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NJBIZ Business of the Year Awards 2014 winners announced

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The NJBIZ Business of the Year Awards program on Monday celebrated New Jersey's most dynamic businesses and executives who rise above the rest, along with four remarkable Business of the Year Hall of Fame honorees.

The six event winners were as follows (complete bios on the winners plus the list of the finalists in each category appear below):

Business of the Year, 1-50 Employees
Marketsmith Inc.

Business of the Year, 51-100 Employees
Cooper Pest Solutions

Business of the Year, 101+ Employees
Prudential Center and New Jersey Devils

Corporate Citizen of the Year
Archer & Greiner

Emerging Business of the Year
FieldView Solutions

Executive of the Year
Eileen Martinson

EisnerAmper served as the presenting sponsor and Comcast Business served as the major sponsor.

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR, 1-50 EMPLOYEES – WINNER

Jill Draper.
Jill Draper.

MarketSmith Inc.

Senior executive: Jill Draper
Title: President
Location: Parsippany, Morris County

Year founded: 1999
No. of employees: 25
Products/services: Marketing and market research
Mission/value statement: "We're passionate, critical thinkers who are obsessed with uncovering data-driver insights and realizing measurable results."

Data doesn’t make sense on its own.

It takes critical thinking and sophisticated analysis to fish useful intelligence from the stream of information flowing through companies today.

That’s what Marketsmith has been doing for 15 years. Founded in 1999, the company casts a wide net of data analysis to help clients hone their marketing campaigns across multiple channels.

Before Marketsmith entered the scene, companies had little choice beyond high-priced big-name providers and smaller, low-cost consultants. Monica C. Smith, who launched Marketsmith, recognized the opportunity to develop a campaign management solution that could be delivered at a midlevel price point.

Smith’s timing was fortuitous. Her fledgling company arrived in the early days of other shifts that ultimately fueled its growth. The first shift was the explosion of the Internet as a marketing channel. The second was the expansion of the direct-response TV market.

Today, Marketsmith is one of the fastest-growing woman-owned multichannel marketing agencies in the U.S. It manages more than $200 million of annual media spending across TV, radio, print, digital and direct. The company’s analytics platform allows clients to see where their spending is working, and improve the return on their marketing investments.

A housewares company, for example, recently called Marketsmith to better understand a drop in customer replies to direct-response TV advertising, which had previously been a great success. Marketsmith was able to tweak the client’s business model to improve performance, generate doubledigit improvements in topline revenue and reduce operational inefficiencies.

In addition to its data-sifting tools, Marketsmith relies on a talented team of employees who are passionate about making a difference for the company and its clients. They also are making a difference in the community, supporting charities such as One Simple Wish, which grants wishes to children in the foster-care system while encouraging permanent adoptions.

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR 1-50 EMPLOYEES – FINALISTS

Berkeley Varitronics Systems Inc.
Senior executive: Scott Schober
Title: President and CEO
Location:
Metuchen, Middlesex County

CW Solutions
Senior executive(s): Stacie Curtis; Robert Weible
Title: Founder and president; founder and vice president
Location:
East Brunswick, Middlesex County

DW Smith Associates LLC
Senior executive: Jennifer Nevins
Title: President
Location:
Farmingdale, Monmouth County

Redcom Design & Construction LLC
Senior executive: Gregory Redington
Title: Owner and president
Location:
Westfield, Union County

The Kinetix Group
Senior executive: John Strapp Jr.
Title: Co-founder and chairman
Location: Caldwell, Essex County

The Oxford Princeton Programme
Senior executive: Clara Lippert Glenn
Title: President and CEO
Location: Plainsboro, Mercer County

Yashi
Senior executive: Jay Gould
Title: Co-founder and CEO
Location:Toms River, Ocean County

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR, 51-100 EMPLOYEES – WINNER

Phil Cooper.
Phil Cooper.

Cooper Pest Solutions

Senior executive: Phil Cooper
Title: CEO
Location: Lawrenceville, Mercer County

Year founded: 1955
No. of employees: 82
Products/services: Pest management
Mission/value statement: "WOW is our passion at Cooper Pest Solutions. WOW begins at Cooper with our mission to WOW our clients, WOW our teammates, WOW our service partners, WOW our community."

When the gasoline crisis hit in the 1970s, Cooper Pest Solutions was prepared. Ted Cooper, founder of the pest management company, had switched its fleet to fuel-efficient Toyotas, and taken advantage of an on-site gasoline storage tank.

While competitors waited in gas lines, Cooper’s fleet was out on the road, serving customers.

The company also was an early user of computers, developing in 1982 one of the pest management industry’s first software programs. And, ahead of the environmentally sensitive curve, Cooper reduced its reliance on pesticides starting in the 1990s.

The same combination of flexibility and preparedness has continued to help Cooper thrive in the new millennium.

The company’s most recent test came in the mid-2000s after it moved into a new headquarters. The building ended up going over-budget, and growth was not expected to keep up with the added expense. But the company eventually turned things around, thanks, in part, to the expertise it had developed on bed bugs, a pest that has resurfaced over the last decade.

Founded in 1955, Cooper offers residential and commercial pest control services, as well as education, training and products to combat bed bugs. The latter includes a suite of new products launched in September by a Cooper subsidiary, BedBug Central. One, called Active, is designed to detect and treat bed bugs more effectively. Another, the Volcano, is designed to capture bed bugs.

The company also is eyeing bed-bug control technologies that can benefit people in lower-income areas. The technologies are unlikely to yield a profit for the company, but reflect its dedication to community service.

The company remains active on other fronts, as well. A new service, called the Mosquito Free Zone, is designed to create bite-free backyards. A pilot program in summer 2014 yielded positive results, and Cooper plans to expand the service in 2015.

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR 51-100 EMPLOYEES – FINALISTS

Bleakley, Schwartz, Cooney & Finney LLC
Senior executive: John Cooney
Title: Managing director
Location: Fairfield, Essex County

Contemporary Staffing Solutions Inc.
Senior executive: Michael Pearson
Title: President
Location: Mount Laurel, Burlington County

The Falcon Group-Engineering, Architecture & Energy Consultants
Senior executive: Andrew Amorosi
Title: Principal
Location: Bridgewater, Somerset County

TWO95 International Inc.
Senior executive: Shanker Koladi
Title: CEO
Location: Cherry Hill, Camden County

Webimax
Senior executive: Kenneth Wisnefski
Title: Founder and CEO
Location: Camden, Camden County

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR, 101+ EMPLOYEES – WINNER

Scott O'Neil.
Scott O'Neil.

Prudential Center and New Jersey Devils

Senior executive: Scott O'Neil
Title: CEO
Location: Newark, Essex County

Year founded: 1982 (Devils); 2007 (Prudential Center)
No. of employees: 150
Products/services: Sports and entertainment
Mission/value statement: "Captivate on a world-class level. Connect on a personal one."

When they bought the Prudential Center and the New Jersey Devils hockey team in 2013, David Blitzer and Josh Harris faced multiple challenges.

The pair inherited lawsuits, more than $200 million in debt, an understaffed business operation and a fractured relationship with the business community. Season-ticket purchases had plummeted.

The turnaround has been swift. In their first year of ownership, Blitzer and Harris created more than 100 new positions, boosted the company’s sales force and solidified its leadership by hiring Scott O’Neil as CEO and Hugh Weber as president.

The new team has turned the Prudential Center into a premier destination for sports and entertainment.

Recent initiatives have included an overhaul of concessions, a polishing of customer service and the stationing of ambassadors to direct fans between the center and Newark Penn Station. The company also is planning to transform the arena’s ice surface into a 3-D video display, potentially making the Devils the first U.S. hockey team to feature the technology at every home game.

The business itself has flourished. The Devils recorded a 97 percent renewal rate for season tickets, the highest level in a decade. More than 9,000 full-season tickets have been sold.

On the entertainment front, the Prudential Center has booked 88 shows for the 2014-2015 season. The 35 shows that took place between June and September were the most for that time period since the arena opened in 2007.

Engagement with the community also is at an all-time high. Among the company’s new programs is one called 82 Hours, in honor of the year the Devils formed, 1982. Under the program, employees spend 82 hours per year on company time volunteering in the community. Among other activities, they have planted trees, hosted a hockey clinic for children with special needs, and sponsored a barbecue and street hockey game for residents of Newark’s Covenant House.

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR 101+ EMPLOYEES – FINALISTS

AmeriHealth New Jersey
Senior executive: Judith L. Roman
Title: President and CEO
Location: Cranbury, Middlesex County

Annin & Co.
Senior executive: Carter Beard
Title: President and CEO
Location: Roseland, Essex County

Collabera Inc.
Senior executive: Hiten Patel
Title: Founder and chairman
Location: Morristown, Morris County

Cory First Choice Home Delivery
Senior executive: Patrick Cory
Title: CEO
Location: Secaucus, Hudson County

Eisai Inc.
Senior executive: Yuji Matsue
Title: Chairman and CEO
Location: Woodcliff Lake, Bergen County

MWW
Senior executive: Michael Kempner
Title: Founder, president and CEO
Location: East Rutherford, Bergen County

Qualcare Alliance Networks Inc.
Senior executive: Annette Catino
Title: CEO
Location: Piscataway, Middlesex County

CORPORATE CITIZEN OF THE YEAR – WINNER

James Carll & Christopher Gibson.
James Carll & Christopher Gibson.

Archer & Greiner P.C.

Senior executive: Christopher R. Gibson; James H. Carll
Title: President; Chairman
Location:
Haddonfield, Camden County
Year founded: 1928
No. of employees: 377
Philanthropic focus: Diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.
Products/services: Legal services
Mission/value statement: "To provide outstanding legal service at reasonable rates while serving as a focus for good in the community, country and world."

The commitment to community service has deep roots at Archer & Greiner—and the roots are still growing.

The law firm’s founder, F. Morse Archer Jr., was one of the first trustees of the United Way of Camden County when the organization formed in 1942.

More than 60 years later, the firm’s support of the organization continues. Indeed, Archer & Greiner was honored this year for reporting the largest year-to-year increase in employee giving to the Camden County arm of what is now The United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.

Founded in 1928, Archer & Greiner is a law firm that originated in South Jersey but has become a statewide player. It has offices throughout New Jersey, as well as Philadelphia and Wilmington, Del. It recently created a lobbying division, known as Archer Public Affairs.

In addition to the United Way, Archer & Greiner supports 100 Black Men of Philadelphia, the American Cancer Society, Goodwill Industries of Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia, and a host of other charitable organizations.

In most cases, law firm members sit on the organizations’ boards. Employees often bring worthwhile causes and organizations to the attention of firm management. After the destruction wrought by Superstorm Sandy, the firm and its employees directed donations to local relief funds and hosted free seminars on storm-related legal issues facing homeowners and businesses.

The firm’s primary focus, however, has been diversity and inclusion both internally and in the legal profession as a whole. While progress has been made over the years, the firm’s leaders believe more needs to happen. And they are making it happen through a range of programs.

Since 1999, for example, Archer & Greiner has funded a diversity scholarship in collaboration with Rutgers School of Law-Camden. In recent years, the scholarship program has expanded to Temple University’s Beasley School of Law.

CORPORATE CITIZEN OF THE YEAR – FINALIST

Caesar Depaço
Title: Founder and CEO
Company: Summit Nutritionals International Inc.
Location: Branchburg, Somerset County

EMERGING BUSINESS OF THE YEAR – WINNER

Frederick Dirla Jr.
Frederick Dirla Jr.

Fieldview Solutions

Senior executive: Frederick Dirla Jr.
Title: CEO
Location:
Edison, Middlesex County
Year founded: 2009
No. of employees: 42
Products/services: Software to optimize data-center operations
Mission/value statement: "We provide software to organizations to organizations to optimize their data-center operations through real-time monitoring, alarming, trending and analysis. With this information, our customers bridge their IT and facilities functions, plan and manage capacity, minimize downtime and save money."

To run a data center efficiently, managers need, what else? Data. They’ve been getting it from software products developed by FieldView Solutions.

The company’s software delivers real-time information about temperature, computing capacity and other factors that can affect the cost of running a data center. Access to that information allows managers to save costs and energy.

In fact, after deploying FieldView’s software, customers have reported energy savings in the range of 10 percent to 25 percent.

It’s a pretty respectable sample of customers. FieldView’s software is used by six leading banks, three top technology and cloud providers, and 15 of the largest multitenant data-center facilities in the world. All told, FieldView is monitoring more than two gigawatts of power at more than 200 locations around the world.

Financed by venture capitalists, FieldView also won financing in 2012 from the state’s Edison Innovation Green Growth Fund. State officials recognized the company’s contributions to energy efficiency and job creation.

“Helping customers become more energy efficient is at the heart of everything we do,” FieldView’s CEO, Frederick Dirla, said at the time. “Our platform is specifically designed to help companies realize significant cost savings by optimizing their energy consumption.”

More companies are coming on board. FieldView has been growing at a double-digit pace.

The company’s biggest challenge has been keeping up. But thanks to a talented team, FieldView has been able to manage its expansion. The company fosters a culture of excellence to which every employee is encouraged to contribute.

Feedback from customers is another critical component of FieldView’s success. The company maintains a customer advisory council and pays attention to what they would like to see in its products.

What they see today is software that is compatible with any hardware, and that is designed to be user-friendly. Lower energy bills are welcome, too.

EMERGING BUSINESS OF THE YEAR – FINALISTS

American Financial Resources Inc. dba Elend.com
Senior executive: Timothy Yanoti
Title: President
Location: Parsippany, Morris County

Powered by Doctors Inc.
Senior executive: Ari Goldberger
Title: CEO
Location: Cherry Hill, Camden County

Today's Business
Senior executive: Tom Ottaiano
Title: CEO
Location: Pine Brook, Morris County

EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR – WINNER

Eileen Martinson.
Eileen Martinson.

Eileen Martinson

Title: CEO
Company:
Sparta Systems Inc.
Location: Hamilton, Mercer County
First job: A clerical role at a manufacturing company.
What is the best advice you have gotten about leadership? "Leadership is a lot like driving a car. You need to be constantly aware of the road and driving conditions, so that you know when to apply the brakes or when to accelerate."

Sparta Systems was somewhat adrift when Eileen Martinson took the helm in 2011. Growth was stagnant and long-range plans were few.

Three years later, the software company is moving full steam ahead. Martinson has rejuvenated revenue growth, doubled spending on research and development, and moved Sparta into a 45,000-square-foot headquarters building that reflects the company’s collaborative, innovative and customer-focused culture.

“Instead of challenges, I try to see opportunities, and the greatest opportunity has been at Sparta,” says Martinson. “To help achieve our accelerated growth momentum, I had to understand the existing cultural framework and then foster changes to create our own corporate culture, unique to who we were, are and wanted to become.”

Founded in 1994, Sparta develops quality management software products for the pharmaceutical, medical device, biotechnology, contract research, consumer products, electronics manufacturing and other highly regulated industries. This year, the company unveiled three new products, focused on analytics, mobility and cloud-based solutions.

Although the turnaround at Sparta was dramatic, it was not Martinson’s first act of reinvention. Born into a strict Irish Catholic family where higher education was not an option for girls, Martinson pursued a career with ambition and determination.

She started out in a clerical job at a manufacturer and, within two years, had become a customer service manager. While working full time and raising two children, she attended Philadelphia University. After 13 years of night school, she earned a bachelor’s degree.

Martinson’s background has informed her approach to community service. She is dedicated to improving educational programs at all levels and to removing barriers for women in business.

Martinson also is on the boards of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce and Thomas Edison College Foundation. And, as the mother of a decorated U.S. Marine who served in Afghanistan, she volunteers time and resources to programs serving military veterans.

EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR – FINALISTS

Paul Chachko
Title: Founder and CEO
Company: V12 Group
Location: Red Bank, Monmouth County

Ron Gaboury
Title: President and CEO
Company: Yorktel
Location: Eatontown, Monmouth County

Lonne Jaffe
Title: CEO
Company: Syncsort
Location: Woodcliff Lake, Bergen County

Chris Sullens
Title: President and CEO
Company: Marathon Data Systems
Location: Neptune, Monmouth County

Hugh Welsh
Title: President
Company: DSM North America
Location: Parsippany, Morris County

HALL OF FAME

Maxine Ballen