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Berks County Community Foundation selects 2015-16 Nonprofit Fellows

Tuesday, September 8, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Amy Seasholtz
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Five Berks nonprofit executives selected for intensive development program

READING, PA (Sept. 8, 2015) – The executive directors of five local nonprofit organizations have been selected for the 2015-2016 Berks County Community Foundation Nonprofit Fellows Program.

The professional development and executive training program includes a two-day retreat; one week of nonprofit management course work at a leading institution of higher education (such as Harvard or Stanford universities); professional communication training; individualized career development with a professional coach; and executive lunch workshops on a variety of topics, including budget planning and analysis, CEO/board relationships, marketing and more.

“This program is a great way for us to support and improve the leadership and effectiveness for some of Berks County’s most important nonprofit organizations,” said Kevin K. Murphy, Community Foundation president.

The five participants were chosen from a pool of high-potential nonprofit executives who all have at least six years of work experience.

The Fellows Program costs approximately $11,000 per person. Each participating nonprofit organization contributes $1,000 to show commitment and investment in its executive. Berks County Community Foundation pays the remaining $10,000 per student.

The participants who were selected:

  • Heather M. Adams, executive director of since October 2014. Tasked with taking the nonprofit in a new direction and increasing its media footprint, Adams has a for-profit background having previously worked in several sales positions, including as senior sales and marketing manager for Santander Arena & Performing Arts Center.
  • Ryan Breisch, executive director of Literacy Council of Reading-Berks. An employee of the nonprofit agency for more than 20 years, Breisch has been in his current position since January 2010 and has started several new initiatives, including an English Forward training program in ESL instruction.
  • Ashley Chambers, executive director of United Community Services. Previously an employee simultaneously of both UCS and Berks Women in Crisis, Chambers was named to her current position in January 2015 and resigned from Berks Women in Crisis to focus on improving UCS.
  • Brian Kelly, executive director at ReDesign Reading. Kelly and the nonprofit organization he leads are both relatively new to Reading. He is focusing on making the organization sustainable as it takes on initiatives such as the Reading Bike Hub, Penn Street Market and The Reading 120 cycling race.
  • Keri M. Shultz, executive director/president of Reading Musical Foundation. A 12-year employee of the foundation, Shultz is now tasked with increasing the nonprofit’s visibility and development.


Pictured above: Participating in a two-day retreat with an executive coach at Bear Creek Mountain Resort and Conference Center are, from left to right, Ryan Breisch, Ashley Chambers, Brian Kelly, Heather Adams and Keri Shultz.


Berks County Community Foundation is a nonprofit corporation that serves as a civic leader for our region by developing, managing and distributing funds to meet existing and emerging community needs. More information is available at