From Mercer CC, Go Global

Focusing on Networking

Growth with Fun

Participate, Please

Corporate Angels

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

rights reserved.

Remembering 9/11/2001

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 Bruce

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:

Acknowledge personal loss . If any lives were lost within

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.

Organize a memorial. "Management should consider


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


Utilize crisis counselors. "Companies that were


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.

From Blythe’s experience working with more than 200 companies

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 Here are some of the

plans from companies and institutions:


John P. Phelan, CEO of American Re Corporation,

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.

Covance , the area’s largest contract research


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


corporate communications.

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


Elan Pharmaceutical (ELAN) , "Company wide, we are

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


Fleet Bank New Jersey . All the branches will be open for

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.

Harris Interactive (formerly known as Total Research),


on Independence Way, will observe a moment of silence. The company

designs, applies, and interprets advanced statistical techniques for

strategic and tactical business decisions.

Holiday Inn Princeton , formerly Novotel. "In the


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.

Johnson & Johnson is joining Channel 13 to sponsor the

telecast of the New Jersey Symphony concert of Verdi’s Requiem at

Liberty State Park.

James McCaffrey, owner of McCaffrey’s Supermarkets , will

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.

Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. will observe the moment of


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


September 4.

Prudential Financial on Lenox Drive, a 30-person office,

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.

Roma Federal Savings Bank will shut everything down for

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

be announced.

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.

Sensors Unlimited Inc. , the fiber optic company at


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."

Educational Testing Service will distribute rosemary plants to

its 2,000 employees, have an intranet message from President Kurt

Landgraf, and build a memorial garden with bench and plaque.

At the Medical Center at Princeton a prayer service will

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.

Princeton University is reaching out to the community

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

Top Of Page
From Mercer CC, Go Global

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

Lynn Coopersmith, associate dean for corporate and community

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

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:

Starting Wednesday, September 4 : "Successful Project

Management," James Moore, five sessions. $240.

Monday, September 9 : "Web Design and Development."


Tuesday, September 10 : "Starting Your Own Business:

The Business Plan," Nunzio Cernero, director, Center for Training

and Development, MCCC. Three session course. $135.

"Effective Business Writing," Ellen Benowitz, MCCC


Six session course. $150.

"Integrated Marketing Communications Principles and


Jean Kondek, Princeton Communications. Four session course. $180.

"Developing Borrowing Relationships," Kenneth J.


CPA. $45.

"Managing Individual Performance" series. Topics include

The Basic Principles of FrontLine Leadership, Giving Constructive

Feedback, and Taking Corrective Action. Ten-session course. $335.

Wednesday, September 11 : "Foreign Accent


Ellen Benowitz. 10 sessions. $150.

Thursday, September 12 : "Certified Financial Planning:

Orientation for the Fall 2002 Semester." $20.

Saturday, September 14 : "Certificate in Oracle



Tuesday, September 17 : "Certified Payroll


Dennis Danilewicz, CPP, Bristol-Myers Squibb. Ten sessions. $300.

Wednesday, September 18 : "Unix System



Top Of Page
Focusing on Networking

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

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 Steve


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


Top Of Page
Growth with Fun

<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, "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."

Top Of Page
Participate, Please

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

David Milkes, a technical writer in search of a job, is four

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.

Literacy Volunteers of America need your help —


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.

Top Of Page
Corporate Angels

PNC Bank has contributed $25,000 to the Princeton Area

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.

Zany Brainy donated $25 gift cards to each of the 62


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 Yardville National Bank, Pisauro, Levy and


Need2Know, Triangle Your Creative Center, Merrill


and the NJ Commission for Holocaust Education.

Commerce Bank and the New Jersey Economic Development

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


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