Commerce connection september october 2017

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Permit No. 29 Champaign, IL

Presorted Standard US Postage

C h a m pa i g n C o u n t y ’ s t ru s t e d

b u s i n e s s - to - b u s i n e s s for




20 years


Volume 24 | Issue 4



p u b l i c at i o n


Experience the advantages of

SBA Financing. First Mid has a long-standing relationship with the SBA and is consistently one of the top providers of SBA 7(a) loans in Illinois.* These loans have provided area small businesses with funding for:

• • • •

Business expansion, acquisition or refinancing Equipment or machinery purchases Inventory purchases Building acquisition, construction or remodeling

First Mid is a Certified Lender and Express Lender with the SBA. We can help qualifying businesses take advantage of these flexible SBA terms: • • • •

Up to a 7-year loan amortization on working capital Up to a 10-year loan amortization on equipment and machinery Up to a 25-year loan amortization on commercial real estate Up to a 20-year fixed interest rate on certain eligible projects

• Up to 90% project financing


COMMITMENT TO SMALL BUSINESS! The U.S. Small Business Administration offers programs to assist entrepreneurs with starting, managing, and growing their business. SBA loans often include lower down payments and longer repayment terms than conventional loans, enabling small businesses to keep their cash flow for operational expenses and spend less on debt repayment.

To get started on your own SBA Loan, contact our local First Mid lenders: Mike Krueger

Community President Commercial Lending 2229 S. Neil Street • Champaign 359-9837

Mitch Swim

Regional President Commercial Lending 2229 S. Neil Street • Champaign 359-9837

To learn more about First Mid or to see a complete list of locations, visit us online.


Member FDIC • Equal Opportunity Lender *Based on Illinois SBA Lender Performance Reports and the number of closed SBA 7(a) loans.

Champaign County Banking Centers: Champaign • 2229 South Neil • 359-9837 Champaign • 913 West Marketview • 378-8023 Urbana • 601 South Vine • 367-8451 Mahomet • 502 East Oak • 318-3750

303 West Kirby Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 P 217.359.1791 | F 217.359.1809

FY17 TOP INVESTORS TOP INVESTORS GOLD Busey SILVER Carle University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign BRONZE A & R Mechanical Contractors Amdocs BankChampaign, N.A. Christie Clinic First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust Health Alliance Hickory Point Bank & Trust Midland States Bank Presence Covenant Medical Center

IN-KIND CONTRIBUTORS CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE Illini Radio Group - MIX 94.5, WIXY 100.3, Rewind 92.5, WYXY Classic 99.1, True Oldies 97.9, Extra 92.1, Hits 99.7 Stevie Jay Broadcasting - Q96-96.1FM, US105.9, Sunny 95.3 & ESPN 93.5 PRESIDENT’S CIRCLE NewsTalk 1400 WDWS, Lite Rock 97.5 WHMS, Classic Hits 107.9 WKIO

CHAMBER STAFF Laura Weis President & CEO Mindy Cain Director of Workforce Readiness & Member Relations

Awards, Ltd. Blossom Basket Florist Dish Passionate Cuisine Hyatt Place LongHorn Steakhouse TrophyTime W.K. Cooper II Asset Management Corporation

Stephanie McCullough Director of First Impressions

Dustin Haake Membership Sales Director

Lindsay Quick Graphic Design and Marketing Director

Garret Hill Public Policy Director

Ariel Short Events & Programs Director


Jeff Baker Company

Chip Craddock Clark Dietz, Inc.

Kyle Emkes

Dodd & Maatuka

David Farrar

Illinois American Water

Gary Hackler 150 PERCENT CLUB

Caryn Isenhower Accounts Receivable & Office Administrator


Zachary Hillard Busey

R.J. Hynds English Brothers Company

Tonya Horn Rogards

Susan Jepsen

Reynolds Towing Service, Inc.

Pradeep Khanna

Chuck McReaken

Chair, TSM Ventures, Inc.

Dr. Jared Rogers

University of Illinois

First Vice Chair Presence Covenant Medical Center

Kurt Lenschow

Mike Estes

State Farm

Jim Lyons

Birkey’s Farm Store

Justin Overstreet

Second Vice Chair Fisher National Bank

Dan Kirby

Treasurer, CliftonLarsonAllen

Martin, Hood, Friese & Associates, LLC

Becky Preston

Rod Roberts

Laura Weis

Thunderstruck Design

Julianna Sellett

Past Chair, Busey Bank

Secretary, Champaign County Chamber of Commerce


FINANCIAL SERVICES Provided by CliftonLarsonAllen

All information contained within this publication is property of the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce and cannot be reproduced without prior expressed or written consent. This publication contains paid advertising; the opinions expressed in those advertisements do not reflect the views of the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce. For advertising information, contact the Chamber at 217.359.1791.

WELCOME TO THE CHAMBER >> members who joined between July 1, 2017 and August 31, 2017 Aldi, Inc.

605 Dunlap Ave. Savoy, IL 61874-8406 217.352.7332 Grocers-Retail High-quality food should be easy and affordable. That’s our guiding principle, and it’s why we believe our shoppers’ money should go right where they want it to: into great-tasting food they can feel good about serving their families. Come to Aldi and see how we can save you 50% on your grocery bill while still getting the highest quality food. We’re open 9–8 every day in Savoy.

Dimond Bros. Insurance Agency, Inc. 1806 Woodfield Dr. Savoy, IL 61874-0723 217.356.6400 Insurance

Serving Champaign County and beyond, Dimond Bros. Insurance has been serving and supporting this community with their insurance needs for decades. The Savoy based insurance office is part of one of the Midwest’s largest independent agencies, bringing their customers access to carriers and options of a national company with the hometown service you expect to receive. Their local office is staffed with licensed insurance professionals that specialize in all types of insurance. If you are looking for personal, commercial, or financial insurance services, this is the place to find it all. They offer all types of personal insurance coverages including auto, homeowners, motorcycle, boat, life and health. They also offer a wide variety of business insurance plans for your commercial auto, workers’ compensation, business owner packages and general liability needs. Dimond Bros. was founded over 100 years ago in 1867 with a philosophy to serve our communities with excellent service, advanced technology and comprehensive insurance protection.

Eden Park Illumination (EPI) 903 N. Country Fair Dr. Champaign, IL 61821-3259 217.403.1866 Manufacturers-Wholesale

Eden Park Illumination (EPI) is an advanced UV

lighting company leading globally in the area of planar Microplasma UV light sources. Our high performance, patented UV light engine covers a wide range of applications from UVA to VUV. Unique characteristics of the technology we’ve developed such as thin, flat light panels and mercury-free, high output intensity place this lighting technology in a place of its own in the expanding UV lighting market. The company was founded in 2007 by Professors J. Gary Eden and Sung-Jin Park of the University of Illinois, Laboratory of Optical Physics and Engineering. Located on Champaign’s west side, the company produces lamps for diverse applications such as synthetic diamond detection, bio-medical uses, surface disinfection and water disinfection. EPI has been awarded numerous grants from the USDOE and National Institutes of Health which total nearly $4M.

i3 Broadband

808 Dennison Dr. Champaign, IL 61820-2507 217.530.0333 Internet Services i3 Broadband is your neighborhood provider of fiber optic internet, HD TV and voice services in the Urbana/ Champaign areas. Count on i3 Broadband to deliver our unmatched value, reliability and responsiveness, because we’re located around the corner, not in another state. We provide ultra-high speed internet, TV and voice services to residential and commercial locations. Visit for more information.

Lincoln Office, LLC

205 Eastgate Dr. Washington, IL 61571 9238 309.427.2500 Office Furniture and Equipment Dealers Today’s workplace needs to not only connect employees with information, technology and tools, but should be engaging and inspiring-a place to innovate. We live in a world where you can work anywhere, but most people still come to the office. At the office employees know they can find tools and technology to do their job, and can collaborate with co-workers. Employees want a choice of where to work during the day—conference rooms, collaborative areas, assigned workstations, nomadic spaces, private enclaves, Work Cafe and more. Lincoln Office can create inspiring and innovative spaces your employees will want to use for meeting, collaborating,

socializing and learning. With offices in Central Illinois, Eastern Iowa and Northwest Indiana, Lincoln Office is nearby. We understand the business issues you face and can create a workspace that enhances employee productivity, encourages collaboration and promotes wellbeing.

Planet Fitness Champaign

2002 Glenn Park Dr. Champaign, IL 61821-2405 217.356.8500 Health Clubs Welcome to our planet, make yourself comfy because we’re judgement free. It doesn’t matter if your legs have never seen a squat machine before, we believe how you work out is totally up to you. Take advantage of our unlimited fitness training programs or just do your own thing on the treadmill—we’ll cheer you on either way. If you’re in our house, you deserve a little cred just for being here. We believe no one should ever feel gymtimidated by lunky behavior and that everyone should feel at ease in our gyms, no matter what his or her workout goals are. Everyone should have access to lots of nice new equipment and feel comfortable asking for help. With all of these great benefits under one roof, we like to say: “We’re not a gym. We’re Planet Fitness.”

Planet Fitness Urbana

1809 S. Philo Rd., Ste. A Urbana, IL 61802-6071 217.344.6510 Health Clubs Planet Fitness is celebrating its first year in business in Urbana, 25 years as America’s judgement free zone, and recognition for their positive anti-bullying campaign! We believe no one should ever feel gymtimidated by lunky behavior and that everyone should feel at ease in our gyms, no matter what his or her workout goals are. Everyone should have access to new equipment and feel comfortable asking for help. It’s not just a slogan— in June PF was honored with Engage for Good’s 2017 Gold Halo Award for our pro-kindness anti-bullying initiative The Judgement Free Generation™. The Halo Awards are North America’s highest honor in recognition of organizations that have taken action and positively affected their communities with effective social and cause marketing activities. With all of these great benefits under one roof, we like to say: “We’re not a gym. We’re Planet Fitness.” We are open and staffed 24-hours a day, seven days a week, so stop in to see what we have to offer. Mention seeing this in the Commerce Connection and we’ll waive the start-up fee for new members who join PF Urbana in October of 2017.

Pie’s The Limit celebrated their grand opening in Champaign with a ribbon cutting on July 27.

Congratulations to Carriage Crossing - Champaign for celebrating their one year anniversary.

Congratulations to Horve Hospitality for breaking ground on their new Hampton Inn near the Carle at the Fields development.

Rincker Law, PLLC celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting on August 30.

Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 149

Tutor Doctor Champaign

The skilled plumbing and piping professionals at Local 149 continue to build the foundation for a thriving community in Champaign County. The 500 members at Local 149 ensure our local hospitals are constructed properly to care for our citizens, the universities have secure spaces for higher education, and the highest quality maintenance of our infrastructure to deliver clean and pure water to every home and business in Champaign County. The extensive training and continuing education courses provided to plumbers, pipefitters, welders and HVAC technicians keep their skills the best in the industry. The work we provide in the community keeps our standard of living high and one of the reasons Champaign County continues to be one of the best places to live in the country. Local 149 represents the men and women across Champaign, Ford, Piatt, Coles, Cumberland, Jasper, and Effingham counties.

Tutor Doctor Champaign is an in-home, one-to-one tutoring and test preparation company. Although Tutor Doctor is new to the area, our owners are not. The Tutor Doctor Champaign franchise is locally owned and family operated. Tutor Doctor is new to Central Illinois but not new to helping students achieve academic success and gain confidence. Tutor Doctor believes that

1005 N. Dunlap Ave. Savoy, IL 61874-9605 217.359.5201 Associations

507 Capitol St. Savoy, IL 61874-8742 217.369.5209 Tutoring

The Pointe at U of I

1601 E. Florida Ave. Urbana, IL 61802-6059 217.337.3901 Apartments The Pointe at U of I offers an unparalleled living experience that combines all the comforts of home with an array of awesome amenities. From a sparkling pool and spa, to a fitness center, sand volleyball court, and game room, our Urbana apartments give you endless opportunities to unwind and recharge in your off time. Plus, our well-appointed and fully furnished luxury apartments near the University of Illinois offer plenty of private space to study in peace, while granting you premium access to all the buzz and excitement of campus life. If you want to get away for a day or a weekend we are located a couple hours from Chicago, Indianapolis, and St. Louis. The Pointe at U of I truly is the total package.

i3 Broadband celebrated the opening of their Champaign-Urbana location with a ribbon cutting on August 30.

Home Instead Senior Care celebrated their opening with a ribbon cutting on September 13.

T Mobile (SMQ Cellular)

110 E. University Ave., Ste. F Urbana, IL 61801-1786 217.607.3290 Cellular Telephone Service

HopeSprings Counseling Services, a division of Cunningham Children’s Home, celebrated their one-year anniversary with a ribbon cutting on September 25.

EVERYONE can learn - students of ALL AGES ranging from kindergarten preparation to retired individuals all studying a variety of subjects. They also provide ACT or SAT test preparation. Tutor Doctor tutors work to build confidence while utilizing current and upcoming curriculum tools and valuable teacher input. Tutor Doctor is active in the community and connected to many families.

and industrial and specialty chemicals. Our team of seasoned, senior-level scientists and engineers are committed to caring for our environment and precious ecosystems. We let science do the talking, providing data and environmental risk analysis of the highest integrity to our valued partners. Our work also addresses important issues such as pollinator protection, nutrients, threatened and endangered species, water quality, including environmental mixtures, and more.

Waterborne Environmental 821 S. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820-5205 217.348.5148 Agricultural Consultants

Waterborne Environmental is a leading global environmental risk assessment company that leverages expertise in field studies and data collection, environmental modeling, geospatial analysis and data technology, ecotoxicology and toxicology to assist clients with complex environmental challenges. We apply our core capabilities to provide expert collaboration and scientific assistance to organizations in the areas of crop protection, agriculture and food, home and personal care products, human pharmaceuticals, veterinary medicines, wastewater, biocides and antimicrobials


Keep an eye out for your Member Profile Form in the mail. Please return by

Tuesday, October 31.

Breakfast Series Event Details:

October 12: Is Your Business a Digital Disaster? Presented by:

Jody Jankovsky,

November 9:

Founder and Managing Member, Black|Line Consulting

Both breakfasts will be held at

Hawthorn Suites 101 Trade Center Dr. Champaign, IL 61820 from 7:30 - 9:00 a.m.

Brought to you by:

University of Illinois Fighting Illini Men’s Basketball Coach

Brad Underwood

Cost to attend for members is $19 and $39 for non-members. To register, contact Caryn at caryni@champaigncounty. org or call 217.359.1791.

In Your Business Written by Mindy Cain

To learn more about area businesses; how the Chamber can help; and to better promote our members to other members, the Chamber staff and ambassadors have been touring member businesses. For more details and photos from the tour, visit

You are probably familiar with this popular venue for music, theatre and world-class performances, but, there is a lot people do not realize about this local gem, housed on the University of Illinois Campus. In addition to being a public performance venue, it serves as a classroom and laboratory bringing the resident academic departments of the School of Music, Illinois Theatre, and Dance at Illinois together under one roof. A staff of 80 dedicated professionals support over 400 performances and activities each year while also educating university students in the arts. It would have not been possible without the Krannerts and their multi-million dollar contribution to the University of Illinois in 1962. Herman, a 1912 graduate of the University of Illinois, and his wife Ellnora, chose to build a performing arts center because they believed that to experience the arts was “one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences people can enjoy—and, in these complex times, a most needed one.” Krannert Center opened in April of 1969 to high praise and a critic for The New York Times called the facility • The Center, with a Persian red brick and “one of the most ingeniously worked out art complexes anywhere.”

Quick Facts:

Today, Krannert Center is recognized as the nation’s premier universitybased performing arts center and houses five indoor stages, each designed with specific fine-tuned acoustics and stage views, seating a total of 4,400. Theaters include: the Great Hall, with one of the world’s premier acoustic environments; Festival; Playhouse; Studio; and Lobby Stage 5, which hosts monthly wine tastings and bands. The lobby’s Intermezzo Café serves a variety of culinary specialties and the Promenade Gift Shop features an artful showcase of behind-thescenes activity blended with a broad selection of merchandise. Exterior spaces include three expansive terraces and the 560-seat Amphitheatre performance venue for outside events. So the next time you attend an event at Krannert, look around at this amazing facility and know that it is one of the best performance venues in the nation, expertly designed to maximize the education and enjoyment of the arts for all who enter. Interested in a behind the scenes tour so you can see for yourself? Krannert Center Tours are open to the public. Get more information about the Krannert Center at:

Indiana limestone exterior, occupies nearly ten acres and had a project cost of $26 million in 1969, which would be $200-300 million to replace today. • Ellnora Krannert chose the imported Italian marble, Botticino Terrazzo, rare teak wood, butternut lumber, and terra cotta pavers used throughout the Center. • The vast lobby was specifically designed to hold over 4,000 patrons, so everyone visiting the different theaters could interact together. • The teak wood for the lobby floor was imported in 1968 from India, Sri Lanka, and Burma, and due to the limited amount of teak allowed into the USA each year, the Center got every piece. • The marble interior walls are from quarries in Carrera, Italy. These are the same quarries that provided the marble used by Michelangelo for his well-known sculptures, including the Pieta and David. • Indiana Butternut wood adorns the Great Hall walls, made from 90 hand-selected trees whose logs were milled in New York, with craftsmen then carefully hanging each piece to match the wood grains. • An “underground world” features a large central hall with access to all theatres and houses several shops of creativity: scene, props, upholstery, costumes, lighting, and sound; along with offices, pre-show green rooms, and rehearsal halls built the same sizes as the actual stages for more accurate rehearsals.

You need a bank that’s local, experienced and invested in central Illinois

Jan Miller Bobbie Butler Dan Marker Steve Tock Toni Delporte Chuck Eyman Kirk Harney

Three out of three isn’t bad.




Friday, October 27 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Hilton Garden Inn 1501 S. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820 It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between business and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Chamber Zone. Forget what you thought you knew. Travel through time and space and cross over into the Chamber Zone as we celebrate another year and look forward to our future. Doors open at 11:00 a.m. The program starts promptly at 11:30. Full lunch and entertainment included. The 2017 Small Business of the Year will be named at the event. Individual attendance is $39. Table sponsorship (seats eight) is $425. To reserve your table or to register, contact Caryn Isenhower via email at or by phone at 217.359.1791.

A New Generation of Collision Repair Local owner Tim Tatman has re-established his position for the top body shop in Champaign County once again. Over 58 years ago, his father Paul Tatman opened the first Tatman’s Collision Repair. Tim grew up observing his father’s strong work ethic and attention to detail. He started his career working in the wash bay area and worked in many different positions in the body shop eventually leading up to the general manager position. These experiences made Tim extremely knowledgeable in all aspects of the auto body business. The business has evolved throughout the years as most companies do, but the one thing that has remained constant is “The Tatman Way” which means quality repairs and an emphasis on superior customer service. Tim and his wife, Donna, opened Tim’s Auto Body at its current location on 701 North Mattis Avenue in Champaign, IL. It is here that Tim continues to mentor his two sons Chris and Matt to ensure that this company remains at the top of the industry for years to come.

relationships with various Champaign County businesses. Along with the latest technology in the industry and continuing education for his employees, Tim’s main focus has remained exceptional customer service. Tim and his staff make sure that the customers are continually updated throughout the repair process to ensure they feel comfortable about the repairs done on their vehicle. He, like his dad before him, feels the key to success in business is taking care of your customers. You could say this is what sets Tim’s Auto Body apart and what has made him successful in such a short period of time.


Company History

It’s not only the customers that are recognizing the success of Tim’s Auto Body, the car manufacturers have taken notice too. Nissan, Hyundai and Dodge have all certified Tim’s as the only shop in this area to have all the training, equipment, and personnel necessary to restore their vehicles to pre-accident condition.

Opening the shop’s doors March 16, 2015 with just four employees, Tim and Donna never imagined how fast the business would grow. Just two and a half years later, Tim has expanded the business to include 18 employees, additional state of the art equipment, and makes an effort to have great

Tim Tatman has made a name for himself in the industry and has plans to expand his business to a larger operation. Tatman has obtained the land behind his current location and expects to begin the process of expanding his building to service more customers with timely repairs.


Karma Skinner was recently recognized for 30 years of service at the Developmental Services Center. She started with the company in September of 1987 as an administrative manager. She has been the director of human resources since 1992.


Mettler Center at the Crossing celebrated its 20 year anniversary in September. The center was started in 1990 as Mettler Physical Therapy by Paul Mettler, DPT. It began as a private practice physical therapy clinic with 1 employee. The practice moved several times from 1990 – 1997 as it grew and expanded and added fitness and wellness components to its make-up. In 1996 Paul Mettler spotted land in a developing area of southwest Champaign – Robeson Crossing. A 13,000 foot building was designed to house a physical therapy, fitness and wellness business and renamed to its current name, Mettler Center at the Crossing. In 2005, the current building was remodeled and 3000 sq ft of additional space was added. Over the years, Mettler Center has served thousands of local residents with physical therapy and fitness and wellness at the current location and at various other sites.


RSM US LLP, the leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market, announces the following promotions in the firm’s Champaign office. Jacob Bender has been promoted to Assurance Senior Associate. Stephanie Berkey has been promoted to Health Care Consulting Supervisor. Kaitlyn Bradd has been promoted to Assurance Senior Associate. Rob Sutter has been promoted to Assurance Supervisor. Alex Torres has been promoted to Assurance Senior Associate.


Fehr Graham, a leading Midwest engineering and environmental firm with 10 locations in three states, announced it has hired Gregg Breese as senior

environmental scientist. Breese has 20 years of experience working for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and most recently owned and operated Breese & Associates, an environmental and sustainability consulting company. His vast expertise in wetlands, stormwater and local zoning will help Fehr Graham enhance its environmental service offerings. Breese holds key certifications in project management, planning and land use, and wetland delineations. He is also an ISO 14001 lead auditor.


Cunningham Children’s Home in Urbana has been awarded EAGLE Re-accreditation with Commendation by the United Methodist Association of Health and Welfare Ministries. Less than 10 percent of EAGLE Communities are accredited with commendation.


Daniel Schmitt, Executive Director of the Freeport Community Foundation, and Dick Drogosz, founder of the John M. Drogosz Fund at the Foundation, visited the Rosecrance Griffin Williamson Campus on August 25, and provided Rosecrance with a generous grant. The grant will help to transform an existing space at the adolescent facility into a Sensory Room, which will closely mimic Rosecrance’s Sensory Room at the Harrison Campus for adults. The Sensory Room programming will be woven into Rosecrance’s overall experiential therapies programming, which includes activities such as fine arts, horticulture, music and exercise, and teaches the importance of relaxation and stress-reduction. This new resource will be helpful in addressing the growing demand for services to treat mental health disorders in clients, in addition to substance use disorders. Rosecrance has seen a steady increase in clients with a dual diagnosis of substance use and mental health disorders, and is expanding programming at its adolescent residential site to treat clients with mood disorders and trauma. Carlene Cardosi, Rosecrance Clinical Director, explains that the Sensory Room will be a space for clients to learn coping skills and self-soothing techniques.


Shannon Beranek has joined the staff of engineers at Berns, Clancy and Associates, Engineers, Surveyors and Planners with offices in Urbana and Danville.

Congratulations to Scott Kording, Erika Harold and Forrest Heyman of Meyer Capel for being named 2017 Emerging Lawyers by Bulletin Publishing Co.

Shannon received a BS engineering degree in 2001 and MS engineering degree in 2003 both from the University of Illinois College of Engineering. Her degrees are in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust announced that Michael L. Taylor has been named Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Taylor joined the Company in 2000 and has been serving as the Chief Financial Officer since that time. Taylor’s expertise in the financial, operational, risk management, and regulatory compliance of the Company have been and will continue to be critical to the organization’s success. Taylor received his Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from the University of Illinois. He also graduated from the Graduate School of Banking in Wisconsin. He served two terms on the Accounting Board of the American Bankers Association in Washington D.C. and also served on the Eastern Illinois University Accounting Advisory Board. Taylor has volunteered and been involved in a number of local community events and organizations and currently serves on the Coles Together Board and First Baptist Church Diaconate.

Shannon’s experience includes work at the Illinois Center of Transportation Research facility in Rantoul where she focused on asphalt pavement design. She also worked with the full-scale pavement testing apparatus and the Advanced Transportation Loading System (ATLaS) to conduct full-scale pavement testing on various asphalt paving designs for the Illinois Department of Transportation. At BCA she will be a project engineer.


Pamela Lau, Parkland College’s vice president for academic services and considered the “one indispensable person” on campus, has won the national 2017 Emerging Chief Academic Officer Award. The National Council of Instructional Administrators gives the award each year to chief administrators serving for three years or less in their community colleges who have been outstanding in four American Association of Community Colleges competency categories for leaders: organizational strategy, institutional finance, communication and collaboration. All of the nominations are evaluated by a panel of community-college practitioners from throughout the country. Lau was nominated by Parkland College President Tom Ramage; Nancy Sutton, dean of Arts and Sciences; and Joe Walwik, chair of the Social Sciences and Human Services Department. They praised her for the initiatives she undertook during a difficult period at the college.


Congratulations to Martin, Hood, Friese & Associates for being named one of Accounting Today’s 2017 Best Accounting Firms to Work For. The annual survey and awards program, which is conducted in partnership with Best Companies Group, is designed to identify, recognize and honor the best employers in the accounting profession, benefiting its economy, workforce and businesses.



First Mid also announced that Matthew K. Smith has been named Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Smith joined the Company in 2016 and has been serving as Director of Finance where he has played a role in expanding First Mid’s relevance in the capital markets and providing strategic guidance within the organization. Before joining First Mid, he was the Corporate Treasurer and Vice President of Finance and Investor Relations for Consolidated Communications, Inc., a publicly traded company on NASDAQ. Smith earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and an MBA from Eastern Illinois University. Smith also received a Master’s Degree in Accounting and Financial Management from DeVry University and is a Certified Public Accountant. Along with volunteering in youth sports and Special Olympics, he has been involved in a number of local community boards and currently serves on the Eastern Illinois University School of Business Advisory Board. Have news to share with the local business community? Tell us about it and get featured in the Chamber’s next Commerce Connection. Email Lindsay Quick with your news,, or submit the news via our website: membership/member_accolades.aspx

the local purchasing challenge

We challenge you to make one simple decision that will transform our local economy; ultimately improving the bottom lines of our members – all without spending any more money than your company currently spends. How? Take the Local Purchasing Challenge. It really is simple. Shopping local is not just a consumer activity. By simply reallocating your purchasing dollars for products and services from a non-local vendor to a local one (again, not spending more), your company will be part of creating significant economic impact in Champaign County. What’s in it for me you ask? The more companies that agree to shift some of their purchasing back to Champaign County means more local companies will see increased sales. As much as you want local companies to buy your goods and services, your fellow Chamber members want you to buy more locally as well. It means better customer service, quicker turnaround and no shipping. More local purchasing means more money in the local economy. It means more money to keep jobs and create jobs. Your commitment to this grassroots effort, along with other local businesses will make the dollars add up. Again, without spending more than you have already budgeted. In fact, did you know that according to Civic Economics West Michigan that $140,000,000 of new economic activity means 1,600 newly created jobs and $50,000,000 in new wages. Imagine being part of creating 1,600 new local jobs without spending more than you already spend. Take the Local Purchasing Challenge. Help make a difference in our community. It doesn’t get easier than this: Step 1

Identify the categories/line items in your budget where you spend money outside of Champaign County.

Step 2

Commit to reallocating a small portion of that purchasing back to a business in Champaign County. Use the Chamber as a resource to find a local vendor.

Step 3

Take the Challenge and return this card to the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce.

Step 4

Honor the promise.

Step 5

Update the Chamber on your status when asked (quarterly update).

Step 6

Sit back and feel good about your decision to help improve your business and our economy. Watch our local economy and local businesses grow.

Yes, please list and promote our company as a local business committed to purchasing more locally. I understand our actual pledge will not be published. Name ________________________________________________________________________ Business ______________________________________________________________________ Address ______________________________________________________________________ E-mail ________________________________________________________________________ Phone ________________________________________________________________________ Between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, our company commits to reallocating purchasing dollars spent with vendors outside of Champaign County to local businesses by (at least) the amount indicated below:

____$10,000 ____$7,500 ____$5,000

____ $2,500 ____ $1,000 ____ $750

____$500 ____$100 Other: $_________

The Chamber will track the collective amount pledged. We will report the numbers back to the membership all while keeping your pledge confidential. Please return form by October 31.

Have questions? Contact Lindsay at or call 217.359.1791. Please complete this form and fax to 217.359.1809 or mail to: Champaign County Chamber of Commerce 303 W. Kirby Ave. | Champaign, IL 61820

Just a CAR... Written by Lindsay Quick Most people drive their vehicle on a daily basis and spending that much time with something usually means that it is pretty important. Some people have moderate obsessions with their vehicles while others have more of a love-hate realtionship. Regardless of the situation, for many, vehicles are more than just a car. Countless memories and stories can be tied to these machines that are made for the purpose of getting us from point A to point B. “Car buying is an emotional decision. It’s usually based on how one feels and what one wants,” explained Ben Quattrone, executive manager at Honda BMW of Champaign. When something is that important, people usually have a lot invested in it - whether it be financially, emotionally or both. Maintenance and general upkeep can extend the longevity of any vehicle making sure that the time and effort spent is worth it. Simple things like tire rotation and fuel filter replacements can make a huge impact on the life span of vehicles. Susan Jepsen, chief financial officer at Reynolds Towing Service, Inc. adds, “good vehicle maintenance will seriously reduce the chances of future mechanical issues.” New makes and models of vehicles are being developed every day which can sometimes make it difficult to keep up with the automobile industry as consumers.

“I read. Not just books, but also people. You have to be always listening, learning and staying humble,” adds Quattrone. A person’s vehicle means a lot to them. Countless hours behind the wheel and memories of travel and trips connect people to their cars in a special way. When serving consumers in the auto industry it is important to keep in mind that each consumer is different and every situation presents a new series of challenges. “Different lifestyles and other factors like geography dictate how we serve our customers but it is always rewarding to see how we can provide them with extra customized accomodations,” Quattrone adds. After all, for most people their vehicle is much more than just a car.

MEET OUR EXPERTS: Ben Quattrone Executive Manager 217.356.0303

The same is true for those working within the industry. Jepsen explains, “each year, there are new types of vehicles that are introduced to the market. Many of which present new challenges.” Consumers as well as those within the industry must make an effort to educate themselves about current trends and new information as it becomes available.

Susan Jepsen Chief Financial Officer 800.242.8694

Thank you to all members that participated as experts and for the work you do to better our local workforce and community.

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For better or for worse, two issues the Chamber was heavily involved with came to resolutions this summer. The City of Champaign has preliminarily approved two six percent fee increases to the city’s Stormwater Usage Fee. In February of this year, city staff issued a proposal that would have increased the fee 3 percent every year until 2039. The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce voiced their concerns with this proposal. The current fee is already disproportionally paid for by businesses, with 16 percent of properties in the city paying 60 percent of the overall fee. A three percent yearly increase to the fee would cost many businesses tens of thousands of dollars over the years. City staff scaled down the proposal after the Chamber expressed concern. Their proposed compromise was a six percent increase in 2019 and an additional six percent increase in 2021. Once again, the Chamber voiced concerns over this fee increase. While scaled back, the fee still disproportionally impacts businesses. The Chamber spoke to the city council asking council and staff to offer increased incentives to job creators that partner businesses with the city to improve stormwater drainage infrastructure; to look into cost reductions by separating drainage costs from beautification costs; and to create a long term stormwater finance plan that includes a sunset and/or cap to the fee. Ultimately, the Chamber’s advocacy had an impact by scaling back the original proposal, but beginning January 1, 2019, businesses in the City of Champaign will see a six percent increase to their stormwater utility bill once this proposal passes at a full council meeting. This will be followed by an additional six percent increase beginning January 1, 2021. The proposal also instructs city staff to reassess the fee rate every two years. The second issue started last year when the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce and Champaign County Farm Bureau partnered to lead a referendum that would change Champaign County’s form of government from an appointed county administrator to an elected county executive. After successfully reforming county government, both organizations continued to advocate for this reform with elected officials to properly structure and fund the change in government. In a bipartisan effort at their September board meeting, democrats and republicans came together to ensure that the candidates running to be Champaign County’s first executive will be competitively compensated to match the level of responsibilities outlined in statute and that is comparable with like professionals. The Chamber board of directors thanked the bipartisan group of county board members for voting to put the best interest of the county above politics.

Cham ber Sto re Mailing Labels

An exclusive benefit of Chamber membership, we sell mailing labels containing the names and addresses of Chamber member businesses for the purpose of member-to-member communication. Target the local business community. Two lists are available for purchase:


Long list (approx. 2,400 names and businesses): $175 Short list (approx. 1,000 names and businesses): $125

Our electronic newsletter is sent to nearly 2,000 businesses and businesspeople in Champaign County each week. Sponsor an e-Connection and get your business seen by thousands.

Contact Caryn Isenhower to order, or 217.359.1791.

Header sponsorship (one wk.): $100

Email Blast Advertisement Do you have a new product, service or information you would like to share with our entire Chamber membership? Take advantage of this exclusive offer to send broadcast emails to our entire nearly 2,000 email list. Email Blast Advertisement: $500 Contact Lindsay Quick for more information, or 217.359.1791.

Commerce Connection

This is a bi-monthly publication that is distributed to over 2,400 businesses and businesspeople in Champaign County. Content varies, but is always relevant to local business. There are a variety of ad sizes available. Ads start at only $90. Ask about the exclusive cover package that allows your business to gain exposure before the reader even opens the publication. Contact Lindsay Quick for more information, LindsayQ@ or 217.359.1791.

Email Footer Sponsorship

For a great price, place an ad in every email that is sent out of the Chamber office. That’s an average of over 12,000 emails per week. The best part? Link the footer wherever you would like. Footer (one wk.): $75 (Add footer to the e-Connection for an additional $50.) Contact Lindsay for details at, or 217.359.1791.



Contact Lindsay Quick for more information, LindsayQ@ or 217.359.1791.

Website Marketing With over 7,000 visits/month to the Chamber website, this is where you want to be. Market your business to locals and those looking to move and/or visit here. Want more information? Contact Lindsay Quick at

Event Sponsorship

From monthly First Friday Coffee and Business After Hours to our annual Golf Outing, the Chamber hosts a number of events each month. By sponsoring a Chamber event, your business obtains great exposure not only at the event itself, but also within all promotional materials (emails, mailings, e-newsletters, Commerce Connection, website, etc.). We have numerous opportunities throughout the year, here’s what’s coming up: • Breakfast Series - $1,000 per breakfast (1 available) • Annual Meeting Title Sponsorship - $3,000 - SOLD • Annual Meeting Table Sponsorship - $425 (available)

Additional information for events such as Business Success and Solutions Seminars is available upon request. Contact ArielS@champaign or call 217.359.1791 with any event sponsorship inquiries.

Online Business Directory Enhancements Enhance your listing on the Chamber’s online business directory. The directory gets hundreds of thousands of views each day--turn your standard (complimentary) listing into an eye-catching, search engine optimized advertisement. Basic upgrade: included w/membership

Value upgrade: $20/year

Deluxe upgrade: $50/year

Contact Lindsay Quick for more information, or 217.359.1791.

Complimentary services: rental of laptop computer; conference space and LCD projector; Certificate of Origin; Notary service; information, assistance and resources.


calendar of events October Breakfast

Sponsored by Sentry Roofing, Inc. Is Your Business a Digital Disaster?

Presented by Jody Jankovsky, Black|Line Consulting

Thursday, October 12 7:30 - 9:00 a.m. Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham 101 Trade Center Dr., Champaign


Monday, October 16 Noon - 1:00 p.m. Giordano’s 2000 N. Neil St., Champaign

Business Success & Solutions Seminar Choosing a Franchise

Presented by Grant Bullock, FranNet

Tuesday, October 17 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. Chamber Office 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

Ribbon Cutting

U-Haul Moving & Storage at Southgate

Tuesday, October 17 1:30 - 2:00 p.m. 2010 S. Philo Rd., Urbana

Starting a Small Business

Business Advisors’ Council (BAC) Thursday, October 19 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. Chamber Office 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

Business After Hours

Thursday, October 19 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Eastland Suites Hotel and Conference Center 1907 N. Cunningham Ave., Urbana

Fast Facts

4.6% Champaign County Unemployment Rate in August 2017

Chamber Annual Meeting: THE CHAMBER ZONE

31 business licenses applied for in

Friday, October 27 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Hilton Garden Inn 1501 S. Neil St., Champaign

Champaign County in September 2017

Sponsored by Iroquois Federal

Creating a Business Plan

Business Advisors’ Council (BAC) Thursday, November 2 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. Chamber Office 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

First Friday Coffee

Friday, November 3 7:30 - 9:00 a.m. Parkland College Business Training & Community Education 1315 N. Mattis Ave., Champaign

November Breakfast

Fighting Illini Men’s Basketball Coach Brad Underwood

Thursday, November 9 7:30 - 9:00 a.m. Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham 101 Trade Center Dr., Champaign

Business After Hours


September 2017 U of I Flash Index for Illinois

661,178 rides were taken on CUMTD in August 2017

5,101 visits to the Chamber’s page, in September 2017

7,391 average amount of referrals PER DAY the

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Online Business Directory received via search engines and online sources in September 2017

2014 The year that the Champaign County

Chamber of Commerce was named the Illinois Outstanding Chamber of the Year

Thursday, November 16 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham 101 Trade Centre Dr., Champaign


Monday, November 20 Noon - 1:00 p.m. Giordano’s 2000 N. Neil St., Champaign

303 West Kirby Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 P 217.359.1791 | F 217.359.1809





217-367-4227 711 E Kettering Park Drive Urbana, IL 61801