Councilor Lucine Sihelnik
Lucine has served as a broker for many community programs and initiatives, connecting residents, city administration and city authorities, City Council, local businesses and non-profit organizations. She brings her diverse experience in leadership, community development and community health and wellness to improving the City of Reading.
Lucine founded Gayatri Wellness in 2013 to promote sustainable living practices of social, economic, and environmental wellbeing for all community members of Berks County, PA and has been working towards that goal since. She facilitated the creation and implementation of District 1’s Summer Meal Program, a collaboration between Reading School District, Reading Housing Authority, the Neighborhood Association & local health systems, and a project of the larger collaboration Regional Reading Food Policy and Action Council (RRFPAC), which she also helped to found and lead overall.
She also served as the Penn Street Market Manager for three years, during which time she brokered strong community relationships in order to facilitate expansion of the market season; increase of both consumer and producer participation in the market; increase current and stabilize future funding streams; and engage and educate local youth in understanding local food systems. One of her proudest achievements is having secured funding through private & public partnerships to create incentive programs that enabled more residents to access fresh, healthy food.
Lucine currently serves as the President of Berks Agricultural Resource Network (BARN), a group that contributes to Greater Reading’s economic development by supporting local agribusiness. As part of its revitalization of “Bountiful Berks” branding program, she led the creation of a local food co-op, connecting local farmers and residents together to facilitate the transfer of local produce and goods.
During her time as a Berks Food Bank Board Member, she helped launch a Mobile Market that distributes fresh, nutrient dense food donations; the PASS program to purchase directly from farmers; and a healthy rating system and policy.
Lucine also volunteers with a collaboration of stakeholders from Reading’s 18th ward who work to improve the ward’s overall livability, and as secretary and President-Elect of Friends of Reading Hospital, who lead fundraising efforts for Tower Health focused on community health projects like food access, medical care for the homeless, and HeartSafe programs.
She is a certified yoga teacher and teaches throughout the Greater Reading Area.
Lucine received her Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature from Loyola College in Maryland; Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, Community Leadership from Alvernia University and Combined Honors, Foreign Languages and Literatures, General, from University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.
She resides with her husband in Wyomissing Park, 18-1, and will welcome their first child in 2018. In her leisure time, she loves to patronize local businesses and attend local cultural events that celebrate Reading’s many types of diversity.