Chamber Graduates Twenty

The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce held a banquet on March 26 to celebrate the graduation of twenty current and future leaders from the R. David Tebben Community Leadership Academy.  This was the 17th consecutive year the chamber coordinated a leadership academy.  A total of 360 local business and community leaders have graduated from the program.  You can see more pictures from this event at

State Senator Darin LaHood was the keynote speaker.  He encouraged the graduates to take their academy experiences and put them into action in the community.

Other banquet speakers included the Chamber’s Executive Director Bill Fleming and Events Manager Renna Hadsall, as well as the Chamber’s immediate past president, Tom Hornstein from Excalibur Seasoning.  Class members Adrienne Southerland from Pekin Hospital and Mike Eeten from the City of Pekin shared their thoughts and experiences of the program.

The 10-week academy included classroom presentations from a variety of community leaders on education, government, recreation, courts and leadership.  The program also included weekly VIP tours of local business and organizations.

The 2015 graduates are:

Cameron Bettin, Pekin Park District
Brian Byrne, St. Paul United Church of Christ
Mike Eeten, City of Pekin
Justin Emery, Excel Foundry & Machine
Krissie Finch, South Side Bank
Royce Fults, Pekin Insurance
Sara Hamilton, Institute of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Rich Jordan, River Valley Mechanical Services, Inc.
Teresa Mack, Artistic Community Theatre
Rev. Jim McClarey,  First United Methodist Church
Jacob Mills, Busey Bank
Trent Moberly, Grace United Methodist Church of Pekin
Brent Oest, Illinois American Water
Caleb Ogden, Illinois Corn Processing
Josh Parker, Pekin First Church of the Nazarene
Tyler Shepke, Excalibur Seasoning Company
Adrienne Southerland, Pekin Hospital
Janet Stevens, First Pekin Savings Bank
Al Tharp, Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory, LLC
Brian Throener, Illinois Corn Processing


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