Boyertown Celebrates Progress & Friendship at Annual TriCounty Chamber of Commerce Progress Dinner


by Jane Stahl

Eileen Dautrich, president of the TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce and hostess of the Boyertown Area Progress Dinner, has offered that Boyertown's annual Progress Dinner is special. The event attracts business and community leaders, heads of foundations and non-profits, school district personnel and board members, and a mix of folks who take great pride in their community. 

It's a once-a-year opportunity for those involved to come together in celebration and to learn what's new and up-and-coming in the community through a video production produced by students of Bill Cherkasky's telecommunications classes. 

Watch their video:

Instructor Bill Cherkasky gathers his video crew to celebrate another themed video production inspired by "Murder on the Orient Express" that featured businesses: The Atherton Inn, Body-Borneman Insurance, and Crossroads Guitars and Art.

And, of course, it's a time to acknowledge efforts of an individual community member through the presentation of the James K. Boyer Quality of Life Award--this year presented to Greg Herb of Herb Real Estate, Inc. and the recipient of the 2023 Richard L. Graver FBLA Scholarship award--Emilie Lawn.

Greg stressed in his remarks that it is the memory of the contributions that James K. Boyer gave to the community that are at the heart of the award. Receiving it is an honor, he admits, but that the honor belongs to the many people involved in the organizations and efforts he heads. And there are many organizations and efforts included in his resumé beyond the real estate company which bears his name.

Greg has collected numerous titles and awards across the country for his leadership in real estate. Local efforts include the founding of the Foundation for Boyertown Education that has provided funding for innovative projects over the past 10 years for students in Boyertown Area School District and his service as conductor with the Colebrookdale Railroad. His influence is everywhere!

The event allows me to catch up with long-time friends and power couple, Kathy Kolarz and Greg Herb, recipient of the James K. Boyertown Quality of Life Award. (Below) Kathy and Jamie Cascino form another power couple and are personal friends. 

Annually the TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce presents $1,000 to a Boyertown Area High School senior entering business, vocational or a professional field. Emilie's career goals include earning her MBA at Penn State in preparation to run her family's business, "impacting the community in a positive way."

As a tribute to FBLA, Emilie states, "FBLA taught me that being a strong leader starts with your community. Finding ways to better the lives of others closest to you first before looking beyond. I learned what it really means to put others first, to build trust, to learn to be empathic, respectful, grateful, and most importantly to be I call myself a leader."

Contributions to the Richard L. Graver FBLA Scholarship Fund are welcome. Please reach out to Eileen Dautrich at or 610-326-2900.

The event is just a good time for all.  

Eileen Dautrich, president of TriCounty Chamber of Commerce and Bill Vitiello, Director of Strategic Relationships, of Victory Bank greet attendees with warm smiles. (Below) Later, Eileen finds classmate Tracey Yergey from Reinhart and Company CPA's. 

Long-time friends and community leaders, Jack Lignelli, oral surgeon, and Ralph Borneman, owner of Body-Borneman Insurance, were my official greeters. 

Bob and Phyllis Reinhart, long-time supporters of all-things-Boyertown, bring their special support to this annual event. 

Cindy Karver and buddy Bob Reinhart enjoy a moment together. 

Attorney Jeff Karver of Karver and Boyd Attorneys at Law finds his way among friends.

Building a Better Boyertown (BaBB) people and YMCA Director are some of my favorite peeps. Left to right: Jeff Cascino, BaBB Board President; Alicia Dinnell, executive director of Boyertown's YMCA and BaBB Board Member; Ellen Martignetti, Main Street Manager; John Martignetti of Martignetti Construction; Theresa Heist BaBB Treasurer; and Mark Heist. 

Doug Nestler and Evan Cole of Crossroads Guitar and Art with BaBB's Krista Gross and Kim Evans share smiles with me. 

Allen and Linda Steffy, volunteers and long-time lovers of Boyertown recall our history. 

Dave W. Kraybill of the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation, Linda Flederbach,  BaBB's first Main Street Manager, and Frank Deery, Boyertown Borough Council President reconnect. 

Tessi Melchior, realtor with Greg Real Estate surrounds herself with friends for her photo op.

Jeff Graber of Graber Letterin' promises that soon new Bear Fever bears will find their way under his care.  (Bev is my witness.) 

Pennsylvania Senator staff member Lisa Walter mixed with the guests before dinner. 

Adjourning for the meal, I caught assorted folks at their tables and the Boyertown School District musicians who provided lovely chamber music during dinner. 

The Atherton Inn owner Brenda Cullen and husband celebrate together. 

You gotta love Ellen Martignetti's spirit! 

Thanks to Adrianne Blank and Gilmore and Associates, Inc.  for inviting me to join them in celebrating Boyertown's progress. Boyertown: it truly is a special kind of place. 

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