The TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce recently hosted its REACH luncheon that included a panel discussion led by two mother/daughter duos. The panelists shared their stories with attendees, including the positives and negatives of working with family.
REACH is a program of the TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce designed by an active committee of professional women focusing on “bringing together professionals in the tri-county region to network, build relationships, and access professional development and educational opportunities designed to empower and inspire,” according to a press release.
During the discussion, Eileen Dautrich, president of the chamber, moderated the panelists: Fran Heffner and Maggie Riker of CODY Systems; and Heather Chandler and JoAnne Forman of Sealstrip Corp.
Heffner is co-founder and CEO of CODY Systems, a certified woman-owned (WBENC) family business in Pottstown, serving first responders. Under Heffner’s 40 years of leadership, CODY has grown to become a nationally recognized and respected public-safety software provider.
Riker is Heffner’s daughter, and leads the CODY team as vice president of sales and marketing. She also oversees CODY’s strategic partnerships with the FBI National Academy Associates and the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association.
Chandler is president of Sealstrip Corp., a manufacturer of easy-open and re-closable features for packaging-specifically tapes and machinery, located in Douglass Township, Montgomery County.
Forman is Chandler’s mother, and has worked at Sealstrip Corp. as sales and marketing manager, EVP, and president. She is currently CEO and director of product development and holds five patents on products Sealstrip Corp. produces.
The panelists shared their first working experiences and how it affected their future careers. Their companies are not the typical industry for women, and they shared how CODY Systems and Sealstrip Corp. have “mentored and helped other women to succeed in their business,” according to the release.
Each panelist also offered some “words of wisdom” to the attendees. Riker recounted a story of a philosophy class that taught her to look at an orange and take in all its details. Her message to the luncheon’s attendees?
“Take time out of your day to notice the details,” Riker said.
Chandler told attendees to “focus on the positive things in your life.”
The High Tea luncheon was held May 23 at the Western Montgomery Career & Technology Center in Limerick. It was prepared and served by the Center’s culinary students, and included three courses including soup, salad and quiche, finger sandwiches, scones and desserts, as well as a choice of teas.
The TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce, is a membership organization serving businesses in southeastern Berks, western Montgomery, and northern Chester counties as well as the Route 422 corridor.