The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance’s volunteer committees and task forces offer Members the opportunity to contribute directly to the work of GRCA and to interact with fellow GRCA Members who share common interests. Committee participation is a great way for Members to network, share ideas and further the Chamber’s objectives for Greater Reading’s businesses through its promotion, support and advocacy initiatives.
Business & Community Advocacy Council
GRCA members/investors are invited to participate on the Business & Community Advocacy Council that meets monthly to gain insight on policies/issues impacting our businesses and community.
The council discusses and implements ways to educate, promote and advocate to build a healthy, competitive economy to move the Greater Reading/Berks County region forward. Within the Council there are opportunities to be engaged in Special Issues Taskforces along with community and alliance partners. These Issues Task Forces are established each year based on priority pro-business policy agenda to help direct our dialogue with elected officials on issues of importance to business and our community.
Members add their expertise and are engaged as needed to help identify and provide insight on key focus issues related to:
- Benefits & HR Issues
- Workforce Development & Talent Pipeline
- Budgets, Spending & Taxes
- Business & Community Development
- Infrastructure, Transportation & Energy Resource
Additionally, there are opportunities to be engaged at special events and meetings with our Federal, State and Regional Chambers, Manufacturing, and Sustainable Communities Coalitions initiatives.
Greater Reading Business Resource Partners (12 total)
Our local companies are supported to the highest degree possible. With this group, we ensure the various Business Resource Partners in Greater Reading are aware of all the resources which are available to help start-up and existing businesses.
This group meets quarterly. During the meetings: 2 Partners would each have 10 minutes to provide a deeper dive into their offerings (we would start with the new additions to the group). The other 10 Partners would each have 2 minutes to provide highlights of new offerings, programs, events.
The number of referrals made to each Business Resource Partner and the resulting outcomes are reported on at the end of year meeting.
Small Business Committee
The committee will help guide program, policies and strategies for small business support services provided through the GRCA. Committee members are representatives from the small business community (less than 25 employees).
Quarterly meetings will focus on interactive and supportive discussions to share insight, practical knowledge, and counsel on challenges of small businesses. Committee members may be asked to volunteer their time and subject-matter expertise as a Professional Resource Partner for GRCA – connecting with small businesses seeking professional expertise. Committee members will review results from the business assessment ScoreCard and business visits. They will help determine how to best support specific identified challenges and needs of the small business community.
Latino Business Committee
The committee helps guide program, policies and strategies for business support services provided through the GRCA to Latino small businesses and entrepreneurs. The committee helps the GRCA establish and maintain positive relationships throughout the Latino business community and serve as GRCA ambassadors.
Committee members are representatives from Latino small businesses (less than 25 employees) or service providers to the Latino business community.
Quarterly meetings focus on interactive and supportive discussions to share insight, practical knowledge, and counsel on challenges of Latino small businesses. Committee members may be asked to volunteer their time and subject-matter expertise as a Professional Resource Partner for GRCA – connecting with small businesses seeking professional expertise. The Committee will review results from the business assessment ScoreCard and business visits conducted by the Small Business & Latino Outreach Coordinator to determine how to best support specific identified challenges and needs of the Latino business community.
Staff Contact for both Small Business and Latino Business Committees: Jobany Bedoya, Small Business & Latino Outreach Coordinator, 610-898-7769
Family Business Alliance
Council – bimonthly / normally 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
The Family Business Alliance Council is collectively (and predominantly) made up of sponsors of the Family Business Alliance who want to see community family businesses succeed. The Council is tasked with brainstorming new ideas and speakers for the next programming year, helping to oversee Peer Group sessions and offering connections in the community to build the alliance, its free membership and reach more family businesses.
Peer Groups (Fee Required)
Facilitated by professionals in their field, the FBA Peer Discussion Group Program is a great way to gather with peers, share common problems and experiences, and to learn how to deal with unique situations facing a family business. Only one participant per group from each industry segment is allowed in order to avoid competitive concerns. To promote camaraderie and trust, enrollment is designed for a designated individual (not meant for a company to send different people at different times). Enrollment in a group is limited to Chamber members.
Staff Contact for both FBA Council and Peer Groups: Rachael Romig, Special Programs Coordinator, 610-898-7775
Commerce Quarterly Editorial Focus Group
Commerce Quarterly is GRCA’s signature publication and is distributed quarterly (seasonally). The focus group meets once or twice quarterly and requires the time and effort from all our volunteers to brainstorm relevant topics for the business community, write the articles and/or find community members who would like to offer articles. Each committee member has a background in writing, editing and/or the passion to find others in the community who have those skills.
Staff Contact: Sarah Hunter-Lascoskie, Director of Communications & Marketing, 610-898-7780
Women2Women, managed by the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance, encourages women to create connections, gain knowledge, open doors and build strategic alliances, and much more. Our goal is to create more women leaders in Berks County by providing a forum where women from diverse backgrounds can learn, share ideas and mentor each other.
Lean In Circles (Fee Required)
Women2Women’s Lean IN Circles are comprised of 12 to 14 women coming together to learn, grow and support each other in an atmosphere of confidentiality and trust. Each Lean IN Circle is led by a skilled facilitator. Monthly sessions alternate between education meetings and exploration meetings.
Senior Circle – First Thursday of every month, 7:30am-9:30am
Circle A – Second Thursday of every month, 7:30am-9:30am
Circle B – Second Monday of every month, 4:30pm-6:30pm
Latina Initiatives – 2nd Thursday of every month (4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.)
The Latina Initiatives Committee is a collection of Latina women from the community who want to see more empowered Latina women leaders. De Mujer a Mujer, a Latina Initiatives monthly event, showcases the story of one Latina woman and how she got to where she is today. The women of the committee are tasked with searching for new speakers for the upcoming program year and reaching out to the community at large in new ways to better connect with the Latina demographic.
Staff Contact for all W2W groups and committees: Rachael Romig, Special Programs Coordinator, 610-898-7775
Work with PennDOT on transportation improvements. Prime focus is to identify and prioritize key infrastructure projects that are needed for future economic development and growth for our area.
Staff Contact: Gail Landis, Senior Vice President – Government & Community Relations, 610-898-7773
Workforce & Mentoring Volunteers
Mentors are continually needed for various programs connecting business and students for career exploration and improved understanding of workplace expectations.
Staff Contact: Ellen Albright – Director of Workforce Development, 610-898-7776