Mac Helpers

Matsushita Morph

Recruiting: Plastics

Recruiting: Retail

Contracts Awarded


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These Life in the Fast Lane articles by Melinda Sherwood and Barbara Fox were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on July


1999. All rights reserved.

The Company Store: Commerce Enablement Services

When it comes to E-commerce, better try before you

buy, says Thomas Fitzgerald, founder of Commerce Enablement Services

in Kendall Park. Fitzgerald, who helped build Chase Manhattan Bank’s

first Internet payment service, has E-commerce solutions for such

clients as Peterson’s Publishing, Caldor, and Symbol Technologies,

but he also targets small businesses.

"E-commerce is widely touted as requiring at least a million dollars

a year to be done effectively," says Fitzgerald. But before stepping

up to such a commitment, "a small business has every right and

obligation to test the waters." He has just launched an online

store that any business, retail or otherwise, can put on its web page.

Fitzgerald received a BS in finance from Fairfield University, Class

of 1992, and spent five years at Chase Manhattan Bank, where he worked

on the company’s electronic corporate payment services and eventually

gravitated toward business development. He founded the firm in the

spring of 1998 and moved the seven-person firm to Allston Road earlier

this year.

The online store is a turnkey business. "All we need is the logo,

and CES provides the fulfillment solutions," says Mike Rondelli,

marketing manager. If you make widgets, for instance, you put up a

notice on your website that purchasing managers can obtain a free

widget-logoed T-shirt. CES takes your logo, gets T-shirts made, logs

in the orders, sends out the T-shirts, and — perhaps most important

— gives you a summary of the client information collected.

Don’t think you will be making money with this web endeavor. "The

goal of this is purely as a promotional item, not as a revenue generating

stream for the client company. To use it as a revenue generating stream

would require a different business plan," says Rondelli. "No

one else is doing what we are doing," he adds. "We take your

logo and you choose the apparel item."

In other words, you will be giving away promotional items in exchange

for potentially valuable information. Rondelli does not disclose CES’s

fulfillment partner nor the transaction protocol.

Fitzgerald wants both big companies and emerging start-ups as clients.

"Start-ups tend to be small but they’re well funded and their

primary focus is E-commerce," he says. "Sometimes they’re

trying to do something that’s kind of out of the box." These are

the small clients he wants, not those that buy shrink-wrapped packages.

"The $50 product is not our market, but for someone making the

serious investment, we provide services that go beyond that."

Large clients, on the other hand, work with the company for a longer

period of time to customize their solutions. "It’s more value-added

to the company," he says. For Peterson’s, CES put together a commerce-enabled

online catalog for buying books. For the now bankrupt Caldor, CES

created an online print circular, not just with scanned images, but

interactive, so the viewer could pull up sizes and descriptions. "We

got them into and through the holiday season," says Rondelli.

CES is also branching out into consulting. The director of the consultant

side of the business, Rupert Bader, previously worked for Towers Perrin

and KPMG.

"If you already have a website, that’s great," says Rondelli.

"It’s a good start. But think again: Who is supposed to look at

this page? How are they supposed to access it? Is it supported by

your other marketing campaigns — print, radio, catalog, and your

business card?"

Commerce Enablement Services, 5 Allston Road, Kendall

Park 08824. Thomas Fitzgerald, managing director. 732-398-3994; fax,

732-398-3997. Home page:

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Mac Helpers

MacTech, 38 Horner Lane, Princeton 08540. Jere

Myrick, partner. 609-921-3436.

For Macintosh owners: Jere Myrick and Kelly Foris have purchased MacTech

from Scott Mielentz, who has moved to Florida. "We were both servicing

a small group of artists who use the Macintosh when we heard about

this opportunity," says Myrick.

Myrick is a native of West Windsor, where her father was a process

engineer for General Motors and her mother a legal secretary. An artist

who works on the computer as well as in colored pencil, she sells

her science fiction and fantasy prints at science fiction conventions.

She also has undergraduate and master’s degrees in audio engineering

from American University, Class of 1981.

The pair provide services for Macintosh computers — repairs, networking,

training, site development, and connectivity. They bought Mielentz’s

client list and transferred the telephone number for Mielentz’s location

in Hightstown and opened for business last week.

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Matsushita Morph

Morph yourself and your prospective mate to see who

your children would resemble. Or see what how you would look as a

gorilla. This is the premise for American Alpha, which launched a

fully-automated real-time photo attraction four years ago (U.S. 1,

June 17, 1995). It is doubling in size, taking over 10,000 feet in

two Stouts Lane suites formerly occupied by Dow Jones.

To have your face melded with the human or animal of your dreams,

step into the Foto Morphosis booth and your photo is snapped, mapped,

and superimposed over another picture in three dimensions. Rich Figuerora,

operations manager, says the booths can gross from $500 to $1,000

per day at $5 per shot.

Matsushita originally developed the software and hardware, which has

been crammed into a booth and made to look snazzy for public consumption.

The computer does the morph by taking 49 points on your face around

the eyes, nose, eyebrows, and mouth, and then blending them with whatever

else is in the computer. Then the booth was brought overseas and taught

how to recognize ethnic facial structures by American Alpha, a process

that took almost two years.

Now American Alpha leases the booths to a mall or amusement park .

It has 90 machines at such high volume locations as Jillian’s in Franklin

Mills mall, all Gameworks locations, and at Ripley’s Believe It Or

Not museums.

American Alpha Inc., 45 Stouts Lane, Suite 8, Monmouth

Junction 08852. Sming Huang, president. 732-438-0420; fax, 732-438-0424.

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Recruiting: Plastics

Plastics was the watchword for the character that Dustin

Hoffman played in the 1960s movie "The Graduate." And plastics

has been the core of Richard Strenkowski’s manufacturing career. Now

he has opened a Management Recruiters office, and he will do executive

search for plastics manufacturers.

Strenkowski grew up in Bloomfield, where his father was a detective,

majored in food science at Clemson, Class of 1966, and has an MBA

from Fairleigh Dickinson. He worked in the packaging industry for

American Can Co., most recently as managing director of marketing,

and was president and CEO of Sunbeam Plastics, which specialized in

child resistant closures and went from being a $22 million company

to a $50 million company in five years. In Piscataway he ran Lawson

Marden, makers of thermo-formed plastic trays for frozen food.

With 1,000 independent franchisees (200 in Europe), Management Recruiters

is the largest recruiting company in the world. Each has a specialty.

For instance, the branch on Princeton-Hightstown Road, (see accompanying

story) focuses on retail jobs. Strenkowski hopes to build an operation

that will staff local manufacturing plants in any industry.

Management Recruiters works on split fees and referral commissions.

Job seekers pay nothing. "If I can’t help you I can use the inter-office

referral system," says Strenkowski. He might, in fact, give you

a job himself; he plans to hire two recruiters.

Management Recruiters of Montgomery (MRI), 814

Executive Drive, Princeton 08540. Richard Strenkowski, owner. 609-497-4550;

fax, 609-497-4551. Home page:

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Recruiting: Retail

Two years after he opened a Management Recruiters office

in the Dataram complex, Robert Walling has doubled his 700-square-foot

space and now has six employees. "We work with some of the major

retailers," says Walling, "in retail operations and also in

the warehousing and distribution." He fills jobs that start at

$40,000 — district managers, buyers, allocators, and planners.

A business major at University of Iowa, Class of 1965, Walling had

a 30-year retail career in Kinney Shoes, Susie’s Casual, and the Kids

division of Footlocker.

Each franchisee builds his or her own database of potential recruits,

says Walling, and he has a powerful database in his field, with 300

to 400 executives at almost every major retailer. Though the jobs

and the recruits are located anywhere in the nation, he does little

travel and does 98 percent of his work on the telephone, usually to

call people who are currently employed. "Most people are not looking

to change jobs."

Management Recruiters International of West Windsor,

186 Princeton-Hightstown Road, Building 3B, Cranbury 08512. Robert

Walling, owner. 609-897-0055; fax, 609-897-0099.

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Contracts Awarded

Four Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grants,

worth $400,000 have been awarded to three central New Jersey firms:

Envirogen, ML Energia, and Princeton Electronic Systems. The SBIR

program aims to help small firms commercialize research and development

efforts. The Phase I grants are to support feasibility studies. Next

year these same firms can compete for Phase II grants.

Envirogen has a grant worth $100,000 to develop technology for cleaning

in-ground heavy metal contamination. Envirogen does toxic and hazardous

waste cleanup, bioremediation technology R&D, vapor extraction systems,

and on-site removal of organic contaminants.

ML Energia received one of its $100,000 grants for a project on balloon

sensors that measure water vapor. The second grant is for a real-time

monitoring device to measure plasma temperature in fusion reaction

research. It does research and development in environmental remediation,

optical diagnostics, combustion, laser ignition and photochemical


Princeton Electronic Systems also received money from the energy department

— a $99,990 SBIR grant for low-cost optical links for high speed

computer networks. These networks have both scientific and commercial

use. The firm works on products for chemical and nuclear detection,

video communications, voltage controlled oscillators, and R&D for

other electronic components.

Envirogen (ENVG), 4100 Quakerbridge Road, Lawsrenceville

08648. 609-936-9300. Home page:

ML Energia Inc., Schalks Crossing Road, IRL Building,

Box 470, Princeton 08542. 609-799-7970.

Princeton Electronic Systems, 196 Princeton-Hightstown

Road, Box 8627, Princeton 08540. 609-275-6500. Home page:

Top Of Page

Johan Christiaan Beker, 75, on July 12. He was professor

of new testament theology at Princeton Theological Seminary.

William Warren Young, 61, on July 13. He was a designer

for Demag Delaval Co.

Helen Martha Hansen, 73, on July 13. Until 1997 she worked

at Princeton University’s social science reference center.

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