Skip to the content

BCTV Announces 2023 Community Builder & Community Media Award Winners

by Berks Community Television (BCTV)

BCTV Announces 2023 Community Builder & Community Media Award Winners

Berks Community Television (BCTV) will recognize community leaders with a cocktail reception at The Rookery at Berks Nature, 575 St. Bernardine St., on Friday, Oct. 20, from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

“I’m thrilled to honor these deserving community storytellers and builders, each of whom champions Reading and Berks County in beautiful and diverse ways. I hope you’ll join us!” said English Bradley, acting director 2023-24 of BCTV.

2023 Eugene L. Shirk Community Builder Award: John Gallen

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, and leadership.

John Gallen is the owner of Ethosource LLC, a Reading-based office furniture manufacturer and dealer, and the owner and president of Wyatt Seating, an office seating manufacturer. John currently serves on the board of trustees for The Caron Foundation and Alvernia University and as the honorary campaign chair of the annual appeal for the Reading Public Library. In his free time, the Georgetown University alumni hikes and mountain climbs at destinations across the globe.

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, Karen A. Miller, John Ernesto, and Hon. Arthur & Louise Grim.

2023 Community Building Organization Award: Reading Area Community College (RACC)

Presented to an organization, company, or educational institution that promotes and exemplifies involvement in the community.

Founded in 1971, Reading Area Community College (RACC) is an affordable, accredited, open-enrollment education institution that provides associate degrees, certificate and diploma programs, career training, transitional coursework and skills training for business and industry. RACC boasts 150 online courses and programs and has transfer agreements with 35 on the nation’s leading four-year colleges and institutions. RACC’s mission is guided through the four hallmarks of access, opportunity, excellence, and hope in guiding their students to success.

RACC has an open admission policy, which means any student may be eligible for enrollment after the completion of certain steps. RACC is only one of two, and proud to be the first, Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) in Pennsylvania.

Sponsored by Berks County, the college is proud to provide access to meet identified community educational needs.

The Community Building Organization Award has been presented to Tompkins VIST Bank, Albright College, Berks Encore, Alvernia University, and Centro Hispano.

2023 Community Media Award: Jerry Richter, Ann Sheehan, and Kate Stutzman

Recognizes an individual for their dedication to community media in Berks County, and their passion for informing and engaging the public.

Jerry Richter and Kate Stutzman were both hired in the very early days of the NYU-Reading Consortium, Jerry as a production coordinator and Kate as a technician. Ann Sheehan came later as a technician. Jerry became the first executive director in 1976, after NYU left, and put the fledgling non-profit on a secure footing to move forward. Kate was named executive director in 1981 and proceeded to strengthen BCTV’s position with the city, the county, the area agency on aging, and area foundations and corporations. When Kate left in 1989, Ann was selected to be executive director and continued to grow the organization to reach all segments of the community. All three directors were fortunate to have worked under the presidency of Gene Shirk.

The Community Media Honoree Award has been presented to Dr. Joseph Amprey and Thomas Fox.

Tickets for the cocktail reception (includes wine, beer, soft drinks, and hors d’oeuvres) are $75. They can be purchased by cash, by check made payable to BCTV, or online. For ticketing inquiries or sponsorship information, contact English at 610-374-3065 x 104 or [email protected].

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