Star Awards honor businesses, non-profits
Awards presented to Ellen Overcast, Kim Davis, Cheri Dotterer, Dave Kendall, Penelope Oulds and Janet Yost
The Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce hosted the 4th Annual Shining Star Awards to a packed room of 160 chamber members at the Berkleigh Golf Club in Kutztown on Sept. 28. Star Awards were presented to Ellen Overcast of Dream Vacations Kutztown, Kim Davis of KD Consulting, Cheri Dotterer of Make Parenting Easier, Dave Kendall of Comfort Keepers, Penelope Oulds of PayDay Payroll Services and Janet Yost of Kutztown Community Library.
“Each year at this time we have an opportunity to recognize member businesses and non-profits in the Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce for their business
achievements and their involvement in the community and their advocacy for the chamber,” said Chamber Executive Director Lori B. Donofrio-Galley.
“Based on established criteria, SCORE evaluated 22 nominees and identified winners in each category,” said Star Awards event chair Sherry Christman. Deborah Berger was the Board Chair of the Special Fundraising Events Committee which is the umbrella committee for the event.
The 2017 Shining Star Awards were presented to winners in five categories. The Large Business of the Year Award was presented to Dave Kendall of Comfort Keepers. The Small Business of the Year Award was presented to Ellen Overcast of Main Street Getaways Dream Vacations, Kutztown. The 2017 Non-Profit of the Year Award went to Janet Yost, library director of Kutztown Community Library. Tied for the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year Award were Kim Davis of KD Consulting and Cheri Dotterer of Make Parenting Easier. The 2017 Advocate of the Year Award was presented to Penelope Oulds of PayDay Payroll Services.
“I feel very privileged everyday and every week working at this chamber, to work so closely with each and every one of you. We probably have active engagement by 35 to 45 percent of our members and that is most of you sitting here in this room,” said Donofrio-Galley. “It has been an absolute pleasure for me to work with you, get to know you personally and get to know about your businesses and your non-profits. What I really enjoy is the cooperative nature of the businesses in the chamber and how each small business in particular is willing to help and work cooperatively with other businesses and share ideas and resources and I think that’s a great thing.”
Political analyst and public affair’s commentator G. Terry Madonna gave the keynote address prior to the awards presentation.
“We have a great turnout here tonight. I think we’re all in for a treat with Dr. Madonna,” said Chamber Board President Russell E. Farbiarz of Antanavage Farbiarz, PLLC, Hamburg, who sponsored the keynote speaker.
Madonna is director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs, professor of Public Affairs, and director of the Franklin and Marshall College Poll. For more than 30 years, he has taught and written about the American presidency, and American political parties and political behavior. As a pollster in recent years, he has written extensively about voters and voting behavior. He holds a Ph.D. in political history from the University of Delaware.
Madonna talked about the current state of American politics.
“I want to talk about one of the largest and most significant effects of the Presidential Election of 2016. It wasn’t just the election of Donald J. Trump,” said Madonna. “What happened in 2016 is that it exposed something that a number of political scientists and historians were aware of... We live in a complicated America. Donald Trump got elected in large part because a particular political manifestation that had been evident before, growing at least since the days of Ronald Reagan, became paramount to his election. Donald Trump won the Presidential election because rural and small town America elected him.”
Madonna said Trump won Pennsylvania by 44,000 votes because rural and small town America voted for him. The same is true for Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin.
“He was the first in a general Presidential election since Bill Clinton in 1992 who went to the menaces of the state, who went to the Johnstowns of the state and made an appeal to them... And whether he can do it or not, bring back coal and bring back steel,” he said, noting that Hillary Clinton based her campaign on urban and suburban Pennsylvania. “We have to explain why he won... She lost the election because she failed to understand the nature of the electorate in key states and that’s the fact that historians will write about 20 years from now.”
Madonna said how Trump conducts himself is literally the way he is.
“Don’t look for a change. He’s not going to give up tweeting. He’s not going to give up being Donald Trump largely because he’s not a Democrat, he’s not a Republican. He’s not a Liberal. He’s not a Conservative. He’s at heart a privatist and a deal maker and he’s going to do what he has to do to get as close to his agenda as he can. He will walk away without one single concern about whether he stuck his finger in somebody’s eye. He couldn’t care less about that.”
Madonna said Trump has a style unlike any other President in American history.
Farbiarz thanked all of the event sponsors, including Gold sponsor Lehigh Valley Health Network, Silver sponsor Reading Fightin Phils Baseball, videography and photography sponsored by Leading Edge Business Consulting, program by Tompkins VIST Bank, award sponsors Interlace Communications, Elite Business Solutions, Sher & Associates, Hasch Daal Custom Embroidery, Toby Bower of Coldwell Banker Residential Broker Kutztown, and Dream Vacations Kutztown.
Event partners included judging panel by Berks Schuylkill SCORE, b scene photography by Berks County Living, event photography by Dave Zerbe Studio, audio-visual by Watkins Architect, and catering by Lisa Lutterschmidt and Berkleigh Country Club staff.
Winners of the 2017 Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce Shining Star Awards are Ellen Overcast of Dream Vacations Kutztown, Kim Davis of KD Consulting, Cheri Dotterer of Make Parenting Easier, Dave Kendall of Comfort Keepers, Penelope Oulds of PayDay Payroll Services and Janet Yost of Kutztown Community Library.
Alyse Mitten of Interlace Communications, right, presents the Northeast Berks Chamber 2017 Large Business of the Year Award to Dave Kendall of Comfort Keepers.
James Sher of Sher & Associates presented the Northeast Berks Chamber 2017 Nonprofit of the Year Award to Janet Yost of Kutztown Community Library.
Sherry Christman of Elite Business Solutions, Hamburg, presents the Northeast Berks Chamber 2017 Small Business of the Year Award to Ellen Overcast of Main Street Getaways Dream Vacations, Kutztown.