Karen Marsdale was named president and CEO of the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the agency announced.
Marsdale was interim president and CEO after Ellen Horan left the position in May.
Before assuming the presidency, Marsdale was senior vice president. She joined the chamber in 1997 as marketing director.
In her new role, Marsdale will manage staff and operational responsibilities, program and initiatives for the 1,300-member organization.
Marsdale is a member of the task force that is facilitating the formation of the Greater Reading Chamber and Economic Development Corp. It is an umbrella group for the chamber, the Greater Reading Economic Partnership and the Greater Berks Development Fund that is intended to streamline economic development services. A search is being conducted for someone to head the new group.
“We are in a unique position to combine with and leverage the talent and resources of GBDF and GREP to create one organization with experienced leadership and singular accountability to more effectively serve both large and small Berks County businesses,” Marsdale said.
Chamber board president Robert Firely Jr. praised Marsdale’s leadership.
“She is ready to help guide the chamber into this next exciting chapter,” he said.
Marsdale, who said she takes an entrepreneurial approach to her work at the chamber, helped found the chamber’s Women2Women, a 5-year-old program focused on creating more women leaders in Berks County. She helped launch the Berks Family Business Alliance in 2014, which offers resources and support to family-owned businesses.
Marsdale serves on the board of directors for Bridge of Hope and the Big Vision Foundation. In 2015, she was recognized by the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania with the Take the Lead Award.