We asked locals to nominate Montgomery County’s most influential people – men and women who are shaping the community, influencing their industries, and making a difference. Dozens of amazing stories were submitted about passionate and committed locals. At Montco Happening, we salute all those who wake up every morning with the intention of leaving the world just a little bit better.
10 outstanding individuals have been named the Top 10 Movers & Shakers of the year, and we have the honor of sharing their stories on Montco Happening. Meet Jeffersonville’s Gerri Vattimo, the Marketing & Special Events Manager of Upper Merion Township who recently unveiled a state-of-the-art community center. Gerri, who attended Ursinus for her undergrad and later Eastern University for her MA in Psychology, is a driving force behind popular local events like Upper Merion’s Community Fair Fall Festival, Earth Day Festival, Summer Concert Series, and more. Meet Gerri:
Montco Happening: What motivates you every morning?
Gerri: Knowing that I have the chance to encourage, acknowledge, and serve the people around me, everywhere I go.
Montco Happening: What would you say is your idea of a perfect day?
Gerri: An early morning 5 mile walk or taking a bike ride, lunch with a friend, yardwork, reading, making dinner, and maybe going to a spin class!
Montco Happening: Who inspires you?
Gerri: People who serve others with joy, excellence, and heart inspire me. My faith also keeps me focused and mindful that my life has purpose.
Montco Happening: Tell us about your career and your recent decision to work with Upper Merion Township.
Gerri: I think people and jobs have found me (versus me deciding on my career path) – the common thread of my career is dedication to mission, team, and people I serve, and an enthusiasm and energy in helping others – that’s what leaders see when they ask me to work with their team.
Montco Happening: Which achievement are you most proud of?
Gerri: The life changing opportunities provided to youth through the Lockheed Martin IT Apprenticeship Program, of which I was functional manager – The Apprentice Program was a workforce development partnership that provided training and full-time jobs to select Philadelphia youth.
Montco Happening: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
Gerri: Managing time to ensure I invest well in the relationships in my life…it is a challenge at times with my work roles.
Montco Happening: What is the biggest accomplishment that you’d like to achieve over the next 5 years?
Gerri: Ensuring that I am helping build strong communities in which individuals feel valued, engaged, and inspired – especially the community of Upper Merion Township.
Montco Happening: How do you think your friends & coworkers would describe you?
Gerri: I hope my friends and coworkers would describe me as energizing, joyful, hardworking, authentic, caring, and inspiring.
Montco Happening: Where’s your favorite place to go in Montgomery County?
Gerri: Beautiful Skippack Village and the adjacent Worcester Township, where I was raised and my parents live.
Montco Happening: You can take a time machine back to visit yourself 10 years ago. What advice would you give?
Gerri: Don’t let the stress of the job crowd out the joy you can feel while you strive toward a goal .
Montco Happening: Same question 10 years in the future.
Gerri: Stay vibrant in your outlook on life even as you age. Keep your faith, joy, and hope. Life is a great gift!
Your 2016 Montgomery County Movers & Shakers is sponsored by BKZ Consulting Partners, LLC, a veteran-owned credit card processing provider based in North Wales. BKZ manages and maintains relationships with the best processing and merchant services companies in the United States and delivers that expertise to local businesses. First-hand experience of the strengths and weaknesses of each company assures the right group of providers are working to meet your company’s specific needs. It also fosters long term effective solutions by creating a competitive environment in which each provider focuses on their core competency. Here’s how it works:
Develop: BKZ connects the best processing service to a variety of leading applications, such as:
Mobile swipe QuickBooks integration Level 3 Data EMV technology Electronic check Fraud prevention programs and audits Invoicing Payer Authentication E-Commerce
Implement: As the solution is introduced and installed, BKZ provides full-service project management. Milestone events, coordination with supporting services and assistance with closing of legacy service is taken care of during this phase. The goal is a seamless transition that is methodical and experienced.
Train: All involved employees are trained in the daily use, reporting and maintenance of the solution. Quick reference guides, support numbers and common issues are covered. Actions taken during power outages or connectivity problems are covered to ensure customer transactions are completed and valid.
Support: BKZ Consulting Partners continues to assist and provide support long after the solution is installed and operating. Quarterly reviews, technology briefings and ongoing guidance is a hallmark of our service.
BKZ founder Bob Zimmerman, a veteran of the USAF and Pennsylvania Air National Guard, worked in avionics on A-10’s. Years of attention to detail in a process oriented operation has translated nicely to the BKZ’s delivery of customer satisfaction.