Skip to Content
/ Articles / Community /

BCTV Announces 2019 Community Builder and Community Media Award Honorees

Mar 15, 2019

BCTV is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2019 Eugene L. Shirk Community Builder Award, John Ernesto; the recipient of the 2019 Community Building Institution Award, Alvernia University; the 2019 Community Media Award honoree, Dr. Joseph Amprey.

The Community Builder award honors the memory of former Reading Mayor Eugene L. Shirk and celebrates individuals who best embody his spirit and the qualities he demonstrated as educator, coach, mayor and citizen; civility, commitment to the well-being of others, honor, humor, involvement in our community, leadership.

The individual selected to receive this distinguished honor for 2019 is Mr. John Ernesto. Ernesto serves as the General Manager of Berks Jazz Fest, and is the retired Marketing Director of the Reading Eagle.

“It is an absolute pleasure to acknowledge Mr. Ernesto’s dynamic dedication to Berks Jazz Fest and the arts in our community. His energy and spirit are exemplary. We are honored to award each of these recipients for their tireless commitments to our community,” said Heather Adams, BCTV’s Executive Director.

The Community Building Company Award is presented annually to an organization, company, or educational institution that promotes and exemplifies involvement in the community.

This year’s recipient is Alvernia University, citing the positive impact made by programs and projects including the Angelica Park Partnership, the Reading Collegiate Scholars Program, lectures series including ‘A Common Heart’ interfaith event, and the centers for excellence created in both The O’Pake Center for Ethics, Leadership & Public Service, and The Holleran Center for Community & Global Engagement.

Additionally, Dr. Joseph Amprey will be honored with the 2019 Community Media Award, recognizing his long time dedication to community media in Berks County. Dr. Amprey has a distinguished career in higher education, and has written extensively for papers, journals, and other publications on the subjects of diversity, race relations, and international studies.  He is publisher and editor of The Drum, a monthly newspaper that focuses on news and views affecting people of color in Berks and Montgomery County.  Dr. Amprey has been a producer and host/co-host of “Diversity: The Wider Vision” on BCTV for more than 25 years.

A ceremony to celebrate the honorees will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24th at The Stirling Guest Hotel in Reading. Tickets are $75/person and can be purchased by calling BCTV at 610-374-3065 or by emailing [email protected]

Previous Recipients of the Shirk Community Builder Award: William Flippin, Jay Sidhu, Karen Rightmire, Paul Roedel, State Sen. Judy Schwank, Sam McCullough, S. Henry Lessig, Mary Ann Chelius-Smith, Chip Karasin, John Weidenhammer, Rick Burkey, Chris G. Kraras, Carl Herbein, Kevin Murphy, Barbara Kline, Gust Zogas, Chris Pruitt, Elsayed Elmarzouky, and Karen A. Miller.

The Community Building Company Award has been presented to Tompkins VIST Bank, Albright College, and Berks Encore.

BCTV is a 501c3 nonprofit community media organization committed to empowering people and engaging community through open media and technology. Learn more at

We need your support!

Your contribution makes community media possible.

A donation of any size to your nonprofit media organization supports the future of media access in our community - the things you love, and the places you care about, by the people you know.

Live Streaming