GRCA’s Annual Dinner honors top businesses, features Sarah Thomas

The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance Thursday night celebrated the Berks County business community at its Annual Dinner held at the Truck N Brew at Willow Glen Park.

Nearly 600 people atended the outdoor, upscale-tailgate-themed evening, which was punctuated by a keynote address from Sarah Thomas, the NFL’s first female referee.

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“Our dinner was a terrific hit with our members, which was topped off with an inspirational speech by Sarah Thomas. Sarah’s down-to-earth story of a star college athlete to her groundbreaking entry into the NFL demonstrates again that hard work, tenacity and perseverance are the keys to success regardless of one’s gender or background. And with the new NFL season staring last night, the crowd loved her story and her passion for the high-profile job she will take up again Sunday at the Buffalo-Pitsburgh game,” said Jim Gerlach, President & CEO of GRCA.

Thomas’ address featured some light-hearted moments as well. She asked the crowd to raise their hands if they were football fans, which resulted in a flurry of hands flying up. Thomas then asked the crowd to repeat after her said, “I promise, I will no longer boo the officials.”

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The ceremony kicked off with the DoubleTree by Hilton Reading being recognized with the 2021 Albert Boscov Economic Development Award. Jim Boscov, Chairman & CEO of Boscov’s Department Store, was on hand to present Craig Poole, General Manager of the DoubleTree by Hilton Reading, with the award.

The area’s Top Growth Businesses were also honored. Good Life Companies, Service 360 Group and Heeby’s Surplus rounded out the top 3. The honored businesses are for-profit companies who had revenues of at least $1 million in each of that most recent fiscal years.

Smaller businesses were recognized in the category of Entrepreneurial Excellence. Burns Logistics, Berks Surveying & Engineering and Financial Planning Advisors made up the top 3. The honored companies are for-profit businesses who had revenues of at least $250,000 in each of the most recent fiscal years.

“GRCA always looks forward to the Top Business Awards every year. We are excited to recognize a business community that continues to flourish despite a challenging 12 months. It’s so gratifying to see everyone come together and celebrate business growth, development, and, in many cases, continued commitment to Greater Reading. Congratulations to all our honorees!” said Michele Richards, Director of Treasury Sales of Fulton Bank and GRCA’s board chairwoman.

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