The Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce hosted the 5th Annual Shining Star Awards at C.J. Hummel’s, Lenhartsville, Sept. 26.

The Special Events Fundraising Committee identified award nominees: Rookie of the Year Jeffrey Chrin and Marie Moser; Unsung Hero Robert J. Hobaugh Jr., Esq., Clare Kilpatrick Benz of Hamburg Area School District and Lisa Mitchell of Berks-Mont Newspapers; Humanitarian Tompkins VIST Bank and Scot Guldin of Thrivent Financial; Influencers Deborah Berger, Kim Davis, Russell Farbiarz and Dustin Adam; and Champion (awarded to a non-member) Karen Chandler, correspondent, The Reading Eagle; and Michael G. “Regs” Regensburger, Kutztown University Radio.

Partnering with the Chamber, Berks Schuylkill SCORE volunteer mentors judged and identified winners: Rookie of the Year Jeffrey Chrin, Unsung Hero Clare Kilpatrick Benz, Humanitarian Scot Guldin, Influencer Deborah Berger, and Champion Michael G. “Regs” Regensburger.

“Every award nominee should consider himself or herself a winner. As judges, the team of mentors at Berks Schuylkill SCORE always remark about the challenge of evaluating so many deserving nominees. Whether or not an award winner, each member is seen and appreciated and valued as an entrepreneur, as a business professional and as a person who demonstrates service to the community,” said Chamber Executive Director Lori B. Donofrio-Galley.

September 2019 marks the 30th Anniversary of the Chamber, originally incorporated as the Kutztown Area Chamber of Commerce in 1989. Of the founding members, 25 percent remain members.

“When we decided to launch a year of anniversary activities and projects this September to culminate next September, we also decided to revise and broaden the 2018 Shining Star Awards categories. This year, we reflect upon noteworthy contributions demonstrated by new and established members, as well as by non-member advocates, all of whom help to advance our mission in the business community,” said Donofrio-Galley.

Standing in front of the Chamber’s 30th anniversary banner, designed by KU students during KU’s 24-Hour Design-A-Thon and produced by Kutztown Printing, Donofrio-Galley said the Chamber is using #30years to increase engagement and “create a lot of excitement focused on the anniversary.”

Barbara Coffin of Berks Schuylkill SCORE presented a Certificate of Appreciation to the Chamber “for 30 years of continued service and support of the businesses, organizations, educational establishments and communities of Northeast Berks. As partners to small business through mentoring and training (we) applaud you on this accomplishment and wish you many years of success.”

The keynote speech was given by master coach Adrean Turner, MM, MBA, CPC, also known as the “Career Fulfillment Expert” and owner of Turner Coaching, Training and Consulting, LLC, as well as author of a newly published book “Fearless, Inspired, Transformed: F.I.T. for Success.”

“The message that I want to get across to the Chamber members is that regardless of any struggles that they have had, all of those things have made them the wonderful individuals that they are and that is why we are celebrating them tonight, because they are fearless. They are people who inspire us and they transform not only our community but they transform lives as well,” said Turner.

She is Mrs. Berks County Pennsylvania America 2018 and uses 23 years’ experience in management, marketing, operations, sales, teaching, and training to provide workforce solutions and career management services for professionals, entrepreneurs, and organizations.

“I try to serve as an example that first of all, anything is possible. I am someone who went from employee to entrepreneur with little connections, a couple of dollars and no knowledge of how to run a business and I did it.”

Her work has been featured in the Business Weekly, Girl Boss, Forbes, Women 2 Women, and other notable publications. A member of the National Speakers Association and the Alvernia University Council for Women, Turner has received the Shining Star Award, Shooting Star Award, Leadership awards and recognition from congress members, the YWCA and various Chambers of Commerce for her business savvy and community involvement.

“I really appreciate when I am able to share some of my experiences and ways to encourage others to have more success in life,” said Turner to the 90 people in attendance.

Talking about the Chinese Bamboo tree, which must be watered every day and takes five years to break through the ground before growing 90 feet tall in six weeks, Turner said that at any time watering stops, the tree will die.

“The question is, does it grow 90 feet tall in six weeks or five years? The answer is it grows 90 feet tall in five years because at any time, had that person stopped watering and nurturing that Bamboo tree, it would have died in the ground,” she said. “Some people will stop because they won’t see the results. But as community leaders and businesses, we know that you have to keep watering your dream. It may not happen as quickly as you want it to happen. Things are going to happen that are going to knock you off guard and therefore, you have to deal with it and handle it as it comes. Not only that, you’re going to need the faith that drives you into action. You have to keep moving.”

During the hard times, she discovered that while working hard on a dream and it’s a struggle, what you become in the process is most important.

“It’s the kind of character you develop, the faith you’re manifesting, you walk with a different strut, you embrace life. You know it was hard, but you did it hard. And that’s our story,” said Turner. “As we celebrate 30 years of this organization (NE Berks Chamber) that has been watering and nurturing and making a positive impact in the community, we recognize that it was worth it.”

Lisa Mitchell is an editor for Berks-Mont Newspapers, covering news and events in the Northeast Berks County area.

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