Thursday, May 21, 2015

Women in Leadership Conference to Feature Best-selling Author Jane Hight McMurry

Women in Leadership of Central Illinois (WIL) will present “Leading in the Lipstick Jungle” on
Thursday, June 11 from 11:00 am - 5:30 pm at the Par-A-Dice Hotel in East Peoria. This conference will focus on the skills women need to enhance and leverage their relationships to achieve greater success in both their personal and professional lives.

The event will begin with WIL's annual awards luncheon and feature a keynote address by Jane Hight
McMurry, best-selling author and professional speaker. McMurry will answer the question, “What else do women with competitive education and technical skills, guaranteed equal rights under the law, need to do to get what they want in the corporate jungle?” McMurry fills the gap in knowledge to help close the gap in pay.

This informative and entertaining presentation will offer the 21st century woman a guide to learn how to get what she wants, needs, and deserves within the current competitive business environment. Other educational sessions will explore different styles of communication, working with diverse personality types, influencing and motivating others, and effective teamwork.

The event will also feature exhibitors and a silent auction to benefit the WIL Scholarship Fund. The cost to attend the full conference is $75 ($65 for WIL members). Cost to attend only the awards luncheon and keynote address is $40 ($35 for WIL members). For more information or to register online, go to

WIL is an organization with over 100 members in Central Illinois. WIL's mission is to promote leadership among professional women by providing networking, mentoring, and educational opportunities.

Click here for registration form!

Wings and Wheels Fly-In Cruise-In

Goodwill Free Computer Classes for 55+

Chamber Welcomes Blissful Images

Representatives of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce recently welcomed their newest member with a ribbon cutting ceremony.  Blissful Images, owned by Jenni Williams, is a full service mobile portrait studio specializing in newborn, family and children's photography in central Illinois.  Blissful Images provides clients with beautiful photographic prints to be shared for generations.  You can find on Facebook and at

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


At CEFCU’s recent Annual Meeting, the Credit Union reported outstanding achievements for 2014.  At the end of the year, assets were more than $5 billion, which is an increase of over 1.9% compared to 2013.  Savings deposits and loans outstanding were at historic levels.  And, total membership for 2014 grew by over 7,700 members. 

               CEFCU also distributed a record $40 million Extraordinary to Credit Union member/owners.  The amount each member received was determined by dividends earned and interest paid during the first 11 months of the year, as of November 30, 2014.

               At the Annual Meeting, Brad Arnold, 2014 Chairman of the Board of Directors, stated, “…CEFCU is one of the strongest financial institutions in the country.  This strength is the result of nearly 80 years of both solid business practices and members who grew their business here, at the Credit Union.  At CEFCU, we’re here to help members succeed.”   

            Credit Union Officers, Directors, Supervisory Committee members, and Associate Board members for 2015 will be:  Joseph R. Needham – Chairman; Nancy M. Medendorp – Vice Chairman; Robert M. Metzinger – Vice Chairman; Todd C. Gwillim – Vice Chairman; Mark A. Spenny – President/CEO and Treasurer; Brad C. Arnold – Secretary; Todd W. Bryant; David M. Koehler; Angel G. Martinez; Thea M. Robinson; David E. Rossman; Kavita Sachdev; Sean D. Scranton; Grant M. Seshul; and Reed A. Stuedemann.  Jennifer L. Quine serves as the Recording Secretary.

 Topics discussed at the 2014 meeting included the transition to MasterCard Debit and Credit Cards.  With this change, Debit cardholders gained numerous benefits including extended warranty insurance, price protection, fuel rewards, and more.  Credit cardholders now enjoy additional options like trip cancellation insurance and ID theft resolution.

               CEFCU’s website now features Web-Chat for increased member convenience.  This new option allows website visitors swift communication with CEFCU staff during business hours. 

               Preparations began in 2014 to introduce an enhanced Mobile Banking in 2015.  Included will be convenient options such as text banking, smartphone mobile check deposits, and more.  Android, Apple, and tablet applications will be available.

            Explored new locations for a CEFCU Member Center in the San Jose, California area.  Anticipated to open late Fall of 2015, this office will provide even more convenience for members to conduct their financial business.

               With assets just over $5 billion, CEFCU serves over 308,000 members through 20 central Illinois Member Centers and 3 Member Centers in Santa Clara County, California; the CEFCU Financial Center; the Money Center 24 ATM Network; CEFCU’s website,; CEFCU’s Mobile website,; the surcharge-free CO-OP ATM Network; and the CU Service Center Shared Branch Network. 

Do You Have The Heart Of A Business Leader?

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / airdone

Many years ago I was given the book “Heart of a Leader.”  It’s a very small book, the kind of thing you can read quickly. I have used that book for the past 17 years, and as small as it is, I learn something every time I open it.  It’s a very good book for business owners and I wanted to share some things I’ve learned from the book. Each of the following quotes was taken from it.

“When you stop learning you stop growing”

This was a good one to start with. Every day I learn something, and I love it. Whether it is something on the computer, Facebook, Twitter, or from the many books that I read, I love to learn something new. In today’s business climate, you have to keep learning because things are changing so rapidly. If you’re not staying current with technology and the methods of communication, you are quickly losing your competitive edge.

When you stop learning you’re done. Norman Vincent Peale once said, “When I stop learning, I might as well lie down and die.” When I retired from Wal-Mart in 2010 I had all these visions of not doing anything. I soon realized my inactivity, and not using my brain to the extent I did in business, was affecting me mentally. So I went back to work. I’m not saying you shouldn’t retire but when/if you do you should never stop learning.

“Leadership is a high calling”

As leaders we sometimes focus too hard on results at the detriment of the people involved. If that is your leadership style, things like morale and job satisfaction will fall by the wayside. This type of leadership becomes about getting as much as you can for as little effort as possible.

Leading at a higher level is the process of achieving worthwhile results while acting with respect, care, and fairness for the well-being of all involved.  It’s only when you realize it’s not about you that you began to lead at a higher level.

“What we give our attention to grows”

Finally, the more attention you pay to a behavior, the more it will be repeated. That can be a good thing or a bad thing. If you dwell in negativity that is what you will reap because focusing on the negative often creates situations that demoralize people. When people feel demoralized, they live up to your low vision of them.

Accentuating the positive and redirecting the negative are the best tools for increasing productivity. When good performance is followed by a positive response, people naturally want to continue that behavior.

What was the best leadership advice you’ve ever received? The quotes and lessons that stick make us who we are as leaders. Try to adopt more of the positive and less of the negative traits and your employees will work harder and spend more time delighting your customers.


Ron Orris is the Executive Director of the Bradford Chamber of Commerce, where he has led the chamber in its adoption of social media and is a strong proponent for blogging as a way to reach your audience. Under his leadership membership has increased 40% over the past two years. He has also served as the city controller for the City of Bradford and as a store manager for Walmart, a position he values as teaching him a lot about customer service.



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Weekly Chamber Connection

Check out your weekly Chamber Connection here!

How To Be A Better Leader

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / harishmarnad

I’ve compiled some of the most valuable leadership lessons I’ve learned over my career and I wanted to share them with you.

Communicate All that You Know

The best place to start is “communicate all that you know.” In my lifetime I have seen two types of leaders; one keeps all his knowledge to himself, and in turn doesn’t want the team to leave him, and doesn’t encourage them to go to the next level. The second, and I hope I was this type of leader, communicates all he knows. The biggest thrill in my life was to see people get promoted. I am happy to say that many assistant managers on my Wal-Mart team went on to become store managers. At the chamber the same thing has happened, many of our folks have gone on to great jobs, and although I really wanted them to stay, I was very proud that they were taking the next step to a better career.

Love Your Work

If you love your work, you’ll be out there every day trying to do it the best you possibly can, and pretty soon everybody around will catch the passion from you – like a fever. I have been so fortunate in my work career. The chamber is my third career, and like my career as a retailer, a store manager, and now an executive director, I can honestly say I loved all three jobs. Some had more stress then others, but I live for the challenge and all three gave me plenty of challenges. 

Business owners are fortunate because these entrepreneurs have created something they love and it feels less like work. Pass that passion onto your employees and your business will thrive.

Speak to People

Speak to people coming towards you before they speak to you. I always look ahead and speak to the person coming toward me. If I knew them I would call them by name, but even if I didn’t I would still speak to them. I was at St. Vincent’s Hospital a couple of weeks ago walking down a hallway, and a gentlemen was walking towards me. I didn’t know him, but I said, “Good morning.” He returned the sentiment and then asked, “Are you lost?” I was. We both laughed and I said, “Yes I am looking for the elevator.” He showed me the directions to the elevator and we then struck up a conversation about Erie which led to Bradford, and I found out he was doctor at St. Vincent’s. I felt really good after our talk and went on my way. 

Try it on Monday morning, and let me know how it goes.

If you adopt the idea of never meeting a stranger, and you greet everyone with a warm reception, you might be pleasantly surprised by the opportunities that open to you.


Ron Orris is the Executive Director of the Bradford Chamber of Commerce, where he has led the chamber in its adoption of social media and is a strong proponent for blogging as a way to reach your audience. Under his leadership membership has increased 40% over the past two years. He has also served as the city controller for the City of Bradford and as a store manager for Walmart, a position he values as teaching him a lot about customer service.



Monday, May 18, 2015

Membership Renewals

Thanks to the following employers and individuals who recently renewed their annual investment in the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce


Peoria Limousine

Classic Members
Associated Bank
Adams Outdoor Advertising
Debbie Fornoff Interior Design & Draperies
Farmers Insurance - Tatlock Agency
Jimmy Johns
Kyle's Care at Home
Laserpro of Peoria, Inc.
Pekin Prescription Laboratory, Inc.
Seico Security Systems

Individual MemberSteve Saal

Tips to Starting a Business

Image via: morgueFile / flashbuddy

“I want to go into business.”

I hear that all the time, and I get excited when someone wants to invest in the community. So here’s my best advice on starting a business.

Location, Location, Location

First you need to consider location. I remember reading that the three most important things in opening a business are location, location and location.

Make sure you do your homework and pick the best spot. Years ago, I was a part owner in a men’s store on Main Street, and it was a perfect location, plenty of foot traffic, high visibility, in the center of it all.

Know Your Business (Plan)

Next is a business plan. This is very important to being successful. With all the information available on the internet you should be able to get all the data that you need to put together a plan, or you can contact the Small Business Development Center at your local college or university. Most are happy to assist you in putting together a business plan.

If your community has a small business or economic development organization, visit their website and check out their resources. Some offer classes as well.

Choose Wisely

Next, and I think this is the most important, is hiring the right people and teaching them great customer service.

I talk a lot about taking care of your customers. There was a video store on Main Street that only hired people who smiled. That’s the right approach – pick people with a positive attitude, and they will make you successful.

A Story of Outstanding Customer Service

I love to tell stories because they’re memorable. This is one of my favorites. A business woman went into a restaurant in New York City, and a young male waiter waited on her. When he asked what she would like drink, she said, “I know you don’t have RC Cola, so I will just have a Pepsi or Coke.” She also ordered her meal at the same time. The young man went back to the kitchen and gave the order to the cook, and said he had to run out to the grocery store next to the restaurant and he would be right back. He proudly had the RC Cola on the tray with a glass of ice, and the customer was very surprised. She asked him where he had gotten it, and he told her the story. Every time she came back to the city, she went to that restaurant and asked for the young man to wait on her. A few months later, she was in New York again but her favorite waiter was gone – he had gotten his own restaurant! And you can be sure she became a patron of that one too.

Good customer service makes you stand out. People want to do business with you and you can parlay that customer loyalty into a million different opportunities.

Isn’t that a great story? Those are the kind of things you should be doing for your customers.


Ron Orris is the Executive Director of the Bradford Chamber of Commerce, where he has led the chamber in its adoption of social media and is a strong proponent for blogging as a way to reach your audience. Under his leadership membership has increased 40% over the past two years. He has also served as the city controller for the City of Bradford and as a store manager for Walmart, a position he values as teaching him a lot about customer service.



5K Race & 1 Mile Fun Run

Chamber Board Approves Statement on Diversity

At their May meeting the Board of Directors of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce approved the following statement on diversity:

The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce is a progressive organization that recognizes the fundamental equality of all individuals and thus strives to ensure equality of opportunity for all. The Chamber welcomes people of varied backgrounds and their contributions to our organization – an organization made stronger by the presence of diversity.

The statement is based on, and similar to, the City of Pekin's statement on diversity.  It was created by the City's Human Rights Committee. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Chamber Boad Approves New Vision / Mission Statements

At their May meeting the Board of Directors of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce approved a new strategic plan for the organization.  The plan sets the direction for the organization for the next 3 to 5 years.  Part of that plan includes new vision and mission statements:

Our Vision (Our preferred view of the future)
Pekin, Illinois: The community of choice
for home, business, and recreation.

Our Mission (What we do, why we do it, and for whom we do it)
To foster and promote a vibrant business environment
that improves the quality of life in the Pekin area.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Weekly Chamber Connection

Check out your weekly Chamber Connection Here!

Goodwill Job Fair

NASDAQ Awards Heartland Bank the Innovation in Financial Education Award

NASDAQ Awards Heartland Bank
the Innovation in Financial Education Award

 Heartland Bank and Trust Company was recently honored with the Innovation in Financial Education Award presented by NASDAQ and EverFi.  The award recognizes its significant efforts to improve the financial capability of young Americans. Twenty-five financial institutions were honored with this distinction at a ceremony hosted at NASDAQ’s Marketsite headquarters in New York City.

Honorees were selected based on a set of criteria that included the scale and reach of their financial education initiatives, the duration of their commitment, and unique employee volunteering activities that supplement their programs.

“NASDAQ is committed to fostering innovation and economic growth, and the institutions we’re recognizing here today have led exceptional efforts to rethink how financial education is taught in our nation’s schools,” said NASDAQ Executive Vice President Nelson Griggs. “Our global competitiveness is dependent on the next generation understanding how the economy works and how to achieve financial security in their lives. We are grateful to the organizations that are helping pave a brighter future for students today.”

As young adults are faced with increasingly complex financial decisions, Heartland Bank is committed to providing students with the skills and knowledge needed in order to succeed. Heartland Bank has partnered with EverFi to bring the financial education program to local students at no cost to schools or taxpayers and has reached over 4,628 students since 2012. The web-based program uses the latest in new media technology – simulations, gaming and adaptive-pathing – to bring complex financial concepts to life for today’s digital generation.   
The Heartland Bank Money Matters Program provides the foundation for a better life for kids and their families, as they learn to avoid financial choices that they may encounter in the future.  “We are committed to serving local residents by using our resources and our voices to advocate on their behalf.  These outreach efforts reflect our community bank heritage and demonstrate our community-wide allegiance,” said Heartland Bank Chief Executive Officer, Fred Drake.

A FINRA-funded study released in February 2015 found that students who received rigorous financial education in high school saw increased credit scores and decreased chance of credit delinquency as young adults, compared to their peers who did not receive financial education. Data collected from nearly 1,839 students who completed the Heartland Bank Money Matters in the 2013-2014 academic year revealed that students’ understanding of credit scores increased by an average 30% after interacting with the curriculum.

Administered by teachers in a classroom setting, the web-based course offers over six hours of programming on a variety of financial topics including credit scores, insurance, credit cards, student loans, mortgages, taxes, stocks, savings, 401k’s and other critical concepts that map to national financial literacy standards. The platform uniquely tracks the progress and performance of every student.

Dash at Dusk 5K

Monday, May 11, 2015


CEFCU is pleased to announce that members have the ability to access Apple Pay, a new category of service that will transform mobile payments with an easy, secure, and private way to pay.  Any CEFCU Debit MasterCard or Credit MasterCard, may be used with Apple Pay.  Cardholders will enroll in Apple Pay directly on their Apple compatible device.

Security and privacy is at the core of Apple Pay. When you add a credit or debit card with Apple Pay, the actual card numbers are not stored on the device nor on Apple servers. Instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted, and securely stored in the Secure Element on your device. Each transaction is authorized with a one-time unique dynamic security code, instead of using the security code from the back of your card.

Denise Ghere, CEFCU Vice President, states, “CEFCU is very excited to offer Apple Pay to members.  It’s just another secure, fast, and convenient way to pay for purchases.”  

In participating stores, Apple Pay will work with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and Apple Watch, upon availability. Within apps, Apple Pay is compatible with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3.”  For more information on Apple Pay, visit:

Pekin Academy of Fine Arts Girlz Night Out Spring Soiree

Thursday Night is Girls Night Out. Bring a bottle of wine to share and come hang with us while you shop for the latest trends from local vendors! Its going to be great so bring a friend

Hopedale Medical Complex Celebrates 60 Years

The Hopedale Medical Complex celebrated their 60th anniversary with a ribbon cutting and a hospital re-dedication for the recently completed addition.  The public enjoyed tours and refreshments prior to the ceremony.

Monsignor Timothy Nolan gave an invocation and blessing before the ribbon cutting by the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce.  Speakers during the program included Mark Rossi, COO; Dr. Alfred N. Rossi, MD, CEO; Mrs. Lorayne Rossi; Dr. Casey J. Graybeal, MD; Hopedale Mayor Ace Eilts, and State Senators Bill Brady and Darin LaHood.

The $10.25 million addition added 35,000 square feet, including 6 new patient rooms, 6 outpatient surgery suites, 3 ER suites, new ICU, and a helipad.  More photos are available at

Friday, May 8, 2015

May After Hours Recap

Thanks to Good Shepherd Lutheran School - the host of the May 7th Business After Hours.  Chamber members learned about the school by visiting with teachers and staff in their classrooms.  They also enjoyed refreshments and a door prize drawing.  You can see more pictures from this event at

Shade-Lohmann Bridge Lane Closures

The Illinois Department of Transportation announces that daytime lane closures on I-474 at the Shade-Lohmann Bridge over the Illinois River will take place during the next two weeks.
May 11-May 15· One lane of eastbound I-474 will be closed from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily

May 18-May 22· One lane of westbound I-474 will be closed from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily

The lane closures are necessary for crews to complete a routine inspection of the bridge.

Please slow down and use extreme caution while driving through all work zones.

For IDOT District 4 updates on Twitter, follow us at

For updated traffic information and views from dozens of traffic cameras in Peoria and surrounding areas, visit

Monday, May 4, 2015

Goodwill to Hold Ribbon Cutting and Press Conference

Illinois American Water Launches Facebook Photo Contest during National Drinking Water Week to Support local Firefighters

Illinois American Water announced today that several local volunteer fire departments will have the opportunity to earn funds through a Company sponsored social media photo contest. The contest is being launched during National Drinking Water Week, May 3-9, 2015 to highlight the role drinking water plays in critical fire protection.  

The social media contest supports this year’s National Drinking Water Week’s theme, “What do you know about H2O?” because it brings awareness to the role drinking water plays in fire protection. According to Illinois American Water President, Bruce Hauk, customers may be surprised to learn that Illinois American Water tests and maintains every fire hydrant – over 29,000 – across the Illinois American Water system.  

Hauk said, “We are proud of the role our team plays in ensuring public safety and we value the partnerships we have with local firefighters.  This contest is another opportunity to give back to our local heroes.”

The public is invited to vote for their favorite photo today through May 15, 2015 at  The organizations participating are listed below along with their Illinois American Water service area:
·        Alton District – Godfrey Fire Protection District and Q.E.M. Fire Protection District
·        Cairo District – Cairo Fire Department
·        Champaign County District – Urbana Fire Department
·        Chicago Metro District – Northwest Homer Fire Protection District and Lemont Fire Protection District
·        Interurban (Metro East ) District – Northwest St. Clair County Fire Department
·        Lincoln         District –  Lincoln Fire Department
·        Pekin District – Pekin Fire Department
·        Peoria District – Peoria Fire Department
·        Pontiac District – Pontiac Fire Department
·        South Beloit District – South Beloit Fire Department
·        Sterling District – Sterling Fire Department
·        Streator District – Streator Fire Department

The three photos with the most votes will earn their organization $1,250 (first place), $1,000 (second place) and $750 (third place).  The winners will be announced shortly after the contest closes.

About Illinois American Water
Illinois American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.2 million people. American Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville. Founded in 1886, American Water (NYSE: AWK) is the largest and most geographically diverse publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 6,400 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in more than 45 states and parts of Canada. More information can be found at

Community Conversation

Mashie's Mother's Day Buffet

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Membership Renewals

Thanks to the following businesses, organizations, and individuals who recently renewed their investment in the mission of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce.
1-Star Members
FCI Pekin
First Pekin Savings Bank
PAL Health Technologies
Classic Members
125 Salon
American Motor Trends
Boys & Girls Club of Pekin
Faith Baptist Christian School
Family Quick Care Pekin
Henricksen & Co., Inc.
Illinois Central College
Lange Animal Clinic
PNC Bank
Richardson Counseling Center, LLC
Riviera Tan
St. Joseph Catholic Church
State Representative Mike Unes
Sun Loan Company
Uftring Chrysler Dodge Jeep

Individual Member
Rosiere, Les

April Biz Barometer

Friday, May 1, 2015

Baird Ice Company Ribbon Cutting

Representatives from the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce, along with Pekin's Mayor-Elect, John McCabe, welcomed a new business to Pekin with a ribbon cutting on April 30th.  David and Laura Baird are the owners of Baird Ice Company.  Their self-serve ice house is located at 318 Derby Street (corner of Summer & Derby). They offer a healthier and ecologically responsible option to other ice options. Water is filtered twice and passed thru UV light. The Ice House is open 24/7 and dispenses 16 lbs bags of ice or 20 lbs of bulk ice for $2.  Water is 25 cents per gallon or 5 gallons for $1.00.

Chamber Members Hold Springfield Legislative Day

Sixty business and community leaders from 10 chambers of commerce attended the CIRCLE Legislative Day in Springfield on April 30th.  They discussed four issues that have an impact on the local employers:  an increase in the minimum wage, workers comp costs, workforce development, and the state's pension system.  Several central Illinois legislators attended the event and listened to the concerns of the business community.  The group also heard from Governor Bruce Rauner, Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, and the Director of the Director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Jim Schultz.  You can see more pictures from this event at: 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Book Signing Hosted by Pekin Academy of Fine Arts at The Speakeasy Art Center

The Pekin Academy of Fine Arts loacted at The Speakeasy Art Center will be hosting a book signing event for Pekin native D.R. Lunsford on May 9, 2015 from 2-4. Mr Lunsford is a Pekin native who resides in Santa Monica California. He will be visiting Pekin for the weekend promoting his book..  His first book, To Laugh Think and Feel is an Anthology of story shorts (as he likes to call them) The book is written in a colloquial, easy to read style. Written much like Mark Twain in it's folksy and yet riveting composition. Lunsford's stories have an arc, great descriptions, and often resolve with a moral payoff. Jeff Oakley will entertain during the event. 

McDaniels Healthcare Marketing Develops Groundbreaking Letter-Writing Module for Certificate of Need Process

McDaniels Healthcare Marketing, a communications firm headquartered in Pekin, Ill., recently worked with HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville, Ill., to develop a first-of-its-kind letter-writing module that easily enables the community to show support of a proposed replacement hospital as part of the state’s certificate of need (CON) process.
“St. Elizabeth’s needed an efficient way to inform the public about this project and enable them to show their support,” Randy McDaniels, president of the agency, said. “Our staff teamed with the hospital to develop a groundbreaking letter-writing module that was approved by the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board (HFSRB) staff. The microsite ( allowed community members to submit their letters of support and even sign them electronically online.”

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital submitted a request to the State of Illinois HFSRB on August 25, 2014. To more effectively provide for the healthcare needs of the community, they were seeking to build a replacement hospital in O’Fallon. The idea of a microsite that could be used to inform the community and allow them to submit letters online first started in the project’s planning phases and continued with its launch in June of 2015. The letter module was turned off after the recent CON approval, but the microsite is still accessible.

The module offered easy access to details, drawings and news about the project, along with information on community support and the current hospital, frequently asked questions, a link to Facebook and a related resources page. Visitors were also able to sign up for email updates.

“For healthcare facilities challenged to earn support from the public on projects, the online module was extremely successful. As more and more people are tech-savvy, the online letter was utilized by more than 1,000 people. We also appreciated that it was more than a form letter. It allowed writers to enter their personal thoughts on the project for the Review Board members,” noted Kelly Barbeau, Marketing/ Communications Manager, HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.

McDaniels Healthcare Marketing draws on more than 49 years of experience to help strategically plan and execute marketing tactics for hospitals and physician practices throughout the Midwest. McDaniels also has client service offices in Bloomington and Rockford, Ill., as well as the Quad Cities. McDaniels Interactive specializes in developing websites, animation, videos, e-surveys, kiosks, ecommerce, content management systems, search engine marketing, optimization and social media to fit a variety of budgets.