Five new board members appointed to Foundation for The Reading Public Museum

The Foundation for The Reading Public Museum recently announced that five new members have been appointed to the board of directors.

Javar Colon is a Berks County native and founder of Unity Within our Community (UWOC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit with a special focus on encouraging youth as future leaders to appreciate the importance and power of a unified community. He also is a Business Development Specialist with the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and serves on their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee.

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Daniel Egusquiza, a Reading resident, is Barrio Alegria’s Executive Director as well as Community Engagement Supervisor at the Reading Public Library. An active arts advocate, he also oversees the Wyomissing Foundation South of Penn Task Force’s community organizing and programming activities and has led facilitations for the Smithsonian Museum for the American Latino.

Violet Emory, a Berks native and Reading resident, is the Executive Director of Berks Latino Workforce Development Corporation, which assists Latinos moving out of poverty to enhance their empowerment and career options. She also has served in a variety of roles with other local nonprofits, human services, and health organizations.

Frederick Nice, Esq., is a partner at Barley Snyder and a member of their Trusts & Estates and Business practice groups. Currently serving on the Reading Public Museum’s Finance Committee, he also has been an active community leader for several nonprofits including United Way of Berks County, Opportunity House, Easter Seals of Eastern Pennsylvania, and more.

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Michael Rhoads, a long-term Reading resident, is the founder and president of Pennside Partners Ltd., a leading consultancy to the global Health Care industry with offices in Berks County, the UK, and Switzerland. An avid art collector and supporter of local philanthropic, cultural, and educational causes, he currently serves on the Reading Public Museum’s Collections Committee.

“Our new board members not only have a tremendous amount of experience, but also a deep-rooted commitment to our community’s cultural education and enrichment,” said Paul G. Oxholm, Interim Director and CEO of The Reading Public Museum. “Their diverse perspectives will help us continue to welcome new audiences to this incredible community learning and gathering place.”

The Foundation also recognized and thanked four departing board members who have served the organization in various roles, including on the leadership team and executive committee, for a combined total of 36 years: Charles (Chuck) Harenza, Heidi B. Masano, Scott L. Gruber, and Helene (Bunny) Zintak.

“These talented individuals both guided and supported us through some difficult economic times, including the 2020 COVID pandemic,” added Oxholm. “During their tenure, several critical capital improvements were made to The Museum, the Arboretum and the Neag Planetarium, hundreds of objects were added to The Museum’s permanent collection, The Museum completely revamped several permanent exhibits including both the Natural History Gallery and adding Nephrina’s holographic image to the Ancient Civilizations Gallery, and much more. Their presence will be missed, and we can’t thank them enough for their wisdom, generosity, and dedicated service.”

The Foundation for the RPM is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization established in 1991 to operate and manage The Reading Public Museum and its environs, including the Neag Planetarium and 25-acre Arboretum.

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