June 26, 2024

York College Alumnae on Women of Influence List

4-Minute Read

Two York College alumnae were among those chosen for the Central Penn Business Journal’s Women of Influence award, which honors high-achieving women for their career accomplishments. Recipients are selected based on professional experience, community involvement, and commitment to mentoring. 

Karla Dentler 

Headshot of Karla Dentler.

Karla Dentler ’14 is the Regional HR Manager for HMS Networks (formerly Red Lion Controls), a global industrial data company. A Management major at York College, she is a Phi Mu Fraternity alumna and lives in York with her husband, Charles, and son, James. 

“Red Lion Controls, now HMS, is not necessarily a name brand that most people recognize, but they are involved in the background of many things,” she said. “Our technology is in cameras on the roads, in gas pumps, on automatic assembly lines, and in local companies like Maple Donuts regulating temperature and inventory.”

In her position, she covers the United States locations (York, PA, and Mobile, AL), primarily working with production employees. She also works with the global operations and sales team. 

“I am a resource for employees from hire to retirement,” Dentler explained. She handles performance management, coaching, learning and development training, generalist work, and benefits; I also serve as a backup for payroll. “I do a little bit of everything. Our team is stellar, and we all help each other.”

Her favorite part of the job is coaching leaders. “It’s very fulfilling to see someone reach their full potential. I like helping other leaders in the organization.”

Dentler is also committed to encouraging engagement among HMS Networks’ employees. “I worked with Gallup over the past few years to learn more about engagement and encourage a ‘let’s be curious’ mindset. I also encourage our employees to have fun, doing things like helping to run a book club.”

Dentler coheads the Volunteering Committee at HMS Networks, which has led to activities benefiting Pleasant Acres Rehabilitation and Nursing Home, Phineas Davis K-8 school, and Leg Up Farm. “We also help our own employees, particularly those who struggle around the holiday, by doing bake sales and other activities,” she said. 

Dentler also spends time on her own at Leg Up Farm. “Leg Up Farm is near and dear to me. My son is autistic, so it’s very important to me to give back to this community. I have spent three years volunteering there, including putting together events for work.”  

In addition, Dentler recently joined the advisory board as Service Chair of the Young Manufacturers Network, a resource group for young manufacturers who are looking to connect with other manufacturing professionals and grow in their careers.

There have been volunteer activities at other local organizations throughout the years, including Crispus Attucks, York College, and her sorority, Phi Mu, according to Dentler.

“I’m really thankful for the connections I’ve been able to maintain,” she said. “Like a fountain, as long as you feed it water, it will continue to be fruitful for you.”

Headshot of Mary Beth Ching.

Mary Beth Ching 

Mary Beth Ching ’04 serves as the chief of staff for the Investment Real Estate Group of Companies (IREGC), LLC, a York-based company that has over three decades of experience acquiring, building, and managing self-storage facilities. 

Her position was created to help support the leadership team in moving the company forward, maintain its culture and core values, assist with communications and logistics involving investors, bankers, and trusted partners, along with coordinating important internal and external meetings and events. As a long-standing, active participant in the York community, Ching brought a unique perspective and a diverse skill set to IREGC from her previous roles in various industries, which supported their mission to establish themselves as a long-term community member and partner.

Ching’s journey to her current position took her through some tough personal changes. After a career in hospitality and sales at organizations including The Yorktowne Hotel, the York Revolution, Marriott and Hilton, she went through a divorce and some life-changing circumstances. 

“I had to make some adjustments to create a better balance in my career and increase the quality of life for my two girls and me,” she said. “I was looking to join a company that would support, empower, and trust me in a role that I would truly be proud of and excited for each day while providing the flexibility I needed for my family.”

Ching reached out to the strong network she had developed since arriving in York from Vermont as a York College student. A trusted connection told her about a position that was not yet public, one that “checked all the boxes for me,” she said. 

She began working as chief of staff for IREGC in May 2021. “It has been a wild and amazing journey thus far. This definitely was a pivotal moment in my career and my life that I am forever grateful for.”

Ching is also fortunate that IREGC is an advocate for the York County Economic Alliance’s Women’s Business Center Organization (WBCO), which she has chaired since July 2022. She has been a member since the WBCO first began in 2008 at York College as a program of their J.D. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship. She has also volunteered for Junior Achievement and is on the Appell Center for the Performing Arts board of directors. 

Her community involvement and professional stature made her an impressive candidate for the Central Penn Business Journal’s Women of Influence award, but Ching was not initially sure about applying. After some convincing, she said yes and focused her application on what she has helped establish throughout her career, along with her transition over the past five years–both professionally and personally–to a new career, industry, and lifestyle that has led to creating a great new balance, peace, and focus for her.

“The best part of this Women of Influence journey happened before the final announcement was even made,” she said.  “You’re encouraged to submit letters of recommendation specific for this to be reviewed with your application. It was so exciting asking mentors, dear friends, colleagues, etc., to do this for me! Getting to read their letters in the weeks that followed brought me to tears. What really stood out to me was how they each mentioned my role as a mom, how much my kids mean to me, and the example that I set for them every day working hard in all that I do. It was incredibly gratifying to see that role be recognized along with my career accomplishments.”