GRCA Commerce Quarterly Winter 2023

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3 Leaders, 30 Thoughts

Solo entrepreneurs + micro-businesses reveal what keeps them going
Quarterly Small yet mighty
Plus: P. 8 P. 22

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» Develops employees through training and educational programs/alliances.

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

» Operates as a model business and pursues best practices.

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

» Reflects our multicultural community at large.

CONTENTS FEATURES: 8 Good Things Come in Small Companies 18 Bethany Celebrates 160 years of Serving Youth 19 Business Excellence Awards Application 20 Berks County Women-Owned Business Spotlights 26 Albright Earns State Grant to Combat Sexual Assault DEPARTMENTS: Business & Community Advocacy 16 Local Races – Forefront in Season of Political Change Events & Signature Programs 15 Berks Family Business Alliance –The Brand Evolution 22 Breakfast4Success: 3 Leaders, 30 Thoughts IN EVERY ISSUE: 5 Letter From the Editor 6 A Message from GRCA CEO & President 12 Greater Together 28 In Your Community 30 Member News 34 New Members 34 Member Anniversaries 4 Leah Fassnacht, Editor 606 Court Street, Reading, PA 19601 • 610.376.6766 ©2023 All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced electronically or in print without the expressed written permission of the publisher. Commerce Quarterly Magazine is published quarterly by Hoffmann Publishing Group, Reading, PA • 610.685.0914 For Advertising Opportunities: call 610.685.0914 Ext. 1 Read Commerce Quarterly Magazine Online at The opinions expressed in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. As the business voice of Greater Reading, Greater Reading Chamber Alliance leads the business community, as the economic driver, to a vibrant community. Your Greater Reading Chamber Alliance… » Partners with all other economic development organizations in creating an environment for growth.
Enables all businesses to take deliberate and decided action on issues affecting their welfare.
» Helps small
thrive and entrepreneurs strive.
On the cover: Audrey Simmons, Team of Greats LLC (See page 8) Quarterly COMMERCE

Welcome to the first 2023 edition of Commerce Quarterly magazine. This column is brought to you by me in collaboration with my new adjustable standing desk and walking pad.

Full transparency, I turned the big 4-0 at the end of last year. And what comes with age besides (hopefully) wisdom? Back pain and stiffness, of course! Anyone who works a desk job knows that hours of slouching over your desk not only is bad for your overall health, but it is also bad for your productivity level.

I often was finding myself having to get up and take a few laps around my house (a perk of mostly working from home) or take a quick jaunt around the block to feel better and get myself back to work.

It’s not a great system when your daily to-do list is an arm’s length long. Now, I can multitask in the purest form — walk while answering emails, walk while writing and editing copy and walk while taking internal meetings. I haven’t quite mastered designing graphics while walking, but I am working on it! Currently, I am clocking an extra three to four miles during my workday, and I am loving it. I feel better, sleep better and am more focused on my work while at my computer. I guess I should note that losing focus while walking could end in embarrassment or worse, injury. I will keep you posted on whether either or both of those happen.

If this edition offers nothing else, it should offer you the reminder that you and I aren’t the only ones who must find ways to multitask during our workday. Our cover story highlights micro-businesses and solo entrepreneurs who have no choice but to work smarter while still delivering their customers the highest quality of work. Check out what these one-or-two-person shows learned along the way, what they wish they knew sooner and how their businesses are adding to the rich, economic fabric of Greater Reading. CQ

Board of Directors


Chairman Jeffrey R. Rush – Fulton Bank

Vice Chairman Christina L. Weeber – East Penn Mfg. Co., Inc.

Treasurer Michele L. Richards – Fulton Bank

Secretary Michael A. Duff – Penske


Gregg A. Bogia – Bogia Engineering Inc.

Ernest J. Choquette – The Stevens & Lee Companies

Jim Gerlach – Greater Reading Chamber Alliance

Jack Gombach – McNees Strategic Solutions Group

Laura Haffner – Wells Fargo

Sara Kuzma-Stump – Suburban Testing Labs

Daniel R. Langdon – East Penn Mfg. Co., Inc.

Susan D. Looney – Reading Area Community College

Jamey Maack – US Anodize

David C. Roland – Truist

Timothy D. Romig – Customers Bank

Alan W. Shuman – Shuman Development Group

David W. Stonesifer – Herbein & Company, Inc.

John Weidenhammer – Weidenhammer


Chairwoman Sara Kuzma-Stump – Suburban Testing Labs

Vice Chairwoman Laura Haffner – Wells Fargo

Solicitor Timothy Dietrich – Barley Snyder

Treasurer Jack Gombach – McNees Strategic Solutions Group

Secretary Gregg A. Bogia – Bogia Engineering Inc.


Stephen Bonner – DoubleTree by Hilton

Lucy Cortez – Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Berks

Brian Dietrich – EY LLP

Jonathan Encarnacion – UPMC FOR U, INC.

Josephina Encarnacion – SBDC – Kutztown University

Becky A. Eshbach – UGI Utilities, Inc.

Alba Fernandez – Community First Fund

Andrea Funk – Enersys

Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz – Mi Casa Su Casa

Jim Gerlach – Greater Reading Chamber Alliance

Dan Gring – D&B Construction

Dr. Jill M. Hackman – Berks County Intermediate Unit

Joey Jurgielewicz – Jurgielewicz & Son, Ltd.

Kristen Kohler – Brentwood Industries

Daniel B. Laws, Jr. – DaBrian Marketing Group

Ben Leisawitz – Barley Snyder, LLC

Kristi Gage-Linderman – Gage Personnel

John Perate – M&T Bank

Ryan Redner – Redner’s Markets

Michele Richards – Fulton Bank

Rodney Ridley – Alvernia University

Mike Riley – Ethosource

Ben Ross – Burkey Construction

Jim Sarro – Muhlenberg Greene Architects

Alan Shuman – Shuman Development Group

David W. Stonesifer – Herbein & Company, Inc.

John Weidenhammer – Weidenhammer



Chairman Dan Langdon – East Penn Mfg. Co., 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


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

For the most up-to-date schedule of events, training and webinars, visit and click on the events calendar at the top of the page.

Ginger Kunkel – Tompkins VIST Bank

Dr. 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.

Letter from the Editor
CQ Visit our website
Leah Fassnacht

A Message from GRCA CEO & President

Great to Greater

Reflecting on 2022 milestones, anticipating 2023 impact

The first quarter of each year is both a time for reflection and anticipation. We certainly reflect on our successes and remaining challenges from 2022, but we also have a great sense of anticipation regarding the great goals and plans we have made for 2023.

At Team GRCA, we are excited about the progress we made organizationally in 2022 to carry out our three core functions—providing our Chamber members with outstanding services, resources and programming, being a leader of economic development in Berks County, and being a strong and effective advocate for Berks businesses in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C.

We held more than 150 member social and educational events and programs, and we significantly expanded our professional development offerings particularly in the areas of customized English as a Second Language (ESL) training, team building with drones and emotional intelligence training. On the workforce development front, we held another manufacturing summit last fall with nearly 200 attendees while continuing our Manufacturing Industry Partnership program to support local manufacturers’ talent attraction and retention needs.

Much progress was also made with our focus on economic development. We were awarded $2.9 million to support Berks small businesses through a state small business credit initiative, and we were successful in expanding the Commonwealth’s Keystone Innovation Zone to the Alvernia CollegeTowne and Albright Total Learning Experience (formally known as Scientific Research Institute) areas of Reading. Additionally, GRCA obtained approval for $500,000 in PA Enterprise Zone tax credits for the muchneeded SuperNatural Produce project at 4th and Elm in Reading.

On the advocacy front, the voice of Berks businesses was heard loud and clear. Through the hundreds of business advocacy communications, the PA Legislature acted bipartisanly to finally reduce the state’s corporate net income tax. And the PA Department of Transportation finally shelved an onerous bridge tolling proposal. All in all, there was a lot of great progress in our core functions for GRCA success. But what does 2023 look like?

In short, even better Chamber services, greater economic impact and stronger advocacy! We want to build an online resource center to better serve our members. And we are going to expand our workforce development and training services by expanding partnerships with Alvernia University, Albright College and the Manufacturing Resource Center. And we will continue to grow our excellent Women2Women and Family Business Alliance programming. We will continue to robustly market our agricultural industry through our social media strategy, and we will support the work of the multi-organizational Entrepreneurial Ecosystem initiative. We will provide substantial financial assistance to local businesses, and we will continue our leadership role in working with Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority to re-establish rail service from Berks to Philadelphia to New York. And whenever our business community’s voice needs to be heard in Harrisburg or Washington, D.C., we will coordinate that advocacy effort and make sure our government officials know where we stand on critical issues.

All told, Team GRCA reflects with great satisfaction on how we served and assisted our members and communities in 2022, and, with great excitement, we anticipate accomplishing even more in 2023! CQ


Thank you!


Good Things Come in Small Companies

FIT4MOM Reading

Briefly summarize what your business does.

FIT4MOM offers prenatal and postnatal health, wellness and fitness programs for every stage of motherhood. All our programs were created by moms for moms to provide Strength in Motherhood®.

What is something you wished you knew before starting your small business?

Honestly, how hard it was going to be! I have a background in education, so owning a business is a brand-new world to me. The roller coaster ride has been amazing, for the most part, but those downhill drops can be hard!

What is the most rewarding part of owning a small business?

I have a few “most” rewarding parts for sure! We work with moms making their fitness a priority and I think that’s one of the most rewarding parts, that a mom is taking time for herself to become better physically, mentally and as a mom. Also, by mom making time for herself, her kid(s) see the importance of wellness and hopefully will grow up with that in mind.

How does your business enrich the Greater Reading area?

We bring fitness to moms while leaving the mom guilt at the door. With our stroller classes mom can bring her kid(s) with her and spend time with her kid(s) while working on her wellness. We also offer mom-only classes, which gives mom that time to step away and focus on herself. A happy and healthy mom creates a happy and healthy family.

Imageworks Film & Video, Inc.

Briefly summarize what your business does.

Three decades of learning and global experience guides us in presenting commercial and corporate messages that maximize the power of still and moving images: Sound, light, and performance, perfectly packaged to persuade, touch and inform an audience. You’ll find us under a “video production company” header, but we are so much more. We are masters of our mediums.

Cover Story
GRCA member, small businesses share what they wish they knew sooner

As lead producer for Imageworks, I manage multiple clients and projects that range from script-to-screen video productions and graphic-based social media campaigns to still photography sessions. We work primarily on-location, though we do maintain studio and editing facilities at our location in Wernersville. My husband John Krawlzik, our principal cinematographer/photographer, is responsible for the outstanding visuals and technical quality that we have become known for. While working closely with corporate and advertising agency clients, we provide the expertise and creative skills essential to creating flawless video and still-image communications.

What is something you wished you knew before starting your small business?

We started our business because we wanted to do more of what we loved. Passion drives many a new venture, but passion alone is not enough to survive the fickle and competitive world of marketing and communications. Since Imageworks’ inception, we have always strived to exceed customer expectations, but going that extra mile also means working longer hours and sacrificing personal time to make sure projects are the best they can be. Owning your own small business provides more flexibility in this regard when compared to time restraints within a large company. Having a family that understands your passion and drive for perfection is a must.

In addition to time demands, building a business requires basic financial and tax planning knowledge that doesn’t come naturally to us creative types. If you’re not interested or skilled in such things, make sure to get a great accountant you can work with over a long period of time to get the most out of those long hours you’re putting in. After a few years we did just that, but I’m sure we made mistakes in the beginning that could have been avoided. Learning to delegate, both on the business side and as part of your production process, is key to success and to your own mental wellbeing.

What is the most rewarding part of owning a small business?

Driving your own bus can be a very gratifying experience. Success or failure is purely your own making. It may keep you up at night but will also bring a smile to your face when things go well. You get out what you put in.

Managing our own workload and schedule also leaves room to invest in personal creative projects. Fresh Ground Pictures, our side arm for feature films, documentaries and technical advice, has taken off on YouTube. In addition to finished projects, Fresh Ground has become a platform that provides industry comment and camera tech videos — anything from refurbishing vintage cameras to shooting and developing 35mm film.

How does your business enrich the Greater Reading area?

Imageworks brings big market skills and talent to Berks and surrounding counties at a price point significantly lower than metropolitan markets. We give local businesses high-end resources to market products or train employees, using big-league technology and seasoned personnel. When a company is ready to move from cell-phone production to polished moving images, or if they just need a photographer to shoot an event or team portraits, we are here to help. Outsourcing these services and working on a higher production level can instantly give a small company big global reach. And if you’re a larger company, you already know how essential it is to establish a more polished visual image.

We’ve been a part of this community for over 30 years, providing countless in-kind video programs for local non-profit organizations and fundraising campaigns. Our work takes us around the world, but we still feel most at home in our own Berks backyard. Giving our time and skills to those most in need will always have a place in our workflow.


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AWARENESS APPLICATION EDUCATION Best Practices & Exit Surveys Peer Groups Speaker Series
The High Center is one of the largest family-owned/ privately held business centers in the country. Our unique blend of resources, including Best Practice and Exit Planning Surveys, nationally acclaimed Speakers, and peer groups for CEOs and Key Executives provide one local source for creating lasting legacies for families and business owners.

Mary Kay Cosmetics

Briefly summarize what your business does.

As a Mary Kay Sales Director, I am in the field conducting “hands on” pampering appointments with both men and women. I show them how to take care of their skin with the products I love and stand behind. I also teach and show women how to choose and wear color cosmetics that may be best suited for them. Also, as the role of a Sales Director, I am leading, mentoring and educating women and men on how to build their own successful Mary Kay businesses.

What is something you wished you knew before starting your small business?

I have been building my Mary Kay business for almost 30 years. Prior to Mary Kay, I was in the education field. I wish I would have known sooner that Mary Kay emphasizes more about educating people about the products rather than the stereotype of selling — I would have started sooner! My gift is teaching, and I love making an impact, which allows me to build relationships while I help people look good and feel good about themselves.

What is the most rewarding part of owning a small business?

The most rewarding part of owning my small business is having the flexibility of making my own hours and having the decision of how much I make depending on the amount of time I am willing to work.

How does your business enrich the Greater Reading area?

Since Mary Kay’s mission is to enrich others’ lives with our products and opportunity, I feel building a Mary Kay business in the Greater Reading area and beyond, has allowed me to reach out to many people of different backgrounds and cultures. Sitting with and educating them on healthy skin and makeup artistry knowledge has given me the opportunity to carry on my mission of building healthy self-esteems and confidence. My motto is, “When you look good, you feel good and when you feel good, you DO good.”

Media Creation Professionals

Briefly summarize what your business does.

Media Creation Professionals specializes in affordable, highestquality video production for businesses of all sizes and types. Recruitment, HR, retention, safety, product intro or corporate image and public relations, we’re the right choice — every time.

What is something you wished you knew before starting your small business?

Prior to starting my business, I had no concept of having a mentor. I was lucky to meet a mentor shortly after starting my business, and the mentor helped me understand the “10,000-foot view,” rather than the smaller view of “what’s going to happen today or tomorrow.” My mentor explained true costs, true profits and most importantly, setting funds aside for a rainy day. There have been plenty of rainy days in my four decades of self-employment, and thankfully, I’ve been prepared for them all. No matter what business you’re starting or growing, a mentor will likely be your most valued business asset. Mine certainly was.

What is the most rewarding part of owning a small business?

The most rewarding aspect of owning and running a small business is the ability to employ others in stable, enjoyable careers that are truly portable from one company to the next. When we place our employees — whether full time, part time or subcontractors — in front of our own needs, they recognize it and return that loyalty many times over.

How does your business enrich the Greater Reading area?

Media Creation Professionals brings “big city” video production values to the Greater Reading area without the high prices typically associated with high-end video production. Experience on five continents and over 30 countries, for small firms and global powerhouses, positioned us to provide affordable, high-quality video production first time, every time. We’re honored to have many first-time customers become long-term clients. We treat those we work for with great respect and make every customer feel like they are our biggest account. We love what we do, and it shows! Call us first. You’ll be glad you did!

Good Things Come in Small Companies continued

What is the most rewarding part of owning a small business?

Supporting entrepreneurs and leaders to achieve outcomes in a way they thought was impossible. Balancing greatness is about creating space so new perspectives emerge and new ways of being are accessible.

How does your business enrich the Greater Reading area?

Supporting entrepreneurs and leaders to be their best selves and resilient is key to the prosperity of our community. Our community counts on our entrepreneurs and leaders having a healthy mindset and approach to business and life.

sales skill, marketing professional and unwavering care for her clients.

The ultimate professional, Lisa is the #1 Top Producing Century 21 Agent in the State of PA, and is consistently ranked in the Top 100 in the US., but proudest of her ranking in Berks County. Lisa cares about the communities she serves, and it shows in her commitment to others.

In these challenging times, Lisa never waivers in her objective to help her clients reach their objective. It is always about YOU. When you are ready to buy or sell, Team up with the Tiger!



Here’s a taste of what the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA) has been working on in the past couple of months and what’s to come!


The end of 2022 and beginning of 2023 has been filled with getting acquainted with newly elected state and federal officials and tracking the incoming Shapiro/Davis Administration leadership team and its initial policy announcements. Gov. Shapiro’s 202324 Budget presentation in early March will serve as another key indicator of this administration’s policies and priorities.

Efforts to restore passenger rail to Reading are kicking into high gear with the Federal Rail Administration opening the Corridor Development Identification Program. If selected, this program unlocks the potential of billions in federal investment from the Investment in Infrastructure and Jobs Act and will get us that much closer to intercity passenger rail service.

The Business & Community Advocacy Council (BCAC) is restarting the Policy Committees in 2023. If you were ever interested in getting involved with the BCAC on an issue facing your business, now is the time!

Economic Development

Greater Berks Development Fund (GBDF), an affiliate of the GRCA, is the Certified Economic Development Organization (CEDO) for Berks County. As a CEDO, GBDF can offer loans through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA). Rates for the loans are being offered as low as 3.75% and have become more attractive as traditional financing rates continue to increase. PIDA can fund up to 50% of projects, capped at $400,000 for agriculture-related projects. Please contact Shanon Sabanos at 610.898.7761 for more information.

Events & Special Programs

The Events & Special Programs Team has been booking speakers, venues and dates like crazy to prep for a robust 2023. If you haven’t seen the final schedules for the Women2Women and Family Business Alliance programs, you can find them at greaterreading. org. Our goal in 2023 is to have a full quarter’s events available for viewing for our members to plan their schedules accordingly — we know how much you all have going on! And with that, we ask you to save the date for our upcoming signature events. See you soon!

• May 23: Annual Dinner (Speaker announcement coming soon!)

• Aug. 22: Annual Picnic

• Oct. 25: Building Berks Awards

• Nov. 20: Taste of Berks

12 Feature
Chamber Alliance

&Benefits Roundtable Human Resources


GRCA members will enjoy an expanding number of new tier benefits in 2023 with the addition of an employee handbook template and bi-annual workshops (Small Business level); Instagram Reels (Catalyst level) and Essentials for Effective Leadership (Business Leader level). In addition to new benefits, GRCA is launching even more exclusive member events throughout the year, from new member mixers, lunch & learns and small business workshops with our Family Business Alliance program. Be sure to attend the inaugural SHARE Reading event on March 15 at the Abraham Lincoln Hotel, which is a matchmaking and networking event for diverse businesses and the companies seeking their services.

Training & Workforce Development

Leaders, mark May 3 on your calendars! GRCA presents the 2023 Leadercast event. This year Leadercast will focus on Human Intelligence. Leaders worth following constantly upgrade their relational operating systems. Real influence comes from leaders who build trust with empathy and insight.

Don’t miss this year’s Leadercast experience. Join fellow growthoriented professionals who have the passion to become better leaders. Leadercast offers an affordable learning experience that has an immediate impact on attendees. GRCA and Leadercast are united in helping people grow personally and professionally to create more successful businesses and more sustainable communities.

If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to get involved with the Greater Reading Manufacturing Industry Partnership (IP). In addition to our quarterly meetings and Manufacturing Summit, we will also be offering industry tours this year. Look for news about these events in our monthly MFG newsletter. If you would like more information about any of these activities, please contact Keith Stamm at CQ

JUNE 15  SEPT. 14
NOON - 1:30 P.M.
LEARN MORE & REGISTER AT WWW.GREATERREADING.ORG. • 610.685.0914 x201 Reach 75% of All Berks County Adults… Advertise in Berks 1st Magazine The Official Berks County Government Magazine Grow Your Business in Berks! Restoring Passenger Rail Service to Berks General Elections 2022: What You Need to Know VETERAN SERVICES UPDATES Keeping You Connected Berks County, PA, Government News & Services Contact today for rates and advertising information. Reserve your space in the Winter/Spring 2023 issue by January 15, 2023. NEW INAUGURAL ISSUE! Published for the County of Berks, PA, Berks 1st is the County’s official full-color magazine, sharing news about constituent services, events and timely and trending topics surrounding county services. Mailed by the County, Berks 1st will be addressed directly to 87,646 residential addresses (60% to 70% of every household within many of the major regional municipalities), and into another 300 high-traffic locations. Spanish and English language digital versions will be available on the County’s website. Contact today for rates and advertising information. Reserve your space in the Summer/Fall 2023 issue by May 15, 2023.

Events & Signature Programs


The Berks Family Business Alliance (FBA) is revitalizing its brand image. Founded in 2014, FBA is a signature program of the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA). For nearly a decade, FBA has been helping local family-owned businesses learn, cultivate and grow.

Now, in preparation for its 10th anniversary, FBA is evolving its brand to support its growth goals and expand its business expertise across the community. Marking an exciting new chapter, FBA’s revamp includes refreshed branding across all program materials and a refined mission statement to expand membership beyond family-owned businesses.

Refining the FBA Brand

To align with its current growth strategy, the program has recently modernized its mission statement and promotional materials.

As the organization continues to evolve, FBA’s original mission to provide resources and support for family businesses has transitioned to include closely held businesses of all sizes. Extending membership to small and midsize businesses allows FBA to serve entrepreneurs and other non-family-owned businesses in the area that can benefit from the organization’s resources.

The organization also recently refined its brand logo. The design highlights the program’s three letter acronym in its signature brand color palette. To enhance brand awareness, six cohesive logos have also been created for each of FBA’s concentrated offerings from Peer Groups and exclusive events to Signature Events. These symbols now align with the program’s primary logo, cultivating synergy within the FBA brand.

Expanding Membership Beyond FamilyOwned Businesses

As the updated mission statement suggests, FBA’s brand evolution introduces its expansion into serving all small and midsize businesses in Berks County. This initiative propels the organization’s objective to serve more area business owners as it will now support small and midsize businesses that can benefit from its services. With this change, FBA is on track to experience major growth, preparing to serve more local businesses than ever before.

What FBA Offers

While FBA’s evolution includes a new brand image, the heart of the program remains unchanged. The organization continues to provide diverse programming and numerous interactive opportunities to local businesses. FBA’s new brand campaign aims to reflect the organization’s core purpose and highlight available resources that help prepare local businesses for success. Members can benefit from Peer Groups, workshops, signature events and networking functions designed to help family businesses and closely held businesses succeed.

Peer Groups enable business owners to collaborate with peers, share common problems and experiences and learn how to deal with challenges unique to entrepreneurship. FBA currently hosts five professionally facilitated Peer Groups. Meetings rotate from welcoming outside speakers on business topics to discussing issues occurring within their family businesses. In 2022, Berks FBA launched a Next[Gen] Peer Group aimed toward supporting the next generation of family business owners as they transition into leadership roles. Speaking on key topics like succession planning, marketing, risk management and financial performance, Peer Groups help business members learn to problem solve and address future concerns.

FBA also organizes various workshops and events to directly serve local business owner needs. It will host a series of workshops around “The 7 Principles of a Successful Family Business” led by speakers addressing topics like effective leadership, speaking with one voice, clarity of roles and accountability. Berks FBA will be partnering with the GRCA’s agricultural arm and resources to offer workshops catered to family farms and their unique needs. Likewise, signature events such as the annual Spring Symposium and Fall Forum offer business members the opportunity to learn from the experiences of successful entrepreneurs and local business leaders.

Looking Ahead

FBA’s rebranding will support the organization’s mission to offer effective resources and solutions to business owners in Berks County. FBA celebrates the 275+ family-owned business members it currently champions, while also seeking opportunities to support even more businesses in the area. With a cohesive brand redesign and refined mission, FBA is primed to support local business needs for decades to come. CQ


Local Races Forefront in Season of Political Change

The 2022 General Election has occurred. We saw a lot of changes to the Pennsylvania political landscape in the last few months, some expected and some not. In January, we have ushered in a host of new elected officials and new state government agency leaders and with that comes a new chance to engage and tell your story. As part of GRCA’s Advocacy Program, we’ll have multiple opportunities throughout the year to meet and interact with government leaders through member events and as part of the Business & Community Advocacy Council’s meetings. We sincerely hope you’ll join us!

Looking ahead to the elections this year, the theme is “All politics are local!” The countywide races up for election this year include three Commissioners’ offices, Register of Wills, Controller, Sherriff, District Attorney and three Court of Common Pleas positions. We’ll also have municipal leadership elections including Mayor of Reading, openings on Reading City Council, township supervisor races and others. These offices are often more important and have greater impact on our daily lives than the races that get all the headlines and TV time.

We’ll also have four statewide judicial races including a seat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, two seats on the Pennsylvania Superior Court and a seat on the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. The role and importance of these appellate courts has really come into stark relief during COVID and plays a pivotal role when we have a divided government. We are currently waiting for major decisions including whether the Wolf Administration had the authority to enter the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). We’re also watching for fall out from the

recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision to unilaterally rescind the medical malpractice venue law through a change of court rules. The actions of the Pennsylvania Courts have direct implications on the cost of doing business in this state.

The 2023 primary is set for Tuesday, May 16, and there are likely to be an abundance of choices. Now is the time to get to know these individuals seeking your support. Ask them about issues facing the business community. Ask if they understand the real cost of ever-increasing property taxes and how delays in permit decisions negatively impact your ability to expand your business. Ask is they know the true struggle of finding employees and ideas on how government can help with issues like the cost and access to childcare. Ask what they would do to help increase housing access and support housing construction in your community. And then listen to their answers.

These potential leaders will have the ability to shape and influence our local community for the next two to four years and beyond in the case of judges. These leaders don’t need to know everything about everything, but they should be willing to learn and find effective solutions, not just score political points. We need to elect leaders who are focused on economic development, opening the doors for opportunity and growth. We need local officials who will encourage businesses to come here, stay here and grow here.

Every election is an opportunity to shape the future of our community. Voting in the primary is how we make sure we have the option to vote for pro-business, pro-growth leaders who will put people before politics in the fall. CQ

Business & Community Advocacy

Who We Serve:


Presented to leaders across professional sectors, the ATHENA® Leadership Award’s rich history, international scope and focus on mentorship distinguish it as one of the most prestigious leadership awards one can receive.



ATHENA® celebrated April 20 at

2 conference expo the &


Bethany celebrates 160 years of serving youth

Bethany Children’s Home, located in western Berks County, has been serving children for 160 years.

Situated on more than 300 acres in Womelsdorf, the nonprofit has served more than 13,000 youth since its inception in 1863.

Founded by Rev. Emanuel Boehringer in his Philadelphia home after he realized there was a need for housing orphans of the Civil War, Bethany Children’s Home soon outgrew its first location. The home would move two times before settling at its current location in 1867.

In its early days, Bethany Children’s Home housed orphans. Today, most youth are placed at Bethany through their county’s Children & Youth Services office. All youth at Bethany have endured some type of trauma in their lives.

The aim of Bethany Children’s Home is to provide a safe place to nurture, protect and provide supportive care for residents as they grow and heal, striving toward a brighter, healthier future.

Residents live in cottages and enjoy educational programming, holiday celebrations and more on campus. Most youth attend Conrad Weiser School District or local alternative education facilities.

Programs vary and serve children ages 6 to 21. Residents ages 18 to 21 enjoy independent living while attending college or working, while still receiving the supports necessary to help them move on and become successful adults.

Bethany is Joint Commission-accredited and now certified as a “Specialized Setting” for victims of trafficking and youth transitioning into adulthood. The specialized setting certification is a component of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act, signed into law in 2018.

This year, Bethany is marking the anniversary with fun events throughout the year. A Purse & Cash Bingo took place Feb. 12, and a trip to NYC will follow on March 12. Please visit bethanyhome. org for more information and to register for 160th events! CQ




1. be a for-profit, public or privately-held;

2. be headquartered in Berks County or demonstrate that 50% of company revenue is generated from Berks County;

3. have annual revenues of at least $1 million

Nominee Company:

Contact for Revenue Verification:

(Category 1) or $250K+ (Category 2) in each of the three most recent fiscal years;

4. be a Greater Reading Chamber Alliance member, and;

5. submit supporting documentation for revenues with nomination form.

Please mark only one: Category 1 ($1M+ revenue for previous 3 years) Category 2 ($250K+ revenue for previous 3 years)

Business Description:



Year Founded:

Number of Employees:

Chief Executive Officer/President: (Name to be listed on all external communication)

Headquarters Address:

Nominated by:

Please mark only one: Headquartered in Berks County Headquartered elsewhere, but 50% of total annual revenue is generated from Berks County *

* Please include supporting documentation of 50%+ Berks County revenue.

ANNUAL REVENUE (Rounded to the nearest thousand)

Most recent fiscal year:

1st prior fiscal year:

2nd prior fiscal year:


 Company income tax return (page 1 only)

Audited, reviewed, compiled or internal financial statement, as applicable (statement of income required only)

Please note: A tax return does not need to be provided for the application. An internal financial statement or an auditor verified letter for support is sufficient.


Email: Derek Shade

(Include “Business Excellence Awards” in subject.)

Fax: Harrisburg KPMG Office 717.233.1101 Attn: Derek Shade

Please note: If you do not receive a confirmation of receipt within 3-5 business days, please contact KPMG LLP directly.

Form must be completed and submitted with proper documentation to be considered for an award.


Leah Fassnacht, Director of Communication & Marketing, GRCA, at

No late forms will be accepted.


Berks County Women-Owned Business Spotlights

Has certification made a positive impact on your business growth?

WBENC certification as a diversity supplier gives us a competitive advantage, allowing Gage to become a top choice for corporations seeking not only supplier diversity initiatives, but also more creative solutions within staffing, search and consulting markets.

As a locally owned WBENC certified small business, our local team of experts is empowered to move more quickly than our competitors and respond to our customers’ needs in real time. When our clients are successful, we are successful!

Our WBENC Certification also allows many of our clients to receive tax incentives and rewards from the federal government , as well as benefit from innovation, resources and the capabilities of a local business that can adapt to each new market, making a positive impact for both Gage and our partners.

What advice would you give an owner that is considering getting certified as womenowned business?

Becoming WBENC Certified is a great opportunity for new partnerships, which allows businesses to share several benefits with their clients and partners — including tax incentives,

resources, new connections, innovation, access to new goods and services, a commitment to diversity and inclusion, and more.

Keep in mind that the certification process does take some time. You will submit formal documentation to validate that at least 51% of a business is owned, controlled, operated and managed by a woman or women. Despite the effort, the benefits of certification are worth it. CQ


The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) Certification is one of the most widely recognized national certifications for women-owned businesses in the United States, allowing womenowned businesses to gain increased visibility within corporate and government supply chains.

For more information about WBENC certification, visit the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council website at

Gage-Linderman, GAGE Personnel Owner, WBENC Certified Business

Benefits of Working with a Women-Owned Business

As a certified women-owned business, you will have access to supplier diversity and procurement executives at hundreds of major corporations and government entities that accept WBENC Certification, which opens those channels for you. As a result, you have more options to make the best choices for your company, and the opportunity to build strong relationships with diverse suppliers to benefit your bottom line.

The advantages don’t stop there:

• Partnering with a certified women-owned business can be a part of your company’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, offering excellent publicity and helping you attract talented employees who want to work for a company that prioritizes diversity and inclusion.

• Diversity breeds innovation and certification is one way that a small business can differentiate itself in a competitive marketplace.

• The extensive resources and capabilities that come with being a certified business, along with the agility of a small company, will empower your business to pivot as needed and adopt new methods and technologies that benefit customers.

• The federal tax incentive program that rewards companies who do business with women-owned and other minority-owned businesses.

- American Crane, Berks County WBENC certified business

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Breakfast4Success: 3 Leaders, 30 Thoughts

How does self-awareness make you a better leader? Three local business leaders shared their thoughts on how to know your emotions, passions and strengths, and why that makes you more confident and creative.

1. Use your compass.

Self-awareness points you in the direction you want to go. It’s the baseline of navigating through life well. Without it, you may have a destination in mind, but you won’t have the slightest clue on how to get there.

2. Better yet… use Google Maps.

Emotional Intelligence is like the Google Maps of navigation. It’s the voice that tells you there’s a major slowdown ahead and an alternate route is available. Honing your emotional intelligence will save you from a ton of frustration and lost time.

3. Achieve your goals and get people to like you along the way.

Increased self-awareness leads to higher goal achievement rates and healthier relationships. Why? Because when you are self-aware, you

become less reactionary and can participate in more intentional decision-making.

4. Hate to tell you … but sometimes you’re the problem.

Studies show that people like to credit themselves when something positive happens but give external credit when something negative occurs (no surprise there). That inclination hinders our ability to replace poor habits with good ones. Increased self-awareness allows us to more accurately attribute credit and therefore more efficiently form and adjust habits for better outcomes.

5. Successful leaders know their “why.”

Knowing what motivates you will get you through the crap-just-hitthe-fan days, months, or even years. What you do changes all the time. Your why doesn’t. It may expand, but its core usually stays the same. You can’t lead effectively without knowing your why.

6. Emotions are a big deal in business.

Research shows that 70% of decision-making is driven by emotion, not rational thought (yikes!!!). The good news is that while emotions can be unpredictable, they are still understandable. Successful leaders make it their business to understand the emotions of their team and customers.

7. Practice makes better.

Skilled leaders practice recognizing and naming emotions. Most adults can’t correctly name an emotion while they are experiencing it. When we neglect to understand emotion, we pay the consequences… and unfortunately so will the people around us. A great way to practice is to simply be as specific as possible when describing a feeling.

22 Events & Signature

8. Curiosity is a great friend.

People rarely consider their behavior or thoughts in the moment. Deepening our self-awareness often stems from simple curiosity. One of my favorite questions is “why?” Why did I respond that way? Why is this so hard or easy for me to accomplish? Why am I feeling this way? Why did I think that?


Creativity is a product of deep reflection.

Your ability to be creative increases when your self-awareness does. When you take time to deeply reflect, whether it’s about yourself or not, creativity becomes a natural biproduct.

10. The best kind of leadership style you can

have is your own.

I’ve watched individuals struggle in their careers because instead of discovering their own leadership style, they unsuccessfully (and often painfully) try to make themselves into a carbon copy of another leader. You can’t lead exactly like someone else. You’re you. Not them. So, what makes your leadership unique? You are your secret sauce. Take time to discover you.

Santo D. Marabella, The Practical Prof ®

1. Where there are people, there are emotions.

So, while we can avoid dealing with emotions at work, we can’t avoid having emotions at work. As a leader, manager, co-worker or

intern, the sooner we accept this reality, the sooner we can “get good” at being aware of and managing workplace emos (emotions).

2. A workplace oblivious to emotions and the need to manage them is dysfunctional.

Hurt feelings, miscommunications, defensiveness, holding grudges, disconnection, isolation and fear — these characteristics define this type of workplace and they will thwart, prevent and downright stop your business from taking care of its business.

3. Self-awareness is not self-absorption.

Self-awareness is an important first step to achieving high emotional intelligence. However, being in touch with our own emotions is more about stepping outside ourselves to see what others see us doing than it is about delving inside in a narcissistic pursuit where only I matter.

4. Our emotional hot buttons can trigger temporary

insanity… for a whole 6 seconds!

Known as the amygdala hijack, when people push our “buttons” — lie to us or intentionally embarrass us, for example, but they’re different for each of us — that can lead to a period where we cannot be held responsible for our actions or words. During this time we should say, do or think NOTHING! I call this taking the Prof Pause.

5. We don’t know what they are going through.

The best memes have an uncanny ability to cut through the crap and capture the essence of what can be the excellence of the human spirit. One such meme in various versions talks about being kind

23 Continued on next page >

to everyone, all the time, because we don’t know the battles they are fighting or the suffering they are experiencing. We need to pay attention to what people share, especially when they do it without words.

6. Empathy is required.

Being aware of other’s emotions is a critical component to having a high emotional intelligence. Empathy is “feeling with” another person. It means we look at what they are going through from their lens not our own. That means imagining how this is for them.

7. You’re not stuck with a static EI.

You can grow your EI. There is no excuse to not focus on your own emotional intelligence. Assessments, training, practice and commitment are all very effective ways to develop a stronger, healthier emotional intelligence.

8. EI outflanks IQ every time.

As a person who built a career in education from a foundation of credentials, if you force me to choose between brains and EI, I will choose EI every time. And so do corporate research studies which found that EI is a better predictor of success than IQ.

9. EI is the single most important determinant of a leader’s effectiveness.

Effective leaders that Jim Collins described in his seminal work, Good to Great, who embody a “powerful mix of personal humility and indomitable will,” and put people before strategy, know that regardless of their style of leadership, EI is the foundational ingredient.

10. When managed effectively, emotions and the workplace are a perfect match!

A workplace culture that nurtures EI is able to filter out and minimize the distractions that emotional chaos can bring and get in the way of our business. An emotionally intelligent workplace has more energy, time and attention to direct toward achieving goals.

Adrean Turner, Entrepreneur and Alvernia University Professor

1. Make impactful decisions.

Everything that involves you doesn’t evolve you. Self-awareness gives you clarity and confidence to say no to situations and assignments that don’t align with your values and goals.

2. Inspire a growth mindset culture.

Emotionally intelligent people are generally optimistic and are driven by inner motivation, rather than a desire for money, titles or social acceptance. Failure is not a big deal to them. They have an inner resilience that makes it hard to shake their confidence. Leaders who demonstrate these behaviors are seen as passionate and positive.

3. Be present.

Company culture is a company’s “secret” sauce. Studies show that more than 50% of an employee’s perception of their workplace has to do with the influence of their manager. Leaders with executive presence inspire confidence and independence in their employees. When people trust and admire their manager, they tend to feel more engaged at work and intrinsically motivated to do a great job. This creates a positive workplace culture of teamwork and productivity.

4. Empower your team.

Knowing how to use your emotions helps you to see the potential in people and energize them. Emotionally intelligent leaders are able to quickly build rapport with trust with others. They do this by letting others shine, mentoring team members, delegating and remaining calm under pressure in challenging situations. Great leaders create more leaders, not followers.

5. Push forward.

Resiliency is possible if you are emotionally intelligent. The more you believe in your efforts, you will expend the energy necessary to get the results you desire. Leaders understand that failure is part of success.

6. Choose wisely.

We make 122 emotional decisions daily, impacting our outcomes to reach goals. High EI leaders take action based on the message, not the delivery. The ability to respond versus reacting is key for effective communication. Self-regulating is important to make the right choices at the right time.

7. Resolve conflict effectively.

Conflict is natural but it should not be combustive. The instant you take emotion out of the equation you make better decisions. High EI leaders view situations through an empathetic lens and coach teams to employ judgment and control when expressing their emotions.

8. Activate your superpowers.

Gallup scientists found that people have several times more potential for growth when they invest energy in developing their strengths instead of correcting their deficiencies. Your strengths give you the power to lead with confidence and exceed your goals.

24 Events & Signature Programs continued

9. Get faster results.

Those who excel at regulating their emotions better manage their time and talents. They understand what motivates them. Yet, importantly they schedule tasks according to their productivity zone to maximize results.

10. Be Unstoppable.

When you understand why you do the things you do; what you care about; why you care about those things, and what you want to be known for, you become more confident to take action. That lack of fear drives creativity and performance. CQ

Hoffmann Publishing Group is the regional leader in print and digital niche publishing. Our publications deliver targeted marketing opportunities directly to the key decision makers in Berks County’s professional, business and community organizations. GREATER READING Quarterly Supporting Berks County Agriculture Plus: The best reading in Reading Call today for advertising opportunities. • 610.685.0914 x201

Albright Earns State Grant to Combat Sexual Assault

Albright College is one of only 39 higher education institutions in the state to earn an “It’s On Us PA” grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) for 2023. Established nearly seven years ago by Gov. Tom Wolf, It’s On Us PA is the nation’s first statewide campaign to combat campus sexual assault and violence. Albright has been awarded $40,000 for 2023.

“PDE is committed to supporting efforts that keep college campuses safe, inclusive and welcoming spaces for all students,” said Acting Secretary of Education Eric Hagarty. “The It’s On Us PA campaign cultivates change and provides colleges, universities, and postsecondary career and trade schools with the support and resources necessary to protect learning environments and ensure they are free from sexual assault, harassment and violence.”

Each year, Albright College tackles discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct on campus by pursuing grants, strengthening partnerships, attending training and certification courses, reviewing and updating policies and procedures and responding to incidents. Grant dollars help to fund this important work while raising awareness and building resources to support the prevention of sexual assault on campus.

The national It’s On Us campaign teaches participants that assault includes non-consensual sex, advises to identify dangerous situations, empowers bystanders to intervene, and urges all to create an environment of support for victims and survivors.

Meanwhile, the statewide campaign helps to fund initiatives that protect students from sexual violence. Winning grants for the past four consecutive years has helped Albright to implement significant initiatives on campus, such as:

26 Feature
Carey Manzolillo, Director of Communications, Albright College

• An anonymous online form to report discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct;

• Online EVERFI Sexual Assault Awareness training, available to all students;

• Maxient software to enhance tracking mechanisms for Title IX, Clery and the Violence Against Woman Act;

• Bystander Intervention and Campus SaVE (Sexual Violence and Elimination Act) training;

• Athletic NCAA compliance programs and educational programming with academic departments.

As colleges across the country are heightening vigilance on issues of sexual misconduct, Albright has chosen to seek transformational change through grant and programming opportunities and collaborative arrangements that address campus-wide safety and Title IX concerns.

In 2016, Albright College was the first institution in Berks County to develop a collaborative relationship with SAFE Berks. Today, the college’s SAFE Berks Campus Advocate provides free and confidential services to students on campus who have been victims of sexual assault, harassment, stalking or dating/domestic

violence. Some of these services include one-on-one counseling, legal representation and advocacy in obtaining a Protection from Abuse Order, or Sexual Violence Protection Order.

Albright also holds a memorandum of understanding with the Reading and Muhlenberg Police Departments pertaining to campus awareness, prevention, education and response to sexual violence. CQ

Photo courtesy of Albright College

Historic Hamburg: A Year in Review

This past year proved to be another busy one for Our Town Foundation, Hamburg’s non-profit community revitalization organization. During its annual meeting, which was recently held at the Hamburg Strand Theater, the community learned about the organization’s 2022 achievements.

The list of accomplishments included revitalization projects in the downtown, improvements made at the Hamburg Strand Theater, which is owned and operated by the Foundation, and projects initiated by the Hamburg Area Arts Alliance, also administered by Our Town Foundation.

Improvements made at the theater in 2022 included refurbishing the neon in the historic marquee, installing six disinfecting/sanitizing lights in the auditorium to ensure the health and safety of its patrons, laying new carpeting in the lobby and auditorium aisles, replacing the film screen and installing a rooftop digital satellite receiver. It is the Foundation’s 2023 goal to replace the auditorium flooring under the seat area and to purchase new auditorium seating.

Highlights of the Hamburg Area Arts Alliance were the rekindling of art classes being offered to the public. During the COVID-19 pandemic, all classes were cancelled; however, the Alliance was able to offer 10 classes/workshops in 2022 including its first Plein Aire event. There were 13 featured artists recognized throughout the year with eight of them hosting artist receptions. The group participated in the annual Hawk Mountain Arts Tour as well as the annual Taste of Hamburg-er Festival held in downtown Hamburg. Members of the Arts Alliance enjoyed their first membership picnic held in the sculpture garden at the residence of Bill Rhodes, one of the Alliance members. The group also held its first Bingo fundraising event that netted more than $12,000 in profit to support future arts programming.

The 2022 Taste of Hamburg-er Festival was quite the success. The crowds returned to pre-COVID capacity, and it was estimated

that 35,000 were in attendance. The festival filled seven downtown blocks with a record number 250 vendors. Twenty-two bands and individual performing artists provided non-stop entertainment on four stages. The professional burger eaters once again amused the crowds with the winner chowing down 20 Red Robin burgers in 10 minutes! Other events hosted by the Foundation included its annual garden stroll and downtown car cruise-ins.

The Clean & Green Committee stayed busy during the spring and summer months. The Hamburg Community Cleanup took place in April after a two-year hiatus. Thirty-three volunteers collected 44 bags of trash and recyclables. The community garden, located in the southern residential area of town, was increased to 15 garden beds that were all rented to residents. This committee also maintained several native gardens that were planted throughout town over the past few years as part of the National Wildlife Habitat program.

Promoting Hamburg and the downtown business district has always been a top priority of the Foundation. In 2022, the Foundation created a one-minute commercial highlighting everything Hamburg has to offer. It also participated in BCTV programming, designed, printed and distributed several brochures and rack cards promoting the area, mailed quarterly print newsletters, sent 29 e-newsletters to thousands of followers and promoted the town through various social media platforms. Additionally, ribbon cuttings and networking mixers were held at several businesses and many downtown promotional activities were implemented to encourage downtown shopping.

Our Town Foundation already is pressing full steam ahead with its activities, projects and goals for 2023 and looks forward to working with the downtown businesses, residents and the municipality in keeping Hamburg a great place to live, own a business or visit. For additional information on Hamburg, visit CQ

28 In Your Community

WEST READING Spring into a Festival this Season

In West Reading, spring is the beginning of our festival season starting with the Craft Pretzel & Beer Festival on April 29. This year’s event focus is on regional pretzels and beers with an occasional tasty, national malted product. This festival celebrates our area’s pretzel heritage thanks to the immigrants from southern and western Germany who bought land from the Penns and started making pretzels. The Pennsylvanian German dialect was spoken in the area well into the 1950s, and you can occasionally hear it today. The Reading area has been known as “Pretzel City” because of its numerous local pretzel bakeries such as Savor Street (formally Bachman), Fallers, Uncle Henry’s, Pretzel Revolution, Tom Sturgis, and Unique Pretzel along with the numerous soft pretzel bakeries in our farmers markets. Fun fact, this area produces 80% of all pretzels consumed in America.

At this year’s Craft Pretzel & Beer Fest, we will have a very special home brewers competition. The winner of this competition gets to brew their beer for public consumption at Chatty Monks who will put it on tap sometime in 2023. The festival is free and will include West Reading shops along with specialty pretzel food and gifts. Beer can be purchased at the local bars; however, the beer tasting is a

ticketed event. Tickets can be found on Visit West Reading Facebook page or website,

Art on the Ave is June 17 and is one of the biggest events of the year in West Reading. We look forward to including more local artists along with the Goggleworks and Berks Art Council. Our Plein Air event hosted by Art Plus Gallery will be bigger than ever this year. This event leads up to Art on the Ave and attracts fine artists from around the region who take this week to paint tableaus of the local area. The paintings are judged and will be auctioned off Friday, June 16.

Other events are our Sunday Farmers Market that continues every other Sunday until May. Second Fridays will gear back up and this summer will also bring the French Fry Festival hosted by West Reading Tavern. The West Reading Shopping Center will be getting a facelift this year and will be adding a Cigar Lounge to replace Chef Alan’s. With over 30 food and drink locations in West Reading, this will be a nice addition to the community. There is no better time to spend the weekend meeting friends and enjoying everything West Reading has to offer. CQ



RKL LLP is pleased to announce that Michael Koch, CVA, has been named as leader of the firm’s Valuations Practice, which identifies and analyzes a business’ key value and cost drivers. “Mike has played a key role in the growth and development of RKL’s valuation capabilities, which is why he’s a perfect fit to lead this practice area,” said RLK CEO Ed Monborne. “Throughout his tenure with RKL, he has turned hard work into tangible results for our clients and truly embodies what it means to be a trusted advisor.”

Tower Health announced that Eugene F. Reilly, MD, FACS, MHCI, CPE has been appointed Vice President, Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO). In this role, Dr. Reilly will work closely with the health system’s clinical and technology leaders to ensure alignment of health information technology (Health IT) with strategic, clinical and operational objectives. He will also continue in his roles as Associate Medical Director of the Trauma Program and Director of the Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at Reading Hospital.

The Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) announced the addition of Bonnie L. Spayd of Bernville, PA to the MRC staff as Regional Director, Manufacturing Solutions for Berks and Schuylkill counties. Spayd will mentor small and medium-sized manufacturers to improve their competitive position and will be a dedicated resource for business growth, workforce development, and funding opportunities.

Albright College Professor of Fashion, Paula Trimpey, M.F.A., of Reading, Pa., worked as a tailor/stitcher on the recently released major motion picture, “I Heard the Bells.” Trimpey also made an appearance in the film. The film is about the inspiring true story behind the beloved Christmas carol and its author, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Opportunity House named Alyssa Bushkie Chief Operating Officer of the organization. She is the first chief operating officer in the organization’s history. In this new role, Bushkie will be responsible for oversight of the homeless shelter, housing program, Second Street Learning Center, Warehouse and OppShop, retail thrift operation.

30 Member News: Industry
& Community

Muhlenberg Greene

Architects recently announced that Roland McGee joined its firm as a Design Technician. McGee will assist the firm’s Architects and Project Managers with all phases of design documentation and construction contract administration, develop detailed 3D/BIM models and will create construction documents and schedules from those models. He also will assist Project Managers with construction phase contract administration.

Waterfall Media Group, a well-known producer of digital media for broadcast and web-based applications and serves clients coast-to-coast, has recently launched its new website. Established in 1984 by Scott Verret, the company also offers commercial photography, ad design, audio production, 3-D animation, web design, digital marketing and other creative services.

Entech Engineering, Inc. (Entech) is pleased to announce the company has been ranked #28 in the list of Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania for medium-size companies in 2022. The awards program is a public/private partnership between Team Pennsylvania Foundation, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Pennsylvania State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management, and the Central Penn Business Journal. This is Entech’s fourth consecutive year of being recognized on the list.

The Loomis Company, a national insurance brokerage firm headquartered in Wyomissing, announced that Senior Account Executive Britany LaManna was recognized by Insurance Business America as one of the Nation’s finest rising insurance professionals of 2022. The nominees had to be age 35 or under and committed to a career in insurance. The final list of 59 rising stars was determined by a panel of industry leaders.

Continued on next page >


New Castle Lawn & Landscape has announced that Dan Marshall has been promoted to partner. Marshall has been an employee of New Castle Lawn & Landscape since 2009 when he joined the team following his service in the United States Air Force. He worked his way up through the company and now oversees production.

Kevin Gallen has been promoted to Vice President of Operations from his role as Operations Manager. In his new role, Gallen will be responsible for all warehouse and factory operations as well as purchasing and international supply chain logistics. In addition, he will be responsible for the operations of each of the three buildings that Ethosource inhabits in Morgantown, Reading and King of Prussia as well as the grounds for each facility. Gallen joined Ethosource in 2008.

Omega Systems, a portfolio company of Pfingsten Partners and award-winning managed service provider (MSP) and managed security service provider (MSSP), announced it has acquired The TNS Group, a seasoned IT services provider based in Stamford, CT. The acquisition further expands Omega’s presence in the Northeast region and in key target industries including fintech, healthcare and nonprofit. The TNS Group has been delivering technology, cybersecurity and IT consulting services for more than 25 years and has offices in Stamford, New York City and Fairhaven, MA.

Barley Snyder is proud to announce attorneys Brian Ott and Keith Mooney have been named to Lehigh Valley Business’s Law Power List for a second consecutive year. The list, determined by the LVB editorial board, recognizes influential attorneys in the region who demonstrate impactful leadership and continuously help improve the quality of life of the community.

A leader in Ethosource’s growth is Sarah McDaniel who has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer from her previous position as Vice President of Sales Management. In her new role, McDaniel will be responsible for executing the company’s business growth and team growth strategies. She will lead the sales, sales operations, accounting, and administration teams. Since joining the company in 2008, McDaniel has been an integral part of the company’s growth and community involvement.

After four years at Ethosource, Emily Hracho has formally accepted the role of Lead Sales Associate. In this newly created role, Hracho will be responsible for maintaining and distributing information and pricing of the company’s new manufacturers, oversight of resource libraries, and providing new and ongoing training and support for the sales associate team. Hracho will also support multiple account executives in the sales associate role and will be an instrumental resource for pricing analysis and researching product solutions.

32 Member News: Industry & Community Newsmakers continued

Barley Snyder is pleased to announce the addition of four new partners to the firm’s partnership group effective Jan. 1. The following attorneys were elected in September 2022. Lindsey Cook works for the firm’s Litigation Practice Group. She has represented some of the largest businesses in Maryland and Pennsylvania, both at a trial court level and before appellate courts. Christopher Naylor is a member of the firm’s Real Estate and Business practice groups. As a real estate attorney, he handles a wide range of real estate matters including counseling residential and commercial landlords and tenants, drafting leases and contracts, resolving disputes, representing clients in disputes, and more. Kevin Myhre is a patent attorney for the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group. He is involved in patent application preparation and prosecution, trademark matters, litigation support, and research and strategy development. Alex Puskar is an attorney in Barley Snyder’s Business and Tax practice groups. His practice includes vast experience with mergers and acquisitions including assisting clients with the establishment, use and operation of, and acquisitions involving employee stock ownership plans.

Fraser Advanced Information Systems is pleased to announce that it has named Melissa Confalone as its new president. In her new role, Confalone will be responsible for day-to-day operations and strategic planning and will serve as a leader of the company. Prior to her promotion to president, Confalone served as the Vice President of Sales for the past six years for Fraser. She served as a sales leader in the organization for over 20 years and has been an integral part of Fraser’s leadership team. Working with company leadership, Confalone has helped Fraser to recognize year-over-year growth in revenue across the board and led the sales group to record-setting levels.

The Berks Business Education Coalition (BBEC) announced that Terri Hill has been selected as the new Executive Director. In her role, Hill will bring together leaders in business and education to help our students access the resources and experiences needed to better prepare for life after graduation. The BBEC celebrates 31 years since its founding, and Hill is the fourth Executive Director.

Jon Bekken, Ph.D., a professor of communications at Albright College, has been awarded the Landon-Dalton Service Award for his central role in saving the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s peer-reviewed journal: Teaching Journalism and Mass Communication.



New Members


BLiNCK Studios

Circadia By Dr. Pugliese Inc.

Dolly’s Delights

Equinox Benefits Consulting

G&T Industries

Girl Scouts of Eastern PA

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses - Greater Philadelphia

GV Enterprises LLC

Innovation Cleaning LLC

Karen Glass LLC


Kriebel Culinary Services LLC.


Leeward Renewable Energy

McCarthy Enterprises

McNees Strategic Solutions Group

Meesha Aesthetics

Mountainview Mechanical

Pennsylvania Anesthesia Coalition LLC

Renegade Solutions, LLC

Robles Auto Sales LLC

Studio 413 Photography

Team of Greats LLC

Yuasa Battery, Inc.


 Advanced Metrics

 Bartlett Tree Experts

 Berks Commercial Roofing, LLC. DBA Roof Maxx of West Reading

 Clean Eatz Reading Pa - DaniZ LLC

 CM Financial Advisors

 Combined Insurance

 Comstar Technologies

 Crownstone Equipment/ Bobcat of Reading

 D&S Portable Toilets

 Enders

 EOS Worldwide

 Esterbrook Pharmacy

 FA Insurance

 Fit4Mom Reading

 French Creek Aesthetics

 Homemade Cravings

 Jackson Cross Partners

 KRE Security LLC

 LA Spa and Nail Bar

 Mary Kay-Shelley Townsley

 Mission Autism Clinics

 My Source Entrepreneur

 Nicholas Stoltzfus Homestead

 PANA Rentals


 Rodney.Nolt

 Scholars Fund

 Spark Solutions & Support, Training and Facilitation

 STEM for Kids LLC

 The Best Bookkeep

 Treatment Access and Services Center Inc of Berks County

 Wohlsen Construction Company


 Barry Isett & Associates

 Catering by John Lowe

 Oasis Dog Spa & Shoppe

 Olsen Design Group Architects, Inc.


 A to Z Vacuum, Inc.

 Burns Logistics Solutions, Inc.

 Diamond Credit Union - Exeter Branch

 Fox Theatres LLC

 Kay Pool and Spa Service

 RE/MAX of Reading - Kent E. Wrobel

 RTC Direct Mailing, Inc.

 Russo Food & Market

 Storage World

 Township of Cumru

 Vide Consulting Group, LLC

 Zwicky Processing & Recycling Inc.


 Bertolet Construction LLC

 PhytogenX, Inc.

 Pro Max Fence Systems LLC


 City of Reading - City Council


 Hartman, Valeriano, Magovern & Lutz, P.C.

 PENNVIA Private Railcars, Inc.

 S&S Structures, Inc.

 Valerie S. Deibler, D.D.S., Ltd.


 Borough of Shoemakersville

 Tomanne Co.


 American Crane and Equipment Corporation CQ

 Robin Gilmore - Media Creation Professionals Congratulations!

 Phoenix Wellness LLC

Interested in becoming a part of the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance? Contact Membership Specialist Melissa Hassler at MHassler@ or 610.898.7784. 34
*Research from the Association of Chambers of Commerce Executives (ACCE)
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We’re proud to put Berks County first for 30 years, and we’re committed to helping you build on your success with a financial strategy that’s just for you.

Maggs & Associates

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management 985 Berkshire Blvd. Suite 200

Wyomissing, PA 19610


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.

Investment products: Are Not FDIC Insured Are Not Bank Guaranteed May Lose Value © 2022 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved.


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