Monday, February 28, 2011

PJ Star offers Free Seminar

Are you wondering how to market yourself or your business? 

The Journal Star is offering a Free Seminar with Mike Blinder. 
"The ABC's of Interactive Marketing". 

See the link below for important information regarding the Journal Star

Mashies ~ Fundraiser for Rob Louchart

Tazewell County Genealogical and Historical Society General Meeting

Tazewell County Genealogical and Historical Society
Connie Perkins, President
General Meeting News Release


Bill Uhler of Tremont will be the speaker at the March 8th meeting of the Tazewell County Genealogical and Historical Society. He will present a program about the three ships designated over the years by the US Navy as the USS Illinois.  He will relate their fascinating history and ultimate disposition.  Bill's program is enhanced by appropriate memorabilia and photographs.

The meeting, open to the general public, will be held on Tuesday, March 8th at the society's Erlicher Research Library, located at 719 N 11th St.,Pekin, IL.  The program will begin at 7:00 PM with a business meeting immediately following the program.

Chamber Welcomes New Member, Traders Realty Corp.

Traders Realty Corp., 721 W Lake Ave, Peoria, IL 61614; phone: 309-686-5000; fax: 309-686-9299; email:; website:; Jeff Kolbus, President; Business Hours: M-F 8:30 am - 5:00 pm, Sat 9am - Noon.  Traders Realty is one of the largest and most respected real estate companies in Central Illinois. Their firm has developed land for residential and commercial uses, maintained a rental and management division, an associated insurance agency, and an industrial and commercial division, in addition to their residential sales group.

Tom Hornstein Elected to Board of Directors at Herget Bank

(Pekin, Illinois) During Herget Bank's annual meeting on February 8th, Tom Hornstein, the President and Chief Operating Officer for Excalibur Seasoning Company, Ltd., was elected to the Bank’s Board of Directors.

A graduate of Bradley University, Hornstein holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from Illinois State University. He brings insight from his experience in business and as an active member of the community to his new role on the Board.

Hornstein is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Pekin Chamber of Commerce, Pekin Insurance Companies and Pekin United Way. In addition, he serves on the Board of Trustees for Peoria Notre Dame High School and is actively involved with St. Jude’s VIP Fundraiser.

The Board also re-elected the following members: Terry O. Tosi, M.D., Senior Partner – Pekin Pediatric Center; J.R. Bagley, Partner – Bagley & Miller Attorneys; Scott W. Bandy, Owner/Operator – McDonald’s; Mack Cakora, President & CEO – Tazewell Machine Works Inc.; Brian Dennison, Dealer Operator – Ray Dennison Chevrolet, Inc.; D. Neale Hanley II, Funeral Director – Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes, LLC; A. Richard Kriegsman, President – Kriegsman Transfer Co.; Daniel R. McNally, President – Central Illinois Freight Handling; Ronald H. Miller, Managing Director – Prisma Advisors, LLC; Gordon M. Walker, Chairman of the Board & CEO – Pekin Insurance Companies; and Charles R. Schermerhorn, President & CEO – Herget Bank, N.A.; along with Director Emeritus: Sylvan L. Franklin.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Women's Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois- Networking Event

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

Tuesday, March 1, 2011
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

3218 N. Dries Lane
Peoria, IL  61604
A monthly networking opportunity for Peoria-area women. This month we will visit at Connected.   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.

Bradley University Production to Benefit The Center For Prevention of Abuse

Bradley University Presents Production of The Vagina Monologues Proceeds to Benefit The Center for Prevention of Abuse

Bradley University students will present two performances of The Vagina Monologues, a play written by Eve Ensler, at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, March 4th and 5th, in the Michel Student Center Ballroom, located at 915 N. Elmwood.

Tickets are $5 per person at the door and proceeds will benefit The Center for Prevention of Abuse. This production is part of a nation-wide campaign to stop violence against women, called V-Day. The tone of the play ranges from funny to awkward to heartbreaking, but the messages are to encourage female empowerment. It is intended for a mature audience.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

March Chamber Connection Newsletter

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 Director's Report

March Executive Director's Report

I recently came across a very interesting and fascinating series of web pages from JWT, one of the world’s best-known marketing communications brands.  They annually prepare a list of 100 “things” to watch.  They also present an annual report on 10 trends for the upcoming year.

JWT has had some success predicting the future, with their identification of trends and things to watch.  In 2009 they correctly identified Lady Gaga, WikiLeaks and Cloud Computing as future newsmakers. 

This year’s list is an eclectic mix, including beer sommeliers, F-Commerce, bamboo, digital downtime, mHealth, Rooney Mara, and my favorite, Tech Liaisons. 

I strongly encourage you to invest a few minutes reviewing this information.  As the JWT Intelligence slogan states, you might just “convert cultural shifts into opportunities” for you and your organization.

To see an online slideshow of 100 things to watch in 2011, visit

To see the YouTube executive summary of the 10 trends for 2011, visit     

Or visit for daily blog posts from a long list of authors writing about all of these trends and changes, and how they could affect you.

Biz Barometer

Biz Barometer

The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage points to 9.0 percent in January, while non-farm payroll employment changed little, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Employment rose in manufacturing and in retail trade but was down in construction, transportation and warehousing.  Employment in most other major industries changed little over the month.

Pekin’s unemployment rate fell by 0.9 percentage points to 10.0 in December.  The Illinois Department of Employment Security also reported the unemployment rate in Illinois and the Peoria MSA stood at 8.8% in December.

The numbers provided by the Illinois Department of Revenue show that sales tax receipts in Pekin were up 4.6% in January, compared to the January 2010 receipts.  The taxes are disbursed by the State of Illinois to municipalities in January for taxes collected in November.

The numbers of homes sold in Pekin in 2010 were essentially the same as the 2009 sales.  However, the average sales price increased by 3.7% according to information provided by the Peoria Area Association of REALTORS®.

Chamber Membership Renewals

Membership Renewals through February 14th  

Thank you to the following chamber members who have recently renewed their investment in the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce:

Aramark ~ Cybernautic ~ Facet Technologies, Inc
Food Depot / Niemann Foods ~ Pekin Daily Times 
Pekin Public Schools #108 ~ Riley Brothers, LLC ~ Syngenta 
Tri-County IAAP ~ Uftring Chrysler Dodge Jeep

Chamber Calendar of Events

Chamber Calendar of Events

Mar 1
Ambassador Meeting
Mar 10
R. David Tebben Leadership Academy
Mar 1
R. David tebben Leadership Academy
Mar 11
Business Before Hours
Mar 2
Executive Board Meeting
Mar 11
Multi-Chamber Speed Networking Exchange
Mar 3
R. David Tebben Leadership Academy
Mar 15
R. David tebben Leadership Academy
Mar 3
Pekin 1st Committee
Mar 16
Marigold Festival Committee Meeting
Mar 3
Business After Hours
Mar 17
R. David Tebben Leadership Academy
Mar 8
Member Services Committee
Mar 22
R. David tebben Leadership Academy
Mar 8
R. David tebben Leadership Academy
Mar 24
R. David Tebben Leadership Academy
Mar 9
Transportation Committee
Mar 29
Business Advocacy Committee
Mar 9
Board of Directors Meeting

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

Business Before Hours, March 11th

Tazewell County Comprehensive Plan

Press Release: Tazewell County hosting final public meetings for new comprehensive plan
For Immediate Release
February 22, 2011

Tazewell County is finishing its new comprehensive plan, and the County wants residents’ input on the final product.

The County is hosting two public meetings to allow residents to review and comment on the proposed comprehensive plan. The comprehensive plan outlines goals for future county improvement, lists actions the County can take to achieve the goals, and includes a future land use map to guide future development. Residents will have the opportunity to review both the written document and the future land use map at the public meetings.

Two public meetings will be held:

·        Monday February 28
Library Meeting Room at Five Points
380 N. Wilmor Rd.

·        Wednesday March 2
Tremont District Library
215 S. Sampson St.

The meetings will last from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and utilize an open house format, allowing residents to arrive and leave when they please.

The public meetings will culminate a two-and-a-half year effort to update the previous comprehensive plan that was adopted in 1996. The planning process began in the summer of 2008. A first round of public meetings was held in November of that year to gather residents’ input. A survey was also used to gather public input to inform the plan’s recommendations.

The goals and actions put forth in the new comprehensive plan are organized under six different themes. The themes are major topic areas important to the County’s future. The plan’s six themes are: Serving a Changing Population; Agriculture; Quality Sustainable Development; Illinois River and Waterways; Economic Development; and Coordinated Land Use.  

A new future land use map is also put forth in the comprehensive plan. The county’s existing future land use map was created in 2003. Although there are some changes, the new future land use map reflects the County’s ongoing desire to focus new development near existing development and protect agricultural areas.

For more information about the public meetings, please contact Nick Hayward of Tri-County Regional Planning Commission at 673-9330 or

Monday, February 21, 2011

Multi-Chamber Speed Networking Exchange

This Speed Networking Exchange will include participation from East Peoria, Morton, Washington and Pekin Chamber members. Speed Networking allows participants to interact with other professionals one-on-one, and is designed for those whose business success depends on word-of-mouth referrals and marketing.  Participants walk away with more new contacts in one morning than some make in six months!  Limited to one participant per business category per chamber.  Just $10 per person.

* Enrollment limited to the first six (6) from each Chamber (first come first serve)
* Limited to one participant per business category per Chamber.

To register, please contact us or 346-2106. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Pekin Main Street - Wine & Dine

Friends of McNaughton Park

Meeting Dates Announced for:

Friends of McNaughton Park
Organizational Meeting

Tues, Feb. 22, 2011
Soldwedel Program Center

Future meeting dates:
7:00pm, Soldwedel Program Center

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Tuesday Aug. 30, 2011
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011

Terri S. Gambetti
Superintendent of Recreation
Pekin Park District
1701 Court St.
Pekin, Il. 61554
desk phone: 353-4319
fax: 347-3970

Act on Energy - "sweet deal"

15% Cash Bonus Now
It’s February and Act On Energy® is offering a "sweet deal" our customers will love! For all new applications submitted from February 14th through March 31st that include electric measures, an additional 15% cash bonus will be added on top of the incentive! This could increase your incentives for:
  • VFDs
  • Highbay lighting replacements and other non-T12 replacements
  • Refrigeration
  • Air conditioners
  • Custom projects
  • And more…
Because of the T12 lighting phase-out program, T12 measures are NOT eligible for the 15% bonus, on top of the 10% bonus already being offered. The current 10% bonus for T12 lighting upgrades offers the best incentives for T12 replacements that will be offered for the duration of this program.

In order to receive the 15% incentive bonus, projects must be completed no later than May 31, 2011 and final paperwork must be received within 30 days of project completion. This special offer cannot be combined with any other promotions or bonuses.

Act On Energy - Free Online Meeting

Free Online Meeting: Small Business Energy Savings Solutions
Last month Act On Energy® started offering a FREE monthly online meeting for businesses focused on energy-efficiency topics. This month's meeting will be focus around small commercial energy usage and how they can reduce their costs. Topics will include:
- Exit signs which can save up to $60 per year
- CFL light bulbs which save $17 per year
- HVAC incentives
- Controls for their facility
- And much more!!!
This FREE online meeting is scheduled for February 22nd at 8:00 AM in the morning.
To register for this meeting, click here

McDaniels Marketing Communications Wins Four Best of NAMA Awards

During the Region IV awards ceremony in the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates, McDaniels Marketing Communications received four awards for work completed for the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA).  The agency received two regional first place “Best of NAMA” awards and two Merit awards from the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA). As a result of their entries, the company is eligible to advance the winning entries to the April 13-15 national awards ceremony in Kansas City.

Two First Place Awards
  • ISA Yield Challenge – Funded by the Illinois soybean checkoff, this local multi-media campaign included a website, data entry system, public relations, advertising, signage, incentives, prizes and more. All the pieces in the campaign promoted the inaugural year of the Yield Challenge, which was created to make Illinois soybean growers the global leader in soybean yields. As part of the program, teams of growers – working together in nine districts across Illinois – farmed side-by-side plots using traditional and innovative techniques. All the Yield Challenge participants helped maximize soybean yields and produced valuable data that can benefit both researchers and growers.
  • ISA Radio Series – The “Soybeans! Soybeans!” series of radio spots, which were funded by the Illinois soybean checkoff, featured man-on-the-street interviews with interesting characters that included a soybean aphid, a soybean, livestock, a farm-raised fish, a soybean field, and a diesel engine.

Two Merit Awards
The agency also received two awards for the development of two ISA websites funded by the Illinois soybean checkoff:

McDaniels Marketing Communications draws on over 44 years of experience to help strategically plan and execute marketing tactics for clients throughout the Midwest. McDaniels also has client service offices in Rockford, IL and the Quad Cities. ie-media, the company’s interactive division, specializes in developing websites, animation, videos, e-surveys, kiosks, ecommerce, content management systems and search engine optimization to fit a variety of budgets.

Pekin 5K Run/Walk

Pekin 5K Run / Walk 2011
Benefiting the Salvation Army
Youth Programs and Activities

Saturday, May 14, 2011
Run 7:00 am ~ Walk 8:00 am
Check-in opens at 6:00 am

Coal Minners' Park
Pekin, IL

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

ciCarpool, a web-based rideshare matching service for Central Illinois

New Option for Commuting in Central Illinois.

A unique partnership between regional employers, Chambers of Commerce and employer organizations, local government, and Tri-County Regional Planning Commission has resulted in the launch of ciCarpool, a web-based, interactive rideshare matching program.

Tri-County Regional Planning Commission (TCRPC) is pleased to announce the launch of ciCarpool, a web-based rideshare matching service for Central Illinois. 

This service will allow employees and residents in the region to find carpool partners and share rides to work, special events, or when running errands.  As a result, users will save money and fuel, improve local air quality by eliminating some of the pollution-forming emissions, and reduce congestion on the region’s roadways.

The idea for ciCarpool began when a group of human resource professionals met with the Morton Economic Development Council in the fall of 2008.  Gas prices at the time were hovering at $4 per gallon and large employers in Morton were struggling to recruit and retain employees who had long commutes.  ciCarpool is a low-cost tool for local employers to help retain and recruit employees by offering additional commuting options.

Sign-up and use of the ciCarpool service is free to users, thanks to grant funding from the U.S. Federal Transit Administration and Illinois Department of Transportation.  Users may register and utilize the service at  Sign-up is easy, and employees of sponsoring employers can get assistance from their employers’ human resources department.

ciCarpool is made possible thanks to a unique partnership between several local Economic Development Organizations, Chambers of Commerce, Villages, Cities, Counties, TCRPC, and major regional employers including Caterpillar Logistics, RMH Foods, Morton Industries, OSF St. Francis, and MATCOR.  These organizations have worked over the past two years to make ciCarpool a reality.  ciCarpool will make it easier for residents to deal with the rising cost of fuel, improve local air quality, and strengthen the region’s  transportation system.

The Chairman of the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission Mike Phelan said about ciCarpool, “Tri-County Regional Planning Commission is committed to providing safe and efficient transportation for residents of our region.  This new program, ciCarpool, will give our residents another cost effective and environmentally friendly choice for their daily commutes.  Offering an additional commuting option is good for regional quality of life and helps improve our business climate.”

For details on the ciCarpool service, or to sign up, visit  For more information, contact Ryan Granata at 309-673-9330 or

Frequently Asked Questions

Commuter FAQ

What is ciCarpool?
ciCarpool will revolutionize the way you think about your commute.  ciCarpool is a web-based ridematching service allowing users to search for carpooling partners. ciCarpool can be used for your daily commute, recurring trips and even long-distance and special event trips.   Whether you wish to drive, ride or share the duties, ciCarpool will help you find the perfect carpool match for all your trips. 
How much does ciCarpool cost to use?
It is free to sign-up and use the services of ciCarpool.  Thanks to a partnership between The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission and local Economic Development Organizations, Chambers of Commerce, Villages, Cities, Counties, and Businesses, Tri-County Regional Planning Commission was able to secure grant funding to launch this service.  As the service grows, Tri-County will continue to look for additional sources of funding for the service.
Why should I carpool?
Carpooling has economic and environmental benefits.  Fewer cars on the road can reduce air pollution, a growing problem in Central Illinois.  Even carpooling once a week saves gas and wear and tear on your car.  Some companies even have incentives to encourage carpooling, such as preferred parking spaces. ciCarpool can make carpooling easy and fun.  Relax on your way to work and enjoy the company of your co-workers.
Business FAQ
Why should my company join ciCarpool?
By implementing a commuter program in the workplace, employers benefit from:
  • Lower employee parking demand
  • Increased employee productivity
  • Enhanced retention and recruitment
  • Reducing and measuring the organization’s carbon footprint
  • Adding commuter benefits to employees’ compensation package at little or no cost
  • Potential tax benefits and cost savings
  • Added points for Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) certification
What is the cost of using ciCarpool?
At this time there is no cost for companies or users.  ciCarpool has been funded for the first year with a series of grants; if the program is a success, Tri-County Regional Planning Commission will look for additional grant funding to continue the program. 

As a business, what are my responsibilities with this program?
Your responsibilities are quite simple… promote, promote, promote!  Publicize this program; utilize human resources and employee newsletters.  To encourage participation, you can hold contests or provide incentives, such as priority parking for carpoolers.  Training will be provided for human resource managers on how to sign up employees, answer questions and track usage.

What about security for users?
After a user signs up with ciCarpool they will be able to customize their search to be matched with co-workers.  If the user does not know their match personally, it is also recommended that they meet in a public place initially.

Tech Show & Tell

Bring your favorite app, widget, website, software tip, tech tip, blog, tech gadget or hardware and tell everyone how it makes you more productive


Just come and learn about the latest technologies and how others are using them to be more efficient and productive
Thursday, March 10th, 7:30 a.m. to ?
Avanti’s Dome Events & Sports Center of Pekin
No reservations necessary
Free Coffee & Free Information

Sponsored by the
Member Services Committee of the
Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce

Tazewell County Children’s Advocacy Center ~ Trivia Night

April 8, 2011 6pm

Embassy Suites East Peoria IL

J    Teams of 8 people, $280 team registration fee, includes Hors d’oeuvres (cash bar available)

J    Prizes for Best Costumes, Best Table Themes, Highest Team Score

J     Live Auction, Silent Auction, Raffle, Heads & Tails

All Proceeds benefit the Tazewell County Children’s Advocacy Center

Serving Tazewell, Woodford and Mason Counties

For Registration and other information please contact the Tazewell County Children’s Advocacy Center, 341 Buena Vista, Pekin, IL 61554. PHONE: 309.347.6001 FAX: 309.347.6189 E-MAIL:


Pekin, IL . . . On February 8th, Hallmark House Nursing Center launched its new website, which provides up to date information regarding the many amenities unique to our facility.

Deverman Advertising, based in Pekin, Illinois was contracted to assist with putting together a website that is user friendly, and showcases our facility and our dedication to providing quality healthcare for seniors.

Administrator Lynn Brady stated, “Hallmark provides “resident centered” skilled nursing care that renders Hallmark as a top leader in the industry.”  Many have chosen Hallmark for:  skilled care, skilled therapy, 24-hour nursing coverage, longevity of employees, restaurant style dinning, a loving environment, spa and beauty/barber shop, wireless internet service, and medicare/private pay.

If you are interested in finding out more about Hallmark and the many amenities available, please visit our website at  Again, thank you Central Illinois for your continued support!

Pekin Hospital to Host “Day of Dance for Health" With Over 70 Hospitals Nationwide

Pekin Hospital invites Central Illinois residents to the annual Spirit of Women Day of Dance for Health on Saturday, February 26, 2011 from 9 a.m. – noon at the First Baptist Church of Pekin located at 700 S. Capitol.  The event will combine the fun of dancing to different kinds of music with health screenings and consumer education on heart disease and other important health topics, giveaways, heart-healthy snacks, and more. 

Admission to the event is two non-perishable food items.  To attend the event, please call (309) 353-0662 or visit 

Although in its seventh year nationwide, this is the second annual event for Pekin Hospital.  Approximately 400 residents are expected to get involved in this event.  Nationwide, more than 75,000 people are expected to dance for their health on February 26 in the hopes of creating healthier communities.

“Day of Dance not only increases awareness of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors, but inspires immediate action for better health.  This program has resulted in millions of consumers exposed to the powerful concept that good health can be just a dance away,” said Tanya Abreu, president and national program director of Spirit of Women.  “On February 26, doctors, medical professionals, community leaders and citizens throughout the US will all come together to fall in love with their health through dance, health screenings, community, and fun.  Women and their families will learn about healthy choices they can easily incorporate into their lifestyles as well as find out their personal warning signs and risk factors for heart disease and stroke.”

Taking place from 9 a.m. – noon on Saturday, February 26, the event will include dancing, prominent physician speakers, screenings, and other activities to remind participants that preventing cardiovascular disease and a healthy lifestyle can be a fun and energizing experience.  Day of Dance for Your Health events are presented by affiliate hospitals of the Spirit of Women Health Network in over 70 cities across the US.  

Coronary heart disease, which causes heart attack, is the single leading cause of death for American women. Many women believe that cancer is the number one cause of death, but they're wrong. Nearly twice as many women in the US die of heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases than from all forms of cancer, including breast cancer.

Spirit of Women focuses on dance as a way to take steps for a healthier life because dancing can burn as many calories as swimming, walking, or riding a bike (as many as 200-400 calories per hour). Many health benefits may result from dance if it is done on a regular basis as a form of exercise.  Benefits include weight maintenance or weight loss, blood pressure and cholesterol management (lowering), increased energy, decreased sadness and depression, increased coordination and muscle strength, and an overall sense of well-being.

Day of Dance for Your Health takes place during Heart Health Awareness Month and participants are encouraged to wear red to show their support for women’s heart disease awareness.  The Red Dress® is the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness and was created by The Heart Truth® to deliver an urgent wakeup call to American women.

To find a Day of Dance event in a community near you, visit 

The 2011 National Day of Dance for Health is presented by the Spirit of Women Health Network, Good Housekeeping magazine and The Heart Truth ® campaign.
Good Housekeeping magazine—together with the Good Housekeeping Institute and the Good Housekeeping Seal—has become synonymous with the gold standard of quality and integrity.  Good Housekeeping was founded in 1885, and maintains a commitment to the modern home and to a woman’s quality of life. It publishes 15 editions worldwide, and is an internationally recognized brand that sets the standard to which all other women's service magazines aspire.
The Heart Truth®  is a national awareness campaign on women and heart disease sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  The Heart Truth created and introduced the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness in 2002 to deliver an urgent wakeup call to American women. The Red Dress® reminds women of the need to protect their heart health, and inspires them to take action.

About Spirit of Women
Spirit of Women is a national network of leading hospitals dedicated to improving women's lives with innovative health and community programs.  Spirit of Women Hospitals touch the lives of millions of women each year through the presentation of educational events, consumer membership programs, annual conferences, marketing communications and grassroots efforts to improve the health and well-being of women everywhere.  Spirit of Women enables participating hospitals to focus on community needs while providing the strength of national support.  Visit

Visit to learn simple ways to stay healthy and to find an event near you.