November/December 2019 Commerce Connection

Page 1


Volume 26 | Issue 6




Use our checklist on pg. 15 to make sure.

Annual R eport Pg. 17 PAID

Presorted Standard US Postage

C h a m pa i g n C o u n t y ’ s

Are you getting the most out of your Chamber Membership?

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






Turn your passion into a plan.

Recognized by SBA six years in a row.

2014-2019 as Central/Southern Illinois Community Lender of the Year! In business, every advantage counts… and you can count on our experienced team of lenders to help you secure SBA financing for a variety of needs: • Business expansion or acquisition • New construction / land or building purchase • Equipment purchase • Leasehold improvements • Working capital or a seasonal line of credit • Inventory

Look for us in these area communities: CHAMPAIGN 398-0067 | URBANA 367-8451 | SAVOY 351-3526 MAHOMET 318-3750 | MANSFIELD 318-3771 MONTICELLO 762-2111 | RANTOUL 893-8100 2

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

FY20 TOP INVESTORS TOP INVESTORS GOLD Busey SILVER Carle University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign OSF HealthCare Heart of Mary Medical Center BRONZE A & R Mechanical Contractors Amdocs BankChampaign, N.A. Christie Clinic First Mid Bank & Trust Health Alliance Hickory Point Bank & Trust Midland States Bank Napleton’s Auto Park of Urbana

CHAMBER STAFF Laura Weis President & CEO

Lindsay Quick Director of Marketing & Events

Matt Bradley Business Growth & Development Director

Stephanie Smith-Jeffries Office and Accounting Administrator Megan Wenstrand Director of Membership Sales & Engagement

Mindy Cain Director of Workforce Readiness Madeline Herrman Public Policy Director


Pradeep Khanna

Mike Estes


Chip Craddock

Chuck McReaken

Kyle Emkes

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

Linda Difiore

Justin Overstreet

Tonya Horn

Stevie Jay Broadcasting - Q96-96.1FM, US105.9, Christian FM 95.3 & ESPN 93.5

Gary Hackler


Deb Reardanz Clark-Lindsey Village

Dan Kirby

NewsTalk 1400 WDWS, Lite Rock 97.5 WHMS, Classic Hits 107.9 WKIO

Zachary Hillard

Julianna Sellett

Dr. Jared Rogers


Dan Hurley FedEx Ground

Amie Smith

R.J. Hynds English Brothers Company

Bill Walter


Awards, Ltd. / Stamps Direct Dish Passionate Cuisine Hyatt Place LongHorn Steakhouse TrophyTime, Inc. W.K. Cooper II Asset Management Corporation

Curtis Orchard, Ltd.

Clark Dietz, Inc.

Silgan Closures


Susan Jepsen

University of Illinois

TSM Ventures, Inc.

Martin Hood LLC


BankChampaign N.A.

A & R Mechanical Contractors

Chair, Fisher National Bank

First Vice Chair, Dodd & Maatuka

Second Vice Chair, Rogards

Treasurer, CliftonLarsonAllen

Past Chair OSF HealthCare Heart of Mary Medical Center

Laura Weis

Secretary, Champaign County Chamber of Commerce

Chrisrtie Clinic Illinois Marathon

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 September 1 - October 31 B.K. Davis, LLC.

1605 S. Neil St Champaign, IL 61820 217.356.6679 Restaurants B.K. Davis, LLC. is the franchise owner for eight McDonald’s restaurants in the Champaign area.

C-U UNDER CONSTRUCTION 1153 County Road 1200 E, Ste 2 Champaign, IL 61822 217.954.0385 Construction, Remodeling

Locally owned and operated, C-U Under Construction has been serving the area for over 13 years. We specialize in residential and commercial remodeling projects. With over 70-years of combined experience, C-U Under Construction is your source for expert remodeling services; from basements to bathrooms, we are here for all your remodeling needs. We always take pride in our craftsmanship on projects of all sizes.

El Rancho Grande 505 Commerce Drive Savoy, Illinois 61874 217.600.3040 Restaurants

El Rancho Grande offers fresh homemade dishes madeto-order. Our menu includes an amazing selection of seafood, chicken, steak and unique entrees sure to satisfy any palate. Try the fajitas, chimichangas, chile rellenos burritos and more. We also offer in-house catering and invite you to celebrate your special events with us. At El Rancho Grande, you receive fast and friendly service. Join us for a drink and try our margaritas. We look forward to serving you.

Golden Crab Seafood and Bar 902 Meijer Dr. Champaign, IL 61822 217.281.6888 Restaurants 4

Brand new to Champaign, Golden Crab offers boiled seafood, fried baskets, pasta, soups, dessert and a full bar. Family size portions and stylish interior make for an enjoyable dining experience sure to leave you satisfied. From crab boils to gator bites and burgers there is something for everyone!

Rogue Barber Co.

12 E. Washington St Champaign, IL 61820 217.766.3820 Barbershop Rogue Barber Co. is the new premier barbershop in downtown Champaign. Owner and barber Michael Long knew he wanted to start a business in downtown that would be a place for guys to hangout, play pool and shape up their look. Rogue Barber Co. offers classic and trendy men’s hairstyles and straight razor shaves in vintage style barber chairs and cozy atmosphere.

The Venue CU

51 E. Main St Champaign, IL 61820 217.419.7964 Wedding and Event Space The Venue CU is an upscale urban wedding and event space located in the resurging east end of downtown Champaign. We offer a wide range of event services allowing you to create the event you desire in our modern, industrial setting. With over 10,000 square feet of space, you will find that the flexibility of The Venue CU provides accommodations that will meet the vision of any wedding day. Our team truly believes each event should be an elegant representation of the people being celebrated. Therefore, we offer a customizable, comprehensive and virtually one-stop shop for all your event needs. Our team and your vendors will collaborate to provide you with an amazing and memorable event.

Ribbon Cuttings

>> held between October 1 - November 31

Culver’s of Urbana celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting on October 8.

Congratulations to All Ways Caring HomeCare on the completion of their national re-branding.

Chick-fil-A of Champaign celebrated their grand opening on October 10 with a ribbon cutting and “first bite” ceremony.

El Rancho Grande of Savoy celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting on October 23.

C-U at Home celebrated the opening of their year-around men’s shelter with a ribbon cutting on October 28.

Rogue Barber Co. celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting on November 20.


Congratulations to our 2019

lead Champaign Graduates


Starting or Growing Your Business? The Chamber Has Your BAC. BAC Complimentary Services

Business Counseling: with over 15 experienced advisors with backgrounds in a variety of fields, BAC is committed to growing business one idea at a time. One-On-One Banker Consultation: The Chamber has partnered with local banks to provide existing business owners or aspiring business owners a neutral space to discreetly discuss their financials on a one-on-one basis with a banking professional without the pressure of sales. 6

Local ownership. Unmatched experience.

Left to right:

Steve Tock TreMayne Joyner Dan Marker Jan Miller Kirk Harney Bobbie Butler Chuck Eyman Chris Haile








Timing is everything… Make tomorrow’s dreams a reality. 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. 217.365.4500

Member FDIC

JOIN US IN KEEPING DOLLARS LOCAL DID YOU KNOW? The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce has a program aimed to increase local spending called the Commerce Card. The county-wide gift card program is the only one of its kind and is great for holidays, employee gifts and incentives, graduation presents and more.


• EXPOSURE Gain exposure for your business through promotion on the Chamber’s website, social media pages and press releases.

• SALES This card is only redeemable at Champaign County businesses, meaning more dollars are being spent locally.

• CUSTOMERS Use this opportunity as another way to attract and reach new customers who may not have stopped in your store before.

• EXCLUSIVITY Be a part of an exclusive group of businesses that have access to these customers.

Interested in accepting the Commerce Card or need more information? Email Lindsay at or call 217.359.1791. 8

The foundation of business

We believe that closing the skill gap is the way to build your workforce. In order to better meet the needs of our business members, the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce has formed a 501c3 not-for-profit charitable foundation. Having our own charitable foundation allows us to pursue external grant opportunities and it also allows members, like yourself, to make a tax deductible contribution to Chamber programming (outside of membership dues) that is important to you and your business. Our foundation supports the chamber’s efforts in the areas of education, workforce development and leadership development. The foundation supports its mission by developing strategic partnerships and initiatives with schools, businesses, community leaders and other supporters. In partnership with the Chamber, the Foundation is focused on growing our local workforce through education and leadership development programs. We need your help to do this. Please consider becoming a founding supporter of the Foundation today – so together, we can make a better community tomorrow. Support education, workforce and economic development through a tax deductible donation to the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Inc. 9

Grow Your Workforce You asked for a qualified workforce and we are going to help you build it. Meet and interview potential student employees at

One Big Career Fair Wednesday, April 8 Centennial High School Gym 4:30 - 6:00 p.m. Hosted by: Champaign Youth Employment Services (YES), Urbana Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), Champaign Area Relationship Education for Youth (CARE4U)

• One Big Career Fair facilitates placing students from three community programs into summer youth employment positions with local businesses. • The Regional Planning Commission is the employer of record, so you don’t have to add the student to your payroll. • You will benefit from the extra help in the workplace; help shape workplace skills for students; and possibly get that one project completed that never seems to get done. • You will have full support by the school districts or CARE4U staff. Summer Internship Program Dates: June 8 – August 14

Urbana SYEP

June 8 – August 14


Dates TBD

Champaign YES

Learn more about each youth employment program

To participate in One Big Career Fair, RSVP to Jeanine Russell at by Monday, March 30 10

Urbana High School Summer Youth Employment Program

Weekly Hours Student, Employer Matching

Maximum of 105 hours total in 6 weeks; roughly 17.5 per week

Maximum of 90 hours total in 6 weeks; roughly 15 per week

Maximum of 90 hours total in 6 weeks; roughly 15 per week

YES matches students and employers with consideration: • Students complete skills assessments to match ideal career fields.

Mixed method: • Employers can provide a job description which CARE4U will use to select appropriate student applicants; employer interviews and selects the best candidate.

Mixed method: • Employers can provide a job description which CARE4U will use to select appropriate student applicants; employer interviews and selects the best candidate.

• Individual student expresses a career interest and is introduced to an employer in that field. Employer has the option to interview student or let CARE4U make the placement.

• Individual student expresses a career interest and is introduced to an employer in that field. Employer has the option to interview student or let CARE4U make the placement.

• Career Fair - Employers and students interact and may conduct mini-interviews at Fair. Employers submit top three student names; students submit top three employers.

• Career Fair - Employers and students interact and may conduct mini-interviews at Fair. Employers submit top three student names; students submit top three employers.

• Students will have resumes available for employer review. • Employers can do miniinterviews with students at the career fair. • Students & employers select their top choices after the career fair. • YES staff will best-match students and employers based on choice rankings, schedule, and transportation needs. • Option to set up interviews with students at a later date if interested.

Total Cost for Employer

None (unless the employer wishes to provide funding or directly hire their student at any point during the program).

None (unless the employer wishes to provide funding or directly hire their student after program completion)

None (unless the employer wishes to provide funding or directly hire student beyond scope of the CARE4U program.)

Funding from Program

YES will cover all costs for the student unless employer hires students directly.

Full financial support available; employer-funding welcomed

CARE4U allocates funds to cover full cost of summer program.

Worker’s Comp. & Other Costs

Covered by YES through our payroll agent, Regional Planning Commission

Covered by UHS SYEP and CARE4U in agreement with Regional Planning Commission

Covered by CARE4U in agreement with Regional Planning Commission

Additional Information

YES works with students yearround to explore career fields and develop workforce skills. Students are supported by a worksite coordinator who will assist with all stages.

Any student interested in UHS SYEP must complete the CARE4U program. In addition, they must attend at least one resume workshop.

CARE4U provides instruction in workforce readiness, financial literacy, and relationship education during our 24-week, school-based program. Those qualified for summer employment have completed sessions designed to lead to success in the workplace, in managing money, and in interpersonal skills. CARE4U staff have worked with participants since August and provide ongoing support to both student and employer through the summer program. Funds may be available for transportation to and from the work site.

Students will be sent to their worksite one time in early June for an orientation visit arranged by their worksite coordinator.

Program Contact

Jeanine Russell 217.531.6857

Desiree Medina 815.383.2164

Kellie Anderson 217.239.7780 11

PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE NEW YEAR, NEW LAWS It is hard to believe that 2020 is upon us. As we all make our resolutions and gear up for what lies ahead, Illinois is also readying itself for a series of new laws that may affect your business in the new year. With lots of discussion currently surrounding the minimum wage and legalization of adult-use recreational cannabis, we take a glimpse into a few of the other laws also coming our way on January 1.

by Gov. Pritzker on June 5, the repeal of the franchise tax may help relieve some of the tax burden felt by Illinois businesses. Businesses will be exempt from a certain amount of first liability in years leading up to 2024 at which point no tax will be due. 2020 will mark the year in which businesses are exempt from the first $30 in liability, and that amount will scale up in the years to come.

Next year all employers in the State of Illinois will be required to offer all employees sexual harassment training. The Workplace Transparency Act, which amends the Illinois Human Rights Act, was singed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker on August 9, 2019. The law provides that the Department of Human Rights will make available a model training program available at no cost. Currently the program is on track to be released in the new year. Employers can be subject to fines should they not comply.

Finally, be on the lookout for a new, updated W4 form in 2020. While the IRS has released the draft, it has not been officially published. Aimed at reducing the complexity and inherent confusions on the report, this new form streamlines information with the goal of increasing accuracy of withholding information. Employees who filled out at W4 prior to 2020 will not have to fill out a new form as employers can continue to calculate withholding information based on the most recent W4.

As technology integrates into the hiring and onboarding process of potential employees, some employers have started using artificial intelligence to evaluate a candidate’s interview. The Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act sets the parameters under which an employer can utilize this technology. The Act states that three conditions must be met: the applicant must be noted of the intent to use AI; the applicant must be informed of the mechanics of the AI and what criteria will be evaluated; and the applicant must provide written consent to be evaluated with AI. The legislation also states that, per the written request of an applicant, the recorded video must be destroyed within thirty days of request’s receipt. A phase out of the State’s franchise tax is on the way. Incorporated into the budget signed


Enjoy the holiday season, and be mindful of these changes and others that will kick-off on January 1. Should you or you business have any questions regarding these changes or other public policy happenings, please reach out: Madeline Herrman Public Policy Director 217.359.1791

Leadership 2.0:

A 5-Month Transformational Learning Process for Leaders

K N O WTransformational YO U R S E L F Learning TO L E for A DLeaders YO U R S E L F Presented by:

The Duncan Group Leadership 2.0 will transform good leaders into great leaders. Each session utilizes a self-awareness process that teaches an understanding of your personality to the highest degree. This program will use simple tools to strengthen your capacity to become more effective in communication, time management, influence and execution. The program will take place throughout five, half-day sessions beginning in

in May. Sessions will take place Jerris taught me the value a.m. of my leadership voice and as a result there is clear January and14, ending from 8:30 – Noon. communication, strategic alignment, increased performance with my family, team, and organization. Manda Price, Team Leader, Keller Williams, Wilmington, SC

8:30am - Noon

This nationally recognized program is valued at $2,500. The Chamber, and Duncan Group, 
 are committed to leadership development in Champaign are pleased offer Jerris County taught me toand be comfortable with who I to am and how to be the best hamber Message: something like….we are excited to partner with Jerris Duncan to bring a version of me. With his coaching and compassion he can help you understand the following investment schedule: roven leadership development process to the CU area business leaders.

l forums will be held at the Chamber office with coffee and breakfast Price being served Program (foreach all month. A portion of the proceeds will be directed to (Youth Jobs Training) Yada yada yada

people around you and how to deal with their unique qualities. He is kind, fun, honest and great to work with Fawn Waller, Broker, The Gallivan Group, Champaign, IL

five sessions): Chamber Members: $999 • Non-Members andJerris Guests: $1,499 Working with has been truly transformational for our team! We speak an

X-Core is designed for good leaders to become great leaders by helping individuals become fully aware of what it is like to be on the other side of themselves in all area of life.

entirely new common leadership language and have taken huge steps in truly striving together for the highest good. I cannot recommend him enough! Jeff Sutton, Executive Pastor, First Christian Church, Champaign, IL

To register or for more information visit:

Non-Members - $350 per month
 X-Core utilizes a self-awareness process of understanding your personality to the Members - $300.00 per month highest degree, while implementing tools to help strengthen your relational capacity Contact Matt Bradly for multiple attendees discount pricing Group discounts are available. Sessions will not be sold separately. Space is limited. o become more effective in areas such as communication, time management,

nfluence and execution.

January 14

Liberation Libertion as a as a Lifestyle Lifestyle Learn simple tools to become one of the best Liberating Leaders fight for the leaders highest possible in goodthe in the lives of those they lead. Learn world. Liberating simple tools to become one of the best leaders in the world. Leaders fight for the highest possible good January 14, 2019in the lives of those Month 1 they lead.

Invest in yourself by registering today.

5February H A14L F DMarch AY10 F O RApril U 14M S

Discovering Discovering Your Your Leadership Leadership Voice Voice

Mastering Mastering Effective Effective Communication Communication

Understand your communication Understand your leadership style, strengths voice, communication style, and the strengths and challenges of and potential others on the other side of you. challenges of people on the “other 11, side” February 2019 of you.

Crack the communication Understand the different styles code between of communication and the types of questions people ask. you and Learn how to others crack the communication code between by learning and yourself and others around you. understanding the different styles March 10, 2019 of communication.

Month 2

Month 3

Maximizing Maximizing Influence Influence Learn the true power of your influence in all Understand and leverage the relationships. power of influence in all of your relationships.

April 14, 2019 Months 4

May 12

Becoming Becoming Presentand & Present Productive Productive It’s more important than Use the 5 Gears to become everand toproductive quickly present in a world where there is never connect withhow enough time. Understand to shift into the right gear at the others. right time to trulyLearn connect with around you. howothers to shift to the right gear, at the May 12, 2019 right time, to get Month 5 things done. 13

A very special thank you to the

150+ volunteers

who participated in the fall iRead • iCount program. Collectively, these volunteers are helping

200+ kindergarten students

improve their literacy and numeracy skills throughout the Champaign Unit 4 elementary schools. Community challenges can only be overcome by community participation. When you volunteer one-hour a week, you’ll be helping to improve Champaign County’s future workforce. Please consider volunteering for the spring program. Learn more at:


2020 Chamber Checklist As we head into the new year, we have to ask... are you getting the most out of your Chamber membership? Use this checklist to make sure you are taking advantage of all the benefits the Chamber has to offer. NETWORKING - Have you put next year’s networking events on your calendar?


1/3/20 - First Friday Coffee hosted by Health Alliance

1/13/20 - Connect@Lunch hosted by Neil St. Blues

1/16/20 - Business After Hours hosted by Virginia Theatre

2/7/20 - First Friday Coffee hosted by Stephens Family YMCA

2/10/20 - Connect@Lunch hosted by Neil St. Blues

2/20/20 - Business After Hours hosted by Holiday Inn - Champaign Suites

MARKETING - Are you taking advantage of these member-exclusive opportunities to promote your business?

Website Banner Ads - Our website averages 12,000 views per month.

Commerce Connection Ads - The magazine has an estimated readership of 5,200.

e-Connection Banner Ads - Weekly e-newsletter sent to 4,000 contacts.

Community Welcome Service - Promote your business to new Champaign Co. residents.

RESOURCES - Have you taken advantage of the complimentary resources the Chamber has to offer?

Meeting Space - We have a large conference room and a smaller co-working space available for members to use - free of charge.

Certificate of Origin - If you are manufacturing goods and need proof of where they came from, we are the only entity that can provide you with proof in the form of a certificate of origin. 15


MONEY SAVINGS - Are you saving money on your energy costs through our energy co-op program with Gulf Plains Energy?

Perfecting Your Pitch 2019 Annual Meeting Recap:

Presented by:

The 2019 Annual Meeting was held on Friday, October 25 at the Hilton Garden Inn. Over 350 members attended and helped celebrate another incredible year. SYNERGY HomeCare was named the 2019 Small Business of the Year. Gaye and Jim Aaberg opened the Central Illinois branch of SYNERGY HomeCare, a non-medical home care agency, in 2013 after spending years caring for their own loved ones. SYNERGY’s purpose is to provide personal care and companionship for the elderly, those recovering from illness, surgery, childbirth and the disabled. Their services range from companionship and transportation to homemaker and personal care. Throughout the last four years, the Central Illinois branch of SYNERGY HomeCare has seen continued growth and expansion. Each year, their total number of clients and billable hours have increased significantly – in 2018, the experienced a 20 percent increase in their total number of clients and an 83 percent increase in total billable hours. The staff at SYNERGY is heavily involved in groups and events regarding the aging community of Champaign-Urbana. They are involved with the Champaign County Committee on Aging, the Alzheimer’s Walk, the Senior Advocates Fun 1K Walk/Run and Champaign County Fair’s Senior Day. In addition, they regularly participate in Coffee Connection’s Senior Advocate Meetings and speak to the Urbana Adult Education CNA course. They are also active Chamber members. FY20 board chair Mike Estes, introduced this year’s video, Perfecting Your Pitch, which used an audition format to showcase what the Chamber has and will be working on. The video highlighted a number of Chamber programs including the recently launched CEO roundtable, iRead • iCount, the Healthcare Careers Program and the Business Advisors Council. The Chamber will continue to focus on serving it’s members so that Champaign County will have an economically thriving community. The meeting concluded with comedian, educator and writer Tim Clue who used a number of ineractive games to showcase the power of connection and collaboration. Thank you to all of our sponsors and to all of those who attended this year’s Annual Meeting. Once again, the Chamber Annual Meeting was a success.


Supporting Sponsors:

2019 ANNUAL REPORT TALENT DEVELOPMENT • Health Care Careers program had 100 student participants from five different high schools. •

Launched, in partnership with many community organizations, the iRead • iCount program to help improve the reading and math scores of elementary students. In the spring, the pilot program for iRead helped 112 kindergartners improve their letter recognition.


number of Chamber member employees

The presenter provided complex HR topics in a manner that was easy to understand and easy to apply to my business. I appreciate the relevant information provided.

233,520 Business connections made at Chamber networking events in FY19

+ 100

students participated in the healthcare careers program


Businesses celebrated openings with ribbon cuttings

Built the leadership skills of 24 emerging business leaders in LEAD Champaign County.

BUILDING BUSINESS • Provided counseling to 47 new entrepreneurs with plans to start and grow their businesses in Champaign County through the Business Advisors Council. •

4 women-owned businesses have opened with assistance from the Business Advisors Council.

PUBLIC POLICY & ADVOCACY • Hosted former Govenor Bruce Rauner to tour three Chamber member’s businesses in quick response to his negative comments about Champaign County. Resulted in positive press for the community. • Advocated, organized and testified for the sale of the Champaign County Nursing Home that was sold leading to lower property taxes. • Two PAC business-friendly endorsed candidates were elected to office in November 2018. • Seven business-friendly PAC endorsed candidates were elected to office in April 2019. • Helped defeat a bill that would make Champaign County its own Judicial Circuit.

MAKING BUSINESS CONNECTIONS • Over 1,500 connections made at Connect@ Lunch •

233,520 business connections made at Chamber networking events in FY19.

Everyone was nice and went out of their way to help me. I would highly recommend the Chamber to anybody who is thinking of starting a business. Things are going so well I will be hiring an employee soon.

-Teri Quednau, Quednau Quality Hearing

OWNERSHIP PARTNERSHIP ENGAGEMENT ALIGNMENT MEMBER RESOURCES • Celebrated 33 businesses with ribbon cuttings. •

Members participating in the energy co-op saved over $327,000 on their electricity and gas bills.

Launched our new website with more user-friendly capabilities.

Best in Show - Communications Excellence for 2018 Annual Meeting from Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) Grand Award - Communications Excellence for 2019 Annual Meeting from Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) 17

Congratualtions to our

Perfect Pitch Winner

During the 2019 Annual Meeting, we challenged our members to give us their best “pitch” and tell us why we should feature them in our magazine. Contestants were asked to complete the following questions with these tips in mind: • First write down all that comes up in your mind. • Then, eliminate unnecessary words. Make strong short and powerful sentences. • Connect the phrases to each other. • Your pitch should flow naturally and smoothly. • Have you answered the key question of your listener: What’s in it for me? • Create different versions for different audiences of your perfect pitch. Vital Education & Supply, Inc. gave us their very best and was selected as the winner of the contest. Here is their winning entry: 1) About you: Open with a statement that grabs attention: a hook that prompts your listener to ask questions; Tell who you are: what is your role, include location.

Vital Education & Supply offers instruction and a variety of first-aid materials to give you and your co-workers the confidence to take charge in the event of an emergency - at your office, or ours, we give you the skills to save lives.


2) What do you offer: Tell what problems you solve, offer a vivid example. We provide customers with the confidence, the know-how and equipment to intervene when an emergency arises. 3) What are the benefits: Tell what very special services, or solutions you can offer, what are the

advantages of working with you, work your organization name in a 2nd time, include phrases that define or refine.

Emergencies are not convenient, not calm or well-placed. It’s nerve-wracking when you don’t know what to do. But you don’t have to worry because you’ll know what to do after taking a VES, CPR/ first-aid course. 4) How do you do it: Give a concrete example or tell a short story, show your uniqueness, emotional appeals, real impact stories.

I have been involved when a co-worker (a family member) had an accident. I was able to use my skills, that I know about how to teach to stop bleeding and prevent a worse situation. 5) Include a specific call to action: What is the most wanted response after your pitch? Upon recognizing the need for this life-saving equipment, customers tend to reflect on emergencies that may have resulted differently if the tools and skills had been present. Put it all together. Include each of the five parts above to cre-

ate your perfect pitch and tell us why we should choose to feature your business in our magazine.

Don’t panic! You know what to do in an emergency. You have everything you need to intervene. You took a CPR course. You learned everything about first-aid. You have the confidence because of it and can lead the way in this situation. Learn more about Vital Education & Supply, Inc. at:


MEMBER ACCOLADES & NEWS GAMEDAY SPIRIT FANSTORE Collegiate Marketing, Inc., parent company of Gameday Spirit Fanstore (“Gameday Spirit”), is pleased to announce the acquisition of The Illini Shop, a division of Bloomington, IN based T.I.S. Group. Headquartered in Champaign, IL, Gameday Spirit is the “Official Fanstore of the Fighting Illini” and the leading retail provider of University of Illinois licensed apparel and gifts. The Illini Shop, previously T.I.S. College Bookstore, has operated at the University of Illinois since 1991 as a retail outlet of textbooks, licensed apparel and gifts. Gameday Spirit will assume management of The Illini Shop and its location at 707 S Sixth Street in Champaign, effective December 5, 2019. Gameday Spirit intends to retain the current staff of The Illini Shop and will continue retail operations at the existing Illini Shop location in addition to Gameday Spirit’s existing retail locations for the near future. The Illini Shop’s e-commerce operations will be absorbed into, effective December 5. ROSECRANCE Rosecrance was recently recognized as Illinois’ Healthiest Employer at an awards program presented by Springbuk®, Crain’s Chicago Business and Cigna. Rosecrance won the Illinois’ healthiest employer award for an organization with 500-1,499 employees. The winning organizations were acknowledged for their commitment to employee health and exceptional corporate wellness programming. The Illinois’ Healthiest Employers Awards is a corporate wellness program that encourages healthier lifestyles through biometric, fitness, nutrition and other health-related educational advice that emphasize preventing illness and prolonging life. Over 8,000 employers of all sizes across 45 cities participate in this program nationwide. Award applicants were evaluated across six key categories: Culture and Leadership Commitment, Foundational Components, Strategic Planning, Marketing and Communications, Programming and Interventions, and lastly, Reporting and Analytics. Applicants are categorized by number of 20

employees so that organizations compete against like-sized organizations. By winning this award, Rosecrance is recognized as one of the best of the best in worksite health and considered an exemplary leader for the effectiveness of its wellness initiatives. Additionally, when surveyors from The Joint Commission conducted their triennial accreditation survey on August 12 through August 16, 2019, Rosecrance was praised for the quality of their services and the care they provide to clients. Rosecrance has been accredited by The Joint Commission since 1984. The Joint Commission is a non-for-profit organization that has set healthcare standards for nearly seven decades and valuated other organization’s compliance with those standards. The Joint Commission accreditation survey is the highest possible standard for behavioral health treatment centers. SAFEWORKS ILLINOIS AND 217 IMMEDIATE CARE Kevin Wilson PAC, MPAS, DFAAPA joins the SafeWorks Illinois and 217 Immediate Care team, located at 1806 N. Market Street in Champaign. PAC Wilson brings the SafeWorks Illinois team nearly 30 years of experience as master’s level physician’s assistant in a variety of practice settings. He has worked in both urgent care and occupational medicine clinics over his career. In addition, he is a certified by the by the US Department of Transportation as an examiner of Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers for the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME). CULVER’S OF CHAMPAIGN Culver’s of Champaign has advanced as Silver Finalist in the nationwide Culver’s Crew Challenge contest where Culver’s restaurants compete in the areas of quality, service, cleanliness, hospitality, community outreach and team member training and development. Culver’s of Champaign-Neil Streetis one of 50 restaurants to advance. The evaluation of restaurants and team members comes from the Culver’s support team and utilizes elements of our guest feedback program.

The next phase of the competition includes competing for one of five Gold Finalist Titles. The competition includes prize money with $50,000 going to the first-place restaurant. The four next highest scoring restaurants will receive $12,500 each, with the winnings shared between the managers and team members. Later in the year the top five restaurants will move on as the Gold Finalists and compete for the National Championship. The winners will be announced in Phoenix, Arizona at Culver’s annual convention in February 2020.

Prior to joining Fehr Graham, Ross served as president and chief financial officer for WilliamsManny where he was responsible for mergers and acquisitions, accounting, finance, customer service, information technology, facilities and human resources. 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@

FEHR GRAHAM Fehr Graham, a leading Midwest engineering and environmental firm, is proud to announce the addition of Dan Ross as Chief Financial Officer. Ross will help the firm with financial forecasting, performance optimization and execution of the acquisitional and organic growth strategy.

SAVE THE DATE: 2021 BOOKING DAY MARCH 2, 2020 Beginning at 9:00 a.m. Interested in hosting a First Friday Coffee or Business After Hours? These events give you great exposure to the business community - don’t miss your chance to host in 2021. Reservations will be taken on a first call, first serve basis via phone call ONLY. No walk-ins, emails or early phone calls will be accepted.

To book your First Friday Coffee or Business After Hours for 2021

Call Lindsay at 217.531.4239




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:

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.). Here’s what’s coming up:

Long list (approx. 2,000 names and businesses): $175 Short list (approx. 900 names and businesses): $125

• Booking Day- Host a 2021 Business After Hours or First Friday Coffee: Call 217.531.4239 on Monday, March 2, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Contact Stephanie Smith-Jeffries at


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. Header sponsorship (one week): $100 Contact Lindsay Quick for more information,


With over 400 unique views PER DAY to the Chamber website, you’ll have the opportunity to reach thousands of customers each month. With pricing starting at just $300 this affordable and effective.Contact Lindsay Quick at


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, or 217.359.1791.

EMAIL FOOTER SPONSORSHIP Footer (one week): $75

Contact Lindsay for details at,

Email Blast Advertisement: $500



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.

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. Contact Lindsay Quick for more information,

Additional information for events available upon request. Contact LindsayQ@champaign or call 217.359.1791 with any event sponsorship inquiries.


Rental of laptop computer; conference space and LCD projector; Certificate of Origin; Notary service; information, assistance and resources.

Reach thousands on a small budget. 22


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 Enhanced Listing: $79/year Contact Lindsay Quick for more information,

calendar of events Chamber Office Closed Tuesday, December 24Wednesday, December 25 Christmas Holiday Chamber Office Closed Tuesday, December 31Wednesday, January 1 New Year’s Holiday

First Friday Coffee

Friday, January 3 7:30 - 9:00 a.m. Health Alliance 3310 Fields S. Dr., Champaign


Monday, January 13 Noon - 1:00 p.m. Neil Street Blues 301 N. Neil St., Ste. 106, Champaign

Leadership 2.0:

Transformational Learning for Leaders Presented by The Duncan Group Program Begins: Tuesday, January 14 8:30 a.m. - Noon Chamber Office 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

Ribbon Cutting

Tuesday, January 14 11:00 - 11:30 a.m.

Fast Facts

3.6% Champaign County Unemployment Rate in October 2019

18 business licenses applied for in

Total Spectrum 517 W. Town Center Blvd., Champaign

Champaign County in October 2019

Business After Hours

November 2019 U of I Flash Index for Illinois

Thursday, January 16 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Virginia Theatre 203 W. Park Ave., Champaign

First Friday Coffee

Friday, February 7 7:30 - 9:00 a.m. Stephens Family YMCA 2501 Fields S. Dr., Champaign


Monday, February 10 Noon - 1:00 p.m. Neil Street Blues 301 N. Neil St., Ste. 106, Champaign

Business After Hours

Thursday, February 20 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Holiday Inn Champaign Suites 101 Trade Center Dr., Champaign



rides were taken on CUMTD in November 2019

4,183 visits to the Chamber’s website, in November 2019

3,511 number of unique searches on the

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Online Business Directory in November 2019

2014 The year that the Champaign County

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

Count on Wade Franklin For a Simply Better Mortgage Experience!

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

Mortgage Originator NMLS ID 1560064

Windsor & Neil St. NMLS ID 585460




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