Breakfast Meeting
Wednesday, June 20th 2018

Breakfast Meeting - 7:30 AM - Wyomissing Restaurant and Bakery
Reservations: Call 610-375-7880 or Email

Peter Rye, President

International Business: Brentwood Industries

Brentwood began putting down roots in foreign countries nearly 20 years ago starting with Thailand. Today, we operate in the Czech Republic and India also with a Mexico facility soon to open. Even our US based operations enjoy sales to foreign countries amounting to approximately 30% of the whole, including over 30 years of selling to China.

Many of our product relate to infrastructure such as power generation, water and waste-water processing and storm-water management. These are things that all countries need, especially countries that are advancing in their desire to live as we do. Our opportunities abroad come from interest in these products. As demand builds in a region over time, we begin to consider the need to be local. Despite having preeminent products in our niches, we will always encounter both indigenous competition and competition from other foreign companies, whether European or Chinese, that results in price pressure. Often, we choose to be a pioneer in establishing local manufacturing and setting customer expectations on performance and value rather than wait to become a “me too”. This requires a long term view and patience.

Brentwood is more comfortable in foreign lands and cultures than many US companies. My parent, sister and I emigrated from Denmark. Since Denmark is so small, its economic development is dependent on commerce with foreign countries. Operating abroad is natural. Brentwood has become a magnet for foreign born workers because we need their language skills, cultural understanding and openness. Also, emigrating is an inherently entrepreneurial act. Entrepreneurship is something we value.


Luncheon Meeting
Wednesday, September 12th 2018

Luncheon Meeting - 12:00 Noon - Inn at Reading
Reservations: Call 610-375-7880 or Email

Nicholas Eftimaides

Strategic Security Issues for the 21st Century

Nicholas Eftimiades recently retired from the US Department of Defense. His 34 year government career includes employment in CIA as a Technical Operations Officer, Special Agent in the US Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, and a Senior Intelligence Officer in Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Mr. Eftimiades held positions in analysis, human and technical intelligence collection, and program management. He had overseas assignments in Vienna, Frankfurt, Moscow, London, and Tokyo. His long career in DIA includes senior assignments as the Chief of Counterterrorism Operations, Transnational Issues Division, Futures Division, and Space Division. He has been awarded the National Intelligence Council Achievement Award and DIA Director's Intelligence Award - that agency's highest recognition of achievement. He distinguished himself numerous times in the senior ranks of the intelligence and defense communities. As a subject matter expert Nick was called upon to provide Congressional testimony and briefings to the Cox Commission, the Joint Economic Committee, President’s Commission on the Moon, Mars, and Beyond, and individual meetings with Congressional Members and staff.

Mr. Eftimiades was also a Senior Research Fellow at King’s College War Studies Department, London UK. He has an M.S. Strategic Intelligence, National Defense Intelligence College; and a B.A. East Asian Studies, George Washington University. Mr. Eftimiades has authored books and number of scholarly articles on national security, technology, and space issues. Nick’s book "Chinese Intelligence Operations," is an examination of the structure, operations, and methodology of the intelligence services of the People's Republic of China. To date, it remains the only scholarly analysis of China’s intelligence services and operational methodology.

Nick is a frequent lecturer and public speaker on future technology, space, and national security issues. He has appeared as an expert on CBS Evening News, Dateline NBC, ABC's Day One, BBC, BBC America, National Public Radio, and dozens of other television and radio broadcasts. He has been quoted in hundreds of newspapers and magazines across the world.

Expertise: Intelligence Operations, Terrorist Operations, National Security Space, Diplomacy, Asia Security issues

Luncheon Meeting
Wednesday, October 10th 2018

Luncheon Meetingf - 12:00 Noon - Inn at Reading
Reservations: Call 610-375-7880 or Email

Jenny Town

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Master of International Affairs from Columbia University; BA in East Asian Studies and International Relations from Westmar University

Jenny Town is the Assistant Director of the US-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and manages programs on North Korea, nuclear weapons, nuclear energy, US-ROK alliance and Northeast Asia regional security. She is the Managing Editor and Producer of “38 North,” a web-journal providing analysis of events in and around the DPRK–from social evolution to political developments to WMD. She is an expert reviewer for Freedom House’s Freedom in the World Index, where she previously worked on the Human Rights in North Korea project. And she is also an Associate Fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins SAIS, a Senior Fellow for Korea Studies at the America Foreign Policy Council, an Associate Member of the Council of Korean Americans, and a Member of the National Committee on North Korea.

Prior to working in Korean affairs, she was the Communications Director for Peace X Peace; the Director of the Washington (DC) Office/Special Projects Manager for Government Relations at the College Board; and a Project Manager at Clarity Coverdale Fury Advertising, Inc. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Melton Foundation and the Editorial Board for Inkstick.

Breakfast Meeting
Thursday, October 11th 2018

Breakfast Meeting - 7:30 AM - Albright College
Reservations: Call 610-375-7880 or Email

International Women's Day Snow Date

Susan Markham

How the Untapped Power of Women and Girls Can End World Poverty

Susan Markham most recently served at the Unites States Agency for International Development (USAID) as the Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. In this position, she advised Agency leadership on gender policy issues, led cross-sectoral program efforts in resilience, adolescent girls’ education and energy, and represented the Agency to the White House and other departments, governments, civil society organizations and private partners. Previously, she led the efforts of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) a non-partisan organization, to increase women’s political participation globally as voters, activists, candidates and officeholders. In this role, she was especially proud of her work in Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen to help women find and use their voices in their countries.

Susan worked earlier in her career in U.S. politics bringing to life her Master’s thesis that focused on women running for political office. At EMILY’s List, she ran the Political Opportunity Program (POP) that recruited, trained and supported women running for office at the state and local office. She also managed the Campaign Corps program that brought young people into the political process to engage them in elections. 

Susan now works and lives in Washington, DC with her family and two dogs. She’s earned degrees from George Washington University (Master’s of Arts) and THE Ohio State University (Bachelor of Arts, Political Science and International Studies), but looks forward to learning new things every day. 

Pub Global
Thursday, October 18th 2018






•Cash Bar

•Stimulating Competition



Supports the Alan Miller, Esq. Scholarship

Luncheon Meeting
Wednesday, November 14th 2018

Luncheon Meeting - 12:00 Noon - Inn at Reading
Reservatrions: Call 610-375-7880 or Email

Ambassador Fred Hof

Syria: Why it Matters, What Can Be Done

Frederic C. Hof has been a soldier, diplomat, CEO, author, and the Director of the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.  He is currently on the faculty of Bard College and is a Nonresident Senior Fellow of the Hariri Center.

A native of New York, Ambassador Hof received a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an MA in National Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School.  He studied Arabic in Tunisia and, as a US Army officer, served overseas in Vietnam and Lebanon.  He concluded his military service in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  In the private sector he would become CEO of AALC Ltd., an international business consulting firm, and would later establish a Syria practice at the Atlantic Council’s Hariri Center, before becoming the Center’s Director in 2016.

Ambassador Hof has written extensively on Middle Eastern political and security issues.  His published works have focused on Arab-Israeli boundary and water disputes and the Syrian crisis.  He served on the Department of Defense commission that investigated the 1983 bombing of the US Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, drafting portions of the final report.  He was chief of staff of the 2000-2001 Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee (investigating the October 2000 Palestinian intifada) and principal drafter of the report submitted by former US Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell to President Bush and Secretary of State Powell.  He received the rank of ambassador in 2012 while serving as advisor to the Secretary of State on political transition in Syria.

Ambassador Hof’s diplomatic mediation work has dealt with Jordanian-Israeli water issues, Israeli-Syrian peace, Lebanese-Israeli natural gas and exclusive economic zone disputes, and Palestinian-Israeli security matters.  Among his military and civilian decorations is the Purple Heart.  He and his wife, Brenda, reside in Silver Spring, MD, and Kerhonkson, NY.

Breakfast Meeting
Wednesday, November 21st 2018

Breakfast Meeting - 7:30 AM - Wyomissing Restaurant and Bakery
Reservations: Call 610-375-5880 or Email

Jerry Simcik

SFS intec and its international footprint

Jerry is the Director of Human Resources at SFS intec USA.

Luncheon Meeting
Wednesday, January 9th 2019

Luncheon Meeting - 12:00 Noon - Inn at Reading
Reservations: Call 610-375-7880 or Email

John Weidenhammer

Entrepeneurship in an Accelerating Global Technology Market

Founder and President. An IT Solutions Integrator and diversified provider of information technology related services and products. Weidenhammer Systems has three primary lines of business: 1) provides administrative application software to primary and secondary public education; 2) develops custom application software and IT consulting; 3) provides and manages computing infrastructure. The business takes a proactive, strategic approach to assisting clients and seeks to help create competitive advantage via the innovative use of information. Clients range in size from Fortune 500 to emerging, new businesses including K-12, public and private sector organizations. Business activities include strategic consulting, software development, application software products, systems integration and technology outsourcing. Technologies related to the Cloud Computing and e-Business are a company focus. Weidenhammer has received awards for innovations in wireless, mobile computing and software achievement including being recently recognized as the MVP of Cloud Computing Sales by Ingram Micro. The company this year joined the prestegious VAR500 list of the largest 500 firms in the US providing IT solutions. The firm is headquartered in Wyomissing, PA and employs 200 professionals. Clients are located nationwide and the firm has branch offices in Wayne, Lancaster and Bethlehem, PA; Kalamzzoo, MI; Denver CO and Mesa, AZ. Weidenhammer can be found on the web at

Graduate of Reading High School, and Lehigh University with a BS in Industrial Engineering. Project Leader for Carpenter Technology 1969-1874. Consultant for Ernst & Young 1974-1978.

Breakfast Meeting
Wednesday, January 16th 2019

Breakfast Meeting - 7:30 AM - Wyomissing Restaurant and Bakery
Reservations: Call 610-375-7880 or Email

Tracey Scheirer, MSN, CMSRN, CNE, RN

Vaccination and Global Health - the State of the Science

Tracy Fogarty Scheirer has worked in a variety of nursing settings including in medical/ surgical, critical care, community health, OB/GYN, and pediatrics since receiving her BS in Nursing from Albright College in 1987.  As a result of her Masters work in community health nursing, Tracy founded and is the chairperson of the Berks Immunization Coalition, a vaccine advocacy group of local health professionals, business professionals, and community members.  The Coalition has worked for eight years to promote vaccination throughout the lifespan in various community outreach activities.  Tracy has presented locally and nationally on the topic of immunizations at a variety of different venues.  She has been a full time member of the Alvernia University nursing faculty since 2011 and is in the final phase of her PhD dissertation at Widener University.  Her research topic centers on the concepts of moral distress, moral integrity, and duty orientation in nursing and nursing education.  

Breakfast Meeting
Wednesday, February 20th 2019

Breakfast Meeting - 7:30 AM - Wyomissing Restaurant and Bakery
Reservations: Call 610-375-5880 or Email

Keith Bildstein

Hawk Mt. Sanctuary: A Global View of Natural Resource Conservation

Keith is a Ph.D. Zoology. He Joined Hawk Mountain in 1992.

Keith oversees programs in Conservation Science and works at the Acopian Center for Conservation Learning where he sets priorities and conducts Sanctuary research, and coordinates research by visiting scientists and students. He also is responsible for achieving goals set by the Science Advisors Committee, including leadership and mentorship in global raptor conservation. Finally, Keith directs the Conservation Science Traineeship Program and our newly emerging Graduate Student Program. His current research projects include a study of Striated Caracaras, a long-term study of New World Vultures, and research on Hooded Vultures in Africa.

Keith is the author of more than 150 peer-reviewed publications, has written several books including Migrating Raptors of the World: their ecology and conservation (2006), and is a member of 21 professional organizations. When he's not traveling, Keith can usually be found watching, studying or reading about raptors.