Thursday, September 17, 2015

Pekin Chamber Trivia & History

Trivia about the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce
 
The longest serving Executive Director is William T. “Bill” Fleming, who was hired in June of 2001 and has served the organization for over 14 years.

The Executive Director with the shortest tenure was A.W. Tartar, who was hired on February 15, 1952. He resigned 17 months later.

The first female to serve on the board of directors was Florence Westphal, who was on the board from 1957-1959.

The first female to serve as president of the organization was Carol Shields, in 1991. She later became the first female Executive Director in 1996.

The more things change, the more they stay the same

For over 20 years the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce’s Transportation Committee has worked with a number of agencies, organizations, and governmental units and representatives to advocate for the construction of Veterans Drive. This road will extend from Illinois Route 29 on the south, and then along the City’s easterly border, eventually connecting with Interstate 474 on the North. The Chamber believes this project is of vital importance to the community’s economic prosperity.

The Pekin Association of Commerce’s annual report for the year ended March 31, 1928 also noted the importance of roads. The report from the Good Roads Committee stated: “The most important project before the committee was the speeding up of action on the paving of the proposed State Route 164 (Pekin to Tremont and Mackinaw). The new road will be of great assistance to the communities on the East, and the route will mean a marked extension of the Pekin trading area. Your committee has held several meetings with representatives of the communities along the route, and many right-of-way disputes and differences have been satisfactorily adjusted. At this writing it is practically assured that the contract for Route No. 164 will be let within the very near future.”

The report went on to note that the newly paved section of Route 9, Pekin to Morton, was opened to the public last fall. “In the opening of this route, the committee is able to see the final results of its many months of work performed several years ago when the right-of-way for the new road was under discussion.”

PAST PRESIDENTS
Of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce

1917 – 1917 William. E. Schurman
1917 – 1919 James M. Rahn
1919 – 1921 Franklin L. Velde
1921 – 1922 William J. Reardon
1922 – 1923 James M. Rahn
1923 – 1924 Elmore G. Heisel
1924 – 1925 Franklin L. Velde
1925 – 1926 James J. Crosby
1926 – 1928 Willis M. Beardsley
1928 – 1929 Louis A. Birkenbusch
1929 – 1931 Arthur E. Severe
1931 – 1932 Paul H. Massey
1932 – 1933 Henry B. Koch
1933 – 1935 George B. Stolley
1935 – 1937 Irving M. Weimer
1937 – 1938 E.M. Marshall
1939 – 1939 Charles V. Frings
1939 – 1940 Robert E. Bryan
\1940 – 1941 Albert LaFrenz
1941 – 1943 A.B. Foster
1943 – 1944 George D. Holiman
1944 – 1945 Leslie L. Jones
1945 – 1946 Arthur L. Grob
1946 – 1947 E. Oscar Winkel
1947 – 1948 Eugene P. Maurer
1948 – 1949 Karl E. Stoll
                     E.E. Lawson
1949 – 1950 Dr. D.W. Turner
1950 – 1951 Harlow R. Summers
1951 – 1953 John C. Kriegsman
1953 – 1954 Morton Bowman
1954 – 1955 A.V. Martens
1955 – 1956 Orville Deppert
1956 – 1957 Thomas H. Harris
1957 – 1958 R.H. “Bud” More
1958 – 1960 Robert Culshaw
1960 – 1962 E.M. Kumpf
1962 – 1963 A.R. Sutton
1963 – 1966 John E. Monge
1966 – 1968 W. Dean McNaughton
1968 – 1970 Charles E. Gagnier
1970 – 1972 Melvin V. Burling
1972 – 1975 Ralph T. Brower
1975 – 1977 Charles F. Wolfe
1977 – 1979 A. Dean Willock
1979 – 1980 Richard Hayes
1980 – 1981 James Johnston
1981 – 1982 Paul Koch
1982 – 1983 Merrill Parsons
1983 – 1984 Larry Wichman
1984 – 1985 Louis Steger
1985 – 1986 Ronald Claussen
1986 – 1987 R. David Tebben
1987 – 1988 Charles H. “Chic” Renner
1988 – 1989 James E. Warning
1989 – 1900 Patrick E. Oberle
1990 – 1991 Dr. Virgil Petty
1991 – 1992 E. Baird Woolsey
1992 – 1993 Carol A. Shields
1993 – 1994 Bill Schade
1994 – 1995 Andrew Sparks
1995 – 1996 A. Richard Kriegsman
1996 – 1997 Robert Moore
1997 – 1998 William T. Fleming
1998 – 1999 Thomas Tesar
1999 – 2000 Perry Soldwedel
2000 – 2001 Vince Udry
2001 – 2002 Patrick Taphorn
2002 – 2003 Cindy Galyean
2003 – 2004 Ron Miller
2004 – 2005 D. Neal “Buster” Hanley II
2005 – 2006 Margaret “Marggie” Seelye
2006 – 2007 Glen Rittenhouse
2007 – 2008 Peggy Collins
2008 – 2009 Dr. Timm Schwartz, DDS
2009 – 2010 Mike Vonderheide
2010 – 2011 Althea Geiser
2011 – 2012 Charles “Skip” Schermerhorn
2012 – 2013 Andrew Leman
2013 – 2014 Tom Hornstein
2014 – 2015 Aindrea Balagna
2015 – 2016 Gregg Ratliff
SECRETARIES / EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS
Of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce
 
The management staff position with the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce was originally called secretary or managing secretary. Eventually the designation was changed to executive director. These people have served in that position: 
 
1916-1920 Phil H. Sipfle 
1920-1923 James H. Braucht
1923-1925 Leonard D’Ooge 
1925-1929 Ormond F. Lyman 
1929-1938 John S. Patterson
1938-1941 Francis O. Neer 
1941-1945 Ross E. Anderson 
1945-1952 Britt B. Blair
1952-1953 A.W. Tarter 
1953-1959 R.J. Lindley 
1959-1962 Paul E. Burkhardt 
1962-1970 R.H. “Bud” More 
1970-1984 Leland S. “Lee” Williams
1985-1987 Ralph T. Brower 
1987-1989 Kevin L. Rosner 
1989-1993 Willard E. Birkmeier 
1993-1996 Charles H. “Chic” Renner 
1996-2001 Carol A. Shields 
2001-present William T. Fleming

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