MEET APRIL’S MEMBER SPOTLIGHT – Sonya Smith, Development Chair

Sonya Smith is the Assistant Director for Grants & Sponsored Projects at Kutztown University. She assists faculty, staff and students with the necessary steps to secure and administer external funding for research, training and service projects. This includes the identification of potential funding sources; facilitation of proposal development and submission; post-award activities; and oversight of regulatory and compliance issues related to grants and sponsored projects.

She graduated with a Master’s in Business Administration from Kutztown University in 2012, and a B.S. degree in Accounting, minor in Finance from Albright College in 2010.

Sonya joined GRYP and attended her first G!G! event in 2011. Focused on finishing her courses to obtain her MBA, she was not actively involved when she first joined GRYP. She later re-joined in 2015 to get more involved with the local community and to network with other young professionals in the area. Her GRYP involvement includes serving as the Development Committee Chair, a member of the Board of Directors and a member of the Membership Committee.

Sonya loves competition and anything to stay active, she participates in GRYP’s football leagues and can be found around the Greater Reading area “gym hopping” to check out all the great facilities in the area or enjoying the outdoors by hiking and kayaking. She also enjoys attending the monthly Happy Hours and Third Thursday events to meet new members.

Her take on being a young professional in the Greater Reading area:

“There is a new energy stirring up in the Greater Reading area, an optimistic approach on how to make Reading a better place to live, work and play. That has been the motto for a while… now there are so many people and organizations/businesses working together and unified to put those words into action. Many great things going on for all the residents and businesses as well for the young professionals the area would like to attract and retain.”

Leadership & other community activities:

  • Kutztown University –University Conduct Board- member Jan 2018- May 2019
  • Berks County Latino Chamber of Commerce- Chairwoman 2018, Vice Chair 2017, Board Member since 2014; serving on Operations, Grant & Program Development Committees
  • Literacy Council of Reading-Berks- Board Member 2017, Finance Committee member; fundraising committee member
  • The Greater Reading Alliance (GRCA) -Chamber Ambassador; Ambassador Committee Member since 2017
  • The Greater Reading Alliance (GRCA) – Business & Community Advocacy Council -Active member since 2016
  • United Way of Berks County Emerging Leaders United – Active member since 2015
  • Calvary Baptist Church- Deacon/Deaconess Board (Vice Chair 2017)
  • Beginners’ & Primary Children’s Church Instructor

Tips to other young professionals:

“Always think about your talents and skills and how those attributes can be aligned to help others. When you combine hard work, passion and focus… the financial gains will come along and support your purpose!”