The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance Board of Directors announced today that it has named Jim Gerlach as President and CEO. GRCA is Berks County’s premier business resource for facilitating new and existing business expansion, project funding, redevelopment, business-to-business promotion, advocacy and workforce development.

“We are thrilled to have Jim accept this leadership role at such an important time in our community. Jim’s history of public service, high integrity, and ability to work with a wide variety of constituencies will serve him and our community well in the years ahead,” said Board Chairman Dan Langdon.

Gerlach, who served 12 years as the congressman for Pennsylvania’s 6th District, most recently took on the role of president and CEO of the Business-Industry Political Action Committee. He also previously served for 12 years in the Pennsylvania Legislature, spending time in both chambers.

Gerlach has received numerous accolades for his efforts to support business and industry, including being repeatedly named as a “Guardian of Small Business,” receiving perfect scores from BIPAC’s Outline for Prosperity while serving in Congress, and earning the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Spirit of Enterprise Award.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our community, and we rely on local industry for jobs that offer living wages and support our economy,” said Gerlach. “The Reading area is home to a thriving business community and diverse commercial and industrial enterprises. I’m looking forward to serving as an advocate for this community and supporting Greater Reading’s continued growth and prosperity.”

GRCA chose Gerlach with the help of Philadelphia-based Diversified Search, one of the nation’s top executive search firms.