The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce held their annual meeting on April 21 at the Pekin Country Club. Nearly 200 attendees representing 56 businesses and organizations enjoyed the reception and short business meeting, followed a brief discussion of leadership by Bill Mayo.
You can see pictures of the event at http://picasaweb.google.com/PekinChamber
Four members of the Board of Directors completed their terms
and were recognized for their service.
The retiring members were: John
Dennison, Ray Dennison Chevrolet; Greg Henderson, Henderson Funeral Home; Scott
Kriegsman, Elliff, Dancy & Bosich; and Courtney Moessner, Tazewell
County. Also recognized was Drew Leman,
Leman Property Management, who completed his service on the board as Past
Newly elected board members were introduced: Lynzie Gruden, Velde Ford; Cathy Kemp, Pekin
Country Club; and, Dave Vaupel, Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes &
Crematory. The chamber membership
elected these new directors in March.
The newly seated board then elected officers for the coming year. They are:
President, Aindrea Balagna, Wolf Tesar and Company; Vice President, Gregg
Ratliff, Herget Bank; Treasurer, John Franks III, Pekin-Peoria Yellow Checker
Cab; and, Past President, Tom Hornstein, Excalibur Seasoning Company.
The chamber’s executive director, Bill Fleming, highlighted
some of the organization’s achievements during the past year. In particular he noted the chamber’s business
and legislative advocacy on behalf of the business community.
Fleming also highlighted the organization’s collaborative
efforts on regional economic development, and the chamber’s successful
transition to a new membership dues structure.
He then stressed the importance of first impressions.
“In many ways the chamber is one of the first opportunities
our community has to make a first impression on a visitor, a potential new
resident, or a potential new business,” said Fleming. With that in mind he announced the investment
in an office makeover, including renovations, remodeling, and new office
Hornstein reviewed his year as president but also noted how chamber
membership has benefited him. “It
allowed me to quickly integrate into the community,” said Hornstein. “My membership also provided me a source of
mentors who helped me grow professionally.”
Balagna is looking forward to her year as president, saying
she is inspired by those who have served before her. She hopes to follow their examples and be visible
and invested in the community.
Balagna also noted the need for the chamber’s continued
efforts in modernization, “if we hope to move forward and evolve.” That includes renovations of the chamber
office, and future investments in technology.
She also noted the need for the chamber to attract the millennials
and get them involved. “We need their
skills,” she said.
Bill Mayo is a retired Caterpillar executive, educator and
leadership development consultant. The Pekin native who currently teaches at
Eureka College told spoke about leadership.
“The three steps to leadership are: set the vision; set the
example; and create a sense of community,” said Mayo. He also shared his belief that the top duty
of a good leader is to produce the next generation of leaders.
The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce has represented the
business interests and promoted the growth of the Pekin area since 1893.