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These articles by Teena Chandy and others were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper
on March 17, 1999. All rights reserved.
Women in Politics
Not satisfied with staying at home or merely holding
a job, more women are seeking positions of strength and leadership.
They are bringing a new perspective to the once male-dominated world
of politics, lobbying, and public relations, and changing the face
of power and influence.
Nancy Becker will reflect on these issues in her talk, "Government
Relations: Is it a business for a woman?" on Wednesday, March
24, at 7:45 a.m. at the Nassau Club, 6 Mercer Street. The talk, sponsored
by the Princeton YWCA, costs $20. Call 609-497-2103.
And the Mercer County Women’s Political Caucus will showcase Bonnie
Watson Coleman (Assemblywoman D-15th District) and Cathy DiConstanzo,
(a Republican, Mercer County Clerk) on Thursday, March 25, at 7 p.m.,
in "Conversation with Our Elected Women Leaders." The meeting
is scheduled for Lawrence Library, 2751 Brunswick Pike. Call Eileen
Thornton at 609-586-2741 for information.
Women bring different qualities and perspectives to every issue, according
to Becker, and that leads to success both for the women themselves
and for the field of government relations:
juggle many tasks, a quality she feels is extremely helpful in politics,
public relations and lobbying. Women — in their roles of caretakers,
mothers and wives — have been training their whole lives to keep
several balls in the air at once.
to enter politics until they have real life experience adds to her
theory. Becker notes that for example, men start holding elected office
in their 30s, and sometimes younger, at the ages before or at the
beginning of starting a family. Women, on the other hand, tend to
be coming in later, in the 40s, and with families already established.
translate well into an area where an advocate needs to balance all
aspects of the big picture. "It’s like playing three-dimensional
tic tac toe," says Becker. "You need to be cognizant of everything
around a particular issue."
to do that is to read the newspaper every day. "You can’t operate
in a vacuum," she says, and reading three or four helps to collect
all the necessary information. Becker admits reading at least three
herself every day.
Becker, a Princeton resident for almost 30 years, has both of her
degrees in English. In 1962 she graduated from the University of Michigan,
and in 1971 she received her master’s at Manhattan College in New
York. Immediately after college she worked at a public interest organization
for four years. In 1977 she started her own firm of lobbying and public
affairs, Nancy Becker Associates. She was one of the first woman lobbyists
in New Jersey, and her firm was the first woman-owned of its kind
in the state.
To take the initiative, Becker has found, will take you further on
the road to success. "Don’t wait for them to woo you," she
warns. Once you have decided that you have a passion for politics,
the next step is getting off your duff and getting involved.
For those just starting in politics, Becker recommends working with
a local legislator as a good way to see the process and get a feel
for the business. Women can volunteer, or start to work on a campaign.
The more women understand about the political process, the more effective
they can work in government relations, says Becker.
Public relations showcases another important quality women possess:
"Women are better communicators," says Becker. They are able
to be clear and direct. Many of them are good writers, an essential
skill. Tied in is the female sex’s famed agility with interpersonal
Of course, having Christie Todd Whitman sitting in the most powerful
seat in the state has made a huge difference for women in politics,
says Becker. First, it creates an environment for women to open doors
for other women. Second, it makes it acceptable for women to be in
the government and its related fields such as lobbying. And third,
more women are involved in and around the state government since Whitman
But couldn’t these things be accomplished with a sympathetic male
"It might happen," says Becker. "But not as clearly."
Any governor is a conspicuous role model and a male role model is
just not as influential as a woman is when it comes to bringing women
Today more women are doing lobbying or in politics and government
relations than when Becker started in the 1970s. Where she was once
a rarity, Becker now estimates the field is about 30 to 40 percent
female. The change in numbers stems from a change in attitude on both
sides. "The field is much more open than it used to be," she
Although she does not think anything was lacking before women entered
the scene, the climate has certainly benefited. "Women and minorities
have a different perspective," on issues, says Becker. "And
that helps legislators make better decisions."
— Monika J. Guendner
Governor Whitman’s 10-day trade and investment mission
to South America is the largest ever led by a New Jersey governor.
About 100 business leaders from throughout the state are now accompanying
the governor on this trip to Brazil, Argentina, and Chile that will
run through Friday, March 26.
The businesses represent small to mid-sized corporations and Fortune
500 companies including two Princeton area companies, Nedamco North
America Corp., and Summit Bancorp. The companies form a broad variety
of industries including pharmaceuticals, banking, telecommunications,
environmental technology, and medicine.
The Business Owners Institute and Pegnato International will sponsor
a workshop for presidents and CEOs whose companies export goods and
services overseas, on Thursday, March 25, at 10 a.m., at the Business
Owners Institute. Call 908-526-1500.
"New Jersey is among the top 10 states in exporting," says
Beverly Pegnato, president of Pegnato International. "However
many export companies don’t cash in on the windfalls offered by the
Federal government or by foreign governments." She adds that there
are many incentives available for companies that sell and export goods
to Europe, Latin America, South America, and Asia. "Governments
are extremely interested in foreign trade and offer incentives,"
says Pegnato. "But you have to apply for them."
"I applied and got accepted," says Eric Converse of
Nedamco, a silicon sealant broker based at Princeton Forrestal Village.
He says that he got involved with the trade mission late and had to
arrange his contacts in Brazil. However, the chamber of commerce arranged
meetings for him in Argentina and Chile. Converse says he is looking
forward to getting an entry into South America.
MERCOSUR, a customs union of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay,
with two associate members, Chile and Bolivia, is the world’s third
largest trading block after the European Union and the North American
Free Trade Agreement. New Jersey’s exports to MERCOSUR exceed $1 billion
and support approximately 14,000 jobs in New Jersey.
In South America the governor will meet with presidents and other
heads of state. The members of the trade delegation will participate
in a series of meetings with South American business leaders to discuss
trade and investment opportunities.
Anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit is being encouraged
to participate in the Entrepreneurial Training Institute, sponsored
by the New Jersey Development Authority (NJDA) for Small Businesses,
Minorities, and Women’s Enterprises. Graduates of the program are
prime candidates to qualify for monies from a revolving loan fund
established by the NJDA. More than 350 people have graduated from
the training program in the past six years.
Courses start this month at 10 locations around the state and cover
such topics as business planning, financing, and marketing. In this
area sessions will be conducted at Human Resource Development Institute
at 200 Woolverton Avenue in Trenton, starting Thursday, March 25,
at 6 p.m., and also at the Burlington County High-Tech Incubator on
Route 38 in Mt. Laurel on Wednesday, March 24, at 6 p.m. Other courses
are in Lakewood and Asbury Park. The three-hour classes run for seven
weeks and cost $165 including a textbook, "Business Planning Guide"
by David H. Bangs Jr. Call 609-292-9279 or E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Though the NJDA operates under the supervision of the NJEDA, the NJDA
has its own funds derived from casino revenues. It offers loans for
start-up and micro businesses to spend on real estate, fixed assets,
and working capital. For fixed assets and working capital, the same
pool can provide loan guarantees.
This year the Entrepreneurial Training Institute has a new curriculum,
devised by Paul Belliveau (908-232-6480) and Ronald Cook
of Rider University. Belliveau has a 20-year-old consulting business,
is an adjunct professor at Rutgers’ Graduate School of Management,
and gives seminars at the Small Business Development Centers of Rutgers
and Kean University. Cook is an associate professor in Rider’s College
of Business Administration, where he teaches courses in entrepreneurship,
venture planning, family business, and small business consulting.
He also directs the Small Business Institute at Rider.
Belliveau and Cook will teach selected classes and work with the instructors
on the program. And yes, there will be a final exam. All students
will develop a business plan, and these plans will be subjected to
a "panel review" by lawyers, bankers, and accountants on the
last night. And in this course, an "A" might represent a start-up
loan of from, say $20,000, all the way up to $100,000.
Road warriors know how important it is to keep in touch
with the home office and clients, but until recently doing so via
E-mail required carrying a laptop to access E-mail accounts. Now various
firms are offering hand-held PCs based on Microsoft’s Windows CE operating
system and capable of connecting to external modems for E-mail access.
One of the newest entrants in the field boasts an even slicker connection
— via a wireless modem. The product is the BlackBerry Mobile E-mail
Solution and it is being marketed in New Jersey by Trellis Network
Services at 105 College Road East, which is hosting a breakfast Tuesday,
March 23, at 7:30 a.m. to demonstrate the new technology and offer
free trials. The breakfast is free. Preregister
at http://www.trellisnet.com/club or call Danny Mooney at 609-987-0660.
Developed about six months ago by Research in Motion (RIM) in Ontario,
Canada (http://www.rim.net), the BlackBerry is "a little bit bigger
than a pack of playing cards," says Michael Cook, product
line specialist at Trellis.
The BlackBerry, a 5-ounce device that is worn on the hip just like
a pager, is "a wireless handheld PC that securely and wirelessly
delivers access to your Microsoft desktop, as well as a few other
E-mail clients," explains Tyler Nelson, a University of
Ottawa graduate, Class of ’88. He notes that it is "wirelessly
enabled," thanks to "the world’s smallest RF two-way modem
and operates on the Bellsouth Intelligence Wireless Network, a packet
data network covering 93 percent of the major urban business population
in the U.S. The handheld device talks to that network, contains security
encryption, and allows you to send E-mail from your desktop so that
this device becomes your Microsoft Exchange/Microsoft Outlook desktop."
Nelson says that for a flat-rate monthly air time cost of only $39.99,
customers receive as much transfer of data as is needed and seamless
roaming throughout the U.S. and Canada. "There are no ceilings
or variability in billing," states Nelson. And beginning in about
eight weeks, a basic paging service will be bundled in that base monthly
charge. "The device will be addressable by a 1-800 number,"
says Nelson. "It’s going to be a value-added feature at no extra
— Catherine J. Barrier
When you count the 950 employees at Covance at 206 Carnegie,
more than 14,000 people are employed in 13 pharmaceutical contract
research organizations (CROs) in the Princeton area. CROs shepherd
a drug through its clinical trials. Once a product has proven effective
on animals, it must be tested — with impeccable accuracy in record
keeping — on human beings. People able to do this work are in
Mercer County Community College (MCCC) is offering a new certificate
program in Clinical Research and Drug Development. The program has
been designed with the help of Covance. The cost of attending the
program, including books, is approximately $900 per student, and there
are 25 to 30 seats available.
Rose Nini, dean of corporate and community programs at MCCC,
says that the program was a direct response to the industry’s growing
needs. Representatives from major companies like Covance and Bristol-Myers
Squibb, together with the faculty at MCCC, identified the shortage
of trained professionals in this field.
"The pharmaceutical industry is growing 15 percent a year,"
says Raul Valentin, vice president for human resources at Covance,
"and development services organizations are growing 20 to 25 percent
Of the world’s top 20 pharmaceutical companies, 17 have significant
operations in New Jersey, employing about 60,000 people and generating
$8 billion in economic activity. Covance cut a wide swath in the Princeton
community and achieved a first at the Carnegie Center — its name
on its own building. Covance has more than 7,200 employees in 17 countries
What makes this program unusual, says Nini, is that you have to have
a baccalaureate degree in nursing, chemistry, pharmacy, medical technology
or a related area to be eligible to apply. The college plans to offer
three additional certificates — specializing in Data Management
Information Sciences, Auditing and Monitoring, and Site Management
— for those who complete the program. The earning potential in
these fields is $35,000 to $50,000 annually.
The college will host career nights on Thursday, March 25, and Thursday,
April 8, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Members of the faculty and representatives
from the industry will be present. For more information, call Nini
at 609-890-9624 or E-mail: email@example.com.
Douglass College at Rutgers University in New Brunswick
and the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. aim to expand opportunities for
high school girls across the country interested in careers in science
and technology. On Tuesday, March 23, at 2 p.m. at the Bunting Cobb
Residence Hall, they will unveil a partnership funded by the Toyota
USA foundation. Douglass College has the nation’s first residence
hall exclusively for college women majoring in math, science, and
Use standard inventory procedures and business-analysis
tasks to help you estimate the size of your Year 2000 challenge, says
Irene Dec. As Prudential’s Year 2000 program manager, she will
speak to the Essex chapter of NJAWBO on Tuesday, March 23, at 6 p.m.
Cost: $40. Call 973-744-5533.
Dec will bring worksheets to the meeting, but anyone can tap this
"Year 2000 Kit for Small Businesses" by linking to Prudential’s website through
The Newgrange Educational Outreach Center and Recording
for the Blind and Dyslexic is hosting a full-day conference "The
Implications of Brain Research on Reading and Learning Disabilities"
on Friday, March 19, at 8:30 a.m. at Princeton University’s Richardson
Auditorium. Cost: $75. Call 609-924-6204 for more information.
Barbara Keogh Ph.D., from the University of California at Los
Angeles department of psychiatry, and Maryanne Wolf Ph.D., director
of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University,
will examine the latest brain research on the neurobiology of those
with learning disabilities and the impact of this research in both
school and family settings.
The Newgrange Educational Outreach Center, located in Princeton, offers
workshops, seminars, training, and referral services to educators,
literacy tutors, parents, and others concerned with learning disabilities.
Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic is a national nonprofit organization
headquartered in Princeton that provides taped and computerized textbooks
for students who cannot read standard print effectively because of
Ernst and Young, the Iselin-based entrepreneurial services
firm is seeking nominations for New Jersey based entrepreneurs as
part of its 12th annual New Jersey Entrepreneur of the Year awards.
Company owners who are primarily responsible for the growth of their
company are eligible for the award.
The companies must have been operating for at least two years and
if the company is publicly-held, the founder must be an active member
in top management. Nominations must be received by April 9. The award
recipients will be announced on Thursday, June 17, at the Hilton East
Brunswick and Towers, and will be eligible to compete for one of several
national award categories, including the 1999 National Entrepreneur
of the Year. For nomination firms call Ted Gullo at 732-906-3431
or go to http://www.ey.-com/entrepreneur.eoy.
Previous nominees include Alain and Katherine Kornhauser of
ALK Associates on Herrontown Road, Herbert M. Greenberg of Caliper,
and Thomas Gray Jr., founder of the former Carnegie Bank (now
Sovereign). Martin D. Levine of MarketSource Corporation at
Exit 8A won an award in 1997 and was a judge in 1998. Past national
award winners include Michael Dell of Dell Computer Corporation,
Steve Case of America Online, and Howard Schultz of Starbucks
Think of the worst: a fire, a flood in the building,
a burst pipe, or damage to your hard drive. If your company depends
on research, and you lose your R&D data, you have lost your crown
Richard Allen Maloy Jr. will help present a New Jersey Technology
Council seminar on "what can go wrong, what can we do about it
so that it doesn’t go wrong, and how do we pay for it if it does go
wrong." Entitled "Risk Management and Environmental Issues"
the seminar will be Thursday, March 25, at 5 p.m. at the Forrestal
Hotel and Conference. Maloy Insurance and St. Paul Fire and Marine
Insurance are co-sponsors. Cost: $50. Call 609-452-1010.
Other speakers will be Ken Zuerbliss, CFO of Enzon; Richard
Sheldon, director of industrial facilities and risk management
of Kemper Environmental; and Frank Jankowski, president of Corporate
Environmental Services Inc. They will give tips on dealing with disasters
and recovery to chief financial officers and risk managers of various
industry groups, including medical device, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical
"We will be looking at how do you recover data and what happens
if it does go down," says Maloy, vice president of Maloy Insurance
at 228 Alexander Street and a board member of the New Jersey Technology
Council. "Also, if you have a major facility with expensive lab
equipment and the entire facility has a fire and burns all of the
lab equipment plus all of the data that’s there, how do you get it
back? Do have a contingency plan? Have you put in some disaster recovery
"We want people to be thinking about what can go wrong, how it
can be fixed, and how to plan for a disaster recovery team." Before
a disaster occurs:
data should be in some type of disk format. Make sure that it’s documented,
backed up, and in multiple copies. Also make sure the system is backed
up every night and that you have off-site storage of tapes and the
backups, so if data is destroyed it can be replaced easily.
Identify a company or companies where — in the event of disaster
— computers can be rented in order to get back up and running
equipment that could take months to duplicate. Compile a list of manufacturers
or distributors that make it. They, in turn, may know businesses that
can get companies operational again.
no worn parts. Bring in thermography cameras that look at all the
machinery and equipment in the plant. The camera will pick up hot
spots in the machinery that will tell companies when a part could
break down or cause fire and loss.
animals away from flammable areas and well cared for.
The companies should issue complete rules on laboratory procedures.
If it is a larger company with a major product, the FDA requires it.
However, some of the younger companies may not have stringent rules
on something as simple as wearing protective eyewear when working
is contaminated by chemicals. Smaller companies way not feel that
they are able to do it, but they may be out of compliance with FDA
a lease for a space. Be sure the space will allow you to be in compliance.
Because they are driven by computer chips, you need to install surge
protectors. Also set up a telephone service plan that can reroute
calls in the event of a disaster.
with a plain vanilla insurance policy (as opposed to a policy from
a specialty insurer) but instead lost money when it had a contamination
"The refrigeration unit with bio material inside was damaged and
contamination leaked out the door and into ground water. The contamination
leak was not found for about a month, and it was just seeping out
into a creek. The EPA got wind of it, and they came down and put the
clamps on them.
"The EPA wanted the company to do a full cleanup, but the policy
they had purchased was very limited for pollution clean-up coverage.
They had this huge loss, and they wound up paying about $300,000 out
of pocket because they had to do a full remediation."
"Had we had the pollution clean-up policy, or had gone in with
the thermography camera, we could have seen the hot spots and the
potential damage. We could have restructured the policy correctly
so at least they would have had better protection," says Maloy.
"We might have been able to prevent that loss all the way around.
— Ernie Johnston
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