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Montgomery News
A hometown paper
Montgomery Township
and Rocky Hill, NJ

Monday November 20, 2017


Montgomery News Directory

Montgomery residents awarded prestigious Johnson Medal

Michael Fevola, Ph.D. and Frank Sun, Ph.D. were recently awarded the Johnson Medal for Research and Development at a gala ceremony held in New Brunswick on November 8 to celebrate Johnson & Johnson’s Champions of Science. Fevola and Sun work at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. in Skillman and are part of a Medal-winning team that also includes J&J colleagues Nikoleta Batchvarova, Ph.D., Deborah Bussey, and Glenn Nystrand.

Named after the late General Robert Wood Johnson, the Johnson Medal is the most prestigious award given for research and development in Johnson & Johnson. The Medal recognizes outstanding accomplishments in science and technology that lead to the development of innovative products for meeting patient and consumer needs.

Bringing together cutting-edge science, green chemistry, and deep consumer insights, the Skillman-based team developed a breakthrough cleansing technology called NATRASURF®, now a mainstay ingredient for innovative products sold under several J&J brands, including AVEENO®, CLEAN & CLEAR®, and NEUTROGENA®. Fevola and Sun were coinventors of the NATRASURF® technology, an environmentally-friendly cleansing agent based on renewable potato starch. The patented ingredient provides gentle yet effective cleansing action, enabling healthier products for skin and hair.

“It makes me proud to know that right here in Skillman we are creating innovative solutions which touch millions of consumers around the world on a daily basis. Montgomery residents need not look to Boston or Silicon Valley to find innovation, it is happening right here in our community,” said Fevola.

Both Fevola and Sun are residents of Belle Mead and work in Global Beauty R&D at J&J. Fevola is a 14-year veteran of J&J and is currently a Research Director & Fellow. He holds a Ph.D. in Polymer Science & Engineering from The University of Southern Mississippi and a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Delaware. Sun is a Principal Scientist and has worked at J&J for nearly 10 years. He holds a Ph.D. in Applied & Materials Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.S. in Chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University.



A Dream Deferred Materializes at Princeton Rug Gallery

Maryam Mohammadi and Jalil "Jay" Fatollahi, who recently opened Princeton Rug Gallery, have "known each other since age zero." As children, Fatollahi would bring her little gifts, mostly fabric angels from his family's textile and rug business in Iran.

"My mother always loved Jalil," Mohammadi says of the generous and kind man she married in Tehran in the 1970s. Little did the young couple know, but turbulence was on the horizon. Just after the birth of their baby girl, political uprisings and a revolution rocked their world, followed by distant employment opportunities and a military invasion. These things resulted in their living apart and in various locations for many years.

Mohammadi speaks Farsi, Turkish, German, and English, languages she picked up along the way. She studied fashion and design in Dusseldorf, where she worked as a dressmaker and raised their daughter, Golnar, who was a champion swimmer. Her husband, meanwhile, accepted job offers that led him to Kuwait, where he was a construction foreman, then to Canada where he worked for one of the largest carpet companies in the country.

The family reunited in Toronto in the 1990s, but then Fatollahi's work brought him to New Jersey. Mohammadi stayed in Canada so their 15-year-old daughter could finish her schooling.
One day, as Golnar was about to start college, she told her mother: "You and dad are married and you should be together." In 1998, facing an empty nest and missing her husband, Mohammadi eagerly joined Fatollahi in Morristown, NJ, where he helped to run a large, successful multi-million-dollar carpet business. She accepted a job as a showroom floor manager and later as a designer consultant.

In 2016, they opened Princeton Rug Gallery on Route 206 next door to Lucy's Kitchen and across the street from Hesco Lighting. "I have always wanted to do this," Fatollahi says. "When I was 12 I started in my family textile and rug business, working afterschool and on weekends. I now continue our family creed to operate with honesty, to give the best service, and to establish trust. Having a good reputation is very important since most of our customers come from word of mouth."

The showroom features hundreds of carefully curated carpets in various styles and sizes-from doormat to palace ballroom size. All are hand-tied-a skill that both husband and wife have mastered personally.
One of the reasons a hand-tied carpet can be expensive, and is an object of high artistic value and prestige, is the amount of time and care that goes into creating it. For example, a 9-foot by 12-foot Persian rug with 500 knots per square inch would take 14 months to complete, and this is only if you have five artisans each working six hours a day, six days a week.

Mohammadi says she and her husband work hard to provide affordable options to her clients. She does the creative part of the business while Fatollahi oversees the financial and business aspects, including carpet restoration, hand-cleaning, and appraisals. This is a natural separation of duties since she comes from a family of artists, mostly painters. "I select each carpet in the showroom," she says.

"First, I look at the rug as if I were looking at a painting on the wall," she says of her selection process. "I am looking to see if the colors and design are right. Then I look at the back, at the quality of the hand knotting.

"Next, I touch it," she adds. "Sure, it has to be soft but that is not what I'm thinking while I'm touching it. I am looking for the glow. Good rugs have a glow that tends to make them feel velvety, even a little oily."
She adds that a quality carpet is a beneficial investment that should last a lifetime. Carpets save energy, help to warm a room in the winter, keep it cool in the summer, and will save your hardwood floor from wear and tear. It also enhances mood, provides art and personality to a room.

Princeton Rug Gallery stocks a variety of rugs with multiple price points-including antiques, traditional, modern, contemporary, and transitional. Most are wool, silk, or viscose and hand-dyed. "If we don't have what you're looking for, we can help you create your own 'floor art' and guide you through designing your own carpet to capture your vision," Mohammadi says.

The Princeton Rug Gallery, located at 830 State Road in Princeton, is open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 6 pm; on Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm; and, for the holiday season only, on Sundays from 10 am until 4 pm. For more information, or you are interested in trading-in a quality carpet for something new, phone 609-356-0043 or visit the website at www.princetonruggallery.com. 

Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Community Development Fund Awards $40,000 in Grants

Princeton, NJ – October 30, 2017 – The Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Community Development Fund (PRCC-CDF) will award $40,000 in grants to five local nonprofits at the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce’s November Luncheon on November 2nd. The Awards on November 2nd bring to over $165,000 the amount of financial support that the Chamber has awarded to local nonprofit organizations since its inception in 2013.


“With these grants, the Chamber and the Chamber Foundation continue to invest in our region by providing financial support for the vital work of these outstanding community-based organizations,” said Rick Coyne, Chairman of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce and Partner at WithumSmith+Brown. “In partnership with the Princeton Area Community Foundation and the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation the Chamber awards grants to large and small regional not for profit organizations. The Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce is the only Chamber in Central New Jersey with an established ongoing grant partnership program for nonprofit organizations,” added Coyne.


“We are unique as a Chamber of Commerce in making these community development grants to nonprofits in our region,” said Peter Crowley President of the Princeton Regional Chamber. “They reflect our commitment to strengthen the communities in our region.” Grants are given annually to the most promising programs that address one or more of the Fund’s focus areas: education, leadership, economic opportunity and development, and self-sufficiency.

The 2017 grant recipients include:

CASA: Fostering Futures
Kidsbridge: Upstander Program for At-Risk Youth
Millhill Child and Family Development
Womanspace Toward Self-Sufficiency: Supporting Women and Families Impacted by Domestic Violence
Princeton Blairstown Center


“Each year our committee has the challenging task to select recipients from among a deep and deserving pool of grant applications. We are fortunate in this area to have many well-run organizations working hard each day to make our community a better place to live and to serve those who have challenges in their lives,” said Kristin Appelget, Chairwoman of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Community Development Fund.

“The partnership of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Princeton Area Community Foundation is a powerful force supporting non-profits organizations in the region. Everyone at the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation is delighted and gratified that as a result of setting up the Community Development Fund, we continue to distribute annual grants to local nonprofit organizations,” said Anna Lustenberg, Chairwomen of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Foundation.



The Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce – The Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization committed to promoting business growth within Central New Jersey. With more than 5,000 individual Chamber member contacts and more than 1,350 Member companies, the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce is the largest Regional Chamber in Central New Jersey. Our membership is primarily focused in six central New Jersey counties and stretches as far as New York, Philadelphia and Canada. More information about the Chamber can be found at www.princetonchamber.org.