From networking events to seminars, the Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce strives to be the premier business resource.
“By advocating for economic and cultural development, with the goal of promoting business and community development, and supporting Chamber stakeholders through service, education and strategic alliances,” said Treva Florence, executive director of the Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce, which helps local businesses.
In September 2019, the Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 30th anniversary. Originally established as the Kutztown Area Chamber of Commerce in 1989, its East Penn Valley service area includes five boroughs and eight townships. In 2007, the Chamber of Commerce re-registered as the Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce.
“The Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1989 by 25 business owners and professionals in the Northeast Berks County area and has served its members ever since. The Chamber has a presence in and around Northeast Berks County and beyond, ‘ Florence said.
Today, members represent areas in northeast Berks, west Lehigh and the rest of Berks County.
The Chamber’s mission is to advocate for economic and cultural development, with the goal of promoting business and community development, and supporting stakeholders through service, education, and strategic alliances. The Chamber’s main goal is to increase and retain membership, with a target of 140 members by the end of 2022, 150 by the end of 2023 and 160 by the end of 2024.
“The Chamber currently has about 140 members. We used to have as many as 275 members, and our membership has declined since COVID. This is largely due to businesses having to close their doors or be forced to retire early,” Florence said.
The Chamber of Commerce consists of large and small business owners, learning institutions, financial institutions, doctors, dentists, lawyers, engineers, retailers, wholesalers, telecommunications companies, individuals, social service organizations and civil society organizations.
Florence explained that the Chamber provides many benefits to its members, including but not limited to networking, marketing, sponsorship opportunities, ribbon cuttings and open houses, membership pricing for Chamber events, educational seminars, monthly subscriptions to Berks County Living magazine, and NBCC’s annual directory, as well as listings in many other directories.
“We want our member benefits to help our members grow their businesses by expanding their network and reach and providing additional credibility,” Florence said.
Recent Chamber events include the grand opening and ribbon cutting for new member T-Mobile in Hamburg in August, the 9th Annual Chamber Day at Reading Fightin Phils in August, and the Wine and Cheese Gala at Stony Run Winery in September As well as the annual Chamber of Commerce October Picnic.
Members also have the opportunity to be featured on Kurtztown University Radio’s Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce podcast, Voice of the Chamber.
Beginning on the third Friday of each month at 7:45am, a monthly boardroom member breakfast is held, with locations and speakers announced one month prior to the event. Breakfast in November is in November. 18 features the Chamber’s nonprofit members CONCERN Professional Services, Gray Muzzle Manor, Friend Inc. Community Services, Safe Berks, Clare of Assisi House, and Casa of Berks. Members will also have the opportunity to meet a need by selecting an item from the donation tree.
Florence was hired as the new executive director in 2021.
“Serving as Executive Director of the Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce has been a wonderful experience. Being able to connect with our members and community leaders has been inspiring and rewarding. The nonprofit sector has been a new experience for me and I look forward to it Continuous growth and learning,” Florence said.
Florence, born in Florida, has previously worked as a secondary education administrator and most recently as an administration and hiring manager for the U.S. Census Bureau in Reading.
However, she was attracted to non-profit work, especially during her census participation, and wanted to make a difference.
“I’m used to working with the community, and I want to be able to bring my management experience into the nonprofit sector and do something bigger than myself,” Florence told Reading Eagle in November 2021. “The Chamber of Commerce makes me feel like I’m doing something for other people, helping the community and members for the good.”
Florence also discussed how she will measure the success of her new role.
“It’s not all about me,” she said last year. “This is about the Chamber of Commerce, so success will continue to grow membership and engage with the community to foster economic growth across all of our businesses.”
“We want to help our members and businesses figure out ways to still be successful and adapt to the changes happening in everyday life.”
In addition to the leadership changes, the chamber also offers programs to help its members during the pandemic.
In July 2020, NBCC hosted two Synergy and Solutions Focus Groups to directly assess how NBCC can help. The outcomes of these meetings have been enormous. Members participating in the meeting freely share program ideas and topics that are most important to their business. Lively conversations discuss ways to meet challenges in the current environment and share valuable ideas that will benefit others.
Florence continues to see its impact in 2022, after her year.
“COVID has greatly impacted our organization and our members, and I believe we’re still seeing these struggles linger,” Florence said. “The Chamber has been brainstorming ideas to help our members address issues they may be facing.”
Board of Directors
The 2022 Board of Directors consists of Chairman Barbara Coffin, Vice President Hope Pearson, Secretary Sue Bernhard, Treasurer John Scott, Second Vice President Sherry Christman, Board Members James Sher, Mark Crossley, Edward Richmond, Barry Endy, Merra Lee Moffitt, Carrie Whitmoyer, Sean Wyandt, Chair of the Special Events and Fundraising Committee, Andy Marker, Project Chair, and Alyse Mitten, Head of the Site Management and Marketing Team.
The Chamber of Commerce Nominating Committee has announced nominees for the 2023 Board of Directors: Chaydeanne Kleinfelter, Brandywine Heights School District, nominee; Jim Reece, Executive Director, Friend Inc. Community Service, Nominee; Sue Bernhard, Realty One Group Exclusive, for a second three-year term; Sherry Christman, Elite Business Solutions, LLC, for a second three-year term; and Barbara Coffin, scoring mentor Berks and Schuylkill, was re-elected for a second three-year term.
Additional director candidates may be nominated through a petition accompanied by the true signatures of at least five eligible members of the Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce. Written petitions must be submitted to and received by Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Treva Florence on or before November 11. 16. The Executive Director’s decision on the legality of the application will be final.
The election of directors will be by ballot, which will be sent out by November 11. 24th, which is at least 15 days before December 2nd. 9 Board meetings.
The Nominating Committee includes Chairman Barry Endy, Fraser Advanced Information Systems; Barbara Coffin, Scoring Mentors Berks and Schuylkill; Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Treva Florence; Alyse Mitten, Interlace Communications Inc.; and Mark Crossley, Sherline Injury Law.
November 18: The November Members Breakfast will be held at the Lyons Social Club, 110 Lyons Park Avenue, from 7:30 am to 9 am. The program features non-profit memberships and the Giving Tree program. Participating nonprofits include CONCERN Professional Services, Gray Muzzle Manor, Friend Inc. Community Services, Safe Berks, Clare of Assisi House, and Casa of Berks. Members will also have the opportunity to meet a need by selecting an item from the donation tree. The fee is $25 for members and member guests and $50 for non-members. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 610-683-8860; faxing 610-683-8544 or registering online.
December 1: The Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce Festival Gala will be held in conjunction with the Tri-County Chamber of Commerce at the Boyertown Historic Vehicle Museum at 85 South Walnut Street from 4-7pm. in Boyertown.
December 16: The December members’ breakfast will be held at kTown Hall, a co-working space in the former Kutztown Town Hall building at 277 Fair St.
Jan. 20: Economic forecasts to be released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia at Kutztown University.
January 31: Cybersecurity Lunch N Learn will be held in Fraser by Fraser Advanced Information Systems.
The Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce is located at 110 West Street in Cootstown. For more information about the Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce, please call 610-683-8860 or email email@example.com. For more information and the latest announcements, visit https://northeastberkschamber.com or follow the Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.