Friday, July 29, 2016

Porter Electric Opens New Office

Congratulations to Porter Electric who opened their new Pekin office at 1504 N. 8th.  Porter Electric specializes in residential and commercial electrical needs.  They can be reached at 241-5306 or More pictures of this and other chamber events can be seen at:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Facet Technologies

Allen Karnes has joined the Facet Team as our new PC Technician at our Peoria Nerds on Call location.  Allen is bringing 10 years of experience in IT and has a special expertise in repair of small devices such as smartphones and tablets.  We are pleased to have him with us and are excited to bring this additional experience and skill to our customers.

Dash at Dusk Raises $8,000 for Pekin Hospital’s Mission Team

The fourth annual Dash at Dusk 5K & Kids’ Fun Run raised $8,000 for Pekin Hospital’s 2016 mission trip.
More than 330 runners and walkers participated in the July 15th event that also promoted community health and wellness. Wyatt McIntyre was the top male 5K finisher with a time of 16:41. Jayza Riley was the top female 5K finisher with a time of 19:27.
“It was another great turnout for Dash at Dusk,” said Marcy Becker, Dash at Dusk co-coordinator. “The funds we raised will support our mission team’s trip to the Dominican Republic later this year. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this wonderful community event.”
More than 20 physicians, nurses and employees will take part in this year’s mission trip. The team hopes to treat more than 2,000 patients during their five-day visit to the Dominican Republic.

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


Water Quality Reports Available for Illinois American Water Customers

Illinois American Water’s 2015 Water Quality Reports are now accessible through its website at, as well as via printed copies that can be mailed to customers upon request. By providing two easy ways for customers to receive confirmation that their drinking water meets all federal standards for water quality, the company is working to increase the public’s understanding of the value of water.

Also known as the Consumer Confidence Report, the water quality report compares the quality of water supplied by Illinois American Water against standards established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that are enforced by the Illinois EPA. The report describes local drinking water sources and shares test results, including substances detected and their levels. Illinois American Water continues to meet all standards.

“Meeting these standards is the most important thing we do every moment of every day,” said Illinois American Water President Bruce Hauk. “Our teams of water quality, plant operations, and water distribution professionals work hard each and every day to ensure the highest quality water and service to our customers, and these annual results are a testament to their dedication. We encourage our customers to familiarize themselves with the information in these reports.”

According to EPA, American Water’s subsidiaries together have greater than 99.9 percent compliance for both water and wastewater standards over the last five years.

In addition to online access, customers can ask for a hard copy to be mailed to them by contacting customer service at 1-800-422-2782.

About Illinois American Water
Illinois American Water, a 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.

Illinois American Water ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Water Utilities in the Midwest" according to J.D. Power’s 2016 Water Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study.SM

American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company.  Marking its 130th anniversary this year, the company employs 6,700 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 by visiting  
This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.  If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender. Please note that any views or opinions presented in this email are solely those of the author and do no necessarily represent those of American Water Works Company Inc. or its affiliates.  The recipient should check this email and any attachments for the presence of viruses.  American Water accepts no liability for any damages caused by any virus transmitted by this email.  American Water Works Company Inc., 1025 Laurel Oak Road, Voorhees, NJ  08043


The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded Illinois Central College a $1.2 M grant to fund a new program that will provide students from disadvantaged backgrounds some additional tools to succeed in college, even while they are still in high school.
Sen. Dick Durbin’s office notified ICC officials on Monday that the college’s application was accepted for the TRiO Talent Search Program, a five-year federal grant that will provide $240,000 a year to identify and assist students currently attending Peoria High School or Manual Academy who have the potential to succeed in higher education but who may lack the resources.
“We are proud to be part of this program and appreciate the collaborative relationship it strengthens between ICC and Peoria Public Schools,” said ICC President Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey. “Talent Search gives us additional tools to support the efforts of area youth coming from disadvantaged backgrounds as they complete high school and then help them translate that completion and persistence goal to their college journey as well.”
“Congratulations to ICC. This award is another example that our community-wide collaboration and alignment efforts are having a significant positive impact for our students, our families and our community,” said Peoria Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat. “As a district and in partnership with Illinois Central College, we continue to develop trusting relationships to produce opportunities and results to realize our mission and vision. The Talent Search grant is one significant endeavor that I believe will help us do that.”

ICC will choose approximately 500 students to participate. The students will receive success coaching, academic tutoring and advisement, mentoring, assistance the college entry process and a host of wrap-around support services. Students also will have the opportunity to visit colleges and participate in a variety of cultural activities.

“We are delighted that the U.S. Department of Education selected us for this expanded opportunity to support the youth in our community,” said Dr. Rita Ali, ICC Vice President of Diversity, International and Adult Education. “The program is designed to enrich the educational experience of the students and increase their ability to be successful in high school and in college.”

              ICC applied for the grant in February and will begin the program in September. The College plans to staff the program with a director, two success coaches, and academic tutors.
The TRiO Programs are outreach student services programs funded and administered by the U.S. Department of Education and are aimed at identifying and providing assistance to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Peoria High School and Manual Academy students and families who are interested in learning more about the Talent Search Program should contact their high school counselors after the start of the school year this fall.

John Evans Carnival

Monday, July 25, 2016

Annual Labor and Employment Seminar

Employers:  Do you need to learn more about the changes to the DOL Overtime Rules and other labor updates?  This free morning seminar is for you!  It is presented by Quinn Johnston (member of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce) and held on Thursday, August 25, at the Par-A-Dice Hotel in East Peoria.

Registration and Complimentary Breakfast Buffet: 8:00 - 8:25 a.m
Welcome and Opening Remarks: 8:25 - 8:30 a.m.
Seminar: 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Who Should attend? CPAs, Business Owners, Executives and Vice Presidents, Human Resources Professionals, Managers, Supervisors, Entrepreneurs, General Counsel and Other In-House counsel.

For more information and to register visit:

July Biz Barometer

Illinoisans Leave Labor Force

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) recently announced the unemployment rate in Illinois for the month of June has decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 6.2 percent. IDES noted a contributing factor to the decreased rate is a decline in the labor force. In other words, many Illinoisans have given up on searching for employment.
The report also pointed out that the state has lost more than 9,000 manufacturing jobs just over the last year. 

Industry sectors that gained employment in the month of June were: Professional and Business Services (+3,000); Financial Activities (+1,700) and Other Services (+1,500). Industries that declined in employment were: Educational and Health Services (-7,300) and Trade Transportation and Utilities (-1,000).

Monday, July 18, 2016

Community Guide to Understanding Marijuana

Concert on the Courthouse Square

Jassman, CPA Joins Busey Wealth Management as Tax Specialist

The Busey Wealth Management Team welcomes Carrie Jassman as Tax Specialist. Jassman, a Certified Public Accountant with more than 12 years of tax experience, coordinates various aspects of tax reporting as well as the preparation of trust, individual and charitable tax returns. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington.

With nearly 80 years of experience, the six member Financial Planning & Tax Team helps clients explore tax, legal and financial planning options available and most appropriate for their unique financial situation. The Team, which is located at 100 W. University Ave. in Champaign, serves all Busey Wealth Management clients and can be reached at 1.800.67Busey.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Peoria loves country.  And beginning today, Peoria’s Country, Nash FM 97.3 WFYR  is launching a search for the Peoria area’s most outstanding country music talent, to qualify for Cumulus Media’s NASH Next 2106 national competition.

The winner of this four-month-long national competition, announced by country legend Reba McEntire, will receive a record deal with Big Machine Label Group, home to such superstars as Taylor Swift and Tim McGraw, as well as substantial exposure, commensurate with a major label release, on Cumulus radio stations nationwide. While television boasts several talent competitions, no other contest  -- on any platform -- has ever offered its winners a similar opportunity for coveted radio play, which is the most effective medium to cultivate an artist and propel a major music career.

NASH NEXT 2-2-2-2

Commenting on NASH Next, McEntire said, “Radio has been an essential -- and joyous -- part of my musical career for over four decades. Cumulus is synonymous with country, so it’s the pitch perfect vehicle for this search. I’m honored to add my voice to this great project that will help usher in the next generation of country stars.”

Stellar Judging Panel

Emerging artists will first be judged by Cumulus listeners and local professionals in their communities. Finalists, and the 2016 winner, will be selected by a panel of country luminaries, including Scott Borchetta, founder, president and CEO of Big Machine Label Group, the world’s #1 independent record label, Kix Brooks, half of Brooks & Dunn, one of country music’s most successful duos of all time, and Jay DeMarcus of chart-toppers Rascal Flatts, joined by a Cumulus listener.

“While it might not be the only place for listening and discovering, it (radio) is still the most important place. We couldn’t have the success that we have without country radio. There is no way,” Borchetta has said. 

“Internet, Twitter and everything else put together doesn’t equal what country radio does for us as artists, and as an industry,” Brooks has noted.
Country is #1 Music Genre
In the last five years, country has supplanted pop as the #1 most popular music genre, with 97 million fans (MRI, Fall, 2015). This is due, in part, to the fact that country has been influenced by both pop and rock styles to gain mass appeal. 

How the Competition Works

Beginning today, local artists may enter the competition via, and will be judged on three challenges, by three, as well as WFYR listeners. First asked to submit an original song, contestants will then be charged with adapting a popular song, with a new style, and for the third step, provided a phrase and tasked with writing a verse and chorus, using that lyric. The Peoria area finalist will be selected by the WFYR judging team at a live event September 11th at the Limelight Eventplex in a live performance of an original song.

NASH NEXT 3-3-3-3

The Peoria area winner will move on to the national challenge, submitting a live performance video showcasing his or her best original song, with the top ten artists selected by country music legends and a Cumulus listener. Those national finalists will then compete at a live concert event in Nashville, in late fall, where the NASH Next 2016 winner will be selected by the celebrity judging panel.

A total of sixty-eight NASH/Cumulus stations in 60 markets, including Dallas, New York, Atlanta, Detroit and Nashville, will conduct local searches, with additional national participation made possible by Cumulus’ digital properties and syndicated country shows. 

About WFYR:
Peoria’s Country, Nash FM 97.3 WFYR

About Cumulus Media
A leader in the radio broadcasting industry, Cumulus Media (NASDAQ: CMLS) combines high-quality local programming with iconic, nationally syndicated media, sports and entertainment brands to deliver premium content choices to the 245 million people reached each week through its 453 owned-and-operated stations broadcasting in 90 US media markets (including eight of the top 10), more than 8,200 broadcast radio stations affiliated with its Westwood One network and numerous digital channels. Together, the Cumulus/Westwood One platforms make Cumulus Media one of the few media companies that can provide advertisers with national reach and local impact. Cumulus/Westwood One is the exclusive radio broadcast partner to some of the largest brands in sports, entertainment, news, and talk, including the NFL, the NCAA, the Masters, the Olympics, the GRAMMYs, the Academy of Country Music Awards, the American Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, Westwood One News, and more. Additionally, it is the nation's leading provider of country music and lifestyle content through its NASH brand, which serves country fans nationwide through radio programming, exclusive digital content, and live events. For more information, visit

For more information contact:


            Following a fourth straight season of increased ticket sales, the lineup for the 2016-2017 Illinois Central College Guest Artists Series opens in August with a tribute to the smooth sounds and coolness of the Rat Pack.
Frank and Dean Together Again, a tribute to Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin complete with a backing four-piece ensemble, opens the 2016-2017 ICC Guest Artists Series on August 12. The show kicks off the season performances by nationally- and internationally-touring professional artists. All performances take place in the ICC Performing Arts Center on the East Peoria Campus.
The second show of the season features an acoustic performance of songs of one of the most successful recording duos in pop music history. Scarborough Fair: A Simon & Garfunkel Experience features an evening of music with stories and trivia sprinkled in, all performed by brothers Jeb and Jock Guthrie on October 21.
December brings a performance based on a beloved pop musician of the 1970s when A John Denver Christmas featuring Ted Vigil takes the stage December 16. Vigil’s resemblance to the late musician so amazing that Steve Wiesberg, John Denver’s lead guitar player from the 1970s, said after performing with Vigil: "Apparently the audience thinks they all look and sound like John; I don't see it. I see it with Ted. A very strong physical resemblance...uncanny!" This holiday-themed show features Vigil along with a backing band.

On March 10, internet sensation Andy Gross brings The Mind Boggling Variety Show featuring comedy, magic and ventriloquism. Known as “The Split Man” after an online video he posted of himself—a video in which he surprises people by walking while appearing to be cut in half--went viral, Gross’ show is great for kids while offering a level of sophistication adults will enjoy.
 The final show of the season takes place on May 19 and harkens back to the days of soda fountains and jukeboxes when Johnny Rogers presents Buddy & Beyond: The History of Rock and Roll. The show features a backing band with vocalists performing great rock and roll classics and includes Rogers’ uncanny portrayal of the legendary Buddy Holly.
Season ticket packages and tickets to individual events are currently on sale. Season tickets can be purchased either by phone at (309) 694-5136 or in person at the ICC Performing Arts Center Box Office; tickets to individual shows can be purchased by phone, in person or online at
Full season ticket packages cost for $100 and include tickets to all five shows. Those purchasing the full season ticket package get to choose their own seats (based on availability) and retain those same seats for all shows in the series. Full season ticketholders also receive two complimentary tickets for each season ticket package purchased to ICC Theatre Program productions.
Pick 4 Flex Packs also are available for $85 and include four tickets that can be split or used in any combination for Guest Artists Series events. Seating for Pick 4 Flex Pack purchasers is assigned by the box office based on the best available seating for each performance.
Ticket prices for individual shows in the series are:
·         Frank and Dean Together Again, August 12: general public $30, students $20
·         Scarborough Fair: A Simon & Garfunkel Experience, October 21: general public $20, students $10
·         A John Denver Christmas featuring tribute artist Ted Vigil, December 16: general public $30, students $20
·         The Mind Boggling Variety Show by Andy “The Split Man” Gross, March 10: general public $20, students $10
·         Buddy & Beyond: The History of Rock and Roll featuring Johnny Rogers, May 19: general public $25, students $15.
Once again this year, the Arts at ICC will offer a holiday-themed performance the Saturday following Thanksgiving by Chicago’s very own The Second City. The Second City’s Dysfunctional Holiday Revue takes place on November 26 but is not part of the Guest Artists Series. Tickets cost $30 for all ages, but those who purchase full season ticket packages for the Guest Artists Series can add a ticket to the Second City show for the discounted price of $20. The Dysfunctional Holiday Revue includes music, sketch comedy and the trademark 

Chamber Connection

Check out this week's Chamber Connection here!

Monday, July 11, 2016


The previously announced merger between Morton Community Bank and Heritage Bank of Central Illinois was completed successfully over the weekend.  The former Heritage Bank locations were closed on Saturday to facilitate the smooth integration of all operations.  The locations reopened this morning as additional divisions of Morton Community Bank. 

“This day is great for our customers, our employee-owners and our shareholders.  Wherever our customers travel, they are not far from one of the 38 Hometown Community Banks’ locations in Central and Western Illinois,” said Jean Ann Honegger, Co-CEO and Group President of Morton Community Bank.  “Customers now have access to convenient locations throughout the greater Peoria market, in Bloomington-Normal, in Macomb and at many other locations where they can conduct transactions as if they were in their hometown.”

Jim Mamer, President and Co-CEO of Morton Community Bank, noted that the merger is good for business customers as well as consumers.  “Commercial loans are vital to the growth and success of local businesses and economies.  Our business customers will benefit from more lenders, additional industry knowledge and higher lending limits for business loans,” said Mamer.

Morton Community Bank and its Hometown Community Banks’ divisions offer comprehensive banking services for both business and personal clients.  For more information, visit


The Illinois Central College Performing Arts Center will present Walt Disney’s classic movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on Friday, July 29 at 6:30 pm. Tickets cost $1 per person. Admission is free for children 2 years of age or younger. Selected concessions will be available for purchase at the event.
The event also will be used as a barometer to determine interest in offering family-oriented events and programming that appeals to younger children. A survey will be distributed at the event seeking input and feedback about offering events designed for families with younger children. The survey also will be available online at to collect input from others not attending the July 29 event.
Originally released in 1937, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first full-length animated feature film released by Walt Disney Studios. The film includes several well-known songs, including "Whistle While You Work" and "Some Day My Prince Will Come."
The event is offered by the ICC Arts & Communication Department. The Arts at ICC has a rich history of enhancing the arts community and expanding education beyond the classroom. Arts at ICC presents more than 500 exhibits, performances, lectures, rehearsals, meetings, master classes, clinics, seminars, receptions, orientations, forums, auditions and tournaments annually.

For tickets or more information, visit or call the ICC Performing Arts Center Box Office at (309) 694-5136.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Velde of Peoria Business After Hours

Here are pictures of just a few of the 65 people in attendance at our July 7th Business After Hours.  It was sponsored by Dale Hicks and Steve Brown from Velde of Peoria and held at the Pekin Country Club.  Great food and drinks and some special door prizes were all part of the evening.  You can see more pictures from this and other chamber events at

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Entrepreneur Accelerator Program

The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Bradley University is pleased to announce it's inaugural business accelerator program, Brave Launch.  This business accelerator program kicks off on September 27th.  Brave Launch is designed to assist entrepreneurs to accelerate the startup
process through innovative curriculum and real-world interaction.  More information is available at


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Welcome to Our Newest Member!

JB Hawk Discount Tobacco & Vape
1211 Court St. 
Pekin, IL 61554
Tonya Riggs, Owner
JB Hawk Discount Tobacco offers a wide variety of tobacco and vaping products.

Welcome To Our Newest Member

The Mosquito Authority
Mapleton, IL 61547 
Darren Smith, Owner
The Mosquito Authority is the leader in backyard mosquito control. They set the standards for the entire industry in everything from customer service and best practices to innovation and philanthropy, starting with their exclusive REPEL+PLUS mosquito treatment.

Chamber Connection

Check out this weeks Chamber Connection!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Savant Capital Management's Grant Moore Named to InvestmentNews' "40 under 40" List

Savant Capital Management, a nationally-recognized fee-only wealth management firm headquartered in Rockford, IL, with offices in 12 locations in three states, including Peoria, announced today that financial advisor Grant Moore was selected to the “40 Under 40” class of 2016 by InvestmentNews. Grant is the firm’s first ever team member to be recognized with the honor.

The InvestmentNews “40 Under 40” project is in its third year and aims to provide a glimpse of the tremendous potential in the financial advice industry by finding often unrecognized young talent doing remarkable things. The key attributes the editorial staff looked for among the 800 nominees were accomplishments to date, contribution to the industry, leadership and promise. The 40 honorees were recognized earlier this month in New York.

“I am honored to be chosen among some of the financial profession’s brightest young individuals,” said Moore. “The most rewarding part of being a financial advisor is partnering with my clients to help them pursue their financial goals and objectives.”

Moore has been in the financial services industry since 2006. At 18, Moore was hired as Savant’s first intern, and he’s now overseeing roughly what the firm had in total assets at that time. Designated as a “good citizen” by InvestmentNews’ “40 Under 40,” Moore describes himself as a hard worker and is willing to go above and beyond for his clients. 

“Savant is committed to developing the next generation of financial professionals,” said Brent Brodeski, CEO of Savant. “Grant is part of the next generation and is more than deserving to be honored by InvestmentNews. He has a successful future ahead and we look forward to continuing the celebration along the way.”

To read more about Moore’s honor click here. To view the full “40 Under 40” class of 2016 click here.

Center for Prevention of Abuse Statement on Passage of Partial Illinois State Budget

“Today’s vote by the Illinois General Assembly to pass a stopgap budget to fund services in the state for the next six months is a sign of progress.  SB2047 partially funds services offered by The Center for Prevention of Abuse and will contribute toward our work to help clients live free from violence and abuse. We respect the tough decisions our political leaders must make regarding the state budget deficit, and we thank those who voted to help people in need build a solid foundation and reach their full potential.

Though we will soon go through this difficult exercise once again, we are hopeful today’s budget agreement made among Illinois’ political leaders will be a building block for more good and thoughtful compromise. We trust that today's work in Springfield represents a new spirit of give and take that will ultimately lead to a full budget for FY17, providing confidence and stability for the people of Illinois.”