Corrections or additions?
These articles by Kathleen McGinn Spring and Bart Jackson
were prepared for the March 26, 2003 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Some Good News For Job Hunters
Truly, we are in the worst crunch we have been in,"
says Barbara Parnell, owner of Paley Personnel in Philadelphia.
A veteran of 12 years in the employment industry, she has never seen
hiring paralysis like this. Still, she is seeing a number of bright
spots, at least one, paradoxically, the result of Enronitis.
On Thursday, March 27, at 6 p.m., Parnell speaks to the Central Jersey
Women’s Network on "The Job Market: What’s Hot, What’s Not"
at the Wyndham Hotel in Mount Laurel. Call 908-281-9234.
A native of Australia, Parnell studied business administration at
the University of Alberta and took a job with Canadian Pacific, moving
to Philadelphia as employment manager when the company opened a hotel
there. The hotel closed but Parnell, now married to a Philadelphia
lawyer, stayed on and founded her own employment agency seven years
The agency specializes in placing office managers, administrative
assistants, and executive assistants. Hiring has slowed markedly in
a number of sectors, including retail, state and local government,
manufacturing, securities, and, adds Parnell, professional recruiting.
"It’s a very rough market now," she says.
In the every-cloud-has-a-silver-lining department, however, Parnell
says corporate law is absolutely booming. In the wake of corporate
scandals, issues of corporate governance have built enormous demand
for attorneys skilled in assuring that officers comply with the law.
An aging population is spurring hiring, too. Parnell says every sector
of the healthcare industry is doing well. She is seeing brisk hiring
by pharmaceuticals and by the companies that serve pharmaceuticals.
Companies making medical equipment and instruments are doing well,
and so are hospitals and other healthcare institutions.
Hiring is picking up on college campuses, and especially in the institutions’
development offices, as personnel are sought to tap aging alumni for
donations. The non-profits, another group dependent to a degree on
donations, is also in hiring mode, according to Parnell.
As for where to look for jobs, Parnell suggests the suburbs. She has
seen that companies are showing a preference for a location away from
the center of a city. Reasons include incentives offered by suburban
towns, higher taxes in some cities, and increased use of technology,
which to a degree makes location irrelevant.
She finds that employees are willing to follow. "They find a place
where they want to live, and then they commute," she says.
As for what employees are telling her they want in a job, she says
stability is now at the head of the list, followed closely by salary.
Liberal vacation time is important too, as are family-friendly perks
such as on-site day care.
Many job seekers are forced to settle for a less-than-perfect job
right now, but Parnell is sure the pendulum will swing back again.
She recalls the boom at the end of the 1990s and speaks about the
cyclical nature of the employment market. "It was bad in the early
’80s, and the early ’90s," she says, "and here we go again."
But, she adds with complete confidence, "we will come out of it."
Lt. Colonel Lori Hennon-Bell speaks on "The
Role of Women in Law Enforcement" on Thursday, March 27, at noon
at the communications building on the Mercer County Community College
campus. There is no charge. Call 609-586-4800 for more information.
Hennon-Bell is the first female lieutenant colonel in the history
of the New Jersey State Police. She was promoted to the position in
September. She was also the first female recruiter, sergeant first
class, captain, and major. She is deputy superintendent of administration,
and is charged with overseeing a civilian and enlisted staff of more
than 1,000 people and a budget of over $300 million.
A Princeton resident, Hennon-Bell is a graduate of Thomas Edison State
College and she holds a master’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
She had led many efforts for organizational reform, and is currently
focusing on Consent Decree reforms designed to ensure that citizens
are treated with dignity and respect. She is also the driving force
behind the introduction of E-learning to law enforcement agencies
throughout the state.
She will discuss the history and utilization of female troopers in
the New Jersey State Police, as well as national trends and issues
confronting women in law enforcement.
In a sense, all business negotiation begins with a good,
long, soul-searching chat with oneself. "It’s not what they want,"
suggests business coach Susan Rosner, flipping traditional thinking.
"It’s what you want."
Rosner speaks on negotiating at a meeting of the Executive Women of
New Jersey on Friday, March 28, at 8:30 a.m. at the Institute for
Women’s Leadership at 162 Ryder’s Lane in New Brunswick. Call 973-403-9174.
Rosner is the founder of Coach-On-Call, a Newtown, Pennsylvania-based
coaching business. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from
Adelphi (Class of 1974) and an MBA from George Washington University.
She has spent the bulk of her career working for corporations. Her
last executive job was with an E-learning company that was acquired
by USA Network. She stayed on for a while, but left when the travel-heavy
position began to conflict with her priorities. "I have a teen-ager,"
she explains. Her desire to spend more time at home clashed with her
company’s need to have her on the road, and so she chose to start
her own business.
Most people, Rosner finds, try to fit into their company’s culture
and to comply with the priorities imposed by their jobs. There is
another way to go, she says. "What are your priorities?" is
the key question. "What are you going to get your energy from?"
She suggests that anyone seeking a job or a promotion, or weighing
the option of starting a business, be clear about his objectives.
Is salary the paramount consideration, or is flexibility more important?
Is the excitement of a start-up worth the uncertainty and no-frills
atmosphere? Does on-site day care trump all of the above — at
least in the short term?
Clarity about personal objectives imparts confidence during any job
search, negotiation, or business decision. "People need a vision
of what they want to accomplish," says Rosner. "A lot of energy
is spent on strategic planning around getting people to fit in with
the vision of the company, but first on the hit parade is their vision.
How does the organization fit with their vision?"
Many of Rosner’s current clients are executives whose vision, albeit
fuzzy, does not involve the corporate life anymore. Many first think
that buying a business is a good alternative, and it well may be,
but there is often a need for some substantial self-evaluation.
Are there any commonalities among her clients who have decided to
trade the corner office for a shop on the corner? Yes, indeed, says
Rosner: "Most don’t have a clue."
Two clients she is working with now told her that what they were looking
for in a business was simple. "One is from major pharma,"
says Rosner. "One is from manufacturing. Each of them has $1 million
to $2 million in net worth, but neither wants to put it all a business."
Each told Rosner he was looking for just one thing in a business —
enough cash flow to replace his salary.
At the onset of their work with Rosner, each believed this to be true,
but when she found a business for one of them, he quickly rejected
it. "The product was a low-end household product," Rosner
recounts. "The guy said `I don’t know if I can hold my head up
selling this.’" Even if the financials were great, he realized,
he would not want to be associated with a down-scale product. He learned
that whatever business he bought would have to confer prestige.
Another client had a longer list of requirements when he first met
with Rosner. "He named five criteria," she says. But when
he found the business he wanted, it met none of them. So, while a
simple requirement, such as replacing a salary, is bound to be refined
as the process of moving out of corporate America and into a small
business goes on, having a big list of criteria upfront isn’t always
a great idea either. "It limits possibilities," says Rosner
of the latter tack.
While some people are ready to leave an employer behind, others don’t
have that option. Rosner is working with a technology executive who
has wanted to get into the entertainment business since he was a young
man. The problem is that he needs three more years before he can cash
out of his company without penalties. While he feels that it would
be unwise to leave money on the table, he worries that even if he
sticks around in a job he does not enjoy, the money might not be there
when he is fully vested.
The solution, says Rosner, is to focus on building a new career while
staying on at the current job. Situations like these are common, and
she says the answer lies developing what she calls a "career portfolio."
Don’t just slave away at one job. It is better to work different opportunities
at the same time. "One pays the bills," says Rosner, while
the other provides a creative outlet and could well lead to a new
Rosner herself has a career portfolio. In coaching clients who were
getting ready to be entrepreneurs, she helped to hunt down opportunities,
and soon realized the potential in being a business broker. She now
matches those who want to sell businesses with those who want to buy.
"It’s much more lucrative," she says of the second enterprise.
It also uses many of the same skills that come into play in coaching.
She thoroughly enjoys both businesses, because both involve her strengths
— or "gifts" as she terms them — and both are a good
fit with her lifestyle priorities.
In her own life, Rosner’s self-evaluation has answered the question
she suggests that everyone ask: What do I enjoy doing, and how can
I make it turn a buck?
Where did all those beautiful whales go? We stopped
harpooning them years ago. And why do bluefish multiply like roaches
even though we fish them to what should be extinction? The answers
lie deep at the bottom of the sea, and in the studies of oceanographer
Jeremy Jackson. As humanity stirs its unknowing hand into the
limited oceans, dumping vast tonnages of crude oil and garbage, netting
out entire species through overfishing, and hiding away nuclear waste,
that primordial cocktail changes.
Jackson looks at the current state of our ocean resources and what
building blocks need to be sustained when he gives a free lecture
on "Brave New Oceans" on Monday, March 31, at 3 p.m. at Wallace
Hall of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. Jackson, director
of the geoscience department at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography
[and no relation to the U.S. 1 writer], speaks to both the scientific
community and to the informed laity. He discusses the extent and results
of global overfishing, what critical habitats must be retained, and
what restoration would require.
This talk is one in a series sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School’s
Science and Technology Environmental Program (STEP). STEP’s goal is
to provide policy makers with all the necessary scientific information
to make informed environmental choices. Future talks and STEP events
can be found online at www.calendar.princeton.edu or by phoning Chuck
Crosby at 609-258-0293.
Imagine if the Isthmus of Panama did not exist. Jackson has not only
imagined the possibility, but he has studied it. His Panama Paleontology
Project, which he founded in l986, gathered 30 scientists to uncover
how this neck of land slowly evolved and what resultant species and
ecosystems developed. Since his early career, beginning as an ecology
professor at John Hopkins University in l971, he has published five
books and over 100 scientific papers. His extensive research on the
tempo and mode of ecosystem evolution along coastal coral reefs has
earned him the Smithsonian Institute’s Gold Medal for Excellent Service.
Discover magazine rated his work on overfishing as the most outstanding
discovery of 2001.
"Today, place names for oysters, pearls, and conches conjure up
ghosts of marine invertebrates that were once so plentiful as to cause
hazards to navigation," Jackson has written. He ticks off on his
fingers, "manatees, rays, sharks, sea cows, crocodiles, codfish;
all are now functionally extinct (that is, they no longer affect their
ecosystems), and the Caribbean bays, once thick with millions of sea
turtles, now host them only in the tens of thousands."
This devastation long precedes the era of sex, drugs, and rock and
roll. It did not fall like thunder within the past few decades with
all the blame resting on the shoulders of 20th century man. Jackson
has traced the increasing human impact, particularly overfishing,
from our aboriginal ancestors, through the age of Colonialism, beginning
in the 15th century, and up to the current global decimation.
of ocean interrelationships has to do with the kelp forests, which
for the past 20 million years grew with increasing lushness in our
own northeast and from the Pacific Rim over to Alaska. Kelp is the
primary food source on which so many of the ocean’s species ultimately
depend. Sea urchins eat kelp. Sea otters and Atlantic codfish in turn
eat the urchins. A balance is struck.
Enter ancient homo sapiens to the Aleut islands. They wildly and effectively
hunt the sea otters. Otter populations plunge, allowing kelp-nibbling
sea urchins to run unchecked. The 18th century brings fur traders,
who hunt sea otters, along with seals and sea lions, almost to extinction.
Then the human hand inadvertently initiates a nasty quirk. Killer
whales, who have always dined on sea lion and seal, must shift their
cuisine. They select sea otters from the ocean menu. Further otter
destruction means less kelp, which means less food at the base of
the chain for everyone.
other ground fish once roamed in thick hordes, preying voraciously
on sea urchins. Even 5,000 years of aboriginal hook-and-line fishing
failed to diminish their numbers significantly. Then in the l920s,
mechanized fishing technology with massive nettings swiftly reduced
their numbers. Good news for the urchins and crabs and lobsters. Bad
news for the dwindling kelp forest and all the oysters, bivalves and
conchs that required the kelp and associated food sources. The whales
no longer can find the photoplankton on which to feed, while the garbage-feeding
bluefish are flourishing handsomely by feasting on mankind’s dumpings.
conclusions all outline the amazing suddenness with which our coastal
marine ecosystems have been destroyed. The two-pronged attack of pollution
and overfishing has led him to state, "that even the seemingly
gloomy estimates of globally overfished stocks are certainly far too
low." Yet modern global man has better tools, and in many cases
uses a larger perspective than his Colonial ancestors. In Chesapeake
Bay the amelioration of farm run-off and other pollutants has led
to a massive restoration of oyster reefs. In the Florida Keys, the
primary food sources of coral reefs and seagrass have been expanded
greatly by establishing large preserves that protect fishes, sharks,
When Europeans first came to Lenape encampments in the Garden State,
they found natives dining on oysters the size of dinner plates. Granted,
man’s hand has meted out a swift and harsh devastation. But these
sea creatures are remarkably resilient. Couple that with mankind’s
amazing inventiveness and determination, and we may just be able to
renew our seas and restore them as a resource.
— Bart Jackson
Problem: no one in your shop knows the business beyond
their own little cubicle. The old solution? Get some slickly dressed
consultant to stand before a captive employee audience, thwack a flip
chart with a pointer, and put everyone to sleep. The new solution?
Go roll some dice on company time, scurry after little lab rats in
three-piece suits, and watch that girl from the loading dock best
It’s all part of the game of business. Your whole operation boils
down to a Monopoly-style board, and becomes a playing field where
employee teams compete to win — and to learn just how the company
Executives looking for a new way to open their employees’ eyes to
the whole gamut of challenges their companies face may want to attend
"The Drug Process: From Discovery Through Product Launch"
on Tuesday, April 1, at 8:30 a.m. at the Learning Key in Washington
Crossing, Pennsylvania. Cost: $595. Call 215-493-9641.
Learning Key founder Elizabeth Treher explains how not only
pharmaceutical firms can ramp up employee awareness of goals and processes
through board games, but how banks, technology, and manufacturing
companies can do so too. Treher hastens to add that despite the somewhat
misleading title, this talk explains how a series of custom-designed
games and accompanying workshops can be adapted to all fields of business
All animals learn by playing. Play is creative and participatory,
and the lessons we learn stick in our memories. Lectures, on the other
hand, tend to flow over us like summer rain. This is the base upon
which Treher, a scientist and businesswoman, built her consulting
firm. Raised by a linguistics professor mother and a physician/medical
researcher father, Treher had a wide range of interests instilled
at an early age. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in chemistry
from the University of Southern California, she earned her master’s
and Ph.D. in nuclear and radiochemistry from Washington University
in St. Louis.
"I’ve always loved to invent things," says Treher, who holds
several patents, including one for a cardio-technological imaging
agent. Treher’s innovative bent showed itself in her work at Los Alamos
Laboratories and continued on into Squibb, where she became a research
and development manager. Then, as Squibb merged with Bristol-Myers,
Treher shifted into management, designing the curriculum for its Center
for Scientific Education. It was here that she began to formulate
a vision of how to show employees how their work fit into the large
scheme of the company’s mission.
"The real problem in almost all multi-department companies is
that individuals grope about the business like blind men around an
elephant," says Treher. "They just don’t see the big picture."
Teams too often do function in a vacuum, but they can not do their
best work in this state of isolation. Even the most perceptive bean
counter can not effectively report to his CFO if he has no concept
of what all those beans represent. Any team is of much greater value
once it visualizes the entire process of product launch, from discovery
to market shelf. Likewise, any employee is more effective when he
grasps the full range of his company’s goals and services.
The challenge for Treher and her Learning Key consultants became how
to develop a series of workshops where, as she puts it, "employees
would understand, retain, and enjoy the product-launch learning process."
Treher drew her first clients from that industry. For them she developed
the Pharm Game on a three-by-four-foot board with colorful little
pill bottles for the "men". Little white rats in suits and
lab coats take on threatening or helpful roles. Each three-to-five
person team chooses a bottle and squares off against three opposing
They draw cards and the game is off.
Good news! Your ointment has been shown to have skin cleansing and
insect repellent properties. Bring in the boys from marketing and
move ahead. Bad news! In clinical trials your drug has been found
to induce heart attacks. Go back to the laboratory. "It is amazing
how close to home some of these cards hit," says Treher.
The obvious limiting factor of the game lies in its audience size.
A maximum of 20 can get involved on any given session. The intimacy
of this class, however, may be viewed as beneficial, particularly
when the game is accompanied by Key workshops. Also, at $2,500 each,
the game becomes yours. It is self-explanatory and can be played without
help from a consultant. It is also possible to customize a game, which
then conforms to the exact reality of a company’s current product
line. The price range for these one-of-a-kind games is $5,000 to $45,000.
and excited some of these teams get," laughs Treher. "One
team draws a card telling them that they have made a friend in the
FDA and their approval will come faster, and they jump up and down,
hooting with glee." We are all, in the end, children. And remember
how fast you learned things as a child?
Some of the more progressive firms mix new hires or rank and file
workers from the production line with upper echelon executives. Whatever
the blend, it allows employees to raise their heads above their own
cube farm, and put some faces to the "they" in other departments.
When the competitive dust settles, the players fold up the board with
a much greater overview of what it takes to get a drug to and through
the trials, and past the road blocks which must be addressed along
the way. At least, so says the University of New England, whose business
researchers recently awarded the Pharm Game first prize in instructional
coverage, participant retention, and learning delivery.
banking investment options can boggle the mind of even the most savvy
CEO. Add to that the mushrooming of multi-agency regulations and a
whole new, broader range of competitors, and it’s easy to understand
why individual employees, struggling within their own separate divisions,
view management decisions with confused amazement.
Yet around the Big Buck$ game board all the choices and accompanying
problems get laid bare. Do I ace my competitors by investing that
huge deposit in Brazil at rates that would make a Mafioso blush? Or
do I put it into home mortgages? What does patriotism say? What do
the Feds say? And how do I balance risk versus potential gain? Slowly
the reasoning behind each decision dawns, and each team member’s role
becomes more clear.
Treher notices that banks are still giving out toasters to attract
customers. "I think they would do much better to give away a copy
of this game, to help their customers understand all the services
available," she says, only half joking. Actually several companies
have enlisted clients to join in their games to familiarize them with
all the opportunities their firm affords.
has to first learn what each game will teach. They interview each
department and team, determine the typical and unusual experiences,
and meld them into their own overview of the business. It’s long and
costly work. But business is good, and new games are being prepared.
Among them are Clinical Pharmaceuticals and The Procurement Process
(for all businesses). The new games most likely will be available
in an Internet format.
The most successful investors are those who joyfully play the market.
The best entrepreneurs are those who are creating what they love.
Business need not be grim to be effective. And information learned
while rolling dice beside the CEO may prove just the enticement an
employee needs to turn "empowerment" into something beyond
an empty cliche.
— Bart Jackson
The New Jersey Tree Foundation, in partnership with
the New Jersey Forest Service, is conducting a commemorative 2003
Arbor Day event at Liberty State Park. The Grove of Remembrance is
a tribute to New Jersey residents who lost their lives on September
11. Through a grant awarded the New Jersey Tree Foundation by the
USDA Forest Service, one tree will be planted for each of New Jersey’s
691 residents who perished to celebrate their lives and their contributions
to their families and friends and to the state.
The foundation is reaching out to New Jersey’s corporations for donations
of additional funds, resources, and volunteers to plant trees. Donations
sought include shrubs, perennials, ground cover, 100 cubic yards of
mulch, 30,000 cubic yards of topsoil, benches, shovels, mulch forks,
bolt cutters, hand pruners, pruning saws, and boxed lunches for the
volunteers — approximately 120 a day for seven days. For more
information call 609-984-3856 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
the Fred Ferrari Fellowship , which will provide opportunities
for outstanding graduate students in the field of spinal cord injury
research at Rutgers. It will help Dr. Wise Young, director of the
center, to recruit the most promising graduate students, train them
in the latest research, and send them on to top laboratories across
The center is hoping to raise $500,000 in endowment to attract a top
graduate student each year. For additional information, or to make
a contribution, call 732-445-6573.
auxiliary volunteer service department is holding a travel raffle
to benefit the Grounds for Healing at the Cancer Center on the hospital’s
Called "Passport to Dream Vacations," the raffle includes
15 vacations. The trips range from 11 nights in Italy to six nights
in Paris to a four-night Ireland pub tour. There is also a Caribbean
cruise and a weekend in Cape May. Tickets are $100 and only 750 tickets
will be sold. Trips must be booked by December 31, 2003. The drawing
takes place on Friday, May 16, and purchases need not be present to
Call 609-689-7080 for more information.
donations for its annual golf outing, to be held on Monday, June 9,
at the Cherry Valley Country Club. A master sponsorship, at $2,500,
includes one golf foursome, a company’s name on all promotional materials,
a banner at the outing, and recognition at the reception. Other sponsorship
packages are available. Call 609-520-1776 for more information.
Funding is available through the Mercer County Bar Foundation
to eligible organizations for the support, development, or implementation
of programs that support conflict resolution or reduce violence in
children’s behavior. The program should have a component that involves
parents. The maximum grant award is $500. Grants will be awarded on
May 31, and the next deadline for grant submissions is April 15.
All interested non-profit organizations, agencies, and municipalities
in Greater Mercer County are invited to contact Bill Coleman at 609-637-4908.
Shortly after bombs started dropping on Baghdad, Governor
McGreevey announced a series of measures to increase security on NJ
Transit trains. Meeting with transportation and law officials aboard
NJ Transit’s Police Mobile Command Vehicle, a 40-foot transit bus
converted into a mobile response unit, the governor promised to add
to already-increased surveillance and response measures.
The response unit itself is part of the effort. Used by the NJ Transit
Police Department, it contains outside phone lines, a fax machine,
portable computers and printers, and an on-board radio system with
several frequency bands to communicate with other law enforcement
agencies, as well as other regional transit agencies.
Among the new measures are:
and plainclothes police patrols on trains will be supplemented by
uniformed New Jersey State Police.
K-9 units from two to four. They will be used to detect explosive
devices. The two new units are now in training, and will be ready
for action by late-May.
radiation detectors to ensure that all of its regional police commands
throughout the state are equipped with the devices. All of the detectors
should be in operation before the first of April.
a hotline to accept anonymous calls of suspicious activity on its
property or in its equipment. Call 888-TIPSNJT.
put into effect on Monday, March 17. At that time there was a significant
increase in the number of uniformed and plainclothes police officers
at stations, on-board trains, and in road patrol units. This includes
up to eight uniformed or plainclothes patrol teams riding trains at
any given time during the day, and additional police protecting passenger
facilities, maintenance facilities, and infrastructure.
In addition, NJTransit established vehicular checkpoints at several
stations and terminals, particularly where deliveries are accepted.
The agency is alternating patrolling methods and locations on a daily
To add more eyes to the safety effort, NJTransit’s workforce of 10,000
employees is receiving anti-terror training, and are being asked to
be more vigilant and to report suspicious activity to the police on-board
trains, buses, and light rail vehicles.
Corrections or additions?
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