First Children School on South Avenue in Fanwood is a haven of learning, achievement and fun for children ages 3 to 12, most of whom are referred by more than 20 public school districts because of special needs. First Children accommodates children with autism, hearing or vision impairments, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairments, feeding issues, communication difficulties and behavioral challenges. Many in Fanwood still know it as Children's Specialized Hospital which it was until 2009.
Today, First Children is one of the only schools in New Jersey that offers a specialized curriculum for children with hearing problems and cognitive challenges using a full time, certified teacher of the deaf. First Children Learning Services, a sister company, supplements school services through home and school-based behavioral therapies including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), a program that has been effective in teaching children on the autism spectrum.
First Children also operates a daily child care center for all children that's open from 6am to 6pm.
"We are most fortunate at First Children to have an incredible staff who have been working with young children for many years and who absolutely love what they do," says Kathleen Gorski, Principal. "Our measure of success is happy children, learning and growing every day."
FIRST CHILDREN SCHOOL
330 South Avenue
Fanwood, NJ 07023
Recent changes in New Jersey regulations allow chiropractors to do much more than fix backs these days, and that's one of the things that drew Dr. Garett Rosati to Fanwood to open his business.
"The changes made three years ago opened the door for chiropractic in New Jersey to new treatment options," said Dr. Rosati recently. "A visit to my practice, depending on the injury, is in a way almost like physical therapy and a chiropractic session in one."
After starting his career in suburban Philadelphia, Dr. Rosati faced significant life changes last year, including marrying his wife, Ashley, and facing a decision on whether to stay with an existing practice or starting his own. The combination of relatives in Westfield and the change in the NJ chiropractic scope of practice helped him make a decision he has been extremely happy with.
"A session with me is much different than a typical chiropractic session," says Dr. Rosati. "While traditional chiropractic adjustments are vital, I spend the majority of my time using Active Release Technique and Graston Technique to assist in the treatment of muscle, tendon and ligaments that can many times make the difference in a patient's outcome."
Dr. Rosati has treated patients as young as 8 and as old as 85. He's practiced in Fanwood since November, 2012. He is currently taking classes to become certified in the use of Rock Tape (kinesiology tape), which he explains is another tool to help his patients recover faster.
ROSATI FAMILY CHIROPRACTIC
346 South Avenue
Fanwood, NJ 07023
Tom is a Fanwood resident who wears many hats. His company, Tom Kranz Communications, specializes in affordable websites for small businesses, non-profits and individuals, in addition to graphic design, writing and photography services. He's also the full time Director of Communications for Chelsea Senior Living, whose corporate headquarters is in Fanwood, and a volunteer EMT with the Fanwood Rescue Squad.
"It was my privilege to be part of the emergency management team that steered our town through Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath," says Tom, who managed the Rescue Squad response and also acted as the Borough's communications officer. "It was a challenge to get information out to our residents who had no power, no television and no cell phone service. But using a combination of web, email, Union County First Alert with reverse 911 calls and paper flyers, I think we did a pretty good job."
Tom is originally from Philadelphia and spent more than 25 years in the TV news business, first in his home town, then at CBS News, before joining Chelsea in 2008. He started his business in 2011. His clients include the Borough of Fanwood, the FBPA and Enchantments.
TOM KRANZ COMMUNICATIONS
PO Box 42
Fanwood, NJ 07023
Carolyn’s early dream was to be a wedding photographer, until she became a mom.
“Motherhood changed every part of how I looked at the world,” she says, “and nothing became more important to me than my children and family. Motherhood also changed the way I make photographs and inspired me to capture the true sweetness of childhood that can be found in everyday life.”
Carolyn launched her business in 2009, specializing in “making chaos and craziness look absolutely sweet and adorable” through photos of children and families doing what they do every day.
Through contributions of a portion of her fees to Operation Smile, Carolyn has raised enough money in the last three years to provide 3 new smiles to children.
CAROLYN ANN RYAN PHOTOGRAPHY
PO Box 376
Fanwood, NJ 07023
Mayor Colleen Mahr and the Fanwood Borough Council named K9 Resorts and owners Jason and Steven Parker Volunteers of the Month during the October 2012 Council meeting. The Parkers organized this year's Fanny Wood Day Fair and are frequent contributors to public safety agencies. The Mayor, Jason and Steven are seen here with K9 Resorts store manager Jessie Sapienza. Congratulations!
For many small businesses, taking care of administrative and secretarial tasks is an afterthought, until it becomes a problem. Preparing documents, managing email, doing professional Power Point presentations or spreadsheets aren't tasks that we are all automatically good at. And what about the time it takes to learn them?
For those small businesses or individuals who need some help multi-tasking, there's A-Z Admin Solutions, a new, Fanwood-based business that will help you with everything from word processing to managing your meetings.
A-Z Admin Solutions is the creation of a 35-year veteran of secretarial services that included clients such as the Jacques Cousteau Society, the Jamaica (Queens) Economic Development board and a host of doctors, lawyers and small businesses-- some of the most diverse and demanding clients in America. The same high level of professionalism that worked for those clients can work for you. Services available from A-Z Admin Solutions include:
A-Z Admin Solutions is a one-stop service for all your secretarial, administrative and IT needs. Here's their info:
A-Z Admin Solutions
Virtual Administrative Support Services
PO Box 152
Scotch Plains NJ 07076
On October 2nd, 2012, the Rescue Squad accepted the donation of a new media center from Frank's-- a 55" HDTV, associated hardware and installation. Frank and Tracy Constandi, long time supporters of the squad, were on hand at the squad's October meeting to accept a certificate of appreciation from squad Captain Tom Kranz.
"The Rescue Squad volunteers do such great service for our community, we were happy to help," said Tracy, who is the newly elected president of the Fanwood Business and Professional Association. Frank, a former volunteer fireman, is the treasurer.
At a time when the squad's expenses are rising and state funding for volunteer EMT training has all but disappeared, the squad decided to appeal to supporters for assistance in purchasing this fairly expensive item.
"The new TV will be used to teach these community courses and other courses given to our EMTs and others," said Tom Kranz, Rescue Squad Captain, who has taught a number of community CPR and First Aid courses, all of which use video. "The large screen will make the course material easier to see from the entire training area."
Just a week earlier, the Rescue Squad received a donation of $1,000 from Chelsea Senior Living following the annual Chelsea golf outing which raises money for volunteer responders in communities where Chelsea has senior living communities.
The golf outing was held on September 25, 2012, at Fiddler's Elbow Golf Club, Bedminster, NJ. More than 80 golfers took part
Participating in this year's golf outing for the squad was EMT Joan Lozowski, who won prizes for longest drive, closest to hole and lowest score among the women golfers.
"We are very grateful for the work our volunteer responders do for all our residents," said Roger Bernier, President and COO of Chelsea Senior Living, which is based in Fanwood.
At a time when many banking routines can be completed online or at ATM's, the PNC Bank branch on Martine Avenue in Fanwood remains an oasis of friendly human faces.
"Exceptional customer service is our goal," says Maria Halkias, Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager. "It comes right from the top."
Indeed, any customer who walks in gets a "hello" from the tellers every time. Wait times are short or non-existent. Services, from opening a new account to applying for a loan, are accomplished with the personal touch that only a banking professional can offer.
"The older generation still likes to come to the bank," says Mrs. Halkias. "The younger generation, baby boomers and the Gen Xers, they prefer online and ATM banking. We reach out to our customers in a variety of ways."
Mrs. Halkias, of Linden, is a career banker who started out as a part-time teller eighteen years ago. She transferred to Fanwood as the branch manager when it became PNC in 2005. She has been with PNC for 12 years.
"I have partners here at the Fanwood branch who have various specialties, from business banking, merchant services, investments, mortgage and loans," she said. "It's a whole team of experts."
PNC, founded in 1852 as the Pittsburgh National Corporation, has more than 5-million customers in 19 states and the District of Columbia doing business at 2,900 branches and 7,200 ATM's. The company has been ranked among the Most Admired Companies by Fortune magazine and has received the Great Workplace Award for Employee Engagement from the Gallup organization.
In Fanwood, PNC is the face of friendly neighborhood banking.
45 S. Martine Avenue
Fanwood, NJ 07023
"If it beeps and blinks, we will manage it," says Maria LaMorte-Wright of CMIT Solutions, a technology support business that keeps business computer networks and online functions running smoothly.
"Our primary focus is pro-active maintenance," she says. "We monitor our clients' computers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure that their anti-virus software is up to date, their back-ups are running and their computer networks are working smoothly. We also offer fixed-price services on an ala carte basis."
A veteran of 20 years in corporate IT departments, Maria started her CMIT franchise two years ago. While maintaining an office in Scotch Plains, most of her work is done at client sites including Family Investors of Fanwood.
"Family Investors is one of our priority clients," she said following a recent meeting there with president Peter Chemidlin and his staff. "My goal is to first understand what's important to their business, then determine how technology can help them."
In addition to running her business and being a wife and mom, Maria is very active in the community. She is a board member of the Fanwood BPA, a member of the Scotch Plains BPA, Gateway Chamber and Vice President of the Fanwood-Scotch Plains Rotary. She's also active in her church.
CMIT Solutions of Central Union County
2560 US 22, #107, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076
Maria LaMorte-Wright, President
Mayor Colleen Mahr (blue dress) joins Ladies' Night organizer Tracy Constandi (2nd from left) at the start of the event July 18th, which brought dozens of customers and generated new sales for local businesses. Also pictured are Jessica Toth (far left), an employee of Frank's Auto Repair, and Pat Hoynes (far right), Fanwood Planning Board Secretary. Read more
Welding in 90-degree heat didn't seem to bother Frank Constandi much on a recent Tuesday in July. People may hide out during the heat, but their broken cars do not.
"We do all kinds of repairs on all kinds of cars," said Tracy Constandi, the business brain behind Frank's Auto Repair, 56 South Martine Avenue, at the corner of LaGrande Avenue. "Business has been really good, even during the recession."
In fact, they've been so busy, the body shop was spun-off into its own business in 2007, Northeast Collision, which operates in a separate shop at 1128 North Avenue in Plainfield. They employ a total of nine people at both shops.
"Our customer reviews are consistently good," said Tracy, who did most of the talking while Frank worked on a car on the outside lift. "We have customers who come from as far as Camden. They're happy with the service they get here."
It's not only good service, but a friendly, relaxed atmosphere that accounts for their return business. One customer, a woman from Massachusetts, comes to Fanwood to visit family and has her car repairs done at Frank's.
"We have a very loyal following," said Tracy, who also works as a dental hygienist in Westfield, a job she's held for 20 years.
"I did that before I even met Frank," she said. "Then, I just kind of got sucked in."
The business has been at the same spot for almost 40 years, first as Fanwood Gulf, owned by Frank's father, Dominick, then as Frank's Auto Repair beginning in 1994. Today, Frank's enjoys excellent reviews on various websites including Angie's List and their Facebook page, most of which talk about the great, friendly service.
Visit their website at www.franksautorepair.net.
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After more than a year in business in downtown Fanwood, Club West has built a loyal base of customers of all ages, starting from young children to senior citizens and everyone in between.
"There's something here for every body type," says owner Cindy West-Schaefer. "It's all about cellular nutrition."
For a while, Cindy says, the locals weren't sure exactly what Club West was about.
"In the beginning we stood at the train station, handing out pamphlets, cups of tea," she recalls. "The business has surpassed my expectations."
Cindy describes Club West as a nutrition club. Customers can buy a variety of herbal products specializing in weight loss, sports nutrition , heart health and much more. The Club's own signature meal replacement health shakes and herbal teas can be served café style in the club or made to go . After 15 months in business, she is proud to say she has helped dozens of people lose weight, and feel great.
"Over 2,000 pounds have been lost in our weight loss challenges," she says, referring to her 12-week programs in which people come in for a weekly nutrition class, get support and counseling from Cindy, her partner and daughter, Morgan Matalucci including a personal trainer, Robert Orlowski, then continue on their personal diet and exercise regimens. At the end of the 12 weeks, the "biggest loser" receives the total of the $35 registration fees paid by the participants.
"We get a lot of referrals and people know us through our community service," says Cindy, who is a proud supporter of the Fanwood Youth Organization baseball league and the Fanwood/Scotchplains YMCA Men’s Basketball League. Club West also has begun its own bowling league, Hiking Club and on Wednesday evenings a Couch To 5-K work out program. We combine good nutrition with lots of fun activities.
Cindy is a single mom of four including one daughter in high school, one in college, a grown son who lives in Philadelphia and her business partner, daughter Morgan. She also has a full time job as a state employee in Trenton. How does she do all that and still run a successful business?
"Good nutrition," she says.
Club West is open Monday through Saturday, 9am-6pm, Tuesday and Thursday until 8pm. You can learn more at www.myclubwest.com.
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