Corrections or additions?
These articles by Bart Jackson were prepared for the January 7,
2004 issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Sports Pages: The Ivy Way
We want a school our football team can be proud of," money-desperate
university presidents sometimes seem to imply. Today’s college
athletes are headlined in the media as corrupt and coddled louts whose
muscular monofocus has them emerging from the halls of higher learning
even dumber than when they went in. And although many Americans have
become more leery of the "truth" touted on page one, many have yet to
transfer this discerning eye to the sports section.
To put college athletics into sharper focus, the Princeton Chamber of
Commerce presents "How to Really Read the Sports Page" on Thursday,
January 8, at 11:30 a.m. at the Doral Forrestal. Cost: $40. Call
609-520-1776 or visit www.PrincetonChamber.org. This luncheon meeting
features Jeff Orleans, executive director of the Council of Ivy Group
Presidents at 228 Alexander Street (ivyleaguesports.com). His talk
outlines both the goals and mechanics of various collegiate sports
In October, l933, New York Herald Tribune reporter Stanley Woodward
first used the term "Ivy Colleges." In it he included the current
Ivies: Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Brown, Penn, Cornell,
Columbia – and also Army. It wasn’t until 1945 that the schools, minus
Army, actually considered themselves a true league and formulated a
sports policy – originally concerning only football.
In l972 Title IX, a federal initiative, came crashing into the
collegiate sports arena, changing forever how schools funded,
selected, and regulated their sports. In essence, it said that no
federally funded institution could show gender discrimination in any
of its programs. For the sports world this did not mean that women
must participate on the wrestling team, but rather that men and women
must each receive equal athletic opportunities with appropriate
funding for each gender. Orleans was one of the primary authors of the
bill’s regulations. A Yale graduate, he holds a law degree from the
University of North Carolina.
In 1984 he was appointed the executive director of the Council of Ivy
Group Presidents and was given the power to hire staff to create an
"Ivy Office" to coordinate sports policies within the schools. He is,
as he puts it, "the League’s sports commissioner."
It is his job to maintain the standards of the Ivy schools, which
include awarding only need-based financial aid, combining broad-based
participation with the opportunity for regional and national athletic
excellence for each Ivy institution, and assuring that athletic
accomplishments attest to the ability of Ivy League coaches and
administrators to meet these rigorous expectations.
Orleans considers himself a careful guardian of the student-athletes
and the programs in which they participate. He is a firm believer in
balancing the college experience.
mislead," says Orleans. "The media continually highlights just the
abuses of the recruiting system. But these do not represent most
athletes and most schools."
This can handicap them in recruiting the best athletes, especially,
Orleans points out, as the cost of Ivy tuition rises. He is quoted in
Harvard magazine as saying, "Thirty years ago, imagine a kid choosing
between going to Harvard on need-based aid or attending Boston College
with a full athletic scholarship.
"He might look at earning money at a summer job, plus term-time
employment and say, ‘This is Harvard, I’m doing it.’ Today, even if
the student got a $15,000 grant, and could add $5,000 per year through
work and loans, there is still a significant out-of-pocket expense
compared to a ‘ free ride.’ It’s harder for middle class families,
especially if there are siblings. Some people who recruit women
athletes say that families who are willing to sacrifice for their sons
are often less willing to sacrifice for daughters."
In basketball, 305 colleges now compete at the Division I level; in
swimming, there are about 259 programs. Competition among them
sometimes results in bidding wars for recruits, just the way
professional sports teams scramble for free agents. In a recent
season, for example, Harvard’s swimming team lost a recruit when Notre
Dame upped its scholarship offer by $10,000.
on athletic scholarship funding has far-ranging ramifications. Not
only does it apply to obvious things like recruiting, but the Ivy
League is able to place tangible controls on the sports themselves.
"We are able beneficially to limit the hours of practice, the number
of games, and the length of season, all to regulate the role of
athletics in a student’s overall college experience," says Orleans.
On this point not everyone is so enthusiastic. Recently, the Ivy
Council proposed a controversial "Seven-Week Rule." This rule
basically provides a cooling-off period, preventing any single sport
from going on year round. During this seven weeks, interaction between
players and coaches is forbidden "to free student athletes for
participation in academic and other extracurricular activities."
Sasha Suda, 2003 captain of the Princeton women’s open crew says, "I
am a student first, but also a student-athlete. I feel I have done
well in both aspects of my life, and I feel that athletes are being
targeted and discriminated against."
universities construct their athletics departments as primary
money-makers for the school. Others, like Stanford, seek to make the
programs self-supporting, with the big sports paying for the minor
ones. "Here, we are nowhere near self-supporting," says Orleans. "We
don’t run a show for the benefit of the alumni. The win-loss record is
second to personal development."
For Orleans, athletics exist on campus purely because they enhance the
overall college experience. Funding reflects this philosophy. "We fund
our athletic programs for the same reason we buy new chemistry
supplies," he says, "because they are useful."
changed over the two decades of Orleans’ tenure. He notes that they
are definitely more proficient, bigger, and stronger. "We have Ivy
League football linebackers who average 290 pounds," he says. "But
along with this has come an amazingly increased intensity – a belief
that they have to specialize on one activity." He questions whether
this busier, more strictly-focused experience is entirely beneficial.
Additionally, Orleans says that there are major problems at either end
of the socio-economic scale. He sees a tragic decrease in athletic
opportunities in poor communities. Contrastingly, in the wealthier
areas, he is alarmed to observe what he calls "the
over-professionalism of the sports system." Is a New Jersey
eight-year-old truly enriched by driving out six hours to Ohio to play
an hour of soccer? "In short, I see our kids as both over-served and
under-served by the pre-collegiate sports systems," says Orleans.
Men are Hunters. "This is what we have. It’s great. You’ve gotta have
it; how many do you want?" As salesmen, men see the quarry, move in
swiftly, and take aim to close the deal. Women are Gatherers. "Now,
there’s this one, then we have the larger version, and of course the
blue. Don’t let me rush you. You can just make up your mind, come back
tomorrow, and choose the one you like." The problem is that neither of
these gender-instinctive selling techniques is going to entice any
buyer into purchasing anything.
Veteran sales trainer Isabel Kersen knows how to nudge both genders
toward a more effective middle ground. Her talk, "Knowing Your
Business Is Not Enough: You Also Have to Know How to Sell" is
scheduled for the Middlesex chapter of the New Jersey Association of
Women Business Owners on Monday, January 12, at 6 p.m., at the Raritan
Center Sheraton in Edison. Cost: $43. Call 732-287-4111
Kersen is the founder of the Secaucus-based training and development
firm, the Power Edge (www.poweredge.com, 201-864-8515). Her talk is
designed to help not only sales professionals, but small business
owners as well.
Kersen’s admittedly "checkered career" has placed her in both sales
and managerial camps, affording her a rounded business expertise. A
true New York girl, Kersen was born and raised in the Bronx. Daughter
of a police officer father and bank treasurer mother, Kersen became
the first member of her family to obtain a higher education. She
attended Manhattan’s City College where she earned a BA in English and
education, a master’s degree in English education, and a PhD in
After working as a training and development executive for six years
for the very masculine Hertz truck rentals and 14 years for the
exquisitely feminine L’Oreal cosmetics, Kersen decided she was ready
for any client. She formed the Power Edge, which has since enhanced
the performance of sales and managerial personnel for Swiss Bank,
Xerox, the Miss America Organization, and others.
"The concept of selling is actually simplicity itself," says Kersen.
"You merely find out what the customer wants, and you give it to him."
Yet even for most sales managers, the selling instinct does not come
naturally. It demands difficult behavior changes: shedding the tricks
and baggage, and placing the customer at the center of each
list of his needs. Then make a quick assessment: Do I really have what
he wants or not? "Nobody sells everybody," insists Kersen. "You don’t
create a sale – you just fulfill needs."
If you do have the right product, walk your client through its
capabilities. For example, if you are selling a machine, establish
that it has enough power for the customer’s use; that it seems to fall
within his price range; that its size allows it to fit within his
plant. You are not pushing your product’s magnificent attributes here.
You are simply discussing how it meets his requirements, which you
both have been talking about.
"Finally, you reach the point where you have nothing more to say,"
explains Kersen. "All the customer’s needs have been met. Enough said.
The only logical conclusion is that he make the purchase." To those
veterans of the hard sell who claim this approach is unrealistic,
Kersen responds that it is merely shifting the focus to the customer.
the sales person’s primary product is his trust. While Kersen agrees
that building trust is vital, it is not something you can sell a
customer, or build speedily. Of course, the first impression can imbue
you with horns or a halo. An automatic barrier will almost definitely
separate the conservatively-suited seller from a potential client in
Yet what invariably overcomes such obstacles and gradually forges the
trusting link, in Kersen’s experience, is the interest in the client
demonstrated by the sales person. This involves more than just asking
and listening. A good sales person will help hone and sharply define
the customer’s desire, without obviously steering. Gradually, the
relation develops, the trust builds.
past satisfied customers and service recipients goes a long way toward
dismantling sales resistance. Having your references pre-printed in a
separate notebook gives your presentation the feel of solidity.
Of course, the people providing references should be asked beforehand
if they are willing to be mentioned. Finally, resist the temptation to
build a referral relationship at closing. Allow your new customer some
time to be impressed with your product and your company’s service.
Gut-wrenching hysteria comes only when the sales person has
aggressively battered down the wall of customer skepticism. Odds are
excellent that winning a sale this way will crush the slightest hope
of repeat business.
Yet, if both buyer and seller walk away from the trade feeling better
than when they met, a potential relationship has sparked. A timely
note thanking this new customer for his business is essential.
"Definitely, make it a pen-on-paper note," says Kersen. "There are
millions of E-mail thank you letters that are about as effective as an
online refinancing ad." Beyond the first note, not overly frequent
letters can be sent asking how he likes the current product and
informing him of updates.
"I am well aware that sales men are task oriented – they can’t wait to
show you their bag of tricks," says Kersen. "Conversely, sales women
tend to be more people oriented – never wanting to offend anyone." If
you can make sales the customer’s show, you may be amazed at the
Beginning Sunday, March 7, the Philadelphia Flower Show will again
invade the Philadelphia Convention Center from Sunday to Sunday,
foreshadowing the glorious dawn of spring. The air will fill with the
colors and scents of blossoms. Three-hundred thousand people, gently
awed, will wander through its 10 acres. Then on Sunday, March 14th,
the orchids and landscaped gardens will miraculously disappear, and
not a petal will be left on the hard stone floors. Wonderful. Grand.
Now how do you get the folks to come back next year?
Steve Mauer, whose job it is to see that this happens, speaks on
"Selling the Show, Marketing the Event: A Non-Stop Approach to
Year-Long Special Events Promotion" on Tuesday, January 13, at 11:30
a.m. at the Doral Forestal Hotel. Cost: $40. Call 609-799-4900 or
visit www.NJCAMA.com. The event is sponsored by the New Jersey
Communications Advertising and Marketing Association (NJ CAMA).
Mauer grew up in the heart of the city of brotherly love, just a few
blocks from where he lives and works today. He traveled to Syracuse
University to get a B.A. in American literature, but returned home to
Drexel University to obtain a masters in publications management. "I
learned a lot about publishing, but I also had to wade through a lot
of sophisticated printing graphics which I’m not too good at," he
laughs. Armed with this education, Mauer returned to his neighborhood
and opened up the How To Do It Bookshop.
"I couldn’t afford advertising," he recalls, "so I had to try every
conceivable method of promotion." Several times, the president of the
United States would announce a visit to Philadelphia. Just prior to
each visit, Mauer would mail a letter to the White House saying
something like: "Dear President Clinton, I have in my shop three books
which, if read, would allow you to rebuild civilization. I invite you
to stop by and accept them as complimentary copies." No president ever
came. But the press and wire services got wind of this scheme and
Mauer’s reputation as a creative promoter was made.
At the same time, Mauer had become increasingly involved in community
gardening and the Philadelphia Horticultural Society’s pet project,
"Urban Greening." Starting as a volunteer, he helped publicize events.
Today he handles the publicity for the society’s biggest annual event.
"A year gives you time," says Mauer. "You have time to build
relationships of trust with the media and work back and forth with
them." Mauer has several methods of keeping a continual stream of
flower show articles planted throughout the media. And each of them is
based on the maxim that all business is personal:
mix marketing efforts with public relations. "Sure we send out
numerous press releases," he says, "but we never push an individual
product in them. I want to be sincere – not beholden." Instead, flower
show releases tell of trends, popular buying habits, or industry
improvements. To an editor, that’s solid news.
says Mauer. If the sponsoring association of your annual convention is
planning to host some other event, look at the schedules. When are the
print media deadlines? Is there enough lead for the local television
crew to set up, tape it, and get it back and edited by air time?
Often, an individual product is indeed news. But it is the public
relation person’s job to act as primary filter. You must know your
reporters and their publications well enough to know if this piece
holds any desirability for them. If not, don’t let anyone push you.
Presenting an unwanted piece only shatters a slowly-built trust.
Further, the promoter must act as a quality control for the sake of
his own event. "One year we had a wildly popular company at the show,
which totally failed on the fulfillment end of product delivery,"
Mauer recalls. "I not only refused to mention their product, we
wouldn’t let them back again. Our reputation depended on it."
boast 176 years of tradition. Such enviable heritage might seem a
promoter’s dream. Yet, Mauer responds, "Face it. Gardening is
basically poking a hole in the ground, dropping in a seed, and letting
God take over. This is not the easiest concept to keep fresh and new."
Every year Mauer must convince last year’s visitors that they have not
seen it all before.
Actually new editions of an annual show do have an advantage, because
the event itself is newsworthy. The trick here is to play up to
exactly what trend your convention is responding – what new chord in
the human psyche is being struck. Newsworthy articles focusing on this
new trend, which incidentally mentions your event as an example, can
bring in press coverage.
into a new medium or even talk to a strange newspaper or a strange
reporter. Nothing quells the jitters like preparation. A little study
allows you to open the phone call with "I read your article on urban
open spaces in the issue of the 15th. I liked it. You have really made
this a crusade over the last year."
Instantly, the reporter sees a long-term fan, not another pushy PR
person. Many reporters get little or no feedback, as few people even
notice the bylines on the articles that they enjoy and even quote to
friends. There is no greater praise than to let a reporter know that
you actually read his or her stuff.
Don Richardson, director of remediation services for BEM Systems Inc.,
moderates an Environmental Update Seminar on Wednesday, January 14 at
8 a.m. at the Law Center in New Brunswick, sponsored by the state
chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office
Properties. Cost: $70. Call 201-998-1421 or log on to www.njnaiop.org.
Now that New Jersey voters have approved Public Question No. 2,
providing for a permanent and stable source of funding for the cleanup
of contaminated sites, environmental firms can expect to get some good
contracts, which this seminar will address. It will focus on the
redevelopment of brownfields and contaminated sites and the impact of
other environmental policies, such as Natural Resources Damages, on a
corporation’s liability and operations.
Other topics: recent changes to New Jersey’s brownfields program,
legislative initiatives, financial incentives including monetary
limits of grant and loan programs, ways to access funding,
complications to these transactions, deed notices, engineering
controls, status of the Cleanup Star programs and updates on the other
related legal and regulatory changes.
Panelists include Caren Franzini, executive director of the New Jersey
Economic Development Authority; Thomas Cozzi, acting assistant
commissioner for site remediation and waste management at NJDEP,
Norman Spindel of Lowenstein Sandler, and Anthony DiLodovico, vice
president with Schoor DePalma.
In l992, had you decided to do your Christmas shopping in Flemington,
you could have hopped aboard a shiny new piece of nostalgia, which
would have whisked you among the many outlet stores. The Flemington
Trolley was the brainchild of Chris Phelan, who seemed to have a
natural knack for publicity. Quickly seizing its potential for
weddings and as a limo substitute, he made the trolley a profitable
part of the local color and in l993 was voted Hunterdon County’s
Entrepreneur of the Year.
Today Phelan has taken the reins of a wilder and more sprawling
vehicle: the Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce (MCRCC).
Donning the president’s mantle as of November 3, 2003, Phelan and his
seven-person staff oversee 318 square miles of incredible diversity.
The 2,500 county businesses include substantial groupings of global
manufacturers, huge service corporations, retail chains and private
shops of all sizes.
The 757,000 population of the county has a higher than average
household income of $61,446, a figure that hides both large pockets of
residents struggling well below the poverty line and several of the
wealthiest neighborhoods in the nation. Even the land use is in
But the primary number keeping president Phelan awake this past month
is 700. "That membership enrollment is far too small for this county,"
he insists. Shifting to a trolley metaphor he notes, "I’ve always said
that the chamber of commerce is a great vehicle if you bother to sit
in the driver’s seat. Getting a better representation is our top
priority." Of the MCRCC’s membership, most are small and mid-size
business-to-business companies, with a high percentage of
not-for-profits. Few are straight retail firms. And herein may lie
Phelan’s membership dilemma.
The Middlesex Chamber boasts a proud history of activity dating back
to its founding in 1910. At that time, not too surprisingly, it was
called the New Brunswick Chamber, and encompassed roughly the
town-area businesses. But times change. Currently the county is packed
tight with highly-populated towns and all size businesses working
within their local economies. Many argue that the county chamber is
irrelevant in an area with such strong commercial communities as
Woodbridge, Edison, and Piscataway. Some say that the local chambers
make the county’s chamber at best redundant, at worst a conflicting
Phelan has heard all these arguments before. For the last four years,
he has served as president of the Warren County Regional Chamber of
Commerce – one of last in the state to develop a county chamber. Prior
to that he worked locally in Hackettstown, helping the chamber obtain
the business-boosting Main Street New Jersey Community Designation. He
has experienced both sides of the fence.
He also brings to the issues a full lifetime in the Garden State.
Growing up in Flemington, Phelan graduated from Seton Hall earning,
degrees in both sociology and philosophy. During his off-study hours,
he drove a local bus, a job which he laughingly credits for launching
him on his five-year trolley career. He and his wife, Antonietta, live
in South Orange.
"Definitely the local chambers have their place – a non-conflicting
place – in our business community," Phelan says. During his brief
tenure in office, he has let no snow melt under his feet getting to
know the needs of his community counterparts. He has met and
interviewed all Middlesex’s local chamber executives and visited
He says that much of the process of training, publicity, and
educational programs are best done as a local/county collaborative
effort. But he sees the county chamber as offering definite
Middlesex townships are cheek by jowl, most retail shops claim a
customer base far beyond their own municipality. They, along with the
wholesalers and most mid-size businesses, dwell in at least a
county-wide economy. Keeping abreast of this area may prove more
important than knowing all the national fluctuations.
truly major corporate players rub elbows with startup entrepreneurs.
"You are much less likely at local chambers to see Johnson & Johnson
representatives, chatting with mom and pop shop owners," says Phelan.
This is particularly important for business suppliers and the
them a stronger legislative presence. The full weight of a county’s
business community bears heavier on state decision makers. Phelan has
worked this weight most recently on New Jersey’s Family Leave Act.
"There are several good parts and several parts of this bill which are
ruinous to the small business person," he says, "and as a group we
have been able to negotiate changes."
Commerce runs never without competition. In Middlesex, the municipal
versus county chamber allegiance is heightened by the downtown versus
strip mall competition for the consumer’s dollar. When asked how he
sees the squeezing of the local shops by the out-of-town highway
chains, Phelan replies, "I call it free enterprise. There is room for
growth at all levels and it is our job to help each of our businesses
Helicopter pilots seeking to add "fixed wing airplane pilot" to their
resume can now do so in a new one-semester course starting this month
at Mercer County Community College. According to Joseph Blasenstein,
coordinator of Mercer’s Aviation Program, "Flight V" offers a
cost-effective, well-supervised training course for pilots who already
have expertise in helicopter piloting, but seek the additional
certification required to fly single engine planes. It is the only
course of its kind in the northeast United States.
Mercer’s spring semester begins Tuesday, January 20. For information,
call 609-586-4800, ext. 3487, or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blasenstein notes that "Flight V" gives certified helicopter pilots a
commercial airplane instrument rating in 70 flight hours and 30
ground/classroom hours. Two years in development, the course was
conceived in response to a request by a group of helicopter pilots
from the New Jersey National Guard.
"They approached me wanting to add a fixed wing (airplane), single
engine commercial flight rating to their rotary wing (helicopter)
certification," said Blasenstein in a prepared statement. Courses that
are currently available offer the training in 155 hours. Mercer’s
course offers the demanding curriculum, but draws on pilots’ previous
expertise to shorten the credentialing process. The syllabus includes
advanced topics in aircraft performance, preflight procedures,
operating procedures, maneuvers, aircraft systems, federal aviation
regulations, radio navigation, physiology of flight, environmental
systems, and air traffic systems and procedures.
"Flight V" enables pilots to fly planes for commercial and private
purposes and to easily add a multi-engine rating and move into
civilian commercial operations, observes Blasenstein. "It is an
excellent career move for these pilots, making them more versatile in
their current positions and more attractive to future employers," he
says, comparing the certification process to driving. "If you are a
licensed driver of a car and wish to start driving a tractor-trailer,
you must pursue additional licensing."
"We expect to see the cream of the crop seeking this certification,"
According to Blasenstein, "Flight V" takes the MCCC Aviation Program
to a higher level. Part of the ground training will be conducted on a
state-of-the-art Advanced Simulation Training device (AST), which was
purchased last fall through a grant from the New Jersey Division of
Aeronautics, Department of Transportation. A highly sophisticated
flight simulator, AST has both single and multi-engine training
capabilities, and will also be utilized by Mercer’s other aviation
Blasenstein is gratified to finally be offering "Flight V" at Mercer.
"The last time we added a course was in 1989," he said. "It was a
great deal of work getting this highly detailed curriculum approved by
the Federal Aviation Administration." In addition to the NJ National
Guard, this class will be open to helicopter pilots from police
departments in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and personnel from
Corrections or additions?
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