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weare the voice for

business. champaign county chamber of commerce fiscal year 2012 annual report


The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce is a member focused business association that facilitates business growth and improves the quality of life in the region through advocacy, professional development and a probusiness agenda. We are the voice for business.











seminars Business Success Seminars are designed specifically for Chamber members who are seeking quality, practical and affordable education on how to manage and grow their companies. If interested in attending, return your completed registration form today.

Presented by Dale Carnegie Training Morning Session: 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Part I: Prospecting and Account Development At the completion of this session, participants will be able to capitalize on referrals, references and testimonials, create a referral network of champions who bring in business and further develop existing accounts and increase customer loyalty.

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The chamber’s upcoming seminar will focus on:

Part 2: Developing Rapport and Interest in your Product Building rapport is a critical step on every sales call, whether for a new prospect or a long-time client. This session will teach participants to determine value from a buyer’s point of view, employ three strategies to make buyers eager to talk and establish immediate credibility to build alignment with buyers.


Afternoon Session: 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Part 1: Responding to Objections Objections are a natural part of selling. But there is a proven process to overcoming these protests. In this session, participants will learn to apply a win-win process to resolve objections, identify points of agreement to lower buyer resistance and respond to the six most common objections with confidence.

1.)Tuesday, Everyseptember February, 11 the Chamber hosts its annual ATHENA Award Luncheon. The award honors individuals who assist women in reaching their full leadership potential, demonstrate excellence in their businesses and improve the quality of life in the community. The 2012 ATHENA Award Recipient was Cindy Somers of Spherion Staffing Services and the 2012 ATHENA Young Professional Award was given to Sarah Zehr of the University of Illinois at the champaign county chamber of commerce.

Chamber members: $57 per session, $99 for both sessions; Non-members: $74 per session, $129 for both Refunds will not be given for cancellations, although substitutions of individuals can be made.

Part 2: Gaining Commitment As you move toward the end of the sales process, it becomes important to create a sense of urgency for the buyer and find a natural way to ask for the commitment. At the completion of this session, participants will be able to evaluate buyer perspectives to move the sale forward, engage the prospect’s emotions in the buying process and practice six methods to ask for the sale with confidence.

2.) “See. Shop. Sell.” (...’betcha can’t say that three times fast!). The 2012 East Central Illinois Business Expo was held March 14 at the University of Illinois Assembly Hall. RegIsTRATIOn InfORmATIOn Mark me down the: _____ Morningand Session 15 _____food Afternoonvendors Session ____ Both sessions Over 60 forexhibitors participated. 3.) 2012 was a great year for new and expanding business in Champaign County. A benefit of membership, the Chamber held more than 35 ribbon cuttings and ground breaking ceremonies to celebrate new business, new locations and development. 4.) The Chamber’s bi-monthly “Commerce Connection” newsletter received a tremendous makeover in FY12. The publication gets sent to over 2,500 businesses in Champaign County. 5.) In June, the Chamber Agribusiness Committee held our annual “Come Wine With Us” event at Farm Credit Services of Illinois. The event was a tremendous success with over 250 people in attendance. 6.) The Chamber often holds Breakfast Series events, bringing in notable speakers to share insights and/or advice with members. Highlights from 2012 included head volleyball coach Kevin Hambly and Mike Thomas, University of Illinois Athletic Director. 7.) With a mission to educate, the Chamber held six “Business Success Seminars” and Professional Development Training Programs in FY12. Topics included Customer Service, Human Resources, Sales Effectiveness and Disaster Training. 8.) There’s no better place to network than on the green. The 2012 Chamber Golf Outing was held on Thursday, June 2. More than 100 golfers and 18 sponsors participated in this year’s tournament, enjoying the game, the sun and making new friends. 9.) Also in 2012, the Chamber launched “Tools for Business Success”, a feature on the Chamber’s website. The tool is a one-stop portal for any business owner, manager, entrepreneur or employee who is seeking credible business related information.  Check Enclosed  Bill Me  American Express  MasterCard  Visa Acct. ______________________ Exp. Date __________________ 3-digit security code __________

Name(s) ___________________________________________________________________________

Business __________________________________________________________________________ Address ___________________________________________________________________________ City ________________________________Zip _____________ Phone

Signature __________________________________________________________________________

Return to the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce

303 W. Kirby Ave. • Champaign, IL 61820 • P 217.531.4669 • F 217.359.1809 •





former board chairs

dear chamber members: 5.


board officers

1. Diane Ruedi, Chair, F.E. Moran Alarm 2. Tabatha Helm, First Vice Chair, AFSI, Inc. 3. Michael Wozniak, Second Vice Chair, Livingson, Barger, Brant & Schroeder 4. Martin Verdick, Treasurer, McGladrey 5. Mark Ballard, Past Chair, BankChampaign, N.A. 6. Laura Weis, Secretary, Champaign County Chamber of Commerce

board of directors

Joe Alexander Beth Auterman, Clifton Gunderson LLP Oktay Baran, Baran Marketing Cindy Guthrie, YG Financial Habeeb Habeeb, BPC, Inc. Jeff Ingrum, Health Alliance Medical Plans, Inc. Dale Morrissey, Developmental Services Center Victor Mullins, University of Illinois College of Business Ron Pulera, WAND TV StormCenter 17 Dennis Riggs, FIX-IT Nick Taylor, RE/MAX Realty Associates Bill Walter, A&R Mechanical Contractors

chamber staff

Laura Weis, President & CEO Karly Combest, Event & Programs Manager Nikolle Keeney, Marketing & Graphic Design Manager Michelle Luna, Membership & Advertising Sales Manager Lynette Lykins, Director of First Impressions Christopher Sheppard, Membership Services Director Ryan Roth, Public Policy Manager Norma Wesley, Administrative Support & Reservationist

Whether through legislative advocacy; workforce skills development; creating marketing opportunities for our members to gain more customers or finding ways to help our members save money off their bottom line – working to improve our local business climate is the main driver of everything we do at the Chamber. Over this past year, we worked in partnership through the Champaign County First group to lead a community delegation for a successful Washington DC Fly-in and Springfield Trip; we led the Champaign County First efforts for success on key initiatives including the continued advancement of the High Speed Rail agenda. And, we added increasing the frequency of passenger rail as a community priority as well. Our continued sponsorship of the Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center program has resulted over $7.82 million awards awarded; 12 jobs retained directly because of the PTAC efforts; 130 PTAC counseling session with 38 companies and six new CU clients added to PTAC services from July 11 to May 12. We also continued as a founding partner of the CIRCLE Coalition (Central Illinois Regional Chambers Legislative Efforts). CIRCLE is 18 Central Illinois Chambers working together on issues that impact Central Illinois Businesses. As a coalition, we have continued to drive statewide discussion on issues such as pension, education and further workers compensation reform. And, in order to improve the benefits for our member businesses, we launched two new exciting resources for our members. We successfully launched a Chamber mobile app --which now gives our members more marketing exposure to the thousands of area mobile users. Additionally, we launched “Tools for Business Success” on our website. It is a one-stop portal for any business owner, manager, entrepreneur or employee who is seeking credible business related information. Although the economy slowly improves, your companies continue to persevere and succeed. It is your perseverance, involvement and support for the Chamber that allows us to continue making positive change for the business community. I thank you for allowing me to serve as your president & CEO. Your stories, struggles and most importantly, your successes motivate our staff to want to serve the membership even more.

Wishing you a prosperous year.

Laura Weis President & CEO









1.) The Chamber provides your business a voice in area public policy. Whether through activism in Springfield, Washington or at home, the Chamber spent 2012 focused on issues such as Willard Airport, workers compensation reform and election advocacy. 2.) ) A popular networking event, First Friday Coffee was held the First Friday of every month from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at various member businesses. 3.) More than one million dollars was saved by Chamber members in the past year on their energy bills. Partnered with Fighting Illini Energy, members have a tremendous opportunity to save big dollars on a Chamber-exclusive energy co-op. 4.) The Chamber hosts many networking events but Business After Hours are by far the most popular. Held from 5 to 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month, members gather to network and make new business contacts at various businesses across the community. 5.) A to Z Painting was honored with the prestigious “Small Business of the Year” Award. The business, owned by Carol ZuHone, was described as “the definitition of a small business. They operate with a small staff and bottom line; they excel at their trade and they give back to the area that supports them,” said Kevin Yonce, CEO of Twin City Tent and Awning. 6.) In 2012 the Chamber launched a new mobile website. Accessible via smart phone, users can bookmark to their home screens for an easy-to-access business directory, events calendar, coupons and more. 7.) Every year, the Chamber’s Annual Meeting is less of a meeting and more of a celebration. Over 200 Chamber members in attendance, the meeting celebrated a year of business in Champaign County. There might have even been a laugh or two. 8.) The Chamber’s online business directory received a total of 6,456,126 hits during FY12, primiarly from search engines and other online sources. That’s an average of 17,640 online referrals per day.

“Provena Covenant Medical Center is now a part of Presence Health, the newest health system based in Illinois with over 150 sites of care in communities big and small. Provena Health joined with Resurrection Health Care on November 1, 2011 to form this new system, which is the largest Catholic health care system in Illinois.” - Presence Covenant Medical Center “Got picked up by a radio syndicator. Our entrepreneurial message will be broadcast to listeners nationwide” - BIGG Success “Celebrating 35 years in business! We are still going strong despite the economy. Our #1 goal is to provide excellent customer service!” - Awards, Ltd.

member highlights of 2012

“Broke ground on new facility, to open March 2013. Recognized as the “44th fastest growing financial service company” by Inc. Magazine.” - Midland States Bank

“Processed over 74,000 pounds of grapes, released four new wines, entered the wedding venue business and opened a vacation rental.” - Sleepy Creek Vineyards

“January 2012 marked 30 years of service in Champaign County... thank you to all our clients!” -New Creations Contracting, Inc.

“Built a grill for President Obama to give to the British Prime Minister.” -Engelbrecht Grills

“Filled our assisted living facility (100%) and relaunched our Alzheimer’s community.” - Bridle Brook

Of course, all of our members accomplished great things in 2012 (featured are simply a HANDFUL of accomplishments submitted to us). Check out the Chamber’s next edition of the Commerce Connection for even more highlights.

Unaudited Financials Revenue: $706,741 Promotional Benefits, 9%

Office lease, 9%

Networking, 7% Publications, 5%



Networking, 4% Promotional Benefits, 3%

Benefits 7% Renewal and New Member Dues, 72%

Professional, <1% Advocacy, 3% Interest/ Other, 2% Business Resources, <1% Non dues, 0% Contractual dues, 0%

Expense: $732,128

Business Insurance, 1% Publications, 3% Professional Development, <1% Advocacy, 2% Business Resources, <1% Bad Debt Expense, 0% Cleaning/ Repair, <1%

Payroll/ Benefit Tax, 5%

Committee Expense, <1% Dues/ Subscriptions, 2% EDC Support, <1% Equipment,1% Postage/ Shipping, 2% Printing, 1% Professional Services, 3%

Salaries, 52%

Registration/ Education, <1% Supplies, 1% Telephone, 1% Travel/ Business Exp., 1% Depreciation, <1% Audit, 1% Misc., 0%

Thank you for your continued support of the Chamber. GOLD Busey Carle Provena Covenant Medical Center SILVER University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign BRONZE The Atkins Group BankChampaign, N.A. BPC, Inc. Christie Clinic The Hilton Complex First Bank Supervalu Inc. Champaign Distribution Center University of Illinois Employees Credit Union Walmart Supercenters

in-kind contributors

CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE Illini Radio Group - MIX 94.5, WIXY 100.3, 92.5 The Chief, WIXY Classic 99.1, True Oldies 97.9, Extra 92.1, Hits 99.7 NewsTalk 1400 1400 WDWS, Lite Rock 97.5 WHMS & U-Rock 107.9 WUIL PRESIDENT’S CIRCLE S J Broadcasting BUSINESS CIRCLE Fox Illinois WCCU TV & CW 23 WAND TV StormCenter 17

Did you know....

A national survey* of 2,000 adults reveals that being active in a local chamber of commerce is an effective business strategy because two-thirds of consumers believe that such companies use good business practices, are reputable, care about their customers, and are involved in the community. If a company shows that it is highly involved in its local chamber (e.g., is a chamber board member or volunteer), consumers are 10 percent more likely to think that its products stack up better against its competition. Small businesses represent the largest segment of most local chamber membership rolls, and the study indicates that chamber membership has consistent and powerful benefits for small business members—if consumers are aware that the small business is involved with its local chamber.


top investors

If respondents know that a small business is a member of the Chamber, the business enjoys:

• a 49% increase in its consumer favorability rating • a 73% increase in consumer awareness • a 68% increase in its local reputation • an 80% increase in the likelihood that consumers will patronize the business in the future.

For larger businesses, the impact is also significant. Using a national restaurant chain as an example, the following was concluded: • Patrons were 68 percent more likely to eat at a member restaurant than a non-member restaurant • If active in the Chamber, patrons were 15 percent more likely to report knowing a lot about the restaurant • Patrons are 58 percent more likely to frequent the restaurant • Patrons are 37 percent likely to think favorable of the franchise if they are active with the Chamber. Another example, when consumers know that an insurance company is a member of the chamber of commerce, they are: • 29 percent more likely to report knowing a lot about the company • 36 percent more likely to think favorably of the company • 36 percent more likely to consider buying insurance from the company The study concluded that Chamber membership builds your business’ reputation stating, “Businesses that are members of a local chamber of commerce are automatically considered by consumers to be trustworthy, customer-oriented and involved in their communities”. * The study was conducted by The Schapiro Group, an Atlanta-based strategic consulting firm. It was commissioned by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), in cooperation with the Western Association of Chamber Executives. The study was sponsored by Insperity, a Houston-based company that provides human resources and other business services to more than 100,000 businesses nationwide.

303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign, IL, 61820 • 217.359.1791 • •

FY12 Annual Report  

FY12 Annual Report for the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce

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