TriCounty Community Network Welcomes Interim Executive Director

Jan MorrisJan Morris, M.Ed.

TCN welcomes Jan Morris as the Interim Executive Director. Serving on a part-time basis, Jan will officially begin as director on July 20th.  Prior to her retirement in 2013, she spent three years as the Director of Community Life at Frederick Living. Before Frederick, Jan worked as an Executive Assistant at TCN for two years.  She has a Masters Degree in Education from Ohio University and has been an active volunteer since retiring.

We Are Changing Our Format

This blog was started as a public service to help keep folks informed about things going on in our world.  That “world” started out as Greater Pottstown but expanded to include the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (and sometimes our next door neighbors New Jersey and Delaware).

WE ARE 100% NON-PROFIT.  With more and more newspapers requiring paid subscriptions or offering only restricted access it has become increasing difficult to share information.  We have no budget, we have no advertisers or sponsors to offset these costs.  Therefore, effective immediately, we are only going to publish press releases, event flyers or original content.

As much as this saddens us, news access is going to continue to shrink without paid subscriptions.  This is a hobby, not a business.

We will continue to share news on our Facebook page because “sharing” information that way is kosher and free for now, apparently.  Our page can be found by clicking this link if you aren’t familiar with it

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Roys-Rants/135214378191?ref=hl

We have to roll with the changing times and we thank you for your support since 2009.  Hopefully these changes will keep us around a while longer.

UCLA’s Feinberg To Be Named Geisinger Head

David Feinberg, M.D., chief executive of UCLA Health System, will become the sixth chief executive of Geisinger Health System, claiming the top spot at a medical care network with 23,500 employees that has been lauded as a model in the fast-changing world of health care.

On May 1, Feinberg officially claims the reins of a nonprofit that has greatly expanded its reach and now includes Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Township and Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton. The health system now hopes to refocus on improving health care delivery and outcomes.

In a conference call with reporters Monday, Feinberg said he studied Geisinger’s approach for years, hoping to learn and maybe adopt their approaches. But he never imagined leading the system, which he called a dream come true.

“Geisinger is so important to American medicine today,” he said, calling the system one of the first with integrated insurance, facilities and doctors. “American health care is transitioning from a system where we are paid on volume, where more difficult cases result in more costs even as outcomes have not improved by as much. Geisinger has shifted from volume to value by measuring outcomes for patients.”

Read more:

http://citizensvoice.com/news/ucla-s-feinberg-to-be-named-geisinger-head-1.1837860

Montgomery County Community College President Dr. Karen A. Stout Tapped To Lead Achieving The Dream, Inc.

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.—Karen A. Stout, president of Montgomery County Community College (PA), has been named the next President & CEO of Achieving the Dream, Inc., (ATD) the national, nonprofit leader in championing evidence-based institutional improvement across U.S. community colleges. She will remain at the College through the current academic year and assume leadership of ATD on July 1, 2015.

“Our College has been fortunate to have such a quality leader, mentor and individual as Karen Stout serve as the president of this great institution for more than 14 years,” said Michael J. D’Aniello ’78, Chair of the College’s Board of Trustees. “We wish her every success and look forward to all she will achieve in developing policies and strategies to extend access to quality community college education for minority and low income students nationwide.”

Stout’s 14-year tenure at Montgomery County Community College has been remarkable for the broad initiatives that both expanded the college’s footprint and strengthened student success.  She has led the development and implementation of three strategic plans and two facilities master plans that resulted in the expansion of the West campus in Pottstown, the expansion and near re-making of the Central campus in Blue Bell; a new Virtual Campus, a Culinary Arts Institute, new occupational and transfer programs, strong relationships with community partners, and new relationships with school districts and colleges and universities. In addition, the College’s 50th Anniversary, $9 million fully-private College Foundation campaign for scholarship support is on track to exceed its goal.

Stout has served at the helm of Montgomery County Community College since 2001. Her appointment is both a natural next step and a vote of confidence based on successful leadership of the College’s participation in the ATD program since 2008, her role as president of an ATD Leader College since 2011, and the winning of ATD’s prestigious Leah Meyer Austin award in 2014. She has led the College to statewide and national prominence in its work around student success, technology and analytics, and sustainability. The new post will enable her to make a broader impact; ATD reaches 200 community colleges and nearly four million students in 35 states.

“I am proud of our leading work at Montgomery in so many areas,” Stout said. “I’m eager to extend the learning from this work to help community colleges across the country. There is an increasing call for us to help the citizens in our communities gain access to affordable post-secondary education as well as complete an experience that leads to successful employment and citizenry.”

Stout succeeds Dr. William E. Trueheart, ATD’s founding president & CEO, who announced his retirement from the independent nonprofit on October 30, 2014. Robert G. Templin, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Achieving the Dream, Inc., made the announcement at the organization’s annual convening in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Stout leaves the College well positioned for the future. The College’s next president will arrive with the Middle States decennial review near completion, and the strategic plan to 2016 in its final year of implementation. A self-study conducted by the administration is complete and offers a new president a roadmap for the future based on the College’s strengths while the establishment of an early retirement plan offers a new president the opportunity to build, hire, and train the faculty of the future.  The College’s first facilities plan is complete and a second is underway with funding secured for renovation of a new Health Sciences Center, an expanded Science Center on the Central Campus, and a growth strategy in place for the West Campus. In addition, strategies for enrollment development and student success are in place and showing momentum.

D’Aniello and the Board of Trustees will conduct a nationwide search for a president who can build on Stout’s momentum.

“In 2000, when we embarked on a mission to find the College’s fourth president, the single most important character trait was to find and individual who truly carried in their heart our core mission: to provide the citizens of Montgomery County and all our students, no matter their economic status, the highest quality education at the most affordable tuition possible,” D’Aniello said. “In January 2001, we found that person in Karen Stout. As we look toward our next leader, those core values will remain paramount.”

“Community colleges are at a crossroads in redesigning their work to support the economic and civic needs of our country for the next 50 years,” said Stout. While she is drawn to the challenge, Stout acknowledged that moving on was a difficult decision.

“I love Montgomery,” Stout said. “Mostly, I will miss our students and our alumni who show us in so many ways why the work we do is important.  Their stories of aspiration and success motivate me to serve.”

I-LEAD School Rocks Downtown Reading’s Redevelopment Plans

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When CNA Insurance announced Monday that it was donating its downtown Reading office building to I-LEAD Charter School, it was done with quite a bit of fanfare.

The sidewalk outside the five-story building at Fourth and Penn streets was filled with people. Speakers praised CNA’s generosity and the work I-LEAD does.

Applause erupted as a ceremonial key exchanged hands.

But as the celebratory din diminished, some questions were raised.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=515758

Theaters, Playhouses Fear Financial Problems And Technical Demands Will Lower Their Curtains

At Oyster Mill Playhouse, the aging rooftop heating and air conditioning system is threatening to stage a death scene worthy of “King Lear.”

With audiences — and therefore revenues — down, there’s no money for a replacement, so managers of the not-for-profit community theater in East Pennsboro Twp. are hoping the community will donate about $25,000 to keep Oyster Mill going for another year.

“Like many other theaters, we are having our financial problems,” said Howard Hurwitz, vice president of the 91-seat theater’s board of directors. “This year has been kind of a bad year. We just haven’t been getting the attendance. We used to sell out on opening nights, but now we are lucky if we get the theater half-full.”

Oyster Mill is far from alone.

Read more:

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2012/11/oyster_mill_playhouse_theaters.html

TriCounty Community Network Names Two New Board Members

Karen Higgins of A & E Communications and Tom Thunstrom of Penn Liberty Bank Join Board

Pottstown, Pa. (July 12, 2012) – TriCounty Community Network(TCN), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health, social and environmental conditions in Western Montgomery, Northern Chester and Eastern Berks counties in Pennsylvania, today announced that Karen Higgins, president of A & E Communications, Inc. and Tom Thunstrom, assistant vice president and branch manager of Penn Liberty Bank in Limerick join its board of directors.

“TCN continues to grow both in members and in the programs we are offering the community,” said Jen Doyle, executive director for TCN.  “Karen and Tom have both the business and nonprofit experience to help us continue this upward momentum helping individuals and organizations in our area collaborate to support the needs of the tri-county community.”

Karen Higgins

Mrs. Higgins founded A & E Communications, Inc., a marketing communications firm in 2003.  She works with small and mid-sized organizations helping them to build market awareness and credibility.  Previously, she was vice president of PR at TMP Worldwide, where she provided public relations services to a wide range of clients for 10 years.

Currently, Mrs. Higgins is immediate past president of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) where she has held numerous board positions and is the recipient of the 2006 President’s Award, 2009 Board Member of the Year Award and 2010 Special President’s Award.  She is also Marketing Committee chair for the United Way Southeastern Pennsylvania’s Women’s Initiative Leadership Committee and serves on the Marketing & Membership Committee for TCN.  Mrs. Higgins is a graduate of Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa.

Tom Thunstrom

Mr. Thunstrom has nearly nine years of bank management experience, spending three years with a regional bank in Minneapolis before relocating to Montgomery County to join PNC Bank in early 2001.  After several years with PNC, he joined financial education nonprofit Operation HOPE in 2005.  During his time running Philadelphia’s Operation HOPE office, Mr. Thunstrom oversaw year-over-year increases in services provided, an annual increase in dollars raised, and helped to expand financial education programs to numerous schools and community organizations throughout the Delaware and Lehigh Valleys.

Mr. Thunstrom joined Penn Liberty in March of 2011 and is responsible for community and business outreach in Upper Montgomery and Chester Counties, as well as managing the Limerick branch.  He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and has served two years as president of Pennsylvania’s Jump$tart financial education coalition and is presently on the board of directors for Royersford Public Library, the Spring-Ford Chamber of Commerce, and is also chairman of the Park and Recreation Commission in Upper Providence Township (Montgomery County), where he resides.

About TriCounty Community Network                 

TCN is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, membership-based organization that partners with nonprofits, businesses and community members to improve health, social and environmental conditions.  Serving Western Montgomery, Northern Chester and Eastern Berks counties in Pennsylvania, TCN offers seven key programs: Build Up Youth, C.A.R.E. (Caring in Alternative Residential Environments), Environmental Awareness, Family Literacy, Homeless Services, S.A.F.E. (Supporting Abuse Free Environments), and Workforce Development.  For more information on TCN, visitwww.tcnetwork.org.

Summer Classes For All Ages At The Gallery School Of Pottstown!

Pottstown, PAForty Chances for Creative Fun and a Free Class!
 
The Gallery School of Pottstown, a non-profit community art school, has a huge lineup of classes for all ages planned for this summer. Topics range from traditional drawing and painting to stained glass and sewing classes.
 
Students who register for a summer class by June 1, 2012 are eligible to take a fun workshop for free. They can choose from four great classes: Tic-Tac-Dough, Recycled Art, Fused Glass and Easy Earrings. For more information, and to register, visit this special page on the Gallery School’s website: www.galleryonhigh.com/free.html.   Students and parents can also call 610-326-2506 to register.
 
See the lists below for the complete lineup of classes. Full details can be found on the Gallery School’s website at www.galleryonhigh.org.

New for 2012 are fun mini camps for kids. All mini camps run from 10am-3pm for 3 days, with a break for lunch and a snack. Children have an opportunity to really engage in fun, comprehensive projects. Topics include Kids Sewing Mini Camp, Kids Pottery Mini Camp and Jewelry for Kids Mini Camp.

Classes for kids include Summer Cray Pas, Summer Creative Kids, Summer Crafty Kids, Colonial Crafts, Summer Kids Pottery, Summer Story Sculpting Workshop, Summer Parent and Child Coil Pot Workshop, Summer Parent and Child Fused Glass Workshop, Basketmaking, and Kids Clay: Hand-Building Techniques One Day Workshop.

Classes just for teens include Summer Teen Studio, Basketmaking, Spirit Animal Mosaic, and The Heart of The Matter: Personal Essay Writing for High School Students.

Classes for adults and teens 16 and older include Altered T-Shirts Workshop, Yo-Yo Flag, Scratchboard, Introduction To Drawing I & Drawing II, Jewelry/Metalsmithing, Introduction to Figure Drawing I & Figure Drawing II, Clay: Hand-Building Techniques Two Day Workshop Clay: Hand-Building Techniques One Day Workshop, and Pottstown Photography Project.

Classes for adults include Summer Mosaics, Introduction to Stained Glass, Summer Adult Pottery, Summer Introduction to Encaustics, Adult Basketmaking , Introduction to Fused Glass Jewelry, Summer Introduction to Glass Fusing, Summer Fused Glass Open Studio, Simple Summer Skirt, Stripey Shoulder Bag, Found Object and Recycled Jewelry, and Flash Memoir and Essays for Adults.

The Gallery School of Pottstown is a 501c3 non-profit community art school and gallery. The School offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. The Gallery on High hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The Gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.
 
The Gallery School of Pottstown
@Gallery on High
254 E. High St.
Pottstown, PA 19464
610-326-2506
www.galleryonhigh.org

New Hospital In East Norriton Township Set To Open September 2012

Location of East Norriton Township in Montgome...

Image via Wikipedia

As the Einstein Medical Center Montgomery (EMCM) construction project in East Norriton moves toward a September 2012 opening, the fate of the Montgomery Hospital building in Norristown is hanging on the subsidized financing for a senior housing proposal.

The seven-story, Montgomery Hospital building on Powell Street may become the home for 108 apartments for seniors, a children’s day-care center and a senior day-care center if the financing plans of Mission First Housing Development Corp. (MFHDC) win state approval.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/article/20111231/NEWS01/111239940/-1/NEWS&pager=full_story

 

Support TriCounty Community Network Through The United Way

A Message from the TriCounty Community Network Board of Directors 

Dear TCN Members, Partners and Volunteers,

During the United Way Annual Campaign, please consider designating your contribution to TCN.  Your donation supports our seven programs in youth development, caregivers support, environmental awareness, family literacy, homeless services, workforce development, and domestic violence awareness.  Our donor choice number is 7863.  Thank you for partnering with TCN!

~ TCN Board of Directors 

Katrina Belcher, Janine Kelly, Betty Kutner, NHA, Lori Davidson, M.S., HS-BCP, Jenn Brown, M.Ed, Michelle Burke, RN, Pat Eltz, RN, MSN, Steve Goodman, Robert Slutsky, Esq., Joseph Szafran, MA, and Rebecca Villegas, MS Ed.

TCN Donor Choice #7863

TriCounty Community Network

260 High Street, Pottstown, PA  19464

610-705-3301
www.TCNetwork.org

Follow us on Twitter @TCN_Pottstown

Pottstown Crop Walk – October 9th

CROP HUNGER WALKS …….are community-wide events sponsored by Church World Service and organized by religious groups, businesses, schools and others to raise funds to end hunger at home and around the world.  Come out and join us for this fun family event!  This year’s Crop Walk will be held on Oct. 9th! 

If you cannot walk, please consider sponsoring a walker.  The walk itself is 1 or 6 miles.  This is a family event.  You can bring your baby in a stroller and you can even bring your dog.

For more information: https://secure2.convio.net/cws/site/SPageServer?pagename=crop_main

Downtown Harrisburg Getting Coffee House And Bookstore

A former Starbuck’s at Third and Market Streets in downtown Harrisburg will become the new home of Agia Sophia Coffee House and Bookstore in mid-August.

The new store will offer coffee, tea and other café items, including smoothies and Italian sodas.  Eight Day Books of Kansas City will providing a selection of books on philosophy, history and spirituality.  Agia Sophia is a nonprofit coffee house.  The Harrisburg store will be based on Agia Sophia’s Colorado Springs store.  Agia Sophia, Colorado Springs is rated #1 for atmosphere and coffee according to their website.

To learn more about Agia Sophia, click here:

http://agiasophiacoffeeshop.com/

Friday’s Feel Good Story – Good Samaritan Comes To Community Theater’s Aid

Here’s a great feel good story about the Little Theatre of Mechanicsburg.  The community theater was in jeopardy of closing their doors because a new furnace was needed.  A fundraiser was planned for August 5 at the Mechanicsburg Club to hopefully raise $2,000.

A local business man, Homer Hetrick, President of L.B. Smith Ford-Lincoln, read about the non-profit theater’s plight this morning and within a few hours the theater was depositing a $2,000 check to cover the cost of the furnace replacement!  This was a case of paying it forward by Mr. Hetrick, who has never even attended a play at the Little Theatre of Mechanicsburg.

Remco, Inc., of Mechanicsburg, will be doing the removal and installation of the new furnace at no charge!  Yet another good Samaritan!  The theater is getting a new Lennox furnace to replace the old furnace which was no longer safe to operate.

The fundraiser will still go on.  As with any non-profit, there is always a need for money.  In the theater’s case, a tree removal project moves to the top of the list!