Thursday, February 28, 2013

Welcome New Member: Littleman Lawncare

Littleman Lawncare, 156 Lake Street, Pekin, IL  267-6408; Ryan DeSutter, Owner.  littlemanlawncare92@gmail.com; www.littlemanlawncare.webs.com.  Littleman Lawncare provides lawn maintenance, landscape design and construction, and 24-hour snow and ice removal. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mark Your Calendars - Save the Date


April 22nd – Annual Meeting of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce, 4:30 – 7:00pm
April 29th – CIRCLE Legislative Reception at Weaver Ridge, 5:00 – 7:00pm
May 9th – CIRCLE visit to Springfield State Capitol 

More information and details on these events coming next month

Membership Renewals


Thanks to the following organizations who renewed their investment in the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce:

Alzheimer's Association Central Illinois ~ Aventine Renewable Energy 
Command Center ~ Dr. Anthony DeMonte, D.D.S.
Edward Jones - Drew Eilts Financial Advisor ~ Dr. Robert Ehrich, D.D.S.
Excalibur Seasoning Company ~ Family Quick Care Pekin ~ FCI Pekin
Food Depot / Niemann Foods ~ Four Seasons Gutter Protection Company
Sylvan Franklin ~ Rich Gafford ~ Greg's Garage Door Service
Griffin-Rahn Insurance ~ Pekin Daily Times
Pekin Moose Family Center, Lodge # 916 ~ Pekin Public Schools #108
Sam Leman Auto Stop ~ St. Paul Wonderland ~ T-Shirt House
TAPS Animal Shelter ~ Tazewell Machine Works
Timbercreek Rehab & Health Care ~ World Wide Travel

Employer Obligations and Options Under the ACA


Learn more about the Affordable Care Act’s impact on employers and how to prepare in 2013 for the changes coming in 2014, including employer coverage requirements, the new penalty system, and the state health insurance exchange.

The program will be presented by Laura Minzer, Associate Vice President, Government Affairs, and Executive Director, Healthcare Council for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

Monday, March 25
Community Room at Keller Williams
2426 W Cornerstone Ct, Peoria, IL 61614
11:45 am - 1:00PM
Lunch will be provided
Chamber Members: $15/ Future Members: $30
Sponsored by: Proctor Hospital and the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce

Register with the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce by clicking here.

Biz Barometer


Pekin’s sales tax disbursement received from the state in February was 12.6% more than February of 2012.

February disbursements typically represent sales taxes collected by merchants in November and paid to the state in December.

Pekin’s sales tax disbursements received from the state for the last 3 months were 16.6% greater than the same three months a year ago.

The other three large communities on the east side of the Illinois River showed mixed results in sales tax disbursements received in February. Compared to February of 2012: Morton (-1.7%), Washington (+4.0%), and East Peoria (+6.7%).

For the 12-months ending in February, all four communities showed an increase in sales tax receipts from the state, compared to the same 12-months a year ago: Pekin (+9.7%), East Peoria (+6.6%), Washington (+3.2%), and Morton (+2.6%).

The number of residential units sold in Pekin in January was 19% greater than the sales in January of 2012.

The other large Tazewell County communities had mixed residential sales unit results in January compared to January of 2012: East Peoria (+72.7%), Morton (+44.4%), and Washington (-23.5%).

The average sales price of a Pekin residential unit in January was $91,154, which is down 20.6% from the January 2012 average price of $114,736.

The average sales price of residential units in the other large Tazewell communities was mixed compared to January of 2012: East Peoria (+12.6%), Washington (+8.6%), and Morton (-20.7%).

The unemployment rate in Pekin in December rose to 9.4%, which is up from 8.6% in November of 2012.

The December unemployment rate in the Peoria region stood at 7.9%, up slightly from December of 2011’s rate of 7.8%.

The number of people employed in Pekin in December was 15,989, which is 272 or 1.7% less than the employment level in December of 2011.

Nationally, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 157,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.9%.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged in January, as it was in December. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.6% before seasonal adjustment.

Chamber Calendar of Events

March 6 – Pekin 1st Committee
March 6 – Executive Board Meeting
March 12 - Business After Hours
March 13 - Member Promotions Committee
March 13 – Transportation Committee
March 13 – Board of Directors 
March 20 – Ambassador’s Mtg
March 20 – Marigold Committee
March 21 – Leadership Academy Banquet
March 25 – Employer Obligations & Options under the ACA
March 26 – Business Advocacy Committee

Tazewell County Children's Advocacy Center Trivia Night


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chamber Calls On Senators

Representatives of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce recently met with State Senators Bill Brady and Darin LaHood to discuss the area's transportation infrastructure needs.  Rich Kriegsman, chairman of the chamber's transportation committee, Dennis Kief, the committee's vice-chairman, and chamber executive director Bill Fleming visited the legislators at the Capitol in Springfield.    

Monday, February 25, 2013

Dan Pfeifer State Farm Ribbon Cutting

Dan Pfeifer State Farm was recently welcomed to Pekin with a ribbon cutting by representatives of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce.  Located at 1000 Court Street,  Dan Pfeifer is an insurance and financial agent for State Farm offering a variety of products for individuals and businesses.  The office can be reached at 347-3484, or on the web at www.SFAgentDan.com.  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at:  http://picasaweb.google.com/PekinChamber.

Welcome New Member: Accelerated Rehabilitation Center


Accelerated Rehabilitation Center, 3289 Court Street, Pekin, IL 61554; (309) 347-0090; fax 347-0098; Michael Bennington, Facility Manager; pekin@acceleratedrehab.com; www.acceleratedrehab.com.  Business hours:  Monday - Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, and by appointment. Accelerated Rehabilitation Center is a physical therapist owned and operated rehabilitation company.  They offer specialized physical therapy treatment and focus on excellent outcomes and patient care.

PCHS Students Recognized

Pekin Hospital and Lite Rock 107 are proud to recognize Pekin Community High School students Cole Pyatt and Nick Drowns as recipients of the Pekin Community High School (PCHS) Student Award for February.

Cole, a senior, was nominated by Mrs. Robin Bachelor, a Spanish teacher at PCHS.  In the nomination, Mrs. Bachelor cited his contributions to PCHS’ friends program, swim team, and student council.

Nick, a senior, was nominated by Mrs. Dione Gresham, a Work Seminar teacher at PCHS.  In the nomination, Mrs. Gresham cited his contributions to her work seminar class, as he is a role- model student.

Each month two PCHS students who excel in moral character, positive attitude, volunteerism, demonstrate ideal role-model behavior, and who contribute to the classroom are nominated by teachers, counselors, and high school personnel. The students must be a senior and show remarkable qualities which help them prepare for a promising future.

Seth Mingus, Assistant Principal for Curriculum at PCHS said, “PCHS is grateful to have the opportunity to recognize the positive contributions our students make every day. The teachers and staff enjoy nominating students, and we appreciate the support from Pekin Hospital, Lite Rock 107/WSWT, and our community.”

Pekin Hospital and Lite Rock 107/WSWT are proud to sponsor the student award program for the students of PCHS.

Logan County Joins the Regional Economic Development District

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) has approved a boundary modification to include Logan County in the local Economic Development District (EDD). This week the Logan County Board of the whole accepted the modification as well. The regional Economic Development District now includes Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Mason and Logan Counties.

An EDD is a regional economy comprised of counties with similar demographics, industries and assets that works to align strategic goals to further the economic environment of the region. An EDD is designated by the EDA, a part of the federal government. There are only 13 EDD’s in the state of Illinois and not all counties are included in a district. The Economic Development Council for Central Illinois (EDC) administers the EDD locally. EDC’s Cal MacKay says this is a very special designation. "This expansion adds strength to our district and enhances our ability to compete for more federal funding. This expansion is proof that our district is doing good work. I see many similarities between the current counties in the district and Logan County. I think we will all work very well together and in the end we’ll make each other stronger."

Logan County representatives agree this modification is good for everyone involved. Brian Bergen, Executive Director of Lincoln and Logan County Development Partnership, says "We believe that by joining the EDD, we will be able to share new ideas and resources to help move the entire region forward. Logan County’s demographic composition will also help the district become more competitive when it comes to obtaining additional federal dollars that can be shared throughout the region."

One responsibility of an EDD is to produce a multi-year Community Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). Roy Bockler, chairman of the regional CEDS committee, says this expansion is an important component to our regional growth. "CEDS is a five year strategy that helps us prioritize the needs and wants of the region. We set priorities for all counties included in the district and then submit the priority projects and programs for federal funding. Having Logan County a part of that process enables us to go after a larger piece of the funding pie which will help bring our regional projects to fruition."

Logan County and the EDC began discussions on a potential boundary modification more than two years ago. Bill Martin says Logan County saw great potential in the local EDD. "We have a lot of commonality with the other 4 counties in the district with agriculture, workforce and infrastructure."

The EDC and all of its partners welcome Logan County into the EDD and look forward to working as a regional group.

To speak with Logan County representatives contact Brian Bergen at brian@lincolnlogan.com. For other information please contact Renee Charles at 495-5905, 229-7791 or e-mail rcharles@h-p.org.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Comcast Business Services Unveils Upware - a Cloud-Based Business-to-Business Software Marketplace for Small Business Customers

Comcast Corporation, a global media and technology company, today announced the Upware™ marketplace, a suite of cloud-based business solutions that can be purchased through one integrated web portal. The Upware marketplace contains a carefully selected list of third-party, cloud-based business applications from industry-leading companies in key categories such as data backup, data security, and collaboration.

With Upware, Comcast has chosen a select group of top-tier vendors that meet a strict set of security, redundancy and customer service requirements and can provide both the best performance as well as ease of use for businesses. Organized on the online portal in “aisles” by technology, the vendors include:

· Data Backup – Carbonite (data backup), DigitalSafe (data backup), and Mozy (online backup).

· Data Security – Norton (security) and Websense (security).

· Collaboration – Box (online storage), Microsoft (Web collaboration), Soonr (online file sharing), and YouSendIt (document collaboration).

“We know small business owners and we know what tools they need to grow their businesses,” said Kevin O’Toole, Senior Vice President and General Manager, New Business Solutions at Comcast Business Services. “Upware simplifies what can be a complex world of choices when evaluating cloud-based services. With the choice of these top vendors, business owners can quickly choose what tools they need to run their businesses and keep their focus on their number one priority – serving their customers.”

Upware is designed to meet the needs of small and medium sized businesses looking to use cloud-based solutions to simplify their IT systems, control costs and increase productivity. Upware, which is available now at business.comcast.com/Upware, gives business owners a single, trusted source to meet some of their most critical technology needs, helping them to be more productive and improve their business.

Through the easy to use Upware marketplace, business customers can purchase and use cloud services, as well as order other Comcast Business services including Business VoiceEdge, Website Hosting and Signature Support, a program for on-site tech support. It also enables customers to pick and choose one or many of the offerings, based on their unique technology and business needs. Upware simplifies application management with the convenience of a single sign-on, which makes access fast and easy for individual users. In addition, business owners can quickly add or remove employees from the system as their business needs change. Plus, users have the simplicity of one number to call for support, management and troubleshooting for everything associated with their Comcast Business Class Internet service including the Upware marketplace and the software applications themselves.

In addition to the nine applications currently on the Upware marketplace, more applications will be added in the near future to existing aisles and new aisles will be added to address other business needs such as marketing and customer relationship management.

About Comcast Business Services
Comcast Business Services, a unit of Comcast Cable, provides advanced communication solutions to help organizations of all sizes meet their business objectives. Through a modern, company-owned fiber network that is backed by 24/7 technical support, Comcast delivers Business Class Internet, Ethernet, TV and Voice services for cost-effective, simplified communications management.

For more information, call 1-800-501-6000 or visit www.business.comcast.com.

About Comcast Cable
Comcast Cable is the nation's largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. Comcast has invested in technology to build an advanced network that delivers among the fastest broadband speeds, and brings customers personalized video, communications and home management offerings. Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is a global media and technology company.

Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.

Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region has nearly 7,000 employees locally and serves more than 2 million customers in central and northern Illinois, including the Chicago area, northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan.

Savant Capital LLC Expands Ownership

Savant Capital, LLC, a national advisory firm which manages $3 billion in assets, announced today that two additional employees have purchased ownership interests in Savant and have become members of the company. The new employee-members are Dan Rezin and Dave Barton. Rezin serves a Chief Financial Officer and Barton leads the advisory team as Director of Advisory Services & Business Development.

Savant remains focused on its vision for the future while maintaining its commitment to the long-term benefit of clients. The latest member additions join the ranks of a recent expansion of employee members late last year as well as a combination with The Monitor Group, a firm in the Washington DC area.

“We are excited by the progress we’ve made in our efforts to build a sustainable and long-term strategy to support our team, our clients and our communities,” said Brent Brodeski, Savant CEO and Principal. “We remain committed to delivering a best-in-class service and experience to our clients.”

“Our long-term goal has been to grow our company in such a way that our clients will remain the primary benefactor,” said Brodeski. “Expanding ownership in Savant is a key part of our long-term strategy to assure Savant is highly sustainable and remains a top thought leader for multiple generations. We are thrilled to be able to expand our ownership to these fine employees.”

With the addition of the two new members, the Savant ownership group has expanded to a total of 18 individuals — each is a current employee of the firm.

About Savant
Savant Capital, LLC, offers investment management, financial planning, and family office services to individuals, trust funds, retirement plans and non-profit organizations. It also provides portfolio design and management, tax planning, advanced estate and financial planning and sophisticated business and senior executive consulting services.

Savant has regularly received local and national recognition. For the past six years Savant has been named by Barron’s magazine as one of the 100 Best Independent Financial Advisors in the United States. In addition, Savant has earned a place on the Bloomberg/Wealth Manager/AdvisorOne “Top Dog” list for the past 10 years. Our hard work and commitment to provide the best service and value to clients has also earned us recognition by publications including InvestmentNews (one of the 50 Largest Wealth Management Firms in the Nation), Financial Advisor magazine (A Top-Growing Independent RIA), BusinessWeek (Most Experienced RIA List), and Forbes (Top 50 Registered Investment Advisor).

Savant Capital Management is a Registered Investment Advisor. This announcement is only intended for interested investors residing in states in which the Advisor is qualified to provide investment advisory services. Please contact the Advisor to find out if they are qualified to provide investment advisory services in the state where you reside. Savant’s marketing material should not be construed by any existing or prospective client as a guarantee that they will experience a certain level of results if they engage the Advisor’s services and includes lists or rankings published by magazines and other sources which are generally based exclusively on information prepared and submitted by the recognized Advisor. The Advisor does not attempt to furnish personalized investment advice or services through this publication. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ribbon Cutting at Just Jude's Creations

The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed a new business and a new member, Just Jude's Creations, with a ribbon cutting on February 13th.  Chamber representatives, family, friends, and customers joined owner Judy Smock for the ceremony.  Just Jude's Creations is located at 812 Derby Street in Pekin.  They are open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Just Jude's Creations is a learning center run by freelance instructor, Judy Smock. She teaches machine embroidery.  There is also a shop that showcases and sells her handmade gifts. For more information:  (309) 620-9739.  You can see more pictures from this event at:  http://picasaweb.google.com/PekinChamber

E & S joins the Chamber!

E & S Communications Inc. ,343 Ann Eliza, Pekin, IL, 61554; (309)346-0903; www.eandscomm.com ; Mike Eeten, Vice President.; Business hours: Monday - Friday 8:00am - 4:30pm; E & S Communications is a two-way business and public safety, radio sales, and service company. Among their services, E & S specializes in outfitting emergency vehicles with lights and other equipment. They also do sound system instillations and radio repeater services.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

River 97.3 To Deliver Teddy Bears on Valentine's Day

River 97.3 will once again celebrate Valentine’s Day by visiting the Children’s Hospital of Illinois and delivering hundreds of teddy bears to patients. The bears have been donated by River 97.3 listeners over the past several weeks in the hopes of allowing the hospital to hand out bears to children all year long. Joining the radio station will be Mossville 7th Grader Taylor Larson, who received a bear from the drive five years ago and has made it her personal goal to collect 700 bears from her community.

Taylor explained how receiving her teddy bear provided comfort while she was a patient: “When I got my bear, it meant so much because my parents couldn’t go to testing with me, but I could bring the bear. It was really exciting.”

River 97.3 will meet with Child Life staff in the Children’s Hospital of Illinois lobby on Thursday, February 14th at 10:30am to unload and deliver teddy bears. Thank you for your support of River 97.3 and Children’s Hospital of Illinois.

For more information, please contact:

Jenn Smith
River 97.3 Morning Host
Cumulus Media-Radio Peoria
120 Eaton Street, Peoria IL 61603
Studio: 673-0973 Office: 669-1217
jennifer.smith@cumulus.com

Alzheimer’s Association to Host 8-Week Support Group Program for Individuals with Early Stage Alzheimer’s Disease and their Caregivers

Caregivers and their loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease can receive education and emotional support by attending a new Early Stage Alzheimer’s Disease Support Group eight-week session to begin in February. The goal is to provide education to both the person with dementia and their loved one, and to help establish a support network for them.

The group will meet from 3-4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays from Feb. 20-April 10 at Senior World, 719 N. Kump Blvd., Peoria. Individuals with the disease will meet in one group, while their caregivers will meet in another group at the same time.

Participants will learn how to better cope with the disease and will receive emotional support and social interaction in a safe and supportive environment. Weekly topics include health and wellness information, research and medications, tools for maintaining independence, and changing roles and relationships. Attendees also are given ample opportunity to ask questions and share concerns specific to Alzheimer’s disease.

The deadline to register is Feb. 18. Participants will need to complete a questionnaire and a participation agreement form. For more information or to register, call Herminia Christy toll free at 800.272.3900.

Can’t make this one? Another eight-week session is set to begin April 30.

Pekin Hospital to Provide Free Heart Month Presentation

As part of American Heart Month, an American Heart Association national campaign to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease, Pekin Hospital will offer a free presentation, “PVD: Know the Facts. Know Your Risks,” on Tuesday, February 26 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Pekin Hospital in Park Court Conference Center.

Jennifer Ash, M.D., vascular surgeon with HeartCare Midwest, will discuss Peripheral Vascular Disease, its symptoms, how it’s diagnosed, as well as treatment options. Peripheral Vascular Disease develops silently and affects the arteries of more than 10 million Americans. It refers to the diseases of blood vessels outside the heart and brain that cause poor circulation to the toes, feet, legs, and hands. PVD can cause an increase in your risk for heart attack or stroke.

Free blood pressures will be provided beginning at 5:30 p.m. A light dinner will also be served. This program is open to men and women. Join Pekin Hospital to learn about this disease and what you can do to prevent it.

Through promoting cardiovascular disease awareness, Pekin Hospital hopes to improve heart health by providing community education on healthy eating, exercising, smoking cessation, maintaining a healthy weight, blood pressure and blood cholesterol, and controlling diabetes.

Registration is required and can be made by calling (309) 353-0662.

 

Alzheimer’s Association to Present Caregiver Program Feb. 18

The Alzheimer’s Association-Central Illinois Chapter will present Facing New Challenges, a program that provides information on caring for someone with memory loss and teaches new communication techniques for caregivers, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Monday. Feb. 18. It will be held at the OSF Institute on Aging, 8600 Illinois Route 91, Suite 130, Peoria.

Staff education specialist Joseph Leman, M.S., will discuss normal aging versus aging with dementia; safety concerns, including driving and wandering; community resources; planning for the future; and agency services. Time also will be allotted for specific questions about memory loss.

The fee for materials is $5 per person or $10 per family. Individuals should register at least a day in advance by calling the office toll free at 800.272.3900. Facing New Challenges is co-funded by the Heart of Illinois United Way.

Friday, February 8, 2013

February Puttin' On Pekin

Nearly 100 chamber members and guests attended the February Puttin' on Pekin breakfast at the KC Hall.  The every-other-month breakfast is coordinated by Pekin 1st, a committee of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce.  Jason Ward earned the early prize and Matt Deverman blamed his father for winning the late prize.  Perry Martin, from the Mayor's Committee for Disabled Persons gave an update on the work they do.  Randy Price, owner of Enviro-Safe Refrigerants was presented with the Blue Ribbon Award, the Sunshine Award, was the Spotlight on Business, AND was the speaker.  His efforts to renovate several Pekin buildings, and the growth of his business, were deserving reasons for the recognition.   You can see more pictures from this event at:  http://picasaweb.google.com/PekinChamber

IPMR February Business After Hours

The Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (IPMR) graciously hosted the February 7th Business After Hours. Rick Zehr and the staff greeted guests, provided tours and information, and updated the audience on the organization. IPMR is a non-profit medical rehabilitation center with MD's, physical, occupational and speech therapists working in Pekin since 1968.  You can see more pictures from this event at:  http://picasaweb.google.com/PekinChamber

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Family and Business Showcase 2013

April will be here before you know it! Our Family and Business Showcase is April 6. To secure a booth for yourself or your business, follow the link for more info:




American Red Cross has joined the Chamber!

American Red Cross, 405 W. John H Gwynn Jr. Drive , Peoria, IL, 61605; (309)253-5859; www.redcross.org ; Steve Tuttle, Donor Recruitment Rep.; Business hours: Monday - Friday 6:00am - 8:00pm; The American Red Cross is the nation's largest blood supplier. They specialize in blood products, collection, testing, and distribution.

Quinn Wants $10+ Minimum Wage


Illinois Governor Pat Quinn made his annual State of the State speech to the General Assembly yesterday, and it contained a mixed message for the business community.

On the one hand, the Governor spoke of the need to fix the single biggest problem facing the citizens of Illinois - the estimated $100 billion dollar unfunded pension obligation.  He also expressed his desire to address the State's backlog of unpaid bills, announced the Illinois Manufacturing Lab to help with innovation and job training, and his desire to act on several social issue.  And, he spoke of the need for more jobs, more new small business start-ups, and the need to keep the government out of the way of small businesses.

And then he proposed an increase in the State's minimum wage to at least $10 per hour.

The immediate negative reaction to that proposal was far and wide, from not only pro-business organizations (Illinois Chamber, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, and the Illinois Restaurant Association) but state legislators on both sides of the aisle.

"The Illinois Chamber takes great exception to the Governor's desire to increase the state's minimum wage law to $10.00 an hour. This is an untimely, ill-advised and outrageous proposal that puts a dagger to the heart of the very employers politicians normally say they want to grow and be successful: small, medium and entrepreneurial businesses," said Doug Whitely, President and CEO of the Illinois Chamber.

Kim Clarke Maisch, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, said "Small-business owners don't need politicians telling them how to run their businesses. If the General Assembly is serious about jobs and wages, it'll stay out of the way and let small-business owners try to grow and succeed without intervention. Politicians shouldn't determine people's pay, the marketplace should."

Whitely added, "Most troubling of all, I see it as another indication of our political leaders' failure to recognize how detrimental it is to repeatedly send anti-business messages. Increasing the cost of doing business by forcing Illinois employers to pay the highest minimum wage in the country is counter to the basic economics we need elected officials to appreciate."

Chambers Meet with Illinois Secretary of Transportation Ann Schneider

A contingent of staff and volunteers from area Chambers met on February 5th with Secretary Schneider to discuss the long standing regional road priorities list. Brent Eichelberger, Commerce Bank; Rich Kriegsman, KMI; Bob Gates, Federal Companies; and Tom Lucek, CityLink joined Bill Fleming, Executive Director of the Pekin Area Chamber and Roberta Parks, President of the Peoria Area Chamber in this meeting. The delegation was speaking on behalf of the Chillicothe, East Peoria, Morton, Pekin, Peoria and Washington Chambers concerning the “regional road priorities list” developed and endorsed by all the Chambers.

Secretary Schneider was complimentary of the unified voice the region puts forward when this type of collaborative work is done. Significant discussion took place about the need for continued funding in this year’s capital plan for the Eastern Bypass. This project is currently in the Phase One study which focuses on corridor selection and alignment. The current funding is adequate to get the study through most if not all of corridor selection but does not support the alignment identification. The group indicated that stopping this project even temporarily could be enough to end it permanently.

Secretary Schneider acknowledged the District 4 IDOT office has recommended additional funding for this project in their requests for the coming capital program, but no final decisions have been made. She spoke about the reduced amount of funding for next year’s program and the need for maintenance of roads and bridges. It is likely that will be prioritized higher than new construction.

It was noted that the investment in this region would be highly leveraged given all the other things that are and have happened recently in Central Illinois – the Peoria Riverfront Museum and Caterpillar Visitors Center, the very significant retail expansion in East Peoria, the anticipated changes in Caterpillar’s presence in Downtown Peoria, the potential riverfront development in Pekin, etc. The group extended an invitation to Secretary Schneider to come and visit Greater Peoria to see the impact and the potential in this region. She indicated a strong interest in doing that, and the Chambers will follow up with her in the near future.

The Chambers’ regional road priority list has been a collaborative project for at least 18 years. The list contains road projects that are important to the entire region. It is updated by the Chambers every two to three years, and presented to area legislators, and IDOT officials.

The road priority list can be found at:  http://www.pekinchamber.com/Transportation.htm
 

Sam's President's Day Deals


Goodwill Offers to Assist Women in Finding Jobs

Goodwill of Central Illinois announces Beyond Jobs, its newest free program designed to assist area women in finding employment. The Beyond Jobs program, under a grant from the Walmart Foundation, will focus on unemployed and underemployed women in Central Illinois. Women who participate in the program will be matched with respected area employers.

Nearly 15 million U.S. households are headed by women and despite being the sole providers, more than 29 percent of women live below the poverty level. Female-headed families have the lowest earnings among all family types.

Women who participate in Beyond Jobs will work with a Goodwill Employment Specialist to determine their strengths and identify the tools and training they need to achieve their career goals. They are then matched with area businesses where their skill sets apply. After employment is found, ongoing support for both employees and employers will be provided by Goodwill.

“This program reflects Goodwill’s culture through its ongoing support for both program participants and the businesses that employ them,” says Patty Fuchs, Goodwill’s President and CEO. “Our mission is to support individuals and families who are working to better their lives and that support continues until goals are met and independence is found through work.”

Women interested in the program can contact Brenda Wilder at (309) 682-1113, ext. 2124. Businesses interested in participating can call Jamie Newell at (309) 210-3289

Goodwill of Central Illinois is a non-profit organization that provides job training, career and vocational services to veterans, individuals and families who are working to better their lives. Goodwill also operates a youth mentoring program for youth ages 12 to 17. For more information on retail stores, donation centers and vocational services, visit the website at www.goodwillpeo.org or call the Administrative Offices at (309) 682-1113.

Leadership and the Media

The R. David Tebben Community Leadership Academy learned about the media today. Rusty Dunn, a spokesperson for CAT, shared with the class his strategies for working with the media. There were also two class introductions and two reports on not-for-profit organizations. Alissa Williams, the assistant director at the Pekin Public Library, gave a quick tour of the library's facilities.  You can find more pictures from this event at:   http://picasaweb.google.com/PekinChamber 
 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

African-Americans Twice as Likely to Develop Alzheimer’s; Early Diagnosis is Key

While we take the time during Black History Month to reflect on the achievements of African-Americans, it is also an ideal time to consider the future health of the aging population. African-Americans are twice as likely as whites to develop Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia.

Advancing age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s, and many of the affected dismiss the early warning signs as a normal result of aging. This is simply not true. Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disorder that damages and eventually destroys brain cells, leading to memory loss and changes in thinking and other brain functions. There is no prevention, no treatment and no cure.

Early diagnosis is of vital importance when treating Alzheimer’s disease. Despite their increased chance of developing Alzheimer’s, research shows African-Americans are less likely to seek treatment for their symptoms. In fact, though they are twice as susceptible to the disease, African-Americans are only 38 percent more likely to have a diagnosis.

As February is also American Heart Month, it is important to note that African-Americans also have a higher instance of vascular diseases, a suspected risk factor of Alzheimer’s disease. Vascular diseases involve blood vessels and can result in heart attack and stroke.

If you or someone you care about is experiencing any signs or symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, please make an appointment to see your doctor. Early diagnosis gives you a chance for the best treatment possible and being to plan for the future. Visit alz.org/africanamerican/ for extensive information on Alzheimer’s disease as it relates to African-Americans.

The Alzheimer’s Association-Central Illinois Chapter offers a variety of services for those living with the disease and their caregivers. Call the Central Illinois Chapter’s toll free, 24/7 helpline at 800.272.3900 or stop in during business hours to discuss our services, which include care consultations, information and referral, counseling, support groups, education programs, professional training and an extensive lending library.

10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s
1. Memory changes that disrupt daily life
2. Challenges planning or solving problems
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks
4. Confusion with time or place
5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
6. New problems with words in speaking or writing
7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
8. Decreased or poor judgment
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
10. Changes in mood and personality

The Alzheimer's Association – Central Illinois Chapter is a donor-supported, not-for-profit health organization serving 20 counties in Illinois. For additional information or for help, please visit the website at www.alz.org/illinoiscentral or call 800.272.3900.

Pekin Hospital League Presents Check

The Pekin Hospital League held their annual meeting February 4 and presented a check to Pekin Hospital CEO Gary L. Jepson for $137,500. The contribution will be used to support the Critical Care Unit monitoring system at Pekin Hospital.

The following new officers for 2013 were also announced.
President: Georgia Gschwend
Vice President: Carol Guenther
Recording Secretary: Claudia Bill
Treasurer: Kathie Sayles
Corresponding Secretary: Connie Kilhoffer

Shirley Williams was recognized as the League member with the most volunteer hours for 2012.

Founded in 1958, the Hospital League was comprised of 38 women. Over the years, the League has contributed over $4.5 million towards patient care. Today, the League has 85 active members, 6 provisional, 56 sustaining, 32 sustaining life members, and 21 non-resident members. In the past year, the League has contributed 10,392 hours, and manages the Pekin Hospital Gift Shop located in the Hospital Lobby and the Nearly-Nu Shop located on Derby Street.

Other fundraising events include the annual Golf Classic, scheduled for May 6, 2013, and the Holiday Magic Gift Show scheduled for November 2, 2013.

TCRC Nominated for State Award

The Illinois Office of Tourism has nominated Tazewell County Resource Centers, Inc. as a possible award recipient for its work in helping to share the opportunities and benefits of Illinois tourism with the general public. Winners in various categories will be announced at an Awards Dinner held on February 27, 2013, which is a part of the Governor’s Conference on Travel and Tourism.

The Conference honors innovative tourism marketing initiatives that promote the destinations, attractions, and events throughout Illinois – website, social media marketing, visitor’s publications, and cooperative partnerships (the category in which TCRC has been nominated).

For a number of years now, TCRC has had a contract with the Office of Tourism to provide mailing, and other, services for Illinois. “If someone contacts the state asking for brochures, maps, or other tourism information, we’re the ones who fulfill that request, said Libby Holbrook, Vice-President of Clinical and Business Services for TCRC. “Our developmentally disabled service recipients take a good deal of pride in making sure that the work is done quickly and correctly.” The agency also provides material for the travel information centers throughout the state.

Tazewell County Resource Centers, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit social service agency serving children and adults with developmental disabilities and visual impairment in central Illinois. More information about our programs and services can be found at www.tcrcorg.com.

For more information, please contact Libby Holbrook, the TCRC Vice-President of Clinical and Business Services, at (309) 347-7148 or libby@tcrcorg.com.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Welcome to Newest Member - ServPro

ServPro , 113 Sapp Street , Pekin, IL, 61554; (309)346-5600; www.servpropeoria.com ; Jason Fletcher, president; Business hours: Monday - Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm, service hours - 24/7; ServPro are leaders in fire and water cleanup, restoration, and mold mitigation and remediation. ServPro has the training and experience to make your damage, "like it never happened". They also specialize in smoke, soot, and water restoration, catastrophic storm response, documents drying, carpet cleaning, and air ducts and HVAC cleaings. ServPro of Peoria and North Central Tazewell County provide fast, reliable cleanup and restoration services to residential and commercial property owners.