September/October 2020 Commerce Connection

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Volume 27 | Issue 4




INSIDE: PG. 8 Pivot. Innovate. Adapt. 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

p u b l i c at i o n





PG. 11 Public Policy Update: Are You Ready to Vote? PGS. 12 - 13 Entrepreneurs & Dyslexia


When you need a business banking partner who can help you navigate the tough times, First Mid will be there! Count on our team to provide personal attention for: • Cash Flow Solutions • Traditional Financing and Lines of Credit • SBA Financing

Patrick Pfeifer

Commercial Lending 114 W. Church Street • Champaign 217-398-0512

Kyle McFarland

Commercial Lending

114 W. Church Street • Champaign 217-398-0067

Darlene Johnson

Vice President Treasury Management 114 W. Church Street • Champaign 217-373-8136

Look for us in these area communities: CHAMPAIGN 398-0067 | URBANA 367-8451 SAVOY 351-3526 | MAHOMET 318-3750 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

IN-KIND CONTRIBUTORS CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE Illini Radio Group - MIX 94.5, WIXY 100.3, Rewind 92.5, WYXY Classic 99.1, True Oldies 97.9, Extra 92.1, Hits 99.7 Stevie Jay Broadcasting - Q96-96.1FM, US105.9, Christian FM 95.3 & ESPN 93.5 PRESIDENT’S CIRCLE NewsTalk 1400 WDWS, Lite Rock 97.5 WHMS, Classic Hits 107.9 WKIO

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

CHAMBER STAFF Laura Weis President & CEO

Madeline Herrman Public Policy Director

Matt Bradley Business Growth & Development Director

Lindsay Quick Director of Marketing & Events Stephanie Smith-Jeffries Office and Accounting Administrator

Mindy Cain Director of Workforce Readiness


Justin Overstreet

Kyle Emkes

Chip Craddock Clark Dietz, Inc.

Deb Reardanz Clark-Lindsey Village

Tonya Horn

Linda Difiore

Dr. Jared Rogers

Dan Kirby

Curtis Orchard, Ltd.

Silgan Closures Dan Hurley FedEx Ground R.J. Hynds English Brothers Company

Susan Jepsen

Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon

Pradeep Khanna University of Illinois

Martin Hood LLC

OSF HealthCare Heart of Mary Medical Center

Julianna Sellett Carle

Amie Smith

BankChampaign N.A.

Chair, Maatuka Al-Heeti Emkes LLC

First Vice Chair, Rogards

Treasurer, CliftonLarsonAllen

Mike Estes

Past Chair, Fisher National Bank

Laura Weis

Secretary, Champaign County Chamber of Commerce

Bill Walter

A & R Mechanical Contractors

Chuck McReaken TSM Ventures, Inc.

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 June 1 - August 30 Costco

2002 N. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61822 217-600-6546 Department Stores Costco Wholesale offers quality products in money saving sizes, with member value in every purchase. Costco offers apparel, electronics, jewelry, meat and seafood, produce, deli/cheese, pantry items, beer, wine and spirits. Costco has specialty departments, including pharmacy, bakery, a food court, optical, tires and hearing aids. Find great value on a selection of services designed to streamline your home, business and life. You’ll find Costco’s private label on everything from cheese and coffee to diapers and detergent to vitamins and vacations. Wherever you see it, the Kirkland Signature logo ensures quality products with member-only value. Our self-serve gas stations offer clean facilities, low prices, the latest in environmental protection and high quality fuel that has been certified to meet TOP TIER™ performance standards in both regular and premium grades.

Nothing Bundt Cakes

408 Town Center Blvd. Champaign, IL 61822 217.888.2253 Bakery From “Happy Birthday” to “Just Because,” nothing says it sweeter than Nothing Bundt Cakes. Choose from ten delicious flavors and four different sizes, each crowned with their signature cream cheese frosting. Make someone’s day by making your way to your Champaign Nothing Bundt Cakes bakery or place an order online at

NRC Roofing & Restoration 16 E. Washington St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.471.2271 Roofing Contractors

NRC Roofing & Restoration is a premier roofing contractor that helps homeowners and business owners 4

restore their property after a catastrophic event. Our team of roofing contractors, disaster specialists, structural engineers, and industrial hygienists have the knowledge and expertise to handle any type of loss. NRC is proud to partner with Neighborhood Adjusters to help manage your insurance claim process and to help you get the fast, fair insurance settlement you deserve. Our team of experts has over 100 years of combined construction and claims experience. In addition, we handled over seven thousand claims and have been involved in losses as large as $200 million. There is no claim too large for the NRC team.

Pink Punch Marketing

425 E. Belle Ave. Rantoul, IL 61866 305.343.9890 Marketing Consultants

Pink Punch Marketing helps small businesses implement easy solutions to achieve their business goals. We offer effortless and professional social media content creation, copywriting, email marketing, brand ambassador programs and social media management. We also specialize in food photography for restaurants to make your menus, GrubHub listings and social media pop. Our goal is to help business owners get back to what they do best — running their business.

Volo Internet + Tech

3310 N. Cunningham Ave. Urbana, IL 61873 217.367.8656 Internet Service Providers Volo Internet + Tech Services is a locally-owned and operated family-owned business that provides a wide range of affordable and high quality internet and technology services including computer repair and IT assistance. We provide wireless, fiber and neighborhoodwide internet options to homeowners, apartment dwellers, small businesses, large corporations and apartment owners. We also provide an array of helpful technology solutions ranging from computer and smart home set ups, device repair and hosting services. We pride ourselves on being fast and reliable. At Volo Internet + Tech, we are here for you.

Ribbon Cuttings

>> held between August 1 and September 30

Congratulations to Holly’s Country Canning & Craft Kitchen on their grand opening. They celebrated with a ribbon cutting on August 7.

Congratulations to Nothing Bundt Cakes on their grand opening. They celebrated with a ribbon cutting on August 28.

Interested in hosting a ribbon cutting?

Chamber businesses have the opportunity to sign up for ribbon cuttings to celebrate their grand opening or ground breaking. Along with your staff members and support team, a Chamber representative will attend and ambassadors will be invited to help you celebrate. A photograph of your event will be seen by thousands through this magazine as well as the Chamber’s Facebook page. Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we ask that masks be worn and all other public health safety protocols (including social distancing when possible) be followed at all ribbon cuttings. If your business is interested in hosting a ribbon cutting, contact Mindy at or call 217.359.1791.




Right now, marketing your business is incredibly important. Now is not the time to go silent. We want to help you reach members of the business community with our affordable marketing opportunities. Reach thousands on a small budget when you choose one of our marketing bundles. Each bundle has been carefully created to give you the most bang for your buck in a specific marketing space. When you bundle, you save.

Digital Blitz Bundle

• Email Blast (1) • E-connection Banners (6 weeks) • Website Banner Ads (6 months) • Bundle Value: $1,900 • Sale Price: $1,500

Email Bundle

• Email Blasts (2) • E-connection Banners (6 weeks) • Bundle Value: $1,600 • Sale Price: $1,300

Chamber Website Bundle

• Enhanced Listing • Website Banner Ads (1 year) • Bundle Value: $1,579 • Sale Price: $1,300

Power of Print Bundle

• Commerce Connection 1/2 page Ads (6 issues) • Trends Report Full Page Ad • Bundle Value: $2,398 • Sale Price: $1,900

We’re ready to bundle! Business Name___________________________________________________________________ Contact Name: ___________________________________________________________________ Billing Address: ___________________________________________________________________ Phone: __________________________________________ Fax: ___________________________ Email Address: ___________________________________________________________________ Please complete this form and return to: Lindsay Quick, Director of Marketing & Events via email at


Can you help pay it forward? Recently, you received a letter inviting your business to Pay a Membership Forward. Chamber membership is an effective business strategy. When consumers know that a small business is a member of the chamber, they are 49 percent more likely to think favorably of it and 80 percent more likely to purchase goods or services from the company in the future. Paying a Membership Forward will help the hardest hit chamber members from COVID-19 mitigation implement this business strategy. Why should this matter to you? Your business is only as strong as our business climate. Your donation to Paying a Membership Forward will enable us to continue the work we are doing for the business community and in particular, help us better serve the industries hardest hit. Businesses cannot operate in isolation. We are all interconnected. We are all part of the business ecosystem that makes our community work. Paying a Membership Forward will help us grant a membership to another member who will not be able to renew in 2021. To pay a membership forward, please go to or mail a check to 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign, IL. 61820

Engineering quality of life. Reimagining stormwater management.




Adapt Written by Lindsay Quick

Pivot. Innovate. Adapt. These are all words that have become regularly used by businesses as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter the way things operate. Businesses across many industries were forced to rethink how they operate day-to-day. The on-going effects of the pandemic are incredibly detrimental to the hospitality industry in particular. For businesses that rely on in-person attendance and gatherings, the age of social-distancing has been tough. “In the past, over ninety percent of our business would be serviced events. Fall is typically our busiest time of the year. We would be having at least 30-40 events a week and we’d normally do around 200-300 box lunches a week as well ,” explains Ling Kuhn, event producer at Michaels’ catering. Caterers along with restaurants, bars, hotels and many others have had to completely change their business models in order to remain successful. Many have been forced to consider what changes they could make to provide more individualized services that would meet public health safety guidelines. Kuhn elaborates, “We have been pushed to think outside the box and become more creative in how to provide food service with minimal contact, to-go cuisine and delivery services.” For businesses who typically thrive on the mindset of “the more the merrier” the switch to pre-packaged and individual servings took some getting used to. Restaurants and caterers alike have learned how important take out and delivery options can be. The food service industry throughout Champaign County has made adjustments and changes in order to be able to reach customers. The limitations on events and indoor dining has created a situation where just about every business in the food service industry has turned to delivery, takeout or curbside options. This, in turn, creates intense competition throughout the community. At Michaels’ Catering, it was important to maintain the same quality customers received from in person events, at home. 8

“We’ve learned how to deliver a hot meal from our kitchen to your dining room table without the quality being affected,” Kuhn adds. Being intentional about packaging and remaining committed to quality has allowed Michaels’ Catering to shift their business from traditional catering of events to a meal delivery service. In addition, Michaels’ has been exploring other food service options. “We are expanding our line of spices and have started selling some frozen meals which will be sold throughout Central Illinois. We are also looking into bottling some of our sauces to sell in the grocery stores,” according to Kuhn. Pivot. Innovate. Adapt. Although these words might seem to be a little overused at this point it is hard to deny the fact that some businesses are doing just that. While the COVID-19 pandemic has had effects that no one anticipated, it is important to note that it has sparked an immense amount of creativity and innovation among businesses in Champaign County. “COVID has helped us gain new knowledge on mastering meals to-go as well as learning a new way to cater,” says Kuhn. As businesses try to find a new sense of “normal”, providing different services than previously offered can open them up to a whole new customer base. For caterers, maybe they never had the opportunity to service a customer at an event, but now they are delivering weekly meals right to their door. Much of the dialogue regarding the COVID-19 pandemic tends to be negative. However, despite the negativity and tough times, businesses have found new ways to thrive. While it may be tiring hearing the words pivot, innovate and adapt so often, it is exactly this sense of creativity and forward thinking that is keeping the economy strong in our community. So, keep on pivoting, innovating and adapting Champaign County. Interested in supporting a local restaurant, bar or caterer? Check out our list of hours & details at:

A very special thank you to the

150+ volunteers

who participated in the iRead • iCount program. Collectively, these volunteers helped

200+ kindergarten students

improve their literacy and numeracy skills throughout Champaign Unit 4 elementary schools. Community challenges can only be overcome with 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 of 2021. Many volunteer opportunities will be available in both Champaign and Urbana elementary schools.The students will need the extra help now more than ever.

Could your businesses see a tax increase? To find out, visit 9

PARTNER. We’re in this together.

Broad financial capabilities. Close relationships. Unwavering support for our clients and communities. That’s been Busey’s promise for over 150 years, and right now, it’s more important than ever. As your partner, we’re right beside you, your family and your business, offering financial relief for those in need. Visit or contact our team at 1.800.67Busey to learn more. Busey. Your Partner for Generations to Come.

Member FDIC

New to entrepreneurship? 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. 10

PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE Are you ready to vote? As the country makes it way to the polls whether via mail-in ballot, early voting or on election day, it is important to know all of your options for voting so that you can choose what option is best for you. First, make sure you’re registered to vote. Registering to vote ensures one’s eligibility and helps to serve as a safeguard against voter fraud. You can check your registration, update your registration and register to vote for the first time by visiting details/voting-resources and following the respective links available. Once you’re registered, there are three options available to cast your ballot. You can vote in person on Election Day, November 3, 2020. While COVID-19 mitigation measures will be put in place, our voting resource page has a link available to help you find your polling place. Voting can be as simple as heading to your polling place and casting a ballot. If you want to vote in-person, yet do not want to or cannot vote on Election Day, you can opt to vote early. Early voting allows registered voters to vote in-person ahead of Election Day. Currently, you can visit the Champaign County Clerk’s office at the Brookens Administrative Center in Urbana. Fourteen days before the election, additional sites will open across the county for voters. Please note: if you choose to cast a ballot through early voting, you cannot rescind the ballot if later decide to vote on election day at your designated polling place.

By voting by mail, you can cast your ballot from your home. Once done, place your ballot in the orange envelope and seal it. Returning your ballot can be done three ways: 1. Mail your completed ballot back (must be postmarked by November 3) 2. Drop it off in the new ballot drop boxes found across the county 3. Select drive and drop locations have been set for Saturdays in October as well. The Champaign County Clerk has designated the locations for both the drive and drop and ballot drop boxes, and the link to that information can be found on our voting resource page. It is important to note that if you apply for a ballot and then decide to vote in-person, you must bring your mail-in ballot to be invalidated at the time you go to cast your ballot in-person. Ahead of November’s election, the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce encourages you to vote. Make sure to check our voting resource page at voting-resources for more information.

If you have any questions about voting, please feel free to reach out to Public Policy Director Madeline Herrman at

You also have the option of voting by mail. Many Illinoisans already received an application for a mail-in ballot previously. The application can be completed online or via postal mail. After receipt and processing of one’s application, a ballot will be sent to those voters. 11

Entrepreneurs & Dyslexia

Written by Jean Hinton, Executive Director, The Reading Group While 20 percent of people or one out of every five students have dyslexia, Dr. Sally Shaywitz, founder of the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity, says that as many as 40 percent of entrepreneurs are dyslexic. Since dyslexic learners don’t have the luxury of learning from reading letters on a page like their classmates, their brains figure out new ways to solve problems – a perfect environment for creativity. Two examples of (very) successful entrepreneurs you may have heard of are movie mogul Stephen Spielberg (net worth $3.74 billion) and Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Investment group, (net worth $4.4 billion). In interviews, Spielberg recounts feeling vulnerable and ashamed because of his inability to read as a child in school. He was two years behind the rest of his class. He was teased by classmates and embarrassed; basically bullied. He dreaded going to school. There were teachers who knew he was bright and should be learning like the other students, so they couldn’t understand why he didn’t learn. What other explanation could there be but lack of effort, they thought. Making movies became his “great escape.” Spielberg was diagnosed as a dyslexic learner in recent years and has spoken out about it to broaden awareness of the need to diagnose and teach to dyslexic learners. Branson remembers being physically beaten at school by his teachers out of their frustration with his inability to learn from their teaching. His lack of achievement in school was also attributed to laziness. He eventually dropped out of school at age fifteen. When interviewed he says traditional school didn’t work for him. He was “made to feel stupid” in school because he didn’t learn the way others did. He quit school to do something he could do and started various businesses that didn’t take off until becoming incredibly successful - the rest is history. Both Spielberg and Branson credit their dyslexia for their success. In a series of You Tube 12

interviews called “Made by Dyslexia” (, dyslexic celebrities describe how dyslexic learners are wired differently. They process information differently, which creates problems in a traditional academic setting, but is a gift in other situations. Dyslexics are problem solvers, outside the box thinkers, and inventors. They’ve had to innovate and are therefore incredibly successful entrepreneurs. Many dyslexics call their dyslexia a gift and the core of their success. Local entrepreneurs have had similar experiences in traditional schools, however, today there is more research about dyslexia and greater public awareness. Although there have been three bills in the Illinois Legislature over the past 15 years to incorporate teaching methodologies for the 20 percent of learners who are dyslexic into public schools, none have been funded. That’s where The Reading Group, a local not-for-profit started by Marilyn Kay in 1972, comes in. This little organization has helped generations of families in the community and throughout East Central Illinois for almost fifty years. The Reading Group provides 2,400 hours of tutoring on average per year. Students come from as far as Indianapolis and Peoria because nothing like The Reading Group exists any closer to them. Their doctors and teachers refer them because while dyslexia is known, there aren’t a lot of trained tutors available to teach dyslexic students. And without reading, which is the basis of all learning in our school cultures, there is no productive education in the classroom. Parents pay for tutoring if they are able, or apply for scholarship money provided by donors in the community if they are not able. Local entrepreneur Jedd Swisher, general manager of Depke Gases and Welding, owner of Campus Ink and an equity partner in the Illinois Marathon, is a dyslexic learner and an alum of The Reading Group. As a student in the 1960s, Swisher was unable to learn to read.


It was difficult for his teachers and his parents to understand, since he was a smart, articulate and industrious kid. In his own words, he turned into the “class clown.” His mother learned of Marilyn Kay, at that time a teacher in Urbana, who taught kids who struggled to learn. This was the beginning of what would become The Reading Group. Christina Newberry is a 7th Degree Black Belt and a nationally-certified instructor who is a national champion in the American Taekwondo Association. She is also a dyslexic learner. She has “always had a special place in her heart for students who were struggling” as she writes in her book “Raising a Leader for Life (Newberry and Rodriguez, 2018). She and her husband own and manage two Leaders for Life Martial Arts academies; one in

Champaign and one in Houston, TX. Christina is an outspoken advocate for dyslexic learners. If you are a local business person with dyslexia, The Reading Group would like to get to know you and learn about your experience. For more information, go to website at, our Facebook Page ( or contact Jean Hinton directly at or 217-351-9144. A very special thank you to those that donated during the Booking It Forward book drive. Your efforts helped to collect more than 4,200 books for students in Champaign County


MEMBER ACCOLADES & NEWS FEHR GRAHAM Fehr Graham, a leading Midwest engineering and environmental firm, is proud to announce the addition of Todd Shankland as chief financial officer. Shankland is helping the firm with financial forecasting and performance optimization and executing acquisitional and organic growth strategy. Prior to joining Fehr Graham, Shankland served as vice president and chief financial officer for Cleaners Depot, where he was the responsible for finance, accounting, human resources, information technology and risk management. Along with a notable career history, Shankland takes pride in his volunteer work. He is a tax advisor at Ladder Up Tax Assistance Program for Low-Income Households. He was a coach and mentor at North Lawndale College Prep High School and treasurer for Sub-5 Ride for Parkinson’s benefiting the Davis Phinney Foundation. Shankland has a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He and his wife, Gigi, have three children. SERRA CHAMPAIGN Serra Champaign Strengthens 2020 Expansion Plans by adding Jennifer Falcon to the Leadership Team While 2020 has brought moments of tension and change to the Champaign community, one positive outcome is the transformation of the Serra Automotive brand. Serra Champaign earns two more dealerships in the county, Serra Subaru Champaign and Serra Buick GMC Champaign, joining the portfolio of automotive dealerships under the Serra brand. Along with the reveal of these new acquisitions, Serra Champaign adds a new face to the name, hiring General Manager Jennifer 14

Falcon to oversee the development and implementation of this expansion. Falcon has spent over 23 years in the automotive industry. As she pursued an accounting degree from Franklin University, she started her career in the business working as a service cashier at Immke Northwest Honda and moved into various office positions before she became a finance manager. Located in Savoy, Illinois, Serra Champaign Auto Campus comprises Serra Honda Champaign, Serra Subaru Champaign, Serra BMW Champaign, and Serra Buick GMC Champaign. As a part of the Serra Automotive family, the group holds prestige as ranking amongst the top 10 dealership groups in the nation, spanning 30 locations across seven states. Customers near Illinois can experience the exceptional reputation of automotive customer service when working with Serra Champaign Auto Campus stores. MEYER CAPEL James J. Schmidt has joined the law firm of Meyer Capel, A Professional Corporation. He will practice out of the firm’s Champaign office, concentrating his practice in employment, commercial and appellate litigation. Schmidt graduated magna cum laude from the University of Illinois College of Law and was nominated for the Paul Lisnek Award for Excellence and Ethics in Trial Advocacy. Prior to joining Meyer Capel, Schmidt spent the last two years as a law clerk with Justice Rita Garman of the Illinois Supreme Court. He is a member of the Illinois State and the Champaign County Bar Associations. CLOCK TOWER COMMUNITY BANK Russ Hamilton has recently joined Clock Tower Community Bank (A Division of Morton Community Bank) here in Champaign as senior

business development manager. Russ will be working with Leon Hinton (the market president for Champaign–Urbana) developing strong relationships and helping local businesses make the right financial decisions for their businesses. He will work across all business lines to provide cash management, wealth management, as well as lending and deposit solutions to help local businesses. ROSECRANCE Rosecrance is proud to announce Kristen Hammel, LCPC, has been named director of mental health services at Rosecrance Central Illinois. Hammel is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and National Board Certified Counselor with 15 years of experience in the mental health field. She has program management experience, and she and has been trained in a broad range of treatment modalities, including certification in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Hammel is a graduate of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. FIRST STATE First State in Champaign is excited to announce that Brice Hutchcraft has been promoted to the position of market president for the Champaign County area. Brice came to First State in 2017 as the vice president of commercial banking and will continue to provide these services along with the overall leadership of the Champaign office. First State Bank is a subsidiary of First State Bancorp of Monticello, Inc., wholly owned by its employees with a strong commitment to service excellence. Together with its affiliate First State Bank of Bloomington, it operates locations in Monticello, Bloomington, Champaign, Tuscola, Atwood, Hammond and Heyworth. GIBSON TELDATA The voice and data reseller Gibson Teldata, Inc. is pleased to announce that Doug Elsbernd has joined the company effective August 17, 2020 in the role of senior account manager.

CONFIDENTIAL ON-SITE PAPER SHREDDING Midwest Fiber Recycling is marking its 30th anniversary as the region’s leading full-service recycling company. It was 1990 when Midwest Fiber Recycling owners Ron and Linda Shumaker responded to a “Local Business for Sale” newspaper advertisement. Little did they realize they were investing in a company that would have such a significant environmental, social, and community impact. The Shumaker family purchased Decatur Paper Recycle Company in Decatur, Illinois in 1990 and operated out of a small building, employing only three employees, and exclusively serving Macon County. In 1995, they moved into a new 25,000 square foot building, allowing for enhanced material processing. After purchasing Weyerhaeuser Recycling in Normal, Illinois in 2001, the Shumakers formed Midwest Fiber Recycling. The expansion continued with the startup of Confidential On-Site Paper Shredding (C.O.P.S.) in 2003, the opening of a collection and baling facility in Peoria, Illinois in 2005, and the construction of a single-stream materials recovery facility in Normal, Illinois in 2011. In 2013, Midwest Fiber acquired a facility in Terre Haute, Indiana, and in 2017, purchased a facility in Urbana, Illinois. Today, Midwest Fiber employs over 150 people at six locations with services extending across the United States. The company offers recycling options for paper, cardboard, plastic, non-ferrous metals, single-stream curbside recyclables and other hard-to-recycle items. Midwest Fiber also provides paper shredding services through its sister company, Confidential On-Site Paper Shredding (C.O.P.S.). In celebration, Midwest Fiber Recycling will be hosting employee appreciation events at each location throughout the fall season.


MEMBER ACCOLADES & NEWS (CONTINUED) WEBBER & THIES The Urbana-Champaign law firm of Webber & Thies, P.C. is pleased to announce that Attorney Mary Ann Royse joined the firm effective August 1, concentrating her practice in the areas of real estate development and transactions, wills and trusts, and general business matters. She has 25 years of experience providing exceptional service to hundreds of businesses and individuals in central Illinois and south Florida. Of great benefit to those we serve, Ms. Royse has formed excellent relationships with real estate brokers, bankers, contractors, insurance experts and others supporting firm clients. Webber & Thies is one of the oldest full-service law firms in central Illinois, and represents a diverse client base throughout Illinois and beyond. SPHERION The Spherion Owner Community announced today that Urbana High School class of 2020 graduate Jaden Johnson is one of the two winners of its inaugural Excellence in Leadership Scholarship. The scholarship, created in honor of former Spherion President

Sandy Mazur, highlights the contributions made during her distinguished 18-year career at Spherion. A recent graduate from Urbana High School, Johnson plans to attend Northern Illinois University. With a goal of creating a companion robot for children who are long-term hospital patients, Johnson plans to major in mechatronics engineering. The annual scholarship honors two graduating high school students who best represent the qualities of excellence, leadership and passion that Sandy put forth daily during her tenure at Spherion. Her willingness to “go the extra mile” for others has inspired the network of owners to donate funds in her name, in order to celebrate graduates aspiring to further their education with college, technical or skilled training. In addition to Johnson, another winner was awarded, Ellie Furnish in Greencastle, Pennsylvania. 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@

thank you. A very special thank you to all who joined us for our Golf Day: Round 2 on Monday, September 28.



Congratulations to the winners of the day: 1st Place Luke Sherman, Chuck McReaken, Jeff Damler & Jared Blaudow 2nd Place Mark Wisniewski, Chris Shroyer, Marc Bralts & Kevin Sullivan Raffle Prize (Push Cart) Kenny Shults

LEADERSHIP We stand out. With hundreds of years of combined experience from local owners, it’s hard not to. HICKORYPOINTBANK.COM




Scarecrows are coming... 2020 Scarecrow Hunt October 19 - November 2 Look for all the creepy, quirky and creatively decorated scarecrows outside businesses all around Champaign County.




Then, post your picture to social media with #ChampaignCountyScarecrows for a chance to win a $100 gift card to a local restaurant. For a list of participating locations visit 17



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

• Santa’s Stash Raffle- $1,000 - only one available. Support shopping local this holiday season by sposnsoring the ultimate Champaign County gift basket. Contact Lindsay at for more information.

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



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. Contact Lindsay for details at,


Email Blast Advertisement: $500


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.

Footer (one week): $75

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,



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

Reach thousands on a small budget. 18

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

Fast Facts

7.6% Champaign County Unemployment Rate in August 2020

Monday, October 19 Monday, November 2 Scarecrow Hunt Various Locations Throughout Champaign County State Required Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

Additional Dates Added:

Tuesday, October 20 Tuesday, November 10 Thursday, December 10 Tuesday, December 29 Friday, November 6 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Virtual First Friday Coffee

Friday, November 13 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Coffee Circles In-person Networking Event Lodgic Everyday Community

Attendees must register ahead of time. Limited space available.

Chamber Closed: Thursday, November 26 Friday, November 27 Thanksgiving Holiday For more information or to register for an event, visit events/calendar/

24 business licenses applied for in Champaign County in September 2020


September 2020 U of I Flash Index for Illinois


rides were taken on CUMTD in June 2020

5,036 visits to the Chamber’s website, in September 2020

1,954 number of unique searches on the

Via Zoom

Please note: a staff member will be in the Chamber office Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Online Business Directory in September 2020

For the time being, our office will remain closed to the public. If you need assistance, please call 217-359-1791 or send us an email.

2014 The year that the Champaign County

In addition, the Chamber’s large and office conference rooms will NOT be available for outside use through the end of 2020.

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

Bank on Kip McDaniel For a Simply Better Mortgage Experience! Mortgage Officer NMLS ID 1147138

Windsor & Neil St. NMLS ID 585460

303 West Kirby Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 P 217.359.1791 | F 217.359.1809 19




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







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