Local couple honored with Thun Award for community service

A couple from Berks County have been honored for their service to the community.

Julia Klein and Eric Jenkins received the Thun Award at the annual giving celebration held at the Berkshire County Club on Saturday. The event was organized by the Berks County Community Foundation in partnership with Fulton Bank.

Klein and Jenkins were shortlisted for the award in 2020, but due to the COVID pandemic, a celebration honoring the recognition has been delayed.

The Thun Prize is awarded to Berks residents who give of themselves to make the county better.

“Julia and Eric’s leadership in our community has been extraordinary,” said Jeffrey R. Rush, senior executive vice president and chief commercial sales officer at Fulton Bank, in a statement announcing the award. “Julia and Eric embody the leadership and love for this community found in all Thun Award recipients.”

The Thun Award comes with a $5,000 grant that winners can direct to a local non-profit organization. Klein and Jenkins chose Berks Community Health Center.

“When I learned that Julia and Eric had chosen us to receive this grant, I was not surprised,” said Mary H. Kargbo, president and CEO of the health center, during the Celebration of Giving dinner. “Julia was one of the first people to visit our facilities and learn more about us and our services when we opened in 2012. This grant provided much needed medication for patients being treated for an use of opioids.”

Klein, a native of Berks, and Jenkins, a native of Indiana, Pennsylvania, met as teenagers at summer camp and married in 1989.

Klein is CEO and President of CH Briggs Company Inc., based in Reading, one of the largest independent distributors of building materials in the United States.

Klein’s community service work has included serving as chairman of the board of the Berks County Community Foundation; member of the board of trustees of the Federal Reserve of Philadelphia, the College of Wooster and the Reading Health System; and as Governor-appointe to the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission.

Jenkins is President of Jenklein LLC, a real estate holding and investment company. He also sits on the Briggs Board of Directors.

Jenkin’s community service includes serving as Chairman of the Board of Berks Nature, Chairman of Berk’s Nature “The Nature Place” fundraising campaign; Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Berks County Industrial Development Authority; board member of Reading Public Museum and United Way of Berks County; a member of Reading City Council; and pro bono general manager of Reading.

Jill E. Washington