The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA) celebrated the excellence of the Berks County business community Wednesday evening at its Annual Dinner held at the Santander Arena.
More than 800 people attended the ice and gold themed event, which was topped off by a keynote address from Scott Hamilton, the 1984 men’s figure skating Olympic gold medalist.
“Our members look forward to this event every year, and last night was no exception. After a tumultuous few years, it was exciting to come together as a business community and celebrate its continuing growth and development,” said Jim Gerlach, President & CEO of GRCA.
The evening kicked off with 50 Business Excellence Awards in Category 1 being handed out. Translogistics, Inc., Keller Williams Platinum Realty and Customers Bancorp, Inc, comprised the top 3. The honored businesses in Category 1 are for-profit companies, with revenues of at least $1 million in each of the past three fiscal years.
Smaller businesses were recognized in Category 2 with American Barber and Beauty Academy, The Junkluggers of Berks Chester, & Lancaster, PA, and Catering by John Lowe making the top 3. The recognized companies in Category 2 are for-profit businesses, with revenues of at least $250,000 in each of the past three fiscal years.
In his address titled “Finish First,” Hamilton told the audience that he had fallen more than 41,000 times, meaning he also has gotten up more than 41,000 times.
He encouraged the crowd to “embrace failure” as it is just information to use to move forward and improve. In a moment of levity, Hamilton joked that his job had turned into finding ways to shut up fellow commentator Dick Button.
“I think the audience appreciated the simplicity and positivity of Scott’s message. It really seemed to resonate with the attendees,” said Michele Richards, Executive Vice President and Director of Commercial Product and Strategy, Fulton Bank, and GRCA’s board chairwoman.