Celebrate Business at the September 12 Annual Chamber Dinner

Leadership Butler County 25th Anniversary and Class of 2018 Graduation

The Butler County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors invites you to Celebrate Business on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, at the Chamber’s ‘Celebrate Business’ Annual Dinner at the Robert M. Smith Student Center on the campus of Slippery Rock University. The event will recognize the accomplishments of local businesses and highlight the activities of the Chamber, our programs and our volunteers. The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres cocktail party (microbrews courtesy of North Country Brewing Company) and continues with dinner and award presentations. The culinary staff at Slippery Rock Dining Services (AVI Food Systems) has promised a wonderful display of gourmet delicacies. The Butler County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Nancy Reader, Hearth and Home Furnishings, has been selected as the William A. Morgan, Jr. Entrepreneur of the Year 2018. “What else can we do with this?” Nancy Reader recalls asking herself in the 1970s. Then, her late husband Jim owned L&R Glass, and she was doing the book work, raising her young children and working with an occasional customer to replace a broken fireplace glass. Born of the question of how to expand the operation was Reader’s own business, “Hearth & Home Furnishings” in Zelienople. Now celebrating a 35-year anniversary and 14-employees strong, the success of Hearth & Home Furnishings coupled with Reader’s community and charitable contributions earned her this year’s William A. Morgan Jr. Entrepreneur of the Year Award. 

Today, Hearth & Home Furnishings offers what Reader describes as a “boutique for fireplaces” in its two-story, 9,000-square-foot showroom. “We really associate with remodelers,” Reader said, noting that it’s not unusual for customers to drive more than 100 miles to visit. Outdoor furnishings and fireplace product lines get rotated regularly in keeping with trends and styles. Some employees are even trained chimney sweeps. Growing the business has been a lot of work since Jim Reader, who died in 2007, first bought an old gas station in 1976. Reader also has volunteered for organizations “all over the map,” she said. Years ago, she was involved with the Zelienople Junior Woman’s Club and helped start the preschool group Zippco. She’s done story hour at the library and was an elder and deacon at Calvin Presbyterian Church. She’s a “Fan of the Strand (Theater)” and also donates her annual “Eggfest,” proceeds to the Southwest Food Cupboard. The Big Green Egg, a smoker sold at the store, is the impetus of the event. 

Since 2009, Reader also has hosted the “Warm Your Hearth, Touch a Heart” campaign on behalf of the Dollar Energy Fund. The Dollar Energy Fund benefits families struggling to pay home heating costs. According to a letter submitted to the chamber of commerce by the Dollar Energy Fund, “the Warm Your Hearth, Touch a Heart Campaign has generated more than $151,000 in utility assistance, which provided more than 435 grants to households in Butler. In addition to supporting Dollar Energy Fund through her business, Nancy has provided personal donations, attended other Dollar Energy Fund events, and had served as a community resource for the organization.” 

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award is presented to an outstanding local business owner and is recommended by the Chamber’s Past President’s Advisory Council along with past award recipients. Past recipients include Merril Moses, Lisa Guard, Nadine Tripodi, John Giles, Joe Gray, Bob McCafferty, Tom Graham, David Lloyd, Richard Musko, William McCarrier, N. Lee Ligo and Matthew Diehl.

In addition, we will be celebrating the 25th Anniversary of our Leadership Butler County Program and presenting the Leadership Butler County Graduating Class of 2018 at their graduation sponsored by C.W. Howard Insurance Agency and Thompson-Miller Funeral Home. The Leadership Board of Directors is pleased to announce the following graduates: Marcie Barlow, Community Development Corporation of Butler County, Audrianna Bly, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Lauren Buchanan, Butler County Community College, Shelby Chappie, US Office of Personnel Management, Rebecca Compton, Butler Health System, Heidi Coyle, Sunnyview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Melissa Crocker, NexTier Bank, Angela Cross, US Office of Personnel Management, Karen Earhart, VA Butler Healthcare, Lynn Ismail, Butler County Community College Foundation, Jessica Krahe, VA Butler Healthcare, Cara Kriebel, Slippery Rock University / PASSHE, Peter Kyne, Eisler Landscapes, Inc., Tara Lynn, Grace @ Calvary Lutheran Church, Phillip McJunkins, Armstrong Utilities, Inc., Janelle Metnick, Quality Life Services, Shawna Mitcheltree, Alliance for Nonprofit Resources, Anita Orozco, Sonneborn, Diane Lynn Richardson, Lawrence County Regional Chamber of Commerce, Brandon Savochka, County of Butler Children and Youth Services, Wendy Sciullo, Mars Bank and Shawn Stanton, VA Butler Healthcare. Congratulations to the Leadership Butler County Class of 2018. If you have not received your invitations, please call the Chamber at 724.283.2222 or email Jennifer@ButlerCountyChamber.com. Cost is $50.00 per person and tables of 8 may be reserved.