Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Honor Rewards Program

The Tazewell County Clerk/Recorder’s Office is excited to offer a service for our Veterans, known as, Honor Rewards. With Honor Rewards, Veterans can sign-up at our office or online to receive an Honor Rewards card, which qualifies them for discounts and incentives at participating businesses in our community.
We would like to offer you the opportunity to become a participating business with Honor Rewards and show your thanks and appreciation to our Veterans. What your business offers is up to you, whether it’s percentage off discount, specific dollar amount or some other incentive.
By participating, your business name with be listed on the Honor Rewards website for Tazewell  County, provided to Veterans who receive an Honor Rewards card, and also be regularly mentioned in email blasts to current Honor Rewards members. In addition, we will provide you with promotional materials like door stickers and flyers to promote that you are an Honor Rewards business member.

To become a business member, please fill out the form below mail it to the address above. Or you can apply online at by clicking the Business Sign-Up link. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Illinois American Water Sponsors Facebook Photo Contest

Some pictures are worth a thousand words. Now, they could be worth a total of $1,500 shared
by three organizations via Illinois American Water’s “Value of Water” photo contest.  The contest begins today, July 22, 2014,
on the Company’s Facebook page at

Illinois American Water invited 12 local organizations to submit photos and thoughts to depict what water service means to their
organization and community.  The photos will be posted to Illinois American Water’s Facebook page here –
The photo contest also aims to raise awareness about the role water service plays in daily lives, economic growth and fire protection.

The public can participate by voting for their favorite “Value of Water” photo beginning July 22, 2014 through August 20, 2014.  The
three photos with the most votes will earn their organization $750 (first place), $500 (second place) and $250 (third place).  The winners
will be announced soon after the contest closes. The organizations participating in the contest are listed below along with their
Illinois American Water service area:

•        Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau – Alton District
•        American Red Cross, Little Egypt Branch -- Cairo District
•        City of Waterloo -- Interurban (Metro East) District
•        Daily Bread Soup Kitchen -- Champaign District

•        Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful -- South Beloit District
•        Lincoln Community Gardens -- Lincoln District
•        Prescription Pill and Drug Disposal (P2D2) -- Pontiac District
•        Sterling Fire Department -- Sterling District
•        Streator Child Development Center -- Streator District
•        Sun Foundation -- Peoria District
•        TAPS Animal Shelter -- Pekin District
•        West Suburban Community Pantry -- Chicago Metro District

Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer Concert at Winery to Benefit Alzheimer’s Association

 The Alzheimer’s Association invites Central Illinois to its Summer Concert at the Winery from noon – 5 p.m. this Sunday, July 27, at Kickapoo Creek Winery, 6605 N. Smith Road in Edwards.  Enjoy wine tasting and relax to entertainment while supporting families affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

The $10 admission fee includes an afternoon of wine tasting and entertainment, with proceeds benefitting the Alzheimer’s Association - Central Illinois Chapter, Peoria. Popular local musical acts Jazz Slayer, Greg Williams and Boogie Shooze will perform.

Tickets may be reserved at the Alzheimer’s Association Central Illinois Chapter office by calling 800-272-3900. Tickets are also available for purchased at Kickapoo Creek Winery and will be sold at the door the day of the event.

The Alzheimer's Association-Central Illinois Chapter offers programs and support services to help improve the quality of life of area residents dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. Its mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

For more information about the concert, call Jamie Messmore at the Alzheimer’s Association at 309.681.1100 ext. 215 or 800.272.3900. For disease and caregiver information, visit the agency website at

Women's Business Resource Expo on Thursday

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), North-Central Regional Economic Development and Illinois Main Street will host the first North Central regional Women's Business Resources Expo at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites East Peoria on July 24.

“Women enterprises in the state of Illinois should be recognized as a driving economic force,” said Carol Bell, director of women’s business development at DCEO. “It’s our hope that this expo will draw particular attention to the resources that exist to help women-owned firms reach the next competitive level.”

Presentations will focus on vendor programs, procurement contracting opportunities, bidding processes and initiatives applicable to women-owned firms.

The list of panelists include Bell; Arthur Williams, Advantage Illinois; Rebecca Harmon and Deb Waldrop, Workforce Development; Chima Enyia, Central Management Services; Tory Davis, Illinois Department of Employment Security; Karen Fraase, Illinois Department of Agriculture; Debbie Myers Martin, Illinois State Treasurer's Office; Jesse Martinez, Capital Development Board; Ellisa Johnson, U.S. Census Bureau; Philip Dalmage, Illinois Department of Human Services; Susan Gibson, Illinois Department of Transportation; Dennis Kief, Economic Development Council of Central Illinois; Charles Randle, Illinois Business Financial Services; Ross Miller, Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Bradley University; Stan Lynall, Central Illinois Angels; Blake Long, UnityPoint Health-Methodist/Proctor; Fred Remmert, Meridian Health Plan; Charly Ugorji and Celeste Matheson, Caterpillar; Kendra Austin, Ameren; Colleen Callahan and Mary Warren , USDA Rural Development, and Anne Bandy, OSF HealthCare.

Participating affiliates include the region’s top companies; Caterpillar, OSF HealthCare, UnityPoint Health-Methodist/Proctor, Ameren, Meridian Health Care, and sponsors Illinois Main Street and Illinois SBDC at Bradley University.

The event will run from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on July 24. Doors open at 7:30AM. Attendees will also receive continental breakfast. To register or find out more information, call 309-647-5896, or email On-site registrations welcomed.

For more information on doing business in Illinois, go to

Midwest Dental - Pekin Joins the Chamber!

Midwest Dental - Pekin
3218 Court Street
Pekin, IL 61554
Stephanie Hartung, Marketing Coordinator
In cities, towns and rural communities, Midwest Dental offers a wide range of general dental services, cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry for patients of all ages.

July Biz Barometer

Pekin's sales tax receipts lagged behind the regional trend in June.  But employment numbers showed improvement in Pekin. 

L Pekin's July sales tax disbursement from the state was down 3.6% compared to the same month a year ago.  The 3-month running average was down 10.4% and the 12-month running average was down 9.6% compared to the same periods one year ago.

J Two of the other four large Tazewell County communities showed growth in their July disbursements from the state, compared to a year ago.  East Peoria was up 19.9% and Washington was up 5.6%.  Morton was down 3.2%.

J July sales tax disbursements for the four large Tazewell County communities as a whole, were up 6.0% compared to July of 2013.  That is a positive trend:  the 3 month running average is up 4.3% and the 12-month running average is up 2.3% compared to the same periods one year ago.
J The unemployment rate in Pekin fell to 7.5% in May.  That is the lowest unemployment rate in Pekin since December of 2008.  The unemployment rate in Tazewell County dropped to 6.6%, the lowest rate in two years.   
J Only 1,263 Pekin residents were reported as unemployed in May.  That is the lowest number since October of 2008. 
J Total non farm payroll employment increased by 288,000 in June and the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 6.1%.  Job gains were widespread, led by employment growth in professional and business services, retail trade, food services and drinking places, and health care.
J The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.4 percent in May on a seasonally adjusted basis. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 2.1 percent before seasonal adjustment.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Peoria Area Association of Realtors Joins the Chamber!

Peoria Area Association of Realtors
7307 N. Willowlake Court
Peoria, IL 61614
Dallas Hancock, CEO
Peoria Area Association of Realtors is the leading resource for realtor brokers and managing brokers for real estate standards and professionalism. PAAR is the advocate for home owenership and private property rights in Central Illinois.

Pet Supplies Plus Parking Lot Pet Party!

Pekin Hospital to Offer Diabetes Education Workshop

Pekin Hospital is pleased to offer an adult diabetes education workshop on August 18, 19, and 20.  The series of three classes will be held from 2 – 5 p.m. in the 4 South Education Classroom at Pekin Hospital.

The classes are designed to provide information on managing adult diabetes and to help diabetics learn and develop the skills of self-management of diabetes therapy.  Topics covered in the sessions will include: 

v  the importance of diabetes control and the factors that influence this control
v  how to plan meals according to food selections and serving size
v  the possible complications associated with diabetes
v  why exercise will benefit your health and make you feel good

Workshop speakers will include a Certified Diabetes Educator, Registered Dietitian, Registered Nurse, Registered Pharmacist, and Registered Medical Technician.

Class fees are $70 per person (one guest may accompany the registrant at no extra cost).  The $70 includes all three classes.  Class size is limited.  Registration deadline is August 11.  To register, please call (309) 353-0719.

World Cafe' Discussion

Saturday, July 12, 2014

July Business After Hours at Nazarene Church

The July Business After Hours was hosted by the Pekin First Church of the Nazarene.  Chamber members toured the recently completed addition, which more than doubled the size of the worship facility.  Pastor Lloyd Brock and the church members proudly spoke about the additions and renovations.  And with no disrespect meant to other After Hours hosts, the July Business After Hours featured the widest selection of desserts and treats in recent memory.   You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Register Now for 2014 Brad Campbell Memorial

Goodwill GoodGuides Seeks Mentors

GoodGuides is a national youth mentoring initiative for youth ages 12-17.  GoodGuides pairs adult volunteers from the community with youth in a mentoring relationship for the purpose of providing positive guidance, career exploration, and maximizing their overall potential.  Since 2009, GoodGuides mentors have invested over 13,000 hours of mentoring and career preparation to central Illinois youth.

Goodwill has started a new GoodGuides® Youth Mentoring program year.  They anticipate over 110 youth in area schools to sign up, and they're looking for volunteer mentors to serve as positive role models to these students.  The commitment is around one hour each week and you can expect to feel how rewarding it is to make a difference to a youth and give back to your community                                                                                                                       
“I enjoy spending time with my mentee and look forward to it each week.” – GoodGuides® Volunteer

“GoodGuides has helped me set goals in my life.” – GoodGuides® Youth
They currently have many youth in the Pekin area that are in need of a mentor.  More information is available from Samantha Kinsey, Volunteer Specialist with Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois, 309-573-6592

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

SCORE Peoria Presents LinkedIn for Business

LinkedIn is social media for professionals and executives. In this workshop, presented by Jannise Bush, a small business owner and SCORE Mentor, you can find out how to connect with your target audience, build brand awareness and educate potential customers on your products and services.

The workshop is FREE but please click below to register and reserve your place
We hope you can join us!
SCORE Peoria

Monday, July 7, 2014

Robert's Run for Dyslexia

Marigold Parade Applications

Applications and rules for the 2014 Marigold Festival Parade Sponsored by Herget Bank are now available.  You can pick one up at the chamber office (402 Court Street) or download it here:

Fireworks Crew

Here is a photo of the volunteers that shoot the fireworks at Pekin's Honor America Celebration.  They get together for a safety breakfast on the morning of July 4th, then go to the stadium to prepare for the fireworks display. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Peoria Historical Society Project

The Peoria Historical Society has launched a campaign to raise money for a new air conditioning unit in the Flanagan House. The unit is important for protecting and preserving the museum’s temperature-sensitive artifacts, as well as allowing for the comfort of guests. The PHS has identified a grant that could cover half of the cost of the $18,000 unit, if it can secure the remaining $9,000. For information on how to donate, visit or call (309) 674-1921.

Wheels O'Time Museum

Wheels O’Time Museum will host a special display of Ford tractors during the month of July, featuring two tractors powered by Ford engines. The museum, located at 1710 W. Woodside Drive in Dunlap, is open on July 4th and Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 5pm from May to October. For more information ,visit  

Boys & Girls Club Karaoke Contest!



Pekin Hospital Names Foundation Director

Pekin Hospital is pleased to announce that Sherry Semonis has been named Director of the Pekin Hospital Foundation effective June 23, 2014.

In her role, Semonis will focus on fundraising for the Foundation and planning the Hospital Foundation Ball.  Semonis has a long history of fundraising for the Hospital and other charities.  She has a special talent for organizing events to make them fun and interesting while recognizing key contributors.

Semonis is a past recipient of Central Illinois 25 Women in Leadership, primarily due to her involvement with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Her commitment to the community does not stop with St. Jude however.  She has also served on boards and committees for Kiwanis Club of Pekin, United Way, Crime Stoppers, Family House, Pekin Main Street, Susan G. Komen, and the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce.

Bob J. Haley, Pekin Hospital Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are very excited to have Sherry join our team.  The experience she brings Pekin Hospital is invaluable.  She will truly be an asset in our fundraising efforts.”

Mackinaw Valley Vineyard Upcoming Events

Mackinaw Valley Vineyard and Winery
July News and Happy July 4th
Concerts in the Vineyard

7/05- Biscuits & Gravy Band
 7/12- Sister Groove & The CTJ 
7/19-  Jammsammich
7/25- Friday, Brushville 
7/26 - Triple Dog Dare

 Festivals & Fundraisers
July and August

7/19- Metec & Mackinaw Vineyard Ride Fundraiser
7/20- Art and Wine Festival 
7/27- Lungevity-THE BATTLE Fundraiser
8/03-Vintage, Vines and Wines Festival

Festivals and Fundraisers Information

M & M Vineyard Ride Fundraiser 
Saturday, July 19, 2014:  8:00 am-12:00 pm

METEC's 2014 Bike Ride is a loop ride that starts and ends at Mackinaw Valley Vineyard & Winery. The M & M Bike ride supports METEC's affordable housing program and financial literacy programs. This ride offers lots of rolling hills, and some flats with distances of 100 kilometer, 40 mile, 30 mile, 15 mile and 5 mile rides. Riders will have the option to participate in a brunch and winery tour and tasting after the ride.
Registration,Schedule and Fees
  • Riders-$40 for Ride, Brunch and Winery Tour and Tasting. Non-riders- $30 for the Brunch and Winery Tour and Tasting.
  • Brunch at 10:30am
  • Winery Tour and Tasting at 11:30 For Registration and fee information email -Mikayla Eldridge at or call 309-676-3832 .Check Metec on the web
  • Rain or shine the ride will take place. Check-in begins at 6:30am for 100 Kilometer and 40 mile ride which starts at 7:00am and 5, 15, and 30 mile rides starts at 8:00am with check-in at beginning at 7am.

Art and Wine Festival
July 20, 12:00 pm-6:00 pm 

Local artists showcase their talents and sell their art at this free event. The artists invited specialize in oil and water color painting, wood, jewelry, metal work, ceramics and glass. Local car clubs have been invited to display their cars. Wine tasting is featured all day and talented musician Greg Williams will entertain. The kids will have their concrete canvas area to draw and show off their talents at this family friendly event, as well as face painting. Please come out and enjoy this free event and support our local art community.  Rain or Shine in the Pavilion. 

Lungevity-THE BATTLE 

Sunday, July 27, 2:00 pm-8:00 pm

Join the battle against lung cancer at a unique and exciting event

-Battle the obstacles- 
Canoe races
Paintball target shooting
Giant tricycle races  
Blindfolded bag toss
After the BATTLE...head to the pavilion for social hour with snacks and a wine tasting followed by a four course dinner paired with both Mackinaw Valley Vineyard Wines and Rolling Meadows Brewery beers, our friends in Springfield.
The first three courses will be provided by The Catering Company and then enjoy a dessert course of Sweet Temptations signature cupcakes as well as That's So Sweet's mini cheesecakes for dessert! The entire evening will also include live music from Johnny Quest Band who will be playing blues, rockabilly, classic and modern music!  Tickets for event-$50 single, $375 -table of 8, $450-table of 10. For tickets go to: Follow us on Facebook for event updates and detail or Held- rain or shine.

We wish you all a safe and HAPPY 4th of July and give thanks for the freedoms we enjoy and friendships we share-
All the best, the Hahn family

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Welcome to our Newest Member!

Ace Liquor
1025 Derby St.
Pekin, IL 61554
(2nd location at)
14 N. 5th St.
Pekin, IL 61554
Jason Kreiling, President/Owner
Ace Liquor is a locally owned liquor store with two locations to serve you in Pekin. There is a wide variety of Beers, Wines & Spirits available, as well as the ever growing craft beer selection. 

Welcome to our Newest Member!

Northwestern Mutual
4711 NW University
Peoria, IL 61554
Chad Mucciante, Financial Rep
Kelley Davidson, Director of Operations
Northwestern Mutual specializes in insurance and investment options.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

June Biz Barometer

The regional economy showed some improvement this month, however Pekin lagged behind in sales tax receipts and real estate sales. 

L Pekin's June sales tax disbursement from the state was down 12.9% compared to the same month a year ago.  The 3-month running average was down 16.2% and the 12-month running average was down 9.2%.
J The other large Tazewell County communities all showed growth in their June disbursements from the state, compared to a year ago:  East Peoria +26.8%; Washington +7.6%; and, Morton +9.0%. 
J June sales tax disbursements for the four large Tazewell County communities as a whole, were up 7.7% compared to June of 2013.
L Through May a total of 160 residential units have been sold in Pekin.  That is down 18.8% compared to the first 5 months of 2013.  The other communities in Tazewell County posted similar results, with Morton's sales down 26%, East Peoria down 16.3%  and Washington down 24.3%.  
J Through May the average price of a residential unit sold in Pekin was $111,578, which is a 5.9% increase over the first five months of 2013.  Morton (16.9%) and Washington (10.2%) were also up over last year, while East Peoria's average sales price was down 4.7% for the first five months of 2013.
J Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 217,000 in May, and the U.S. unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.3 percent. Employment increased in professional and business services, health care and social assistance, food services and drinking places, and transportation and warehousing.
J The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.4 percent in May on a seasonally adjusted basis.  Over the last 12 months, the all  items index increased 2.1 percent before seasonal adjustment.

(Source:  Peoria Area Association of Realtors, Illinois Department of Revenue, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Illinois Department of Employment Security)

Pekin Hospital Auxiliary Announces Scholarship Recipients

The Pekin Hospital Auxiliary held its Annual Tea on June 17 and awarded financial assistance to seven area students pursuing careers in health-related fields.  The 2014 recipients are: Lindsay Beyer of Pekin; Hannah Booker of Peoria; Madeline Hopkins of Green Valley; Taylor Lamberson of Pekin; April Najpaver of Pekin; Sean Zwicky of Pekin; and Jeanette McIntyre of Manito.

The Pekin Hospital Auxiliary was established in 1941 to provide service to Pekin Hospital. The financial assistance program began in 1962 to provide assistance to local students pursuing careers in health care.

Assistance funds are raised through the Auxiliary’s annual holiday bake sale, raffle, and other Auxiliary fundraisers

Sears Ribbon Cutting

Representatives from the City of Pekin and the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed Sears
Hometown & Outlet to Pekin with a ribbon cutting on June 21st.  Sears Hometown & Outlet is located at 3247 Court Street, Suite A and they can be reached at (309) 210-7800.  Adam White, the store general manager, cut the ribbon.  He was joined by other local and district Sears staff.  Sears Hometown & Outlet Store is a company owned location. Appliances, lawn & garden, tools, mattresses, outdoor living and fitness products are available in the store. There is also a vast assortment of products available via the online warehouse.  You can see more pictures from this event at:

Welcome to Our Newest Member

Country Financial - Brett Wolters
1615 Valle Vista
Pekin, IL 61554
Brett Wolters, Financial Representative
Country Financial offers all lines of insurance as well as financial services.

Welcome to Our Newest Member

Sud Family Limited
1430 Ft. Jesse Rd Suite 100 
Normal, IL 61761 
Terry Harper
Michelle Williams
Suniti Sud 
Sud Family Limited specializes in Real Estate Management.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Henricksen Welcomed To Chamber

Henricksen & Co. recently joined the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce. Steve Meyer, account rep with Henricksen , was presented a membership plaque and welcomed to the chamber by Executive Director Bill Fleming. Henricksen & Co. is a full service office furniture dealership, providing a wide range of office furnishings from the industry's leading manufacturers. They offer a broad scope of services, from design and CAD specificaiton, project management installation and relocation assistance. Henricksen is located in downtown Peoria at 401 SW Water Street, Suite 205.  They can be reached at (309) 636-0033.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Dirksen Center Elects New Board Members and Officers

The Dirksen Congressional Center’s Endowment Fund membership elected new members and officers to the Board of Directors at its recent annual meeting.  Joining the Board are Kimberly Remmert, PHR, Director of Human Resources, Pekin Insurance Company; Dr. Timmothy J. Schwartz, Dentist, Pekin; and Ms. Leslie K. Weyhrich, CPA and Partner, Wolf, Tesar & Company, P.C., Pekin. Jeff Bernstein, Professor of Political Science, Eastern Michigan University and Drew Leman, Vice President, Leman Property Management Company, completed their two terms on the Board.

The following Directors were elected as officers:  President, William T. Fleming, Executive Director, Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce; Vice President, Louis E. Miller, Attorney, Bagley and Miller Attorneys, Pekin; Secretary, Sue Ann Kortkamp, retired, Pekin; Treasurer, Dr. Michael D. Danner, Dentist, Pekin.

The Dirksen Congressional Center is a private, nonpartisan, non-profit research and educational institution whose mission is to help people better understand the U.S. Congress and its leaders.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Weekly Chamber Connection

Don't forget to check out your weekly Chamber Connection by clicking here!

Master Naturalist Training

University of Illinois Extension, Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit is proud to offer Master Naturalist training this fall.

"The program is designed to train volunteers in natural resources so they can become natural area stewards, educators, and advocates," explains Christine Belless, program coordinator with Extension.

The program provides science-based educational opportunities that connect people with nature and help them become engaged environmental stewards.

The following subjects will be taught during the program: Ecological Concepts, Botany, Geology, Anthropology, Forest Ecology, Grassland Ecology, Ornithology, Mammology, Herpetology, Entomology, and Aquatic Systems. 

The Master Naturalist program is a combination of education and volunteer service.  With the help of local experts, U of I Extension provides the educational support for the program, while the internship service time will be done with their primary partners:  The Nature Conservancy, Dickson Mounds Museum, University of Illinois-Springfield at Emiquon, Forest Park Nature Center, Camp Wokanda, Jubilee State Park, Chautauqua Wildlife Refuge, Soldwedel Program Center, and Wildlife Prairie Park.

The classes will meet every Tuesday, August 26 to October 28, 2014, from 9 am to 4 pm.  One or two Wednesday field trips are planned for hands-on training.  A graduation and recognition ceremony will be held Saturday, November 1, 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at Dickson Mound Museum. 

All applicants must attend a mandatory orientation meeting. These are scheduled as follows: 
  • Dickson Mounds Museum - Tuesday, June 24, 10:00 a.m.
  • Fulton County Extension office - Tuesday, June 24, 6:00 p.m.
  • Peoria County Extension office - Tuesday, July 15, 10:00 a.m. 
  • Wildlife Prairie Park - Wednesday, July 16, 2:00 p.m.
Each applicant will also have a screening process. The fee covering classroom sessions and field training, handouts, and the Master Naturalist manual is $250.  Applications, screening paperwork, and course fee must be received by August 1st

For additional information, please call 309-547-3711.

Friday, June 13, 2014

June Puttin' On Pekin

The June Puttin' On Pekin breakfast was held on Friday the 13th, but it was a lucky start to the day for the 70 chamber members and guests in attendance. Lora Jacobs presented the Sunshine Award to Teresa Tucker for her volunteer work with the Alzheimer's Association. Leon Edwards earned the early award for arriving first. Drew Leman accepted the Spotlight on Business Award on behalf of Leman Property Management. The Sabella Street Station was presented with a Blue Ribbon Award for their remodeling efforts at the old Elks Lodge in downtown Pekin. The featured program was Pekin's July 4th celebration, presented by Steve Brown.  Jackie Schillinger won the late prize.  You can see more pictures from this event at:

Morton Villa Business After Hours

The June Business After Hours was hosted by Morton Villa Nursing Center at 190 E. Queenwood.  Erica and her staff gave tours of the facility and offered their guests some great food and drinks.  There were also plenty of door prizes!  You can see more pictures from this event at:  

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Illinois American Water’s Brent Oest Named a Vice President of JULIE Board of Directors

Illinois American Water’s non-revenue water supervisor, Brent Oest, has been named to the Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators (JULIE), Inc. Board of Directors.  Oest will serve as Vice President of Sewer and Water Utilities.  In this position, Oest will work in conjunction with the other board members to determine organizational policy, planning, finance, and public and governmental relations.

“We congratulate Brent on this important role and his commitment to working with our utility partners.  These relationships are critical for the safety of our customers and employees,” said Barry Suits, Illinois American Water's Vice President of Operations.

While a member of JULIE’s board of directors, Oest will serve on the public education and the operations committee. JULIE, Inc. provides Illinois excavators and underground utility owners with a continuously improving, one-call message handling and delivery service committed to protecting underground utilities and the safety of people working or living near them. 

4th of July Honor America Celebration

Fleming Completes Third Year at Institute for Organization Management

A Leadership Training Program Produced by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Institute for Organization Management, the professional development
program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, is pleased to announce that William T. Fleming, Executive Director of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce, has recently completed his third year at Institute for Organization Management, a four-year nonprofit leadership training program at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
“Institute graduates are recognized across the country as leaders in their industries and organizations,” said Raymond P. Towle, IOM, CAE, the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s vice president of Institute for Organization Management. “These individuals have the knowledge, skills, and dedication necessary to achieve professional and organizational success in the dynamic association and chamber industries.”  
Since its commencement in 1921, the Institute program has been educating tens of thousands of association, chamber, and other nonprofit leaders on how to build stronger organizations, better serve their members and become strong business advocates. Institute’s curriculum consists of four weeklong sessions at five different university locations throughout the country. Through a combination of required courses and electives in areas such as leadership, advocacy, marketing, finance, and membership, Institute participants are able to enhance their own organizational management skills and add new fuel to their organizations, making them run more
efficiently and effectively. 
Institute for Organization Management is the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. It is the premier nonprofit professional development program for association and chamber professionals, fostering individual growth through interactive learning and networking opportunities. 
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness by addressing developments that affect our nation, our economy, and the global business environment.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Peoria Airport Breaks Records

The General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport continues to break records for passenger air service, with 112,153 passengers in April and May 2014. In addition, March had the highest passenger count ever experienced at the airport, with 59,021 passengers. Combined, the three most recent months represent nearly a seven-percent increase in passenger travel over the same months in 2013.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Women "Balancing Act" Conference

Flying Fish Festival

Weekly Chamber Connection Available

Check out your Weekly Chamber Connection by clicking here!

Savant Capital Management Places among Top National Firms in InvestmentNews’ Rankings

Savant Capital Management, a nationally recognized fee-only wealth management firm, ranks #10 on InvestmentNews’ 2014 “15 Fastest Growing Fee-Only RIAs” list. Headquartered in Rockford, IL. Savant also has nine offices in the following cities: Chicago, Freeport, IL; Geneva, IL; Hoffman Estates, IL; Naperville, IL; Peoria, IL; Sterling, IL; McLean, VA; and Madison, WI.
Savant experienced a three-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 25 percent, according to InvestmentNews. In addition, the company also took the #6 spot for “Top fee-only RIAs with 500+ financial planning clients” and the #4 spot for “Biggest Gainers: Largest fee-only RIAs ranked by percentage growth in total assets.” Savant is the only firm to be ranked in the top 10 in all three lists.
“It’s an honor to be named among the industry’s fastest growing firms in addition to being one of the top fee-only RIAs,” said Brent Brodeski, CEO and Principal of Savant Capital Management. “This growth and recognition strongly reflects our commitment to serving our clients and keeping their best interest at the forefront of everything we do. In fact, the true measure of our success is not the rate in which our organization grows, but through ensuring that our team always offers the highest quality advisory service to our clients.”
To determine the rankings for the “15 Fastest Growing Fee-Only RIAs” list, InvestmentNews determined the 15 fastest-growing firms among the 100 largest, based on their three-year compound annual growth rate. According to the publication, the fee-only registered investment advisor sector has grown overall at a rate of 11 percent per year and the top 100 firms experienced a growth rate of 16 percent.
To obtain the sixth place ranking for “Top fee-only RIAs with 500+ financial planning clients” Savant was ranked among fee-only RIAs by total assets under management. The fourth place ranking for “Biggest Gainers: Largest fee-only RIAs ranked by percentage growth in total assets” came as the result of an assessment of the largest fee-only RIAs ranked by percentage of growth in total assets.

Pekin Hospital to Host Dash at Dusk 5K Run, 1 Mile Walk & Kids Fun Run

Pekin Hospital will offer a 5K run, a one-mile walk, and kids fun run on Friday, July 11 starting with a half-mile kids fun run at 6:30 p.m. and a 5K run and one-mile walk starting at 7 p.m.  The Dash at Dusk 5K race will start and finish on Park Avenue by the Hospital and promises to be flat and fast.

Registration fees are as follows:
5K run:  $30 per person
One-mile walk:  $30 per person
Kids fun run:  $10 per person

The top three winners in age group categories will receive a custom cast glow-in-the-dark medal.  The first place overall male and female winners will receive $75 Running Central gift cards.  All runners and walkers will receive a swag bag with promotional items and an event t-shirt.

The after party will feature music, health booths, food, and family fun.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Hospital’s fall mission trip to Liberia.

For more information and online registration, please visit