Georgian A Publication of George School, Newtown, Pennsylvania
Volume 77 • Number 1 • Spring 2005
Hurdling Obstacles By Carol J. Suplee
In three words, Jeff Siegel ’79 sums up his entrepreneurial spirit: “Never say ‘No!’”
“I believe that the key to ongoing success is to make sure everyone wins…”
ven before he finished law school, Jeff Siegel ’79 was flexing his entrepreneurial muscles. Jeff ventured into the real estate field (initially with another George School grad, Daniel Popkin ’77, and then on his own) buying and adding value to properties for resale, then buying more. He relished the adventure, the challenge, and, especially, the successes. Just four years out of law school, Jeff and his brother Scott launched their first company, Vantage Sports Management. The firm provided athlete representation and sports marketing consulting for firms involved in promotion and advertising endeavors in the burgeoning sports industry, including some that utilized well-known athletes as celebrity spokespersons. For Scott, a successful college athlete and sports lover, and Jeff, the inveterate risk-taker, it was fun. The brothers used that company as a springboard, diving into other enterprises. They created and promoted sports events, like the International Junior Golf Tour, and became the major producer of licensed golf memorabilia for the PGA Tour. They created a management component for actors, entertainers, athletes, and models. Scott still heads the thriving firm. How did Jeff and Scott, neither of whom had previous experience in the high-stakes world of sports management, successfully pull off their ambitious game plan on such an obstacle-ridden playing field? “Hustle,” Jeff says. “That’s the number one ingredient in launching any new business. You can’t be afraid. You must have confidence in yourself. Every day there’s another obstacle, but you can’t let it stop you.”
Jeff is currently president and chief operating officer of Princeton Technology Partners, launched in 2002. The firm owns and develops technologies in a variety of industries including material sciences and health care. Jeff led a team that successfully completed a transaction with an existing technology firm, described by Jeff as a “technology incubator,” and brought much-needed entrepreneurial, management, financing, and development skills to the table. “We were well suited to succeed. We have interests in about 48 different patents in a variety of fields,” Jeff says. “We have been busy developing products, licensing, and creating markets.” As examples, Jeff cited a noninvasive, objective, diagnostic tool for detecting Alzheimer’s disease, and a mold-inhibiting wallboard. Perhaps Jeff’s most exciting project markets a unique coating product, SolarSave®, which is owned by yet another firm launched in 2004, Intellicoat Technologies, where Jeff also is president and COO. SolarSave® is applied to the roofs of buildings to remove the significant heat load generated by the sun, dramatically decreasing air-conditioning costs, especially in warm climates. The firm does the installation with no up-front cost to the customer and is compensated through a multi-year agreement to share energy savings. The savings are dramatic and guaranteed (insured by a global financial institution). Florida’s public school system is a typical |client as are big box retailers and Fortune 1000 companies. Jeff explains three ways to finance a start-up business. “The first is yourself, perhaps with help from banks. The second is through a group continued on page 5
Inside this GEORGIAN Honoring Alumni
A Tribute to Eric Curtis
Two members of the Class of ’55
Former head of school dies at age 88.
recognized for their achievements.
Culinary Teacher Founds School-to-Career Program By Kevin Cassel
As the program progressed, Richard hit on the idea of a competition to keep the students in the program motivated. He worked hard to convince the Culinary Institute of America to donate a scholarship, succeeding on the eve of the competition. The range of skills that C-CAP imparts serves its graduates well. At a recent fundraising breakfast, the formerly shy program founder spoke to a group of current and potential donors, then listened as his executive director and the chef at Manhattan’s Four Seasons restaurant extolled the virtues of the program. The most effective speaker of the day, though, was a twenty-one-year-old line cook at the Ritz-Carlton in New York. Richard became emotional as the young man spoke eloquently about what the program had done for him. He spoke about the skills he had learned which he now uses daily and about the confidence that he’d gained.
Richard Grausman ’55 will be recognized as an alumni award recipient at the all-alumni gathering in the meetinghouse on Alumni Day, Saturday, May 14, 2005. Richard will also present a master class that morning.
ichard Grausman ’55, a culinary teacher and the author of the cookbook At Home With The French Classics, observed when he traveled the country in 1989 that most Americans he encountered had narrow eating habits. He reasoned that by working with schools, he could reach children in a learning atmosphere and affect their attitudes about food. From this idea sprang the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), a nonprofit organization that has affected the lives of over 90,000 students and awarded more than $13 million in scholarships. In the beginning, C-CAP was just an idea that needed money to grow—a challenge for Richard: “Until I was fifty, I was extremely shy...any time I was asked to fund raise, I would run in the other direction.” Faced with the need for support, however, Richard turned to his contacts in the food service industry. Donations from makers of ingredients and kitchen equipment were followed by his first big break—an introduction from a friend to the executive director of the Helena Rubinstein Foundation.
“Until I was fifty, I was extremely shy... any time I was asked to fund raise, I would run in the other direction.” The program has come a long way from its roots in New York, and Richard has come a long way since a career aptitude test in high school that suggested social work as a career. Now, decades later, Richard finds himself helping people and loving it. “It took me many years to get to the point where I was successful as a culinary teacher—I adored teaching, and I never thought I could do anything I would enjoy more. What I’m doing now is a hundred times as gratifying because I’m affecting lives.”
Honoring a Life of Service By Peggy Berger
Mimi Adams Bitzer ’55 will be recognized posthumously as an alumni award recipient at the all-alumni gathering in the meetinghouse on Alumni Day, Saturday, May 14, 2005.
o those who knew and loved Mary (Mimi) Adams Bitzer ’55 and to those who read about her numerous accomplishments, the phrase “a life well spent” readily comes to mind. The George School Alumni Award Selection Committee agrees with this assessment, and has acknowledged Mimi’s achievements with the posthumous awarding of a 2005 alumni award. Along with her husband John Bitzer, Mimi served from 1983 to 1989 as a founding member of the Advisory Board, which assisted the school in considering strategic issues such as the admissions process and academic programs. Mimi also served as co-chair of the Second Century Capital Campaign, which raised $28 million for George School from 1993 to 1998. In reflecting on Mimi’s service, former Head of School David Bourns said, “Mimi was committed to the deeper values of George School. She and John were so generous with their spirit, and shared their enthusiasm with others.” Mimi was an active participant in community services in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, area. Thirty years ago, she helped found Vintage, a center for senior citizens in Pittsburgh. Her generous and intelligent guidance as a board member, president, and volunteer contributed greatly to the center’s current thriving status of serving more than 6,000 adults annually by providing lunches and offering classes, adult daycare, and other much-needed activities. She was active in other community projects as well. Over the years she served as a board member for
Georgian • Page 2 G e o r g e S c h o o l S p r i n g 2 0 0 5
First Stage: Performing Arts for Children at the Carnegie Museum, for the Central Blood Bank of Southwestern Pennsylvania, and for ABARTA, Inc., her family’s business. She was a trustee and president of the Fountainhead Foundation, a Pittsburgh-area philanthropic organization, and a member and president of the Junior League of Pittsburgh. Along with her many involvements, Mimi made time for family and friends. Mimi and John, married 45 years, lovingly raised three children, Polly, John, and Charles. The Bitzer family has grown to include 14 grandchildren, with Matt Bitzer ’06, among them. In addition to her degree in English from Connecticut College, Mimi earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Duquesne University School of Nursing when she was in her forties. She then worked as a registered nurse at Pittsburgh’s Mercy Hospital, a teaching, inner-city medical center. Mimi resigned from her nursing career when a bout with breast cancer made her choose a less stressful life. Mimi’s grandson Matt remembers her as “a fighter… battling cancer for seventeen years.” A classmate who urged George School to honor Mimi with an alumni award described her as “a shining light, working tirelessly to raise funds for George School when recovering from her bouts with chemo, always cheerful, always a beautiful, vital presence.”
Remembering Eric Curtis By Rebecca J. Wilkinson
ric Curtis as we know him best: the engaging Englishman, the inveterate cheerleader at George School sports events, and the schoolmaster-scholar—a man with a lusty love of tennis and the theater and a firm belief in quality Quaker education.” These words served as part of a tribute written by Kay Edstene, former George School history teacher, assistant headmaster, and director of studies, upon Eric’s retirement in 1979. Her words were recalled when the George School community learned of Eric’s death on January 25, 2005, at the age of 88. Eric became George School’s fifth head of school in the fall of 1967 and was the first head to be born abroad. He was born in London, England, in 1916 and educated at Oxford University. While at Oxford he met his future wife, Esther Gillett, and later became a convinced Quaker. He was a conscientious objector during World War II, and fulfilled his service by teaching at an English Quaker boarding school. In 1948, Eric and his family moved to Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, where he stayed for 19 years as chemistry professor, dean of students, and vice president until he moved to Newtown, Pennsylvania, to become head of George School. During Eric’s tenure, opportunities increased for students to seek new challenges both in the classroom and in the world beyond George School. Advanced placement became an option for many academic departments, the arts programs expanded, and service projects with local organizations were encouraged. The Twelfth Street Meeting House of Philadelphia was rebuilt on campus to provide George School with a spiritual center. Academics and athletics were enhanced with the addition of the Spruance-Alden Science Center and the Worth Sports Center and Marshall-Platt Swimming Pool. Strengthening George School’s commitment to its role as in loco parentis, Advisory Council was created to bring the adult community together to offer unified support and guidance to individual students. While seeking to strengthen George School’s academic, physical, and financial future, Eric was part of the community’s daily life. He could always be found cheering for George School’s sports teams. Robin Kester Patterson ’73 remembers, “Eric was our most ardent supporter on the hockey and lacrosse fields. His familiar accent tickled our opponents when he would say ‘Give it a go, girls.’ I don’t think he missed any of my games.” He and his wife Esther often entertained students in Sunnybanke. Girls Assistant Athletic Director Barbie Gale ’71 recalls, “He loved to read stories, especially around the fireplace in Sunnybanke. He would invite students to spend evenings around the fire with hot chocolate and lots of marshmallows. He especially loved to read The Christmas Story. If I close my eyes I can still hear his soft British tones.” A memorial service was held under the care of Wrightstown Friends Meeting at the George School Meeting House on February 12, 2005.
Alumni will have a chance to share their memories of former Head of School Eric Curtis at a memorial meeting for worship on Alumni Day, Saturday, May 14, 2005.
Economics Course Explores Complex Questions by Juliana Rosati
hould the United States adopt single-payer health insurance? Is outsourcing helpful or hurtful? Should the Federal Reserve raise or lower interest rates? These are just some of the questions that students in Fran Bradley’s new economics course have tackled in independent research papers and class presentations. “My emphasis is to try to have the student understand the issues related to real-world problems,” Fran says. “Most everybody has heard some of these issues, but very few people understand them.” In the research paper and in the presentation, students in the class must explain their topic, give arguments for both sides of the issue, and state what their own position is and why. With prerequisites that include both history and mathematics, the course gives students an introduction to microeconomics and macroeconomic policies. “We are lucky and thrilled to have Fran teaching it. He is committed to developing it into an outstanding course,” says Scott Spence, dean of faculty and director of studies. “Through the generosity of Lee Price ’61, and his establishment of the Technology Investigatory Committee grants, Fran is able to have some release time to incorporate the latest technological developments for the teaching of economics.” In addition to using a standard college-level textbook and related readings, Fran often draws relevant
Fran’s economics lessons often ask students to contemplate the question, “Who benefits and who is hurt?” current events into his lessons, such as elements of the 2004 presidential debates and President Bush’s 2005 State of the Union address, and the class regularly follows national and international economic issues in the New York Times. “I find it exciting to have a paper to refer to,” Fran says.
Georgian • Page 3 G e o r g e S c h o o l S p r i n g 2 0 0 5
Students with a variety of career and academic plans are enthusiastic about the class and Fran’s approach. Eric Falk ’05, who plans to major in economics in college, says that due to Fran’s class, “I have come to understand issues like Social Security from both sides, and as a result I am able to formulate my own opinions.” Daniel Knaster ’05 chose the course because he intends to be a business major in college and because it seemed like an interesting change of pace. “I was looking for a different type of course,” he says. Yattah Blanton ’05, who plans to have a career in social work, says, “I know taking this class now will benefit me in the long run. I love having Fran as a teacher because he has a genuine passion for economics.” Fran’s economics lessons often ask students to contemplate the question, “Who benefits and who is hurt?” He believes that it is important for his students’ understanding of major national and international economic policies to include an awareness of the social impact of those policies. Scott concurs. “The history department makes an explicit and conscious effort in its courses to speak to Friends’ concerns, and the new economics course furthers that mission of the department and the school,” he explains. “Economics is crucial to an understanding of history and human problems within and beyond our national boundaries.”
A Global Perspective By Mike Moore
Dave Willis ’53 is devoted to his family, including his eight children and his grandchildren. In his leisure time, he also likes to play golf and go boating.
ave Willis ’53 is a highly successful entrepreneur who does business around the world. Early ventures in the corporate world included positions at Owens-Corning Fiberglas and Liquid Nitrogen Processing (LNP). While this was going on, he served in the Air Force reserve for six years. The stint at LNP ended on less than a positive note. “Basically, they fired me, although I was glad to leave,” Dave says with candor and not a trace of regret. “They were probably doing me a favor.” Indeed, soon after that happened late in 1964, Dave met the man who would be his business partner for many years, and good things started to happen. Beginning in 1965, Dave was involved in the formation of nine start-up businesses. He’d found his niche. He began to tap into a fount of tremendous personal energy and talent. “I like to see a business go,” Dave says. “That creative process really does interest me. Businesses begin and then they grow. I’ve always liked to observe and nurture that. I’ve had some success with it,” he elaborates. Clearly for Dave the business world is very much a creative activity. But there’s more to it than that—his work takes a big effort in terms of time and personal commitment. Today his principal business, Whitford Worldwide, has plants and distribution points in countries around the world, including China, Canada, Italy, England, Brazil, Singapore, and Germany. This enterprise, an American company, nevertheless does 78 percent of its business outside the United States. Among many endeavors, it supplies the nonstick coatings for the George Foreman Grill. Last year Dave flew to more than 15 countries and logged 173,000 miles. That’s a lot of long lines, security checks, and inevitably some late flights and cancellations. Dave dismisses this with a smile. “I like to travel. I want to do it. I like meeting people.” When asked about his single greatest accomplishment, Dave doesn’t speak of money or corporate prestige. Instead, he quickly replies, “It’s the people. The best thing we do is employ people of every conceivable background, religion, and point of view. “If there’s an ethnic group we don’t employ, I’d be amazed. In our Singapore plant with 80 jobs, we have all the people in the world who aren’t supposed to get along: Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Jews. They work together; they party together. We’ve got everybody there, and they do get along.”
Valuing Individualism By Mike Moore
must be a good communicator. Finally, you have to be prepared to take calculatom Mendell ’64, a successful investor and venture capitalist, spent the ed risks, and make the very tough decisions that will impact the lives of a lot of better part of two decades (from 1974 to 1993) working at Goldman Sachs, people. Those decisions necessarily bear with them tremendous responsibility.” where he focused on mergers and acquisitions, as well as private equity. The strong individualism necessary for making such decisions is perhaps He left with other Goldman partners to found The Beacon Group, an investment Tom’s most significant character trait. “Just because your boss tells you to do banking firm purchased by J.P. Morgan Chase in 2000. something doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do,” Tom says. You have to develAt Goldman Sachs, Tom made partner at a time when only a select few did. op a sense of self, what you are good at. If something’s lacking, you need to He considers this his single greatest career accomplishment. “Goldman was a address that and then demonstrate a renewed confidence.” very special place and a wonderfully positive experience for me,” says Tom, At the same time, Tom can be “both personally and professionally. harshly self-critical. “The biggest misBeacon was a much smaller, tight-knit takes I’ve made occur when I haven’t firm with outstanding people that thought things through. Other times presented other avenues for personal I’ve let others preempt me from makgrowth. As a start-up, Beacon didn’t ing the right decision.” A sense of have the infrastructure, reputation, or deep and sincere regret registers in stable of clients that we had enjoyed his voice when he says this. at Goldman. There was no division of Tom also recognizes the price labor; each one of us had to be able that success can carry. “My corporate to both sell financial services as well career has been very demanding and as execute transactions. As a group there were many years when my job we tackled every assignment—buildresponsibilities were all-consuming revenues and reputation in the ing—infringing heavily on my family process. Beacon’s success was a funclife. The toughest thing in life for tion of hiring great people, sharing ambitious people can be achieving common goals and values, and very the right balance between work and hard work.” family.” Tom speaks of the most positive However, his lifelong commitinfluences in his life: having good ment to wife and family comes mentors who instilled in him the valthrough clear. In addition to makues in which he so strongly believes. ing time for his family, Tom has He is quick to mention his father also found the time to serve with and the captain of the United States distinction as an officer or trustee of Navy minesweeper Tom served on Tom Mendell ’64 (shown here with his daughter Lauren and his wife Andy) spends his leisure many charitable endeavors such as as the kind of strong, idealistic, and time with family and friends skiing and playing golf. He flies his own plane and gets trementhe National Mentoring Partnership, thoughtful people who had the most dous joy from the beauty and freedom of flight. His golf handicap goes up (16) and down (7) the Cancer Research Institute, the favorable and profound impact. with playing time. Rockefeller University Council, and The long run at Goldman Sachs the Brookings Council among others. found Tom involved in funding many young businesses. He mentions several Tom credits George School for giving him an excellent education and fosterkeys to success in that regard. “You have to see the big picture, while paying ing the values and a sense of self that have proven invaluable in later life. attention to detail,” he says. “That might sound easy, but it’s not. Meanwhile, you
Georgian • Page 4 G e o r g e S c h o o l S p r i n g 2 0 0 5
New Ventures in Health Care By Kimberly Robbins
s a venture manager for The Permanente Group, Beth Jordan ’91 screens and evaluates new business ventures and launches start-up businesses that further Kaiser Permanente’s strategic goals of attracting members, retaining physicians, and earning more money. Beth is most proud of her start-up work in weight loss management. “It makes complete business sense to keep members healthy considering the average member stays with Kaiser for seventeen years,” Beth reveals. “Years from now I’d like to see weight loss management become a huge area for Kaiser. It’s changing patient care by enabling patients to receive preventative care. This is an opportunity to benefit people’s health in a major way.” Beth recently began coordinating plans for the launch of a new hearing center that will allow Kaiser Permanente to offer a full continuum of care to patients, from hearing screenings and tests to hearing aids. She says, “My role even includes securing the funds for the initial investment, overseeing the details of building the center from the ground up, and hiring the audiologists who staff the center.” According to Beth, each business venture presents unique opportunities. In the case of an exploding industry like cosmetic services, Kaiser Permanente finds that by adding these services to the network the company can attract physicians and respond to the increasing desire of members to undergo cosmetic services. Perhaps more importantly though, the company hopes that by adding these services it will reduce recovery costs In San Francisco, California, Beth Jordan ’91 works as a venture manager for The Permanente Medical Group, the sole provider associated with members who experience comof medical services for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. plications from procedures conducted outside the Kaiser Permanente healthcare network. Beth adds, “It’s very satisfying to see that our [in vitro fertilization] work helps women to have children, when otherwise they might not have been able to do so. Or, that we can provide a safe, clinical environment for cosmetic surgery. It is exciting not only to have the clinical knowledge and resources, but also to face many challenges, such as stricter regulatory guidelines.”
High Visibility at a Small Company By Kimberly Robbins
ive years ago, Shanti Amagasu ’86 resigned as a research associate at a large, international pharmaceutical company in Palo Alto, California, to join Theravance, a small biotechnology start-up company in the San Francisco Bay Area. “Working at a smaller, start-up business better suits my personality. It offers more freedom, independence, and agility,” he explains. The decision to join the start-up turned out to be the right one for Shanti almost immediately. Soon after accepting the position, he was instrumental in establishing a new laboratory and found himself conducting experiments that were being reviewed and recognized by all levels of management. The move to the smaller company provided him with not only a position of high visibility, but also a diversity of tasks. According to Shanti, his knowledge of drug discovery has increased exponentially since moving to a small, well-funded enterprise and his contributions to the company are utilized in decision making on a daily basis. Shanti notes, “At Theravance, management and my peers see my contributions. Here, I’m exposed to multiple disciplines. I get to see a broader picture of drug development as a whole and Theravance offers a greater sense of community.” Of course, there are pros and cons to most every opportunity. Shanti has found the shortcomings of a small business to be minor compromises. For example, his 401(k) retirement savings at Theravance are not matched as they were by his former employer. However, he was granted stock options at Theravance as part of his initial job offer, and the now publicly traded company offers more options with each promotion. This provides a benefit that might one day pay big dividends.
“I like that I can use my skills to work with start-up businesses. I can challenge norms and support new ideas.” Beth credits her ability to approach new business ideas with optimism and enthusiasm to lessons she learned at George School. “I like that I can use my skills to work with start-up businesses. I can challenge norms and support new ideas. At George School, I learned to think for myself and was encouraged to challenge even my teachers,” Beth explains. “I also found the involvement from my teachers enormously helpful. They created a safety net for me to make sure I was successful. They also taught me that it was okay to take risks.”
Hurdling Obstacles… cont’d from page 2 of investors among people you know, friends or family, who believe in your vision and ability to maximize investment returns. The third is through institutional or angel investor venture capital,” he says. Prospective investors must be convinced of the project’s viability, Jeff adds. Is it based on acceptable and credible business practices? Does the business model demonstrate a provable chance of success? Do the principals know how to navigate through the complex world of business? “I believe that the key to ongoing success is to make sure everyone wins—employees, partners, vendors, customers,” Jeff says. “It should feel good to come to work. Counterparts across the table should have a positive experience and receive real value as a result of their relationship with you. Employees should be treated fairly and compensated well. This compels people to do the very best they can and to create recurring productive business opportunities.”
Georgian • Page 5 G e o r g e S c h o o l S p r i n g 2 0 0 5
In his free time, Shanti Amagasu ’86 enjoys going deepsea fishing, riding bikes, and cooking. In this photo, he is holding a wahoo that he caught on a recent trip to Hilo, Hawaii, while visiting his brother Misha ’90.
Offering Unforgettable Experiences By Juliana Rosati
t would have been impossible for me to attend George School without financial aid,” says Miriam Marecek ’58. “I took a bus to GS by myself at age fourteen to attend the school. My parents never saw it until graduation. It was a dream come true for a recent immigrant family. I am also very grateful for the financial aid I received for my three children—Jan Zeman ’94, Alenka Zeman ’96, and Tomas Zeman ’99. They tell me that it was the best choice we ever made.” Financial aid likewise made an unforgettable difference to Nigerian-born former George School math teacher and coach Chinezi Chijioke ’96 and his family. “It made attending George School possible for me and my brothers,” he says. “Attending George School meant a fresh start for me, and a shared experience for my whole family that means a tremendous amount to us all.” By distributing financial aid to students from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, George School creates a student body that more closely reflects the society in which we live and which, in 2004-2005, includes students from twenty states and thirty foreign countries. Ari Betof ’98, who now prepares financial aid packages for another boarding school, appreciates the relationship between financial aid and diversity. “The true diversity of George School’s student body enhanced my educational experience and offered a significantly different perspective on questions of equality,” he says. “Socioeconomic diversity is a critical component to the overall composition of the student body.”
In 2004-2005, 226 students, approximately 42 percent of the current student body are receiving some amount of financial aid. The average grant is $20,000, which is roughly equivalent to two-thirds of the full boarding tuition. Approximately 22.8 percent—or $4,615,000—of the 2004-2005 operating budget is dedicated to financial aid.
42% of Students Receive Financial Ai d
“George School is currently a leader among independent schools in its overall commitment to financial aid,” Head of School Nancy Starmer says. “Our ability to offer targeted grants to middle income and Quaker students is another important distinction of George School’s financial aid program.”
By distributing financial aid to students from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, George School creates a student body that more closely reflects the society in which we live. Pictured here are Jong-Soo Kim ’06, an international boarding student, and Sarah Waitz ’06, a local day student.
A Model for Schools Nationwide By Juliana Rosati
inancial aid makes up $5.4 million of the five-year, $30 million capital fund-raising program approved by the George School Committee in December 2003. As with the other components of the Ideals Capital Program—faculty
compensation, the general endowment, a new library, campus housing, and the McFeely Center—success in reaching the fund-raising goal for financial aid will provide for the long-term financial and educational health of the school.
“Over the last two decades of the twentieth century, the school worked hard to strengthen its academic and co-curricular programs to respond to the challenges of the times,” Head of School Nancy Starmer says. “Focusing aggressively on broadening our student body to reflect the socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, and religious diversity of our nation and world, we developed a financial aid program that is a model for independent schools nationwide,” she says. “Because the cost of financial aid rises in direct relation to the cost of tuition, to maintain that leadership position and continue to attract talented students from all economic levels, we need to substantially increase the size of our financial aid budget by 2008, through gifts of $5.4 million,” Nancy explains. Anne Culp Storch ’67, director of development and advancement planning, agrees. “One thing we don’t want to do is change the mission of the school. We don’t want to back away from our commitment to diversity,” she says. “With the continuing commitment to financial aid, we’ll be able to support the existing program and remain in the forefront among independent schools.” For more information on the Ideals Capital Program, contact Anne at 215-579-6569 or email@example.com.
Financial aid comprises 18 percent of the 2008 Ideals Capital Program goal of $30 million. As of March 1, 2005, alumni and friends have contributed $6.6 million toward the overall goal.
Georgian • Page 6 G e o r g e S c h o o l S p r i n g 2 0 0 5
Lasting Impressions By Aklog Birara ’66
hen my English teacher—a female Peace Corps volunteer from California—encouraged me to participate in the national essay contest sponsored by the International Herald Tribune World Youth Forum, I had only a vague notion of American culture and education gained mostly from movies and books. I was utterly shocked one morning in December 1964, when my teacher told me and then announced to the whole secondary school in Gondar, Ethiopia, that my essay entitled “My Country’s Challenge in Today’s World” was selected. With that, a journey of a lifetime began for a young man who had never ventured outside of a small town. I took my first flight outside Ethiopia and arrived in New York City where I joined a group of young boys and girls from thirty-two countries for an initial orientation. I ended up at George School for a three month “academic tour.” We were welcomed with warmth, friendship, and support everywhere we went: in classes, dormitories, the cafeteria, family homes, and the Newtown community. This story is about one special family, Ken and Peg Keskinen. For me this family represented the best in what I have come to value and admire about America in general and Quaker education in particular.
I remember telling my family, teachers, and friends in Ethiopia about this initiative. There was a sense of disbelief and amazement. During my short stay at George School, Ken Keskinen, head of the Affiliation Committee, learned of my long-term interest to go to college and began an unprecedented initiative to secure a scholarship and a fund-raising drive called “Bring Aklog Back.“ The campaign was intended to enable me to return from Ethiopia after completion of the Herald Tribune Forum Program. Neither my family nor I were in a position to raise the money for airfare. I kept a letter Ken wrote saying, “If someone can get you from Addis Ababa to Frankfurt, Germany, we shall provide the rest of your transport to the United States. In any event, we shall get you here. ” He mobilized the George School community and others and followed through. Students sold cookies and talked to their families and friends. Teachers, meetings of Friends, the Rotary Club, and the American Friends Service Committee were involved. I remember telling my family, teachers, and friends in Ethiopia about this initiative. There was a sense of disbelief and amazement. Ken’s initiative succeeded, and I returned. I joined George School as a senior. Ken had identified a host family—the Barashes—with whom I was able to stay during breaks. Pearl Morrell, the librarian, took me under her wing and made sure that I read the books I wanted. I had quickly bonded with the Keskinen family to the point that they became “my American family.” Ken’s involvement did not stop at George School. He guided, mentored, and coached me to steer in the right direction. He arranged for me
Recently, Aklog Birara ’66 had the opportunity to visit with the Keskinen family at the Biraras’ home. Pictured here from left to right are: (front row) Aklog’s wife Amsal Woreta, Aklog, Ken and Peg Keskinen, (back row) Ken and Peg’s daughters Mindy and Lisa ’76, and Aklog and Amsal’s sons Andu, Neby, and Tam Aklog.
to work at Farm and Wilderness Camps as a summer counselor. He became instrumental in securing financial aid for me to attend Earlham College. In order to fill a financial gap for college, Ken and Peg mobilized a fund drive that Ken called a “Backlog for Aklog.” In one of his “Dear Ak” letters that I look forward to receiving to this day, he wrote saying “ I am happy to say that families who wish to remain anonymous have made contributions to the fund. All your expenses except clothing will be taken care…do not worry. Just study. ” In my long relationship with the Keskinens, the things that have left a lasting impression and impact on me are their values. They always respected my culture, values, national origin, family, and roots. They never judged me. They listened to me with interest. They understood and tolerated my rebellious and radical views with patience. They always told me I had potential. They helped me to internalize and appreciate the
meaning and application of the phrase “There is that of God in every person.” I want to say to the wonderful Keskinen family that the only way I can repay them and others that have been generous with their money and wisdom is to understand and help others. It is a legacy that not only I but my entire family has internalized. Thank you Ken, Peg, and others who showed me the human face of America at the most critical juncture of my life. Aklog Birara is the senior advisor for human resources for the operations policy and country services vice presidency of the World Bank Group, and was previously the World Bank Group’s first senior advisor for racial equality after serving as human resources manager for Latin America and the Caribbean. He earned a doctorate degree in international affairs and development economics, as well as a master of arts degree in international law and international economics from Johns Hopkins University.
Please help us reach our Annual Fund goal. Gifts needed by July 31
Gifts and pledges as of March 15 $643,503
Gifts to the Annual Fund provide essential income to George School for use when and where it is most needed. These gifts are critical to the school’s ability to offer financial aid, retain top faculty, improve student services and programs, and acquire new technology.
You may now make your gift online at: http://alumni.georgeschool.org/donations/ George School 2004-2005 Annual Fund PO Box 4438 Newtown PA 18940-0908 215-579-6581
Georgian • Page 7 G e o r g e S c h o o l S p r i n g 2 0 0 5
Nurturing the Songwriter’s Muse By Bonnie Bodenheimer
Fan Website Launches Career By Kevin Cassel
Robert (Stone) Stafford ’89 (pictured here on the left with songwriting colleagues) is on the board of advisors for the Georgia Music Industry Association, a nonprofit committed to educating and serving those who desire a career in music. He was also recently named senior creative manager for So So Def Productions
n 1995, Christopher (Yameen) Friedberg ’96 launched a fan website for the group of hip-hop artists collectively known as Hieroglyphics. In doing so, he took the first steps toward creating a pair of businesses that continue to thrive today. What began as a labor of love took a new turn, ironically, the day that Yameen decided to take his site down. He was paged by one of the Hieroglyphics artists—the crew wanted to make the website the official site of Hieroglyphics. Soon after, Yameen began posting news and updates from Hieroglyphics. He worked hard to keep the site fresh and involving for the fans. “I’m real technical as well as being up on graphic design. We were doing streaming music, scavenger hunts...a lot of things other people weren’t doing. I ran the site for seven years, and we did maybe as many graphical upgrades.” When the performers left their label, Yameen’s website became their primary connection to their fans. They began selling merchandise—hats, clothing, and other items—through the website, and soon the funds were enough to sponsor the creation of a new recording of the whole crew. Yameen began to be paid for his efforts.
Taking advantage of opportunity is something he thinks anyone can do. “If your mind can go there, why can’t you?”
like seeing a song go from an idea to the airwaves,” states Robert (Stone) Stafford ’89, CEO and founder of Script Squad Music Publishing, when asked what he likes most about his work. And luckily, Stone has had plenty of opportunities to see this happen. Stone’s career in the music industry began after graduation from George School, when he headed off to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, on a music scholarship. While at Morehouse, Stone formed a singing group with four other students and the group signed a contract with First Priority/Atlantic Records. Though the group’s recording career was short-lived, it gave Stone the chance to discover his talents as a songwriter. He continues songwriting to this day, and recently co-wrote a song that went to number six on BET’s countdown and was in the top ten on Billboard magazine’s “Greatest Gainer/Airplay” and “Greatest Gainer/Sales” charts. In 1999, Stone began finding and developing new talent for Ground Breaking Music, one of Sony/ATV Music Publishing’s venture publishing companies. “I enjoy finding the next ‘hot’ artist or group,” he says. Next, Stone was selected to head a new Sony/ATV office in Atlanta that opened in 2000, where he oversaw the installation of a state-of-the-art recording facility. While at Sony, in conjunction with Ground Breaking Music, he signed several songwriters. Stone remembers one particularly educational situation. “I was trying to sign Avril Lavigne to a publishing deal six months before her first album was released, but my senior executive wouldn’t agree to it. I learned that if I’m going to be in this business I need to own the company, or at the very least be in the position to call the shots and write the checks,” he reflects. When Sony/ATV closed its operations in Atlanta in 2003, Stone joined his wife Tashia to become a co-owner and executive vice president of creative affairs at Enlight Entertainment, a full-service management and administrative assistance company she founded for producers and songwriters.
“I learned that if I’m going to be in this business I need to own the company, or at the very least be in the position to call the shots and write the checks.” In 2004, Stone founded Script Squad Music Publishing, a music entertainment business that caters to songwriters, specializing in songwriting, music publishing, and management. Recently, Script Squad teamed up with The Artist Factory to conduct three-day songwriting clinics for aspiring songwriters. During the clinics, participants are presented with information about legal issues of songwriting like performance rights, copyrights, and royalty rates, as well as the common mechanics and techniques that go into writing a good song. Participants get the chance to work collaboratively writing songs, and then see those songs recorded as demos by a professional engineer and a session vocalist. At the end of the clinic, the writers are given a mixed copy of the completed demo, which is sometimes sent for them to record labels, television and film companies, and artist management. Stone says, “A happy songwriter is a productive songwriter. My mission is to provide the writers I work with with the support, environment, and programs they need to be able to concentrate on creating hit songs and building not only successful careers, but also successful lives.”
Meanwhile, the merchandising effort spun off to become a separate entity, The Giant Peach, with Yameen as co-creator, designer, and webmaster. As traffic on the site increased, Yameen and the staff worked to enhance its functionality and upgrade the hardware to keep pace with the demand. Yameen’s entrepreneurial experiences from a young age taught him a lot about professionalism, responsibility, and understanding what people want. “Customer service is the big thing; people who buy clothes online come back to us. We get the merchandise out quickly, and we respond to every email.” Yameen says that taking advantage of opportunity—something he’s done very well—is something he thinks anyone can do. “If your mind can go there, why can’t you?” Today, Yameen still serves as senior designer for The Giant Peach. He also produces recordings with Hieroglyphics and works for Sega designing video games, using his background in user interface design and audio. Hieroglyphics.com celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, and TheGiantPeach .com continues as a fan community nexus and as the primary merchandising vehicle for a number of hip-hop artists.
Christopher (Yameen) Friedberg ’96, more commonly known now to his friends and colleagues as Stinke, is senior designer for TheGiantPeach.com, a hip-hop merchandising website he co-created.
Georgian • Page 8 G e o r g e S c h o o l S p r i n g 2 0 0 5
The Road to Hot Plates By Ann Langtry
hen Amy Taylor Popkin ’82 was just eighteen years old, she flew to France for an interview with the owners of the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris. “They handed me a dead chicken, complete with head and feathers, and asked me to create a meal.” After watching her work, the chefs not only admitted Amy to the prestigious school, but they also asked her to be their personal catering chef. Amy drew upon the same fearless instincts less than a decade later when she and new husband Andy ’83 were on the brink of becoming the owners of a specialty china and kitchenware shop they call Hot Plates in New Hope, Pennsylvania. After working with leading chefs and restaurateurs, Amy decided the culinary field was a bit too pressurized for someone starting a family. Besides, Andy and she were already enjoying a shared passion and lucrative hobby buying diner and railroad china at auction for an out-of-state company. “Professionally, I began in tractor-trailer sales, which is a natural lead-in to owning a specialty shop,” says Andy with his trademark laugh. The two opened the doors to Hot Plates in 1992. “If you know where the cannon is located in the center of town, you can find our shop, because it is aimed directly at our front door,” says Amy. The joking belies the fact that these two began their professional partnership with some shrewd, behind-the-scenes decision-making. They chose the ideal location for their kitchenware shop and wooed the building’s owner into letting them rent it. A few days later, Amy and Andy sat on the stoop of the same building and counted people walking by with shopping bags. This crude market research confirmed their hunch that walk-in business would sustain them. In fact, with minimal advertising, they still rely on walk-ins for ninety percent of their day-to-day business in 2005. The colorful merchandise displayed in general-store fashion inside Hot Plates includes a huge selection of kitchenware, china, glassware, and linens. In-store music offers a touch of nostalgia with tunes from the 1940s swing era. To keep things fresh and inviting, Amy
“If you know where the cannon is located in the center of town, you can find our shop, because it is aimed directly at our front door.” The parents of three children ages 11, 9, and 3, Amy Taylor Popkin ’82 and Andy Popkin ’83 have embraced new challenges in their lives. Amy has taken on the general proprietorship duties of their specialty shop, Hot Plates, and Andy is now working full-time as a major gifts officer at George School. The job allows Andy the opportunity to travel around the country to meet with alumni and “George School enthusiasts.” The new balance of combined efforts works well, according to both Popkins.
insists on “moving things around” on a weekly basis inside the cozy, 1,600-square-foot space. “It drives the staff crazy, but it works,” she confirms. The nostalgia theme is a strong element in the shop: “I love to hear customers say ‘my grandmother had that,’” she notes. When they first opened the shop, the couple sold collectible diner and railroad china, along with an assortment of other related kitchenware. “As the store evolved, we found our niche with Fiesta brand china customers,” says Amy. “Some of them have as many as 15,000 pieces,” says Andy. “They buy it as an investment.” The Popkins
enjoy hosting the annual “Fiestaval” for these specialty customers, offering appraisals and a party for collectors. Looking back on the success of their venture, Amy and Andy point to the business coaching they got from their parents, particularly Andy’s mother Sharen, a former George School Committee member, who had extensive retail experience. “We started out with a vision for the store,” said Amy. “We like setting goals together, and we’re both risk-takers. Initially, it was difficult for each of us to define our roles, but once those were established, it got easier.”
Growing a Family Business By Jackie Pantaliano
n any given day, you’re liable to see Wendy Fleming Allen ’77 selling peaches, cream, and more at her family’s Shady Brook Farm market in Yardley, Pennsylvania. Wendy’s great-grandfather began growing vegetables for sale to markets in Philadelphia in 1908 and subsequent generations have kept up the family tradition in one form or another ever since. Wendy started the family’s first retail farm stand in 1983. “Rising costs and taxes led many local farmers to move to Delaware,” Wendy says. In the hope of finding an alternative to moving, her father hired a marketing consultant who encouraged the family to open a retail farm stand. Wendy was responsible for the development of the farm stand and became its bookkeeper and manager. Wendy’s farm work began over her George School summers, and included cutting parsley with friend Sarah Peck ’77. “I can honestly say that was the worst job I ever had!” laughs Wendy. Various jobs that followed after her graduation from George School, including bank bookkeeper, waitress, bar-
tender, and retail cashier, served as an “invaluable preparation for running a farm market, although I certainly didn’t realize it at the time!” Wendy acknowledges. “I grew up with the sheltered notion that only two professions existed—farmers and teachers,” laughs Wendy. “George School gave me access to people of varied backgrounds. It opened the world to me and set the same standards of mutual respect and support displayed by teachers that we continue to proudly carry out in our family business today.” According to Wendy, her family’s key to success is loving what they do. This makes it easier to work the long hours necessary to make the business successful. “I also think you need to understand every aspect of a business to manage it well,” she explains. “When I started, I couldn’t sell strawberries without understanding how to plant them, what chemicals were used, how to care for them, and how to pick the fruit,“ explains Wendy. Since the farm market’s inception, business has grown steadily, and in 2001 Shady Brook Farm
Georgian • Page 9 G e o r g e S c h o o l S p r i n g 2 0 0 5
ceased growing products for wholesale distribution. However, pick-your-own fruits (including peaches) are still a mainstay. A new building with a deli has recently been added, along with a 6,000-square-foot greenhouse used for sales and growing space. The facility also continues to expand its product line. Pumpkin picking and hayrides in October are a big draw, as are other special events such as a winter holiday light show, birthday parties, school tours, and a winter wine concert series.
“I grew up with the sheltered notion that only two professions existed—farmers and teachers.”
“When recruiting current personnel, it was less important how much industry experience they possessed, than it was to show integrity, warmth, and humility, along with a hunger for success. The job skills could be learned.”
Embracing the Human Spirit By Jackie Pantaliano
lijah Dornstreich ’93 has all the trappings of material success: a beautiful condo overlooking the water, a nice car, and the ability to travel frequently to exotic locales like Thailand and India. However, although Elijah’s company, NationsFirst Financial Inc., is on the fast track—growing from four employees to over fifty in the past five years and serving seven states with seven more to come— his focus remains grounded in humanity. This, he firmly believes, is the true key to success. “Don’t get me wrong,” explains Elijah. “We’re in business to make money, but the best way to do that is to understand the human component. An executive at any level is a human being first, with desires, weaknesses, dreams, and a home life. They’re not simply a production mechanism.” With this mindset, Elijah has put together what he considers a winning employee team. “When recruiting current personnel, it was less important how much industry experience they possessed. It was more important to show integrity, warmth, and humility, along with a hunger for success. The job skills could be learned,” says Elijah. He developed this philosophy on his last trip to Thailand. “My trips abroad are all about spirituality and self-removal, very much like weekly Quaker meetings,” says Elijah. “It’s only by stepping away, that we can gain perspective.” In fact, Elijah knew nothing about the mortgage business when he started. Before a friend relocated, he encouraged Elijah to apply for
his sales spot at a mortgage company. Elijah describes being hired with “no sense of what I could accomplish in this world, but with a deep-seated desire to succeed.” Hard work and ambition led to top salesperson honors, and a managerial promotion. Unfortunately, the company folded within eight months. The two owners subsequently invited Elijah to partner with them and another colleague in a new business, where they did nothing but close and refinance loans for three years, with no employees. Gradually, the four teams, as they operate today, brought on a small number of support staff. This time, they wisely took “incremental forays” into further development. Within three years, the partners outgrew their space, moving to their current location with almost 4,000 square feet. Elijah’s team of thirteen is now expanding its focus from primarily business-to-consumer residential refinancing and home loans, to a business-to-business approach, selling through contractors and realtors. “Our industry is facing a lot of challenges, with changing markets, rising rates, and increased competition,” notes Elijah. “It’s essential to try new things, adapt to changes, and put ego aside by listening to employees, partners, and clients. This was perhaps the toughest and most important lesson I’ve learned,” he adds. “I now am very clear that my success is a collaboration among what I have exerted, what the world has given me, and what I give back.”
Three classmates… 106 combined years of teaching at George School.
Meet these Class of ’65ers and other favorite faculty and staff at the Alumni and Faculty Breakfast Reception. 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 14, 2005 McFeely Library
Elijah Dornstreich ’93 is on the board of directors for A Chance to Heal (www.achancetoheal.org), a donor-advised fund with the National Philanthropic Trust that raises funds to support treatment, promote understanding, and advocate on behalf of those afflicted with eating disorders.
Franchise Provides Start-Up Support By Kimberly Robbins
n 1993, Amy Lewis Tabor ’68 and her husband began researching the idea of starting their own business. They found the success rates of small businesses to be poor and decided to pursue a franchise opportunity. “We spent a year researching franchise businesses with the goal of finding one where my husband and I could combine his business and my accounting skill sets and work together,” explains Amy. “When I walked into Mail Boxes Etc., I found a clean, thriving environment and learned that a franchise business offered additional operational assistance like existing contracts with vendors and established guidelines for success.” She transitioned from a stay-at-home mom and joined her husband to open a Mail Boxes Etc. franchise in 1994. They added a second store in 1996. Amy’s first store has remained a Mail Boxes Etc., but the second has adopted the UPS name. Both stores offer a full range of business services—shipping, reproducing copies, word processing, faxing, selling retail office and packing supplies, and maintaining mailbox services for the public. Amy quickly learned that running the franchise business was not as easy as she initially thought it would be. A consistent challenge is maintaining three full-time employees and coping with the loss of personal time, a downside of being her own boss. However, the advantages of running her own business come
Georgian • Page 10 G e o r g e S c h o o l S p r i n g 2 0 0 5
in the form of professional development. “I’ve learned graphic design, utilizing my machinery to its fullest potential to provide customers with the best product, and the technical aspects of operating machinery.”
“Ask yourself if you are willing to give up things to accomplish your business goals.” Customer service is also a challenge. Amy notes, “You have to deal with a full range of people.” She treats everyone like family and takes pride in getting to know them and letting them know that they matter to her and her business. “If I lose one customer, it’s more than that. They tell two people who tell two people.” Amy encourages others who are considering starting a business or franchise to do their homework and find something that they enjoy. “You have to be willing to put in the time. There are things that you will have to give up along the way. Ask yourself if you are willing to give up things to accomplish your business goals,” she adds. “My philosophy is that nothing worth getting is not worth working for.”
Brewing Up Success
By Heather Davis
By Juliana Rosati
hen Meg Hagele ’88 decided to open Café Besalu in 2000, she didn’t pick up a “How to Start a Business” book to learn the process. Instead, she trusted her instincts, learned from mentors, and jumped in. “You end up reading books instead of doing it and it separates you from the process,” she says. Meg has spent her whole life just “doing it.” From the lemonade stand she ran when she was twelve years old, to her soon-to-open coffee shop—the High Point Café in Mount Airy, Pennsylvania—Meg says that starting a business is something that is hardwired into her. “It’s what I’ve always done,” she explains. “I’ve never been one to listen to the ‘You can’t.’” Having learned sewing from her mother, Meg learned how to work with leather and started her own bag manufacturing business in 1994. When she moved to Seattle, Washington, later that year, Meg took her business with her, where it blossomed into Mission Handmade and caught the attention of the Sundance catalog. Her “Philadelphia” bag, which she still carries to this day, was featured in the catalog. While Mission Handmade was successful, she kept her job at Café Ladro, a Seattle coffee shop. The owners were extremely flexible and let Meg take time off when her bag business was busy and return to the shop when her work slowed down. They also provided moral and practical support when Meg decided to take the plunge and open Café Besalu. Not only did her former employers teach Meg how to treat employees with respect, but they also opened their books to her and pointed her in the direction of good suppliers and equipment. Their lessons paid off, as just nine months after Café Besalu opened its doors, Meg and her business partner were able to pay off all their loans. Their café earned rave reviews. With the High Point Café, her newest venture, Meg hopes to foster a sense of community and offer her customers high-quality products. “My desire is to be a neighborhood café…I want to be the place that you’ll seek out when you’re having a bad day.” Meg credits her years at George School as incredibly valuable for her entrepreneurial adventures. “It really was a place where I felt that my thoughts and ideas were heard and respected,” she says. “It gave me an enormous amount of confidence and a foundation to believe in my ideas, to believe in who I was.”
“My desire is to be a neighborhood café... I want to be the place that you’ll seek out when you’re having a bad day.”
Meg Hagele ’88 (shown here with her husband Curtis Coyote at their Quaker wedding ceremony) plans to have coffee from True North Roasting Company—the business of a long-time customer—and seasonal pies, special cookies, and crepes on the menu of her new coffee shop, High Point Café in Mount Airy, Pennsylvania.
PAWS (Pets Are Worth Supporting) members made and sold dog treats and catnip toys on Conference Day to help raise money to purchase something off of the “wish list” of the local animal shelter. Pictured here from left to right are student leaders for PAWS Dana Olson ’06, Jami Laubich ’06, and Abbie Rogers ’05.
eorge School students have demonstrated their initiative and enthusiasm for campus life by creating a variety of new organizations. After finding a faculty sponsor, students who want to start a club must go to Student Council and the director of student activities for approval. In addition to answering questions about the club, the students must submit a form that states the club’s mission, gives evidence that the club will appeal to a wide range of students, and explains why the club will be significantly different in purpose from existing organizations. Students in clubs both new and old have demonstrated a lively entrepreneurial spirit by holding fund raisers for their organizations during school events and at lunchtime, often selling items such as baked goods, T-shirts, and pins. Here are some of the student organizations that have recently debuted on campus: The Cooking Club is available for students who enjoy cooking or want to learn how to cook. The group makes a variety of dishes so that students gain practice with a range of cooking techniques. LOGOS fosters discussion about Christianity throughout the community and helps meet the needs of students who are looking for Protestant Christian fellowship in which to share their beliefs and discuss how biblical principles apply to the world today. MEAT (Mammals Eating Animals Today) supports discussion and awareness of various arguments in favor of human consumption of meat. The group has fund raised for Heifer International, an organization that seeks to end world hunger and poverty by providing food-producing and income-producing animals and training to resource-poor families in 115 countries. PAWS (Pets Are Worth Supporting) works to raise consciousness of the plight of homeless animals, educating the student body and undertaking projects to support local animal shelters. The R&B Step Team is a step/dance group that rehearses regularly in preparation for an annual show. Step—a form of dance that uses the body, hands, feet, and chants to create a powerful rhythmic sound—originated in South African coal mines and was eventually adopted by hip-hop culture. ROC (Republicans on Campus) students meet to discuss Republican perspectives on a variety of current events topics. The group promotes awareness and understanding of Republican views on campus. Squares is a club for chess players of all skill levels as well as students who have never played chess before but would like to learn. Untitled Weekly is a humor magazine made up of student submissions, including news stories, editorials, and other creations that aim to give the George School community a good laugh.
Georgian • Page 11 G e o r g e S c h o o l S p r i n g 2 0 0 5
NOTE: Pages removed from this document to protect the privacy of GS alumni. Alumni may login to the alumni community at http://alumni.georgeschool.org to view the full version of this issue.
An Entrepreneurial Spirit The winter survey focused on start-up businesses and the people involved with them. Thank you to the 228 alumni who participated. The following is a sampling of the responses. For complete results of surveys like this one, visit the George School website at http://www.georgeschool.org and select “Alumni eQuiz” from the site index.
TAKING ACTION More than half (64%) of the alumni responding to the Start-Ups eQuiz have started their own businesses. Another 22% have thought about it, but haven’t taken action yet.
Have started own business
START-UP ADVICE Have a vision for what you want the business to become and develop a realistic plan and timetable to reach the goals you set. Know your competition and do your homework well and often. —Harry Hoyt Jr. ’55 Consider patents to cover processes/products that are key to business. Find a good/great accountant. —David Tanaka ’72 If you plan to start a business, make sure it’s something you enjoy doing. That way you’ll be motivated to excel—and there is always a place for the best in any field. —Sam Young ’76
Have considered starting own business
I think you need to understand every aspect of a business to manage it well. You should never ask anyone to do anything that you haven’t done first yourself. —Wendy Fleming Allen ’77
Be prepared to eat, sleep, and breathe your business. Identify everything that could go wrong and take steps to make sure they don’t. And lastly, if you can do, don’t not! Mind the light and move forward. —Jay Horwitz ’77
Have not considered starting own business
A HELPING HAND Forty-three percent of alumni respondents have been involved in the startup of someone else’s business.
Involved in someone else's start-up
The biggest thing to understand when starting your own business is that marketing is everything. You have to be willing to put enormous energy into it. —Julie Kiel ’84 Always keep a journal, from the concept to the reality. —Susan Wilson Baron ’85
1. Find a need. 2. Do things differently. 3. BE THE BEST! —Robert (Stone) Stafford ’89
Volume 77 • Number 1 • Spring 2005 In This Issue Hurdling Obstacles ..................................................................1 Culinary Teacher Founds School-to-Career Program ..................................................2 Honoring a Life of Service.....................................................2 Remembering Eric Curtis.......................................................3 Economics Course Explores Complex Questions .......3 A Global Perspective ...............................................................4 Valuing Individualism .............................................................4 New Ventures in Health Care ...............................................5 High Visibility at a Small Company ...................................5 Offering Unforgettable Experiences..................................6 A Model for Schools Nationwide ........................................6 Lasting Impressions..................................................................7 Nurturing the Songwriter’s Muse .......................................8 Fan Website Launches Career ..............................................8 The Road to Hot Plates ...........................................................9 Growing a Family Business ..................................................9 Embracing the Human Spirit..............................................10 Franchise Provides Start-Up Support .............................10 Brewing Up Success ..............................................................11 Student Start-Ups ....................................................................11 Class Notes .............................................................................. 12 In Memoriam ........................................................................... 23 eQuiz Highlights ................................................................... 24
Editor Bonnie Bodenheimer firstname.lastname@example.org 215-579-6567 Georgian Staff Peggy Berger Odie LeFever Alice Maxfield Juliana Rosati Rebecca Wilkinson
© 2005 George School Design: Turnaround Marketing Communications
Advancement Office George School PO Box 4438 Newtown PA 18940-0908 www.georgeschool.org
NONPROFIT U.S. POSTAGE PAID PERMIT NO. 1 NEWTOWN, PA