Corrections or additions?
These articles by Kathleen McGinn Spring and Michele Alperin were prepared for the May 29, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Videoconferencing: Making It Work
There was a lot of interest in videoconferencing following
the attacks of September 11, and with Vice President Cheney and other
government officials ratcheting up terrorism warnings again, interest
is bound to grow even more.
for Haverford Systems, adoption of this travel meeting alternative
is still in early stages. "We had a lot of people asking about
video conferencing right after 9/11," he says, "but not a
lot of people buying." In his opinion, "some people are still
scared about the technology."
Haverford Systems, a 15 year-old company with headquarters in Downington,
Pennsylvania, and a New Jersey office in Elmwood Park (201-796-8499),
specializes in display technology for corporate boardrooms and training
rooms. Videoconferencing can be integrated into these high-tech displays.
Haverford, and similar companies, can put together the whole package,
and Murray predicts that within a year or two such set-ups will gain
greater acceptance. He warns, however, that videoconferencing is not
for every company.
On Friday, May 31, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Marriott Courtyard
in Mt. Laurel, Haverford holds a free "road show" to demonstrate
display technologies, system control, audio systems, and custom integration
and installation. Representatives will be on hand to answer questions
on integrating video conferences into a display technology system.
Call 800-486-5276, ext. 37.
"If you are a small or mid-sized company with a number of offices,
you will get use out of videoconferencing," says Murray. This
is particularly true if frequent meetings among far-flung staff are
common. "For the company with a single office, it doesn’t make
sense," he adds.
Videoconferencing, of course, can also be used to connect with clients.
The advantages are cutting down on travel and increasing productivity
while keeping in touch. But this technology is not without hazards.
"Buy the wrong thing," says Murray, "and you look worse
in the client’s eyes." Common mistakes, he says, are poor lighting
and poor audio. Television and movie shoots, he points out, use lots
of lights coming from every direction. Skimping on light in the videoconferencing
room by, for example, having it shoot down only from the ceiling,
"can make you look bad," he says. As far as audio goes, some
companies like to put microphones on the ceiling, giving the videoconferencing
room a nice, clean look, but delivering awful sound quality. "The
microphones really need to be on the table," advises Murray.
Of course, there doesn’t have to be a dedicated videoconferencing
room. Sometimes, visual contact with a colleague or a client is made
through a desktop PC. Wherever the virtual meeting originates, Murray
urges that attention be paid to the room and to attire. In terms of
clothing, "avoid stripes," he advises. And keep away from
solid, dark colored clothing. As for the walls, white can be harsh,
particularly if it is a high gloss paint. (For other tips, see sidebar
Murray, a 2001 graduate of Drexel, says that the resolution of videoconferencing
feeds has improved markedly. Resolution of attire, decor, and technophobe
issues can not be far behind.
Friday, May 31, is Bike to Work Day in Princeton. Come
to Kopp’s Cycles at 38 Spring Street in downtown Princeton from 7:30
to 9 a.m. to get free refreshments and blood pressure screening courtesy
of the Medical Center of Princeton. Giveaway items for bicyclists
will be distributed at 8 a.m. Among those contributing goodies are
the Whole Earth Center, Small World Coffee Shop, and Wild Oats. Call
609-452-1491 if it pours rain to get rescheduling updates.
As for auto travel, Greater Mercer TMA invites employers to schedule
brown bag lunch programs to help employees improve their driving skills.
The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety provides the statistic
that 40 percent of the workers in any business have been affected
by a traffic accident involving themselves or a member of their family.
Such an accident might just decrease productivity, but it could also
cause the loss of a valuable employee. Call
community relations manager, at 609-452-1967 for either program.
While much of tech is down the tubes, investment in
life sciences remains a bright spot. Obtaining financing is not easy,
but it’s not impossible either. Providing details, strategies, and
real-life case histories is the "Venture Financing for Life Sciences"
breakfast conference. Taking place on Wednesday, June 5, from 8 to
10 a.m. at the Princeton Marriott, it is sponsored by the Biotechnology
Council of New Jersey and Dechert. Cost: $45. Call 609-890-3185 or
Among the speakers is
& Johnson Development Corporation, the pharmaceutical’s venture capital
and private equity subsidiary. Oei is responsible for JJDC’s venture
capital and strategic investments for pharmaceutical and diagnostics’
J&J has made investments in over 250 emerging companies since 1973.
Since joining the company in 1992, Oei has directed investments in
over 35 emerging biopharmaceutical, diagnostic, and healthcare information
technology companies. A graduate of Union College, Oei received his
M.B.A. from Columbia Business School
Also speaking is
which was sold for $700 million in 1999. Ostro has experience as a
researcher, entrepreneur, executive, Wall Street analyst, and financial
A graduate of Lehigh University, Ostro received a Ph.D. in biochemistry
from Syracuse University. As a post-doc student and assistant professor
of immunology at the University of Illinois Medical School, he was
the first person to use liposomes as vehicles to deliver genetic material
into cells. In 1981, he commercialized his discoveries by co-founding
In 1993 Ostro, the holder of 12 patents, became the first biotechnology
the biopharmaceutical and venture capital industries. Now heading
up Healthcare Ventures, he was CEO of Genova, a company specializing
in gene delivery and gene regulation, and managing director of Philadelphia
Ventures, a venture capital company with $123 million under management.
Aguiar graduated from Cornell and received his M.D. from Harvard Medical
Rounding out the roster of speakers is
a general partner and managing member of Domain Associates since it
was founded 17 years ago. He has been a director of over 20 early
stage health care companies, 13 of which have gone public. These include
Biosite Diagnostics, GelTex Pharmaceuticals, Inspire Pharmaceuticals,
OraPharma, Sepracor, and Trimeris.
Prior to the formation of Domain, Treu spent 12 years working in health
care at GE and Technicon in research, marketing management, and corporate
staff positions. He graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
and received his Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University.
New Jersey has money and services available for the
right businesses, says
Jersey Small Business Development Center’s Technology Commercialization
Center, he helps technology entrepreneurs secure equity financing
and develop grant proposals for SBIR, STTR, and other R&D grant programs.
"Leveraging Your Resources," is the title for a program he
has assembled for the New Jersey Entrepreneurial Network on Wednesday,
June 5, at noon at the Doral Forrestal. Cost: $45 at the door. Call
Harmon will be among the speakers allotted five minutes to tell about
the resources they offer. Also speaking will be
the Trenton Business and Technology Center, and
of the Tri-state Private Investors Network. She works with the NJSBDC
to bring angel investors to small, promising companies.
Two of the people that Harmon has successfully helped will be the
Hightstown Road and
LLC. Both have successfully negotiated different state and federal
programs to generate funds for their businesses.
Joshi (www.chipsat.com) has used grant funding to build his optical
receiver manufacturing company into one of the 50 fastest growing
high tech companies in New Jersey (U.S. 1, May 9, 2001).
Goldberg (www.Inmat.com) has raised significant funding through the
programs of the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology. His
nanocomposite coating is being used in Wilson Premium tennis balls
— the official balls of the Davis Cup — and he is ready to
begin moving into tire markets.
Goldberg and co-founder
Hoeschst, Herberts, and DuPont when they worked on what could improve
the air retention ability of rubber without decreasing its flexibility
— and is less expensive than the current butyl-based technology.
They licensed the technology and equipment and turned to the Technology
Commercialization Center for help.
Harmon helped InMat get a $250,000 interest free loan from the Commission
on Science & Technology and a $200,000 Seed Capital loan from the
NJ Economic Development Authority; he also helped find an initial
angel investor. Through NJSBDC-sponsored conferences on SBIR proposals,
InMat learned how to salvage a rejected grant proposal. Now the firm
has an Army contract to develop chemical protective gloves.
Now that mental health benefits are supposed to be dealt
out more like payments for physical ailments, many people are wondering
if the new deal is really working. That hot topic will be the subject
of a workshop for a conference on Law and Disability Issues, sponsored
by the Community Health Law Project and the New Jersey State Bar Foundation
on Thursday, June 6, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Law Center in
New Brunswick. The morning is free by mail or fax reservation to 732-828-0034.
Call 800-FREE-LAW for a brochure.
one of the three concurrent workshops on the New Jersey Mental Health
Parity Act. The other workshops are on Social Security work incentive
programs, and equal access to public accommodations — New Jersey
and federal law.
"The Human Services Priorities and Commitments of the McGreevey
Administration" is the topic for keynoter
chief of staff, NJ Department of Human Services. Panel moderators
all of the Community Health Law Project. Also participating are the
NJ Developmental Disabilities Council, Cerebral Palsy of New Jersey,
Epilepsy Foundation of New Jersey, National Alliance for the Mentally
Ill, and the New Jersey Psychological Association.
Twenty-two years into his tenure as executive vice president
of the Princeton Medical Center (PMC),
excited about working with people in a hospital environment. Yet in
his vision the hospital walls do not limit what PMC can do to serve
the health needs of Princeton area employers and their employees.
Bonanno speaks on "The Medical Center at Princeton: A Partner
with the Community," on Thursday, June 6, at 1:30 p.m. at the
Doral Forrestal. The event is sponsored by the Princeton Chamber of
Commerce, which will award the Medical Center its Business/Education
Partnership Award. Cost: $31. Call 609-520-1776.
Since PMC’s Corporate Health Services department was created in the
mid-1980s, it has grown and reshaped itself in line with changing
corporate needs. Today it contracts with about 300 area businesses
to provide services that support health and well-being on the job.
It also offers the Confidential Advisory Program, an employee assistance
program (EAP) that provides a range of counseling services.
The Corporate Health Services contract staff includes two board-certified
physicians in internal medicine, one of whom is also certified in
occupational medicine and has a master’s in public health. Potential
contract services include:
yellow fever center, certified by the NJ Department of Health, which
supports travelers to Latin America.
claims. PMC also ensures that individuals move back into the job at
a rate satisfactory to both employer and employee.
or at PMC.
wear respirators. PMC provides an initial examination that tests a
person’s ability to wear a respirator and then an annual or biennial
check-up to ensure that lung function has not been reduced. (OSHA
requires surveillance programs for employees exposed to airborne chemicals
or even odors, as they are in area fragrance companies.)
come to employer sites to provide a range of services including massage
therapy, body fat analysis, cholesterol screening, stress management,
diabetes awareness, Lyme disease education, vision and hearing screenings,
and pulmonary function testing.
or a brown bag, and hospital staff or PMC-hired professionals address
topics requested by employers or employees, for example, sexual harassment,
stress management and healthy eating, and anger management.
all contracted companies.
program (EAP) offering short-term, confidential counseling to help
employees deal with stressors at work as well as with family and parenting
For substance abuse problems, the EAP helps employees identify treatment
programs and community resources. The EAP can also provide very short-term
access to an attorney for quick legal questions. The program has three
fulltime counselors who are master’s-level EAP professionals certified
by the state. Employees can access them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,
365 days a year, either face to face or by phone. For companies that
have employees outside the area, PMC has recruited professionals with
similar credentials throughout the country.
Bonanno learned about hospitals from the bottom up. He worked summers
during college at the Hackensack Medical Center in housekeeping and
then as an orderly and honed his people skills as a leader of various
clubs and sports teams. After receiving a bachelor of psychology degree
from Rutgers University in 1968 and a master’s in hospital administration
from Duke University in 1970, he got his feet wet in grants funding
for HEW. Two years later he became an administrator of a division
at Mercer Catholic Medical Center in Philadelphia, leaving eight years
later as a VP at the corporate level.
Bonanno sees the relationship between PMC and the business community
as a two-way street. The PMC tailors its Corporate Health Services
to the evolving needs of the area business community, and, in fact,
Bonanno will soon be soliciting the input of business leaders during
the PMC’s upcoming long-range strategic planning process. Bonanno
also acknowledges the substantial financial support that businesses
continue to provide to PMC: "Businesses have been so helpful —
both in terms of direct donations and in-kind support."
— Michele Alperin
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