GRCA Commerce Quarterly Summer 2022

Page 1

SUMMER 2022

GREATER READING Chamber Alliance

Summer Blast!

Annual Picnic proves to be a home run

Plus: How to build strong teams & keep them intact

Quarterly


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 www.stevenslee.com/our-companies.

WWW.STEVENSLEE.COM



Greater Reading Chamber Alliance

Leah Fassnacht, Editor

lfassnacht@greaterreading.org 606 Court Street, Reading, PA 19601 greaterreading.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.

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.

FEATURES: 8

In a League of Its Own GRCA’s Signature Summer Event Strikes Up Big Fun for Members

12

Albright College Earns National Endorsement for Exceptional Career Development

14

Retention Starts with Initial Impressions

18

Tompkins Celebrates 100 Years of Chamber Membership

20

Our Journey to Certification as a Minority and Veteran-owned Business

8 22

Sparking a Love for Science

24

More Than a Festival Readingfilmfest Makes Greater Reading a Destination for Film Production

27

Local Gifting and Shopping Made Easy

» 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

DEPARTMENTS: 16

best practices.

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

» Reflects our multicultural community at large.

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

In Your Community Main Street Programs

Take Flight - New Training Workshop Combines Teamwork with Drone Flying

Business & Community Advocacy 26

©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 HoffmannPublishing.com • 610.685.0914

Training

28

Success! But the Work Continues

IN EVERY ISSUE: 5

Letter From the Editor

30

Member News

6

A Message from GRCA CEO & President

34

New Members

34

Member Anniversaries

On the cover: 2022 Annual Picnic... (See page 8) Photos by Wayne Becker, Zerbe Photography


GreaterReading.org

letter from the editor In late July, GRCA’s Digital Marketing Coordinator Audrey Krupiak and I ventured to Indianapolis for the annual Association of Chambers of Commerce Executives (ACCE) Conference. Consisting of a three-day immersive experience into all things chamber-related, the conference brought together more than 1,000 professionals from all over North America, and it was the first one since 2019. We attended multiple sessions each day which included everything from how to attract new members, new communication trends and tools to turning what is unique about your community into real action of attracting new talent. Did you know that the Indy Chamber utilizes community members that they’ve dubbed “Indyfluencers” to help promote the area to potential newcomers? It’s an important component in the chamber’s regional economic development strategy. Some interesting research from ACCE shared at one of the sessions really put into perspective how much a chamber membership can positively affect the perception of a business. Here a few tidbits. • A chamber member enjoys a 70% increase in consumer awareness compared to non-chamber members. • Consumers are 23% more likely to believe a chamber member uses sound business practices over non-chamber members. • When consumers know that a small business is a member of the chamber, they are 49% more likely to think favorably of them. • 64% of consumers believe a chamber membership shows that a company is involved in the community. In between sessions, attendees willingly shared ideas with us, as it was a great opportunity to pick each other’s brains to find out what is working for chambers all over the country. Because our chambers are not in direct competition, conversations and ideas flowed as easily at the wine at the conference’s happy hours. The trip wasn’t all sessions and networking. We left plenty of room for fun as we enjoyed a free gondola ride through the Indy Canal and checked out the Indy food scene by visiting multiple, local restaurants. The stay was capped off with a party at the Indiana Roof Ballroom, which featured a seven-piece pop and R&B band headed up by the President and CEO of the Indy Chamber. Overall, we left with a long list of new and innovative ideas. As a marketing team, we will work to better serve our members by telling their stories and make sure GRCA’s deliverables closely align members needs and wants. There is a fresh perspective and motivation to try new things, and I can’t wait to get started!

Visit our website For the most up-to-date schedule of events, training and webinars, visit GreaterReading.org 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. Rodney Ridley – O’Pake Institute at 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.

5


a message from GRCA CEO & President

GRCA still committed to workforce development By Jim Gerlach, President & CEO, GRCA

A

s we all know, a robust workforce is vital to the success of our local businesses as well as our economy overall. We have seen many changes and challenges with our workforce over the last two years and our new normal is anything but normal. The uncertainty that business leaders faced at the start of the pandemic has lingered far longer than anticipated. In addition to labor challenges, businesses have also been affected by supply chain disruptions, rising fuel prices and the highest inflation rate in 40 years. Talent attraction and retention remain top priorities for our local businesses, and we at GRCA are committed to working with our members through these challenges by identifying strategies and resources to successfully address these issues. This also includes working with our educational partners, workforce development organizations and those organizations that support workforce and economic development, to collaborate and share resources in support of our local businesses. Our team has continued to work closely with our members to understand their changing needs and try to support them with appropriate resources. Here are a few examples of how we have engaged with and supported our members workforce needs this year: • Continued to manage the Next Gen Manufacturing Industry Partnership of the Greater Reading Region • Coordinated a newly formed Berks Life Science working group • Conducted our HR Roundtable sessions with local businesses • Held Women2Women events focused on supporting women and fostering their career advancement • Facilitated employee training and upskilling programs focused on advancing employees’ skillsets • Worked with dozens of local business leaders to understand their needs and connect them with resources • Collaborated with educational partners, government organizations and those organizations that support workforce development

6 COMMERCE QUARTERLY SUMMER 2022

While our labor force has experienced greater leverage and opportunities over the past two years, they have also not been immune to the effects of the pandemic. The impact of rising inflation on their household income, stress and burnout associated with an ongoing pandemic as well as housing and childcare shortages, has all taken a toll on them as well. We must continue to promote workers’ health and wellbeing, upskilling our workforce and working with our educational partners in continuing to develop and strengthen the talent pipeline. Now more than ever GRCA will continue to be a conduit for businesses and help support our region’s workforce demands by driving collaborative community-wide partnerships that address our workforce needs and promote the development of the talent pipeline using workforce training and recruitment strategies to meet the demand for high-quality, qualified talent today and into the future. We will also continue to advocate for businesses and employee needs. Some recent examples include: • Immigration reform • Additional funding for worker training • Smart Growth and Affordable Housing initiative • Affordable and accessible childcare For businesses, it is crucial to focus not just on employee attraction, but also retention. Make it a priority to create welcoming and innovative environments where employees feel like they are part of a team. Within your workforce prioritize learning and professional development while illustrating a clear career advancement path for each employee. It is also important that you are heard, so please take part in one of GRCA’s events and share with us your needs, so that we can work together to find solutions.


! u o y k n a h T

CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE


Cover Story

In a league of its own GRCA’s signature summer event strikes up big fun for members By Katie Johnsen, Events Coordinator, GRCA Photos by Wayne Becker, Zerbe Photography

T

he GRCA came to play at First Energy Stadium Thursday, Aug. 9! Because stormy weather delayed the GRCA’s Annual Picnic to its rain date, the more than 400 attendees were able to enjoy a perfect summer day and a stunning sunset. When guests weren’t networking over delicious food and beverages, they grooved to the jazz of the Millhouse Trio and danced with Teacher’s Pet until the very last song.

But that’s not all! GRCA’s new giant Jenga tower was a big hit, and the cornhole games were busy all night long. Thank goodness for the sponsors who cheered on our competitors — Chester Perfetto, EthoSource, East Penn, Met Ed/First Energy, and Shuman Development Group — and for the Great American Creamery for providing congratulatory ice cream afterwards! Continued on page 10

8 COMMERCE QUARTERLY SUMMER 2022


GreaterReadingChamber.org

9


cover story continued To improve sustainability with our event, members drank out of reusable cups – which they got to bring home – and used compostable plates and utensils. The Fourth Annual Berks Biz Home Run Derby was the most anticipated event of the evening. After more than a dozen batters, a hard-won victory was scored by East Penn’s Chris Drasher with 191 points. If it isn’t obvious from the photo booth pictures and all the rest of the action shots taken by Zerbe Photography, members and staff had a blast networking, playing, dancing, eating and drinking. Stay tuned for even more exciting events and opportunities in the fall and beyond!

10 COMMERCE QUARTERLY SUMMER 2022


GreaterReadingChamber.org

Herbein + Company, Inc. (Herbein) is a leading Mid-Atlan�c regional CPA advisory firm whose professionals specialize in crea�ng impact for clients. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary this year, we are pleased to again be named to the Chamber’s Top 50 Businesses List. And looking ahead, Herbein is commi�ed to helping Greater Reading businesses succeed with confidence.

Advertisement2022.pdf

C

M

1

8/12/2022

8:26:17 AM

www.herbein.com l 1.855.HC.Today

Logistics. Made. Easy.

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

Partnering with shippers to maximize efficiencies in supply chains since 1994. Servicing the following markets: LTL Volume Truckload Expedite International Receive a quote today! quotes@tli.email www.translogisticsinc.com/quote-a-load

Follow us on Social Media:

Translogistics, Inc 11


Feature

Albright College

earns national endorsement for exceptional career development By Carey Manzolillo, Director of Communications at Albright College

R

ecognizing the work of Albright College’s Experiential Learning and Career Development Center (ELCDC), Albright College has been named a best college for career development by Colleges of Distinction.

“The Career Development recognition goes beyond mock interviews and job board postings,” said Tyson Schritter, chief operating officer at Colleges of Distinction. “Albright College brings career readiness into the classroom, making intentional connections between students With guidance from the ELCDC, Albright College students partici- of all majors and the careers they pursue after graduation. It’s the pate in experiences such as internships, study abroad and undergraduate kind of innovative, ingrained career preparation strategies that make Albright’s outstanding career center worthy of praise.” research. Integrating innovative experiences with academic offerings, the college’s ELCDC team offers a variety of services for students, alumni and employers, assisting students in exploring majors, careers and experiential learning opportunities.

Collaborating with employers and community organizations to provide internships, service learning and employment opportunities, the ELCDC offers an array of programs, seminars and workshops to help students develop career opportunities, learn about resume construction, and build skills for networking and interviewing. It also supports student success with initiatives like the Career Closet, which helps to provide students with affordable professional attire. The Colleges of Distinction honor recognizes schools with comprehensive four-year plans, advising and opportunities, such as those offered by Albright’s ELCDC.

12 COMMERCE QUARTERLY SUMMER 2022

Colleges of Distinction is committed to honoring schools throughout the U.S. for true excellence in higher education. Member schools within the Colleges of Distinction consortium distinguish themselves through their dedicated focus on the undergraduate experience. For more information, visit CollegesofDistinction. com. Named a top national college by Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education, Albright College (founded 1856) is home to a diverse community of learners who cultivate integrity, curiosity, connection and resilience. Through learning experiences that engage a student’s creative and innovative capacities across all disciplines, both inside and outside of the classroom, an Albright College education guarantees that each student learns how to engage the world, understand the world, and is prepared to make an impact on a rapidly changing world. Located in Reading, Pa., Albright is home to undergraduate students, adult learners and graduate students.


EBS Commerce Quarterly ad May 2022_Layout 1 5/16/22 11:59 AM Page 1

GreaterReadingChamber.org

Edwards Business Systems has been named one of the Top Work Places 2022! More than just an office technology company, EBS is focused on developing dynamic business solutions, providing the best for our clients and building a dynamic workforce. For cost effective, efficient and secure document management systems, call Edwards Business Systems.

Or better yet, come join our team!

Fast Forward Office Technology edwardsbusiness.com • 610-372-8414

Guiding Clients for Three Decades

Learn how we can help guide you. 610-373-7311 www.velekeigiles.com 955 Penn Avenue Wyomissing, PA Retirement Planning | Investment Management | Life Insurance Services

13


Feature

RETENTION STARTS WITH INITIAL IMPRESSIONS Unlocking Early Meaningful Experiences Can Build Strong Teams and Help Keep Them Intact By Chris Saylor & Olivia Saylor

T

urnover is a pervasive problem for organizations, and separations at all tenure levels are increasing across companies and industries. Good employees are hard to find and difficult to keep once they are on board. Given this growing propensity for resignations, employee attrition ranks among executives’ leading concerns, and experts do not expect the situation to improve anytime soon. The experience new hires encounter in their early days with an organization can profoundly affect whether they stay committed and work there long-term or pursue another opportunity elsewhere. It can make a difference in how they see themselves fitting in and how satisfied they are with their employment choice. The good news is that employers can improve how new employees experience the job, the company and its management. Doing so will help make the organization a desirable workplace and make it harder to leave. To start employees on the right track and set them up for success and longevity, companies can enable them by: 1.

Offering a pre-hire job preview;

2.

Integrating and socializing new hires into the organization;

3.

Delivering and communicating training and development opportunities; and

4.

Deploying managerial influence and support measures.

14 COMMERCE QUARTERLY SUMMER 2022

Job Preview Employers should offer a realistic job preview by ensuring that position descriptions portray actual job requirements. They can provide recruiters with video tours and photographs for insight into the work they are recruiting for and conduct applicant tours of the work area during onsite interviews. A realistic job preview communicates the positive and negative characteristics of the job during the hiring process. It helps ensure a fit between the individual applicant and the role and organization by giving prospective workers a glimpse of the work they will do if hired and the environment they will do it in. Having such an understanding before accepting the position allows the candidate to decide whether or not the job matches their interests, whether the environment is one they want to work in, and whether or not they will commit to doing it for the pay offered.

Individual and Organizational Fit Organizations should use structured interview questions that assess an applicant’s fit with the company and job, including the company’s culture, mission and vision. Interviewers must provide candidates insight into the work, expectations, environment, overtime requirements, dress code, and reporting structures. Conducting interviews with questions structured to uncover whether applicant characteristics align with the organization’s mission and values and whether their qualifications, experience, ability, and interpersonal skills are congruent with those needed to do the work will help determine fit. Ensuring compatibility between an applicant, the job, and the organization can help reduce attrition. Applicants who fit better are less likely to leave.


GreaterReadingChamber.org

Socialization Companies should appoint a tenured, high-potential employee to act as a “champion” and conduct first-week onboarding. They also should implement a peer-mentoring program to connect new hires with experienced, high-performing employees to create a personal connection with the new hire on their first day. These champions and mentors can welcome new hires, introduce them to others, check in during breaks, lunch, and throughout the workday, answer questions and get to know them. Introducing new hires to the organization’s culture helps them socialize. Socialization integrates new employees into the organization, making them feel a part of the team.

Find Your Dream Home!

Training and Development On a new hire’s first day, managers must impress upon them that they are part of the team and explain the initial and future training opportunities and how they will benefit the employee. The leaders must provide consistent onboarding and structured preliminary training during the new hire’s first 90 days. During this time, classroom and on-the-job work ought to help new employees learn and apply their knowledge. Workplace training programs help employees feel the company has invested in them. Training employees to develop new skills and abilities helps them become better, more productive workers. They will feel like they matter to the organization, which will enhance their morale and capabilities and make them more committed to the organization. More committed employees tend to stay rather than leave.

Managerial Influence and Support Supervisors need to communicate with employees often, provide them with relevant information, and regularly recognize them for their contributions. Managers can improve job satisfaction through specific steps, including being self-aware, aware of others, understanding their impact on others, committing to the truth of things rather than opinions and having a clear vision. To support employees, supervisors must let them know they are valued and appreciated. Doing the fundamentals the right way will positively affect turnover and retention, and unlocking early meaningful experiences will build effective teams and keep them intact. Today’s leaders must be flexible and adaptive in their thinking and responses and strive to develop others, build relationships, inspire and motivate their teams, communicate with employees, solve their problems and recognize everyone’s contributions. Organizations must create the right environment, supporting their leaders and building a unified culture, making sure all employees feel connected, engaged, satisfied, and committed to their team and the company. Retention starts with initial impressions, so every contact, should offer meaningful, inclusive experiences. Following this advice can help jumpstart retention efforts and keep them moving in the right direction.

15


Training

16 COMMERCE QUARTERLY SUMMER 2022


flight

GreaterReadingChamber.org

New training workshop combines teamwork with drone flying By Mark Dolinski, VP of Training & Professional Development, GRCA

I

s your team getting ready to take off and fly high or is your team stuck on the runway? Knowing the difference between good teamwork and bad teamwork is critical to the success of any company especially today with the ever-changing workforce landscape. But what is the difference? Connection! Connection is what gets you through when things get hard, when a new competitor enters the marketplace, when the economy changes or when supply chain issues occur. Will your team rally and stick together or unravel and drift apart? Does your workplace environment support trust? Has your team plateaued or is it still climbing to new heights of performance and innovation? By developing a highly effective team now, you prepare your company to both reap the benefits when times are going well and prepare your team for the inevitable challenges that lie ahead in business.

As the saying goes, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Thus, the way teams work together reflects the performance of the company. High performing teams exude collaboration, innovation and problem solving all while creating a fun environment. Fun is not usually a term that is heard when discussing optimal performance and achieving extraordinary results. But fun can be one of the by-products of a highly functioning team. In the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance’s (GRCA) new teambuilding workshop, “Drone Flying, Pilot Your Team to the Next Level,” participants learn the importance of good communication between team members all while creating connection, being in flow and experiencing fun.

Being comfortable and confident to communicate among team members increases work efficiency and results. This can be difficult for new team members or those who normally do not engage and challenge other team members. Some may find it uncomfortable to offer advice or ask for help from team members. This workshop will help participants gain confidence and guide team leaders and supervisors in encouraging clear communication between members. Through structured scenarios utilizing the flying of drones, participants learn that teams succeed when individuals pool knowledge, skills and perspectives. When team members combine their strengths, the team can achieve more together, and when team members find the role, they fit into most comfortably both individual and team performance is optimized. The greatest asset of any company are its employees. Employees don’t work alone; employees depend on their team members to accomplish tasks. The teambuilding workshop will help you create the domino effect of building stronger bonds, creating more open communication and spark innovation and creativity. Teams are a critical component of a successful company that need to be continuously nurtured, to reach their full potential. If you are looking for a relevant and actionable team experience using evolving technology to get team members interacting and behaving in a different way than try the Drone Flying Team Building workshop and watch your team reach new heights! Have some fun and come join us Sept. 16. Register at www.greaterreading.org.

17


Feature

GREATER READING Chamber Alliance

TOMPKINS CELEBRATES Years OF CHAMBER MEMBERSHIP

While its brand has evolved over time, Tompkins’ dedication to the business community remains By Ann Fioravanti, Assistant Vice President, Marketing Content, Tompkins Financial

F

ounded in 1836, Tompkins Community Bank has served the business community and local families for generations. While the bank’s name has changed over the years, its spirit and dedication to enhancing the communities it serves has never changed. The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA) has been a steady partner over the last century, and Tompkins is proud to work with them now and well into the future. Tompkins’ dedication to local leadership and making local lending decisions remains unchanged, all while supporting organizations and causes that the community needs most. Ginger Kunkel, the newly appointed president of Tompkins’ Pennsylvania market, looks forward to leading the bank through an everchanging environment, while ensuring it sticks to its roots of strengthening the communities it serves.

18 COMMERCE QUARTERLY SUMMER 2022


GreaterReading.org

Service | Stability Strength Schatz Electric has been in business for 45 years. To keep the business growing, owner and president Jeff Schatz focuses on mastering new technologies and supporting customers 24/7—so he’s always on the go. That’s why he works with the teams at Tompkins who proactively offer products and services that increase efficiency.

“I feel confident that Tompkins will be with us in the future and help us grow even more,” says Jeff. “And that’s a good feeling.”

SCHATZ ELECTRIC, INC. Jeff Schatz, Owner/President

Local businesses have depended on Tompkins for its flexibility and holistic approach to commercial and small business lending. Its local leadership team, decision-making, boards of directors, philanthropic activities and valued team members are at the root of what makes them a steady community partner for the business community. Kunkel looks forward to leading the team through the bank’s new era, without losing touch with what makes the organization unique. As a community bank, Tompkins thrives when its communities thrive. Their team members work tirelessly to do what is right for their customers, and they use their resources and knowledge to create a more thriving community for local citizens to live and work. Throughout Reading, Berks County and beyond, local members of the community can always count on Tompkins to do what is right for the next 100 years and more. To connect with a community banker at Tompkins, visit one of its many convenient offices, visit TompkinsBank.com, or call 1-888-273-3210. Tompkins is here to serve every member of the community as they navigate their financial journeys.

888-273-3210 | TompkinsBank.com

Residential & Commercial Electrical Service & Repair - Electrical Repair - Electrical Panel Upgrades - Code Violation Repairs - Wiring - Ceiling Fan Installation - Whole House Rewiring - Lighting Design & Installation

New Customers Receive $25 off first invoice of $100-$300 $50 off first invoice of $300-$500

- Safety & Security - Energy Saving Solutions - Parking Lot Lighting - Whole House Generators - Data & Phone Wiring - Smoke Detector Wiring Plus much more….

Get in Touch with an Electrician for a Free Estimate Today! Phone: (844) 747-7357 Website: http://www.selsllc.org/ 120 Prospect St. Reading, PA 19606

19


Feature

Our Journey to Certification as a Minority and Veteran-owned Business By Ivette Parker and Mary Young, Grant Manufacturing and Alloying, Inc.

G

rant Manufacturing and Alloying, Inc was cofounded in 1981 by Mr. Kenneth Thompson who hails from the Frankford neighborhood of Philadelphia. He describes his younger self as “a messed up black kid from the hood.” As a minority back then, you fell to the bottom of the barrel when it came to opportunities to get ahead.

Save the Date! March 15, 2023 3 p.m.- 6 p.m. The Abraham Lincoln, Reading PA Connect with other minorityowned small businesses and learn more about the Why and How of certification. Network with companies who are committed to hiring minority-owned businesses. For more information, contact SHARE@greaterreading.org

Fast forward 40 years, Mr. Thompson partnered with an acquaintance and founded what is now Grant Manufacturing, a maker of tin and tin alloy products located in the heart of Pennsylvania. As one of just a handful of tin alloy manufacturers in the world, Grant Manufacturing and Alloying provides its tin products to many manufacturers around the globe.

The “Why” of Certification Mr. Thompson decided to become a minority certified business because the companies that purchased his products would be eligible for tax incentives if they met certain criteria. This enabled them to pass those savings on to their customers. In exchange, Mr. Thompson’s customers also would receive special consideration when seeking government grants or contracts. As he began looking for a potential buyer in 2020 with the hope of retiring for good, Mr. Thompson’s stepson, Michael A. Parker, purchased the business in 2022. Mr. Parker is a veteran of the U.S. Army. His son, Jose, followed in his footsteps, as did his daughter, Ayanna, in joining the ranks of the Armed Forces. Mr. Parker felt it was important that Grant be recognized as both minority and veteran owned. With his successors being members of the Armed Forces, Mr. Parker is paving the way for the business to continue serving the purpose for which it was founded.

“The benefits of these certifications enhance our ability to provide products that enable our customers to grow, compete and thrive.” We look forward to leaving a legacy to our children, grandchildren, and future generations. How proud our great grandkids will be looking back and telling their kids, “This is what our family started, and it’s ours now because someone didn’t give up on their dreams.” 20 COMMERCE QUARTERLY SUMMER 2022


GreaterReadingChamber.org

8th Annual

READING

A Tradition of Excellence Since 1936

FILMFEST

WE ARE YOUR WORK TRUCK DESTINATION & ONE-STOP-SHOP FOR CNC MACHINING

October 27 thru 30, 2022

For more information visit us at: www.ReadingFilmFEST.com

Spray Liner & Aftermarket Truck Accessories Snow & Ice Control Equipment & Specialty Lighting CNC Machining, Driveline, & Fabrication Services Truck & Trailer Repair & Maintenance & much more! 3417 Pricetown Road, Fleetwood • 610-944-7455 • www.levanmachine.com

The “How” of Certification

If all your paperwork is in good order for minority certification by the nonprofit Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council, the process can be completed in no time. Then the certified business has access to networking opportunities with other minority owned businesses and leads on projects and contracts that require involvement of minority owned businesses. The veteran certification is in some ways more complex. Of course, the owner of the business must be a veteran from any branch of the Armed Forces, however, there is a lot of paperwork to fill out and a lot of information that you need to provide to the Pennsylvania Department of General Services. The process is lengthy, and it includes verification that each one of the items you provided in the application is, in fact, accurate. All the work is worth the effort, however, as veteran certified businesses and their customers can bid for government projects and receive tax incentives. We are proud to be a minority/veteran owned business, and, because we manufacture everything in the United States, we are proudly American owned as well.

Embrace Your Wellness 2022

We compare the certification process to applying for a mortgage to buy a home. Making sure all your documents are in order is one of the things that would make the process easier. You must supply the business financials and personal financials of the owner and anyone else who has a stake in the business.

SAVE THE DATE! Saturday, September 24th Digestive & Wellness Expo

RAIN OR SHINE!

10am - 3pm @ NEW VENUE: Penn State Berks - Perkins Plaza Event Lawn 1801 Broadcasting Rd, Reading, PA 19610 To learn more about FREE, ALL AGES, PET-FRIENDLY community event Scan the Code

2022 Title Sponsor:

Visit us at MyGutInstinct.org and find us on Facebook for updates.

21


Feature

Sparking a love for Science

The Reading Science Center gives visitors a unique, hands-on experience By Amish Jindal, Communications & Marketing Intern, GRCA

T

he Reading Science Center is positioned to have a significant impact on the community. Aside from being a great place to spend time, the center sees itself as a hub that will help keep talented youth in Berks County.

“Bones and Stones teaches all of us about how important it is for children to play in the dirt. Many people don’t know about the immunity that can be gained from dirt,” said Executive Director Lisa Meredith-Unrath.

Founded by Jim Cinelli in 2017, the facility is located on Penn Street in downtown Reading and occupies a 7,000-square-foot space with more than 45 interactive STEM (Science, Technology, Math and Engineering) exhibits.

Another unique facility is the Neag Cell Lab. This is the only wet, biological stem lab east of the Mississippi River where visitors work their way through guided experiments.

An exhibit that Meredith-Unrath sees having a huge impact on Many of these exhibits feature something that encompasses Berks County is “If-then.” In this experience, children are asked Berks County. For example, the newest exhibit “Bones and Stones” a series of questions and then told which fields they would most is a wooden box that is filled with local dirt from different places in likely be interested in. They then go on to explore these fields. the county. This dirt contains donated crystals and rocks. Children are taxed with finding stones and identifying them.

22 COMMERCE QUARTERLY SUMMER 2022


GreaterReading.org

“We show children all the opportunities available for them in Berks County. We make them realize that they don’t have to leave to have a great career. This stops the “brain drain” that the county has been experiencing for decades,” said Meredith-Unrath. Since its official opening in 2020, the Reading Science Center has faced its share of challenges. “Opening in the pandemic was nerve racking and frustrating. But in a way a blessing. It allowed us to get our footing and retool our experience,” said Meredith-Unrath. Right now, the center faces the difficulties of funding and awareness. To gain traction, the center has launched many new programs and events. One of these is a free, after-school program that exposes 4th, 5th and 6th grade girls to STEM. It also supports and welcomes field trips from local schools. A certified teacher works at the center and can match lesson plans with the experience at the center, making sure no class time is missed. Networking and social events also are held at the Reading Science Center. Companies can rent out the space and host people, while also providing a fun, interactive time with the exhibits. Looking to the future, the Reading Science Center looks to not just focus on STEM, but also the social impact the facility will have on Reading and the surrounding areas. “We will be a driving force for where our youth goes and what they do. We see ourselves being that go-to place.” MeredithUnrath said.

23


Feature

MORE THAN A FESTIVAL

ReadingFilmFEST makes Greater Reading a destination for film production By Tracy Schott, ReadingFilmFEST

M

ovie buffs are likely aware that Reading has a film festival each year. ReadingFilmFEST attracts filmmakers from around the globe, inspires local audiences and garners the support of dozens of business sponsors and arts grantors. The festival has gained recognition as “The Filmmakers’ Film Festival” and has been voted a TOP 100 festival in a field of more than 6,000 worldwide by filmmakers. ReadingFilmFEST celebrates Greater Reading as an arts and cultural destination and will return Oct. 27 to Oct. 30. But ReadingFilm is much more than a festival. Founded in 2006 by late actor Michael Constantine, screenwriter Letty Hummel and producer Santo Marabella, ReadingFilm was created to promote Greater Reading as a destination location for film production. Since its inception, ReadingFilm has been supported by the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA), Pennsylvania’s Americana Region and Berks Arts Council, which served various roles as fiscal agents. Last year, ReadingFilm became established as an independent 501(c)(3).

24 COMMERCE QUARTERLY SUMMER 2022

ReadingFilm’s mission is to grow the local production community, support film productions through location scouting and connecting them with production resources, and market Greater Reading as a film destination location. This year is pivotal for the organization with local, state and federal grants being targeted to ensure ReadingFilm’s sustainability as an economic driver for the community. Since its inception, ReadingFilm has supported dozens of local and visiting film productions, produced a short film to market the region, created a film festival and a high school film competition, hosted numerous community events, supported local artists and helped Pulitzer Prize winner and Tony nominee Lynn Nottage and Emmy winner Tony Gerber create “Sweat” and “This is Reading.”

Impact of Media Production on Local Economies Film production is a huge economic driver in the communities that have capitalized on its potential. In 2020, a year when the


GreaterReading.org

A Holistic Approach to Employee Benefits Power Kunkle delivers localized, high-touch services: Dedicated Client Relations Manager • Administration Support Services ACA Compliance Support • Benefits Compliance Review

Human Resource Solutions: Talent Recruitment • HR Compliance Audit • Employee Handbook Review Compensation Analysis • Training • General Human Resource Support

pandemic literally shut down production for months, the industry accounted for nearly $234 billion dollars of the U.S. economy. That economic impact has grown each year and is expected to nearly double by 2030. Jobs in the film production sector are 50% higher paying than the national average. Most of the people in the industry are small businesses with under 10 employees.

Wellness & Health Promotion: Surveys and Assessments • Biometric Screenings • Education Program Development & Incentive Tracking • Wellness Policy Review Worker’s Compensation & Safety Integration www.PKBenefits.com • 1-866-685-1790 • contactus@pkbenefits.com

Film is good business for local economies. A major motion picture can infuse up to $250K each day into the local economy, while a TV show can generate $150K a day in local spending. These benefits are not confined to the production community. A global study shows that 66.9% of film budgets are spent outside of the film production sector. The spend on ancillary services impacts many sectors of the local economy, including hospitality, food service, construction, transportation and real estate. While the bulk of film production has traditionally happened in Los Angeles and New York City, states around the country are learning the value of investing in the film industry. Pennsylvania is no exception. Since 2004, the state has offered a 25% to 30% tax credit to qualifying productions. Pennsylvania’s latest budget included a 30% increase in film tax credits, raising the cap to $100 million! What does this mean for Greater Reading? Opportunity! Berks County offers filmmakers a plethora of location choices, a new film studio (Reading Film Studios located at Canal Street), easy access to major cities in the Mid-Atlantic, and significant savings on goods and services over larger cities in the region. Benefits to Greater Reading go beyond the economic impact. Film production infuses communities with excitement and pride, can drive retention of the workforce, and serves as a draw for tourism. ReadingFilm is an important component of Greater Reading’s renaissance as an economic and artistic force in the region and is proud to be a member of GRCA. 25


Training

Success!

But the Work Continues By Katie Hetherington Cunfer, Director of Government & Community Relations, GRCA

T

ime to celebrate! With the passage of 2022-23 PA State Budget, several short and long-term pro-business policy goals were achieved. Thank you to all of members of the Berks County state delegation who voted for the budget and for the amended SB 382 that halted the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s plans to toll nine interstate bridges, including the Lenhartsville Bridge on I-78. This year’s budget included the long-sought reduction of PA’s Corporate Net Income Tax (CNIT). PA’s 9.99% CNIT, the second in the highest in the country, will reduce to 8.99% in 2023, and further reduce by .5% each year until it reaches 4.99% in 2031. This was also achieved without additional riders such as combined reporting that would have reduced the impact of the tax reduction. Once fully reduced, this will make PA’s CNIT the sixth lowest in the country. If only we could fully unlock Pennsylvania’s vast energy resources, we’d really have something. Another win in this year’s budget was PA finally allowing 1031 like-kind exchanges. We were the last state in the country to not allow this practice. Internal Revenue Code Section 1031 provides that no gain or loss shall be recognized on the exchange of likekind property held for productive use in a trade or business or for investment. This will unlock increased business investment and job creation, especially for the small business community. The state enacted a new, permanent tax deduction for 30% of the cost of childcare for families. For people who care for one dependent, expenses claimed cannot surpass $3,000. For those with two or more dependents, it cannot surpass $6,000. This is available to married couples with up to $150,000 in annual income or a single filer who made half that were eligible for the full amount of the federal tax credit in 2021. A one-time property tax reduction for low-income, older Pennsylvanians was also incorporated into this year’s budget. The budget also held the line on spending, only increasing by 2.9% overall and putting more money into the “Rainy Day Fund” to prepare for looming fiscal cliffs. This is extraordinary in a year 26 COMMERCE QUARTERLY SUMMER 2022

where revenue as 13% above projections, and the state had billions in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to allocate. As part of the ARP funding, the state set aside $375 million to help address housing issues including $125 million for the “Whole Home Repair” program that will offer a maximum grant of $50,000 for people with low to medium incomes and landlords who rent to people at those income levels to fix roofs, install energy efficient windows, and other home repairs projects. This program will be good for urban and rural communities alike, and Berks County should be focused on maximizing this program to improve and expand our existing affordable housing stock. There was a lot of good news in this year’s budget, but as my old junior high girls’ basketball coach used to yell, “Don’t watch your shot, hustle back on defense!” He coached for over 30 years and had several league, district and state winning teams so Coach Hope knew what he was talking about. In advocacy, just like in business, you celebrate the wins, identify the areas that need improvement, then put together a game plan and execute. Some examples include the $42 million set aside to shore up the Unemployment Compensation Fund in the short term, but this program has long-term, systemic problems that need addressed. We were able to halt the bridge tolling proposal with major thanks going to the communities who brought suit against PennDOT and won in Commonwealth Court, but we still need to identify a long-term, sustainable mix of revenue sources to fund our infrastructure needs as the gas tax becomes less and less effective. We also need to work on policies and programs that will help people reenter the workforce, including reducing barriers to entry and increasing access and utilization of workforce training programs. We also have a laundry list of work related to federal policies that are exacerbating inflation and supply chain disruption. So, cheers to a few well-fought victories, but the clock has already started on a new game, and we need your help to win again.


Feature

GreaterReading.org

Local Gifting and Shopping Made Easy T

By Julie Larison, Senior Director of Membership Services, GRCA

he Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA) recently launched a new way for Berks County to shop Local and support our small business community.

Go Buy Berks is a community gift card program designed

to support local stores and service providers and keep them topof-mind when buying gift cards for friends, relatives or colleagues. Available as a plastic card shipped to the purchaser or as an e-card downloaded to a computer or phone, the Go Buy Berks community gift card can be used at any Berks County business that accepts MasterCard. The idea for a community-based gift card originated from Berks County Commissioner Michael Rivera, who saw a need to further support small, local businesses. “The Go Buy Berks gift card will provide a gift card option for merchants that do not have the ability to provide a store-branded card of their own. This new program will drive dollars to many local small businesses that would otherwise miss out on the gift card option,” Rivera said. This all-in-one gift card program is designed to keep your money local and support Berks County businesses. Rather than choosing a generic card off the rack, the public can purchase the Go Buy Berks card in any amount over $10. Bulk purchases are also available for employers looking to incentivize or gift their employees. This community gift card program allows employers the ability to support the local business community while also gifting their employees.

The card also allows the giftee the flexibility of deciding where to use the card and the ability to support multiple businesses. Participating businesses are listed on the Go Buy Berks shopping map and directory on the gift card webpage at giverrang.com/ gift-card/greater-reading-pa/. Berks County businesses that accept MasterCard are welcome to participate at no cost. The plastic card is processed as a normal gift card and the e-card is presented to the merchant as a certificate voucher that is printed or downloaded on a phone. The only fee a merchant incurs is the MasterCard processing fee through their point-of-sale (POS) system. “Our goal in launching this program is simple – to provide an easy option for the community to use local businesses first and enjoy the wonderful shopping, dining and services they provide,” said Julie Larison, Senior Director of Membership Services, GRCA. GRCA welcomes the participation of main street associations and other community groups in Berks County that want to list businesses in the directory. Non-member businesses who would like to be listed in the Go Buy Berks community gift card program directory may contact Larison at JLarison@greaterreading.org or 610-898.7785. Having your business listed in the directory is the easiest way to let consumers know that you are accepting the Go Buy Berks gift card.

The next time you need a gift, support local businesses, and purchase a Go Buy Berks gift card!

27


in your community

M a i n

S t r e e t

P r o g r a m s

hamburg “Hamburg’s Got Talent” live variety show coming to historic theater By Hil Eldridge

T

he Hamburg Strand Theater managers, Stephanie Adams and Bethany Sholl, and local event manager, Hil Eldridge, are busily planning a community talent showcase called “Hamburg’s Got Talent.” Two live shows will take place in the historic theater Sept. 24 and Sept. 25, and will include an Old Hollywood theme, including uniformed ushers, candy girls and paparazzi, as well as a Hollywood Walk of Fame outside the theater to help set the festive mood. Sponsors will have live, vaudeville-style commercials during show breaks. Each show will have one winner who will receive a $300 prize. Jam-packed auditions took place at the Hamburg Strand Theater in August. Performers, judges, an emcee, light, sound and stage techs lent a hand to the production. More than 30 live acts of all ages were present for consideration, and although there was an abundance of talent in Hamburg, only the top third made the cut for the dazzling upcoming show.

28 COMMERCE QUARTERLY SUMMER 2022

In addition to the show, other novelties are sure to delight the audience. Tickets will include a swag bag full of fun souvenirs commemorating the show. A costume contest will be held for the best “Old Hollywood” look, so bring out your gowns and tuxedos. Patrons can purchase a Walk of Fame Star in advance, and on the night of the show, enjoy their own sidewalk star with their name on it, just as they are in Hollywood. Part of the proceeds from this unique event will benefit the Our Town Foundation, whose mission is to revitalize, promote and preserve downtown historic Hamburg for families and future generations to enjoy. For additional information and tickets, visit hamburgstrand.org.


in your community

GreaterReading.org

West reading

Falling for West Reading By Mark Ratcliffe, Main Street Manager, West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation

A

s fall approaches, let’s look back on a very busy summer and some epic events that started with Art on the Ave. A big thank you to Emily Branch, the event coordinator, and the Art Plus team for helping make this Art on the Ave the biggest and best festival ever in West Reading. With more artists and the Plein Air event bringing in artists from around the region, it was truly an amazing day. Art on the Ave helps showcase our beautiful area and allows these very talented artists to explore and see everything Berks County has to offer. According to Russ Slocum, who ran the Plein Air event, a number of artists came back to paint the beautiful landscape and architecture here in Berks and because it is such a relaxed and fun event. Relaxed and fun, that is the goal for all West Reading events. The summer also saw a Sidewalk Sale, the West Reading Tavern French Fry Festival and the 2nd Fridays continue to grow. New places to eat opened including Fresh and Noodl. The Avenue also expanded a little with Trish’s Specialty Cheesecakes opening on N. 6th Ave. With all Penn Ave locations filled, West Reading looks to grow its business district and open more shops on 6th and Reading Avenues. Fall Fest is right around the corner on Sept. 17, and this event is all about food, music and festive beverages. The musical line up this year includes A.D. Blanco, a rock band based in Athens, Georgia, and Dylan Zangwill, who is best known as a Season 16 contestant on America’s Got Talent. In addition, Flux Capacitor, the newly reunited popular Reading band, will play its first hometown show in close to five years. Small Business Saturday will be Nov. 26 this year, and don’t forget our carriage rides in December. Tickets will go on sale Nov. 1. Join the email list www.visitwestreading.com or follow on Facebook to learn more. As for improvements to the Avenue, the next project is improving the gateway, which is the entrance to West Reading near the railroad bridge. West Reading is working with Kevin Kozo and looking to partner with the Goggleworks to create an entrance to West Reading fitting of the diverse community and help showcase the art, entertainment and a healthy community.

29


member news: industry & community newsmakers

Congratulations! RKL LLP has named Partner Daniel J. Nickischer, CPA, CCIFP®, leader of the firm’s Small Business Services Group. In this role, Nickischer will lead a team of RKL advisors dedicated to serving the tax, accounting and financial needs of small business owners, and direct firm wide efforts related to quality control, client service and workforce development in this service area. He succeeds James H. Ostrowski, CPA, who led the Small Business Services Group for seven years and remains a partner with the firm.

RKL LLP is pleased to announce that Stephane Smith, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, has been named one of Central Penn Business Journal’s 2022 Women of Influence honorees. The Women of Influence award celebrates high-achieving women for their accomplishments. These women are selected based on their professional experience, community involvement, leadership and a commitment to mentoring.

Industry publication Accounting Today has released the 2022 edition of its top 150 CPA-affiliated firms by assets under management (AUM) list, and RKL Wealth Management LLC claimed the 39th spot. The investment advisory firm, which is a subsidiary of CPA and advisory leader RKL LLP, reported AUM of more than $1.467 billion as of early May 2022 when Accounting Today collected the survey data.

30 COMMERCE QUARTERLY SUMMER 2022

Mid Penn Bancorp, Inc. announced the appointment of Allison Johnson as senior executive vice president and chief financial officer in May 2022. Johnson brings over 13 years of financial and accounting experience in financial services and related industries, having served most recently as the chief financial officer of Spirit of Texas Bank in Conroe, TX.

Jeffrey Spotts, President of Spotts Insurance Group, is pleased to announce that his agency has been awarded the prestigious Personal Lines All-Star Award from Nationwide Insurance. This award is given to the top producing agencies in the United States during the past year. The agency is a leader in providing insurance protection for individuals and businesses.

Dr. Thomas Hanford has been hired to serve as Kutztown University’s new Registrar. Hanford brings more than a decade of registrar experience to KU. Hanford has substantial history in higher education administration employment and has a great deal of experience as an instructor.


GreaterReading.org

When Ron Belldegrun and his sister Mia Funt decided to start a new baby formula company, ByHeart, they knew it wouldn’t be easy. The process can be so discouraging that just two conglomerates maintain a decades-long grip on the industry. It took the company five years to get its manufacturing facility opened, supply chain in place, clinical trial completed and regulatory approval secured. This year, ByHeart became the first new manufacturer of baby formula in the U.S. in 15 years. As further evidence of how tough it is to do, ByHeart is now one of just five manufacturers of baby formula in the United States.

Christopher Spohn has been named Director of Project Development, Pre-College and Summer Programs at the Albright College Science Research Institute. Spohn will be responsible for developing, managing and leading special projects, collaborative educational initiatives and program alignment for Albright Science Research Institute. In addition to the project oversight of current and new initiatives, Spohn will utilize his background in education to facilitate and teach graduate courses and professional development for educators and administrators.

Innovation was the theme for the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s annual iXchange event. Attendees gathered virtually for the May 18 event that included the presentation of six innovation awards to early-stage technology companies, established manufacturers and individuals who have helped the organization advance the technology economy of northeastern Pennsylvania.

Reading-based, black-owned businesses, Abnormel Apparel, Turner Coaching, Training and Consulting, LLC and Pagoda Apparel received the first seed of funding from the Financial Lending and Innovation Collaborative (FLIC) spearheaded by Alvernia University’s O’Pake Institute for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship. “The FLIC microgrant Program was developed to help earlystage entrepreneurs at one of the toughest points. Continued on next page

Ginger Kunkel has moved into her new role as president of Tompkins Community Bank’s Pennsylvania market. Kunkel, who previously served as the bank’s chief operating officer, assumed the new role in late May. She succeeds Scott Gruber, who retired.

31


member news: industry & community newsmakers continued

Entech Engineering, Inc. (Entech) is pleased to announce the recent hiring of Charles M. Maher, P.E. as a Senior Project Manager in our recently expanded Pittsburgh office. Maher brings 20+ years of experience in water, wastewater, and stormwater engineering with expertise and technical knowledge of both the design and construction of water and wastewater infrastructure. At Entech, Maher is dedicated to the successful execution of projects, client management, staff development, and service advancement.

Caron Treatment Centers has appointed Kristine Bashore as its new Chief Operating Officer. In her new role, Bashore will lead the day-to-day operations at Caron, an internationally recognized nonprofit dedicated to addiction and behavioral healthcare treatment, research, prevention, and addiction medicine education. Bashore, who has been with the organization for more than 20 years, will also continue to oversee the alignment of the organization’s resources with its new three-year strategic plan.

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP_NEPA) has announced the appointment of Dannah Hartman to Marketing Associate/Manager. As Marketing Associate/Manager, Hartman will work to advance BFTP_NEPA’s brand and enhance networks of support by communicating the organization’s accomplishments via social and traditional media, events, publications, and other platforms. She will promote existing and alumni clients and build awareness among prospective new clients.

32 COMMERCE QUARTERLY SUMMER 2022

Channel Futures MSP 501 revealed Solve IT Solutions, LLC is No. 280 on its annual Channel Futures MSP 501 List. Companies included on the MSP 501 List represent some of the most innovative and influential IT market leaders around the world. This is the second year in a row, Solve IT Solutions has been included on the List.

Jeffrey C. Euclide, PE, President of Entech Engineering, Inc. has retired after nearly 40 years with the company. Euclide was succeeded in his role as President by Robert J. Weir, PE, on Sept. 28, but will remain Chairman of the Board until the end of 2022.

Solve IT Solutions, LLC announces Michael Roberts is joining the team as Account Executive. As Account Executive at Solve IT Solutions, Roberts’ duties include establishing and managing relationships with the current client base at a technical and executive level. Also, whether through IT sales or MSP offerings, Roberts is responsible for developing, building and managing relationships with new business accounts by creating individualized IT plans to fulfill their unique needs.


GreaterReading.org

Solve IT Solutions, LLC announces the promotion of Joel Paige to Sales Support Engineer. “We are excited to announce the promotion of Joel Paige to Sales Support Engineer. He has shown true dedication to the Solve IT Team since his first day with us in 2019. His ability to assist both clients and service team members contributes greatly to the overall success of our client support,” said Troy Kantner, President/CEO, Solve IT Solutions, LLC.

Solve IT Solutions, LLC announces Mark Koiro joins the team as Account Executive. His duties include establishing and managing relationships with existing clients at a technical and executive level, as well as developing new accounts through referrals and business relationships. In addition, Koiro provides clients with customized technical solutions that meet their businesses specific requirements and needs.

Herbein | Mosteller HR Consulting, a division of leading CPA advisory firm Herbein + Company, Inc. (Herbein), announced that Laurel E. Cline has been promoted to Senior Vice President, HR Consultant. Cline has been a vital member of the firm for over 24 years. In her new role, Cline will have overall responsibility for management of Herbein | Mosteller HR Consulting, including continuing to manage client projects and relationships in her primary areas of expertise of compensation, HR policies and procedures, employee investigations, organizational development and HR outsourcing, managing the firm’s consultants, monitoring project results, as well as business development.

Reading Bakery Systems (RBS), one of the world’s leading manufacturers of snack production systems, has promoted Marcelo Morales to the role of Senior Project Manager. “We are pleased to announce the promotion of Marcelo. He has been a valuable part of the RBS Project Services Group for more than eight years, successfully managing projects that cover our entire equipment portfolio. In this new role, he will continue to lead by example, through his willingness to share experience and his commitment to both RBS and our customers.” said Shane Hanlon Director, Project Services.

Reading Bakery Systems (RBS), one of the world’s leading manufacturers of snack production systems, has named Phillip Stringer Director of the RBS Science and Innovation Center (S&IC). In his new role, Stringer will oversee the facility and management of staff, all customer on-site and virtual product trials, as well as research and development projects for the company.

Entech Engineering, Inc. is pleased to announce the hiring of Charles M. Maher, P.E. as a Senior Project Manager in our recently expanded Pittsburgh office. Maher brings 20+ years of experience in water, wastewater, and stormwater engineering with expertise and technical knowledge of both the design and construction of water and wastewater infrastructure.

33


member news: new members & anniversaries JUNE 2022 – AUGUST 2022

New Members Allstate Anastasis Fellowship Bethany Christian Services Cornerstone Financial Strategies, LLC Faddis Concrete Products HomeTeam Inspection Service Jireh Cleaning Services LLC Manpower Phoenix Physical Therapy Photographer Lauren Adele Little ReadingFilm Snapo Wolfe Roofing a Tecta America Company LLC

Interested in becoming a part of the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance? Contact Senior Director of Membership Julie Larison at JLarison@greaterreading.org or 610.898.7785.

JUNE 2022 – AUGUST 2022 1 YEAR

 Arkema  D&S Elite Construction, Inc.  FASTSIGNS  Goodblend PA  Hirneisen Electric, Inc.  Imageworks Film and Video, Inc.  Kutztown Community Partnership  Mind Matters Coaching, Counseling & Psychological Associates  Pennsylvania American Water  Phoenix Physical Therapy  Planned Parenthood Keystone  POHL Railroad Materials Corporation, LLC  Rise Marketing  ROG Orthodontics  Romark Logistics  Uber  Viwinco, Inc.

5 YEAR

 3B Services  Keller Williams Platinum Realty Jamie Perez  Members 1st Credit Union  Sarai Flower Shop

10 YEAR

25 YEAR

 Berkshire Commons  Discovery Federal Credit Union  Mifflin Court - Genesis  Reading Truck Body  Truist

30 YEAR

 Great Valley Consultants  H2 Health  Wilson School District

40 YEAR

 Alvernia University  Berks Community Television  EasyPak  Hafer Petroleum Equipment  Kozloff Stoudt Attorneys  Kutztown University  Pathstone Corporation  Perrotto Builders, Ltd.  Van Scoy Jewelers  Wyomissing Optometric Center, Inc.

45 YEAR

 Reading Bakery Systems

50 YEAR

15 YEAR

606 Court Street

urn Over a New Leaf, Turn Over a

er for Fall Training Now!

aining2022 ode

 GBT Enterprises - Thren’s Auto Parts

 Home Builders Association of Berks County  Weaver’s Orchard, Inc.

 Center for Pediatric Therapy  Wyomissing Foundation, Inc.

Register

20 YEAR

NewLeaf, Questions?

Contact Mark Dolinski, VP of

Training & Professional Development

MDolinski@greaterreading.org or 610-898-8386

Register for Fall Training Now!

 Stratix Systems

 Kymera International/ Reading Alloys, LLC

60 YEAR

 Fromm Electric Supply Corporation

65 YEAR

 Boscov’s Department Store, LLC  Tom Sturgis Pretzels, Inc.

70 YEAR

 Tom Masano, Inc.

75 YEAR

 Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials, Inc.  Muhlenberg Greene Architects, Ltd.  Penske Truck Leasing

85 YEAR

 Barbey Electronics Corporation  Theo C. Auman, Inc.

90 YEAR  WEEU Radio

95 YEAR

 National Uniform - Linen Rentals

100 YEAR

 Tompkins Community Bank

Reading, PA 19601

Congratulations! 2022 PROGRAM SCHEDULE AUGUST 10th – Advanced Excel 15th – Introduction to Excel 19th – Intermediate Excel

FALL SCHEDULE

SEPTEMBER 8th – Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace 12th – Lead Worker Certificate Program 13th – Supervisor Training: Module 1 14th – Introduction to Excel 14th – Essentials of Effective Management 15th – Diversity Equity and Inclusion: Leadership in the Workplace 20th – Supervisor Training: Module 3

Turn Over a NewLeaf,

OCTOBER 13th – Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace 26th – Essentials of Effective Leadership

NOVEMBER 1st – Supervisor Training: Module 2 Please note: All trainings are held at the Center for Business Excellence, 49 Commerce Dr., Wyomissing.

Register for Fall Training Now! To Learn More & Register Visit tinyurl.com/GRCAtraining2022 Or Scan the QR Code

34 COMMERCE QUARTERLY SUMMER 2022

55 YEAR

Questions? Contact Mark Dolinski, VP of

Training & Professional Development

MDolinski@greaterreading.org or 610-898-8386

606 C

Readi

2022

AUGUS 10th 15th 19th

SEPTEM 8th 12th 13th 14th 14th 15th 20th

OCTOB 13th 26th

NOVEM 1st



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

Data provided by SHOOK® Research, LLC. Data as of 6/30/21. Source: Forbes.com (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 www.SHOOKresearch.com. 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 investmentsandwealth.org. © 2022 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved. MAP3577803 | AD-04-22-0317 | 472538PM-0621 | 04/2022