Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry Holds 2023 Women Influencing Business Awards Dinner with Keynote Speaker Cherelle Parker.
September 25th, 2023
Malvern, PA – The Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry (CCCBI) held its 2023 Women
Influencing Business (WIB) Awards Dinner on Wednesday, September 13th at the White Manor Country
Club. Andrea Youndt, CEO of the Chester County Food Bank was presented with the Female Business
Leader of the Year Award, and Alaina Kearney, Marketing Director of Barsz, Gowie, Amon & Fultz was
presented with the Female Rising Star of the Year Award.
Business leaders, community partners, family, and friends gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of
the night’s honorees.
CCCBI was also joined by Pennsylvania State Trooper, Katy Greenert, one of the law enforcement
officers that apprehended the fugitive, Danelo Cavalcante who recently escaped from Chester County
Prison, ending a fourteen-day manhunt across the county. CCCBI President & CEO, Laura Manion, began
her comments of gratitude, stating that Trooper Greenert is an outstanding example of female
empowerment to highlight at the WIB event, and Greenert received a standing ovation from the crowd
of two hundred attendees. Manion also mentioned that the Chamber can serve as a resource to any
employers impacted by the search for Calvacante.
Manion continued by sharing Chamber initiatives, mainly around workforce issues, many of which
disproportionately affect women. This includes women re-entering the workforce, calling for expansion
of the Childcare Tax Credit for Parents and childcare accessibility and affordability.
CCCBI covered the cost of on-site childcare for parents who wished to attend the dinner. Some of the
children who spent time in White Manor’s KidZone joined the evening’s festivities post-ceremony for
photos with their parents. This was a first-time initiative that highlights the needs of childcare for
women to develop their roles as business and community leaders.
The WIB Awards honor women who are actively working towards professional development, creating
opportunities for other women, and inciting positive change. In addition to Andrea and Alaina, CCCBI
took the opportunity to thank Chester County Commissioner Michelle Kichline, who is currently serving
her last term in office after nine years on the Board of Commissioners.
In addition to Commissioner Kichline, Chester County Commissioner Marian Moskowitz, State
Representative Dan Williams, and City Manager of the City of Coatesville, James Logan, were in
attendance and thanked for the work they continue to do in service to the Chester County Community.
In her acceptance speech, Rising Star Award Winner Alaina Kearney recalled the words of her college
career counselor, “pick a boss, not a job.” Alaina left the crowd with one piece of advice that she had
followed for several years. She said, “As you all know, I am here because of the people that believed in
me. I have one ask tonight, if a potential rising star asks you to get coffee, to be on their podcast, or to
make a connection for them – do it. Follow them on social media, connect on LinkedIn, support them
however you can. I promise you, when they make it big, they won’t forget you,” just as Alaina has not
forgotten the community of people that brought her to CCCBI and the status of “Rising Star.”
Miguel Alban, Senior Vice President and Director of Multicultural Banking for Customers Bank, as well as
long-time friend of Andrea Youndt, winner of the CEO of the Year Award, delivered a soulful recount of
his first-hand experience with Andrea on mission trips to Peru and everyday life. Her care and attention
for those less fortunate than herself was so great that he saw a new side of the country he used to call
As a community, Chester County has the privilege of experiencing Andrea’s hard work and dedication to
helping others. A special thank you to her family brought the room to tears, “your encouragement
during my career, the late nights, long hours, weekends, holidays, and many challenging moments – you
only get what’s left and never the best ‘me,’ you have been my rock and I couldn’t have achieved this
The powerful emotions in the room heightened as the Keynote Speaker took the stage. Democratic
Nominee for the 100th Mayor of Philadelphia, Cherelle Parker, spoke about her personal experience as a
woman, a mother, a legislator, and her desire to be a true representative of the people. By the end of
her speech, the room erupted with a continued standing ovation for her honesty and enthusiasm
towards her prospective position as Mayor, and the potential regional change that includes Chester
County. Parker noted that one of her most notable qualities is her determination to “get to yes.” As free
thinkers and changemakers, we as a community cannot hold ourselves within a box, we need to work
together to get to “yes,” and create positive change. Though Cherelle is a Philadelphia native, she is
aiming to “get to yes” by working outside the city too. Her history as a Lincoln University alum has
drawn her back to Chester County and she is excited to continue working alongside entities like CCCBI to
better the region as a whole.
Parker’s goals for regional success align closely with CCCBI’s initiatives to prioritize and advocate for
housing, public transportation, workforce development and infrastructure as key priorities to make
Chester County, as Laura Manion said, “a truly great place to live, work, raise a family, and retire.”
The Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry is excited to strengthen a partnership between the
Chamber, Chester County, and the City of Philadelphia, and is honored to have women like Cherelle
Parker, Michelle Kichline, Andrea Youndt and Alaina Kearney in our business community.
Manion concluded the event on stage with her one year old son in her arms. “This is what flexibility in
the workplace looks like. Company culture is changing, and we hope you will join us in leading the way
toward a new way of conducting business here in Chester County.”
Media Contact : Abby Wolfe