Cokctails and Classics is one of Reading Public Library’s preimer fundraising events. While attending I had a chance to chat with Colin Waszkiewicz, Owner of the W Financial Group. Besides running his business, Waszkiewicz is a dedicated volunteer at the Reading Public Library.
Tell us a little bit about what you do to be involved in the Reading Public Library?
I was on the board for three years. I believe I helped most with Advancement. Unfortunately, it seems as though local, state and federal governments are not interested in funding the city libraries adequately, thus all libraries have needed to significantly expand their private funding.
I have helped explain the importance of RPL to the business and residential community to help expand our fundraising.
The efforts of our advancement committee, board members, and especially board president, Nancy Campbell have regained the momentum of private fundraising for RPL and I believe the momentum is now stronger than most or all non-profits in the region.
I am very proud of that. As you know, our Cocktails and Classics event this year raised over $100,000 in one night. I am proud to say I serve on that committee as well. All on that committee do a phenomenal job and should also be commended.
What are your favorite programs that the library offers?
The Children’s Reading Program is certainly on top of the list; however, RPL offers many other job-skill training programs that are not mentioned enough.
I am very proud of our amazing Executive Director, Bronwen Gamble for introducing Hoopla to the community. A digital experience for our cardholders that allow low-income families the ability to watch programs from an app that are educational and help mold our youth the right way.
Reading Public Library offers far too many programs to list. I most appreciate our use of technology to educate the community and give them the skills necessary for life on and off the job.
What are some unknown facts about the RPL you think our community should know?
We are not just a library. We are on the cutting edge of teaching and educating using technology at a high level. In my opinion, RPL is a tech hub as well as an old-fashioned library. Both are still needed and will always be needed in our communities.
How would you describe the Library’s past, present, and future? In other words, what is changing and what is the impact of that change?
The library of the past was a large building filled with books. It evolved to a research hub for the public. It is now a large building filled with books with a staff skilled at helping people find what they need using technology as the centerpiece for learning.
Why is it so important to you to give back to our community?
I look back on my life and realize I always had the things I needed to succeed. Unfortunately, much of our inner-city youth are not privileged like I was, thus it is important to me to help advance organizations that level the playing field for all.
Tell us a little bit about you and when you started W Financial?
I started The W Group Financial Services because I wanted to create my own work-life balance and it seems in today’s world the only way to fully be able to do that is to have your own business.
I learned early on that insurance and investments are my favorite conversations to have as it relates to business, thus I knew I wanted to be in that world for the rest of my working life. I am very happy with my career, and I cannot think of a better way to spend my business hours.