Business & Finance

Press Releases

From Typewriters to Smartphones, Arlene Fricke Still Clocks In

Arlene Fricke celebrates the 50th year of her career.
Fricke can still jot down notes in Gregg Shorthand.

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Arlene Fricke’s shorthand resembles, well, not much of anything.

The writing style, known as Gregg Shorthand, is a relic of days long gone. Fricke learned the trick at the Berkeley Secretarial School, from which she graduated in 1967. Only those in the know can decipher the messages hidden in the code’s squiggles, loops and scratches.

For many years, shorthand was critical to the Cranford resident's job. It helped her to quickly record information from the attorneys she served. And while technology has since mostly quashed the need for that fast-paced writing, Fricke remains a key player in her law office.

Sign Up for E-News

This month marks her 50th work anniversary. She has been employed as a secretary by several smaller law firms that, through the years, merged and ultimately became the New Brunswick-based group Hoagland, Longo, Moran, Dunst and Doukas.

“When I tell people that I have had one job my entire life, they are very surprised,” Fricke said. “When you work at a job that you like and for people who you like and appreciate you, then I think you have a formula for a good job.”

Fricke kicked off her career at the law firm of Ryan, Saros, Davis and Stone in Elizabeth. She worked as a secretary and legal assistant, took care of the books, maintained lawyers’ daily calendars and did just about anything else that was asked of her.

She recalled surrounding a table with the firm’s partners each morning, sifting through piles of mail.

“We would create an assembly line together to sort and distribute,” she said. “Today, we have a mailroom.”

The law firm eventually became Longo and Stone. In 1977, it combined forces with Hoagland and Keefe. Finally, in 1992, the law firm took on its current name.

Through it all, Fricke said, she adapted to new technology and the changing times. When Gregg Shorthand grew inefficient, she used a clunky cassette machine to dictate audio notes taken by attorneys. Those behemoths eventually gave way to lightweight, portable dictation machines, she said.

But she can still use Gregg Shorthand in a pinch.

To see her firm go from three attorneys in one office to more than 80 spread across six workplaces has been “simply special,” Fricke said. Even so, most of her work still supports the same attorney, Ted Hubert, who she’s supported for the lion’s share of her career.

“She has been a vital asset to the expansion of the firm and a true part of our core,” reads a statement from Hoagland, Longo, Moran, Dunst and Doukas.

As it happens, the firm is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year—meaning Fricke has been there since well before the beginning.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Three School Buses Involved in Crash at Clark's ALJ High School

June 21, 2018

CLARK, NJ — Three buses collided in the Arthur L. Johnson High School parking lot around noon on Thursday in a chain-reaction crash. 

Students were on board at the time, according to Police Chief Pedro Matos. One driver and two students had minor injuries, Matos said.   

According to a Honeywell alert issued by the Clark Public School District, ...

2018 Cranford High School Graduation

June 22, 2018

CRANFORD - It was a beautiful day as the members of the Cranford High School Class of 2018 took their places on Memorial Field for the Graduation Ceremony on Thursday night. 

Class President Anna Kalafatis, Principal Mark Cantagallo, Superintendent Dr. Scott Rubin, Board of Education President Kurt Petschow, Jr., Salutatorian Emily Wilson, and Valedictorian Meg Cui each ...

Cranford High Senior Prom

CRANFORD - Cranford High School held its Senior Prom on Friday at the Birchwood Manor in Whippany. Check out the photos our readers submitted. 

Spring Art Show Displays Students' Creativity

CRANFORD - The Cranford High School Spring Art Show was held at the Cranford Public Library, on Tuesday. 

From 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., artwork from classes such as crafts, graphic design, photography, and drawing was on display for the public to promote the creative and unique projects done by students throughout the school year. 

Sports Betting Is Off And Running in New Jersey

June 14, 2018

OCEANPORT, NJ — Governor Phil Murphy officially ushered in sports betting in New Jersey when he made the initial wager at Monmouth Park  on June 14.

Governor Murphy, an avid soccer fan who has called ESPN’s “Sportscenter” his favorite show, placed the first bet  — $20 on Germany to win the World Cup. He also bet $20 on the N.J. Devils to ...

Wardlaw+Hartridge Class of 2018 Graduates at Commencement

June 24, 2018

EDISON, NJ -- Wardlaw+Hartridge School in Edison held its 135th Commencement Ceremony on Friday, June 8 under a giant tent on the back athletic fields.

The Class of 2018 marched in, led by valedictorian and class president Suraj Chandran of Edison and vice president Cathy Bi of Edison carrying the class flag. The program began with the Star-Spangled Banner and a welcome from Dr. Bob ...

Healthy U Spring Symposium Marks 10 Years of Community Impact

WESTFIELD, NJ — More than 100 Healthy U champions and partners from YMCAs and schools from all over the state gathered at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on May 18 to celebrate 10 years of community impact. Healthy U was also formally presented with the 2017 CATCH® Award for Excellence in State Health. 

CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) is the ...

Summer Water Safety Tips

Summer is a great time for parents to ensure their children are equipped with essential water safety skills. The Westfield Area YMCA offers weekly swim lessons all summer long and in Monday-Thursday weekly sessions.

Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages 5-14. Remember these tips to ensure the water is an enjoyable and safe place to ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

'Half Time' lights up Paper Mill stage

‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other ...