Monday, May 21, 2018

SCORE: Why Direct Mail Marketing Still Works

Data from the U.S. Postal service showed that 98% of people check their mail daily.  So, don’t forget to incorporate a basic marketing tool to reach new and existing customers—direct mail.
During this webinar, we will talk about how to integrate direct mail in your marketing mix to get the best bang for your buck!
You’ll learn: 
  • Why mail is still an effective advertising medium 
  • The myths of using mail
  • How to create an effective mail campaign
  • How to integrate physical postal mail into your digital marketing strategies
  • FREE innovative automation tools to simplify your direct mail marketing

On-the -Job Training (OJT)

Employers can be reimbursed for up to 75% of on the job training wages.

OJT is a concept that has been in existence since the early 1970’s.  Eligible individuals are hired by the company, provided the training detailed in a contract and the company is reimbursed on a percentage of the basic, straight time beginning wage for a specific training period.  The training time is adjusted according to the nature of the job and the skills and knowledge that the trainee brings to the position.



It is important that no one be hired before a contract is in place.



The occupation being trained for must be on a State of Illinois list of high growth jobs and pay at least $11.44 per hour.



The reimbursement rate changes according to the size of the employer’s workforce as follows:

1)      50% for employers with more than 150 employees;

2)      65% for employers with 51 to 150 employees; and

3)      75%, for employers with 1-50 employees.

Responsibilities of the employer are to supervise, train and submit a monthly time record on a Career Link timesheet.



The trainee is to be afforded the same benefits as all other similarly situated employees.



Employers have been very satisfied with this easy, simple and mutually benefiting program.



Career Link has been providing training assistance to eligible residents of this area since 1975.  Funds are provided through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act administered by the federal Department of Labor and the Illinois Department of Commerce.

For more information, contact Norm Griffin at 309-321-0255 or ngriffin@careerlink16.com or Dona Nanney at 309-807-1375 or dnanney@careerlink16.com. 


Equal Opportunity Employer/Program 
Auxiliary aids & services available upon request to Individuals with disabilities 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Hopedale Medical Complex Scores in Top 20 in U.S. in Small Hospital Patient Satisfaction


Hopedale Medical Complex recently learned that its patient satisfaction ranking is in the top 20 of over 1,000 Critical Access Hospitals nationwide.  Critical Access Hospitals (like Hopedale Hospital) are those with 25 inpatient beds or less, and hold a special rural designation from Medicare (CMS).

The Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals were scored by The Chartis Center for Rural Health based on “best practices” for hospitals which have achieved success in one of two key areas, including a Patient perspective index which is a rating of a hospital’s performance based on two Hospital Compare (HCAHPS) measures (“Overall Rating” and “Highly Recommended)”.  Surveys are mailed to patients at the time of discharge by an independent company, and the questions are the same for all hospitals surveyed nationwide.  The National Rural Health Association will present the Top 20 award to HMC at the NRHA national conference in Kansas City in late September.  Kirby Medical Center in Monticello, Illinois, was the only other Illinois Critical Access Hospital to receive the award.

Mark Rossi, President and COO of HMC stated, “Hopedale Medical Complex has always made our patient experience a top priority.  We are extremely proud of the efforts of our physicians and staff who have contributed to our hospital achieving this outstanding designation in the area of patient satisfaction.  We have always known that our patients’ survey responses were very favorable, but scoring in the top 20 in the U.S. just validates that our healthcare team is doing a great job putting the patients’ interests first.  This kind of achievement does not happen by accident, and we will continue to work hard to maintain this high level of performance in the future.”

Hopedale Medical Complex is located in the Southern Tazewell County community of Hopedale.  Its mission is to provide outstanding physician-directed health, wellness, and residential services in a personal, private, family atmosphere.  Satellite offices are located in Manito, Delavan, Tremont, Mackinaw and Atlanta.  To learn more about wellness and community services offered at HMC visit www.hopedalemc.com.

Monday, May 14, 2018

SCORE: Generate More Sales with a Winning Marketing Funnel

Are you missing out on potential online customers? You need to understand the digital marketing funnel, also known as the customer buying journey, from awareness to conversion.
 
Deluxe’s Brad Keys will work through the marketing funnel, from the top down, to optimize every step and ensure that you are reaching your potential customers at the right time and place.
 
You’ll learn tips and strategy at each point in the funnel, including:
  • Display advertising, SEO and content marketing
  • Facebook and Instagram advertising
  • Search (Google AdWords & Bing)
  • Retargeting, email remarketing, organic social posts and reviews 

Summer is “No Off Season”


For athletes, summer is the most common off-season for competitive sports, but at Hopedale Wellness Center there is “No Off Season.” Young athletes train throughout the summer to help improve their athletic performance at the beautiful modern Wellness Center. Staffed by Certified Athletic Trainers and Corrective Exercise Specialists, athletes receive high level athletic training based on science and research to help them meet their personal goals.
Summer is the perfect time for students to increase strength, agility, speed, and explosive power. Strength and conditioning can decrease the risk of overuse injuries, which are a common cause of adolescent sports-related injuries. According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, sports with the most overuse injuries include fall sports, such as volleyball and cross-country.
No Off Season training is a personalized workout plan in a group setting. This summer there will be three separate sessions, Youth Athletes (6th-8th grade), High School & College Athletes, and Open Gym to All Ages. Training will be available Monday-Friday. Athletes can purchase a punch card of 12 sessions for $60 to join.
To learn more visit https://www.facebook.com/nooffseasonhwc or call (309) 449-4500 to register. No Off Season training is held at the Hopedale Wellness Center, a 34,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility located in Hopedale, IL.

3rd Annual Major Reid Nannen Memorial Run/Walk


            Hopedale Wellness Center is sponsoring the annual Major Reid Nannen Memorial 5K and 1 Mile Run/Walk on July 4, 2018 at 7:30am. A brand new course is featured this year. The race will now start and finish at the Hopedale Area Veterans’ Memorial located in the 200 block of Grove St. next to the Hospital’s main front entrance. The race still features monetary awards for the overall top three 5K finishers in the Male and Female division and awards for 5K top age division finishers. Refreshments will be available afterwards in the Nannen hospitality tent located in the parking lot next to the Hopedale Wellness Center, and the Wellness Center will provide locker rooms and showers from 7-10am. 
All proceeds from the race will go towards the upkeep of the Memorial. The Hopedale Area Veterans’ Memorial was dedicated on Memorial Day, 2017 as a living memorial for veterans connected to Hopedale, IL. The Memorial honors members of the Armed Forces connected to Hopedale from Civil War era veterans through service members serving today. This includes Major Nannen, a hometown hero who gave his life in 2014 serving as a fighter pilot with the U.S. Marine Corps.
            The entry fee is $25 for the 5K and $15 for the Fun Run/Walk prior to June 30th. T-shirts are guaranteed for all participants registered prior to June 8th. To register visit www.hopedalewc.com or call (309) 449-4500. Co-sponsorship is available for individuals and businesses for more information contact Greg Eberle at geberle@hopedalemc.com or (309) 449-4533.

4th Annual Gut Buster

June 9, 2018

4th Annual George Jacob Gut Buster
June 9, 2018
9:00 a.m.

Use the following coupon code to receive $10 off your registration!
LOYALRUNNER10

Neighborhood House Gut Buster 2018 Promo

PEKIN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY HOLDS ANNUAL MEETING

Pekin Life Insurance Company held its annual meeting on Tuesday, May 8, 2018, at the
Company’s Home Office in Pekin, Illinois.
The Company reported net income of $7.4 million. Premium income decreased by 10.4
percent to $199.3 million. Life Insurance in force exceeded $17.7 billion in the year
2017.
At the meeting, shareholders elected directors Craig W. Concklin, Hinsdale, Illinois;
Daniel V. Connell, Tremont, Illinois; and John S. Heller, East Peoria, Illinois, to three
year terms to expire in May 2021.
Other directors whose terms continue are: Steven R. Anderson, Loves Park, Illinois;
Byron A. Dodd, Anna, Illinois; Scott A. Martin, Chillicothe, Illinois; and Thomas C.
Hornstein, Brian K. Lee, and Christine A. Schwartz, all from Pekin, Illinois.
Pekin Life Insurance Company is an integral part of the Pekin Insurance® group of
companies.
Pekin Life Insurance Company stock trades under the symbol “PKIN” and is listed on the
OTC Pink Marketplace.

A multi-line company, Pekin Life Insurance Company offers individual life which includes
term life, whole life, universal life, as well as medicare supplement, annuity, credit
insurance, debt protection, and pre-need coverages. Additionally, Pekin Life Insurance
Company has a third party claims administration division, Group Plan Solutions, which
is designed to provide employer-based, self-funded health plan administration.
Other products offered by the Pekin Insurance group include personal automobile,
homeowners, motorcycle, recreational vehicle, boatowners, personal umbrella,
commercial automobile, businessowners, commercial property and liability, workers
compensation, commercial umbrella and bonds.
Information about Pekin Life Insurance Company can be obtained by visiting our
Internet website at www.pekininsurance.com.

SJB Promotions

Congratulations to Jill Douglas of SJB Promotions on her new business relationship with Illinois Public Higher Education Cooperative (IPHEC).

Pekin Business Showcase Winners



The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce partnered with R & B Productions for the Pekin Business Showcase at the 2018 Pekin Kids’ Festival on April 21st. Attendees at the Pekin Kids’ Festival had the opportunity to enter for six door prizes donated by four chamber businesses. Winners of Hot Shots Pizza & Slots gift certificates were Andrew Faneuf and Robert Ellmann, Greenhouse Flower Shoppe gift certificate was Amber Reed, ValuCheck Food gift cards were Toni Odell and Lindsay Oltman and a Buffalo Wild Wings gift certificate was Tenise Webber. The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce thanks the businesses for their donations and congratulates the lucky winners! #




Honor America Sponsorship


Apprenticeship Employer Reimbursement Assistance

The Apprenticeship Employer Reimbursement Assistance reimburses eligible employers up to 50% of a WIOA-eligible apprentice’s regular wages for up to 3,500 training hours worked or $25,000. 

Employer Reimbursement Assistance provides resources to employers training new and existing employees through a dual education training model.  A dual education apprenticeship is a “earn and learn” opportunity that provides a unique combination of structured learning with on-the-job training.  An apprentice is an individual who has an employment relationship with an employer and is receiving training to increase his/her skills to prepare the worker for full-time, permanent occupation within the targeted workforce.  Apprentices start working from day one with incremental wage increases as they become more proficient on the job.  The apprentice is considered to be a regular employee in all respects, entitled to the same treatment as any other similarly situated employees. 


Apprenticeship Employer Reimbursement Assistance reimburses eligible employers up to 50% of a WIOA-eligible apprentice’s regular wages for up to 3,500 training hours worked or $25,000.  Training time is reduced to the degree that the employee has relevant experience. 

The apprenticeship program and all apprentices should be registered with the federal Department of Labor.  

The occupation being trained for must be on a State of Illinois list of Demand Occupations and pay at least $11.44 per hour on average throughout the apprenticeship.

 Responsibilities of the employer are to supervise, train and submit a monthly time record on a Career Link timesheet.  The employer is reimbursed on a monthly basis throughout the Apprenticeship Employer Reimbursement contract.

A signed contract must be in place before the new employee can start work.

Career Link has been providing training assistance to eligible residents of this area since 1975.  Funds are provided through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act administered by the federal Department of Labor and the Illinois Department of Commerce.

For more information, contact Norm Griffin at 309-321-0255 or ngriffin@careerlink16.com or Dona Nanney at 309-807-1375 or dnanney@careerlink16.com. 


Equal Opportunity Employer/Program 

Auxiliary aids & services available upon request to Individuals with disabilities.

Monday, May 7, 2018

What is Career Link?


Career Link is a non-profit organization that has administered federal job training programs in Central Illinois since 1975. Funds are provided through the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) administered by the Federal Department of Labor and the Illinois Department of Commerce. Our mission is to enhance the productivity and competitiveness of our community by linking individuals with employment opportunities through training and services.

Career Link Programs
1. On–the-Job Training (OJT) Assistance- OJT reimburses employers 50% of an eligible new hire’s wages during training. The training period is customized to the skill level of the job position and the experience of the applicant. The job must pay at least $11.44 per hour and be full time with benefits. A contract with Career Link must be signed BEFORE the eligible individual is hired.

2. Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) Assistance- IWT helps employers upgrade the skills of their current workforce. IWT can reimburse employers between 50-100% of training costs when a percentage match is paid by the company (in the form of employee wages) during training. The size of the match depends on the size of the company. For example, if training per individual costs $1,000, the employer’s match would be $500 wages to that individual during the training period. The employer would be reimbursed $1,000 per individual upon completion of the planned training. To be considered an “incumbent worker,” the employee must have worked for the employer at least six months. A contract with Career Link must be signed BEFORE the start of the training.

3. Recruitment Assistance - Career Link is an excellent resource for recruiting from entry-level to highly skilled workers. We post job ads in our eight public Career Resource Centers and email them to over 170 contacts at community agencies throughout Central Illinois. Reduce the traffic in your lobby by making Career Link your point of contact for job seekers. We distribute several employers’ job applications in our Career Resource Centers and mail the completed forms to the companies. Career Link hosts mini-job fairs called Career Connections in our public Career Resource Centers. Let us do the advertising, organizing and setting up; just show up and meet with job seekers!

For more information, contact Norm Griffin at 309-321-0255 or ngriffin@careerlink16.com or Dona Nanney at 309-807-1375 or dnanney@careerlink16.com. 

Equal Opportunity Employer/Program  Auxiliary aids & services available upon request to Individuals with disabilities.


Become Certified to Contract with the Government

Would you like to sell your product or services to the Federal Government?  The U.S. government awards more than $500 billion in contracts, and 23% of those contracts are available for small businesses.
 
In this session, SCORE mentor Karen Williams and SBA's Policy, Planning and Liaison Director Kenneth Dodds discuss how to become a certified small business to contract with the government.
 
You will learn:
  • Certifications needed for set-asides (contracts designated for small businesses)
  • Requirements for set-asides
  • Qualifications for set-aside procurements
  • Next steps to get qualified

About the presenters

Karen Williams - District Director for the Washington DC SCORE District
Karen Williams - District Director for the Washington DC SCORE District Image
Karen A. Williams retired from Northrop Grumman Corporation as the vice president of corporate contracts, pricing & supply chain in 2013 and currently serves as the District Director for the Washington, DC SCORE District.  She is also a member of the SCORE Advisory Council and the SCORE Women's Cohort Group.
 
Previously, Ms. Williams was the Chapter Chair of the Washington, DC SCORE Chapter.  SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.
Kenneth Dodds - Director of Policy, Planning and Liaison at Small Business Administration
Kenneth Dodds - Director of Policy, Planning and Liaison at Small Business Administration Image
Mr. Kenneth Dodds is the Director of Policy, Planning and Liaison at the Small Business Administration (SBA).
 
His office is responsible for small business government contracting regulations, small business size standards, and small business prime contracting goals for executive agencies. Mr. Dodds has served in many roles at SBA including Director of the Office of Government Contracting and senior attorney in the Office of General Counsel.
 
He is a graduate of James Madison University and received his law degree from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Grace United Methodist Church Business After Hours

Forty chamber members and their guests attended the May 3rd Business After Hours hosted by Grace United Methodist Church.  The church council and staff served up delicious food, gave tours, and drew for over $200 in door prizes.  You can see more pictures from this event at:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/VkLZotH6oXMObzWK2

Illinois Central College Welcomes Dr. Andrew Kerr to Lead its Workforce Development Initiative


            Illinois Central College recently welcomed Dr. Andrew Kerr in its newly created position of Associate Vice President of Workforce Development. The new position will play a vital role in directing ICC’s increased focus on serving the community through workforce development in the region, including apprenticeship opportunities and partnerships with local industry.
            “We are fortunate to have Andrew on board at ICC,” said ICC President Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey. “He will provide leadership for workforce training initiatives and business and industry partnerships to advance the development of and enrollment in college-ready programs for business and industry. His extensive expertise in the areas of global education, leadership administration, project management, and faculty development will be a valuable asset as he leads the Professional Development Institute, College and Career Readiness, and the Career Center.”
            Kerr’s position will be actively involved in regional economic development, employer organization, and district high schools to ensure program outreach and alignment.
            He is an ICC alumnus and also holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in communication from Western Illinois University. He earned his Ed.D. in Interdisciplinary Leadership from Creighton University.
            For more information on ICC’s workforce development initiatives, contact ICC at (309) 694-5-ICC or visit icc.edu.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

PRAIRIE WIND ENSEMBLE, IN RESIDENCE AT ILLINOIS CENTRAL COLLEGE, PRESENTS 40TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT MAY 11


The Prairie Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Jim Tallman, will celebrate the ensemble’s 40th anniversary concert on Friday, May 11 at 7:30 pm in the Illinois Central College Performing Arts Center, located on the East Peoria Campus. The ensemble, in residence at ICC, will present this special concert featuring special C selections, former conductors, 2017-18 Earl Barnes Student Soloist Competition winner Amy Zhou and saxophone players from area high schools.

The PWE has a rich history owed to its founder, Conductor Emeritus Dr. Donald Lewellen, who created the ensemble in 1977. Lewellen led the ensemble until his retirement in 2003. Lewellen has written a selection, Legacy, which will be premiered during this milestone concert.

Other musical selections for this concert will include: The Blue Ridge and Skydance, both written by Roberts Sheldon; Song for Lindsay by Andrew Boysen, Jr. and Prairie Wind, which was written for the ensemble several years ago by Greg Sanders, along with other selections important to the PWE’s history. Student soloist Zhou will perform Debussy’s Premiere Rhapsody. In a total contrast, Root Beer Rag will feature several area high school saxophone players, offering a variety of music for everyone coming to the concert.

Tallman is in his 25th year at Washington Community High School, where he is director of bands, department chair for fine arts and a speech communication teacher. He performed with the Prairie Wind Ensemble before being selected as its sixth conductor.

Lewellen has continued to be active in the field of music. He was commissioned to write a composition celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Peoria Philharmonic Chorale. He has completed two string quartets and two compositions for concert band. In addition, working with noted composer and flutist Gary Shocker, Lewellen transcribed several of Shocker’s compositions for flute and various accompaniments into flute and concert band. Lewellen spends his summers in Chetek, Wisc., fishing, reading and tying flies. He enjoys missing the cold weather by spending time in Florida in the winter.

George Foeller, former assistant conductor, is professor emeritus of music at Illinois State University, where he was director of bands and assistant chairman of the music department. Prior to his appointment at ISU, he taught bands and instrumental music in the public schools of Connecticut and Texas. He spent several summers on the faculty of the Saskatchewan School of the Arts. He is co-author of the treatise Bands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and has contributed to the Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music and several Austrian publications.

Robert Sheldon, former conductor, is an internationally recognized clinician. Sheldon has conducted numerous regional and all-state honor bands throughout the United States and abroad. His teaching career included 28 years in the Florida and Illinois public schools as well as at the University of Florida, Florida State University, Illinois Central College and Bradley University. He also held the position of conductor of the Alachua County Youth Orchestra in Gainesville, Fla. He maintains memberships in several organizations that promote music and music education. He is lead author for the Sound Innovations for Band method books and is a co-author for Volume 1 of the Measures of Success method book and the Sound Innovations for Strings method books.

Dr. Joseph Manfredo, former conductor, spent 40 years of teaching at various universities and high schools, before retiring in June 2017 from Illinois State University. In constant demand as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator, Manfredo has conducted various all-state bands and honor bands throughout the United States and Canada. His collegiate bands have been selected to perform at national, regional and state conferences. Since August 2011, he has been conductor of the festival band for the Leonard Falcone International Euphonium and Tuba Festival.

Amy Zhou, 2017-18 Earl Barnes Student Soloist winner, is a junior at Dunlap High School and is the daughter of Suyun Geng and Jianxun Zhou. She began playing the clarinet at Guilderland Elementary School in New York in 4th grade. She is very involved at school; not only is she in several clubs, but she is an AP Student and has a 4.0 grade point average. She first studied privately with Ruth Clark and currently is a student of Sherill Diepenbrock. Her band director at Dunlap Valley Middle School was Tina Holloway, and she is currently under the direction of Jill Potts and Jason Shea at Dunlap High School. Zhou performs with the Central Illinois Youth Symphony, the Central Illinois Clarinet Choir and is principal clarinet of the Dunlap Wind Ensemble. This year, she placed third in the Peoria Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artists competition and also has won the Central Illinois Youth Symphony Concerto Competition.

The membership of the Prairie Wind Ensemble represents many professional backgrounds. Approximately 70 percent of members are current or retired professional music educators. The remainder represent a diverse set of occupations including recording technician, nurse, educator, anesthesiologist, information technologist, electronics technician, engineer, attorney, homemaker, electrician, retail manager and project manager. Members travel weekly from Knoxville, Canton, Macomb, Bloomington, Normal, Peoria Heights, Washington, North Pekin, Marquette Heights, Avon, Morton, Cuba, Galesburg, Chillicothe, Dunlap, Glasford, Mapleton, Bartonville, Metamora, Germantown Hills, Marseilles, Farmington, Elmwood as well as Peoria, East Peoria and Morton to perform with the group.

The event is the final concert of the PWE’s 40th anniversary season.

The Prairie Wind Ensemble is supported as an in-residence ensemble by the Arts at ICC, which has a rich history of enhancing the arts community and expanding education beyond the classroom. Arts at ICC presents more than 500 exhibits, performances, lectures, rehearsals, meetings, master classes, clinics, seminars, receptions, orientations, forums, auditions and tournaments annually.

Tickets cost $10 for the general public and $8 for students and senior citizens. Children under 12 are free. Tickets may be purchased online at ArtsAtICC.com or through the ICC Performing Arts Center box office in person or by phone at (309) 694-5136. Tickets are sold in advance as well as at the door the day of the performance, subject to availability.

Additional information, pictures, contacts and updates about the PWE can be found at the group’s web site, prairiewindensemble.com. Additional information about the group is available from PWE board chair Katrina Fitzpatrick at katrina.fitzpatrick@mcusd709.org or publicity chair Elizabeth Lehnhausen Driscoll at eldriscoll49@gmail.com.


Kiwanis Bike Safety Rodeo


Digging in at the HMC Community Garden Project


On Saturday, May 12th residents, staff and volunteers will begin digging into the community garden project in Hopedale, IL. They will be planting vegetables, fruits and herbs. The newest plot will feature vining squash. The garden is located at White Fence Estate, previously the private residence of Dr. Lawrence J. Rossi, Sr., founder of Hopedale Medical Complex (HMC). When he opened Hopedale Hospital, Dr. Rossi’s vision was to serve the community by meeting a need for local medical care.
Dr. Rossi continually found new ways to serve, and expanded the hospital to include a nursing home, assisted living, and more. The community garden is an extension of Dr. Rossi’s vision that comes full circle; utilizing his beautiful property to serve the nutritional needs of Hopedale Township and the greater Tazewell, Peoria, and Woodford county areas.
As harvesting begins, garden vegetables will be served in farm-to-table recipes at Hopedale’s Grove Street CafĂ©, These vegetables will also be a regular side dish on Sunday’s Fried Chicken Lunches.  Produce will be distributed through community partners including Peoria’s GITM Foundation (Gifts in the Moment). Through the Good Food Recovery program, produce from the community garden will be distributed to areas in need of produce, such as food banks and low-income food deserts.
If you would like to join Hopedale’s Community Garden Project as a volunteer, please contact Jill Miller-Roberts, Volunteer Coordinator, at (309) 449-4290 or Greg Eberle, Coordinator of Community Health and Wellness at (309) 449-4533. To learn more about Hopedale Medical Complex visit https://www.hopedalemc.com

Heartland Bank and Trust Company Promotes Angela Witt to Retail Manager in Eureka


Heartland Bank and Trust Company announces that Angela Witt has been promoted to Retail Manager in Eureka. Witt is located at the bank’s 108 North Main Street branch but also manages the locations at 1821 South Main Street and 202 West Center Street. She is responsible for ensuring value and top-of-the-line service to bank customers and overseeing retail employee development and training.
Witt joined Heartland Bank in 2017, and most recently served as the local Retail Supervisor for the bank. She has 24 years of banking experience. Witt is a proud native and current resident of Washington with her husband Corey.

Heartland Bank and Trust Company is an independently owned community bank with assets of $3 billion. Headquartered in Bloomington, IL, the bank has offices in communities throughout Illinois. The bank offers a complete line of financial services to commercial and retail customers. More information is available on the bank’s website at www.hbtbank.com.

Tremont Medical Arts Celebrates One Year Anniversary


Tremont Medical Arts (TMA) is celebrating its first anniversary on May 13, 2018. Staffed by experienced physicians, TMA specializes in physician directed care for residents of the Tremont, Morton, Pekin, and Mackinaw areas. Patients experience personalized care, because TMA recognizes how important it is that you have access to your own, personal physician who is knowledgeable about your care.
                TMA is staffed by three experienced physicians: Dr. Trent Proehl, Dr. Rebecca Proehl, and Dr. Matthew Rossi. Dr. Rebecca Proehl specializes in primary care, women’s health and pediatrics. Her husband, Dr. Trent Proehl, is a general surgeon who also practices primary care. Dr. Matthew Rossi is a general and vascular surgeon who also practices primary care.  Drs. Proehl and Rossi consider it a privilege to serve their hometown of Tremont through exceptional care, and through local speaking events such as ‘Dinner with the Doctor.’
            TMA is supported by the Hopedale Medical Complex, just 10 minutes away, where you can expect “5 star” personal service – and modern technology that you might typically see only at the larger urban hospitals. This includes a 24-hour modern emergency room (15 minute waits), Intensive Care Unit, large modern patient rooms, outpatient surgery center, diagnostic services (Lab, CT, MRI, Endoscopy, 3D Mammo), huge Wellness Center, and comprehensive orthopedic and spine surgery services. Our physical therapy department is second to none!
The Tremont doctors are accepting new patients; to schedule an appointment call (309) 925-2778 or visit TMA online at www.hopedalemc.com.

Monday, April 30, 2018

PROFESSIONAL THERAPY SERVICES EMPLOYEES RECEIVE AWARDS FOR PT AND PTA OF THE YEAR!


Jean Kestner, PT, MSPhysical Therapist of the Year Award
Jean Kestner, PT, MS is the Physical Therapist at Liberty Village Pekin Manor and has served the Illinois PT Association Chapter over a long career and demonstrated a strong commitment to the profession in multiple roles. She is the recipient of the 2018 Physical Therapist of the Year Award from Illinois PT Association. While her nominators spoke extensively about her contributions over the last 42 years, the contributions that she made in 2017 as the IPTA Western District Chair and as a delegate to the APTA House made her an excellent candidate for this award. As the Western District Chair, Jean worked to incorporate technology to increase member participation, created opportunity for student participation by hosting a meeting at Bradley University, and encouraged district members to run for office within the association and volunteer for committee work. Jean has also been an advocate for IPTA issues, including the IPTA #ChoosePT campaign,

Sara Owens, PTA 
Physical Therapist Assistant of the Year Award

Sara Owens, PTA  is the Site Manger at PTS Morton Outpatient Clinic located in UnityPoint Methodist Medpoint Office at 1909 N Morton Ave.  She earned her certification in applied functional science and has also graduated from the Illinois Spine and Pain Institute as a Therapeutic Pain Specialist.  She is the recipient of the 2018 Physical Therapist Assistant of the Year Award from Illinois PT Association. Sara is also a Morton Chamber Ambassador and enjoys helping with the Pumpkin Festival every year. Sara also acts as the Coordinator of Clinical Education and the Coordinator of Clinical Excellence to ensure quality care within PTS. Sara is an IPTA Western District member who, in the 8 years since graduating from Illinois Central College, has distinguished herself as a leader. Sara has served as Western District’s Secretary/Treasurer as well as on the districts nominating committee and as an Assembly Representative. She currently serves on the IPTA Finance Committee. Sara clearly made significant contributions in 2017 and is on track to contribute much more in the future.

Illinois American Water Announces 2018 Environmental Grant Recipients

Illinois American Water announced today that 10 watershed initiatives across the state will receive funding through the company’s 2018 Environmental Grant Program. The recipients will receive a share of grant funds totaling $22,750 for community projects that improve, restore or protect watersheds.

This announcement is being made in conjunction with Earth Week to remind consumers of the vital need to protect our precious resource every day for future generations. “At Illinois American Water, Earth Day is every day. Our team works hard to not only provide clean water for life, but for our communities to thrive,” said Bruce Hauk, president of Illinois American Water.

Illinois American Water is awarding the 2018 Environmental Grants as follows:
- Foundation for Ohio River Education will receive a $1,000 grant to fund the Ohio River Sweep. The funds will supply gloves and other materials to volunteers cleaning up the Ohio River.
- Bolingbrook Park District will receive a $4,000 grant for the DuPage River Ecological Improvements which focuses on removing invasive species from along the DuPage River and restoring the natural landscape. The project will reduce the occurrence of invasive species to less than 10% in the area. In addition, native planting will restore the natural landscape.
- Lincoln College will receive a $3,645 grant to increase watershed awareness, specifically stream-bank erosion along Sugar Creek. The funding will be used to install a boardwalk to make the area handicap accessible.
- Nature at the Confluence, Inc. in South Beloit will receive a $3,000 grant for the Kelly Creek Clean-Up. The project will engage community volunteers to clean up Kelly Creek, a major water asset on the Nature At The Confluence, Inc. property. Stream monitoring and water quality testing before and after the clean-up with measure results to educate about the impact of watershed clean ups.
- Pekin Park District will receive a $2,000 grant for the continued Lick Creek Watershed Invasive Species Control and Restoration project to eliminate invasive species along the Lick Creek corridor. Funds will be used to restore native plants to improve forest quality and help to control creek-side erosion. - Peoria Park District will receive two grants for two different projects. A $730 grant will support the Heal the Hill Prairie at Forest Park Nature Center. Volunteers will remove invasive species and restore the bluffs, decreasing erosion and sedimentation of the river. An $875 grant will support the Illinois River Sweep. Funds will help supply gloves, trash bags, dumpsters and tire recycling. - Peoria Playhouse Children’s Museum will receive a $2,000 grant for the Journey to Sea project. The project is a collaboration between the Peoria PlayHouse, Bradley University and The Sun Foundation. Together they will create a PlayHouse art exhibit to illustrate the devastating impact of plastic pollution on water.
- Senior Services Plus, Inc. in Godfrey will receive a $3,500 grant to construct a detention/infiltration bioswale and rain garden. This project is an extension of their initiative to grow their own food to feed local senior citizens. - Woodridge School District #68 will receive a $2,000 grant for their permeable paver parking lot at Meadowview Elementary School. The project will decrease storm water runoff.

Customers can make a difference by getting involved in these projects as well as using water wisely. Customers can help protect our precious resources through the following actions:
• Be conscious of daily water use and take the necessary steps to be water smart.
• Be sure that leaking pipes and faucets — indoors and outdoors — are repaired.
• Take care in garden, lawn, garage or other home product use and ensure they do not impact groundwater.
• Dispose of chemicals or other potentially harmful products properly by not pouring them directly into home drains, the sewer, street drains or the lawn.
• Learn more about water through the annual local water quality reports. American Water customers can access their report by zip code on the company’s website at www.illinoisamwater.com under the Water Quality tab.

To learn more about the Environmental Grant Program, Water Quality and Wise Water Use, please visit www.illinoisamwater.com.
About Illinois American Water - Illinois American Water, a 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 1.3 million people. American Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville.
With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 6,900 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 46 states and Ontario, Canada. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit amwater.com and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Spring Fling Community Fundraiser


Every year the Herbal Springs Wellness Center in Pekin hosts its annual Spring Fling Community Fundraiser, a vendor based community fundraiser open to the public. Each year they choose a non-for-profit community organization as beneficiary for the fundraising efforts.  This year the Spring Fling has chosen the Illinois River Valley Special Recreation Association. IRVSRA is in the process of renovating 2000 sq. ft. of space in the old Pekin Park Mineral Springs Pool House to host many of its day camps, programs, and activities for the Tazewell County area special needs community.  The Spring Fling event will take place at the Miller Senior Citizens Center at 551 S. 14th St. in Pekin and will run from 11am-3pm.  It is an open house style event, so stop by any time.  Entry is free and there will be raffle prizes, silent auctions, lunch, snacks, an IRVSRA cheer team performance at noon, as well as several area vendors from the likes of Pampered Chef, Lula Roe, Pink Zebra, Thirty-One and more!  For more about IRVSRA please visit www.irvsra.org.  If you have any questions about attending, donating to the event, or renting a booth, please contact Event Coordinator, Michelle Johnson, at roxego2@yahoo.com or (309) 267-8883.

Day:                       Saturday
Date:                     May 5
Time:                     11:00a -3:00p
Fee:                      FREE to attend
Location:               Miller Senior Citizen Center
                             551 S. 14th Street
                             Pekin, IL 61554

Thursday, April 26, 2018

PHILHARMONIC CHORALE, IN RESIDENCE AT ILLINOIS CENTRAL COLLEGE, PRESENTS SPRING CONCERT MAY 6


The Philharmonic Chorale, in residence at Illinois Central College, will present its spring concert Landscapes and Anthems on Sun., May 6 at 2:30 pm in the ICC Performing Arts Center, located on the East Peoria Campus.

Music in the first half of the concert includes past and present choral music favorites, including Festival Sanctus by John Leavitt, Gloria by Paul Basler, Northern Lights from Norwegian composer Ola Gjeillo and Finale from the Gondoliers by the collaborative team of Gilbert and Sullivan, featuring accompaniment by pianists Carol Spayer and ICC faculty member Walter Stout. 

Selections in the second half of the concert features folk song arrangements, including My Gentle Harp from Alice Parker, Nine Hundred Miles arranged by Philip Silvey and Bound for the Promised Land, arranged by Craig Courtney. In addition, a patriotic set featuring works of Z. Randall Stroope, Irving Berlin and Peter Wilhousky will complete the concert.

Landscape photography from local artists will be featured during the concert, including work from Scott Cavanah, Bryan Chumbley, Jeff Gasick, Harley Henderson, Neil Larimore, Maureen Leuba, Ken Paulsen, Scott Paulsen and Jeffrey Shelton.

Walter Stout, ICC adjunct faculty member in music, joins Philharmonic accompanist Carol Spayer for two selections during the concert. Stout serves as organist at Bethel Lutheran Church in Bartonville and Forrest Hill United Methodist Church in Peoria.

               This Philharmonic Chorale is supported as an in-residence ensemble by the Arts at ICC, which has a rich history of enhancing the arts community and expanding education beyond the classroom. Arts at ICC presents more than 500 exhibits, performances, lectures, rehearsals, meetings, master classes, clinics, seminars, receptions, orientations, forums, auditions and tournaments annually.

Tickets are $12 for the general public and $10 for students and senior citizens and can be purchased online at ArtsAtICC.com. Tickets are also available at the ICC Performing Arts Center Box Office in person or by phone at (309) 694-5136.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Busey Consistently Named Among Best Places to Work in Illinois

For a third consecutive year, First Busey Corporation (“Busey”) is honored to be named among the Best Places to Work in Illinois. The survey and awards program identifies, recognizes and honors the best places of employment in Illinois—benefiting the state’s economy, workforce and businesses.

The 2018 Best Places to Work in Illinois is presented in partnership by The Daily Herald Business Ledger, the Human Resources Management Association of Chicago (HRMAC), the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, MRA-The Management Association, the Small Business Advocacy Council, the Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce and Best Companies Group. Busey is among 21 companies recognized in the large employer category (500 or more U.S. employees).

To determine the 2018 Best Places to Work in Illinois, companies were nominated in a two-part process. First, organizations were evaluated on their workplace policies, practices and demographics—representing 25 percent of their total score. The second part, worth approximately 75 percent of the total evaluation, consisted of an employee survey to measure their experience. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking.

Busey will be recognized and honored at the Best Places to Work in Illinois awards ceremony coordinated by the Daily Herald Business Ledger on Thursday, May 17 and will be profiled in a special publication of the Daily Herald Business Ledger on Monday, June 18. The final rankings will be announced at the event and at www.dhbusinessledger.com.


For more information on the 2018 Best Places to Work in Illinois program, visit www.BestPlacestoWorkinIL.com.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

47th Annual Pekin AMBUCS Charity Auction


The 47th annual public auction will be on Friday, May 4th in the Veterans Memorial Arena in Mineral Springs Park in Pekin.  Auction starts promptly at 5 p.m.  As in past years a dozen or more auctioneers and their helpers are donating their time and talent to auction off new items and gift certificates donated by local merchants, used items from an automobile to dishes, celebrity items from the sports and entertainment world, and lots of great food like butterfly pork chop sandwiches, strawberry shortcake, pies, and more.  Chairman Jay Hall's goal this year is to raise $35,000 for more than two dozen local charities and non-profit organizations.  Free parking and free admission.  Come for the fun and leave with the bargains.  Go to pekinambucs.org for a complete list of auction items updated daily.

Transportation Research Board appoints Dawson to committee


Matthew Dawson, P.E., PTOE, a senior transportation engineer at Hanson Professional Services Inc.’s Peoria office, has been appointed to the Transportation Research Board’s Standing Committee on Geometric Design. 
Dawson will serve for three years on the committee, which researches roadway geometric design elements that affect users’ safe and efficient operations.
Dawson joined Hanson in 2010 and manages junior-level engineers and technical staff during the design and production of final construction documents. He also provides quality control review of technical documents and plans for projects throughout the Midwest. He has worked on projects including the Interstate 74 reconstruction, Washington Street improvements, 20-block Warehouse District redevelopment and Northmoor Road improvements, all in Peoria; Multimodal Corridor Enhancement (MCORE) project study and design in Champaign and Urbana; reconstruction of the Halsted Street interchange along the South Tri-State Tollway; and widening and reconstruction of a 22-mile section of Interstate 90 (Jane Addams Memorial Tollway) in Boone, Kane and McHenry counties in Illinois.
Dawson was named the Young Engineer of the Year by the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) Central Illinois Section in 2013, a Rising Star in Civil Engineering by Zweig White in 2012, one of InterBusiness Issues’ 40 Leaders Under Forty in 2011 and ASCE’s Outstanding Practitioner Adviser for Zone III in 2001. He serves on the board of directors and is the membership chair for ASCE’s Illinois Valley Branch. He also is a member of the Institute of Transportation Engineers. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering in 2000 and 2010, respectively, from Bradley University. He is a licensed professional engineer in Illinois and Idaho and a certified professional traffic operations engineer.
Hanson is a national, employee-owned consulting firm providing engineering, planning and allied services. The Peoria office is located at 7625 N. University St., Suite 200, Peoria, IL 61614. The office may be reached by phone at (309) 691-0902.