Monday, August 29, 2016

Busey Named Among 2016 Best Banks to Work For

American Banker magazine and Best Companies Group identifies, recognizes and honors the best banks to work for in the nation

Busey is honored to be among the 2016 Best Banks to Work For by American Banker magazine and Best Companies Group. The program—which was established in 2013—identifies, recognizes and honors the best 60 banks to work for in the nation (visit Busey is also featured in an article in the September issue of American Banker magazine.

To determine the Best Banks to Work For, organizations were nominated in a two-part process. First, banks were evaluated on their workplace policies, practices and demographics—representing 25 percent of their total score. The second part, worth approximately 75 percent of the total evaluation, consisted of an employee survey to measure their experience. The combined scores determined the top organizations and the final ranking. Busey is ranked No. 44 out of 60 overall who achieved “best bank” status and is among only 10 banks selected in the mid-size asset category (between $3-$10 billion).

Earlier this year, Busey was also recognized and honored to be among the 2016 Best Places to Work in Illinois ( by Best Companies Group and additional partners. Busey was among 18 companies recognized in the large employer category (500 or more employees).

Champion Fitness Physical Therapy Quarterly Newsletter

Visit Champion Fitness Physical Therapy Quarterly Newsletter to read more about the concussion issues, and much more.

Brodeski Ranked by Forbes as One of America’s Top Wealth Advisors Savant Capital Management CEO recognized for outstanding quality, competence and core values

Brent Brodeski, chief executive officer for Savant Capital Management, a nationally-recognized fee-only wealth management firm, has been named to Forbes’ 2016 list of America’s Top Wealth Advisors.  The inaugural ranking includes 200 wealth management advisors, naming Brodeski #50.

Brodeski is a co-founder of Savant, which manages more than $4.6 billion in assets and employs more than 140 team members. Headquartered in Rockford, IL., Savant also has 11 offices in the following locations: Chicago, IL; Freeport, IL; Geneva, IL; Hoffman Estates, IL; Naperville, IL; Peoria, IL; Sterling, IL; Wilmette, IL; McLean, VA; Madison, WI; and Park Falls, WI.

Forbes is an American business magazine and a leading source for reliable business news and financial information. The Forbes ranking of America’s Top Wealth Advisors was developed by SHOOK Research and designed to fairly compare the business practices of a large group of advisors from the financial services industry including registered investment advisors like Savant, in addition to banks, brokerages, custodians, insurance companies, clearing houses, and others.

“This is an incredible honor to be ranked among America’s Top Wealth Advisors,” said Brodeski. “We strive to set the standard of excellence for our industry and in all that we do. We applaud our entire Savant team for their efforts to consistently provide our clients with clarity, confidence, simplicity, and peace of mind.”

More than 11,000 nominations were received, with 200 advisors chosen based on a minimum of seven years of experience and weighing factors like revenue trends, assets under management, compliance records, industry experience and best practices learned through telephone and in-person interviews.  Neither Forbes nor SHOOK received a fee in exchange for rankings. Click here to view the complete list of America’s Top Wealth Advisors. 

Savant is regularly recognized among the top wealth managers in the United States. Savant was the recipient of the 2015 Best-in-Business IMPACT Award™, part of Schwab’s IMPACT Awards® program to recognize excellence in the business of independent financial advice. Savant has consistently received other industry recognitions such as being named a top RIA firm by Financial Planning magazine, Financial Advisor magazine and InvestmentNews and being recognized by Barron’s magazine as a top advisor in the United States.


Illinois Central College will host Campus Visit Days from 9:30 am to noon on Fridays this fall to give potential students information on various program options and the chance to see the College up close and personal.
ICC will feature the following programs on these dates:
·        Health Careers: September 23, Downtown Campus, Thomas Building, Room 210
·        Financial Aid: September 30, East Peoria Campus, Room 212C/D
·        Agriculture/Horticulture: October 7, East Peoria Campus, Agricultural & Industrial Technologies Building, Room 203
·        Engineering: October 14, East Peoria Campus, Room 212C/D
·        POWER Programs (automotive, diesel, GM ASEP and CAT programs): October 21, East Peoria Campus, Agricultural & Industrial Technologies Building, Room 212C/D
·        Education: October 28, East Peoria Campus, Room 212C/D
·        Business/Computer Information Systems: November 4, East Peoria Campus, Room TC214
·        Transfer: November 11, East Peoria Campus, Room 212C/D
·        General Information: November 18, East Peoria Campus, Room 212C/D
·        Undecided: December 2, East Peoria Campus, Room 212C/D

Parking for the East Peoria sessions is available in the Visitors Lot.
Tours of the Academic Building and Campus Housing will be offered during sessions at the East Peoria Campus. The Friday Campus Visit Days are free of charge, but registration is required. To register, please visit
Additional Friday Campus Visit Days for Fine and Performing Arts, Graphic Design, Criminal Justice, Paralegal, Law Enforcement, 911 Dispatcher, Fire Science, Psychology and Sociology, and Culinary Arts programs, as well as general information for undecided students will be available in Spring 2017, beginning in late January.

For questions, please contact ICC at (309) 694-5-ICC.

Peoria Woman is Winner of this year’s Sold-out Duck Race

An amazing duck race capped off our two month duck adoption season at the 28th Annual Duck Race end very fast and furiously! 25,000 ducks raced down the street leading to Eastside Centre in East Peoria. The first 14 ducks won their owners some great prizes. The first duck to reach the finish line belonged to Margot Loy of Peoria. She is the winner of the $5,000 grand prize. Here is a full list of this year’s winners.
Grand Prize $5,000 Sponsored by Associated Bank  Margot Loy, Peoria, IL
$1,500 Sherman’s Gift Card Valerie Mouhle, Pekin, IL
$500 Shoppes at Grand Prairie Gift Card  Janet Alessi-Maurer, Grass Valley, CA
$500 Casey’s General Store Gift Card Lori Skocaj, Pekin, IL
$500 Kroger Gift Card Judy Kemper, Cuba, IL
Chicago White Sox Gift Basket Sponsored by Kaskaskia Engineering Group Carmania Lewis, Peoria, IL
$250 Hy-Vee Gift Card Marianne Sepich, Morton, IL
Hotels at Grand Prairie Party Package Roger Cunningham, Peoria, IL
Mackinaw Valley Vineyard and Winery Tour and Tasting Polly Furness, Peoria, IL
$100 Presley’s Outdoors Gift Card Camilla Rabjohn, Peoria Heights, IL
$100 Jeffrey Alans Gift Card Michelle Dudley, Bartonville, IL
$100 Levee District Gift Card Basket Sponsored by American Pest Control Mary Beasley, Pekin, IL
$100 Amazon Gift Card Sponsored by MidAmerica National Bank  Beverly Bourazak, Peoria, IL
$100 Amazon Gift Card Sponsored by Summer and Associates Insurance Ray LaHood, Peoria, IL

We would like to thank all of our wonderful sponsors for making it possible for all of the money raised by this year’s race to go toward The Center’s services and programs.
The Center for Prevention of Abuse staff would also like to thank everyone from the city of East Peoria for helping us put on another very successful race. Mayor Dave Mingus, Doug McCarty and the entire crew at Eastside Centre, Rick Swan from the East Peoria Chamber of Commerce, the members of the East Peoria Fire Department and so many others helped make the planning and execution of the race very easy! We appreciate all of their support from offering up the facility to the use of fire equipment to help make the race so impressive. We would also like to thank Mike Baynard. He is a champion for The Center in so many ways and has been a driving force behind years of successful duck races. Thanks to a great group of volunteers and staff members, the 28th Annual Duck Race has been a huge success!


Illinois Central College recently welcomed Nahed Shata of Egypt for the 2016-17 academic year to teach Arabic and take courses at the College as part of a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTLA) Program grant.
While in the United States, Shata will share her language and culture in the local community to inspire students and residents to travel and study overseas to better engage with businesses, governments and organizations abroad. She is one of nearly 400 young educators from 50 countries who will travel to the U.S. in the 2016-17 academic year through the Fulbright FLTA program to help internationalize colleges and universities and prepare the 21st Century workforce for a globalized world. The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board selects grant recipients on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential.
Shata earned a bachelor degree in education from Mansoura University in Egypt and a professional diploma in translation from English to Arabic and a professional educator diploma in integrated technology for classroom teachers from the American University in Cairo. She has taught for more than 13 years and also occasionally works as a part-time translator. 
She joins the 14 Fulbright awardees who have come to ICC since 2007.
According to the Institute of International Education, the Fulbright Program was established in 1946 and has given approximately 360,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research. More than 4,000 Fulbright awardees have been designated FLTAs since 2001.
For more information on ICC’s International Education Programs, contact Dr. Barbara Burton, director of International Education, at (309) 694-8817 or, or Dr. Rita Ali, vice president of diversity, international and adult education, at (309) 694-5561 or  

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

2016 Pekin Business Builder Plan

Pekin Hospital Press Release

Soldwedel Program Center Fall Programs

Be sure to visit the Soldwedel Program Center website to see all of the great programs they have available for your family!


Beginning with the 2016-17 school year, Illinois public high schools are required to administered the SAT to high school juniors instead of the ACT or PARCC exams. Illinois Central College will offer a series of four, three-hour review courses to help students prepare for the SAT test, as well as informational sessions for students and their parents or guardians on this transition. All SAT Prep course sessions and the Introductory Night will be held at Hickory Hall on the ICC North Campus, located at 5407 N. University St., Peoria. Participants must register to take the SAT exam separately.
The sessions meet in the two weeks prior to each of the SAT test dates scheduled this fall through spring. Illinois public high schools will administer the SAT test to area high school juniors on April 5, 2016. However, students may wish to take the test more than once to try to improve their scores.
SAT Prep course participants will learn strategies for building test-taking skills and improving their test scores and will practice taking short tests in all of the SAT core subject areas. The prep courses will cover the Reading, Writing and Math sections of the SAT exam. SAT Reading prep will include questions based on reading passages and quantitative information in the Information and Ideas, Rhetoric, and Synthesis categories. The Writing prep portion will include practice answering multiple-choice questions regarding rhetoric, grammar, and English usage. The Math prep will cover specific algebra, geometry, and trigonometry application and analysis strategies, with an emphasis on problem solving, modeling, using tools strategically, and using algebraic structure.
In addition to these sessions, ICC will offer an Introductory Night for students and their parents or guardians to learn more about the State of Illinois’ transition from using the ACT test to the SAT test, as well as college admission considerations.

The cost of the SAT Prep courses, including Introductory Night, is $108. To view the full schedule of prep and introductory night, or to register for the prep courses, visit Please note that students must register for the SAT exam separately.                                                                                                   

Monday, August 22, 2016

Duck Tagging Wednesday Night for 28th Annual Duck Race

The 28th Annual Duck Race to benefit The Center for Prevention of Abuse is almost here, but there is still work to be done to get thousands of racers ready for next Saturday’s competition.

Volunteers will be tagging all of the ducks with individual numbers Wednesday night from 5:30-8:30pm at Eastside Centre in East Peoria. Each duck’s number will correlate with someone’s name who adopted it for the race. After each duck is tagged, they will all be placed into the back of a City of East Peoria dump truck.  On race day, the ducks will be cast off the back of the dump truck onto a giant slip-n-slide to race down the hill leading to Eastside Centre.

The 28th annual Duck Race is Saturday, August 27. Activities begin at noon and the duck race kicks off at 2pm. Thanks to our generous sponsors, all of the money raised from the sale of the rubber ducks goes directly to fund local services and programs at The Center for Prevention of Abuse. These dollars help fulfill The Center’s mission to help women, men and children live free from violence and abuse.

The winner of this year’s Duck Race will walk away with $5,000. There are many other great prizes to be awarded. Ducks can be purchased by visiting our website They will be on sale through Saturday morning or until all 25,000 ducks are sold.

WHAT: Duck tagging for the 28th Annual Duck Race

WHERE: Eastside Centre in East Peoria on the basketball courts

WHEN: Wednesday, August 24 from 5:30-8:30pm

WHO: Representatives from The Center for Prevention of Abuse will be available for interviews

Playin’ for a Purpose to host Kickball benefit

Kickball, the game we played on the playground when we were younger, is now the hottest new game that all ages and abilities can play.  Playin’ for a Purpose non-for-profit organization, hosted by CEO Scott Price, is administering a Kickball Tournament to benefit our local Special Recreation Association, IRVSRA. The event will be held at Pekin Park District’s central park, Mineral Springs Park, ball diamonds #1, #2, #3, and #4 on Saturday, September 17.
Tournament format is double elimination. Trophies will be awarded. Team entry fee is just $200, or $20 per player.
The day begins at 8:30am, on the Lette’s Ball diamond in Mineral Springs Park, with local celebrities playing.
Event t-shirts will be available to purchase. Concessions will be offered by the IRVSRA participants.

For additional information, email To register, go to or call 347-PARK.

Biz Barometer

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Chamber Connection

Don't forget to check out this weeks Chamber Connection!

Bialobreski celebrates 10 years at Hanson’s Peoria office

Kurt Bialobreski, P.E., PTOE, a traffic engineer at Hanson Professional Services Inc.’s Peoria office, recently celebrated 10 years of service with the firm. 
Bialobreski has served as a project manager and traffic engineer on transportation and infrastructure projects throughout the country, including the Warehouse District revitalization, Washington Street improvements and new westbound span of the McClugage Bridge, all in Peoria; roundabout at Main and Auburn streets in Rockford, which was the first dual-lane roundabout in that city and on a state highway in Illinois; and Interstate 74 Mississippi River bridge replacement from Moline to Bettendorf, Iowa. He is providing traffic analysis for the master plan for a portion of the central Tri-State Tollway in Cook County and is the lead civil engineer for roadway and traffic for the Multimodal Corridor Enhancement (MCORE) project study and design in Champaign and Urbana; both projects are under way.
In 2014, he was selected as a 2014 Rising Star in Civil Engineering by ZweigWhite’s Civil + Structural Engineer magazine and was named one of the 40 Leaders Under Forty by InterBusiness Issues magazine. In 2012, Bialobreski was named Young Engineer of the Year by the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) Central Illinois Section. He is a member of ASCE, American Public Works Association, Institute of Transportation Engineers, American Road & Transportation Builders Association policy committee for autonomous vehicles and vehicle-to-vehicle communication and the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee. 
He received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 2001 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a licensed professional engineer in Illinois and Florida and a certified professional traffic operations engineer.

Hanson is a national, employee-owned consulting firm providing engineering, planning and allied services. The Peoria regional office is located at 7625 N. University St., Suite 200, Peoria, IL 61614. The office may be reached by phone at (309) 691-0902.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Avanti's Dome Job Fair


               Illinois Central College’s 36th Annual Landscape and Garden Day offers a variety of special programs and activities specifically designed for families with young children as well as the usual favorites for local gardening enthusiasts. This year’s theme is “Pollinators, Plants and People – A Great Combination”. The free event is set for Saturday, September 10, from 9 am to 3 pm, at ICC’s Horticulture Land Lab on the East Peoria Campus. Free parking is available in Lot G.
               The event features topics and demonstrations of interest to gardeners of all ages and experience levels. The newest winners of the All-America Selection, which include the best and brightest new flowers and vegetables available for next year’s home gardens, will be showcased.
               There will be seminars, exhibits, tours, discussions, and a plant sale featuring hostas and other perennials and woody plants grown by students in the ICC Horticulture Program.
Local Master Gardeners will be on hand in the plant clinic to identify and diagnose. Visitors can enjoy displays by area garden clubs, nurseries, and landscapers as well as check out this year’s featured All-America Selections Winners in the display garden.
Golf enthusiasts can enjoy the ever-popular “Putt for Plants,” and taste-testing will be available at the vegetable garden.
The day’s seminars include:
  • 9:30 – 10:15 am: “Unordinary Pollinators” – Come join us as University of Illinois Extension Master Gardner Margee Karl introduces us to “Pollinators of the Unordinary Kind”. Margie has been a U of I Extension Master Gardner since 2004 and a speaker for the U of I Extension Speakers Bureau for more than 10 years. This is a beautiful and unique presentation! She’s sure to entertain, amaze, surprise, and educate you.
  • 11 – 11:45 am: “Pollinator Power: How to attract them and keep them coming around.” – Presenter Suzanne Cook is a 19-year Tazewell County Master Gardener, Head Gardener for the Pekin Park District, and has written a garden column for the Pekin Times for 20 years. She’ll give participants a long list of easy-to-grow plants. She especially loves growing plants to attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. And, she promises there WILL be prizes available!
·        1 – 1:45 pm: "But I Don't Know How To Keep Bees…Yet!" – Presenter Bill Baker is currently the Central Director for the Illinois State Beekeepers Association and a past president of the Heart of Illinois Beekeepers but says he’s is still learning how to keep bees. He has found beekeeping to be fun, relaxing, frustrating and a great overall learning experience.
Lunch will be available for purchase.

For more information, contact the ICC Horticulture Program at (309) 694-8872.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Representative Unes to Present Checks to Area Not-For-Profits

Acting as the vice chairperson of the Illinois Sportsmen’s Caucus, State Representative Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) will be in East Peoria on this Thursday, August 11th at 10AM to present fundraising dollars he has secured for two 91st District not-for-profits: Hooked on Fishing (East Peoria) and Camp Big Sky (Farmington).  The presentation will take place at Hooked on Fishing, located at 1807 B N. Main Street, with representatives from both organizations in attendance. 

The Illinois Sportsmen’s Caucus is an advocate for the state’s outdoor recreational assets, and also works to raise and award private funds to local organizations that provide access and resources to the public for various outdoor recreational opportunities.

“One of the primary reasons I joined the Illinois Sportsmen’s Caucus is because of organizations like Hooked on Fishing and Camp Big Sky.  The Illinois Sportsmen’s Caucus has an outstanding opportunity to serve and support these types of organizations, and I want to make sure that the 91st District remains well-connected to that support,” said Rep Mike Unes.

Both Hooked on Fishing and Camp Big Sky emphasize a mission to serve special-needs residents by helping them to experience the joys of the outdoors.  As a member of the House Human Services Committee, Representative Unes expresses an added interest in identifying ways to support these two organizations.

“This area is very fortunate to be home to both of these unique organizations that are serving a portion of our population that may otherwise not have access to the benefits of outdoor recreational activities.  I am very proud of what they do to contribute positively to the overall health and well-being of all our local citizens, both in light of and in spite of a person’s individual circumstances,” said Rep Mike Unes.

The media and the public are invited and encouraged to attend. 

For more information about the event, please contact Representative Unes’ Pekin District Office at 309-620-8631.

For more information about Hooked on Fishing and Camp Big Sky, you may visit their respective websites at and

Center for Prevention of Abuse to discuss Stopgap Budget Impact and Importance of Duck Race

Representatives from the Center for Prevention of Abuse will hold a news conference at 10am Tuesday, August 9 at Eastside Centre in East Peoria to discuss the importance of this year’s Duck Race and how it allows us to continue with the services and programs we currently offer to our clients.

While the stopgap budget (SB2047) passed by the Illinois General Assembly at the very end of June appears to have helped in some areas, funding for some client services was not included or was greatly reduced in the temporary spending bill. Center Executive Director Carol Merna will discuss on Tuesday how this has led to changes in some of the services The Center offers and why support through the Duck Race is more important now than ever before.

Director Merna will also be joined by officials from the City of East Peoria, The East Peoria Fire Department, Eastside Centre, the Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino and Associated Bank to discuss the plans for the Duck Race event on August 27.

WHAT: News Conference to discuss the stopgap budget’s impact on The Center for Prevention of Abuse and the importance of the 28th Annual Duck Race

When: Tuesday, August 9 at 10am

Where: Eastside Centre in East Peoria- 1 Eastside Dr, East Peoria, IL 61611(The event is planned for outside at the bottom of Eastside Drive, but will be moved inside if it rains)

Who: Center for Prevention of Abuse Executive Director Carol Merna and officials from the City of East Peoria, The East Peoria Fire Department, Eastside Centre, the Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino and Associated Bank

Illinois American Water Announces 2016 Firefighter Grant Program

Illinois American Water is accepting applications for its 2016 Firefighter Grant Program. Through this program, the company provides financial assistance to fire and emergency organizations serving communities in its service areas.

According to Bruce Hauk, president of Illinois American Water, the Firefighter Grant Program is another opportunity for Illinois American Water to support fire protection efforts.  He said, “This program allows our team to build on our partnership with our local heroes and contribute to their hard work.  Since 2010, we’ve had the privilege of awarding over $294,000 for over 280 grants to our community firefighters.”

The maximum grant amount is $1,000. Fire departments-districts are eligible for one grant per calendar year.  Only uniformed professional and volunteer fire departments serving Illinois American Water’s service territory are eligible to receive funding. Grants of up to $1,000 will be considered to cover the costs associated with the following:
·        Personal protective gear
·        Communications equipment
·        Firefighting tools
·        Water handling equipment
·        Training and related activities/materials used to support community fire protection
·        Reimbursement for specific fire training classes, including training manuals and workbooks

Fire departments should send a letter of application postmarked by Sept. 8, 2016 with the following information:
·        Description of the organization(s) seeking support
·        Overview of specific project to be funded and grant amount requested
·        Community problem/challenges that the project will address
·        Timeframe for implementation of project
·        Summary of other sources being approached for support of project
·        Project budget

Applications can be emailed to Karen Cotton, manager of external affairs, at