetoninfo.com Here are some of the
plans from companies and institutions:
John P. Phelan, CEO of
the re-insurance firm with 1,000 employees on College Road East and
College Road West, will be sending a company wide voice-mail message.
is reserving conference rooms at its Carnegie Center offices for those
who wish to watch the memorial services on television.
CEO Chris Kuebler plans to send a company-wide E-mail message
what the company has done to raise money for the victims. "The
contract research organizations in our industry — Quintiles, PPD,
PharmaNet — put together a relief fund, and whatever the employees
contributed, the company matched," says Laurene Isip, senior
Covance’s human resources staff also will circulate through its
Center building, where it has 850 workers. It will remind its 7,200
employees worldwide that a confidential Life Balance hotline is
going to have a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m.," says Vincent
Liotti, HR director. Elan has 130 employees of the former Liposome
Company at the Forestal Center, plus another 20 people at the former
business, but employees will join their counterparts in New York City
in observing the moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. The bank is
to the cost of the ceremonies at the trade center site and the five
boroughs and dedicating volunteer activities during the month of
to the memory of the attacks," says Steve Lubetkin, spokesperson.
Fleet employers get two paid days annually for volunteer activities.
on Independence Way, will observe a moment of silence. The company
designs, applies, and interprets advanced statistical techniques for
strategic and tactical business decisions.
at the time this mishap happened, we are going to gather all the
— and the guests may join us if they wish — and we will
one minute of silence. We will put an open invitation to the guests
in their rooms if they would like to join us," says Farrukh Mirza,
general manager of the hotel on Route 1 North at Independence Way.
The restaurant, Cafe Nicole, will be the gathering place.
telecast of the New Jersey Symphony concert of Verdi’s Requiem at
Liberty State Park.
donate $10,000 on behalf of McCaffrey’s employees to voluntary service
organizations such as emergency squads and fire departments in the
four towns where his stores are located.
at its New York City offices at 8:45 a.m. and broadcast that
"It affected us deeply," says spokesperson Selena Morris.
"We lost three employees, and they will be remembered." The
market is opening at 11 a.m. that day, she notes. Merrill Lynch has
additional commemoration plans that will be announced midday on
will be audio-conferenced in with its regional headquarters at 1 Tower
Center in East Brunswick to observe a moment of silence at about 10:30
a.m., the time of the tower collapse. One of the agents who used to
be a member of the clergy will lead a short memorial service and
anyone to mention the name of someone they knew.
a minute of silence. "Whoever happens to be in the branch at that
time will observe the minute with us," says Nancy Faherty, the
bank’s marketing consultant. For security reasons, the time will not
Roma Bank is also arranging for its employee volunteers to participate
in a blood donation program, as it did last year. It is working with
area hospitals and the Community Blood Council on this project.
Service Center, will have its moment of silence at a lunch meeting
it will hold for employees in recognition of the day. This 50-person
company was among those that closed early last year.
<d>McCarter Theater Center has realigned its
schedule so its employees can stay home on September 11. Many of the
actors and production workers live in New York City. "We were
aware that people wanted to be with their families, so we have elected
not to perform, to allow employees, performers, stagehands to be with
their families and to attend memorial services and events," says
Jeff Woodward, managing director of McCarter Theater.
Previews of "Loot" that normally would normally run on a
Wednesday, Thursday schedule, September 10 through 12, are now running
Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday, September 8, 10, and 12. "Many
Broadway shows are not happening on the 11th, so we are by far not
alone. Next year we will go back to normal, because we also believe
that a terrorist act should not affect our schedule," says
On September 11 last year, realizing many of its performers were not
going to be able to get out of New York, the theater canceled its
performance of "Romeo & Juliet" early in the day, but did
open on September 12. "It was the first time we have been thanked
for being open," says Woodward. "At the opening night dinner
party, the conversation was all about the terrorist act, but at the
reception following the play, the conversation was all about the play.
With one of the great plays of all time, in 2 1/2 hours, we were able
to transport people out of the immediate trauma into something
different. It confirmed our hunch that the show must go on."
its 2,000 employees, have an intranet message from President Kurt
Landgraf, and build a memorial garden with bench and plaque.
be held at 11 a.m. in conference room B. Rev. Deborah K. Davis, the
medical center’s chaplain director, will offer prayers, music, poetry,
and the opportunity to present special intentions in written form.
Naomi Vilko MD, of Vilko Corporate Consulting on North Harrison
will facilitate two catered lunches (sponsored by a pharmaceutical
firm) for Medical Center employees on how to cope with the aftermath
of September 11. "Any employee who is dreading facing that day
can make reservations for the lunch," says Kathleen K. Kasprzyk,
spokesperson for the medical center.
to hold a commemorative service for students, faculty, and community
members. It is scheduled for September 11 at 7 p.m. on Cannon Green,
with the University Chapel as the default site in case of rain. The
service will include music, reading, and reflections, including a
message from President Shirley Tilghman.
The State Response
State employees who lost an immediate family member
in the September 11 attacks get a paid day off if they notify their
supervisors in writing. Immediate family member can include in-laws
and other members of the employee’s household.
About one-quarter of the total number of people who lost their lives
that day were New Jersey residents — 691 of them by the last
"By allowing state employees who lost an immediate family member
to take the day off, we are respecting their individual need to grieve
and observe the day." said Governor James McGreevey.
The governor is creating a Family and Survivor Memorial Committee
to develop a permanent September 11th memorial in New Jersey. The
Office of Recovery and Victim Assistance will appoint the committee’s
director, and a non-profit corporation, the Family Advocate Management
Corporation, to help obtain the funds to build the memorial.
In a decree that all flags will be flown at half staff, McGreevey
issued this statement: "As the banner of hope for a free America,
the flying of the American flag sends a message both throughout our
neighborhoods and all over the world that we are part of a great
For a schedule of other observances see
— Barbara Fox
Mercer County Community College can give business people
the world — literally. Its International Business Certificate
program prepares both corporate employees and owners of small
to pursue opportunities around the world.
"There is a need for people who are in global business to have
some foundation in how to conduct business internationally," says
programs. Students, she says, come from the area’s largest companies,
including ETS, and from mom and pop operations. The program, with
courses that begin as early as Thursday, September 12, is geared
students who are already doing business abroad — or whose
are getting ready to do so.
A reason for the two-year-old program’s success, according to
is the partnerships it has forged with the Mercer County Division
of Economic Development, the New Jersey Commerce and Growth
the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, the U.S. Department
of Commerce, and area chambers of commerce, among other institutions.
To earn an International Business Certificate, students must complete
five courses: Export Readiness and International Sales Potential;
Intercultural Business Communication; Sources of International
Information; Operational Issues of International Business; and the
International Business Plan.
The price for the first four courses, each of which meets for two
consecutive Thursdays, is $48. The last course meets four times, also
on Thursdays, and costs $96. The first course, Export Readiness and
International Sales Potential, begins on Thursday, September 12, at
7:10 p.m. Call 609-586-9446 or visit www.mccc.edu.
That same contact information is good for accessing Mercer’s fall
semester of courses that include many close-to-home business subjects,
all being held at the school’s West Windsor campus.
To help sort out all the possibilities, the college hosts a free
night Monday, September 9, beginning at 6 p.m. Among the other evening
courses on tap for the fall:
Management," James Moore, five sessions. $240.
The Business Plan," Nunzio Cernero, director, Center for Training
and Development, MCCC. Three session course. $135.
Six session course. $150.
Jean Kondek, Princeton Communications. Four session course. $180.
The Basic Principles of FrontLine Leadership, Giving Constructive
Feedback, and Taking Corrective Action. Ten-session course. $335.
Ellen Benowitz. 10 sessions. $150.
Orientation for the Fall 2002 Semester." $20.
Dennis Danilewicz, CPP, Bristol-Myers Squibb. Ten sessions. $300.
It’s fall, not officially maybe, but in the hearts and
quickened spirits of former schoolchildren everywhere. Sure, it’s
hard to say good-bye to summer, but there is an excitement in starting
a new business year.
GetContactX, a for-profit networking group, is using the post-Labor
Day lift to provide loft for its next event. On Thursday, September
12, at 5 p.m. GetContactX takes over the second floor bar area of
the Rusty Scupper for an evening of networking. Cost: $15. Call
or visit www.getcontactx.com
Despite an unusually languorous summer, coming along partway through
a year of sickening stock slides and a recession that shows few signs
of clearing out, GetContactX increased its membership rolls nearly
10 percent since June, to about 300. This according to
who provided this information via cell phone while driving to visit
a client in north Jersey.
GetContactx is far from the only place to network this fall, and
knows it, volunteering before he is even asked that every chamber
of commerce is his competition. And, yes, he admits, so is every
organization and statewide industry support group like the New Jersey
Technology Council (see story, page 45).
In the beginning, GetContactx was a bricks and mortar, or at least
fluorescent lights and cubicles, kind of place. In the year 2000
set up his headquarters at 3100 Princeton Pike. But he outsourced
much of his business from the beginning and soon he was virtual,
from Pottstown, Pennsylvania, so that he could be close to home (U.S.
1, October 31, 2001).
"We are without borders," he says of one advantage his group
has over some others. Now concentrating its seminars and networking
events in the sea-bound strip running from Delaware through New York
City and its suburbs, GetContactx has lined up a manager in Atlanta,
plans to be in Virginia before long, and is taking aim at 36 cities
or regions in all.
The advantage for members, says Sroczynski, is that regional
brings business. As an example, he says that Alan Brooks, the Nassau
Street design firm, is sponsoring the upcoming networking event. As
a sponsor, Alan Brooks, which specializes in corporate branding,
prominently on the electronic meeting announcement. A Philadelphia
patent attorney, Sroczynski recounts, clicked through to Alan Brooks’
site, liked what he saw, and set up a meeting to look into
work from the firm.
Actually, that story also illustrates what Sroczynski says is
second advantage over the competition: It’s heavily E-dependent. Most
members hear about, and register for, meetings online. The
newsletter, eSpin, is distributed via E-mail, and contains not only
articles written by the GetContactX staff, but also news releases
submitted by its members.
Individuals are welcome to join GetContactX, but nearly all members
are companies. Non-members are welcome at networking meetings like
the one being held at the Rusty Scupper. Attendance, says Sroczynski,
tilts heavily toward vice presidents and business owners. Twenty-five
members have registered, and given past attendance, he expects a group
of about 100, all ready to make new contacts — or should we say
<d>Rich McLaughlin moved his six-year-old consulting
practice, the McLaughlin Community, from Chicago’s Oak Park suburb
to Lawrenceville in June (609-434-0210; fax, 609-434-0212; E-mail,
richmcL@comcast.net). "I enjoy helping organizations find simpler
ways to get things done," he says. "This might include helping
companies tap into people in ways that promote both business results
and personal growth in an atmosphere of fun."
With more than 20 years experience in the consulting and organization
development area, McLaughlin has facilitated leadership and teamwork
programs from plant-line to executive levels. He has worked for Arthur
Andersen/Andersen Consulting, Square D Company and Baxter Healthcare
Corporation. Other clients have included Novartis, Osteonics,
Chicago Board of Trade, Heller Financial, Accenture, and Dean Foods.
McLaughlin grew up in Collingswood, where his father was in
and majored in education at the College of New Jersey, Class of 1982.
He has a master’s in training and development for business from Ohio
State University, and currently teaches at the University of Notre
Dame’s College of Business. He and his wife, Ann-Marie McHugh, who
works in film production and directing, have one preschool child,
and they moved east to be close to their families.
One of his "wins" was getting a department of 70 engineers
to take ownership for their own decision making. "Like a lot of
companies, the people who were not top managers were accustomed to
waiting for their marching orders and feared taking initiative or
risk. First I had to get the trust of management, telling them their
people were ready to accept more responsibility. Then I took the
off site for a couple of days and put responsibility squarely on their
"`If you are not happy with the way things are run, make the
I said. They did. And then I had to persuade management to accept
McLaughlin learned how to take care of his own problems, not run to
higher-ups, when he was growing up. He had four older brothers and
one younger sisters, and his parents took a hands-off policy to
rivalry. "They realized they couldn’t fight all of our battles,
so we were raised to fend for ourselves, to either do something about
it or keep our mouths shut," says McLaughlin, remembering the
time he complained about his older brother’s harassment.
His father’s reply: "If you don’t like it, punch him in the
"That wasn’t the answer I was looking for, but it worked,"
he says. Managers who try to solve all the problems themselves are
ineffective, he believes. His advice: "If something is going on
in your area, don’t wait for management to fix it. They may make the
problem worse instead of better. It is easier to ask for forgiveness
than wait for permission."
The New Jersey Department of Labor sponsors a
Service Group for job-hunting professionals. The group receives tips
on landing a job and the use of desk space, phones, faxes, computers,
and the Internet to help them do so. The price of admission, says
hours a week of volunteer work. Some volunteers trouble-shoot
others call employers to turn up job leads, which they post for the
whole group to see.
Milkes is on a committee that is drumming up employer interest in
the group’s upcoming job fair. Taking place on Tuesday, September
17, at 7 p.m. at the East Brunswick Library, the free job fair is
an opportunity for employers to meet skilled, highly motivated job
seekers, many with substantial experience. Call 732-937-4514.
While employers of every kind are welcome, Milkes says those with
IT jobs are especially welcome. "Half of the group are IT
he says. He had been employed by Systems Document Inc., a South
company, and he would like to be an employee again. Some members of
his group are leaning toward starting their own businesses, but Milkes
says most others look forward to becoming employees once again.
Most of the opportunities for technical writers in New Jersey are
with pharmaceutical companies, Milkes says. He is taking a course
in writing standing operating procedures — SOPs — to prepare
himself for an opening in the pharmaceutical field, but would welcome
a job doing what he had been doing, writing software manuals, users
guides, and online help scripts.
Smart employers know good workers boost their bottom lines, and also
know that labor is cyclical. There are lots of good workers on the
market now, but they would well be snapped up in a flash when the
economy turns. Now is the time to line up top talent, and a job fair
organized by motivated volunteers is one place to find it.
Last year, tutors provided over 7,000 hours of free, confidential
tutoring, assisting 350 adult students. This year 80 students are
waiting to be matched with a tutor.
According to the Literacy Volunteers, an estimated 60,000 Mercer
residents read below sixth grade level. The group is committed to
helping these adults improve their skills and the quality of their
lives in the workplace, community, and family. Call 609-393-8855.
Community Foundation over the past year. The foundation has
the money to a number of non-profits, including HomeFront, the
Housing Authority Camp, Stony Brook Watershed Foundation, Passage
Theater, and Trinity Counseling.
honored by Trenton’s Kidsbridge Children Museum for outstanding acts
of kindness, compassion, and civility. The awards occurred during
Kidsbridge’s 2002 Kidfest. Among the other top level donors supporting
the event were
Authority have provided a $1,150,000 financing package to
a non-profit promoting the development and educational achievement
of children. The EDA made a $250,000 direct loan and provided a 50
percent guarantee on a $700,000 loan by Commerce Bank. EducationWorks,
with headquarters in Lawrence, was founded in 2001 to support and
promote programs of the National School and Community Corps, an
whose main focus is keeping children safe when schools are not in
Corrections or additions?
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