Commerce connection novemberdecember 2016

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Permit No. 29 Champaign, IL

Presorted Standard US Postage

C h a m pa i g n C o u n t y ’ s


t ru s t e d

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



20 years


2016 Year in Review - Pgs. 9 - 11 • Annual Meeting Recap - pgs. 14 - 15

Volume 23 | Issue 6



p u b l i c at i o n


Turn your


into CASH!

Discover the benefits of

Accounts Receivable Financing WITHOUT FACTORING!

Improve your cash flow

Rodney Morris

With predictable cash flow, you can make payroll, remit payables on time, and pursue new business opportunities.

Save time and money

Vice President Accounts Receivable Program 1515 Charleston Ave. • Mattoon Toll free 1-866-667-4476

Take advantage of financing that’s less expensive than factoring, and get back to doing business. Mitch Swim

Manage your operations

Track receivables with detailed reports; reduce or eliminate debt; maintain a liquid working capital position; and overcome seasonal fluctuations.

Maintain control of your accounts

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

Continue building valuable relationships with your customers through your existing billing and follow-up correspondence.

Offer financing options to your customers

Sharpen your competitive edge by offering flexible payment terms. You win and your customers do too.

id Visit First M w a video online to vie gram ro about our p it has ow and hear h tomers cus helped our sinesses! bu grow their

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

Darlene Johnson

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


Member FDIC • Equal Opportunity Lender

View our video online:

Mike Krueger

Vice President Treasury Management 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

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

FY16 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 Crystal Entertainment

150 PERCENT CLUB Awards, Ltd. 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

Lindsay Quick Graphic Design and Marketing Director

Garret Hill Public Policy Director

Ariel Short Events & Programs Manager

Caryn Isenhower Accounts Receivable & Office Administrator

Daniel Stebel Membership Sales Director

Stephanie McCullough Director of First Impressions


Pradeep Khanna

Becky Von Holten

Mike Estes

Kurt Lenschow

Chuck McReaken

David Farrar

Justin Overstreet

Beth Auterman

Clifford-Jacobs Forging

Fisher National Bank

Illinois American Water

Tabatha Helm DSC Logistics

Tonya Horn Rogards

Zachary Hillard Busey

Susan Jepsen

Reynolds Towing Service, Inc.

University of Illinois

State Farm

Martin, Hood, Friese & Associates, LLC

Rod Roberts

Thunderstruck Design

Dr. Jared Rogers

Presence Covenant Medical Center

Chair, Midland States Bank

First Vice Chair, TSM Ventures, Inc.

Treasurer, CliftonLarsonAllen

Jim Lyons

Past Chair, Birkey’s Farm Store

Laura Weis

Secretary, Champaign County Chamber of Commerce

Julianna Sellett Carle

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.

est in the v In community that has invested in you KEEP YOUR DOLLARS LOCAL: SMALL CHANGE. BIG SHIFT. 89 percent of consumers said they believe that small businesses contribute positively to their local communities.* 93 percent of consumers believe it’s important to support the local small businesses that they value in their community.* Would you agree? We do. Small business has a big economic impact. As a member of the Champaign County community, you can contribute to that impact. Shopping local is more than just spending money to support the business community. It means investing in those that have invested in you; that have invested in Champaign County. Locally owned companies recirculate more of its revenue directly to residents and businesses in their community. Keeping dollars in our community is essential because increased jobs and economic activity leads to greater tax revenue and a stronger economy to support others.

Empowering and enabling local companies to capture a bigger share of their local and regional markets can provide significant benefits to the local economies. As the largest and premier business organization in the area, the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce continually strives to support a probusiness climate advocating for all members. This includes promoting all members, including members classified as small businesses, which is over 50 percent of our membership base. As part of our efforts to support the many small businesses in Champaign County, we have a program aimed to keep dollars local. The countywide program is the only one of its kind. It is the Commerce Card. The Commerce Card is the gift card that supports shopping local. We all know gift cards are a great gift for those difficult family members, friends, co-workers or even last minute gifts, but what about a gift card that guarantees your dollars stay right here in Champaign County? The Commerce Card does exactly that. It can be purchased for any denomination from the Chamber and spent at any participating business in the county (See following page for list of participating businesses). That means the recipient of your gift card has the choice to spend the card at a local participating, boutique, restaurant, salon, retail shop, deli, and more. Feel good about spending your money in your own community and making a positive impact on the local economy.

If you’re a business owner who has invested in the local community, the Commerce Card is a great option for employee gifts and incentive programs. Thank and/or reward your employees; support other Chamber member businesses and keep your hard earned dollars local with the Commerce Card. In addition to the Commerce Card program, we encourage all of our members to make an effort to shop local this holiday season.

shift in consumer spending toward locally owned businesses would create: $140 million in new economic activity; 1,600 new jobs; $50 million in new wages.” Wouldn’t you like to see the impact shopping local could have on Champaign County? Make the change. See the impact.

*Statistics from the American Express OPEN Small Business Saturday Consumer Pulse in 2011.

“‘Local Works! Examining the Impact of Local Business on the West Michigan Economy’ —a 2008 study of Kent County commissioned by Local First—determined that just a 10 percent

Businesses Currently Accepting the Commerce Card:


Nails Salon

Elegant and Affordable Complete Professional Nail Care and Spa for Men & Women

217-954-0500 1711 W. Kirby Ave. Champaign, IL 61821

Mon-Sat 9:00am-7:00pm Closed Sunday

(inside Old Farm Shoppes next to Subway)

Gift Certificates Available

Members can start accepting the Commerce Card at any time. For the most up-to-date list of participating businesses visit

WELCOME TO THE CHAMBER >> members who joined between Septmeber 23 and November 18, 2016 Gentle Giant Softwashing

217.722.6695 Cleaners

Gregory Gonda Individual Member


1707 W. Kirby Ave. Champaign, IL 61821 217.239.2700 Specialty Foods

Hammerhead Coffee

608 E. University Ave. Champaign, IL 61820 217.531.4795 Coffee Shops & Houses Hammerhead Coffee derives its name from a record label that owner, Todd Thorstenson, founded in Champaign 20 years ago called Hammerhead Records. Between 1993 and 2000, the label promoted and funded recordings for musical artists in and around the Midwest. Hammerhead Coffee continues its legacy by featuring local artists and, of course, having great coffee, great service and a great welcoming space. Hammerhead Coffee will set itself apart and be the true coffee cultural experience for their customers. They want their guests to feel that they can grab a cup of drip coffee, or go further and try different experiences like pour overs, espressos and specialty drinks. They have a passion for the coffee culture and want to bring a whole different level of coffee to the Champaign-Urbana area.


2221 S. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.607.1190 Hearing Aids

Morton Community Bank 301 N. Neil St., Ste. 105 Champaign, IL 61820 217.359.4482 Banks

The Champaign-Urbana Lending Center, led by Market President Leon Hinton, offers commercial banking services to existing business clients and new business customers. Available services include ACH, business cash management, business lines of credit, business loans, commercial credit cards and processing, payroll services, positive pay, real estate financing and remote deposit capture. The Lending Center, a division of Morton Community Bank, is one of 37 Hometown Community Bank locations throughout Central Illinois.

Phoenix Botanical Medical Cannabis Dispensary

1704 S. Neil St., Ste. C Champaign, IL 61820 217.441.2076 Health Care Planning & Management Services

Harvest Market

Phoenix Botanical was established by health care and business professionals; created to provide exceptional service and quality medicine to those that can benefit from medical cannabis. We continue to seek the best solutions in serving you. A wide range of options are available at our dispensary from tinctures, edibles, vaporization products, to traditional cannabis flower. We adhere to the highest standards of quality, consistency and safety in serving you and our community.

Hmart Companies, Inc.

Securities America, Inc. – Courtney Lehmann

2029 S. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.355.7878 Grocers-Retail

702 N. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820 201.507.9900 Grocers-Retail

1605 S. State St. Ste. 102 Champaign, IL 61820 217.352.1551 Mutual Funds

Congratulations to Harvest Market who celebrated their grand opening on October 6.

Pearl’s celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting on October 20.

Something You Salon & Spa celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting on October 12.

Eastland Apartments Urbana celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting on October 26.

Congratulations to Hammerhead Coffee on their grand opening. They celebrated with a ribbon cutting on October 13.

Congratulations to Grovestone on their grand opening. They celebrated with a ribbon cutting on November 1.

Prep Freeze Cook celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting on October 18.

Wausau Homes Champaign celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting on November 7. Restaurants

The Vineyard Church

1500 N. Lincoln Ave. Urbana, IL 61801 217.384.3070 Churches-Vineyard

WaterpROOFessional Roofing Company Congratulations to Devonshire Residential Management on their grand opening. They celebrated with a ribbon cutting on November 9.

707 E. Green St. Urbana, IL 61802 217.390.2938 Roofing Contractors

WaterpROOFessional Roofing Company is the preferred construction partner of clients of all kinds in Urbana, IL. For over 17 years, their roofing company has operated as a subcontractor, providing assistance to many contractors on their projects through their professional roofing solutions. They guarantee commendable results. Discuss your requirements with their roofing experts today. Trust that they will go the extra mile to meet your needs and exceed your expectations.

Wausau Homes Helia Healthcare of Champaign held a ribbon cutting on November 17 for their newly renovated ARCH unit.

2901 W. Springfield Ave. Champaign, IL 61821 217.903.9040 Home Builders

West & Company, LLC

3121 Village Office Pl. Champaign, IL 61822 217.353.5250 Accountants-Certified Public & Public

Congratulations to EpiWorks who broke ground on their new facility on November 28.

Securities America, established in 1987, is an investment firm that is an experienced, reliable team proud to be associated with clients in Champaign County, IL and numerous states. They take pride in helping their clients identify their immediate and long-term financial goals. Whether it is money management, retirement planning, mutual funds, health insurance or life insurance, they’ve got you covered. Customer service and relationships are their priorities. They are committed to their community, clients and smaller businesses, just like theirs.

Slim Chickens

2037 S. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.356.7546

West & Company, LLC, opened its Champaign office in October 2016. Organized in 1968 with a single office, West & Company, LLC has expanded to become a multi-office public accounting firm serving clients throughout Illinois. With offices in Edwardsville, Effingham, Greenville, Mattoon and Sullivan, and now Champaign, they serve a host of clients ranging from individuals to closely-held corporations. With six (6) offices and more than seventy (70) employees, they have been designated a G-400 firm by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. What this means to you is they are large enough to serve and small enough to care. They would love to meet you and find out how they can work with you in navigating your financial journey.

6 1 0 2

Year in Review

Written by Lindsay Quick

The Chamber has members in

2016 marked the 25th anniversary of a county-wide Chamber of Commerce. Prior to 1991, Champaign and Urbana each had their own chambers, which created a disconnect amongst the business community.

renovations. From water towers to coffee shops and everything in bewteen, the Chamber has seen it all this year. Each new business brings a fresh and exciting perspective and energy to our community.

Now, after 25 years, the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce continues to promote and advocate for business throughout the county. With over 1,100 members located in 58 different cities and towns, the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce has become a united effort for businesses of all kinds.

The Chamber hosts a number of connecting and educational events. Each month, different Chamber members host Business Afters Hours, First Friday Coffee and Connect@Lunch. Each of these events encourages the membership to meet and engage with each other which strengthens relationships throughout the community.

Throughout the year, the Chamber participated in 38 ribbon cuttings to celebrate grand openings or completion of major

We represent over

1,100 businesses

who employ nearly


business professionals.


cities and towns throughout Champaign County and the surrounding areas.

In 2016, the Chamber hosted 18 different workshops and seminars on topics ranging from managing millennials to crowdfunding. These inexpensive workshops are meant to educate and inform members in order to help them do business more successfully.

1,500+ business professionals have connected through Business After Hours, Connect@Lunch and First Friday Coffee in 2016.

Annually, the Chamber also hosts four larger events for the membership.

The Annual Meeting is an award-winning event that recognizes member accomplishments and awards the Small Business of the Year. At the 2016 Annual Meeting, themed “Blues, Bows & Bubbly”, Chamber member Express Employment Professionals took home the honor. The national ATHENA Award® recognizes an outstanding member of the community and was given out at the annual Athena Luncheon which was sponsored by Spherion and Busey Wealth Management. Denise Martin, partner at Martin, Hood, Friese & Associates was named the 2016 ATHENA Award® winner. The ATHENA Young Professional Award®, which was also awarded at the luncheon, was presented to WCIA 3 News anchor Cynthia Bruno. Annually, in June, the Chamber hosts a Golf Outing for the membership. The 2016 Chamber Golf Outing was held at Stone Creek Golf Club in Urbana and was sponsored by GFI Digital. This year’s event sold out on hole sponsorships as well as golfers. In an effort to educate the community on Champaign County’s strong roots in agriculture, the Chamber hosts Come Wine With Us each year. BankChampaign, N.A. sponsored the event which was held at Birkey’s Farm Store. Over 24 Chamber members were represented as booth sponsors in which 200 people were in attendance. The Chamber is in business for business. The goal of the chamber is to act as a voice and

an advocate for our members in order to continually improve and postively impact the business climate in Champaign County. Champaign County First (CC1), a partnership between the Chamber and multiple community entities, works to identify projects and initiatives that will benefit Champaign County and spur economic development. In 2016, CC1 organized two advocacy trips - one to Washington D.C. and the other to Springfield. These trips allowed delegates to meet with officials to advocate for 10 different projects that will be beneficial to economic development in Champaign County.

In an effort to encourage local spending amongst consumers as well as business-to-business, the Chamber developed the Commerce Card program and the Local Purchasing Challenge. The Commerce Card is a gift card program that is only accepted at participating local businesses. When given as a gift or incentive, it guarantees that dollars are being spent locally. Similarly, the Local Purchasing Challenge also aims to encourage local spending. The difference is that this program encourages the spending on a business-to-business level. In this program, members are asked to re-allocate dollars being spent outside of Champaign County to vendors within the county. Without asking members to spend any

more, but instead simply adjusting where they are spending their dollars, the Local Purchasing Challenge successfully reallocated $112,128 to Champaign County throughout the past fiscal year.

$112,128 was reallocated to Champaign County through the Local Purchasing Challenge.

In 2007, Champaign, Decatur, and Peoria became the first chambers in the state to offer an electricity co-op program for their members. The energy co-op which is a partnership with Gulf Plains Energy has continued to save the membership money year after year. Since 2010, the co-op has saved members $1,750,000. In 2016, 230 Chamber members took advantage of the savings made available by the co-op. This year, the energy co-op added gas offering members an additional way to save. Overall, 2016 has been an incredible year for the Chamber. Thank you to each and every member for your ongoing support. We look forward to seeing you in 2017.

“Mentors to America’s Small Business.” Interested in being a mentor? You get what you give. You’ve been a successful member of the business community. You have created jobs. You have managed people. You have managed finances. You’re a wiz with tax documents. You know the importance of a good business plan. You have benefited from those who have come before you. Now, it’s time to take what you know and share it with the next generation.

To learn more, contact Stephanie at or call 217.359.1791

2017 ATHENA Award速 Sponsored by:

Save the Date:

Thursday, February 16 Nominate someone today! The recipient of the ATHENA Award速 demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in his or her business or profession; provides valuable service by devoting time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community; and assists women in reaching their full leadership potential. The ATHENA Young Professional Award速 is given to an emerging leader who strives toward the highest levels of personal and professional accomplishment and serves as a role model for young women. This award is sponsored by past recipients of the ATHENA Award速. Nomination forms can be found on our website at For more information or if you have questions, please contact Ariel at or call 217.359.1791.

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

Dream big for your small business. We promise to keep your business successful and nimble. At Busey, we understand the unique challenges and circumstances you face. Our team has extensive experience working with a large range of specialized industries, allowing us to propose new ideas and proactive solutions to help you meet your needs and reach your goals. 217.365.4500

Member FDIC

2016 Chamber Annual Meeting The Annual Meeting was held on October 28 at the Hilton Garden Inn. The event was title sponsored by Midland States Bank, there were three mid-level sponsors - Regency Apartments, Commerce Bank and Christie Clinic and 17members were table sponsors. 338 members attended and helped celebrate our 25th anniversary as a county-wide Chamber. Express Employment was presented with the 2016 Small Business of the Year Award at the meeting. Express Employment Professionals works with job seekers to help them find the right job for their skills and experience. It is their mission to professionally market and provide quality human resource solutions and to provide hope for as many people as possible on a daily basis. In the past three years, the Champaign Express Employment office has increased total revenue by $5.8 million dollars by working with more than 300 local companies to help them find qualified workers. Debbie Moore, an Express employee and nominator had this to say about owners Lynn and Richard Yoerk “the most profound impact on the people they employ has little to do with total compensation, promotion opportunities, flexible work hours or benefits - it is how they truly connect with people.” Express continuously gives back to the community by acting as sponsors and contributors for various organizations including the American Heart Association, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America, the American Cancer Society, Wounded Warriors, Heart Ball, Youth Football, Youth Baseball, Children’s Miracle Network, Balloons over Vermilion, Danville Semi-pro Basketball and the Eastern Illinois C-U in the Prairiebbean. It is for these reasons, along with many others, that Express Employment Professionals was awarded the 2016 Chamber Small Business of the Year Award. FY17 Board Chair, Becky Von Holten, outlined what the Chamber is working on in 2017. The Chamber is in business for business. In the upcoming year, the Chamber will continue to focus on serving it’s members and helping them thrive and grow. Once again, the Chamber Annual meeting was a success. Thank you to all of our sponsors and to all of those who attended this year’s Annual Meeting.

Thank you to our sponsors:

BankChampaign, N.A. Busey Bank Champaign Community Unit 4 School District Champaign Park District Carle CliftonLarsonAllen Express Employment Professionals First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust Hilton Garden Inn

Iroquois Federal Martin, Hood Friese & Associates The News-Gazette, Inc. Presence Covenant Medical Center Rogards RSM US LLP Snyder Companies Thunderstruck Design

Special Thanks to: A T & T • Honda BMW of Champaign • Slowride Pedal Tours, Inc. • Tim C. Anderson

the local purchasing challenge

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

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

Step 2

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

Step 3

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

Step 4

Honor the promise.

Step 5

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

Step 6

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

Yes, please list and promote our company as a local business committed to purchasing more locally. I understand our actual pledge will not be published. Name ________________________________________________________________________ Business ______________________________________________________________________ Address ______________________________________________________________________ E-mail ________________________________________________________________________ Phone ________________________________________________________________________ Between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017, our company commits to reallocating purchasing dollars spent with vendors outside of Champaign County to local businesses by (at least) the amount indicated below:

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

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

____$500 ____$100 Other: $_________

The Chamber will track the collective amount pledged. We will report the numbers back to the membership all while keeping your pledge confidential. Please return form by January 31, 2017.

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

PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE The business community of Champaign County made their voices heard on election night. All but one chamber supported initiative/candidate won on Election Day. Our big initiative, County Executive, passed with a majority of the vote. A similar proposal offered by the county board, County Board Chairman At Large, also passed. Both initiatives passing showed the voter’s strong desire to reform county government. However, due to multiple points explicitly written in state statute (Sec. 2-5015), County Executive supersedes County Board Chairman At Large. In two years, Champaign County will elect its first county executive. Another Chamber supported initiative, transportation lock-box, a statewide constitutional amendment which will guarantee road funds will be spent on roads and infrastructure, also passed overwhelmingly. Business Empowered PAC endorsed candidates also had a very good day at the ballot box. Mark Shelden won his race for County Recorder. John Farney was reelected as Champaign County Auditor. Julia Rietz won another term as Champaign County State’s Attorney. Jon Rector was retained as County Board Member in District 5. Congratulations to all of the Business Empowered endorsed candidates on their victories. Now that the election is over a common question is “What should we expect?” Just a week before mandatory compliance for all employers, U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant of Texas issued a temporary injunction on the Obama Administration’s new overtime regulation putting a halt on the rules nationwide.

projects along with available grants for restoration and bike paths. The last meeting in the morning had the group meet with Acting Director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Sean McCarthy about economic development including EDGE Tax Credits, Enterprise Zones and workforce development. The group then went and visited the Illinois Chamber of Commerce for an overall update on state government at a working lunch in their office. Due to negotiations involving Exelon and the Clinton Power Plant, President of the Illinois Chamber, Todd Maisch, had to leave to meet with Governor Bruce Rauner. In the afternoon, the delegation had meetings with elected state officials to discuss priorities and the current aspects of state government. Representatives Adam Brown, Chad Hays and Bill Mitchell all took time out of their session schedule to meet with Champaign County First delegates. Senators Scott Bennett and Chapin Rose made an official announcement on the Senate floor about Champaign County First, then met with delegates outside the Senate Chamber doors. In all, Champaign County First was able to advocate for all of Champaign County as a united front to heads of government agencies and elected officials. The trip is held in conjunction with the Washington DC trip to bring Champaign County First’s advocacy to all our officials in Washington and Springfield.

Starting December 1, employers with salaried employers earning less that $47,476 annually would have had to pay overtime benefits to those employees. With this ruling and a new administration soon to be sworn in, the future of this regulation is in doubt. As of now, the December 1 deadline will not be enforced. The U. S. Chamber of Commerce expects the Obama Administration to challenge the ruling; however, with the Trump Administration to begin shortly, the new administration is expected to drop the challenge with one of their first actions. They are expected to then eliminate/rewrite the new overtime rule. Further details of this news will be shared as they are made available. On November 30, Champaign County First, a public/ private partnership made up of private business owners, community stakeholders and local government entities went to Springfield on their annual lobby trip. The group’s focus is to lobby for transportation, infrastructure and economic development for all of Champaign County. The trip was very successful lobbying for priority projects to the Deputy Secretary of the Illinois Department of Transportation, Rich Brauer. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources discussed recreation

We hear what you’re saying… At Christie Clinic, we bring our patients superior healthcare with a personal touch. When you have a healthcare provider who takes the time to listen and understand, it makes all the difference in the world. With more than 185 medical providers covering over 40 specialties, Christie Clinic can take care of virtually every aspect of your family’s health. Feel free to ask questions. We are here to listen and work as a team to manage your family’s healthcare.

Christie Clinic accepts

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MEMBER ACCOLADES & NEWS FEHR GRAHAM Fehr Graham, a leading Midwest engineering and environmental firm, continues to grow and develop its Champaign and Springfield structural engineering team. The firm announced that a current team member has received licensure as a Structural Engineer in Illinois, resulting in now seven Illinois-licensed Structural Engineers on staff, making it a Structural Engineering powerhouse in Central Illinois. Muhanad “Mo” Jawad recently received his SE license from the State of Illinois. He joins six other SEs that are key to local and regional engineering projects. They also recently added Emory Alred to their Champaign office. Alred joined Fehr Graham as an Associate Engineering Technician in the firm’s Engineering division. In this role, Alred will be a Resident Project Representative, assisting engineers in projects by observing progress and quality of work. This includes field checks of materials and installed equipment, in addition to serving as the engineer’s liaison with project contractors. HIGH CALIBER TRAINING CENTER Congratulations to Tim Murray, owner of High Caliber Training Center, for being recognized as a Patriotic Employer by the U.S. Department of Defense. BIGG SUCCESS Congratulations to Mary-Lynn of BIGG Success for receiving a 2016 Rule Breaker Award, Special Mention. CLARK-LINDSEY Clark-Lindsey received the prestigious Excellence in the Workplace Award at the national conference of Leading Age in Indianapolis this week. Leading Age is a national organization serving non-profit senior living communities. The award recognizes our innovative Imagine culture that focuses on the core values of meaningful life, real home and empowered staff that support intellectual, physical, social and spiritual well-being. People locally know ClarkLindsey is a great place to live AND work. And now they’re serving as an example of excellence across the country. ROGARDS Independent Stationers, an industry leading nationwide member-owned business products cooperative, recently elected its Board of Directors and its officers for the coming year. Elected to a three-year term was Chamber member Tonya Horn of Rogards. CURTIS ORCHARD Congratulations to Curtis Orchard for being named a “must-visit” spot on FlipKey’s list of Where to Experience Quintessential Fall Activities.

HEARTLAND BANK AND TRUST COMPANY Heartland Bank and Trust Company, a trusted home loan leader in the Bloomington-Normal community, proudly announces the hiring of Mike Curran to the local mortgage lending team. Curran, a graduate from the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Finance, brings sales and customer relationship experience from roles at IBM and Afni. He has also completed Wharton School Executive Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Curran has served on the boards of the United Way of McLean County and the Red Cross of the Heartland. He is a native of Joliet. SPERRY VAN NESS/RAMSHAW REAL ESTATE REALTOR® Alex Ruggieri, Senior Investment Advisor for Sperry Van Ness/Ramshaw Real Estate in Champaign is the 2016 REALTOR® of the Year for the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®. Ruggieri received the award at the CCAR annual awards banquet on October 20 at the I Hotel in Champaign. The award is based on involvement to the REALTOR® Association, real estate industry and contributions to the community. Ruggieri has more than 40 years of commercial real estate industry experience and was recently named chairman of the National Association of REALTORS® Commercial Leadership Forum. Ruggieri began a one year term as chair of the forum beginning in November of this year. The Commercial Leadership Forum committee works to provide members, staff and volunteer leadership of NAR’s commercial structures with an opportunity to learn about timely commercial real estate issues and exchange valuable information that contributes to their success. ILLINOINS AMERICAN WATER Out of 240 water tanks included in Tnemec’s Tank of the Year contest, Illinois American Water’s Champaign County water tank placed in the top 12. The new onemillion-gallon elevated water storage tank located at 2814 Hundman Drive in Champaign will be featured in Tnemec’s annual water tank calendar. The new water tank welcomes visitors to the area with both Illinois American Water’s logo and the You’re Welcome logo. The You’re Welcome logo represents a community campaign to brand Champaign-Urbana as a hub for innovation, attract top talent and companies, drive economic development, and brag about the micro-urban community. According to Dave Farrar, Sr. operations manager for Illinois American Water’s Champaign County District, the investment of over $3 million for the new water tank ensures reliable water service to customers. “The new tank helps ensure adequate supply for residents, businesses and fire protection. We are especially proud of the tank’s design and that it features the You’re Welcome logo.” said Farrar.

This steel tank was built mostly at ground level before being raised to the top of a concrete shaft, comprising the composite-style elevated storage tank. According to Farrar, using concrete for the shaft was both less expensive and requires lower future maintenance. CITY OF CHAMPAIGN Congratulations to Ben LeRoy, associate planner for the City of Champaign, for being named the 2016 Emerging Planner of the Year by the Illinois Chapter of the American Planning Association. FARNSWORTH GROUP, INC. Congratulations to Matt Davidson of Farnsworth Group for being awarded the L ouis V. Hencken Alumni Service Award from his alma mater, Eastern Illinois University. Have news to share with the local business community? Tell us about to and get featured in the Chamber’s next Commerce Connection. Email Lindsay Quick with your news, LindsayQ@, or submit the news via our website: aspx

When two good things collide – The result is greatness! Michaels’ Catering is now the official caterer for Hilton Garden Inn.




Branch: 21 Champaign


Pub: Chamber of Commerce


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34899-35-serx-21 Champaign Chamber of Commerce.indd 1

11/11/16 10:47 AM

Ready to Grow? But not sure how?

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

Chuck Eyman Kirk Harney Jan Miller Dan Marker Steve Tock







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

Recently redesigned, 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 list? 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: • Annual Meeting Title Sponsorship - $3,000 (available) • Golf Outing Title Sponsorship - $3,000 (available) • Breakfast Sponsorship - $1,000 February 9 (available) • March 9 (available) • April 13 (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 Chamber Office Closed:

Business Success & Solutions Seminar

Friday, December 23 Monday, December 26 Friday, December 30 Monday, January 2 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

Words that Work

presented by Mary Shores, President & CEO of Midstate Collections, Inc.

Tuesday, January 31 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Champaign County Chamber of Commerce 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

First Friday Coffee

Friday, January 6 7:30 - 9:00 a.m. Farnsworth Group, Inc. 2211 W. Bradley Ave., Champaign

First Friday Coffee

Friday, February 3 7:30 - 9:00 a.m. First Bank and Trust 1251 Woodfield Dr., Savoy


Monday, January 16 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Minneci’s at the Crossing 2501 Village Green Pl., Champaign

Ribbon Cutting Star Uniforms


Tuesday, January 17 2:00 - 2:30 p.m. 503 W. Town Center Blvd., Champaign

Business After Hours

Thursday, January 19 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Comfort Suites 2001 N. Lincoln Ave., Champaign

Monday, February 20 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Minneci’s at the Crossing 2501 Village Green Pl., Champaign

Business After Hours

Thursday, February 16 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Consolidated Communications 1300 S. Neil St., Champaign

Fast Facts

4.8% Champaign County Unemployment Rate in October 2016

26 business licenses applied for in Champaign County in November 2016


October 2016 U of I Flash Index for Illinois

1,380,990 rides were taken on CUMTD in October 2016

4,989 visits to the Chamber’s page, in October 2016

8,059 average amount of referrals PER DAY the

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Online Business Directory received via search engines and online sources in November 2016

2014 The year that the Champaign County

Interested in presenting at a workshop or seminar?

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

We are now accepting applications for speakers for our Spring 2017 series. To learn more, contact Ariel at or call 217.359.1791

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

it’s tough to stay focused...

when your conference room feels like the frozen tundra.