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Posted on Wednesday, April 6, 2022
By: Eileen Dautrich
Categories: General

Honoring Someone that Embodied the Definition of Community

A volunteer … I don’t have to share with you what the true dictionary definition of the word is. For most people, when they hear the word, a mental picture appears of a particular person that is the true representation of the word volunteer.

Those that are good, the best even, are those volunteers who most of us think of first and because of their dedication and commitment, they are probably the person that several organizations will all think of.

On Wednesday, March 30, at the Boyertown Area Progress Dinner, the TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce honored one of the best volunteers the organization has had — with a special tribute to the late Richard L. Graver who passed away unexpectedly on Sept. 27, 2021. Rich dedicated time, energy, passion, and a drive for success to our organization every day!

Rich’s volunteer efforts to the benefit of the TriCounty Chamber spanned eight years.

Rich, former chief lending officer for The Victory Bank, joined the chamber’s board of directors in July of 2012. By July of 2014 we recruited Rich to join our executive committee and he served two years as chair elect and then served as our chairman of the board for our 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 program years.

But he was not off the hook yet. He spent July of 2018 until December of 2020 serving on our executive committee as our immediate past chairman until we finally agreed to let him step away as he had professional responsibilities to which he had committed. 

It was hard to say goodbye then, when he stepped away from his leadership role with the chamber, and it was even harder to say goodbye last year. 

A difference was made in our organization with Rich’s leadership. We worked to build and grow our communities and partnerships. The Building Industries Exchange of Pottstown became part of our organization officially in 2019, and he spearheaded and facilitated meetings to brainstorm and discuss greater partnership with neighboring chambers. 

Chamber Chat is an incredible member benefit brought to the chamber by Bill Vitiello of The Victory Bank. The chamber gives Bill full credit for the idea and facilitating this program now entering its fourth year, but Rich also provided his blessing in providing Bill the flexibility to host and dedicate the necessary volunteer hours to Chamber Chat.

Rich continued to work with our entire executive committee to make choices, as the chamber navigated COVID-19 and its impact on our organization. Those choices, all of them difficult, and some of them with unfortunate consequences, were made to guarantee that the organization would still be here today and come out of this situation better then when we went into it in March of 2020.

It was our honor at the March 30 event to honor and pay tribute to Rich’s inspiring support and acknowledge his level of support for years to come. We announced that the Boyertown High School FBLA Scholarship that the chamber has provided for many years, will be renamed the Richard L. Graver FBLA Scholarship. The TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce also made a $2,000 contribution to the fund for continued sustainability. 

If you have ever been to a chamber event where Rich was asked to speak, his favorite line was — “you get out of the chamber what you put into it.” 

Rich put a lot of time, professional support and knowledge and personal commitment into our organization and our success and on behalf of the executive committee, the chamber’s board of directors, and the entire chamber staff — the chamber got so much out of what Rich “put into it.”

Tagged:General, Information, Chamber

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TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce

152 East High Street, Suite 200
Pottstown, PA 19464

Phone: 610.326.2900