Success Stories

Christina Dorando, owner of Cresthill Academy

EAST HANOVER, NJ---Christina Dorando knows something about the ABCs of success.  As the owner of two child care facilities, Ms. Dorando likes to say, “We’re changing the way people look at early education.”

For Ms. Dorando, it has become her passion and a labor of love.  Before embarking on a career as an entrepreneur in early education, she had set her sights on conducting policy work for the UN or a NGO.  “Initially I was interested in a career in Policy & Management and International Relations, which is what I earned my undergraduate degree from Carnegie Mellon,” said Ms. Dorando. “However, while at Harvard University, where I earned my Masters in International Educational Policy, my focus changed.”

She was working as a consultant for an industry leader in higher education that provided its clients with research, data, consulting, and advisory services.  About the same time, the recession hit hard and Ms. Dorando asked herself, “What do I do now?”

“My... Read More

MILFORD, NJ---Sometimes Hector Perez’s day starts 2:30 a.m. in the morning and doesn’t end until 8:00 p.m. that night; up before dawn and working until dusk. Such is the life of a farmer.

Perez is the owner of Jersey Farm Produce, a Milford-based small business he started in 2009. No stranger to hard work, Perez can be found at the height of harvest loading up three trucks Tuesday thru Sunday with produce from his farmland to be sold at New York City farmer’s markets.  The remainder of the day is spent working the land.

“I came to this country in 2001 from Mexico with a degree in Agriculture and little else,” said Perez.  “I had to learn how to speak English and find work.”   Over the years, he was able to find employment on farms in New York State and New Jersey. He even managed a 300 acre farm in Glen Gardner.

“I always had the desire to start my own my farm,” said Perez.  “And then I learned about a local farmer who wanted to lease his farmland, I thought... Read More

Scaffolding Towers of America

MIDDLESEX, NJ---Reaching new heights of success is nothing new for Fran Kruchkowski.  Ever since she was 8 years old she has worked in the family-operated scaffolding business in some capacity.

Today she is the owner and president of Scaffolding Towers of America (STA), a Middlesex-based company that is a leading distributor of scaffolding and components manufactured by Bil-Jax and A-1 Scaffolding.  She is proud to say that the company is still family-operated, as her son, Jeffrey Kruchkowski, has been heavily involved for almost three decades.

“We rent, sell, and install scaffolding for jobs of all sizes,” said Kruchkowski.  “When my grandfather started this business in the 1940’s, the company was primarily serving the painting industry.  Over the years we have been fortunate enough to expand our services to contractors and homeowners throughout the Tri-State area.”

However, a turning point for the company came in 1987, when CBS Sports approached Scaffolding... Read More

Dina Shekhter, owner of 3dRose LLC

JACKSON, NJ---Dina Shekhter took her passion for art and turned it into a multi-million dollar business by taking graphic art designs, images and photos and placing them on a variety of novelty gift items.

It all started in 2001, when Shekhter and her husband Ilya launched 3dRose LLC out of the family garage in Howell.  The couple started the business on a part time basis, while keeping their day jobs; Dina a bookkeeper and Ilya a car salesman. “I always had a passion and love for art,” said Shekhter.  “The initial idea for the business was to preserve roses from weddings and special occasions and then incorporate them into art pieces. That’s where the name for the company originated.”

As a way to expand the business and offer additional products to their customers, Dina came up with the idea of putting designs on light switch plates.  By the reactions they received from craft shows and by their sales on EBay, they knew they were on to something good.

Realizing... Read More