The High Center for Family Business is establishing a presence in Berks County.

The High Center, located at Elizabethtown College, in historic Lancaster County, is one of the oldest and largest family business centers in the country.  The High Center offers family-owned and privately-held companies confidential executive peer groups, educational seminars with seasoned business experts, and proven business tools focused on strengthening family businesses through succession planning, leadership training, and legacy building.

“Berks County’s business community has been a key driver of the region’s success because of the significant number of family-owned businesses and privately held companies in the area,” shared Scott Burky, Managing Director-New Markets with The High Center. “We saw the value of bringing a new set of resources and peer group opportunities to the region’s midsize to large family businesses.” High Center Berks County members will have access to national and regional speakers such as Sima Dahl, brand expert; Doug Box, family advisor and author; and Rene Rodriguez, leadership advisor, world-class sales expert, and renowned speaker coach. Globally recognized thought leaders Simon Sinek (September 27, 2021) and Jim Collins (March 30, 2022) are scheduled to speak live at The High Center’s core annual event, the Business Forum.

“I want to thank the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA) for helping us create a unique synergy between our organizations,” noted Burky. “The GRCA does a phenomenal job of supporting the business sector in Berks County through its advocacy, events, professional development programs and their Family Business Alliance. While the GRCA will continue to actively work with those vibrant companies, the launch of the High Center Berks County serves up an amazing, next-level resource of peer groups, speakers, and workshops specifically designed for multi-generational family businesses that have grown to revenues of $3 million and above.”

“The GRCA is excited to have an expanded set of resources available for family-owned and privately held businesses in Berks County.  We see a natural progression for local companies who are looking to spend more time working ‘on’ their business than ‘in’ their business.  The High Center provides the next level of resources for companies who are scaling,” said Rachael Romig, Senior Director of Events and Special Programs for the GRCA, including the GRCA’s Family Business Alliance.

Corporate Partners supporting the High Center’s expansion into Berks County include Barley Snyder (a High Center Corporate Partner since 1995), Customers Bank, RKL LLP, Murphy & McCormack Capital Advisors, Connors Investor Services, Inc., Compass Point Consulting, and the GRCA.

Troy Rider, Partner with Barley Snyder noted, “Barley Snyder has supported the High Center since its inception in 1995.  Our team has seen the value the High Center brings to its members, and we are thrilled to continue our support as they expand into Berks County.  The High Center has a proven track record of delivering value via their peer groups, speaker series, and their expertise.”

“The introduction of the High Center into Berks County is exciting for the business community and for RKL. We have been a long-time supporter of the Chamber’s Family Business Alliance and we immediately saw a natural progression for mid- to large-scale businesses to the High Center,” Steve Fisher, Managing Partner of RKL’s Reading Office, said. “The High Center’s work to offer insights and resources aligns with our efforts to help clients throughout Berks County and beyond reach the next level.”

Bob McCormack, Managing Partner at Murphy & McCormack agrees. “Working with businesses looking to transfer ownership, our team knows the importance of building value in organizations.  We see the High Center’s approach providing the tools and awareness leaders need to build a high-performing company.  I am excited to share the High Center’s approach with our family business clients and businesses in Berks County.”

“The owners of small and medium-sized businesses share common problems like workforce recruitment and retention, and management succession planning,” said Customers Bank EVP & Managing Director and Market President for PA/NJ Timothy D. Romig.  “But they also have new opportunities through digitization and access to global markets.  Exploring their shared issues and options is a great value-add for our clients.”

With the corporate partners in place, the focus now is on inviting family business owners to become members of The High Center Berks County to experience the speakers, participate in learning opportunities and tap into the expertise of the peer groups and facilitators. “Our peer groups will be a blend of awareness, education, and application along with financial transparency to help member companies scale and learn,” stated Burky. Criteria to apply for membership starts with being a privately held or family business with more than $3 million in revenues. Another critical factor for members is having a learning mindset and recognizing the value of education and peer support. The High Center is looking to have the first Berks-based peer group start meeting in October.

Businesses interested in learning more about High Center Berks County membership can contact Scott Burky.