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Corporate Communications

Although her services encompass all types of corporate communications, by client request Dr. Cauwels has focused primarily on marketing, training, technical, and financial services materials.

Understanding Covered Monthly Salary, an eight-panel employee brochure for a financial service provider

Clients and Employers

Banco Financial
B&B Sheet Metal Inc.
BH Electronics Inc.
BigFoot Construction, LLC
Bowne & Co., Inc.
Buckbee Mears Company
Caribiner International
Cherenson Carroll & Holzer
Control Data Corporation
CPT Corporation
Darakjy Aydin & Isik LLC
DScape Interactive
Dugan Valva Contess
Glilot Capital Partners LLC
Hartman, Buhrman & Winnicki
Honeywell Inc
      Corporate Headquarters
      Solid-state Electronics Division
      Technology Strategy Center
International Museum Foundation
J.A. Johnson Company
Jersey Millwork Company
JRB Associates, Inc.
Mandarin Learning Newspaper
Matts & Davidson, Inc.
Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium
Mirzam Asset Management, LLC
Net Trip Computers
PennWell Publishing Company
Pfizer Inc.
Prudential Insurance Company (Netherlands)
SmartNet Solutions
Sperry Univac Defense Systems
Stromberg Consulting
Syncsort Inc.
3M Company
TBA Resources, Inc.
Trintek Inc.
United Research Company
Zaniskari Management

Bylined Business Publications

The Body Shop contains a two-chapter section entitled “Bionic Business”
The Lumber Co-Operator
Madison Avenue
NJ Meeting Planning Guide
New York Times
(anecdotes and two letters)


Biographical and business profiles, data sheets, field test plans, letters, manuals, marketing and sales materials, memos, monographs, newsletter articles, procedural and product descriptions, proposals, recruiting materials, scripts (writing and voice-over), software support materials, speeches, technical reports, training materials, white papers


Business management, chemicals, communications, computing, ecology, electronics, engineering, ethics, finance, hospitality, insurance, law, marketing, management consulting, medicine, navigation, politics, sociology


After leaving academia, Dr. Cauwels spent a year as a licensed special agent. Since then she has both published material on individual insurance and written pieces on group insurance for clients. Recently she declined a long-term contract to revise the corporate financial services Web site of one of the country's largest life insurance companies.

      Publications: Seven New York Times letters; two Star-Ledger editorials; one Bergen Record letter

      Projects: booklet, brochure, kit inserts, marketing plan, memorandum,
       newsletter article, proposal [excerpt below], research paper

Consultation Examples

• Reports to a management consulting firm detailing a proposed reorganization of the editorial department
• Conferences with managers at Honeywell corporate headquarters to plan the text format and graphic design of a 40-page recruiting booklet

Excerpt from "Engineering Development Programs" in Honeywell Recruiting Booklet

If you belong in the computer industry, and if you desire management or technical training from a world leader in the field, you may tailor your own development program at Honeywell.

Manufacturing Management and Advanced Engineering Programs

Honeywell's Large Information Systems Division in Phoenix, Arizona and Small Systems and Terminals Division in Billerica, Massachusetts both sponsor a Manufacturing Management Program and an Advanced Engineering Program to develop high-potential engineering graduates into technical leaders for our computer manufacturing operations.

The three-year Manufacturing Management Program consists of after-hours in-house courses in manufacturing, human relations, and financial aspects of manufacturing management. You may also pursue a master’s degree at Arizona State University or Worcester (Massachusetts) Polytechnic Institute at our expense. Your six-month rotational work assignments will expose you first-hand to computer systems configuration and testing; production and materials control; factory planning and product assurance; and process and equipment engineering. To qualify for this selective program, you must have a bachelor’s degree in industrial, electrical, mechanical, or chemical engineering or a similar engineering science; high academic standing; and a strong interest in manufacturing.

Similarly, the three-year Advanced Engineering Program provides internal training in areas such as database systems, new and competitive products, and various computer languages. You may study for a master’s or doctoral degree at the Arizona or Massachusetts university on company time at our expense. Corresponding to your course work, your six-month rotational work assignments will give you practical experience in fault analysis and simulation; logic, operating systems, and computer-aided design; program management; and business analysis. To qualify you must be a highly-ranked graduate in electrical engineering or computer science with leadership ability and motivation to pursue graduate work.

Excerpt from Pilot Program Proposal, "Group Insurance Representatives in Branch Offices"


Originally group insurance products were distributed primarily through institutional consultants, who handled most aspects of the sale, implementation, and servicing of the policyholder contracts. As a distribution system for group insurance, institutional consultants have offered several advantages:

• Their established relationships with the institutions have enabled them to introduce our nonpension products.
• They distribute group products without requiring commissions or fees.
• While handling pension issues, they can service group insurance at limited additional cost.

Since about 1991, group insurance products have been distributed secondarily by the Group Marketing Department in the home office. The institutional consultants allow us to market group insurance as their option. We can produce proposals, sign cover letters (sometimes using the consultants' names), and send them out. Occasionally we generate proposals and pass them on to the consultants to be sent out from the branch offices. We also visit institutions with them as initial sales calls or to do group and individual insurance presentations at administrator meetings.

Over the past few years, however, we determined that we could both retain existing business and significantly enhance new opportunities for group insurance placement by more thoroughly involving our home office personnel. With the cooperation of the consultants, the home office has increasingly taken over those functions that technology and training enable us to perform more effectively.

Since 1992, for example, our account managers have acted as "shepherds" or "advocates" for existing accounts. Each special-needs institution that currently has a group plan or requests a proposal for one is assigned to an account manager. Serving as the principal contact person for the consultant and/or the institution, the manager coordinates home office functions with general group account service.

Although this revised system has helped retain and increase group insurance business, several problems remain:

• Consultants have little incentive to make enough time for group insurance.
• Because consultants receive limited training on our group products, they often do not know the best way to sell and service them. The amount of background varies among consultants.
• The division of our functions between separate units makes it difficult for consultants and group personnel to work together. Important matters may "fall through the cracks," and communication may be ineffective.
• Consultants sometimes "drop the ball" without its being clear who should pick it up.
• Because we lack a comprehensive group database, one functional area may not know what another is doing. Our service to the consultants and institutions thereby suffers.
• Consultants who have not established relationships with decision-makers (often financial officers) cannot "close the deal" for us.
• Because consultants are responsible for group insurance, we pay 10 percent of their overhead. The minimal payback makes this an extremely heavy charge.


The issue is therefore to increase further the strengths of the branch office distribution system regarding group insurance products while removing the remaining weaknesses.

Excerpt from “Estate Protection From Environmental Protection,” a Law Firm Newsletter Article

Caution: Consult Your Attorney Before Signing Contracts for the Purchase or Sale of Real Estate

Like contaminants, the difficulties of estate planning for environmentally troubled properties are often deeply buried. These difficulties may not appear until the time comes to buy, sell, distribute, or manage a property. Government regulations about the cleanup of "hazardous substances—which by current definition could include such ordinary items as household trash—are far-reaching and strict. A related area, wetlands legislation, likewise has significant implications for estate planning.

Proper planning for estate protection may need to address the following issues:

Problem: How to Divide an Estate Among Beneficiaries

An owner may wish to leave a business to some of his or her family members with others receiving cash and securities of equal value. If the business is on a potentially contaminated site, however, the beneficiaries may have to pay out much of their inheritance for testing, cleanup, or other compliance with the law. Moreover, any family member previously associated with that business would be considered potentially responsible for such costs.

Plan: An appraisal of the property for damage can help anticipate costs and equalize division of the estate. An estate planner can help the family separate the members and assets that are associated with the business from those that are not. Assets like securities and cash that are not tainted by environmental concerns can be isolated in a trust or similar family mechanism within which they can be managed by the family members not involved with the business. The family entrepreneurs can meanwhile manage the business within a separate trust, the assets of which might alone be threatened.

Letter to the Editor of the New York Times

"One Way to Save Gas: Work From Home," October 2, 2005

Re "Go Ahead and Drive Less, if You Can" (Week in Review, Sept. 25):

As a writer and editor of corporate, training, medical and technical communications, I confront an inexcusable waste of gas: the increasing refusal by various companies to allow telecommuting, even by independent contractors like me with decades of experience and fully equipped home offices.

Companies nonchalantly eliminate the best candidates by insisting that they work on-site (no exceptions even for disabilities) simply to keep an eye on them.

Having written happily for a corporate training firm in the Netherlands, declined work from a technical-medical publisher in South Korea and received inquiries from a real estate company in India, I know that foreign competitors show far more sense.

Imagine the energy savings if federal legislation made telecommuting the rule for certain job categories (outsourced or otherwise), requiring companies in each case to prove instead that on-site work was necessary.

Letters on other topics appear on the Feature/Culture and Entertainment pages.

Excerpt from "Two Micro Division Employees Own Haunted House," a Corporate Newsletter Article

One bright winter night last year, “John Smith” tried three times to walk from his dining room into the adjoining hall. Each time he reached the doorway, he was stopped short by tapping at one of the full-length dining room windows. Investigation proved that the sounds did not originate within the house, but although John repeatedly peered through the windows, he saw no one outside in the light reflected off the snow.

Finally he went out for a better look. No trees were close enough to the house for their branches to have tapped at the windows, and the fresh snow beneath them was undisturbed by footprints.

John’s first reaction to the taps had been, “Somebody’s playing games.” Having eliminated that and other logical explanations, he recalled his house’s reputation for being haunted, one that made him feel “chilly” and “goosebumpy.” “I went upstairs,” he says, “and I didn’t come down anymore . . . until the next day.”

Late one night “Jane Smith” sat alone in the sun porch reading while the rest of the family slept upstairs. She was distracted from her book by a sound and sensation all around her as if the house, especially the room in which she sat, were breathing. It was a restful, steady breathing that lasted for a page or two: “I just thought, ‘Oh, the house is breathing,’ and went back to my book,” she recalls.

An 18-year veteran of the company, John is now an etcher in the belt department of the Micro Division. Presently on leave, Jane works as a darkroom inspector. Both claim to be insensitive to ghosts because neither believes in them; as Jane puts it, “When you’re dead, you’re dead, and that’s it.” Their three children are equally nonchalant about living in a “haunted” house.

The house itself is lively with plants and paintings and creates an immediate impression of comfort and warmth. But during the four years that they have lived there, the Smiths have encountered a few oddities that puzzle them.


More feature writing appears on the Feature/Culture page. Or return to the Top.