Culture Shift How companies are building superior company values
Overhead Door hits century mark
Greater Reading Chamber Alliance
Leah Fassnacht, Editor
firstname.lastname@example.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.
» Enables all businesses to take deliberate and
Cheers to 20 years — Reading Royals, Santander Arena mark milestone anniversary
Placing value in company values
Centennial celebration — Overhead Door™ reaches 100th birthday
A Room with a (new) View
Ready to grow? GRCA can help!
Get Involved with GRCA!
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
» 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 HoffmannPublishing.com • 610.685.0914
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In Your Community Main Street Programs
Investing in employees pays huge dividends
Business & Community Advocacy
best chambers in Pennsylvania.
» Reflects our multicultural community at large.
Better know your new district
IN EVERY ISSUE: 5
Letter From the Editor
A Message from GRCA CEO & President
letter from the editor
appy New Year to all GRCA members, board members, investors and partners, and welcome to the first Commerce Quarterly edition of 2022. In this edition, you may notice a new, reoccurring byline. Amish Jindal, a Wilson High School junior and honor student, is GRCA’s new marketing and communications intern. Jindal has been with GRCA since late October of last year and has already racked up an impressive number of bylines. So far, he has written multiple blogs, Berks County Living columns and articles for this publication. GRCA is full of members with interesting stories to tell, and I am glad to have some assistance in bringing more of those stories to you and to our community. Make sure you check out the cover story in which Jindal perfectly summarizes the presentation that keynote speaker Denise Ball delivered at the 2021 Manufacturing Summit. Ball said that building a positive company culture will be the number one thing companies can do to recruit and keep employees. If you didn’t attend that event, I highly recommend watching her presentation on GRCA’s YouTube channel (youtu.be/hoh9fVchNNs). At the very least, take a peek at how a few of your fellow Chamber members say they are building a winning culture. Also new in this edition, is the “Greater Together” page that will be in every edition moving forward. GRCA staff are constantly accomplishing meaningful work. Unfortunately, there isn’t time or space for an in-depth story on every single item. This page will give you a taste of what each department has been working on and what each has completed in a clear and concise fashion. Hope you enjoy this edition of Commerce Quarterly and that you and your business experience the best year yet! Stay healthy, everyone.
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 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 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 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 L. Gruber – Tompkins Vist Bank Scott Hauseman – Fulton 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 Christina L. Weeber – East Penn Manufacturing Company, Inc. 5
a message from GRCA CEO & President
Embracing the change By Jim Gerlach, President & CEO, GRCA
hen I came onboard with GRCA, I was looking forward
are exploring additional partnerships with local and regional entities
to the chance to continue to grow and strengthen an
to enhance member benefits and expand connection within our
already great organization and better blend the Chamber
and Economic Development entities. I was excited to be getting back to working with and on behalf of communities and businesses I had the pleasure of representing in public office and embracing emerging
challenges. Little did I know the big challenge facing all of us that was waiting for me on day one.
Members will see increased advocacy and engagement on ways to improve Pennsylvania’s business climate and grow out of these economic pressures including reducing the corporate net income tax and using American Rescue Plan, infrastructure and existing funds to increase investment in local
While I’m glad to be celebrating
economic development. GRCA
my two-year anniversary with
will help keep you up to date
GRCA on March 23, that date
on the new legislative maps,
shares a dubious history as the
same day Gov. Wolf locked
looking to member businesses
schools and citizens in reaction
to increase efforts to encourage
to the spread of COVID-19. The
original plan of “two weeks to
the local leader of economic
development, focusing on the
A lot has changed in those two
needs of our existing Berks
years, both good and bad, and we
County community can come together in times of crisis. So, while 2020 was a mad scramble and 2021 was full of growing pains, in 2022, we’re embracing the change. Change in how we work, change in how we live and change in how we approach challenges. In 2022, you will see some dynamic shifts from GRCA as we continue to focus on adding value to membership and addressing the needs of members with new resources for business operations, HR tools, peer learning and professional development opportunities. We
6 COMMERCE QUARTERLY WINTER 2022
GRCA will continue to be
two years, and we’re riding out
and dynamic shifts. The pandemic also reaffirmed how the Berks
stop the spread” has turned into
about what it takes to operate our businesses under extreme pressures
Questionnaires” and we will be
down Pennsylvania’s businesses,
all continue to learn a great deal
County companies, as well as showcasing that Berks County is open for business for new opportunities. We are very fortunate that, despite the challenges of the past few years, many of our companies are experiencing unprecedented growth and activity. While this is welcome news, it has often come with challenges such as limited material supply, cost increases and labor shortages. In 2022, we will work to ensure that our valued companies can continue to thrive and that their employees enjoy Berks County as a place to live, work, play and learn.
! u o y k n a h T
Cheers to 20 years Reading Royals, Santander Arena mark milestone anniversary
By Amish Jindal, Communications & Marketing Intern, GRCA
or 20 years, the Reading Royals have brought a professional ice hockey team to Berks County while contributing to the economic vitality and quality of life in downtown Reading.
“Game nights are busy nights downtown. The hotels, restaurants, and even the Dunkin Donuts all benefit economically,” said David Farrar, General Manager of the Reading Royals hockey team, Santander Arena and Santander Preforming Arts Center. People from all over Berks County and even further make their way to downtown Reading to enjoy a Royals game. According to Farrar, the Royals have changed the vision of downtown by “bringing people down for 36 regular season nights and possibly more for playoffs.”
The team also has recently launched the Reading Royals Youth Hockey Association. This organization teaches ice hockey to kids ages four to 16. The goal of this endeavor is to grow the game of hockey and get more kids involved. The team hopes this will feed into a new fan base. These actions have contributed to the longevity of the team. 8 COMMERCE QUARTERLY WINTER 2022
Even with all this success, the team has faced its share of struggles. Numerous ownership changes have been hard on the team. These changes usually lead to a new vision that proves challenging for many longtime employees. Even with this adversity, Farrar is hopeful that the team can continue to provide entertainment to the community, but there are steps that need to be taken. “We need the community to step up and support the team by buying tickets, handling sponsorships and bringing out groups. This is vital to the success of the team and it staying here in Reading,” said Farrar. Financially, the team has also provided a lot to the Santander Arena. This has allowed for continued upgrades, like a new light system, to the arena. It has also allowed for the arena to continue to be able to provide other forms of quality entertainment. Some of these events include rock concerts, comedy shows and plays. Artists like Eric Church, Elton John, Marc Anthony and Bad Bunny have all performed at the arena.
Looking Forward To Another Gr-r-reat Year! Lisa Tiger has had a stellar year assisting her clients, with over $42 Million Sold in 2021 alone! She is the #1 CENTURY 21 agent for production in Pennsylvania a position held since 2012 and she is the top-producing REALTOR in Berks County as well. Lisa has earned a reputation for making her clients’ priorities her own and for her tenacious dedication to meeting their goals. Buyers and sellers will tell you that she is reachable, connected and straightforward and her client’s needs always come first. With the current market trends, her skills and ability to move quickly are more desired than ever. Lisa loves Berks County and has a passion for her community. She uses her success to give back and is actively involved in supporting many local organizations at the heart of Berks County. Lisa’s focus on marketing, networking, community involvement, commitment to her clients and dedication to family are just a few of the values that make her the right choice to be your REALTOR in 2022.
Team up with the TIGER!
Photo by Matt Christine, Director of Marketing for the Santander Arena and Performing Arts Center
By bringing in Latino acts such as Marc Anthony and Bad Bunny, the Santander Arena has tapped into the local demographics.
with low-rate loans on new and used commercial vehicles.
Specifically, Latin shows have been a huge hit. These shows have not only brought people from out of town to downtown Reading, but also have brought together the local community. With the City of Reading boasting a 67% Hispanic or Latino population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, these shows have appealed to many members of the community. The Reading Royals and Santander Arena have been key players in the continued success of the Berks County region. They don’t just provide quality entertainment, but act as a cultural glue that keeps our community thriving. 9
Placing Value in Company Values Members share how they create a place that workers love By Amish Jindal, Communications & Marketing Intern, GRCA
10 COMMERCE QUARTERLY WINTER 2022
mployee retention is of tremendous importance for today’s business. To address this subject, Denise Bail, Workforce Development Specialist for Tooling U-SME, gave an engaging keynote presentation at the 2021 Manufacturing Summit at the Miller Center for the Arts in October. She provided sizeable advice to companies in the Greater Reading area. Her main message was to “be the employer of choice” and “create an environment in which workers will love.” By creating a workplace that is fun, family and friends oriented, has free food and is flexible, the culture of a company can benefit exponentially. This atmosphere will help keep workers in a job market with so many opportunities.
goals every year and meeting quarterly to ensure we are on track. Many of Arkema’s employees call Birdsboro, or Berks County, home and it tries to serve the shared community in ways that matter to them. A “Community Support Fund” is offered for employees to request Arkema’s financial support for the causes and organizations they support. When the Arkema team discovered that veteran care was a cause to pursue, it connected with Keystone Military Families and held a large collection drive, visited their food pantry and provided handson assistance. Additionally, we have a strong partnership with the United Way of Berks County and participate in their larger initiatives like “Spring Spruce Up” and “Day of Caring.”
To help attract potential employees to your workplace, a positive brand that stands out and is eye-catching is imperative. Ball recomArkema also supports career awareness programs in its community. mends “building an excellent website that tells your story, in addition Its employees enjoy sharing their career stories and engaging with to displaying involvement in the community.” The use of targeted young people who are evaluating their future career opportunities. social media marketing can also help lure potential employees. Initiatives such as “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing” through Keeping current and new employees is also paramount. Studies the Manufacturers Resource Center and “Students Interacting with have shown that 78% of people leaving businesses could have been Business” through the Berks Business and Education Coalition prevented. Furthermore, the cost of turnover is substantial. Ball promote career pathways for K-11 students. advocates for “setting employees up for success from day one,” by Each year, Birdsboro employees participate in at least four handsproviding them with “resource groups” which creates a community on volunteer events as well as a variety of other community support inside the company. Also “meaningful recognition and promotion initiatives for countless hours, serving our community as part of the programs” give employees a vision of their future in the company. Common Ground® program. While community involvement is just Providing a structured pathway “up the ladder” is especially important one of the ways in which the company engages with its employees, for people in Generation Z. This generation is by nature gamers and is it’s a core part of our culture and deeply ingrained in our values as continuously looking how to “level-up.” Providing these resources and a company. directly capitalizing on this mindset can be extremely advantageous — Alexia Pursley, Human Resource Manager in retaining employees and creating a long-term, dedicated staff. A strong, motivated workforce directly correlates with a business’s success. Creating a superior company culture can lead to success for years to come. GRCA asked four members who attended the Summit how they are building a positive company culture.
Arkema Bettering the local community for all
F.M. Brown’s Sons, Inc. Providing a positive family atmosphere
F.M. Brown’s Sons, Inc. has been a family-owned business since As part of its commitment to society, Arkema carries out philan1843, which speaks volumes. Most recently, the company has added thropy initiatives in line with its Corporate Social Responsibility a few layers to help evolve its culture even more. Just in the past year, policy and its values, particularly solidarity. The company strives to an annual holiday party, monthly food trucks, financial education maintain an open and close dialog with its various stakeholders — courses, pay adjustments, and group volunteer opportunities such customers, suppliers, partners, local residents — to create a responsible, as Hannah’s Hope, Opportunity House and our local food bank shared value chain and a lasting relationship of trust. Around the have been added. globe, Arkema takes an innovative approach to connecting with These have made a huge impact to employee morale and retention. the residents and communities near its sites through its Common It’s a proven fact that when employees feel appreciated, they are Ground® program. happier and choose to stay with the company. The company also At Arkema in Birdsboro, Penn., staff is deeply committed to prides itself on being a second-chance employer, which means it fostering strong relationships with neighbors, setting engagement gives meaningful employment to individuals with a prior criminal Continued on next page 11
cover story continued record. F.M. Brown is not only a family business, but also provides a family environment that many desire.
has been actively engaging with Berks County employers for over 20 years to do this and is ready to partner with your company today! F.M. Brown has been blessed to be in business for many years; We will pre-assess each employee to determine his or her English its leadership and staff pride themselves on creating a great culture. comprehension level and then post-assess each employee at the end of the training program to measure educational gains. Contact our — Alneasa Jordan, Human Resource Manager Training and Support Specialist, Bev Hirneisen, at email@example.com for more information. — Ryan A. Breisch, Executive Director
Literacy Council of Reading-Berks Findings way to speak the same language
WORLD Electronics Putting employees above profits
For 54 years, the Literacy Council of Reading-Berks has been building positive company culture by assisting local employers achieve their goals. Our programs help improve teamwork, raise morale, and increase productivity and efficiency while creating a safer work environment.
WORLD electronics is a family-owned business and has been since 1986. Joe and Elaine Rado are WORLD’s founders and have focused much effort on creating a positive company culture. Prior to Joe’s passing in 2014, he preached that his family values should be reflected in everything WORLD does. His values were based on mutual respect between individuals and between the employer and employee. It is this kind of relationship that is the base of WORLD’s culture.
The Literacy Council provides critical training focused on developing English proficiency and valuable workplace skills. These programs make employees know they are part of the company community and culture. The programs give them the confidence to improve their language skills and ability to communicate to coworkers and managers alike. For the employers, the Council’s programs give companies the ability to attract, hire and retain scarce human capital here in Berks County. Alpek, formerly CarbonLITE Recycling, has partnered with the Literacy Council to provide workplace English as a Second Language (ESL) services to their production workers. The Spanish-speaking employees attend the sessions on their own time and have provided positive feedback regarding the instruction they are receiving. The program provides a fully customized training twice a week for 12 weeks over two different shifts. The Council is also providing ESL instruction for Durham School Services. Durham Transportation, a leader in student transportation, formed a new partnership with Reading School District. This employer is actively seeking a diverse workforce and will provide English instruction for employees that are enrolled in CDL training. This is a pilot program that could impact recruitment strategies and would lead to a stronger community workforce. East Penn Manufacturing Company, a longtime Council partner, provides training to employees who demonstrate leadership potential. The course prepares the participants for supervisory roles. As Denise Ball mentioned in her keynote address at the GRCA’s Manufacturing Summit in October, companies should bring someone on site to help their employees learn English. The Literacy Council 12 COMMERCE QUARTERLY WINTER 2022
WORLD is proud that its average employee tenure is greater than 15 years. This is not a coincidence, but rather a manifestation and implementation of the mutual respect Joe preached. The Rados and key management want all employees to feel valued and know that they can make a positive contribution to the company. This happens not only through the efforts of their individual job, but also by contributing to something greater than themselves. All opinions are welcomed and discussed, and this is evident in the bi-monthly W.I.N. (World Improvement Network) meetings. Think of this as a suggestion box on how to improve processes and culture that have been an integral part of WORLD for over 15 years. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies to pivot and strategize on how to remain productive and profitable, while keeping their employees safe and healthy. WORLD was no different, as it was fortunate to be labeled as an essential business. To keep its employees safe, WORLD limited shifts to six hours while still paying for eight and staggered them so no one would infringe on another’s personal space. The employees were grateful for these efforts and saw firsthand that an employer can put its people before profits. Their feedback was positive and strengthened company culture. These are two simple examples of how WORLD tries to foster a mutually respectful and beneficial relationship within its organization. It illustrates how a positive culture is essential to a successful business, and how treating people how you want to be treated is a rewarding philosophy not only in business but also in life! — Mike Duddy, VP/Project Manager
Investing in employees pays huge dividends By Mark Dolinski, VP of Professional Development & Training, GRCA
n the chaotic world of 2022, manufacturers are confronted with a multitude of challenges ranging from sourcing product, increasing costs of raw materials, inventory issues, new disruptive technologies and skilled labor shortage. The challenges seem endless. One of the most effective, long-term strategies to stay in front of these challenges is to invest in the professional development of your employees to create the culture that drives productivity and innovation and attracts the talent to expand business capabilities. Investing in your employees pays back dividends through improve productivity. As employees see the commitment the company is making in them, engagement, productivity and quality increase. The investment in professional development differentiates your company from others in attracting talent. One of the most significant changes over the last 20 has been the expectations of Millennials and Generation Y employees who no longer accept the sink or swim mentality of the past. These generations are keenly aware and value how employers will invest in their development. Lastly, investing in your employees simply improves the bottom line. The reduction of employee turnover lessens the costly burden of hiring new employees. An engaged and experienced workforce creates an environment leading to higher-productivity, teamwork and loyalty — tangibles that differentiate your company from the competition.
Professional development can be parsed into two broad categories — essential skills and technical skills. These are very much like the bicep and triceps in your arm as both are needed to maximize function. The Greater Reading Chamber
Alliance (GRCA) has been working with manufacturers since the inception of WEDnetPA in 1999 to facilitate essential skill training programs for their employees. GRCA’s Lead Worker Certificate and Supervisor Certificate Programs are two examples of successful training programs that have been invaluable in helping companies both large and small to develop their future leaders and sustain organizational growth. With the health concerns of COVID-19, GRCA offers these essential training programs and others in a hybrid format, which allows attendees the option to participate in-person or virtually. WEDnet assists companies develop their existing workforce. Employers determine their critical training needs and select providers such as GRCA to deliver training to their employees. During 2020 and 2021, WEDnet “invested over $8.1 million to help train more than 20,000 people.” WEDnet grants are available for a maximum of $2,000 per employee or $100,000 per company. The assistance in defraying the cost of investing in employees has been a successful collaboration between the state and the business community. Investing in your employees is no longer a luxury, but is a foundational strategic component for creating and sustaining a productive and innovation company that will be thriving today and tomorrow. To learn more about WEDnet, visit www.wednetpa.com. To learn more about the professional development programs offered by GRCA, contact Mark Dolinski, Vice President of Training and Professional Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CE NTENNIA L CE L E B R AT IO N
Overhead Door reaches 100th birthday ™
he first Overhead Door™ opened in Detroit in 1921 — marking 100 years since its inventor, C.G. Johnson, created the modern-day convenience. The company has had a presence in Reading since the late 1930s. At the time, all distributors were corporately owned. Roy Owens, a native of the Pennsylvania Coal Region, purchased Overhead Door Company of Reading™ in 1965, making it independently owned for the first time. A graduate of Syracuse University with a degree in communications, and a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy Reserve, Roy settled in Lincoln Park with his growing family. He worked for Atlantic Richfield as manager of maintenance for its gas stations. In 1965, Roy called Overhead Door Company of Reading™ to get garage doors repaired and discovered the business was for sale. It’s been owned by the Owens family ever since. Roy firmly believed that honesty and work ethic were paramount to running a successful business. He strove to be fair and well respected by employees, customers and suppliers. And perhaps most importantly, he valued his relationship with the Berks County community.
Due to the success of Overhead Door Company of Reading™, Roy was able to complete the purchase of Overhead Door Company of Lancaster™ in 1968. Growth in Reading and Lancaster continued through Roy’s retirement and the transfer of the business to his three sons, Bill, Dave and Bob, in 1988. Overhead Door Company of Chester and Delaware Counties™ was After 14 COMMERCE QUARTERLY WINTER 2022
connections to communities that they operate in. Glenn Groff, Lancaster’s longest tenured employee, is soon retiring after 55 years on the job. It’s an incredible accomplishment and speaks to the importance of creating a family oriented working environment in which employees are treated with respect and given the opportunity to learn new skills. Overhead Door™ is lucky to employ people like Groff and is constantly on the lookout for others like him. The future of Overhead Door Company of Reading™ and the construction industry in general is fascinating and complicated. Residentially, cell phone applications will allow homeowners to open and close their garage doors from anywhere at any time. In commercial and industrial fields, high-speed, high-tech doors will allow businesses to improve functionality in their warehouses and factories. Sophisticated fire doors will protect workers and prevent property damage. These types of advancements will improve the local infrastructure and upgrade quality of life. But as the world changes rapidly, some things in business must stay the same. Namely, businesses must invest in building relationships Each branch of Overhead Door™ specializes in the installation within the communities they operate in. Businesses must treat and repair of residential, commercial and industrial garage doors. customers and employees with kindness and respect and must be All are experts in retractable awnings, hollow metal doors, automatic honest and sincere. Overhead Door Company of Reading™ believes entrance doors, loading dock equipment, rolling steel, fire doors, that these practices have helped the business flourish in Reading for 57 years and believes that they will help the business flourish for 57 storefront grilles and much more. more. Berks County is an incredible place to live, work, and grow The employees of Overhead Door™ are the key to its success. Their and Overhead Door™ couldn’t feel prouder and more excited to be skill, expertise and professionalism have created an atmosphere in a part of the community. which the business can grow and expand, while establishing deep launched from scratch in 1993 and Overhead Door Company of Berwick™ was acquired in 2020.
Scott Gruber, President & CEO &
Gary Moyer, EVP, Chief Lending Officer On your retirement Thank you to Scott and Gary for everything they’ve done for our company and community.
with a (new) View Tompkins VIST Bank employees brighten room at Mary’s Shelter for kid in need
he staff of Tompkins VIST Bank’s Wyomissing branch this year donated $2,000 to refurbish a bedroom at Mary’s Shelter in Berks County and did much of the work themselves.
“I knew our staff could make the most of the funds by putting our own muscle into the project,” said Susan Belfer, branch manager.
The room was part of a 17,000-square-foot renovation that Mary’s Shelter conducted this year to house the growing number of homeless youth ages 16 to 21 at its facility. “The financial strain of the pandemic has caused a lot of family conflict, which prompts kids to run away or be kicked out of their homes,” said Christine Folk, executive director. The project included 20 bedrooms as well as a kitchen, living room and other rooms and offices.
16 COMMERCE QUARTERLY WINTER 2022
Lauren Boone, Universal Banker, puts some finishing touches on the room the bank renovated at Mary’s Shelter.
The finished room for a youth at Mary’s Shelter after the Tompkins VIST Bank team completed its renovation.
The funds for the renovation came from a variety of sponsors, each of which were assigned a room. And to make this a local youthbased project, Folk invited Berks County high schools to submit designs for the rooms. Tompkins VIST Bank’s bedroom was designed by Boyertown High School and was very detailed, said Belfer. “In addition to listing the furniture and décor, the students even suggested where the items could be purchased,” she said. The Tompkins VIST staff began work on the project several months ago, when professional contractors installed a drop ceiling and flooring, and the branch’s Assistant Manager Edwin Alvarado and Senior Teller Zach Dautrich painted the room in neutral and warm earth colors. Next the staff purchased a bed frame and several other pieces of furniture, which were assembled by the bank’s facilities employees Alex Reifsnyder and Earl DeLong. The final phase was the décor, which included adding pillows, a bedspread, curtains, wall hangings and many personalized items so that the room would feel “extra special,” said Belfer. She coordinated the work so that all the staff, including Universal Banker Lauren Boone and Tellers Jen Ballou and Anna Gual, had an opportunity to help while also assuring that the branch continued to serve customers. Folk commended the generosity of all the sponsors and made special mention of the Tompkins VIST team’s hard work. “They took the original design and brought it to life,” she said. “Each room is unique, just like the kids we house. We want them to feel that the community cares about them and wants them to succeed.” Belfer and her staff agreed. “It means a lot to know that we made a room pleasant and welcoming for a young person in need and could really help the community this way.” 17
Better know your new district By Katie Hetherington Cunfer, Director of Government & Community Relations, GRCA
“Map maker, map maker, make me a map. Find me a district, catch me a constituency.” Forgive the fiddling with “Fiddler,” but the decennial legislative redistricting process currently underway across the country is quite intriguing. We’ll review the important milestones you need to watch for and preface everything with the state and federal courts are likely to play a defining role in this process as we try to settle on the “fairest” maps for equitable representation. The goal of this process is to create districts that have equal population, respect municipal, county and geographical boundaries, don’t dilute communities of interest such as minority populations, and many other competing factors, all within the boundaries of Pennsylvania. The legislative redistricting process happens every 10 years following the nationwide census so that we are continually rebalancing power based on population. Due to population stagnation in Pennsylvania and growth in other states such as Texas and Florida, we will be losing a seat in Congress once again, moving from 18 to 17 House districts. Pennsylvania has lost at least one seat every 10 years for the last 50, which is quite concerning. The loss of seats means a loss of influence in Congress. The key to solving this is turning around our economy and implementing pro-growth strategies to reverse the postindustrial trends we’ve grappled with for decades. The current process to draw the Congressional map is coordinated by the PA Senate and House State Government Committees who will develop the initial maps via legislation, then they must be agreed upon and passed by the majority of both chambers, then presented to the
18 COMMERCE QUARTERLY WINTER 2022
Governor for action. Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court threw out the 2012 Congressional map in 2018 after a lawsuit claimed they were drawn to overly benefit Republicans. The legislative committees are trying to interpret and follow the parameters established by the court in that recent case, but interpretation is in the eye of the beholder. At the time of this writing, the Governor and the Legislature are not in agreement over the proposed maps, and it is highly anticipated that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will have the final say in this fight. The redistricting process for Pennsylvania’s 203 House and 50 Senate districts also is happening. That process is separate — currently conducted through the Legislative Reapportionment Commission. This five-member group is comprised of the majority and minority leaders from each caucus in each chamber and a “non-partisan, independent” chair agreed upon by the legislative leaders and the judiciary. Mark Nordenberg, former Dean of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Law
Billboards_2022.qxp_GRCAad2022 1/26/22 4:24 PM Page 2 GreaterReading.org
and Chancellor of the university, is serving as the Chair for the current commission. This body votes on the parameters to redraft the maps and then votes on the maps. These maps do not go before the whole legislature or the Governor for action, but at the time of this writing, there are many groups criticizing the maps and the process with lawsuits pending. The test will be to see if and how the judiciary does wade into this process. For more information about the Commission and to view proposed maps, visit: www.redistricting.state.pa.us/. Pennsylvania’s 2022 Primary Election is set for Tuesday, May 17. To hit that deadline, the maps need to be voted on by Jan. 24. This deadline ensures that there is enough time for candidates to circulate petitions to get onto the ballot and get ballots printed and mailed. Should the courts intervene, and not in an expedient manner, there is a chance that the primary gets pushed to a later date in the summer. Don’t forget that there will also be an open U.S. Senate seat and the Governor’s office on the ballot this year, too. So, what does this mean for you? Well for one, unless you are a candidate for Congress or the Legislature (or a consultant), it’s not something you should lose sleep over. If you are, good luck! We’ll send antacids! But you should be keeping an eye on this process because you may be getting brand new elected officials, either through retirements or shifting districts. Business leaders should always be engaged with legislative leaders regardless of party affiliation. You may need to start cultivating new relationships, even if you wish to stay out of the political aspects. This is your chance to establish a good rapport with these candidates, educate them about the needs and pressures of your business, explain your role as an employer of their constituents, and expose your employees to elected individuals to reinforce the importance of voting. Even if this candidate is not successful this time around, these are potential community leaders who may run for future offices. Developing these relationships benefit your business and increases local business literacy in the community. As we gear up for the 2022 elections, GRCA will be continually updating election information in our Action Center (greaterreadingchamber-grassroots.mmp2.org/). After the primaries, we will be sending out a questionnaire to all candidates so that they can share their positions on issues important to the business community. We will be encouraging all business leaders to share these answers, especially with your employees. We are also currently looking for businesses interested in hosting Employee Voter Registration events in late September to encourage employee participation in this important election. Every election is important, but this one promises to have a lot more moving parts than usual. Count on GRCA to act as a resource as you get to “Better Know Your New District” in 2022! 19
Ready to grow?
GRCA can help! By Aaron Gantz, Senior Director of Economic Development, GRCA
he Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA) team works to set businesses up for success in Berks County. The economic development team works to bring the necessary tools and resources to the table to help companies locate or grow their business in our community. Whether a company is seeking information to better understand its customer, looking for a property to accommodate relocation or expansion or requires assistance with financing, our team has the resources to make it happen.
Through GRCA’s affiliate organization, the Greater Berks Development Fund (GBDF), we can assist Berks businesses with their financing needs. As the only Certified Economic Development Organization (CEDO) in Berks County, GBDF can access funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Community Development. In addition to being a CEDO, GBDF is a state and federally designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) through the U.S. Department of Treasury. The purpose of a CDFI is to promote economic revitalization and development in underserved communities. GBDF’s ability to access various sources of funding has paved the way for unique financing opportunities for Berks businesses for over 70 years. In addition to the funding directly administered by GBDF, partnering with other organizations and financial institutions can occur to offer an attractive package for project needs. GBDF has utilized federal, state, and local grant and loan programs to structure creative financing packages. In 2021, GRCA focused a significant portion of its economic development efforts on working with existing Berks businesses. These included: • As the CEDO, GBDF was the designated entity approved by the Berks County Commissioners to administer $4,680,000 in grants disbursed to 177 Berks County businesses through the
COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP) • Working with over 130 companies on relocation, expansion, financing and data needs* • Working with over 150 companies through the Advanced Manufacturing Next Gen Industry Partnership (AMNGIP) In 2021, GBDF packaged and submitted six Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) Loans through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development on behalf of existing Berks businesses. The loans totaled $1.9 million and over $7.5 million in total project costs. One of those projects included Apollo Zeus Holdings, LLC, a real estate holding company for GMS Environmental, LLC. GMS Environmental was founded in 2012 in Palm, Penn., by Rita and Michael Sisselberger, in response to an industry-wide need for repairing and maintaining compactor equipment and waste container assets. From its opening until the present, GMS Environmental has provided mobile welding, fabrication and repair services at various customer locations. This mobility, at times, has subjected its team to weather and mobile process inefficiencies. As GMS Environmental has grown, centralizing operations became a critical need. It was determined that the construction of a 5,000-square-foot building to operate its welding, fabrication and repair shop was needed to streamline the company’s services. A PIDA loan in the amount of $375,000 was approved in partnership with funding First Keystone Community Bank to assist with the more than $1.2 million construction project. This expansion project provides GMS Environmental with the ability to not only consolidate operations, but to also improve quality and service to the customer. In 2021 as a CDFI, GBDF was eligible to apply for a Rapid
*does not include 177 companies we worked with on CHIRP grants 20 COMMERCE QUARTERLY WINTER 2022
Herbein + Company, Inc. (Herbein) is a leading Mid-Atlan�c regional cer�ﬁed public accoun�ng ﬁrm whose professionals specialize in crea�ng impact for clients. Founded in 1972, Herbein is commi�ed to providing the experience, collabora�on, and the insights that go beyond audit and tax services and have helped our clients succeed with conﬁdence for 50 years.
Herbein + Company, Inc. CPAS and Advisors Financial Outsourcing Solu�ons Herbein l Mosteller HR Solu�ons Response Grant (RRG) from the U.S. Department of Treasury. The purpose of the grant was to deploy capital to help overcome the economic obstacles facing projects being undertaken in challenging circumstances. The RRG funds are an example of a unique and non-traditional funding opportunity that is administered by GBDF.
www.herbein.com l 1.855.HC.Today
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In June 2021, GBDF was notified that it has been awarded $1 million to be utilized for projects within certain geographic areas within Berks County, primarily in the City of Reading. The funds must be deployed as “financial products in the form of loans, loan guarantees, loan-loss reserves, etc.” To date, two projects have received funding from GBDF from this award. First, GBDF is participating in the financing of the Super Natural Produce redevelopment project at 4th and Elm Streets in Reading, the site of the former City of Reading public works building. The new facility will include a full-service grocery store, a manufacturing operation and warehouse space. The second project to receive RRG funds is the former Elks Club property at 46 South Fifth St. in Reading. Purchased by the Shuman Development Group (SDG) in May 2021, this building will require extensive investment and renovations. RRG funds were provided as a short-term loan to SDG to undertake interim repairs in anticipation of the winter months. GRCA and GBDF are pleased to assist Berks businesses on their continued growth and expansion through traditional and unique financing opportunities. For more information or questions, please visit greaterreading.org/financing or contact Landon Bernheiser at LBernheiser@greaterreading.org or 610.898.7792.
Help us build a stronger community. Donate. Volunteer. Tutor.
Literacy Council of Reading-Berks 35 South Dwight Street, West Lawn, PA
610.670.9960 email@example.com www.lcrb.org 21
GREATER READING Chamber Alliance
Here’s a taste of what GRCA has been working on and what’s to come in 2022. Advocacy 2021 was a busy year for GRCA’s advocacy program. COVID response continued to dominate with the American Rescue Plan, the COVID Hospitality Industry Relief Program, and the efforts to realign executive power in emergency declarations. GRCA led the coalition to stop the rampant unemployment compensation fraud that was the result of the PA Department of Labor & Industry’s decision to roll out a new UC system without proper safety protocols. We were also engaged on infrastructure, supporting the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill that includes increased funding for passenger rail and opposing the PennDOT proposal to toll bridges including the 1-78 Lenhartsville Bridge. We testified at the PA House Transportation Committee hearing that we support sustainable funding solutions, but oppose inequitable, business punitive taxes like the proposed tolls. In 2022, expect a few of these issues to continue to be a focus such as bridge tolling, and we will be focusing on improving PA’s business tax climate with a push to finally reduce the corporate net income tax. With the influx of American Rescue Plan funds, we will advocate for those funds to be invested in economic development and growing our economy out of the COVID recession and inflation. We are also reinstituting the Business & Community Advocacy Council policy 22 COMMERCE QUARTERLY WINTER 2022
committees. We’d love to have any interested members participate to help develop our positions and statements on important issues facing the business community. This year will also feature elections for Governor, U.S. Senate, Congress, Pennsylvania House, and half of the Pennsylvania Senate. The Congressional and PA legislative maps are in the process of being redrawn. GRCA will be offering all candidates that succeed in the primary to participate in our “Candidate Questionnaire” on important business issues. 2022 is going to be a busy year!
Re-membership and New Member Orientation Thank you for being a member of the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance! We’ve created an online orientation at greaterreading.org/ new-member-orientation/ to ensure existing and new members maximize their membership. Take a look: • Meet our staff and learn about services • Help us to understand your goals for membership • Match your interests with opportunities • Access your membership benefits and how to utilize them
Economic Development In 2021, the GRCA economic development team focused significant time on working with existing Berks businesses. We worked with over 300 businesses to identify resources to address challenges, opportunities and growth. The team is looking forward to continuing to support Berks businesses through financing opportunities, real estate options and development, data resources and more.
Events 2022 events are sure to offer every GRCA member something unique including the reinvigoration of networking – Networking Experiences, Networking@ Night and regional Chamber networking. From our four Annual Signature Events and regularly offered Breakfast4Success events to our specialty programs like Women2Women and Family Business Alliance, whatever you are looking for in 2022, we’ve got it for you.
Training & Workforce Development GRCA continues to be at the vanguard with providing the critical professional development skills needed to navigate the challenges of today’s rapidly changing business environment. Our hybrid programming is designed to focus on the needs of the participants and to stretch their awareness, potential and aspirations so they exemplify what it means to be a true authentic leader that others want to follow.
Get Involved with D
id you know that GRCA manages 11 groups/committees for members to join, participate in or lead? These groups offer pathways for our members to learn from each other, share critical information and relay best practices and tools to help our business community grow and thrive. If you are interested in getting involved in one of our groups, please reach out to Senior Director of Membership Julie Larison at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Economic Development Council • Open to economic development investors • Meets quarterly • Focused on what is next and best in Berks County economic development. Information includes new companies, expanding companies, who is looking at Berks County, relevant data and more!
Business Community & Advocacy Council • Members at $1,500 Influencer level and above • Meets monthly • Council with task force structure to advocate for pro-business policies and focus on issues such as infrastructure, energy, transportation, budgets, taxes and others chosen by committee members each year
Diversity & Inclusion Committee
• Focused on building resources and coalitions with local partners to further develop diversity and inclusion business practices
Women2Women(W2W) Council & Committees • Members and not-yet members who are selected for participation based on qualifying criteria • Meet monthly • Committees of W2W help to sculpt the program for the year through research and outreach to their own companies and nationwide conferences
Family Business Alliance Council & Committee • Members and not-yet members who are selected for participation based on qualifying criteria • Meet monthly • Councils are focused on the high-level goal setting for each program and are primarily comprised of sponsor representatives
Human Resources & Benefits Roundtable Lunch & Learn • Members and not-yet members (fee) • Meets quarterly • Focused on HR/benefits-related issues, industry best practices and current challenges
Minority Business Outreach Committee
• Mixed board and member committee
• Board member committee
• Meets quarterly
• Meets quarterly
• Focused on creating resources and identifying the needs of the minority businesses within the Greater Reading region
Membership Committee • Board member committee • Meets monthly • Focused on evaluating GRCA membership services, benefits and structure and providing feedback on initiatives developed for members
Manufacturing Industry Partnership Group • Open to members and not-yet members • Meets quarterly • Focused on needs of Berks County manufacturers and includes three Action Teams – leadership, talent attraction & retention and training
Audit/Governance Committee • Board member committee • Meets quarterly • Focused on reviewing bylaws, governance and annual audits
Nominating Committee • Board member committee • Meets quarterly • Focused on board engagement and nominations for open positions
in your community
M a i n
S t r e e t
P r o g r a m s
hamburg Hamburg welcomes eight new businesses By Gabriella Wilson, Administrative Assistant, Our Town Foundation
owntown Hamburg had a surge of businesses open over the past several months, adding several unique shops and services to what the town already offers. Hamburg’s perseverance during the COVID-19 pandemic and its strong sense of community among business owners have attributed to the continued growth and success of the downtown.
olive oils and balsamic vinegars, spice blends, specialty foods and unique snacks. The boutique offers a variety of collectible salt and pepper shakers, meat and cheese boards, home décor, and other one-of-a-kind items including artwork by the shop’s owner, Charlotte Golden.
A. Rose and Company Hair Studio – 302 State St., Hamburg
Lazy Dog Vintage has expanded! The owners, Ashley and Justin Zimmerman, opened a second location in the downtown, which features an amazing collection of vintage, farmhouse, rustic and repurposed furniture. You can also find home décor, jewelry and bath accessories. Along with this new location, comes ample parking and a drop-off and pick-up area for furniture.
The studio offers hair and wax services and focuses on everyday beauty as well as being a trend-focused, family salon. It accommodates clients of all generations and ethnicities! Walkins are welcome. Visit the studio’s Facebook page, facebook.com/ARoseAndCompany/, for additional information. Copperz Brewing Company – 798 South 4th St., Hamburg After several years of planning and permitting, Copperz Brewing Company opened its doors in December to the public. The pub offers a full bar and dining menu as well as small-batch, hand-crafted beers, cocktails made with locally distilled spirits and locally produced wines! Copperz Brewing Company is a family-owned business with many ties to Hamburg. The family has owned and operated Windsor Distributing for several decades. Josephine’s Oil & Spice – 45 South 4th St., Hamburg When you step into this charming store you will find plenty of flavor-infused, organic
24 COMMERCE QUARTERLY WINTER 2022
Lazy Dog Vintage Furniture Gallery – 157 State St., Hamburg
Mema’s Memories - Antiques & General Store – 21 South 3rd St., Hamburg A unique treasure trove of goodies within one store, Mema’s Memories offers everything from antiques and collectibles to prepackaged and customized gift baskets. In the general store section, you can find gourmet snack items, nostalgic candy, jams, jellies, soaps, candles, pet products and much more! Neliz Photography – 319 State St., Hamburg While Neliz Photography may be new to Hamburg, it has been in business since 2011. Additionally, its photographers
travel to capture weddings, engagements, birthdays and maternity shoots. Be sure to check out its Facebook page, facebook.com/ nelizphotography/, for more information and to book your photoshoot. Perry Indoor Golf & Billiards – 805 State St., Suite B, Hamburg Whether you’re practicing your swings alone, bringing along some friends, or holding a corporate event, Perry Indoor Golf & Billiards is a great place to have fun! Perry Indoor offers two bays, six pool tables and 20 challenging and famous golf courses in HD, driving ranges, accurate golf data and analysis, and skill challenges. A full menu is also available for your enjoyment. Local tournaments and pool leagues are welcome as well. Sacred Ink Tattoo – 13 South 4th St., Hamburg Tattoo artists Bruce Blankenhorn Jr., Kaitlynn McShaw, and Lydia Green held their grand opening in December. This marks the trio’s endeavor of owning their first business. The owners are looking forward to making memories and new friendships in downtown Hamburg. You can check out pictures of their work and message them for an appointment at facebook.com/Sacredinktattoo3. Business entrepreneurs who are interested in learning more about downtown Hamburg and the surrounding area may contact Deena Kershner, Director of Our Town Foundation, the Borough’s non-profit community revitalization organization, by emailing email@example.com or by phone at 610562-3106. Be sure to visit hamburgpa.org for additional information on the town.
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) announced its hire of Katie Johnsen, who joined the team as Events Coordinator this past November. Johnsen will manage day-to-day event and special program tasks including client relations management, marketing assistance and social media. Prior to joining GRCA, Johnsen worked as a month-of events planner at LEO Design Gallery and with the GoggleWorks as a venue coordinator. Johnsen earned a BA in theatre from Muhlenberg College, giving her the skills to create events with a dramatic flair.
RKL LLP announced that Thomas D. Reardon, CFP®, has been named a partner in the firm, effective January 1, 2022. Since joining RKL’s investment advisory subsidiary, RKL Wealth Management LLC, in 2008, Reardon held a variety of roles with increasing responsibilities, most recently serving as a Senior Wealth Advisor. This career path gave him a unique perspective and deep understanding of RKL Wealth Management’s operations and processes, which he continues to apply as a member of the firm’s leadership team.
26 COMMERCE QUARTERLY WINTER 2022
RKL LLP is pleased to announce that William Hill has joined the firm as a Senior Manager in the firm’s Audit Services Group. In this role, Hill specializes in identifying, growing and managing strategic value for companies and public sector entities. He has more than 20 years of experience in venture capital, private equity and investment banking. Previously, he directed business intelligence and analysis at a major private equityowned firm. Before that, Hill served as a Director of Finance for a large public sector entity.
RKL LLP announced that Danielle Covely has joined the firm as a Senior Consultant. In this role, Covely supports organizations and management teams in a wide range of industries with financial accounting and reporting solutions. Her expertise includes financial statement preparation (from administrative review to full GAAP compliance) and accounting for complex transactions, such as stock options, business combinations, variable interest entities, consolidations and more.
RKL LLP announced that Ryan C. Moore, CPA, CVA, CGMA, has joined the firm as a partner in the Tax Services Group. Moore’s admittance to the RKL partnership marks a full circle professional moment as he returns to the firm where he started his public accounting career in 2005 as a staff associate.
Mid Penn Bank (Mid Penn), a wholly owned subsidiary of Mid Penn Bancorp, Inc., has been named Best Small Bank in Pennsylvania by Newsweek on their America’s Best Banks list for 2022. According to Newsweek’s website, the list evaluates more than 2,500 FDIC-insured financial institutions and considers more than 30 criteria in the decision. These factors include the overall health of the bank, customer service performance, responsiveness, product and service offerings, interest rates and fee structures.
Barley Snyder continues to add to its group of attorneys, as the firm has hired three new associates. Zachary D. Griffith, a Berks County native, is a magna cum laude graduate of Widener University Delaware Law School and a summa cum laude graduate of Albright College. Caleb P. Setlock, a member of the firm’s Employment Practice Group, is a cum laude graduate of Duquesne University School of Law and Duquesne University. The Lancaster County native previously worked as an intern at the county’s Public Defenders Office. Gabriel T. Wertz is a graduate of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law and DeSales University. He was a certified legal intern at Villanova Law School’s Interdisciplinary Mental & Physical Health Law Clinic, successfully representing clients in appeals cases to increase or have reinstated paid personal assistance service hours that had been previously denied by their health insurers.
Herbein + Company, Inc. (Herbein) announced the acquisition, effective Oct. 1, of Tubiello-Harr & Associates, LLC, a Greater Lehigh Valley certified public accounting firm. This merger is part of Herbein’s dynamic growth plan and is based on strengthening a growing geographic market. In fact, Herbein was recently named one of the Lehigh Valley’s 2021 Fastest Growing Companies awards winners.
The Board of Directors of Tompkins VIST Bank announced that Scott L. Gruber will retire as president and CEO of Tompkins VIST Bank after nearly nine years of service to the company. In anticipation of his retirement, Tompkins VIST Bank worked to assure a smooth transition of leadership and is delighted to announce the appointment of Ginger G. Kunkel to chief operating officer, before she assumes leadership next year upon Gruber’s retirement. He will support the transition process during the early part of the year, retiring in the second quarter, 2022.
For its Banksgiving program this year, Tompkins VIST Bank donated a total of $15,000 to three food pantries in its southeastern Pennsylvania marketplace. The organizations are Helping Harvest, Share Foods, Inc. and Council of Churches of Schuylkill Haven. Continued on next page 27
Tompkins VIST Bank announced that Anne-Marie Nicola has joined the company as vice president and commercial lender. Her role will be to expand relationships and support the success of construction & industrial and real estate clients in the greater Philadelphia area.
Savoy Magazine has included Barley Snyder partner Jennifer Craighead Carey on its 2021 Most Influential Black Corporate Directors list. Craighead Carey was recognized for her work as a member of the board of directors at Lancaster-based Fulton Financial Corp., the parent company of Fulton Bank. The list of more than 700 African-American directors on corporate boards of directors across the country is compiled by the national publication Savoy Magazine, a leading African-American lifestyle magazine focusing on fashion, business, technology and style.
The Rhoads Energy Family of Companies announced the launch of Cool Crew, a new HVAC service group. The team consists of more than 50 service technicians from Rhoads Energy and its affiliate companies, including Boyertown Oil & Propane, E.G. Smith Inc., Mack Energy and Reilly & Sons. The move enables Rhoads to centralize operations and expand service options across a large swath of southeastern Pennsylvania.
28 COMMERCE QUARTERLY WINTER 2022
Visions Federal Credit Union has promoted Steve Wayman to the position of Senior Vice President/Chief Data and Performance Officer. A dynamic leader with 23 years of experience with Visions, Wayman worked with President/CEO Tyrone Muse to introduce the Business Performance department six years ago. This push has been central to Wayman’s role within the organization, where he now leads a team of 20 employees to streamline Visions’ processes eliminating inefficiencies and providing data driven insights.
Domani Wealth, a wealth planning and investment management firm with offices throughout Central PA, has hired William F. Lampariello, PMP®, as manager of firm administration, and Joseph P. Marmorato, CPA, manager of tax planning. Lampariello has joined Domani to help with continuous process improvements, support compliance, and manage firmwide project implementation. Marmorato collaborates with the investment management team to assist with tax efficiencies in client portfolios. He will be leading the education of the company’s wealth advisor team on new tax legislation and proposals. He is also responsible for the firm’s internal tax training of team members.
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member news: new members & anniversaries OCT. 2021 – FEB. 2022
New Members ABLE Equipment Rental, Service and Sales Advanced Metrics Anytime Fitness Bell Media Group Berks Homes Caring Concept HomeCare LLC D&S Portable Toilets Hubric Resources Hugg Media Group LLC Keller William Platinum Realty Kemerton Refill & Refresh Kissinger Associates, Inc. SmartCost Incorporated
OCT. 2021 – FEB. 2022 1 YEAR
AT&T Berks Ballet Theatre Conservatory of Dance Cell Experts Cheers American Bistro Restaurant & Bar Commonwealth Charter Academy DaBrian Marketing Group Dryer Vent Wizard of Reading, PA Fee Navigator Inc Garland Communication Systems Heidelberg Family Restaurant Independent Information Technology Consultants Jubilee Ministries Parcon Cleaning Service Republic Services Susan L. Angstadt Photography The Reading Coffee Company Triple Dove LLC Waterfall Media Group Workplace Talent Solutions
5 YEAR 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.
Grifols Biomat USA Jack Williams Tire & Auto Service Center Kathryn’s Katering, LLC M & M Autoclave Cleaning Reading Area Water Authority Stoney Creek Rentals, Inc. Sunoco Pipeline Wyomissing Restaurant & Bakery
Anewalt’s Landscape Contracting Berks Earned Income Tax Collection Bureau David Bluestone / Bluestone Dental, P.C. Fox Rothschild LLP Genesius Theatre Levan Pipe Services, Inc. ManorCare Sinking Spring #576 ManorCare West Reading #568 Mi Casa Su Casa Cafe & Restaurant Patient First Reading Dermatology Associates Skin Care by Alyce The Victory Bank Wyomissing Hair Studio
Reading Housing Authority Sweet Street Desserts
Instantwhip PA, Inc. K.L. Harring Transportation, LLC Manor Golf Club, Inc. Misco Products Corporation Publicity Works Stewart’s Fabrication The Compleat Baldwin Brass Center
Berks County Intermediate Unit Pennsylvania CareerLink® Berks County Tower Health at Home Berks
Berks Catholic High School, Inc. Breyer Construction & Landscape, LLC Fox Rothschild Kriegman & Smith, Inc. National Cleaners / Yorgey’s Fine Cleaning NHS of Greater Berks, Inc. Surgical Institute of Reading
Body Zone Sports and Wellness Complex Joe Jurgielewicz & Son, Ltd. Pennsylvania Forensic Associates / Safeguards Foster Care
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