Wednesday, January 17

Hot Tips in Taxation

If it is true that the only things in life that are certain are death and taxes, then the scariest entities for most people must be the Grim Reaper and the IRS. “If an attorney has a client who gets an IRS audit, it is especially important for that attorney and client to know their adversary,” says Richard Sapinski, an attorney with the Newark-based law firm of Sills, Cummis, Epstein, and Gross. “It is not a question of just going down to their offices with your checkbook and making nice,” he says. “There is a lot more to it than that.”

Sapinski speaks on “How to Deal With the IRS’ New Aggressive Enforcement Policy” at a seminar entitled “Hot Tips in Taxation 2007,” sponsored by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE) and the New Jersey Bar Association on Wednesday, January 17, at 4 p.m. at the New Jersey Law Center, One Constitution Square, New Brunswick. The cost to attend ranges from free (for current law students and full time judges) to $135 (for NJICLE members) to $169 (for non-attorneys or non-members).

The seminar features a panel of experienced tax practitioners, each delivering one “hot tip.” Topics include “Are Private Annuities Still a Viable Planning Technique?,” “How to Deal with State Tax Issues on a Sale or Purchase of a Business,” and “The Secret Estate Tax Lein of Section 6324 (a)(1).”

According to Sapinski, the problems associated with tax audits have grown over the past three years. “There has always been criminal prosecution from the IRS and tax fraud has been both criminal fraud and civil fraud,” he says. “They do that really for the deterrent effect, in order to scare everyone into paying their taxes.” There are currently approximately 3,000 prosecutions a year by the IRS.

The history of tax collection has, like most things in life, ebbed and flowed with the times. In the mid-1990s congress investigated some of the strong-arm tactics used by the IRS, resulting in its passing a reorganization act that was aimed at making the IRS more taxpayer friendly. “That was when the economy was healthy, people were making a lot of money, there was a budget surplus, and a kinder, gentler IRS worked well,” says Sapinski. “At that time the IRS collections basically went on hiatus for five or six years or so. There was very little auditing or aggressive collection, and very few criminal prosecutions.”

But now, with record budget deficits and a Congress afraid of alienating voters by raising taxes, one alternative that is politically viable is to aggressively collect taxes from those who appear not to be paying their share. Consequently, higher income people who were largely ignored by the IRS in years past have found themselves targets of the IRS’ new aggressive enforcement methods.

“They are now looking at abusive transactions and more thoroughly applying the tax laws,” says Sapinski. “They are looking at transactions that were formally seen as aggressive planning and weren’t even considered fraud in the past. Prior to cases like the KPMG and Enron accounting scandals, the government may have attacked some of these cases civilly, but now, if it looks like a marketed deal, there can be a huge criminal investigation.”

Sapinski, who has been an attorney for nearly 30 years, says there has been an increase in such cases during the past three or four years, with some new aggressive tactics being employed by the IRS that have never been used before, such as criminal investigations at the same time as an SEC investigations. “Historically, the IRS didn’t used to do that sort of thing,” he says. “But now they looked at it, asked themselves what is wrong with that, and they are pursuing criminal and civil remedies at the same time. This can up the ante for people right away”

Raised in northern New Jersey, Sapinski earned degrees from New York University, and Seton Hall University. After earning his law degree from Fordham University he went on to work as an attorney with the IRS during the 1970s and early 1980s focusing on criminal prosecutions. He joined Sills, Cummis in 1987.

“I don’t specialize in taxes so much,” he explains. “I don’t do tax planning. If you wanted to structure a buy-out of a business you wouldn’t see me. I’m like the oncologist of taxes. You don’t see me until there is a problem.”

Sapinski says that the aggressive collection procedures will continue until either taxes are raised, programs are cut, or the budget deficit disappears. “I think this is the easy way out for the politicians because they need to get more money into running the government, but don’t have the political will to make some tough choices,” he says. “No one will object to everyone paying their fair share of taxes, so aggressive collection methods is a win/win for the government.”

For those attorneys, clients, small business owners, or others who find themselves doing battle with the IRS, Sapinski offers these tips:

Avoiding an audit. Audits, as one may expect, are on the increase and Sapinski says that it is helpful for people to know just what attracts an IRS audit. “Returns are scored by a computer using what they call a Dif Score that simply determines the probability that income has been omitted from the return,” he says. “

It compares what the ratio is between income and expenses and matches that against other documents on file — like W2 forms. “The specific criteria is a secret,” says Sapinski, “but if you reach a certain number of points a return gets kicked out for an audit.” Other factors can bring about an audit as well, including foreign bank accounts and a history of engaging in illicit transactions.

Know your opponent. “People still are under the mistaken impression that the IRS is just about money,” he says. “But it really is not that anymore, because just paying them won’t make the criminal case go away.”

Don’t become an example. According to Sapinski, the IRS is looking for more bang for the buck. “If a small businessman goes to jail, it is going to be in the paper and all the other small businessmen will see that,” he says. “Then everyone will toe the line and say there but for the grace of God go I. That’s the objective and it’s not necessarily about the money or one specific case.” — Jack Florek

Thursday, January 18 Home Office Tips

Professional organizer Ellen Tozzi pre-screens her clients over the telephone. “In this industry we measure clutter by the inch,” she says. When random piles can better be measured by the yard, she may refer a potential client to an organizer who specializes in working with those who are psychologically unable to part with a single piece of paper.

But how can she tell the merely messy apart from the neurotic hoarders? “Oh, there are signs,” she says. “They’ll say, ‘I have every newspaper back to 1974.’” These people need extensive help in getting their offices organized, but Tozzi can whip less chaotic offices into shape — and decorate them, to boot — in about six days.

She offers home office organization tips on Thursday, January 18, at 7 p.m. at a free event at the Washington branch of the Mercer County Library. Call 609-588-8660.

Tozzi came to professional organizing via the greeting card industry. She was attending Mercer County Community College when a friend asked if she wanted to earn a few bucks by packing Christmas cards at Lawrence-based Winslow papers. “I stayed on and moved up the ladder,” she says. “In two years I was running the company.” She later moved on to the Nelson Line, based in Moorestown. There she served as director of operations and marketing.

In her 20 years with those companies she says that she “wore every hat.” She was involved in marketing, sales, bookkeeping, and business planning. This experience made her “the perfect entrepreneur.” She is convinced that she is hard-wired to run a business. “It’s in my DNA,” she says, despite the fact that both of her parents held government jobs. “They liked to play it safe,” she says.

Tozzi’s company, Natural Order (www.naturalorderdesign.com), was formed just about one year ago, and operates out of her Mercerville home. So far most of her clients have been women who have been working from home — often as sales reps — for a number of years, are now successful, and “want to take their offices to the next level.”

Many of her clients are, she says, “in a situational state of crisis.” These are people who were once at least sort of organized. Then a death or illness in the family, the birth of a child, or a huge jump in business led to a major break-down in order. Other clients never learned the basic principles of organization. In both cases, the home offices she sees on her first visit are teetering on the edge.

“I sit down with clients and find out just how they do business,” Tozzi says of the first step back from the brink. She finds out about their work, and how they do it — right down to how they handle incoming mail. “I ask in what part of the house they open the mail, how they separate family mail from business mail, how they sort it.” She asks about what system is in place for returning phone calls. “I find out everything about how they work.” Then she and her clients talk about “how they would like to see their offices function.”

Not a dictator, Tozzi says that much about setting up and running an office is personal. She works to find the systems that suit each individual client, not insisting, for example, that people who are wedded to their paper calendars discard them in favor of computer scheduling. But individuality goes only so far. There are some basics that make every home office run more efficiently:

Look at the big picture. When people think of a well-organized office they tend to think of every paper in its place. That’s important, but time management is even more important.

Tozzi finds that most business owners spend their days putting out fires. “What’s urgent?” they ask themselves, and then get to work on a project for the client who is screaming the loudest. That seems to make sense, but she says that it only leads to frustration, missed opportunities, and skewed priorities.

“The biggest problem,” she says, “is that there is not enough time for what we need to do.” Don’t fight it, is her advice, but rather “accept that it can’t all get done.”

Look at life as a whole, and decide how much time to allocate to what activities. Using this approach, a client may decide that a top priority is spending four hours a night with his or her children, that three hours a week at the gym is a necessity, and that eight hours a week really needs to be devoted to prospecting for new business.

Write all of this down in a calendar, says Tozzi. “Keep appointments with yourself the same way that you keep appointments with other people,” she advises. “If you have a dentist appointment, you will go, but if you want to go to the gym you may be tired and may decide not to go.”

Use technology. Many people are still clipping articles and putting them in folders for future reference, Tozzi finds. Others are adding to paper trails of client information, industry updates, and myriad other facts and figures that can now be obtained by typing a few works into an Internet search box. Find the information online instead, and then bookmark it right away. Break the habit of stockpiling information that is readily available online.

The Internet can easily replace a phone book and a dictionary — in fact, it is more useful than a whole wall of reference books, and is fast and easy to use.

Another home office streamliner is the PDA, personal digital assistant, a device like the Palm Pilot, or like the iPhone that Apple has just unveiled. A device like this is great, says Tozzi, because “you really need to have your calendar with you wherever you are.” It is also good because it easily synchs with a computer. This function, she points out, means that an entrepreneur can print out calendar information in categories. “You can print out just your family appointments,” she says. “Your family doesn’t need to see all of your appointments.”

Cozy up to the file cabinet. “The biggest problem is that people finish a task and put papers in a to-be-filed spot — and then never file them,” says Tozzi. “They plan to file them at the end of the week, but it doesn’t happen. Weeks turn into months.”

Part of the problem — aside from a universal, if unexplainable, aversion to filing — is that file cabinets tend to be set off in a corner, far away from the desk. Scrap that system and find room for files right next to the desk, or, better yet, right in the desk. “Eliminate that extra step,” says Tozzi.

Clean out old files. Take the time this month, at the beginning of the year, to review files — and toss or store those that are no longer needed. “Start the new year fresh,” says Tozzi.

Use all of your space. People tend to conduct their business near to the floor, but looking up can reveal extra space that can let office essentials breathe. “Make more use of vertical space,” says Tozzi. “Get a cabinet for the walls.”

Many home offices are in spaces that were once bedrooms. When that is the case, find even more space by removing closet doors, installing shelves, and then making the space attractive, perhaps by hanging curtains over the makeshift office closet.

Create an inviting environment. Entrepreneurs spend a lot of time in their offices, so they should be comfortable, attractive spaces. Tozzi says, however, that there are no hard and fast home office decorating rules, beyond the absolute requirement that the spaces must be absolutely clutter free. Serenity is important, but Tozzi says that some of her clients like to paint office walls bright colors to boost their energy levels.

She helps with the decorating, and says that the strategy she enjoys best is “shopping in the house.” She and the client look around in living spaces as well as the attic for pieces that will liven up the home office. More often than not they are successful. “The clients love it,” she says. “There may have been a picture hanging on a wall for 10 years, and they no longer see it.” Placed over a desk, the picture takes on new life, and clients appreciate that the makeover didn’t cost a dime.

Professional organizers don’t just straighten up, says Tozzi, who works in increments of at least four hours, always with the client at her side. They implement systems. “We give people tools,” she says. Nevertheless, periodic tune-ups, generally at six or twelve months, are the norm. That is about how long it takes for the average, well-intentioned home office worker to begin the slow slide into chaos.

It appears that the “natural order” for a good many home offices is somewhere south of perfection. But when the clutter threatens to take over once again, most of Tozzi’s clients are still able to find their phones, and they use them to dial up a refresher lesson in home office organization.

— Kathy Spring

Why Spam Could Overwhelm the ‘Net

Remember the 1950s cult classic “The Blob,” a movie about a mysterious blob-like creature from outer space who consumes everything in its path and can’t be stopped by guns, fire, or any known defense? Well, according to Nathaniel Borenstein, a scientist-programmer-inventor-entrepreneur, spam is something like the 21st century’s version of the Blob.

Sometimes just an annoyance, sometimes a real destructive force both for the consumer and for corporations, spam is big business — both for the spammers hoping to make a sale, and for security companies trying to stop them. “Spam is a really hard area to deal with for many people,” says Borenstein. “The reason is that you are dealing with an active intelligent opponent. In mathematical terms, it is not a puzzle; it’s a game. Anything you do, there are a bunch of really smart people looking at how to get around it.”

Borenstein speaks at a free meeting of the ACM-IEEE computer society on “A Comprehensive Strategy for Spam Control,” on Thursday, January 18, at 8 p.m. at the Sarnoff Corporation. For information, call 609-587-1886 or visit www.acm.org/chapters/ princetonacm.

A big problem with spam is that it is bound to get worse as advances in computer technology become more commonplace. “Spam is a phenomenon that afflicts all electronic communication media,” says Borenstein. “We know it best from E-mail because that is the most widely used, but it is also in instant messaging, in social networking sites like MySpace.com, and the worst spam, I expect, will be in Voiceover IP when it becomes more widespread.”

According to Borenstein, right now 95 to 99 percent of all the mail on the Internet is Spam. “It is important to fight it because it has the potential to just choke out everything else,” he says. “Do you remember Net News, the computer bulletin board system that started in the 1970s? While it is still used for some things, it has really been effectively killed by Spam. All those news groups that used to be useful to so many people are now filled with spam. It can go from a minor nuisance to a medium-destroying problem relatively quickly.”

One problem in reducing Spam is the unequal costs incurred by spammers and spam fighters. “The spammer spends almost nothing and receives enough money to make a profit, while he induces zillions of dollars in cost for everyone else on the planet,” says Borenstein. “What I used to tell people 10 years ago, if the spammers could make a sale one time out of 10,000, they would make a nice profit. But today, spammers can do fine with just one out of 100,000. To put that in perspective, let’s say most people have met maybe 5,000 people in their whole life. Think of the dumbest, most gullible person that you’ve ever met, and then think some more. That’s all it takes for these guys to do well.”

According to Borenstein, most Spam these days is not sent by the spammers from their own machines. “What they do is get viruses to infect other people’s machines and send out the spam for them,” he says. “If you are at somebody’s house and the computer is not supposed to be doing anything, but the disk is rattling like mad, it is probably sending out spam. Most Windows PCs are effected by at least one virus and the most common motivation for virus writers these days is to send spam, because that is where the money is.”

But fighting spam is an expensive proposition, particularly for businesses. “Any business that uses E-mail is effected, first the same way a consumer is, because spam slows down their PCs and clutters things up,” explains Borenstein. “But businesses typically have a corporate network with a gateway into the Internet. Once you get that infected, it starts cluttering up your internal network. Usually the internal network is relatively low traffic, but a virus infection can change that. It is also a big cost. I can tell you of plenty of companies that spend over a million dollars a year for spam control.”

Solutions are being slowly developed, says Borenstein. Although filtering is the most dominant way people deal with Spam, it is not likely to work in the long term. “The long term will require stronger authentication and possibly an optional payment system to bypass filters. So if somebody wants to spam you enough to pay 10 cents per E-mail, then that is going to take a bite out of his profits.”

There are other technologies on the horizon, but they have not yet been widely implemented because filtering works adequately for E-mail. But the more advanced technologies will almost certainly have their day, because filtering will never work for instant messaging or voiceover IP.

Borenstein, who earned his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon in 1981, has been involved in Internet-related innovations since 1980. He specializes in E-mail technology, human-computer interaction, and electronic commerce. “When I look at spam it feels to me like they are trying to kill my baby,” he says. “I take it really personally. If there were a magic bullet, I’d be embracing it.”

Borenstein says that the war against spam will not be won in our lifetime. “I have a pretty dark attitude for the long term,” he says. “I like to say that my grandchildren may get PhDs in Spam studies. So I don’t expect ever to really see a solution, but really a long term battle.” Still Borenstein offers these tips:

Stay clean. Try to keep your PC from getting infected with a spam-toting virus. “Sending spam is antisocial and will slow your machine down,” he says. “Get a good anti-virus program.”

Watch what you open. Don’t open executable files that you get off the Internet or via E-mail. “Think about how well you know where that file came from,” says Borenstein. “If it came from Microsoft, it might have bugs, but it is probably not going to deliberately hurt you. If you don’t know who the person is who sent it, don’t open it. Even if it says it’s going to be a picture. On Windows there is this nasty trick where you label a file that it is going to be a picture, but when the picture doesn’t show up when you open it, the computer notices that it is going to be executable and it runs it.”

Don’t believe everything you hear. “Don’t read too much into little factoids,” says Borenstein. “Someone will read that spam has gotten worse in the past three weeks or that it has been really good the past six months and believe it. Those things are just not consistent from person to person. There is a lot of noise out there that doesn’t really apply to the real world.”

Don’t be so gullible. “If nobody believes that they can get rich by sending a Nigerian guy their bank account, then they wouldn’t be spamming people to go out and do that,” says Borenstein. “But it is really hopeless. You’re not going to get past 1 in 100,000 people being that gullible. It’s just human nature.” — Jack Florek

Tuesday, January 23

Tax Deductions, From A to Z

The image of accountants as number crunchers, elbow deep in paper, who would rather balance people’s books than hear about their problems is way off says Anne Skalka, a CPA with offices at 2999 Princeton Pike. Sure, she likes reading, understanding, and applying the complex IRS rules that govern the income tax system, but she equally enjoys educating her clients. “It’s a very people-oriented business,” she says. “I have about 450 clients; three-quarters I know fairly well, and am interested in what they do and what they are like as people.”

Skalka is also the author of a new series of books, Tax Deductions A to Z. The idea for books with alphabetized explanations of potential tax deductions, focused on specific fields, came from Blanche Brann, the founder of a new publishing company, Boxed Books, which has its offices at 10 Woodlane Road in Lawrenceville. Brann’s concept fit well with how Skalka functions professionally. “I’m really into client education,” she says, “teaching clients how to get the most out of itemized deductions.”

Brann suggested an approach to putting together books of specific tax advice that turned out to be very effective. Brann’s associate, Janice Beth Gregg, would do the underlying research, and Skalka would edit, ensure accuracy, write a foreword, and help promote the books.

Skalka offers a tax deduction clinic on Wednesday, January 24, at 7 p.m. at Borders, Nassau Park Shopping Center, Route 1 South. For more information, contact Brann at 609-620-0450 or at bbrann@boxedbooks.com.

Each pocket-sized book leaves jargon aside and offers a quick guide to potential deductions as well as logs for mileage; unreimbursed business expenses; travel, entertainment, and meals. The books are targeted to different occupational categories — for example, health professionals, fire, police, and emergency medical technicians, actors, artists, writers — and all share entries with the basic book on deductions “for the everyday taxpayer.”

Thumbing through the home office and self-employed version raises anguished thoughts of lost deduction opportunities from Aprils past for a freelancer with a home office:

Accountant. Fees for tax preparation, filing, and auditing are deductible. And so are books like Tax Deductions A to Z!

Books, magazines, and tapes. Deductible if related to work, a revenue-producing hobby, or job search.

Dues to a professional association. May be deductible “if membership is necessary or beneficial to your work.”

Educational expenses. To be deductible, according to the book, “the course or program cannot lead to a new line of work, but must maintain or enhance the skills required by your current position.”

Equipment. From computers through software and office furniture, it’s deductible if purchased “to monitor investments, for use in a revenue-producing hobby, and for use in a qualified home office.”

Financial planner. Consulting fees are deductible.

Home office. “You must demonstrate that the designated space is exclusively and regularly a place of business.”

And so on from A to Z.

Skalka’s childhood interests pointed her toward accounting. “Since I was a kid, I have loved money, counting, and saving,” she says. “I was interested in how I could accumulate money and made thermometer graphs to save up for things.”

Skalka’s father was a chemical engineer and as he moved up in the major pharmaceutical houses, the family moved with him. But Skalka did manage to spend most of her teens in one place, Kankakee, Illinois, 60 miles south of Chicago. Then after two years at Illinois State University she got married — “like most Midwestern girls” — and then got divorced. In the meantime her parents had moved to New Jersey, and her mom, who grew up in Freehold and was helping care for her own mom, asked Skalka to move east, which she did.

While working as a bank teller at Princeton Savings and Loan in the 1970s, without a college degree, Skalka realized that it was time to continue with her education. “At that time, only gentlemen were assistant vice presidents, and all the women were tellers,” she says. The bank president would have the female tellers train the male vice presidents in basic bank operations.

“I was infuriated. Why at my measly teller pay should I have to train these guys?” she recalls thinking. So she decided to return to school and get a degree in money and banking, thinking, “I’ll come back and be a female banker.”

Well, accounting was a required class, and the professor, an adjunct with his own CPA practice, “made public accounting so interesting that I fell in love with it.” Skalka graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in economics in 1980 and became a CPA.

She loves accounting because it is so structured, a system of organizing information according to very specific rules. “Debits and credits — it all makes sense and adds up.” And, for Skalka, working in the public area with clients is like a big game: “When I get the books and records, it’s like a giant jigsaw puzzle.” She uses her clients’ records to figure out how they got where they are and then fixes any problems — and she remains fascinated: “I’ve been doing it for 30 years, and I’m still as interested as when I started.”

In Skalka’s experience, people come to a CPA for the first time for one of two reasons: either they try to do their own taxes themselves and realize they don’t understand the rules, or they get a notice from the state or the Internal Revenue Service and realize they don’t understand what the issue is — for example, a letter from the IRS informing them that they haven’t computed the alternative minimum tax.

In a sense, Skalka owes a lot of her business to the government’s ineptitude. “Our government has done such a terrible job of putting our taxes into play,” she says. “It’s no wonder there’s such poor compliance.” IRS publications, for example, estimate how long it should take to read and understand a particular section, and the estimated time can be as much as six hours. “It’s crazy. Who’s got the time to do that?” she says

Skalka quickly adds that consulting an accountant is “not just a matter of saving money on itemized deductions. For a person to maximize his tax situation, he should talk to a professional.”

Skalka’s work with Boxed Books has been a real growth experience for her. “Pulling this stuff together, talking about it, and doing public speaking has improved my communication skills significantly,” she says. “When I sit with my clients, I can hear myself saying things in a much clearer way. I have had to write it and explain it, and now I can really see when they’re getting it and not getting it.”

Which is a good thing, since she plans to stay in accounting for the long haul. Says Skalka: “I will do this till my pencil wears out.”

— Michele Alperin

Health Watch: New Hospital Chiefs

Ellen Guarnieri has been appointed chief executive officer at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton. She took over the job on January 1, following the retirement of Christy Stephenson last fall. Guarnieri is a registered nurse as was her predecessor, and has been with RWJ Hamilton since January 2006. She joined the organization as vice president for new business development and later held the title of executive vice president.

As vice president for new business development, Guarnieri was responsible for strategic planning, physician recruitment and medical staff alignment, new business development, and ongoing evaluation of current business success. She also held operational oversight for the RWJ Hamilton’s rehabilitation network, its occupational, corporate, and health services, and was the executive lead for all joint venture and affiliation initiatives.

For most of the past 10 years Guarnieri served in a variety of administrative positions for Virtua Health System in Marlton. She was chief operating office/system vice president for Virtua West Jersey Hospital Marlton in Marlton and Virtua West Jersey Hospital Berlin in Berlin. At Virtua Guarnieri led strategic, system-wide clinical program development in cardiology, orthopedics, and other areas. She served as a senior consultant with the Lane Group, a national health care consulting firm based in Atlanta just prior to joining RWJ Hamilton.

Guarnieri, a Medford resident, earned a bachelor of science in nursing degree from Niagara University in New York, and a master of health services administration degree from St. Joseph’s College in Maine. She began her career as a staff nurse at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York before pursuing positions in healthcare administration.

Vince Joseph has joined Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS) as the president of University Medical Center at Princeton (UMCP) and senior vice president of PHCS. He began his work on January 8. Barry Rabner will continue to serve as president and CEO of Princeton HealthCare System and will oversee the operations of all PHCS units, including UMCP,

Serving as the senior-most executive of UMCP, Vince will work with the other members of the senior management team and the leaders of the medical and dental Staff. He oversees a number of hospital functions, including patient satisfaction, fiscal operations, and initiation of new hospital services. He is responsible for cultivating necessary partnerships with staff and physicians to facilitate a successful move to the hospital’s new facility. He will lead the development of enhanced operating systems to be employed in the replacement hospital.

Most recently Joseph was executive vice president and chief operating officer of Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) in Baltimore. He was responsible for the operations of GBMC, Hospice of Baltimore (the largest hospice in Maryland), and GBMC Healthcare Realty. The combined facilities of GBMC have 300 licensed beds and 3,080 employees.

Before that Joseph held the position of executive vice president and chief operating officer of Saint Luke’s Health Network in Bethlehem, PA. Between 1987 and 2000 he served in various senior administrative roles in the Saint Barnabas Health Care System, the last as president of the Saint Barnabas Medical Center. His career also includes management positions at Jersey Shore Medical Center and John F. Kennedy Medical Center.

Joseph received his undergraduate degree at Bryant College in Smithfield, Rhode Island and earned a master of health administration degree at George Washington University in Washington, DC. He is an assistant professor in the MBA program at St. Elizabeth College.

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