Showing posts from September, 2016

Neighborhood House Coat Drive

                                                  Neighborhood House Coat Drive   The Neighborhood House needs help collecting new and gently used coats and other winter wear for their 31st Annual Coat Giveaway. Coats are needed for children and adults of all sizes.  Last year Neighborhood House was able to give away over 500 coats to people who couldn’t afford to buy them.  Businesses, churches, schools

Pekin Hospital Recognized for Medical Excellence and Safety

Pekin Hospital is the recipient of two Medical Excellence Awards and one Patient Safety Award from CareChex ® , a division of Comparion ® Medical Analytics, one of the nation’s largest privately held health care information services companies. Pekin Hospital is being recognized as “Number One in the Market for Medical Excellence” in the areas of women’s health and gall bladder removal, and “Number One in the Market for Patient Safety” in the area of pneumonia care. “We are honored to receive this recognition for medical excellence and safety,” said Pekin Hospital CEO Bob Haley. “These awards reflect our passion for providing a superior health care experience that earns the trust of the communities we are so privileged to serve.” Part of Progressive Health Systems, Pekin Hospital is a 107-bed medical center serving Central Illinois since 1913. For more information visit .

Chamber Connection

Check out this weeks Chamber Connection HERE !

Mashie's Booking for Christmas


Celebrating 120 Years of Service

Neighborhood House marked its official 120th Anniversary on September 14th with a ribbon cutting for a new childcare playground.        With the help of people like you, Neighborhood House raised $73,000 in 2014 to purchase the playground equipment. The house also received large donations from Ameren Illinois, CEFCU   and Kreiling Roofing to help cover turf, fencing and the playground structure.  Unfortunately, the project was stalled for two years because of sinkholes in the parking lot, which is a problem for many south side businesses.      After core samplings and getting clearance from engineers, more than 60 skilled laborers and carpenters volunteered their time to install the playground in July, saving an additional $16,000.  Now children at Neighborhood House have a beautiful and safe place to play.    


Calling all future coders, programmers, and designers! Students in grades 4 through 6 can join the Code Breakers class to learn the basics of coding languages like HTML, JavaScript, and CSS through a series of web projects and design challenges each day and be on the way to becoming the next tech star! The class will meet on Monday evenings beginning October 10 through November 21 (no class on Halloween) from 5:30 to 7:30 pm in Hickory Hall on the ICC North Campus, located at 5407 N. University in Peoria. “Learn the basics” projects will be available on a Black Rocket website to share with friends and family. Whether you want to be the next Mark Zuckerberg or the high school student who just made $1 million dollars for programming in his bedroom, this course has the essentials you need to begin your journey.              Cost is $149. To register, visit or call (309) 690-6900. 


              Area high school students and their parents are invited to Illinois Central College’s “College Night” on Wednesday, October 19, from 5:30-7:30 pm, in the ICC CougarPlex (the facility which encompasses the Lorene Ramsey Gym). “College Night” brings representatives from more than 80 colleges and universities and from a dozen different states, as well as representatives from the armed forces, to one convenient location. College reps will be on-hand to visit with students and their parents about programs, the admission process, scholarship and financial aid opportunities, as well as answer other questions students and parents may have. This year, ICC will offer an additional service called StriveScan to streamline the College Night experience. StriveScan allows students to preload their program and career interests, as well as their contact information to receive a personal QR code. Participants may then print out or show their QR code on their cellphone to representativ

Yoga Happens Here

Representatives of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Pekin joined with Paula Bayer and her friends and family to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Yoga Happens Here.  Located at 405 Court Street, Yoga Happens Here teaches clients how to relax with yoga.  Open Monday through Saturday, more information is available at or by calling 282-6112.  You can see a few pictures from this event at:

September Biz Barometer


Chamber Board Passes Transportation Resolution

Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors September 14, 2016 Resolution of Support for Illinois Transportation Legislative Initiative             WHEREAS , transportation infrastructure is critical to the safety, quality of life and economic vitality throughout Illinois; and             WHEREAS , the transportation system in Illinois is comprised of a seamless network of state highways, county highways, city streets, and township roads, as well as transit, rail and other alternative forms of transportation; and             WHEREAS , citizens are reliant upon the vast and seamless network of public roads to carry business, products, services, postal delivery, parcel delivery, utilities, school bus, agriculture, emergency services; and,             WHEREAS , the users of this system of public roads in Illinois pay for the upkeep and improvement of those public roads through highway user fees; and             WHEREAS , local government is respo

Commerce Bank Ribbon Cutting

Representatives of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Pekin congratulated Commerce Bank on the grand opening of their new Pekin branch at 2012 Court Street.  The new facility is one of the most technologically advanced Commerce branches in the country.  In honor of the grand opening, branch manager Fred Blanchard presented a $500 donation to Alisha Dault, manager at the Miller Senior Center. You can see more pictures from this event at:

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Veteran's Drive


Save the date for the BikeConnect HOI Regional Bicycle Plan Open House!

Wednesday October 5 Gateway Building – Peoria Riverfront 200 NE Water St. – Peoria 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm  BikeConnect HOI is a regional bicycle planning process being led by Tri-County Regional Planning Commission (TCRPC). Come see the map of recommended bicycle network improvements to connect communities in our region. See the recommended action items for strengthening bike transportation in our region. Let us know your feedback! For more information about the BikeConnect HOI Open House, please contact Nick Hayward of TCRPC at or 309-673-9330. And, please spread the word to your friends and colleagues. Thanks and hope to see you there! 

Bartons Earmark Seven-Figure Gift for Proposed Sustainability Center at ICC

               Funding for a future sustainability center at Illinois Central College will receive a sizable boost, thanks to a seven-figure donation from Glen and Polly Barton. In his letter to the College this summer to formalize the gift, Glen Barton said he and his wife were impressed by what they had seen and heard about the proposed project and believed it would be a good addition to the College and local community. The ICC Board of Trustees approved naming a future facility the “Barton Sustainability Center” at their regular meeting on September 15. “We are very grateful to the Bartons for their generous donation in support of a sustainability center,” said ICC President Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey. “Their lifelong commitment to education and community service is inspirational, and we hope to appropriately honor this gift through the students and community members we serve.” A proposed $7.5 M facility would eventually house some of the College’s academic program concerning

Carr celebrates 10 years at Hanson’s Peoria office

Dennis Carr, P.E., a civil engineer at Hanson Professional Services Inc.’s Peoria office, recently celebrated 10 years of service with the firm.  Carr joined Hanson in 2006 and has provided planning, design and construction observation services for roadway and bridge projects, including the Warehouse District revitalization, Washington Street improvements and base roadway repairs for the Illinois Air National Guard’s 182nd Airlift Wing, all in Peoria; the West Main Street and Seminary Street overpasses in Galesburg and the East Main Street underpass there, which soon will be under construction; and the Multimodal Corridor Enhancement (MCORE) project in Champaign and Urbana, which will begin construction this fall.  He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering in 2007 and 2012, respectively, from Bradley University and is a licensed professional engineer in Illinois. Hanson is a national, employee-owned consulting firm providing engineering, planning and al

Illinois American Water "Imagine A Day Without Water" Contest

Illinois American Water is inviting 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classrooms within the Company’s service area to participate in an “Imagine a Day Without Water” art contest. Winning students will win their classroom a $100 donation. Artwork may also be featured in a future bill insert and other communication pieces. “It’s hard to imagine even just one day without water. We need water to make a cup of coffee, grow fruits and vegetables, and manufacture nearly every product we use in our daily lives. We also need water to fight fires and for public health. While essential, few people understand the fundamental value of water and the systems that bring water to and from homes and businesses all day, every day,” said Bruce Hauk, president of Illinois American Water. To help educate Illinois American Water’s youngest customers, the Company is partnering with the Value of Water Coalition on the 2nd Annual “Imagine a Day Without Water” event launched today, Sept. 15, 2016. All across the nation,

Employer Business Needs Workshop

The Central Illinois Regional Employer Services Team presents the Employer Business Needs Workshop Two opportunities to attend Thursday, September 22, 2016 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm @ Peoria Gateway Building 200 NE Water Street, Room 201 Peoria, IL 61602 Friday, September 23, 2016 8:00 am to 10:00 am @ Fondulac Bank 201 Clock Tower Drive, 2 nd Floor East Peoria, IL 61611 Presenting agencies include: ·          Career Link ·          Illinois Central College ·          Greater Peoria Economic Development Council ·          Illinois Dept. of Employment Security ·          Illinois Dept. of Human Services, Div. of Rehabilitation Service (DRS) ·          Pekin Chamber of Commerce The workshop is designed to provide the business community with valuable information about potential cost saving resources.  Information being covered includes: *Unemploymen

Mashie's Pub & Eatery PaintNite


Chamber Week: History of Executive Directors

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

Chamber Week - More History

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 me

New Illinois Law Limits Non-Compete Agreements

The Illinois legislature enacted new legislation invalidating non-compete agreements for certain employees. Effective January 1, 2017, employers are prohibited from entering into non-compete agreements with employees who earn $13 an hour or less. The “ Illinois Freedom to Work Act” (S.B. 3163) will make any non-compete agreement "illegal and void" if entered into on, or after, January 1, 2017 if it prevents a low wage employee from: Working in a specified geographic area; Working for another employer for a specified time; or   Working for another employer that performs similar work.  The law does not apply to agreements to protect confidential information, or not to solicit customers or employees, or to agreements entered into before January. 1, 2017. If your company has post-employment competition restrictions with low-wage earners, you should seek legal guidance given this new Illinois law.

Chamber History

The History of Chambers of Commerce As long as commerce has existed, traders have banded together.   The purpose of these first associations was to seek common protection against enemies and marauding bands of robbers.   Later they established codes to govern the conduct of trade, and still later, they attempted to exert influence on legislation.   These early associations of traders have little in common with the modern Chamber of Commerce. The history of Chambers of Commerce, as an institution representing the interests of business, dates back to the end of the 16th century.   In 1599 the Board of Marseilles, France appointed a commission of four merchants and granted it the status of an advisory body on trade matters.   The commission was “in charge of increasing the town’s prosperity.”   Some time later the commission was named a Chamber of Commerce. King Henry IV issued a decree whereby he legitimized the institution, which in the course of time became totally indepen

The Retail Project


Chamber Connection

Check out this week's Chamber Connection here! 


Veteran Central Illinois banker Leon Hinton has joined Morton Community Bank as Market President for Champaign-Urbana.  Hinton will be based at the Lending Center the Bank has opened at 301 N. Neil Street, Suite 105, in downtown Champaign. “Leon knows the Champaign-Urbana market extremely well,” said Bob Dittmer, Group President and Chief Lending Officer of Morton Community Bank.  “He was a Senior Vice President at a regional bank headquartered in the market for almost 17 years and, most recently, served at President and COO at another Central Illinois bank.” Dittmer noted that while the lending center is new, Morton Community Bank has been doing business in the Champaign-Urbana area for many years.  “We already have a substantial business lending portfolio in this market and we see great potential to increase our service in the Champaign-Urbana area.  Leon will be assembling a talented team of colleagues to accomplish this goal,” said Dittmer. “I am truly excited to be ab


            The Illinois Central College Theatre Program 2016-2017 season of four shows gets underway with the comedy farce The House of Blue Leaves , which opens on September 23 for six performances in the main stage theatre of the ICC Performing Arts Center, located on the East Peoria Campus. Written by John Guare, The House of Blue Leaves takes place in 1965 on a day when the Pope visits the home borough of a middle-aged zookeeper. The show portrays events that take place in the main character’s family on this day, which turns out to be an explosive combination of a lifetime of dreams and realities. The show takes place September 23-25 and September 30-October 2. Performances on Fridays and Saturdays begin at 7:30 pm and Sunday matinees begin at 2:30 pm. The lead character in The House of Blue Leaves , Artie Shaughnessy, is a songwriter with visions of glory. He toils by day as a zookeeper and suffers in seedy lounges by night, plying his wares at piano bars in Queens, N.Y.,