NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2021
for p u b l i c at i o n
INSIDE: PG. 6 Annual Meeting Recap Permit No. 29 Champaign, IL
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C h a m pa i g n C o u n t y ’ s
t ru s t e d
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Volume 28 | Issue 6
A PUBLICATION OF THE CHAMPAIGN COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
PG. 7 Annual Report PGS. 12-15 Meet the 2021 LEAD Champaign County Graduates 1
Saving Your Business TIME and MONEY!
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There when you need us, online or face-to-face.
To get started on your own SBA Loan, contact a local First Mid lender. Patrick Pfeifer
Commercial Lending 114 W. Church Street Champaign 217-398-0067 email@example.com
Commercial Lending 114 W. Church Street Champaign 217-403-4435 firstname.lastname@example.org
First Mid has been recognized by the Illinois SBA seven years in a row for our commitment to small business. * Based on Illinois SBA Lender Performance Reports and the number of closed SBA 7(a) loans.
Look for us in these area communities:
CHAMPAIGN 398-0067 | URBANA 367-8451 SAVOY 351-3526 | MAHOMET 318-3750 RANTOUL 893-8100
303 West Kirby Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 P 217.359.1791 | F 217.359.1809 www.champaigncounty.org
FY22 TOP INVESTORS TOP INVESTORS GOLD Busey SILVER Carle University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign BRONZE A & R Mechanical Contractors BankChampaign, N.A. Christie Clinic First Mid Bank & Trust Fisher National Bank Health Alliance OSF HealthCare Heart of Mary Medical Center Ramshaw Real Estate
CHAMBER STAFF Laura Weis President & CEO LauraW@champaigncounty.org
Madeline Herrman Public Policy Director MadelineH@champaigncounty.org
Matt Bradley Business Growth & Development Director MattB@champaigncounty.org
Lindsay Quick Director of Marketing & Events LindsayQ@champaigncounty.org
BOARD OF DIRECTORS BOARD OFFICERS Rachel Coventry
Curtis Orchard, Ltd.
Deb Reardanz Clark-Lindsey Village
Dr. Jared Rogers
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
R.J. Hynds English Brothers Company
PRESIDENT’S CIRCLE NewsTalk 1400 WDWS, Lite Rock 97.5 WHMS, Classic Hits 107.9 WKIO
Stephanie Smith-Jeffries Office and Accounting Administrator StephanieS@champaigncounty.org
Mindy Cain Director of Workforce Readiness MindyC@champaigncounty.org
RE/MAX Realty Associates
Dr. Pamela Lau Parkland College
Janice McAteer Busey
Chuck McReaken TSM Ventures, Inc.
Justin Overstreet Martin Hood LLC
OSF HealthCare Heart of Mary Medical Center
Dr. Dalitso Sulamoyo Champaign County Regional Planning Commission
First Vice Chair, Maatuka Al-Heeti Emkes LLC
Second Vice Chair, FedEx Ground
Secretary, Champaign County Chamber of Commerce
A & R Mechanical Contractors
Andrew Weintraub Health Alliance
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 and October 31, 2021 Champaign Urbana Nursing & Rehab 302 Burwash Ave. Savoy, IL 61874 217.999.2121 www.cunr.net Nursing Homes
Champaign Urbana Nursing & Rehab Center of Premier Healthcare is a 213-bed skilled nursing facility specializing in providing health care to individuals in need of skilled nursing care for an extended period or short-term rehabilitation. Our healthcare services include wound care, IV & nutritional services, drain management, respiratory and tracheostomy care, and physical, occupational, and speech rehabilitation Therapy in a skilled nursing environment. CŪR-U is the new luxury short-term rehab unit at the facility. Here, we “Cure You” in a luxurious setting with a highly individualized therapy regimen facilitating a faster return to independent living. CŪR-U features concierge services and state-of-the-art therapy equipment. Our comfortable environment provides concierge care to help relaxation, focus your attention on pain management and stress reduction to improve your overall functionality. This short-term, dedicated unit for rehabilitation therapy focuses on the mature active senior seeking to regain independence while being treated with customer service excellence in a luxury environment. Experience the CŪR-U difference.
Common Ground Food Co-op 300 S. Broadway Ave., Ste. 166 Urbana, IL 61801 217.352.3347 www.commonground.coop Grocers-Retail
Community Owned Since 1974, Common Ground Food Co-op is a cooperatively-run grocery store owned by over nine thousand Champaign-Urbana neighbors. We focus on supporting the local food system, fostering conscious consumerism and building a vibrant community. We are guided by ‘Our Four Ends,’ they are: • End #1: The Co-op is the center of a vibrant and inclusive community. • End #2: The cooperative movement is strengthened. • END #3: The Co-op serves as an educational resource on food issues. • End #4: The local food movement is equitable, robust, and environmentally sound. These ‘ends,’ or missions, were developed by our owners and our board of directors. We use these to guide us 4
towards improving our community each day. We love local. Since 1974 we’ve committed ourselves to local, organic foods and supporting our vibrant community. We consider local to be within 100 miles of Common Ground and support as many local farms as possible.
First State Bank
3111 Village Office Pl. Champaign, IL 61822 217.352.0152 www.firststatebank.biz Banks Since 1940, First State Bank has been a locally owned bank committed to providing value-added offerings backed by exceptional service to the local communities we serve. We combine cutting-edge banking products, customer conveniences and employ local professionals who take the time to get to know our customer’s banking needs individually.
Peter Pan Too Early Learning Center 809 W. Kirby Ave. Champaign, IL 61820 217.363.3884 www.peterpantoo.net Child Care
We offer experienced full-time and part-time child care for infant, toddler and school-age programs, as well as yearround care for all age groups, in our multi-cultural child care environment. Our staff is First-Aid and CPR Certified. We also accept Child Care Resource Service. Help your child prepare for the future with Peter Pan Early Learning Center’s head start child care curriculum and collaboration. Your child will receive nutritious lunch and snacks and enjoy field trips. Kids also love our outside play area. Parents can also get involved.
The Joint Chiropractic 2003 S. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.418.5029 www.thejoint.com Chiropractic Physicians
Don’t Do Pain, Do You! We are Champaign chiropractors dedicated to family chiropractic and spine health. We invite you to join the millions of Americans who have found relief and a pathway to wellness with chiropractic’s natural, drug-
free approach to healthcare. Our pillars of operation are: • Excellence. We are committed to Excellent Chiropractic care. • Accessibility. We are open seven days a week, Monday–Friday 10:00 am–7:00 pm and Saturday/ Sunday 10:00 am–4:00 pm -- no appointment necessary. • Affordability. We offer wellness plans and patient packages designed to provide chiropractic care at an affordable price. Our membership plans and packages eliminate the need for insurance. Our no-appointment policy, convenient hours and locations make care more accessible. The Joint is reinventing chiropractic care by making quality healthcare affordable for pain relief and ongoing wellness.
217 Mortgage powered by Flat Branch Home Loans 3402 Mission Dr., Ste. 104 Champaign, IL 61822 217.383.0835 www.217mortgage.com Mortgages
The loan process is crafted just for you. No two borrowers have the same background, so each process is tailored to your personal goals, aspirations and milestones. Homebuyers come through our door at different starting points in life, but the journey always ends with the home they have been working towards. Our products are designed with our customers in mind to perfectly shape a loan for their wants and needs. We can make loans easier, faster and more personalized than our competitors with our cutting-edge tools and resources. But even if we’re not able to get you in the home of your dreams today, we will work tirelessly to make your dream of homeownership a reality.
>> held between October 1 and December 15
The Joint Chiropractic celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting and open house on October 6.
SYNERGY HomeCare celebrated the opening of their new location in Urbana with a ribbon cutting on October 14.
Interested in hosting a ribbon cutting?
The Hive by Maple Street Garden celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting on December 1.
Chamber members have the opportunity to sign up for ribbon cuttings to celebrate a grand opening or groundbreaking. Along with your team, a Chamber representative will be present and we invite ambassadors to attend to help you celebrate. Thousands will see photographs of your event through this publication as well as the Chamber’s social media pages. If your business is interested in hosting a ribbon cutting, contact Mindy Cain at MindyC@champaigncounty.org or call 217.359.1791. 5
2021 Annual Meeting Recap The 2021 Annual Meeting was held Thursday, October 21 at Flighstar at Willard Airport. Over 150 members attended and helped celebrate another incredible year despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Papa Del’s Pizza was named the 2021 Small Business of the Year. Papa Del’s has been in business since 1970. They have bought and rejuvenated two local buildings that are 100+ years old. Their current location, the Coca-Cola building in Champaign, is now considered an official landmark by the city of Champaign. The renovation of both buildings has improved the neighborhoods where they are located. In recognition of their work to restore the Coca-Cola building, Papa Del’s received the Heritage Award from the Preservation and Conservation Association (PACA). Like their restaurant peers, the business took a financial hit due to COVID-19 mitigations. However, they were able to pivot and grow their frozen food business by almost 58 percent over the last year. In addition, they actively donate 10 to 30 pizzas a week to the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen and other local organizations. The food industry tends to produce much waste, but at Papa Del’s, they focus on being environmentally friendly by recycling everything they can — plastic, cans, aluminum and cardboard. The COVID-19 pandemic has also caused hiring challenges for businesses across all industries. Despite these challenges, they have maintained 50-80 employees depending on the time of year. They often work with Developmental Services Center to help people find jobs. Fisher National Bank was named the 2021 Chamber Champion at the Annual Meeting. They received this recognition in acknowledgement of their support in securing essential funding for the Chamber during the pandemic and for faciliating a partnership between the Fisher Area Business Association and the Chamber. The Chamber is grateful for the continued support from Fisher National Bank. Chamber President and CEO Laura Weis introduced this year’s video, Moving in the Flight Direction, which mimicked a flight safety video to showcase what the Chamber has been working on throughout the pandemic. The video highlighted a number of Chamber programs and initiatives. During 2020, the Chamber helped members decipher PPE, PPP and EIDL. The Chamber also helped to distribute masks, make connections to resources, sent out vital information, shared member stories with elected officials, kept members connected through virtual networking events, profiled members through social media and partnered with other community stakeholders to help keep Champaign County businesses informed and safe. The Chamber will continue to serve it’s members so that Champaign County will have an economically thriving community.
Thank You Sponsors:
The meeting concluded with comedian Corey Rodrigues, who humorously shared life experiences that were universally shared throughout the pandemic. Thank you to all of our sponsors and to all of those who attended this year’s Annual Meeting.
2021 ANNUAL REPORT
94% MEMBER RETENTION RATE COVID-19 Daily Updates EMAILS WERE SENT
5 DAYS PER WEEK
Chambers all in for economic recovery
SPEARHEADED A COALITION OF
BUSINESS CONNECTIONS MADE AT VIRTUAL FIRST FRIDAY COFFEES
ILLINOIS CHAMBERS FOCUSED ON PRIORITIZING ECONOMIC RELIEF FOR BUSINESSES
showcasing local businesses
LOCAL RESTAURANTS SHOWCASED IN OUR APP-Y HOUR VIDEO SERIES
252 EMPLOYEES RECEIVED STATE REQUIRED TRAINING THROUGH OUR SEXUAL HARASSMENT PREVENTION TRAINING PROGRAM
Provided state required training
ENTREPRENEURS RECEIVED COUNSELING TO START OR GROW THEIR BUSINESSES
Champaign County Safe
A community-wide coalition that met PARTNERED WITH weekly for over a year and developed a comprehensive website LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS AND MUNICIPALITIES of COVID-19 resources and information TO CREATE CHAMPAIGN COUNTY SAFE
BUSINESS CONNECTIONS MADE AT COFFEE CIRCLES: IN-PERSON NETWORKING
mask distribution PROVIDED
MASKS TO MEMBER BUSINESSES
Learn more at champaigncounty.org 7
Jerris Duncan, MAPS Business Coaching
Leadership 2.0 will transform good leaders and teams into great leaders and teams. 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, collaboration and execution. The program will take place throughout five forums starting in February and ending in March. Forums will be held from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. at the Chamber office. Program Price (for all five forums): Chamber Members: $899 • Non-Members and Guests: $1,099 Discounts applicable for multiple people from the same business.
To register visit www.champaigncounty.org/events/calendar/ Forums will not be sold separately. Space is limited. Invest in yourself by registering today.
JOIN OR RENEW TODAY. CHAMPAIGNCOUNTY.ORG 217.359.1791
PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE:
BUILDING BUSINESS GROWTH
When speaking about infrastructure, many may think of traffic delays due to road construction or massive big city skylines. Yes, these images indicate infrastructure and the work that it entails; yet, infrastructure is more. Infrastructure is critical for business growth, development and the bottom line. According to Merriam-Webster, the very definition of “infrastructure” is the underlying structure, economy and fixed installations a country needs to function. Infrastructure extends beyond roads and bridges. The infrastructure in place such as water and sewer systems, broadband access, railways, airports, harbors, parks that allow us to move and operate within a given area, is the comprehensive foundation of a community’s infrastructure. As a community’s needs evolve and grow, so must the infrastructure that supports it. As a critical driver of local economies, businesses, too, may find a reason to support the infrastructure needs within an area. This past November, a $1 trillion federal infrastructure package was signed. For months, republicans and democrats negotiated the bill. The package passed with support from both political parties and is the most extensive infrastructure package to pass Congress since 2015. The law provides funding allocations to the states for their specific infrastructure needs while also outlining specific funding for various infrastructure needs. Illinois will receive $17 billion to support infrastructure efforts.
Should you have any questions, please contact director of public policy Madeline Herrman at MadelineH@champaigncounty.org
The lion shares of funding within the law will build and repair the nation’s roads and bridges. However, money is also available to: • Revitalize passenger and freight rail. • Improve public transit access. • Enhance airports. • Replace lead service lines in water systems. • Increase broadband access. • Update power grids and install climatefriendly efforts among other infrastructure development projects. How do infrastructure projects and developments affect business? Comprehensive community infrastructure lends itself to a friendly business climate— enabling a company to operate more efficiently. It is critical to successful economic development. If workforce commutes utilizing maintained, operational roadways and bridges, the commute may be shorter and less stressful, resulting in higher productivity during the day. Alternatively, if your business is transporting goods and forced to detour due to closed roadways, your company may incur more significant costs associated with the transport and labor. Adequate access to a reliable wastewater/ sewer system allows cities to welcome more businesses by meeting this need. Currently, shipping delays negatively impact the availability of goods to sell in one’s shop. One can not negate that internet access became paramount for business continuity when the world went remote as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce believes transportation and infrastructure are vital to the region’s economic growth and strives to promote commerce through our transportation systems. Investment in infrastructure directly links to job creation. Jobs that revitalize or build infrastructure will be created. Ultimately, investing in infrastructure will support economic development and improve the quality of life for all. 9
Business | Wealth Management | Personal
Building Business. Growing Wealth. Since 1868.
New to entrepreneurship? The Chamber Has Your BACK. Starting a business can be intimidating, but you’re not in it alone. With free counseling services available and regular educational events, the Chamber has your back. We are here to help you get your business where you want it to be. www.champaigncounty.org/business-advisors-council 10
Invoices for those who renew in January have been sent via USPS. Please be sure to check your mailbox. Thank you for your continued investment in the Chamber and our business community. Questions about invoicing or renewal? Email StephanieS@ champaigncounty.org or call 217.359.1791. Photo courtesy of mb-photoarts
LEADERSHIP We stand out. With hundreds of years of combined experience from local owners, it’s hard not to. HICKORYPOINTBANK.COM
202 WEST PARK AVENUE, CHAMPAIGN
Congratulations to the 2021 LEAD Champaign County is a ten-week program designed to mold young professionals into strong local leaders.
Production Assistant, Country Financial - Jessie DeHaan Josh specializes in home and auto insurance. His goal is to provide the best service to clients. Serving his client’s insurance and financial needs is his top priority. “I enjoyed LEAD because it taught valuable and life-long leadership skills.”
Digital Communications Coordinator, University of Illinois Foundation Parker joined the Foundation as a mass communications planning coordinator. He now serves as the digital communications coordinator where he works with colleges and departments across the University System to schedule email communications, among other duties. “I enjoyed the networking opportunities that organically happened throughout the course. It was great to hear different perspectives and learn from different individuals in a wide range of businesses that are here in Champaign County.”
Director of Finance, OSF Healthcare Damien provides financial insight and planning to the OSF Healthcare System. He introduces new programs, strategies and regulatory changes to the hospital and its leaders. In addition, he regularly presents financial reports, oversees the preparation of budgets and provides input for long-term financial planning. “LEAD helped me develop a fuller concept of leadership outside of the healthcare industry, while also providing our cohort with a network of resources and connections.”
Owner, Brown Procurement & Consulting, LLC (BPC) BPC is a minority owned company that supplies electrical materials and components to sub-contractors and prime contractors. BPC is certified with the state of Illinois as a MBE (Minority Business Enterprise) and can provide the MBE participation when required. “I really enjoyed getting to know my classmates and learning about them as people as well as employees.” 12
Director of Community Impact, United Way of Champaign County Javaite engages with community agencies to understand the needs of the community and works to provide resources to help meet those needs. Her personal and professional goal is to improve the health and overall wellbeing of families in her community. Javaite currently serves on the board of directors for Champaign-Urbana Kiwanis Club, is a board member for Sistering CU and a member of Champaign-Urbana Junior League. “I really enjoyed gaining perspectives on how my strengths and communication techniques impact leadership through the LEAD workshops.”
Manager of Supply Chain, OSF Healthcare Heart of Mary Medical Center and OSF Healthcare Sacred Heart Medical Center Logan manages all supply chain operations at OSF Healthcare facilities in both Urbana and Danville. A native of Decatur, Logan currently resides in Champaign and enjoys watching sports and playing golf in his spare time. “I appreciated the diversity and quality of leaders and speakers in this program — all different backgrounds and occupations so I left every session with fresh insight.”
CPA and Tax Supervisor, Martin Hood LLC Cody specializes in tax planning and compliance for individuals and small businesses. He works in a variety of industries such as agriculture, real estate, and cannabis. “I enjoyed meeting other local professionals and hearing their perspectives on being a leader.”
Commercial Banking Specialist, Fisher National Bank Stanley completes various aspects commercial banking, from processing loans to providing business products and services to customers. He is also responsible for maintaining certain portions of the commercial loan portfolio. Stanley appreciates that Fisher National Bank prioritizes building relationships with the community. “During my time in LEAD, I enjoyed hearing people’s stories. Not just as they great leaders they are, but simply as the individuals they are.”
But wait, there’s more... keep reading to meet the rest of this year’s LEAD graduates.
Director of Public Policy, Champaign County Chamber of Commerce In her role, Madeline is a fervent advocate for the Champaign County business community at the local, state and federal levels of government. She is the liaison for the business community to legislators and serves as the staff liaison for the chamber’s Public Policy Committee. She also helps coordinate Champaign County First: a public-private partnership aimed at bettering the community through infrastructure and development projects. Madeline also coordinates the activities of Champaign County’s Business Empowered PAC. “LEAD Champaign County was an excellent opportunity to expand my professional network. The course allowed me to further develop my leadership skills and provided an avenue to connect with other aspiring leaders in the community.”
Retail Loan Operations Analyst, Busey Amber considers herself a wife and mother first. In her role at Busey she assists management with KPI’s, staffing models and other reporting functions to ensure efficient operating. She is also responsible for employee onboarding and engagement. Amber is also the owner/operator of a small beauty and personal care business called H&H Apothecary. “Each LEAD session was packed with information, my favorite of which was the communication session. I learned so much about different communication styles and how to work with different people effectively.”
Administrative Assistant, OSF Healthcare Amber supports senior leadership along with physicians and mission partners. She is the bridge to connect people when there is a need. Her job is to ensure everything is running like a well-oiled machine. “I enjoyed listening to all of the different guest speakers. I have many takeaways and have even shared with my husband and two daughters at home. I would encourage this program to keep trying to reach those who possess leadership skills. It’s a great way to build our community – one leader at a time!”
Medical Assistant and Co-Clinical Team Lead, Christie Clinic, Department of Dermatology Jenny works alongside providers to room patients, update medical information, prepare patients for visits and assist with biopsies and surgeries. She is also responsible for training new staff members, maintaining workflows, developing team members through feedback and coaching, and working towards department goals through daily team huddles. “What I enjoyed the most was the challenge course Allerton park. It’s fun to do activities that really make you think and make you realize the importance of team work to reach a common goal.” 14
Marketing Manager, Express Employment Professionals Charlie keeps a pulse on the job market in Champaign-Urbana and surrounding communities. From there he works to connect businesses who need employees to job seekers who best fit their values and needs. His goal is to find the right fit for each job, every time. “I have read a myriad of leadership books, but this was the first program that I have been a part of that bridged the gap between study and application. ”
Coding & Insurance Manager, Christie Clinic Amy has been with Christie Clinic since 1998. As a business office manager, Amy oversees the daily operations of the insurance patient account representatives and the biller/coder teams. Prior to working in business services, Amy served as a compliance auditor. Amy is a member of the American Academy of Professional Coders and The American Institute of Healthcare Compliance. She has earned the credentials of Certified Professional Coder (CPC), Certified Physician Practice Manager (CPPM), ICD-10-CM Certified Trainer (ICDCT-CM) and is an Epic Professional Billing (Resolute Billing) Credentialed Trainer. “During this program, I enjoyed meeting new people and getting to network with talented people from various industries.”
Audit Manager, Martin Hood LLC Emily oversees the preparation of the financial statement audit and has served a wide range of nonprofit clients including charities, foundations and private schools. She advises on internal control best practices, as well as other accounting and operational areas critical to the financial health of nonprofit organizations. She serves clients in both the Champaign and Chicgo areas. “I enjoyed meeting other local leaders who are eager to make a difference in their community.”
Mortgage & Retail Loan Service Support Manager, Busey Valerie leads of team of seven associates and works to ensure all loans are booked correctly and payments processed per customer’s instruction. Her department answers customer questions and help service all mortgage and consumer loans for Busey. They also work together to make sure that all loans are within federal/state compliance and troubleshoot any problems that arise within a loan. “LEAD has been an experience that allowed me to learn about leadership from people much more experienced than myself. The Leadership Panel, in particular, provided guidance and advise that has helped me in my new position. ”
MEMBER ACCOLADES & NEWS CLARK-LINDSEY Clark-Lindsey announced two promotions to assistant director of nursing positions. Both Eme Ekong and Donisha Edwards will serve as assistant directors of nursing. In this role, they supervise and monitor all nursing activities, ensuring the comfort and care of residents are met. They are responsible for auditing rooms, charts and staff compliance in Meadowbrook Health Center and the Green House Homes. They will investigate fall incidences and carry out various clinical and administrative tasks on the nursing floor. Additionally, they will supervise and guide staff and help with education. Donisha Joined the Clark-Lindsey team in October 2014 as a certified nursing assistant (CNA). Donisha says she came to Clark-Lindsey looking for “stability and a great job to call home.” Eme Ekong joined the Clark-Lindsey team in 2014 as a registered nurse in Meadowbrook Health Center. In 2014, a friend introduced her to the welcoming and organized environment of Clark-Lindsey, leading her to apply to the nursing staff. MENOLD CONSTRUCTION AND RESTORATION BluSky Restoration Contractors, LLC, a leading national property restoration company in the U.S., announced a merger with Menold Construction and Restoration, Inc. The merged companies will continue as BluSky Restoration Contractors, operating 40 offices in 18 states from coast to coast. In addition to restoration services currently provided by Menold, BluSky plans to add its commercial roofing and healthcare restoration business lines to the Illinois markets. Founded in 1977, Menold is a full-service restoration firm serving commercial and residential clients in central Illinois with offices in Peoria, Bloomington-Normal and Champaign-Urbana. Menold chief executive officer Jeff Neihouser will step away from day16
to-day operations of the merged company and join the BluSky executive leadership team as senior vice president of operational review. Kent Stemper will continue as CEO of the merged firm. Today’s announcement is the sixth in a strategic plan of mergers and acquisitions in the last four years to support BluSky growth. BluSky has grown from a privately-owned Colorado startup in 2004 to one of the largest national restoration firms in the United States. FARNSWORTH GROUP, INC. Farnsworth Group, Inc. announced that Justin Kingston has been named chief information officer for the company. Kingston brings nearly 25 years of experience developing and executing IT strategies and programs in the IT industry. He joined Farnsworth Group in 2008, most recently serving as director of IT where he played a significant role in advancing the company’s IT systems and technologies and strengthening the company’s overall security. He also has been instrumental in the IT and infrastructure integration resulting from several acquisitions. In his role as CIO, Kingston will continue to lead Farnsworth Group’s corporate IT team, and transition from his daily responsibilities to focus on long-term IT strategies including security, planning, project management and budget/forecasting. He will also be responsible for evaluating new digital technologies and determining how those enhancements will allow the company to work better and smarter and serve as a differentiator in the market. HICKORY POINT BANK Hickory Point Bank announced that Matthew Cech has joined its Champaign team as Assistant Vice President, Commercial Banking. 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.
Congratulations! You are part of the 2021 Illinois Outstanding Chamber of the Year: Champaign County Chamber of Commerce
The award, presented by the Illinois Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (IACCE) honors an outstanding Illinois Chamber of Commerce and its leadership team. This accomplishment is only possible because of you our members.
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*“Pay” means eligible employers can apply for funding from the WIOA On-theJob Training program, which includes partial reimbursement of wages for up to six months and the provision of support services such as coaching, transportation vouchers, and uniforms. Federally funded, locally driven, we are East Central Illinois’ workforce development agency operating under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
What’s Your marketing Plan for 2022? Customers and Sales Made Possible with Affordable, Effective Marketing Opportunities This opportunity is exclusive to chamber members. Are you taking advantage of it? Don’t go into 2022 without a marketing plan. Website Banner Ads
A banner ad on our website means that your company name, logo, product or service is seen by 150K unique visitors annually. With pricing starting at just $300, where else can you find this affordable and effective exposure for your business?
Is there a new product, service or information about your business that you would like the entire Chamber membership to learn about or utilize? Through our email blast program, we’ll send an email on your behalf to our 4,000 email contacts for just $500. We’ll even throw it on our Facebook page at no additional cost. *Only ONE email blast will be sold per month on a first contact, first sold basis.
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Every Monday, without fail, over 4,000 decision-makers receive our e-newsletter. People want to know what’s going on, we are a trusted source of information, so they open our e-Newsletter. That is what you want as an advertiser. Purchasing a banner ad to be placed at the top of the e-Connection gets you exposure to thousands for just $100 per week.
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Our website directory gets hundreds of views each day. We are like the modern-day version of 411 for people trying to find a business, resource or service. An enhanced listing makes you stand out against your competitors. Turn your standard listing into an eye-catching, search engine optimized marketing tool for just $79 annually.
Commerce Connection Ads
Do you know what happens when you add magazine print to your marketing strategy? According to Magazine Networks, you get the multiplier effect. They say, “people are 3.2 times more likely to identify the brand as one they wanted to find out more about and a 43 percent increase in their likelihood to purchase.” Our bi-monthly publication, Commerce Connection, gets mailed to all chamber members (and then some). Those chamber members employ an estimated 59,000 people. Imagine 59,000 people looking at an ad for your competitor? The Commerce Connection is not only your B2B best bet; it is also a strong force for B2C marketing. Do you really want to be seen? There are a variety of ad sizes available starting at just $100. Member businesses can also purchase the magazine’s cover. You get exposure before readers even open the publication.
Sometimes, when you are trying to break through the internet noise, it pays to go ‘old-school’ with good old snail mail. We have names, and we will sell them. An exclusive benefit of Chamber membership allows you to purchase mailing lists containing names and physical addresses of Chamber member businesses to enhance your B2B marketing. Two lists are available for purchase: Long list (approx. 2,000 contacts): $195 Short list (approx. 900 contacts): $125
We can help you maximize your businessto-business marketing strategies. We can put your company in front of consumers. Most importantly, we can do it in the most affordable way to meet your budget.
Let’s do this. Contact Lindsay Quick at email@example.com or 217.359.1791. 18
calendar of events
4.1% Champaign County Unemployment Rate in September 2021
Business Success Seminar: It Only Takes One Page to Start The Year Off Right The One-Page Business Plan Tuesday, December 14 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Chamber Office 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign State Required Sexual Harassment Prevention Training* Tuesday, December 14 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Via Zoom *Only two opportunities left in 2021 Business After Hours Thursday, December 16 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. Wells Fargo 2237 S. Neil St., Champaign Chamber Office Closed Christmas Holiday Friday, December 24 and Monday, December 27
State Required Sexual Harassment Prevention Training* Wednesday, December 29 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Via Zoom *Final training in 2021 Chamber Office Closed New Year’s Holiday Friday, December 31 and Monday, January 3 First Friday Coffee Friday, January 7 7:30 - 9:00 a.m. Costco 2002 N. Neil St., Champaign Business After Hours Thursday, January 20 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. Hosted by SYNERGY Home Care at Logic Everyday Community 1807 S. Neil St., Champaign
21 business licenses applied for in Champaign County in October 2021
October 2021 U of I Flash Index for Illinois
rides were taken on CUMTD in October 2021
6,335 visits to the Chamber’s website, champaigncounty.org in October 2021
4,007 number of unique searches on the
Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Online Business Directory in November 2021
2014 and 2021 The year that the Champaign County
Chamber of Commerce was named the Illinois Outstanding Chamber of the Year
For more information or to register for an event, go to www.champaigncounty.org/events/calendar/
The Chamber office is open Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.. PLEASE NOTE: The Chamber is complying with the state mask mandate and asks that members follow the CDC Guidelines/State Mandate at Chamber functions. Please remember that people will have differing levels of comfort as we return to in-person events. Handshaking and standing in close proximity may still make people uneasy. So, we ask that all participants be respectful of this. Bring your best fist bump, reconnect and enjoy.
303 West Kirby Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 P 217.359.1791 | F 217.359.1809 www.champaigncounty.org 19
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AR-MECH.com 711 E Kettering Park Drive Urbana, IL 61801 20