GRCA_CommerceQuarterly_Spring2018 - 5

Board of Directors

letter from the editor

Peter Rye, Brentwood Industries, Inc.
Michele Richards, Senior Vice President,
Commercial Banking Group, Fulton Bank
Steve Horvat, Baker Tilley
Robert Firely, Herbein + Company, Inc.
Tim Dietrich, Esq., Barley Snyder
Marilu Rodriguez-Bauer,
Owner, RB Legal Counsel, LLC
Karen Baxter, Manager, External Affairs,
Met-Ed, A FirstEnergy Company
Gregg Bogia, President, Bogia Engineering, Inc.
Marianne Brown Egolf,
General Manager, F.M. Brown's Sons, Inc.
Johanny Cepeda,
Owner/Manager, Mi Casa Su Casa
Lucy Cortez,
Chairman, Berks County Latino Chamber
Robert Firely,
Partner, Herbein + Company, Inc.
Andi Funk, CEO,
Cambridge-Lee Industries, LLC
Thad Gelsinger, Esq., President,
GRYP & Associate, Leisawitz Heller
Scott Gruber, President & CEO,
Tompkins VIST Bank
Dr. Jill Hackman,
Executive Director, BCIU
Laura Haffner,
Area President, Central PA,
Wells Fargo
Bob Harrop, VP Personnel,
East Penn Manufacturing Company
Sara Kuzma-Stump,
Director, Sales & Marketing,
Suburban Testing Labs, Inc.
Tracy Hoffmann,
President, Hoffmann Publishing
Brian Levan, President, Levan
Machine & Truck Equipment
William Long,
Administrative Vice President, M&T Bank
Toni Miller, Senior Executive Vice President Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial
Officer, Boscov's Department Store, LLC
Pete Molinaro,
President, Adhezion Biomedical, LLC
Ann Moll, President, Gallen Insurance
Dr. Khalid Mumin, Superintendent,
Reading School District
Michael Rivera, VP Business Development,
RIG Financial Solutions
David Roche, President, Dave Roche Electric Inc.
David Roland, Senior Vice President,
Market President, Berks, BB&T
Dr. Rudy Ruth, Former Superintendent,
Wilson School District
Peter Rye, President, Brentwood Industries, Inc.
Mark Schlott, Executive VP of Operations/Chief
Operating Officer, R. M. Palmer Company
Stayce Schlouch,
Project Manager, Schlouch Incorporated
Nicholas Stoltzfus, President, DESCCO Design
Ira Tauber, President, Triose
Scott Vaughn, CEO, The Standard Group
John Woodward,
President, Third & Spruce Café, Inc.

It's finally springtime, and Berks County is blooming, literally
and figuratively. We at the GRCA are eager to tout the gains we've
made in our local economy recently. At the recent Economic
Outlook Breakfast, held jointly by the GRCA, Herbein + Company,
Kutztown University, and the Reading Eagle Company, we heard
some great news: the county GDP's growth rate was 3.8 percent
in 2016, the highest rate of any metropolitan area in Pennsylvania,
and 43rd in the nation. That's tremendous news to start with, but it
wasn't the whole story. Of our county's 12 largest sectors, nine are
trending upwards. And a survey of local executives (the Executive
Pulse Survey) reported the most optimistic view of our local business
community since the survey began.
The momentum will continue as we approach our Annual
Dinner, where we'll celebrate the achievements of our
business community. That's why I'm excited about our cover story, the first in our series look
at "Made in Berks," featuring companies that develop and manufacture completed products distributed
regionally, nationally, and internationally right here in our region. It's truly an amazing list, and our
first piece focuses on East Coast Erosions Blankets.
The centerfold, which explores the richness of Greater Reading's arts scene and its important
impact on our local economy, might surprise you. For all of us Greater Reading residents, this is
truly a privilege: we are living in a truly vibrant arts and culture community. From phenomenal
performers to first-class (and Yelp approved!) venues to hidden arts gems, the arts provide a huge
boost to our area's quality of life.
In these pages you'll also see highlights of a few important partners: highlights once again from
some 75+ year Chamber Members; GRCA President/CEO Randy Peers' editorial on the importance
of our Main Street partner, West Reading, to our county's talent attraction efforts; and the Penn
Street Market, ready to open and poised for growth.
There is also another current running through this issue: our digital worlds, both personal and
professional. If you're concerned about cyber security, both for your business and your family, our
partners at BCIU outline safety measures you can take right now to help keep yourself-and your
business-safe from cyber dangers. Other pieces outline the opportunities that new mobile technology offers to streamline many business functions, as well as how you can leverage new modes of
communication while leveraging that personal touch that is so important.
Don't forget to check out the Focus On piece for the latest on our new office at 606 Court Street
in the heart of downtown Reading. Our home is your home! So come by, bring a laptop, and get
some work done in our beautiful lobby space. We have a seat for you!

Sarah Hunter-Lascoskie
Sarah Hunter-Lascoskie
Director of Communications & Marketing
Greater Reading Chamber Alliance

Nicole Kocher Muncaciu
Reading Health System

Sara Stump
Suburban Testing Labs

Alicia Hartman
United Way of Berks County

Lisa Schaeffer
Levan Machine &
Truck Equipment

Emily Walker

Chrissy Faller
The Anderson Group

Dave Hessen

Megan Maslar

Kristi Gage-Linderman
GAGE Personnel

Tracy Hoffmann
Hoffmann Publishing

Connie Skipper
Berks County
Intermediate Unit

Commerce Quarterly
Focus Group

Dr. Jill Hackman
Berks County
Intermediate Unit

Scott Burky
E4 Strategic Consultancy

Carl "CJ" Joyner

Andy Wernick
Industrial Plywood


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