‘The only person in the orchestra who doesn’t make a sound is the conductor," says Bill Granda. In his view leaders and managers should act like conductors, leading from the background and allowing their employees to take ownership, not only of a particular project, but of their jobs, and, collectively, of the company itself.

That feeling of ownership can mean the difference between the success and failure of a company, says Granda, a consultant with Paradigm Associates, a 20-year-old consulting company headquartered in Cranford. Granda specializes in helping organizations to grow new markets or new products. He speaks at the MC Business Partnership on Friday, October 14, at 7:30 a.m. at the Somerset Hill Hotel in Warren. For reservations, call 732-613-4790.

"How Come No One Ever Washes a Rental Car?" is the title of Granda’s speech. The answer to that question is obvious, he says: "Because they don’t own it." However, creating "ownership" among employees can be a tricky task for a leader. But it’s worth the effort, because employees who do not "own" their jobs generally don’t perform at anything like their potential.

While the principal of ownership is true in every part of a company, it may be most obvious in sales, says Granda. "If salespeople are not in tune with what the customer wants, they are not in tune with the customer’s buying process. They come on too strong; they talk too much. They’ve just shot themselves in the foot."

One of two things will happen. Either the sale is lost, "the best scenario," says Granda. Or the buyer makes the purchase out of guilt and later feels buyer’s remorse. "Then you have complaints about the product or the customer returns it. Either way, you have one unhappy customer."

On the other hand, if the sales force works to understand its customers, sales will increase, often dramatically. Granda mentioned a "private education organization" he recently worked with. "In an organization like this the teachers are the best salespeople, but it was initially thought that the teachers might not want to ‘sell’ because larger enrollment would mean increased classroom size."

However, when the teachers were approached and the issues explained to them, "they took great pride in growing the program," says Granda. "Everyone bought in, and enrollment quickly increased."

Leadership starts at the top. That is the first rule that managers need to understand when attempting to bring a sense of ownership to employees. "That sense must initially come from a company’s leaders and managers," says Granda. If the leader micro-manages all the details of a business his employees will feel that they have no stake in the outcome.

Expect people to be leaders. A good manager should allow his workers to be risk-takers, says Granda. If you allow people to take a risk, you allow them to solve problems on their own, helping them to develop their own leadership skills. In order to do that, however, the manager must allow employees to fail.

"I don’t mean the failure of the entire company here. I mean the employee needs to be allowed the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them," says Granda. "No risk, no responsibility."

He uses his experience as a Boy Scout leader as an example. "If a boy comes to me and asks me to solve a problem, I tell him to take it back to the patrol and solve it himself. If you show people you expect them to solve problems, they will."

Get rid of inner circles. Many companies or departments have one "in-group or clique who is in the know and the rest of the people who wish they did know, but don’t," says Granda. The "outer circle" feels disenfranchised. "How can you stay enthusiastic about your job if you feel that you are second rate, that other people have more value than you have?" he asks. Having inner and outer circles causes rumors and strife among employees.

Pass the problems down, not up. Many managers make a habit of passing problems up and solutions down, says Granda. A better strategy is to invert that theory and pass the problems down and the solutions up.

How to do that? When an employee comes to a manger with a problem, instead of handing out a solution, Granda recommends that the manager asks for possible solutions from the employee. "Ask ‘what do you think we should do?’" This strategy shows that the manager respects the employee’s opinions and expects him to think and come back with good ideas.

Make it easier for everyone else to do their jobs. A manager should help his employees do their jobs, not do the work themselves, says Granda. Like the conductor of an orchestra, a manager "gives direction and makes it possible for others to perform."

Give positive feedback. Granda’s final recommendation for creating ownership and leadership is to praise successes, even if they are small. "Often the feedback managers give is negative. If a person does something right, they aren’t praised because the manager says, ‘That’s how it is supposed to be done.’" Family businesses, one of Granda’s specialties, seem to be particularly prone to this problem. Granda is head of Paradigm’s Family Business Practice area and more than 40 percent of his clients are family businesses.

If the only feedback the manager gives is negative, the employee begins to think that he or she can do nothing right. An employee does need to be told if there is a problem or a mistake has been made, but the way in which it is pointed out is important. Present the facts in an unemotional way. "Don’t zing the person," says Granda.

Granda’s work with Paradigm has given him a bi-coastal lifestyle. He spends part of his time in New Jersey and part in Nevada, where he also has a number of clients. He came to Paradigm in 1991 after working in advertising in New York City.

His education, a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in finance and accounting, give him perspective on both "the hard side and the soft side" of business, he says. While many managers look at the hard side – the finances and the product – as the driving force in a company’s success, Granda sees it differently.

"The soft side is what drives the hard side," he says. It’s the people, the management, and the system that really make a company successful – or not.

Help Katrina’s Victims Find Work: Gerry Crispin

‘Life is about taking risks," says Gerry Crispin. Right now he wants New Jersey employers to take a risk. Hurricane Katrina has left thousands of people not only homeless, but also without jobs. Crispin wants to see New Jersey employers help some of those people get back to work.

Crispin and his partner, Mark Mehler, are human resource professionals who have spent over 25 years "in just about every facet of the employment industry, in career planning and placement, contract recruiting, executive search, recruitment advertising, and human resource management." They are well-known for "CareerXroads," the reference guide to job and resume websites that they publish every year.

Crispin speaks at the Career Networking Group at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Princeton on Saturday, October 15, at 8:30 a.m. on "Utilizing the Internet to Enlarge Your Network." A regular volunteer at the job search group (www.stpaulsprinceton.org), he is prepared to share the latest information on the best job search websites, and how to get the most out of them. There is a good chance that he will also talk about his quest to help Katrina’s victims find good new jobs, a crusade that is now occupying a good deal of his time, energy, and thoughts.

"As I watched the news about Hurricane Katrina it seemed to me that most of the stories were about a small segment of the population. But there were people in a lot of small cities and town like Birmingham and Vicksburg who had lost their jobs and needed new ones. I felt compelled to go and see if I could help," says Crispin.

When he first conceived the idea of traveling to the Gulf Coast to help find jobs for people, he had a fantasy of "50 recruiters fanning out through the area, tracking down employers, and advocating for jobs for people." While that first idea proved a little too complex to accomplish in a short period of time, Crispin did manage, with the support of www.Hotjobs.com, a reconnaissance trip to the area to see how he could help.

He and a friend, David Jackson, began a 2,300-mile trek across the Gulf Coast in St. Louis. The tour included Dallas, Texas, Vicksburg, Mississippi, Birmingham, Alabama, and Memphis, Tennessee, to name just a few of their stops. They drove a Winnebago, and as they approached each community Crispin would contact the mayor or other officials and tell them about his services. "I would call and leave a message saying, ‘I’m about 35 miles from your town hurtling down the highway in a Winnebago and I’m interested in helping people in your community find jobs.’"

While almost everyone called him back, "if only because of that image of a hurtling Winnebago," Crispin ran into other roadblocks during his journey. While all of the city officials he spoke with were certainly interested in seeing their citizens employed, most were not interested in helping people to leave their community.

Crispin doesn’t think that is a realistic attitude for many Gulf Coast communities. "I’m not talking about the towns that have been flattened where there are no houses and no jobs at all," he says. What many people don’t really grasp is the sheer numbers of refugees who have flooded into small cities throughout the South. "Communities like Jackson, Mississippi, have had their populations increased by 30,000 people or more," he says. Most communities cannot realistically increase their services and offer housing and jobs to that many additional people.

Another problem Crispin found was that the people themselves "are still traumatized by the event and just aren’t ready to move on." Many of them are "still glued to the television watching it happen." They have not faced the fact that their lives have irrevocably changed.

"I want to see that Katrina’s victims get a fair shake at the jobs that are out there," he says. New Jersey only has a few hundred Hurricane Katrina refugees so far, but he believes that will change over the next year as more and more people face the fact that they will have to relocate to find a new job. He wants New Jersey employers to actively seek to hire Katrina’s victims, and he offers some advice on doing so.

Website Listings. Employers who would like to hire someone from the Gulf Coast area can post their jobs on several websites, such as www.Hotjobs.com, www.Monster.com, and www.CareerBuilder.com. Each of the affected states – Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama – also have website where job listings can be posted.

Phone listings. Setting up a phone number where jobseekers can be interviewed, rather than expecting them to arrive in person, is important, he says.

Relocation help. If a candidate accepts a job offer, Crispin suggests the employer be ready to help in several ways. "They may need assistance in getting here and they may have family issues that need to be dealt with," he says. In addition, they and their families will need help in getting acclimated to a new community.

"I learned that people do rise to the occasion, but they still need additional assistance," says Crispin. Whether the jobseeker is in the Gulf Coast or in New Jersey, "the issue," he says, "is about jobs – people who had a job and lost it, and who now need a new job."

I’m Worth How Much? Robert Small

She was ecstatic. A lone cleaning woman, she had hastily formed a company, gathered a few friends, and won a maintenance contract from a large restaurant chain. It would bring nearly $600,000 in immediate annual revenue. She then visited CPA Robert Small – and her entrepreneurial ecstasy turned to despair. Small explained that by allowing the restaurant chain to dictate terms, her costs were going to be 10 percent higher than her fee.

Pricing is probably the most critical issue in all business. As an increasing number of businesses open in the service sector, the question of what to charge becomes even trickier. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula to compute how to get the top penny customers are willing to pay. But Small gives insight into many of the factors to consider in his free talk, "The Price is Right for Profit," on Tuesday, October 18 at 3 p.m. at Thomas Edison College. Small’s seminar is one of many taking place during Trenton Small Business Week, which runs from Monday October 17 through Thursday, October 20. Visit www.smallbizweek.com to register.

As a CPA, Small has been helping area businesses face pricing and many other fiscal realities for almost 30 years. Born and raised in Mercerville, Small graduated from Rider University in l976 with a B.A. in accounting. He went on to earn a master’s degree in finance from Drexel University. For many years he teamed up with Paul Ressler in the Hamilton accounting firmof Ressler & Small. As of August 1, Small has stepped across the river in an entrepreneurial move, forming Small & Associates in Newtown, Pennsylvania (215-504-5722).

"Pricing is really all a matter of work," says Small, "And the truth is, most people don’t want to roll up their sleeves and do it."

Every business and every product entails so many dynamics, and the more of these an owner can factor in, the more accurate is the picture of the true product cost.

Cost versus expenses. Blunder number one: plunge into negotiations first; then afterward figure out the full financial extent of what it takes to deliver the product. Small has witnessed this mistake in clients ranging from the enthusiastic cleaning woman to Fortune 100 companies.

A worker is paid at $15 an hour, the company charges the client $25 for his services. A $10 profit? Not when you factor in the wage tax, workers compensation, and other benefits. Since this individual probably will not be working naked with his bare hands, the company must provide supplies, perhaps clothes or cleaning services. Whether it’s an office or merely a locker, what is his share of the rent?

"Most company owners do pretty well in figuring direct costs," says Small, "but they tend to neglect additional expenses that raise total cost." Direct cost consists of the obvious factors. Elusive expenses frequently include supplies purchased and used for many other jobs, office space, and items for which the company is held responsible in its job contract.

In the case of the cleaning woman, her maintenance contract included keeping the rest rooms filled with toilet paper and hand towels. It is an easy matter, Small explains, to make these expenses reimbursable by the client during the negotiations phase.

Sea of consultancy. What can I charge for my brain? What is the worth of all my years of collected wisdom? As rivers of fresh consultants flow into very competitive workplaces, these are the questions being asked by new consultants. According to Small, lots of these new businesspeople are not getting the right answers. Both consultants and their prospective clients do the math. There are 2,000 working hours in an eight-hour-a-day year. Thus the $160-an-hour consultant can pocket a cool $320,000 annually.

Wow! Small wonder that clients try to bid them down and that consultants are willing to drop down to get the job. Even at $80, I’m still pulling down $160,000 a year, right?

Wrong, says Small. Count on 20 percent of those 2,000 hours being used in administrative work and study. Another 20 percent is going to be spent chasing down new contracts. From these remaining 1,200 profitable hours logistical costs must be subtracted. Prospective and even established clients seldom seek solutions in your living room. Consultants travel. They also make frequent presentations. Office space, technology, and supplies must be maintained. Skills and new information must constantly be upgraded – at no small cost.

Only a fraction of these expenses may be written off on taxes. And speaking of taxes, wait until the new consultant faces his first Social Security tab. For while employees pay only half of their Social Security tax – with their bosses shouldering the rest – independent contractors pay the whole thing.

Considering all these expenses, the consultant who tries to compete by putting in low-ball bids may not only be ruining his image, he may be bankrupting his business.

The competition. If all the competition charges within a certain price range, probably there is a reason – though not always. Small suggests that before establishing a product’s price, take a look at not only what competitors charge, but what they provide, and what costs they incur. Figure a hypothetical cost, then balance it against the marketplace. Rent and location differences can make a big difference. Double the rent for a prime location, with only 50 percent more potential foot traffic, and prices must be set higher.

Packaging, method of delivery, and other elements also boost expenses. Advertising is one element that boosts costs substantially, but that may be substantially less effective in the current Internet price comparison climate. Potential customers may be drawn to your service after seeing a well-produced ad, but then may log on to their computers to see if a competitor is offering it for less.

The clientele. If the first pricing question is what does it truly cost, the second must be what can and will the customer pay? "Biopharma is a booming, cash heavy industry, and the consultancy kill zone for biopharma stretches from King of Prussia to New York City," says Small. Within this area marketing consultants are raking in fees unobtainable anywhere else.

Examine the industry you will be serving. While small non-profits have little in the way of spare funds, larger ones may be as ready to spend as major for-profit industries. Small also suggests that a company look at its market niche, and research the structure of the businesses it might be serving. "Sole proprietorships view every dime as coming out of their own pockets," says Small. But partnerships, full partnerships, and corporations increasingly have funds for new suppliers.

Discounting. One of the great advantages of dealing business-to-business is the ability to set individual prices. Those selling to consumers may juggle a bit, but usually within a more restricted framework. The key here, says Small, is to understand why you are discounting.

When supplying a startup business, suppliers and consultants can often discount prices in hopes of getting a piece of the action. In such a case, it is necessary to tell the entrepreneur of your temporary generosity. Let him know that you want to support him and grow with his firm. This will allow you to raise prices later.

Conversely, discounts given to help ease the move into a new area had best be done without explanation. The company that has serviced manufacturing clients for several years, and now wants to take on communications clients, would can do well to enter with a low, attractive price in this new arena. "But for heavens sake," laughs Small, "don’t tell them that you are discounting because you know nothing about this new field."

Finally, pricing is an art, involving bits of market tweaking, psychology, and luck. In l982 coffee in America ranged from 50 cents to $1 a cup. When Howard Schultz took over Starbucks in l982, every potential backer blanched at the idea of actually charging $2 – and even more! – for coffee. They insisted the public would never pay those prices.

Schultz, who had studied coffee bars in Italy, merely replied that if they made the atmosphere right, people would fork over the money happily. Truly, in this case, Schultz’s price was right.

Wands and Wizardry: Michael Miller

Technology for technology’s sake is fun. It is impressive. But technology for profit is a whole different thing. Selecting tools for business efficiency from the boggling array of gizmos available may not always be a matter of going with what’s newer, faster, and has the most added on whistles. In some cases you just need a top quality, dependable hoe. In others, you want a hoe that upgrades to a tractor.

To help small company owners analyze their needs and discover what’s on the latest gizmo list, the Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce’s technology council sponsors a workshop, "The Best Technology of the Year for the Well-Equipped Business Person" on Tuesday, October 18, at 10 a.m. at Thomas Edison College. This event is part of Trenton Small Business Week, which runs from Monday, through Thursday, October 17 through 20. To register visit www.smallbizweek.com.

The Best Technology of the Year seminar features a number of presenters, including Michael Miller, co-founder of Set Now Solutions in Ewing; Robert Gross of Mercerville-based Claremont Telcom; and Michael Serino, director of the Wireless Zone in Hamilton.

Remember when the ancient slogan "Test Drive A Mac" was part of an ad campaign aimed at bringing computers into privates homes? The year was l985, and that was when Miller, a West Windsor native, graduated from Ithaca College. He took his B.A. in television and radio, with a minor in advertising and communications and headed over to South Brunswick’s Scanticon. At this conference center (now the Doral Forrestal) Miller became part of the audio visual production team, creating videos, PowerPoint presentations, and photo displays.

In l996 his wife, Sarah Miller, launched a small media firm called Set Now Solutions. He joined her in 1999 and the pair expanded the firm to include establishing marketing plans. Today Set Now Solutions also provides business extranets and an online business greeting card company.

"The big technology planning caveat," says Miller, "is that every company’s needs are wholly individual." The fact that a competitor has one does should not spark a buying frenzy. Each business has its own budget and its own separate path toward efficiency. These are Miller’s guidelines for selecting devices, software, and links.

Need versus new. "It’s a hackneyed phrase," says Miller, "but what you really should be seeking with each piece of technology is return on investment. Is this new purchase making your business more efficient? How?" Determining this takes a little work flow analysis. The trap here is to just think of individual tasks: a copier to copy, a printer to print. Instead, take a broader vision of the entire business process. Then trot off to market.

When examining specific items, Miller advises buyers to compare capability, computability with not only your, but also your clients’ and your suppliers’ systems, and its ability to adapt to new software. Then apply the deal breaker: is this an item that will help the company grow? Speed may prove less of a consideration than cost. Buying user-friendly may be more important than buying current.

A cheap fix. E-lives are short. The next time you have few friends over, ask how many have the same computing device that they used five years ago. Whatever technology you employ today will be supplanted by something faster and snazzier before the seasons change again.

"This is not all bad news," says Miller. Many of the slower, less capable machines will still be fine for many of your business’ activities. Save the few newest devices for those functions demanding maximum speed and the ability to handle the newest software. Then take those of a previous generation and use them for word processing, back-up, and accounting.

As the price of technology comes down, a cheap technology band-aid may be your most cost-effective bet. Plug in a bargain printer while you search for an entire interconnected printing system. Accept the rapid pace of obsolescence. Don’t try to buy your way ahead of it, or bemoan the frequent replacement of tools.

In your hand. Within palm-held wonders, capabilities grow exponentially greater as punch keys grow ever tinier. E-mail, web browsing, book and movie viewing, real time video taping and transmitting, and total business networking are just a few of the options you can pack onto that little hand held box that once only made phone calls.

While the choices are endless, Miller warns that the carriers are few and very confining. "Every carrier has its own, highly restricted line of cellular devices," he points out. "You’ve got to choose from their offerings." says Miller. Further, while cell phone connections have improved, web and E-mail operate on different frequencies and not all carriers have the electronic backbone to support it.

Sprint is making a good showing in the New York-Philadelphia area, but only there. Verizon, which offers great phone service in the U.S., and T-mobile, which does a fine job in Europe, don’t do as well in each other’s territory, and palm pilot users report a rough go in many cases. What carrier works in your area must still be the prime selection factor.

For the general businessperson, Miller suggests that a cellular system that includes phone, web browsing, and E-mail should offer a solid solution. Instant cellular messaging is optional for many people, but the field sales rep requires all this plus a notifying calendar. Ideally, he should also have a VPN – virtual private network – that affords him full access to all aspects of the company, including inventory and order processing.

Combined functions. Amalgamation – uniting every conceivable function into that one compact gadget – is now, and long has been, one of technology’s strongest trends. Miller’s advice on combined function units is to go for quality and don’t go overboard. His own firm recently purchased a $500 combination laser printer and copy machine. Though more expensive than many other combos, it provides these two services at a fraction of the cost, with a swift payback from ink savings alone. On the other hand, he advises that businesspeople be skeptical about the printer, scanner, copier combo "insanely priced" at $100, and be equally skeptical about any jack-of-all trades tool that perform six functions in one.

Automating links. Do you keep the old copier or change over to individual desktop systems? If people are waiting to copy, scan, fax, communicate memos, or pick up print, efficiency is gutted. Staff time is the most valuable and most squandered resource in most businesses. On the other hand, frequently these fixes require no more than a new software tweak.

As a final piece of advice, Miller suggests businesses think beyond themselves, and consider their clients’ needs. Having systems that fit customers, track responses, and conduct surveys are neither difficult nor expensive. Says Miller: "A little study time can net you a great profit."

Franchise Choices: Denis Marcoux

Recent studies indicate that self-employment is on the rise, says Denis Marcoux, a Fanwood-based consultant with the Entrepreneur’s Source, a Southbury, Connecticut, business ownership consulting firm. Drivers include demographics and economic factors. For the first time in 10 years, self-employment rates are on the rise across the country, according to a recent study sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The report indicates minorities, women, and baby boomers are swelling the ranks of the self-employed, and that their ventures tend to involve technology.

Baby boomers are looking for more security as large corporations continue to downsize and buy out senior staff members. Recent data shows that the number of self-employed people over the age of 50 has jumped 23 percent since 1990 to 5.6 million workers. Women now make up 32 percent of the country’s 12.2 million business owners, up from 25 percent in 1983. Hispanics, African-Americans, and Asians also made strong gains in self-employment in the past two years.

Among the choices would-be entrepreneurs confront is whether or not to purchase a franchise. Marcoux talks about franchising as a business option in a free seminar he is giving on Tuesday, October 18, at 7 p.m. at the Princeton Courtyard Marriott. He says that the event is geared toward those who are in transition, who want out of a job, or who want out of the corporate world, and who are considering self-employment as an option.

Register at www.ESourceVision.com/Events-Seminars.htm or by phone at at 877-278-8921.

Smart Women Finish Rich: Ed Kucharski

Imagine reaching retirement age and not being able to live the lifestyle to which you’ve become accustomed because you’ve run out of money. Imagine being forced to move out of your home, or being forced to depend on others to support you because you miscalculated what you would need to live out your golden years. It’s these kind of personal planning and finance nightmares that Ed Kucharski is trying to prevent from happening, especially to women who may have spent most of their lives depending on husbands or significant others to take care of their financial needs.

"I’ve seen 60-year-old women turn to the just-out-of-college 22-year-old in one of my seminars and say, ‘gee, I wish I were in your shoes and had a lifetime to plan for this stuff,’" says Kucharski. "I’ve also got a lot of people in the baby boomer range, with 45-60 being the sweet spot. They’re in the position of trying to secure a comfortable retirement for themselves at the same time they might be trying to plan their children’s education. They’re in that squeeze generation, right in the middle, and it’s going to get tougher unless they plan."

Kucharski, a certified financial planner and owner of Kucharski Financial Services in Flemington, has been teaching a seminar called "Smart Women Finish Rich" at Mercer County Community College for the last several years and once again is offering it on Wednesday, October 19, at 6:30 p.m. Cost: $30. Call 609-586-9446.

The biggest disappointment, Kucharski says, is when reality falls short of expectations, something that happens all too frequently. "Rates of return are often too low over time because of inflation. No one likes to take risk, so people don’t make investments that are perceived to be risky. But by leaving their money in safe environments, the risk is that they’ll fall short of their goals. They need a diversified way to have the potential for higher returns without losing principal."

Kucharski says that people often overlook relatively painless savings strategies. For example, there’s something called the latte factor, based on that very popular coffee drink that sells for more than the average cup o’ joe. "So your day starts with a cup of coffee, maybe a double nonfat latte and the question is how much do you spend for that latte without really even thinking about it? Add a Danish to that and you go on through the day spending money in ways you don’t even realize," he says. "If you think about how you’re spending money you’ll be able to find money to start investing for your future. For anyone who says I don’t have any money to start investing, the latte factor changes that outlook."

Once there is some money to invest, it’s important to make sure that the funds are diversified. One way to achieve diversification is through the basket approach to investing – short-term, intermediate and long term. Then there are ownership assets like real estate, art, or investment quality coins.

Kucharski was born in New Brunswick. His dad was a machinist for Ethicon and his mother was a homemaker. He attended the University of West Chester in Pennsylvania and studied criminal justice. He wanted to work for the FBI doing the kind of forensics work showcased on programs like CSI.

He graduated in 1979 straight into a recession and an FBI hiring freeze. "I had a neighbor who said while you’re waiting for the FBI to start hiring again, come work for the insurance industry. I liked people, so I decided to give it a try," Kucharski recalls. So he went to work for Prudential Insurance.

Kucharski discovered the niche market of financial planning for women through Van Kampen, the mutual fund company. A financial advisor in California named David Bach had written a book called "Smart Women Finish Rich" and had developed a series of seminars around it. The book was geared to women, especially widows, divorcees, and single women who wanted to take charge of their personal finances. Kucharski saw an opportunity to serve the needs of this potentially huge market, so he asked Van Kampen if he could use the seminar program as the basis for his own outreach and education program.

Kucharski lives in Readington, with his wife Eileen, who manages a branch office for First Metropolitan Mortgage in Flemington. They have two children, ages 17 and 13.

In his work with women who are trying to secure their futures, he urges that they not be afraid to take control of their finances. In doing so, he says, they should aim to protect principal, while at the same time investing so that it will grow enough to cover retirement needs. "The differences among those vehicles and how they can affect the wealth you accumulate over a lifetime is quite eye-opening."

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