Showing posts from January, 2012

Ameren Illinois ActOnEnergy® OnlineTraining Events

The Ameren Illinois ActOnEnergy ® program is offering two FREE , one-hour online training events in February. The first one is on “Implementing Energy-Efficient HVAC Controls,” and the second is “An Overview of Commercial Building Retuning.” These online training events are open to all Ameren Illinois business and non-profit customers who would like to learn how energy efficiency for HVAC controls and commercial building retuning can save energy and money. Topic: Implementing Energy-Efficient HVAC Controls Speaker: Reinhard Seidl, a Principal at Taylor Engineering Date: Wednesday, February 08, 2012 Time: noon to 1:00 p.m. Earn 1.0 CE Hours            The free, one-hour training event will cover how to: get your building benchmarked, perform a building audit, choose a controls platform, get your utility involved, select a provider, and train your staff. Reinhard Seidl is a Principal at Taylor Engineering, a California based Engineering Consultancy specializing in Mechanical an

Membership Renewals

Allegra Print & Imaging ~ Art's Ads ~ Bard Optical ~ Brewers Distributing Company ~ Brookmeadow Apartments Carney's Insurance Store ~ Clanahan Chiropractic ~ Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell ~ Comcast Business Services Dr. Robert Ehrich, DDS ~ Excel Foundry & Machine ~ Facet Technologies ~ Flowers by Florence ~ Rich Gafford Goodwill Industries ~ Greenhouse Flower Shoppe ~ Heartland Bank & Trust Company ~ Illinois American Water JMP Radio Group ~ Johnson Mechanical Service ~ Knights of Columbus ~ Dr. David Kuban, DDS ~ Kuhfuss & Proehl, P.C. Laborer's Local #231 ~ McDaniels Marketing Communications ~ McDonald's ~ Monge, Crouch & Mahoney Otto Baum Company ~ Pekin Animal Hospital ~ Pekin Community High School ~ Pekin Insurance ~ Pekin Manor Pekin Moose Family Center, Lodge # 916 ~ Pekin Public Library ~ Pekin Public Schools #108 ~ Pekin Riding Club Pet Supplies Plus ~ Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory ~ R.A. Cullinan & Sons

Biz Barometer

Pekin’s sales tax collected for 12 months ending in November (disbursed by State in January) up 1.5% over previous 12 month period ending in   November 2010 Morton’s sales tax collected for 12 months ending in November up 6.7% over previous 12 month period East Peoria’s sales tax collected for 12 months ending in November up 8.2% over previous 12 month period Washington’s sales tax collected for 12 months ending in November up 4.5% over previous 12 month period East Peoria’s sales tax collected in October and November up 31.2% over the same two months in 2010 Number of residential units sold in 61554 zip code in 2011 down 6.4% compared to 2010 Average sales price of residential units in Pekin ($104,808) in 2011 down 4.7% compared to 2010 Total homes sold in Pekin (427) in 2011 continued the downward trend.   Total sales were 710 in 2006 and have

Puttin' On Pekin

February 10 th   Knights of Columbus Hall 715 N. 11th St., Pekin 6:45 – 8:00 am RSVP to 346-2106 or e-mail us at Additional features of the breakfast include: ·    Door prize drawings provided by local businesses One minute reminders “Meet the new Chamber Member” Spotlight on Business presentation Program:   Excel Foundry & Machine

Business After Hours

Avanti's Dome 3401 Griffin Ave. February 2 nd   Reservations Appreciated 346-2106 or email us at   Join us for networking, refreshments, door prizes, and more.  

Calendar of Events

February 1 – Member Promotions Comm. February 1 – Executive Board Meeting February 2 – Pekin 1 st Committee         February 2 – Business After Hours February 7 – Ambassador Meeting        February 8 – Transportation Committee February 8 – Board of Directors Meeting February 10 – Puttin’ On Pekin Breakfast February 15 – Marigold Festival Committee February 28 – Business Advocacy Committee

Dreamscapes Landscaping Welcomed with Ribbon Cutting

Family, friends, and representatives of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Pekin recently congratulated Mitch O'Shaughnessy on his grand opening of Dreamscapes Landscaping at 425 Ann Eliza in Pekin.  Dreamscapes Landscaping is a full-service lawn and landscape company offering year-round services, including snow removal.  They can be reached at 267-0619, , or   You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at  

Berger Accounting Opens in Pekin

Chamber members helped celebrate the opening of Berger Accounting & Tax Service with a ribbon cutting on January 30th. Located at 349 S. 4th Street in Pekin, Berger Accounting & Tax Service offers income tax preparation, payroll services, sales tax preparation, electronic filing, and accounting & bookkeeping. During tax season they are open Monday through Friday, from 8:00am to 7:00pm and Saturday from 9:00am to 2:00pm and can be reached at 642-6230, or . Jon Berger, office manager, cut the ribbon, as Bruce West, President of the firm, was unavailable.  See more pictures from this and other chamber events at

Welcome New Member: Derby Street Antiques

Derby Street Antiques., 282 Derby Street, Pekin, IL 61554; phone: 309-346-1818; John Betson, Owner; Jr Owens, Manager. Business Hours: Opening soon. Derby Street Antiques has booth rentals for antiques, collectibles, crafts, and more. They have a general store feel that makes customers welcomed.

Welcome New Member: Springleaf Financial Services

Springleaf Financial Services., 3564 Court Street, Pekin, IL 61554; phone: 309-346-3191; fax: 309-346-7985; website: ; Zak Ehrmantrout, Branch Manager; Nicholas Barker, Sr. Assistant Manager; Nicole Colwell, Customer Account Specialist.  Business Hours: Monday - Friday 8am - 5pm. Springleaf Financial Services is lending made personal. We offer Personal Loans, Auto Loans, Debt Consolidation Loans, and are here to help with Retail Financing.

Progressive Business Group’s Annual Valentine’s Ball to Benefit The Center For Prevention of Abuse

The Progressive Business Group (PBG) will host the 10 th Annual Valentine’s Ball to benefit The Center for Prevention of Abuse, Saturday, February 11 th .   The black tie optional affair will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in East Peoria, beginning with a champagne reception and hot hors d’oeuvres at 5:30 p.m. The evening includes a gourmet four-course meal, open bar, a keepsake photo, and live music by JammSammich, all setting the tone for a romantic Valentine’s celebration.   In addition, there will be a silent auction as well as a raffle with the winning prize being 1 ct. diamond earrings valued at $5000.00. The PBG is a non-profit organization made up of business men and women in central Illinois who combine fostering leadership and building long lasting relationships while helping local charities.   “It is our goal to have a wonderful evening to celebrate Valentine’s Day and support a community pillar in The Center for Prevention of Abuse,” explains Wendy Simmons, even

Volunteers Needed in Pekin

The Heart of Illinois Sustainability Consortium is a group of regional leaders in economic development, land use, transportation, housing, and arts and culture working over the next two years to create a regional sustainability plan for the tri-county area. In addition to the creation of the plan and with a partnership through Peoria County, this project, termed Billiant.Bright.Community. , will also result in the development of a business plan, a one-stop-shop website, and purchase of a building for a small business incubator. Over the next three weeks, from Jan 21- Feb 4, the Consortium is conducting resident surveys to ensure that the resident's thoughts, opinions, and experiences are considered in this important planning process. To ensure adequate participation, we are conducting 1500 door to door surveys in which a volunteer drops the survey off with the resident, upon completion the resident hangs their survey in a bag on their front door, and the volunteer retrieves the

Goodwill Guides Youth With GoodGuides Program

January is National Mentoring Month, and Goodwill of Central Illinois is helping area youth succeed with the Goodwill ® GoodGuides youth mentoring program. The effort is part of a national program that helps teens finish school and transition into productive careers through the guidance of trusted adults and peers. “Goodwill has a long history of helping people better their lives,” said Patty Fuchs, Goodwill President & CEO. “A crucial part of that history is making sure that individuals and families have the resources they need to be successful. GoodGuides helps keep youth who are at-risk get on the right path, stay away from trouble and move toward a better future. That’s good for everyone involved.” Since 2010, Goodwill of Central Illinois GoodGuides program has paired 138 youth with mentors in Peoria, Tazewell and Knox counties. The Goodwill GoodGuides program aims to help youth develop career plans and skills, and prepare for graduation, post-secondary training and

Everyone Played A Role In Excel Expansion

By Bill Fleming, Executive Director Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce By now you’ve probably heard about Excel Foundry and Machine’s $15 million dollar investment in their plant, equipment and infrastructure at their Pekin facility. This will create 100 new head-of-household jobs at Excel, plus additional construction jobs during the expansion work. That is on top of the 98 new jobs that were created by Excel in 2011. Excel is a rising star in the Illinois manufacturing sector, thanks to the leadership of their employees and President/CEO Doug Parsons. In the last decade their annual sales have increased from $10 million dollars to nearly $100 million dollars. Yes, manufacturing is alive and well right here in Pekin. The January 17 th announcement at the Excel facility on Wagonseller Road included remarks by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, Congressman Aaron Schock, State Senators Dave Koehler and Darin LaHood, and State Representative Mike Unes. Also in attendance were numerous

Excel Announces Expansion

Several Illinois officials were on hand as Excel Foundry and Machine announced a $15 million dollar investment in the plant and infrastructure at their rural Pekin facility. The expansion also includes the addition of 100 new jobs. Speakers included Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, Congressman Aaron Schock, State Senators Dave Koehler and Darin LaHood, and State Representative Mike Unes. You can see more pictures from this event at  

Welcome New Member: Ledgestone Insurance Group

Ledgestone Insurance Group., 118 S. Main Street, Morton, IL 61550; phone: 309-712-2190; fax: 309-402-0629; email: ; website: ; Don Endress, Owner; Johnnie Harrison, Insurance Producer; Nate Heinold, Vice President. Business Hours: Monday - Friday 8am - 6pm. Ledgestone Insurance Group is a full service independent agency dedicated to meeting your insurance and risk management needs. Ledgestone Insurance offers a wide variety of personal as well as commercial lines of insurance.  

Champion Fitness to Open New Metamora Clinic

Champion Fitness Physical Therapy will be opening a new clinic in Metamora, located at 912 W Mt. Vernon in the Mt. Vernon Plaza across from McDonald's. Now this may not directly affect you with your experiences in either the Pekin area, but you may have family or friends in the Metamora-Germantown Hills area who may be looking for less travel for their physical therapy. Champion Fitness is hoping for a February 1 opening, but be looking for the "Open for New Patients" alert once that special day comes.         

Savant Recognized as One of the Top 50 RIA Firms

Savant Capital Management, a nationally recognized fee-only wealth management firm with offices in Peoria, has been recognized by Financial Planning magazine as the 36th largest Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firm in the United States. This is the first year Financial Planning has published this list. RIA Database, which compiled the rankings, determines its lists by discretionary assets under management. Savant’s team of about 80 employees oversees about two thousand accounts with more than $2 billion in assets under management. Savant ranked 36 th overall and 2nd largest in Illinois. Click here to view the entire list. "For 25 years, our team has provided financial planning, disciplined investment management, and integrative wealth management in order to help our clients maximize their assets, enhance the quality of their lives, and realize personal and financial goals," said CEO and Principal Brent Brodeski. "We are thankful to our clients for the opportuni

Pekin Area Business Expo '12

The Pekin Area Business Expo was held on Saturday, January 14th at the Avanti's Dome. It was a day full of vendors, demonstrations, door prizes, entertainment, and family fun, plus the YWCA's Coalition for Equality Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. Thanks to our sponsors: Allegra Print & Imaging, Midwest Generation, Pekin Insurance, CEFCU, Fun on the Run, Illinois Collections Unlimited, Pekin Daily Times, Comcast Spotlight, Adams Outdoor Advertising, 101.1 Jack FM, 98.5 KISS FM, 96.5 FM ESPN and 99.9 WWCT.  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at

2012 Leadership Academy Begins

The first class of the 2012 R. David Tebben Community Leadership Academy met on January 12th.  This is the 14th year the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce has hosted a leadership academy.  The 16 students had an opportunity to get to know each other through a "speed networking" event.  Pamela Anderson, the class facilitator, provided an overview of the 10-week program and Bill Fleming made a presentation on the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce. 

Welcome New Member: First United Methodist Church

First United Methodist Church, 1315 Court Street, Pekin, IL 61554; phone: 309-347-3155; fax: 309-347-1255; email:;  website: ; Rev. Terry Edele, Pastor. The congregation of First United Methodist Church, will be the loving people of God by reading, studying, teaching and living the Word of God.

River 97.3 Kicks off Annual Teddy Bear Drive for Children's Hospital of Illinois

Once again River 97.3 is collecting Teddy Bears to donate to the children at the Children's Hospital of Illinois. During last year's drive, the community donated nearly two thousand teddy bears that were delivered by DJs on Valentine's Day. Townsquare Media of Peoria hopes to beat last year's total and continue to supply Children's Hospital of Illinois with teddy bears for patients throughout 2012. Teddy Bear collection has already begun with the deadline for donations on Friday, February 10th. Donations may be dropped off at Townsquare Media/ Radio Peoria, 120 Eaton Street in Peoria, (Next to the Riverplex) during business hours: Monday through Friday from 8am - 5pm. All teddy bears must be new. River 97.3's Jenn Smith explained what motivates the station to continue the drive each year: "Being in the hospital is a scary experience for anyone, let alone a child. We want to help put a smile on their face during a pretty rough time in their life, and help

Welcome New Member: Kountry Nook Gift & Craft

Kountry Nook Gift & Craft., 212 North Capitol Street, Pekin, IL 61554; phone: 309-353-4005; email: ; Mary Haynes, Owner. Business Hours: Monday 9:30am - 2pm, Tuesday - Saturday 9:30am - 5pm. Kountry Nook has over 50 talented crafters/ vendors. They also have unique one-of-a-kind gifts and needful items, a boutique room, and girlie stuff.

South Side Trust & Savings Bank Announces Promotions

South Side Trust & Savings Bank, at its December 2011 Board Meeting, announced the promotions of Michele Anderson to Vice President & Trust Officer, William Russell to Vice President & Investment Officer, David Schrader to Vice President & Loan Officer, Emma Vandeveer to Vice President – Marketing & Sales, Christina Eckstein to Assistant Vice President & Compliance Officer, Leigh Harkless to Assistant Vice President – Branch Manager, and Rhonda Litwiller to Trust Operations Officer.    Anderson’s responsibilities include trust administration, business development, and trust investments.   Anderson graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BS in Business Administration and Marketing and recently graduated from the three-year Cannon Trust School, and was also certified at that time as a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor.   She currently serves as the Chair for the Better Business Bureau of Central Illinois, is a City of

Serve Illinois - Governor's Volunteer Service Award Taking Nominations

Serve Illinois is proud to announce the third annual Governor's Volunteer Service Awards. These awards recognize individual volunteers through a statewide award program to highlight the importance of volunteerism and community service in the State of Illinois. Individual awards will be presented to one Youth (18 and under), one Adult (19-54 years old) and one Retiree/Senior (55+ years old) in each of the Commission's five service regions across the state (Northeast, Northwest, East Central, West Central and Southern Illinois). National Service Awards will be presented to one Learn and Serve, one AmeriCorps, and one Senior Corps Member in each of the five regions. Each category will be asked to meet one of the following focus areas: Economic Opportunity, Education, Environmental Conservation, Disaster Preparedness/Response, Health, and Veterans Affairs.  The awardees will be recognized, along with their nominating organization, at a ceremony at the Executive Mansion in April.

AAIM EA January Educational Opportunities

AAIM Employers’ Association Education Center is pleased to offer the following educational opportunities in January.  Detailed information on these and other events is available on AAIM EA’s website at .  AAIM Employers’ Association is an HRCI SM   Approved Provider.  Registrations can be made at 800.948.5700 or online at . “2012 Employment Law Series” Dates:  Nine sessions January 18 – December 19, 2012 1.      January 18 – Employment Law Overview 2.      February 15 – Preparing an Effective Handbook 3.      March 14 – Labor Laws: The Employer’s & Employee’s Rights & Obligations Under the National Labor Relations Act 4.      April 18 – Special Employment Issues: Privacy, Defamation, and Company Security 5.      June 20 – Safe Selection: Reducing Your Hiring Risk 6.      July 18 – Wage & Hour Administration 7.      August 15 – Promoting and Evaluating Employee Productivity 8.      November 14 - Managing Absen