Showing posts from February, 2012

Welcome New Member: Steve Tuttle

Steve Tuttle, Pekin IL 61554; Individual Member

In-Home Sleep Diagnostics Now Available In Pekin, Il

Watermark Medical, the developer of the ARES (Apnea Risk Evaluation System) has recently contracted for services with local physician, Volkan Sumer, D.O. ,  to offer the latest technology available for In-Home Sleep Diagnostics under the name of ICPR Family Practice , located at 1491 Valle Vista . Recently, as a result of studies, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) changed their national coverage determination to include these devices for home sleep testing for sleep disorders including obstructive sleep apnea.  ‘”This marks a momentous step forward for the recognition of  in-home sleep testing as an effective, cost-efficient means of diagnosing sleep-related illnesses,” said Dr. Sumer.  “Thousands of people across Illinois aren’t being tested or treated because of the cost and inconvenience of overnight lab testing, and I am very excited to be in a position where we can now reach out to more physicians and patients to help and fight these debilitating disorders.

Membership Renewals

Aramark ~ Aventine Renewable Energy ~ CenturyLink ~ Clanahan Chiropractic Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell ~ Edward Jones - Chris Petersen ~ Excalibur Seasoning Company Food Depot / Niemann Foods ~ Four Seasons Gutter Protection ~ Sylvan Franklin Graphic Packaging International ~ Heartland Bank & Trust Company ~ Knights of Columbus Pekin Community High School ~ Pekin Country Club ~ Pekin Daily Times ~ Pekin Public Schools #108 Pekin Township Supervisor ~ Peoria Journal Star ~ R.A. Cullinan & Sons Riley Brothers   ~ S & D Cleaning ~ Sound Choice Hearing Clinic ~ Syngenta Tazewell County School Employees Credit Union ~ Timbercreek Rehab & Health Care Traders Realty ~ Uftring Chrysler Dodge Jeep ~ World Wide Travel X Waste Disposal ~ YWCA of Pekin

Biz Barometer

Average sales price of residential unit in the 61554 zip code in 2011 was $104,808 – down 4.7% from $109,941 in 2010 The number of residential units sold in the 61554 in 2011 was 427 – down 6.4% from 456 sold in 2010 2011 was the 5 th consecutive year the number of residential units sold in the 61554 zip code was less than the previous year Sales taxes collected by Pekin merchants in 2011 were up 1.0% over 2010 Sales taxes collected in 2011 in Morton (+6.7%), East Peoria (+7.0%), and Washington (+4.2%) were up over 2010 collections East Peoria’s sales tax collections from September through December 2011 were up 16.5% over the same period in 2010 The unemployment rate in Pekin rose to 9.6% in December of 2011, up from 9.3% in November The unemployment rate in Pekin dropped to 9.6% in December of 2011, down from 9.8% in December of 2010 The number of people employed in Pekin rose to 16,412 in December of 2011, up 1.6%

Business After Hours

Salvation Army of Pekin 243 Derby March 1 st    Reservations Appreciated 346-2106 or email us at   Join us for networking, refreshments, door prizes, and more.  

Calendar of Events

March 1 – Pekin 1 st Committee         March 1 – Business After Hours March 6 – Ambassador Meeting March 7 – Member Promotion Meeting         March 7 – Executive Board Meeting        March 13 – Member Services Committee March 14 – Transportation Committee March 14 – Board of Directors Meeting March 21 – Marigold Festival Committee March 27 – Business Advocacy Committee

2012 Illinois History Symposium

The 2012 Illinois History Symposium will be held April 16-28 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in East Peoria. It promises to be an engaging and stimulating foray into Midwest frontier history, with emphasis on the War of 1812, Native-American history, prairie archaeology, and the historic city of Peoria. All are welcome and we hope you will take this unique opportunity to explore early Illinois history during the 200th commemoration of the War of 1812. A note to teachers: Continuing Professional Development Units (CPDUs) will be available to registered teachers. Some scholarships (i.e. registration waivers) are available. For details call the Society office at 217-525-2781 .

Leadership Academy Going Strong

The 2012 R. David Tebben Community Leadership Academy is past the halfway point.  The students have been learning about the leadership challenges and opportunities in our community.  You can see pictures from some of their sessions by visiting the chamber's picture page at:

Ledgestone Insurance Ribbon Cutting

Ledgestone Insurance Group was officially welcomed to the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce with a ribbon cutting ceremony at their office at 118 S. Main Street in Morton.  Insurance Producer Johnnie Harrison cut the ribbon and was assisted by Ledgestone owner Don Endress and chamber members Dennis Short, Andrea Gschwend, and Dave Homerin.  Ledgestone Insurance Group is a full service independent agency dedicated to meeting their customers' insurance and risk management needs. Ledgestone Insurance offers a wide variety of personal as well as commercial lines of insurance.  Harrison can be reached at (309) 712-2190 or .  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at:

Pekin Insurance Holds Annual Meeting

The Farmers Automobile Insurance Association held its annual meeting on Tuesday, February 14, 2012, at their Home Office in Pekin, Illinois. The following directors were elected for three year terms: Craig W. Concklin, Hinsdale, Illinois; and Daniel V. Connell and A. Richard Kriegsman, both of Pekin, Illinois. Subscribers elected Craig W. Concklin, Hinsdale, Illinois; and A. Richard Kriegsman, Pekin, Illinois, to the Advisory Committee. Pekin Insurance officers elected included: Gordon M. Walker, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer; Steven R. Anderson, Vice Chairman of the Board; Scott A. Martin, President; Daniel V. Connell, Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Secretary; Todd A. Clark, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; Brian K. Lee, Senior Vice President; Stephen H. Nunan, Senior Vice President - Underwriting; Peggy S. Collins, Vice President - Group and Claim Services; Curtis A. Eeten, Vice President - Claims; Gregory L. Feller, Vi

AAIM EA March Educational Opportunities

AAIM Employers’ Association Education Center is pleased to offer the following educational opportunities in March.  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:  Sessions March 14 – December 19, 2012 March 14 – Labor Laws: The Employer’s & Employee’s Rights & Obligations Under the National Labor Relations Act The National Labor Relations Act is legislation that governs many aspects of the relationship between an employer, an employee and unions seeking to organize your employees.  Understanding what your organization can or cannot do regarding free speech and organizing is crucial for minimizing your organizational risk. 2.      April 18 – Special Employment Issues: Privacy, Defamation, and Com

Champion Fitness Physical Therapy Announces New Administrative Assistant

Champion Fitness Physical Therapy  is happy to announce that they have a new Administrative Assistant working at their Pekin Clinic ( 2105 Court Street).  Erica joined our team in early January and has been a wonderful addition to their staff. For those of you who have not had a chance to meet/talk with Erica- You can also see her outside of work. She is in a Classic Rock band called The West MacQueen Street Band… Find their next show at

Illinois American Water to Receive American Water Works Association’s 2011 Communication Achievement Award

Illinois American Water announced today that the company has been selected by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) to receive the 2011 Communications Achievement Award for the company’s outreach regarding proper pharmaceutical disposal.  The award recognizes AWWA member organizations for fostering and supporting the development of public outreach programs and integrating public affairs as a core element of utility planning and management. According to Deirdre Mueller, Public Affairs Manager for AWWA, “Many accomplished individuals and organizations were considered and the selection process was rigorous.  AWWA’s Public Affairs Council selection committee was very impressed by the work Illinois American Water completed in 2011.”  Founded in 1881, AWWA is an international nonprofit educational association dedicated to safe water and the authoritative resource for knowledge, information, and advocacy for improving the quality and supply of water in North America and beyond.

Champion Fitness Opens Two New Clinics

Champion Fitness Physical Therapy is happy to announce the opening of its two newest physical therapy clinics in Newton at 100 S Sycamore and in Metamora at 912 W. Mt Vernon Ave. With seventeen clinics now all over central and southeastern Illinois, Champion Fitness Physical Therapy has been proud to be able to offer its many services to area families. The clinics are currently accepting patients by appointment (877-348- 8500). Locally, the Newton clinic can be reached at 618-783-2908, while the folks in the Metamora area can call 309-367-2651. Visit for more information.

Commerce Bancshares, Inc. Declares Quaterly Dividend

Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBSH) announced today that its Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.23 per share on the company's common stock, which compares to the prior dividend of $0.219 as adjusted for the 5 percent stock dividend that was paid on December 19, 2011.   This represents an increase in the quarterly dividend per share of 5% and marks the 44 th consecutive year that the company has increased total dividends per adjusted shares. The dividend is payable on April 2, 2012 to stockholders of record at the close of business on March 09, 2012. Commerce Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: CBSH) is a $20.6 billion regional bank holding company.  For more than 140 years, Commerce has been meeting the financial services needs of individuals and businesses.  Commerce provides a diversified line of financial services, including business and personal banking, wealth management, financial planning, and investments through its affiliated companies.  Commerce oper

February Puttin' On Pekin Recap

Over 100 people attended the February Puttin' On Pekin breakfast coordinated by the Pekin 1st, a committee of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce. Jake Ista, from Jake's Place won the early prize, while Mitch O'Shaughnessy from Dreamscapes Landscaping won the late prize. Heartland Bank was recognized for their community involvement with the Spotlight on Business, Pekin's Winter Wonderland was presented with the Blue Ribbon Award and Compassionate Friends received the Lovin' Our Town award. The speaker was Doug Parsons, President & CEO of Excel Foundry & Machine, who spoke about their plans for expansion.  You can see pictures from this event at

Springleaf Financial Welcomed to Pekin

Springleaf Financial Services was welcomed to Pekin by representatives from the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Pekin.  Branch manager Zak Ehrmantraut was assisted in the ribbon cutting by Customer Account Specialist Nicole Colwell, Assistant Manager Nicholas Barker, and District Manager Anita Gustaitis.  Located in East Court Village at 3564 Court Street in Pekin, they are open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm.  Springleaf Financial Services is lending made personal. They offer personal loans, auto loans, debt consolidation loans, and can help with retail financing.  They can be reached at 346-3191 or .

Pekin Hospital Proposes to Discontinue Its Long Term Care Category of Service

Pekin Hospital is in the process of developing and submitting a permit application to the IHFSRB (Illinois Health Facilities State Review Board) to discontinue its Skilled Nursing Facility.   The Skilled Nursing Facility has been in operation since 1993, but in the past few years has seen a significant decline in utilization and reimbursement.   Additional cuts in Medicare reimbursement of 11% as of October 2011, further compromises the financial viability of the Unit. As part of the application process, impact letters have been sent to 55 Long-Term Care (LTC) Facilities in the region to determine their ability to care for these types of patients and their capacity to do so.   Our initial analysis indicates there are sufficient LTC beds in the area so access will not be compromised. The closing of the Skilled Nursing Facility will allow Pekin Hospital to utilize the space for acute care patients and provide the Hospital the ability to increase the number of private patient rooms.   T

Tazewell County Children's Advocacy Center Trivia Night

Tazewell County Children's Advocacy Center is hosting their 10th annual Trivia Night on Friday, March 23, at the Embassy Suites in East Peoria. Doors open at 6pm, trivia begins at 6:45pm. There is a $280 registration fee for a team of eight. Prizes will be awarded for high team scores and the best team theme. Hors d'oeuvres are included in the ticket price. A cash bar is available. The space is limited. Registration is on a first come, first serve basis. Registration with payment is due March 16. Send check and registration to: Tazewell County Children's Advocacy Center 341 Buena Vista Pekin, IL 61554 Phone: 309-347-6001 Email: The event is sponsored by Pekin Insurance and Lite Rock 107. 

Glass Specialty Blood Drive

Glass Specialty Company would like to invite you and your friends to join them in a Blood Drive with the American Red Cross. The blood drive will take place at the American Red Cross Blood Donation Center, 405 W John H. Gwynn Jr Ave, Peoria IL 61605. The event will be held Tuesday, March 6 from 11am to 6pm, and Wednesday, March 7 from 6:30am to 3pm. On the days of the blood drive anyone that gives blood will receive Free Rock Chip Repairs as a gift for helping Glass Specialty give back to the community. Who can give blood? Be at least 17 years old or 16 with a signed Red Cross consent form in Illinois. If you way at least 110 pounds and are in good health, you may be eligible to give blood. Glass Specialty is looking forward to two great days and to make this an ongoing partnership. For an appointment please visit and search the Peoria Blood Donation Center. You may also call 800-REDCROSS.  

Welcome New Member: Command Center

Command Center., 2222B Court Street, Pekin, IL 61554; phone: 309-346-5627; fax: 309-346-5667; email: ; website: ; Melinda Palmer, Selling Branch Manager; Marie Leaverton, Area Vice President. Business Hours: Monday - Friday 6am - 6pm. Command Center is a Labor & Staffing company. They can supply construction, clerical, hospitality, and event personnel.

Pekin Hospital to Present “Cardiovascular Disease: The Difference Between Men and Women”

As part of American Heart Month , an American Heart Association national campaign to raise awareness of heart disease, Pekin Hospital will offer a free presentation, “Cardiovascular Disease:   The Difference Between Men and Women,” on Tuesday, February 28 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Pekin Hospital in Park Court Conference Center. James Smalley, M.D., cardiologist with HeartCare Midwest, will discuss cardiovascular disease, differences men and women experience, as well as treatment options.   Free blood pressures will be provided following Dr. Smalley’s presentation.   A light dinner will also be served. This program is open to men and women. Through promoting heart disease awareness, Pekin Hospital hopes to improve heart health by providing community education on healthy eating, exercising, smoking cessation, maintaining a healthy weight, blood pressure and blood cholesterol, and controlling diabetes. Registration is required and can be made by calling (309) 353-0662.

Avanti's Dome Hosted February After Hours

The Avanti's Dome Events & Sports Center of Pekin was the host of our February Business After Hours. Chamber members were treated to some great food from Avanti's and met the new general manager, Brian Wonders, and the new assistant general manager, Kathy Barker. Avanti's owner Albert Zeller and Director of Operations Pete Nichols were also in attendance.  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at

A.C.T. Improv Show

Support local theater by attending the Artistic Community Theater of Pekin Improve show.  It will be on Saturday, February 25th at 7pm at the Fusion Youth Center, 335 Sabella Street in downtown Pekin.  Don't miss the fun and unpredictability of the show.  Audience participation is always welcomed and encouraged. Come see some of the finest new talent the area has to offer. Laugh and enjoy the PG evening with friends a nd family alike. Open to all ages, show time is 7pm, and admission is only $10.00.   The proceeds will help in finding a permanent home for the theater.

Pekin Public Library Presents Workshops for the iPad

The Pekin Public Library is offering two workshops for new iPad users. 'Getting Started with Your iPad' will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 2:00 p.m.  Learn the basics of getting started with your iPad, including the button functions, settings menu, using the keyboard, and tips for using Safari browser. 'Advanced iPad Basics' will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 2:00 p.m.  Continue making friends with your iPad by customizing the home screen and learning about how to use apps.  Participants will also be able to ask questions and get help. Please register for these free workshops by calling the Adult Services Desk at 347-7111, ext. 2.

Whiz Kidz Academy Ribbon Cutting

Whiz Kidz Academy was officially welcomed to the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce with a ribbon cutting on February 1st.  Missy Deppert, director, and two of her teachers were joined by representatives from the chamber and the City of Pekin at the ceremony.  Located at 1605 Florence Avenue, Whiz Kidz Academy's mission is to provide first-class activities and facilities. Their preschool and childcare programs are developmentally appropriate for your child's age and skill level and are taught by highly qualified and professional staff. Their facility and procedures ensure safety and contribute to a nurturing environment.  They are open weekdays from 6:30 am to 6:00 pm and can be reached at:  (309) 347-5121; ; or .  You can see more pictures at

Pekin Hospital Chief Executive Officer to Retire

At a meeting of the Progressive Health Systems, Inc. Board of Trustees held January 24, 2012, it was announced that Kevin R. Andrews, President and CEO of the System, would be retiring from the post effective June 4, 2012. Andrews, who has held the position since March 2007 stated that, “It has been a real pleasure to lead Pekin Hospital during the past five years.   In that time we have seen our outcomes in patient satisfaction and quality of care increase.   I am particularly proud of the quality awards we have received.    Pekin Hospital did that with the help of a first class Medical Staff and our wonderful nurses, Lab staff, Imaging staff, Cardiopulmonary staff, and all who provide such excellent care to our patients.” Rich Kriegsman, Board Chairman, added, “The Board of Trustees was saddened to learn of Kevin’s decision to leave Pekin Hospital.   Kevin’s visionary leadership has provided the support for improved performance at all levels.   We are most appreciative of his

Pekin Hospital to Offer Diabetes Education Workshop

Pekin Hospital is pleased to offer an adult diabetes education workshop on February 20, 21, and 22.   The series of three classes will be held from 2 – 5 p.m. in the 4 South Education Classroom at Pekin Hospital. The classes are designed to provide information on managing adult diabetes and to help diabetics learn and develop the skills of self-management of diabetes therapy.   Topics covered in the sessions will include:      v   the importance of diabetes control and the factors that influence this control v   how to plan meals according to food selections and serving size v   the possible complications associated with diabetes v   why exercise will benefit your health and make you feel good Workshop speakers will include a Certified Diabetes Educator, Registered Dietitian, Registered Nurse, Registered Pharmacist, Exercise Specialist, and Registered Medical Technician. Class fees are $70 per person (one guest may accompany the registrant at no extra cost).   The

Tazewell County Genealogical & Historical Society February Meeting

The February meeting of the Tazewell County Genealogical and Historical Society will take place Tuesday, February 14th at 7:00PM at the Ehrlicher Research Center, 719 N 11th Street, Pekin. Rachel Schwarzendruber, University of Illinois Extension Educator on Family Life, will present the program Who Gets Grandma's Yellow Pie Plate? - Transferring Non-titled Property .  Rachel will discuss important things to consider when making decisions about transferring non-titled property at death.  Almost everyone has personal belongings such as wedding pictures, a baseball glove, or a yellow pie plate that have special meaning for them and for other family members. The transfer of non-titled property is an issue that impacts individuals regardless of their financial worth or cultural background. It is assumed to be unimportant or an issue that takes care of itself, so it is often ignored until a crisis occurs. The meeting is open to the public.  A short business meeting will foll

AAIM EA February Educational Opportunities

AAIM Employers’ Association Education Center is pleased to offer the following educational opportunities in February.  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:  Sessions February 15 – December 19, 2012 February 15 – Preparing an Effective Handbook An Employee handbook is more than just a document that is quickly reviewed on an employee’s first day and then placed on a shelf.  A well written and complete handbook can be important tool for communicating policy, guiding your managers, and establishing a safe workplace environment. 2.      March 14 – Labor Laws: The Employer’s & Employee’s Rights & Obligations Under the National Labor Relations Act 3.      April 18 – Special Employment Issues