Friday, July 30, 2010

Chamber Board Updates Strategic Plan

At their July 14th monthly meeting, the Board of Directors of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce approved an updated strategic plan.  This annual project includes a review of the organization's performance, a review/update of the strategic plan's objectives and strategies, and the establishment of priorities for the year.  A summary version of the updated plan is below:

Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce
Strategic Plan Update
July 14, 2010

To promote the growth of the Pekin area through the collective efforts of our members.

Goals / Strategies
  1. Create a vibrant business environment in the Pekin area
    • Serve as an advocate for our members
    • Collaborate with organizations that share our goal of a vibrant business environment
    • Inform our members of issues that could affect them 
  2. Stimulate community growth
    • Promote the Pekin area as a place to live, work, shop and play
    • Assume a leadership role in events that add to the quality of life for area residents
  3. Ensure the chamber is a strong, stable organization
    • Be a good steward of our members’ investments in the chamber
    • Develop future leaders for the chamber and the community
    • Communicate with our members using a variety of tools and media
    • Strive for continued organizational improvement
  4. Provide members with benefits and services that meet their needs
    • Offer networking opportunities for members
    • Ensure new members receive promotional benefits that exceed the value of their dues investment
    • Provide members promotional opportunities that take advantage of the chamber’s economies of scale
A more detailed plan that includes tactics and priorities is available for download at:

Hamm's Furniture Celebrates 35 Years

Representatives from the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce recently held a ribbon cutting to congratulate Hamm's Furniture on 35 years in business. The local firm was founded by Alvin Hamm and Jesse Workman. Mr. Workman is still involved today, along with Alvin's children Russ Hamm, Charlene Harbors and other family members. Russ Hamm was assisted with the scissors at the ribbon cutting by family, friends and employees. Unfortunately, Lane Hamm was not available for the picture. Hamm's Furniture is located across from the Tazewell County Courthouse at 347 Court Street. Store hours are Monday through Thursday and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. They offer new furniture, a full line of name brand furnishings, and mattresses. They provide free local delivery, set up, and removal of old furniture or bedding.  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Good Shepherd Lutheran School Open House

You've driven by and watched the transformation from the outside. You've watched with growing curiosity as the Leath Furniture building became Good Shepherd Lutheran School. Now you can see how much has changed inside by attending the public open house on Sunday, August 8, from 1:00 - 4:00. Teachers, staff and school board members are eager to show off the new space and invite everyone to stop by. You won't recognize the place!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pekin Main Street Super Cruise '10

"2 Day Event for 2010"
July 30th & 31st - Downtown Pekin
Both days feature:  Food Vendors, Beer Garden, Live Remotes by CD107.9

Friday, July 30th - Bike Rally Night, 6:00 - 10:00pm
-Live Entertainment
-Merchandise & Bike Vendors
-Custom Bike Display by PHAT JAX
-Free Registration & Parking
-Community Cruise 4:00 - 6:00pm   Discount & Raffles

Saturday, July 31st - Downtown Cruise, 1:00 - 9:00pm
-"West MacQueen Street" Band 5:00-9:00pm
-Dash Plaques (First 500)
-Vendor Alley
-Limited VIP Venue Tickets Available
-Welcome Kit & Free Registration
-Community Cruise 9:00am - 1:00pm   Discount & Raffles

Visit for more details and map.

Puttin on Pekin Breakfast

August 13th 6:45 – 8:00 am, Knights of Columbus Hall
The cost is just $10 per person for reservations made before August 11th or $15 after that.  To make your reservation, call 346-2106 or email:

August Business After Hours

August 5th 4:30 – 6:00 pm,  Hallmark House Nursing Center
Reservations Appreciated
346-2106 or

Biz Barometer, August Newsletter

Pekin’s unemployment rate jumped to 12.7% in June according to information provided by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.  This comes after 3 consecutive months of improved unemployment rates.  However, the number of people actually employed increased again in June (for the fourth consecutive month).  Pekin’s June numbers mirror the trends for the Peoria MSA and State of Illinois. 

Pekin’s sales tax receipts in June were 2.1% greater than the June 2009 receipts according to information from the Illinois Department of Revenue.  However, sales tax receipts in Pekin for the first six months of 2010 are 1.0% less than the first six months of 2009. 

The Peoria Area Association of Realtors reports that home sales in the Pekin area for the first six months of 2010 are 28.5% greater than the same period in 2009.  The 2010 average sales price is also 10.7% greater than the average price for the first six months of 2009.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined 0.1% in June on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported July 16, 2010. Over the last 12 months, the index increased 1.1% before seasonal adjustment. 

Preston-Hanley Congratulates Dave Vaupel, Their Newest Licensed Funeral Director

Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes and Crematory is pleased to announce that Dave Vaupel has become a licensed funeral director. Although Vaupel has been with Preston-Hanley since 2000, he received his license in July. He is also a certified crematory operator.

“Dave has been a member of the team for 10 years. He has assisted our funeral directors and served in a variety of ways already,” D. Neale (“Buster”) Hanley II, said. “Now he can assist area families personally with all aspects of funeral service, including funeral directing, embalming, and pre-arrangement counseling. All of us at Preston-Hanley are proud of his achievement.”

A lifelong resident of Pekin, Vaupel graduated from Pekin Community High School in 1978. More recently, he decided to pursue a career in mortuary sciences at Carl Sandburg College, where he graduated with high honors.

Active in the community, Vaupel is an ambassador with the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce and is involved with Good Shepherd Lutheran School. He is an avid deer and pheasant hunter and is a member of the Pekin chapter of Ducks Unlimited. Dave and his wife, Mary Ann, are members of the Trinity Lutheran Church of Pekin and have two children, Kristopher and Jarrod.

Preston-Hanley has been serving Central Illinois for over 75 years. Locally owned and operated, the company has chapels in Pekin and Creve Coeur and recently began operating its own crematory in Pekin. Preston-Hanley is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association and Cremation Association of North America.

Asian Buffet Ribbon Cutting

Representatives from the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce recently welcomed a new business to Pekin. Chamber President Althea Geiser assisted Lewis Liu, manager, and Chang Fei Zheng, executive chef, with the ribbon cutting. The Asian Buffet is located at 2129 Court Street in the Crossroads Shopping Center between Anytime Fitness and Riviera Tan & Spa. They offer an assortment of Asian delicacies served buffet style for lunch and dinner. They are open from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. every day and can be reached at 620-8611.  You can see more pictures from this event, including pictures of their huge buffet, by visiting the chamber's picture page at

Tazewell County Jaycees Trivia Night

The Tazewell County Jaycees are having a Back To School Trivia Night on August 12th.  It starts at 6:30.  It is held at the Washington Knights of Columbus Hall, just east of the Town Square. We are having it to raise money for Dirksen Elementary School in Pekin.  They are in need of school supplies for their students.  If you bring a back pack, you get to play for ½ off the regular attendence fee of $10.00 a person. That is only $5.00.   Jaycee Members are $5.00, unless they bring a back pack.  There is always a gift table and a 50/50 raffle.  The Knights of Columbus offers a yummy menu and a full bar.  Please refrain from bringing outside food and drinks in to the K of C hall. 

Women's Fund August 2010 First Tuesdays To Be Held at Tavern on Prospect

The next First Tuesdays will be held on Tuesday, August 3, 2010, from 5 to 7 pm at , Tavern on Prospect (5901 N. Prospect, Peoria, IL).  The Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois invites area women for a few hours of fun on the boardwalk at Junction City at their August First Tuesday’s event, a monthly networking opportunity.  Meet other dynamic women who are passionate about empowering the women and children in our communities.  Become part of a national movement towards Women’s Philanthropy.  To automatically receive First Tuesdays’ invitations, call The Women's Fund at the Community Foundation of Central Illinois at 309 674-8730 or email and ask to receive the ‘E-vite’, an online invitation, for First Tuesdays. Appetizers and beverages will be served and door prizes awarded. Donations will be accepted to further the work of the Women’s Fund.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Center for Prevention of Abuse Announces New Officers and Board Members

Peoria, July 26, 2010-The Center for Prevention of Abuse announces new officers and board members at its first new meeting of the 2010/2011 fiscal year, this evening.

Officers are president, Nancy Wright, consultant, E.M. Properties, Ltd.; vice president, Mike Baynard, president, Mathis-Kelly Construction; treasurer, Mike Murphy, executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer, Pearl Companies; secretary, Sandy Gallant-Jones, news anchor and meteorologist, WEEK-TV; and immediate past president, Bob Williams, Caterpillar vice president, retired.

New board members are Sandy Andrews, chief operations officer, CEFCU; Rev. Anna Saxon, chaplain, Methodist Medical Center and Greater Peoria Specialty Hospital; and Mary Jo Schettler, director, Community Services, Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino.

Community Foundation of Central Illinois provides grant to SRC Foundation for musical premiere

The Spoon River College Community Chorus will be presenting a new musical written by composer Richard Etter thanks to a generous grant from the Community Foundation of Central Illinois. The musical —MASS THEATRICAL— is a full two act production requiring a full cast/chorus, a children’s ensemble, and instrumentation. The premiere performance dates are February 17, 18, and 19, 2011 at the SRC Theatre in Taylor Hall on the Canton campus.

The project is being made possible by a grant from the Mildred L. Arends Musical & Cultural Activities Fund and the George A. Fulton Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois.

“The SRC Community Chorus is an outreach program sponsored by the SRC Foundation,” said Carol Davis, Vice President of Community Outreach for the college. “This will be our sixth year of presenting quality musical performances with educational/entertainment objectives. The opportunity afforded us by the Community Foundation of Central Illinois meets all of our objectives and more. We are extremely grateful for this grant.”

MASS THEATRICAL was written by Fulton County native Richard Etter in 2007. He has been searching for a group to premiere the work since that time. After taking part in the SRC Community Chorus production last February, he decided to approach Carol Davis to direct and John L. Davis to conduct.

“I am very excited to have this production produced,” said Richard Etter. “I feel confident in selecting the SRC Community Chorus as the vehicle for its first presentation and I look forward to working with John, Carol, and the rest of the SRC Chorus. We’ve already begun the interpretation process.”

The work will be refined and developed during the next two months and then receive its first printing in December. The chorus begins rehearsals in January. No auditions are required for participation in the SRC Community Chorus. A commitment to the rehearsal process and a love of music is all that is required. Chorus members range in age from 8 to 80.

This is not the first time the Community Foundation has awarded the SRC Foundation a grant. The Community Foundation of Central Illinois provided the funds for the establishment of the Spoon River College Community Chorus in 2005-06.

“We knew there was a desire for a community chorus in the college district,” Davis said. “We just needed the start-up funds to get it established. The Community Foundation gave us our start and over 60 individuals from throughout west central Illinois sang in our first presentation of Handel’s MESSIAH. The program has expanded every year since then.”

For more information about the SRC Community Chorus, please contact Carol Davis at (309) 647-6395 or  For more information about the Community Foundation of Central Illinois, please contact Kristan at (309) 674-8730

Savant Recognized as One of the Top Five RIA Firms in the Midwest

Savant Capital Management, a nationally recognized fee-only wealth management firm headquartered in Rockford with an office in Peoria, has been recognized by InvestmentNews as the fifth largest Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firm in the Midwest, ranked by discretionary assets under management. Savant was also named a top RIA firm by Financial Advisor magazine and Accounting Today magazine.

InvestmentNews recently released the results of its rankings of RIA Giants, naming Savant as #5 in the Midwest and #32 out of 50 nationally. All firms named on the Giants list manage more than $1 billion in assets. To be named to the list, a firm must not receive commissions or conduct business as a broker-dealer, and provides wealth management services to clients. This is the third year Savant has been named to the RIA Giants list.

Financial Advisor magazine also recently released their rankings of RIA firms, and Savant was designated as number 38 out of 456 firms nationally. The magazine ranked the firms by assets under management. According to Financial Advisor magazine, total assets increased by 23% in 2009 for RIA firms in general. As published in the rankings results, at the end of 2009 Savant managed nearly $1.6 billion in assets, saw a 32.66 percent growth in assets and only 1.68 percent change in number of clients.

CPA Wealth Provider, a special supplement to Accounting Today magazine, ranked Savant as #8 out of 15 RIA firms that manage over $1 billion in assets in their Wealth Magnets list. The magazine ranks firms by several categories: The Billion Dollar Club, the $100 + Million Club, the $50 Million + Club and the Rising Stars, rating a total of 181 firms.

“Savant continues to put its clients first in all situations,” said Managing Partner Brent Brodeski. “We have been fortunate to work with a number of clients in the region and to grow as a firm. We attribute our success to our philosophy of providing world class wealth management planning on a fee-only basis, meaning we do not receive commissions or sell products.”

About Savant Capital Management, Inc.

Savant Capital Management, Inc. offers investment management, financial planning, and family office services to financially established individuals, trust funds, retirement plans and non-profit organizations.

Savant is regularly recognized among the top wealth managers in the United States. Savant was named the top independent advisor in Illinois by Chicago Magazine. Savant was named by Barron’s magazine as one of the 100 best independent financial advisors in the United States for the last three consecutive years, and Inc. magazine named the firm as the fastest growing Registered Investment Advisor in Illinois. For the past seven years, Savant earned a place on Bloomberg Wealth Manager’s Top Wealth Managers list. Savant also was recognized as one of the nation’s top 100 financial advisors by Worth magazine from 1997 through 2008; the survey was discontinued in 2009. In 2006, Savant was included in The Wealth Factor—A Team Approach, a book profiling ten of the most innovative and respected wealth management firms in the nation.

For more information on Savant Capital Management, log-on to

Savant Capital Management, Inc. 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 adviser’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 adviser. The Adviser does not attempt to furnish personalized investment advice or services through this publication. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bard Optical Hosts Trunk Show

Bard Optical in Pekin is celebrating 25 years of business this month. To thank the community, Bard is hosting a Trunk Show on August 7, from 10 – 3. WSWT radio will be present with a live remote. There will be prizes and giveaways from featured designers such as Coach, Calvin Klein and Nike. Please join Bard Optical to view the latest styles in eyewear and enjoy some refreshments while you’re there.

Riviera Tan Grand Opening

The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce recently held a ribbon cutting at Riviera Tan, located at 2133 Court Street. Owners Yancy and Anna Green were celebrating the grand opening of their Salon & Spa. Tanning hours are Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and weekends from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The Salon & Spa is open Tuesday through Saturday. The stylists and massage therapists are available for appointments and taking walk-in appointments. More information is available at 353-7917.

Tazewell County Genealogical and Historical Society August Meeting

On Tuesday August 10, guest speaker for the Tazewell County Genealogical and Historical Society will be Lance Zedric, author of The Silent Warriors of World War II:

The Alamo Scouts behind Japanese Lines. He will present the story of the 6th Army’s elite reconnaissance and raider unit which performed 106 missions behind Japanese lines during World War II, both in New Guinea and the Philippines, including two daring POW camp liberations without losing a man either by capture or death. His work was the moving force for a History Channel documentary on the Alamo Scouts.

Lance Zedric, a native of Canton, IL, is an author, educator, editor, and military consultant. He has authored or co-authored six books and has had numerous articles published in popular magazines and scholarly journals. He holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history, and is a graduate of the US Army Intelligence School.

The meeting, which is open to the general public, will be held on Tuesday August 10, 2010 at the Society’s Erlicher Library, located at 719 N Eleventh St, Pekin, IL. The program will begin promptly at 7:00 PM, with a business meeting immediately following. The building is handicapped accessible with ample parking available.

The Community Foundation of Central Il Awards $5576 Grant

The Community Foundation of Central Illinois Awards $5576 Grant to Midwest Food Bank’s Innovative Tender Mercies Food Program.

The Community Foundation of Central Illinois is highlighting Midwest Food Bank’s innovative Tender Mercies Food program with a check presentation and tour of the facility. The media are invited to attend.

The Tender Mercies food product was developed at the Peoria Division of Midwest Food Bank in cooperation with the University of Illinois Soy Research Department.
Midwest Food Bank volunteers will be assembling the product and will offer tastings of the highly nutritious product that will be distributed to local non-profits in the Peoria area starting in August. The product is designed for easy preparation, is high in fiber and protein, and costs lest than .11 cents a serving to create.

Larry Herman, Director, Midwest Food Bank, will present the Tender Mercies food program and product, offering tastings and a tour of the facility to attendees and media.

Melinda Anderson, University of Illinois, Soy Research Department, will present on their role in developing the product.

Susan Herman, Volunteer, Midwest Food Bank, will present on the volunteer role of creating the product.

Mark Roberts, CEO, Community Foundation of Central Illinois, will present the check to Midwest Food Bank

Wednesday, July 28, 2010
9:30 AM

Midwest Food Bank
9005 N. Industrial Road
Peoria, IL 61615

Center for Prevention of Abuse Receives Recognition

Center for Prevention of Abuse Receives Recognition For Services to Prevent Elder Abuse

Elder Abuse Services at The Center for Prevention of Abuse recently received a 99.11% score on their case review report from the Illinois Department on Aging.
In addition, four staff members were awarded certificates in appreciation of their work on behalf of vulnerable seniors by the Illinois Department on Aging and Illinois State TRIAD (an association of agencies representing law enforcement, criminal justice and aging services) at their conference last week. They are Ann Aylward and Karen Rose, caseworkers; and Shirley Patterson and Pat Willis, long-term care ombudsmen.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Chamber Welcomes New Member, Asian Buffet

Asian Buffet, 2129 Court St, Pekin IL 61554; phone: 309-620-8611; fax: 309-620-8613; Business hours: 11am - 10pm 7 days a week. Lewis Liu, Manager; Chang Fei Zheng, Executive Chef. They offer an assortment of Asian delicacies served buffet style for lunch and dinner.

Chamber Welcomes New Member, Bastien Wireless

Bastien Wireless, Inc., 2115 Court St, Pekin IL 61554; phone: 309-353-2355, fax: 309-353-2357; e-mail:; website:; Office hours: M-F 9am - 8pm, Sat 9am - 7pm, Sun 11am - 5pm. Matt Bastien, Corporate Trainer; Josh Whitman, Sore Manager; Steve McCabe, Operation Manager; Jason Bastien, Vice President. Bastien Wireless sells US Cellular, Verizon, Sprint & Nextel services. They are able to offer the customer the best service to fit their needs not just one service. They are family owned and live in the areas they service. Their primary focus is to satisfy their customers with the best products and excellent service.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chamber Welcomes New Member, Hanson Professional Services Inc.

Hanson Professional Services Inc., 7625 N. University St, Suite 200, Peoria IL 61614; phone:309-691-0902, fax:309-691-1327;; Cindy Loos, Regional Vice President, Andy Canopy, Project Manager, Kurt Bialobreski, Traffic Engineer. Office hours are 8:00am - 5:00pm. They specialize in engineering, architecture, planning and a range of allied services. They are an employee-owned, award-winning consulting firm with offices across the United States.

Pekin Hospital Names Business Development Liaison/Physician Recruiter

Pekin Hospital is pleased to announce that Debbie Gaines has been named Business Development Liaison/Physician Recruiter.

Debbie has over 26 years of national and international professional recruitment experience.

She most recently served as a sales representative with Statewide Publishing in Bloomington, Illinois. Prior to that, Debbie owned her own recruitment firm, Career Gaines International in Bloomington, after 20 years with a nationwide firm where she was an award winning Manager and Recruiter. Her niche specialty was Japanese/English bilingual professionals for the automotive industry. She also previously served as a physician recruiter for a central Illinois firm.

One of Debbie’s main areas will focus on marketing calls to referral sources and local businesses to identify opportunities for new and expanded services. She will also serve as a liaison for Pekin Hospital/ProHealth physicians and department directors to expand the hospital’s presence and use of services throughout its service area.

Marigold Festival Sand Volleyball Tournament Applications Available

Sand Volleyball Tournament ~ Come join in the fun and participate in the Pekin Marigold Festival Sand Volleyball Tournament presented by Parkside Athletics on Saturday, September 11th from 9:00 am to Dusk (Finish). Rain date, Sunday, September 12th. Divisions are Competitive Volleyball on sand volleyball courts and Recreational Volleyball on Dragonland Water Park sand volleyball courts~~both playing at the same time. Entry forms are available online, at the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce and at Parkside Athletics.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chamber Welcomes New Member, Cuattro, LLC

We are pleased to announce another new member.  Cuattro LLC, 1618 Valle Vista, Pekin phone:309-349-8900, fax:309-349-8902,, Doug Wilson, President; Nathan Osborn, Vice President; Sean McCain, Controller; Margaret Sanders, Office Manager. Office hours are Weekdays 8am - 5pm. They offer design, sales and service of digital xray technology and software in the veterinary, human and other markets.

Paper Recycling for House of Hope


Graphic Packaging International, Inc is pleased to announce a community recycling effort to benefit the House of Hope in Tazewell County.

Bring your newspapers, office paper, cardboard, etc to Graphic Packaging, 1525 S. 2nd Street, Pekin and drop in the recycle containers. Graphic Packaging will donate a price per ton of collected recyclable paper products to the House of Hope.

Graphic Packaging is a recycled paper mill. We recycle used paper products into Paperboard that is sold to companies that turn our product into food packaging containers such as the oatmeal tube shaped containers you see in the grocery store.

The Tazewell County House of Hope is a non-profit, tax exempt organization that offers hope to female victims of domestic violence and their children. The House of Hope is open to all victims regardless of where they reside.

· Since May, 2000 the House of Hope has served over 900 women and children
· There have been 5,060 bed nights since 2004
· Over 228 women and children were served through shelter and crisis intervention since 2004

The services offered include but are not limited to:
· Free, Emergency Shelter
· Assistance in finding safe and suitable housing
· Assistance in looking for employment
· Support groups/Life Skills Workshops
· Domestic Violence Counseling
· Trained and compassionate staff dedicated to ending the cycle of violence



1525 S. 2ND STREET (Rte 29), PEKIN, IL

We are located on the South end of 2nd Street (Rte 29), just south of the Koch Street intersection.  Any questions, please call:  Patti Rawlings, Graphic Packaging Int’l, Inc  309-346-4118 Ext 224 (8:30-4:30 M-F)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Oliver North to Join Goodwill in Honoring Local Military Personnel and Veterans

Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois is teaming up with Lt. Col. (ret) Oliver North to honor local military personnel and raise money to help returning veterans find jobs, housing and support services. The Vietnam veteran, political commentator, military historian and best-selling author will be the keynote speaker at Goodwill’s 2010 Veterans’ Recognition Event, to be held Tuesday, November 9, at the Peoria Civic Center Ballroom.

“We’re thrilled that Oliver North has agreed to join us to honor the memory of his good friend, General Wayne A. Downing of Peoria, and lead us in thanking all the men and women of central Illinois who have served our country,” said Patty Fuchs, president and CEO of Goodwill. “We hope to build on the success of our 2008 event featuring Tom Brokaw, which raised nearly $100,000 for services to help veterans reconnect to our community.”

Those services include Goodwill’s Homeless Veterans’ Re-entry Program, which offers job training, computer skills and resume advice, and the General Wayne A. Downing Home for Veterans—the only one of its kind in the state of Illinois—which provides housing, food, counseling and access to schooling and job training for up to 10 veterans. In addition, Goodwill’s “Stand Down,” held at Peoria’s O’Brien Field in October 2009, provided more than 80 homeless veterans with free meals, showers, haircuts, winter clothing, health screenings, benefits counseling, housing and employment referrals and more. The 2010 Stand Down is scheduled for October 23 at O’Brien Field.

J.D. and Julie Comfort of Peoria will serve as honorary chairpersons for Goodwill’s 2010 Veterans’ Recognition Event. “Estimates tell us there are about 550 homeless veterans in Central Illinois today. These men and women made sacrifices for our country, and they need our support now,” said J.D. Comfort. “Goodwill has a long-standing commitment to helping veterans, and supporting this event is one easy way we can all give back to those who have given so much.”

A recipient of the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts and the Presidential Service Badge, North joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1968, retiring in 1990. He hosts “War Stories with Oliver North” on Fox News Channel and has written a number of best-selling books, including Under Fire, One More Mission, War Stories—Operation Iraqi Freedom, Mission Compromised, The Jericho Sanction, The Assassins and American Heroes. In 1990, North founded the Freedom Alliance to provide support for wounded combat soldiers and scholarships for the sons and daughters of service members killed in action.

Individuals and organizations interested in attending or sponsoring Goodwill’s 2010 Veterans’ Recognition Event should call the Goodwill administrative offices at (309) 682-1113 for more information. Individual tickets are $65, and table sponsorships are $1,500. Other levels of event and in-kind sponsorship are also available.

More information about Goodwill, the General Wayne A. Downing Home for Veterans and Goodwill’s other veterans’ services are available at

Monday, July 12, 2010

CEFCU Receives Superior Rating

CEFCU received a 5-Star or "Superior" rating – the highest rating awarded – by BAUERFINANCIAL, an independent organization that has been analyzing the performance of all financial institutions since 1983. This rating indicates CEFCU is a safe, financially-sound credit union that is operating well above our regulatory capital requirements, having a capital to assets ratio of over 9%. BAUERFINANCIAL rates credit unions based on asset quality, capital adequacy, profitability, historical trends, reserves, regulatory compliance, and liquidity.

As of the end of May, CEFCU’s assets were over $4.4 billion. Members' savings reached over $3.9 billion, and loans outstanding totaled $3.1 billion. CEFCU savings plans are federally insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), a U.S. Government Agency.

CEFCU serves 270,000 members through 19 Central Illinois Member Centers; Valley Credit Union, a division of CEFCU; the CEFCU Financial Center; the Money Center 24 ATM Network; CEFCU’s Web site,; and

Thursday, July 8, 2010

LAUNCH - A Business Creation Competition

The 2010 Launch Business Creation Competition will include a preliminary round and culminate in a final round where the best business concept will be selected.  All contestants who present their plans in the preliminary rounds will receive feedback and suggestions from the panel of judges. Those advancing to the final round will be eligible for the grand prize consisting of a $5,000 cash award plus free consultancy services from a variety of professional areas of importance to start up businesses.  Applications are due by September 7th.  You can get more information and enter online at:

Act On Energy

Don’t let your business miss out on thousands of dollars! That’s what could happen if you don’t register for one of the You Can Act On Energy Symposiums.

When you attend one of these events you will receive a coupon for your business that will increase your incentives by 15% on your next project. It won’t cost you anything to attend – that’s right they are FREE and they will help you identify ways to save energy and money. The 15% bonus alone could be worth thousands of dollars to your business.

We will be hosting three symposiums at the following locations and dates:

• Bloomington/ Normal, IL – July 27th, 2010 at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, 201 Broadway Ave., Normal, IL 61761.

• Marion, IL – July 28th, 2010 at the Williamson County Pavilion, 1602 Sioux Dr., Marion, IL 62959.

• Fairview Heights, IL – July 29th, 2010 at the Four Points by Sheraton, 319 Fountains Parkway, Fairview Heights, IL 62208.

These symposiums will not provide just broad based concepts on how to reduce energy usage; instead we will focus on best practices in specific industries. We are hosting break-out sessions specifically designed to talk about best practices for hospitals, industry, grocery & convenience stores, small businesses (including churches and non-profits) and public entities. These events will help you identify low hanging fruit and give you the tools to start working on projects at your facility.

Act Now!!! – call 866-800-0747 to register.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

NTS Marigold Festival Parade Application

Applications for the NTS Marigold Festival Parade are available. You can download your parade application here or get more festival details by visiting the Pekin Area Chamber Of Commerce website. The entry deadline is August 27, 2010. Parade rules and regulations will be included with the application.

Chamber Welcomes New Member; Tazewell County Offices & Employees

Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes another new member, Tazewell County Offices and Employees, 342 Court St, Pekin, 477-2201;; Courtney Antonini, Administrator.  General business hours, Monday - Friday 8:30am - 5:00 pm.

CEFCU Offers Citizen Soldier Loans

CEFCU is pleased to announce that it is a participating financial institution in the Illinois Citizen Soldiers Program. This program, administered through the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office, offers short term loans to members of the National Guard and Military Reservists to help them support their families during, or after, deployment.

Qualifying individuals can receive up to $10,000 for a maximum of two years at a rate of 3% APR. Individuals can apply for the loan prior to deployment, during their active duty, or up to six months after their return home. One of the benefits of this program is that loan payments will not begin until the individual returns from active duty. Citizen Soldier loan applications and information about the program can be found on the Illinois State Treasurer’s website,

Mary Conrady, CEFCU Vice President of Consumer Lending, stated, “CEFCU is proud to participate in the Citizen Soldiers Program. Men and women who are serving our country should not have to worry about how their family is getting by financially here at home. This will provide some relief not only for the soldiers, but also their loved ones. ”

With assets totaling $4.4 billion, CEFCU serves 270,000 members through 19 Central Illinois Member Centers; Valley Credit Union, a division of CEFCU; the CEFCU Financial Center; the Money Center 24 ATM Network; CEFCU’s Web site,; and

The IAAP announces new officers for 2010-2011

Congratulations to the new 2010-2011 Officers of the Tri-County Chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals.

The new 2010-2011 Tri-County Chapter Officers are:

President: Judy Zimmerman, Peoria, IL. Judy is the Health Information Services Clerical Educator at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Peoria, IL.

Vice President: Karen Haensel, CPS/CAP, Mackinaw, IL. Karen is an Administrative Assistant at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center.

Treasurer: Tammy McBride Peoria, IL. Tammy is the Administrative Services Manager at Jim Maloof Realty, Peoria, IL.

Recording Secretary: Jannise Bush, Peoria, IL. Jannise is on the administrative team of JB Virtual Administrative Services, Peoria, IL.

Correspondence Secretary: Barb Atkins, CPS, Chillicothe, Illinois. Barb is the Executive Assistant for Emergency Services at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Peoria, IL

The new Tri-County Officers were installed at the IAAP chapter meeting on June 1, 2010.

The Chapter meets the first Tuesday of each month providing educational programs and networking for local administrative professionals. For additional information about the organization, please see their website at

IAAP is an international organization with over 600 chapters and 40,000 members and affiliates worldwide to promote excellence. Its members include administrative assistants, executive secretaries, office coordinators, information specialists, and related administrative professionals.

CEFCU Announces Management Moves and Retirement

Sara Clauser, Mark Geason, Doug Hanley, Doug Higgins, Jason Koch, Lori MacDonald, Gary Moss, and Jay Zentko will assume new management positions. In addition, Greg Jaeger, Melody Malcom, Lisa Rotermund, and Staci Wall were promoted, and Business Development Manager, Rochelle Ragan retires.

Clauser was named Manager of the University of CEFCU Department. Her responsibilities include developing corporate training and programs which support the overall strategic direction of the Credit Union.

Geason assumes the position of Automated Services Operations Manager. His responsibilities include overseeing daily operations of the Automated Services Operations Department as well as the balancing of ATMs, Fast Track Tellers, and business deposits.

Hanley was named Business Loan Officer. His job responsibilities include developing commercial business with existing and new members, examining and evaluating applications for commercial and real estate loans, and approving member business loan requests.

Higgins was named Credit Manager. His job responsibilities include overseeing the Visa Credit, Conditional Sales, and Diversified Credit Departments, as well as research and development for new credit products.

Koch will assume the position of Consumer and Visa Collection Manager. His job responsibilities include planning, directing, and controlling the collection efforts of Consumer Loan and Visa delinquency. He will also ensure the Credit Union’s collection policies and procedures are administered fairly and in accordance with State and Federal laws.

MacDonald was named Business Relationship Manager. MacDonald will direct CEFCU’s sales and servicing of business deposit account products, as well as promoting the benefits of CEFCU Membership to employers.

Moss will assume the position of Business Services Collection Manager. His job responsibilities include monitoring the collection of delinquent business loans and Visa accounts, and monitoring Business Checking overdraft protection.

Zentko was named Mortgage Loss Prevention Collection Manager. His job responsibilities include directing and controlling the collection efforts of real estate delinquency and foreclosures as well as charge-off recovery.

Jaeger was promoted to the position of Records Center Manager. His job responsibilities include overseeing daily operations and developing procedures to effectively manage CEFCU’s corporate records and information resources.

Malcom was promoted to Manager of Check Processing. Her job responsibilities involve directing and controlling the check processing system including image/non-image statement generation, business transaction processing, and balancing procedures.

Rotermund was promoted to Sales Operations Manager for the Chillicothe Member Center. Her job responsibilities include organizing and directing daily operations.

Wall was promoted to the position of Dealer Credit Manager. Her job responsibilities include organizing and directing CEFCU’s Caterpillar Dealer/Select Employee Groups operations.

Rochelle Ragan has been an employee of CEFCU for over 30 years, last serving as Business Development Manager. Her retirement was effective July 1, 2010.

With assets totaling $4.4 billion, CEFCU serves over 270,000 members through 19 Central Illinois Member Centers; Valley Credit Union, a division of CEFCU; the CEFCU Financial Center; the Money Center 24 ATM Network; CEFCU’s Web site,; and

Friday, July 2, 2010

4-H Fair Needs Exhibitors

The Tazewell County 4-H Fair is currently recruiting businesses to fill booth space during the fair. A 10x10 booth is $60 and a 10x20 is $110. There will also be a farmers market on 8-3-10 from 3-8:30 in the exhibit area. The 4-Hers will be selling their produce there as well. The 4-H Fair will include good food, tractor pulls, and Pekin Hospital will offer health screenings on Wednesday, August 4th. For booth info contact Curtis Hochstetler at or by phone 309-267-1460.

July Business After Hours at U of I Extension

The chamber's July Business After Hours was hosted by the University of Illinois Extension office at 1505 Valle Vista. In addition to tasty snacks and good conversation, chamber members and their guests learned about the Extension's programs, including 4-H, nutrition education, and Master Gardeners.  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fireworks in Pekin

Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce

4th of July Honor America Celebration
brought to you by
Timbercreek Rehab & Health Care

Sunday, July 4th Pekin Memorial Stadium (Rain date: July 5th)
Gates Open at 6:00pm Fireworks at Dusk (around 9:15pm)

Donations: Adults $5 Children 6-12 just $1 Children 5 and under free

No coolers will be allowed inside the stadium, however, blankets and lawn chairs are allowed on the field.  Hot dogs, cotton candy, nachos, popcorn and Pepsi products will be sold. Glow sticks will also be available.

Before the fireworks begin, those in the stadium will enjoy music by Alison Hanna and “Stepdown and the Strays”

Thanks to our sponsors:

Timbercreek Rehab & Health Care

CEFCU ~ East Court Village ~ Enviro-Safe Refrigerants ~ Leman Property Management ~ Liberty Village / Pekin Manor / Pekin Estates ~ Pekin First Church of God ~ Pekin Insurance ~ Subway

Ameren Illinois Utilities ~ Avanti’s Ristorante ~ Bagley & Miller Law Office ~ Busey Bank ~ Excalibur Seasoning Company ~ Excel Foundry and Machine ~ Farnsworth Group ~ Illinois American Water ~ Kouri’s Pub ~ Maurer-Stutz ~ McDonald’s ~ Midwest Generation Powerton ~ Pekin Community Bank ~ Pekin Veterinary Clinic ~ Pepsi ~ Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes ~ Ray Dennison Chevrolet ~ Schwartz & Miller Family Dentistry ~ Uftring Chrysler Dodge Jeep ~ Wal-Mart

Citizens for Unes ~ County Market / Niemann Foods ~ Court Place Apartments ~ Covenant Heating & Air ~ Deuce Development ~ Grand Victorian of Pekin ~ Heartland Bank & Trust Company ~ John M. Evans Supportive Living Community ~ Kriegsman Warehouses ~ Lowman & Barra ~ McDaniels Marketing Communications ~ Newman & Ullman ~ Pekin Animal Hospital ~ Pekin Daily Times ~ Pekin Union Mission Society ~ Seico Security Systems ~ Unland Companies ~ Velde Cadillac Buick GMC ~ Vonderheide Floor Coverings ~ Willock Warning and Co. ~ Wireless Express ~ Women’s Center for Health