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GRCA Announces New GBDF Leadership

by the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance

Debra Millman

The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA) announced that its Certified Economic Development Organization (CEDO), the Greater Berks Development Fund (GBDF), will welcome Debra L. Millman, Esq., as its new president beginning July 1, 2021. Edward J. Swoyer, the current GBDF president, will transition to a part-time senior advisor role after 40 years of loyal service.

“We can’t thank Ed enough for his incredible service to the organization and our community. His legacy of leadership and expertise have been an incredible asset to economic development in Berks County. He has contributed a great deal to business expansion and retention in the County over his incredible 40-year career,” said Dan Langdon, GBDF Board Chairman.

Swoyer said that he is most proud of overseeing GBDF’s development, construction and leasing of both the Gateway Building and 600 Penn St. property, and GBDF’s role as the owner’s representative in developing and constructing the Santander Arena and the renovations to the Santander Performing Arts Center. In the past several years, Swoyer has led GBDF in the acquisition and successful development of 250 acres of land to be used for industrial and commercial businesses.

“None of these accomplishments could have happened without the support and encouragement of a great Board of Directors, and the professional and highly capable staff that I have had the pleasure and privilege of working with over the past 40 years,” said Swoyer.

Millman said she looks forward to continuing the positive momentum the organization has built.

“I am excited for the opportunity to continue the financing, real estate and development work that GBDF has undertaken since its inception in 1947,” said Millman, who will also continue in her role as Vice President of Development at GRCA.

Jim Gerlach, GRCA’s President and CEO confirmed that GBDF will continue to be a vital component in GRCA’s mission to grow the Berks economy and revitalize our communities.

“I expect that under Deb’s outstanding leadership, GBDF will build on Ed’s excellent work,” Gerlach said.