When your grandchild takes over the family business, he very probably
will not be held hostage by oil. Even the most optimistic estimates
are giving this universal fuel only four more decades before the wells
run dry. Other forms of cleaner, more renewable energy will take over.
Having seen this handwriting on the wall, many companies are making
the green shift now, while there are lots of new technologies and
rebates are plentiful.
To help business people make the transition toward environmental
sanity, the New Jersey Technology Council offers "Green Homes, Green
Cars, and Green Workplaces" on Thursday, May 25, at 8 a.m. at Rowan
College of Engineering in Glassboro. Cost: $60. Visit www.njtc.org.
The seminar consists of three panels discussing each of the three
Green Workplace panelists include Brent Alderfer, president of
Community Energy in Wayne, Pennsylvania, who speaks on the newly built
Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm; Margaret Piliere of the New Jersey
Development Authority, who explains green funding; Paul Savage of
NexTek Power Systems; and representatives of Liberty Realty Trust and
PNC Bank, who discuss their commercial green building projects.
Attorney, engineer, and environmentalist, Alderfer has throughout his
career acquired all the skills needed to make wind power a commercial
reality. For generations the Alderfer clan ran the independent
Hennings Supermarket in Harleysville, Pennsylvania, giving him an
entrepreneurial taste early on. After earning his electrical
engineering degree from Northeastern University, Alderfer took his law
degree from Georgetown University, and began practicing in
By l990 wanderlust hit and Alderfer found himself in Colorado as the
commissioner of the Public Utilities Board. "I held that post for nine
years and that’s really where I saw the need, and the potential, for
clean, renewable energy," Alderfer says. In l999 he returned east and
founded Community Energy (www.communityenergy.biz.). By 2001 the
company had become a major builder and supplier of wind farm energy to
Mid-Atlantic power grids.
Powering up with clean energy has become increasingly less expensive
and infinitely easier within the last few years. Businesses going
green are no longer pioneers, but purchasers of well-tested
technology, following well-prescribed paths.
Sailboat fuel. On April 14, the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm, the state’s
first, set blades to the wind and began selling energy. Community
Energy, with backing by global energy investment giants Babcock and
Brown, and the CH Energy Group, invested $12 million to erect the five
turbines along the Atlantic City shore on the edge of the town’s water
Each turbine consists of three 120-foot long blades whirling atop a
260-foot high white steel post. Rotating at 10 to 20 revolutions per
minute, the outer edges spin around at 120 mph, and churn out 1.5
megawatts of energy each.
These megawatts are fed into the power grid, greatly lessening
energy-created pollution. The Department of Environmental Protection
estimates that this wind farm, capable of powering 2,500 homes,
reduces air particles equivalent to 19 million miles of automobile
Snatching the wind. A business seeking to grab its share of this
totally clean renewable energy can sign up either through Community
Energy or can register through its current energy provider via the
State Utilities Board (www.njcleanenergy.com). The applying company
still receives its power from the power grid. No windmills or cables
come in behind your plant. But you are specifically ordering a share
of this wind energy.
The bad news is that this clean, renewable energy currently costs a
little more. Typically it comes to an additional 1.3 cents per
kilowatt hour. Alderfer explains that because this farm is small, the
costs are higher. Community Energy’s much larger Pennsylvania plant
has substantially lower costs. Ironically, one factor that has made
the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm’s cost rise is that the price of oil
drove up construction costs. But Alderfer points to several
long-established Colorado farms where wind is currently cheaper than
traditionally produced electricity.
Business owners can also order just a share of their electricity usage
from the wind. A firm can agree to pay a stated amount, perhaps $100,
above its standard PSE&G bill and get as great a percent of its energy
in wind as that extra cash will buy.
"Even with this higher cost," notes Alderfer, "I have been very
surprised at how eagerly companies have signed on to wind power and
how loyally they have renewed contracts." The good impression that
opting for clean energy makes on both employees and customers is
frequently cited as one major reason for undertaking the small extra
Blowing controversy. Though totally clean, getting cheaper and in
everlasting supply, wind farms are not without their detractors. Much
has been made about the turbines as whirling blades of death to all
bird life. California’s Altamont Pass Wind Farm was cited for causing
the death of 1,400 eagles and hawks annually. Alderfer says that
Altamont was poorly sited.
But new farms are far less of an avian hazard. "Of every 10,000 birds
slain due to humans and pets, only one is now due to a wind turbine,"
says Alderfer. Alderfer balances this against the 57 million birds
killed annually by autos and house cats, which kill an average of five
birds a year. "If the wind farm is well situated and kept clean below,
there is no danger," Alderfer insists.
Yet even if they are easy on birds, some find wind farms hard on the
eyes. This is not a universal opinion, though. Clean-lined and
majestic, the windmills can have the appeal of fine sculpture.
In New Jersey wind farm effectiveness is best achieved along the
coast, where there is constant breeze. But for decades shore visitors
have relished the state’s pristine ocean horizon. Thus, in lieu of
having wind turbines cluttering beach vistas, Alderfer is now seeking
out industrialized settings, similar to Atlantic City’s waste
treatment center, where the windmills have already become a tourist
On your own. Of course going green does not necessarily mean buying
someone else’s wind. Companies seeking to erect their own clean energy
alternatives, such as solar, wind, or low-impact fuel, right on their
own sites can find fiscal assistance in a host of government agencies.
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (www.njeda.com) has
devoted a substantial portion of its $620 million budget for grants
and loans to businesses going green. NJEDA loans run to a $1 million
maximum for installing solar, biomass, or wind energy. Grants for up
to 20 percent of qualifying projects are available, along with some
long term, no-interest loans. Many firms have received funding for
updating old equipment with new, energy efficient equipment. And for
those with plants on former dump sites, tapping for methane power has
become a well-funded solution.
Going green in the workplace has become a popular trend, with rich
rewards. New Jersey is currently backed up several months in
processing solar energy rebates for both business and residential
applicants. The use of everything from wind-powered facilities to
recycled Homosote board floors is increasingly finding its way into
corporate brochures. The old myth of business being the natural enemy
of the environment is being dispelled. Some companies are now bragging
about taking a strong environmental stance – and pocketing savings
along the way.
– Bart Jackson
New Developments In Trenton
Trenton is on the upswing – a good bet for investors and people
seeking a more urban lifestyle at more affordable prices, according to
Dennis Gonzales, who is both assistant business administrator of the
City of Trenton and acting director of its department of housing and
economic development. Development firms are building from scratch new
residential, office, and commercial space; they are renovating old
spaces; and they are rebuilding others, like the Trenton train
The goal of new development projects is to revitalize Trenton by
drawing in both new businesses and new residents. "One of the major
things that the mayor has had us working on is to attract private
business to the city," says Gonzales, citing as an example Wachovia’s
January move of its regional headquarters from Ewing to 32 East Front
Trenton is encouraging professionals, engineers, architects, and
lawyers who deal with the state government, for example, to move to
the city. Firms like Sadat Associates, an environmental engineering
firm, have moved to Trenton because of its relatively low real estate
costs. "In some instances firms are finding they can get slightly
better financial deals in Trenton," Gonzales says, "and they are
closer to public transportation."
"The other goal is to repopulate downtown with residences," Gonzales
continues, "to create an atmosphere where the downtown is open and
vibrant and doesn’t close down when the office workers go home."
Because of good train connections, he says, "we are well-situated to
be able to attract folks who work in Philadelphia and New York to more
affordable housing." He cites a recent article about a husband and
wife with one child who moved to a condo in Mill Hill – she takes the
River Line to her job at Campbell’s Soup, and he takes the train to
"As the cost of living in the suburbs goes up and up and property
taxes go up with revaluation and development," says Gonzales, "more
people are looking at cities as alternatives for living."
Gonzales talks about "What’s New in Trenton," on Wednesday, May 31, at
8 a.m. at the Trenton Marriott. The event is sponsored by the Mercer
Regional Chamber of Commerce. Cost: $30. For more information, call
Gonzales counts off quickly a number of significant development
investments in the City of Trenton:
Full Spectrum of New York, known for its building and development
activities in Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant, is working on a $175
million project of residential, retail, and office space, and a
parking garage that will encompass about two-thirds of the 200 block
of East State and Hanover streets. "All will be new construction,"
says Gonzales, "except for the adaptive reuse of the Bell Telephone
Company building now owned by the city, which we will be selling to
them." The project will be creating the highest building in town – 20
stories at the corner of Montgomery and East State, where the Bank of
America is now.
Funding is from two sources. The Canyon-Johnson Emerging Markets Fund,
of Magic Johnson fame, is putting in $20 million of equity and Full
Spectrum will find the balance through its own sources, which include
Bank of America. The project comprises about 280 residential
condominiums, 153,000 square feet of class A office space, and 32,000
square feet of retail space. The parking garage will have a capacity
of about 300 cars. This is also a "green project," using materials to
reduce energy costs to 50 to 75 percent of today’s average. Planning
board approvals are in.
At least 80 percent of the residential units will be unsubsidized, but
there will be a range of sizes. Selling price is likely to range from
the high $100,000s to about $400,000. "We expect people to be buying
from a mixed range of incomes," says Gonzales. Although there are no
units specifically for low-income residents, he says Trenton has in
excess of a dozen projects that develop houses for those with low and
moderate incomes. "As we speak," says Gonzales, "we probably have
three or four hundred units of housing at one stage of development or
another for families making $20,000 to $50,000."
Catty-corner to the Full Spectrum project, the old Broad Street Bank
building is being "gut rehabbed" to create 123 apartments and 13,000
square feet of retail space. It should be completed by the end of
August. Eighty percent of the apartments will be market rate and the
remaining 20 percent will be available to families that make between
$25,000 and $35,000.
The city’s train station, which is the sixth busiest on the Eastern
Corridor, is being totally rebuilt. The $54 million project has
already begun with the demolition and rebuilding of one side of the
station. When this is completed in 12 to 16 months, work will begin on
the other side. The project will increase the station’s retail space
threefold and will improve amenities for riders and visitors.
Meanwhile, discussions are ongoing with a billion-dollar company
Gonzales does not name about developing 600,000 square feet of space
around the Trenton Train Station.
Just up the hill from the train station Nexus Properties has nearly
completed 23 townhouses ranging from 1,400 to 2,200 square feet in
Mill Hill, an historic district a couple of blocks from City Hall. The
units have all been sold, at an average price of a little over
$300,000. Citing the neighborhoods of Mill Hill, Hiltonia (a more
suburban area near Ewing), Glen Afton (also suburban), and Berkeley
Square (a historical district in the West Ward near the Delaware),
Gonzales observes that property values are improving, "Resale values
of homes have doubled in the last two or three years," he observes.
"Many that sold for $150,000 four years ago are selling for $300,000
to $350,000 now."
Housing developments on the drawing board include one by Sentex, which
has final approvals for a 74-unit project of home ownership in the
East Ward, and an 84-unit condo on Lamberton Street overlooking the
Delaware River to be built by K. Hovnanian, with a groundbreaking
scheduled for the fall.
Gonzales himself is a city guy. He lives with his wife and two kids in
Trenton. "I would rather be in a place that is more urban than in some
sterile corporate office park," he says. That’s not surprising from
someone who says of his hometown of Perth Amboy, "It was a great place
to grow up – a small town with big city attitudes."
He attributes the sophistication of Perth Amboy to two things. It was
the closest point in New Jersey to Staten Island, and it was densely
populated – 45,000 people in 4.2 square miles. "It was a city but felt
like small town," says Gonzales.
Trenton is also a small city, if a little larger than Perth Amboy, but
it is growing. The population statistics cited by Gonzales suggest
that Trenton is becoming a draw for more people. At the last census
the population was 85,000, but the 2005 update estimate put it at
close to 100,000.
Gonzales admits, however, that education remains a challenge for urban
planners trying to draw families to Trenton. Because his wife,
Kimberly McReynolds, writes grants and manages state and federal
programs for the Princeton Regional Schools, they are able to send
their two children to the Princeton schools for a small tuition. But
Gonzales says that the mayor acknowledges the problem with the city’s
schools and is working with the Board of Education and administrators
to create magnet school opportunities at various levels.
Gonzales was not always an urban type. He spent his earliest years in
Puerto Rico, where his father worked on a small family farm and did
carpentry on the side, and he recalls chasing the chickens and the
pigs. He boarded a plane to America on the day he turned five. His
destination was Perth Amboy, where his mother was a factory worker for
But since five, Gonzales has been a consistent city dweller, in both
small and large venues. After getting a bachelor’s degree in urban
studies from Columbia University in 1977, he became a probation
officer for Middlesex County, and supervised juveniles in Perth Amboy
and New Brunswick.
Next was a stint at the University of Michigan Law School, followed by
3 years, 7 months, and 8 days ("It said so on a piece of paper," he
says.) as a lieutenant in the Navy’s Judge Advocate Generals corps.
During that time he traveled around Italy and the Middle East
"prosecuting sailors and Marines."
After discharge came Chicago, where Gonzales was assistant regional
counsel for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for
two-and-a-half years. He lasted a year as an associate at a law firm
in Philadelphia, doing medical malpractice and product liability
defense, and then came back home, serving for nearly seven years as
the corporate counsel for the city of Perth Amboy.
To add yet another dimension to his breadth of experience, he took a
year and half off from practicing law and worked as executive director
of a not-for-profit that taught ESL, computer skills, and helped
people find jobs.
In October, 2000, Gonzales moved to Trenton as assistant city
attorney, and in February, 2001, was asked to take on the leadership
of the department of Housing and Economic Development.
A worry that potential returnees to Trenton may have is about safety
issues. On this front, Gonzales has just the amount of patience you’d
expect from someone with a strong urban sensibility – little or none!
He says, "I understand there is a sense that it is not that safe, but
the facts don’t support that sense." Over just the past year, he
continues, the crime rate has decreased by 17 percent and over a
longer period, by 43 percent. He attributes the change both to good
policing and to new development. He admits there are issues with
gangs, but adds that this is true of all urban centers.
Trenton is already attracting families without kids, alternative
lifestyle couples, and empty nesters who have "decided they don’t want
to sit on a lawn mower any more or live in a 3,000 square foot house."
And also families with kids who can afford nonpublic educational
alternatives for their kids.
Because Trenton is still down 30,000 from the 130,000 population it
once had, Gonzales says that the city can handle lots more people: "We
have room, and we welcome all sorts of folks."
– Michele Alperin
Who Has the Courage To Grab Success?
Success has been on Dr. Herb Greenberg’s mind for years. It all
started when he was teaching at Rutgers and a colleague stopped by to
ask him how much he knew about psychological testing. A large life
insurance company was looking for help locating a test that would help
predict sales success more effectively. After poring over a couple of
thousand tests, Greenberg and his colleague had to tell their client
they could find no test that could predict sales success.
But they didn’t leave it at that. Realizing that a huge need existed,
they decided, "Let’s build a better mousetrap," and they spent the
next four years doing just that. In 1961, when they had in hand a tool
that could predict sales success, Greenberg took a leap of faith. He
quit not only his teaching job, then at Long Island University, but
also his side jobs selling insurance and mutual funds. He borrowed
$15,000, which he had no way to pay back, and he started Caliper on
August 1 of that year.
For several months, he says, "we couldn’t sell a penny’s worth." In
the nick of time, when they were completely out of money, a General
Motors executive said to them, "I don’t know if you’re the smartest
liars I ever met, but maybe, if you’re such good liars as to create
this, I’ll find out which division is hurting the most." It was Buick,
and Greenberg had to borrow money to get to Detroit, but that break
was the first step in developing Caliper into a large and successful
Caliper, now based at 506 Carnegie Center (www.caliperonline.com),
advises companies on employee selection, employee development, team
building, and organizational development, using data from its
assessment instruments to measure potential, personality
characteristics, individual motivations, likely behaviors, and
job-related progress. The Caliper profile has been used by 25,000
clients to assess more than 2 million employees in a range of
companies, including Johnson and Johnson, FedEx, Caterpillar, and
Greenberg talks about "Succeed on Your Own Terms," the just-published
book he has written with Patrick Sweeney, Caliper’s executive vice
president, on Thursday, June 1, at 11:30 a.m. at a Princeton Regional
Chamber of Commerce event at the Doral Forrestal Conference Center.
Price: $40. Register online at www.princetonchamber.org or call
609-924-1776 for more information.
To prepare to write his new book about just what success is, and how
to achieve it, Greenberg did in-depth interviews, psychological
testing, and assessments with the Caliper Profile of a wide range of
successful individuals in the fields of politics, business,
entertainment, and sports. He and Sweeney brain stormed about
potential interviewees, and then pursued them, through connections, if
they had them, or sometimes just by sending a letter. "A few people
turned us down," says Greenberg, "but most people accepted." The first
to accept an interview was Senator Barbara Boxer, who, he says,
responded to a "cold letter."
Interviewees from 12 countries included not only obvious public
figures like Boxer, but also people with more unusual achievements:
the first British woman to climb Mount Everest, a woman who lost her
eyesight at 28 and started a multimillion dollar company, and the
female CEOs of Lloyd’s of Scotland and Home Depot of Canada.
Greenberg’s own life illustrates four commonalities he and his
co-author found among this vast array of otherwise different and
distinctive successful individuals:
Successful people have their own personal definitions of success. For
Greenberg, the definition is simple, even humble. Success it `when I
can genuinely feel that my existence has made just a bit of a
difference – not as DaVinci, Galileo, Columbus, or Einstein. I want to
be able to say that my existence has made some sort of positive
difference in this crazy world, that maybe a few people are better
But definitions of success are idiosyncratic. Take Samuel Pisar,
originally from Bialystok, Poland, and now a renowned international
lawyer who served as a consultant to the U.S. State Department and to
President Kennedy, as an advisor to President Nixon’s special
commission on international trade, and as a participant in important
international conferences in Moscow and Kiev.
Pisar saw his father, mother, and sister shot during World War II, and
his definition of success is also a humble one: starting over and
building a new family, with a wife and two children. Greenberg
observes that another way to state Pisar’s definition of success is
simply "being alive."
For actor Ben Vereen, says Greenberg, the definition of success is
"the notion that wherever you are, you have to go further. However far
down the path you are, you have to ask, `What is the next goal?’"
One item that is typically associated with success was not mentioned
by a single one of the 50 people interviewed for Greenberg’s book. "I
would swear that none of the 50 would say that money is the reason,"
he says. "Money is a little symbol of success, money is nice, you want
it, but it isn’t the definition of success."
All successful individuals recall a defining moment, something that
happened in their lives to get them where they are today. For
Greenberg, what defined his life path was losing his sight at age 10,
and the choices he and his parents made in its wake.
"At that point the whole world was pressing to send me to a school for
the blind," he says. Acquaintances envisioned for him a future
livelihood of weaving baskets or running a newspaper stand. But he and
his parents stood their ground and pressed for Greenberg to be a part
of the sighted world. "I stayed out of school for a year," he says
(and the police even made a visit), "until they found ways to get me
into schools without shoving me behind stone walls."
Eventually he skipped grades, graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa
from college, and summa cum laude from his doctoral program.
For Paul Schulte, who represented the United States as a college
junior at the 2000 Para-Olympics in Sydney and led his team to a 57-54
victory over Great Britain in the bronze medal game, the moment was
physical. A triple-sport athlete as a kid, playing baseball,
basketball, and football, he was in a terrible automobile accident at
age 10 and was left a paraplegic. Instead of giving up, he became an
Olympic wheelchair basketball star.
Angelo Chianese remembers one hot, sunny, July day when, as a roofer,
he sat on a roof and thought to himself, "What the hell am I doing
here? I don’t want to do this." He slid off the roof, told his boss he
was quitting, and decided he wanted to be in the singing telegram
business. Signing up his now former boss as his first customer, he
started a successful company, the Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Singing Telegram
All successful people must have the courage to grasp the brass ring.
They have to seize the defining moment and do something about their
lives. For Greenberg, this moment occurred when he quit his academic
position and sunk money that went far beyond his means into an idea.
For Barbara Boxer, a Jewish girl from Brooklyn who grew up without a
lot of money, it was the decision to keep her safe Congressional seat
or run for the Senate against a Republican who had lots of money. She
ran, and the rest is history.
Every successful person loves what they are doing and would do it for
nothing. Greenberg shares his own feelings about the work he does at
Caliper. "While I love earning a good living and being astride a
successful global company, and I have the ego satisfaction of seeing
it evolve from a borrowed $15,000 to a multimillion dollar company –
all that is fun – what I enjoy most is that what we as a company do
makes a difference."
Greenberg says his company has created opportunities for thousands of
people who wouldn’t have had them – women, minorities, mature workers,
handicapped workers, and welfare recipients. Beyond that, he says,
"companies tell us every day how much better they are, how turnover
has been reduced, how much better quality people they have."
When Greenberg asked Barbara Boxer, "What would you be doing now if
you had lost the Senate seat?" she responded, "I’d be doing exactly
what I’m doing now – picketing stores, checking labels, and fighting
for consumers, but I’d have a little less power than I have now in the
Senate." About her Senatorial efforts, she said to Greenberg, "I view
it as the same work."
In addition to stories about impressive individuals, Greenberg’s book
includes 19 stories that capture the core qualities that successful
"Courage means fear," says Greenberg. "If you’re not afraid, you don’t
need courage to overcome something." He cites Congressman John Lewis,
who had his head cracked when he marched to Selma, Alabama, with
Martin Luther King, and who was arrested over 40 times. But this man,
who was a sharecropper until the age of 15, introduced King at his "I
have a dream" speech and is now a powerful Congressman.
"Mugsy" Bogues, a 5 foot 3 inch man, exhibits resiliency – making a
strength out of a weakness. Despite the protestations of people in
high school and college that someone his height couldn’t play
basketball, he ended up with a 14-year career in the NBA, with three
years as an All Star. This man, who was shot at the age of five as a
bystander in a robbery in his tough Baltimore neighborhood, got a
scholarship to Wake Forest University. He told Greenberg that his
proudest moment was when David Stern, the commissioner of the NBA,
announced that the Charlotte Hornets had selected him in the first
round of the NBA draft.
Geoffrey Bodine, a top NASCAR driver who ended up twice at death’s
door, exhibited the extreme competitiveness characteristic of many
successful people. Bodine told Greenberg, "I had to win again. I
couldn’t let them do this without me."
Pisar exemplified the willingness to take risks, to break the rules,
to try, fail, and try again. When he was on line at Auschwitz, moving
toward the ovens, he was 14 years old and didn’t want to die. He
noticed a pail of water on the side, snuck out of line, got on his
hands and knees, took a brush, and started scrubbing the floor. He
slowly made his way to the back of the line, where he ran into a Nazi
officer who ordered him to clean the area around him.
Greenberg thinks that Pisar probably just grabbed this opportunity,
not thinking about the potential for getting shot in the process. "It
was probably a reflex reaction," he said, adding that "people are too
afraid of their reflexes." But successful people are willing to take
action. "If they make mistakes," says Greenberg, "they make mistakes
of commission, not omission."
Greenberg, who grew up mostly in Brooklyn, got scholarships to a
couple of Ivies, but couldn’t afford to pay for the books. So he went
to City College of New York, where he says he got a "phenomenal
education," graduating in 1950 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology
and sociology. He finished a master’s in clinical psychology in 1951.
His first job, as a placement consultant with the New York City
Department of Welfare, paid $2,764 a year. Because he got married
young and had to support a family, he started selling life insurance,
mutual funds, and wholesale furniture on the side, and while doing all
of that, he got his Ph.D. in psychology and human relations from New
York University in 1955.
Then he got his first job, as associate professor of psychology at
Texas Tech University in Lubbock, and things got interesting. It had
to do with his dissertation, "The Effects of Segregation on the
Personality," which he completed right after the decision was handed
down in Brown versus the Board of Education in 1957. Greenberg studied
women, blacks, and the blind, comparing high school and college
students who went to integrated versus segregated schools. His
conclusion, he says, was, "Kids in integrated situations were more
assertive, self-confident, and had better self-beliefs than kids
exposed to segregated schools, even if the segregated schools had
Not only did that tune not play well in Texas, where he had given
lectures reporting his results – "not preaching," he says, "just the
facts" – but it cost him his job. Not that they admitted the real
reason that he and two fellow liberal professors, one fully tenured,
were summarily fired.
Greenberg heard he had been fired when he got a call from a newspaper
reporter who asked, "Do you have any comments on what happened today?"
He was a little surprised at the news, given that he had just been put
in for a 15 percent increase in salary.
When Rutgers eventually hired him, he was told that the university was
proud to hire someone who was fired from Texas Tech for the reasons he
Greenberg and his company have come a long way. Using what Greenberg
calls the Job Matching Approach, Caliper has come up with an
unexpected conclusion. When businesses are looking to hire, he says,
"never mind the experience, never mind the education. The question is
do their core strengths match the core strengths required by the job.
And do they have any untrainable weaknesses that would prevent them
from doing the job." Product knowledge can be learned, but core
characteristics ultimately determine success or failure.
Greenberg’s parents were Polish immigrants who immigrated in the early
1920s. His dad made orthopedic shoes, and what is called the Murray
Space Shoe. "He designed it, but never got the credit," says
Greenberg. "All he got for it was a $110-a-week job." His mother was a
milliner, who worked during the war at various jobs. Both of his
parents learned English and then got their high school diplomas here.
Greenberg tells a story about his mother’s arrival in America. The
boat from Europe, with passengers packed like sardines, was held up
for three days at Ellis Island. "My mother got very annoyed," he says,
and somehow, he doesn’t have a clue how, she got on a boat that took
her to Manhattan, stepped ashore, and "walked away into the United
What better illustration is there of "grabbing the brass ring?" Genes
have a way of speaking, and Greenberg thinks his mom may well have
been the source of the chutzpah that allowed him to leave a secure job
to succeed on his own terms.
– Michele Alperin
Driver License Alert: Burdens of Proof
A lovely looking middle-age woman became upset enough to engage in a
profanity-laced shouting match with a motor vehicle commission
employee on a recent morning at the Baker’s Basin inspection station.
The issue? The woman, seeking to obtain a new digital driver’s
license, had attempted to prove her identity by presenting a marriage
certificate showing how her last name had been altered since the time
her birth had been had been recorded. The problem was that the
marriage certificate had been signed by the minister who performed the
service. "Look right here," she begged. "It says `reverend.’"
No good. Reverend does not cut it at the MVC, formerly known as the
DMV. Women whose names changed when they said "I do" – once or many
times – must present a marriage certificate issued by the municipality
in which the ceremony, or ceremonies, occurred.
People showing up on that particular morning seemed to be at least
generally aware of the six point identity-proof test the state is now
imposing. But no fewer than three women within five minutes were
tripped up on the marriage certificate test. Each was sent away
empty-handed and advised to contact the offices of the town in which
she was married.
It’s a fair guess that this requirement is frustrating many New Jersey
drivers. The MVC’s website (www.state.nj.us/mvc) does address the
issue, but in small print at the bottom of a page. It states that it
is "important information," and puts the letters in bold, but it is
easy to miss.
Go through the well-designed website checklist carefully, though, and
it is a good bet that you will not have to make a return trip to the
MVC to bring more documents. The website is a better preparation tool
than the colorful brochure the state sends along with driver’s license
applications. This is so, at least in part, because it is easy to miss
the back flap of the brochure, which indicates that, in addition to
multiple pieces of ID, successful applicants must also show proof of
address. This can be a credit card bill, a bank statement (but not if
an ATM card was already shown to help prove identity), a property tax
bill, a letter from the IRS, or first-class mail from any federal,
state, or local government agency (but only if received within the
past six months).
The website leads would-be digital driver’s holders, and that will be
every state driver as current licenses expire, through the ID
requirements step by step. The first page lists acceptable primary
IDs, which are good for four points. In addition to a birth
certificate, these include adoption papers, certificate of
naturalization or citizenship, and a passport – and married women with
passports do not have to worry about presenting marriage certificates.
Enter what you plan to bring, and the website calculates your points
and sends you to the next page, which lists one, two, and three-point
documents. The three-pointers include US military retiree cards and
court orders for legal name changes; the two-pointers include U.S.
school ID cards (but only if accompanied by transcripts), and
government photo ID cards. One point is awarded for a non-digital
photo driver’s license.
Check boxes next to each item you plan to bring and the grand total is
shown. If it all adds up to six or more, the MVC’s website issues
congratulations and provides a list of the documents you checked – and
a suggestion that you print the page and bring it along for your
interview with its ID verifiers "to ensure that your trip to the MVC
goes as smoothly as possible."
It’s a good bet that all the women arriving with marriage certificates
signed by their ministers – and leaving in a huff to find their way
back to Route 1 through a gaggle of car dealerships – wish they had
– Kathleen McGinn Spring