Showing posts from January, 2011

Chamber Voter's Guide

The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce believes it is important for Chamber members to exercise their right to vote.  The Chamber also believes it is important for members to be informed voters, particularly when it comes to issues that can affect the local business climate.   With that in mind, the Business Environment Division sent a questionnaire to candidates for the Pekin City Council and Pekin Mayoral races.  (Park District and School Board questionnaires will be published in mid-February.) You can see a list of the candidates and their unedited responses to the questions at:

Act On Energy - Offering Discounts in the Online Store!

We happy to announce that Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce is participating in the Chamber Challenge that is explained below.  Please use the code "Pekin" when you place your order to help us in our efforts with this years challenge. Act On Energy is once again reducing the cost of most of its products in the online store by 50%, and is offering chambers the opportunity to participate in a Chamber Challenge -  Similar to last year, Act On Energy is now selling these popular products at reduced prices: ·          CFLS starting at $0.50 o    Customers save an average of $17 annually in energy costs for each CFL that replaces an incandescent bulb ·          LED Exit Signs – on sale for $6.88 o    Regular price $27.75 o    Will save up to $60 in energy costs per year, per sign ·          Beverage Machine Controls – on sale for $39.50 o    Regular price $179 o    Will save up to $140 in energy costs per year, per control ·          Receive 3 CFL bulbs FREE of charge o    Choose f

Mashie's Supper Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday  $10 APPETIZER BUFFET 2:00 until KICKOff! Mashies at Sunset Hills 1620 Summit

Jaycees Raise Money for American Heart Association With Trivia Night

The Tazewell County Jaycees will be hosting a Trivia Night on Thursday, February 10th starting at 6:30pm at EP’s Timeout ( 1011 E. Washington St. ) in East Peoria to raise funds for the American Heart Association. A two to ten person team will be able to play 8 rounds of 10 questions for $10.00 per person or $5.00 per person for Jaycees.  Registration begins at 6pm with play starting at 6:30pm .  Throughout the evening a 50/50 raffle will be conducted along with door prizes being awarded.  The winning team will be awarded a traveling trophy, free admission and 2 free pizzas from EP’s Timeout at the next trivia night. If you would like to reserve a table for your team please contact the Tazewell County Jaycees at .  Please note that reservations are preferred, but not required. The Jaycees provide individuals between the age of 18 and 41 the opportunity to develop personal and leadership skills while serving their community.  The Tazewell County Chapter of the

An event sponsored by The Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois

Tuesday, February 1, 2011 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM Location: Re- In the Metro Center                   4700 N. University St                   Peoria , IL   61614                                 A monthly networking opportunity for Peoria-area women. This month we will visit at RE in the Metro Center .   Everything at RE is made of recycled, repurposed, or reclaimed materials.   Join other women who share your interest in funding projects that assist women and children. Appetizers and beverages. Drawing for door prizes. Donations will be accepted to further the work of the Women’s Fund Call or email Kristan at 309/674.8730 or and ask to be added to the First Tuesdays “evite” mailing list.

February Chamber Connection Newsletter Posted

Another month has passed and we've condensed all the news from our blog into a monthly digest.  Please view or print this month's Chamber Connection  newsletter by visiting:

Executive Directors Report

Going Mobile The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce uses several different websites and blogs to promote our community and our members.   We regularly review and analyze the traffic that visits those sites and identify trends and opportunities for the chamber and our members.  I could tell you exactly how many visitors we had to our websites and blogs last year, or that they came from every state in the union, plus 118 different countries.   Or I could tell you that over 25% of our website visitors, and nearly half of our blog visitors found us from Google searchers. But to me the most interesting trend is the use of mobile devices.   In 2010 a total of 1,707 mobile devices accessed, compared to only 64 in 2009.   And 10% of our visitors to the Pepsi Medallion Hunt blog were mobile devices in 2010, while there were only 2 people who accessed that site with a mobile device in 2009.  With smart phones now outselling laptops, those numbers shouldn’t come as a surprise.   And that tr

Membership Renewals through January 24th

Thank you to the following chamber members who have recently renewed their investment in the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce: Allegra Print & Imaging ~ Amanda's Closet ~ Ameren Illinois Utilities ~ American Fire Service ~ Art's Ads ~ Aventine Renewable Energy ~ Bagley & Miller, Attorneys ~ Bard Optical ~ Baumgarten Distributors ~ George Beres ~ Boy Scouts of America/W.D. Boyce Council ~ Brewers Distributing Company ~ Brookmeadow Apartments ~ Carney's Insurance Store ~ CD 107.9   (Prairie Communications) ~ CenturyLink ~ Champion Fitness Physical Therapy ~ Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell ~ Comcast Business Services ~ Commerce Bank ~ DHS/Division of Rehabilitation Services ~ East Court Village ~ Edward Jones / Chris Petersen ~ Dr. Robert Ehrich, DDS ~ Elks Lodge ~ Enviro-Dry ~ Excel Foundry & Machine ~ Four Seasons Gutter Protection Company ~ Sylvan Franklin ~ Rich Gafford ~ Glesne Family Dentistry ~ Goodwill Industries ~ Graphic Packaging International ~ Greenhouse Flo

Biz Barometer

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.5 percent in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.5 percent before seasonal adjustment. Nationwide, the unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage points to 9.4 percent in December, and non-farm payroll employment increased by 103,000. Employment rose in leisure and hospitality and in health care but was little changed in other major industries. In Pekin, sales tax receipts collected on sales in October (and received from the State in December) were up 4.6% compared to the same period in 2009. Pekin’s unemployment rate was 10.9% in November, up 0.1 points from the previous month. Illinois’ unemployment rate held at 9.2% and the tri-county rate held at 9.3% for the second straight month.

Chamber Calendar of Events

Feb 1 Ribbon Cutting – Going Green Computers Feb 2 Executive Board Meeting Feb 3 R. David Tebben Leadership Academy Feb 3 Pekin 1st Committee Feb 3 Business After Hours – Riviera Tan Feb 8 Member Services Committee Feb 8 R. David Tebben Leadership Academy Feb 9 Transportation Committee Feb 9 Board of Directors Meeting Feb 10 R. David Tebben Leadership Academy Feb 11 Puttin on Pekin Breakfast – Knights of Columbus Feb 15 R. David Tebben Leadership Academy Feb 16 Marigold Festival Committee Meeting Feb 17 R. David Tebben Leadership Academy Feb 21 President's Day Feb 22 Business Advocacy Committee Feb 22 R. David Tebben Leadership Academy Feb 24 R. David Tebben Leadership Academy You’ll find additional member events by visiting our calendar online . Do you have an event coming up, that you would like to add to our calendar? Contact us to find out how.   This is just another benefit of your membership.

Dazzling D Welcomed to Chamber

One of the newest chamber members, Dazzling D Mobile Light and Sound, was welcomed to the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce with a brief ceremony at the recent Pekin Area Business Expo. Derek Watson is the owner of this full-service mobile DJ company. Specializing in weddings, parties, school functions, business functions, and charity events, he can be reached at 309-453-7238.

Pekin Area Business Expo 2011

Nearly 70 businesses and organization set up displays and gave demonstrations at the 2011 Pekin Area Business Expo sponsored by the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce, Allegra Print & Imaging, Pekin Insurance, and Midwest Generation Powerton Station. The event was held on January 22nd at the Avanti's Dome. About 3,000 people toured the displays, enjoyed the entertainment, registered for door prizes and received free gifts. Other sponsors included the Pekin Daily Times, Comcast Spotlight, Adams Outdoor Advertising, Illinois Collections Unlimited, CEFCU and Fun on the Run.  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at:

Chamber Welcomes New Member, Professional Towing & Recovery Opertors of Illinois

Professional Towing & Recovery Operators of Illinois , 851 Brenkman Dr., Pekin IL 61554; phone:309-347-2286; fax: 309-347-2375; email: ; website; ; Ron Matthews, BOD Member; Melanie Matthews, Administrator; Business Hours: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. The PTROI is an association dedicated to promoting the interests and welfare of all towing-storage operations in the State of Illinois and to cooperate with like enterprises throughout the country. We support and encourage fair competition in all business dealings and promote at all times good fellowship among members.

February is National Heart Month


Speakeasy Art Center - Events

Night Owl Spoken Word Poetry Night- January 26 (9-11p) This even is BRAND NEW to Speakeasy Art Center. It will be hosted by Chris Keller. So bring your bodies, minds, hearts, and words to the Speakeasy Art Center. The event will happen every last Wednesday of the month. So let loose with all you have to say!! BTW...BYOB!!! No charge! Opening Reception for Jacob Grant- Friday February 4th (6-830pm) Jacob Grant is a central Illinois ceramicist. He graduated with a Masters degree of Fine Art from Bradley University. He has taught at The Peoria Art Guild, Illinois Central College, Bradley University and Robert Morris College. His work has been widely shown in Chicago, IL., Rend Lake, IL., Peoria Heights, IL., and St. Louis, MO. Grant states, "I am curious about exploration of formal qualities of the vessel and volumetric sculptural objects. Inter-relational ties between functional and sculptural art through researching basic aspects of form are the primary concerns in my work.

Savant Capital Management Celebrates 25 Years of Financial Innovation

Company Looks to Expand In Future Rockford, IL (January 24, 2011) – Savant Capital Management, a locally owned and nationally recognized fee-only wealth management firm headquartered in Rockford, has been at the forefront of financial innovation for 25 years. In 2011, Savant celebrates its 25th anniversary of helping clients work toward achieving their financial goals. It all started in 1986 when Thomas A. Muldowney had a vision to approach wealth management services in a whole new way. "I wanted to separate myself from organizations that sold commissioned based products," said Thomas Muldowney, Savant Managing Director and Financial Advisor. "I wanted to offer my clients true, independent financial and estate planning advice that was unbiased by conflicts of interest." He launched Savant Planning Group, Ltd., a fee-only planning practice. In 1992, Muldowney realized he needed to offer his clients a systematic way to implement the investment strategies necessa

The Tazewell County Genealogical and Historical Society Bus Trip

Anyone who attended the ISGS conference in Peoria this year got some great tips on how to research.  We want to give you the chance to do the research.  Allen County Public Library has a marvelous and vast genealogy section with information that covers the entire United States.  It’s a great chance to put those researching tools to work and find some of the information you have been seeking.             The Tazewell County Genealogical and Historical Society is sponsoring a bus trip to this library in Fort Wayne Indiana.  The trip will encompass three days.  We will leave on Monday June 13 at 7 am from the TCGHS Ehrlicher Library in Pekin IL with an additional pick up stop in Bloomington IL.  We will return Wednesday night  with a drop off in Bloomington and arrive in Pekin about 9 pm. You will have research time Monday afternoon and evening, all day on Tuesday and four hours on Wednesday before we have to leave the stacks and head home. There is parking available at the library in

Tazewell County Genealogical and Historical Society General Meeting

“History - Is It the Pits? Or Tales of the Left Behind!”  Local society member Andrew Waholek will present the program this month at the general meeting of the Tazewell County Genealogical and Historical Society on February 8,2011.  Mr. Waholek is a bottle collector, member of the local collectors club, an outhouse/cistern excavator, and a metal detector enthusiast who will talk about the history found under the top soil and other unusual places. The meeting, which is open to the general public, will be held on Tuesday February 8, 2011 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.

Chamber Meets With Unes

Representatives of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce's Transportation Committee recently met with newly elected State Representative Mike Unes at his district office at 19 S. Capitol in Pekin.  Unes represents Illinois' 91st District, which includes parts of Fulton, Peoria, and Tazewell County.  Pictured with Representative Unes are Transportation Committee Chairman Rich Kriegsman and Vice-Chairman Dennis Kief.  The purpose of the meeting was to bring Representative Unes up to date on Pekin's Veteran's Drive project.  For the past 17 years the Chamber's Transportation Committee has been the leading advocate for improvements to the area's transportation infrastructure.  In particular, the committee has worked closely with the City of Pekin, Tazewell County, Illinois and U.S. elected officials and staff on the construction of Veteran's Drive.

Join us January 27th!

East Peoria Chamber of Commerce, Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce, Morton Chamber of Commerce, and Washington Chamber of Commerce members are invited to attend the Tazewell County Business After Hours.  We hope to see you there!

Leadership & Municipal Government

Students in the R. David Tebben Community Leadership Academy learned about municipal government at today's class session. Pekin Mayor Rusty Dunn and retired City Manager Dennis Kief spoke about the challenges faced by municipalities and the need for strong leaders both on the City Council and in the city staff. The students also began their introductions of each other today. The session was held in the community room at the Pekin Public Library. Assistant Director Alissa Williams and Director Jeff Brooks gave a brief presentation on the library and a tour of the facilities, pointing out the many recent changes and updates.  You can see more pictures from chamber events at

Join us! This Saturday 9am - 3pm


Chamber Welcomes New Member, Moehle, Swearingen & Umholtz, Ltd.

Moehle, Swearingern & Umholtz, Ltd. , 410 Broadway Rd, PO Box 875, Pekin, IL 61555-0875; phone: 309-347-4141; fax: 309-347-5875; email:; hours: Mon-Fri 8:30 - 5:00 pm; Valerie Moehle Umholtz, Partner, Bradley W. Swearingen, Partner; Moehle, Swearingen & Umholtz, Ltd. has provided dependable and quality legal services in the Pekin area for over 45 years. The firm is able to meet the needs of businesses, individuals and government entities.

Chamber Welcomes New Member, Dazzling D Mobile Light & Sound

Dazzling D Mobile Light & Sound , 9205 W Mapleridge Rd., Mapleton, IL 61547; phone: 309-453-7238; email: ; Derek Watson, Owner; Full service mobile DJ company. Specializing in weddings, parties, school functions, business functions, charity events, etc.

Federal Correctional Institution Solicits Volunteers

Volunteers are needed to help perform practice employment interviews to federal inmates.   While experience in interviewing is helpful, it is not required.   Upon arrival at the institution, we will help prepare you for the day.   In the past, most employers have found this to be a very rewarding experience.   We appreciate any support you can give in helping us prepare the inmates for future release into the community.   These are the dates of the Mock Job Fairs.  You can volunteer for any or all that would work for you.    February 11, 2011             8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m  May 20, 2011                    8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m September 16, 2011            8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m To register, please view the full flyer here .

Fish Fry to Benefit St. Jude January 29th


Goodwill Industires of Central Illinois - Part time positon available in Pekin

COMPUTER INSTRUCTOR NEEDED AT NEW PEKIN LEARNING CENTER Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois is seeking a part-time computer instructor to teach at its new Pekin Learning Center. Applicants must be proficient in Microsoft Windows, Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Experience with Internet and email applications is also required. Beginning March 21, Goodwill will offer free computer basics classes at its Pekin Learning Center. The center is located inside Goodwill’s Pekin store at 3245 Court Street. Pekin will become the third central Illinois community to house a Goodwill Learning Center. Currently, Goodwill operates learning centers in Peoria and Galesburg, which also offer free computer training. “Our mission is expanding thanks to the people of central Illinois, “says Bill Bontemps, Director of Vocational Services.   “By opening another learning center, we are able to reach more people and help them to attain their goals through the power of work.” Day and evening classes will be

County Wide Business After Hours - Mark your Calendars!

Contact your local Chamber of Commerce for more information!

Pekin Main Street Announces Eagle Census Festival


18th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast for Equality

The 18 th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast for Equality will be held Saturday, January 15 th at 9:00 a.m. at Edison Junior High School.  Breakfast will be available at 8:15 a.m. and will be catered by CJ’s Café.  Students (18 and younger) attend for free, with an $8.00 charge for adults attending.  This year’s speaker is Oba William King, a poet and storyteller.  He will present his program, “I Love My People”, featuring poetry and stories that share the commonality of people as captured in the writings of African-American authors.  Click here to view the flyer .  For reservations or more information, please call the YWCA at (309) 347-9922, ext. 25.  The Breakfast is sponsored by the YWCA’s Coalition for Equality, United Way of Pekin, and the Illinois Humanities Council.

Hallmark House Nursing Center, Sandra Tobinson Award Winner

2010 “SENIOR VOLUNTEER” and “HONORING OUR HERO” Pekin, IL . . . Hallmark House Nursing Center is excited to announce that on May 9, 2010 during National Nursing Home Week, the Health Care Council of Illinois awarded Sandra Robinson a Certificate “Honoring our Hero.” Additionally, on September 29, 2010 the Central Illinois Agency on Aging, Inc. held its Annual Meeting at the Peoria Civic Center and presented several awards for different categories. Sandra Robinson was nominated and awarded a plaque for “Senior Volunteer.” Sandra has been a volunteer at Hallmark since October 2009, in addition to her husband being a resident of Hallmark. Sandra has become a vital part of our resident’s daily lives, as well as a member of the “Hallmark Family.” Sandra works selflessly seven days a week either in group sessions or one-on-one enriching our resident’s lives by assisting with scheduled outings, reading the bible, newspaper and other reading material. Additionally, its not uncommon to fi

Community Foundation of Central Illinois Announces March 2011 Grant Cycle is Now Open

Peoria, IL- The Community Foundation of Central Illinois (CFCI) is currently accepting grant proposals from non-profit organizations within a 50-mile radius of Peoria, excluding McLean County . Newly revised grant guidelines may be downloaded from the CFCI website at and are available at the office, 331 Fulton Street, Suite 310 , Peoria , Illinois 61602 . Proposals must be received at the Community Foundation of Central Illinois office by: 4:30 PM, March 1, 2011.   Proposals received after this date will not be accepted. The Community Foundation’s purpose is to assist projects in the fields of education, arts, health, human services, community service or community development and advance ONE OR MORE of the following objectives: 1.        Address and help resolve important existing or emerging community issues. 2.        Support new and creative projects and organizations offering the greatest opportunity for positive and significant change. 3.     

Central Illinois Youth Symphony, Senior Solo Recital

The Central Illinois Youth Symphony ~ Senior Solo Recital  Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 2 p.m. Dingeldine Music Center on Bradley University's Campus  The following pieces will be performed by our senior soloists:   Concerto No. 2 in D Major……..………....W.A. Mozart 1st Movement Hunter’s Moon for Horn & Orchestra……Gilbert Vinter Carnival of Venice…………………………..J. B. Arban Concertino Op. 107………………….Cecile Chaminade The recital is free and open to the public.  A small reception will follow.

2011 Business Expo, January 22

Mark your calendar!  Plan to join us! 

15th Annual John M Evans Scholarship Golf Tournament

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011 Mark your calendar for this special event!  The outing has been moved up 1 week earlier this year, due only to the National Convention.  Look for more information to be availalbe around Arpil 15th.  Brought to you by the Laborers' Local #231, Pekin.

Pekin Hospital to Offer Free Blood Pressure Screening in Delavan

In an effort to improve the health of central Illinois, Pekin Hospital will offer free blood pressure screenings on Friday, January 28 from 10 a.m. - noon at Heartland Bank and Trust located at 418 Locust Street in Delavan . The event is open to women and men. As a reminder to participants, screenings are not intended to take the place of regular physical examinations, but are offered as an opportunity for individuals to learn more about their own health. No appointment is necessary.   First come, first served.   For upcoming screenings and information, please visit or call (309) 353-0662.