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NE Berks Chamber partners with KU Entrepreneurial Leadership Center for Women’s Panel during Entrepreneurship Week

by Northeast Berks Chamber

Feb 20, 2019

Kutztown, PA – Kutztown University presents Entrepreneurial Leadership Week annually during the last week of March.  From Tuesday, March 26, through Thursday, March 28, a series of presentations, panels, and workshops that involve business leaders and students will be open to the public at no charge.

One of the offerings is a Women’s Panel & Networking Luncheon to be held on Wednesday, March 27, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., at the University’s McFarland Student Union, Room 218.  For a third consecutive year, Kutztown University has partnered with the Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce, Kutztown, to organize the event with a focus on women entrepreneurs.

Online registration is open now at:

Contributors to the Panel this year are Marcy Tocker, Founder, Grey Muzzle Manor, Fleetwood; Abigail Mirarchi, Owner & President, Accelerated Instructional Media, Inc., Leesport; Amy Sheller, co-owner, Abominable Productions, Kutztown; Kristi Gage-Linderman, COO, Gage Personnel, Reading/Ephrata/Lancaster; Jan Ferry, Licensed Health & Life Insurance Agent, USHEALTH Advisors; and Denice Schaeffer, Multimedia Sales Manager, The Reading Eagle Company.  Lori B. Donofrio-Galley, Executive Director of the Northeast Berks Chamber, will serve as Moderator.

Marcy Tocker is the founder of Grey Muzzle Manor, a Berks County nonprofit organization providing animal-assisted therapy, acting as a sanctuary for senior animals, offering hospice care for said animals, and doing community outreach for the Manor’s mission centers on non-judgement and presence in healing for individuals struggling with various issues through implementation of animal-assisted therapy. Marcy recognized the power of animals as part of her own therapeutic process 13 years ago and began offering services last year.  The interaction between client and animal enables individuals to harness the strength and power already inside them and to move forward. Marcy and her animal team walk alongside clients in this process of self-discovery and healing at Grey Muzzle Manor – the place that love built.

With over 20 years of experience, Abigail Mirarchi founded her workforce performance consulting company – Accelerated Instructional Media, Inc in 2006. She leads a small team that develops multi-dimensional learning materials using state-of-the-art methodologies and technologies to increase employee performance. Her extensive experience and collaborative style empower discussions with L&D/T&D/HR/Sales/Marketing leaders to create and align business Key Performance Indicators (KPI) with talent needs and business goals. Delivering superior results, her unique blend of vision, talent, education and leadership in learning and design strategy, Instructional Systems Design and facilitation make her a preferred consultant by various departments within companies such as Comcast, IBM, Quest Diagnostics, Fraser Advanced Information Systems, Sodexo and Thomson Reuters, to name a few.

Abigail holds master, advanced, and applied level Project Management certificates from Villanova University, an MS in Instructional Design and Development from Lehigh University and a BFA from Kutztown University.

Amy Sheller is co-owner of Abominable Productions, a video production company based in Kutztown with a focus on cinematic storytelling. Amy graduated from Kutztown University with a BFA in Related Arts. Since opening Abominable Productions in 2002, she has filmed wedding, dance, theatrical productions and corporate brand films throughout the country. Her work has been featured on several national blogs, the regional Love Your Event & Leigh Valley Style magazines and her authentic story-driven films have won her several International film competition awards.

Amy attributes her success to a strong sense of community over competition and staying true to your creative vision. She also believes in making a difference locally & globally which is why in her free time you can see her volunteering with the Taste of Kutztown & Kutztown Rotary Club where she is current Club President.

Kristi Gage-Linderman is the COO and third generation of leadership at Gage Personnel, a WBENC Certified Woman-Owned Business.  Kristi is a proud alumna of Kutztown University, where she graduated in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and as a member of the Sigma Delta Pi National Honor Society.

Gage has been recognized three times as a Top Fastest Growing Business by the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce and Industry and continues to win the Berks County Living People’s Choice Award after being in business for more than thirty years in Pennsylvania.

With a background in Human Resources and Risk & Safety, Kristi has earned her PHR, SHRM-CP and OSHA-10 certifications. Kristi oversees multiple office locations for Gage Personnel, as well as the company’s four niche divisions: Gage Professionals, Gage Staffing, Gage Skilled Trades and Gage Hospitality.

Gage Personnel is in the second year of its innovative Career Program with Reading High School, which helps students find success both in school and in the workplace while exploring career pathways with community employers.  Kristi currently serves her community as the Chair for the Berks County Workforce Development Board and serves on several other boards and committees, including the Berks Business Education Coalition and TempNet, a national staffing association for independent firms.

Kristi has been recognized as a recipient of the Lehigh Valley Business Top Forty Under 40 Award and was also the recipient of the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce and Industry Rising Star Award. She was also instrumental in developing the Gage Giving Program, which gives back to several community organizations year-round.

Jan Ferry is a licensed life and health insurance agent working as an independent contractor for USHEALTH Advisors.  Being an independent contractor offers the responsibility and flexibility of owning a business, while having the support and guidance of a large corporation.  With 20 years of experience in both inside and outside sales, that sales expertise is used to generate business through several avenues.  Networking is a very important aspect of her business as well as referrals, cold calling, and phone sales.

USHEALTH Advisors offers health care coverage for preferred risk individuals and their families.  Supplemental products include dental and vision insurance and income protection.  Jan is passionate about integrity and helping her clients find affordable and extensive coverage for their health care needs.  Customer service plays an important role in her work.  With the confusion and expense surrounding the health insurance industry today, Jan offers a friendly and knowledgeable service explaining plans and options, answering questions, finding needed coverage and helping to navigate claims.

Denice Schaeffer has 30 years of experience in advertising and marketing. Currently the Multimedia Sales Manager for Reading Eagle Company, she works with the sales staff to provide a comprehensive mix of marketing solutions to help businesses grow and succeed. She started her career with the small independently owned “Hamburg Item” as a sales consultant. The company was sold, merged and grew into Berks-Mont Newspapers, and she moved into positions such as Regional Manager, Sales Manager, and General Manager.  She is passionate about helping small businesses market themselves and grow.

Denice resides in Tilden Township with her husband, Sam.  They will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary this June. Her favorite hobby is spending time with her son Rob, his wife Courtney, and her teenage (just turned 13) daughter Jordyn.

Entrepreneurial Leadership Week launches on March 26 with keynote speaker Russ Starke, Chief Executive Officer, THINK COMPANY, in the Academic Forum.  A Family Business Workshop, Student Entrepreneurship Panel, First Steps to Starting a Business, and Social Media & E-Commerce Workshop are also scheduled.  Visit for specifics and registration links.

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