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FALL 2016

New Vitality Found in

Reading’s 18th Ward

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Greater Reading Chamber

COMMERCE QUARTERLY

Ellen Albright, Editor

ealbright@greaterreadingchamber.org

6 Cover Stor y

201 Penn St., Suite 501, Reading, PA 19601 greaterreadingchamber.org • 610.376.6766

The opinions expressed in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

FEATURES:

Small Business Matters

28

Where Has All the Talent Gone?

30

Creating your Focus Strategy

As the business voice of Greater Reading, the Chamber leads the business community, as the economic driver, to a vibrant community.

Your Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry…

» Partners with all other economic

development organizations in creating an environment for growth.

» Enables all businesses to take deliberate and

decided action on issues affecting their welfare.

» Helps small business thrive and entrepreneurs strive.

» Develops employees through training and educational programs/alliances.

» Prepares tomorrow’s workforce with our involvement in education partnerships.

» Operates as a model business and pursues

New Vitality Found in Reading’s 18th Ward

DEPARTMENTS:

In Your Community 18 Our Resources are Your Resources

Greater Reading Economic Partnership

20

BCTV Has Launched So•Lo

23

From Classroom to Board Room An Inside Look at insideBerksBusiness

Made in Berks 32 HATS OFF to Manufacturing

Powering Success 38 Hedging Against the Winter Woes of

Live it up Local 21 The Anderson Group

Event Planning 40 Holiday Cheers... Thoughts to Consider

Business & Community Advocacy 52 Are You Prepared to Make

Energy Costs

When Planning an Office Party

41

Pennsylvania Dram Shop Law

HR Issues & Solutions

42 47 50

DOL OT Ruling Are you Ready?

IN EVERY ISSUE:

an Informed Vote?

54

Business & Community — Engagement Opportunities

ACA Update: What you need to know Self-Funded Healthcare

best practices.

» Maintains a five-star rating as one of the best chambers in Pennsylvania.

» Reflects our multicultural community at large.

©2016 All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced electronically or in print without the expressed written permission of the publisher. Commerce Quarterly Magazine is published quarterly by Hoffmann Publishing Group, Reading, PA HoffmannPublishing.com • 610.685.0914

For Advertising Opportunities: call 610.685.0914 Ext. 1 Read Commerce Quarterly Magazine Online at GreaterReadingChamber.org

4 Letter From the President

31 Ambassador Spotlight

12 Entrepreneur’s Corner Steve Essig, Essig Plumbing & Heating

David Skipper, Billy’s Homemade Candies

56 Upcoming Events 58 Member News 62 Member Spotlight

COVER: Pictured on the cover is a small, but representative, group of business representatives, residents, city agencies and community and academic leaders who have joined in collaboration to bring new life the Reading neighborhood known as the 18th ward. 1. Brian Kelly: Executive Director, ReDesign Reading Community Development Corporation 2. Craig Peiffer: Zoning Administrator, Zoning Hearing Board 3. Dan Luckey: Executive Director, Reading Housing Authority 4. David Talarico: Maintenance/Superintendant, Reading Housing Authority 5. John Masano: President and Co-Dealer, Tom Masano Auto Group 6. Julio (Leo) Martinez: Health and Wellness Director/Community Outreach, Olivet Boys and Girls Club 7. Susan Lackey: Director of Environmental, Health and Safety, Reading Truck Body LLC 8. Elsayed (Steve) Elmarzouky: Owner/Proprietor, Queen City Family Restaurant and Heidelberg Family Restaurant 9. Tania Hollos: Graduate Assistant, O’Pake Institute, Alvernia University 10. Tony Balistrere: Principal, Berks Catholic High School 11. Lucine Sihelnik: Food Systems Director, ReDesign Reading Community Development Corporation 12. Dani Motze: Special Assistant to Executive Director/Communications, ReDesign Reading Community Development Corporation 13. Debra Millman: Director of Business Development, Greater Berks Development Fund

Cover, center spread & select additional photos provided by: Dave Zerbe Studio of Photography


letter from the president

Board of Directors 2016-17 CHAIRMAN: Robert Firely, Herbein + Company, Inc. VICE CHAIR: Peter Rye, Brentwood Industries, Inc. TREASURER: Steve Horvat, Baker Tilley IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR: Scott Gruber, Tompkins VIST Bank LEGAL COUNSEL: Tim Dietrich, Esq., Barley Snyder DIRECTORS: Marilu Rodriguez-Bauer, Owner, RB Legal Counsel, LLC Karen Baxter, Manager, External Affairs, Met-Ed, A FirstEnergy Company Nicholas Bentley, President, American Polarizers, Inc. Gregg Bogia, President, Bogia Engineering, Inc. Marianne Brown Egolf, General Manager, F.M. Brown’s Sons, Inc. Johanny Cepeda, Owner/Manager, Mi Casa Su Casa Harry Dietz, Associate Publisher and Editor, Reading Eagle Robert Firely, Partner, Herbein + Company, Inc. Scott Gruber, President & CEO, Tompkins VIST Bank Tracy Hoffmann, President, Hoffmann Publishing Steve Horvat, Partner, CPA, Baker Tilley Lisa Lavender, Chief Operating Officer, Berks Fire Water Restorations, Inc. Brian Levan, President, Levan Machine & Truck Equipment William Long, Administrative Vice President, M&T Bank Carl Marks, Chief Operating Officer, Distributed Systems Services, Inc. (DSS) Don Mikes, Senior VP, Penske Truck Leasing Toni Miller, Senior Executive Vice President - Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial Officer, Boscov’s Pete Molinaro, President, Adhezion Biomedical, LLC Ann Moll, President, Gallen Insurance Michele Richards, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking Group, Fulton Bank David Roche, President, Dave Roche Electric Inc. David Roland, Senior Vice President, Market President, Berks, BB&T Peter Rye, President, Brentwood Industries, Inc. Mark Schlott, Executive VP of Operations/Chief Operating Officer, R. M. Palmer Company Stayce Schlouch, Project Manager, Schlouch Incorporated Nicholas Stoltzfus, President, DESCCO Design Sara Kuzma-Stump, Director, Sales & Marketing, Suburban Testing Labs, Inc. Rich Tinsman, VP, Manufacturing, Carpenter Technology Lauren Tobiassen, Area President, Central PA, Wells Fargo Scott Vaughn, CEO, The Standard Group 4  COMMERCE QUARTERLY   FALL 2016

I

t’s with great pleasure and excitement I take on the role of President and CEO of this amazing organization! For twenty years I’ve had the privilege of working for our Chamber and the passion and drive I felt twenty years ago still exists. Now, more than ever, the business landscape is more complicated and competitive; and we as a business organization need to provide the resources that will assist businesses in Berks to be healthy and competitive in this new global economy.

As the Chamber, Greater Berks Development Fund and Greater Reading Economic Partnership unite under one organization, Greater Reading Chamber and Economic Development Corporation, we will be focused on our mission “To be Berks County’s leading resource for building a healthy, competitive business community.” This edition of Commerce Quarterly gives a taste of the collaboration of our three organizations. Our lead story is one that demonstrates what can happen when a community comes together and makes things happen. Our own Deb Millman from Greater Berks Development Fund is part of the transformation of the 18th Ward of Reading. Called the 18th Wonder, this section of Reading is undergoing an amazing renaissance and is one example of what’s on the horizon for our community. I’m inspired by this project and I know you will be too! Let’s celebrate this success along with the businesses and institutions that are part of this undertaking. Take a drive and see for yourself what looks different in the 18th Ward – thanks to this group of dedicated Berks Countians. Look for the story by Deb Heffner, Economic Development Coordinator at GREP, about the valuable resources that this organization brings to the business community. You’ll be hearing more about all that we’re doing to create a thriving economy right here in Berks. It really is a great time to celebrate our community! Be sure to read about Bollman Hat Company – a company that has roots in this region that go back generations! Hats off to Manufacturing is a really cool story… and the man in the centerfold is our friend, Don Rongione, President and CEO of Bollman Hat. Good thing he wears hats so well! If you think manufacturing in Berks County is not as robust as it once was, think again. According to Dan Fogarty, Director, Berks County Development Board, Berks County has recovered all lost manufacturing jobs since before the recession, and as of June 2016 Berks County boasts 31,000+ manufacturing jobs. Berks County has a lot to celebrate, but there is more work to be accomplished. Stay tuned, we invite you to be a part of these exciting times in this wonderful community we all call home!

Karen Marsdale Karen Marsdale, President, CEO

Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry


cover story

6  COMMERCE QUARTERLY   FALL 2016


GreaterReadingChamber.org

New Vitality Found in

Reading’s 18th Ward Susan Shelly

The 18th Ward – all of Reading that is located west of the Schuylkill River – is an often overlooked section of the city. A collaboration of business representatives, residents, city agencies and community and academic leaders, however, is working hard to change that, with major improvements already underway and more planned for the future. Known as the 18th Wonder, the group serves as an umbrella organization for all parties interested in working to address issues and improve the condition of the area. “The purpose of the 18th Wonder is to bring together stakeholders to work to improve the lives of residents and businesses,” explained Brian Kelly, executive director of the ReDesign Reading Community Development Corp. “We are looking at a more comprehensive approach to addressing issues in the 18th Ward.”

Alejandro Palacios, acting director of community development for the City of Reading, said that officials are working hard to expedite the process of getting permits for businesses and developers looking to build or expand in the 18th Ward. He added that the City is overseeing improvements to major thoroughfares, including Kenhorst Boulevard and Lancaster Avenue.

Some recent developments and activity in the 18th Ward and some plans for the future are described below. Masano Auto Group Expansion

Among those issues are: transportation, storm water management, and creating safe corridors and access for pedestrians and bicyclists. Plans are underway to add crosswalks, ramps and bike lanes, as well as to better manage traffic. The 18th Ward contains three distinctive communities. They are Millmont, Oakbrook and Wyomissing Park. It is also home to Berks Catholic High School, Alvernia University, Angelica Park, the Berks Community Health Center and a wide variety of businesses and industries. Debra Millman, director of business development for the Greater Berks Development Fund, became interested in the 18th Ward while her son was attending Berks Catholic High School. A member of the 18th Wonder, she said that stakeholders are working together to address the issues that affect them all. “There has been a lot of sharing of ideas and some great collaboration,” Millman said. “We’ve gotten some grants and everybody is really getting energized about making these big ideas a reality for the 18th Ward.”

Tom Masano Auto Group, Inc. in June 2015 purchased the Baldwin Hardware building at 841 E. Wyomissing Blvd. and converted it into an auto park, including corporate offices, a 600-car lot, an indoor showroom for luxury cars, a reconditioning studio, truck service center, photo studio, car wash and a test track around the perimeter of the 300,000-square-foot building.

Continued on page 8

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cover story continued…

“We took a building that was vacant and could have brought down the neighborhood and turned it around so that it’s revenue producing for the city and also provides jobs,” said John Masano, auto group president.

Since then, the company has worked with the nearby Oakbrook Homes development, paying for playground improvements and setting up a backpack program for students.

Masano, who is a member of the 18th Wonder, praised the efforts to improve the 18th Ward and said that Masano Auto Group is anxious to contribute to those efforts.

It also has worked to improve parking and make the area more pedestrian friendly, said Susan Lackey, director of corporate environmental health and safety at Reading Truck Body.

The auto group, which already has invested in landscaping at its Lancaster Avenue locations, plans to do the same around its new location and also is looking at building a path through the property to connect with the Thun Trail.

“We’re working to make the parking and the walking more amenable to pedestrians,” Lackey said. “We want to make both living and working in this community a more pleasant experience.”

“All of our livelihood is in the 18th Ward, so we have a vested interest in keeping this area perfect,” Masano said. “We are working with the 18th Wonder to make the 18th Ward the most beautiful place in Berks County.”

In addition, Reading Truck Body is reaching out to nearby residents, encouraging them to train for and apply for jobs within the company.

Reading Truck Body Moves its Executive Offices

“We’re really working hard to not only be located in that community, but to hire people who live in the community and pay them a good hourly wage and benefits,” Lackey said. “We reach out to the community to come and see what’s going on at Reading Truck Body.”

Recognizing a need for more space, Reading Truck Body LLC in May 2014 moved its executive offices up the street from its manufacturing plant into the former offices of Baldwin Hardware, located at 825 E. Wyomissing Blvd., next to Berks Catholic High School.

The company holds an annual job fair and has developed a training program for specialized welders. Lackey praised the efforts of the 18th Wonder, saying that her company is excited to see what the future holds. “There’s a thriving working class in this community,” she said. “I really think it’s going to turn around and rejuvenate.”

Berks Community Health Center Opens Second Site The Berks Community Health Center opened its second site in August 2015 in the former Easter Seals building at 1040 Liggett Ave. The federally funded health center has already helped hundreds of families to get needed health care in their own neighborhood. The project was completed through a collaboration of the Reading Housing Authority, which purchased the building; the Berks Community Health Clinic; the Reading Health System; Penn State Health St. Joseph; and Alvernia University’s O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Public Service.

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“It’s a neat project because a whole lot of people collaborated on it,” said David Myers, director of the O’Pake Institute. “Oakbrook is this area of poverty, and its right next to Wyomissing. The health center was very much needed there.” While providing care for area residents, the health center also offers clinical experiences for Alvernia’s nursing, occupational therapy and social work students.

Alvernia – An Increasing Presence in the 18th Ward Alvernia’s presence has been increasingly felt in the 18th Ward in addition to its involvement with the Berks Community Health Center. The University’s South Reading Youth Initiative works with elementary students in that community, and graduate students are active there in various ways.


GreaterReadingChamber.org

Alvernia’s main campus entrance was recently relocated, with the driveway now starting on St. Bernardine Street at the foot of the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters’ Convent and McGlinn Conference and Spirituality Center. The University also continues working with the City of Reading and Berks Nature to improve Angelica Park, with plans for Alvernia to build a state-of-the-art recreation, wellness and health sciences complex nearby. The complex, known as “the Plex,” would be available to community members as well as students, Myers said. “We’re located in the 18th Ward and we aren’t leaving,” Myers said. “There are things we can do that will benefit Alvernia, while also providing benefit to the community. Getting involved with the 18th Wonder makes a lot of sense to us.”

Continued on page 10

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cover story continued…

Berks Nature Building an Environmental Education Center in Angelica Park Construction on The Nature Place, a green, sustainable environment education center located at the site of the current education center in Angelica Park, got underway in September, with plans to open the building to the public next fall. The center is the project of Berks Nature, which plans to move its offices to the new building next summer. In addition to the Berks Nature offices, the building will include two classrooms, conference rooms, nature displays, a lobby and gift shop, and outdoor recreation areas. Kim Murphy, Berks Nature President, said there will be a nature play area for children, and a wetland trail accessible to visitors with disabilities. There are also plans for an interactive, organic community garden, where visitors can learn about native plants along with agriculture and food supply. Raised beds will assure that the garden is accessible to everyone. “We’re anticipating a lot of use by the public, either for the programs that we’ll offer, or for field trips with their Scouting or school group, or just from people who want to come out and see the building and the displays,” Murphy said. “We expect that it’s going to be a popular place.”

Oakbrook Brewing Company Opens in Former Fire Station

A Holistic Approach to Employee Benefits

The Oakbrook Brewing Company opened in March at 628 Park Ave., just blocks off of Lancaster Avenue in the 18th Ward. Kyle Neuheimer, founder and owner, worked for three years to restore the firehouse and overcome zoning challenges. It was worth it, he said, as he loves both the former Oakbrook Fire Company building that houses the brew pub, and the neighborhood surrounding it. “Finding that building in that neighborhood is what made us decide to give this a try,” Neuheimer said.

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While living with his wife in Portland, Oregon, Neuheimer witnessed how a brew pub could transform a neighborhood by creating a community gathering spot where people come together. “I was looking to see if it was possible to do something like that here,” he said. During its first six months in business, the Oakbrook Brewing Company has hosted a variety of fundraisers to benefit the Reading Public Museum, the Reading Police K-9 unit and the Reading Public Library. Plans are underway for a fundraiser in conjunction with ReDesign Reading to benefit the Penn Street Farmers Market. In addition, the brew pub provides a place for people in the neighborhood and beyond to get together and enjoy some conversation and craft beer. “We are excited to be a part of this revitalization of the 18th Ward,” Neuheimer said. “There are a lot of good things happening here.”


GreaterReadingChamber.org

Moving Ahead with the 18th Ward While the first step of the revitalization project was the formation of the 18th Wonder, the next is to reach out to the community to find out what issues are most important, Kelly reinforces. Preliminary findings reveal that storm water management and parking are primary concerns. “These things seem to be important issues for people, so they’re the first things we’ll be looking at,” he said. Leaders are also looking at ways to develop Lancaster Avenue, which divides the 18th Ward, into more of a commercial corridor, and to involve the Route 10 corridor. Hancock Boulevard also is a focus. While the 18th Ward faces challenges and still can benefit from improvements, there has already been $10 million worth of investment there within the past 10 years, according to Kelly. The formation of the 18th Wonder and the snowball effect experienced as more and more stakeholders get involved are extremely positive steps in the right direction. “This is a really interesting story of an area of the city that’s often forgotten,” Kelly said. “I think we’re going to be looking at big things ahead for the 18th Ward.”

A sampling of what’s on the (Lancaster) Avenue

Award Winning Architectural and Interior Design

• The popular Liberty Taproom in Exeter Township is set to open a second location at 1501 Lancaster Ave. The Liberty Alehouse will operate in what was formerly the Avenue Bar and Grill, and before that The Corner House Restaurant. • The Warehouse Studios at 700 Lancaster Ave., home to artists Bruce Becker and Sandra Kaye, is a busy art center that offers painting classes, glass classes and workshops, teen and adult art classes, art camps for kids and painting parties. The building also houses a gift shop and gallery and hosts shows and events. • A run-down building that had been empty for years is now a popular housing center for area college students. The 525 Student Apartments opened at 525 Lancaster Ave. in 2012 and has attracted students from all Berks County colleges and universities.

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• The Queen City Family Restaurant at 100 Lancaster Ave. has recently been revamped to include the (Reading) Knight’s Kingdom Room, and the outside of the building was painted with bright murals. An outdoor seating area was added. In addition, the restaurant, owned by Elsayed “Steve” Elmarzouky and managed by his daughter, Sabrena Archie Elmarzouky, hosts many community and public events. It is the site of the annual “People First” event, during which the restaurant hosts hundreds of people in need for a holiday dinner.

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entrepreneur’s corner

Essig Plumbing & Heating

pwessig.com

A Conversation with

Steve Essig, President, Co-Owner Ellen Albright, Greater Reading Chamber

Essig Plumbing & Heating has provided service to customers in Berks County, PA since 1938. Expert professionals deliver efficient and effective service designed to create a minimum of downtime to your business or disruption to your daily home routine. Essig strives to exceed your expectations every time, and their job will not be complete until customers are 100 percent satisfied!

T

he Greater Reading Chamber celebrates the role of entrepreneurs in our community each and every day. We work with these business owners to provide counsel, deliver solutions and expand their networks. But behind each of these businesses lies an untold story of perseverance, passion, and most importantly – the individuals responsible for creating vibrancy and innovation in our region. Paul W. Essig Inc., now more formerly known as Essig Plumbing & Heating, opened in Berks in 1938. Since then, the business’ roots have grown deep beyond just plumbing, also expanding to provide heating, air conditioning, drain maintenance/ installation and water conditioning. To learn more about this 78-yearold family-owned business, read the full conversation below between Commerce Quarterly and Steve Essig – President & Co-Owner, Essig Plumbing & Heating. EA: Steve, 78 years ago – Essig was begun in Berks. Why remain in Berks? SE: The business has been servicing Berks since 1938. We were established here, so Berks has always been our market. The people of Berks have been good to us, so we’ve grown the types of services we provide for those customers. EA: With such a loyal customer base, what is your business best known for? SE: We’re known to have quality technicians and quality service. EA: Over the business’ life span, it seems Essig has expanded services. What might someone be surprised to know about the company?

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GreaterReadingChamber.org

SE: A lot of people still think we only provide plumbing services because that’s how we started. But we’ve spent the past several decades adding a variety of services including HVAC, drain service, and geothermal. EA: What about your industry is unique to your field? SE: We specialize in meeting the customers’ needs for same day service. There’s an emergent nature to the services we provide that isn’t always found in other fields of work. EA: I’d imagine there is a sense of urgency when people are calling you for jobs. That being said, how do you maintain work-life balance? SE: It really goes back to the values of our company. We believe in having the right people in the right seats. Once we have the right people in the right seats, so much of the business takes care of itself. It allows me to focus on growing the business as well as keeping balance in my personal life. EA: Is there anything you wish you would have known before coming into management with Essig? SE: This is certainly my first venture in the business world, but I represent the leadership of a third generation. I would say the most important thing I’ve learned is the importance of having a business plan in place for the leadership transition between generations. Business planning is vital to the success of a business for everyone involved; whether it’s the customers, employees or owners. EA: That’s great advice! Do you have any other advice that you’ve received over time that was helpful as a business owner? SE: Reinvent continuously. Stay true to your mission and your values, but recognize that the market is in a constant state of change. It’s important to be flexible and willing to reinvent yourself if need be. EA: How have you incorporated this way of thinking into your vision for the business – Respond in three words! SE: Create Raving Fans! EA: What is one thing you believe family business owners, or any business owner for that matter, should practice daily?

Continued on page 14

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entrepreneur’s corner continued… SE: Owners need to appreciate their staff. Say “hi” to your staff on a daily basis and appreciate them as much as possible. EA: What is your biggest challenge as a small business, and what resources in Berks have you used to overcome it? SE: The biggest challenge has been transitioning to the third generation of leadership. One thing that has helped is getting involved with the Greater Reading Chamber and their Family Business Alliance programming. EA: Awesome. Now, last but not least – complete this sentence. “Doing business in Berks…”

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entrepreneur’s corner

GreaterReadingChamber.org

Billy’s Homemade Candies

billyscandies.com

A Conversation with

David Skipper, Owner Ellen Albright, Greater Reading Chamber

Billy’s Candies has been producing homemade chocolates since 1935. Utilizing original recipes, passed on from family to family, Billy’s Candies still creates extraordinary milk and dark chocolates using only the freshest ingredients with no added preservatives. View an interview between the Chamber and David Skipper, Owner – Billy’s Candies, by scanning this QR Code!

T

he Greater Reading Chamber celebrates the role of entrepreneurs in our community each and every day. We work with these business owners to provide counsel, deliver solutions and expand their networks. But behind each of these businesses lies an untold story of perseverance, passion, and most importantly – the individuals responsible for creating vibrancy and innovation in our region. David Skipper is the third of three different family owners that have embraced the craft of homemade chocolates and candies, a Billy’s tradition since 1935! Read the full conversation below between Commerce Quarterly and David Skipper – Owner, Billy’s Homemade Candies. EA: David – Why did you get into business in the Berks area? DS: We wanted to continue the tradition of a family-owned, homemade chocolate retail store, established originally in 1935. EA: What might someone be surprised to know about Billy’s?

Continued on page 16

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entrepreneur’s corner continued…

EA: Now my mouth is starting to water! What is Billy’s best known for that sets you apart from others? DS: Billy’s is known for our fresh, time-tested recipes using the finest ingredients that can be obtained. EA: Well, those are certainly great things to be known for! Looking back – what motivated you to get into this business? DS: I always believed owning my own business would allow me to better control my future. My previous experience in the food industry, combined with my passion for cooking, made owning Billy’s a “win-win” venture. EA: You certainly have the entrepreneurial spirit! What have you learned about yourself during your journey as a business owner? DS: The reality is, sometimes it is necessary to seek out other local professionals or small business owners to assist with the smooth running of all aspects of the business… In other words, you can’t do everything by yourself … Ask for help! EA: That’s great advice! Do you have any other advice that you’ve received over time that was helpful as a business owner? DS: One of the best pieces of business advice I have received came from one of Billy’s previous owners, Joe Miller. His advice was simple, yet powerful: “Give them their money’s worth.” DS: Not only do we have a great staff serving our local customers, but Billy’s also specializes in corporate gift-giving. Some of our popular corporate gifts include chocolate gift boxes, gift box towers, and custom printed boxes unique to each company’s logo and branding.

EA: Simple, but certainly powerful. How have you incorporated this into your vision for the business? DS: The vision is simplified into three words – Keep. It. Fresh!

EA: In your day-to-day operations, what do you find most unique about this line of work?

EA: Speaking to your fellow small business owners, what is one thing you believe they should practice daily?

DS: In addition to the day-to-day challenges of running a small business, the major focus of our work time is dedicated to the complex culinary artistry necessary to create our bite size, homemade centers and fine chocolates.

DS: Be thankful for your great customers and staff that work with you every day.

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in your community

Our Resources

are

Your Resources Deb Heffner, Greater Reading Economic Partnership

S

tatistics show 80% of a region’s job growth will come from its existing companies. Based on this data, the Greater Reading Economic Partnership (GREP) knew it was important to strategically focus on local companies. Beginning in 2013, GREP led the charge on developing and implementing a formal Business Expansion and Growth program for Berks County. Since implementing the program three years ago, GREP has met with over 125 businesses, both large and small, to offer the necessary tools and resources to achieve their goals. By the numbers, those 125+ companies employee over 30,000 people in the Greater Reading region.

“GREP has been focused on working with advanced manufacturing companies – which has been a bedrock of our local economy,” — Pamela Shupp, President & CEO.

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Of those 125+ companies, 20+ companies have expanded or grown their employment base. GREP is currently working with 17 local companies who have identified an expansion opportunity within the next 18 months. Helping companies to expand is not the only way GREP supports local companies. The organization is able to identify and match resources to meet various needs such as: • Property research • State + local government introductions • Exporting support • Business to business introductions + referrals • Access to financing opportunities and tools • Workforce training opportunities


GreaterReadingChamber.org

What They Are Saying: “An organization like GREP helps to connect those dots and quickly resolve problems that you have.” — Andrea Funk, CEO, Cambridge-Lee Industries “Anyone running a company in Berks County would be well advised to call GREP and schedule a meeting to find out what they can do for you. GREP educated me about all the services available to Berks area businesses. I guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised that there are people to advocate for you.” — Charles Bernard, President, Eagle Brass

The Greater Reading region’s lower cost of doing business, proximity to major markets, and the incredible workforce training facilities combine to make the region an ideal location for businesses. Shupp stated that “GREP is committed to the Business Expansion and Growth program and will expand the strategy upon the completion of the merger with the Greater Reading Chamber and the Greater Berks Development Fund.” The new entity will be called Greater Reading Chamber and Economic Development Corporation, focused on assisting companies to retain, expand and grow their operations and employment and attract new businesses to Berks County. Our resources are your resources – visit GreaterReading.com or contact Deb Heffner at the Greater Reading Economic Partnership at 610-376-4237.

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in your community

BCTV Has Launched So•Lo, a ‘social, local’ media app for Berks County BCTV is proud to announce the

launch of their So•Lo mobile application and website. So•Lo, which stands for Social Local, is an app that users can install on their phones or use online to share photos and videos of news and experiences from around Berks County.

As Berks County’s only non-profit media outlet, BCTV understands that community media is created by the community it serves. BCTV Executive Director Heather Adams has noted, “This app allows Berks County residents and organizations to serve as ‘citizen journalists’ and to ‘report’ things that they find important and/or interesting. This app is a direct link to what’s going on in Berks County from city council meetings to fairs and festivals to sunsets.” Users can browse, comment, and share So•Lo posts by category and location. BCTV will also select from the community-generated media and redistribute content among its other distribution platforms such as BCTV. org, cable channels, and the BCTV Facebook page. Users can determine the content they want to share, or they can participate in “assignments” which will be sent to users from BCTV via push notification requesting coverage from people at specific locations or attending certain events.

This project was recently awarded a Greater Reading Young Professionals Community Engagement Grant to fund support and hosting of the app and website for its inaugural year. “So•Lo is truly a grassroots application. It’s made for the Berks County community to capture ‘what’s going on around you’ and BCTV is pleased to offer a new sharing method to its information distribution platforms,” says Adams.

So•Lo is a free download on Apple and Android devices. Learn more and explore online at http://solo. shareitmobile.com/

BCTV is a 501c3 nonprofit corporation committed to providing live programming on cable TV and online, produced and hosted by people in the Berks County community. BCTV’s mission is to enhance the unity and strength of the community by providing a medium for community dialogue and educational opportunities; a source of information of local, national and international origin, and a forum for the exchange of ideas on issues and topics of community interest.

20  COMMERCE QUARTERLY   FALL 2016


live it up local

Live it up Local: Memos from our Members

GreaterReadingChamber.org

Berks County

is an ideal location for folks in all stages of building their careers and families to live, work, and play! With a diverse set of attractions, sensational outdoor beauty, and experiences for both residents and visitors – there is quite literally something for everyone! The quality of place here is a strong selling point for attracting talent to local companies, as well as retaining employee talent as these professionals build families and grow within their careers. This section is dedicated to celebrating the many ways local companies are creating a culture around community and celebrating the many opportunities to have some fun in Berks!

F E AT U R I N G . . .

THE ANDERSON GROUP Here’s some of the team at The Anderson Group (TAG) getting ready to go into the stadium for a fun night out together at the Reading Fightin’ Phils. At least once per quarter, TAG has outings to socialize outside of the office to enjoy the local culture and community. Some other spots we’ve frequented recently are Oakbrook Brewing Co., The Railroad House and The BBQ Pit. And just about every Friday, we have a standing date at Mission BBQ for whomever is free for lunch. Right now, we’re gearing up for our next big event in October. We’re having our own Road Rally, which will be a fun team-builder and will give team members who don’t live locally a better sense of Berks. We can’t wait to find out where we’ll end up … but we’re sure it will be dinner-related!

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FALL 2016

ty F o u n d in N e w V it a li Ward

18th Reading’s

DOL OT Ruliadnyg? Are you Re

22  COMMERCE QUARTERLY   FALL 2016


in your community

GreaterReadingChamber.org

From Classroom to Board Room – An Inside Look at Business

insideBERKSbusiness (iBb): A five-day learning experience for educators Connie Skipper, Berks County Intermediate Unit

A week at the beach…Camping with friends and family…A road trip out west. These are some of the typical vacation highlights one might hear when asking teachers, “What did you do this summer?” However, some Berks County educators rolled up their sleeves this summer and explored “behind the scenes” at local companies through the insideBERKSbusiness program. This unique initiative affords teachers the opportunity to experience mini-internships with local businesses throughout the summer months. insideBERKSbusiness, or more commonly referenced – iBb, is offered annually in partnership through Berks County Intermediate Unit, Berks Business Education Coalition and Berks County school districts. The program was launched in 2008 and is governed by an advisory board consisting of 8 educators and business representatives. In the summer of 2016, twenty-seven educators from twelve of the eighteen school districts in Berks benefited from internship placements at eighteen local businesses. The educators represented a diverse group from a wide range of areas including elementary, middle and high school teachers spanning content areas related to STEM, General Science, Biology, English, Language Arts, Chemistry, German, Social Studies, Algebra II, Pre-Calculus, Computer Science, Learning Support, Transition, Cabinetry and Culinary Arts. Equally diverse, the business hosts

included the following industries (and more!): Manufacturing, Utilities, Sports Management, Environmental, Conservation, Veterinary Science, Accounting, Healthcare, and Technology. Aligned to the Pennsylvania Career Education and Work Standards, this five-day learning experience brought members of the education and business communities together for activities designed to give educators an insider’s look at local businesses. As part of the immersive experience, participating businesses hosted their “educator-intern” for four days. The required four days were scheduled according to the availability of the host and the educator. During the mini-internship, each intern learned about the company or organization and, when possible and appropriate, worked on a small, hands-on project. On the fifth day, all hosts and interns gathered together for a culminating seminar. Educators received a $500 stipend and forty Act 48 hours for their involvement. In turn, educators were required to write an abstract describing how career awareness activities will be integrated into daily lessons and were also required to create and present their findings to colleagues with a visual presentation describing their experiences and outcomes. The purpose of insideBERKSbusiness continues to be embraced by educators, administrators, and companies alike. “We want students to understand the skills they are required to have to be successful in the workforce. Teachers are best positioned to communicate this message. Teachers see students each and every day and have the greatest potential to Continued on page 24   23


in your community continued…

impact the success of each one. Statistics provided by the Berks County Workforce Development Board clearly tell us there is a critical shortage of skilled workers in Berks County, especially in the manufacturing and health care sectors. Programs such as insideBERKSbusiness equip teachers with the information they need to bridge the gap between school and careers,” Dr. Jill Hackman, Executive Director of Berks County Intermediate Unit. Teacher placement is a critical aspect of the program. The initiative works to identify areas they have an interest in, while also providing teachers exposure to industries they may not otherwise have the opportunity to explore. Dr. Solomon Lausch, Executive Director of Berks Business Education Coalition, states, “Matching teacher interest with a business or organization that reflects that interest is the key to a successful iBb experience. Arranging for these experiences is one of the most rewarding aspects of my work. It is heartening, year after year, to learn from educator and host alike that the insideBERKSbusiness is mutually beneficial. Our community really cares. The broadening awareness that iBb affords transcends long into the classroom for the enduring benefit of our Berks County students.”

MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS YOUR CHAMBER

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SUPPORTS SMALL BUSINESS

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HELPS BUILD

DRIVES PUBLIC POLICY

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BUSINESSES YOUR CHAMBER BUILDS THE COMMUNITY CONNECT. ENGAGE. IMPACT.

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24  COMMERCE QUARTERLY   FALL 2016

YOUR CHAMBER BUILDS MORE WOMEN LEADERS

FOR MORE INFORMATION,

CONTACT THE CHAMBER 610.376.6766 | INFO@GREATERREADINGCHAMBER.ORG


GreaterReadingChamber.org

insideBERKSbusiness is a win-win for both schools and businesses – providing opportunities on either side of the spectrum for learning and understanding. “The iBb program, and most importantly the experience for educators as well as administrators, to be exposed to the real life jobs in our area is invaluable,” says Dr. Robert Phillips, Superintendent of Exeter School District. “The experience/internship allows the teachers to be exposed to real job sites for a week over the summer and bring back to the school districts what they have learned about what the businesses are looking for in employees. The teachers then incorporate this new information into the classroom curriculum to better shape the transitional training of our students that will take them from the classroom to the work site. It was enlightening to learn what the job sites needed from our students to meet the companies’ specific job requirements and then to realize that many of our students could meet those requirements. I would venture to guess that many students do not know these jobs exist so close to them. The iBb experience instilled in our participating teacher an excitement to share what she learned with her students and left me thinking of ways to partner with these businesses to provide job placement opportunities for my students.” Terry Gilman, insideBERKSbusiness board member and on-site mentor, shares, “Met-Ed/FirstEnergy is a long-standing supporter of iBb. We believe this program provides an important link between the business world and the educational world. It’s an opportunity for teachers to gain insight to what businesses are looking for as they hire their future workforce. Businesses, in return, get an idea of some of the challenges facing schools today and how teachers are meeting those challenges in the classroom.” Jeannine O’Neill-Rohrbach, CPA, CGMA, Brentwood Industries Co., Inc. weighed in by saying, “Brentwood had the pleasure of hosting Emily Hershey and Millie Bross as teacher interns this summer. The experience gave us an opportunity to learn about the educational process and even do some teaching of our own. Our employees were eager to share with the teachers why Brentwood is a great place to work. It is our hope that Emily and Millie will return to their classrooms with new and exciting ideas that will help their students to excel and form a strong up-andcoming workforce.” Jeannine continued, “Throughout the experience, communication was an ongoing theme. Emily and Millie witnessed the importance of collaborating and working as a team. At Brentwood, we feel this is an area where we can always continue to improve and have developed initiatives that will help us to share ideas and connect with coworkers across the business and even across the world. Thank you to Emily, Millie, and the insideBERKSbusiness program for making Brentwood’s first teacher intern experience so positive and memorable!” Continued on page 26

insideBERKSbusiness is designed to address the following goals:

• To increase educators’ knowledge of the occupations, job skills and abilities students need to prepare for today’s workforce, and to communicate such information to their students. • To improve communication between educators / Administration and private sectors. • To enhance educational curricula through the inclusion of first-hand career information. • To encourage students to prepare appropriately for today’s careers by learning communication, teamwork, and problem solving skills. • To build teachers’ awareness of the impact of technology in today’s workplace. • To provide educators with experiences and information to support PA Career Education and Work Standards.

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in your community continued… Additional Teacher Testimonials: Greg Durland Grades 9-12 Chemistry, Wilson SD “My experience at Reading Hospital was a real eye-opener. I had never imagined the high level of multi-tasking, professionalism, and cooperation that goes into becoming a great hospital like Reading Health System. Not to mention the slew of careers available that the majority of high school students, as well as the general public, are unaware of. The experiences gained through this internship will allow me to promote these lesser known occupations, as well as the common ones, within my Health Science course through career research and hands-on laboratories that mimic real-world situations occurring throughout the hospital.” Gerald Galczynski Grades 9-12 Cabinetry and Wood Technology, Berks Career & Technology Center “To say that the iBb program was simply enjoyable would be an understatement. This opportunity was a terrific experience for me. Since I teach at a career center, I will easily adapt the knowledge from my host company and help my students. I will introduce them to career awareness, personal values, and attitudes necessary to become employable with or without post-secondary education. Thanks to the BCIU, BBEC, and East Penn Manufacturing for the tools you have given me.” Emily Hershey Grades 9-10 Reading Strategies, Wilson SD “Because of the insideBERKSbusiness program, I can confidently tell my students what they will need to be successful in the workplace when they graduate. I will be able to share true experiences of real workers to encourage them to discover and develop their passions. Most importantly, I am able to tell my students, who often struggle in school, that there is a place out there for them if they are willing to work for it.” Mary Jo Kuhwald Grades 9-12 Culinary Arts, Berks Career & Technology Center “I did my internship at Met-Ed. It was an “enlightening” experience. I never really thought about what service the electric company provides to its customers until I spent four days learning about every aspect of their company. You just turn on a light switch and expect power. There is so much more that Met-Ed does! I will spread the word to my colleagues and students about all the benefits they would have working for a company like Met-Ed.” Christine Woronko Grades 10-12 Pre-Calculus/Mathematics, Governor Mifflin SD “Teaching is the only career I have ever had, so after 24 years in the classroom, this internship has given me first-hand experience into what other jobs are available to our students. East Penn Manufacturing was a great company to visit, since there are a variety of positions, from manufacturing to sales and marketing to engineering. Now, when my students ask, “When will I ever use math?” – I have some better answers!” Christopher Hartman Grades 10-12 Math and Science, Daniel Boone ASD “My iBb experience was fantastic. As an intern at the Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center, I got to see firsthand the work that goes into educating people of all ages about the environment. This wonderful experience also exposed me to the many different ways in which the public and private sector work together to help keep the environment safe. When I return to school this fall, I will not only be equipped with more lesson plans in my arsenal, but I will also be a better informed citizen.” Rob Bekesy Grade 7 Science, Boyertown ASD insideBERKSbusiness gave me the opportunity to bring real world science data into my classroom. I had the chance to explore a world class research center in Hawk Mountain; where the staff are dedicated to their data, education, environment, and history. Hawk Mountain provides several programs to involve students including hands-on activities and distance learning utilizing technology. 26  COMMERCE QUARTERLY   FALL 2016

Gretchen E. Adams, Director­– Talent Acquisition, Reading Health System, also shared her experience, saying, “We feel that our participation in the insideBERKSbusiness (iBb) program was a great success this year and is something we want to continue to participate in and hopefully host more teachers next year. Rachel and Greg, who participated in the program, were very open and excited to learn whatever they could learn about potential careers within healthcare to share with their students. There are many hard to fill positions within healthcare and some of those positions require two years or less of education beyond high school with a good starting salary upon graduation. At the end of each day, I met with Rachel and Greg to debrief with them about their experiences and to answer any questions they had about what they observed. They were very enthusiastic about what they learned and expressed how they feel better equipped to discuss career opportunities within healthcare with their students. “The staff with whom Greg and Rachel shadowed shared that they were glad the schools were doing this for their educators because they feel students are not aware of all the career avenues that exist within healthcare, plus – they could share with them the knowledge, skills and abilities that are needed to get hired and to be successful within healthcare. We feel honored to have participated in this valuable program. Thank you!” One of the most powerful outcomes of the program occurs long after educators have completed their fourday experience. The real magic occurs when educators update their curriculum based on what they’ve learned to create more value and impact to students exploring career opportunities, as well as the skills needed for those jobs. Michele Erhart, a 7th grade science teacher in the Reading School District, believes her internship with Liberty Environmental, Inc. was one of the most interesting experiences of her adult life. “Many years ago I trained as a scientist in college, and pursued a career in science education. It was exciting to talk to scientists engaged in applied science careers who had depth of knowledge and who use science, math, reading, and communication skills every day. I will draw on this experience to answer my students when they ask, “When am I ever going to use this?” Erhart continued on to say, “Liberty Environmental Inc. provided an in-depth, comprehensive learning experience through interviews, tours, and work projects. They clearly exemplified the company mission to provide environmental services with integrity, professional interaction, and shared depth of knowledge. Through my internship, I have acquired a number of professional contacts and resources to


GreaterReadingChamber.org

Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Pr e s e n t s

e Amalfi Coast & Rome Michele Erhart working with Liberty Environmental. draw upon, including a diverse group of scientists, field trip opportunities, and use of databases and websites to enrich the curriculum and student opportunities.” Jennifer Muriel, 5th grade English Language Arts teacher at Oley, also found her internship at the Reading Eagle stimulating. “I learned about the process of creating a newspaper article, including interviews, writing the story, editing, and publishing. I even had the opportunity to write two articles that were published in the Reading Eagle! I am looking forward to incorporating these writing skills into my ELA classroom this coming school year, such as creating interview questions, writing articles in a newspaper format, and editing. This will help enhance students’ writing experience. In the past, I never had students write in a newspaper format before. This was an experience that I will never forget and I look forward to sharing this experience with my students.”

FEATURING: Roundtrip air (PHL) • 7 nights accommodation • 11 meals • Sorrento • Amalfi Coast • Capri • Naples • Pompeii • Rome and much more

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For complete program details: Bethany Kirkner, Director of Events E-mail: bkirkner@greaterreadingchamber.org Telephone: (610) 898-7779

More information about insideBERKSbusiness can be found at www.berksiu.org/ibb or by contacting Connie Skipper, Assistant Director of Professional Development and Curriculum – Berks County Intermediate Unit, at conski@berksiu.org, or Dr. Solomon Lausch, Executive Director – Berks Business Education, at slausch@ berksbec.org.   27


small business matters

Fall is in Full Bloom at the Garden Center & Gift Shop

Where Has All the Talent Gone? Steve Goble, The Goble Group

There have been many discussions in the media and business community about the large number of companies that are struggling to find the right people to serve their needs, to build their business and provide value to their customers.

“We have a large assortment of Plants and Unique Home Decorations for the Fall.”

--Diane Salks

ER NN

WI

NURSERY & GARDEN CENTER

3049 Pricetown Rd. (Rt. 12) Temple, PA riverviewtree.com (610) 929-5049 Joinususfor for our Join our “Women “WomenHelping HelpingWomen” Women” Fundraising 22ndfrom from FundraisingEvent, Event, November November 20th 12pm-4pm. Proceeds Benefit Mary’s Shelter. 12pm-4pm. Proceeds benefit Mary’s Shelter. 28  COMMERCE QUARTERLY   FALL 2016

But, with unemployment steadily dropping and the number of available jobs rising, including more than 2,600 full-time open positions within 15 miles of Reading as of this article being written, why are some companies not able to find the people they need? Here are four reasons, and potential solutions, I believe are playing a role in this economic challenge: 1. Businesses Are Looking in the Wrong Place Ignoring the importance of company culture, too many companies look outside of their organization to find someone, rather than looking within. They see the people they have on their team performing in their assigned jobs, and can’t imagine them doing something differently. Since the employee is accomplishing the task needed, the organization doesn’t want to shift them to something else, believing it would be easier to bring in an outsider. Potential Solution: Proactively identify a potential internal candidate, discuss with them if they’re up for the challenge and growth opportunity, and then try it out for three months. If it works, great – if not, then look externally. If you don’t have a team member you feel confident you can invest in to help your business grow, you may have other employee issues you need to think about. 2. Businesses Wait Until the Last Minute The most successful companies anticipate a need months in advance and begin looking to fill that need immediately. If you’re waiting until the last minute, not only do you increase the risk of bringing on a bad hire with compounding problems, but you’re not setting up the new employee (or your company) to achieve the optimal level of success. Potential Solution: You have to make the time to invest in your future, or you’ll always be playing catch-up and flying by the seat of your pants. Make the investment in planning and strategy, and take the appropriate risk based on those actions. Do you really think the most successful companies fly by the seat of their pants?


GreaterReadingChamber.org

3. Expecting the Perfect Employee to Walk Through the Door Every now and then, I’ll check out the help wanted ads to see what companies are looking for to see if instead of needing a new employee, they just need to get better organized and structured. Depending on the organization or the industry, the list of required skills can be so long, the company is looking for a needle in a haystack. Potential Solution: Clarify the absolute skills you have to have in an employee and be flexible on the rest of the skills, but not the attitude. A person with a willingness to learn can be taught the rest of the requirements you need. And if you’re poaching from a competitor within the same industry, there’s usually a reason they’re available…and it’s not always good. 4. Being Cheap Like it or not, people come to work (especially early in their careers) for the money. Yes, people say they want to work for a great company that treats them well, cares about the environment, and understands the importance of a work-life balance. And these are all true…but these things also don’t put a roof over their head, pay the electric bill, or put gas in their car. I’ve seen it many times: companies spend the time and investment it takes to recruit a new employee, hire them at a cheapskate rate, and then wonder why they leave 90 days later for an extra $1 an hour.

Potential Solution: The old adage is true about getting what you pay for. Know what the local market is paying relative to cost of living, compare this with the expectations you have for employees in terms of work environment, and pay slightly above that rate. An investment in the front end, along with continued maintenance through structured raises (if deserved), paired with continuous opportunities for professional development and growth, will pay off far more than if you’re being cheap upfront. I’m a big believer that a business is only as strong as the people working within the business. If you’re struggling to find quality people or grow the capabilities of your team, it’s time to invest in them more. In the race to the bottom there are no winners – just businesses that can’t find talented employees. And that is one race you and your company don’t want to win. Steve is a Founding Partner of the John Maxwell Team, owner of The Goble Group, and is passionate about building people and solving problems to achieve success in their lives and business. Connect with Steve on LinkedIn and Twitter (@gobles) to follow his journey.

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Broker/REALTOR® (610) 914-3199

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First choice For clients seeking integrity and high-value services   29


small business matters

Creating your Focus Strategy Through Marketing & Use of Technology Kress Schwartz, Director, Weidenhammer

Small to mid-sized businesses have quite a few areas where improvements can be quickly realized. Every size business can be transformed with the application of strategy and technology. Marketing Strategy: Smaller businesses need to be even more effective with their application of marketing resources. Guessing wrong can be catastrophic . . . so don’t guess. Creating a robust, easily-communicated marketing strategy makes the implementation easier and more successful. Shouldn’t a business focus its time, its inventory dollars and its spend on external communications, on products that have better margins and perhaps have some level of protection from competitors? You’d think that everyone crafts a plan and reminds themselves each day what is important. But, the phone rings and we tend to do “what’s next” but not what’s important. Small business people tend to deeply understand their products and their markets. They might not be the best at capturing those elements in the form of a plan and then working with partner companies to tell their story and select technology that helps them succeed. It’s not about what’s in your head. It’s about a compelling story that you can craft and deliver to people who want what you have. In today’s world, much of that delivery is done electronically and a company’s technology plan is as big a part of marketing strategy as the products and services that they hope to sell. Technology: Businesses should take a hard look at the investments that they make in the equipment and people that support their computing and enterprise software. There’s still a notion that a business needs to have a “computer room” or servers located on-site. If people feel more comfortable with that solution – then

hiring a firm to provide care and feeding of the environment makes sense. It negates the issues of training and employee turnover, and lets business focus on its primary mission . . . which isn’t computer maintenance. It also helps keep a business’s infrastructure current. That helps avoid huge, expensive investments as equipment or software become too out of date to upgrade. A next step that many businesses have successfully implemented is the relocation of their equipment to an off-site provider. They still own their hardware and software – but it becomes someone else’s purpose for being. It’s a logical step and one that gives them peace of mind, and a level of attention that they can’t or should have to provide. The last step which has become very common, is the use of computer space that is provided by a third-party company and delivered to their users across the internet. This saves them the investment in hardware and in some cases, software. These expenses become variable and can be scaled up and scaled down as a business grows and evolves. Why does this make sense now? As the cost of internet bandwidth decreases and the speed of the connections increase – the need to locate equipment proximate to the user – has simply ceased. The “computer room” can be miles away and still deliver a great user experience. Some businesses will push to rapidly take advantage of the changes and shifts in the market. Others will sit on the sidelines and wait until changes are unavoidable. Some companies get so wrapped up in daily business that they don’t even recognize the world is changing around them. With so much to gain from building a strong marketing and technology strategy, particularly in the world of small and mid-sized business, owners and managers should push to leverage all that is available to them. Weidenhammer, founded in 1978, helps businesses use Marketing, Strategy and Information Technology to transform themselves to meet and anticipate a constantly changing market. In addition to its headquarters in Reading, PA, Weidenhammer maintains 5 branch offices in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Colorado, and has 175 professionals on staff. The company has core competencies in marketing, consulting, software development, digital/interactive design, infrastructure (hardware) solutions and managed cloud services, as well as school district administrative solutions. More information about the firm can be found at www.hammer.net.

30  COMMERCE QUARTERLY   FALL 2016


ambassador spotlight

GreaterReadingChamber.org

AMBASSADOR

SPOTLIGHT Ellen Albright, Greater Reading Chamber

T

he mission of the Chamber’s Ambassador Program is to have dedicated volunteers who advocate for the Chamber, and cultivate relationships with new and existing members to assist in their orientation and ongoing education. You will primarily see these Ambassadors at Breakfast Events, Ribbon Cuttings, Open Houses, and major Chamber events. In addition, many of these Ambassadors are also living, working, and playing across Berks County – keeping a pulse on what’s new, and shepherding goodwill in the business community!

Pictured from Top Left to Top Right: Dennis Kintzer – PHOTOFore!™, Joanie Berney – Fraser Advanced Information Series, Sherry Xavios – Eisenhauer Nissan, Inc., Caitlin Degler – Customers Bank, Teri Hettinger – Township of Spring, Michele Reinert – South Mountain YMCA Camps & Conference Center, Josh Petrauskas – Furniture Soup, Jim Schneck – Health Benefits of PA. Pictured from Bottom Left to Botton Right: Stephen Gieringer – Fleetwood Bank, Bala Peterson – Cast & Crew Digital, David Green – Sound Marketing Resources/Hold-Time Advantage-David Green & Associates. Not Pictured: Chrissy Murray – Rieck’s Printing, Jeffrey Bingham – First Financial Group, Jessica Prutzman, Lois Gassert – Miller-Keystone Blood Center, Marie Smith – Smith Enterprises, Ray Maillet – First Priority Bank, Tim Stover – Advanced Disposal, Peter Guerrieri – Dynamic Physical Therapy & Aquatic Rehabilitation Centers.

A very special shout-out to each of these Chamber and community representatives – your enthusiasm and passion for a vibrant, unified business community is unmatched, and we appreciate all that you do!

Meet the Co-Chairs! Recently, Caitlin Degler – Customers Bank (left) and Teri Hettinger – Township of Spring (right), were nominated as the 2016-2017 Ambassador Co-Chairs! Please do not hesitate to reach out to them with questions regarding your membership, how to get more involved in the Chamber, or to make a new connection! Caitlin Degler: cdegler@customersbank.com Teri Hettinger: thettinger@springtwpberks.org

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32  COMMERCE QUARTERLY   FALL 2016

American Made Matters Day November 19, 2016

F A L L

2 0 1 6


D

id you know that every added manufacturing job creates an additional three jobs, according to the Los Angeles Times? Those additional jobs support and facilitate the production of goods, and service the needs of manufacturers and their employees. Have you ever thought about the trickle-down effect and how your service or product sector company relies on the success of manufacturing, from companies who use your products or services in their production cycles, to the employees who derive their salaries from these companies so they can buy goods and services? From trucking and programming, to auto repair and haircuts, our local and national economy relies on the production of goods. That was not lost on Don Rongione, CEO, Bollman Hat Company, located in Adamstown, PA, or his father, Nick Rongione, Sr. When Rongione’s father returned from World War II without a high school diploma he secured a job as a coat cutter in a Philadelphia overcoat factory. It was a good job and it helped to feed and house his family. During the many years working

production he taught his children two important lessons: the importance of getting an education, and the impact that buying American would have on our country’s future prosperity. Rongione took those lessons to heart and, in 1982, at the ripe age of 24, had the opportunity to transition from being a CPA with KPMG, which audited Bollman Hat Company, to becoming controller at Bollman. In two short years he joined the executive team and, in 2002, rose to President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board. Then came 2007-2008; China received Most Favored Nation Status which led the largest decline in U.S. manufacturing ever. Bollman lost nearly half their domestic production to Chinese manufacturing, but more importantly, had to furlough over 100 employee-owners. Not one to be easily discouraged, Rongione rallied back by starting an educational initiative on July 4, 2009, titled American Made Matters (AMM). With 385 members in 46 states, its goal is to educate American consumers to think about the importance

Tracy Hoffmann, Hoffmann Publishing Group

of buying American-made products. Not promoting provincialism, Rongione states, “We live in a global economy, and Bollman manufactures and sells hats around the world, so we’re not suggesting U.S. consumers buy only American-made products. We’re trying to show consumers how swapping just one purchase of a foreign-made product for an American-made product can impact our local and national economy.” And he’s not alone in that assessment. A recent ABC News report stated that a 1% increase in spending on American-made products would create 200,000 new jobs. While excited to see that 1%, Rongione would like to see consumers spend 10% more on U.S. products and create 2 million jobs. As a special nod to his efforts and American manufacturing, the Pennsylvania legislature has recognized November 19 as American Made Matters Day. It’s only fitting, of course, that November 19 was Rongione’s father’s birthday.

to Manufacturing

HATS OFF

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made in Berks

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made in Berks

GreaterReadingChamber.org

s k r e B n i Mad e s t a H n a m l l o B Interview with:

Don Rongione, CEO Bollman Hat Company Tracy Hoffmann, President – Hoffmann Publishing

1. Talk to us about your products and a brief history of Bollman Hat Company.

2. Tell our readers something about Bollman that they may not already know.

We began making hats before the invention of the automobile Founded in 1868, The Bollman Hat Company is America’s oldest and before electricity was used in manufacturing. Our hats have hat maker. We are a world leading designer, manufacturer and discovered many Hollywood actors from Humphrey Bogart to Fred tributor of men’s, women’s, and children’s headwear and accessories. Astaire and from Samuel L. Jackson to Nicole Kidman; musicians This long and proud heritage carries on today as a testimony to the from Run DMC to Eminem and from Pete Townsend to Ne-Yo; vision, perseverance, and hard work of generations who dedicated athletes from Michael Jordan to Brian Dawkins and from Chi Chi themselves to our organization. Rodriguez to Jimmy Rollins. As an employee-owned company, we take more pride in and ownership of our work. While we are very proud of our long history, 3. Can you tell us about your customer base and distribution our committed team embraces the future and new challenges with model, and if they’ve changed or are changing, and why? enthusiasm and confidence. Most importantly, our talented and We have evolved from making men’s wool felt hats only for private dedicated team, based on four continents, is committed to our future label customers to producing for our own brands and selling through and rewarded by our success. our brand websites and hats.com. As we approach our 150th year, Bollman provides the world with the headwear industry’s top our future is as exciting and full of promise as ever. Our company brands that include Bailey®, Betmar®, Country Gentleman®, Eddy has acquired and grown brands which have captured the loyalty and Bros.®, Helen Kaminski®, Jacaru®, KANGOL®, Karen Kane®, and emotions of consumers throughout the world. With a continuation PANTROPIC® headwear. In addition, Bollman produces private of innovative design, great styling, and performance products, we will label hats for leading retailers and apparel brands globally including build upon that loyalty. Speed to market is imperative to our future. Tory Burch, Rag and Bone, Orvis, Jos. A. Bank, Paul Fredrick, and Iron and Resin. Continued on page 36   35


made in berks continued...

Local American Made Matters Members American Crane, Douglassville, PA American Keg Company, Pottstown, PA American Trench, Ardmore, PA Astro Machine Works, Ephrata, PA Bent Limb, Shoemakersville, PA Brute Athletic Apparel, Reading, PA Buck Company, Quarryville, PA City Charm Company, West Reading, PA Ensinger Printing Service, Adamstown, PA F&F Machine Works, Stevens, PA Gardner/Gibson, Fort Washington, PA Good’s Potato Chips, Adamstown, PA GSM Industrial, Lancaster, PA Hats in the Belfry, Philadelphia, PA Independence Flag, Gilbertsville, PA JPMS Manufacturing, Reading, PA K’Nex, Hatfield, PA Keystone Wood Specialties, Lancaster, PA Kraemer Yarns, Nazareth, PA L&H Signs, Reading, PA MANTEC, York, PA PA Scale Company, Lancaster, PA Remcon Plastics, Reading, PA Rodon, Hatfield, PA Shaw Pens, Cheltenham, PA

4. If we see a hat in a store how can we tell if it’s made by Bollman (direct to consumers)? While we still manufacture in the United States, we source hat components and finished hats, bags, scarves, gloves and wraps from more than a dozen countries. We sell these products in over seventy countries. If it is an American made felt hat, there is a good chance it was made by our employee-owners. Bollman products can be found worldwide in specialty stores, department stores, major and regional chain stores, and prominent catalog and e-commerce retailers. In addition, we are a primary supplier of private label headwear to the world’s leading brands and retailers covering fashion, outdoor apparel, and uniform, formal wear, and sports markets. We have proudly provided headwear to the United States Olympic team for six Olympic games. 5. How many employees and manufacturing facilities do you have and what numbers or percentages are straddling the Berks/ Lancaster county line? To d a y, B o l l m a n h a s 3 0 0 employees located on four continents and distributes products in seventy-seven countries. Over 200 employee-owners are based in Adamstown and our Denver, PA Distribution Center. Our employee-owners manufacture wool felt,

36  COMMERCE QUARTERLY   FALL 2016

fur felt, and straw hats and caps in our factory located in Adamstown, Pennsylvania, USA. With world headquarters also in Adamstown, Bollman today maintains sales and design offices and showrooms in: Denver, Colorado; New York City; London, England; and Sydney, Australia. In San Angelo, Texas, we scour wool for the world’s finest woolen mills.

with lower roofs and longer hair styles contributed to declining hat wearing. Some industry veterans point to President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration where he did not wear a hat. Until that time all U.S. presidents wore hats to their inauguration. Whether that subtle change was the harbinger of lifestyle changes in the headwear industry we’ll never know. What we do know, however, is that we 6. What are your main areas needed to be more in tune with of competition or challenges, the changing demographics. To from raw materials and other that end, Bollman has continued hat manufacturers, to offshore to focus on targeted marketing manufacturing and changing opportunities to align our values lifestyles? and products with changing consumer trends, while maintaining Our main challenges continue the quality and heritage of our to be changing lifestyles and com- long-standing brands. petition from Asia. 7. What excites you most about There are few or no U.S. suppliers the future of Bollman Hat for some of our raw materials and Company? components. It’s no secret that competition from abroad has changed As America’s oldest hat maker, the manufacturing environment in an employee-owned company, and the U.S. As American consumers the founding member of American look to stretch their budgets, they Made Matters, we are very excited often turn to lower cost products about our recent efforts to bring manufactured offshore with lower more manufacturing jobs to the cost labor. To combat this challenge, U.S. with our Kangol line. Last Fall Bollman is committed to innova- we launched a Kickstarter fundraistion, excellence in manufacturing, ing campaign to fund the purchase and employee stewardship. and transport of iconic Kangol manufacturing equipment from We pride ourselves on providing Asia to Adamstown. After raising world class quality and unsurpassed over $100,000 Bollman had the customer satisfaction while con- equipment shipped and installed, tinuously working to improve our and we’ve now begun production quality and delivery. We develop of the world’s most recognized innovative products and offer fashion cap, the iconic Kangol 504 exceptional value through multi- wool and Ventair cap. We have also ple retail and distributor channels. launched a new collaboration with As an extension, we provide our Dogfish Head Brewery to manufacemployee-owners and their fam- ture a limited Kangol and Dogfish ilies with opportunities to own 507 wool seamless cap to commemhomes, educate their children, and orate this new opportunity. We enjoy a better quality of life, while anticipate this new Kangol line delivering headwear that gives our with the original equipment will customers protection, identity, and bring 41 new jobs to Adamstown style. when fully operational. We are also very excited about the growth of As for lifestyle changes, the our eCommerce capability led by headwear industry, as we knew it, our www.hats.com website. began to change in the 1960s. More people commuting by automobiles


As your designated energy representitive, Mike will work with you one-on-one to identify your company’s unique needs and guide you through your energy purchasing decisions. When should we purchase? How much should we lock in? How far in advance should we buy? Which components should we purchase now? How would changes to my operations affect my energy costs?

Mike Trymbiski Regional Sales Manager, Berks County 610-858-3084 | mtrymbiski@ugies.com

Give Mike a call to discuss your energy needs and concerns today and take the uncertainty out of your energy costs, and put more money back into your business.

As the only Natural Gas and Electricity Supplier headquartered in Berks County, UGI Energy Services is uniquely-positioned to help your business control energy costs and Backed by UGI Corporation, a Fortune 500 Company, UGI Energy Services has been involved in the deregulated energy market as long as it has existed. No one knows the local utility systems here in Berks County like we do.

UGIEnergyServices.com


powering success

Hedging Against the Winter Woes of Energy Costs Mike Trymbiski, Sales Manager at UGIES Angela DeLong, Marketing Manager at UGIES

With the fall season upon us, and winter quickly approaching, energy supplier UGI Energy Services is starting to see an influx in questions related to the uncertainty of energy costs during what may be a colder-than-normal Pennsylvania winter. And anyone who’s been through a Pennsylvania winter knows how unpredictable it can be! While the weather and the energy market can certainly be volatile at times, there are many things that Berks County businesses can do to mitigate the risks associated with their natural gas and electricity costs. We sat down to tackle some of the most frequently asked questions to help give our fellow Berks County businesses a better understanding of how they can keep the high costs – if not the cold weather – at bay.

What types of businesses can benefit by shopping for their energy provider? Almost every type of business, large and small, can benefit by purchasing their natural gas and/or electricity from an energy supplier. While the amount of savings will differ based on your specific energy consumption and usage profile, we have seen savings in the tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars for medium-to-large, heavy industry manufacturers, and hospitals, hotels, and commercial office facilities. But even smaller businesses like retail shops, restaurants, and laundromats can put a good chunk of change back into their pockets by reviewing energy providers. Perhaps even more important to these smaller, family businesses, though, is the surety of locking in a price for an extended period of time. Locking in a low energy rate may be a critical step to protecting their future earnings.

When is the best time of year to purchase natural gas or electricity? The answer to this question is the dreaded “it depends.” The size of your business, your energy usage patterns and its budgetary needs all play a role in determining your best purchasing strategy. For example, a commercial office facility that only uses natural gas in the cold winter months for heating should probably be purchasing at a different time, and in a different manner, than a large industrial facility that heavily uses natural gas in their manufacturing process. Even two restaurants, located next door to each other, may be very unique. Maybe one cooks with natural gas while the other uses propane. One heats with electric while the other uses gas. One has a large open dining space while the other offers several smaller seating areas. These two companies would likely have a very different purchasing strategy if they were to do it advantageously.

What is the biggest mistake that you see in the way local companies purchase their energy? The biggest mistake we often see is that companies, trying to be diligent in finding the best prices, will use an RFP (Request for

38  COMMERCE QUARTERLY   FALL 2016

Proposal) process at a set time of the year every year or two. The idea is that the company will request a price from several different suppliers, and will compare prices to choose the cheapest. However, there may be some major flaws with this strategy. Companies employing the blanket RFP strategy are getting only the best fixed price on that particular day. While Supplier A may have a better price today, the customer could save significantly more by working directly with a reputable energy supplier who may be able to advise them as to a better time or better way to buy based on industry knowledge. For instance, it may be more beneficial to make a purchase two months from now, or to layer in purchases to help continually hedge risk. We find that some businesses can benefit greatly by purchasing just a portion of their energy now, and waiting for certain conditions to be met in the market before purchasing the rest. This is not to say that the RFP process cannot work for some companies. It may be the easiest process for a company that does not have an employee dedicated to energy purchases, or one that needs to have a budget in place for the upcoming fiscal year. Unfortunately, there’s less likelihood they’ll see substantial savings by using the RFP process, and may even pay a higher energy cost in the longer term for the convenience associated with the RFP process.

What options are available for purchasing my energy? There are numerous ways in which to purchase your energy. Businesses are usually most familiar with what we call a “Fixed Price - Full Requirements” option, in which the supplier agrees to supply you with all of your energy needs at a specific, locked-in price. This option eliminates all risk associated with fluctuations in the energy market for the specified time period (the “fixed price” portion), and the risk associated with using more or less energy than anticipated (the “full requirements” portion). The downside of this type of purchase is that, should energy prices drop, the customer would not be able to take advantage of those lower prices. On the extreme opposite end is what we call “Incremental” or “Market Pricing,” whereby your business would be billed at whatever the market price is for a given month. Because it is so risky, we rarely recommend that a business go with 100% Incremental pricing. Often the best bet for a company is some hybrid combination of the two. You may be able to get a better rate if you lock in a portion of your energy purchase now, say 50%, at a given rate. You could then opt to purchase another 20% or 50% later, if market conditions are favorable. You could do this to meet all of your expected usage, or you could opt to leave some of your energy needs at market rates. If working with a qualified energy supplier, you would have one-on-one access to a full-time representative, who’s dedicated to helping customers make decisions like this. Another deciding factor is whether your energy usage is stable and you can predict your upcoming energy needs. For example, a manufacturing facility that does not predict adding any new operations


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could be relatively sure of how much natural gas or electricity they will need. In this case, they may not need a “full requirements” purchase, which could result in a lower energy rate. On the other hand, a newer business, or one whose energy needs are largely based on heating (the unpredictable weather), would certainly benefit by the risk-mitigation that comes with purchasing all of their energy at a fixed rate. Most businesses, especially those using the RFP process, don’t realize that their energy “price” is actually a combination of several factors. Often, companies can see significant savings by purchasing the “Commodity,” the natural gas itself, separately from the “Basis,” which is the cost associated with transporting the natural gas through the pipeline. Because the market rate for these two components is separate and fluctuates independently, you can see significant savings if you have expert guidance as to when to purchase each portion. Finally, companies should consider the length of time to which they wish to commit. Lower rates can often be obtained if you are willing to purchase your energy for a shorter or longer time frame. If we change the period of a purchase, from a 24-month price to a 12-month or 36-month price, we can often affect rates. The ideal time for which to purchase will differ from month to month, and customer to customer, depending on your unique needs. A qualified energy supplier should always be on the lookout for additional savings and risk-mitigation by evaluating all of these options.

system that brings the energy to your facility. They get paid a fee to deliver the gas or electricity to your meter. You will continue to pay this fee to your utility.

What should we look for when choosing an energy supplier?

There are many different options that should be considered when making your business’s energy purchases. A qualified energy supplier will offer all of these options and should provide you with a dedicated representative to help you evaluate them according to your company’s own unique needs. Look for a company with a long track record, preferably for a decade or more. Energy deregulation (the ability to “shop” for your energy provider) started in Pennsylvania in the 1990s. If your energy supplier has been around since then, chances are that they are a stable company with years of expertise. Look for a knowledgeable supplier that has been trading in your local market for a consistent period of time. If the business has just recently moved into Pennsylvania, chances are that they are not as familiar with the local utility’s systems. An energy supplier with expertise

Should I work through an energy consultant, agent, or broker? In deciding whether to use an agent, broker or consultant, businesses must consider any and all associated costs. Some of these companies or individuals may provide value-added services, such as better identification of usage patterns and strategies, for which the business may decide that the additional cost is justified. However, any claims from energy brokers and agents that their services “are at no cost” are simply not true. Energy brokers always add a fee, which is an upcharge or premium added to the energy supplier’s price. Some energy consulting firms and agents charge these fees directly to the business, in which case the cost is very transparent, while others bundle them into the supplier’s fees. Regardless of savings promised or delivered, you should always request that these third-party partners divulge the full fees they will receive or anticipate through savings offsets.

If we choose a third party to deliver our company’s energy, will the quality be the same? Will our local utility still provide services? Yes, the natural gas or electricity is of exactly the same quality – delivered directly to your property through the same reliable pipelines or wires. When you switch your energy provider, the only thing that will change is the contracted rate you pay for your energy usage. Your public utility will continue to provide metering and safety services. Your utility – UGI (natural gas), Met Ed or PPL (electric) in the Berks County area—owns the pipes or wires and distribution

on your local utility’s system will be able to add more value by knowing the “tariff” (the State-approved rules by which the utility and suppliers operate), which will keep you from incurring penalties related to under- or over-deliveries of energy. They may even be able to help you find ways to save money on your utility distribution charges. Look for a company that specializes in the energy deregulation business. While many companies are in the “energy supplier” business, you should look for a company whose core business is energy supply. Energy assets like natural gas storage, electricity generation, and infrastructure not only provide stability in your energy supplier, but they may also allow the company to purchase and store your energy at a better rate. Overall, look for a company that is the complete package. Reliable, stable, and reputable, so that you can enjoy the benefits of a one-to-one relationship for years to come. About the Authors: Mike Trymbiski is Regional Sales Manager for UGI Energy Services, headquartered in Wyomissing, PA. UGIES offers several energy solutions for customers from Industrial to Residential, including the sales of Natural Gas and Electricity. For more information please visit www.ugienergyservices.com. Contact Mike Trymbiski at mtrymbiski@ugies.com or 610-373-7999 Ext. 1186. Angela DeLong is Marketing Manager for UGIES and can be contacted at adelong@ugies.com or 610-743-7008.

A D V E R T O R I A L

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event planning

Holiday Ch eers…

Thoughts to Consider When Planning an Office Party

A

Sara Radaoui, Media Relations Manager, Hoffmann Publishing

s the economy continues to improve there are indications that more companies are revisiting the company holiday party. So, where do you stand?

While it may be a great way to boost morale and attitudes, especially as employees see the company improving, you’ll want to plan accordingly to balance the budget with the intentions stated above.

attend or may leave early.” You’ll also need to determine if it’s a party for employees only, or whether you’re considering opening invitations to spouses and significant others, or even customers and friends.

coverage. Many caterers take a proactive approach to having alcohol at their events; this includes proper insurance, having trained bartenders, and making sure there is a balance of food to alcohol at the event. Always ask!

“There may be many advantages to catering in-house parties versus renting Now that you’ve decided you’re forging space off-site,” notes Patrick, suggesting that ahead with the holiday party, what are you many companies can enjoy the ease and doing for food, and how much will this cost? lower investment by having their company Of course, much depends on what you wish So, what’s the one thing you need to parties in-house. He also notes that in- to accomplish. If you want to WOW your do? “Plan ahead,” according to Patrick house parties typically have a near-100% employees and guests, you can always go Konopelski, Owner at Konopelski Catering. attendance without the additional cost of with butlered hors d’oeuvres and served en“The holiday season is a very busy time so spouses or guests. trees. Others may want to roll out the topplanning ahead assures that you are able to of-line food stations. “Whatever you serve,” secure the caterer and venue of your choice.” However, if you’re expecting a larger reminds Patrick, “remember the goal of group, and your office cannot accommodate most holiday parties is to have your attendOnce you’ve identified the best time the number of attendees, you may wish to ees mix and mingle with each other. Menus to have a party you’ll need to identify make reservations at a restaurant or banquet such as stations or heavy hors d’oeuvres are space and location. “When planning your location. Should this be the case, you’ll the best ways to accomplish this goal.” As event,” suggests Patrick, “you must take want to also inquire about alcohol policies for costs, Patrick states, “Most companies into consideration the demographic and as some halls and banquet facilities may not will spend anywhere between $25-$100 per preferences of your employees and expected offer alcohol service. If you’re responsible for person.” guests. If you have a workforce that is not any part of the alcohol service, you’ll want comfortable in a formal setting, they will not to look at the caterer’s or rental hall’s liability

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Contact Us Today

Ho we v er you d ec id e to c e l e b ra te th e h o l id ays with you r empl oyees th is yea r, b e saf e a nd enjoy th e m a ny off ic e pa r ty op tio n s th i s a rea h as to of f er!


event planning

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Pennsylvania Dram Shop Law Christopher C. Muvdi, Esq., Masano ◊ Bradley

What Companies Need to Know When Planning a Corporate Event

W

ith summer coming to and end and the fall season upon us, it’s that time of the year when many companies are beginning to plan for their annual office holiday parties. These events are enjoyed by both company management and personnel, and are anticipated year in and year out. With that being said, it is important for companies to be aware of the potential civil and criminal liabilities of hosting a party where alcohol is served. According to Pennsylvania’s Dram Shop Law, any establishment or licensed individual who serves alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person can be legally held responsible for injuries and damages that person might cause. This doesn’t just mean bars and restaurants – private event hosts can be included too. Pennsylvania’s Dram Shop law is often cited after a drunk driver causes a serious car accident. However, the law can apply in many different situations, for example: If a visibly intoxicated person is served and then starts a fight with others, the injured person can sue the bar, restaurant, or private event host under the Pennsylvania Dram Shop law. Moreover, if a restaurant serves a visibly intoxicated person and that person trips, falls, or gets seriously injured while walking back to his or her car – that person can sue under the Pennsylvania Dram Shop law. As previously stated, the Pennsylvania Dram Shop Law can affect privately hosted parties as well, not just businesses and establishments. For example: If you hire a caterer or licensed bar service for your private party, they could be held responsible for over-serving a guest. Furthermore, even if you don’t hire a caterer or bar service, you, as the party’s host, could be held liable for underage drinking that occurs at your party. Pennsylvania recognizes civil liability claims against social hosts who provide alcohol to minors, if the minor then causes harm to someone else, and a social host can even be arrested for serving alcohol to minors. However, Pennsylvania does not recognize similar claims involving intoxicated adults, even if the adult was visibly intoxicated when served. One way catering companies in particular can attempt to mitigate their risk is to purchase a liquor liability insurance policy. Typically, this type of policy will cover costs such as attorney’s fees, damages arising from a liquor related accident, judgments and settlements, and other miscellaneous court expenses. These policies are sometimes included with general liability insurance, but more often than not need to be purchased separately as stand-alone coverage. A company that is hiring a catering service should always ask if the caterer carries this type of insurance. Companies should be mindful of the Pennsylvania Dram Shop law when planning their next corporate event, and should be aware of the potential consequences should a violation occur. Taking affirmative steps to mitigate these risks could prove beneficial in the long run.   41


hr issues & solutions

DOL OT Ruling Are you Ready? Laura Rader, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Senior HR Consultant, Reading-Berks HR Managment

42  COMMERCE QUARTERLY   FALL 2016


GreaterReadingChamber.org

D

ecember 1st is fast approaching and many employers are still pondering if/when they should start thinking about how the proposed changes that come with the new Department

of Labor regulations will impact their workforce. And, while some employers have already determined which employees will be

affected by the new $47,476 minimum for an overtime exemption for salaried employees, others are still wondering what to do. In Summary: While the duties test to determine who can be considered a salaried employee hasn’t changed, the minimum salary required to remain salaried has nearly doubled to $47,476 annually, and these changes are expected to impact millions of employees nationally. There are a few additional considerations, but for the purposes of this article, the focus will be on the employer communication piece, particularly to those employees who will be moved to a non-exempt classification as a result of the changes. Once an organization has appropriately identified those employees whose job classifications may need to change, and have determined how to address those changes, then the real work begins – the communication phase. What to Expect: We’ve advised our clients that while some employees who are moved from an exempt status to a nonexempt status may be happy about some additional overtime pay, that they should also anticipate some pushback from others. The pushback will likely come from those who feel they have “worked hard” and have “climbed the corporate ladder” and have achieved a “management” status once they became salaried, and are now faced with what they might consider a demotion. This can be a demoralizing situation for them. Although you may have tried to communicate with individuals the reason for the change (new federal regulations), and reassured that it is not reflective of employees’ work, nor is it in any way a demotion, they may still see it as such. Thus, this final communication step is a most critical one to sustain a high level of commitment, and to encourage affected employees that they remain key players within the organization.

How can this be accomplished? How can employers work to ensure a full understanding? And what can be done to properly communicate this information to everyone within an organization? Next Steps: First and foremost, make a detailed plan – a checklist for compliance. Second, determine how best to communicate those changes within the organization, taking into account the nuances of the organization. Third, communicate individually, if possible, to those impacted, sharing not only the “why” this is occurring, but the “how” it will impact them individually. We also recommend considering a written notification to those impacted, following your faceto-face discussion. This written notification ensures that the proper message is heard and also provides documentation of the conversation. Communications: As an example, if your organization typically has monthly meetings, and you have a number of individuals impacted by this change, this might be a good time to share some highlights of the new regulations with the entire group and to assure employees that those impacted will be contacted individually to share the specifics. Other organizations that have only one employee affected may choose to handle it individually with the impacted employee. Many organizations may also elect to share a brief written synopsis of the changes from the DOL website with either the entire organization, or perhaps just with those impacted. New Considerations: Some of the more practical items to include in your communications to impacted employees would be their new requirements regarding logging work time. Previously as a salaried employee, the individual was likely not

  43


hr issues & solutions continued…

required to log his or her hours other than noting vacation/PTO Maintain Morale: These changes can be difficult to make for days taken or other time off work. With the change to a non- the conscientious employee who may now feel hampered by the exempt status, he or she will now be required to accurately log all new restrictions. It is thus imperative to listen to the employee’s work time. Managers need to review the steps necessary to comply concerns and try to address them. Managers need to be empathetic with keeping a precise record, obtaining required sign offs at the and to carefully explain not only why these changes are necessary end of a pay period, and making sure that these newly classified (new DOL regulations), but also that you understand their employees know that all overtime must be approved in advance. apprehensions and will work with them to comply with the new requirements. For those who view it as a demotion, be sure to Employers will also want to share with their newly classified share that you appreciate their prior efforts and that this status employees that while they may want to work “off the clock” to change will not impact their value to the organization nor their get a job completed, or perhaps come in early to get their day role moving forward. started, that this is no longer possible. Managers need to convey to their employees that all work hours must be properly accounted Preparation of a comprehensive communication plan and for on their timesheets. Those who have electronic access after anticipation in advance of employee concerns will go a long way to regular work hours must be reminded to refrain from checking and lessen the impact on employee morale and to help maintain a high responding to emails or texts after hours. level of employee engagement.

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Locally owned for over 26 years!


Driving Innovation from Generation to Generation Fall Forum 2016

Peter Latta, Chairman & CEO, A. Duie Pyle

Thursday, November 10th, 7:45 – 9:30 AM, The Inn at Reading Wyomissing, PA - Cost: $25/person Join us for a morning that will include a 30-minute informal table discussion lead by members of the Berks FBA Council. Engage in conversation about the challenges and successes you are having on the topic of planning for transition. Hear from other family business owners; remember that you are not alone when it comes to the questions you have on how to start the process.

Are you prepared? What are the risks of not planning?

Keynote Speaker: Peter Latta, Chairman & CEO, A. Duie Pyle, a West Chester based trucking firm founded more than 90 years ago by Alexander Duie Pyle and his wife, Mary Ellen.

This award winning company counts 2,500 employees, a fleet of 2,000 trailers, eight warehouses, thousands of shipments daily and over $350 million in business every year. Peter will share his inspiring story and lessons learned. He believes that family ownership has been a key component of Pyle’s success over the past 91 years, and that a strong succession plan will protect the family and keep the company focused on what’s really important: continued long-term growth.

2017 Our Workshop Series: Succession Planning For Success! Begins in January 2017 One of the most important decisions business owners will make... “what will we do to insure our business’s success for the future?” It’s sad but true, those who fail to plan, plan to fail. This year, the Berks Family Business Alliance will focus on Succession Planning. Join us for informative programming that will help you tackle this issue head-on! Family-owned businesses face a host of unique challenges that often complicate the day-to-day running of a business. The Berks Family Business Alliance (Berks FBA) was created to address pressing issues, helping businesses find solutions to the complex, unique issues that families working together often face. Watch future correspondence for dates, times, and locations.

Session I - Understanding the Value of Your Business – Why You Need to Know What Your Business is Worth Presenters: Paula K. Barrett, CPA/ABV, CVA, CGMA and Steven M. Frank, CPA/ABV – RKL

Session II - Mergers & Acquisitions - What Everyone Should Know

Presenter: George Balchunas, Esq. – Kozloff Stoudt Attorneys

Session III - What Type of Insurance Protects You and Your Business

Presenter: Darin DeMarco, Business Development Specialist – BB&T Life Insurance Services

Session IV - Estate Planning

Presenters: Dan Becker, Esq. – Kozloff Stoudt Attorneys and Michael DePaul, Esq. – RKL

Cost $20.00 /person per session or $70.00/person for the entire series. We suggest that key business leaders attend all 4 sessions.

New this Year: Alvernia Lecture Series Building on the successful collaboration with Alvernia University’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Alvernia is bringing top level talent to the area to discuss topics that are at the forefront of today’s global business environment. We encourage you to register for all five workshops. Each builds upon the information of the preceding session. Note: these topics are specifically designed with small to medium-sized businesses in mind! Watch for more information on these programs or visit the Berks FBA website at www.berksfba.com.

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hr issues & solutions

GreaterReadingChamber.org

ACA UPDATE:

what you

need to know Sandi Keller and Andrew Schreffler, Power Kunkle Benefits Consulting

W

ith the November election looming, it seems like the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has taken a back seat, no longer the hottest topic in the media. Although the ACA may not be a sexy soundbite compared to Hilary’s Email-Gate or following Trump Outbursts, local employers are still feeling the impact in some significant ways. When the various provisions began rolling out in March 2010, employers and benefit advisors struggled to keep up with the numerous changes in requirements every year. What were the major changes put into effect by the ACA?

• The start of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, meaning most Americans must have health insurance or pay a penalty.

• Consumer choice: Citizens can select and purchase insurance on state exchanges and the federal marketplace.

• Subsidies and tax credits available that can help lower premiums for qualifying Americans.

• Guaranteed availability of coverage; protection from denial for those with pre-existing conditions, also making rescinding coverage for sick patients illegal.

• Expanded coverage eliminating out-of-pocket costs for preventative care such as flu shots and birth control; mandatory essential health benefits for all ACA plans. • Expansion of coverage of dependents up to age 26.

Sweeping annual change to benefit programs may have slowed for 2015 and 2016, but the administrative and financial burdens still exist. Not just for employers but for insurers as well. What has made the news is the staggering financial loss to carriers with products on the Federal Marketplace. Highmark has stated losses totaling more than $1.2 Billion; while Aetna, Cigna and others have expressed their intent to withdraw from the Marketplace in 2017 due to similar financial deficits and the lack of promised reimbursements from the government. Individuals seeking renewal or new coverage on the Exchange will certainly have fewer selections for 2017, but how do the financial losses influence the group market and renewal rates offered by the same carriers? Employers have come to realize that size does matter. The size of the group – defined as the number of “benefit” eligible employees – dictates the options and rating methodology available from insurance carriers. Continued on page 48   47


hr issues & solutions continued…

• Groups with 2-50 employees (small-market) fall into one of two categories: o Grandfathered – Plan designs and rating are based on pre-Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements.

w These rates jumped significantly in 2014 although they remained more competitive than the ACA AgeRates.

w This segment has somewhat stabilized (high, single digit increases) in 2015 and 2016.

• Groups with 51-99 employees (mid-market) are experiencing mid to high double-digit increases in 2016: o

Actual claims experience plays a factor in developing renewals for this market. Favorable utilization yields low increases while the opposite is true for groups with higher claim costs.

o Self-funded clients have fared much better with renewals in the single digits. • Groups with 100+ employees (large-market) are experience-rated in this segment:

o Age-Rated – Plan designs and rating are based on the new ACA requirements effective 1/1/2014.

w Similar to Grandfathered groups, many employers experienced large rate hikes in 2014. More recent renewals have produced low double-digit increases and Capital Blue Cross has been the most competitive carrier in this space.

o Many employers have moved to alternative funding arrangements, including various self-insured models.

w Some unique self-funded models have also emerged for groups with as few as 5 employees. However, it is too early to determine if these options will provide any sort of rate stabilization in this market segment.

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o Claims experience has a significant effect on the renewal rates.

By far, the leading headline for the ACA in 2016 revolved around reporting requirements. Whether you refer to them by the provision number 6055 and 6056 or form number 1095, employers and employees may still be confused by what needs to be reported, to whom and by when. The rules are complex and initial vendor


GreaterReadingChamber.org

support from payroll partners largely failed to deliver on their promise of simplification. Many businesses are experiencing anxiety about the 2016 reporting requirements and even more fear that they failed to hit the mark in proper filing for 2015. Jen Bowden, CFO of F.M. Brown’s Sons, Inc., located in Sinking Spring, PA, expressed concern over the cumbersome 1095 reporting process. “For 2015, we opted to complete all forms internally which was a laborious, manual process to provide the necessary forms to over 240 employees. We have several variable hour employees and a fair amount of turnover which complicates the process even further. With the help of our benefits consultant, Power Kunkle, we are exploring the addition of specific reporting modules offered by our payroll vendor to assist us with the 2016 filing. However, the initial set-up will require my staff to track and measure hours worked for every employee on the books in 2016 to report to the payroll vendor. Through our analysis we have learned some solutions alleviate more of the employer burden than others. We remain optimistic that the 2016 process will be simpler than last year.” Some employers are finding the need to backtrack and fill in the blanks on capturing employee hours worked to date for

2016 in an attempt to prepare for the next filing due on January 31, 2017. This activity runs parallel to negotiating the renewal for the large number of businesses with benefit plans running on a calendar year anniversary cycle. Scott Vaughn, CEO of The Standard Group, Reading, PA, shared some frustrations. “No sooner do we finalize the rates for 2017, conduct open enrollment meetings to advise employees of their benefits and payroll contributions, and then we need to focus on complying with the 1095 reporting requirements. While self-funding has certainly improved our financial stability, medical trend continues to drive our claim costs. What we needed was health care reform, not health insurance reform.” As noted by these local employers, the Affordable Care Act may have dropped off the radar as newsworthy headlines, but the ongoing requirements remain arduous and complex. From a financial perspective, industry experts fear the worst is still yet to come. Until the impact following the results of the November election become clear, employers can only do their best to manage the administrative challenges that continue to tax them in multiple ways.

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hr issues & solutions

SELF-FUNDED HEALTHCARE: Why It Works for Employers Jennifer A. Schaefer, 1847 Financial

W

ith the rising increase of healthcare costs each year, employers are faced with a dilemma: Do they simply swallow hard, open their checkbooks, and continue to dole out money for increased costs they can never quite justify, or do they arm themselves with information and knowledge, and tread cautiously into self-funded healthcare, a practical solution that has proven to work like a charm for firms of all sizes across America? There’s no doubt about it, with the implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act, health insurance costs for employees cuts sharply into employers’ budgets — and profits — Big Time. For a variety of reasons, more and more employers are turning to self-funded healthcare to satisfy their responsibility under the Employer-Shared Responsibility Provision of the Affordable Care Act. Employers choosing the self-funded option reap many benefits. They experience more cash flow, dodge state tax premiums, and have more control and flexibility over benefits, as well as the ability to customize plans to meet the specific wants and needs of their workforce. Additionally, employer self-funded healthcare affords employers better financial control by allowing employers to pay claims as they occur in real time, avoiding the unpredictability of

50  COMMERCE QUARTERLY   FALL 2016

pre-paying for projected claims that may or may not occur. As an added bonus, employers can leave excess funds not used during the year in their own reserve account accumulating interest, instead of fattening up the hefty accounts of insurance carriers.

What Exactly is Self-Funding and How Does it Work?

Self-funded healthcare is the means by which employers assume financial responsibility for providing healthcare benefits to their employees. The employer takes on the risk for payment of employees’ claims for benefits, instead of paying a fixed premium to an insurance carrier, whose rates are based on projected claims of the community at-large. To shield the employer against above average or catastrophic claims, the employer purchases stop-loss insurance as a way to limit risk and secure protection. Stop-loss insurance steps in if an individual’s claims exceed a set limit, for example, after a major accident or diagnosis with a serious illness. Similarly, if claims for the company as a whole exceed a certain amount, an aggregate stop-loss, pre-purchased policy goes into effect.


GreaterReadingChamber.org

To help define the difference between self-funded health plans and fully-insured traditional plans, it’s important to point out that fully-insured plans are subject to Essential Health Benefit (EBH) requirements associated with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), while self-funded plans are not held to these rules. Selffunded plans are also exempt from taxes mandated by the ACA on health care premiums paid to carriers, as well as state law insurance regulations.

The Importance of a Broker

Self-funded plans, however, require employers to do their homework. To the average employer who manages his business competently, sorting through the details and managing a selffunded health plan in an approved manner can be daunting. Employers want to make sure they abide by government laws and rules, yet want to stay focused on the daily operation of their businesses. They have the option of managing the plans themselves via their Human Resource Department, but most hire a Broker or Third-Party Administrator (TPA). These knowledgeable professionals, who are proficient and well-versed in the health insurance industry, become invaluable. They are instrumental in plan design and processing claims, advising both employers and employees, and offering help with accessing network providers and ironing out any kinks that arise along the way. Costs for these services are much lower than those of traditional fully-insured plans. An experienced Broker, or TPA, is skilled in conducting a careful study of employees’ histories, past claims and expenses. These professionals will construct an analysis which will then be used as the basis for determining what plans will work and what coverage is needed for a particular group. Network providers, including physicians, hospitals, drug plans and pharmacies, will be chosen specifically to accommodate the group. These health insurance specialists will help determine premiums, calculate projected costs and suggest adequate reserves. The cost for employees will depend on the number of employees enrolled in the plan and the coverage provided. Constant feedback and ongoing communication is key. Brokers can also negotiate rates and contract provisions, prepare plan summaries, and set up nondiscrimination testing for underwriting.

Partnering

Partnering with the right broker or TPA is critical. That’s where 1847 Financial plays a role. With over 23 years of health insurance experience, Jennifer Schaefer and her team of experts are known for putting clients’ needs first, offering hands-on help, support and direction when it’s needed around the clock. 1847 Financial takes pride in guiding local businesses through the maze of healthcare transformation, focusing on self-funded healthcare. With the revolution going on in the healthcare industry today, employers owe it to themselves and their employees to at least check out the advantages of self-funding, and how this type of health insurance can work to their best advantage.

It’s where they help builders.

It’s where we make decisions. Deb and Tom Kearse, Owners Kohl Building Products

Locally focused. A world of possibilities.

VISTBank.com

Resources: A National Insurance Services White Paper. “Understanding Self-Funded vs. Fully- Insured Health Plans.” 2012. Accessed 15 September 2016.<http:// www.nisbenefits.com/pdfs-sell%20sheets/NIS%20-%20Self-Funding.pdf> Reynolds, Mark. “Self-Funding: ACA Rules — Which Ones Apply to SelfFunding Plans and Which Do Not.” 2013 November. Accessed 13 September 2016. <http://benelect.com/sites/default/files/SelfFundingStory.pdf> The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. “Employer Responsibility Under the Affordable Care Act.” 2 October 2015. Accessed 14 September 2016. <http://kff.org/infographic/employer-responsibility-under-the-affordable-careact/> Understanding Self-Insured Group Health Plans. “Solutions for Containing Cost While Providing Quality Benefits.” SIIA. Published by the Self-Insurance Educational Foundation, Inc. in Cooperation with the Self-Insurance Institute of America, Inc. N.d. Accessed 13 September2016.<http://www.tmhcc.com/ portals/0/subsites/hcclife/downloads/HealthCareSuccessPublicationl.pdf>

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business & community advocacy

ARE YOU PREPARED TO MAKE AN INFORMED VOTE? The Pennsylvania General Election is Tuesday, November 8, 2016 Gail Landis, VP  —  Greater Reading Chamber

Are you registered to vote? Eligible citizens had until October 11 to apply for a new voter registration or make changes to their existing registration. Registering is the first step in exercising your fundamental right to vote. The online registration site is convenient, accessible and secure. If you missed the deadline, you can still apply for voter registration, make changes to a name, address or party affiliation. Visit register.votesPA.com today; you will then be eligible to vote in future elections.

Did you request your absentee ballot? Voters planning to vote by absentee ballot are advised to pay close attention to important deadlines. Although the deadline to request an absentee ballot is Tuesday, November 1, the voted ballots must be received by the county election office no later than 5 p.m. Friday, November 4. To apply for an absentee ballot, access the form at: http://www.votespa.com/en-us/Documents/Absentee_Ballot_Application.pdf Due to the 3-day time frame and cutbacks in service by the U.S. Postal Service, voters are strongly urged to mail their absentee ballot request no later than October 21, two weeks before the voted ballot must be received by the county office. Voters may deliver their voted absentee ballots in person to county election offices or mail them if there is adequate time for delivery. A postmark is not sufficient for the ballot to be counted. 52  COMMERCE QUARTERLY   FALL 2016


GreaterReadingChamber.org

Every Vote Counts on Tuesday, November 8th Pennsylvania voters will be electing the U.S. President and Vice President, one U.S. Senator and 18 U.S. House members, as well as the statewide offices of attorney general, auditor general and treasurer. Odd-numbered state Senate districts and all state House seats will also be on the ballot.

Make an Informed Vote

N AT U R A L G A S

The right choice. The right time.

Find your candidates and elected officials using the Chamber’s Greater Reading Voice Website at: http://greaterreadingvoice. freeenterpriseaction.com/oetgeMI. Also visit InsideWith at: https://www.insidewith.com/ to see how your beliefs on specific issues align with the candidates. The PA Department of State’s website votespa.com, available in English and Spanish, offers printable voter registration applications, a polling place locator and county boards of elections contact information. It also includes tips for first-time voters and members of the military.

Looking for ways to make your business more efficient and profitable? Don’t overlook natural gas. Converting to this clean, abundant, locally produced energy could save you thousands of dollars a year. To find out if natural gas is an option for you and how much you could save, visit the website below or call UGI at 1-800-276-2722.

www.ugi.com/business4

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business & community advocacy

BUSINESS & COMMUNITY

Engagement Opportunities Will PA votes matter in the 2016 Election? Dr. Terry Madonna is a political analyst and public affair’s commentator for major newspapers and national TV affiliations who has served on numerous governmental boards and commissions, served as host of PA Newsmakers, and is an author and recipient of numerous honors and awards. He is the Director of the Center for Politics & Public Affairs, Franklin & Marshall College, and will join the Chamber on October 18 to examine the factors likely to matter most in the 2016 election – focusing on candidates, the issues and the most recent polls. He will also provide an assessment of past elections, and the impact Pennsylvania may have on the 2016 election. Join us for lunch on October 18th – register on the Chamber’s website: www.greaterreadingchamber.org. You see their poles, pipelines, and meters throughout our community. When it comes to energy and its impact on business and our daily lives, do you really understand what it takes for you to get that energy? Christopher Guith, Senior Vice President for the U.S. Chamber Institute for 21st Century Energy, will share what we are doing to unify energy stakeholders and policymakers behind a common strategy to ensure that America’s supply of fuel and power is adequate, stable, and affordable, while protecting national security, and improving the environment. 2016 Energy Forum – register at: www.greaterreadingchamber.org.

Challenged with recognizing, understanding and overcoming government overreach and other human resource issues? Whether it is the Department of Labor new Overtime Rule, OSHA Regulations & Penalties, National Labor Relations Board, navigating Workplace Experiences for Youth, Employee Development-Discipline-Discharge, Liability & Risk Management, or Cultural & Multigenerational Diversity Inclusion – the Chamber’s Human Resources Summit on November 2, 2016 will offer interactive workshops and exhibitors with resources to help with your concerns. Hear from local leaders and experts on how they continuously work to address regulations and issues and positively impact their organization. Visit the website to register: www.greaterreadingchamber.org. Do you have a business plan that needs to be fleshed out? Want an opportunity to network with peers and connect with small business resource providers? Need help finding funding for your business? Attend the Pitch and Brew “Business in Berks” event on November 17. This is a networking and meet-up session offering collaborative brainstorming, idea checking, concept validation and business advice for start-ups, entrepreneurs, & established businesses. Any entrepreneur is welcome to join us – register at: www. greaterreadingchamber.org. Join the HR Legal Roundtable – this peer-to-peer executive level forum will provide updates on cutting edge legal topics including new laws and court legal rulings in the Human Resources field. The roundtable is presented by Andy Howe (HR Lawyer). The HR Legal roundtable offers 1.5 Professional Development Credits toward SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP and toward PHR, SPHR or GPHR. Contact Ed Gundersen, egundersen@greaterreadingchamber.org, if you’re interesting in joining!

A Utility Senior Leadership Panel including Gregory N. Dudkin, President - PPL Electric Utilities Corporation; Linda Moss, President - Pennsylvania Companies for First Energy; and Robert Stoyko, Vice President Customer Relations - UGI Utilities, Inc., will discuss their company’s plans and answer questions. Want to know more about energy reliability, savings programs, safety/security of infrastructure and other new energy technology? Join us for breakfast on October 25.

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GreaterReadingChamber.org

Career Prep Workshop: December 14, 2016 – Call for Volunteers! The Chamber’s Career Prep Workshop is designed for business leaders to share insights on requirements to enter the workforce with high school seniors. The workshop provides detail on resume content, successful interview behavior, understanding salary, and the traits of a good employee. As a volunteer, you will offer a 45-minute presentation using provided curriculum and materials, along with sharing personal experiences. Reading High School English teachers will be in the classroom to provide additional support. Please contact Gail Landis, glandis@greaterreadingchamber.org, if you’d like to volunteer!

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upcoming events OCT 17

OCT 17

OCT 18

OCT 18

OCT 18

OCT 18

OCT 19

OCT 20

Intermediate Excel Training (Morning) - Fall 2016 OCT 8:00 AM - 10:00 PM 20 Shearer Technical Computer Consultants 727 Penn Avenue, West Reading, PA 19611 Five 2-hour Sessions on Mondays: October 17, 24, 31, November 7,14 Fees/Admission: $220/person    OCT 25 Advanced Excel Training (Evening) - Fall 2016 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM Shearer Technical Computer Consultants 727 Penn Avenue, West Reading Five 2-hour Sessions on Tuesdays: OCT October 17, 24, 31, November 7 and 14 26 Fees/Admission: $220/person Berks FBA Lecture Series w/ Alvernia University: The 5 Practices of Exemplary Leadership NOV 7:30 AM - 9:30 AM 2 DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Reading, 701 Penn Street, Reading Fees/Admission: $75/person Advanced PowerPoint (Morning) - Fall 2016 NOV 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM 2 Shearer Technical Computer Consultants 727 Penn Avenue, West Reading Five 2 Hour Classes on Tuesdays: October 18, 25, November 1, 8 and 15 Fees/Admission: $220/person Advocacy & Community Leadership Series 2016: Election Insights 11:45 AM - 1:30 PM NOV Berkshire Country Club,1637 Bernville Rd, 2 Reading, PA 19601 Fees/Admission: $ 40/person Chamber members; $75/person Not-Yet Chamber Members; Includes Lunch Introduction to PowerPoint (Evening) - Fall 2016 NOV 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM 8 Shearer Technical Computer Consultants 727 Penn Avenue, West Reading, PA 19611 Five 2-hour Sessions on Tuesdays: NOV October 18, 25, November 1, 8 and 15 10 Fees/Admission: $220/person    Power Networking Lunch 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM Third & Spruce Cafe, 238 S. Third Avenue NOV West Reading, PA  19611 10 Fees/Admission: $17/member (includes lunch) Human Resource Roundtable 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM Center for Business Excellence, 49 Commerce Dr., Wyomissing NOV

15

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Networking at Night - David’s Furniture & Interiors 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM David’s Furniture, 4444 New Holland Road, Mohnton Fees/Admission: Free to Chamber members! Advance registration requested. Advocacy & Community Leadership Series 2016: Energy Forum 7:45 AM - 9:30 AM Crowne Plaza Reading, 1741 Paper Mill Road, Wyomissing Fees/Admission: $25/person Chamber Members; $50/person Not-Yet Chamber Members Includes Breakfast Big Focus on Small Business 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Baker Tilly, 2609 Keiser Blvd., Wyomissing Fees/Admission: Free; Exclusive to Chamber Members HR Summit - 2016 7:30 AM - 2:30 PM Crowne Plaza Reading, 1741 Papermill Rd., Wyomissing Fees/Admission: $150/person Chamber Members; $125/person for Additional Staff Members; $200/person Not-Yet Chamber Members; $275/Vendor Supervisor Training: Leveraging Workplace Relationships for Organizational Success Module III (Fall 2016) 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM The Chamber’s Center for Business Excellence 49 Commerce Drive, Wyomissing Date/Time Details: Wednesdays - November 2, 9, 16, 23 Fees/Admission: $545/person Chamber members; $595/person Not-Yet Chamber Members Path2Personal Development - Work/Life Balance 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM The Chamber’s Center for Business Excellence, 49 Commerce Drive, Wyomissing Fees/Admission: Free! Advance registration required. Financial/Administrative Roundtable 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM Center for Business Excellence, 49 Commerce Dr.,Wyomissing Berks FBA Fall Forum - Driving Innovation from Generation to Generation 7:45 AM - 9:30 AM Inn at Reading, 1040 N. Park Road, Reading Fees/Admission: $25/person De Mujer a Mujer 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM Crowne Plaza Reading, 1741 Papermill Rd., Reading 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM Fees/Admission: Free! Advance registration required. Supervisor Training: Managing Performance &Developing Employees 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM The Chamber’s Center for Business Excellence, 49 Commerce Dr., Wyomissing Date/Time Details: Tuesdays - November 15, 22, 29, December 6, 13, and 20 Fees/Admission: $545/person Chamber Members; $595/person Not-Yet Chamber members


GreaterReadingChamber.org

NOV 15

NOV 16

NOV 16

NOV 16

NOV 17

NOV 18

DEC 6

DEC 8

DEC 8

DEC 14

DEC 21

Growth2Go - Masters of the Work-Life Balance 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM The Inn at Reading, 1040 North Park Road, Wyomissing Fees/Admission: $22.00/person; Includes Lunch Big Focus on Small Business 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Baker Tilly, 2609 Keiser Blvd., Wyomissing Fees/Admission: Free; Exclusive to Chamber Members Power Networking Lunch 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM Blind Hartman’s Tavern, 2910 Pricetown Road, Temple, PA Fees/Admission: $17/person; Includes Lunch Rising Star Reception 2016 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM Berkshire Country Club, 1637 Bernville Rd., Reading Date/Time Details: 5:00 PM Networking & Cocktails; 6:30 PM Presentation Fees/Admission: $30/person “Business In Berks” Pitch & Brew 2016 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Canal Street Pub, 535 Canal Street, Reading Fees/Admission: $10/person; includes complimentary $5 drink ticket; light fare and cash bar will be available Berks FBA All in the Family Gathering - Schlouch Inc. 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM Schlouch Inc., Excelsior Industrial Park, 132 Excelsior Drive, Blandon Fees/Admission: Free! Exclusive to family business owners! Women2Know: Constance Morrison 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM Stokesay Castle, 141 Stokesay Castle Lane, Reading Fees/Admission: $22/person; Includes Lunch Wells Fargo Economic Forecast Breakfast 2016 7:30 AM - 9:30 AM Stokesay Castle, 141 Stokesay Castle Lane, Reading De Mujer a Mujer 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM Crowne Plaza Reading, 1741 Papermill Rd., Reading Fees/Admission: FREE! Advance registration required. HR Legal Update Roundtable 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM Center for Business Excellence, 49 Commerce Dr., Wyomissing Power Networking Lunch 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM Holiday Inn Morgantown, 6170 Morgantown Rd, Morgantown Fees/Admission: $17/person; Includes Lunch

COMPUTER TRAINING OFFERED THIS FALL Brush Up On Old Skills And Learn New Tools! The Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce and Industry offers a robust array of computer skills training to help you and your organizations go from good to great. Our computer training is taught by experts applying real-world application at the computer lab. “The computer lab provides an excellent hands-on experience, and class size is limited to 12 students so everyone receives individual attention,” says Mark Dolinski, Director of Business Services for the Chamber. Help your employees continue their professional development with must-have computer skills needed for today’s fast-paced and competitive marketplace. Courses range from fundamental skills for those just starting their careers, to intermediate and advanced courses for those involved with more complex responsibilities. So, don’t wait — continue to develop your most important resource, the employees who drive your business! Classes Being Offered this Fall: • • • • • •

MICROSOFT EXCEL MICROSOFT WORD MICROSOFT POWERPOINT MICROSOFT ACCESS ADOBE PHOTOSHOP QUICKBOOKS

To learn more about individual class offerings, how to bring this training in-house or to register for classes, email Mark Dolinski, Director - Business Services, or call him directly at 610.898.8386.

Beth A. Shurr, CPA, MT, CSEP

ph: 610.678.1220 fx: 610.743.8440 cell: 610.587.7042 email: beth@shurrcpa.com web: ShurrCPA.com

1020 James Dr., Ste 103 Leesport, PA 19533

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member news: newsmakers The Standard Group recently received two major awards-the HP Inkspiration Award for Direct Mail and also the Rod Key Marketing Excellence Award at the 2016 Dscoop Conference in San Antonio. As part of Tompkins VIST Bank’s celebration of 107 years serving the Leesport community, the bank donated $1,000 to the Schuylkill Valley Community Library. From left are: Rhonda Mayer, Tompkins Insurance; Paula Barron, SVP, Community Banking, Tompkins VIST Bank; Christie Himmelreich, Library Director; Dr. Solomon Lausch, Library Vice President of Trustees; Stefanie Shirk, AVP and Business Development Officer, Tompkins VIST Bank; James H. Daily, Library President of Trustees; Scott Gruber, President and CEO, Tompkins VIST Bank.

Bethany Children’s Home, Womelsdorf, PA, has received their largest philanthropic gift in recent history from the Estate of George M. and Dorothy D. (Dautrich) Seaman. The Seamans have created their legacy at Bethany with a $2 million gift to support capital improvements and renovations to continue providing a safe, nurturing, caring environment for youth to learn skills for their future and take back their lives. The Loomis Company held their annual Vendor Appreciation Golf Outing this summer. Every year the company chooses a local organization to sponsor. 100% of the proceeds raised before and during the event went to Olivet’s Boys & Girls Club. This year Loomis raised $30,000! Every year the golf outing grows & The Loomis Company is proud to give back into the local community. Pictured for the check presentation is Jimmie Loomis, President of Property & Casualty Division, and Pablo Tejada, President of Olivet’s Boys & Girls Club.

Congratulations to Reading Downtown Improvement District! The Reading Main Street Program has again been named a ‘Nationally Accredited Program’ by the National Main Street Center. Receiving National Accreditation Main Street Program status is seen as a prominent recognition, according to the Pennsylvania Downtown Center (PDC). BCTV is proud to announce the launch of So•Lo. So•Lo, which stands for Social Local, is an app that users can install on their phones or use online to share photos and videos of news and experiences from around Berks County. Users can browse, comment, and share So•Lo posts by category and location. BCTV will also select from the community-generated media and redistribute content among its other distribution platforms such as BCTV.org, cable channels, and the BCTV Facebook page. Home Health Care Management, Inc. (HHCM), parent company of Berks VNA and the VNA of Pottstown, has announced plans for a series of holiday events designed to raise funds for the growing number of services it provides area residents. The goal is to raise $250,000 to support the organization’s wide range of services, including at-home recovery, chronic disease management, and hospice and palliative care treatment. Ridgewood Winery has won three medals (One Gold, Two Bronze) at the MidAmerican wine making contest, a national event. They are one of two wineries in the state to place. Bollman Hat Company celebrates its new knit factory housing machines brought to America from Panyu, China on September 8, 2016. After raising over $100,000 in its Kickstarter campaign, Bollman Hat Company has begun producing the world’s most recognized fashion cap, the Kangol 504, in wool and tropic yarn.

58  COMMERCE QUARTERLY   FALL 2016

Fraser Advanced Information Systems has announced that it has completed the strategic acquisition of Advanced Business Equipment (ABE), a leading office technology company located in Allentown, PA. This partnership provides area businesses with expanded choices and better solutions for their office technology and managed IT needs. The Water Guy ™, a brand of WG America Company, announces it has been awarded the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Level 3 Certification under the Global Food Safety Initiative Edition 7.2. The Level 3 Certification is a comprehensive implementation of food safety and quality management systems that incorporates Level 2 Certification. McCarthy Engineering Associates, Inc., announces its position on the Zweig Top 100 Hot Firm List for 2016. As a leader of engineering services in the mid-Atlantic region and beyond, McCarthy Engineering is excited to see such recognition and drives to remain a top 100 company in years to come. The Jennifer King Team of RE/MAX of Reading was named one of America’s most productive sales teams as a part of REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents. The Jennifer King Team, which includes Jennifer & Wayne King, Paul Wenger, Paul Mazzagatti, Jeff Dieffenbach, Wanita Shorts and Sue Gunselman, is now a member of the ‘America’s Best Real Estate Agents,’ and ranked number 23 for the state of Pennsylvania. The team represents buyers and sellers in Lancaster, Lebanon and Berks counties, and closed a total of 160.5 transactions in 2015. Health Calls is proud to announce a preferred partner agreement with Penn State Health Partners. Health Calls remains a privately owned, independent home health agency, owned by Mike Little and Maria Radwanski. The contracted agreement with Penn State Health Partners adds Health Calls as a preferred partner in the Clinical Integrated Network made up of independently owned and operated health care organizations and physician groups working together to improve the population’s health.


GreaterReadingChamber.org

Overhead Door Company of Reading is celebrating its 51st year of being in business, and is proud to announce - ‘We’re more than just doors’, says Bill Owens, president of Overhead Door. Overhead Door is a family business residing on the border of Reading and Muhlenberg Townships. Bill, along with brother Dave, manages day-to-day operations. “The business was started in 1965 by our father Roy Owens, and very quickly Overhead Door developed a reputation as the go-to company for commercial and residential customers looking for quality garage door products, installation and service. What many people don’t realize is the wide variety of other products and services we provide.” Reading Health Physician Network (RHPN) was recently recognized with the 2015 UnitedHealthcare PATH Excellence in Patient Service Award for its commitment to improving health outcomes for people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage plans. A regional leader in financially oriented professional services has once again attracted national attention. Reinsel Kuntz Lesher LLP (RKL), Certified Public Accountants and Consultants, has claimed the 67th spot on the Inside Public Accounting (IPA) “2016 Top 100 Firms” list. Reading Health System Magnet Champion Team partnered with United Way for the seventh year to coordinate the 2016 Stuff the Bus - Adopt a Classroom Campaign for Reading School District. A total of 87 classrooms and 19 school nurses were adopted by Reading Health departments. Donated dream boxes contain supplies teachers and school nurses frequently purchase on their own and support student learning and health. On Friday, August 26, two school buses traveled to all participating sites for employees to “Stuff the Bus” with their donations. Buses then stopped at each school where hospital employees delivered their donations to the school faculty.

The Reading School District and KAUTTER & KELLEY ARCHITECTS, Wyomissing, were recently honored to receive a 2016 Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Award. The “Construction – Public & Institutional Properties” award, presented by Preservation PA, recognizes the large scale renovation project addressing all four of the district’s middle schools. The schools, built in the 1920s and 1930s, underwent painstaking masonry restoration to return the buildings to their original beauty. Additionally, each building received full window and door replacement, roof repairs, stair tower renovations, and HVAC improvements.

  59


member news: new members JUNE 15-SEPT 30, 2016

AMMERAAL BELTECH MODULAR INC. 500 Brentwood Dr Reading PA 19611 484.772.3700 www.unichains.com Conveyor Systems Contact: Angela Gough

FAMILY PROMISE OF BERKS COUNTY 325 N 5th St Reading PA 19601 610.373.3323 familypromiseofberks.org Non-profit Organizations Contact: Gwendolyn Didden

ORRSTOWN BANK 1100 Berkshire Blvd Wyomissing PA 19610 717.530.3548 www.orrstown.com Financial Services Contact: Amy Strohm

ARRO CONSULTING, INC. 50 Berkshire Ct Ste 209 Wyomissing PA 19610 610.374.5285 www.thearrogroup.com Engineers Contact: John Mott

GRAPEVINE VISUAL CONCEPTS, INC. 153 James Way Southampton PA 18966 215.364.6515 www.grapevinevc.com Trade Shows & Exhibit Producers Contact: Steve Pijanowski

PALANGE & ENDRES, P.C. 720 Centre Ave Reading PA 19601 610.685.9960 pandelaw.com Legal Services Contact: Dawn Palange

BERKS COUNTY COMMUNITY FOUNDATION 237 Court St Reading PA 19601 610.685.2223 www.bccf.org Non-profit Organizations Contact: Jason Brudereck

GRAUER’S PAINTING AND DECORATING 3315 Penn Ave West Lawn PA 19609 484.987.2870 www.grauerspaint.com Painting - Decorative Contact: Paul Newcomer

PARAMOUNT LIVING AIDS 225 N Kenhorst Blvd Reading PA 19607 800.886.6364 www.paramountlivingaids.com Medical Equipment & Repairs Contact: Keith Derr

BREAST CANCER SUPPORT SERVICES OF BERKS COUNTY 529 Reading Ave Reading PA 19611 610.478.1447 www.bcssberks.org Non-profit Organizations Contact: Kathy Kolb

GROOVE CIO 814 Farr Pl Reading PA 19611 610.223.3984 www.grooveCIO.com Consultants - Information Systems Contact: Rick Tomlinson

D&B ELITE CONSTRUCTION GROUP 8 Morgan Dr Sinking Spring PA 19608 610.927.6494 dandbelite.com Construction Management Contractors - Design Contact: Brennan Reichenbach DYNAFLO, INC. 127 Mill Rd Birdsboro PA 19508 610.200.8017 www.dynaflopumps.com Manufacturers Contact: Bill Fleming ELEGANCE DERMA SPA 3317 Penn Ave Ste A West Lawn PA 19606 484.709.1177 www.elegancedermaspa.com Medical Services Contact: Amy Hendrix ELL EXCEL 1712 Westwood Rd Wyomissing PA 19610 760.238.2789 www.ellexcel.com Consultants - Counseling/Training Contact: Adrienne Beck

HIGHER INFORMATION GROUP 1368 Harrisburg Pike Lancaster PA 17601 717.652.3310 higherinfogroup.com Business Equipment Contact: Angela Morthland JP MORGAN CHASE 1650 Market St Fl 30 Philadelphia PA 19103 215.640.3644 Financial Services Contact: Glenn D’Amore JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT OF SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA 994 Old Eagle School Rd Ste 1014 Wayne PA 19087 610.230.3366 japhiladelphia.org Contact: Ashley Mikulsky KGM MARKETING, LLC 1923 Squire Ct Wyomissing PA 19610 610.823.5858 Marketing Services Contact: Kristin Mancuso LIFEVANTAGE 15 Butter Ln Reading PA 19606 610.247.0165 www.HolisticallyHealthyYou.net Health & Nutrition Contact: Allyssa Landis

60  COMMERCE QUARTERLY   FALL 2016

PAUL W. ESSIG INC. 448 Snyder Rd Reading PA 19605 610.373.3229 www.makeitessig.com Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning Contact: Steve Essig PREMIERCOMM, LLC 415 N Prince St Ste 200 Suite 200 Lancaster PA 17603 717.431.7100 Computer Systems & Software Consultants & Designers Contact: Elaine Willis RACHEL J. KLINE PHOTOGRAPHY LLC 112 Shire Lane Wernersville PA 19565 610.406.8051 www.racheljklinephotography.com Photographers Contact: Rachel Kline REGINA’S 518 Penn Ave Reading PA 19611 484.987.2652 Beauty Salons Contact: Regina Haney RILEY SALES, INC. 1712 Benjamin Franklin Hwy Douglassville PA 19518 610.705.4600 www.rileysales.com Heating Equipment & Supplies Contact: Toby Wolfe

SURGICAL SPECIALTIES CORPORATION 1100 Berkshire Blvd Suite 308 Wyomissing PA 19610 484.220.2400 www.surgicalspecialties.com Medical Devices - Manufacturers Contact: Cynthia Kelsey THE LAW OFFICES OF RABENOLD AND RABENOLD 501 Park Rd N Reading PA 19601 610.374.2103 Attorneys Contact: Randy Rabenold THRIFTY GYPSY CO 420 Beacon St Birdsboro PA 19508 610.924.7039 www.thriftygypsyco.com Home Remodelers Contact: Whitney Raifsnider THRIVEWORKS COUNSELING AND COACHING - READING 2208 Quarry Dr Van Reed Office Center, Ste 200 Reading PA 19609 610.563.2052 www.thriveworks.com/ reading-counseling Mental Health Services Contact: Leslie Chaundy TRACTOR SUPPLY CO. (Store #2088) 4724 Penn Ave Sinking Spring PA 19608 610.678.6698 www.tractorsupply.com Contact: Tessa Goss WANT CONSULTING, LLC 31 Hearthstone Dr Reading PA 19606 484.364.1510 wantconsulting.net Consultants - Quality Contact: Wanda Torres WOMEN’S SELF DEFENSE CENTERS OF AMERICA 1711 Hampden Blvd Reading PA 19604 888.356.9732 www.wsdcenters.com Safety Contact: David Leeland


member news: anniversaries

GreaterReadingChamber.org

JUNE 15-SEPT 30, 2016 1 YEAR

Alebrije Mexican Restaurant (5th Street Hwy)  Alebrije Mexican Restaurant (Perkiomen Ave)  Alebrije Mexican Restaurant (Wyomissing)  Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.  ARCpoint Labs of Reading, PA  Axiom IT Solutions, LLC  Berkshire CPAs LLC  Blind Hartman’s Tavern  Canteen Berks County  CASA of Berks County  Chris Saylor, M.S.L.  Communities In Schools Lehigh Valley  Express Employment Professionals - Berks County  Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott  Folino Estate  GoodFellas Granite, LLC  Karl Environmental Group  Lebanon Family Health Services  Moselem Springs Golf Club  Natural Hope Center  Patriot Environmental Management, LLC  Peritech Home Health Associates  Pine Forge Academy  Reading Muhlenberg Career & Technology Center  Ridgewood Winery  Salon Eveleila  Sirius Computer Solutions  Sprint by iMobile  StearClear  The Junior League of Reading, Inc.  Turner Coaching, Training & Consulting LLC  Whittemore and Haigh Engineering, Inc. 

5 YEAR

CertaPro Painters of Reading  Champion Personnel, Inc.  Continental Tide Defense Systems, Inc. 

Diakon Adoption & Foster Care Habitat for Humanity of Berks County, Inc.  RIG Financial Solutions  RMK Solar  Servpro of Wyomissing  The Performance Group  

10 YEAR

Advanced Water Resources, Inc. Berks Digital, Inc.  Berks Hearing Professionals (Birdsboro)  Cartridge World - Reading  Friend, Inc. Community Services  HealthSouth Reading Rehabilitation Hospital  Ryder & Company, Inc.  

15 YEAR

Berks County Chiefs of Police Association  First National Bank 

20 YEAR

Elite Sportswear, L.P.  Frontier Communications  Griffin Financial Group, LLC  Walsky Investment Management, Inc.  WFMZ-TV 69 News Berks Edition 

25 YEAR

All About Children Pediatric Partners, P.C.  American Polarizers, Inc.  Levan Machine & Truck Equipment  Peters Brothers Meat Market, Inc.  State Farm Insurance - Lou Mehos Agency  The Little Old German Signmaker, LLC 

35 YEAR Berks County Industrial Development Authority  Berks Nature  Bingaman Hess  Boy Scouts of America Hawk Mountain Council  Dolan Construction, Inc.  Eisenhauer Nissan, Inc.  Greater Berks Development Fund  Herbein + Company, Inc.  M L Construction  Maple Grove Raceway  RE/MAX of Reading  Reading Electric Motor Service, Inc.  Reading Precast, Inc.  Riverfront Federal Credit Union  William G. Koch & Associates 

40 YEAR

Arcadia Recovery Bureau, LLC Chester Perfetto Agency, Inc.  Sentry Abstract Company  

45 YEAR

Connors Investor Services, Inc. Reading Eagle Company  Reading Regional Airport Authority  

50 YEAR

Comcast Crystal Cave Company, Inc.  Fecera’s Furniture, Inc.  United Way of Berks County  

55 YEAR

Adelphia Seafood Berks County Medical Society

 

60 YEAR

Fleetwood Bank

30 YEAR

Gallen Insurance, Inc.  The Giles Financial Group 

70 YEAR

Edward A. Reider, Inc. PPL Corporation  Wells Fargo Advisors  

  61


Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight is the Greater Reading Chamber’s forum for telling our members’ stories in their own words—sharing their successes, their challenges, and what it’s really like to be a small business owner in Berks County and beyond!

Schultz Technology is your One Stop Technology Shop for residential and commercial needs!

Weidenhammer has proudly been delivering solutions since 1978. View the interview with founder/president – John Weidenhammer!

Steve Goble: Gearing up for his October Liv2Lead event, Steve Goble is helping others take leadership to the next level!

Business coach and head of the entrepreneurial group, Entrepreneur’s Connection, Chuck Holder is on the move!

Software training or computer repair on your to-do list? Mark Shearer and the Shearer Technical team will get the job done!

A family-owned manufacturer that is also a certified women’s business enterprise – Hear more from Elaine McDevitt of The Rose Corporation!

JT’s Gourmet Delivery, LLC brings specialty items and food quality excellence right to your front door and into your freezer!

Llona Stish: 1-800-GOTJUNK? Franchise Owner, Llona Stish, is growing local business like wild!

62  COMMERCE QUARTERLY   FALL 2016

Denny’s Electric – a division of UGI HVAC Enterprises, is built on outstanding service, vast industry knowledge, and quality workmanship.

Kay Pool and Spa has been in the business of pool and spa service for over 35 years, operating as a successful family business in Berks!


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610-376-7799

PA005901

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Helping you achieve your goals has always been ours Congratulations to Mark A. Maggs for being recognized on the Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors list.

Maggs & Associates Mark A. Maggs, CIMA®, CRPC® Senior Vice President – Wealth Management Wealth Management Advisor 610.320.5462 mark_maggs@ml.com

Merrill Lynch 985 Berkshire Boulevard Suite 200 Wyomissing, PA 19610 fa.ml.com/maggs

Life’s better when we’re connected® Source: Barron’s magazine, March 7, 2016, America’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors list. Advisors considered for the “America’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors” ranking have a minimum of seven years financial services experience and have been employed at their current firm for at least one year. Quantitative and qualitative measures used to determine the advisor rankings include: client assets, return on assets, client satisfaction/retention, compliance records and community involvement, among others. Barron’s does not receive compensation from advisors, participating firms and their affiliates, or the media in exchange for rankings. Barron’s is a trademark of Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Merrill Lynch Wealth Management makes available products and services offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, a registered broker-dealer and Member SIPC, and other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation. Investment products:

Are Not FDIC Insured Are Not Bank Guaranteed

May Lose Value

The Bull Symbol, Life’s better when we’re connected and Merrill Lynch are trademarks of Bank of America Corporation. CIMA® is a registered certification mark of Investment Management Consultants Association, Inc. CRPC® is a registered service mark of the College for Financial Planning. © 2016 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved. AR37CQNC | AD-04-16-1312 | 471003PM-1215 | 04/2016

Commerce Quarterly Fall 2016  

Commerce Quarterly is the official publication of the Greater Reading Chamber. As the business voice of Greater Reading, the Chamber leads t...