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These article were prepared for the March 9, 2005 issue of U.S. 1
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If you look around at your colleagues and acquaintances in business,
most of them "seem to be just making it," says Megan Oltman. But there
are always a few "who are making a lot of money and having a lot of
fun doing it." Those people, she says, are the "rainmakers." Of
course, everyone’s goal is to become a rainmaker – to not only make
money, but to enjoy doing it. Oltman will lead a seminar, "How to Be a
Rainmaker for Your Business."
The full-day seminar, sponsored by Business Network International
(BNI), takes place on Thursday, March 10, at 9:30 a.m. at the Hopewell
Valley Bistro. Cost: $99. Call 609-446-6592.
Oltman, principal in Hopewell-based Your Life’s Work Coaching, has
worked as a business coach for three years, specializing in working
with small business owners and independent professionals "who want
help getting to the next plateau," she says. Through her work as a
coach and through BNI, she learned about the Team Rainmaker program.
Team Rainmaker is a training company designed by Art Radtke, an
executive director of BNI in eastern Virginia and North Carolina.
After working with a variety of business people and professionals for
about a decade, says Oltman, he began to notice that certain people in
every profession "seemed to just be able to make money easily." After
researching what these people did and how they did it, he began to
hold seminars teaching others to follow in their successes.
Radtke has worked with another BNI professional, Bill Davis, to turn
his theories into a series of programs, the "Rainmaker" one-day
seminar, as well as a three-month, intensive course called "Nimbus
Fast Track." A nimbus "is the cloud that makes the rain," says Oltman,
explaining the name of the seminar. She claims at that "a least 80
percent of graduates of the Nimbus program have seen their income
double in 90 days." The programs are run in Richmond and Virginia
Beach, Virginia, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, Ireland, and in
Work on your business, not in your business. While this is a rule that
is heard over and over again, most of us do not follow it. Says
Oltman: "People who make a lot of money spend less time working in
their business. How many days a year do we spend strategizing,
building relationships or putting new procedures in place? One or two
– maybe; then we spend 363 working and worrying about our business."
How much time is appropriate for working "on a business?" That can
vary greatly, depending on just what the business is, says Oltman. She
uses Lance Armstrong as an example. "Armstrong performs in his
business – actually racing – maybe 30 days a year. The rest of the
year he is practicing. Obviously, that system is not going to work for
the local dry cleaner." If the average business person worked on his
business two to three days a month, it would be a huge increase that
would show results, in Oltman’s opinion.
"When we hear about someone having good luck in business we think it
is serendipitous," she says. The truth, though, is that the most
successful people tend to be those who plan and strategize.
Don’t just be a salesman. "There is a difference between what a
salesman does and what a rainmaker does," says Oltman. "What is
typically presented in sales training is not what you need to do to
dramatically increase your income." A big barrier to sales success is
that salespeople often talk about what they are selling as opposed to
what the client wants to buy.
She uses herself as an example. "If I say I sell business training the
person is fairly unlikely to think ‘Oh yeah, that is just what I
need.’ Instead, I should say, ‘I sell the ability to double your
business income and give you financial security and peace of mind.’
Everyone wants that. You should match the need to the client, not push
something down his throat."
Be the best at what you do. "Ask yourself ‘What can you be the best in
the world at?’" says Oltman. While that may not sound practical to
most of us, Oltman makes it seem simple. "There are a lot of people in
very competitive business environments who think, ‘That is crazy, how
can I be the best in the world? How can anyone tell who is the best in
the world?’ But you need to define your world so that you can be the
Oltman says her concept goes beyond "finding a niche market. You need
to define your world so that you have no competition." A real estate
agent, for example, may not be able to be the best in their county,
but he can make it a goal to become the best at selling homes in his
own town, or at selling building lots, or condos, or investment
There are really two questions to ask, she says: "What can you be best
in the world at?" and "What is that world?" In that way, she
proclaims, "you are a monopoly!"
Develop 212 degree relationships. Developing strong referral
relationships is often the most important task of a rainmaker, says
Oltman. "What happens at 212 degrees?" she asks. "Water boils." Many
of our networking relationships are only 211 degrees, she says. "We
can do a lot of things at 211 degrees. We can poach an egg and make
American tea. But at 212 degrees, the water boils and everything
changes. Now we can run a steam turbine. We can make electricity. We
can build a civilization."
What are 212 degree relationships like? "They produce a geometrical
difference in our business, and we don’t need too many of them. There
is nothing wrong with a lot of lukewarm relationships. We spend a lot
of time running around and warming this relationship up over here, and
then that relationship over there. But all you need are one or two
really good relationships. These are the people who will send you a
significant chunk of your business."
At first glance, Oltman’s current work as a business trainer and coach
may seem like a big leap from her original career. A lawyer, she
received her bachelor’s degree from Antioch and a J.D. degree from the
New York University School of Law. "I started out as an attorney to
help people accomplish important, concrete things," she says. "I
practiced for 13 years in civil and matrimonial law. I was helping
people, but they weren’t happy. I wasn’t making their lives better or
helping them to find what they were here for on the planet."
She quit law and became a freelance writer for three years. When she
learned about the profession of coaching, "it seemed to be exactly
what I’d set out to do in the first place, to make a lasting change in
She received her certification from Results Coaching Systems in
Australia, and when she heard about the Rainmaker program, decided it
was a wonderful way to follow her dream.
"I found in working with people that money – or rather the lack
thereof – stops us in life from doing what we want to do. I wanted to
work with people on how to build revenue, and how to build peace of
– Karen Hodges Miller
According to Jim Barnoski, senior vice president of Jim Madonna
Marketing, "Anybody can be a salesperson if they have four things:
desire, commitment, humility, and accountability. But, really, that’s
life, isn’t it?" During Middlesex Business Week, Barnoski helps sales
professionals learn new skills when he presents a free seminar, "Jump
Starting Your Sales in 2005," on Thursday, March 17at 8:30 am. Small
business week begins on Monday, March 14, and includes an expo on
Wednesday, March 16, and a leadership luncheon on Thursday, March 17.
A highlight is a talk on "Women and Politics" at the Eagleton
Institute of Politics in New Brunswick on Tuesday, March 15. For
complete information, including prices for individual events, call
732-821-1700 or visit www.mcrcc.org.
"People sell every day," says Barnoski. "Our training methodology is
not just about sales and business. It’s really about life."
Located in Somerset, and affiliated with the Sandler Sales Institute,
Jim Madonna Marketing (www.jimmadonna.sandler.com) provides management
training to sales and sales management professionals in small to
mid-sized companies. He focuses on the "success triangle" of attitude,
behavior, and technique.
Barnoski lived in West Virginia, Florida, Connecticut, Houston, and
New York before returning to his native New Jersey 10 years ago. He
now lives in North Plainfield with his wife, Glorinete, who is
originally from Brazil. He has a B.S. in industrial engineering from
the University of Pittsburgh (Class of 1982). "There’s a big
difference between learning and training. Learning is you get it once,
you know it; if you don’t use it once, you forget it. Training
involves ongoing reinforcement to sharpen your skills and is a
never-ending effort," says Barnoski. "Without it, you don’t grow. A
lot of sales people believe that once you know sales, and have been
selling for one or two years, you’ve got it. That’s crazy. You have to
be able to grow and face your fears, and move out of your comfort zone
to get to a higher level."
Barnoski says that every piece of training has to include some element
of coaching because every person is dealing with his own demons. Every
salesperson has to overcome his own discomfort. "For instance," he
says, "they may have a problem talking about money, or have a high
need for approval. They might have difficulty making decisions by
themselves, or they may get emotionally involved instead of staying
objective on a sales call. So they don’t think clearly and don’t say
what they need to say, because they heed the voice in their head
saying, ‘be careful, you almost got it.’"
Sales professionals deal every single day with how to get people to
make decisions and how to get people to reveal their real problems.
They need to discover their true level of commitment to fix those
problems. "We speak to ‘how do you get the truth?’ because, it really
doesn’t matter what the product is, we’re dealing with process and
behavior and overcoming our own fears."
According to Barnoski, whose father was a meat inspector with the
USDA, while his mother worked in production with the former
pharmaceutical company American Hoechst, that’s what sales is really
about: overcoming fear and being able to ask certain personal
questions to try to break through. "Selling means you have to be a
little bit of an actor, and a little bit of a psychologist to
understand what drives and motivates people."
And it’s not just those who are selling who deal with fear, but also
the people who manage them. Barnoski says that many times sales
managers, particularly in small businesses, were superstar sales
people at one time, or technically brilliant. But they don’t
necessarily know how to hire people. They don’t know how to develop
them or make them accountable. "Superstars expect that everybody will
perform at the same level they did," he says, "and most people don’t
have that level of desire and commitment."
Barnoski says he tailors every session according to the audience. For
those on the front lines of selling, it all gets back to those three
concepts: attitude, behavior, and technique. Who are your ideal
prospects? He talks about how to size up prospects within minutes of a
first meeting, and how to qualify them. "One of the biggest mistakes
salespeople make is chasing prospects who are never going to be their
customer," he says.
Another mistake that salespeople make is using a one-size-fits-all
approach. But people buy for different reasons, and for their own
reasons, not for the salesperson’s reasons. Unfortunately, says
Barnoski, many inexperienced salespeople sell features and benefits
that are of no interest to the prospect they’re calling on. "We talk
about identifying and tracking the personal behaviors they need to be
successful on a daily basis. What behaviors need to take place for
them to get in front of enough qualified leads to make their numbers."
For instance, many salespeople may not want to make cold calls, or go
to network meetings, or ask for referrals. "Very rarely do salespeople
put together a ‘cookbook," he says. "They don’t understand how their
behavior today produces an outcome two to three months from now. They
think they’re making 20 cold calls because their boss told them to.
They resist it and find reasons not to do it. They haven’t determined
that 20 cold calls a day can result in an extra $5,000 to $10,000 in
their pocket a year."
That’s one reason why training often fails. "Most trainers give
technique, when the problem may be improper team culture, or it might
be the inability of salespeople to find new accounts because they’ve
spent their entire career working an account where they knew
everybody. They need to be taught prospecting."
Says Barnoski: "You don’t get better until you change. If you keep
doing the same thing, you can’t expect different results. That’s the
definition of crazy." While salespeople sometimes have difficulty in
coming up with a winning recipe, so do their superiors. Barnoski says
that sales managers don’t always have a clear vision of where they
want the company to go over the next three to five years. Going on up
the chain, he finds that very rarely do business owners communicate
such a vision to their people.
Another management problem Barnoski identifies is a tendency to hire
someone they’re comfortable with, as opposed to hiring someone who is
successful doing what they expect them to do.
Does the company and its managers have a team culture? Is it primarily
a bunch of people who don’t get along, or have they put together a
team that works to help each other and grow the business in line with
the vision of the company? Is there a clear blueprint for what
salespeople should be doing in the first three months.
"It’s the manager’s responsibility," says Barnoski, "to lay out
exactly what should happen over the next three to six months in order
to be successful. Too often owners hire salespeople and say, ‘Okay,
here’s the literature, now go out and sell something.’ And, they’re
lost. That’s why 50 percent of all salespeople fail."
The first three months of a salesperson’s life with a new company, he
should not be left to his own devices. "Maybe they’re coming from a
world that’s different from the one they’re entering, and they are
confused and going in the wrong direction," says Barnoski. "Typically
the manager just gets frustrated with the salesperson, when actually
they’re at fault. We talk to managers about account planning and how
you manage behavior, because behavior drives everything in sales."
Barnoski says the two most important things required in successful
selling are guts and humor. "You have to have guts to be effective
because people are constantly trying to pull you down. Even more
important, is a sense of humor. If you’re not having fun, you’re doing
– Fran Ianacone
He was the one who kept Alexander the Great from becoming Alexander
who? His name was Parmenion and probably you have never heard it. Yet
he was the brilliant general in charge of the conqueror’s supply
lines. After an exhausting day of slaughter and pillage, Alexander and
his men return to camp and count on tents, beds, and ample food all
being laid out for them. And, as a later military adventurer once
aptly noted, an army marches on its stomach.
Be it military or a peacetime business, probably no part of commerce
is as important as facilitating supply lines. To help anyone in charge
of keeping the good flowing, the Institute for Professional
Development offers "Effective Logistics: Third Party Management, The
Art of Negotiating Contracts and Design," on Tuesday, March 15, at 6
p.m. at Burlington County Community College’s Enterprise Center in
Mount Laurel. Cost $93. Call 609-877-4520, ext. 3020.
This seminar is led by Dan McAuliffe, inbound transport manager for
Philadelphia’s Unique Industries Inc. McAuliffe hastens to note that
while this course is aimed primarily at logistics professionals, it
can also benefit any executive seeking to hone his negotiating skills.
Michigan-bred McAuliffe is not the first person to take aim at one
career, hit another, and end up with some necessary skills on the
side. Attending Hope College in Holland, Michigan, McAuliffe took all
the pre-law regimen, thinking he would be come an attorney. But
somewhere between his B.A. in political science in l973 and the MBA
that followed soon afterward, he changed his mind, and went on to earn
a master’s degree in transportation and logistics.
Over the following decades, McAuliffe worked in logistics for a series
of corporations, first in Chicago and then in Philadelphia. Because
logistics involves a great many contracts and other agreements, his
legal training was not wasted. Today McAuliffe manages the materials
flow for Unique Industries, the nation’s largest retailer of party
favors and specialty goods. He also is an instructor at Burlington
County Community College.
McAuliffe says that "the biggest trick to this trade is that
relationships still matter – making business successful is making it
personal." Then he follows this up with the seemingly countermanding
advice: "The only way to keep two honest men honest is to write it
down." With a firm belief that both statements are true, he then lays
out the necessary points of lubrication to keep the supply chain
Who’s across the table? Shippers, carriers, warehousers, port agents:
the logistics person will be making some sort of evolving deal with
each. The tough part is that each of them is an independent third
party on whom the company is strongly dependent. Further, they have to
act in concert, and, while each wants your business, none sees much
value in coordinating with the next link in the chain.
Count on it, each of these supply links has done his homework on you.
You had best do yours on them. "The real tactic here," says McAuliffe,
"is to view your cargo through these individuals’ eyes." What can you
put on the table that will make a warehouse owner or carrier feel they
are walking away with a win-win situation? Don’t just figure out what
it is, install it into your transport process. If you learn that a
trucker, by carrying your wares to a certain location at a certain
time, would return empty, arrange a possible return-trip client so he
won’t have to deadhead.
Go beyond haggling. Most logistic negotiators come to the table armed
with the precise costs for each operation. They know the cost to the
other party. Figuring on his profit, they know the rock bottom they
dare ask and the top they can live with. But deals die when two people
entangle their egos in a bartering match between numbers alone.
"Begin first by walking through the process or service you want," says
McAuliffe, "then find out what the other party finds of value."
Hopefully your initial homework has given you some sort of preparation
for fulfilling it. The trucker’s greatest fear is returning with a
load of sailboat fuel (empty air, in trucker’s lingo). You may be able
to spare him this expensive deadheading by shifting shipping times or
routes, offering extended future contracts, or, as mentioned above,
finding a potential return-trip client, from whom you take a
Warehousers want to fill a container load and they are obsessively
concerned with the dimensions of your materials. If you can shift your
cargo design so no front loading is required, you are saving them time
and yourself money. All members of the supply chain, but most notedly
the shipping agent, are obsessive about another kind of framework:
legal. "Just a little comparison of transport laws with your routes,
type of cargo, and storage locales gives everyone a lower cost
platform on which to work," says McAuliffe.
A broad reach. "Bet on your own growth and expansion," advises
McAuliffe. "Then when you approach, say, UPS, negotiate all possible
and future services beforehand." This has two major advantages.
Negotiating long term for increasing volumes is a marvelous
cost-reduction carrot to dangle before any carrier. By offering this
value-added contract with greater volume, and locking in the promise
of a steady business relationship, you set the stage for discounts. In
addition, while you are dazzling the carrier with the promises of
future earnings, you may be catching him a bit off guard. "Now is the
time to slip through some extra agreement for yourself that would
never be made on a present-day-only deal," says McAuliffe.
It was the petite general Napoleon who noted how his army "marched on
its stomach." No one recalls the name of the officer who handled his
supply lines. Unfortunately, that is the way in both the military and
in commerce: those who labor constantly to make goods flow smoothly
only come into the limelight when things go wrong. Yet while the
logistics specialist may not get all the credit he deserves, his
knowledge and his negotiations skills have an out-size effect on the
– Bart Jackson
‘Your words should reflect who you are," says Roger Shapiro. In the
age of E-mail this fact is worth thinking about. "Before beginning a
writing project, you need to understand its objective," adds Shapiro,
the founder of Mitchell Rose, a communication consulting firm at 2500
Shapiro discusses his approach to marketing and advertising at the
next Marketing Roundtable sponsored by the Mercer County Chapter of
NJAWBO. on Tuesday, March 15, at 8:15 a.m. at the Mercadian Group,
3625 Quakerbridge Road. The meeting is free for members and $10 for
non-members. Call Stephanie Sharp at 609-392-8724 for reservations.
"Often a client will come in and ask for a brochure. When I ask them
why they need it, they don’t know," says Shapiro. A brochure, or other
piece of marketing literature, should not just share information. "It
should have a purpose," he says. "It should be designed to generate
leads or to increase sales, but sharing information just for the sake
of sharing information is a waste of money."
Shapiro writes everything from marketing and advertising copy to
three-panel brochures to press releases, executive speeches, and
websites. He majored in both journalism and public relations at Utica
College. After an internship as a journalist, he began working as a
copy writer, which led to work advertising and marketing. A position
in corporate communications at Dun & Bradstreet gave him experience
with a variety of projects, and he eventually "picked up the bug" to
open his own communications firm.
"Being self-employed is a lifestyle choice," Shapiro says. "Everything
I’ve read and experienced says it is the way to financial success. You
have the opportunity to control your own destiny and the flexibility
to be creative." Mitchell Rose, which he opened eight years ago, takes
its name from the middle names of his two daughters.
Opening Mitchell Rose has also given Shapiro additional opportunities.
He worked with Mercer County Community College to develop its
marketing communications certificate and also teaches courses in
marketing and communications writing there. He has been president and
a member of the board of directors of New Jersey CAMA (Communications
Advertising and Marketing Association), and is currently writing a
book, "Write Right: 26 Tips You Can Apply Right Now to Improve Your
Writing Dramatically." The book will be available in April through a
The book is designed to give practical help to anyone who is writing
for a business objective, says Shapiro, including advertising copy,
press releases, or marketing tools such as brochures. He plans to
market it to colleges with marketing, public relations, and
communications programs, but says it will also be helpful for small
business owners who write their own advertising and marketing copy or
"anyone else who needs to communicate with others."
His book doesn’t suggest that there is only one way to write well.
"Everyone has a different style of writing and no one can replace that
creative genius," says Shapiro. While not everyone has a talent to
easily and quickly write creative copy, there are technical aspects to
writing that can be taught.
"You can do concrete things right now to make your work stronger," he
says. These are simple things anyone can do to make sure that writing
achieves the desired results. His book is divided into one to
three-page tips that can be applied easily to a particular project.
Some of his tips:
Issue a call to action. How often have you received a brochure or
other piece of advertising in the mail and wondered why you received
it? What does the advertiser want you to do? "You must direct the
reader to take action, motivate them to do something," says Shapiro.
Make sure your copy includes statements like, "Place Your Order Now,"
"Click Here," or "Call Today."
"Know what objective you want from your reader. What words will
motivate your reader to that action?"
Make your phone number easy to find. While at first glance this may
seem obvious, Shapiro says he is amazed at the number of times it is a
challenge to find a company’s phone number on a brochure or
advertisement. Remember, if they can’t contact you, the most well
written advertisement is still a failure.
Eliminate prepositions. Words such as "at," "by," "with," "from,"
"on," and "in" make your sentences longer and keep the reader from
getting to the primary message right away, says Shapiro. "While you
can’t eliminate every preposition, evaluate them and decide if they
are really necessary."
Watch your language. Make sure your grammar is correct and that you
have used words correctly and consistently, says Shapiro. "A reader
may not consciously notice it," he says, but sloppy writing will
reflect badly on your company.
E-mails are one area of business writing where sloppiness abounds,
says Shapiro. "An E-mail can be a very powerful and persuasive
sentence or two. Your approach to writing still should not change. You
are writing because you want a response back, ‘Yes, I will meet with
People are often too casual in writing letters or E-mails, he says.
"They don’t proofread and there are misspelled words and other
mistakes." Even if the E-mail is less formal "it should still be
grammatically correct." Shapiro recommends the AP Stylebook as a great
resource for correct grammar and usage.
Use statistics. Numbers are "a hook that a person can easily latch
onto and quickly grasp a concept,"
Write for one reader. Writing good advertising copy is "like playing
one-on-one basketball with your reader," says Shapiro. "You need to
personalize it and create an emotional link with your reader. Each
person cares most about his own needs and requirements." He suggests
using words such as "you" and "I" rather than "us" and "them" to help
make that connection.
"Even if you are writing copy for a billboard, think about making it
personal," he says. "Maybe 100,000 people will drive by and look at it
but you are writing for that one right person who will make a
"If you adopt even one tip, your writing will improve," says Shapiro.
"When you use them all each time you write, you will propel yourself
into the unique class of writers who develop communications that
generate measurable results and achieve objectives."
– Karen Hodges Miller
As recently as 30 years ago, it didn’t matter. Capitalistic etiquette
still allowed you to purchase a plot of land, bulldoze it flat, plunk
down your plant, and drive away without leaving a tree standing.
Factories since the dawn of the machine age could stand unadorned, and
ugly amid a sea of mud, and sales never suffered. Office buildings
needed little more adornment. But today, looks count.
This week, through Sunday, March 13, more than a quarter of a million
people are flocking to the Pennsylvania Convention Center to be
overwhelmed by the greenery and flowers at the Philadelphia Flower
Show. Cost $26. Visit www.theflowershow.com. Sponsored by the
178-year-old Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, this year’s show
takes the theme "America the Beautiful," and has set the former White
House gates as the entryway to its 33 bucolic, indoor acres.
Equally as popular as the endless aisles of resplendent orchids and
intriguingly-wrought bonsai, are the large garden and wood plots
exemplifying this year’s most original landscaping.
Strolling through these 25,000-square-foot editings of nature, one
spots the usual gaggles of eager-eyed women with reluctant husbands in
tow. But if you attend, notice also the large numbers of individuals
studying each display and scribbling madly into notebooks. These are
competing landscapers, corporate grounds keepers, and even company
owners, each looking for ideas to give his workplace a more natural
Although burgeoning before, the concept of creating the business
beautiful really took root in the image-conscious l980s. Not just
offices, but also manufacturing plants, became show places. Now, in
the new millennium, when business strives to blend in as community
partners, the idea continues to flower.
One telltale of business landscaping’s prevalence and permanence is
the booming industry of hardscaping – long durable walkways,
structures, and other fixed vantage points set among the mix of trees,
garden, and sod.
"There is really no doubt that all land and hardscaping plans are
initially, and foremost, aesthetically driven," says Mark Fuss, vice
president of sales for E.P. Henry Hardscaping of Woodbury. "Even the
most bottom-line businessperson wants a beautiful workplace he can be
proud of." Since the l970s Fuss has watched the business boom and the
effect it has had on everything from sales to morale.
Fuss grew up in Warminister, in Bucks County, and attended Penn State
University, earning a marketing B.A. in l978. Since then he has made a
career of marketing an amazing array of products. He began selling
Armstrong carpets. Of that business, he says, "to be kind, let’s just
say it was very cutthroat." From there he went on to sell everything
from business catalogs to computer friendly work stations. Finally, in
l994, Fuss opted to take himself outside into the light and took over
as head of sales for E.P. Henry.
For Fuss the commercial end of hardscaping is where the current boom
lies. While 80 percent of the firm’s clientele is still residential,
that is yielding to an expanding list of commercial customers. Fuss
now has two full-time salespeople roaming the Northeast filling
commercial orders. Beyond the desire for an aesthetic workplace are
several other reasons for the growth of the commercial side of
Space gains. "Very seldom do you have a perfectly flat piece of land
that fits the configurations of your plant," says Fuss. "Frequently
these hills and mounds chew up real estate and prevent expansion." The
solution involves ancient technology, but the materials are very new.
A good landscape architect can now design a set of retaining walls up
to 60 feet high, thus totally reconfiguring a property.
Such terraces formerly were built with pressure treated railroad ties,
which remain lovely and delightfully natural for about 10 years, until
their inevitable (and costly) decay.
In an attempt to keep the earth tone of natural terracing, many
hardscapers, have shifted to poured decorative concrete walls. The
stone is held in place a series of perpendicular nylon or polyester
beams that finger back into the compressed earth they retain. The
great advantages are that such terracing with stone is that it buys
the business owner extra space, and that it is relatively
indestructible. It can even be transplanted. The terraces can be
planted over to beautify grounds.
Environmental service. There are no contenders; asphalt is the
cheapest paving method around – in the short run. This oil and tar
based substance goes down swiftly and lasts up to two decades if
properly maintained. It also transfers all that oil and tar into
puddles, which wash into your streams with every rain. It is an
environmental disaster and one of the prime causes for building
permits being rejected.
Patios and walkways may be more initially expensive to install, but
they meet EPA stormwater standards by letting water drain through the
cracks. For those seeking a bit more elegance, along with a suggestion
of the serenity of Asia, beds of crushed gravel, topped with flat
stepping stones provide a solution.
E.P. Henry gives permanence to this look with its concrete-cast
DevonStone squares, which simulate slate and flagstone, an option
selected by Princeton University.
Out in the parking lot, the asphalt pollution problem is being met
with various brands of eco-stones. These cast-cobble pavers, often
octagonal, are set on a thick bed of gravel and spaced by a precisely
measured layer of lugs to fill the voids. By letting stormwater drain
naturally through this paved surface, pollutants are kept out of
streams and the creation of costly detention basins are avoided.
"Basins not only chew up more real estate, but no matter how much you
aerate, also encourage water borne disease," says Fuss.
Atmosphere. Driving up the road to a well landscaped plant does more
than please the eye. It acts as an enticement to attract new employees
and retain old ones. Having a set of patios and gazebos amid gardens
spells out in subtle, but in quantifiably measurable ways the message:
"They give a little extra to make my work place nice; maybe I’ll give
a little extra for them."
Additionally, there is the community image to consider. To whom is the
local variance for expansion most likely to be granted: the factory
that lurks behind an unkempt ocean of weeds and cat briar or one whose
appearance engenders a touch of community pride? Further, with today’s
no inside smoking rules, those wishing to enjoy their coffin nails
must do so out on the grounds. This means that the first corporate
representatives to greet a visitor may well be a bunch of hacking,
seemingly time-wasting addicts, who have been mercilessly pushed
outside the corporate portals – regardless of sleet, biting wind, or
searing sun. A sylvan setting, perhaps containing a gazebo surrounded
by tulips, is more likely to draw your smokers away from the front
door, creating a better atmosphere for smoker and visitor alike.
Over the past few decades business has ceased to be a dirty word.
Companies have become part of the American fabric, providing day care
and family-friendly hours, and supporting charities and the arts. Many
companies bask in positive feedback, and want to go further. So when
you see the company owner scribbling notes at the flower show, smile
at the thought of the gravel paths and fields of daffodils that may
well be coming soon to an office or factory near you.
– Bart Jackson
Eight of the nine branches of the Mercer County Library system now
offer a free notary public service.
Eleven library system staff members have been certified to notarize
documents for all county residents, and service will not be limited to
the seven municipalities that belong to the library system.
At the Hightstown branch, service also will be available in Spanish.
The times notary public service will be available will vary. Residents
are encouraged to call the particular branch they would like to visit
to either make an appointment or be certain that a notary is on duty.
Branch addresses and phone numbers, all in the 609 area code, are:
Lawrence Main Branch, 2751 Brunswick Pike, 609-882-9246.
Ewing, 61 Scotch Road, 609-882-3130.
Hickory Corner, 138 Hickory Corner Road, East Windsor, 609-448-1330.
Hightstown Memorial, 114 Franklin Street, 609-448-1474.
Hopewell, 245 Pennington-Titusville Road, 609-737-2610.
Twin Rivers, 276 Abington Drive, East Windsor, 609-443-1880.
Washington, 42 Allentown-Robbinsville Road, Robbinsville,
West Windsor, 333 North Post Road, Princeton Junction, 609-799-0462.
What do science and technology have in common with the performing
arts? Creativity, innovation, problem solving, teamwork and, process.
Approximately 30 Rutgers University science and engineering students
witnessed the blending of those qualities at a recent masterworks
performance at the State Theatre by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra,
led by music director, Lan Shui, and featuring world-renowned cellist,
The students were attending the first of four events in the
"Scientists Exploring the Arts" series – a unique partnership between
the State Theater and the Bridgewater-based National Starch and
Chemical Company. The series offers young scientists an opportunity to
discover four distinctive art forms and to meet personnel from the
National Starch and Chemical Company.
Each evening of "Scientists Exploring the Arts" includes a ticket to
the performance at the State Theater, a pre-performance "exploration"
with an arts educator, and a pre-performance dinner, with
opportunities to network with National Starch employees. For more
information call 732-247-7200.
The series, which began with 12 students in the fall of 2003, was
created by National Starch Chairman and CEO William H. Powell. It
occurred to Powell, a business leader who has a passion for the arts,
that a purely scientific and technical approach might not be the
successful equation for business success in today’s world. According
to Powell, there is so much technical information for students
pursuing science and engineering degrees that most curricula lack room
for arts education.
"Scientists are taught linear thinking," said Powell, an art collector
and student of music history, in a prepared statement. "We also need
to think laterally, to connect the dots in the other directions.
Adding a creative dimension to scientific thinking makes a better
scientist. It’s something we’re striving for with our employees and
something we’d like to share with students who are coming up."
Powell envisions "Scientists Exploring the Arts" expanding to other
colleges and universities in New Jersey and, perhaps, to other
companies. In addition to creating more depth in science and engineers
and in helping the arts by providing money for local performances by
world-class musicians, the program helps his company target potential
National Starch and Chemical $25,000 to the 2005 series. Additional
State Theater performances in the series are Mexican folk song and
dance troupe Sones de Mexico, on Wednesday, March 9; Jawole Willa Jo
Zollar’s Brooklyn-based dance troupe Urban Bush Women, on Thursday,
March 31; and the New York/London-based Aquila Theater Company’s stage
adaptation of H.G. Wells’ ‘The Invisible Man,’ on Thursday, April 7.
The Old Bay restaurant in New Brunswick celebrated the 2004 holiday
season by pledging 10 percent of food and beverage tabs from parties
of eight or more to the American Red Cross of Central New Jersey. On
December 26, the devastating tsunami hit South Asia. Friends and
patrons asked owner Tony Tola if the monies raised should go to Red
Cross tsunami relief.
Tola considered it, but decided instead to make a personal donation
toward tsunami relief efforts and keep the restaurant’s fundraiser
designated for local disaster relief as was originally intended. "The
Red Cross is here for our community when we need them," said Tola in a
prepared statement. "As a business in this community, I believe it’s
important to give back whenever possible."
The American Red Cross of Central New Jersey is grateful: "We’ve
responded to an explosion and 35 fires in the past three months alone,
with costs totaling over $59,000," said Valerie Mangrum of the Red
Cross, who accepted the $2,164 donation.
Anyone wishing to help out the Red Cross can call 609-951-8550 or
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Mercer County is hosting a
fundraising dinner, art auction, and silent auction on Saturday, April
30, at 6:30 p.m. at ETS’s Chauncey Conference Center. Tickets are $150
and can be ordered by calling 609-434-0050.
Titled "CASA Gateway to Calypso," the evening begins with a cocktail
hour featuring a steel band and a challenge contest for all attendees.
A buffet dinner and dancing to island music follow. The dress code is
"Island Casual" and sandals and flip-flops are suggested.
ETS is the primary sponsor of this year’s event. Other corporate
sponsors include Janssen Pharmaceutical, Mathematica Public Policy
Research, Novo Nordisk, and Princeton Survey Research Association.
Barry S. Rabner, president and CEO of Princeton HealthCare System.
Throughout the evening attendees will have the opportunity to bid in a
silent auction featuring donations from local businesses and
individuals such as airline tickets, a day at the spa, and dinner for
two. The event also features an auction of art pieces created and
donated by local students from Mercer County schools. CASA has
scheduled the fundraiser and the silent and art auctions to coincide
with the National Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month of April.
"CASA volunteers help the most vulnerable members of our community –
children who cannot speak up for themselves," Rabner said in a
The mission of CASA of Mercer County, which was established in 2001,
is to speak in court for the best interests of children in Mercer
County who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and/or
neglect. These children are living in foster homes, group homes, or
treatment facilities. CASA works through trained community volunteers
to insure that needed services and assistance are made available while
helping to move the child into a safe and permanent home. All proceeds
from this event will go towards the support of the CASA program in
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