To celebrate International Women’s Day, GRCA wants to recognize a few member businesses owned and run by women. Get to know a little bit about who they are and what they do.
24K Cleaning Services
300 Northview Road, Birdsboro
Co-Owner: Andrea DePalma
24K Cleaning Services provides residential and commercial cleaning services. From the smallest home to large commercial facilities, they are equipped to handle all types of cleaning jobs.
24K Cleaning Services is co-owned and run by all women.
“Behind every successful woman, is herself,” said DePalma.
Aftan Engineering, LLC
839 Alleghenyville Road, Mohnton
President: Lisa A. Peterson, PhD, P.E.
Aftan Engineering has decades of experience in design, manufacturing, data analysis and continuous improvement. They provide unparalleled expertise in Sustainable Engineering. They are dedicated to protecting and improving the environment by helping businesses develop green practices.
The firm was founded in 1996, with Lisa A. Peterson taking ownership in 2019 with a focus on continuous improvement and sustainability.
“As I think back in history, women could not own property, could not vote, and were not valued to be business leaders; therefore, I appreciate the work of generations of women and men before me who drove equal rights, and highly value the benefits that diversity brings to leadership of businesses,” said Peterson.
Riverview Gardens & Gifts
3049 Pricetown Road, Temple
Owner: Diane Salks
Riverview Gardens & Gifts is a division of Riverview Tree & Landscaping, Inc. The garden center and gift store specialize in trees and shrubs, perennials, annuals, pond supplies, pond fish, pond plants, nursery/gardening supplies, seasonal plants, beauty products, jewelry, books, cards, notebooks, home décor items and more. This business, which sits on an 18-acre nursery, offers workshops for both adults and children.
Owner Diane Salks noted that while attitudes towards women-owned businesses are changing, there is still more to be done.
“As a woman running a business that is in a traditionally male-dominated industry, I find that I sometimes need to be more assertive than my male counterparts in order to receive the same respect. Many of our clients and customers think it’s ‘neat’ that we are woman-owned,” Salks said. “It is important for women to own and run businesses to encourage future generations of female entrepreneurs, and so that our business communities are as diverse as the people who live in them.”
110 W. Wyomissing Ave., Mohnton
CEO: Jennifer Moorehead
Science Explorers is an innovative, hands-on science company dedicated to providing an opportunity for children ages 4-11 to become engaged in science.
This woman-run organization was founded in 1999, by Jennifer Moorehead. Her mission for starting Science Explorers was to make science fun!
“Being a woman entrepreneur in the science education world, has been an amazing experience for me. It has given me an opportunity to empower youth, to the power of what they can achieve. Our vehicle is science, but I’ve always felt we provide empowerment and possibilities. Personally, being the Founder of a business that is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year has been incredibly rewarding. It has enabled me to be a role model for my own children who in the last few years have all joined the family business as well as my grandchildren, who are learning quickly, it’s pretty cool to have Jupiter Jen as a Grammy. I am grateful for everything in my world,” said Moorehead.
Shirlair’s Boutique & Professional Business Academy
2727 N. 5th St. Hwy., Reading
Owner: Shirley Peterson
Shirlair’s Boutique & Professional Business Academy is a hands on business that sells women’s clothing, while also providing informative classes and seminars. The business beautifies teaches, sells, encourages and motivates its clientele.
It was Shirley Peterson’s dream to open Shirlair’s Boutique & Professional Business Academy. “As a business owner in general, I am grateful. To be a woman business owner, I’m extremely thankful, grateful and truly fulfilled because this was my goal and my dream,” said Peterson.
Peterson wants to be an inspiration in her community. “I want to be a blessing to the community at large from a woman’s perspective. At the end of the day I want to be genuine, true to myself and true to my customers, family and friends,” said Peterson.
48D Wingco Ln., Reading
CEO: Lauren Ziegler
Speedpro Innovations specializes in large format digital imaging. Lauren Ziegler bought Speedpro’s Reading location in March of 2019. She has since connected with businesses all over the Berks and Lehigh area. Lauren is passionate about community outreach as well as supporting local business.
“Running a business like Speedpro Innovations in a male dominated industry has its challenges, but ultimately it’s what sets me apart. I have a different view of the possibilities and it is easier for me to empathize with my clients and get to the solution that works best for their needs. I LOVE what I do – and I love being able to create the kind of company I have always wanted to work for and have always wanted to work with,” said Ziegler.