Tuesday, January 31, 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 and Control System Design and Commissioning. Mr. Seidl has 20 years of experience in HVAC and Controls Design, is a member of several ASHRAE committees responsible for the creation of commissioning guidelines and standards, and has been an active member of the team designing a free trend review tool for commissioning providers and building managers, available at

To register for “Implementing Energy-Efficient HVAC Controls,” click here.

Topic: An Overview of Commercial Building Retuning
Speaker: Srinivas Katipamula, Ph.D., FASHRAE, FASME
Date: Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Time: noon to 1:00 p.m.
Earn 1.0 CE Hours

The free, one-hour training event will cover the definition of the re-tuning process, retuning vs.  retro-commissioning, the steps involved in the re-tuning process, results from re-tuning, and lessons learned.

Srinivas Katipamula is a Staff Scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).  At PNNL, Dr. Katipamula leads a number of research projects in advanced controls, automated fault detection and diagnostics and building operations.

For over 20 years, Katipamula’s career has focused on improving the operating efficiency of commercial buildings.  Prior to joining PNNL, he led the analytics group at the Enron Energy Services.  Previously, he also worked at Energy Systems Laboratory, at Texas A&M University, where he developed a number of measurement and verification techniques to measure energy savings from retrofits.  He has extensive technical experience in the evaluation of advanced design concepts for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, development of automated fault detection and diagnostic techniques, building and energy system simulations, and analysis and evaluation of new energy efficient technologies, development and use of analytical modeling techniques.  More recently, Dr. Katipamula led a team of PNNL staff that developed the re-tuning process to identify operational improvements in large commercial buildings that can be corrected with low/no-cost.

A fellow of the American Society for Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Katipamula holds a Masters and Doctorate degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University.  Nationally, Katipamula held a number of positions, including serving as a member of Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology Institute, reviewing proposals for National Science Foundation and Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy and currently serves as an associate editor of the ASME Journal of Energy Resources Technology.

To register for “An Overview of Commercial Building Retuning,” click here.

For more information about ActOnEnergy training events, go to ActOnEnergy.com/Education.

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 ~ Ruskusky Foot & Ankle Clinic Schwartz & Miller Family Dentistry ~ Sonic America's Drive-In ~ Subway ~ Taco Bell ~ TAPS Animal Shelter

Tazewell County School Employees Credit Union ~ Tazewell Machine Works ~ TCRC ~ Timbercreek Rehab & Health Care Total Dental Care ~ Tractor Supply Company ~ Udry Jewelers ~ United Way Of Pekin ~ Unland Companies

Vonderheide Floor Coverings ~ Willock & Warning  ~ Wolf, Tesar & Company ~ World Wide Travel ~ YWCA of Pekin

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 dropped each year since.
Excel Foundry & Machine announced a $15 million dollar expansion, plans to hire 100 new employees over the next year, and nearly $2.5 million improvements to area roads
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged in December on a seasonally adjusted basis.  Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 3.0% before seasonal adjustments.
Sources:  Illinois Department of Employment Security; Illinois Department of Revenue; Peoria Area Association of Realtors; Bureau of Labor Statistics

Puttin' On Pekin

February 10th 
Knights of Columbus Hall
715 N. 11th St., Pekin
6:45 – 8:00 am

RSVP to 346-2106 or e-mail us at info@pekinchamber.com
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 2nd 
    Reservations Appreciated 346-2106 or email us at info@pekinchamber.com  
    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 1st 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, dreamscapeslandscaping@yahoo.com, or www.dreamscapespekin.com.  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at http://picasaweb.google.com/PekinChamber  

    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, jon@bergeraccounting.com or www.bergeraccounting.com. 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 http://picasaweb.google.com/PekinChamber

    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

    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: www.springleaffinancial.com; 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 10th Annual Valentine’s Ball to benefit The Center for Prevention of Abuse, Saturday, February 11th.  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, event chair.  “Our invitation list grows because people have a fabulous time and want to share the evening with friends and business associates.”

    With the growth of this event has come greater awareness and support for The Center for Prevention of Abuse, a non-profit agency that works to achieve its vision to build a safe, peaceful community.  For over 30 years The Center has been serving women, men, children and seniors in central Illinois affected by domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse and providing prevention education to help keep children safe.  It is the only agency in the state of Illinois to offer all those services under one roof.  Each year The Center serves more than 5,000 victims of violence and reaches another 15,000 students through violence prevention education in area schools.

    Tickets for the event are $300.00 per/couple.

    Thursday, January 19, 2012

    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 survey several hours later or the next day.

    We have selected 170 households in Pekin to survey and are recruiting interested volunteers at this time. We have the surveys divided up by neighborhood so anyone interested could take as much or as little as they would like.

    Please contact Melissa Eaton if you wish to volunteer. meaton@tricountyrpc.org

    You can follow these projects on facebook


    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    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 productive work by providing structured and supportive relationships with trusted adult and peer mentors. It targets youths between the ages of 12 and 17 who are at-risk for dropping out of school, facing legal troubles, or at risk for delinquency due to issues such as abuse, disabilities, drug or alcohol dependence, or gang membership.

    If you would like to volunteer to become a mentor or know of a youth who would benefit from this program, please call Elizabeth McCombs at 309-369-9884 or email goodguides@goodwillpeo.org.

    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 17th 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 county, township and area officials and business leaders. You can see some picture from the announcement event at: http://picasaweb.google.com/PekinChamber.

    All of the speakers noted the bi-partisan support and the large number of agencies and organizations that came together to move this project along. Prior to the start of the event, many of those in attendance discussed and praised that cooperative effort.

    At the risk of leaving someone out, the players included Cincinnati Township, Tazewell County, City of Pekin, Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, Peoria/Pekin Urbanized Area Transportation Study (PPUATS), Economic Development Council for Central Illinois, Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), and the aforementioned congressman, state legislators and their staffs.

    And, last but not least on the list is the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce. Our role in this project was small, but important. It didn’t involve money or grants or engineering expertise. Our role was a common one for a chamber of commerce: we provided the forum for a group of people to come together and then move forward.

    In addition to the private investment in plant and infrastructure, nearly $2.5 million dollars will be invested in upgrades to Wagonseller Road. That will include intersection improvements at Townline Road and Manito Blacktop, as well as improvements to Wagonseller Road.

    It was at the chamber’s Transportation Committee meeting in May of 2011 that committee member and Cincinnati Township Road Commissioner Ron Hawkins brought up his concerns about the deteriorating condition of Wagonseller Road. Not only did we add Wagonseller Road to the committee’s monthly agenda, but we added it to our June 24th bus tour of local transportation projects.

    It was on the bus tour that committee member John Anderson (Tazewell County’s Engineer) was able to show business, community and legislative leaders the challenges faced by Excel and others on Wagonseller Road.

    Those discussions led to a meeting with Hawkins, Anderson, Parsons, area legislators, and representatives from DCEO and IDOT. That led to more meetings, a tour of Excel, more meetings, phone calls, more meetings, etc.

    The chamber’s involvement with the project was finished after that first meeting after the bus tour. We got the ball rolling on one small part of the overall project, then fell back into a support role.

    Our transportation committee (a wide-ranging mix of over 35 business and government leaders) will continue to meet each month, as we have for nearly 20 years, and work towards the improvement and enhancement of our area transportation infrastructure.

    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 http://picasaweb.google.com/PekinChamber 

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012

    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: jharrison@ledgestonegrp.com; website: www.ledgestonegrp.com; 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 opportunity to grow and expand our business. It’s an honor to be recognized for this achievement."

    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 http://picasaweb.google.com/PekinChamber

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    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: pekin1st@yahoo.com; website: http://www.fumcpekin.org; 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.

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

    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 give them a little bit of comfort while they're in the hospital."
    Thank you in advance for your support of River 97.3 and Children's Hospital of Illinois.

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    Welcome New Member: Kountry Nook Gift & Craft

    Kountry Nook Gift & Craft., 212 North Capitol Street, Pekin, IL 61554; phone: 309-353-4005; email: thekountrynook@yahoo.com; 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 Peoria Planning Commissioner, a member of the Rotary Club of Peoria-North serving on their Foundation Board, member of the Strengthening Families Allocation Panel for the Heart of Illinois United Way, member of the Full Service Community Schools Advisory Council and a member of the Estate Planning Council of Central Illinois.
    Russell is responsible for managing the bank’s Raymond James Investment Center, offering financial and retirement planning to individuals and businesses.  He also manages South Side Bank’s investment portfolio and serves on the bank’s Trust Investment Committee.  Russell was named one of the nation’s Top 50 Bank Investment Representatives in 2010 by Bank Investment Consultant Magazine and has earned a position as a member on Raymond James Executive Council for the past six years. He holds a Series 7 (Registered Representative), Series 24 (Registered Principal), Series 63 and 65 (Registered Investment Advisor) as well as an Illinois Life and Health Insurance License.  He volunteers for many charities including St. Jude and Easter Seals. 
    Schrader has been with South Side Bank for 22 years and has over 35 years of banking experience.  He graduated from Lincoln College and is responsible for the management of the commercial loan portfolio, including business development.  Schrader currently serves on the Illinois Business Financial Services Loan Committee.  

    Vandeveer’s responsibilities include overseeing all marketing, advertising, and public relation efforts for the bank as well as their sales program.  She has been in banking for over 30 years and has been with South Side Bank since 1998.  Vandeveer graduated from Bradley University with a BS in Marketing and is the current Vice President of the Board for The Center for Prevention of Abuse, and volunteers with Easter Seals and Rebuilding Together.  She is a speaker at the Community Bankers Association of Illinois Marketing and Sales Conference as well as Illinois Banker's Association Women In Banking Conference. Vandeveer is a member and has been president of Peoria Advertising and Selling Club, Public Relations Association of Central Illinois, and Women in Leadership of Central Illinois where last year she won their Career Leader Award.

    Eckstein administers the bank’s compliance program and management systems, including involvement of the board of directors and senior management, as well as the bank’s audit program, which identifies current and potential compliance risk.  She is a graduate of the Community Banker’s Association of Illinois Compliance School.  Eckstein began her banking career at South Side Bank, and has been with the bank for over 30 years and participates in Rebuilding Together.

    Harkless is in charge of the bank’s Sheridan Road and Glen Hollow Branches, overseeing all aspects of their management and day-to-day activities managing 15 employees.  She is also involved in the bank’s training program for new employees and is a Mortgage and Consumer Loan Officer.  Harkless has a degree in Business Administration and is also a graduate of the Midwest School of Community Bankers.  She is a VIP Ambassador for Easter Seals and current participant/team member of District 150 Reading Buddies Program.

    Litwiller is responsible for the supervision of all operational functions and overseeing the research and resolution of operational issues as well as the administration of revocable and irrevocable trusts, agency and custodial accounts.  She is a graduate of Cannon Financial Institute completing Securities Operations and currently enrolled at Cannon Financial Institute for Personal Trust Administration.  Litwiller is a member of the Estate Planning Council of Central Illinois and volunteers for various charities.

    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.

    Nomination forms are due to Serve Illinois by February 29, 2012.  For more information and the nomination form, please visit www.Serve.Illinois.gov

    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 www.eaconnect.com.  AAIM Employers’ Association is an HRCISM  Approved Provider.  Registrations can be made at 800.948.5700 or online at www.eaconnect.com.

    “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 Absenteeism and Leave Issues

    9.     December 19 – The Discipline and Discharge Process


    Time: 8:30am-11:00am

    Location:  Par-A-Dice Hotel, East Peoria

    Series Cost: $699 AAIM EA Member; $999 Non-member 

    Individual Sessions Cost: $135 AAIM EA Member; $180 Non-member

    This popular multi-session series is conducted by labor and employment Law attorneys from Davis & Campbell LLC.    The sessions focus on the steps employees can take to cope with the requirements of various laws and regulations. Each session qualifies for 2.25 7.0 Strategic HRCI recertification credits.

     “Restoring Civility in the Workplace*”

    Date:  Thursday, January 19, 2012

    Time: 8:30am-12noon

    Location:  AAIM Employers’ Association, 401 NE Jefferson, Peoria

    Cost: $135 AAIM EA Member; $180 Non-member 

    The goal of this program is help participants recognize their role in helping to make the workplace a good, productive, successful and civil place to be.

    Motivation and Engagement Strategies

    Date:  Wednesday, January 25, 2012

    Time:  8:00am-4:30pm

    Cost:  $295 AAIM EA Member; $375 Non-member

    Learn ways to help build engagement in your employees as well as leadership styles that can influence motivation and build positive behaviors.

    Supervisor 1 Series

    Date:  3 Full Days: Thursdays, January 26, February 2, February 9, 2012

    Time:  8:00am-4:30pm each day

    Location:  AAIM Employers’ Association, 401 NE Jefferson, Peoria

    Cost:  $495 AAIM EA Member: $615 Non-member
    This series will help participants develop a clear understanding of the job responsibilities of the supervisor, gain insight into their leadership style, and understand the basic skills needed to be an effective supervisor.  

    Talent Management

    Date:  Tuesday, January 24, 2012

    Time:  8:00am-4:30pm

    Location:  AAIM Employers’ Association, 401 NE Jefferson, Peoria

    Cost:   $395 AAIM EA Member; $565 Non-Member
             This session will review a comprehensive talent management strategy looks at not only your workforce needs for today, but ensures that you are building the employees you need tomorrow.

    Friday, January 6, 2012

    Pekin Area Business Expo '12

    Chamber Hires Events Manager

    Renna Hadsall has been named the events manager for the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce. 

    In making the announcement, Bill Fleming, executive director of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce, noted Hadsall’s chamber experience and community involvement.    

    “Renna brings a wealth of hands-on chamber experience and knowledge of our local community to the organization,” said Fleming.

    Hadsall recently served on the chamber’s Board of Directors, and over the years has been an active member of several chamber committees and has participated in many of the chamber’s events.

    As events manager she will be responsible for all of the chamber’s events including the upcoming Business Expo, July 4th Fireworks, Marigold Festival, and the R. David Tebben Community Leadership Academy.  She will work closely with many of the chamber’s committees on these and other chamber events and functions.    

    Renna and her husband, John, reside in Pekin.  She is active in her church and is currently the campaign chair and acting president of the United Way of Pekin.