The mission of the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry is 'to be Greater Reading's leading resource and advocate for business.'
Helping your business succeed is the business of the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Meet the Staff!
Our newest addition. Prior to joining the Chamber team, Ellen was the Program Manager at Junior Achievement, where she coordinated community and business volunteers with local school districts to provide financial literacy and work readiness skills to students in grades K-12. She currently serves as an active Board Member for Exeter Community Education Foundation and Reading Beautification, Inc. In addition, she serves as a member of the Occupation Advisory Council for Lehigh Carbon Technical Institute and volunteers as a regional judge for annual DECA competitions. Ellen is passionate about education, and has also volunteered in the classroom as a CHOICES facilitator and conducts mock interviews in local high schools. She has a B.A. in Communication Studies from West Chester University. It also cannot go unsaid that, as a result of her love for the adorable mammals, Ellen is an adoptive parent of a grateful manatee.
As the Chamber’s Program Coordinator, Danielle Antos is responsible for coordinating the Reignite Training programs and schedules. In addition, she is instrumental in helping to develop and implement professional development training and women2women programming. A native of Berks County, she attended the University of South Florida in Tampa, graduating with a BA degree in Mass Communications/Journalism, with a Minor in Political Science. Upon graduation, Danielle returned to her family here locally and worked in marketing and advertising (on the company side and the agency side) for 17 years. Danielle and her husband Joe have two beautiful daughters Sophia and Isabella, a dog named Louie and two cats Jasper and Tiger– all whom keep her very busy when she’s not at the Chamber. After being a stay-at-home mom, raising the girls (and the dog, and the cats), she is excited to be part of the Chamber and is thrilled to be working for such a dynamic organization that offers unlimited possibilities. In her spare time, Danielle enjoys spending time with family and friends, running her kids to all their activities, reading (when she has a moment to sit) and enjoys spending time outdoors, but only in the summer!
Member Services Representative
Tammy - or 'Tam' - is the backbone of our membership department and our resident specialist in connecting members with the ideal advertising and programming to meet their needs. Tammy has been instrumental in new initiatives with our extraordinary Ambassador Committee, in coordinating our popular LEADS programs, as well as managing/ facilitating the growth of the Chamber’s Catalyst Co-Work Space. Her enthusiasm is contagious, her free spirit is inspirational, and her smile brightens up everyone's day. Tammy’s previous employment experience includes her roles as a Supervisor and Coordinator of Inspections for long-time Chamber members, Berkshire Systems Group, Inc. Tammy also has over 15 years’ experience fostering, caring for and opening her home to individuals with mental disabilities; demonstrating her strong desire to help others. Tammy is a very proud mother of Francesca, a college-bound (world ranked female wrestler) and Giovanni, an Electric/Mechanical Engineering student at Penn State. She is a consummate cook who enjoys discovering and sharing new recipes. If you want to learn the recipe for making the most of your Chamber Membership, Tammy will be delighted to speak with you - and we guarantee that you will be delighted to chat with her.
Ed is the controller at the Chamber. His responsibilities at the chamber include everything relating to finance and accounting. He also serves as the HR administrator. Ed has worked as an Accounting Manager, Cost Accountant, Assistant Controller, IT Manger, and Network Administrator. He has also worked in banking and was a realtor. Ed has a BS in Finance from Millersville University and a BA in Computer Networking. He is also a Certified Network Administrator. In the off hours, he likes to spent time with his wife and daughter. He enjoys supporting whatever activities his daughter is doing. Ed also likes spending time with his nieces and nephews, whether attending their sporting events or just cooking their favorite food. He lives in Sinking Spring with his wife, daughter and 2 cats.
President & CEO
Ellen provides leadership and strategic direction to the Chamber’s staff of 13. She is also the chief liaison to the Chamber’s 30 member Board of Directors and is responsible for meeting the organization’s legal and fiduciary responsibilities. It’s a good thing that as the 6th of 9 children she learned to manage upward and downward and get along with others at a young age! Originally from suburban Philadelphia, Ellen graduated from Shippensburg University with a degree in Urban Studies and has a Master’s Degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Urban Management. While her very first job was a newspaper route delivering the Philadelphia Bulletin, she began her professional career as a lobbyist. From there she expanded her interests into Association Management. A job with the Manufacturers Association of Berks County brought her to berks in 1995 and in 2005 she assumed leadership at the Chamber. One of Ellen’s proudest roles is as role model to her two daughters, Julianne and Colleen, both of whom are in college and under mother’s orders also working as interns. Ellen was in acquisition mode this past year, acquiring a new husband Mike and two additional children – Glen who is productively employed and Rick who is in the Army Rangers. Life is good!
Vice President, Government & Community Relations
As Vice President – Government and Community Relations Gail is accountable for leading the Chamber’s legislative agenda, strategic communications and advocacy initiatives to strengthen the economic/business climate and quality of place for our region. Originally from western Pennsylvania where she stills spends weekends during the winter as a certified ski instructor. She is a recognized leader in regional and statewide initiatives associated with economic development and education, industry alliances, community/professional associations and a variety of charitable endeavors including Katrina/Iowa Flood Mission Trips and Prayers & Squares Ministry. Graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, EEI Executive Policy Institute, Principles of Public Utilities Operations and Management, Penn State Executive Institute and is a Certified Purchasing Manager (lifetime). Gail enjoys spending time with her family and friends along with skiing, golf, fishing and gardening.
Front Desk/Operations Administrative Assistant
Anna is the “voice of the Chamber”. With her vast knowledge of all things Chamber, she will enthusiastically and efficiently answer any questions or pleasantly direct you to another staff member. She is our Certificate of Origin aficionado and resident notary. The backbone of our accounting system, Anna can process a check, credit card or even – incredibly enough, cash in the blink of an eye. She can keep an astonishing number of plates in the air with nary a chip – and we never hear the sound of shattering tableware! Anna is a born and bred Readingite who is proud of coming up through the Reading School System. Anna spent quite a few years in the printing industry, working with an orthopedic company, and publishers of school books from all over the United States and England. Anna is active in Berks County activities and when not coaching her daughter’s cheer squad, can usually be found at a Fightin Phils game or a local fair with her husband, Joe and their two beautiful children Taylor and Derek. Anna, although well-travelled, is delighted to have settled at the Chamber in the heart of Reading. Please call anytime, if only to hear her friendly and lilting voice.
Senior Vice President
Karen is Senior Vice President at the Chamber and loves coming to work every day. With sixteen plus years in this industry, Karen still finds the opportunity to work with companies both large and small as a huge reward. Beginning her Chamber career as the second Marketing Director hired for the position, Karen likes to think of herself as an entrepreneur, creating within the context of the organization the “next new program or initiative” that will resonate with members of the business community. Few folks know that Karen was an aspiring ballet dancer who had visions of going to Julliard and becoming famous…or at least dancing for a lifetime. Those dreams were not to be realized, and instead Karen headed from New England to Stephens College in Columbia MO and earned a BA in Fashion Merchandising. Karen and her husband Alan were small business owners shortly after graduating from College. For seven years they worked at their two businesses in Massachusetts and from that amazing experience learned a bit about signing the front of the paycheck. A perfect segue way to a career in Chamber world!
Coordinator of Operations and Administration
Teresa ('T') 'coordinates operations and administration' at the Chamber and serves as webmaster while managing IT and the database – along with just about anything else that comes along. The youngest of seven children, she was born and raised in the suburbs of Reading, where she still resides. After graduating from Holy Name High School, she received an Associate Degree in Business Administration from Penn State University. Teresa's background is in manufacturing, including many years in specialty metal sales and in office management. She is a trained internal auditor with a penchant for developing and documenting processes and procedures. While a true devotee of Stephen Covey's The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, she admits that her paradigm is still in the process of shifting. Teresa has a knack - and a passion - for anything 'computer,” and this, along with her love of fantasy epics, historical novels and technical how-to books is why this 'Trekkie's' office is marked 'geek inside'. When not sitting in front of a computer, she can be found at the side of her soul-mate and execptionally wonderful husband, Bill - usually at the local book store. Teresa is the very proud mother of four perfect, yet very entertaining children and the grandmother of a truly beautiful angel. Although a cat-woman, the bane of her existence - and the love of her life is her Siberian husky, Diggs. 'T' is thrilled that her path has led her to the Chamber and is always more than happy to help our members in any way she can.
Director, Program Development
Liz McCauley is Director of Program Development at the Chamber. Her responsibilities include managing program development and growth within our Women2Women initiative, our small business programs, and the Berks Family Business Alliance. Having spent the first five years of her tenure at the Chamber as Director of Membership Services, Liz is well known by many of our members and strives to assist them in making the most of their membership. Liz graduated with a B.S. in Business Management from Albright College and is currently enrolled in the MBA program at Alvernia University. In 2013, she earned the designation of IOM, a certification in Nonprofit Organizational Management, a program of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Originally from Schuylkill County, Liz has called Berks her home for over 25 years and is passionate about giving back to the community. Active with many non-profit organizations over the years, Liz currently serves as Trustee for Reading Musical Foundation where she also chairs the Development Committee and serves on the Finance Committee. Liz volunteers her time to Genesius Theatre and assists the Downtown Improvement District with their monthly BCTV show. She is married to her best friend, Bobby Mierzejewski, who supports and encourages her in every aspect of life. Together they foster dogs through Berks Animal Rescue League's Grey Muzzle Foster Program. They are proud parents of their own pack of Shiba Inus--Sammy, Saki, Abbey and Holly. Liz and Bobby enjoy cooking, entertaining, watching football, going to flea and antique markets, and spending time with their friends.
Director of Business Services
Diane is Director of Business Development for the Greater Reading Chamber and also represents the Manufacturers Resource Center for business Development in Berks County. Primarily, Diane spends most of her time working with our local Manufacturing companies to assist them with transforming, developing and growing their People Process and Markets. Diane brings more than 25 years experience in Operations and Marketing Management. Passion, creativity and willingness to embrace change are leading driving factors that Diane looks to bring to her clients. Diane “gets” how important Manufacturing is to our community and takes great pride in being able to contribute to its future success. She never hesitates to volunteer in efforts to promote to students that there are good opportunities to be had, positive attitude and a strong work ethic can take you far. Diane has been married to her best friend for 34 years and they have 2 awesome daughters and 4 super grandchildren. In her spare time Diane might be found at a local dirt track, where she has been known for pit crewing her husband’s race car. She also might be found taking in some great music at some of her and her husband’s favorite Philly music venues.
Carolyn is our event planner extraordinaire! With a wave of her magic wand, everything from a grandiose gala to a simple lunch is splendidly and perfectly arranged. She is one of the most congenial, cheerful and vivacious people you will ever meet - that is if you haven't already! Chamber celebrations, small and large, are always accentuated by an enthusiastic 'happy clap' from Carolyn. It is not at all surprising to learn that she was class president both in high school and at Harcum College where she received an associate degree in Travel & Tourism. Carolyn shares her planning skills with the Animal Rescue League and has even organized the Mayor's Gala in 2012. She came to us from a large non-profit and made the Chamber her home, something for which we are eternally grateful. Always energetic and sociable, Carolyn can be found breezing about town with her wonderful husband, Mark, and their adorable children, Max, Paige and Megan. When the air turns warm, though, the family is often relaxing and splashing at their favorite 'hot spot', the pool. But if the day is cloudy and you're feeling blue, the compassionate and encouraging, Carolyn, will always be there with a kind word and a smile.
Director, Membership Services
Sally Traczuk is the Chamber’s Director, Membership Services. She joined the staff in January 2014. Sally’s the one to talk to if you are not currently a member or know someone who should be a member of the Chamber. She’d be happy to extoll the ways Chamber membership can help grow your business. Sally is a native of Schuylkill County, a Blue Mountain High School graduate and attended Susquehanna University for sociology and Human Services. She has worked for the Schuylkill County Council for the Arts, Columbia Montour Visitors Bureau and AAA Reading Berks. She is a graduate of Schuylkill Leadership, Dale Carnegie and the 2003 Bloomsburg Chamber of Commerce Athena Award winner. She lives in Exeter Township with her husband Michael. In her spare time she may be seen at a Reading Royals game, assisting with events at St Stephen’s Polish National Catholic Church, or serving as state officer of the PA Jaycee Senate. Oh, by the way it’s pronounced “tray-zuk”!
Assistant Vice President, Marketing
Melissa Varone is Assistant Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the Chamber. With almost 20 years of marketing experience, Melissa often refers to the Chamber as her dream job. Not only does she execute the Marketing strategy, but she also spends much of her time working on press coverage for the Chamber and helping members get seen in the news. Melissa graduated with a BS in Business and Marketing from Albright College. While working full time, she earned an MBA from St. Joseph’s University. Even though she works in a creative field, she is very much a numbers girl and likes the financial and strategic part of running a business. Her better half is Jeffrey Harenza, who makes her laugh and encourages her to the fullest. When not working, Melissa enjoys reading and cooking, spending time with Jeff either at the couple’s home, playing golf or traveling. They are the proud parents of Dixon, a very energetic and adorable Jack Russell. Melissa grew up with 3 older sisters who were kind enough to give her six nieces and nephews who are an integral part of her life.