Thursday, November 15

Innovation at Xerox

Start dreaming. No, no, bigger. To get to the beginning you have to go past the point where things still sound plausible. That’s where creativity and innovation start; where pipe dream and science fiction find a way to become the everyday and those far-out thoughts turn into something you can hold in your hands.

There you go. Now you know where Sophie Vandebroek lives. Or at least where she works. As chief technology officer of Xerox, Vandebroek’s very existence rests on her ability to cull those crazy, sci-fi dreams and ask, Okay — how can we actually pull this off?

Vandebroek speaks on “Xerox Innovation” at Princeton University’s Center for Innovation in Engineering Education, Friend Center, Room 006, on Thursday, November 15, at 4:30 p.m. The free event will be followed by a reception. Call 609-258-3979 for information.

To listen to this 45-year-old Belgian talk about how innovation, invention, and creativity are fostered at one of the world’s premier technology firms (it receives two patents every business day) is to imagine a real life, Space Age rendition of Raphael’s School of Athens; an intellectual wonderland that, once entered, is built to nurse creative thought and reward its most inventive inhabitants. There is a cover charge, of course — advanced scientific prowess, technical credentials, and an enthusiasm tempered with the understanding of physical limits. But once you’re inside one of the company’s five research centers, the world (as it could be) is yours.

It is quite a world, and with continuously buzzing research centers in the United States, Canada, France and Japan, Vandebroek has much to oversee. But being a native European who has made North America her home since she first came to Cornell University in search of a doctorate in electrical engineering in 1986, she says, has blessed her with a broad, pan-cultural perspective.

“Once you make a move like that,” she says, “you always remain a global citizen.”

Speaking four languages doesn’t hurt. Neither does growing up in a Renaissance-like world in which art and hard science were in perfect balance.

Her father was the CEO of an engineering company in Belgium, she says. “My mother has always been the artist — a painter, a sculptor, a poet. Maybe I inherited a little bit of both.”

If that’s true, it has put her in good stead. And it is, perhaps where her oft-discussed and much-written-about sense of balance and harmony comes into play. Her dream factory at Xerox, which she stocks with the best and brightest scientific minds she can get her hands on, belies a decidedly pragmatic undercurrent.

Beneath the encouragements (“dream big,” “shoot for the stars,” “don’t be afraid to fail”) and the financial incentives (Vandebroek’s department annually sets aside a hefty chunk of the company budget to help finance and develop ideas that emerge from the network of research centers), there is the counterweight.

Far out ideas, such as printer that can print on a blank page today and then print something entirely different on the same piece of paper tomorrow, have to get put through the proper paces. Though Vandebroek’s initial reaction to the everlasting page was “Wow, that’s cool,” her subsequent reaction is filtered through the practical concerns of making it real.

Those ideas that survive are considered financially — not just how much it costs to develop, but how much the new product will cost the all-important customer. Ideas need to be explored and innovation nurtured, Vandebroek says, but for ideas to become products, they must be affordable to those people who would use them.

Racing across this kind of tightrope at dizzying digital speeds takes a sense of balance that, it seems, comes best from being a combination of scientist, mother of three, European and dreamer. So far, since she was put in charge of Xerox’s Innovation Department in 2005, Vandebroek’s balancing act appears to working. In July she was personally handed (on the company’s behalf) the National Medal of Technology by President George W. Bush himself. And, according to Forbes magazine, Xerox’s innovation revival under Vandebroek’s watch has helped the company turn $1.2 billion in profits.

So how does she actually achieve this balance? How does this holder of 100 patents, who oversees 5,000 scientists and researchers and an R&D budget of $5 billion, who rubs elbows with presidents and deans of research, run a company whose reputation is chained to its ability to routinely pole vault across the cutting edge?

Simple. She doesn’t take everything so seriously. “No matter what you do, you have to have fun,” she says. “You just do so much better work that way.”

It also helps, she says, to keep your perspective aimed squarely on the positive. “Unless you view every challenge as an opportunity,” she says, “it’s impossible to keep up.”

Vandebroek has a lot of jobs in her life as a CTO and as a mom. Though her children are older now, Vandebroek says she still learns from them. As they’ve grown, she says, she’s learned an increasingly complex and useful set of relationship skills that makes her more patient, more centered, more balanced.

Vandebroek’s November 15 lecture is part of the engineering department’s ongoing “Leadership in a Technological World” series. Bob Monsour, the associate director for external affairs in the Center for Innovation in Engineering Education at Princeton, says his department wants Vandebroek to speak “because she has shown incredible leadership in helping bring Xerox innovations from the lab to the marketplace.”

Vandebroek will peek into the future, where Xerox technicians are already working to bridge the digital and the physical worlds (remember the reprintable page?). This glimpse into tomorrow includes a nod to Vandebroek’s famed “dreaming sessions,” in which she will speak with attendees and students about some of Xerox’s most groundbreaking ideas and hear what they think. These sessions, she says, are some of her favorites, aimed at fusing what science dreams up with how business and everyday people plan to live with it.

Vandebroek’s passion for fearlessness is a popular theme. “It’s about not being afraid,” she says. “Or, if you are afraid, on making sure you overcome it.”

In a 2004 speech, Vandebroek encouraged employees of any company not only to be unafraid of failing big (because that simply means you have dreamt big), but to be unafraid of getting fired. Be willing to stand behind your convictions, she said; and be completely unwilling to be shy — ask questions, speak up, and keep looking.

Three years after that particular speech, Vandebroek remains on message. You have to be in an environment that not only supports imagination, but depends on it, she says. And that is only accomplished when those charged with coming up with ideas are allowed to run with them.

In the end, it all comes down to relationships, whether in everyday life or on the job. Good relationships — never to be taken for granted — are what build solid companies and solid societies, she says.

“It’s really all about people,” she says. “You can’t do it alone.”

— Scott Morgan

Friday, November 16

Almost Free Money, Almost Free Help

Mike Hack will tell about Universal Display Laboratories’ success with Small Business Innovation Research grants at a New Jersey Commission on Science & Technology workshop on Friday, November 16, at 8:30 a.m. at Princeton University’s Friend Center.

Entitled “Secrets of Winning SBIR/STTR Proposals,” the half-day workshop will focus on how to win contracts with the U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command at Lakehurst and the Federal Laboratory Consortium. Cost: $40. Call 908-754-3652.

“The SBIR grants have been important to the growth of our company,” says Hack, who graduated in 1977 from Cambridge University and has his PhD from Cambridge as well. Over a decade UDL has had 15 Phase I grants and 11 Phase II grants, worth a total of more than $13 million, or about one-fourth of its annual revenues. UDL develops and commercializes OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology for display and lighting applications.

The NJCST’s Small Business Innovation Research workshop is just one way the state helps entrepreneurs get money from the SBIR program, the federal government’s largest R&D grants program targeted to the small business community. Under Phase 1 entrepreneurs can get up to $100,000 for “proof of concept” work. For Phase II, some agencies go up as high as $750,000 for proof of concept and developing a prototype.

A full day workshop on SBIR/STTR Phase I Proposal Development is set for Wednesday, December 12, in North Brunswick. The Phase II Proposal will be covered on Thursday, December 13. These workshops cost $90 and $85 if paid for at the door. A combined price can be as low as $125.

Proposal assistance is available through the New Jersey Small Business Development Centers, says Randy Harmon, technology commercialization consultant for NJSBDC/Rutgers Business School and SBIR/STTR Training Coordinator for NJCST. Harmon also has his own firm, Foundations Business Development Group LLC.

Available through January 9, this proposal coaching is for small businesses that are located in New Jersey but are not part of the NJ Business Incubation Network. For $20 an hour, these businesses can get written critiques of draft proposals and assistance in strengthening them. The cost is $20 an hour, and NJSBDC covers the rest. Coaching and guidance in drafting proposals is available at no cost, says Harmon.

But don’t wait until the last minute, cautions Harmon. The service is on a first-come first-served basis. Request help at www.njsbdc.com/scitech or call 973-353-1923.

Grant proposals for the Department of Energy are due on Tuesday, November 27, and for the National Science Foundation on Tuesday, December 4.

“SBIR funds are arguably the best source of risk capital available to help fund the development of promising new technologies,” says Harmon. “And they are the closest thing to ‘free’ money.”

Saturday, November 17

Picking Up the Vibes Of the New Media

Anyone not living under a rock knows that an electronic web has surrounded our planet, that billions of wireless communicating devices link us all instantly, and at a frenzied pace.

Our new electronic tools reshape our perceptions about business as well as the pace with which we do business, says telecommunications consultant Steven Vedro. Buying and selling have undergone a rapidfire mutation, and the companies that understand this psychological shift are the most likely to thrive.

Vedro explains what our cyberspace exploits are doing to us at all levels, from the most practical to the most esoteric and spiritual. He explores the concept of “digital dharma.” Dharma, in Hinduism, is the religious and moral law governing individual and group conduct. In Buddhism, it is the universal, common truth.

Vedro speaks and signs his book, “Digital Dharma: A User’s Guide to Expanding Consciousness in the Infosphere” (Quest Books, 2007),” at Borders Books in Nassau Park on Saturday, November 17, at 2 p.m. Call 609-514-0040 for information.

Growing up in New York in what he terms a “spiritual, left wing household,” Vedro attended Columbia University from l966 to l970 — the height of the anti-Vietnam protest years. “It was interesting to see the feminist, black, SDS, and environmental movements shaping and being shaped by the media back then,” he says. Vedro had the opportunity to witness and reshape these events himself as a reporter on the school’s radio station.

Graduating with a double major in history and sociology, Vedro worked as a camera man at Shea Stadium and at other media jobs. At the University of Wisconsin in 1983 he produced the nation’s first television series on consumer electronics, the New Tech Times, and it was aired on PBS. Later he developed the first statewide teletext service. Since 1991 Vedro has been an independent consultant, easing media companies into the digital age and helping six state commissions draft telecommunications reform bills.

Marshall McLuhan’s l964 prediction, that our evolving communicative nervous system would soon extend to a global embrace, has come true, says Vedro. But each new network extension has brought both a burst of creativity and idealism and a dark, despairing side.

Changing perceptions. We shape our tools, and they in turn repay the compliment. In the days of radio, one person talked while an enthralled world listened. On the positive side, we learned much about our world, and age-old suspicions subsided.

At the same time, our relation to power changed. Both Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Adolf Hitler stood before microphones that automatically invested the speakers with a personal authority. The individual who owned (or could pirate) that microphone was almost assured a following. As sellers spoke through the mighty microphone with insistence and authority, John Q. Public listened and responded to their simple, declarative statements.

With television came total sensory overload. The voice of authority yielded to the overwhelming clamor of images and sound. TV reached everywhere, instantly. Human rights and civil rights causes took giant leaps forward as the camera’s startling eye delivered the vicious truth of segregation and poverty’s misery. It reached inside and moved us to action.

But Vedro points out that television keeps on reaching, eventually mesmerizing and numbing the heart. “Television touches some inner grief,” he says. “So we eat up ourselves and our planet.”

Quick to see the self-reflection caused by television, sellers turned that into self-inadequacy. Surely this delightful smelling scent would make you more attractive and loved. Sellers continue to set up an inadequacy, then lure buyers toward a product solution.

The problem is, people got tired of being told they don’t measure up.

Net rebellion. “There came a hunger from TV,” says Vedro. “They jumped on the Internet, ready for something more. For the first time in media, power shifted to the user.” Everyone had access; no one was the authority.

We also thought less about image and more about personal respect. We don’t care whether Nixon or Kennedy broadcasts a better image. What is this politician going to do for me? How is he speaking to me today? When news got out that the current administration was derisively referring to the public as “Joe Six-pack,” most major media let that go by, but outrage flew all over the Internet.

Open access also has made the net a world without secrets. As Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealey so bluntly summed up the net, “You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.” So while the connected world is feasting on this new sense of community, there is a haunting feeling that we want a better guard at the door. “We want a safe community — the feeling of peer to peer communication,” says Vedro. “Never before has advertising been such an intrusive, uninvited guest at the table.”

Web adjustments. To get in the door, sellers must now bring a large house warming gift of user respect. Instead of declaring their worth or luring with glitzy images, they must ask. Makers of pain killers will exhaustively explain migraine’s causes and treatment options. Tent sellers will display the whole outdoor scene complete with trail and travel maps.

While companies establish this humble rapport on the web, they too often revert back to old styles when selling on other media, and this just won’t work, Vedro insists. Our new tools have reshaped us. In any format the advertiser will accepted only if he appears as a peer, offering a novel bit of advice, respectfully. This does not mean a mentor, or some mega-tentacled corporation can pose as a caring, personal friend. The cry from the connected consumer goes out, “pique my interest, but never insult me.”

“People are logging on now and asking `Who am I when connected?’” says Vedro. Some strong communities operate solely online. This new shift to teleconsciousness can be likened to an earlier social movement when individuals bonded less with neighbors than to those in activity groups.

It is a new forum of sharing. And by providing this forum, many successful sellers make themselves welcome guests at the Internet table. Advertisers have always tried to identify a need. Now, with the stronger community and increased communication, the sharp move may not be to insert a product, but rather to open a meeting hall, and see how it goes from there. —Bart Jackson

We All Scream For Values In Business

When you are led by values, it doesn’t cost your business, it helps your business,” says Jerry Greenfield, iconic co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Greenfield is a keynote speaker for the Road to Personal Wealth conference, staged by the Star Ledger and Commerce Bank at Rutgers’ College Avenue gymnasium in New Brunswick, on Saturday, November 17, at 8 a.m. Cost at the door: $60 including breakfast, lunch, and ice cream. Tickets in advance cost $35 or $50 for two. Call 908-797-8604. or go to www.nj.com/personalwealth.

Another keynoter will be Phil Town, self-made millionaire and author of the best seller “Rule #1” (see Interchange, page 4). Other speakers include Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist for Standard & Poors; Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, known as the Money Coach, Sharon Epperson, personal finance reporter with CNBC, and Steve Adubato, TV anchor, columnist, media analyst, and author of “Make the Connection.”

Four breakout sessions will be offered. Getting Started will cover “How to Achieve Zero Debt and Perfect Credit,” “The Big Payoff: Eight Steps to Making the Most of Your Money and Living Richly Ever After,” and “Finance 101: What You Need to Know to Get on The Road to Personal Wealth.”

The Savvy Investor will include “How True are Wall Street Truisms,” “Why the Second Home Market Remains Strong,” and “Global Economic Forecast for 2008,” given by Commerce Bank’s Fernando Garip, senior vice president and chief investment officer.

Entrepreneur’s Delight will include “How to Maximize Your Relationship With Your Banker and Use Technology to Improve Cash Flow” and “You’re The Boss! Successful Strategies for Building Your Own Home-Based Business.”

Retirement Planning will cover “The American Retirement Crisis,” “The Ticking Tax Time Bomb,” and “What’s Next? What is Your Definition of Retirement and Estate Planning?”

Greenfield went to Oberlin College, was turned down twice for medical school, and ended up trying to be an entrepreneur with his business partner, Ben Cohen. They took a $5 correspondence course in ice cream making from Penn State, opened Ben & Jerry’s ice cream parlor in Burlington, Vermont in 1978 and the rest, as they say, is social, ethical, and environmental history.

The ice cream company grew into a $300 million business that focused on “being green” well before that concept became trendy. Greenfield and Cohen wrote the bestseller “Ben & Jerry’s Double-Dip: Lead with Your Values and Make Money, Too,” a guidebook to the promise and pitfalls of a value-led business.

Greenfield will speak about integrating social and environmental concerns into a business. Says Greenfield: “We measured our success not just by how much money we made, but by how much we contributed to the community. It was a two-part bottom line.”

Town & Gown

Research

Interdisciplinary forums, “town and gown” style, are rarely found in college towns. But Princeton Research Forum offers a showcase for student and staff projects, free to all, on Saturday, November 17, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

To be held at the Friend Center on Olden Street, it opens with remarks by Kerry Walk, director of the Princeton Writing Program, and includes a 4 p.m. keynote address, “Electronic Voting: Danger and Opportunity,” by Ed Felten, professor of computer science and public affairs. Though the event is free, advanced registration is recommended (www.princeton.edu/~prs). For information contact Shin-Yi Lin (shinyi@princeton.edu) or Lesley Chuang at 617-515-1414.

The symposium aims to provide area residents with access to some of the exciting and groundbreaking work happening at Princeton, and to promote dialogue across disciplines among academics at the university.

The convocation room will host the creative posters display, and researchers will stand by their posters from 11:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. to talk about their work. Judges will rate the posters and award prizes at a closing reception. Before and after the poster session, the PRF has scheduled interactive talks on such topics as a centuries-old shipwreck; valuation of employee stock options; bribery in classical Athens; the social life of bacteria; and a new type of laser.

All presenters will be challenged to present their work on a high school level and to answer the question, “Why does your research matter?”

Tuesday, November 20

Geologists in Court

Scott Macdonald has some advice for environmental litigation consultants: Stay within the realm of what you asked to opine about. “Stick to your field of experience and don’t over reach. It is not an exercise to show what you know,” says Macdonald.

Macdonald is on a panel, “Forensics for Litigators,” on Tuesday, November 20, at 9 a.m. for the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick. Cost: $199. Call 732-214-8500. A 1977 graduate of Duke with a master’s degree from Rice, Macdonald does environmental due diligence, compliance auditing, site remediation, and litigation support at Carnegie Center-based Environ (www.environcorp.com).

For attorneys, Macdonald offers three considerations for how to choose the expert.

Who is the appropriate expert? Not necessarily the person with the best academic credentials. The right choice might be a generalist instead of someone with a PhD in groundwater modeling. Not just education, but experience, knowledge, and training count. It depends on the nature of the complaint, the litigator’s strategies and goals, the strengths and limitations of the data, and other factors.

What do you need to do? Look at the available data to see what kind of story that can tell. “Often the sheer presentation of the facts provides the greatest degree of evidence from which the conclusions can be drawn,” Macdonald says.

“In some cases the data is inadequate. or is limited. Or the subservice conditions are so complex that you need to rely on more quantitative tools.”

Maximize the relationship between the expert and the attorney. Early communication, about the technical facts, the complaint, and the legal elements, is important.

Says Macdonald: “The expert does not tailor the testimony to what the attorney wants, but he needs to understand the legal framework and nature of the complaint.”

Nominate Please

The Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce is looking for young business people for its third annual Young Business Leaders Council. The deadline for nominations is Tuesday, November 30.

Those nominated need to be under 40 years of age or have only two years in a new career, They must have corporate approval to participate and must commit to the attendance requirements. Self nominations are welcome. Forms are available at www.mercerchamber.org or call Michele Siekerka, president and CEO of the Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce, 609-689-9960, ext. 13.

The young business leaders will meet to improve their leadership skills, network, and participate in projects that will be important for them as well as for the chamber and the business community. They will work on a community project that involves a chamber member non profit organization. Last year the council worked with Isles Inc.

Co-chairs for 2008 will be Greg Coleman, assistant manager for the Trenton Thunder, and Katelyn DeRogatis of Deutsch Communications. “Greg and Katelyn embody the spirit of the council and have been actively engaged in the success of the council this past year,” says last year’s chairman, Roland Pott.

Vote Online

For Deborah

Deborah Heart and Lung Center asks for participation in a national contest sponsored by Siemens, a manufacturer of MRI machines. To participate, log on to www.winanmri.com and vote for the Deborah video.

If Deborah’s video wins the contest, it will win a free $1 million MRI machine. Located in Browns Mills, Deborah is the only New Jersey hospital in this contest, and it does not own this important piece of diagnostic equipment.

Those who log on for the first time must watch the whole two minute video. After that, it takes only 15 seconds to vote. “We are asking everyone to vote twice a day,” said hospital spokesperson Donna McArdle, “once at work and once at home. It costs nothing, but can help us tremendously.”

Deborah is a specialty heart, lung, and vascular hospital with the motto “there is no price on life.” In its 85-year history, it has never billed a patient.

Corporate Angels

MagyarBank Charitable Foundation has donated $5,000 to the New Brunswick Education Foundation (NBEF) to support music programs from grades 4 to 12. NBEF hopes to help restore the city’s musical program that has been inactive for 20 years, due to financial constraints.

Individuals and corporations may donate to the MagyarBank Charitable Foundation, c/o Magyar Bank, 400 Somerset Street, New Brunswick 08901, attention Jay Castillo. Grant seekers may apply to the same address, or call 732-342-7600, extension 111 or visit www.magbank.com.

McGraw-Hill Employees Federal Credit Union donated more than $21,000 to the First Tee of Greater Trenton at a sponsor appreciation event in September at Cranbury Golf Club. Shawn Gilfedder, president of the full-service financial institution, says his organization has raised more than $70,000 in three years and expects to pass the $100,000 milestone next year.

The First Tee of Greater Trenton uses golf as the vehicle to provide area youth with alternative and accessible forums for positive character development.

Supporters of the Jim Hughes Memorial Golf Classic, an October benefit at Bedens Brook Club for Family & Children’s Services of Central New Jersey (FACS), included Long Motor Co./Bridgewater Volvo, Bank of America, BlackRock, Gloria Nilson Real Estate/GMAC, Triune Color, Merck Partnership for Giving, Glenmede Trust, Walter B. Howe Insurance Group, Jamison, Eaton & Wood, Shiseido America, Fox, Rothschild, O’Brien & Frankel, and Wilson Sporting Goods.

Hughes had been the executive director of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Family & Children’s Services serves Mercer and Middlesex counties with counseling, prevention, mentoring, outreach and case management services (www.nj-counseling.org)

Two Great Clips salons, at Nassau Park Pavilion and Hamilton Marketplace, hosted cut-a-thons to benefit Children’s Miracle Network at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. For October 23 and 24, the owners of both salons, Denise and Nick Schiera, donated 25 percent of the sales.

The New Jersey Association of Realtors helped the cause of affordable housing by donating $57,158 to New Jersey Community Capital, also known as the Community Loan Fund of New Jersey. The NJCC’s affordable housing projects help create rental and homeownership opportunities for low and moderate-income individuals and families in New Jersey who qualify.

“These funds go towards supporting important housing projects in neighborhoods throughout the state and providing more people with a place they can call home,” says Christina P. Clemans, president of the NJAR housing relief fund (www.njar.com/njarhof.shtml or 732-494-5616). Since its founding, New Jersey Community Capital has committed financing for approximately 550 projects totaling nearly $150 million in the housing, community services and small business sectors.

The New York Life Foundation has given $10,000 to Junior Achievement of New Jersey (JA-NJ) to support an initiative designed to prepare Hispanic students to navigate the “business of life” — practical work-readiness, entrepreneurship, and personal finance skills — through Junior Achievement’s after-school programs.

JA volunteers from the local Hispanic community can show students how success in the classroom translates to success in the “real world,” and can reinforce the value of continuing education. Junior Achievement plans to reach 270 students in Newark and Camden with the program.

More than 600 people participated, and more than $87,000 was raised when the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Mercer held its inaugural Walk for the Mind of America at Mercer County Park in October.

The sponsors for NAMI included Bristol-Myers Squibb, Janssen, Greater Trenton Behavioral HealthCare, Roma Bank, Carrier Clinic, ETS, Value Options, Capital Health System, Catholic Charities, Hopewell Valley Community Bank, Princeton House Behavioral Health, Alexander Road Associates, James F. Hurley Insurance, Century Office Products, East Mountain Hospital, Whole Foods, Lewis W. Parker CPA, N.T. Callaway Real Estate, and Limoncello’s Pizza of Trenton.

Bristol-Myers Squibb donated $4,176 to Hopewell Valley Senior Services to help provide weekday transportation for seniors in Hopewell and Pennington who can’t drive. Connie Dixon, who coordinates F.I.S.H., a senior support group, says that the transportation will give older adults some much-needed independence.

American Heart Association’s heart walk was sponsored by Astra Zeneca, Subway, Healthy Choice, Mercer Bucks Cardiology, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Janssen. More than 3,500 walkers raised a projected $420,000 for research, community programs, and education, according to co-chairs Janet Vergis of Janssen and Tim Losch of Yardville National Bank.

Recycling Garbage

PSE&G, Johnson & Johnson, and Whole Foods Market sponsored a food waste recycling forum at the Middlesex County Fire Academy in Sayreville. It will be the first of 20 forums, co-hosted by the Solid Waste Resource Renewal Group of Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (swrrg.rutgers.edu) and Middlesex County’s Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste.

The event was co-sponsored by Premier Environmental Services, Trenton Fuel Works, Converted Organics, Peninsula Compost, and Bayshore Recycling, with major support from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2. PSE&G provided refreshments, including breakfast, a morning break, and lunch.

Volunteers are needed to plan forums in other counties. Contact Priscilla Hayes, at hayes@aesop.rutgers.edu or 732-832-9155, ext. 233.

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