Commerce connection May/June 2017

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p u b l i c at i o n

The Importance Of Ag Technology PGS. 10 - 11

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

Agriculture Produces What The Market Demands PGS. 12 - 13

MAY / JUNE 2017


Volume 24 | Issue 3








Reach Your Business Goals

SBA Financing Apply for a Small Business Loan and use the money for a variety of needs: • Building acquisition, construction or remodeling • Equipment or machinery purchases • Inventory purchases • Business expansion, acquisition or refinancing • Working capital

Mike Krueger

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

Darlene Johnson

Vice President Treasury Management 2229 S. Neil Street • Champaign 359-9837

Mitch Swim

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

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

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

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

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 WCIA-TV / WCIX-49 PRESIDENT’S CIRCLE NewsTalk 1400 WDWS, Lite Rock 97.5 WHMS, Classic Hits 107.9 WKIO BUSINESS’S CIRCLE FOX, ABC and CW - TV

150 PERCENT CLUB Awards, Ltd. Blossom Basket Florist Carmike 13 Dish Passionate Cuisine Hyatt Place LongHorn Steakhouse Thomas, Mamer & Haughey, LLP TrophyTime W.K. Cooper II Asset Management Corporation

CHAMBER STAFF Laura Weis President & CEO

Stephanie McCullough Director of First Impressions

Mindy M. Cain Director of Workforce Readiness & Member Relations

Lindsay Quick Graphic Design and Marketing Director

Garret Hill Public Policy Director

Ariel Short Events & Programs Manager Daniel Stebel Membership Sales Director

Caryn Isenhower Accounts Receivable & Office Administrator


Jeff Baker Company

Kyle Emkes

Dodd & Maatuka

Mike Estes

Fisher National Bank

David Farrar

Illinois American Water

Tabatha Helm DSC Logistics

Tonya Horn Rogards

Zachary Hillard Busey

Susan Jepsen

Reynolds Towing Service, Inc.

Pradeep Khanna University of Illinois

Kurt Lenschow

Becky Preston

Chair, Midland States Bank

Chuck McReaken

First Vice Chair, TSM Ventures, Inc.

Dr. Jared Rogers

State Farm

Second Vice Chair Presence Covenant Medical Center

Justin Overstreet

Beth Auterman

Martin, Hood, Friese & Associates, LLC

Rod Roberts

Thunderstruck Design

Julianna Sellett Carle

FINANCIAL SERVICES Provided by CliftonLarsonAllen

Treasurer, CliftonLarsonAllen

Jim Lyons

Past Chair, Birkey’s Farm Store

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.

WELCOME TO THE CHAMBER >> members who joined between March 1, 2017 and April 30, 2017 America’s Best Value Inn 1019 W. Bloomington Rd. Champaign, IL 61821-1721 217.356.6873 Hotels

Anna Schappaugh - State Farm Agent 2704 Boulder Dr., Ste. C Urbana, IL 61802-7832 217.239.4282 Insurance

The mission of the Anna Schappaugh State Farm Agency is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected and realize their dreams. We are the people who make it our business to be like a good neighbor; by selling and keeping promises to our customers. Our success is built on a foundation of quality service, relationships, mutual trust, and integrity. Our vision is to be the customer’s first and best choice for the insurance and financial service products we provide.

Big Grove Tavern

1 E. Main St. Champaign, IL 61820-3654 217.239.3505 Restaurants We celebrate the true sense of the word “tavern”. As the heart and soul of the community, our tavern is a warm and welcoming place bringing together visitors and locals alike. Our mission is to provide a warm and welcoming environment that allows us to treat our guests like family while also supporting our community partners. Big Grove is a classic tavern with modern flair. Join us for lunch, dinner and weekend brunches. With Champaign’s best cocktails, great wine selection and a wide variety of local craft beers, you’ll be sure to find something right up your alley. Whether you are from the area or visiting from far away, we welcome all like family at Big Grove Tavern.

Champaign County Medical Society 701 W. Devonshire Dr., Ste. C-5 Champaign, IL 61820-7329 217.359.9195 Physicians & Surgeons (MD)

Champaign County Medical Society is the largest and longest running physician membership group in the region and acts as the common vehicle representing our physicians in Champaign County. We support our members by providing educational meetings that cover important topics of interest to our diverse physician group; we sponsor activities that provide an opportunity for colleagues to socialize and network; and we help support activities of the UICOM - such as providing student lab coats for the annual White Coat ceremony for secondyear medical students. CCMS is active politically, in concert with the Illinois State Medical Society, regarding legislation that may affect members’ patients and practices. We also provide opportunities to discuss issues with representatives from both sides of the aisle. CCMS is also a member of the National Quality Forum, allowing us to give a clinician’s viewpoint for quality measures being developed that will affect all practicing physicians.

Cinema Gallery

120 W. Main St. Urbana, IL 61801-2715 217.367.3711 Art Galleries, Dealers, & Consultants Cinema Gallery, located in downtown Urbana’s historic theater building, opened in January 2001. We represent over 50 professional artists of the Midwest with an emphasis on artists with ties to Champaign-Urbana. Media on display are ceramics, glass, mixed media, painting, photography, prints, sculpture and studio furniture. The gallery hosts seven special shows each year in the main showroom and has earned a national reputation for group shows in ceramics and glass. Carolyn Baxley, owner of the gallery, also sells artwork from local estates and assists businesses with acquisition and display of artwork for their showrooms and offices.

European Famous Brands

2000 N. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820-7808 309.824.2600 Shoes-Retail Founded by Bross Socks in 2016, European Famous Brands’ objective is to import high quality brands from Europe, introducing them to consumers in the United States and worldwide. From local boutiques, to national department stores, European Famous Brands strives to be the authorized distributor of a variety of franchises

of brands by providing customers with products directly from the manufacturers and by offering them at affordable prices. Our mission is to sell high quality and fashionable footwear, socks, and scarves that are not only affordable, but products that meet our customers’ standards, carefully putting thought into selecting the brands that we sell. At European Famous Brands, we are dedicated to providing our customers with a pleasant and reliable shopping experience, with customer satisfaction being of utmost importance to us.


325 Carrington Ave. Mount Zion, IL 62549-1185 217.299.1854 Business Consultants

Bowmentum Archery celebrated their opening with a ribbon cutting on March 29.

The FranNet franchise role in Central Illinois is to provide local entrepreneurs with education about the franchise world; assistance in determining if franchise ownership is the right fit; and, to identify franchise businesses that will offer the best opportunity for success. These services come at no cost to the local entrepreneur. Three decades as business owners provides us with the passion and perspective to help clients assess their real opportunities, risks and timing to make sound decisions. Our stateof-the art “Proven Match’ statistical method measures attributes that enhance the probability of your success in business. We work with successful franchise brands in many industries including retail, automotive, health and wellness, business-to-business, technology, service and education. As the oldest franchise consulting group in the country, we have nearly 30 years of experience in thoroughly screening these franchises to select the best from the rest. Specialties services include: Small business ownership, self-employment, business coach, career counseling, career transition, outplacement, entrepreneurship, recruitment, placement, strategic partnerships and alliances, direct sales and business development.

Congratulations to Menold Construction and Restoration for celebrating 40 years in business.

HealthSource Chiropractic of Champaign 2003 B Round Barn Rd. Champaign, IL 61821 217.281.0006 Chiropractic Physicians

Dr. Cameron MacKichan at HealthSource Chiropractic of Champaign is excited to announce the opening of his new practice. His mission through HealthSource is the relentless pursuit of exceptional patient care through chiropractic, functional rehabilitation and wellness care. Dr. MacKichan is most excited about joining HealthSource as a national network of doctors bringing the most current, effective practices in Chiropractic. My passion is to help families get their lives back by increasing their energy to do what they love, give them hope for finding a solution to their pain and help them to get well and stay well by addressing the cause of their problem.

The Regional Office of Education #9 celebrated their new location with a ribbon cutting on April 7.

Congratulations to Leaf It To Us LLC who celebrated the grand opening of their new garden center with a ribbon cutting on April 11.

Home Instead Senior Care 313 N. Mattis Ave., Ste. 213 Champaign, IL 61821-2461 217.203.2000 Home Health Services

Giordano’s Pizza celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting on April 12.

A total home care solution, Home Instead Senior Care can help people at any point within the aging process. We provide assistance with grocery shopping and mealtimes and can help provide social interaction and better nutrition for seniors who live independently but alone. Personal care services allow loved ones with mild to severe mobility or incontinence challenges continue to live comfortably at home. Should thoughts turn toward end of life care, our hospice support services promote peace of mind. Care needs rarely fit neatly into a pigeonhole, that’s why we tailor our services to your unique situation - and adjust as our clients’ needs evolve. We provide dependable, compassionate care at all levels - from brief check-in visits to round-the-clock care, we have you covered.

Insurance Risk Managers, a Division of TROXELL

Congratulations to Manpower Champaign for the completion of their brand new office building. Their ribbon cutting was held on May 9.

1802 Fox Dr. Champaign, IL 61820-7279 217.239.3755 Insurance

Insurance Risk Managers, a Division of TROXELL, opened our doors in Champaign, Illinois on October 1, 2016. With six employees and growing, Insurance Risk Managers (IRM) is a diverse team with many years of insurance experience. The IRM team is ready to serve you, your families or your business. Our insurance experts can assist you with business insurance, personal insurance, group benefits, HR solutions and more. Luke Sherman and his team are part of the Champaign community and look forward to working with other Chamber members.

James Cottrell Law Office Congratulations to Prairie Winds of Urbana for celebrating their 10th anniversary.

Talecris Plasma Resources held a ribbon cutting ceremony for their new location on May 16.

505 W. University Ave., Ste. 215 Champaign, IL 61820-3915 217.693.4905 Attorneys

Capable management of legal issues can mean the difference between success and failure in numerous areas that impact a client’s life. For more than 30-years, James D. Cottrell Law Office, P.C. has served individuals and businesses in Champaign and the surrounding counties. When clients retain my services, they get an attorney who is motivated. Over more than 30 years, I have built the enviable reputation for legal knowledge, skillful litigation and professional ethics. I am also highly responsive. Once I understand the clients goals, I can present issues for them to consider so they can make informed decisions about the legal strategies proposed.

My goal is always to achieve the best possible results under the facts of their case. In my practice, I take a hands-on approach, managing every detail of the client’s case and keeping them apprised of any developments. In numerous civil actions, I have shown myself to be a skilled litigator, but whenever possible, I try to spare clients the time and expense of a trial by resolving conflicts in a cost-effective manner through principled negotiations, arbitration or mediation.

Microtel Inn

1615 Rion Dr. Champaign, IL 61822-9597 217.398.4136 Hotels Microtel Inn by Wyndham is easily accessible from I-57 at exit 238, just one mile north of I-74. We are a three floor economy brand hotel with 80 guestrooms which can easily accommodate any traveler on the go. The hotel offers free WIFI access, free guest parking, and free telephone calls in the Continental US. We include a daily Continental Breakfast from 6:00 - 10:00 a.m. The standard check-in time is 3:00 p.m. and check-out is 12:00 p.m. The Frequent Stay program, Wyndham Rewards, offers many benefits for its members usable at all Wyndham Hotel brands. Microtel Inn is a small, local business that employs less than 15 people but six of their employees have been here long-term with over eight years each. We use our long-term experience to offer excellent customer service.

Mike Williams, Inc.

1414 S. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820-6530 217.753.4545 Plumbing Contractors Mike Williams Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning, and Sewer has been a trusted name in quality residential repair and installation since 1976. Our purpose is to raise the level of customer care and professionalism in the home repair trades by being the fastest, cleanest and best home repair company backed by a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. We specialize in installation, maintenance, and repair calls with a 24-hour emergency service.

Next Chapter Properties

512 S. Neil St., Ste. C Champaign, IL 61820-5232 217.356.3511 Property Management Next Chapter Properties provides nationwide property management solutions with a specific focus on college student living and is excited to have several projects

located within the main campus of The University of Illinois. Next Chapter Properties also manages a variety of apartment complexes, duplexes and rental homes in the Champaign/Urbana area making Next Chapter Properties the perfect solution for your housing needs.

One Way Home Services

1201 Marianne Ct. Mahomet, IL 61853-9319 217.761.8863 Home Improvements Our skilled craftsmen help you explore your home improvement options. Via our experienced and vetted local professionals, we deliver professional results to our customers. Our business focus is categorized in three parts: 1) Foundation/Knowledge. We fully understand the challenges that affect every home improvement project and strive to provide our customers with the knowledge necessary to make the best decisions. 2) Passion/the Customer. We are extremely conscientious about every phase of our customers’ project because we truly care and personalize every project as an artist does a painting. Success for us is to improve the customers’ homes and enrich their lives. 3) Engine/Employees and Service Providers. Our employees and providers compose the engine that drives ONE WAY, and like precious diamonds, we have mined the best professionals in the area. It is this dedication to providing the best experience possible that enables our services to benefit so many.

Roch’s Place

101 N. Main St. St. Joseph, IL 61873-7501 217.469.2660 Bars & Taverns Looking for tasty food, refreshing drinks, and even better company? This can only be found at one place. Located in the heart of downtown Saint Joseph, Roch’s place has been dishing out the best of the best for five years. From our juicy burgers to our fully stacked nachos, we provide a variety of options on our menu for everyone. Every day, we have new specials featured from country fried steak to homemade smoked wings. Roch’s is a place that is family friendly. The real fun begins when we stop serving at 9:00 p.m. Come in for an ice cold beer or ask one of the friendly bartenders to whip up a fun cocktail. Bring the family, bring a date or just come in by yourself. The possibilities are endless at Roch’s and we promise you will leave full and happy.

Scotty’s Brewhouse

2001 S. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.530.4394 Restaurants

Salad Meister celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting on May 22.

Scotty’s Brewhouse opened in December 2016 on South Neil Street in Champaign. You’ll notice many tributes to the Orange and Blue throughout the restaurant, with one room dedicated to the Lou Henson basketball court. We have 32 beers on tap with a focus on local breweries, have a wide variety of food and are family friendly. We have meeting spaces and private rooms that can be booked for your private events.


3201 Apollo Dr. Champaign, IL 61822-9671 217.359.3788 Restaurant Equipment & Supplies

Staff Management | SMX Portillo’s celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting on May 23.

3310 W. Springfield Ave. Champaign, IL 61822 217.373.7523 Employment Agencies

Founded in 1988, Staff Management | SMX is a recognized leader in comprehensive staffing and contingent workforce solutions. We partner with Fortune 500 and mid-sized companies to deliver innovative staffing solutions with superior results across a multitude of industries and geographies.

World Finance of Rantoul celebrated the completion of their major remodel with a ribbon cutting on May 24.

Our innovative inside-out approach, commitment to continuous improvement and award-winning business model put client needs at the center of everything we do. The benefits of this approach are third-party validated, most recently with a Net Promoter Score® more than 13 times greater than the industry’s average on Inavero’s 2017 Best of Staffing® Client Award satisfaction survey. TrueBlue is the largest industrial staffing firm in the United States and is on the Staffing Industry Analysts’ list of largest global staffing firms, connecting over 100,000 people with work each day, and recruiting over 250,000 full-time employees each year. TrueBlue is recognized as one of Forbes Magazine’s “Most Trustworthy Companies” for its corporate governance and accounting transparency.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites celebrated the completion of their whole-hotel remodel with a ribbon cutting on May 24.


The Conservatory of Central Illinois

StaffQuick is a full service staffing agency with ‘unique” roots. While the StaffQuick name has only recently been introduced to the Champaign community in 2016, our team of staffing professionals have a combined experience of over 17-years of experience. StaffQuick is headquartered in Troy, Illinois and has over twenty branches throughout Illinois and Indiana. We are not limited to territories or boundaries and are able to provide an unique pool of qualified candidates. StaffQuick promotes local recruiting platforms, professional management and coaching of contingency labor associates, and a relationship-based customer service strategy. Quick, quality placements and a true human resource partnership is our mission. StaffQuick can be utilized for any contingency labor needs including temporary placement, temp-to-perm placement, executive and direct hire placements and payroll services.

World Finance–Rantoul

1522 Georgetown Rd., Ste. B Danville, IL 61833-7601 217.655.2216 Employment Agencies

Technology Concepts Group, Inc.

1701 Broadmoor Dr., Ste. 210 Champaign, IL 61821-5968 855.824.3282 Computers-System Designers & Consultants TCG is a steadily growing technology and business based consulting company. Our consulting services are primarily concentrated on the life-cycle of physical assets, however we offer services related to all business functions. This breadth of business area expertise allows us to grasp enterprise-wide related problems and provide innovative and integrated solutions. Since 1999, and being headquartered in Champaign, IL, TCG has retained deeply experienced in-house talent and a vast contractor network with an industry breadth that sets us apart from other consulting firms. TCG is a Service-Disabled VeteranOwned Small Business (SDVOSB) and proud of our veteran workforce. Is your company looking to streamline its business processes in your accounting, finance, procurement, inventory, IT, contracting, work, or HR departments? We will look for opportunities to help you evolve by streamlining, standardizing, enhancing existing systems and tools, or by implementing off-the-shelf systems. TCG also offers services to configure off-the-shelf systems to adapt to your existing business needs. We provide free assessment of your business processes and tools to achieve your company goals in 2017 and beyond.

116 N. Chestnut St., Ste. 310 Champaign, IL 61820 217.356.9812 Music Instruction

324B E. Champaign Ave. Rantoul, IL 61866-3002 217.892.5577 Loans

World Finance Corporation began offering affordable installment loans in 1962 in South Carolina. We soon expanded to Georgia and Texas and now have a branch network of more than 1,200 locations in 15 states and Mexico. Today, we are one of the largest small-loan consumer finance companies in the United States and Mexico. We offer short-term small loans, medium-term larger loans, related credit insurance products and ancillary products and services to individuals who have limited access to other sources of consumer credit. We also offer income tax return preparation services. With branches nationwide, we are part of the communities in which we serve. The branches are staffed with friendly, knowledgeable associates who live and work right in your town. Our staff understands your needs and are available to meet with you one-on-one to discuss your loan options.

Make time for your health Forget sorting through today’s headlines. Carle delivers stories that matter. Subscribe today.

the importance of ag technology Written by: Landon Frye, Market Manager, Granular This is a big year for Champaign-Urbana. 2017 marks 150-years of the University of Illinois. Much will be written about and celebrated in the coming months, but the vision that was laid out so long ago may be left out of the headlines. The early leaders, Jonathan Baldwin Turner, John Milton Gregory, and others were visionaries of their time. Schooled in the Ivy League institutions of the east coast they sought to bring the same level of well-rounded education, critical thinking and scientific advancement to accelerate the country’s largest industry and population - agriculture. Their work would be a catalyst for advancing progress worldwide and create a spirit of innovation for generations to come. The setting in 1867 was a growing country that was rapidly expanding to the west. It was clear then to those pioneer leaders that the farmers and families settling the frontier were entrusted with the careful toil of productively stewarding vast amounts of land to feed an ever-growing nation. At the root of establishing the land grant system, the idea was that the U of I would develop new processes and technology in farming that would result in a competitive advantage for farm families and their products. Changing is not always an easy sell, but a necessary one. What resulted since that time is productivity that has soared to match the needs of a

“Today, farmers produce 262 percent more food with two percent fewer inputs (labor, seeds, feed, fertilizer, etc.) compared to farms in 1950. This can mostly be contributed to advancements in technology that aid in the way farmers produce food.� thriving world. The average acre of corn in 1867 produced 20 bushels. Today that same acre in Illinois will produce 200 bushels an acre. In the last ag census, Champaign County came in at third and fifth in the state for soybean and corn production, respectively. This equates to eighth in corn and tenth in soybean production across all counties in the United States (USDA). On a larger scale, U.S. ag is the leading producer and exporter of corn, soybeans and wheat (all of which are staples for food production) and represents 50 percent of corn exports around the world (FAO, UN). Today, farmers produce 262 percent more food with two percent fewer inputs (labor, seeds, feed, fertilizer, etc.) compared to farms in 1950 (Farm Bureau). This can mostly be contributed to advancements in technology that aid in the way farmers produce food. However, the innovations that got us to 2017 will not be the same achievements in 150, 50 or even five years. Look no further than the vast amount of investments that are being made

in the future of agriculture now. In fact, 2015 marked the highest level of investments ever made by venture capital firms into the agriculture technology space at $4.6 billion. In 2016 Illinois ag tech startups received $70 million, the fourth highest of any state. Today, influence for innovation is coming not from the east coast, but the west coast. From Silicon Valley we now see software, big data and connected devices all coming together to form a new wave of innovation in agriculture. What remains unchanging is the heartland’s place in molding tradition, values and tireless work ethics with the best ways and means of maintaining progress towards the future. It can often be a challenge to be the standard bearer of those time honored lifestyles and also have the resilience to continually innovate; however,

the fostering of that balance takes place every day at the University of Illinois - on the agricultural campus and in Research Park. Technology and agriculture must continue to work hand in hand in order to advance the industry even further. The growing needs of the consumers throughout the world rely on advancements in ag-technology. The cooperation between agriculture and technlogy must continue to foster innovation and progress. Right here in our community, we must continue to advocate for and do all that we can to move the agriculture industries forward just as we have in the past.

Chuck Eyman Kirk Harney Jan Miller Dan Marker Steve Tock







Agriculture produces what the market demands Written by: James E. Goss, Director of Farm Management, The Atkins Group Farm to table is the latest food trend to go viral. Locally grown food is great, but each and every part of a menu cannot be produced here in Illinois. Things like lemons and oranges simply do not grow well in our climate. Organically grown food is another trend that has become very popular in recent years. Organic food crops certainly fill a need for the consumer. Consumers have shown the willingness to pay higher prices for what they consider a premium product. The topic that gets little press is one of major importance: agriculture must produce what the market and consumers want. Organic food production is important as it fills a need for a portion of the population, but it misses the target for others. Simply put, organic foods are more expensive and therefore more unattainable for a vast majority of the world population. Hunger is a worldwide problem - even in our community. Poverty is a problem with a similar footprint. For obvious reasons they overlap. Nutrition is another area that overlaps these two issues. How does agriculture meet the needs of markets and consumers alike? It meets those needs by offering options for all. In order to feed the world, agriculture must offer food solutions that are affordable and nutritious. Too often, however, we associate affordable with cheap. Those in the world who do not have much to spend on food are also those who are the most malnourished. An ongoing challenge for agriculture in the U.S. and the world is to make more food affordable and more nutritious. Farmers need to continue to develop food that is high quality, more nutritious and more affordable for the hungry.

Another topic that raises the ire of some is that of GMO or genetically modified organisms. The Chamber Agribusiness Committee hosted Dr. Robert Fraley from Monsanto last year during the Chamber’s Spring Breakfast Series. Dr. Fraley challenged the audience with a simple question. What was the first known GMO? The answer is cheese. Something most of us eat on a regular basis. Dr. Fraley admitted that the introduction of GMO crops in the U.S. by Monsanto and others were not “marketed” (explained) correctly initially. GMO’s clearly started out against the grain of many in the world. That start and subsequent marketing/ education failed to show how the change in crops were not Frankenscience, but cutting edge technology that has led to genomic mapping for several crops. It has opened the science world to new innovations and new consumers. Most importantly, it has helped fill needs of people all over the world. GMO’s helped bridge a gap between more food and grain production. It is estimated that the world population will grow to nine billion people in 2050 (current population is estimated at 7.25 billion people). For farmers and agriculturists, this fact should be exciting and also terrifying. We currently have a large number of people in the world that suffer from malnutrition and hunger every single day. How can we ever meet the need of 25 percent more people in a relatively short period of time? How can we ever make food and hunger a non-issue in the world? How can we grow a crop in central Illinois and deliver a food product in Southern Africa which is affordable and HIGH quality? These questions can only be solved through research, technology and innovation. As agriculturists, we long for those simpler days which things moved slower, risks were

lower and things were easier. The realists know that there must be change. Our grandfathers changed when they first planted hybridized corn. Our fathers changed when they were able to controlling pests with new technology (chemical and mechanical). Now, we are forced to change out of necessity. Consumers need products which are safe and that meet their needs. The goal of agriculture is to meet all consumer demand. In Champaign County, a very small portion of what we grow actually ends up directly in our food chain. Some production of corn for Frito Lay ends up in corn chips, an even smaller percentage of soybeans ends up in direct food consumption and other small percentages that become farm-to-table crops. Mostly, Champaign County produces: • Corn which gets processed for oil, ethanol and plastic. • Corn that gets shipped to other parts of the country for livestock feed. • Seed corn and soybeans that are grown expressly for next year’s crop production. • Soybeans that are ground into meal and oil for further consumption in livestock operations. • Soybeans which provide oil for biodiesel or ink for printing or other industrial uses. Last year, the United States produced a little over 15 billion bushels of corn. On average the U.S. uses almost 12 billion bushels each year;

and, of that 12 billion only 1.4 billion is used in direct food or seed production. The balance is split evenly between animal feed or ethanol

“The goal is to produce the most safe product, on the least amount of arable land, for the least money.”

production usage. The U.S. only exports about 2 billion bushels to other countries. For soybeans, U.S. production last year was 4.3 billion, 50 percent of that production was exported to other countries - 50 percent was used domestically for feed and seed. The agriculture industries produce what the market wants them to produce - including organic crops, non GMO crops and GMO crops. They ALL have their place in agriculture and throughout the world. Agriculture has changed throughout history and has always adapted to what was needed/demanded. The industry will continue to adapt so that it can produce crops and food for an ever growing population. As the industry changes, it is important for consumers to learn what agriculturists are producing and understand that there is caution in all approaches to new products. The goal is to produce the most safe product, on the least amount of arable land, for the least money. At the end of the day, agriculture must produce what the market demands.

MEMBER ACCOLADES & NEWS TIM’S AUTO BODY Tim’s Auto Body has been officially Certified by Assured Performance, a non-profit consumer advocacy organization for maintaining the right tools, equipment, training and facility necessary to repair the participating Automaker brand vehicles according to the manufacturer’s specifications. In achieving their Certification, Tim’s Auto Body is now an integral part of the most advanced repair capable and efficient auto body repair network in the world. Adding to their credentials, Tim’s Auto Body is officially recognized by Assured Performance, FCA, GM, Nissan, Hyundai. BUSEY Congratulations to Donna Craw, executive vice president and director of operations at Busey, for earning her Certified Financial Planner designation from the CFP Board of Standards. URBANA SCHOOL DISTRICT #116 Jill Lagerstam, Urbana High School art teacher, was surprised with the Gene Amberg Excellence in Teaching Award from the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation at an Urbana High School Staff meeting on May 12. Ms. Lagerstam has been teaching in the Urbana School District for seven years CHAMPAIGN URBANA SCHOOLS FOUNDATION Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation will honor Steve Keepes, Kindergarten teacher at Bottenfield Elementary; Champaign Unit 4, Rhonda Turner, 4th grade teacher at King Elementary, Urbana School District 116; and Karen Kaplan CNA Instructor at Urbana Adult Education, Urbana School District 116 with 2017 Cupcake Awards. Selected teachers are nominated by their peers and exhibit exemplary service, extra efforts, enthusiastic attitude and innovative ideas that noticeably benefit their students. WATERPROOFESSIONAL ROOFING COMPANY WaterpROOFessional Roofing Company, has been granted certification as an NCA Approved Women Minority Business Enterprise (WMBE) under the (BEP) for Minority, Females, and

Persons with Disiabilities. WaterpROOFessional Roofing Company has an unlimited licensed to work on Residential, Commercial and Industrial Roofing. EDWARD JONES - DARROLD KENNEDY Darrold Kennedy AAMS®, Financial Advisor with Edward Jones, will be celebrating his 10th anniversary in the Champaign Round Barn Office. Darrold joined Edward Jones in October of 2006 and moved to the Champaign office on May 7, 2007. His Branch office administrator Meg Crisman, joined his office on May 7, 2012, so she will be celebrating her 5th anniversary with Edward Jones. Darrold’s office is located at 1912 Round Barn Rd., Suite E, in Champaign. HEYL, ROYSTER, VOELKER & ALLEN, P.C. Congratulations to Kevin Luther, partner at Heyl Royster, for being inducted as a Fellow of the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the 12th annual induction ceremonies on March 18 in Phoenix. ILLINOIS AMERICAN WATER Illinois American Water President Bruce Hauk, announced the Company’s acquisition of the Village of Sadorus water system. The purchase of the system adds approximately 185 customers to the Company’s customer base in the Champaign County District and serves a population of nearly 400 residents. Congratulations to MENOLD CONSTRUCTION AND RESTORATION for celebrating 40 years in business. FIRST MID-ILLINOIS BANK AND TRUST First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust is pleased to announce that Heather Werner has been promoted to the position of branch manager. In her new role, she will be responsible for overseeing the daily operations, including the management of all functions and services provided at the Champaign banking center located at 2229 South Neil. “Heather has broad banking experience, and she can provide leadership and supervision to

promote a superior level of customer service at these branches,” said Elisha Walters, Regional Deposit Manager. Prior to joining First Mid in 2013, she served as branch manager and personal banker at Central Illinois Community Bank and Head Teller with Main Street Bank & Trust. Werner is a graduate of Barstow Community College in Barstow, California. FARNSWORTH GROUP, INC. The office’s architecture group has added two new staff members, Jackson (Jack) Liong, a licensed architect, and Anna Halepatali, an architectural designer working towards her professional license. Jack is a native of Cairo, IL, and a graduate of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Anna resides in Savoy and is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana/ Champaign. The architecture group also staffs multiple student interns, offering them important professional experience. The Champaign office’s Civil group has also grown with the addition of professional

engineers Mike Friend, PE, and Emily Jenkins, PE, CFM, PhD. Mike joins the team as an Engineering Manager with more than 30 years of experience in civil engineering design, permitting and construction oversight. A native of Gibson City, IL, he currently lives near Flanagan and is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A native of Rochester, IL, Emily is also a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and brings more than 10 years of experience in civil and ecological engineering, specializing in floodplain modeling as a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM), stream restoration and wetland design. She is involved with the Champaign Chamber’s Leading Ladies Program and currently resides in Monticello. 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

Imagine a new garden, grill and garage. We’ll help make it a reality.

With Busey’s free pre-qualifications, you can search for the perfect house knowing all of your options. We promise to help find the financing that’s best for you—whether you’re just starting out, tired of renting or upgrading to your dream home. 217.365.4500

A Division of Busey Bank




Committee Members: Chair: Vanessa Bechtel CliftonLarsonAllen Come Wine With Us Chair: Madelyn Walters Granular Stacy Acton Monsanto Kirk Builta

Farm Bureau

Dean Carr

Bank of America

Jim Goss

The Atkins Group

Garret Hill

Chamber Representative

Josh Hinds

Busey Bank

Jim Lyons Birkey’s Jim Mansfield


Amy Rademaker


Amy Sage The Anderson’s Dave Shenaut Brad Uken

Monsanto Champaign County Farm Bureau

Growing Your Business To learn more about any of the programs below, visit or call 217.359.1791 Growing New Businesses

Grow Existing Businesses:


Gardening With over 15 experienced advisors with backgrounds in a variety of fields, the Business Advisors’ Council is committed to growing business one idea at a time through complimentary business counseling and affordable workshops and seminars.

Apply to get access to a team of experts that will help you grow your business.

Growing the Local Workforce:

ace leadership program Applications will be available at the end of June. Participants will gain confidence, knowledge, professionalism and strong leadership skills they can bring back to benefit your company.

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: • Golf Outing Title Sponsorship - $3,000 (available) • Annual Meeting Title Sponsorship - $3,000 (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 Come Wine With Us

Sponsored by the Chamber’s Agribusiness Committee

Willow Creek Farm 1766 CR 1850 N., Urbana Thursday, June 15 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.

First Friday Coffee

Friday, July 7 7:30 - 9:00 a.m. Flora Gems 302 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign



Monday, June 19 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Outback Steakhouse 2402 N. Prospect Ave., Champaign

Business Advisors Council: Financing a Small Business Presented by Gerry Smith

Monday, July 17 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Outback Steakhouse 2402 N. Prospect Ave., Champaign

Business After Hours

Thursday, July 20 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. City Center 505 S. Chestnut St., Chamapign

Thursday, June 22 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. Chamber Office 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

Fast Facts

4.4% Champaign County Unemployment Rate in March 2017

35 business licenses applied for in Champaign County in February 2017


April 2017 U of I Flash Index for Illinois

1,287,541 rides were taken on CUMTD in March 2017

4,967 visits to the Chamber’s page, in April 2017



7 AM - 9 PM


6,853 average amount of referrals PER DAY the

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

2014 The year that the Champaign County

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

Windsor & Neil 239- 3000 FS BCORP.COM

Stay Connected Champaign County Chamber of Commerce


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