Monday, February 29, 2016

Ameren Illinois Grant Helps Teens Build Healthy Relationships

Students in the tri-county area will continue learning ways to build healthier relationships through The Center for Prevention of Abuse thanks to a grant from Ameren Illinois.

Ameren Illinois Division Director Daetta Jones presented a $25,000 check to Center Executive Director Carol Merna at a news conference today. The funds will be used to support The Center's Violence Prevention Education programs for local students K-12. To read more on this story click here. 

Pekin Hospital Groundbreaking Ceremony

Beer, Wine, & Spirits

Bergner's Goodwill Sale Offers 25% Off Coupons For Donations

Traffic Signal Work on IL 98 in North Pekin

Illinois Department of Transportation announces traffic signal work at the following location in North Pekin: 

·         Tuesday, March 1

o   IL 98 at Parkway Dr.

o   Signals will be out (all-way stop) between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. while work is completed

Please slow down and use extreme caution while driving through all work zones.
For IDOT District 4 updates on Twitter, follow us at
For updated traffic information and views from dozens of traffic cameras in Peoria and surrounding areas, visit

Comcast Business' National Program for Startups and Entrepeneurs Returns for Third Year

For the 3rd consecutive year, Comcast Business has a great opportunity for your members to win up to $30,000 to get a jumpstart for their business.  Entrants have to tell us what they would do with a $30,000 investment in technology, and we need your help to spread the word!  I’ve attached a flyer and press release that explains the contest details, so we would greatly appreciate your support in sharing this with your members.  The entry deadline is March 12, 2016.

Visit for full details and to check out more information on previous winners.  

Pekin Park District Annual Ice Show 2016

Cedar Street Ramp Closure In East Peoria

The Illinois Department of Transportation announces that the ramp carrying traffic from Cedar St. to westbound US 24/southbound IL 29 in East Peoria will be closed from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday, March 2.

The closure is necessary for crews to repair damaged guardrail and is weather dependent.

Please slow down and use extreme caution while driving through all work zones.

For IDOT District 4 updates on Twitter, follow us at

For updated traffic information and views from dozens of traffic cameras in Peoria and surrounding areas, visit



Thursday, February 25, 2016

Paid Internships

There are paid internships available through the Career Link Manufacturing Careers Internship Program (MCIP). However, space is limited and time is short.  You must contact Edah Hefley at 309-999-4263 by March 3, 2016 to see if they qualify under WIOA guidelines.

Amazing New Jobs Program Pays You to Learn!
  •  ·   Are you between the ages of 18 to 24?
  •  ·     Tired of going from Job to Job?
  •  ·     Given up on Looking?
  •  ·     Ready to try Something New?

If you answered Yes to all the Questions –
Here’s the Answer:


·      Get a Paid 8-week Internship at Leading Area Companies!

·      Meet Employers Looking to Hire!

·      Learn 7 Values that will make Every Employer Want to Hire You!

·      Free Resume Upgrade!

·      Learn How to Ace Your Job Interview!

·      Free OSHA Certification!

·      Free Lift Truck Certification!

·      Private “Internship Fair” for Qualified Participants Only!

·      Post-Secondary Education and Training Available 

Hurry! Space is limited. Available to qualified applicants only

Find out if you qualify - Call Edah Hefley at 309-999-4263 today!

Limited Time Offer. Expires March 3, 2016

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Illinois American Water and Missouri American Water Named as Arcus Award Finalists for Prescription Drug Take-Back Program

Illinois American Water and Missouri American Water have been honored as finalists for  the St. Louis Regional Chamber’s Ameren Corporate Citizenship Arcus Award for demonstrating exceptional commitment to enhancing the quality of life in the St. Louis region.

Illinois American Water and Missouri American Water were honored for establishing pharmaceutical drop boxes at police stations, city halls and health departments.  The program’s goal is to give residents a safe and responsible way to dispose of unneeded medicines without flushing – keeping the drugs out of local rivers and off the streets.  Working in cooperation with local law enforcement agencies, the companies established more than 50 drop-off sites that dispose of several tons of medicines each year through incineration.  

The program started in 2008 in Illinois American Water’s Pontiac District through a partnership with high school students to stop flushing of medications and the resulting impact to local water sources.  The students created the model used by American Water.  To date, Illinois American Water has helped to implement more than 35 permanent pharmaceutical disposal programs. To find an Illinois program visit

In St. Louis County, the program is managed by Missouri P2D2, a nonprofit organization established by Missouri American Water, the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, the St. Louis County Police Department and the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District. With collection boxes in 14 locations, serving more than one million people, the program is the largest of its kind in the U.S.   Information and collection box locations are available at

About Illinois American Water –
Illinois American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.2 million people. American Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville.

Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company.  With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs 6,800 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 47 states and Ontario, Canada. More information can be found at

Monday, February 22, 2016

Committee Volunteers Wanted

Welcome to Our Newest Member!

Maurie's Fine Candies of Pekin
522 Court St. 
Pekin, IL 61554 
Lelonie Luft, Owner
Mark Luft, Owner 
Serving Pekin since 1941, offering fine candy, homemade chocolates, magazines, books and more. Coffee and ice cream shop opening in early spring 2016.

Pekin Hospital To Host Free Skin Screening

Pekin Hospital’s Women’s Diagnostic Center, 600 South 13th Street, will host a free skin cancer screening on March 2nd from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The screening will be focused on melanoma, squamous cell cancer and basal cell cancer.
The free event will be conducted by board-certified general surgeons Dr. Paul Siebert and Dr. F. Nani Moazzam. Pre-registration is not required for the skin screening. Questions may be directed to 309-353-0204.

Part of Progressive Health Systems, Pekin Hospital is a 107-bed medical center serving Central Illinois since 1913. For more information visit


-Ken Mauser, Publisher of the Journal Star, announced today the inaugural Best of the Best Peoria awards program and event.  Best of the Best Peoria, formerly known as Reader’s Choice Awards, honors the communities’ favorite businesses in Central Illinois and the products, services and experiences they provide.

Starting today through March 15, readers can vote for their favorite businesses in Peoria online at or in certain editions of the Journal Star.  Deadline to vote is March 15.  The winners will be announced at an awards banquet at the Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino on Thursday, April 28, 2016.  The results will then be published in a special edition inserted in the Journal Star on Friday, April 29 and posted on
For more information, please contact Phil Jordan or 309.686.3026

Ameren Illinois to Announce Grant to Help Young People Build Healthy Relationships

ProHealth Medical Group Welcomes Nurse Practitioner

ProHealth Medical Group is pleased to announce that April Powell, FNP-C, has joined ProHealth Pediatrics in Pekin, Illinois, as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.
Powell has more than nine years of nursing experience throughout Central Illinois, including more than a year of Nurse Practitioner experience. She received her Master of Science in Nursing from Mennonite College of Nursing at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois, and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Saint Francis College of Nursing in Peoria, Illinois. She is board-certified by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
“We are very excited to add April to the ProHealth team,” said Dawn Moushon, Vice President of Practice Management for ProHealth Medical Group. “As a life-long Central Illinois resident, she is committed to providing superior care to the communities we serve. Her experience and enthusiasm make her a great asset to ProHealth Pediatrics and the community.”

Part of Progressive Health Systems, ProHealth Medical Group was established in 1986 as a sister organization of Pekin Hospital. ProHealth offers nine practices throughout the Pekin area. For more information visit

February Biz Barometer

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Junior Achievement Recruits Volunteers for Second Semester

Many Pekin area students will benefit from Junior Achievement (JA) this semester and they need you to serve as their mentor. JA volunteers come from all walks of life, sharing a message of hope and opportunity with every young person they reach.  JA serves students in kindergarten through high school, focusing on entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and work readiness in an age-appropriate way.  Getting started is easy.  All you need is your enthusiasm, life experience, and a willingness to teach children about how you took chances and shot for the stars.  Junior Achievement provides the training, curriculum, and a classroom ready to meet you.  For more information contact Angie Houck at or 309-682-1800. 

Currently we have the following classes open in Pekin and Creve Coeur

JA Ourselves
LaSalle Elementary School
Creve Coeur
JA Ourselves
Willow Primary School
JA Ourselves
Willow Primary School
JA Our Families
LaSalle Elementary School
Creve Coeur
JA Our Community
LaSalle Elementary School
Creve Coeur
JA Our City
LaSalle Elementary School
Creve Coeur
JA Our City
LaSalle Elementary School
Creve Coeur
JA Our City
Dirksen Primary School
JA Our City
Willow Primary School
JA Our Region
LaSalle Elementary School
Creve Coeur
JA Our Region
LaSalle Elementary School
Creve Coeur
JA Our Region
LaSalle Elementary School
Creve Coeur

 Upcoming JA training/orientation sessions:
Webinar: Wednesday, February 17, 3:00-4:00 pm; email to sign up
JA Office: Thursday, February 18, 9:00 am - 10:00 am; email to sign up
Webinar: Wednesday, February 24, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm; email to sign up
JA Office: Thursday, February 25, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm; email to sign up

Pekin HR Forum

Pekin HR Forum is intended to be a Human Resources group serving the Pekin Business Community. We will focus on providing a setting to stay abreast of the latest HR topics and laws, opportunities to hear speakers on various topics important to our businesses, profession, and the community. This Forum will also provide an opportunity to network with fellow HR Professionals. It is my hope, that by creating this group it will give our local HR Professionals an opportunity to learn and grow professionally, and network closer to home. Our members will include HR Professionals at all levels, and any other business professionals performing HR functions.

I would like to establish this organization as a way to assist in the professional and personal development of the HR Professionals within our own community. My goal is for this to appeal to all levels of HR members and to provide real world suggestions and ideas for implementing in your workplace.

The Pekin HR Forum member luncheons will be held the second Thursday of the month, with the first one being held on March 10th at 11:30 a.m., at Avanti’s in Pekin.

Please contact me if you are interested in joining the group. 

Thank you,

Lori D. Cavitt
Human Resources
PAL Health Technologies, Inc.
Ph: 309.477.4403

St. Jude Benefit

Membership Renewals

Thank you to the following employers who recently renewed their investment in the vision of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce:

5-Star Members
Enviro-Safe Refrigerants, Inc.

4-Star Members
Peoria Limousine Company / Pekin-Peoria Yellow Checker Cab

3-Star MembersIllinois American Water

1-Star Members
Food Depot / Niemann Foods
Service Master of Central Illinois

Classic MVP Members
Alpha Media, LLC - Peoria
Costco Wholesale
Facet Technologies, Inc
Miche Independent Rep - Manda Brown
Pekin Township Supervisor
Sound Choice Hearing Clinic
Springleaf Financial Services
Uftring Chrysler Dodge Jeep
W.D. Boyce Council, Boy Scouts of America

2016 Tazewell County Amateur Golf Circuit

Starting A Business In Illinois

Friday, February 12, 2016

February Puttin' On Pekin Recap

One-hundred chamber members and guests attended the February Puttin' On Pekin breakfast held at the Avanti's Dome.  Todd Thompson was the program, speaking on downtown Pekin revitalization efforts.  Linda Reader won the early prize, while Ed Betzelberger won the late prize.  The spotlight on Business Award was presented by Debbie Fornoff to Advanced Medical Transport represented by Andrew Rand, Josh Bradshaw, and Tom Geraci.  Malinda Grafelman presented the Sunshine Award to Tim, Crystal and Shannon from TLC Fosters.  You can see more pictures from this event at:

Jimmy John's Reopens

Jimmy John’s is now open and serving dine-in, carryout, and delivery service at both of their Pekin locations. The original Pekin location at 1631 Broadway reopened on February 12.

After opening the new location at 2925 Court, which features a drive thru window, the Broadway location was closed for a total interior remodel. Both locations are now open and delivery orders can be placed online or by calling 353-2500 (Broadway) or 353-4900 (Court Street).

Representatives from the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce were on hand to commemorate the reopening with a ribbon cutting.  Jimmy John’s Manager Donny Cox and franchise owners Chad Roepenack and Justin Clark were joined by Dennis Short, Andy Sparks, and Teresa Mack.  Back row (l-r): Harry Wilmert, Dennis Barron, Brent Oest, Paul Scherer, and Rev. Jim McClarey.

You can see pictures from this and other chamber events at:

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Pekin Hospital Joins Quality Improvement Program

Pekin Hospital is one of more than 100 hospitals in Illinois participating in the Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) 2.0., a joint quality improvement program with the Illinois Hospital Association and the Michigan Health & Hospital Association. The year-long quality improvement program seeks to reduce hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and preventable readmissions by 20 percent.
“This is an important initiative that will help us to further drive the safe treatment of our patients,” said Beth Thomas, Director of Quality and Safety at Pekin Hospital. “Our participation in this program is part of our larger commitment to providing the best possible patient care.”
HEN 2.0 will focus on readmissions and 10 types of inpatient harm:
  • Ventilator-associated events
  • Sepsis
  • Obstetrical adverse events, including early elective delivery reduction, post-partum hemorrhage and preeclampsia
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infections
  • Adverse drug events related to opioids, hypoglycemia and anticoagulants
  • Central-line-associated blood stream infections
  • Injuries from falls and immobility
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Surgical site infection
  • Venous thromboembolisms
Part of Progressive Health Systems, Pekin Hospital is a 107-bed medical center serving Central Illinois since 1913. For more information visit

Monday, February 8, 2016

Innovative Financing for Small Business

February 25, 2016 * 8:30 am
Peoria NEXT Innovation Center
801 W Main St., Peoria

Networking & breakfast 8:30 AM   Presentation 9:00 - 9:40 AM
Q & A until 10:00 AM

Are you looking to start or grow your business?  Learn how to turn your ideas into reality!  In this special opportunity sponsored by the City of Peoria, the County of Peoria and Illinois Business Financial Services, representatives will demonstrate how to financially structure your project and receive the most attractive financial terms.  Creative financial solutions with attractive terms can make a big difference.  Learn how low-interest, fixed-rates, flexible terms, and subordinate financing can be used to move your project forward.

Go to to register for this Free Event!

Beer, Wine & Spirits

Savant Capital Management Receives Standard of Excellence Certification

Savant Capital Management,, one of the nation’s largest independent registered investment advisory firms today announced it has received the Service Provider Certification for adhering to the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence (CEFEX) standard of excellence for Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) 3(16) Plan Administrators. Savant is among one of the first organizations in the nation to be independently certified in this role.

The Service Provider certification is an independent recognition of an Administrator’s conformity to the relevant practices and criteria within the American Society of Pension Processionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) Standard of Practice and the standard “Prudent Practices for Investment Stewards” published by fi360 Inc. The certification implies that the firm can demonstrate adherence to the industry’s best practices, and is positioned to serve fiduciaries such as Investment Managers and Investment Stewards.

Savant has been certified for various plan administrator functions as regulated by ERISA, which include both fiduciary and administrative functions. The firm’s fiduciary functions include selection of plan providers, interpretation of the terms of the plan and making decisions on claims for benefits. It also includes authorizing distributions, loans and any other plan transactions, managing fiduciary governance and maintaining documentation, and signing all attestations required in governmental filings, including Form 5500.

The firm’s administrative functions include serving as a single point of contact for the plan sponsor, service providers and plan participants related to administrative matters, reviewing plan design for enhancements and modifications and disseminating enrollment materials to new participants. Other administrative functions include preparing and maintaining IRS approved plan documents, determining employee eligibility, calculating benefits and applying other benefit rules and preparing required employee communications.

CEFEX conducts annual assessments according to the international standard ISO 17021. This standard serves as the foundation for facilitating and recognition of CEFEX certifications. The assessment process involves a detailed review of plan documents, policies and procedures followed by interviews with key personnel.  

Hopedale Medical Foundation Seeking Scholarship Applications

Hopedale Medical Foundation is again accepting applications from high school seniors and college freshmen for its Spring 2016 Scholarship Awards.  The Foundation has awarded over $500,000 in scholarships to area students since 1980.

All public High School Seniors, College Freshman, and Private and Home-Schooled Seniors whose permanent residence has been within the following school districts for a minimum of one year prior to application are eligible:  Olympia, Tremont, Delavan, Hartsburg/Emden, Deer Creek/Mackinaw and Midwest Central.  Applications may be picked up at your high school counselor’s office or at the HMC Administration building located at 107 Tremont Street in Hopedale.  Applications are also available online at

Applications must be received in the HMC Administration office by Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 4:00 pm.
The following scholarships will be awarded:
1.     $1,000 Neil Alford, Jr. Scholarship.
2.    $1,000 Phyllis Martin Nursing Scholarship.
3.    $1,000 Orville Augsburger/Dorene Oehler Scholarship.
4.    $1,000 David Eckhardt Scholarship.
5.    $1,000 Founder’s Scholarship.

All students entering the healthcare or agricultural field are eligible.

Applications are judged by an independent panel of judges who will review the applicants’:
          ACT/SAT Scores                      Financial Need (OPTIONAL)
          Class Standing                          Counselor’s Recommendation
          Applicant’s Narrative                Other Favorable Recommendations

          Community/Extra-curricular Involvement

Pekin Hospital Foundation To Host Beer, Wine & Spirits Tasting

The Pekin Hospital Foundation will host its annual Beer, Wine & Spirits Tasting on March 11th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Pekin Country Club in Pekin, Illinois.
Individual tickets for the Beer, Wine & Spirits Tasting are $50, with proceeds to benefit the Pediatric Unit at the new Medical Office Building. The fundraiser will feature a silent auction and entertainment by the Corn Wolves. For tickets contact Director of Fund Development Sherry Semonis at 309-353-0983 or

Part of Progressive Health Systems, the Pekin Hospital Foundation provides a direct channel for donors and volunteers to support Pekin Hospital’s mission of improving the health and well-being of the community with love, compassion and extraordinary care. For more information visit

Friday, February 5, 2016

Children's Advocacy Center Hosted February After Hours

Nearly 50 chamber members and their guests attended the February 4th Business After Hours hosted by the Tazewell County Children's Advocacy Center.  They enjoyed refreshments, networking and an opportunity to learn more about the mission of this important community agency.  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Unland Companies Announces Leadership Changes

The Unland Companies has announced that it has made some changes in its senior management roles to focus on continued growth and success of the agency. 

Afton Booth, CIC, CSRM, was named Chairman of the Board. The former President, Booth has been with The Unland Companies for over 35 years in various capacities, including sales, sales management and as Vice President. He will continue his long-term client relationships while developing new business opportunities, mentoring existing agents and reaching out to the marketplace for acquisition possibilities that will assist with the company’s growth plans. Booth is now accessible in both the Pekin and East Peoria offices.

A 25-year employee and the former Vice President, Patrick Taphorn, CIC, CSRM, has been promoted to President. Taphorn’s experience in insurance sales and management, along with his proven accomplishments with the Unland sales force and senior management, have helped to equip him for the position. He continues to oversee the growth at The Unland Companies, while taking on some of the administrative tasks previously handled by Booth.

“The Unland Companies has been a long-time insurance partner in Central Illinois over the last 75 years,” Taphorn said. “Our employees are exceptional in what they do for our clients and this service will not change. The shifts in titles and subsequent duties assigned those individuals will position the company very well for further growth, enhancing both our commercial and personal product expertise while expanding our geographic reach. This natural succession will assure that The Unland Companies remains a leader in the insurance industry in Central Illinois.” 

Bill Shock, CBC, continues as Executive Vice President and will take on more administrative duties to manage the ongoing growth of the agency, while still maintaining his role as an insurance advisor for his many clients. He joined The Unland Companies in July of 1989, but owned and operated The Shock Agency prior to that. He continues to oversee the Personal Lines Division and Benefits Division at the company, including assisting and guiding current and future clients toward Affordable Health Insurance Products.

An agent with the company since 2013, Nate Rugaard, CIC, has been promoted to Vice President. His technical knowledge of industry policies and risk management has helped to develop the company’s client base. Rugaard has taken over Taphorn’s responsibilities and oversees the existing sales force. In addition to developing new talent, he will be focused on growing the overall agency production.

An employee-owned company, The Unland Companies is a full-service, independent insurance agency providing broad personal and commercial insurance coverage, human resource services and financial services at an affordable cost, backed by superior service.  For additional information, call 1-888-874-8408 to speak to a representative.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Chamber Connection

Check out this weeks Chamber Connection! 

Savant Capital Management Ranked Among the Top 10 RIA Firms in the Nation

Savant Capital Management, a nationally recognized fee-only wealth management firm headquartered in Rockford, IL, with offices in 11 locations in three states, including Peoria, has been recgonized by Financial Planning magazing as a top 150 Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) Firm.

For the second year in a row, Savant has landed a spot among the top 10 largest independent financial planning firms and is now ranked as the ninth largest advisory firm in the United States. This list was created by Financial Planning magazine and captures independent fee-only planning firms that remain free of affiliations with broker-dealers, insurance firms, banks and large outside investors.