Urban Agenda Magazine - April 2016

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uRban agenda magazine m a r c h /a p r i l 2016

March/April 2016 Deborah Leamann Interior Design Amale Andraos—Dean of the Columbia School of Architecture Galbraith & Paul Studio Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial Hallelujah for Maira Kalman Insights on Rising Interest Rates Q&A With Event Planner Mary Bradley

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march/april 2016 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Lynn Adams Smith CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jorge Naranjo art DIRECTOR Jeffrey Edward Tryon GRAPHIC DESIGNers Matthew DiFalco Erica Cardenas CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Ellen Gilbert Ilene Dube Stuart Mitchner Joyce J. Persico Kendra Broomer Sarah Emily Gilbert Taylor Smith ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Robin Broomer ACCOUNT MANAGERS Jennifer Covill Kendra Broomer Monica Sankey Erin Toto OPERATIONS MANAGER Melissa Bilyeu URBAN AGENDA magazine Witherspoon Media Group 4438 Route 27 North Kingston, NJ 08528-0125 P: 609.924.5400 F: 609.924.8818 urbanagendamagazine.com Advertising opportunities: 609.924.5400 Media Kit available on urbanagendamagazine.com Subscription information: 609.924.5400 Editorial suggestions: editor@witherspoonmediagroup.com

Urban Agenda Magazine All rights reserved. Nothing herein may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher. To purchase PDF files or reprints, please call 609.924.5400 or e-mail melissa.bilyeu@witherspoonmediagroup.com. Š2016 Witherspoon Media Group



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WHO WHAT WHERE WHEN TO START For some, having a baby can take more time, especially once you’re in your mid-30s. If you’re having trouble getting or staying pregnant, don’t wait. With success rates nearly 20% higher than the national average* and treatment times measured in months—not years—the leaders at Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey can help now. Now with 22 expert physicians, we offer convenient appointment hours at nine locations: Basking Ridge, Eatontown, Englewood, Freehold, Hamilton, Morristown, Short Hills, Somerset, and West Orange.

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Gal braith & Paul Studio BY ELLEN GI LBERT


Deborah Leamann Interior Design: Where Northern Comfort Meets Southern Charm BY SAR AH EMI LY GI LBERT


B eauty— Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial In the Eyes of Museum Visitors





Amale Andraos—Dean of the Columbia School of Architecture BY I LENE DUBE


Urban B ooks—A Child’s Garden of Art Therapy BY STUART MI TCHNER


Hal lelujah for Maira Kalman BY ELLEN GI LBERT



Insights on Rising Interest Rates I NTERVI EWS BY LYNN ADAMS SMI TH

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Calendar 48

Q&A with Event Planner Mary Brad ley BY KENDR A BR OOMER



Bridesmaids Gift Guide 54

Groomsmen Gift Guide 56

Cover Image: Deborah Leamann Interior Design.



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Galbraith & Paul: High End and Helpful

photographs courtesy of galbraith & paul

by Ellen Gilbert


he studio is the soul of our business,” say Liz Galbraith and Ephraim Paul about their eponymous company, Galbraith & Paul, a studio workshop specializing in hand block printed textiles, handmade rugs, and studio printed wallpaper available to the trade. Everything about the enterprise – from Galbraith’s determination to “keep making it personal;” to the culture engendered by the all-female staff, to their idiosyncratic location (a high-ceilinged old stone building at 116 Shurs Lane in Philadelphia’s Manayunk neighborhood), the place breathes originality. Liz and “Ephi,” as he is called, are a long-married couple originally from Winnetka, Illinois. They came to Philadelphia after college, and seem to have neatly divvied things up: she’s an artist who designs new patterns and products, while he watches over the business end, minding on-site the office and taking their “show on the road” to places like California, Atlanta, and London several times a year. Of course it’s a lot more complicated than that, but they’ve been at it since 1986, and they are clearly a success. Asked if they ever get feedback about designs or products, Liz matter-of-factly reports that dealers are invariably delighted with their products.

Magical Fabrics “Galbraith’s magic is in making the fabric designs all her own,” observes reporter Mary Daniels and writer Eils Loto concurs. “Galbraith’s aesthetic is tough to pigeonhole,” she says, pointing out that Galbraith’s work has been likened to “the punchy designs of the Finnish company Marimekko, with touches of Arts and Crafts Movement visionary William Morris, and a dash of Fortuny.” Galbraith herself says that she likes “things that kind of bridge the gap between different styles.” Fabrics may end up in upholstered furniture and drapery in luxury resorts or in Starbucks’ lighting fixtures. Other clients include Wolfgang Puck’s chain of California Pizza Kitchen restaurants and Equinox, a high-end health club chain. Jay Jeffers, a California-based interior designer reported that “pretty much every project” he does “features a little bit of Galbraith & Paul,” including an apartment makeover he did that appeared in an issue of House Beautiful. Galbraith & Paul’s appeal is widespread: one year, their fabrics were used to make Roman shades and pillows for the library of the highly regarded Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club Decorator Showhouse in New York. Designer Nina Campbell, who represents

Galbraith & Paul in the United Kingdom, was happy to use Galbraith’s “Donuts” pattern to upholster the Hepplewhite chairs she inherited from her grandmother. “If Mr. Hepplewhite were still alive today, he would approve,” she reportedly said.

Hand-Blocking “Because we print everything to order in our studio, creating custom fabrics and wallpapers is an easy and creative process,” say Galbraith & Paul. “Simply put, we can print any of our patterns in any color on any ground with standard minimums and no up charge except the cost of a strike off.” Besides providing beautiful images of their products, their website, galbraithandpaul.com, is a model of its kind, replete with lucid explanations of different processes (“we provide a set of tools”); encouragement (a “lookbook” for ideas and inspiration), and down-to-earth instructions for maintenance (their wallpaper, they assure customers, is “easy to apply and lightly spongeable”). Working in collaboration with Savile Row clothier Holland & Sherry, Galbraith & Paul rugs now include 16 designs available in 5 constructions, and wallpaper is printed to order on Class A Fire-Rated paper. A line of block printed pillows and lighting is carried exclusively by Room & Board. Other details about sourcing, including interior design showrooms, abound. At the heart of it all, though, are the hands-on techniques they continue to champion. Galbraith is one of the few (some may claim the only) artisan in the United States still using hand-blocking, a method of producing patterns on cloth that goes back to biblical times (“like potato printing,” she suggests). Galbraith’s designs are realized in the 4,000 square foot studio as staff members work at eight-yard long printing tables, pressing woodblocks into fabric and hand printing to order. There’s wonderful symmetry in the repetitions as well as the totally unexpected, like the slight imperfections that occur when the human hand is at work. “Too-perfect” doesn’t cut it, says Paul. “We think one of the reasons people are drawn to our line is because of the ‘mistakes.’” “It really is like going back to another century in here,” says longtime employee Rachel Purcell. Make no mistake, though: Galbraith and Paul is no mom-and-pop, “ye olde workshoppe” bastion of quaintness. State-of-the art, carefully calibrated paint mixing machines insure precision in filling color orders, and

Erica, dressed in fabric “Stacked Pots,” 2016.

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photographs courtesy of galbraith & paul

(opposite) Megan with “Tea House” fabric; Printers (Simona and Megan) hang “Persian Garden” fabric to dry; Fabric collection installation.

Photoshoot in Galbraith & Paul’s studio in Philadelphia.

Liz Galbraith in her studio.

a digital printer in the studio is used for producing wallpaper. “Digital was a way we could expand but still keep control over our process,” Galbraith has said, and she and Paul are more than amenable to identifying ways in which new technology can support their mission of keeping things “as hand-printed as possible.”

and generally enjoy each other’s company. Galbraith points out that most of them tend to be “caretakers” in their respective families, and there’s no two ways about how to respond when a crisis occurs. One early winter day this year Galbraith was all smiles and encouragement as she took a call from an employee who was reporting to say that she had been chosen for what would probably be days-long jury duty. Rather than the usual expressions of dismay that often follow such announcements, Galbraith’s attitude was “In it Together” philosophical. “We’re just making wallpaper; who cares?” she mused. Her employee, she added, was Asked about the fact that all of the current really smart, and Galbraith had fully expected her to employees in the studio are women, Galbraith says, be chosen for a jury and given a chance to perform “it just worked out that way,” and though that may her civic duty. sound kind of dispassionate, she and Paul take their Staff at Galbraith & Paul tend to stay for at least presence very seriously. awhile, and when the unusual opening comes up, the “It’s a very community-like atmosphere,” says 28inclination now is to hire another woman; one or two year old textile printer Ashley Limes, who has been men would just be disruptive at this point, she says. with the company for five years. “Unlike most work Galbraith and Paul joke about their three sons, two places, we prepare and eat our meals together.” By young adults and one high-schooler still at home, “we” Limes means Ephi, Liz, the 17-member regular as being the male component. Cordial relationships staff, and part-timers – often college students with people outside the studio – from vendors to who routinely return when they are on a break. the UPS man -- are mindfully cultivated, particularly Birthdays are celebrated with monthly parties and by Paul, an affable personality who claims to be the there’s a mandatory four-day workweek, although only one working a five-day week. Galbraith & Paul is open five days a week. Schedules Items that have already found their way into are staggered, and staffers, who are mostly also Galbraith’s brand new second-floor design room artists with skills and interests that go beyond their include nods to older traditions (a striking photograph workplace stations, are encouraged to pursue their of her mother in uniform as a young World War II own projects at other venues. “Liz and Ephi are very “poster girl”) as well as evidence of possible new supportive of us in general,” adds Limes. “They allow ventures (a model’s form draped in a tunic made, us to sell our own goods during the annual Sample of course, from a Galbraith & Paul fabric). Although Sale.” it is not yet clear if the clothing business is a “go,” “Everyone’s in it together,” says Galbraith. Galbraith is eager to point out the tunic’s practicality; “The culture of the workplace environment is very its simple design, she notes, means it will transition important.” Sensitivity to workers’ concerns extends easily from day to evening. to time off when unexpected challenges, like an Installation of fabrics “Lattice” and “Persian Garden,” 2013. “We hope that when you look at our products, illness in the family, arise. The all-women factor may the love for what we do shines through,” say Galbraith & Paul. It does. originally have been originally unintended, but it has nurtured a special kind of culture. The women watch each other’s backs, pitch in where needed,



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Deborah Leamann Interior Design:

Where Northern Comfort Meets Southern Charm by Sarah Emily Gilbert

eadquartered in Pennington, New Jersey, Leamann has worked with discerning clients from around the country. A graduate of New York School of Interior Design and an allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Leamann has over thirty years of experience in the industry, but her eye for design blossomed early on. “My mother was from the south, and I spent a lot of time there as a child visiting relatives,” recalls Leamann. “I owe my appreciation for all things beautiful to my mother. She kept an impeccable home with beautiful finishes and beautiful details - she was into every bit of that. When she passed away in 1989, it was a turning point for me. I knew it was time to jump in, test the waters, and open my own firm.” Leamann’s classic aesthetic calls upon the work of southern design greats like Suzanne Kasler, Barbara Westbrook, and Bunny Williams, but her knack for putting a twist on the traditional sets her apart. While she is known as a classic designer partial to earth-toned color palettes and timeless furnishings, Leamann incorporates bright accent colors, bold textiles, and hand-selected statement pieces. No matter how she decides to “punch up” a space, her vision shines through in every project. “There’s a level of taste in all design genres,” Leamann explains. “You can be classic, yet pick the best products, schemes, and styles from all the worlds of design.” Perhaps Leamann’s latest project, an 1884 Gothic Victorian home in Doylestown, Pennsylvania best exemplifies this talent. In accordance to how she begins many of her projects, Leamann’s inspiration was spurred by an element of the home’s architecture. “I call it my pink and green home because it has these spectacular pink and

green stained glass windows that spring boarded me into the design journey, she says. “I pulled lovely textiles, yummy textures, and fresher lighting fixtures that made the Gothic architecture spring forward, while allowing for a contrast in time periods.” Another example of Leamann’s design versatility is her fusion of northern comfort and southern sensibility to produce spaces that are timeless, elegant, and livable. Leamann is mindful of how a client will be utilizing the space she’s designing, something clearly expressed in her personal design motto, “rooms you love to live in.” “When people start working with a designer, they can get intimidated that they need to have this showroom quality house at all times, but you have to live in your home,” Leamann adds. It has to be inviting, welcoming, and comforting. I have three dogs, two cats, and a horse - we’re real people. Sometimes we want to kick back and put our feet up on the coffee table or eat in front of the television. I get all of that. You can have a beautiful home and still have that element of usability so that it functions well.” Ultimately, Leamann believes it’s her client-designer relationships that bring her creative process together. She translates the needs and desires of each client into an unforgettable space. “If a client says, ‘I just love this piece of art,’ I’m going to work with it and make sure that we’re on the same page from the beginning,” she explains. “That’s a crucial element to having a successful design relationship with your client. I can’t put enough emphasis on the importance of art and art objects when designing a room. They truly reflect the soul of the house because it’s a personal expression.” Leamann’s success comes from her ability to put her own heart and soul into every project. And just like her classic taste, an authentic designer never goes out of style.

Deborah Leamann Interior Design is a full service design firm. Projects from full home conception to single rooms and one time in-home consultations are available. To contact Deborah Leamann call 609.737.3330 or visit http://deborahleamanninterior.com.



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image courtesy of deborah leamann interior design.


Deborah Leamann of Deborah Leamann Interior Design is a New Jersey native with a southern sensibility, a New York City interior design education, and a world-class level of taste.

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(CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT): Hundreds of colourful bristles emanate from headdresses in Maiko Takeda's millinery collection, Poster for Elsewhere by London-based illustrator Von, Trace Architecture Office by Hua Li.



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The Souk Mirage by Sou Fujimoto.

Skirt and top by Giambattista Valli.


ndefined and often random, beauty is no one absolute thing. Some may find it in a baby’s smile or the latest runway creation of an up-and-coming clothing designer. It can elicit powerful visceral responses or a calm sense of serenity. When something is viewed as “a thing of beauty,” notes Andrea Lipps, Assistant Curator of a the new exhibit, “Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial,” beauty usually “lies in the eye of the beholder.”

CARNEGIE MANSION Located at 91st Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues, the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is the only museum in the United States devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. The original building, built between 1899 and 1902, was once the home of industrialist Andrew Carnegie. A recent renovation has provided for 60 percent more exhibition space and Lipps, collaborating with Cooper Hewitt’s Senior Curator of Contemporary Design Ellen Lupton, has filled two floors of the five-floor museum with more than 250 works by 63 designers from around the world. The organizers have divided “Beauty,” which runs through April 12th, into seven themes: “extravagant,” “intricate,” “ethereal,” “transgressive,” “emergent,” “elemental” and “transformative.” They are hoping that the interactive, digitally- savvy exhibit will attract a new generation of visitors to the museum. “Millennials really like the new digital experience,” Lipps explains. “Overall, the museum has made a significant move to digital, with new entry points into different types of contents in the museum. There are still very traditional entry points as well, but, for the most part, visitors are looking for a shared experience.” Indeed, visitors can take sharing and defining beauty to new levels in the exhibit’s “ethereal” section where, a “smell bar,” devised by scent artist Sissel Tolaas, attempts to recreate the smells of Manhattan’s Central Park. What may be a challenging experience for seasoned New Yorkers may also serve as a draw for the younger crowd the Cooper Hewitt is hoping to attract. “People

familiar with Sissel’s work know she has a very provocative way of doing things,” says Lipps. “She’s come up with a completely new smell for the show; Central Park was an obvious choice.” The sweeping range of “Beauty” wends from Giambattista Valli’s sensual gowns to Guido Palau’s hair artistry and Pat McGrath’s makeup, all found in the “extravagant” approach to the theme. Studio Job’s gas masks, peace symbols and syringes juggle the difference between everyday and something worth a second look in the “intricate” cycle. “Elemental” beauty examines materials that change from liquid to solid. Nexi Oxman’s wearable 3-D objects translate to “emergent” beauty as do user interactions with data flow. “Transgressive” beauty invites androgyny to the mix and also transposes the features of animals with those of humans. In the “transformative” category, designers take the familiar and use them in a different way, such as Brynjar Siguroarson employing the techniques of Icelandic fisherman to make furniture. Objects on display include rubellite tourmaline earrings; a photo of a wrinkled forehead; blown glass bowls; fingernails painted in black and white to look like webs; a silk taffeta and tulle skirt and top that fades from a raspberry to pink, and a photo of a man in a sweeping black coat. FOR ALL AGES Lipps emphasizes that the museum is a place for everyone, from children to adults. Efforts to be up-to-date and beyond include “the pen,” a formidable new tool that allows each visitor to touch museum labels, draw on interactive tables, and save 3D creations or wallpaper designs in the museum’s Immersion Room. Later, they can log onto a web address printed on the admission ticket to call up collected items at home. “Overall, the thing that draws me to this line of work is a passion to experience and opening people up to celebrating designers,” observes Lipps. “I like enabling people to be exposed to different ideas and new access points. Ultimately, though, it all comes back to design.”


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Dress by Sandra Backlund (TOP), Wallpaper Installation by Job Smeets (BOTTOM).

Illustration by Homa Delvaray.

Anrealage Magazine by Theseus Chan.



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Gravity Stool by Van Der Wiel (TOP), Monument Valley by Ken Wong (BOTTOM).

THE BUILDING The museum is housed in the former home of industrial magnate Andrew Carnegie. When Carnegie began planning the 64-room mansion, he knew he wanted “the most modest, plainest, and roomiest house in New York,” he wrote, with room for his wife to garden and his daughter to play. He made sure to purchase land far north of where his friends and fellow millionaires were living, to ensure that outdoor space. Built between 1899 and 1902, the house was designed by New York architects Babb, Cook and Willard. Carnegie was very much involved in the process. Despite his interest in simplicity, he had a fascination with technology and construction. The Georgian-style mansion was the first private residence in New York to have a structural steel frame, and was among the first to boast central heating, a pre-cursor to air conditioning, telephones, and a passenger elevator by Otis. That elevator is now in the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American history in Washington, D.C. Even the boilers were state-of-the-art. A pair of enormous twin boilers in the center was run by coal, which was transferred from storage bin to furnace by a coal car that traveled over a miniature railroad track. Another prominent feature was the massive Aeolian organ in the main hallway, which had pipes extending through three floors. A church organist arrived each morning to play the organ so the Carnegies could hear their favorite tunes as they awoke and prepared for the day. The building received landmark status in 1974. It reopened two years later as Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution It was renamed Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in 2014. EDUCATION Several special tours and events related to exhibits are scheduled. Following is a selection of some upcoming events: High school students can enter Cooper Hewitt’s Student Design Challenge, its first for their age group. #ThinkOutside invites high school students across the United States to “think outside” and submit designs for an outdoor chair inspired by the museum’s world-renowned collection. The winning design will be manufactured by Target for use in Cooper Hewitt’s Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden. Submit entries through February 21, 11:59PM. BEAUTY: A COOPER HEWITT DESIGN TRIENNIAL TALK AND TOUR On Thursday, March 31 from 12-2PM, curators Ellen Lupton and Andrea Lipps give an inside look at the works in the exhibition of the same name, then lead a tour through the museum. Tickets are $25. ONGOING TOURS On weekdays, tours begin at 11:30AM and 1:30PM. Weekend tours are at 1 and 3PM They are free with the price of admission, and no reservations are required. Group and private tours are also available. Starting February 12, tours of “Beauty-Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial” will be held. This is the fifth installment of the museum’s contemporary design exhibition series. Tours will be held through August 21. Tours of the permanent collection are ongoing. “Making Design” is devoted to showcasing the museum’s collection of over 210,000 objects spanning 30 centuries. For information, call (212) 849-2950.


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Life is Better with Plants—Lots of Them!

The architectural designs of Amale Andraos embrace nature


etting kids to eat, and like, their vegetables isn’t usually the work of an architect, but for Amale Andraos, who is working on her second design for the Edible Schoolyard Project in New York, there is a connection between designing buildings and “the artistic and aesthetic dimensions of food.” Teaching the next generation about both is a big part of what she does. Named one of the 25 Most Admired Educators for 2016, Amale Andraos, 42, the new dean of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, has taught architecture at Princeton, Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania and American University in Beirut. With her husband, Dan Wood, Andraos founded New York-based architectural firm WORKac in 2003. The firm has garnered acclaim for such projects such as the Children’s Museum of the Arts in Manhattan and the Edible Schoolyard at P.S. 216 in Gravesend, Brooklyn. WORKac is designing the new home for the Eyebeam Art + Technology Center in downtown Brooklyn; an expansion of the Museum of Sex in Manhattan; and a new storefront facade for a parking garage in Miami’s Design District. Internationally, WORKac had designed a master plan for the New Holland Island Cultural Center in St. Petersburg, Russia, and is building its winning competition entry for a new 20,000 square meter Conference Center in Libreville, Gabon, Africa. In China, the firm completed a 2,000-acre master plan for seven new university campuses in Weifang and is currently working on a competition for the 2019 Beijing International Horticultural Exposition. Indeed, there’s a plant theme running through. The recently completed Obsidian House in TriBeCa seeks to integrate the inside with the outside by having, in its Penthouse, herbs planted above the kitchen and a shower surrounded by ferns. In 2008, WORKac designed an installation in MoMA PS1’s courtyard, “Public Farm 1,” a solar-powered self-sufficient farm featuring an undulating daisy-shaped construction of cardboard tubes filled with herbs, fruit and vegetables. In Above the Pavement, the Farm!, published in 2010, Andraos and Wood tell the story behind Public Farm 1: 150 collaborators—farmers, politicians, horticulturists, technicians, soil scientists, engineers, architecture students and artists—created a “new breed of sustainable infrastructure, capable of generating its own power,

L’Assemblée Radieuse, conference center in Libreville, Gabon (under construction), 2014



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(top) New Holland Island Cultural Center, St. Petersburg, Russia, masterplan, 2014. (bottom) Nature-City, commission for MoMA exhibition “Foreclosed: Re-Housing the American Dream,” 2012.

recycling rainwater, cultivating crops, and encouraging leisure” that demonstrated how “even the most impossibly utopian visions of green city living are within our reach.” A forthcoming book, The Arab City: Architecture and Representation, looks at Islamic architecture: its buildings, cities and landscapes. Despite an exceedingly full plate, the East Village resident—she and Wood combined two units in a triplex where they live with their children—took time to talk to Urban Agenda. UA You were born in Beirut and have lived in Saudi Arabia, Paris, Montreal, Rotterdam, Boston and New York. Where and how did you become interested in the Arab City? Andraos Having spent my childhood in various cities in the Middle East, I have always been sensitive to the difference I felt existed between the lived experience of growing up there and the mediated images and predominant narratives about the “Arab City,” the “Arab-Islamic City” or the “Arab Street” one encounters in the media and in popular culture. Later, as I read the writings of Edward Said and Janet Abu Lughod as an architect, I became interested in how the contemporary architectural and urban production in the Middle East and in the emerging cities of the Gulf in particular, continued to construct the same narrative of contexts seemingly suspended out of politics or history, even as they are presented as visionary and futuristic, as opposed to trapped in a frozen past. This kind of reverse orientalism, as anthropologist Ahmed Kanna coined in his brilliant Dubai: the City as Corporation, has been quite interesting to me, not only as a way to read the current production as continuous with a certain approach to architecture and urban planning and design but also, moving beyond the region, as a way to reframe and critically engage the challenges and opportunities of architecture as a global practice today. UA Your book blurb says “Arab cities are multifaceted places and sites of layered historical imaginaries; defined by regional and territorial economies, they bridge scales of production and political engagement.” How would you describe it for the lay person? Andraos I don’t believe cities can be defined along ethnic lines and I find that the notions of cultural specificity and identity have been somewhat abused lately as we continue to construct the local and the global in opposition and make claims about authenticity, which are often quite problematic. Much of my interest has in fact been in undoing the notion of Arab City. At the same time, I believe the term “Arab” can today be quite instrumental in highlighting

unique aspirations and evoking particular images that are specifically other to Islamic or Arab-Islamic as the two adjectives are decoupled to uncover a history that is today too often forgotten: the history of a long and complex engagement with the project of modernity, articulated in Arabic, that took place for over two centuries in the region, through the arts and letters, through political and intellectual thought as well as through architecture and urbanism. This engagement was transnational, progressive, at times secular and at times stemming from religious reformers and stands in stark contradiction to the narrative of a clash of civilization we mostly hear of today. UA Your father was an architect and you’re married to an architect. What is it like working closely with architects who are also family members? Andraos I was never able to work with my father, but Dan and I have a special chemistry and it’s incredibly rewarding and exciting to think, imagine and design together, to co-author, even if it is at times difficult, with seizing critique and passionate arguments. We like to say that a project is never good until we both agree it is, and neither of us is one to compromise. UA Who were some of your earliest influences? How did they inspire you to choose your career path? Andraos My father was my most important influence growing up. He was really a painter before being an architect, with an unbelievable culture, which seems to cover the entire globe, a deep love of history and great knowledge of art. He is an aesthete and a formalist and some of my most vivid memories of our early conversations are arguments about Duchamp. Later, I was also lucky to study with great educators who were passionate about architecture and cities, and always invited me to think outside of any given frame. Amongst them I count Howard Davies, Ricardo Castro, Toshiko Mori, Michelle Addington, Hashim Sarkis and Rem Koolhaas, of course. UA You have described yourself as part of the post-starchitect generation, and are concerned with sustainability. How do you determine when and if it makes sense to build? Andraos Too often architects are satisfied with their buildings meeting certain green performance criteria, such as achieving a LEED rating, for example. But what if a building is LEED certified but three times as big as it could have been? What if its program renders it a gated enclave, which displaces the city? What if it’s replacing an existing structure, which could have been strategically transformed to accommodate new use? What if technology and infrastructure

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New Holland Island Cultural Center, St. Petersburg, Russia, masterplan, 2014

renderings courtesy of WORKac.

p.s.216, brooklyn photography by raymond adams.

Edible School Yard at P.S.216, Brooklyn, NY, 2014



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PF1, Young Architects Program at MoMA PS1, Queens, NY, 2008. pf1 young architects program at moma ps1 photograph by raymond adams.

to make connections across scales and visualize a given context in ways that render externalities tangible, for example. I also believe it is important to counteract the omnipresence of the architectural rendering, which has somewhat homogenized architectural invention and reduced architecture to image. Instead, I think drawings and models can be more material and personal, they are an abstraction and can be either analytical or experiential or both and one can discover and design through them, as annotations of ideas rather than mere representations. UA How can architecture today help us realize our visions of utopia? Andraos I don’t think we should try to realize our visions of utopia, but use those visions as agents of change and as invitations to think of alternate possibilities in the ways that we live and engage one another and other species. Architecture can help us engage with the real: to shape the reality of our housing, our workspaces, our cities and parks, our institutions and our infrastructure in new ways. UA How does the Diane von Furstenberg headquarters, designed by WORKac, incorporate some of these concepts of sustainability and ecology in an urban setting? Andraos The Diane von Furstenberg building was partly a preservation project and partly a new interior construction which revolved entirely around bringing natural light into the depth of the building, enhancing the experience of working as designers within it and minimizing the use of artificial light through the use of heliostat mirrors. It was also an exercise in compression and urban density, where individual working spaces were rendered quite tight in exchange for collective meeting spaces lining the main stair. Finally, the green roof and geothermal heating and cooling further contributed to thinking about the building’s systems as ecological infrastructure. UA How do your designs help to connect people with nature? Andraos We like to think that our work revolves around constructing second natures and environments: we seem to be obsessed with perforating and carving buildings to introduce green spaces and gardens, to bring in the sky, to always feel connected with the outside and the larger context. But we also like the idea of creating a sense of connection by making systems visible: by designing structures with shapes that celebrate water collection and reuse, for example, or with roofs and courtyards that are designed to grow food or collect compost, all of which render buildings an integral part of larger systems— ecological, agricultural, urban, etc.

reade street, new york photograph courtesy of workac.

could be inserted as if surgically in an existing context, rendering it radically new? Architects have so much more to offer than building alone, and when we have the privilege of building, I think we should be asking fundamental questions that have to do with scale, with density and compression, with program and use as well as with infrastructure and materials, rather than just respond to a brief or to regulations. It certainly is not easy, since we are more often than not invited at the end of a process, but I think we need to demonstrate that architects are not only there to answer problems, they can in fact lead in recasting the questions. UA How do you teach this? Andraos I believe students want more than what we are offering them, so they are teaching us, and together we are learning to ask different questions, to reframe the problems and to continue to expand the possible answers, whether through new forms of practice, new means of engagement and action or new forms of knowledge and discourse.

UA Why are you committed to educating future architects? Andraos Architects have the ability to think across scales, from the scale of a brick to that of a building, a city or an entire territory. They can draw lines that make visible the invisible: networks of exchanges, resource extractions, large scale migrations, etc. They can create feedback loops and parametrically iterate scenarios that integrate large amounts of data and bring together various disciplines and expertise. Architects are embedded in and learn from history even as they project new possibilities for the future. They embrace technology while also being critical of it. Architecture is also one of the few disciplines that can bring together the sciences and the humanities. As climate change brings more and more uncertainty to the future of our built environment and changes how we think and design this environment, I believe architects have a unique and significant role to play.

UA Why do edible schoolyards need architects? Andraos Edible Schoolyards are not just about growing, cooking and eating organic food within an urban context and a school program; they are about pleasure, the experience of fresh food and the art of simple cooking with the understanding that food and cooking are an integral part of culture and expression. That is what is so inspiring about Alice Waters as a great chef and a food activist and the Edible Schoolyard NYC, which is the foundation we are collaborating with: their mission embraces the importance of architecture, and of the artistic and aesthetic dimensions of food as an experience, however simple, which is part of learning about the world and enjoying being part of it.

UA Why do architects need edible schoolyards? Andraos Because they are such a pleasure to imagine, design and build. They are very fulfilling projects, which bring together large ideas about cities and the environment and the very real and tangible daily experiences of kids who are empowered to learn and be in new ways. UA You prefer architectural models to relying on technology. What about drawing? How important is drawing in architectural practice today? Andraos Architectural drawings and models are critical today, as we try 93 Reade Street, New York, renovation and penthouse, 2014. MARCH/april 2016

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A Child’s Garden of Art Therapy by Stuart Mitchner


he most effective art therapy book I know is the Audubon Guide to Wild Flowers. My son must have been eight when he began looking through it, fascinated by the bright images, especially the more exotic flowers. The Audubon became his book of choice at bedtime. It wasn’t long before he wanted to make up his own guide. We found a large bound book of blank pages, gave him crayons and marking pens, and he spent many happy hours following the Audubon model. First he drew his idea of the flower, gave it a name, and then a description like the ones he knew. These were all his own inventions. Not only was it more satisfying, and more do-able, for him to make up the flowers, rather than trying to copy the real thing, his small motor disability gave him no choice. Simply trying to copy the image would have led to frustration, as happened in school where most kids could at least draw some identifiable semblance of an assigned object. In this case, neccessity truly was the mother of invention, for once he gave up the obligation to replicate the image, he was free to dive into the riot of color he’d discovered in the Audubon guide. An insensitive teacher would have made him feel at fault or inferior for not being able to keep up with his peers. Fortunately, he had one or two teachers who lived up to the Greek definition of therapy: therapeía “to be attentive”—and not judgmental.

FINDING RELEASE OR RELIEF If you look for art therapy online you find the usual stories of artists whose work helped them overcome personal adversity. Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose version of a field guide was the copy of Gray’s Anatomy he studied while recovering from a childhood accident, ran away from home at 15 after his mother, who had encouraged his art, was committed to a mental institution. Putting his psychosis on canvas helped Edvard Munch survive deep depression and nervous breakdowns. One look at Van Gogh’s palpably alive paintings and art appreciation becomes psychoanalysis.

Whether children are dealing with mass shootings and terrorism and the ensuing paranoia or with the loss of a parent or sibling, they could presumably find release or relief in art therapy. Indirectly related to my son’s use of plants as an outlet is Sophie Leblanc’s Art Therapy: Extraordinary Gardens: 100 Designs, Colouring in and Relaxation (Jacqui Small $19.99), which celebrates the “enchanting world of the garden, where birds, insects and flowers unite to form 100 beautiful illustrations for you to make your own. From Eden to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, any garden is a symbol of peace and pleasure.” The point is to be creative within a provided template, to “let your imagination wander” within the secure confines of the book where children (and adults) can “rediscover the simple, yet calming pleasure of observing nature at its finest” in the form of “hedge mazes, incredible topiary, elegant romantic gardens and friezes of evocative tulips of the Taj Mahal.” The adversary is not clinically specified but described in euphemisms like “the stresses and distractions of everyday life.”

THE PARIS APPROACH If adults can find something therapeutic in Ernest Hemingway’s Parisian memoir A Moveable Feast, which has been selling remarkably well in Paris since the November terrorist attacks, a book like Secret Paris: Color Your Way to Calm (Little Brown $16) might be helpful for children shaken by the catastrophe. Another book by Zoe de Las Cases (not a person, apparently, but a shop) is just out this month: Paris Street Style (Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony $16), in which “The coloring book is reinvented in a brand new journal format.” The idea is to make therapy companionable, you can take it with you, and use it to illustrate day to day moments “wherever you’re off to,” using “whimsical, fullpage patterns, cityscapes and street scenes, feminine silhouettes, and stylish essentials.”



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Offered through Barnes & Noble are Color Therapy: An Anti-Stress Coloring Book (Running Press $15) by Cindy Wilde, Laura-Kate Chapman, Richard Merritt, who is also, with Hannah Davies and Jo Taylor, among the editor-authors of Creative Therapy: An Anti-Stress Coloring Book. Both publications are part of an international coloring book series. Again, the purpose is to relieve stress, “lift your mood and focus your mind.” All you have to do is “just start coloring and doodling.” An offering with a New Age twist is Rebecca Bloom’s Square the Circle: Art Therapy Workbook (Booklocker $13.95), which features mandala coloring sheets and activities created to help adults, teens and children dealing with anxiety, depression and PTSD. The idea is to get beyond “verbal processing” to “image-making that safely allows the body to tell its story.” Using the eight limbs of yoga as a guide, you learn Ahimsa, to “practice non-violence toward yourself,” creating images that “don’t need to be pretty or even make sense,” but that “just have to be true and hopefully allow for more discussion to arise.” The second yoga concept is Dharana, “to allow yourself the time and space for inner awareness” and to use “these concepts of mindfulness as a powerful centering technique.” These exercises can be used “alone or in individual counseling.”

BEST SELLERS The adult coloring book phenomenon is the elephant in this particular art therapy room. For instance, Joanna Basford’s wildly popular Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Colouring Book (Laurence King $15.95), and for people in “today’s busy world” the pocket-sized Mindfulness Series by Emma Farrarons, featuring The Mindfulness Coloring Book: Anti-Stress Art Therapy for Busy People (The Experiment $9.95).


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Hallelujah for Maira Kalman “T


hat is so not me,” emphatically says writer/illustrator Maira Kalman after being asked if she would please consider being nominated to serve as the next Librarian of Congress. With the recent retirement of James Billington, who dutifully filled the post for nearly 30 years, one could only hope that someone with some joie de vivre—someone capable of exclaiming, as Kalman once did, “hallelujah for the knowledge and for the honor of Language and Ideas and books”—would come on board. In retrospect it probably was an unfair question. Kalman, whose work will be familiar to many from her regularly featured New Yorker covers, thrives on disorder, randomness, serendipity and lightning flashes of intense pleasure during the course of everyday life; promoting digitization and literacy in a nine-to-five job would probably do her in. But maybe it wouldn’t. Kalman, who was born in Tel Aviv in 1949; moved to New York City (“bucolic Riverdale”), when she was four, and now lives in Manhattan (“I love to walk everywhere—Central Park, down Fifth Avenue”), has weathered her share of adversity. Besides dislocation from her country of birth, her parents divorced when she was still a child. Worse was still to come: in 1999 her 49-year-old husband, the widely acclaimed graphic designer Tibor Kalman, died, leaving her with two young children. “The world is full of horror,” she observes, referring to both the personal and global. “If something happens that’s horrible, I’m horrified but I’m not surprised.” She describes the profound sadness of a recent visit to Belarus, once home to some of her family, as a “trip of what wasn’t there.” Kalman has written and illustrated 18 children’s books, including Ooh-la-laMax in Love; What Pete Ate; Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey; 13 WORDS, a collaboration with Lemony Snicket; Why We Broke Up, with Daniel Handler; Looking at Lincoln, and Thomas SELF-PORTRAIT Jefferson Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything. She is also well-known known for her New Yorker cover collaborations with artist/author Rick Meyerowitz of National Lampoon fame. Many cite their “New Yorkistan” cover as a turning point that gently said it was okay to smile again after 9/11. Their “New York City Sub Culinary Map” in 2003 was the product of months some serious research, writes Meyerowitz on his website. “We made lists of funny foods we found. We ate in every type of restaurant we could find; taking copious notes on the strange dishes we ordered and sometimes ate. We consulted cookbooks and food encyclopedias. I compiled our research into a list of over a thousand names.” From those thousand names Kalman and Meyerowitz “spent months doing nothing but choosing the funniest names and moving them around a pencil sketch of the map.” They renamed all 468 New York City subway

stations and “added sixteen for the Second Avenue line, which may never even be built,” writes Meyerowitz. “We renamed all the neighborhoods, parks, cemeteries and waterways—650 names in all.” One hopes that a comment Kalman made about working with Tibor—“to collaborate with somebody is really a joy”—still holds true. A certain amount of legwork is required to locate all of Kalman’s books. The children’s section in any bookstore or library is, of course, de rigeur, but forays into various other genres are also required. She has illustrated Strunk and White’s classic The Elements of Style and collaborated with Michael Pollan on an illustrated edition of his widely acclaimed Food Rules. Various Illuminations (of A Crazy World), documents one of several of her museum exhibitions, and The Principles of Uncertainty has been descried as “a narrative journal of her life.” The 2010 edition of Swiss writer Robert Walser’s Microscripts with Kalman’s “Some Thoughts on Robert Walser” at the end is further evidence of her wide-ranging curiosity and ability to make connections. She has blogged online for the New York Times; given two TED talks, and appeared as the Duck (“a delusional diva duck,” she reports) in Isaac Mizrahi’s production of Peter and the Wolf at the Guggenheim Museum. Kalman is currently co-creating a ballet commissioned by Jacob’s Pillow, the Berkshires-based dance festival and yes, she will appear in that, too. It’s not in her “comfort zone,” Kalman says, and she admits to wondering how “an older woman—a non-dancer,” will interact “in way that’s not embarrassing.” She “can see doing this,” though, because, like “walking around a room,” dancing is an “extension of being alive.” Kalman is similarly unabashed about using her mother’s oversized bra in her work, describing it as “an expression of love,” and feeling certain that “if you’re not vicious, you can say anything because you’re telling somebody how you really feel.” She believes it’s okay to be misunderstood and it’s interesting to note that the premise of M & Co., the design firm founded by Tibor in 1979 and named in her honor was, “we don’t know anything but that’s all right.” It’s actually better than all right. Kalman’s reviews are uniformly ecstatic. In 2011, writer Cathleen Schine wrote an appreciation of Kalman, noting that “The Pursuit of Happiness examined opera, Wittgenstein’s sister’s radiator, Helen Levitt’s bathtub, fabulous hats, and George Washington’s teeth. Kalman writes about the cemetery where her husband is buried and paints a picture of a dog lying between his grave and the grave of George Gershwin. She goes to President Obama’s inauguration and marvels at a museum guard’s perfect red eyebrows. She is an ironist who does not protect herself with irony.” Writer Maria Popova described Beloved Pete as “a tender, quirky, scrumptiously sincere love letter to our canine


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Dog reads book

Self-portrait (favorite Jacket)

companions, part memoir of and part manifesto for the adoration of Dog.” Serendipity is key and uncertainty is good. “If anybody said this specific thing is the source of all the problems, that’s madness,” she says of people who make absolutist pronouncements. This give-and-take enables to her regret recent Israeli politics, while not being embarrassed to be a Jew. Housework keeps her grounded, Kalman says, and it’s not surprising to learn that she once hired herself out (temporarily) as a servant in a large working castle in Britain. Life and work are all of a piece, and “life is too random” for her books to have plots. Life and work happily collided for her recently when Kalman was asked about the progress of an illustrated edition of Gertrude Stein’s Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas she is slated to do. While the book isn’t finished, an offhand comment about how delicious Toklas’s recipe for “veal stew Marengo” is sent Kalman into near-ecstasy. She happened to have been looking for a good veal stew recipe to try, and now she not only had one, it was one with a direct connection to her next book. While Kalman sometimes regrets that “we have to navigate this world both externally and privately,” she says that she tries “to put world events into some kind of perspective.” She makes a point of not reading the news and has her radio tuned to music. “It’s going to happen with me or without me,” she says of the highs and lows of world affairs, and she is relentless about not wanting to talk about politics (“it goes nowhere”). Although Kalman occasionally expresses anxiety about being or going crazy, she’s pretty philosophical about life in general. “When we look at our lives most of us are living extraordinary, charmed lives and are extraordinarily lucky,” she says. Unlike Tibor, who believed in “good design and social responsibility” (he created, for example, the “United colors of Benetton” campaign and has been quoted as saying that “power and sex are the dominant forces in the world”), Kalman says that she is not interested in social activism, though she does enjoy “engagement with groups of people who need help.” She claims to have been “born with a reasonably good nature” that allowed her “to see the world from a benign point of view.” Despite her parents’ divorce, she counts the security of family

and knowing that she was unconditionally loved as a child as key to her ability to experience joyousness. “The security of family” still figures prominently in her life. Kalman and her son, Alex, are currently curating an exhibit called “Sara Berman’s Closet,” a detailed recreation of Kalman’s mother’s all-white closet, at Mmuseum [sic] on Cortlandt Alley in TriBeCa. And, despite writing so lovingly about her first dog, Pete, who died at 15 (Beloved Pete), Kalman claims that because she travels so much, she won’t replace Pete until Alex and his girlfriend agree to share responsibility for a new dog. Considering Kalman’s fabulous sense of whimsy and capacity for wonder, it seems surprising, perhaps, that she is also a great admirer of photographer Diane Arbus (“I adore her work”) and the choreographer Pina Bausch— both known for not shying away from the harsher surfaces of life. “People who are difficult still feel true to me,” she observes. “Diane and Pina were not women in the normal sense of ‘nice, sweet people’ by any means,” she says, but she honors them for being “so true to their work that they give you a sense of what’s important.” Given the choice between pursuing an artistic career or being with their families, Kalman is almost certain that Arbus and Bausch would choose art. Kalman’s choice is obvious, but given the terrific success she’s enjoyed as an illustrator and writer, it doesn’t seem to have been a big problem for her. “How you really feel” may be the key to Kalman’s oeuvre; her earnestness and capacity to feel wonder at seemingly commonplace things consistently captivates critics. Her main criterion for selecting items to appear in a recent Cooper-Hewitt exhibition was that each piece elicit “a gasp of delight.” In addition to her myriad artistic commitments, Kalman is currently taking bridge lessons. “The sense of not knowing is hilarious,” she says of learning something new. “It’s like being six years old.”

“I like my life.” –Maira Kalman



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Maira Kalman will participate in Every Fiber of My Being, a group textile exhibition at the Arts Council of Princeton on view through April 17. Maira Kalman’s website is http://www.mairakalman.com.

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The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade and has pledged to gradually increase rates in the future.

We invited a group of senior banking executives to answer the same six questions concerning how rate hikes will impact consumers, savers, corporations, and local economic growth.

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from Columbia University, an M.A in institutional counseling from William Paterson University, an M.B.A. with a concentration in finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a B.A in education from Rowan University. Additionally, Bowden completed the National Trust School at Northwestern University, earned her Certified Trust Financial Advisor designation and has completed numerous sales management and leadership programs.

Do you believe the U.S. economy is strong enough to handle interest rate hikes and will rates ever return to pre-crisis levels?


NEW JERSEY REGIONAL PRESIDENT PNC BANK Linda Bowden is the New Jersey regional president of PNC Bank. Bowden is responsible for providing executive leadership and supporting client relationship and business development initiatives across the firm’s lines of business in the region, including corporate and institutional banking, commercial banking, and wealth management, as well as supporting the firm’s community-based activities. Bowden adds extensive industry experience to PNC that spans every aspect of wealth management, having served as portfolio manager, trust and investment officer and as a manager overseeing private banking officers. Bowden has been named among the “25 Women to Watch” by U.S. Banker magazine and was recognized as one of the “Best 50 Women in Business” and “Power 100” by New Jersey business news publication, NJBiz. Prior to joining PNC in 2009, she was the managing director of Wachovia Wealth Management. Bowden began her career as a teacher for seven years in Wyckoff, N.J. and authored two children's math books. Bowden is active in a range of community programs. She serves on the board of the Drumthwacket Foundation, as well as the executive committees of the Adler Aphasia Center in Maywood, N.J., the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Choose New Jersey. In addition, Bowden is a member of the board of the board of trustees of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and the William Paterson University Foundation She is also a Fairleigh Dickinson University PINNACLE recipient, the highest honor awarded to alumni. Bowden earned an M.S.W.

Yes, we do believe that the U.S. economy is strong enough to weather interest rate hikes. PNC’s economists point to several positive factors, including an unemployment rate that is holding steady around five percent and the best two years for job growth since 1999. Global concerns are outweighing domestic developments and that trend will likely continue throughout the year. However, given the strong US economic fundamentals, right now PNC economists foresee another rate increase as a probability when the Fed meets again in March. Keeping this in mind, our economists continue to call for moderate growth this year and it could be some time before rates approach the levels of 2007-2008.

Explain how the ongoing rise in interest rates will affect the following: Your banking business The economy and low rate environment is challenging every industry to examine their business model to ensure long-term stability, including financial services companies. Now, more than ever, the key to success is ensuring you have a diversified business model with a balance of interest and fee-based revenue. That approach was a critical area of focus for PNC in New Jersey and across all of the markets we serve early on. Additionally, even before the effects of the economic downturn became apparent, PNC maintained a moderate risk profile and avoided the pitfalls that challenged others, like subprime lending. The result is that PNC is well positioned to continue to succeed and grow in New Jersey. We will remain focused on working with our customers to find new opportunities to work—and grow— together.

Consumers, wanting to spend

Savers, including those on fixed incomes Savers, and those on a fixed income, are struggling to find value in the current low rate environment. However, the approach they are taking is centered on preserving assets, particularly for retirees. This is the time, however, to meet with your financial services provider to review retirement and investment goals. It can be tempting in times of economic uncertainty to become distracted and stray from a well-defined financial plan. Working with a financial planner to design a plan that makes sense for an individual’s specific needs and objectives simply makes good sense for everyone. That’s particularly true for those who are retired or considering retirement.

Corporate borrowers, both big and small businesses In the current environment, businesses of all shapes and sizes, from corporate to commercial to small business owners, have a sense of cautious optimism. The rate environment still remains favorable for those who are looking for lending solutions and investing capital in their businesses. This is a terrific time to seek out lending solutions that support capital investments in equipment and technology to strengthen and improve the ability to service customers.

Economic growth locally, as related to unemployment, home sales, construction, car sales or any other aspect you would like to suggest Even with the increase in rates, consumers will find that the environment is relatively favorable both locally in Princeton and across the state. In addition, employment opportunities are also more available given the broad base of industries that call New Jersey home, as well as the proximity and ability to service two major markets, Philadelphia and New York. Signs of optimism for long-term growth continue to surface as New Jersey and the national economy remain on a steady, measured road to economic growth throughout the year. U

While the interest rate environment is trending up slightly, it’s important to recognize that, overall, rates are at or near historically low levels. Coupled with this, commodity prices, and most notably the price of oil and gasoline, are hovering near 2003 prices. That is putting more money in the pockets of consumers. In fact, Fed reports indicate that consumer spending increased in most regions in late

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2015. It’s difficult to forecast sentiment and willingness to spend but right now we’re seeing signs that consumers are willing to spend. As difficult as the market volatility is, with the dramatic decline in gas prices consumers are spending more of their discretionary income. The fact remains, though, that we are in a period of moderate growth and this is simply the “new normal” environment where we find ourselves.



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Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce. He is past president of the Hunterdon Economic Partnership, past chairman of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce, and is a past member of New Jersey Governor Christie’s Bankers’ Advisory Board. He was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Rutgers University College, Newark, in 2004, and the 2011 Forrey-Gallman Outstanding Service Award from New Jersey Bankers Association. Mr. Hyman received his B.A. from Rutgers University in Political Science.

Do you believe the U.S. economy is strong enough to handle interest rate hikes and will rates ever return to pre-crisis levels?


Regional President Hopewell Valley Community Bank James Hyman is the regional president of Hopewell Valley Community Band, a division of Northfield since the recent merger of the two banks. He was previously president and chief executive officer of Hopewell Valley Community Bank in Pennington since its inception in 1998. He is past chairman of the New Jersey Bankers Association, New Jersey Bankers Service Corporation, as well as Atlantic Community Bankers Bank and past president of the Community Bankers Association of New Jersey. Mr. Hyman’s community service includes serving as a trustee of the Hunterdon Healthcare System, former chairman of Hunterdon Regional Community Health and of Hunterdon Hospice. He is currently a trustee of The Pennington School and is a board member of the



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Yesterday’s reaction to the Fed’s continuing stance about increasing rates in 2016 was a real sell off in the market so it would seem the nervousness of the market predicts the economy might be weakened if the Fed does increase them. However, and I caution that mine is a Main Street view vs. a Wall Street one, I believe there should be some room for increases without a negative impact given how historically low rates are. Having said that, I think it will be some time before we see rates rise to levels that preceded pre-crisis levels unless the U.S. and global economies substantially improve.

Explain how the ongoing rise in interest rates will affect the following: Your banking business Generally speaking the industry does better during periods of rising interest rates if banks are able to increase loan rates more quickly than deposit rates. The reverse is true for those banks with long term fixed rate loans on their books. In these cases, rising rates on their deposits will shrink the profitability of the bank.

Consumers, wanting to spend While rising rates will increase the cost of credit to consumers, and businesses for that matter, a rising rate trend frequently prompts action to make larger dollar purchases where credit is required, e.g. home, car, home improvements, to lock in a loan rate before they rise further.

Savers, including those on fixed incomes Savers will finally see opportunities to obtain a better low risk return of their funds. Truth is, this group has been forgotten during this entire 0% rate period managed by the Federal Reserve. Fixed income households reliant on interest from their savings have suffered the most and while nothing indicates rates will rise quickly, any increase will be welcome.

Corporate borrowers, both big and small businesses No company, large or small, benefits from paying more to meet its borrowing needs. And, without an ability to pass such costs on when it sells its products or services, profits can shrink. When they can pass on those costs, buyers/consumers pay more.

Economic growth locally, as related to unemployment, home sales, construction, car sales or any other aspect you would like to suggest When interest rates rise they do so for all concerned whether nationally or locally. Residential construction has reemerged in areas of New Jersey during the past few years compared to its complete stall in the earlier years, i.e. 2007 to 2012, of the recession. The health of that industry is based on demands of the consumer. A slip up in rates can see consumers act more quickly, therefore, while the builder may pay higher interest for loans, today’s environment allows them to pass along the costs. At the same time, home buyers are quicker to move before house prices and mortgage rates go up further. U

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MARTIN TUCHMAN Chairman of the Board First Choice Bank

Martin Tuchman is chairman and chief executive officer of The Tuchman Group, which oversees assets of $1.4 billion with investments in real estate, international shipping, domestic transportation and commercial banking. The Princeton International Property Real Estate arm manages the 100 units it currently owns, as well as providing management services to outside owners using its state of the art dashboard operating system. Additionally the full time staff oversee and perform the majority of repairs and refurbishing of the residential apartments, retail and commercial properties. The investing arm purchases, manages and retains $650 million of Municipal and Government Agency Bonds as well as originating and acquiring Whole Loans amounting to an additional $600mil. An amount in excess of $1bil in residential mortgages is originated and sold off to Fannie Mae annually. He is currently chairman of the board of First Choice Bank, one of the portfolio companies. The International Shipping business consists of $200 million of intermodal containers, chassis, and generator sets used in maintaining the charge in refrigerated containers. While the company is privately held, there exists a group of minority investors that participate in each of the above deals and transactions. The Group has over 500 people in its operating businesses and has generated over $80mil in taxes paid on its profits and incomes of its employees, over the past 5 years. Earlier, at the Railway Express Agency, together with a group of shipping engineers at the American National Standards Institute, Tuchman created the current standard for Intermodal containers and chassis, still in use

today. Subsequently, he co-founded Interpool, one of the nation’s leading container leasing companies and later formed Trac Lease, the largest chassis leasing company in the US. With his partner, he sold Interpool for $1 billion, in July of 2007. Active in Parkinson’s Disease philanthropy, Mr. Tuchman is on the board of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and chairman of The Tuchman Foundation, working closely with Parkinson’s organizations to secure NIH research grant approval. The Tuchman Foundation and its affiliates have thus far funded $15mil of research into finding a cure for Parkinson's disease. He is also on the boards of the American Cancer Society of Mercer County and the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen. In banking, he served on the board Yardville National Bank’s board of directors and is presently chairman of First Choice Bank in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Among his numerous honors, Mr. Tuchman was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young and he and Interpool earned Grand Prize in Cisco’s Growing with Technology Award. Mr. Tuchman received the Hero medal at The Smithsonian Institute and Interpool’s material is now part of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. In June 2011, Beta Gamma Sigma, the International Honor Society, serving business programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, awarded Martin Tuchman its coveted 2011 Business Achievement Award. According to the honor society, the award is given annually to recognize "significant achievements over a career or by a singular achievement that has advanced the field of

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business and contributed to community and to humankind." He was nominated for the award by Seton Hall University's Stillman School of Business. NJIT's School of Management (SOM), which shapes students to become technology leaders, managers and powerbrokers, will be named March 3, 2016 in honor of distinguished alumnus Martin Tuchman. This is the first time in the school's 27-year history that it will carry a formal name: The Martin Tuchman School of Management. Mr. Tuchman earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology and his M.B.A. from Seton Hall University. Recipient of NJIT’s Alumni of the Year Award, he has been a member of the school’s board of trustees and is currently on its board of overseers.

Do you believe the U.S. economy is strong enough to handle interest rate hikes and will rates ever return to pre-crisis levels? The Fed is charged with keeping inflation in check as well as anticipating financial bubbles. During the early part of the financial restructuring, our investment group felt that there were insufficient employment numbers to create an inflationary environment, and we organized ourselves accordingly, having over $500 million in agency and municipal securities. As we move forward, we recognize the psychological pressure to raise rates, however, we also view the price of oil as a brake on inflation. At its current price range, we do not see any alarming rise in inflation, and therefore a slow increase in interest rates should follow. We do not see a rise in rates to the pre-crisis level. (CONTINUED)



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Explain how the ongoing rise in interest rates will affect the following: Your banking business Our bank is charged with serving the community, and we have to do so in a safe and sound manner. With over $1 billion in assets we have over $500 million in mostly investment grade securities and $500 million in commercial and residential loans. The investment securities produce sufficient cash flow, so combined with the loans being paid down; we can sustain our loan origination without raising additional capital. Our objective is to make safe and sound loans to the local community, pay a fair price for our deposits and return to shareholders a fair dividend from the earnings we produce. Being a good corporate citizen, we have paid over $25 million in taxes. Additionally, we have originated over $1 billion in residential mortgages in our local tri-state footprint. These are not necessarily a measurement used by the financial sector, but it gives us a sense of satisfaction knowing what we have accomplished. We currently have over 500 full time employees on our staff, and interestingly enough they also pay state and local taxes. This is contributing to the economy in a very positive way. If current rates rise, two things will occur. First, any loans we have on our books that are “floating rate” will immediately price upward. This covers about 30% of our portfolio. So, an immediate positive impact, on the revenue side. On the cost side, i.e. what we pay for deposits, places us in the 97th percentile in terms of cost for deposits so it is highly unlikely that our bank will have to raise deposit rates to retain our deposit base. Therefore, on a going forward basis the rates that our customers pay will tend to rise, while our interest costs will remain the same. So rising interest rates will have no negative effect on our bank’s business.

Consumers, wanting to spend There are several factors that influence consumers’ willingness to spend. Having more surplus funds is one element, as a result of lower fuel prices. A perception that the economy is strong is another factor influencing consumer spending. Yet another factor is for the consumer to be convinced that they need a product, such as another TV, automobile, etc. It is reasonable to assume a continuation of auto spending coupled with a steady purchase of new homes is in the immediate horizon. We have to keep in mind that interest rates are still at a relatively low point and will continue to be so. Rates will only be subject to hikes twice this year, in our opinion, allowing for more home purchases.

Corporate borrowers, both big and small businesses The large corporate borrowers will continue to borrow up to the maximum as they are looking for the leverage that increases the return on equity. Bankers will accommodate good credit backed by good collateral. Non investment grade debt will begin to be a challenge for corporations. Good businesses with rational debt profiles and an ability to properly service this debt will be the key to obtaining loans from the banking community.

Economic growth locally, as related to unemployment, home sales, construction, car sales or any other aspect you would like to suggest The economy will continue to move along at a 2% growth rate according to many economists. The main impetus to growth, good paying jobs, will continue to be missing from the equation. One thing that will kick start the economy is the rebuilding of our infrastructure. This includes bridges, roads, municipal buildings and schools. The expenditures for all of these projects are local origin. The construction of a road cannot be outsourced. The funds available for these projects are already available in the form of offshore profits held by major US corporations. By assessing a reduced federal tax rate of 5% versus the higher 35% rate, we can bring a substantial amount of money back into United States. The condition upon which the U.S. government would forgo the higher tax rate would be to require the companies to take the same amount of capital as the amount they saved in taxes and invest it in any pre-approved project that would help rebuild the U.S. infrastructure. Simply put, the requirement would be for the repatriating corporations to retain 70% of the cash to use in any way they see fit, while 25% would be used to purchase municipal bonds from the participating states. As stated earlier, 5% would be paid to the Federal Government. It is amazing what can be accomplished by creating jobs in the country and how it manifests itself into generating taxes for the local communities as well as the federal government. A perfect example of this is our own little company, First Choice Bank. When I joined the bank we had less than 25 employees and less than $30 million in assets. Today we have over 500 employees, $1 billion in assets and generated profits of over $25 million. Our federal and state taxes generated over $20 million and when adding employee payroll taxes, this number exceeds over $80 million. All in time span of 7 years. We see a slow and flat economic growth absent of any aggressive repatriation efforts. U

STEPHEN DISTLER Vice Chairman Bank of Princeton

Stephen Distler has spent 35 years in the financial services industry, mostly as managing director and treasurer at Warburg Pincus, LLC, one of the world’s pre-eminent private equity investment firms. In addition to his financial oversight responsibilities, he spearheaded the firm’s efforts to invest in for-profit education companies. In 2007, Mr. Distler co-founded The Bank of Princeton and currently serves as its vice-chairman. As a member of the bank’s loan and asset/liability committees, he has been very active in overseeing the bank’s growth to over $1 billion in assets over eight years. A keen interest in education has led to his private investments and philanthropic endeavors. Over the years, significant gifts were made to the Princeton Public School system, Tufts University (where he attended and then joined the Board of Overseers) and Washington University in St.Louis (where he joined the Board of Trustees). He is also actively involved in two private education companies, Apex Learning, Inc., in Seattle, and Teachers Support Network, in Princeton. In his nine years serving on the Board of Trustees of The University Medical Center at Princeton, he was the first leader of the fund-raising effort that assisted in funding a $600 million new hospital in Plainsboro. He also

Savers, including those on fixed incomes As I do not see any substantial rate hikes, and moderate inflation, individuals should focus more on liquidity, such as medium term bonds, while avoiding commodities and emerging market debt and equities. For those on fixed income, it will be more of the same, with no real help from money market accounts. Individuals should be prepared to receive very little from their fixed income portfolio.



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chaired the board’s committee overseeing the complex building process. Mr. Distler is the principal owner of elements and Mistral, two highly acclaimed restaurants in Princeton.

He received an M.B.A. in Finance from LaSalle College and has been a lecturer at the Wharton School and the Princeton University undergraduate economics program. He and his wife of 37 years have four grown children, each a graduate of Hun, and five grandchildren.

Do you believe the U.S. economy is strong enough to handle interest rate hikes and will rates ever return to pre-crisis levels?

Do you believe the U.S. economy is strong enough to handle interest rate hikes and will rates ever return to pre-crisis levels?

Absolutely. While it has not been a particularly robust economy, it can certainly sustain gradual rate hikes. Remember that the near zero rates for such an extended period of time is unprecedented. The economy has long flourished in a much higher rate environment and given time to adjust, will do so again.

Explain how the ongoing rise in interest rates will affect the following: Your banking business The banking business, locally, should not be meaningfully affected. While rates may be rising at the short end of the spectrum, the slow growth and low inflation have kept long rates unaffected. In the near term, this flattening of the yield curve will compress bank margins and challenge profitability. When long rates eventually start to rise, which we don’t foresee for some time, then yields on our loan portfolio will rise as well, which will usher in a period of rising bank profits.

Consumers, wanting to spend Modest rate increases shouldn’t really affect consumer behavior. Psychologically, they may perceive a fear of rising rates and as a result, home buyers may opt more for fixed rate mortgages as opposed to adjustable ones.

Savers, including those on fixed incomes The fixed income saver has been decimated over the past decade. Any rate increase, short or long term, can only help their circumstance.

Corporate borrowers, both big and small businesses Money has been available to corporate borrowers for some time now and should continue to be. As with consumers, they may opt for more fixed rate loans, as opposed to adjustables, so they can minimize their risk of higher payments down the road.

Economic growth locally, as related to unemployment, home sales, construction, car sales or any other aspect you would like to suggest There is a case to be made that this economic cycle may be reaching its peak. Home prices have risen significantly, car sales are at all-time highs, and unemployment may be nearing a bottom. Nevertheless, the economy is vast and robust and lower oil prices continue to add stimulus. Modest and gradual rate increases should not have any dramatic effect on the larger economic processes. U

Kevin Tylus

President & CEO Royal Bank America Princeton native Kevin Tylus is president and CEO and a board member of Royal Bank America (NASDAQ: RBPAA). Headquartered in Bala Cynwyd, PA with 15 offices in New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, the 53-yearold, publicly-traded community bank is a lender vital to commercial projects that help redevelop and repurpose businesses and neighborhoods, while also servicing small businesses, families and individual consumers. A two-year-old loan production office at 20 Nassau Street in Princeton accounts for nearly twenty percent of the bank’s business. Its independent governance structure was recognized by the National Association of Corporate Directors and its commitment to the greater community includes educational support for young students of lesser means and aspiring young entrepreneurs. Prior to Royal Bank, Mr. Tylus served as a regional President for PNC following its acquisition of Yardville National Bank. He had been an independent director of YNB and then president. His career has included executive positions with Prudential and Cigna and as a management consulting partner with Deloitte and its predecessor Touche Ross. Active with many business and community organizations, Mr. Tylus served as co-chair of Governor Christie’s September 11, 2001 tenth anniversary committee, is a past chairman of the board for The Hun School of Princeton, where he was named a distinguished alumnus, and is the immediate past president of The Nassau Club of Princeton. Mr. Tylus is a trustee of Gettysburg College, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.

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The Federal Reserve Bank’s first interest rate increase of one quarter of one percent (or “25 basis points”) in late 2015 was long anticipated. That increase has had little to no effect on the overall economy. The slow growing economy, however, is presenting challenges to smaller businesses, such as local retailers, an important staple in Princeton. Four key economic drivers should limit how often and by how much the Fed raises rates. General economic growth is a mere 2%, which is modest growth at best. Inflation remains in check, though some components that affect consumers have risen. Near-historic declines in crude oil and gasoline and global economic pressures have caused a US stock market correction and further downward pressure on US and global markets. While low gas prices, like low interest rates, are good for the consumer, nearly 300,000 jobs have been lost due to lower revenues at companies that produce and supply gas products.The balance of these items should drive the Fed to raise rates slowly and by modest amounts. There seems to be general support for a couple or few rate increases in the near to mid term. The upcoming national election will most likely affect when these increases actually come. An extreme out-of-balance of the components above could lead to substantial increases, especially if inflation made an about face. It seems unlikely we would see any time soon savings rates or loan rates in the double digits, let alone 20%+ rates experienced in the early 1980s. The preference is for a sustainable economy, one that is less “booming,” with modest interest rate increases, which I feel the economy can adjust to and handle.

Explain how the ongoing rise in interest rates will affect the following: Your banking business Royal Bank America’s business is determined by the success of the consumer, small businesses, commercial operating companies, and the demand for residential and commercial development. Our loan portfolio is positioned to be relatively neutral to rising or decreasing rates. The 25 basis point rise in late 2015 contributed a modest 3% to 4% in our annualized net earnings. Though a modest amount, those funds provided capital to expand technology offerings our customers use to run their businesses more efficiently, such as cash management, remote deposit and web-based conveniences. The earnings (CONTINUED)



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Corporate borrowers, both big and small businesses The sustained low borrowing rates have produced lower-cost capital for many larger companies to reinvest in their companies through mergers, acquisitions, product development, more technology and stock buy-backs. These items and cost controls have produced higher productivity. Modest rate increases should result in more of the same and be absorbable by large companies. In a modestly growing economy, small businesses have less ability to raise prices and less operating leverage than larger companies. An interest rate increase of “only” 25 basis points comes right off the bottom line and would equate to an additional cost that smaller businesses may not recoup. Lines of credit (short term loans tied to the Fed’s “prime rate” for example) help small businesses with seasonal cash needs—should banks increase their rates to keep up with the prime rate and charge businesses higher rates, then small businesses would feel a negative impact. Small businesses already have great pressure to cut and manage their costs.

Economic growth locally, as related to unemployment, home sales, construction, car sales or any other aspect you would like to suggest

supported customers and community reinvestment. Two more 25 basis point rises would have a similar effect on earnings and could also be beneficial for our customers and community initiatives. The cause and effect of short term and long term rates led to no immediate interest rate changes, either for savings or loans, from this first 25 basis point rise. We carefully monitor our rates to determine if we need to increase the rates we charge in comparison to the rates charged to us for short term funding.

lagging. In a period of slow to moderate economic growth as we are now experiencing, it is difficult for businesses to raise prices, which helps the consumer. More important than interest rates changes will be higher paying jobs, promotion opportunities, and increases in personal income. Slowly increasing rates and the status quo on jobs and personal incomes means more of the 2% economic growth experienced now—and in-check inflation—which means similar spending patterns by consumers.

Consumers, wanting to spend

Savers, including those on fixed incomes

A rise in short term rates could lower demand for consumer, residential and home equity loans. That did not occur with the first 25 basis point rise. Consumers are benefitting from low crude oil and in turn low gas prices. These are good for the consumer as it makes more personal income available for other purchases. But spending is uneven, with auto purchases (often in the form of leases) and restaurant spending up and real estate



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Savers will continue to be challenged to find higher returns. Modest interest rate increases, global economics and politics pressuring the US and international stock markets and blasé investment returns will limit savers’ ability to generate larger returns. This should continue during 2016, which will hold down savings returns and disposable income.

Princeton has an ecosystem more diverse than many other towns. Ready access to New York and Philadelphia, a mix of in-town, suburban and rural residential options, renowned higher education and school systems, world class corporations, treasured local businesses, historical significance and even an expanding local airport give Princeton and the greater Mercer County area more capabilities to withstand economic cycles. And much of the same holds true for the greater central and northern New Jersey counties. A modest rise in interest rates adds a modest increase in cost and in overall effect on the area. While there are many challenges—and we have seen the area severely impacted by declines in the economy and real estate and lower employment from large corporate activity—the area is experiencing some “green shoots.” The diversification of the area also helps a rebound. Hardly resembling the pre-recession boom (which is a good thing), employment and incomes have stabilized and increased in some sectors. Residential rental availability is attracting new residents and is appealing to “downsizers,” higher end housing re-sales are showing stronger activity and at least there is some new home construction albeit not the large tract developments of the early 2000s. Auto dealers seem happy, restauranteurs say business is “better,” yet challenges persist for office occupancy and for smaller businesses such as retailers, which has an effect on the health of commercial real estate. The pre-recession “booming” economy comes with great risks; a modestly growing one may seem less attractive but also is less disruptive and more sustainable. And a modest economic cycle means moderately increasing interest rates over a prolonged time which should be a better option for our area. U

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PATRICK L. RYAN President & CEO First Bank

As president and chief executive officer and member of the board of directors of First Bank, Patrick L. Ryan is responsible for the strategic direction and overall performance of the company. His direct reports include the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Lending Officer (CLO), Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Information and Technology Officer (CIO/CTO), and Department managers for Human Resources, Compliance, BSA, and Retail Branch Administration. Mr. Ryan works closely with these department managers to ensure that all profitability and safety and soundness goals are being met. As part of managing these departments, Mr. Ryan sets goals, monitors progress, and performs annual reviews for all department managers listed above. Furthermore, he serves as a member of the Operations/Product Committee, the Pricing Committee, the Management Loan Committee, the Internal Compliance Committee, the Asset Quality Review Committee, and the Lending Sales Committee. Mr. Ryan serves as a voting member of several Board Committees: the Compliance Committee, the Asset/Liability Committee, the Board Loan Committee, and the Information Technology Committee. Mr. Ryan is usually an invited guest to the other Board Committees: Compensation and Personnel Committee, the Nominating and Governance Committee, and the Audit/Risk Management Committee. Mr. Ryan has been with First Bank since the recapitalization. Together with The Lead Independent Director and Vice Chairman, Mr. Leslie Goodman, he formed the investment group that helped to found the initial bank in organization that ultimately conducted the

$20 million recapitalization of First Bank in November 2008. As president and CEO, Mr. Ryan led a successful $23 million initial public offering for First Bank and the stock is now traded on the NASDAQ Global Market under the ticker symbol FRBA. In April 2015, he finalized a $22 million subordinated debt offering that significantly enhanced the bank’s capital position. Prior to First Bank, Mr. Ryan worked as an investment banker, a management consultant and a community banker. Mr. Ryan began his professional career in 1997 as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs working in the Financial Institutions Group in New York, NY and working in the Advisory Group in London, England. At Goldman Sachs, Mr. Ryan worked on various bank M&A transactions including the merger of Nations Bank and Bank of America in 1999. After leaving Goldman in 2000, Mr. Ryan spent a year working in corporate development for an internet company called Medsite, performing a combination of acquisition and joint venture analyses, in addition to cost-cutting and restructuring assignments. After earning his M.B.A., Mr. Ryan was hired as a consultant for the management consulting firm Bain and Company in Boston.

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At Bain, Mr. Ryan worked on Private Equity Consulting projects as well as general growth strategy and cost control assignments. Mr. Ryan left Bain Consulting in early 2006 to join central-NJ-based Yardville National Bank (YNB). At YNB, Mr. Ryan ran the Strategic Planning and Corporate Development group and managed the bank’s new-markets expansion efforts as the emerging markets Manager. Within Strategic Planning and Corporate Development, Mr. Ryan managed the branch expansion evaluation committee to help source, analyze, and execute the bank’s branch growth initiative. The department also performed various analytical projects to help the Board assess the profitability and return on investment for various initiatives. As the Emerging Markets Manager, Mr. Ryan led the expansion effort into Middlesex County, NJ working to source new employees and build a regional headquarters in Piscataway, NJ. YNB experienced solid growth and profitability in this new market under Mr. Ryan’s leadership. Mr. Ryan graduated Summa Cum Laude from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY. Mr. Ryan graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government, a minor in Economics, the Government Department prize, and (CONTINUED)



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membership in Phi Beta Kappa. He received a Masters of Business Administration from Dartmouth University’s Tuck School of Business from 2001 to 2003, graduating as a Tuck Scholar (top 20% of the class) and “with Distinction” (top 10% of the class). Mr. Ryan has attended numerous professional development training courses including the ABA’s Graduate Commercial Lending School and the RMA’s Risk Management School. Mr. Ryan is involved with several non-profit organizations including the Hamilton Partnership, the Mercer County 200 Club, the Friendly Sons and Daughters of St. Patrick, the Community Bankers Association, the NJ Bankers Association, the Ancient Order of Hibernians and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Trenton Area YMCA. Mr. Ryan volunteers as a member the Hun School Investment Committee. He also gives back to the community through his participation in various community services events as a member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO). Mr. Ryan previously served on the Board of Trustees for the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ, on the Board of Directors at the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce, with the Robert Wood Johnson Hamilton Foundation (Young Professionals, Strategic Planning Committee), and as a Board member for the Middlesex County Workforce Investment Board. Mr. Ryan coaches his kids’ little league baseball (HVBSA) and ice hockey (Nassau) teams. Mr. Ryan serves at the co-treasurer of the Nassau Hockey program. Professional Awards/Recognitions: New Jersey Bankers Association—New Leaders in Banking (2011) NJ Biz—40 Under 40 Recipient (2014) Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital—Young Professional of the Year (2015). Hamilton St. Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Marshall (pending—March 2016). Mr. Ryan lives in Pennington and is married to Ashley W. Ryan. They are the proud parents of three children: ten-year-old, fraternal twins Liam Patrick Ryan and Lily Eleanor Ryan, and 2 year old Quinn Joseph Francis Ryan. Mr. Ryan’s interests include hiking with his family, ice hockey, golf, kayaking, American history, and political philosophy.

Do you believe the U.S. economy is strong enough to handle interest rate hikes and will rates ever return to pre-crisis levels? The U.S. economy is doing pretty well. Unfortunately, the rest of the world continues to struggle—with problems in China now being added to weakness in Europe. Geopolitical unrest (largely driven by ISIS) will only exacerbate the problems and cause investors to be cautious. I expect that



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international concerns will force the Fed to delay additional interest rate increases to wait and see how the slowdown internationally will impact things here in the U.S. Specifically, I would be surprised if there were more than one additional rate hike in 2016.

Explain how the ongoing rise in interest rates will affect the following: Your banking business If rates do rise, I would expect that would have a minor benefit to the banking business. Of course, the Fed only directly controls short-term interest rates. If long rates don’t move, that means the market is telling the Fed to stop. Furthermore, if long rates stay low, increases in short-term rates could actually hurt the banking business because most banks have short-term liabilities and longer term assets. In that scenario, bank margins could get squeezed even further.

Consumers, wanting to spend What will happen with the consumer in 2016 is a true mystery. So far, significant reductions in commodities (primarily gas) has not prompted a significant increase in consumer spending (as would be expected). This “cautious” consumer is also surprising given low interest rates, lower unemployment and high consumer confidence. Normally, rising rates would slow consumer spending because borrowing costs go up. But, in an ironic twist, rising rates might lead to improving consumer confidence and higher spending. The significant drop in the stock market so far in 2016 should be a deterrent to higher spending.

Savers, including those on fixed incomes Higher rates help savers, if they have assets in fixed-income type investments (usually older savers). Younger savers with more of their wealth allocated to the stock market have obviously been hurt by the recent correction.

Corporate borrowers, both big and small businesses Corporate borrowing has been very strong—thanks to an improving economy in the U.S. and ultra-low borrowing rates. An increase in rates would likely lead to a reduction in borrowing.

Economic growth locally, as related to unemployment, home sales, construction, car sales or any other aspect you would like to suggest

The NJ economy has lagged the rest of the U.S., with a slower recovery than average for the country. I’m not sure that rising rates would change that story significantly. New Jersey continues to be viewed as a very expensive place to do business, making other parts of the country more attractive for expansion. U

STEVE R. MILLER President and COO Fulton Bank of New Jersey

Stephen R. Miller currently serves as president and chief operating officer (and director) of Fulton Bank of New Jersey (FBNJ—a $3.7 billion, 65 branch commercial bank that currently has offices in 15 New Jersey counties), having been appointed to that position in October 2011. Fulton Bank of New Jersey is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fulton Financial Corporation. Prior to that Steve served as chairman, president, and CEO of Skylands Community Bank, a separate affiliate of Fulton Financial Corporation, which merged with the bank in 2011 when Steve moved into his current position. Steve has served in many other capacities since 1993 when he joined The Bank of Gloucester County, one of the five community banks that were merged into and became part of the current Fulton Bank of New Jersey. These positions include Lending, Branch Administration, and various other Executive Offices. Prior to his current employment Steve had stints at several other New Jersey banks in a career that goes back over 42 years. Steve has always been a strong advocate for community banking and during his career has participated in many community activities and events on behalf of the banks he has worked for, believing it is truly important for financial institutions (which derive their prosperity from the community) to give back in great measure. The most rewarding part of Steve’s time in banking, both in the past and continuing today, has been watching his teammates and peers achieve wonderful careers and livelihoods through the opportunities afforded them at each of the banks where he has worked.

MARCH/april 2016

2/24/16 4:43:39 PM

Do you believe the U.S. economy is strong enough to handle interest rate hikes and will rates ever return to pre-crisis levels? According to economists, the United States has been “recovering” from the 2008 recession since mid-2009, a period of over six years. To many (particularly in New Jersey), it doesn’t seem like a recovery since the pace has been slow, where economic indicators have lagged compared to other parts of the nation. In an attempt to continue moving the recovery forward the Federal Reserve has elected to keep interest rates flat for one of the longest periods in recent history; this has definitely had a positive impact on our customers’ ability to borrow, their cash flows, and overall real estate values. As the Fed now begins allowing rates to move more in concert with market conditions, all financial institutions are placed in the position of being more vigilant in how these rates will affect their customers, particularly investment real estate borrowers, as well as their own balance sheets.

Explain how the ongoing rise in interest rates will affect the following:

increasing interest rates will create better performance results for our organization. It is no secret that financial institutions have seen an erosion of their net interest margins for quite some time; to enjoy a little relief from such compression would be most welcome.

condition. It is no secret in the industry, that as a result of the 2008 crisis, we have put much more emphasis on cash flow and interest rate sensitivity in most everything that we do (including credit underwriting); we believe this will help produce better results in the event of increasing rates.

Consumers, wanting to spend

Economic growth locally, as related to unemployment, home sales, construction, car sales or any other aspect you would like to suggest

Consumers, who from a borrowing perspective, have enjoyed these low rates for so long, will be negatively affected when rates go up; however, in the context of a historical comparison, they are still at such low levels we don’t believe it will have a serious impact on their desire to borrow and spend money.

Savers, including those on fixed incomes On the other side of consumer’s balance sheet those monies invested in savings, money markets, and certificate of deposits will begin to see rates climb back to the levels that provide a more meaningful return, helpful for those who have in past years counted interest earned as a large part of their income.

Corporate borrowers, both big and small businesses

Your banking business With regards to Fulton Bank of New Jersey, we have carefully managed the interest rate sensitivity of our balance sheet and expectations are that

Based on the bank’s internal reviews and stress testing of our corporate relationships, we believe that smaller increases in rates (25, 50, or 100 bps) will not create material stresses on their financial

Finally, if interest rates go up there is a very challenging issue looming ahead—the increased cost of financing public sector debt, not only nationally, but also state and locally. Low interest rates over the past six or seven years have afforded the government an opportunity to borrow money at the lowest rates they have seen in decades; in the short term this has benefited all of America by keeping taxing requirements at sustainable levels. However, if these interest rates escalate to what would be considered “market” in past periods, the cost would be tremendous and create enormous challenges to meet necessary requirements of funding government expenditures. Government already runs at large deficits and to a great extent has covered past expenses via debt; increasing the cost of financing the same would have a very negative impact on the private sector (the consumer and corporate tax paying public) which would be called upon to support the additional debt costs. U

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3/1/16 9:18:54 AM

calendar highlights March



Taste your way through some of New York’s best cupcake offerings on this NYC Cupcakes War Tour. www.9y.org



Interactive theatrical production “Sleep No More” at New York’s McKittrick Hotel (continues weekly). www. sleepnomorenyc.com





Ailey II performs at The Ailey Citigroup Theater (through April 10). The program includes two premieres and returning audience favorites. www.alvinailey.org



The Children’s Shakespeare Theatre of Nyack, NY present Coriolanus (also, April 2, 8, and 9). http:// childrensshakespeare.org


Ballet Hispanico announces its 45th anniversary New York season at The Joyce Theater. Ballet Hispanico is the nation’s premiere Latin dance organization. www.ballethispanico.org



First Thursday Concert Series at Grand Central Terminal’s Lower Level Dining Concourse: Bellatonic. www. grandcentralterminal.com



The Avett Brothers (with special guest Brandi Carlile) perform at Madison Square Garden. www.thegarden.com



The 93rd Annual Inner Circle Show at The New York Hilton Hotel. Last year’s event included sketch comedic performances by Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire) and Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City). http:// innercircleshow.org

2016 NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade. http://nycstpatricksday.org









Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College presents 2016 Grammy Award nominee The Robert Glasper Trio. The concert combines original jazz compositions and selections from Glasper’s 2016 album Covered with some of Glasper’s favorite songs by artists including Joni Mitchell, John Legend, and Radiohead. www. brooklyncenter.org



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Family Art Workshops at MoMA presents “Architecture From the Ground Up” for children and families ages 10 and up. www.moma.org



Christopher Tin’s Grammy Awardwinning song cycle Calling All Dawns is a powerful journey of 12 songs in 12 different languages, dealing with the themes of life, death, and rebirth. The complete song cycle will be performed at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. www.lincolncenter.org



Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club’s 100 Years of Service to Children President’s Dinner Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street. www. kipsbay.org


2/25/16 9:52:52 AM




Mets vs. Phillies at New York’s Citi Field. http://newyork.mets.mlb.com



Art Exhibitions: “The World in Play, Luxury Cards 14301540”; Metropolitan Museum of Art “Van Dyck: The Anatomy of Portraiture”; The Frick Collection “Flatlands”; Whitney Museum of American Art

2016 Skating with the Stars Gala at 583 Park Avenue. Figure Skating in Harlem (FSH) will honor legendary actress and activist Cicely Tyson and Olympic Gold Medalists Meryl Davis & Charlie White at this year’s event. www. figureskatinginharlem.org

“Photo-Poetics: An Anthology”; Guggenheim Museum “Opulent Oceans”; American Museum of Natural History “Pixar: The Design Story”; Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum “Denim: Fashion’s Frontier”; The Museum at FIT

4/22 4/10

“Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly History”; The Jewish Museum “Gateway to Himalayan Art”; Rubin Museum

Theatre Performances: Hamilton; Richard Rodgers Theatre China Doll; Schoenfeld Theatre A View from the Bridge; Lyceum Theatre Beautiful: The Carole King Musical; Stephen Sondheim Theatre The Color Purple; Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre Fiddler on the Roof; Broadway Theatre Allegiance; Longacre Theatre Fun Home; Circle in the Square Theatre School of Rock: The Musical; Winter Garden Theatre King Charles III; Music Box Theatre



The X-Files actor David Duchovny in Live and in Conversation at the 92nd Street Y. www.92y.org





4/1 April


Mistango: A Tango Mass From Buenos Aires at New York’s Carnegie Hall. www. carnegiehall.org New York Theatre Ballet (NYTB) performs Donald Mahler’s Cinderella at Florence Gould Hall. www.nytb.org


Revival performance of the musical Fiddler on the Roof, which has thrilled Broadway audiences since 1964 (through July 3, 2016). www.broadway. com



Elektra’s fearsome mother Klytamnestra. The title role is played by soprano Nina Stemme (through May 7). www. metopera.org


Comedian Jerry Seinfeld performs at the Borgata Casino Event Center in Atlantic City, NJ. www.theborgata.com Richard Strauss’s Elektra at the Metropolitan Opera. Legendary mezzosoprano Waltraud Meier is chilling as


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Experience history in the most musical of ways at Hamilton at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City (showtimes extended through 2017). www.broadway.com



The American Academy in Rome’s 2016 Spring Gala at The Four Seasons Restaurant. Gala proceeds help to provide the unique opportunity for American artists and scholars to spend time interacting and working in Rome. www.aarome.org



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Relax, Celebrate, And Enjoy With Mary Bradley by Kendra Broomer | Photography by Kay English Photography


ary Bradley Events offers event coordination for weddings, parties, and corporate functions throughout the United States, as well as destination locales. Mary offers a bevy of à la carte services, so that clients can relax, celebrate, and enjoy on their special day. With Bradley’s background in interior design and 20 years of event planning experience, she is the perfect candidate to ensure that clients remember their wedding day as “the best day of their lives.” UA After saying ‘Yes!’ what would be the first step you suggest the Bride/Couple take? MB The first thing a couple should do is to discuss budget. After a budget is set, the first step should be to book a venue. UA When you first meet with a client to start planning an event, what are your first steps? MB I usually like to hear what their expectations are from the beginning of their day to the end. It’s important for me to get to know what a client really wants, so I can make their day exactly what they envision. UA When it comes to choosing the perfect location for a wedding, whether local or destination, what advice do you give brides? MB If they want to keep their costs down, a destination wedding can be a good idea, since less people attend. If a couple is willing to go somewhere off season, they can find some great deals as well. If the wedding is local, choosing a venue where DIY is encouraged, and transportation is not needed can really save on costs. The best type of venue for DIY is one where you can start decorating the entire week before. Choose a venue that does not have a wedding the night before or is available for set up at least three or four days prior to your event. Then, you nicely ask your friends and family for help setting up (don’t forget clean up the next day as well)!




UA What is your favorite venue in New Jersey? MB I have many: Jasna Polana, Bonnet Island Estate and The Liberty House are my top three. UA What are the most important things for a bride (and groom) to remember on the day of their wedding?

UA What’s the hardest part of your job that no one sees from the outside? MB I think my job is a lot more time consuming than most people would guess. That is the comment I get most often when someone is truly paying attention to what I do in a day! UA What types of projects excite you the most?

MB To enjoy their day and be flexible! Sometimes things don’t always go as planned (like the weather) and they need to remember that they set the tone for the day. For example, if it’s raining, and the couple is not bothered by it one bit, their guests will follow suit. If they are upset, their guests will also be upset. UA Any great stories from working with a client? MB I’ve had some really nice couples. Recently, I had a bride who in the middle of getting ready with all of her bridesmaids, immediately stopped everything when she saw that her grandmother needed some assistance with her makeup. She sat with her grandmother and patiently helped her in such a loving way. Oftentimes, girls get so caught up in what they are doing, that they forget what the day is really about. UA Are there any trends that you absolutely love or would love to see the brides leave behind? MB I always love the dances with the parents (even if I have parents who are reluctant) or we ask the whole wedding party to join in. It’s a touching moment. UA What is your current favorite color combination? MB Soft blues and grays. UA What advice can you give to couples who are in the midst of planning? MB Get help! Planning a wedding can be a big undertaking. Also, it’s nice to have someone else who can lead the way and to bounce ideas off of.

MB The details and helping really nice people. UA Do you have an all-time favorite past project? MB I was fortunate enough to be able to do a wedding in Charleston, South Carolina last year. It was held at a family plantation and the details were amazing. We had a children’s game and craft tent, a bagpiper processional, a Baptist choir recessional, authentic Church pews in the middle of a meadow under a canopy of oak trees, and professional fireworks to end the night! My recent favorite project was my beautiful niece’s wedding at Jasna Polana. Seeing her happy was the best feeling! UA Walk us through your typical day: Are you often traveling for work? Meeting with clients? Checking out venues in person or shopping for decor pieces? MB Yes, all of the above. My day-to-day varies, but usually I meet with clients at the venue or a client’s residence. I also shop for décor. Then I frequently check in with vendors to make sure that we are all on the same page. UA During all of your years of experience, what have you come to identify as the key ingredients for a great party? MB Honestly, the best events tend to be completely organized, yet still often evolve on their own. It’s good to have structure, but you also want the event to feel free-flowing. Sometimes, the best moments are not planned, or at least, don’t seem planned!

MARCH/april 2016

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MARCH/april 2016




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