GRCA Commerce Quarterly Spring 2022

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SPING 2022



Chamber Alliance

A Gold Medal Night Scott Hamilton Inspires Annual Dinner Attendees


Herbein + Company reaches 50-year milestone

Powerful Partnerships. Standout Solutions.

A platform of affiliated professional services firms, The Stevens & Lee Companies together provide a full range of legal, investment banking, financial advisory and government consulting services. Headquartered in Berks County and with 18 offices nationwide, we work closely with clients to solve their most complicated problems with a commitment to exceptional client service. Learn more at


Greater Reading Chamber Alliance

Leah Fassnacht, Editor 606 Court Street, Reading, PA 19601 • 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.

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

Your Greater Reading Chamber Alliance…

» 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.


Annual Dinner Serves Up Inspiration, Fun


Leaders in Logistics: Translogistics, Inc.


A Cut Above: American Barber and Beauty Academy


Open for Business


Three Rhoads Energy Affiliates Rebrand Under Parent Identity


Golden Celebration: Herbein + Company, Inc.


The new Meet Greater Reading

8 27

Signature Experience: W2W Conference + Expo Draws Crowd at New Venue


A new, savory snack system: Reading Bakery Systems adds baked pita chip machinery

» 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


best practices.

» Maintains a five-star rating as one of the


©2022 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 • 610.685.0914

For Advertising Opportunities: call 610.685.0914 Ext. 1 Read Commerce Quarterly Magazine Online at 4 COMMERCE QUARTERLY SPRING 2022

In Your Community Main Street Programs

Continuous Employee Development Pays Dividends

Business & Community Advocacy

best chambers in Pennsylvania.

» Reflects our multicultural community at large.



Diverse Opportunities


Letter From the Editor


Member News


A Message from GRCA CEO & President


New Members


Member Anniversaries

On the cover: Scott Hamilton inspires the audience at our 2022 Annual Dinner. (See page 8) Dinner photos by Wayne Becker, Jr., & Alexis Jenofsky, Dave Zerbe Photography.

letter from the editor


elcome to the spring edition of Commerce Quarterly magazine where we will be recognizing and reliving all things Annual Dinner and Business Excellence Awards.

If you were one of the lucky 800 attendees to our Annual Dinner on May 11 at Santander Arena, then you know that the evening was filled with great food, networking, an inspiring keynote address from speaker Scott Hamilton and even, an on-theme ice luge for blue cocktails.

It was truly a celebration of all things good and positive in the Greater Reading business community. This year was also the most competitive year in recent memory with 15 businesses entering that had never entered before. This was partly because this year’s new criteria allowed for businesses who were not headquartered in Berks County but could show that 50% of their annual revenues originated from Berks County to enter. Also, GRCA’s dedicated staff emailed and called many members to encourage them to apply and be honored. Unfortunately, not all businesses who entered made the list, making this year’s list more prestigious than ever. Miss out on this year’s event? No worries, check out page 8 for a link to the playlist of videos shown at the event. This year, GRCA member Imageworks Film & Video, Inc. filmed and produced the high-quality videos. Lead Producer Lorrie King and Director/ Cinematographer John Krawlzik brought the golden theme to life in each of them. After watching the videos, learn more about the two companies to claim the top spots in Category 1 and Category 2. Translogistics credits its success to not only great customer service, but also offering its customers a wide range of products and services. Read all about it on page 14. The Category 2 winner, American Barber and Beauty Academy, has experienced significant growth in the past three years as the COVID-19 pandemic drove enrollment as people were seeking training for new careers or second jobs. Check this article out on page 15. If this year’s event is any indication of how the Berks County business community is doing, I’d say things are looking up!

Visit our website For the most up-to-date schedule of events, training and webinars, visit and click on the events calendar at the top of the page. Please note: GRCA will use the most current information available to determine whether events and training will be held virtually or in-person.

Board of Directors GRCA BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chairman Daniel R. Langdon – East Penn Mfg, Co., Inc. Vice Chairman Ernest J. Choquette – The Stevens & Lee Companies Treasurer Jeffrey R. Rush – Fulton Bank Secretary Michael A. Duff – Penske DIRECTORS Gregg A. Bogia – Bogia Engineering Inc. John H. Gallen, Jr. – EthoSource Jim Gerlach – Greater Reading Chamber Alliance Laura Haffner – Wells Fargo Bob Harrop – East Penn Mfg, Co., Inc. Sara Kuzma-Stump – Suburban Testing Labs Susan D. Looney – Reading Area Community College Jamey Maack – Industrial Metal Plating Debra L. Millman, Esq. – Greater Berks Development Fund Michele L. Richards – Fulton Bank David C. Roland – Truist Timothy D. Romig – Customers Bank Peter Rye – Brentwood Industries David W. Stonesifer – Herbein & Company, Inc. Christina L. Weeber – East Penn Mfg, Co., Inc. John Weidenhammer – Weidenhammer GREATER READING CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chairwoman Michele L. Richards – Fulton Bank Vice Chairwoman Sara Kuzma Stump – Suburban Testing Labs Solicitor Timothy Dietrich – Barley Snyder Treasurer Laura Haffner – Wells Fargo Secretary Gregg A. Bogia – Bogia Engineering Inc. DIRECTORS Lucy Cortez – Community First Fund Brian Dietrich – Ernst & Young (EY LLP) Jonathan Encarnacion – UPMC FOR U, INC. Josephina Encarnacion – SBDC – Kutztown University Becky A. Eshbach – UGI Utilities, Inc. Andrea Funk – Enersys Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz – Mi Casa Su Casa John H. Gallen, Jr. – EthoSource Jim Gerlach – Greater Reading Chamber Alliance Jack Gombach – Community Networking Resources Dr. George Grant – Penn State Berks Dan Gring – D&B Construction Dr. Jill M. Hackman – Berks County Intermediate Unit Bob Harrop – East Penn Mfg. Co., Inc. Joey Jurgielewicz – Jurgielewicz & Son, Ltd. Daniel B. Laws, Jr. – DaBrian Marketing Group Kristi Gage-Linderman – Gage Personnel Paul Oxholm – Sharpoint Partners, Inc. Ryan Redner – Redner’s Markets Jennifer C. Rivera – FirstEnergy Corp. Dr. Rudy Ruth – Alvernia University Peter Rye – Brentwood Industries Alan Shuman – Shuman Development Group David W. Stonesifer – Herbein & Company, Inc. Ira Tauber – Triose John Weidenhammer – Weidenhammer GREATER BERKS DEVELOPMENT FUND BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chairman Dan Langdon – East Penn Manufacturing Company, Inc. Vice Chairman Ernest J. Choquette – Stevens & Lee/Griffin President Debra L. Millman, Esq. – Greater Berks Development Fund VP/Treasurer/Secretary Jeffery Rush – Fulton Bank Secretary Michael Duff, Esq. – Penske Truck Leasing DIRECTORS Richard Bashore – Reading Electric Motor Service, Inc. Joseph Butto – Tompkins VIST Bank P. Michael Ehlerman – Yuasa Battery, Inc. Jim Gerlach – Greater Reading Chamber Alliance Scott Hauseman – Fulton Bank Ginger Kunkel – Tompkins VIST Bank Susan D. Looney – Reading Area Community College Jamey Maack – Industrial Metal Plating David C. Roland – Berks BB&T Timothy D. Romig – Customers Bank David Shaffer – EnerSys Joseph Sigle – Santander Bank Sally Stewart – Greater Reading Chamber Alliance Michael Vind – FSL Public Finance Christina L. Weeber – East Penn Manufacturing Company, Inc.


a message from GRCA CEO & President

Cooperation and fiscal support keys to economic development success By Jim Gerlach, President & CEO, GRCA


ne of the most important responsibilities for our GRCA team is to promote and facilitate economic development projects and initiatives in Berks County. We have an excellent team of professionals that engage in a wide variety of activities to grow our local economy from business attraction initiatives to agribusiness loans, from workforce development services to development of key industrial sites. Sources of growth and development vary greatly, and we are hard at work in connecting people, businesses and government to make growth a reality.

However, as is one of life’s truisms, GRCA is not an island unto itself. We realize that to accomplish anything of lasting value, we need to partner with our talented friends in both the private and public sectors. As for the latter, the Berks County Commissioners and their team have been outstanding partners in not only identifying critically important projects, but also in providing significant financial support to assist us in our daily work. We thank them for their support and appreciate the ongoing working relationship we have in promoting and developing the County. Additionally, Berks County is blessed with incredibly engaged companies that want to contribute their own resources to building Berks. With the financial support of 40-plus Berks companies, we are able to carry out our development mission with real results. Here are just a few examples from our work over the past few months:

• • •

Provided outstanding professional development services to local companies in Lead Worker Certification, Supervisor Training, Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace and Excel Training.

Provided advisory and administrative support to the Commissioners and the Tri-County Rail Committee to continue the advancement of the passenger rail restoration project in the region.

Maintenance and promotion of a comprehensive commercial and industrial property database to market the County with site selectors, realtors and developers. (GreaterReadingSites. com)

Management and promotion of key state- and federal-based development zones in the County, including the Keystone Enterprise Zone, Keystone Opportunity Zone, Keystone Innovation Zone and Foreign Trade Zone 147.

In just the first four months of this year, GRCA has made much progress in moving the development ball down the field. And that progress could have only been made based on the exemplary cooperation and support we have from our public and private sector partners. They care deeply about taking Berks County to the next rung of economic success, and we should be proud of their civic commitment to the betterment of the community and its families.

Moving forward, we know that much work remains. And our success collectively will depend on public and private sector companies and organizations working together to achieve mutually Engaged with 27 businesses to connect them to local shared goals and projects within mutually shared time frames. More resources including workforce hiring, site selection and than ever, we all need to pull on the same oars at the same time, funding issues. or unfortunately our individual and diverging expenditures of Continued lead on the “Grow Together” agriculture- time and resources will only serve to slow the progress we all desire. based social media marketing campaign to connect Berks County is in the enviable position of having top business, Berks ag producers with local customers and consumers. governmental and civic leaders that contribute unselfishly to the County’s economic and community progress. But to ultimately ( realize the fruits of their hard work and commitment, we need Continued facilitation of our County’s Manufacturing to better coordinate, prioritize and implement the key initiatives. Industry Partnership — a coalition of over 100 manufacturers GRCA will continue to lead in that effort, and with the terrific focused on talent attraction, employee development and support we receive from our supporters and stakeholders, we are training and manufacturing sustainability in the coming excited about the great achievements that will certainly flow from decades. the collective efforts of our leaders. Facilitated two PA Industrial Development Authority loans for Berks County businesses on projects totaling $2.2 million.


! u o y k n a h T


Cover Story

Annual Dinner Serves Up Inspiration, Fun Top Growth Businesses are Honored By Leah Fassnacht, Director of Communications & Marketing, GRCA

Photos by Wayne Becker, Jr., & Alexis Jenofsky, Dave Zerbe Photography.


he Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA) celebrated the excellence of the Berks County business community at its Annual Dinner held at the Santander Arena. More

than 800 people attended the ice and gold themed event, which was topped off by a keynote address from Scott Hamilton, the 1984 men’s

figure skating Olympic gold medalist. “Our members look forward to this event every year, and last night was no exception. After a tumultuous few years, it was exciting to come together as a business community and celebrate its continuing growth Continued on page 10

The evening’s keynote speaker Scott Hamilton poses with Jim Gerlach, GRCA’s CEO & President, and Michele Richards, Executive Vice President and Director of Commercial Product and Strategy, Fulton Bank.


Relive the Annual Dinner Watch the complete video playlist highlighting all of the winners.

The Translogistics, Inc., ownership team accepts the No. 1 Business Excellence Award in Category 1.

Employees from Wells Fargo, one of the evening’s title sponsors, have their picture taken with Scott Hamilton.

George Ortiz, Jr., American Barber and Beauty Academy founder and CEO, proudly receives the No. 1 Business Excellence Award in Category 2.


cover story continued

and development,” said Jim Gerlach, President & CEO of GRCA. The evening kicked off with 50 Business Excellence Awards in Category 1 being handed out. Translogistics, Inc., Keller Williams Platinum Realty and Customers Bancorp, Inc. comprised the top 3. The honored businesses in Category 1 are for-profit companies, with revenues of at least $1 million in each of the past three fiscal years. Smaller businesses were recognized in Category 2 with American Barber and Beauty Academy, The Junkluggers of Berks, Chester, & Lancaster, PA, and Catering by John Lowe making the top 3. The recognized companies in Category 2 are for-profit businesses, with revenues of at least $250,000 in each of the past three fiscal years. In his address titled “Finish First,” Hamilton told the audience that he had fallen more than 41,000 times, meaning he also has Continued on page 12


($1M+ revenue in previous 3 years)

1. Translogistics, Inc. 2. Keller Williams Platinum Realty 3. Customers Bancorp, Inc. 4. Viwinco, Inc. 5. TRIOSE, Inc. 6. Singer Equipment Company, Inc. 7. Good Life Companies 8. Levan Machine & Truck Equipment 9. Berks Homes 10. Champion Personnel 11. Pagoda Realty 12. Heeby’s Surplus, Inc. 13. Holiday Inn Morgantown - Reading Area 14. Cornerstone Law Firm, LLC 15. East Penn Manufacturing Co. 16. Wyomissing Restaurant & Bakery 17. Century 21 Gold 18. Berkshire Systems Group, Inc. 19. Shuman Development Group 20. Berks Fire Water Restorations, Inc. 21. Connors Investor Services, Inc. 22. Rothenberger Insurance Services, LLC 23. RKL LLP 24. Weavers Hardware Company 25. Service 360 Group 26. Entech Engineering, Inc. 27. Unique Snacks 28. Office Service Company 29. Stoney Creek Rentals, Inc. 30. Anewalt’s Landscaping Contracting 31. Herbein + Company, Inc. 32. Kozloff Stoudt Attorneys 33. Van Scoy Jewelers 34. Riverview Tree & Landscaping, Inc. 35. Solve IT Solutions, LLC 36. McCarthy Engineering Associates, Inc. 37. Diamond Credit Union 38. Bogia Engineering Inc. 39. Spine and Wellness Center 40. Strunk Media Group 41. Suburban Testing Labs, Inc. 42. Irish Creek Enterprises, Inc. 43. Gallen Insurance, Inc. 44. Spotts Insurance Group 45. B&G Glass Services Inc. 46. New Castle Lawn & Landscape, Inc. 47. Weidenhammer 48. Muhlenberg Greene Architects, Ltd. 49. Wyatt Seating 50. Chester Perfetto Agency, Inc.

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cover story continued

BUSINESS gotten up more than 41,000 times. He encouraged the crowd to “embrace failure” as it is just information to


Category 2

($250+ revenue in previous 3 years)

use to move forward and improve. In a moment of levity, Hamilton joked that his job had turned into finding ways to shut up fellow commentator Dick Button. “I think the audience appreciated the simplicity and

1. American Barber and Beauty Academy 2. The Junkluggers of Berks, Chester, & Lancaster, PA

positivity of Scott’s message. It really seemed to resonate

3. Catering by John Lowe

with the attendees,” said Michele Richards, Executive Vice President and Director of Commercial Product and

4. Mind Matters Coaching, Counseling & Psychological Associates, LLC

Strategy, Fulton Bank, and GRCA’s board chairwoman.

5. D&S Portable Toilets, LLC 6. Sweet Ride Ice Cream, LLC 7. Berks Surveying & Engineering, Inc. 8. ATA Martial Arts – Wyomissing 9. Moyer-Drabick & Associates, Ltd. 10. Financial Planning Advisors, Inc.


Your hometown bank, proud to support GRCA. We are grateful to be named to the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance’s Top 50 Businesses list. We are committed to working even harder to continue our growth and success, serving customers and the Berks County community.

Let’s take on tomorrow.

cover story continued

Leaders in Logistics

Translogistics takes No.1 spot in Category 1 of Business Excellence Awards By Amish Jindal, Communications & Marketing Intern, GRCA


ince 1994, Translogistics Owner Scott McDevitt and his employees have been dedicated to making the company grow. Last year the company grew its revenue 29% and hired 15 extra employees. “We have seen solidified growth due to our different offerings and services,” said Director of Finance Brandy Selfinger.

This consistent growth has made a positive impact on the company, the industry and the local business community, and most recently earned the company the No. 1 ranking in Category 1 of the Business Excellence Awards. Companies ranked in Category 1 showed revenue of $1M+ in the past three years. Headquartered in Birdsboro, Penn., Translogistics is a family-owned business that provides solutions for shippers through innovative technology and great customer service. It streamlines the practice for shippers with competitive contracted rates. It is that great customer service Inside Sales Manager Monique Campbell believes sets the company apart from its competition. The company has a wide range of customers all around the United States. It services big shippers to mom-and-pop businesses, which impacts many different industries from manufacturing to food and medicine.

Joseph McDevitt, Director of Sales/Marketing; Scott McDevitt, President/CEO; and Mitch Kinek, Sales/Marketing Executive, lead Translogistics to a 29% growth in revenue last year.

The present culture at Translogistics positively affects its success. Huge growth has stemmed from the medical industry for The employees feel as if the company is a gem compared to other Translogistics. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, transportation-based companies. the company has done a tremendous job transporting PPE and other “I have worked in the transportation industry for many years; related supplies. Many of these shipments require specifications such Translogistics has the best ethics, culture and people. The employees as proper air filtration and refrigeration, and Translogistics was able care about each other personally and professionally,” said Jerry Van to meet these demands. Lauven, Mode Operations Supervisor. While a lot has been done leading to the success of Translogistics Selfinger added, “Here it’s not about what you have done, but the past year, the company owes its momentous growth to its core what you can bring to the table in terms of effort.” values and culture. Translogistics also has benefited from the current economic “Our Christian principles of trust, loyalty and integrity are something picture. High demand and low supply for things such as drivers we stand by every day,” said Sales/Marketing Executive Mitchell Kinek. and trucks have kept the employees busy. To make sure it can help Kinek and the other employees believe that these values differentiate every customer, the company is building relationships with carriers to lock in competitive rates. It is also heavily investing in technology the company from the rest and resonates with its customers. to make the process as efficient as possible. These values also influence its business practices. For example, Looking to the future, the employees see growth, while maintaining Translogistics is transparent to its customers. With the current trucking quality. Translogistics wants to further develop its employees into scarcity, the company does not lie about its truck availability. Unethical the best people they can be. practices are common in the transportation industry. Customers, new and old, have taken notice and are turning to Translogistics for “The sky is the limit for Translogistics,” said Selfinger. their transportation needs. 14 COMMERCE QUARTERLY SPRING 2022

A Cut Above

American Barber and Beauty Academy takes the No. 1 spot in Category 2 By Amish Jindal, Communications & Marketing Intern, GRCA


merican Barber and Beauty Academy has grown from its roots.

Previously, the school taught only barbers. Now, it has expanded to cosmetology and aesthetics, also known as professional skincare. These innovative programs have made the school a larger player in the industry. The school’s founder and CEO George Ortiz, Jr., points to many factors leading to its growth — from an increase in demand for such services to a change in the educational landscape.

The facility initially was just a barber school and was located at 110 Morgantown Road, Reading. Due to great success, the school expanded to a 10,000-square-feet, state-of-the-art education facility in July of 2020. This facility contains active classrooms for practice experience and opportunities for hands-on learning. The school offers discounted services to the public, giving students real-life interaction with clients. This rapid growth earned the school the No. 1 ranking in Category 2 of the Business Excellence Awards. The school left the old facility with 16 students, and now teaches over 90 students at a time. Through its various programs American Barber and Beauty Academy graduates 100 to 120 students each year. Furthermore, demand for the school’s education is high.

American Barber and Beauty Academy opened its 10,000-squarefeet, state-of-the-art education facility in July of 2020. He also is proud of the successful business practices he has implemented at American Barber and Beauty Academy. “I found out I had to be a go getter. Nothing was going to come to be by itself. Also, I concentrated on being a servant leader. I realized you need to serve your needs by serving the needs of others first,” said Ortiz. These methods have allowed the school to gain a favorable reputation among members of the community. “We are getting referrals from many of our successful graduates,” Ortiz said.

“This year is fully enrolled, and people are booking in advance. We currently have a waiting list,” said Ortiz.

The staff at American Barber and Beauty academy also is honored by the award.

A significant factor for this uptick in students is that people are looking for a career change because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is extremely rewarding and shows the efforts of our team,” said Director Jennifer Crawl.

“People are realizing you cannot have all your eggs in one basket. The skills we teach are great as a second job,” said Ortiz.

Student Shalah Henigman is not surprised at the distinction.

In addition, the post-secondary educational landscape has changed. Individuals have realized that a four-year college degree is not necessary to be successful. The trades are now in demand and trade schools across the board have seen increases in enrollment.

“When I stepped in, I was blown away by the atmosphere. From the teaching staff to the aesthetics, everything was amazing,” Henigman said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to be here and get into this business. I can now branch out with the skills I have learned and use them for the rest of my career.”

While this demand and growth has been great for the school, Ortiz admits it has been difficult adapting to the volume of expansion.

Henigman was accepted into American Barber and Beauty Academy on a prestigious scholarship and aspires to work with natural hair.

“The scale of growth we have seen within a short time frame was challenging. Through this process, I wanted to keep our quality up to the highest standards. We overcame this problem by working through it as a team and trial and error,” said Ortiz.

Ortiz is proud of the school he has built and the graduates it produces. Looking to the future Ortiz said, “We want to perfect what we do here, and make sure we never lose our quality.”


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for Business:

The Fight to P Reduce PA’s Corporate Net Income Tax By Katie Hetherington Cunfer, Director of Government & Community Relations, GRCA


ennsylvania has been losing out on economic development opportunities to our neighbors and other states because of its complicated regulatory scheme, burdensome tax rates and other factors. The 2020 Census was a clear indicator that these limiting policies have directly contributed to PA’s population stagnation or decline in regions outside of SE PA and Pittsburgh. Once again, the Commonwealth is losing a seat in Congress and an Electoral College vote, going from 18 to 17 Congressional seats, which erodes its influence in the United States and on the world stage. This has been happening consistently every decade since the height of 36 seats following the 1910 Census. The 2020 U-Haul report ( indicated that New Jersey and Pennsylvania were No. 1 and No. 2 in states where people were moving out. These folks are leaving for warmer states to the south and west that also happen to have friendlier business and personal tax climates.

PA’s Corporate Net Income Tax (CNIT) is 9.99%. It ranks as the second highest CNIT in the nation, behind only New Jersey (11.5%). Based on the Tax Foundation’s 2022 State Business Tax Climate Index (, PA ranks 44th for Corporate Tax Climate and 29th for Overall Business Tax Climate. Interestingly, PA ranks 15th for Property Taxes, but that’s based on tax rate, not how much is paid. Finally, earnest efforts are underway this spring to make a positive and transformative change to PA’s business tax climate. In recent years, there has been an open discussion about how PA’s CNIT is hindering our economic competitiveness, and finally the needle is moving. The last time the CNIT was reduced was in 1995 by Gov. Tom Ridge from 11.5%. There has been bipartisan support for this effort to help PA grow out of the anticipated COVID-19 and inflation created recession, using the unexpected $2.6 billion and counting in revenue this fiscal year to help with the transition. In April, the PA House of Representatives almost unanimously moved a bill to reduce the CNIT gradually and with deficit controls to 7.99% over a span of a few years. Comments from Democratic leadership was that this move wasn’t far enough and they wanted to see a larger reduction. This process will carry on in the Senate following the May 17 primary, but we fully expect to see some version of CNIT reduction to either be part of a stand-alone bill or incorporated into the budget. The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA) has been part of the CompetePA coalition, which has been engaged in this effort for the past 10 years. GRCA has been supportive of SB 771 (Sen. Aument) because it reduces the CNIT gradually through 2024 and includes further reductions based on increased tax revenue due to increased economic activity. While the Independent Fiscal Office’s analysis shows that these policies will result in lost revenue for that specific tax, data modeling projects that lowering the CNIT by one point can increase Pennsylvania’s population by an additional 18,000 people in the first year and that population will continue to grow each year thereafter and would lead

to a meaningful increase of up to $223.35 in workers’ wages in the state based on annual mean wage in PA. States with the lowest CNIT rates experienced 10% higher growth in state revenues from 2000 to 2020 compared to those states with higher CNIT rates. Implementing policies like reducing the CNIT and other changes can help get all businesses back on track. Please go to the

GRCA Action Center to use the Call to Action to tell your PA elected officials you support efforts to reduce the CNIT. The time is NOW to finally hang the “Open for Business” signs on the borders of PA. We shouldn’t waste another 10-plus years to crawl our way out of a recession like the last time.



Three Rhoads Energy Affiliates Rebrand Under Parent Identity


hree affiliates of the Rhoads Energy Family of Companies just got a new name and logo. The good news is that its customers will still be served by familiar faces and have access to an expanded slate of services. The three companies have already been operating for several years as part of Rhoads Energy, a leading provider of fuel and HVAC services in Southcentral Pennsylvania:

Aulenbach & Son (Eastern Berks County)

Boyertown Oil and Propane (Tri-County Region – Eastern Berks County, Northwestern Montgomery County and Northern Chester County)

Mack Energy (Eastern Chester County and the Main Line)

Now, all will transition from their original brands to the Rhoads Energy name and logo. The move will streamline operations, lower costs, and clarify Rhoads Energy’s position in the marketplace. It will also make the entire slate of the company’s services available to customers of the affiliates. “This rebranding will consolidate our team under the same umbrella while maintaining hometown, high-quality service and values,” said Michael DeBerdine, CEO of Rhoads Energy. “We expect a very smooth transition for our team members and our customers.” To plan for the transition, Rhoads Energy consulted with the original owners of the affiliates, when available, and leaned on


its recent success integrating other companies in the well-known Rhoads Energy brand. Last year, Rhoads Energy folded another company, Lebanonbased V.R. Boltz Inc., into the parent brand. The move reduced confusion and improved service, leading Rhoads to continue the strategy with the other affiliates. In many ways, the three companies now making the transition were already woven into the Rhoads culture. DeBerdine noted the companies share phone systems, dispatching and operating guidelines. Equipment technicians from the affiliates have already transitioned to become part of Cool Crew, the HVAC service group Rhoads Energy launched last year to highlight the depth of its expertise with equipment installation and service. More than 50 Cool Crew technicians now serve residential and commercial customers in the company’s five-county footprint across southcentral Pennsylvania. Soon, the communities served by Aulenbach & Son, Boyertown Oil and Propane, and Mack Energy will notice some changes. The Rhoads Energy name will appear on delivery vehicles, uniforms, signage and correspondence. Its websites will begin to redirect to the Rhoads Energy website, which will provide more detailed information on services and a blog section offering tips.

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G OLDE N C E L E B R AT I O N Herbein + Company, Inc. Notches 50 Years and Looks to the Future


By Jennifer Goldsmith Cerra, Communications Director, Herbein + Company, Inc.

n 1972, Herbein opened its doors with a clear purpose: Helping our team, our clients and our community succeed with confidence. Now, with 50 years of history behind us, that same entrepreneurial spirit drives Herbein forward, whether we are providing new services, welcoming new team members, expanding our value proposition or reimagining the role we play for our clients – all while maintaining our independence and dedication to the communities we serve. 2022 is an important year for our team, and we are celebrating our 50th anniversary in several ways. Team members are outlining their favorite Herbein moments on our new intranet – and we recently published a special book that examines our shared experience as members of the team. We’re sharing key moments in our history on social media, and in October, our firm will come together for a three-day firm retreat. Outside Herbein, we’re looking forward to hosting several client events to express our gratitude for the trust they place in us – and we will accelerate our community support contributions throughout the year. Finally, we are introducing new brand imagery and website to help us demonstrate our strength and stability. Herbein’s future is full of possibilities. One key way we’re adapting for long-term success is by bringing new teams into the Herbein family, as we did in 2021 with four combinations. These exciting mergers included three CPA firms and our acquisition of Mosteller + Associates, the region’s most comprehensive Human Resources (HR) solutions partner – our clients told us that HR was a big concern, and this is already a huge success. Our teams are enhancing collaboration as we endeavor to provide a seamless experience for our clients. Herbein leadership understands that work needs to hold greater meaning today than ever before. “In the third year of the pandemic, the war for talent is on, with more people reconsidering where they work and how they work. We’re committed to providing our team


with a renewed and revised sense of purpose in their work, social and interpersonal connections with colleagues and managers, and a sense of shared identity,” said Melissa Rebholz, Herbein director of human relations. Herbein Managing Partner Dave Stonesifer agrees that the HR team plays a critical role in creating that shared identity. “Our HR team has been outstanding in its conversations with our people, as we strive to understand what keeps them here with us. And as a result, we continue to do exceptionally well in maintaining team continuity, which in turn, allows us to maintain high client service,” he said. Staying successful requires us to operate on two tracks: build upon our traditional business and seek opportunity in new services and geographies while remaining true to our roots. We continue to make progress on diversity and inclusion, and we have taken meaningful action to support our commitments through Horizon, our firmwide Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiative. Our incredibly talented team members have done so much to set our firm up for continued success. In this anniversary year, Herbein continues to create even greater value for our team, our clients and our community.

Find Your Dream Home! Thank you to our clients, hardworking employees and dedicated staff for helping us be a Greater Reading Top 50 Business again this year and for our continued success!!!! Carl Rudolph Owner/General Manager

Champion Personnel helps build winning teams by providing qualified employees that your company needs and good old fashion customer service that you deserve



Select Greater Reading

– yes, but we want you to Meet Greater Reading By Aaron Gantz, Senior Director of Economic Development, GRCA


t the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA), we In addition to sharing the stories of both people and companies recognize that one of our community’s most important in the community, we will continue to tell a story through a assets are the people who live, work, learn and play here. consumable, data-forward approach. This includes sourcing data We also recognize that our community’s ability to successfully attract from a variety of sources to highlight industry specific information, and retain talent in Berks County is just as critical as the attraction, workforce highlights, and showcasing the lower cost of living retention and growth of our business community. The success of through a quantifiable number – the Cost of Living Index (COLI). both people and businesses are deeply interconnected. All of this allows both people and businesses to make informed In 2019, GRCA established the Meet Greater Reading platform decisions about their next steps.

– a website, a social presence and an annual printed and digital publication that has told a story about why it is great to live, learn, work and play in Greater Reading. Parallel to talent attraction and retention marketing, we have continued to tell a story about why our community is a great place to do business. In both talent marketing and economic development marketing, GRCA works to position the community as a desirable location for both people and businesses to grow and thrive here. And while location is critical – and we have a great northeast United States location – we have a bigger story to tell than a place on a map. Greater Reading is a community where diversity is one of our greatest assets – in industry, in people, in housing and in cultural amenities.

We have been hard at work behind the scenes combining the digital assets of with – but it goes even deeper than the website. This stronger and more robust messaging represents unified strategies around workforce development and economic development. The social media messaging and annual publication will showcase all that is next and best in our community – the benefits of living, working, learning and growing your business right here in Greater Reading.

As our community’s story evolves, we look forward to sharing it with you and people beyond Berks County’s borders – we invite you to Meet Greater Reading.

Stay tuned for the new website at 24 COMMERCE QUARTERLY SPRING 2022




people within an overnight drive

City of Reading


most populous city in Pennsylvania


Talent Pipeline



Labor Data Mar. 2022 • Labor Force 209,100 • Employed 198,700 • Unemployed 10,400 Source: DLI

Transportation Drive Times 106 miles / 2:00 hrs Boston, MA: 339 miles / 6:00 hrs New York, NY: 124 miles / 2:30 hrs Philadelphia, PA: 62 miles / 1:00 hr Pittsburgh, PA: 260 miles / 4:00 hrs Richmond, VA: 256 miles / 4:30 hrs Toronto, CAN: 452 miles / 8:00 hrs Washington, D.C.: 147 miles / 2:30 hrs Baltimore, MD:


Median Home Prices Reading, PA

$237,000 $265,000

Philadelphia, PA Allentown, PA Baltimore, MD Washington, D.C. New York, NY - NJ

$284,000 $337,000 $550,000 $1,595,000


Top 8 Employers*

Cost of Living Index 2021 • Reading, PA • Pittsburgh, PA • Allentown, PA • Baltimore, MD • Philadelphia, PA • Washington, DC • New York, NY

98.0 100.7 104.5 106.2 108.4 154.4 239.3

Source: COLI


East Penn Manufacturing Co., Inc. Tower Health Walmart Penske Transportation Services Penn State Health St. Joseph Amazon Carpenter Technology Boscov’s Department Store *Does not include goverment or education institutions


IN 2021:

OVER 3,940 DEGREES were awarded OVER 1,000 CTC CERTIFICATES were awarded



Continuous employee development pays dividends By Mark Dolinski, VP of Professional Development and Training, GRCA


s the costs of the Great Resignation continue to grow, companies need more ways to attract and retain employees. One clear approach is to offer more training and development — according to a 2019 LinkedIn study, 94% of employees said they would stay with their employer if it invested in their development. Do you remember the 1970s and the 1980s? Neither do your employees! Just like polyester suits and mullets, times have changed (for the better!). Today the expectations of employees and the dynamics of the workplace are totally different, even vastly different from ten years ago. One of the most telling distinctions of employers who retain and attract top talent and create an environment of innovation and productivity is how they view continuous employee development. In the past some organizations followed the mantra that developing employees would lead them to leave the organization and take better jobs elsewhere. Today’s mantra may be do you really want employees who do not want to grow and develop new skills that will help you stay competitive in an increasingly competitive and evolving marketplace? A recent Harvard Business Review study indicated 82% of employees and 62% of HR directors believe that workers will need to hone their current skills or acquire new ones at least once a year to maintain competitive advantage in a global job market. The level of skill and knowledge of your workforce frequently is the difference between success and failure. When employees learn new skills and knowledge, they are open to seeing new possibilities and take the steps needed to innovate and improve processes, products


and services. Continuous growth and learning of the individual pays dividends to the organization as new perspectives lead to challenging the status quo, which is when innovation takes place on the shop floor and in the corporate offices. The similarities in continuous employee development between those in corporate offices and those producing the goods and services are closer than you think. Investing in the development of employees at all levels of the organization boosts employees’ level of commitment and motivation. This investment creates a nimbler organization with employees who embrace a growth mindset. The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA) has recognized the important role we play in helping organizations develop their employees. Our programs are designed to challenge the perspectives, skills and knowledge of participants is a safe environment where participants test new concepts and ideas while learning from peers of other organizations. Now is the time to plan how you will help your employees lean into a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset. Offering professional development opportunities, mentoring programs and rotating employees into new positions all support creating an organizational culture that enriches the employee while growing the skills of your employees. The pandemic has forever changed the workplace and continuous employee development is now a core element in every organization for developing, retaining and attracting an engaged and motivated workforce.


Signature Experience

W2W Conference + Expo Draws Crowd at New Venue By Rachael Romig, Senior Director of Events & Special Programs, GRCA

Diamond has been helping members grow for 75 years. Grow with us.

Honored to be a Greater Reading Top 50 Business BOYERTOWN 173 Holly Road, Gilbertsville, PA 19525 EXETER 6591 Perkiomen Avenue, Birdsboro, PA 19508 MUHLENBERG 4453 North 5th Street Highway, Temple, PA 19560 POTTSTOWN 1600 Medical Drive, Pottstown, PA 19464 ROYERSFORD 100 Diamond Way, Royersford, PA 19468 WYOMISSING Broadcasting & Paper Mill Roads, Wyomissing, PA 19610 TOWER HEALTH SYSTEM Reading Hospital R Building, West Reading, PA 19611

610.326.5490 Ty Muse, President & CEO of VISIONS Federal Credit Union, was the first-ever, male keynote speaker at a Women2Women Conference + Expo.

Insured by NCUA


early 300 women and men returned to the long-awaited, in-person Women2Women Conference + Expo on April 20. The Santander Performing Arts Center, a new venue for the event, proved to be the perfect space for two keynote speakers, three breakout workshops and more than 40 Expo vendors comprised of Women2Women sponsors, woman-owned businesses and local nonprofits. For the first time, the program featured a male keynote speaker, Tyrone Muse, President & CEO of VISIONS Federal Credit Union. Muse shared his professional and personal journey that helped him find his “why” and encouraged the crowd to do the same. Second keynote speaker, Molly Arbogast, Owner & Founder of POV Sports Marketing, recounted her success story in a male-dominated sports world and how to “get out of your own way” for success.

Custom Design





More than 300 attendees were able to visit with over 40 Expo vendors during the all-day event. 27


A new, savory snack system Reading Bakery Systems adds baked pita chip machinery to its capabilities By Dulcie Freymoyer, Vice President, Marketing, Reading Bakery Systems


eading Bakery Systems (RBS), a leading global manufacturer of snack production systems, introduced a new pita chip production system that produces baked, split pita chips, as well as a variety of other baked crisp products.

The fully automated pita chip production system builds on the RBS Multi‐Crisp Technology with an additional multi‐pass proofer, pita dicer and a high heat application during the baking process to produce a new baked pita chip. This flexible line can produce other cracker crisps, beyond pita chips, by bypassing the proofer and pita dicing steps. The pita chip system is available with batch or automated continuous mixing systems depending on the level of automation needed by the snack manufacturer. “We are really excited about this new production process, as snack manufacturers are always seeking equipment flexibility to maximize production capabilities. We’ve developed a new way to produce baked pita chips on a system that can also create multi‐crisp products. It’s a game‐changer for manufacturers that want to innovate their snack portfolio,” said Shawn Moye, Vice President, Sales, RBS. The new system incorporates Thomas L. Green sheeting equipment, multi‐pass proofer, and a convection and dryer. Collectively, the proofer, oven and dryer combination are an efficient solution, delivering consistent overall product quality in a relatively small amount of floor space.


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Business & Community Advocacy

Diverse Opportunities SHARE Reading Connects Minority-owned Businesses with Large Companies By Julie Larison, Senior Director of Membership Services, GRCA

SHARE Reading is an exciting new networking and B2B event created and sponsored by UPMC that will foster opportunities for minority business enterprises (MBE), woman-owned business enterprises (WBE), LGBTQ business enterprises LGBTQBE), disability-owned enterprises (DOBE) or other small business enterprises in this category. This initiative is designed to engage with large companies committed to supplier diversity and minority-owned enterprises. The SHARE program is an annual event produced with the support of local stakeholder groups in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and now in Reading. SHARE Reading will be an in-person event in the city and is slated for early 2023. The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance( GRCA) will concentrate the work of its minority business and diversity and inclusion committees on gathering data and providing outreach and support for the SHARE program. A SHARE steering committee led by Greater Reading Chamberof Commerce & Industry Board member Jonathan Encarnacion, is comprised of Kutztown SBDC, Berks NAACP, Berks County Latino Chamber of Commerce, Community First Fund and the Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council.


Is your Company Seeking Diverse Suppliers for Products or Services? In preparation for the B2B networking component of the SHARE event, companies will participate in a matching-making process that connects them to the appropriate minority-owned business. Berks County businesses committed to diversity in supplier development and purchasing can send the appropriate contact information to to be included in the match-making process and invitation list for the 2023 SHARE Reading event.

Are you a Minority-owned Business that is seeking certification? Businesses in the Greater Reading area that are Minority, Women, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (MWDBE) can learn more about MBE certification, benefits and how to become certified by contacting GRCA or the Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council (

in your community

M a i n

S t r e e t

P r o g r a m s

hamburg Fun Things Happening in Hamburg By Gabriella Wilson, Administrative Assistant, Our Town Foundation


ot only does Hamburg have plenty of great places to shop and eat, but the town also has a lot of upcoming events and activities for the whole family! All events and activities are planned and/or hosted by Our Town Foundation, the Borough’s nonprofit community revitalization corporation. Our Town Foundation administers the Downtown Main Street Revitalization Program, the Hamburg Area Arts Alliance and owns the Hamburg Strand Theater.

Networking Mixer: On June 2, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., stop in What Matters Co. Barbershop located at 46 S. 4th St. for a free networking event with local business owners, residents and artists. There will be light refreshments for your enjoyment! Hawk Mountain Arts Tour and Sale: On June 4, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., visit with local artists as they display their work on the banks of the Schuylkill River at the Etchberger Memorial Park in Hamburg. It is sure to be a fun day outside and is a wonderful way to support local artists! Faith Night: On June 14, at 7 p.m., the Hamburg Strand Theater will be showing the faith-based movie, “Same Kind of Different as Me.” Tickets are $8 and include a complimentary popcorn and soda. Faith Nights can be enjoyed on the second Tuesday of each month through December. Car Cruise: On June 17, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., experience nostalgia with vintage, classic and other unique cars while being entertained by music from a local DJ. The Car Cruise is held at 234 State St. next to Sweet Treats Ice Cream Parlor and occurs on the third Friday of each month through October. Photoshop for Artists: Register for “Framing the Basics for Success Art” class June 22 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Join prominent regional photographer and painter Jay Ressler in the party room at the Hamburg Strand Theater for a basic introduction to Adobe Photoshop Essentials. Participants are encouraged to bring their laptops or mobile devices. Class is $10 per person and is suitable for ages 18 and older.

Sampling of artwork from artists participating in the Hawk Mountain Arts Tour and Sale

Example of a garden from the Garden Tour

Garden Tour: On June 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., explore several gardens in the Hamburg area with this self-guided tour. Presale tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the Our Town Foundation office located at 320 State St. Tickets purchased the day of the tour are $6. Open Studio Reception: On June 25, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., meet local fabric artist Martha Ressler at her studio for art, crafts, refreshments and a raffle. Reception will be held at 15 Rocktown Road in Hamburg. Classic Night: On June 28, at 7 p.m., the Hamburg Strand Theater will be showing “The Hangover.” Tickets are $8 and include a complimentary popcorn and soda. Taste of Hamburg-er Festival: Mark your calendar for this udder-ly delicious event held Sept. 3! If you have any questions on any of the above events, please call Our Town Foundation at 610-562-3106. To be notified of future events, please sign up for our e-newsletter at


in your community


Keith Haring Fitness Court® coming to Kutztown By Sandy Green, Kutztown Community Partnership


utztown Community Partnership (KCP) is partnering with Approved Keith Haring Artwork Selection Kutztown University to bring a world-class, one-of-a-kind for City of Kutztown Fitness Court® Keith Haring Fitness Court® to campus to help promote health and wellness in the Kutztown community. The interactive, outdoor different sponsorship levels; the presenting sponsor will have its name fitness court will be located on the corner of Baldy Street and Normal and logo placed below Haring’s signature in the fitness park. Support Avenue, where Haring’s art will be integrated into every element. the project at Haring was a legendary activist and artist who revolutionized pop This project is an incredible opportunity for the Kutztown comart through his graffiti-like pieces full of abstract lines and colorful munity to pay reverence to one of its native sons, as Haring was born flairs. His 1980s’ illustrations grew out of the New York street culture and raised in Kutztown, PA. and have become a widely recognized visual language to many. Sandy Green, Kutztown Community Partnership and Kutztown “We are thrilled to partner with KCP to bring a state-of-the art out- University’s community liaison and government relations assistant, door fitness center to our community,” said Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson, has been working diligently to bring the Keith Haring Fitness Court® university president. “The Keith Haring theme is particularly exciting to campus. as it ties in so many strong aspects of our community, including health “We are proud and excited that Keith’s hometown, Kutztown, was and fitness, art, history, education, town-gown relations, support of one of 10 nationally chosen sites for the project,” Green said. “We have DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) initiatives and more.” an amazing opportunity to transform one of Kutztown’s highly visible The Keith Haring Fitness collection is a limited edition, outdoor, locations, the corner of Normal Avenue and South Baldy Street, into public art collaboration with the Keith Haring Foundation and the an iconic destination point. The Keith Haring Fitness Court® will be National Fitness Campaign (NFC). The fitness court will feature a part art gallery, part outdoor gym and a point of pride for Kutztown.” 32-foot by 35-foot, outdoor bodyweight circuit training system with The Kutztown Community Partnership and Kutztown University 30 pieces of body-weight fitness elements, including seven full-body have been instrumental in making this fitness park a reality. Kutztown circuit training stations and a body-weight training wall. University will pour a concrete pad for the National Fitness Campaign The cost of bringing this project to campus is $200,000 plus team to install this custom, world-class fitness park. The park is set to maintenance costs. The Kutztown University Foundation is actively be ready in the fall of 2022 and will feature Haring’s iconic dancing raising funds and accepting inquiries for sponsorships. There are figures designs.


in your community

West reading

A look to the West (or best) in 2022 By Mark Ratcliffe, Main Street Manager, West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation


big part of West Reading’s rebranding was understanding what its strengths are. Arts, entertainment and health are now the foundation of who West Reading is as a community and how it looks to grow this year and beyond.

West Reading will be expanding its public arts this year with more murals helping to connect Penn Ave. with its mural corridors. Additionally, it will bring more than just murals and live music. Public art can be sculptures, light displays, interactive art and various types of performance art. Art helps bring the Avenue to life even when its shops are closed. The Borough will continue to support and grow its health-oriented businesses by working closer with the Reading Hospital and its supporting business in addition to West Reading restaurants and farmers market to implement added safety measures to help grow a healthier community. The 2022 calendar will be full of events such as 2nd Fridays and the West Reading Farmers Market. There will

also be another restaurant week, bridal walk, farm-to-table dine out and more wine, beer and liquor strolls. The year kicked off with a new Restaurant Week in mid-January followed by Ice and Spice hosted by the West Reading Tavern. These wintertime events draw a great crowd with creative prefix menus, hot, spiced drinks and world-class ice carvers. In February, celebrate Galantine’s Day the Saturday before Valentine’s Day on the Avenue. The fun and interactive West Reading Fashion Week, hosted by Emily Branch, is back. Mark your calendars for Jazz Fest in March, Craft Pretzel & Beer Fest on April 23, the Bridal Walk in May and finally the Plein Air & Art on the Ave in June. While that may seem like a lot, that is just the first half of the year. A few smaller events will be sprinkled in to round out the spring and summer. This will be an exciting year in West Reading, so get ready to enjoy more art, live a little healthier and have a lot more fun!


member news: industry & community newsmakers

Congratulations! The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA) is pleased to announce its hire of Keith Stamm as the new Director of Workforce Development. In this role, Stamm will develop and implement program initiatives that address the priorities of employers in Berks County and in designated industry sectors.

Barley Snyder has announced that Matthew L. Guthrie has been elected to the firm’s partnership. Guthrie is a member of the firm’s Real Estate, Trusts & Estates and Business practice groups. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and received his undergraduate degree from Penn State University. Guthrie went to the firm in 2019 when his firm Guthrie, Nonemaker, Yingst & Hart joined Barley Snyder in its Hanover office.

The County of Berks Commissioners appointed Paige Riegner to serve as the director of the Office of Elections Services. The 33-year-old Washington Township resident started the job Feb. 22.


Barley Snyder is pleased to announce the hire of Emily Watkins Marzock as an attorney in its Lancaster office. Attorney Marzock joins the group of more than 40 attorneys based out of our Lancaster office and more than 120 attorneys who work together across our entire footprint. Marzock will provide service to clients in both Trusts & Estates and Business practice areas.

Visions Federal Credit Union is excited to announce the hire of LaToya Pryce as Culture and Inclusion Officer. Pryce has over two decades of experience in the financial services industry, most recently serving as VP of Regional Sales and Development for a community bank located in New Jersey, where she trained and developed staff across 19 branches in her region. As the Culture and Inclusion Officer, Pryce will be responsible for evolving employee engagement practices within Visions and enhancing the organization’s internal and external focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

CPA and advisory firm RKL LLP retained the top spot among Central and Eastern Pennsylvania firms on Accounting Today’s 2022 Top 100 list. The industry publication uses prior year revenue to rank firms. RKL’s 2021 revenue of $96.51 million also placed it 15th in the Mid-Atlantic region and 62nd nationwide.

The Reading Education Foundation Presents Together for the first time….

RKL LLP is pleased to announce that firm Partner Ryan Moore, CPA, CVA, CGMA, has been chosen as a “40 Under Forty” honoree by the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA). This award program recognizes valuation professionals for their accomplishments in their careers and communities.

RHS Basketball Greats Stu Jackson and Lonnie Walker Talking about their days at RHS, with the NBA, and Beyond

WHEN: MONDAY, JULY 18th WHERE: Miller Center for the Arts TIME: VIP Reception: 5:45 PM Program: 7 – 8:30 PM Tickets: Or call the Box Office Monday, Wednesday, Friday Box office Phone: 610-607-6270 Tickets: $30 • VIP Tickets: $150 (VIP Ticket includes VIP seating, a private reception, and an ad* in the Program if purchased by June 15th. VIP tickets limited to 50 guests.) *Ad should be 2 ½” x 2”(w x l) and can be a personal congratulations or a Business ad. Send your ad to

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/NEP) has announced the promotion of Kimberly L. Valuntas to Regional Manager, Reading/ Greater Berks County. Valuntas will succeed Connie R. Faylor, who will retire after more than 30 years of service on June 30. As Regional Manager, Reading/Greater Berks County, Valuntas will serve as the lead point person in delivering BFTP/NEP’s services and in supporting its mission in the Reading/Greater Berks County region.

Continued on next page


member news: industry & community newsmakers continued

Entech Engineering, Inc. (Entech) is pleased to announce the recent hiring of Kirsten Deysher as Manager of Client Engagement. Deysher brings 20 years of diverse experience in marketing, communications, client relationship management, and business development, including managing her own marketing solutions firm. At Entech, Deysher is an integral leader in strategy development and implementation, business relations and client experience initiatives.

Reading Bakery Systems (RBS) announced that after 30 years with the company, John Eshelman, director of pretzel & snack equipment sales, retired March 31. Since 1992, Eshelman has been an invaluable contributor to the company’s growth while enriching the lives of everyone he has worked with.

Financial Advisor Brett Diamond of the financial services firm Edward Jones in Exeter Township has achieved the professional designation of Accredited Asset Management SpecialistSM. Diamond successfully completed the Accredited Asset Management Specialist, or AAMS®, Professional Education Program from the Denver-based College for Financial Planning.

Ryan F. McCallum has joined Connors Investor Services, Inc. as Vice President, Client Relationship Manager, where he will be focused on business development and client relationships. McCallum brings over 15 years of industry experience, previously serving as a Wealth Advisor for Tompkins Financial Advisors and Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC., providing financial planning and investment solutions for individuals, business owners and nonprofit organizations.

RKL LLP announced that Jacob Stehman has joined the firm as a Talent Acquisition Manager within the Human Resources Department. In this role, Stehman works with the recruiting and HR teams to source the best candidates in the region. He partners with all service areas to provide guidance, ideas and timely feedback throughout the recruiting process.

RKL LLP announced that Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Michael De Stefano was named Chief Operating Officer (COO). In the new COO role, De Stefano will oversee the firm’s finance, IT, HR, administrative support, and building and asset management functions. CEO Ed Monborne will remain focused on executing RKL’s strategic objectives and shaping the firm’s future through new service development, innovation, M&A opportunities and leadership pipeline.



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member news: new members & anniversaries JAN. 15, 2022 – APRIL 2022

New Members Bartlett Tree Experts Berks Commercial Roofing, LLC./ DBA Roof Maxx of West Reading Clean Eatz Reading Pa - DaniZ LLC CM Financial Advisors Combined Insurance Comstar Technologies Crownstone Equipment/ Bobcat of Reading Drafting Solutions II LLC Enders EOS Worldwide Esterbrook Pharmacy EY LLP FA Insurance Fit4Mom Reading French Creek Aesthetics Grant Manufacturing & Alloying, Inc. Harris, Baio & McCullough Homemade Cravings Jackson Cross Partners KRE Security LA Spa and Nail Bar Leo Design Gallery

MARCH 2022 – MAY 2022 1 YEAR

 A & L High Quality Painting LLC  Aventura World  Berry Global  Cresco Labs  E.T. Electric, LLC  Fast Track Logistics LLC  Great American Creamery  Landis Mechanical Group Inc.  Marando Industries, Inc  Mendoza Group, Inc.  New Castle Lawn & Landscape  Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union (PSECU)  Phoenix Physical Therapy  Residence Inn  The Forge  The Health Benefit Alliance  Univest Financial


 Butter Valley Commons  Heeby’s Surplus, Inc.  Heidelberg Country Club  Homes At Riverside  Kula Kamala Foundation & Yoga Ashram

 LYNX Computer Technologies Inc.  Redner’s Markets, Inc.  SERVPRO of Reading  Sun Federal Credit Union  TAB Industries, LLC  The Salvation Army  WNC CPAs & Consultants, LLP


 Berks Heim Nursing and Rehabilitation  Crossroads Beverage Group, LLC  Exeter Township  Good Life Advisor Systems  Knies Insurance Group, Inc.  SAH Incorporated  Tom McMahon  Ursource, LLC


 American PowerNet  Gateway Ticketing Systems, Inc.  Glad Tidings Assembly of God  Moyer-Drabick & Associates, Ltd.  Service 360 Group  Vision Custom Tooling, Inc.

Mary Kay Mission Autism Clinics


 Borough of West Reading  Comfort Pro, Inc.  Easy Does It, Inc.


 Better Baker  Diamond Credit Union


 Brentwood Industries, Inc.  Kaufman Financial Services  M.J. Reider Associates, Environmental Testing Laboratories, Inc.  Origlio Beverage  South Central Transit Authority  WORLD electronics


 Berks County Bar Association  Reading School District


My Source Entrepreneur Nicholas Stoltzfus Homestead PANA Rentals Phoenix Wellness, LLC Real Estate Investors of Berks County, Inc. Robin Gilmore – Media Creation Professionals Rodney.Nolt ScholarsFund Spark Solutions & Support, Training and Facilitation



Specialty Driving LLC STEM for Kids LLC The Best Bookkeep Treatment Access and Services Center Inc. of Berks County Wohlsen Construction Company

Interested in becoming a part of the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance? Contact Senior Director of Membership Julie Larison at or 610.898.7785. 38 COMMERCE QUARTERLY SPRING 2022

Aug. 9

Advice for what matters most, when you need it most Congratulations to Mark A. Maggs for being named to the Forbes “Best-in-State Wealth Advisors” 2022 list. Working with a dedicated advisor means you get personalized investment strategies from Merrill plus access to the broader banking capabilities, tools and technology only Bank of America can deliver.

Maggs & Associates Mark A. Maggs, CIMA®, CPFA® Managing Director Wealth Management Advisor 610.320.5462 Merrill Lynch Wealth Management 985 Berkshire Boulevard Suite 200 Wyomissing, PA 19610

Data provided by SHOOK® Research, LLC. Data as of 6/30/21. Source: (April, 2022). Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Advisors ranking was developed by SHOOK Research and is based on in-person, virtual, and telephone due diligence meetings to measure best practices; also considered are: client retention, industry experience, credentials, review of compliance records, firm nominations; and quantitative criteria, such as: assets under management and revenue generated for their firms. Investment performance is not a criterion because client objectives and risk tolerances vary, and advisors rarely have audited performance reports. SHOOK’s research and rankings provide opinions intended to help investors choose the right financial advisor and are not indicative of future performance or representative of any one client’s experience. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Neither Forbes nor SHOOK Research receive compensation in exchange for placement on the ranking. Rankings are based on the opinions of Forbes and not representative nor indicative of any one client’s experience, future performance, or investment outcome and should not be construed as an endorsement of the advisor. For more information, please see SHOOK is a registered trademark of SHOOK Research, LLC. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (also referred to as “MLPF&S” or “Merrill”) makes available certain investment products sponsored, managed, distributed or provided by companies that are affiliates of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp.”). MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, Member SIPC and a wholly owned subsidiary of BofA Corp. Banking products are provided by Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC and a wholly owned subsidiary of BofA Corp. Investment products:

Are Not FDIC Insured Are Not Bank Guaranteed

May Lose Value

The Bull Symbol and Merrill are registered trademarks of Bank of America Corporation. CIMA® is a registered certification mark of the Investments & Wealth Institute®. For more information about the Institute and the CIMA certification, please visit © 2022 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved. MAP3577803 | AD-04-22-0317 | 472538PM-0621 | 04/2022

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