Rising Star

The 2011 Rising Star Award Winners


Lenin Agudo

Lenin Agudo

As an immigrant from Ecuador to the United States, Lenin Agudo believes his greatest achievement has been to win the 3rd grade Spelling Bee competition. With only four months in the United States, he believes his "first success in America" marked him for life. Years later he graduated from Pace University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in international business, then from Kutztown University with a Master of Business Administration, and, in December, he will graduate from the University of Pennsylvania's Fels Institute of Government with a postgraduate degree in Economic Development and Growth.

Lenin Agudo has developed a passion for education, policy and business, as he believes, these three components form a "triangle of influence" that determines the prosperity of our community. Lenin invests his time in strengthening the components of this triangle. In this context, he is employed full-time as Director of the Kutztown University Latino Business Resource Center (LBRC), where he has assisted more than 250 entrepreneurs start, grow and prosper. He volunteers as Chairman of the Berks County Latino Chamber of Commerce and has also served in various committees providing recommendations for the City of Reading's community and economic development needs. Lenin also finds great gratification in mentoring and training at-risk youth.

Lenin is 30 years old and has been married for seven years to Gabriela Raful. Both enjoy their free time with "Ms. Mia," their Miniature Schnauzer.
Hamid Chaudhry

Hamid Chaudhry

Hamid Chaudhry is the owner of two Dairy Queen locations in Kenhorst and Exeter. He has a B.S. from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he majored in finance and minored in information systems. He previously worked as a consultant at Deloitte & Touche and a financial analyst at ABN AMRO Bank. He is a father of two.
Aaron Costenbader

Aaron Costenbader

Aaron Costenbader is the Marketing Coordinator for Berks Economic Partnership. She is an active member of the Greater Reading Young Professionals (GRYP) and serves on the GRYP Board of Directors and Executive Committee as the Chair of the Community Advancement Committee. As the chair of Community Advancement she leads the committee in planning events like Costumes on the Corridor and volunteer opportunities like Habitat for Humanity build for GRYP members. Aaron is also a Paul Harris Fellow. She graduated from West Virginia University with a BA in Political Science and a MPA in Public Administration with honors. She is a native of Greater Reading and is strongly committed to being a part of making the community a vibrant, more positive, and more attractive place to live and work.
Kristi Gage-Linderman

Kristi Gage-Linderman

Kristi Gage-Linderman of Gage Personnel Employment Services is the third generation of a family owned staffing firm servicing Berks, Lancaster and Montgomery counties and the surrounding areas and specializing in temporary and permanent placements. Kristi is the Manager and Bilingual Recruiter for the Gage Corporate Office in West Reading and is an active member of the community, serving on both the Workforce Investment Board and the Greater Reading Young Professionals Board. Kristi has made several connections throughout the Greater Reading area and truly values being able to give back to the community through her work, serving on boards and through dedicating her time and resources towards a variety of philanthropic causes, including American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Muscular Dystrophy Assn, American Red Cross, The Humane Society, The Catworks, Inc., A Good Thyme for Life, Motivated Moms, Police Athletic League (PAL), Career Day Guest Speaker (Holy Name) and Goodwill.
Michele Richards

Michele Richards

Michele Richards is a graduate of Elizabethtown College and earned an MBA from St. Joseph's University. She is a Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending at Fulton Bank, having previously worked at Wells Fargo/Wachovia and its predecessors for many years. She is active in the community and serves as Vice Chair of the St. Joseph Medical Center Foundation Board, a board member of the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry, serving on its executive committee, board member and campaign cabinet member of the United Way of Berks County, and the advisory board for the Girls Scouts of Southeastern PA. She has previously served on the board of directors for Mentors for Berks Youth and Junior Achievement. She lives in Brecknock Township with her husband, Jeff, and daughter, Olivia.
Ruthann Woll

Ruthann Woll

Ruthann Woll, CPA, is a manager in Reinsel Kuntz Lesher's Tax Services Group. Her primary function is to oversee the firm's individual and non-profit tax planning and compliance. She has a B.S. in Economics and Business Administration from Ursinus College. Ruthann is a 2008 graduate of Leadership Berks and now serves on the Leadership Berks Alumni Council as the Placement Fair chair. She is also active with the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life. She was previously the treasurer for Berks TALKLINE, and she currently volunteers with the organization's golf bowl. Ruthann resides in Bernville with her husband, Doug, daughter, Bella, and son, Brady.
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