Reading Pride Celebration, the organization that organizes the Reading Pride Festival, has announced the hiring of its first-ever executive director. Enrique Castro, Jr., who served as President of the Board from 2020 – 2022, was appointed by the Board of Directors with the goal of elevating the organization’s brand, overseeing the day-to-day operations, and expanding the programs that benefit the LGBTQ+ community of Berks County.
“Without a doubt, Reading PRIDE Celebration has come a long way under the direction of Enrique Castro, Jr. as President,” said Benedict M. Renkus, RPC President.
“In the spirit of our continued growth, the Board’s passing of the new by-laws, and by moving forward with our mission, Enrique’s appointment as our first Executive Director will renew our continued commitment well into the future in serving the LGBTQ+ community and the community of Greater Reading at large.”
Castro is a Muhlenberg Township resident and small business owner that started volunteering with RPC in 2019. In 2020 was elected Vice President and shortly after occupied the President position as the first Hispanic to do so.
Under his leadership, the organization created support groups for parents, widows/widowers, and the latine population; approved new by-laws, formalized the non-profit designation through the State of Pennsylvania, secured an office at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts; worked with municipalities to start the process to approve non-discrimination ordinances; start the Reading Pride Gives Back Fund for LGBTQ+ youth projects; and grew the Pride Festival by triple digits in attendance, sponsors, and vendors.
“I am extremely proud of the growth of our organization,” said Castro. “The support of our community, donors, sponsors, and supporters over the last 16 years has been invaluable, and we are beyond grateful. This new opportunity as executive director will allow us to serve our community better and expand our programs and services. I look forward to what the future brings, building relationships and partnerships, advocating, and serving our community in any way possible.”