Thursday, September 30, 2021

Pekin Municipal Airport Receives Illinois General Aviation Airport of the Year Award


Pekin Municipal Airport Receives Illinois General Aviation Airport of the Year Award


Illinois’ Division of Aeronautics recognizes airport manager Todd Dugan and the Pekin Municipal Airport for redevelopment improvements and overall contribution to Illinois airspace community.



Pekin, IL- This month Pekin Municipal Airport was recognized as the 2020 Illinois General Aviation Airport of the Year.

The recognition came by the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Aeronautics. Criteria for the award is based on cooperation and coordination with the Illinois Department of Transportation office, the airport’s safety record, service the airport provides to the local community, general maintenance of the facility and more.


Pekin Municipal Airport manager Todd Dugan
and Director of IDOT Aeronautics Clayton Strambaugh.
Located just south of Pekin city limits, the Pekin Municipal Airport serves the local business community as well as the General Aviation Community. It is also part of the National Airspace System. People can fly their aircrafts out of Pekin and go anywhere in the USA non-stop. The Pekin Municipal Airport is home to dozens of privately owned small aircraft and has as many as 10,000 air operations a year since under new management.


When I was hired, the airfield was in rough shape, the taxiway lights did not work, the runway lights were about to give out, and the runway needed replaced,” states Todd Dugan. Todd Dugan has served as the airport’s manager for approximately four years now. His knowledge of the industry and diligence to work with multiple agencies has elevated the airport in numerous ways.


Dugan says, “It amazing how much the airfield has improved in just four years and the change in perception of the airport in the community… From a dilapidated airfield to Illinois General Aviation Airport of the Year!”


Todd Dugan reflects the recent improvements to Pekin Municipal Airport could not have been made possible without the support of the Mayor and City Council, City Manager, the Airport Commission, and an active tenant base. Dugan has also helped to secure grant funding toward facility redevelopment. Redevelopment will now focus on expansion, bringing more airplanes to the field: increasing hangar rental income, fuel sales and operations.


“We now have a brand-new runway, LED runway and taxiway lights and hangar development on the horizon for the first time in 30 years. We are also home to Tarragon Aircraft USA. This is a Latvian Aircraft and we are the sole dealer in North America,” remarks Dugan.


The airport also recently hosted their 8th Wings and Wheels event. Patrons were able to tour several small aircrafts that are home to the airport, have short airplane rides around the area and check out dozens of vintage and custom cars.


 About Pekin Municipal Airport- The Pekin Municipal Airport, owned and operated by the City of Pekin. The airport provides easy access to Pekin and the Greater Peoria Area with a single 5000 foot paved and lighted runway, serviced by three instrument approaches. The airport has terminal operations and self-service fueling available 24/7.


The airport has a multitude of benefits such as low gas prices, no landing fees, and no short-term tie-down/parking fees. Feel free to use the provided courtesy car or take advantage of the free coffee, popcorn, pilot lounge, wireless access, and vending machines. For more information about the Pekin Municipal Airport, visit or follow on Facebook.


Media Contact:
Brittney Hogue
Communications Coordinator
Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce




Reditus, PAL Health, Add to Growing Team



PEKIN – Reditus Laboratories and PAL Health Technologies again have added to their growing team.

 Craig Bryant has been named accounting manager for both companies and Jake Ganze has been appointed as both companies’ strategic sourcing director. 

Craig Bryant, Accounting Manager
 Bryant is responsible for managing accounts payable and managing non-patient accounts receivable and is responsible for the monthly and yearly accounting close. He has 16 years of accounting experience: six years in manufacturing with Excel Foundry & Machine Inc., three years in medical with Hopedale Medical Complex and seven years in personal finance and banking, including with First Farmers State Bank. Bryant has a bachelor’s degree in financial accounting from Illinois State University. 

Jake Ganze, sourcing director
Ganze is responsible for the commercial management of suppliers, including supplier sourcing and relations, purchasing and receiving. He has 13 years of supply chain experience, including supply chain planning, purchasing, sourcing and implementations. Ganze began his career as a supply chain planner at Optimas OE Solutions in Glenview and, most recently, was that business’s director of New Business Sourcing North America. He graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in business management. 

Reditus and PAL are separate companies with the same CEO, Dr. Aaron Rossi. 

Reditus Laboratories, 200 Enterprise Drive, Pekin, is a full-service laboratory with a heavy focus on molecular diagnostics. PAL Health Technologies, 1805 Riverway Drive, Pekin, is a full-service manufacturer of prescription, hand-crafted foot orthoses, diabetic inserts and ankle-foot orthoses.


Reditus Laboratories is a full-service laboratory company with a heavy focus on molecular diagnostics. Based in Pekin, Illinois, Reditus provides top-tier, accurate anatomical and clinical pathology services, including cytology, histology and molecular testing. Reditus is accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and is certified by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) program. Additional information is at, as well as on Facebook at Reditus Laboratories and Twitter @ReditusLabs. 

PAL Health Technologies is a full-service manufacturer of prescription, hand-crafted foot orthoses, diabetic inserts and ankle-foot orthoses. Based in Pekin, Illinois, PAL Health Technologies has been a national leader in the field of functional foot orthoses since 1976. PAL uses the latest technology, including the Xtremity 3D by PAL scanning software to make sure each orthotic is custom-fabricated to each patient, and is continually innovating and introducing new products. Additional information is at and on Facebook at PAL Health Technologies.

Contact: Paul Swiech
Reditus Laboratories
866-736-0002, ext. 941 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 23, 2021


PEORIA, IL The Peoria Symphony Orchestra is thrilled to announce their return to the concert hall on Saturday, September 25, 2021, at Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria. In the first concert of the PSO’s 124th Season, Symphony Triumphant, Mozart and Beethoven treat us to their happiest, charming, and most profound affirmations of life. Pianist Kevin Murphy, a leading figure in the classical vocal world, joins the PSO for this joyous evening.

Regarding the season opening concert, Maestro George Stelluto comments:

“The program is life affirming, celebratory, and thankful. Mozart’s Magic Flute playfully reminds us of humanity’s fairy-tale quest, often misguided, for wisdom and virtue, before his wonderful Piano Concerto in C Major, K503. The kindred spirit of his ‘Jupiter Symphony’ that we performed last season and the alter ego of his ominous C Minor Concerto K. 491, the C Major is joyous, intimate, and wise. Then we have the charming, humorous, and quirky Symphony No. 8 by Beethoven. He wrote it during a most stressful and challenging time during his life—because sometimes laughter is the best medicine!”

The PSO begins the evening with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s brilliant Overture to “The Magic Flute.” Next, pianist Kevin Murphy will perform Mozart’s Concerto No. 25 with the orchestra. This is one of the largest of the concertos that Mozart wrote for his own performances in Vienna, and it also seems to have been one of his personal favorites. The PSO closes with the bright Symphony No. 8 by Beethoven. Prepare to be delighted by an outsized portion of wit and good humor.

In keeping with bringing world-renowned artists to central Illinois, the PSO is excited to welcome pianist Kevin Murphy. Murphy is Director of Coaching and Music Administration for Indiana University Opera Theater, and Professor of Music and Co-Director of the Collaborative Piano Program at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Remarking on Murphy’s upcoming performance, Maestro Stelluto notes:

Kevin’s own noble humanity and sense of beauty will inspire your inner Mozart. Given Kevin’s astonishing opera background, you are in for an insightful discovery of Mozart’s operatic mind at work in a purely instrumental genre.”

Curious to learn more about the concert? Arrive at 6:30 PM for Maestro Stelluto’s Pre-Concert Lecture. After the concert, be sure to join Maestro Stelluto, musicians, and fellow concert-goers for a P.S. Party at Suite Fire Bar and Grille, located inside the Holiday Inn & Suites at 7601 North Orange Prairie Road, Peoria (drinks will be available to purchase).

Symphony Triumphant is sponsored by Carl W. Soderstrom, MD, Commerce Bank, Conductor’s Circle, and The Meredith Foundation. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

You can stay informed about the PSO by visiting, the PSO’s Facebook page (, as well as our Twitter and Instagram accounts (@peoriasymphony). Those with questions can email or call 309.671.1096.

# # #

Founded in 1897, the Peoria Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to entertain, educate, and inspire through music. The PSO presents excellent live musical performances, innovative music education programs, and engaging community outreach efforts, which significantly impact the cultural and economic vitality of Central Illinois.

High resolution images:

For more information, please contact:

nuEra Announces Month-Long “Pre-Rolls for a Cause” Fundraising Initiative to Raise Awareness for Breast Cancer


nuEra Announces Month-Long “Pre-Rolls for a Cause” Fundraising Initiative to Raise Awareness for Breast Cancer

Illinois Breast Cancer Awareness Organization Selected to Benefit from Donation Program, nuEra launches "Pre-Rolls For a Cause", New Partnership with Illinois Women in Cannabis, and More


CHICAGO September 22nd--nuEra, one of Illinois’ only vertically integrated cannabis companies wholly owned and operated within Illinois, today announced a month-long fundraising initiative in which proceeds will benefit Gilda’s Club of Chicago, a nonprofit that serves the needs of the women and families affected by breast cancer.


Throughout the month of October nuEra’s five dispensary locations will be donating $1 per unit sold of special edition cannabis flower pre-rolls and “Blazy Diamonds” infused pre-rolls. They are also donating net revenue from sales of a “show your support” pink nuEra logo pin. Proceeds will go to Gilda’s Club, whose services include support groups, counseling, education and healthy lifestyle programs.


Another campaign highlight is their partnership with Illinois Women in Cannabis. Besides helping to promote their “shop for a cause” fundraiser, IWC is hosting a free online event, Wednesday October 6th from 2:00-3:30pm titled Breast Cancer and Medical Cannabis—a conversation in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The event will feature Jasmine Carrasco, from Gilda’s Club, a patient care specialist from nuEra, Dr. Jamila Owen-Todd, Nurse April Hatch, and special guests: women who have experienced the diagnosis, are medical cannabis patients, and receive guidance from cannabis clinicians.


For more details on the nuEra participating locations, special edition products and IWC event please visit:


Social Impact:

Since full legalization in January 2020 nuEra has sourced a majority of their staff from Disproportionately Impacted Areas (DIAs), sourced an apprentice from the Cannabis Studies program at City Colleges of Chicago, and whenever possible partners with minority and women owned businesses for ancillary services. Recently nuEra’s Hillcrest Cultivation Center donated $100,000 to Illinois Valley Community College’s cannabis production certificate program, and nuEra Dispensaries have donated over $370,000 to the Social Equity Cannabis Business Development Fund, to be used to support new Social Equity Cannabis license holders in Illinois via low interest loans and other programs. 


About nuEra:

nuEra's name highlights that we are in an era in which cannabis is safer, higher quality and available in a greater variety than ever before. nuEra sources the highest quality products to suit the needs of Illinois medical patients and 21+ customers alike. nuEra currently operates three Medical/Adult Use dispensaries in Chicago, East Peoria, and Urbana, and two other secondary Adult Use only dispensaries in Champaign and Pekin. 


Their newly acquired Hillcrest cultivation center currently produces flower, pre-rolls, and solventless concentrates in a variety of strains with corresponding effects such as pain relief, relaxation, focus, uplift, and more. Welcome to a new era of cannabis!


About IWC:

Established in 2016, Illinois Women in Cannabis (IWC) has grown into the leading cannabis industry networking organization in Illinois. The mission of the non-profit membership organization is to empower women of all ages and backgrounds to build strong relationships, networks, and careers in the cannabis industry.

Find out more about nuEra at



Jonah Rapino

Director of Marketing

nuEra Cannabis


1308 W. North Avenue Chicago, IL 60608

Changes to Cullinan Properties' Leadership Team Help Forge a Path for Growth




(Peoria, IL – September 28, 2021) – Cullinan Properties Ltd. is pleased to announce changes to its leadership team that will help usher in a new era of growth throughout its multiple asset classes across the U.S.  Kathleen Cullinan Brill has been promoted to Executive Vice President of Business Development and Investor Relations, and A. Michael “A.T.” Toroyan has joined Cullinan as Vice President and new Director of Real Estate. 


Kathleen Cullinan Brill has successfully completed over 1,000,000 square feet of transactions with Cullinan Properties.  In her new role, Brill will be leading business development to further expand its medical portfolio, while retaining and growing key corporate and anchor relationships, as well as managing investor relations with Cullinan Properties Founder and Chairman, Diane Cullinan Oberhelman.  Brill will remain based in Cullinan’s Chicago office.


“Kathleen has cultivated an excellent network throughout her 15 years with Cullinan Properties, and this new role will allow the company to grow these valuable relationships to help us expand even further into additional markets and asset classes,” said Christopher M. West, Partner and CEO for Cullinan Properties, Ltd.


A.T. Toroyan brings more than 30 years of commercial real estate experience, along with an extensive analytical and legal background, to the Cullinan team. Toroyan, who is based in Cullinan Properties’ Chicago office, is leading the leasing and sales-related functions of Cullinan's multi-asset class real estate portfolio, including overseeing the negotiation of all leases, purchase and sale agreements, lease renewals and lease terminations. He works with the Construction, Property Management and Finance Departments throughout the entire process, from LOI through Lease/PSA execution.


“A.T. has a broad background in various aspects of commercial real estate, including leasing, acquisition, design, construction, development and legal in a wide range of asset classes that will strengthen an already solid team,” said West. “In addition, A.T.’s experience in many of the markets that we are already in or targeting will further enhance our growth on a national level.”


In his former capacities, Toroyan focused on strategic analysis and implementation of multi-unit restaurant, retail and service sector real estate for landlords and tenants.  He was active in restaurant site selection and consulting along with office, industrial and multifamily. As a result of his broad background, A.T. incorporated a vertically integrated philosophy allowing him to focus on acquisitions and multi-unit development, re-development, design, construction, and leasing, including workouts and deployment strategies. Throughout his career Toroyan has held both equity and management positions in restaurant, retail and service sectors as both a franchisee and a franchisor.


Toroyan earned his B.A. in Business Degree from Michigan State University and holds a Juris Doctorate in Law from University of Detroit.


About Cullinan Properties

Cullinan Properties, Ltd. is a leading developer of real estate specializing in commercial and mixed-use developments and acquisitions.  With offices in Peoria, IL, Chicago, IL and St. Louis, MO, Cullinan Properties is a multi-disciplined real estate firm that develops, manages and owns mixed-use, retail, multi-family, office, governmental and medical properties throughout the United States, including Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Florida, Georgia and Texas. For additional information about Cullinan Properties, Ltd., visit



Anaise Berry

Director of Marketing & Communications

P: 309-999-1735


C: 309-256-8170

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Pekin Hosts Last Downtown Street Party Series of 2021

Pekin Hosts Last Downtown Street Party Series of 2021

Pekin wraps up summer street party series with music, food and local business vendors.


Pekin, IL- The City of Pekin hosts its final Downtown Street Party of the summer series this Saturday, September 25th from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Held in the 300 block of Court Street, this free, outdoor concert will feature family friendly entertainment and the popular local musician group: Matt Miller Band.

The Downtown Street Party series has been held as recurring block parties in the historic downtown business district of Pekin. Each event features live, outdoor music with September 25th showcasing Matt Miller Band. With a first album released in 2017, Matt Miller has played venues with big name artists such as Trace Adkins, Shooter Jennings, Cody Jinks and more. His singles “Good Times” and “The Drinkin’ Song” are played on Nash FM Cumulus Media radio stations worldwide.

This is a free event, sponsored by the City of Pekin’s Discover Pekin tourism endeavors. Patrons are encouraged to bring their own chair and check out the locally based craft and merchandise vendors. This event will also feature entertainment activities for children and young families.

For more information about the Pekin Downtown Street Party Series, including vendor registration, contact Melanie Matthews at



Contact: Brittney Hogue

Communications Coordinator

Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce

Cell: 309-642-7029

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Diabetes Workshop Offered at Hopedale Wellness Center





CONTACT: Courtney Long

Phone: (309) 449-4500


Media: None



Diabetes Workshop Offered at Hopedale Wellness Center



September 20, 2021


Hopedale, IL – Take the time to care for you or someone that is important to you with the Diabetes Workshop Series at the Hopedale Wellness Center.  This 4-week diabetes series will be taught by Hopedale Medical Complex Registered Dietitian, Amy Sammis.  Program participants will meet each Thursday from 3:30pm-4:30pm at the Hopedale Wellness Center beginning on October 21 with completion of the program on November 11, 2021.


This program is for those who have been diagnosed with prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes, and for caregivers of persons with diabetes.  Participants will focus on maintaining active and fulfilling lifestyles that can be improved by utilizing problem solving and decision making that focuses on positive lifestyle changes.  Additional topics will include healthy eating, being active, managing stress, staying motivated, and self-monitoring. 


The cost for the four sessions is $50.  You can register by calling the Hopedale Wellness Center at 309.449.4500.  The Hopedale Wellness Center is located at 222 NW Grove Street in Hopedale, IL.  To learn more about all our current and upcoming programming go to



If you would like more information about this, please call Courtney Long at 309.449.4500 or email her at




Wednesday, September 15, 2021

CityLink Hosts Unveiling Event of Three New Proterra Battery-Electric Buses Sen. Dick Durbin, Rep. Darin LaHood and Rep. Cheri Bustos Among Speakers

CityLink Hosts Unveiling Event of Three New Proterra Battery-Electric Buses Sen. Dick Durbin, Rep. Darin LaHood and Rep. Cheri Bustos Among Speakers

(Peoria, IL) -- The Greater Peoria Mass Transit District (CityLink) hosted an event on September 8, 2021 at their facilities located at 2105 NE Jefferson Avenue in Peoria to officially unveil its three new Proterra battery-electric buses. Several dignitaries attended the event, and remarks were made by CityLink General Manager Doug Roelfs, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, U.S. Representative Darin LaHood, U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos, NRDC's (Natural Resources Defense Council) Selena Kyle on behalf of the Edwards settlement plaintiffs and community partners and Proterra founder Dale Hill.

At the beginning of the event, the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce and Proterra also hosted a unique ribbon cutting with one of the buses breaking a banner that served as the ribbon. 

“Today began a new and exciting chapter in CityLink’s history. We are pleased we have officially unveiled these three new Proterra battery-electric buses and to have received support from our national, state and local dignitaries and community partners,” said CityLink General Manager Doug Roelfs. “The electric buses will be replacing our three oldest diesel buses, and we look forward to adding them to our fixed route fleet very soon. We hope our passengers will enjoy riding these zeroemission and clean-air buses for many years to come,” continued Roelfs.

All three buses are 35-foot Proterra Catalyst® battery-electric buses. Designed and manufactured in the United States, Proterra battery-electric buses feature zero tailpipe emissions, saving approximately 230,000 pounds of greenhouse gases annually when replacing a diesel bus. The purpose-built electric buses further offer a quieter ride for reduced noise pollution, greater efficiency, and lower operating costs with fewer parts compared to combustion engine vehicles.

“Proterra is proud to support CityLink as it accelerates the transition to clean, quiet transportation across Peoria,” said Josh Ensign, President of Proterra Transit. “Driven by Proterra’s industry-leading electric transit buses and charging solutions, switching to zero-emission, electric transit buses is no longer just the right thing to do for our health and environment, it’s also the smart thing to do for our communities.”

Each bus has been uniquely wrapped with full bus wraps to distinguish them from the rest of CityLink’s fleet. Bus 2401 was designed by the Edwards settlement plaintiffs and community partners and features a cartoon electric bus character; bus 2402 was designed by local graphic designer Angie Walker and features a lightning bolt design; and bus 2403 was also designed by Angie Walker and features a hot air balloon design.

CityLink received $2.3 million in funding for two of these buses (2402 and 2403) and the accompanying charging infrastructure in July 2019 from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), as part of the Low or No Emission (Low-No) Bus Program. U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Representatives Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17) and Darin LaHood (R-IL-18) made the official announcement at the time.

“We are standing at the starting line of an electric vehicle revolution in our country, and Illinois is poised to lead the pack,” said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). “I was proud to work with my colleagues to help secure federal funding for two of the buses unveiled today and applaud CityLink for its commitment to environmentally-friendly infrastructure. Think of the climate benefits of reduced carbon emissions, the health benefits of lowering our exposure to diesel fumes, and the many jobs this burgeoning electric vehicle supply chain creates. I’ll continue to support sustained and robust funding for innovations like this that drive our economy forward.”

CityLink was selected as a recipient of $1.23 million to fund the purchase of bus 2401 and the accompanying charging infrastructure in February 2020 as part of the Edwards Settlement Fund Distribution. The Edward settlement fund distribution was the result of a 2013 lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council and Respiratory Health Association (represented by the Environmental Law & Policy Center) against the owners of the E.D. Edwards coal-fired power plant, located on the Illinois River south of Bartonville. The result of the settlement provided for $8.6 million in funding for projects to benefit the greater Peoria region, including funding for electric buses for public transit fleets.

"The Edwards coal plant settlement was an opportunity for the community to imagine projects that could benefit the health and vibrancy of Peoria. Replacing diesel buses with clean electric buses will benefit the community in many ways including eliminating the exhaust fumes that hurt people's lungs. These buses could be an exciting model for other communities looking to replace diesel with electric buses around Illinois," said Selena Kyle, managing litigator for NRDC.

CityLink currently has a total of 53 buses in its active fixed route fleet, including four diesel-electric hybrid buses that were received in 2016 and 2017. All CityLink diesel powered buses are Tier 4 Emission Certified with Cummins Engines, emitting cleaner air than they take in.

CityLink will continue with staff training on these battery-electric buses for a few more weeks, and it expects the buses to be added to the fixed route fleet in October.


CityLink Contact: Emily J. Watson
Marketing & Community Outreach
Office: (309) 679-8138

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Pepsi Marigold Medallion has been found!


When Carrie Smith and sister Stacey Hayes woke up the morning of Labor Day, they were hopeful. But, the women had no idea they would make history, with years of hard work sleuthing paying off. At 7:11 a.m., little more than an hour after Clue 7 released, the sisters made their discovery at Pekin’s Riverfront Park: the first year in 43 years the Pepsi Marigold Medallion was hidden at this location.

Cluemeister Gary Gillis said he had never hidden the Pepsi Marigold Medallion in this area before because of a lack of landmarks that could mislead hunters. The area was essentially too unique. After seeing the Riverway Road sign just adjacent to the Spalshpad, the Cluemeister felt inspired. Key components directing hunters to the location included phrases such as a “panoply of sounds” and the stanza “Look for a 2006 winner of a Presidential Freedom award. Find two books of an historian’s work. You'll be in the thick of your reward.”

Sisters Carrie and Stacey have been avid hunters through the years, coming close to discovering the Medallion many times. Their late grandfather originally introduced them to the hunt years ago. Carrie and Stacey were elated to make their discovery and become part of Pekin’s history. The hunters will ride in the Marigold Festival Parade this Saturday at 10:00 a.m., and keep the $1500 cash prize from Pepsi.

The Pepsi Marigold Medallion Hunt is an annually tradition, part of the Pekin Marigold Festival honoring the life and legacy of Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen. Seven clues released this year Monday, August 30th through Saturday, September 4th, with the last clue released 6:00 a.m. on Labor Day. The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce and Pekin Marigold Festival invite the Central Illinois community to read this year’s clue interpretations on the their blog and social medias and plan to participate in next year’s hunt!


Pictured here - Cluemeister Gary Gilles, Stacey Hayes, Carrie Smith, and 2021 Festival Chairman Josh Hafliger.