Katie Johnsen

Katie Johnsen

Lives in Wernersville

Have you always lived here? Did you grow up here, move away, and come back? Did you grow up somewhere else and move here?

I moved around a lot as a child – mostly in New Jersey with five years living in Tokyo, Japan for nursery school and high school. But I was born in Philadelphia and came back to PA to go to Muhlenberg College. It wasn’t until I met my husband that I moved first to Fleetwood and then to Wernersville. He’s a Berks native through and through.

Why do you think Greater Reading is a great place to live and work? 

It’s the perfect in-between for me – between my family geographically; between urban, suburban, and rural; and just in the right spot for snowy winters and warm summers. I get the best of all possible worlds living here. And there is still potential to grow. We’re a stone’s throw from major urban centers and making strides to get connected. I can’t wait to see what will happen in the next five to 10 years!

What do you want outsiders to know about the Greater Reading Community?

It may seem like people here are stand-offish, but that’s just because they’re giving you the space to approach them. If you want to make a friend, there are plenty of people willing to take you up on that. Just give people a chance – you won’t believe what you’ll find!

What are your favorite local activities to do with your family or friends?

My friends and I are big indoor kids – we’ll generally congregate at someone’s home to play games or sit outside by a fire, the grill and the pool. When we do go out, we like to see shows and movies. When my family comes to visit, I love to take them to the local amusement parks, The Works, GoggleWorks, or the Neag Planetarium.

Name your favorite:

  1. Restaurant: Laxshmi – delicious Indian place, and our go-to when we’re celebrating special occasions or have people visiting from out of town.
  2. Local shop: Firefly Bookstore in downtown Kutztown is a warm-hug-of-a-bookshop, with friendly owners, a great selection of books and games, and events like community game nights.
  3. Event or festival: Kutztown Folk Festival – rides, food, animals, crafts – I could not believe my eyes when I first went to this fair. It is the perfect encapsulation of all things Greater Reading.
  4. Hidden gem: GoggleWorks – a free space with rotating art galleries, a small movie theater, art classes, and a wonderful community of artists? Yes, please!

Do you serve on a board or volunteer in the Greater Reading community? Tell us what your role is and the name of the organization.

Although I am a part of W2W’s Council, R&D Committee, and Mujer a Mujer committee as well as the FBA Council as part of my job, I haven’t volunteered time elsewhere. But there are a few I’m looking at that I only heard about by attending GRCA events.