Before 850 people at Santander Performing Arts Center on Thursday night, ABC-TV’s Robin Roberts delivered a powerful keynote address on positioning businesses for success.
Her talk was a run-up to the awards ceremony at the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s 101st annual dinner.
“I was so looking forward to coming here tonight,” Roberts told the crowd. “Because of your spirit and pride for your community and for your resilience.”
Triose Inc. of Reading took home the top business of the year award for taking in revenues of at least $1 million in each of the last three fiscal years.
CertaPro Painters of Reading earned the top emerging entrepreneur award for taking in $250,000 in the most recent fiscal year.
“The recognition of the companies here tonight is what’s important,” said Pamela Shupp, vice president of Greater Reading Economic Partnership. “And to align that with the importance of Robin Roberts is amazing.”
The Reading High School Music Department sang and danced to Pharell Williams’ hit song “Happy” as Roberts walked onstage.
“Proximity is power,” Roberts said. “Put yourself in position for good things to happen.”
Throughout the night, chamber president and CEO Ellen Horan and chamber board chairman Scott Gruber shared some of the chamber’s accomplishments in the last year, with its various networking, education and advocacy events and programs for Berks County businesses.
Some of the programs and successes of the chamber in the last year include the development of a scorecard system to rate areas where a company can improve, a mentoring group for young entrepreneurs and a $286,000 grant the chamber received to mentor small and mid-sized businesses.
Fifty companies were recognized in the top business category and 13 for the emerging entrepreneur award.
Taking second and third place for top business, respectively, were Berks and Beyond Employment Services Inc. and Customers Bank.
Second and third place for emerging entrepreneur, respectively, went to Dan’s at Green Hills and Breyer Construction & Landscape LLC.