Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Book Signing Hosted by Pekin Academy of Fine Arts at The Speakeasy Art Center

The Pekin Academy of Fine Arts loacted at The Speakeasy Art Center will be hosting a book signing event for Pekin native D.R. Lunsford on May 9, 2015 from 2-4. Mr Lunsford is a Pekin native who resides in Santa Monica California. He will be visiting Pekin for the weekend promoting his book..  His first book, To Laugh Think and Feel is an Anthology of story shorts (as he likes to call them) The book is written in a colloquial, easy to read style. Written much like Mark Twain in it's folksy and yet riveting composition. Lunsford's stories have an arc, great descriptions, and often resolve with a moral payoff. Jeff Oakley will entertain during the event. 

McDaniels Healthcare Marketing Develops Groundbreaking Letter-Writing Module for Certificate of Need Process

McDaniels Healthcare Marketing, a communications firm headquartered in Pekin, Ill., recently worked with HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville, Ill., to develop a first-of-its-kind letter-writing module that easily enables the community to show support of a proposed replacement hospital as part of the state’s certificate of need (CON) process.
“St. Elizabeth’s needed an efficient way to inform the public about this project and enable them to show their support,” Randy McDaniels, president of the agency, said. “Our staff teamed with the hospital to develop a groundbreaking letter-writing module that was approved by the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board (HFSRB) staff. The microsite ( allowed community members to submit their letters of support and even sign them electronically online.”

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital submitted a request to the State of Illinois HFSRB on August 25, 2014. To more effectively provide for the healthcare needs of the community, they were seeking to build a replacement hospital in O’Fallon. The idea of a microsite that could be used to inform the community and allow them to submit letters online first started in the project’s planning phases and continued with its launch in June of 2015. The letter module was turned off after the recent CON approval, but the microsite is still accessible.

The module offered easy access to details, drawings and news about the project, along with information on community support and the current hospital, frequently asked questions, a link to Facebook and a related resources page. Visitors were also able to sign up for email updates.

“For healthcare facilities challenged to earn support from the public on projects, the online module was extremely successful. As more and more people are tech-savvy, the online letter was utilized by more than 1,000 people. We also appreciated that it was more than a form letter. It allowed writers to enter their personal thoughts on the project for the Review Board members,” noted Kelly Barbeau, Marketing/ Communications Manager, HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.

McDaniels Healthcare Marketing draws on more than 49 years of experience to help strategically plan and execute marketing tactics for hospitals and physician practices throughout the Midwest. McDaniels also has client service offices in Bloomington and Rockford, Ill., as well as the Quad Cities. McDaniels Interactive specializes in developing websites, animation, videos, e-surveys, kiosks, ecommerce, content management systems, search engine marketing, optimization and social media to fit a variety of budgets. 


Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) received the “Spirit of Enterprise Award” from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for being a steadfast champion of local job creation and economic growth. Among other efforts, Bustos has worked to strengthen the Rock Island Arsenal and its workers, to reach across the aisle to ensure Thomson prison remains on track to open, to advocate for Illinois to lead a revolution in American manufacturing with the first-of-its-kind national Digital Manufacturing Design and Innovation Institute (DMDII), and to invest in our region’s infrastructure and transportation priorities.

“Since taking office I have worked hard with both Democrats and Republicans on reasonable solutions to create jobs, boost our economy and strengthen economic collaboration across our region and state,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “I look forward to continuing to fight for the economic well-being of all our communities as we work together to make our region an even better place to live, work and raise a family.

“For 50 years, through our How They Voted scorecard, the U.S. Chamber has been recognizing legislators from both sides of the aisle who have worked to pass legislation and enact policies that bolster our country’s economy, create jobs and keep our nation’s spirit of enterprise alive,” U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue said. “The Spirit of Enterprise award honors those members of Congress like Congresswoman Cheri Bustos who has recognized the need and shown a commitment to pro-growth policies in the second session of the 113th Congress.”

Pekin Sunset Kiwanis Night Golf

Fiesta Buffet Before Golf!

Visit our website -

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Welcome to Our Newest Member

Baird Ice Co.
318 Derby Street
David Baird, President
Laura Baird, Secretary/Financial Officer
Baird Ice is a self service ice house. They offer a healthier and ecologically responsible optionto your average ice options. Water is filtered twice and passed thru UV light. Ice House is built in the US and is completely owned by local residents. The Ice House is open 24/7 and dispenses 16 lbs bags of ice or 20 lbs of bulk ice for $2, also water for 25 cents gallon or 5 gallons for $1.00.

Check out your Weekly Chamber Connection

Check out your weekly Chamber Connection Here! 

Monday, April 27, 2015

NASDAQ Awards Heartland Bank the Innovation in Financial Education Award

Heartland Bank and Trust Company was recently honored with the Innovation in Financial Education Award presented by NASDAQ and EverFi.  The award recognizes its significant efforts to improve the financial capability of young Americans. Twenty-five financial institutions were honored with this distinction at a ceremony hosted at NASDAQ’s Marketsite headquarters in New York City.

Honorees were selected based on a set of criteria that included the scale and reach of their financial education initiatives, the duration of their commitment, and unique employee volunteering activities that supplement their programs.

“NASDAQ is committed to fostering innovation and economic growth, and the institutions we’re recognizing here today have led exceptional efforts to rethink how financial education is taught in our nation’s schools,” said NASDAQ Executive Vice President Nelson Griggs. “Our global competitiveness is dependent on the next generation understanding how the economy works and how to achieve financial security in their lives. We are grateful to the organizations that are helping pave a brighter future for students today.”

As young adults are faced with increasingly complex financial decisions, Heartland Bank is committed to providing students with the skills and knowledge needed in order to succeed. Heartland Bank has partnered with EverFi to bring the financial education program to local students at no cost to schools or taxpayers and has reached over 4,628 students since 2012. The web-based program uses the latest in new media technology – simulations, gaming and adaptive-pathing – to bring complex financial concepts to life for today’s digital generation.   
The Heartland Bank Money Matters Program provides the foundation for a better life for kids and their families, as they learn to avoid financial choices that they may encounter in the future.  “We are committed to serving local residents by using our resources and our voices to advocate on their behalf.  These outreach efforts reflect our community bank heritage and demonstrate our community-wide allegiance,” said Heartland Bank Chief Executive Officer, Fred Drake.

A FINRA-funded study released in February 2015 found that students who received rigorous financial education in high school saw increased credit scores and decreased chance of credit delinquency as young adults, compared to their peers who did not receive financial education. Data collected from nearly 1,839 students who completed the Heartland Bank Money Matters in the 2013-2014 academic year revealed that students’ understanding of credit scores increased by an average 30% after interacting with the curriculum.

Administered by teachers in a classroom setting, the web-based course offers over six hours of programming on a variety of financial topics including credit scores, insurance, credit cards, student loans, mortgages, taxes, stocks, savings, 401k’s and other critical concepts that map to national financial literacy standards. The platform uniquely tracks the progress and performance of every student.

About Heartland Bank
Heartland Bank and Trust Company is an independently owned community bank with assets of $2.5 billion. Headquartered in Bloomington, IL, the bank has offices in communities throughout Illinois. The bank offers a complete line of financial services to commercial and retail customers. More information is available on the bank’s website at
About EverFi

EverFi, Inc. is the leading education technology company focused on teaching, assessing, and certifying K-12 and college students in the critical skills they need for life. The company teams with major corporations and foundations to provide the programs at no cost to K-12 schools. Some of America’s leading CEOs and venture capital firms are EverFi investors including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Twitter founder Evan Williams, and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.  Learn more at

Veterans Drive Closure Starting May 4th

Due to the ongoing construction, Veterans Drive will be closed starting Monday, May 4 at the intersection with Commercial Drive, and will remain closed until the completion of the new alignment with Veterans Drive. 

Traffic will be routed to the new Mall Road alignment that runs in front of Tractor Supply and connects to Commercial Drive, until the completion of this phase of construction.  It is anticipated that construction will take 1-2 months depending on weather for this phase.  

The City of Pekin appreciates everyone's patience during construction of this roadway improvement. Please refer to the City website at for further information and project updates.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Chamber Board Elects Officers

The board of directors of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce elected new officers at their annual meeting on April 20 at the Pekin Country Club.  The term of each office is one year.

Gregg Ratliff, a private wealth advisor with Busey Wealth Management was elected President. 

John Franks III, President & CEO at Peoria Yellow Checker Cab Corp was elected Vice President. 

Becky Saban, owner of BodyWealth Massage was elected Treasurer.

Aindrea Balagna, CPA, will join the officers and serve on the executive committee as the immediate past president. 

Since 1893 the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce has been an advocate for the business community.  Nearly 400 businesses, organizations, and individuals support the chamber's mission to create opportunities for Pekin area businesses to succeed.

New Directors Elected to Chamber Board

The members of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce recently elected three new members to the board of directors for three year terms.  Josh Bradshaw, Baylee Gambetti, and Brigitte Harper, were introduced at the Chamber’s annual meeting on April 20 at the Pekin Country Club.

Bradshaw is the Community Resource Manager for Advanced Medical Transport.  He also serves on the boards of the Tazewell Teen Initiative and Friends of the Children of Haiti.  Bradshaw lives in Pekin where he enjoys photography, music and acting. 
Gambetti is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell in Pekin.  She is a 2012 graduate of the University of Illinois with a degree in advertising and marketing and a minor in communications.  She is a 2014 graduate of the R. David Tebben Community Leadership Academy.  She is on the board of directors with several organizations, including the Kiwanis Club of Pekin, Tazewell County Children’s Advocacy Centers Friends, and Pekin Main Street. She also serves as  the PCHS Key Club advisor, and serves on the Marigold Festival committee, the Winter Wonderland Festival committee, the YWCA Women’s Leadership Network and the Peoria Area Association of Realtors contracts committee.   
Harper is the Accounts Payable Supervisor at Pekin Insurance.  She has an associate degree in accounting and is working on her bachelor degree.  She has serves as a Chamber Ambassador and is a 2014 graduate of the R. David Tebben Community Leadership Academy.  She and her husband, David, reside in Pekin and have one daughter, Madison.
Also at the Chamber’s annual meeting the retiring board members were recognized.  They include Amy Darling, Pekin Insurance; Andrew Lockwood, Pekin Community Bank; Tee Rynerson, Jim Maloof Realtor; Becky Saban, BodyWealth Massage; and, Brad Juergens, Seico Security.
Tom Hornstein from Excalibur Seasoning completed his service on the chamber’s board at the conclusion of their annual meeting.  He had served as a director, officer, president, and was most recently the immediate past president and chairman of the annual meeting committee.
Since 1893 the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce has been an advocate for the business community.  Nearly 400 businesses, organizations, and individuals support the chamber's mission to create opportunities for Pekin area businesses to succeed.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Comcast Cares Community Day

Weekly Chamber Connection

Check out your weekly Chamber Connection HERE!!!!

Pekin Hospital and Progressive Health Systems Recognize Employees and Volunteers

Pekin Hospital and Progressive Health Systems recently honored 224 employees and volunteers at two events that celebrate outstanding service and dedication.

The 56th Annual Service and Pillar Awards Dinner recognized 88 employees with 1,250 combined years of service. Honorees included the following Pillar Award winners: Dr. Reggie Bowman, Linda Helms, Dr. Mike Honan, Dr. Mohammed M. Khan, Dr. John Lovell, Dr. Don Mitzelfelt, Ryan Morris, Holly Pogioli, Linda Reader, Michelle Reed, Dr. Lindsay Tate, Dr. Chuck VanDyke, and Karl Zuercher. Pillar Awards are given annually to employees who contribute to the five Pillars of Excellence—People, Service, Quality, Growth, and Finance.

Pekin Hospital and Progressive Health Systems also honored 136 volunteers at the 2015 Volunteer Luncheon. Recognition was given for 18,992 combined hours donated over the last year to courier services, lobby and information desk services, pharmacy, radiology and surgical waiting. The volunteer with the most hours donated over the past year was Beulah Snyder with 1,021 total hours. Volunteers Lois DeGolyer, Sharon McMillan and Barbara Wagenbach were recognized for more than 6,000 career hours donated.

“A huge thank you to our many dedicated employees and volunteers for the difference they make every day,” said Crystal Elliott, Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development. “Their efforts allow us to fulfill our mission of improving the health and well-being of the community with love, compassion, and extraordinary care.”

Bridges Out of Poverty Workshops at Pekin Hospital

Illinois American Water Announces Environmental Grant Recipients in Conjunction with Earth Day

Over $23,000 Awarded for Water Source Protection Projects

 Illinois American Water announced today that six watershed initiatives across the state will receive funding through the company’s 2015 Environmental Grant Program. The recipients will receive a share of grant funds totaling $23,515 for community projects that improve, restore or protect watersheds.

This announcement is being made in conjunction with Earth Day, April 22, 2015, to remind consumers of the vital need to protect our precious resource every day for future generations.  “At Illinois American Water, Earth Day is every day.  Our team works hard to not only provide water for life, but for our communities to thrive,” said Bruce Hauk, president of Illinois American Water.  

Illinois American Water awarded the 2015 Environmental Grants as follows:
- The Stream Discovery Released in the East program received a $5,000 grant.  The program, which is administered by the National Great River Research and Education Center in Alton fills a void in today’s education by providing teachers with tools to engage and educate students about aquatic resources.  Students participate in hands-on stream monitoring and research.  The program will be expanded to include classrooms in the Champaign and Lincoln areas.
- The Hickory Creek Watershed Bio-Blitz project received a $2,915 grant to conduct a one-day aquatic assessment where community volunteers within Hickory Creek watershed will team up with biologists to help collect and sort macro invertebrate.  The species will later be identified by professional aquatic biologists.  More than 100 attendees are expected, including K-12 students via pre and post-blitz lesson plans.
- The Peoria Art Guild’s Rainwater Revival project will receive their requested grant of $2,500 in full.  The Rainwater Revival project addresses Peoria’s sewer system overflow concerns.  The Peoria Art Guild will collaborate with area schools to create unique artistic rain basin collection systems to reduce water fun off in downtown Peoria, raise awareness and implement an innovative use of water in Peoria.
- The Peoria Riverfront Museum received a $4,100 grant for an Education Garden project. The project aims to educate children on the importance of native plants to surface water protection and river bank erosion.  The 1,500 square foot garden will be used during summer camp, summer classes and programming during the weekly Riverfront Market on Saturday mornings.
- The City of South Beloit received a $4,000 grant for the community’s Meet Me at the Confluence 2 project.  This the second phase of a project that began last year to remove invasive species along Turtle Creek.  The restoration project demonstrates the City’s commitment to realizing the vision of the Confluence as a focus for natural education and restoration of native ecosystems.
- The Conservation Technology Information Center will receive a $5,000 grant for the Indian Creek Watershed project which focuses on a farming in watersheds.  A series of success story vignettes will be produced to educate on successful conservation systems including benefits, data and insight from leading farmers on adopting priority best practices in real-world situations.

Residential customers can also make a difference.  On Earth Day, customers are reminded that they can help maintain the quality and supply of drinking water through the following actions:
- Be conscious of daily water use and take the necessary steps to be water smart and help preserve this precious natural resource.
- Be sure that leaking pipes and faucets — indoors and outdoors — are repaired.
- Take care in the use of garden, lawn, garage or other home products and ensure that they inadvertently do not find their way into groundwater.
- Dispose of chemicals or other potentially harmful products properly by not pouring them directly into home drains, the sewer, street drains or the lawn.
- Learn more about water through the annual local water quality reports. American Water customers can access their report by zip code on the company’s website at under the Water Quality tab.

To learn more about the Environmental Grant Program, Water Quality and Wise Water Use, please visit

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mashies Pub Ribbon Cutting

Mashies Pub & Eatery recently marked their grand reopening with a ribbon cutting with the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce.  Extensive remodeling was completed prior to the celebration.  Mashie's Pub & Eatery is located at 1620 Summit on the Sunset Hills Golf Course in Pekin.  It's a quiet location where you can enjoy your meals or drinks in any season, but now that the weather has warmed up, the veranda is open.  Mashies can be reached at 347-7553 or

Creative Expressions Ribbon Cutting

Creative Expressions Gift Shop & Salon recently celebrated their opening with a ribbon cutting with the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce.  Located at 122 S. 14th Street, Creative Expressions Gift Shop offers a wide variety of products for everyone.  The Salon offers hair and nails services as well as waxing.  It's owned by Diana Merritt, Sharon Camp, Ryan Merritt and Lonnie Merritt.  They can be reached at 346-4438.  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at 

River Valley Mechanical Services Ribbon Cutting

The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting on April 17 at River Valley Mechanical Services, Inc., 821 Brenkman Drive.  Owners Mike Hamilton and Rich Jordan were celebrating the opening of their new business with their employees and representatives from the chamber.  River Valley Mechanical Service Inc. specializes in residential and commercial heating, cooling and ventilation, including boilers, chillers, furnaces, a/c, exhaust fans and hoods.  They can be reached at 346-1140.  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at:

Welcome To Our Newest Member

Carrie Joos Agency Inc.1300 S. 14th St.
Pekin, IL 61554
Carrie Joos, President
Andrea Clark, Producer
Edna Wacker, Producer-In Store
Christie Sneath, Customer Service Rep
Carrie Joos Agency is a multi-line Insurance and Financial Agency protecting personal and business needs.


South Side Trust & Savings Bank, a subsidiary of Mid Illinois Bancorp, Inc., held their Annual Meeting on April 13, 2015 where David F. Cochran, Chairman; David H. Bettinghaus, Kevin E. Colgan, Steven J. Fawley, David L. Golwitzer, Karen M. Jensen, Mark W. Joseph, Mark E. Matuszak, William C. Schwab, Michael J. Stone, Jeffrey W. Ward, Timothy M. Ward, and John J. Waugh were re-elected to the board of directors.

South Side Trust & Savings Bank, a locally owned financial institution since 1922, has $660 million in assets and serves the tri-county area with 12 full service locations in Peoria, East Peoria, West Peoria, Bartonville, Chillicothe, Washington, and Pekin.  South Side Bank owns Mid Illinois Insurance Services, Inc. located at 1524 W. Glen Avenue in Peoria. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Leadership Academy Visited Springfield

Participants in the R. David Tebben Community Leadership Academy finally had the opportunity to attend the field trip to Springfield.  The original trip in February was postponed due to the weather.  The participants met State Senator Dave Koehler on the Senate Floor and he updated them on the big issues the General Assembly will tackle over the next two months.  The participants also met with State Representative Mike Unes on the floor of the House Chambers.  He was also able to join the group for lunch and continue his discussion with the class.  He shared several of his experiences as a legislator.  Perhaps most impressive (or intimidating?) was the fact that Rep. Unes' desk on the House Floor is directly beneath a large, priceless painting of Abraham Lincoln.  The Leadership Academy ended the day with a visit to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. You can see more pictures from this event at 

April to be Community College Month in Pekin

The City of Pekin has declared April to be Community College Month in Pekin

In celebration of Community College Month

and to thank the community and our school and business partners

you are cordially invited to join us and invite others

ICC Pekin Open House

225 Hanna Drive

Riverway Business Park

Wednesday, April 22, 4-6 PM

Refreshments and tours of the facility will be provided

Weekly Chamber Connection Available Now!

Check out your weekly Chamber Connection!!!


The Sun Foundation’s 22nd Annual Clean Water Celebration will kick off this Sunday, April 19, 2015.  Events, which are free to the public, will begin at 4:00 PM at the Gateway Building on the Peoria Riverfront.  This year’s theme is “Water Wisdom from around the World.”

Sun Foundation founder Bob Ericksen said, “People who live close to the land share a deep respect for the earth and her creatures. This reverence is best expressed in their stories and songs. This year’s theme focuses on that unique experience.”
On Sunday afternoon, a Native American Blessing of the River will be offered by Hayna “White Beaver” Sine, Ho Chunk leader. There will also be a Parade of Waters and the public is invited to bring water to be blessed.

The kick off will be followed by a keynote dinner at 5:30 p.m. at the GAR Hall, located at 416 Hamilton Blvd.  The organic dinner and lecture is $25 and the lecture alone is $15.  For reservations, please contact the Sun Foundation online at
The Clean Water Celebration will continue on Monday, April 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Peoria Civic Center.  The event is free and offers a keynote presentation, presentations on green initiatives like recycling and conservation, storytelling and hands-on exhibits.  Keynote presenters will be offered by storytellers Brian “Fox” Ellis, Oba William King, Anne Shimojima, Jo and Jimmy Lakota.   According to Ericksen, the presenters “will take participants on a journey for a deeper appreciation of our wet, watery world and a deeper connection to the earth.”

Making Waves Awards will also be presented at Monday’s events.  The 2015 Making Waves Award winners are:
- Farmington School District 265 for their solar panel project
- Hollis Grade School for their participation and volunteerism during the Clean Water Celebration
- Brian "Fox" Ellis for his environmental education and commitment to the Clean Water Celebration as an emcee, presenter, key note speaker and compiling the Clean Water Celebration "How To" booklet
- Hayna Sine for giving the Blessing of the Waters during the opening ceremonies of Clean Water Celebration, as an artist, elder from the Winnebago Ho-Chunk tribe
- Gifts In The Moment for providing fresh food to those in need in the Tri-County area
- Fen Bilimleri Anatolian High School, Turkey for using vermicompost to recycle organic waste in Turkey.

The public is invited to celebrate Earth Day and their local water source through the Sun Foundation’s Clean Water Celebration on April 19 and 20.  More information can be found at

Mashies Grand Reopening



Pekin Academy of Fine Arts Upcoming Events at the Speakeasy Art Center

This week!






Coming Next Week!

Young Artists is starting a new session on April 21st. Get your student signed up now to get in on this great art program!

Mason Jar Madness on April 22nd. Learn to decorate and distress Mason Jars to make creative vases and containers. These would make great Mothers Day gifts. Sign up now and bring a friend!

Coming soon!

Found objects on canvas on April 29th is a multi media workshop offered by Shelly Marlott.

Mixed Media Drawing class with Kevin 
starts May 4th. 
Email him now to register!

May 2nd is our Craft Supply Swap.


Keep your eye on our Facebook for more classes including a new Belly Dancing Session and Swing Dance Lessons!

First Friday May 1st!!!

We are planning the 2nd Annual Diversity Festival! 
Mark your calendars. Its sure to be a blast!

We want to say a big thank you to
 Illinois Corn Processing 

for sponsoring our First Friday shuttle bus 
for April! Thank you for supporting 
the arts in our community!

We are proud to now be displaying art exhibits at Unity Point Methodist on Broadway in Pekin. Local Artist, Susan Carson has paintings on display in the waiting area of their facility. The exhibits will change periodically to give other local artists a chance to get some exposure of their work. We will also soon be offering Exhibits within Pekin Hospital in their main elevator hallway. Local painter Chris Hancock will be the first display at the hospital. We are very excited to be able to offer these services to our community!

Art Market will start up in June 18th. We will be joining The Pekin Main Streets Farmers Market and will be set up on The courthouse lawn on Thursday evenings. We are excited for a new season and will offer music, performance, food and arts to you each Thursday. 
If you would like a vendor space contact us at
Vendor fees are $10 per week or $100 for the season!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Regional Leadership Summit - "Innovation in the Digital Age"

Regional Leadership Summit
“Innovation in the Digital Age”
to benefit Easter Seals Central Illinois
Marriott Pere Marquette Peoria
May 1, 2015
9:00am - 3:00pm ​

The Annual Leadership Summit brings together a diverse group of high-profile global thought leaders from business, government, healthcare, industry and education to the nation’s heartland in Peoria, Illinois. The Summit focuses on stimulating, cutting–edge presentations and interactive dialogue designed to advance high impact leadership, collaboration and innovation in the global economy.

Past speakers include Caterpillar Group Presidents, Brad Halverson and Steve Wunning as well as Madan Birla; author of FedEx Delivers, Sanjay Khosla; former president of Kraft Foods International, and Vijay Govindarajan, co-author of best seller, Reverse Innovation and Professor of Business at Dartmouth College.

Honorary Leadership Summit Co-Chairs:  Doug Oberhelman, Jonathan Michael, Sanjay Khosla, and Vijay Govindarajan

Leadership Summit Co-Chairs:P  Jamie Engstrom and Steve Patton

Continuing Professional Education Credit:  CPE Eligible

Registration Options:
 *    Visit<> to register directly online and view speaker bios.
 *   Call 309-686-1177 to register over the phone.
 *   Email with questions or to request additional information.
 *   Cost: $750 per person. Includes lunch and all session materials.

Monday, April 13, 2015

PTS Makes Revolutionary AlterG® Available for Weight Loss Training

Professional Therapy Services, Inc. (PTS), which offers physical, occupational and speech therapy at several outpatient clinics in Illinois, is making the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill® available as a tool for weight loss.

“The AlterG is the world’s first and only treadmill that uses technology developed by NASA to unload body weight,” Jonathan Hamm, PT, DPT, site manager of the north Peoria clinic, said. “This patented technology enables increased mobility and pain-free movement through ‘unweighting,’ which allows patients to run or walk without bearing their entire weight.” He explained that in some cases – due to injury or weight gain – people find it difficult to exercise. “The AlterG can help.”

Safe Conditioning, “Unweighted” Exercise
The AlterG enables people of different ages and sizes (up to 400 lbs) to reduce impact on their bodies during exercise and achieve results through its Differential Air Pressure (DAP) technology. DAP applies a lifting force to the body and reduces weight on lower extremities for precise “unweighting” – removing up to 80 percent of a person’s body weight – so users can exercise without muscle/joint pain or discomfort.

“The AlterG offers the weightless ease of moving with less gravitational force,” Hamm explained, “while utilizing different muscles and movements than swimming. Plus, there are no special requirements for clothing – you simply pull on a special pair of ‘shorts’ over your clothes and you’re good to exercise. Of course, a free demonstration – under the supervision of a physical therapist – is required the first time you use it.”

No Pain, No Gain? Not with AlterG!
Hamm, a physical therapist, said eliminating pain or discomfort during exercise on the AlterG can produce better quality of movement, especially under the watchful eye of a therapist who ensures proper usage of the treadmill. Although PTS has not yet had patients using the AlterG solely for weight loss, it has already provided patients with the ability to exercise at higher levels during rehabilitation. Many have noted the AlterG enables pain-free exercise while burning calories, building strength and reducing the risk of injury during exercise. The difference between rehabilitation and weight loss is based on the individual’s physical needs; length of time, percentage of weight and speed are increased to enable better workouts.

When Gardner Hatch had complications as the result of colon cancer, he basically had to “relearn everything.” With a weakened left side, he began working out and learning how to walk better on the AlterG.

“All the improvement I’ve seen has been steady,” he said. “And Jonathan has helped monitor my exercise, focusing on posture and the proper way to walk. It has helped because I tend to shuffle my feet, but he tells me when I’m walking incorrectly. Over time, my endurance has increased and I am shuffling my feet less.”

Another user of the AlterG, Ann Gargiulo, had been limping for about a year with pain in her shin. After a PTS therapist recommended an MRI, she discovered the pain had resulted from compensating due to arthritis in the hip. “The AlterG is wonderful; I can get along with about a third of my weight off, and Jonathan – through his monitoring – helped me to change the way I began walking as a result of trying to compensate for the pain. The AlterG allows me to have a good aerobic workout without further injury or pain. I also feel better after my time on the AlterG – lighter on my feet and more flexible.”

The Benefit of “Unweighting”
“Unweighting is achieved by inflating the air chamber on the AlterG to gently lighten the user to the desired body weight,” Hamm explained. “Users feel like they are walking on the moon. It’s been used for a variety of rehab applications, including helping patients to use their legs more effectively after injury or disease. Many who have been unable to walk or run under normal conditions find that the AlterG enables these activities without pain or discomfort, contributing to their body’s strength, cardiovascular fitness and weight loss over the long term.”

Some may feel uncomfortable about using the machine, but PTS offers a free demonstration and therapists are always nearby in case of questions. “Sessions are customized for each person, depending on their own endurance and goals,” Hamm said. “Most will want to use the AlterG 10-15 minutes when they start, unless they are really active. We will make recommendations and track progress, advising when to decrease unweighting and increase speed for maximum benefit.”

Renting Time on the AlterG

The only one in the Greater Peoria area, the AlterG is currently available for use at the north Peoria clinic, which is located in the UnityPoint Health-Methodist offices at 2338 West Van Winkle Way (off Route 6 near Allen Road). No referral is necessary, and minutes can be purchased per session or in a monthly package.  Group packages are also available upon request. The clinic is open weekdays and by appointment. For a free 10-minute trial, call (309) 693-9189. For more information, check