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MAY / JUNE 2018

CONNECTION

Volume 25 | Issue 3

years

25

C O M M E R C E

60 (YES, SIXTY) BOTTLES OF WINE!

Celebrate Champaign County’s strong roots in agriculture and agribusiness at

Come Wine With Us LEARN MORE ON PG. 12

PAID

Presorted Standard US Postage

C h a m pa i g n C o u n t y ’ s

FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN WIN

Permit No. 29 Champaign, IL

t ru s t e d

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

p u b l i c at i o n

for

more

than

A PUBLICATION OF THE CHAMPAIGN COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

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TREASURY MANAGEMENT

Business Fraud... IT CAN HAPPEN

TO YOU!

Fraud Protection CATCH FRAUD BEFORE IT HAPPENS. Today more than ever, it is critical that Business Customers protect their company funds from any unauthorized check or ACH debits. Let us review the business tools that can help protect your company.

• ACH BLOCK • ACH Fraud Filter • Positive Pay Champaign County Banking Centers: Champaign • 2229 South Neil • 359-9837 Champaign • 913 West Marketview • 378-8023 Urbana • 601 South Vine • 367-8451 2 Mahomet • 502 East Oak • 318-3750

Darlene Johnson

Vice President Treasury Management 2229 S. Neil Street • Champaign 359-9837 djohnson@firstmid.com

Mike Krueger

Community President Commercial Lending 2229 S. Neil Street • Champaign 359-9837 mkrueger@firstmid.com

Mitch Swim

Regional President Commercial Lending 2229 S. Neil Street • Champaign 359-9837 mswim@firstmid.com

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

FIRSTMID.COM Member FDIC • Equal Opportunity Lender


303 West Kirby Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 P 217.359.1791 | F 217.359.1809 www.champaigncounty.org

FY18 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 OSF HealthCare Heart of Mary Medical Center

CHAMBER STAFF Laura Weis President & CEO LauraW@champaigncounty.org

Stephanie McCullough Director of First Impressions StephanieM@champaigncounty.org

Mindy Cain Director of Workforce Readiness & Member Relations MindyC@champaigncounty.org

Brian Murphy Membership Sales Director BrianM@champaigncounty.org

Garret Hill Public Policy Director GarretH@champaigncounty.org Caryn Isenhower Accounts Receivable & Office Administrator Caryni@champaigncounty.org

BOARD OF DIRECTORS BOARD OFFICERS Jeffrey Baker

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, Christian FM 95.3 & ESPN 93.5 PRESIDENT’S CIRCLE NewsTalk 1400 WDWS, Lite Rock 97.5 WHMS, Classic Hits 107.9 WKIO

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

Lindsay Quick Graphic Design and Marketing Director LindsayQ@champaigncounty.org

Jeff Baker Company

Chip Craddock Clark Dietz, Inc.

Kyle Emkes

Dodd & Maatuka

Gary Hackler

WCIA - TV / WCIX 49

Zachary Hillard

Susan Jepsen

Reynolds Towing Service, Inc.

Pradeep Khanna University of Illinois

Kurt Lenschow State Farm

Justin Overstreet Martin Hood LLC

Busey

Rod Roberts

R.J. Hynds English Brothers Company

Julianna Sellett

Tonya Horn

Thunderstruck Design

Carle

Rogards

FINANCIAL SERVICES Provided by CliftonLarsonAllen

Chuck McReaken

Chair, TSM Ventures, Inc.

Dr. Jared Rogers

First Vice Chair OSF HealthCare Heart of Mary Medical Center

Mike Estes

Second Vice Chair Fisher National Bank

Dan Kirby

Treasurer, CliftonLarsonAllen

Becky Preston

Past Chair, Busey

Laura Weis

Secretary, Champaign County Chamber of Commerce

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.

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WELCOME TO THE CHAMBER >> members who joined between March 1 and April 30, 2018 Applejack’s Painting 208 Dewey St. Urbana, IL 61802-4610 217.390.9306 Painting Contractors

The Baby Fold

102 E. Main St., Ste. 209 Urbana, IL 61801-2744 309.451.7206 www.thebabyfold.org Social Service Organizations The Baby Fold has been serving children and families since 1902. We currently serve over one thousand individuals every year through 12 programs that wrap services around children and families across 28 counties in Central Illinois to help families achieve well-being and stability. The Baby Fold embodies Christian principles to help families and children develop the hope, courage and love they need to become whole and healthy. We specialize in working with children and youth who have severe emotional and behavioral disorders and their families. We focus on improving the lives of children and families through the provision of foster care and adoption services, special education and a variety of services through family and community services. We never give up on a child.

La-Z-Boy Home Furnishings & Decor celebrated the grand opening of their new location on Town Center Boulevard with a ribbon cutting on April 9. 4

Bendsen Signs & Graphics, Inc. 1506 E. McBride Ave. Decatur, IL 62526-5082 217.877.2345 www.bsg1946.com Signs

Bendsen Signs & Graphics, Inc. has provided expertise in signage and visual advertising since 1946. We help your business or organization with project management, branding, design, electronic message center strategy, service, installation and municipality code compliance. Bendsen also provides well-trained technicians and installers with a fleet of fully stocked service trucks. Regardless of scope, size or locations, we are ready to help you.

Central Roofing LLC

992 IL Hwy. 32 Sullivan, IL 61951 217.728.7663 www.centralroofingllc.net Roofing Contractors Central Roofing is a veteran owned and operated local roofing contractor that specializes in all types of roofing, from apartment complexes, churches, and industrial buildings to one bedroom residential properties. Rest assured that we will have the solution to all of your roofing needs. With over a dozen top-notch project managers, your project will be in the absolute best of hands. Our staff has over 70 years of combined roofing experience and holds almost every license or certificate necessary

Psychology Specialists celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting on April 12.


to provide you with a stress-free renovation. We at Central Roofing pride ourselves in our level of integrity and professionalism and would love to have your business!

Eastern Illinois University School of Business 600 Lincoln Ave. Charleston, IL 61920-3011 217.581.3028 www.eiu.edu/business University Departments

The EIU School of Business has students that are inspired and engaged to become successful business professionals. With a 91 percent career placement rate, the School of Business provides a quality education with dedicated and accessible faculty who are involved and invested in their students’ success. Our faculty members are respected researchers and enthusiastic teachers who bring the results of their research into the classroom and encourage students to go beyond what is expected of them. Programs offered are: Accountancy, Finance, Management, Management Information Systems, Marketing, and the BSB in Business Administration and Master of Business Administration, which are both available online and at Parkland College. The School of Business at EIU is accredited by AACSB International, a mark of distinction that proves our commitment to continued excellence.

Profile by Sanford held a ribbon cutting on April 12 to celebrate their grand opening.

Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network 2401 Memphis Dr. Springfield, IL 62702-1443 309.231.1399 www.giftofhope.org Non-Profit Consultants

Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network is proud to serve as the federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organization (OPO) that coordinates organ and tissue donation and services to families of donors in the northern three-quarters of Illinois and northwest Indiana. Since our inception in 1986, we have coordinated donations that have saved the lives of more than 23,000 organ transplant recipients, and improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of tissue transplant recipients. As one of 58 organ procurement organizations that make up the nation’s organ donation system, we work with 183 hospitals in our donation service area.

Illinois National Bank (INB) celebrated the grand opening of their new location in downtown Champaign with a ribbon cutting on May 2.

La-Z-Boy Home Furnishings & Decor

402 W. Town Center Blvd. Champaign, IL 61822-1461 217.351.8052 www.la-z-boy.com/Central-Illinois/Champaign Furniture Dealers-Retail Our new showroom in Champaign combines all the qualities you’ve come to expect from La-Z-Boy as well as the latest trends in design. We have different comforts for

Congratulations to First State Bank for 10 years of business in Champaign. 5


every life style. If you’re not sure what direction to go with, take advantage of our free in-home design service where our designer will help you create the space you’ve always imagined. We have a wonderful variety of vendors, like Kincaid Furniture and Loloi that carries Joanna Gaines designs, for all your home furnishings for every room in your home -- living, dining, bedroom plus many more. Our educated staff is always here to help narrow down the right style and comfort for anyone’s needs with over 800 different fabric/leather covers to customize your furniture. We are pleased to offer an additional 10 percent off to Champaign County Chamber of Commerce members good for the month of July.

Learning Alliances Company P.O. Box 504 Clinton, IL 61727-0504 217.433.6209 www.learning-alliances.com Human Resources

Based in Central Illinois, Shirley Stelbrink is an inspiring and attentive facilitator, trainer and consultant assisting world-wide organizations that invest in continuing development of employees. Achieving success in business requires quality of product, service, and communication to both external and internal customers. For the last 13-years, Shirley has been an entrepreneur. Before owning Learning Alliances Company, she worked in human resources, Information Technology and IT

Consulting. The skills and knowledge from her past have built towards her effectiveness. Continuous learning is Shirley’s philosophy to stay relevant in an ever-changing world. She and her team are committed to offering quality training, facilitation, coaching and consulting services. Learning Alliances Company can fortify your business by aligning individual skills and talents.

Visually Home

1524 E. Lafayette Park Dr. Bloomington, IL 61701 309.807.8070 www.visuallyhome.com Photographers-Aerial Real estate redefined. No real estate listing is too large or too small for Visually Home. Whether you’re listing a luxury estate or a one bedroom condo Visually Home has all of the services to help you present your home at the very finest. Let our team of trained visual marketing experts take the lead and help you generate more listings today. We can provide you with aerial photos and video, Fusion Photography, 3D Matterport scanning, a landing page and a YouTube video for EVERY single listing.

Fulfilling Dreams Since 1868. With 150 years of strength and service, Busey has your backing. Since we opened our doors, it’s been our honor to help generations of families own homes, attend college, open businesses, retire worry-free and leave a lasting legacy.

busey.com 217.365.4500

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Member FDIC


You get what you give. You’ve been a successful member of the business community. You have created jobs. You have managed people. You’re a wiz with tax documents. You know the importance of a good business plan. You have benefited from those who have come before you.

Now, it’s time to take what you know and share it with the next generation. Become a Business Advisor and join a group of people making a difference in our community by mentoring entrepreneurs eager to open their businesses. To learn more about becoming a Business Advisor, contact Mindy Cain at MindyC@champaigncounty.org or call 217.359.1791.

Ready to Grow? But not sure how? 

Do you have a specific business challenge that if you could just solve it... it would unlock so many opportunities for your company? We are now accepting applications for our next Economic Gardening Company. Through our partnership with the Edward Lowe Foundation, the Chamber can assemble a specialized team of researchers to provide you with real time data and executable strategies specific to your company’s needs that will take your company to the next level. This is a proven economic development strategy in which the Chamber can help to grow our local companies. To apply, visit: www.champaigncounty.org/economic-development/ economic_gardening.aspx Applications will be evaluated by a panel of our sponsoring companies. 7


The Agricultural Community is Buzzing to Protect the Bees Reprinted from monsanto.com

If you eat, you need bees. In fact, one in three bites of our food relies on honey bee pollination. This, naturally, means that farmers rely on honey bee pollination. With increasing food demands due to population growth, we all need modern agriculture to be successful. That success requires healthy honey bee colonies. “Honey bees play a key role in agricultural productivity,” says Tim Fredricks, a Senior Ecotoxicologist at Monsanto. “With help from bees, pollinator-dependent crops can produce significantly more.” Honey bee health is imperative to the environment, sustainability in modern agriculture, and our overall food supply. Many of our crops such as apples, berries, almonds, alfalfa seeds, and melons are dependent on pollinators. “Bees do it all; they are generalists,” says Jerry Hayes, Monsanto’s Honey Bee Health Lead. “It all comes down to the food supply, and understanding how our food is produced,” adds Jim Masucci, a Molecular Biologist at Monsanto. “It is important to recognize that bees are a part of that process.”

The health of our bees is currently being jeopardized by the Varroa Destructor mite, a damaging parasite. Varroa mites feed on bees and transmit viruses and diseases. A serious mite infection can leave the hive too sick to survive even after the mites are removed. Bees are also negatively affected by other stressors including the small hive beetle, wax moth, inadequate nutrition, some pesticides, and unpredictable weather conditions. To combat these threats, Monsanto is collaborating with beekeepers, farmers and academics to identify the challenges facing honey bees and to help develop solutions. We are engaged in multiple efforts with government agencies, NGOs, and other professionals to help find solutions to the troubling decline of pollinators, including monarch butterflies. “These partnerships get stakeholders together to help with and support pollinator health,” says Fredricks. Understanding that partnerships are essential to facing challenges, Monsanto developed the Honey Bee Advisory Council—industry leaders, academics, and beekeepers who review our company’s efforts. Monsanto was also a founding member of the Honey Bee Health Coalition (HBHC) facilitated by The Keystone Center, which brings together a diverse range of over forty organizations to explore solutions to honey bee health. The coalition focuses on four key areas: forage and nutrition, hive management, crop pest management, and outreach and education. Monsanto formed a Bee Club in 2012 to promote bee health and education locally. Employees set up bee hives on campus and are responsible for hive management, outreach activities, and hands-on educational opportunities with internal and external audiences. They participate in events such as Earth Day, Friends and Family Day, and the Honey Harvest Festival.

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We are also conducting extensive research to develop products that specifically address the long-term health of honey bees. These products, which are still in early phases of discovery, strive to protect honey bees from Varroa mites. “We are leading the world with this research,” shares Hayes. “Because of these extensive studies we now have information that wasn’t available before.” Since 2013, Monsanto has invested more than $5 million annually in the study of honey bee health. We have dedicated full-time staff who focus their efforts in this space, and who conduct field trials with several hives that are continuously examined for solutions. “Most commercial beekeeping occurs on the peripheral of the continental U.S.,” says Masucci “Our field trials are in those outlying states to make sure our methods work under specific conditions.” The goal of these field trials is to show a reduction in mites and better survival rate for bees.

Hayes stresses that you don’t have to be a beekeeper to help bees. Pollinator health is a collaborative effort, and while Monsanto continues to work with experts to help sustain our food supply and strengthen the environment, there are things you can do to help, too: • Plant pollinator-dependent flowers (daisies, sunflowers, alyssum) to attract bees and promote a conducive environment for their population. • Refer to pesticide labels for application requirements before spraying. • Review Managed Pollinator Protection Plan (MP3) resources. • Protect water sources from contamination. • Report bee loss incidents. • Develop relationships with farmers. To learn more about bee health, visit the Honey Bee Health Coalition: https://honeybeehealthcoalition.org/

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Join us for

Come Wine With Us

brought to you by the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Agribusiness Committee

TUESDAY, JUNE 19 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Parkland College 2400 W. Bradley Ave., Champaign Come Wine With Us celebrates Champaign County’s strong roots in agriculture and agribusiness. The event will be held outdoors at Parkland College between the T Building and the Tony Noel Agricultural Applications Center. Enjoy food samples from Chamber member restaurants as well as wine & other beverages. Attendees will also have the opportunity to enter to win door prizes.

New this year - There will be a live dessert auction featuring signature desserts from restaurants all over Champaign County paired with carefully selected bottles of wine. You also have the opportunity to win 60 (yes, sixty!) bottles of wine. Wine raffle tickets are available for purchase for $10/ticket and enters you for a chance to win 60 bottles of wine. Tickets may be purchased over the phone by calling 217.359.1791, from any Chamber staff member or at the event. Proceeds from the $5 per person donation at the door will help fund Chamber programs. The donation for non-members and guests is $10.

Sponsored by:

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In Partnership with:


2018

AGRIBUSINESS

COMMITTEE

Committee Members: And organizers of Come Wine With Us Chair: Madelyn Walters

Granular

Come Wine With Us Chair: Stacy Acton Monsanto Beth Bolger

Farm Credit Illinois

Kirk Builta

Champaign County Farm Bureau

Greg Goodwin

Waterborne Environmental

Jim Goss

The Atkins Group

Josh Hinds Busey Jim Mansfield

Parkland College

Ben Mast

Fertilizer Dealer Supply

Dan Perkins

Waterborne Environmental

Amy Rademaker

Carle

Amy Sage The Anderson’s Dave Shenaut

Monsanto

Brad Uken

Champaign County Farm Bureau

Vanessa Bechtel

CliftonLarsonAllen

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PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE The Champaign County Board voted to sell the Champaign County Nursing Home. The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce supports this decision. However, it is a decision that should not be celebrated -- as it is the best outcome from a very bad financial situation. For years, the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce had advocated to county elected officials for fiscal responsibility. When it became apparent that the only way to keep the nursing home open, retain jobs and keep the nursing home residents in Champaign County was by selling to a private operator, the Chamber’s advocacy efforts went towards supporting the sale. In April 2017, the Chamber supported the authorization of the sale of the nursing home while opposing a property tax increase that would support it. The voters of Champaign County agreed with the Chamber and passed the referendum to authorize the sale. Inaction of past county boards on this issue (among other concerns), caused the Chamber to partner with the Champaign County Farm Bureau to reform county government to a County Executive form of government in November of 2016. Three Democrats running for countywide office came out in support of selling the nursing home. This includes Democrat County Executive candidate Darlene Kloeppel who said, “The best way to provide continuing quality care for residents is to sell the home to a private operator with successful management, operational and financial experience.”

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Last July, a bipartisan group of countywide elected officials, including Republican County Executive candidate Gordy Hulten, penned a letter recommending the county board sell the nursing home. The letter concluded, “We recommend, as a solution, the sale of the Home as soon as practicable to a reasonable buyer, who can improve the quality of care for patients, protect Nursing Home employees, and eliminate the financial liability and risk currently borne by the taxpayers of Champaign County.” We believe it is this show of bipartisan cooperation that finally led to the votes to allow the sale. It was going to take bipartisan cooperation to sell the nursing home. Neither political party had the required 15 votes to sell the facility. While this is a major step in the right fiscal direction, there are still major issues in county government that need to be addressed such as the Champaign County Jail, IT upgrades, economic development and long term planning for county facilities. The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce will continue to advocate in the interest of the business community for the policies that best represent our goals and mission for Champaign County to be an economically thriving place for business.


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.

HICKORYPOINTBANK.COM 13


MEMBER ACCOLADES & NEWS HICKORY POINT BANK Hickory Point Bank has announced that Francesca Hunter has been named assistant vice president, mortgage lending for the Champaign-Urbana area. A&R MECHANICAL CONTRACTORS, INC. A&R Mechanical Contractors, Inc., a Champaign/Urbana-based plumbing, piping, ventilation and civil site utility contractor, is expanding their square footage to meet their growing business demands. The new construction will boast 12,000 square feet for fabrication and production along with 1,500 square feet of office space resulting in additional jobs for the Champaign/Urbana workforce. It will also enable A&R to meet the increased call for innovative solutions and extensive construction projects in the Central Illinois Area. RSM US LLP RSM US LLP, the leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market, is pleased to announce the following addition to the firm’s Champaign office. Isaac Barker transferred from our Chicago office to our Champaign office in April 2018 as a supervisor in our risk advisory services practice. The firm was also recently ranked the fifth largest accounting, tax and consulting services firm in the U.S. for the twelfth consecutive year by Accounting Today. THE CHAMPAIGN URBANA SCHOOLS FOUNDATION The Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation is pleased to announce the hiring of their new Executive Director Kelly Hill. Kelly brings energy, expertize, and excellence to the Foundation and will carry on a tradition of supporting the school districts in creative and innovative collaborative capacities.

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KRANNERT CENTER Congratulations to Krannert Center for celebrating their 50th anniversary this season. FIRST MID-ILLINOIS BANK AND TRUST First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust announced that the acquisition of First BancTrust Corporation (“First Bank”) has been completed. The acquisition represents approximately $479 million in total assets, $392 million in deposits and $370 million in loans through seven fullservice banking centers in Illinois, operating as First Bank & Trust. FIRST STATE BANK Congratulations to First State Bank for 10 years of business in Champaign. First State Bank also announced that Lacey Ferry has joined the Champaign banking team as a Business Banking Officer. She will be responsible for building strong, successful relationships with Champaign-Urbana consumer and business customers. FARNSWORTH GROUP, INC. The Champaign office’s transportation group has added two new staff members including Rich Tarntino and Mike Carnahan, PE. The Champaign office’s architecture group also continues to grow with the addition of Jenna Joo and Patricia McKissack. The Champaign office now has a structural engineering presence with the transfer of John Zeman, SE, PE, from our Bloomington office, and the addition of Ivano Ipsaro-Passione to their staff. CLARK-LINDSEY Clark-Lindsey’s vice president of residential services, Ron Wilcox, was honored with the Leadership in Action Award from LeadingAge Illinois in Schaumburg, IL. This award is given to an individual whose actions and leadership greatly enhance the work environment and the quality of life for their colleagues and


residents. The individual’s accomplishments demonstrate a commitment to a team approach and excellence in the workplace. This collaborative style of leadership has resulted in trusted and respected relationships with his team and high levels of resident satisfaction.

Champaign County District and serves a population of nearly 2,000 residents.

ROSECRANCE Rosecrance is proud to announce its recognition as one of the “Healthiest Companies in America” by Interactive Health, a national provider known for its preventive health programs that encourage employees to adopt new health habits. Rosecrance is one of 184 companies across the country recognized this year for empowering employees to make significant and sometimes life-saving changes to improve their health. This is the sixth consecutive year Rosecrance has won the award.

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, LindsayQ@champaigncounty.org, or submit the news via our website: http://champaigncounty.org/ membership/member_accolades.aspx

The Village of Fisher Board voted in favor of the sale in July 2017. The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) approved the sale for $6.8 million on March 7, 2018.

President/CEO Philip Eaton was also recently recognized by the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers as a recipient of the Nelson J. Bradley Career Achievement Award. FEHR GRAHAM Fehr Graham, a leading Midwest engineering and environmental firm, announced the hiring of Rajita Signhal as an engineer. The firm also announced the hiring of John Bailey as an engineering technician. MIGA MIGA has announced that they recently remodeled their two private dining rooms. One seats 8, the other seats 12, or they can be combined to seat 20. MIGA is not open for lunch but both private rooms, as well as the main dining space, are available for groups and private lunches. ILLINOIS AMERICAN WATER President Bruce Hauk announced the company’s acquisition of the Village of Fisher’s water and wastewater systems. The purchase of the system adds approximately 850 new water and wastewater customers to the Company’s customer base in the

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g

Celebratin

ty

Longevi

In 2002, Hodge purchased the company from Atkins. Shortly after, Litania left the Urbana factory that the company had been in for 85 years for a brand new factory in Champaign. Litania acquired ailing competitor Porter Athletic in 2016 which ultimately expanded the outreach and size of the company significantly. Today, Litania Sports Group maintains both Gill Athletics and Porter Athletic as leading manufacturers of quality equipment of all kinds. Continue reading for a more in depth look at each company.

In 1990, CEO David Hodge joined the Harry Gill Company as the controller. Though the company was struggling financially, Hodge felt his background as an athlete would lend itself well to a career at an equipment manufacturer. By December of the same year, the Harry Gill Company was on the verge of bankruptcy. Local real estate investor Vince Atkins stepped in and bought the company. Hodge, assuming that the new owner would want a fresh slate of employees, prepared himself for termination. Instead, Atkins asked the then twenty-nine year-old to become president and CEO of the company. It was at that time that the name Litania was created and thus starting a new era for an already long-established company.

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GILL STORY Harry Gill, an unknown athlete, became an overnight sensation when he won the American All-Around Championship in 1900. Impressively, this was Gill’s first ever All-Around competition and his competitors became spectators as his performance led to a record setting score. Gill collected many medals and set world class marks in 5 events, but more importantly he acquired invaluable insight that fueled his next endeavor. In 1904, Gill began his legendary coaching career at the University of Illinois. There he established a coaching career so successful it was without equal and his reputation in the track and field world was unimpeachable. Gill authored the book, Track and Field Athletics: For Coach and Contestant that for years served as the sports standard coaching manual. In this book he wrote “a great deal of care should be taken in selecting the equipment used by track and field athletes. Their performance depends on the implements they have in which and with which to compete - and good equipment helps considerably in making the best performances.” Unsatisfied with the quality of track equipment available, it was in 1918 that he crafted his first implement, the ash javelin. In four short years, the company bearing his name was the first to manufacture a complete line of track and field equipment. Gill’s company is responsible for a long list of innovations that have elevated the sport and performance of track athletes worldwide. While he was a talented athlete and gifted coach, the most enduring of all of Gill’s accomplishments is his line of track and field equipment.


pulleys, hardware and hay loft equipment. Porter was awarded several patents and remains renowned in the agricultural community. In 1893, J.E. Porter became a stockholder and president of the Inland Steel Company of Chicago Heights. Inland Steel made Porter’s radical new steel rail, which he debuted at the Chicago Word’s Fair. This rail along with his new carrier could run on a curved track and introduced never before seen configurations and applications for use outside of barns. 100 years later they have never wavered from Coach Gill’s vision and consider it a great honor to be stewards of his legacy. Today they are proud to partner with both the NCAA and NFHS. They strive to fulfill Coach Gill’s vision by building advanced equipment that allows athletes to perform at their best. PORTER STORY For 150 years, Porter has been manufacturing innovative, durable, and adaptable products. Porter’s roots run deep in the agricultural world but today they thrive on engineering and manufacturing athletic facility equipment for top level competition. All along Porter has been an industry leader; from their origins of producing farm equipment to today’s Powr-Touch® 5 wireless gymnasium control system. Porter has survived 150 years in manufacturing because of their foundation of innovation. This is their story: In the fall of 1856, Joseph E. Porter was storing hay at his father’s farm. The work was done manually with a pitchfork and was very time and labor intensive. Convinced there was an easier way, he began working on a solution and ultimately invented the Porter Hay Carrier. This revolutionary device gained him a national reputation as an inventor and pioneer of hay tool manufacturing. In 1868, the J.E. Porter Company of Ottawa, Illinois was established for the manufacture of

By this time the new sport of basketball was growing quickly as was the construction of model playgrounds. Porter continued making barn equipment into the 1920’s as it transitioned into manufacturing basketball, gymnasium and playground equipment. In 1939, Porter’s playground apparatus was chosen exclusively for the Children’s World at the World’s Fair in New York. By the 1940’s, Porter was the world’s largest manufacturer of playground, gymnasium and swimming pool equipment. Porter’s story is one of innovation and growth. Today the Porter brand is dominant among architects and facility owners because of their proven product performance and durability. They don’t just build basketball, volleyball and gymnasium equipment, they offer total facility equipment solutions. They design our equipment with the safety of athletes embedded in our minds. They care about the success of their customers and work relentlessly to remain the leading knowledge resource in the industry.

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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:

e-Connection

Long list (approx. 2,000 names and businesses): $175 Short list (approx. 900 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, Caryni@champaigncounty.org 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, LindsayQ@champaigncounty.org or 217.359.1791.

Commerce Connection

This is a bi-monthly publication that is distributed to over 2,000 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@ champaigncounty.org 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, LindsayQ@champaigncounty.org or 217.359.1791.

EXCLUSIVE

AFFORDABLE

Contact Lindsay Quick for more information, LindsayQ@ champaigncounty.org 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 LindsayQ@champaigncounty.org.

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: • Golf Outing Title Sponsorhip - SOLD! • Come Wine With Us Title Sponsorship - $3,000 (available)

Additional information for events such as Business Success and Solutions Seminars is available upon request. Contact ArielS@champaign county.org 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, LindsayQ@champaigncounty.org or 217.359.1791.

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

REACH THOUSANDS ON A SMALL BUDGET.

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calendar of events Connect@Lunch

Monday, June 18 Noon - 1:00 p.m. Outback Steakhouse 2402 N. Prospect Ave., Champaign

Come Wine With Us Sponsored by the Chamber’s Agribusiness Committee

Tuesday, June 19 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Parkland College 2400 W. Bradley Ave. Champaign, IL 61821

Chamber Office Closed Wednesday, July 4 Independence Day Holiday

Connect@Lunch

Monday, July 16 Noon - 1:00 p.m. Outback Steakhouse 2402 N. Prospect Ave., Champaign

Business After Hours Thursday, July 19 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. First Bank 1251 Woodfield Dr., Savoy

First Friday Coffee

Friday, August 3 7:30 - 9:00 a.m. Farnsworth Group, Inc. 2211 W. Bradley Ave., Champaign

Business After Hours

Fast Facts

3.8% Champaign County Unemployment Rate in March 2018

30 business licenses applied for in Champaign County in April 2018

104.7

April 2018 U of I Flash Index for Illinois

1,292,424 rides were taken on CUMTD in

Thursday, August 16 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Visit Champaign County 17 E. Taylor St., Champaign

April 2018

Connect@Lunch

champaigncounty.org in April 2018

Monday, August 20 Noon - 1:00 p.m. Outback Steakhouse 2402 N. Prospect Ave., Champaign

5,101 visits to the Chamber’s page, 15, 466 average amount of referrals PER DAY the

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Online Business Directory received via search engines and online sources in April 2018

2014 The year that the Champaign County

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

Stay Connected Champaign County Chamber of Commerce

@ccountychamber

303 West Kirby Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 P 217.359.1791 | F 217.359.1809 www.champaigncounty.org

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BUT A WORKING

A/C IS BETTER. CALL US FOR EMERGENCY A/C REPAIRS

217-367-4227

AR-MECH.com 711 E Kettering Park Drive Urbana, IL 61801

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PLUMBING

HEATING

VENTILATION

AIR CONDITIONING

REFRIGERATION

Profile for Champaign County Chamber of Commerce

May/June 2018 Commerce Connection  

May/June 2018 Commerce Connection  

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