Free Kicks: Soccer at Bell Works

The 2018 World Cup is well underway. With stunning upsets and epic matches you may be adjusting your brackets day to day. But what’s your over and under on Team Santander versus Team Acacia? Or on Team Acacia vs. Team Spirent? Your best bet is to come watch them play on the turf at Bell Works.

Team Santander

Team Santander

According to Dustin Ascolese, the senior technology talent acquisition advisor for Santander Bank, it all started in early 2017 with indoor “grass” in the atriums.

“The two turf fields – we saw them sitting there. And what makes more sense than soccer?,” he said, “I thought we had a unique opportunity to get a hold of the culture from day one, and the building does an amazing job of providing the amenities to do that.”

Once Team Santander took the field, other Bell Works community members took notice and the Bell Labs tradition of sports competition was reborn. “Acacia saw us playing and came by and asked if we were interested in getting some games,” Ascolese said.

The competition is considerable. “We actually do have one colleague, Franklin Castellanos, who played for the Red Bulls...He stopped playing with them just about a year ago... I found a highlight video of him scoring against Chelsea United,” said Ascolese. But he insisted that he is not a ringer. “Acacia’s entire team is better overall, so having one really good player just evens the playing field.” He added, “We got another new guy from Spain... When he came to play for the first time, we went, 'Wow, we got another good guy! Where has he been hiding?’”

Team Acacia has lots of good guys. William Randazzo, HR business partner at Acacia Communications. Inc., said, “I have folks from every part of the world, from China, Japan, Bulgaria, Germany, India, Sri Lanka, and different parts of the US...and we all know how to play soccer.” Randazzo has been an integral part of the team since he joined the company a year and a half ago. “That was actually one of the last [interview] questions the head scientist asked me, ‘Hey, by the way, do you happen to play soccer?’ When I responded, ‘Yes, I was a goalie,’ his face lit up. I think that might have helped seal the deal.”

At Acacia, 30 to 40 of their research scientists are keen to play. “They are surprisingly skilled, considering that most folks have devoted a lifetime to research and earning advanced degrees. They are equally as knowledgeable and passionate – and good – at playing the game.”

Team Spirent

Team Spirent

Spirent joined play a couple of years ago when they were still in their temporary space on the ground floor. “The turf was completely empty and it felt like an opportunity that we shouldn’t miss,” said Ovidiu Reghis, director of CEM product development at Spirent.

For this team, the game is fun and fluid, where sometimes spectators join right in.

“It’s like we have our own stadium to play in, especially when the contractors take a break and watch us play from the upper levels,” said Spirent System Engineer Howard Hammer. “Once a prospective tenant was touring the grounds and jumped in our game for a few minutes.”

Anna Ren, a former Spirent employee who still visits, said, “It's nice to be able to hang out with your coworkers and run around. [It’s] very easy to convince people who have no experience playing sports to give it a try, which leads to more fun than a more competitive environment would.”

2018 FIFA World Cup game ball


The adapted Bell Labs space where these tenants play has a bit of a connection to the 2018 World Cup.This year’s official ball, the Adidas Telstar 18, was modeled after the 1962 Bell Labs satellite. It unites all soccer fans, watching worldwide, with those watching in the main atrium at Bell Works. Nestled in soccer ball bean bags and huddled around cafe tables, workers at companies here catch matches on breaks, in between meetings and at lunch. The World Cup viewing area is one of the many building wide events that happen here in the atrium which has the vibe of a pedestrian city street.


Team AvengersTeam Avengers

Paul Banco, CEO and Founder of etherFAX, was one of the earliest tenants at Bell Works. A player, coach and father of two youth players, Marianna of the Colts Neck Synergy and Ethan of the Avengers, Banco saw the turf as an opportunity for his young teams.

“Turf space in the winter is like finding water in the desert,” he said. “Being able to come here, in this type of building and have the turf to themselves, being able to run to the office and raid the candy, it was just a totally different experience...The building has a lot of good energy.”

World Cup viewing party at Bell Works

World Cup viewing section in the main atrium.

What Randazzo likes best about the World Cup is that “every country is involved, and everyone has a fair chance. It brings everyone together.” Soccer at Bell Works does the same thing, he said. It sustains connections, year round.

“If Santander wants to play a game, and it’s the middle of winter, we’re going to have a game...The turf is a godsend.” Randazzo said, “People see us out here, playing on turf – on the pitch – having fun, with a good spirit of competition...iCIMS can see us and ask, ‘How do we get involved?’”

It’s Always Sunny at Bell Works: The Metroburb Brings the Outdoors Into The Great Glass Atrium

Step into Bell Works on any weekday morning and you might expect to find the trappings of an office park - workers drinking coffee and queing up to the elevator to disappear until noon.

Instead, children are skipping across a turf field, a UX team is huddled together in front of a World Cup viewing station and a local vinter is uncrating her chardonnay for that afternoon’s farmers market. There are those workers drinking coffee and taking the elevator, but you almost don’t notice them among the flurry of activity on what appears to be an indoor pedestrian street.

JGS Insurance

JGS Insurance takes a break for a match in the World Cup viewing lounge.

If you’re like most visitors, you think. What kind of office building is this?

The answer is, it isn’t an office building, or even an office park. Bell Works is a metroburb, a little city in the suburbs centered around three expansive atriums along a quarter mile indoor street. You are in the largest, most dynamic mixed use community in New Jersey.

And the hub of this community is the center atrium where the space thrums with activity every weekday.

Bell Works Fresh farmers market

Bell Works Fresh, a farmers market every Wednesday during the summer.

When world renowned architect Eero Saarinen set out to design the building in 1961 (when it was a home to over 6,000 Bell Labs employees), he knew he wanted to create an open-atrium scheme with this one-of-a-kind pedestrian street. The building is actually four distinct buildings connected by the “street” and covered by a great glass roof. Saarinen disliked the idea of working in a skyscraper where employees take the elevator up to the 50th floor and have little interaction with those around them. Instead, the open-atrium design encourages people to gather in one central location. Think a piazza in the middle of Florence, Italy or the great pedestrian thoroughfare Lincoln Road in Miami Beach. Saarinen’s architecture was designed to facilitate these kinds of interactions within the then Bell Labs community. And that’s exactly what’s happening here today in the adaptive reuse.

In just the past few months, the atrium has played host to a try-your-hand-at-the-sport-of-fencing day, artisan markets, silent yoga and a lightsaber class (you never know what you’re going to see at a maker’s festival). That means workers who come down from the office for lunch have more to look forward to than a long walk to the car and a drive to Houlihan’s.

Fencing with the Vydia team

 The team at Vydia trying out fencing during Atlantic Fencing's demo day.

“They’ve brought the outdoors inside Bell Works. It looks like kids are playing on the grass. There are literally farmers selling produce in the atrium,” says Kelly Gliatta, VP of Talent at WorkWave. "It’s not some kind of illusion like when you’re at the mall and they’re trying to make it feel open with fake plants and artificial light.”

Spirent Communications soccer on the turf

 Spirent Communications (along with some of our other tenants) use the turf atrium for afternoon soccer games.

One of the unique aspects of Bell Works is the kids. What other business center has little girls in tutus and cowgirl boots running to story time at the library?

Metroburb community

Middletown moms Nicole and Dana with their little ones Zeke and Reagan enjoying a morning on the turf.

Part of Ralph Zucker’s vision, (developer of Bell Works and president of Somerset Development), was that the building would become a town center where parents, kids and business owners could commingle, share ideas and create a community.

“We’re providing a heart to the surrounding neighborhood and communities,” he said.

Yoga on the turf

 Yoga classes on the turf during one of our Be Well @ Bell wellness days.

The atrium plays host to conferences, galas and private parties, but most events here are open to the public. The most popular have become recurring events like WorkWave’s speed networking job fair, Bell Market’s weekly Wednesday happy hour (now outside for the summer), and Bell Works Fresh, a farmers’ market, also on Wednesdays.

WorkWave career fair

The WorkWave team during their quarterly career fair.

Fronting the pedestrian street are soon-to-open retail spaces like Bell Market, Salon Concrete, Hummus & Pita, and jeweler, The Alchemist. They'll join Booskerdoo, the coffee and bake shop, and the Holmdel Library, now open six days a week.  Bell Works expects to announce another round of retailers in the coming months.

“It’s been incredible to watch the pedestrian street take shape," Sabre Real Estate Group's Senior Vice President Justin Korinis said. "It all stems from a recognition that, even in suburbs like Holmdel, we can create incredibly diverse and captivating urban-style experiences, where visitors and workers alike can encounter a wide variety of retail options in a centralized, urban-style location."

There’s always something going on at Bell Works.

To stay up to date on the latest events and happenings, visit our events page.

Events at Bell Works | Holmdel, NJ



Fresh Markets Heads Indoors for a Farmers Market at Bell Works

You’ll gain a “fresh” perspective when you walk through the doors of Bell Works on Wednesdays this summer.

That’s because the atrium will be bustling with a unique assortment of local produce vendors and artisans assembled by the Asbury Park-based Fresh Markets. On May 30, the Jersey Shore’s largest farmers and makers market will launch Bell Works Fresh, its third regular weekly event in Monmouth County.

The market is a taste of what's to come along the quarter mile indoor street at Bell Works where retail spaces are being outfitted for restaurants, boutiques and service businesses like Salon Concrete. Coming soon are Hummus & Pita; The Alchemist, a custom jeweler and Holmdel Florist. Developer Ralph Zucker's vision for the space is a piazza where tenants and community members can eat, shop, stroll and relax.


Bell Works Fresh comes on the heels of Bell Street Market held over the winter and spring, which brought vendors of mostly non-food goods to the street and included cocktails, music and yoga. 

For this food focused event, more than 20 vendors are currently signed on for opening day and shoppers can expect more as the season rolls on. According to Fresh Markets Product Manager, Brian Sienkiewicz, as word travels about the success of their events, the organization tends to get more inquiries from vendors. But this one generated a strong buzz from the start.

“When we went on sale with this and announced it on our website, I was blown away by the amount of vendors who said, ‘Oh my God, you’re doing a market at Bell Works? I want in on this!’” he said.

Brian Bell Works Fresh 2 Fresh Markets Product Manager, Brian Sienkiewicz has curated more than 20 vendors (and counting) for Bell Works Fresh.

The tough job of deciding who does get in falls to Sienkiewicz, who first got involved with Fresh Markets as a vendor who created wood furniture from reclaimed materials. Sienkiewicz carefully screens applications and recruits businesses that catch his attention in order to build a well-balanced mix. The result, as visitors to their other markets can attest to, is a cast of Jersey originals who have built loyal followings.

Among the Fresh Market veterans, whom Sienkiewicz predicts will please palates in Holmdel, are the organic produce specialists Rolling Hills Farm, of Lambertville, and Honey Brook Organic Farm, of Chesterfield; homemade jelly maker Holly Jolly Jams, of Eatontown; and Teaneck’s Pickle Licious.

Round out your summer spread with tapenades, pickled condiments, and of course, classic dill pickles, from Teaneck based Pickle Licious.

“Pickle Licious, that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. People can come get pickles and olives by the pint, the quart,” Sienkiewicz said. “If your tummy’s rumbling, you can come down and get a pickle on a stick, and that’ll save the day for you.”

Among the local vendors slated for opening week are Holmdel’s own Fox Hollow Vineyards; Tinton Falls’ Two River Gourmet Mushrooms; the Middletown crochet craft maker Kathy’s Kozies; and Grateful Tea of West Long Branch. (Click here for a full list of weekly vendors.) The Humane Society of Tinton Falls will also be on hand with rescue animals every other week beginning with the first event.

“Once I found out Bell Works was dog friendly on the first floor, I was like ‘Boom, they’re coming’,” Sienkiewicz said. “I think it will be great. People will come down, hopefully rescue some friendly animals that need help, or at the very least cuddle with them and lower the blood pressure before they go back to work.”

One thing that will set Bell Works apart from any other Fresh Market site is its indoor setting. That means no summer scorchers, no bugs and no rain-outs.

Sienkiewicz hopes the community surrounding the metroburb will embrace the market and build it into a weekly tradition.

“This is a trial run,” he said. “This is going to be a 14-week season, and if all goes well –and I can’t imagine it won’t – we’re definitely going to continue this, and who knows, maybe even make it a year-round market.”

Bell Works Fresh will be held each Wednesday from May 30 through Nov. 14, 2-6 p.m.. For more details, visit

Maker Fest Brought Drones, Rockets and Jedi to Bell Works

Go make your own fun. That’s the message of the Maker Fest at Bell Works.

On Feb. 24 and Feb. 25, Bell Works held the 2nd Annual Maker Festival hosted by Building S.T.E.A.M. Maker Fest was full of exploration, inspiration, and fun, attracting more than 300 makers of all ages. Building S.T.E.A.M designed the Maker Festival to bring together the maker community, schools and industry to illustrate innovation and creativity in a hands-on immersive environment of learning and exploration.

(Pictured Right) Joel Auerbach showing the mechanics of his drone. At Bell Works we are big fans of the drone; last year we hosted ESPN’s Drone League for a race in this exact spot within the building.

Joel Auerbach, the man behind the Building S.T.E.A.M. Maker Festival went to college to become an applied technology teacher. His passion for designing and building tech gadgets brewed at a young age. After retiring from his teaching job, Joel could not contain his innovative ideas and founded a series of maker festivals. 

Inspired by the maker movement, Building S.T.E.A.M. was born. Joel noticed shop classes were being taken out of schools. “A lot of guys my age say, ‘You know, I have something I made in shop class 40 years ago.’ I wanted people to attend Maker Fest and be able to take one of their creations home and keep it for memories.” 

The organizers invited professionals and amateurs, enthusiasts and hobbyists, innovators and entrepreneurs, tinkerers and craftsmen to exhibit, demonstrate and provide educational immersive experiences for all ages. Hundreds came out to make, eat and fly their way through the Bell Works atrium. 

Here are just a few of the highlights from the action packed weekend.

Here are a few highlights:

AJH Entertainment designed an escape room to bring together families to solve a puzzle and find their way out.

Girl Scouts from Junior Troop 862 and Brownie from Troop 20 created custom sun catchers from recycled materials.

Chocolate Legends gave attendees the opportunity to make roses out of chocolate clay.

The community had fun working on this Stick Together masterpiece, “Every Sticker Counts!” which took shape over the course of the weekend as attendees added their own sticker pixels.

Randy (left) and Aaron (right) of 501st Legion created costumes and armor of the “bad guys” from their favorite movies. 

The Power Racing Series zipped through Maker Fest on vehicles retrofitted for racing.

Cora enjoyed Pendulum Painting, creating a unicorn headband and designing a kaleidoscope with her parents, Jason and Mary Kate of Marlboro, NJ. 

Jedi training in the atrium. Who doesn’t want to be a Jedi?

These three boys had a ‘blast’ building rockets out of recycled materials and launching them on Auerbach’s hand crafted rocket launcher. Elijah, 8, of South Amboy, NJ (red shirt), Josiah, 6, of South Amboy (white shirt, red sleeves) and Michael-Elias, 6, of Jersey City, NJ (navy t-shirt).

Bell Works was honored to host the 2nd Annual Maker Festival, where the community came together to learn, interact and explore creatively engineered new technologies as it once did as Bell Labs. Maker Fest joins a long list of unique, large-scale events held here including a hackathon, drone racing, eclipse viewing, film festival and living art installations. Events like these are how we #liveinspired in the metroburb.


New Jersey’s Best and Brightest Convene at Bell Works for NJ Ad Club’s First Annual Innovation Summit

Video by Core Studios

Innovation is a word that’s become synonymous with Bell Works—from the building structure itself, to the people who walked our halls decades ago, to the current wave of forward-thinking companies now calling Bell Works home.

But it’s also a place tethered to advertising. Often, the most memorable and effective efforts from brands are the result of an innovative idea, consumer insight or emerging technology.

Wanting to take a deeper dive into this notion, the NJ Ad Club collaborated with Bell Works to host its first ever Innovation Summit. The event was a huge success, bringing over 1,000 people together from across advertising’s business and creative landscape—web developers, film makers, ad execs, strategists and others from New Jersey’s top shops. The idea was to discuss what’s happening now, what’s next and how to incorporate innovation into their everyday work.

Rob Schnapp, President of the NJ Ad Club, added, “Rather than your typical panel discussion, this is about things that aren’t in everybody’s comfort zone.”

Organized by Red Bank-based content and media agency By & Large, the event featured roundtable discussions on a variety of topics, from virtual reality to consumer insights. The energy was high, the rooms were packed. And everyone who came with an open mind left with big ideas.

Innovation accelerator New Haircut led sessions on design thinking and using the sprint process to drive business faster. Global market research agency InSites Consulting helmed a discussion on refining big data to uncover why people do what they do. Local film production boutique Core Studios explored different approaches to planning video content shoots. And Asbury Park-based VR/gaming studio Atomic Veggies teamed up with By & Large to examine the opportunities of AR, VR and 360 video.

The Innovation Summit is now slated to be an annual event of the NJ Ad Club at Bell Works—and the expectations are even higher for next year.

Pilgrimage Home: Bell Labs Alumni Return to See What Bell Works is All About

If the massive windows that surround the Bell Works facility could talk, they’d tell you enough stories of the history and hijinks of the iconic, 2 million square-foot building to last a lifetime.

Before the facility evolved into the metroburb it is today, it was home to thousands of innovators and creators who transformed the way we communicate across the globe. Simply put, Bell Labs was a technology juggernaut.

It produced eight Nobel Prize winners, developed the foundation for the Internet, created the first transatlantic fiber-optic cable, and connected us all with the first wireless cellular networks.

But it wasn’t all ground-breaking work. There was plenty of fun (geniuses need time to play, too). That’s why the people who worked here during its heyday have such fond memories of the facility, and several of them make pilgrimages back to see what’s become of their beloved building.

“Some people say things are so different now [at the facility], but when we went on the tour, it looked very much the same as when we were there, so they preserved a lot of it,” said Ron Kauffman, a former Bell Labs employee who toured Bell Works earlier this year with former colleagues.

It’s not uncommon to see groups of Bell Labs alumni walking through the building. They have lunch in the café. They point out their former offices. They reminisce about meeting their spouses here. They share laughs and memories. And they’re glad they get to come back to the building that was in jeopardy for so long.

Photo by Gary Murakami

Life At Bell Labs: Young, Fun and Ground-Breaking

Built in 1962 and expanded twice since, the former Bell Labs facility was once one of the largest buildings in New Jersey. And as it is today, it was a place to work and play.

“It was a lot of fun. In particular, there were a lot of young people,” said Kauffman, who began working at the facility in 1977. “They had massive hiring years from 1977 to the early 1980s, so you had a lot of people in their 20s just getting out of school. We would get together in various ways. There were many clubs, for example. They had probably 20 or 30 clubs.”

If you had an interest outside of work, there was a club for you: a French club, magic club, ski club, juggling club, and several sports leagues. They even offered courses in other vocations, such as auto repair.

Of course, there were seminars and world-class speakers coming through the facility. Kauffman recalls hearing of some guy named Steve Jobs giving a talk at the building.

“There were world experts around, and people were rewarded for cooperating across organizational boundaries or within the organization. Everyone was very helpful. I learned a lot there,” said Robert Wilson, the 1978 Nobel Prize winner.

Like any workplace, there were also some odd happenings. Like when you could take a break from work and watch Canadian geese chicks hatch by the pond in front of the building (that happened again recently just outside the windows of the vi Collaboration Hub, the coworking space here at Bell Works). Or the time the building was expanded in 1982, but there wasn’t plumbing installed in the new section.

It wasn’t a problem since there was sufficient plumbing in other sections of the building. But the Bell Labs president’s office happened to be in the expansion section. Needless to say, they installed plumbing for him.

Ending an Era and Revitalizing the Legacy

After the divestiture of Bell Labs and Lucent Technologies eventually taking over the property, things went downhill for telecom companies. The building that was once so heavily occupied that temporary offices were built in the atrium, dwindled in population.

“It was a really big place and it was exciting to be there,” said Kauffman, who worked at the facility until it closed in 2007. “So seeing it start to diminish while you were still there was sad, and after we left, we weren’t too sure what was going to be done with the building.”

Though the building remained vacant for several years, Somerset Development purchased it in 2013 and continues to transform it into a mixed-use facility for people to live, work, and play, something Bell Labs alumni are happy about, giving them a reason to return to their roots.

“When I visited a couple of weeks ago, that was the first time I’d been back since it was abandoned,” said Grace Leonard, who worked as a technical supervisor at other Bell Labs locations in the state from 1969 to 1986, but visited the Holmdel location for meetings. “I think the work and what I understand about the plans is a wonderful use of the space and I’m really glad it is being put to use for people in the community.”

Alumni are also glad to see Bell Works carry on the legacy of innovation, as many tech companies are tenants in the facility.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for hi-tech companies. I know NVIDIA is there and they’re a very well-known tech company. I’m sure the other hi-tech companies in the building are doing a lot of good stuff as well,” Kauffman said.

It may have been abandoned for a while, but the Holmdel facility is buzzing again with ground-breaking work, inspiring events, and plenty of fun activities. And now, it’s not just those windows that have stories to tell, but Bell Labs alumni can return home to walk the halls and talk about its history.

AMC’s Comic Book Men and USA Today Talk Podcasting At Bell Works

Podcasting may have started as an occasional, recreational pastime for natural techies with extra time on their hands – but that was then. Today more than 35 million people listen to podcasts weekly.

Here in the U.S. there are as many podcast listeners as there are Twitter users, and their interests are as vast as our population - sports, tech, politics, pop culture, and even comic book fans have a podcast to claim for themselves. It’s an ever growing medium in both users and influence.
On May 4, Bell Works, also a growing, changing medium (with a long history of tech innovation) will host a panel discussion to dig into what’s next for podcasting.

This will be the first event in Bell Works’ newly renovated auditorium, part of the building’s renovation as a Metroburb. Bell Works is the latest incarnation for the former Bell Labs building that once housed the engineers and scientists that discovered the Big Bang theory. From the invention of the transistor to telephones to the world’s fiber optic network, Bell’s legacy is one that embraces the new and the next.

The panel includes: Ming Chen and Michael Zapcic, co-stars of AMC TV’s hit unscripted show, Comic Book Men, and Felecia Wellington Radel and Alex Biese, hosts of the popular podcast, Fan Theory. On stage the four will do what they love best -- talk about pop culture. Both teams’ weekly shows blend banter about real life with special features like movie reviews and fan favorite guest interviews.

The podcasters will be joined by Neil Mody, president of SpareMin. Based in New York City, SpareMin developed new technology currently being used by major media outlets to do on-the-spot audio capture and upload that allows users to produce relevant, relatable content in real time.

All panelists will share their experience as podcasters and their thoughts about the future of podcasting.

Podcasts are an evolving source of content that can be seamlessly integrated into other media across multiple platforms. The medium is experiencing a surge in popularity with news media, marketers and business owners who are all looking for new ways to deliver engaging, meaningful experiences to both established and potential clients, customers and community.  

In 2015 alone, there were an estimated 3.3 billion download requests. Listeners are affluent, well-educated and 38 percent of them are millennials.

"Podcasting is not only here to stay but it could become even bigger than blogging.  Podcasting captures the most primal, instinctive mode of communication, just two people talking, better than any other medium," says Neil Mody, President of SpareMin.

Fan Theory will provide a big picture view of corporate-backed podcasting linked to an established media resource (USA Today/Gannett). They will also discuss how podcasting helps build community and feeds into other conversations that open doors to affiliated business opportunities, including the creation or enhancement of events based on a podcast and its fan community.


Fan Theory Podcast: Felecia Wellington, Alex Biese, Al Mannarino


“Podcasting is a new way to reach audiences for the news and media industry,” says Wellington Radel. “As technology evolves, so has audio — niche audiences are able to look for, find and engage with what interests them most.”

Mike & Ming will bring the ‘organically grown’ experience of podcasting to the table – building an audience and message around a very personal/personality driven passion. They’ll also share experiences about using podcasting to promote a strongly held, personal agenda, ie: a more inclusive society; a culture that values storytelling and shared goals and aspirations; and encouraging the ‘average geek’ to get creative and create something that celebrates what’s important to them in their lives.

“Podcasting is personal. It’s usually not heavily scripted or edited so listeners can feel good about experiencing something that feels honest because most of the time, it is,” Zapcic said. “That can be good and bad,” he adds, laughing.

The panelists will take questions from the audience, and are even hinting at a special opportunity for audience participation at the event.

In addition to an hour and a half of some of the best discussion around on the Jersey Shore, guests will leave with an emphatic charge issued by Ming Chen, who would be perfectly happy if everyone attending the May 4 event exited the auditorium and immediately launched their own podcast:

The future of podcasting was prophesied 27 years ago, and today has the potential to be fulfilled. It was shouted out to the masses by Christian Slater in the 1990 movie 'Pump up the Volume' in reference to pirate radio. Podcasting is the illegitimate child of pirate radio and the quote goes a little something like this:

‘I'm calling for every kid to seize the air. Steal it, it belongs to you. Speak out, they can't stop you. Find your voice and use it. Keep this going. Pick a name, go on air. It's your life, take charge of it. Do it, try it, try anything. Spill your guts decide. Fill the air, steal it. Keep the air alive--TALK HARD!’

Here's to everyone out there finding their voice and talking hard via their own podcast.”

Click here to register for the event.


Through The Looking Glass: A Photo Gallery

As the sun set on March 30, more than 200 guests filled the main atrium at Bell Works for a fantastic gala to benefit the Holmdel Public Library & Learning Center. The library announced back in March that it would be moving its entire operation from the basement of the Holmdel Municipal Center to a prime location in Bell Works.

Check out the gallery below for some fun photos from the event.


Bell Works Event: How to Prepare for the Media Interview

You had the big idea. You did your research. You took the risk and put in the hours of physical and mental effort necessary to launch your business. Now you’re seeing results. What was once just a big dream is now gaining traction…and getting recognized.

You’ve landed a media interview. Congratulations! The possibility for positive recognition and amplification of your brand and your mission is real.

Now what?

You need a crash course in handling the media. Both for that coveted business profile, and the event that there is a crisis at your business or in your industry.

Join us at Bell Works on Wed, Dec. 14 for a breakfast panel discussion on how to prepare for a media event: interview, press conference or tv/radio spot. The panel discussion will feature tips and practical instruction from publicists and reporters who cover businesses in New Jersey.

This event is part of a regular series of meetups sponsored by Bell Works and vi Collaboration Hub, the coworking community here, to provide resources and education for businesses entrepreneurs.


Learn more about the panel:

Moderator, Shannon Winning, Co-owner and Writer,  Marketing Rival

Shannon is a professional writer and marketer skilled at harnessing the knowledge of her clients to turn their years of experience into the kind of content prospects hunger for. Shannon has helped CEOs, CMOs and other executives become thought leaders in their industries, attracting buyers and competitors seeking answers to their problems. Prior to co-founding Marketing Rival and her work as freelance writer and inbound marketer, she was a journalist covering municipal, business and hyperlocal news.

“The one thing you don’t want to do is let your press agent or PR specialist speak for you during an interview,” Shannon advises. “This is your business, your expertise, your chance. You need to speak in your own voice, make your own statement. That’s powerful, and will resonate with your audience more than any soundbite being fed to a reporter by a PR point person.”

Michael Diamond, Business Reporter, Asbury Park Press

Michael is a business reporter at the Asbury Park Press, where he covers the economy. His stories have appeared in USA Today and other newspapers nationwide, and he has been honored by the New Jersey Press Association for business writing nine times.  Michael joined the Press in 1999 after writing for newspapers in Pennsylvania and Southern California.

Regarding the media interview opportunity, Diamond is clear in his professional take on authenticity: “Every reporter and every reader can discern who is telling an authentic story and who is embellishing or even fabricating a story for effect and simply to present what they think people will ‘buy’.”

Josh Burd, Editor, Real Estate New Jersey and former NJBIZ managing editor

Josh is the editor of Real Estate NJ, a website and monthly magazine dedicated to covering commercial real estate in New Jersey. He has covered the industry for more than five years. Prior to launching Real Estate NJ this year, he was the managing editor of NJBIZ, a statewide business journal, and spent four years working for Gannett newspapers in central New Jersey.

“The best thing an interviewer or person being interviewed can do is prepare,” Josh said. “For someone going into an interview…Come in with your facts and numbers - that’s what’s interesting to business reporters. Also, besides hard facts, anecdotes—your story. That’s interesting.”

Kyle Kirkpatrick, Director, Beckerman PR

Kyle is an experienced writer, strategist, and media relations expert focused specifically on the commercial real estate industry in New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. A former member of the Public Information and Economic Development offices in the City of New Brunswick, Kyle has roots in government affairs and community development. He has also served as a speech writer, campaign coordinator, and social media manager for local figures and initiatives in New Jersey. He holds bachelor’s degrees in Journalism & Media Studies and Political Science from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.

“You’ve got to distill your message so you can make your point and restate the most important take-a-ways for your audience throughout the interview,” Kyle said. “It may seem redundant, but reporters and audiences are human and there’s only so much we will remember hearing something only once.”

Jennifer Smiga, Co-Owner and Publicist, Marketing Rival

Jennifer has the proven ability to connect her clients to social media influencers and media craving new stories. Prior to founding her first marketing and pr agency in 2010, she managed events, co-marketing partnerships and media relations campaigns for high-profile organizations including Bette Midler’s New York Restoration Project and the Miami Art Museum.

“Trust in your story. Every brand starts with the people behind it. And also remember that the journalist you are talking to may bring something out in your story that you maybe didn’t even know was interesting. But to the reader, it could be a key ingredient to a compelling story.”

The Dec. 14 event kicks off at 8 am with coffee, breakfast and networking. Panel discussion begins at 8:30 and will include time for Q and A. Event concludes at 10 a.m. but attendees are welcome to stay and work in the cafe afterwards.  Bell Works is located at 101 Crawfords Corner Rd, Holmdel, NJ.

Click here to learn more about the event and to register.