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Volume 22 | Issue 5



Down the Rabbit Hole

, p. 3

this issue is sponsored by Windsor of Savoy

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







20+ New Members to welcome & eight ribbon cuttings to celebrate, p. 5-9 Challenges won’t stop one industry’s growth, p. 10-12

Our Customers

Say It Best!

Yvonne always puts her clients first and “ looks after their best interest. She’s very friendly and easy to work with! ”

– Jodi O'Malley, Broker at Keller Williams Realty in Champaign. Pictured with Yvonne Sjoken (left) from First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust.

Champaign County Banking Centers: Champaign • 2229 South Neil • 359-9837 Champaign • 913 West Marketview (inside Rural King) • 378-8023 Urbana • 601 South Vine • 367-8451 Mahomet • 502 East Oak • 318-3750

Banking Solutions at First Mid: ✦ Traditional Banking ✦ Commercial Services - Treasury Management - Commercial & SBA Loans - Accounts Receivable Financing

✦ Trust & Wealth Management ✦ Retirement Planning ✦ Ag Services ✦ Insurance

Banking that puts you First.

For a complete list of First Mid locations, visit us online.

FIRSTMID.COM Member FDIC • Equal Opportunity Lender Insurance services are not deposits or obligations of the bank, are not insured by the FDIC or any governmental agency, and are not guaranteed.

Join us down the rabbit hole! for the 2015 Chamber Annual Meeting Friday, October 23, 2015 | noon to 2:00 p.m.

GIVE THE GIFT OF CHOICE! Looking to make your holiday shopping really easy? How about a gift for your employees? Give the gift of choice -- the Commerce Card! It can be spent at a variety of Champaign County businesses. Purchasing is easy and it’s the perfect gift for that hard-to-shop-for person on your list. The Commerce Card is available in any denomination and can be purchased at the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce. Some of our participating businesses:


ycle & F

Durst C

s G’s Brainwork Charlie @ Dr.

For details, call 217.359.1791 or visit


and MJ Re

ed Jeweler


303 West Kirby Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 P 217.359.1791 | F 217.359.1809 www.champaigncounty.org




Laura Weis President & CEO LauraW@champaigncounty.org

Garret Hill Public Policy Director GarretH@champaigncounty.org

GOLD Busey Carle

Karly Combest Director of Member Relations & Programming KarlyC@champaigncounty.org

SILVER BankChampaign, N.A. First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Samantha Hendon Marketing & PR Director SamanthaH@champaigncounty.org

Caryn Isenhower Accounts Receivable & Office Administrator Caryni@champaigncounty.org

BRONZE A & R Mechanical Contractors Amdocs Christie Clinic Heartland Bank & Trust Kraft Foods, Inc. McGladrey LLP Midland States Bank Presence Covenant Medical Center

Madison Hendricks Events & Programs Manager MadisonH@champaigncounty.org

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, WCCU, ABC and CW

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

Ryan Pea Membership Sales Director RyanP@champaigncounty.org



Stephanie McCullough Director of First Impressions StephanieM@champaigncounty.org

Clifford-Jacobs Forging

Mike DeLorenzo

Susan Jepsen

Reynolds Towing Service, Inc.

University of Illinois

Kurt Lenschow

Mike Estes

Dr. Jared Rogers

Fisher National Bank

David Farrar

Illinois American Water

Lisa Gengelbach

Wyndham Garden Urbana

Tabatha Helm DSC Logistics

Zachary Hillard Busey

State Farm

Presence Covenant Medical Center

Dennis Riggs

FIX-IT, Sidney Dairy Barn

Julianna Sellett Carle

Mike Wozniak

Livingston, Barger, Brandt & Schroeder

FINANCIAL SERVICES Provided by CliftonLarsonAllen

Jim Lyons

Chair, Birkey’s Farm Store

Becky Von Holten

First Vice Chair, Midland States Bank

Chuck McReaken

Second Vice Chair, TSM Ventures, Inc.

Beth Auterman

Treasurer, CliftonLarsonAllen

Rod Roberts

Past Chair, Thunderstruck Design

Laura Weis

Secretary, Champaign County Chamber of Commerce

All information contained within this publication is property of the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce and cannot be reproduced without prior expressed or written consent. This publication contains paid advertising; the opinions expressed in those advertisements do not reflect the views of the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce. For advertising information, contact the Chamber at 217.359.1791.

WELCOME TO THE CHAMBER >> members who joined between July 1, 2015 and September 11, 2015 Aflac – Dick Leonard 4402 Crossgate Dr. Champaign, IL 61822 217.369.1638 www.aflac.com Insurance

Their office has been selling and servicing Aflac products in the Champaign-Urbana and surrounding areas for the past 12 years. They work with payroll accounts as well as individuals. They are happy to tell you how their policies can pay money directly to you when unexpected medical disruptions occur. Key polices include short term disability, accident, critical illness and cancer plans. Aflac benefits have been providing peace of mind since 1955.

Agrible, Inc.

2021 S. First St., Ste. 201 Champaign, IL 61820 217.202.9704 www.agrible.com Agricultural Consultants Agrible provides actionable, predictive analytics tools for growers and agricultural companies. Through their services, like Morning Farm Report, they predict how weather will impact crops and agricultural operations, helping growers increase productivity and maximize efficiency. They aim to make big data helpful instead of overwhelming, to innovate existing production methods, and to be the leading voice of recommendation for their agricultural partners. Above all, they value the role of the farmer and work tirelessly to bring the most accurate, practical information to those who need it.

Best Western Monticello Gateway Inn 805 Iron Horse Place Monticello, IL 61856 217.762.9436 www.bestwestern.com Hotels

Champaign-Urbana Adventures in Time and Space 123 W. Main St., Ste. 104 Urbana, IL 61801 217.898.7158 www.cuadventures.com Interactive Entertainment

Champaign-Urbana Adventures in Time and Space is a real-life game experience where teams of 2-8 players have 60 minutes to find clues, complete puzzles, discover secret doors and solve the mystery of the room. An “escape room” experience, CU Adventures promises immersive storytelling, exciting puzzles and a strong connection to the local film and theater community.

Comfort Suites

2001 N. Lincoln Ave. Urbana, IL 61801 217.328.3500 www.choicehotels.com Hotels Have a great stay at the Comfort Suites® Urbana Champaign, University Area hotel in Urbana, IL. This is an award-winning all-suites hotel near the University of Illinois Campus. You are invited to relax in your spacious suite, which features a refrigerator, microwave, flat-screen TV, pillow-top mattress, coffee maker, hairdryer, iron and ironing board. Keep your electronic devices charged with the recharge device including AC and USB outlets provided in all guest rooms. They also offer a few “Pet Friendly Rooms” at an additional charge. Other amenities include: Daily Complimentary Hot Buffet Breakfast; 24-hr Pool, Hot Tub, Fitness Center & Business Center; Complimentary Light Evening Dinner Monday through Wednesday; and Shuttle Service to Willard Airport and the Amtrak Station.

Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics 401 E. University Ave. Champaign, IL 61820

Christie Clinic expanded their dermatology department to include the Radiance Cosmetic Center. They celebrated on Tuesday, July 28, with a ribbon cutting.

Russell Cellular (Premium Verizon Retailer) held a ribbon cutting to celebrate their grand opening on Thursday, July 30, in Champaign.

217.560.3030 www.cpousa.com Prosthetic Devices

for office team building, friends and family outings, gaming enthusiasts or just about any other group you can think of.

Since 2005, Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics (CPO) has been proud to offer the State of Illinois the finest care, service and innovation in Prosthetics, Orthotics and Pedorthics. Patient satisfaction is their number one priority. CPO began with one office building in Peoria, Illinois in 2005 and has expanded to 25 patient care centers within the last 10 years, becoming the largest and most experienced O&P practice in the region. CPO has seen such growth by providing top-of-the-line service to patients. CPO is an independent private practice accredited by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics.

ESI Consultants, Ltd.

Country Financial – Austin Beaty 801 N. Country Fair Dr., Ste. B Champaign, IL 61821 217.352.0012 www.countryfinancial.com Insurance

Escape Champaign

61 E. University Ave. Champaign, IL 61820 217.693.7678 www.escapechampaign.com Interactive Entertainment The most unique and interactive entertainment in Central Illinois is finally here. You may have heard about escape rooms--racing the clock to escape a locked room by decoding puzzles, riddles and clues-but you’ve never heard of a place like this. Gather a group of people to defuse a bomb in the oval office, outwit an insane author or escape an abandoned hotel in the woods in under 60 minutes. This is great

101 W. Tomaras Ave., Ste. 58 Savoy, IL 61874 217.819.4844 www.esiltd.com Engineers – Civil ESI Consultants has been in business for nearly 13 years and is very proud of its work and reputation developed in the engineering field. Services offered include the potential for turnkey solutions for owner/ developers, whether it’s environmental Phase I due diligence, civil, environmental and structural engineering/science or construction management; our service oriented approach allows us to be a true client advocate. Offices located in Illinois include Charleston, Chicago and Naperville.

Flora Gems

302 W. Kirby Ave. Champaign, IL 61820 217.620.7513 www.floragems.com Jewelers – Retail Flora Gems is a fourth generation, family owned fine jewelry store. They have been Decatur’s premier fine jeweler since 1856, and they are excited to expand and open their second location in Champaign. Flora Gem’s specializes in loose diamonds, engagement rings, custom design, estate jewelry, colored stones, and they buy gold. They have a jeweler on staff and a full service shop to manage many same day repairs. They pride themselves on outstanding customer service and look forward to serving your jewelry needs. Time passes on; styles come and go, but

Congratulations to AT&T Authorized Retailer – MidWest Cellular. They held a ribbon cutting on Thursday, August 6, to celebrate their grand opening in Urbana.

diamonds are forever—and so is Flora Gems.

Illini Hearing Centers, Inc. 1801 W. Kirby Ave. Champaign, IL 61821 217.552.1730 www.illinihearing.com Hearing Aids

Andy Bierbaum, Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist, started his career 20 years ago building and repairing hearing instruments. With Illini Hearing Centers he has brought his all-around knowledge to create a unique company that dispenses all major brands, and has an on-site repair lab.

TownePlace Suites by Marriott Champaign/Urbana held a ribbon cutting to celebreate their grand opening on Thursday, August 13.

actually here today? After 25 years on the treatment side of health care, initially as a Respiratory Therapist at Burnham City Hospital and then as a long time Central Illinois entrepreneur and co-founder of Pulmocare Medical Supply and C U Sleep, Steve Carmichael has entered the “get healthy & stay healthy” side of health care. Isagenix International provides nutritiously dense food sources to help people transform their lives from the inside out. Areas of focus include healthy aging, weight management, performance and energy. Isagenix International currently operates in the USA, Canada, Australia, and eleven other countries and is expected to reach $1B in revenue in 2015.

Isagenix – The CPR Team

Katie Rau Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork

Did you know that the grocery store of tomorrow is

Katie Rau, owner of Katie Rau Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork, is a licensed massage therapist who

2502 Applewood Rd. Champaign, IL 61822 217.493.6424 www.stevecarmichael.isagenix.com Healthy Aging & Nutritional Products

Familia Dental held a ribbon cutting Saturday, August 15, to celebrate the grand opening of their new location on Springfield Avenue in Champaign.

1809 S. Neil St., Ste. B Champaign, IL 61820 847.961.0447 Massage-Therapeutic

Judah Christian School Field of Dreams celebrated the completion of their new field with a ribbon cutting on Saturday, August 22.

graduated from Cortiva Institute, and is also a U of I graduate. As a life-long learner and health-seeker, she is committed to delivering therapeutic massage and education to the C-U community to help restore balance and promote self-healing within the body. She specializes in deep tissue massage, relaxation massage, and also does corporate massage at local businesses in town. Having a heartfelt passion for the human body, she started her career at a chiropractor’s office in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. Since then, she has moved back to Champaign to develop her own massage practice. The success of her practice is founded on the principles of trust, professionalism, expertise, a genuine care for others and personal touch that always puts her client’s health and well-being first.

Latea Bubble Tea Lounge 601 S. 6th., Ste. 105 Champaign, IL 61820 765.586.9398 www.latealounge.com Restaurants

Let’s Talk Life Coaching Carla P

P.O. Box 8451 Champaign, IL 61826 217.714.7519 www.letstalklifecoachingcarlap.com Motivational & Self-Improvement Training If you have an area in your life where you feel you are stuck and you can’t seem to unlock a way to get moving, let Carla help you unlock it. She doesn’t have your answers, but she can assist you in uncovering them. Together she can help create forward movement in your life, or in the life of your family member. She is certified with the Klemmer Coaching Academy.

Congratulations to Haymaker’s Gas Station and Convenience Store on their groundbreaking ceremony Thursday, August 20.

Minneci’s at the Crossing 2501 Village Green Pl. Champaign, IL 61822 217.366.9225 www.minnecisristorante.com Restaurants

Moe’s Southwest Grill 2041 S. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.352.6637 www.moes.com Restaurants

Mr. Delivery

3913 Medical Pkwy., Ste. 200 Austin, TX 78756 928.637.5025 www.mrdelivery.com Restaurants – Delivery Service

Matthew M. Thomas – Design Group International

Party In A Pinch Catering

Matthew Thomas is a Senior Consultant with Design Group International helping organizations transform for a vibrant future. He fixes budgets, boards and business plans across all types of organizations. Taking a process-oriented, client-centered approach, he helps leaders develop innovative solutions so they can fulfill their mission with excellence. Matt has extensive experience working with nonprofit finance and governance, and with businesses of all sizes. He is recognized as an advisor who helps generate simple, straightforward strategies for complex challenges.


2920 Valley Brook Dr. Champaign, IL 61822 877.771.3330 Business Consultants

208 E. Water St. Farmer City, IL 61842 217.778.4498 www.facebook.com/thegoodthebadandtheyummy Caterers 902 W. Killarney St. Urbana, IL 61801 217.328.4400 www.ramada.com Hotels

Topline Sales & Management Training, Inc.

1903 Peach St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.372.4840 www.topline.sandler.com

Moe’s Southwest Grill celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting on Thursday, September 10.

Training-Program Design, Development, Presentation As a business owner, manager or sales professional, do you detect a performance or revenue gap between where your company is and where it needs to be? Does your business struggle with: maintaining a robust pipeline of qualified prospects? Hiring and retaining the best talent? Not giving away unnecessary price concessions in order to win business; and closing sales within a predictable time frame? Norm Bilsbury, PhD is an award winning sales professional, sales trainer and organizational consultant. He and his wife Tosha are the new co-owners of the local Sandler Sales & Management Training Center which offers Sales & Management training designed to create lasting “performance improvement”. Contrasted with the typical motivational “quick fix” many seminarbased training programs offer, their programs focus on facilitating behavioral change and ongoing reinforcement utilizing a sales model with over 40 years of proven success and validated across industries.

Which Wich Superior Sandwiches 512 E. Green St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.607.2329 www.whichwich.com Restaurants

Which Wich Superior Sandwiches is an American fast casual restaurant now servicing the city of Champaign specializing in sandwiches and salads. Which Wich is known for its innovative ordering system, in which customers use red Sharpies to markup pre-printed menus on sandwich bags. They select a sandwich from 10 categories, then choose the bread, cheese, spreads and toppings. The sandwiches are then prepared, and delivered in the personalized sandwich bags. Guests are encouraged to draw on their bags using red Sharpies and hang their “artwork” on the community wall.

working to fill a growing need How the local manufacturing industry continues to grow despite long standing & multiplying challenges

Written by: Samantha Hendon American manufacturing is expected to increase production by an average of seven percent in five years, according to the Boston Consulting Group. Production is coming back to the states from overseas; with the majority of companies leaving China. And investments in certain manufacturing sectors are on the rise. The manufacturing industry is critical to our national economy, which is one reason why a national Manufacturing Day® was established; it is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. Manufacturing is a driving force in Illinois, employing nearly 600,000 people. Illinois WorkNet also stated that manufacturing accounts for 92 percent of Illinois’ exports. Here in Champaign County, there are over 130 different manufacturers; together their manufacturing gross production was $8.3 billion, according to a Bureau of Economic Analysis report in 2012. See Figure 1. FRASCA International and Litania Sports Group are successful, local manufacturers committed to growing the local manufacturing industry, while also educating community members and future manufacturers about the vast opportunities manufacturing professions provide. FRASCA International was founded in 1958 by Rudy Frasca, is a leader in flight simulation and a major proponent of improving aviation safety worldwide. They employ nearly 200 professionals with a diverse range of skills and talents, which enables them to build only the best simulators possible for their customers. Figure 1

Champaign-Urbana, IL (221 out of 349) DOLLARS: $883,000,000.00

“We have customers and simulators in over 70 countries – we are truly an international manufacturing company,” said Kate Walls, human resource representative at FRASCA International. Litania Sports Group, comprised of Gill Athletics, Porter Athletic, PowerMax and Upper90, is headquartered in Champaign and has over 130 employees at this location. They manufacture approximately 75 percent of the products it sells in their Champaign factory. “Our products reach athletic facilities as near as Urbana High School playing fields and as far as University of Hong Kong, to La Videna in Lima, Peru. We ship all over the world from Champaign, Illinois,” said Mary McGrew, vice president of human resources at Litania Sports Group. Many of our other local manufacturers have just as large of a reach. While, the reach is impressive, many of these companies understand doing business with other businesses in Champaign County is essential to a positive business climate. More local purchasing means more money in the local economy. It means more money to keep jobs and create jobs. Walls explained that, “Having a local vendor has many benefits including quicker delivery and customer service nearby.” McGrew agreed saying, “Quality is one of our big selling features. We bring in customers regularly to visit our facility and see the expertise that goes into our products. These customers from around the globe stay at local hotels and eat at local restaurants.” Day-to-day needs are also fulfilled locally, “We purchase all of our office supplies and furniture from local vendors. Our health insurance, one of our biggest expenses after payroll, is purchased locally. In addition, we source as much material as possible from as close as possible to reduce shipping costs,” she added. As mentioned earlier, manufacturing activities are returning to the United States, being “led by transportation equipment; electrical equipment; appliances and components; and computer and

electronic products,” as discussed in the January 2015 issue of the Business Xpansion Journal. Figure 2 illustrates the top five negative reasons for offshoring and the top give positive reasons to reshore. “Reshoring is the practice of bringing manufacturing and services back to the U.S. from overseas. It’s a fast and efficient way to strengthen the U.S. economy because it helps balance the trade and budget deficits, reduces unemployment by creating good, well-paying manufacturing jobs, and fosters a skilled workforce,” as defined by reshorenow.org. While the shift to reshore is certainly positive for our national and local economy, there are also long standing challenges the manufacturing industry faces in the states. Locally, one of those is the struggle to find skilled and qualified candidates for job openings. “Craft workers are hard to find. Everything is electronic or automated…we need people that are good with their hands, can follow processes but improvise on how to create their piece of the puzzle (or simulator in our case),” explained Walls. Numerous initiatives across the country have been established in order to analyze this growing concern and determine where gaps exist and why. Locally, an organization called Champaign-Urbana Cradle to Career (CUC2C) aims to help every student become workforce ready. “The workforce ready student has the academic foundation, technical ability, work habits and interpersonal skills to succeed,” said Laura Weis, president and CEO of the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce; the workforce anchor for the CUC2C initiative. Over 100 volunteers throughout the community are invested in preparing the youth to be successful and contribute in the community. The long-term initiative works to address gaps and strengthen what is already working. In addition to initiatives like CUC2C, “company involvement with education providers, whether technical colleges, community colleges or high schools,” is one of the best ways to overcome workforce hurdles according to Rachel Duran, editor in chief of Business Xpansion Journal. “When several companies in a given geography contribute to a program, whether through equipment donations, providing internships or serving on advisory councils, it strengthens a

program and attracts individuals because participating companies hire out of the program,” Duran added. Education institutions, manufacturers and other local organizations must each take an active role in workforce development. Today’s manufacturing is not what is once was. The training and certification processes should be developed through collaboration – considering the educators role, while also understanding the specific needs of manufacturers will allow stronger and more relevant curriculum to be created.

NEGATIVE REASONS FOR LEAVING: 1. Long lead times 2. Issues with quality, rework, warranty 3. Rising wages and currency variations 4. Freight costs 5. Total costs POSITIVE REASONS TO RESHORE: 1. Skilled workforce compared to the country they are leaving 2. US image/brand 3. Government incentives, particulary when states are competing for jobs 4. Automation, technology, 3-D printing 5. Favorable US energy prices Figure 2

“Today’s manufacturing is technical. It isn’t just standing at a machine and pressing a button over and over. Computers have made some things quicker, but programming, operating and troubleshooting those computers requires a knowledgeable employee who can think on their feet,” said McGrew. Walls added that, “textbook or theory teaching does not always translate to being educated. I can learn more, as the employer, about what a person’s strengths are from learning what they did with their buddies in the garage (working on cars, boats, bikes, ‘tinkering,’ taking apart appliances, etc.) than for what class they took.” While closing the skills gap is one of the largest pieces

MEET OUR EXPERTS: FRASCA International Kate Walls HR Representative 906 Airport Rd. Urbana, IL 61802 www.frasca.com 217.344.9200

Litania Sports Group Mary McGrew Vice President of HR 601 Mercury Dr. Champaign, IL 61822 www.litaniasports.com 217.367.8438

Figure 3

Champaign County, IL (399 out of 3071) DOLLARS: $306,149,000.00

to the puzzle, there is an “inaccurate image” of what a manufacturing position looks like. From McGrew’s experience, many individuals believe the manufacturing industry is low skilled and low paying, which makes finding workers who are proud of their job and truly believe it to be a career choice a challenge. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the manufacturing sector in Champaign County has consistently ranked as one of the top three sectors with the largest earnings. See Figure 3. In addition to manufacturing companies shaping local programming for future manufacturers, one way to change the misconceptions about the industry is to shift from a “trades” and “vocations” perspective to a profession or career choice. Individuals in manufacturing have opportunities for professional development and advancement, just like any other industry. FRASCA International has a wide range of opportunities for people looking to enter the industry – engineering (mechanical, electrical, aeronautical, graphics, computer science), machining, composites, paint, welding, carpentry, upholstery, just to name a few. Litania Sports Group does too, with positions like fabricators, CAD technicians, powder coat painters, welders, shipping/ logistics professionals and more. The manufacturing industry has evolved. There are opportunities for great success. Multitasking machines and advancements in technology have bettered the industry. “[The United States has] the potential to bring back 25 percent of the manufacturing lost,” said Harry Moser, founder of the Reshoring Initiative. Getting the engineering and manufacturing back together in the same building, improving productivity and increasing employment in the manufacturing field can continue to drive the industry to new heights. If you’re considering a career in manufacturing or know a student/child weighing the options, McGrew says, “Excellent choice! [It is] steady work that requires the ability to troubleshoot and adapt in an industry that is changing daily. It also gives the satisfaction of seeing tangible results of your hard work.” •

HELP US WELCOME Madison Hendricks joined the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce in August as our Events and Programs Manager. She recently graduated from the University of Evansville, with a degree in Business Administration. During her time in school, Madison had several internships and positions that allowed her to gain valuable experience coordinating all types of events for various organizations. With a passion for business and entrepreneurship, she is excited to begin working for the Chamber. She is especially looking forward to meeting and working with all of the members. Madison is eager to bring her creativity to the position to create outstanding future events for the Chamber. Madison may be reached via email at MadisonH@ champaigncounty.org. Stephanie McCullough joined the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce in September as our Director of First Impressions. She joins our team with over 10 years of working with the public. Stephanie loves meeting new people and lending her help in any way that she can. Stephanie was attracted to this position because it gives her the opportunity to use her communication skills and personality to do an outstanding job for an organization that is influential in the community. She looks forward to meeting our members, having a long-lasting career with the Chamber and being able to grow with an amazing group of people here in the office. Stephanie may be reached via email at StephanieM@champaigncounty.org.

Chuck Eyman Kirk Harney Jan Miller Dan Marker Steve Tock







PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE There are a few recent federal policy changes that will affect local businesses in Champaign County. President Barack Obama is proposing changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act. Europay, Mastercard and Visa have been working with the United States Federal Government to implement new Chip-andSign technology. Both will have a direct impact on your business. The United States Department of Labor listened to concerns about changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act. The changes would affect some exemptions for overtime pay. The proposed rules will more than double the salary threshold for employees with primary duties that fall under the executive, administrative, professional exemptions. The National Retail Federation has estimated the change could increase employer costs $9.5 billion. The rules would affect all industries including banking, manufacturing, oil/gas and many others. The Public Policy Committee recommended the Chamber board of directors oppose the proposed overtime changes and the board of directors formally submitted our opposition. For the past several months, Europay, Mastercard and Visa have been working with the United States Federal Government to implement new Chip-andSign technology. Many businesses and consumers may have recently received a new credit card that includes a microchip. This is in an effort to bring themselves in compliance with new Chip-and-Sign rules. Chip-and-Sign is an effort that is believed to help prevent identity theft and fraud. As of right now, banks are typically held liable for fraudulent charges on debit and credit cards. Beginning October 1, 2015, merchants will be held liable for fraud if they are not in compliance with new Chip-and-Sign regulations. Last month, the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce hosted an EMV compliance seminar to help assist our membership comply with the new regulations.

If you have further questions or concerns about these federal policies, please feel free to contact the Chamber office so we can help assist you further. If you would like to voice your concern or volunteer to get involved in policy initiatives, the Chamber of Commerce staff can also help direct you. The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce is your local headquarters to support the Independent Map petition. For too long, entrenched politicians have had the power to draw their own legislative boundaries, allowing them to choose who votes for them rather than allowing voters to choose who they vote for. Over 7,000 signatures have been collected from volunteers here in Champaign County, and statewide they have over 300,000, the minimum to put the constitutional amendment on the November 2016 ballot. The work is not done however, you can sign, pass and notarize the petition here at the Chamber of Commerce.

cut our train that's A pain! Amtrak service along I-57 is on the chopping block. Don’t lose a vital method of transportation. Sign this petition today or risk losing service.


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1900 South First Street | Champaign, IL 61820 p 217 819 5000 | www.StayAtTheI.com

217-355-1961 champaignnorth@athletico.com

MEMBER ACCOLADES & NEWS Chris’ Water Gardens has been recognized by Aquascape, Inc. as a Top Frog in the pond industry and ranked 13th among all retailers in the country and 16th among all the certified Aquascape Contractors in the entire United States and Canada. Chris’ Water Gardens is a Master Certified Aquascape Contractor (MCAC), the highest level of certification provided by Aquascape Inc. MCACs are the most qualified and informed pond installers in the water gardening industry. Peoria Charter has announced an increase in daily shuttles. Now community members can choose from eight daily shuttles between the Champaign-Urbana Area and the Chicago Area. They have also added a stop in Matteson and a drop off point at Orchard Downs. Additional times begin on August 1, 2015. To see the new times, visit their website. Della Smith has joined Marine Bank as Branch Manager at Village Green Place in Champaign. Smith has extensive experience in all aspects of branch management and customer service. Pam Berbaum, Senior Vice President of Branch Administration said, “In addition to her expertise in finding the right financial solutions for her customers, she has a deep understanding of our community and the personalized service that Marine Bank is known for.” Matt Glavin has been named director of government affairs for Illinois American Water, effective July 20, 2015. In this role, Glavin will represent Illinois American Water at all levels of state government. Glavin brings more than 15 years of experience in the political and legislative process, most recently serving as deputy director for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Past roles also include serving as chief of staff for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and deputy press secretary for United States Senator Richard Durbin. Glavin has also served as senior account executive for Jascula Terman & Associates and campaign manager for several campaigns. First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust employees company-wide donated more than 5,000 items for local food pantries throughout their banking center communities. “During summer months, the food centers do not receive as many donations as they do during winter months. On top of that, kids need to eat three meals a day at home in the summer versus one meal during the school year. Contributions from our food drive will make an impact on our communities beyond what we can imagine,” said Morgan Cornwell of the Employee Relations Committee at First Mid. “First Mid employees have always given generously,” said Joe Dively, Chairman and CEO of First Mid. “It’s great to witness support for our communities coming directly from individuals going above and beyond to help fill our food pantries.” As of July 1, 2015, the Illinois counties of Livingston, McLean and DeWitt became part of the Eastern Illinois Foodbank service area. This addition means their service area has expanded from 14 to 17 counties. There are approximately 28,000 people in those counties suffering from food insecurity. They are confident that they will be able to provide

food assistance to those in need, truly affecting lives and providing hope. Chris Gutkowski, P.E. CFM, who focuses on water resources as an environmental engineer, has joined the Champaign office of MSA Professional Services. He will help communities solve water-related issues and seek funding for projects. He serves as president of the Central Illinois East Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Gutkowski earned an M.S. Degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering and a B.S. Degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and also is a certified floodplain manager. September is National Preparedness Month, an annual awareness event sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). David McGuire, owner of SERVPRO® of Champaign/Urbana says this is a great time for business owners to review their emergency preparedness and business continuity plans. SERVPRO® points to startling statistics like this one to emphasize the importance of advance planning: according to FEMA, as many as 40 percent of businesses never reopen following a major flood disaster. Because SERVPRO® knows the time to create a disaster readiness plan is before you need it, they have developed the SERVPRO® Emergency READY Program to help business owners create an Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) for their facility, at no charge. Visit their website for more details.

Cham ber Sto re Mailing Labels


Long list (approx. 2,500 names and businesses): $175 Short list (approx. 1,000 names and businesses): $125

Recently redesigned, our electronic newsletter is sent to more than 2,200 businesses and businesspeople in Champaign County each week. Sponsor an e-Connection and get your business seen by thousands.

Contact Caryn Isenhower to order, Caryni@champaigncounty.org or 217.359.1791.

Header sponsorship (one wk.): $100

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:


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 2,100+ email list.

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 Samantha Hendon at SamanthaH@champaigncounty. org.

Email Blast Advertisement: $500 Contact Samantha Hendon for more information, SamanthaH@champaigncounty.org or 217.359.1791.

Commerce Connection

This is a bi-monthly publication that is distributed to over 2,600 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 Samantha Hendon for more information, SamanthaH@ champaigncounty.org or 217.359.1791.

Email Footer Sponsorship


Contact Samantha Hendon for more information, SamanthaH@ champaigncounty.org or 217.359.1791.

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: Chamber Annual Meeting: Title Sponsorship (1) - $2,750; - SOLD Mid Level Sponsorship - $900; Table Sponsorship: $400 Additional sponsorship information for events such as Business Success and Solutions Seminars is available upon request. Contact Karly Combest at KarlyC@champaigncounty.org or call 217.359.1791 with any event sponsorship inquiries.

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.

Online Business Directory Enhancements

Footer (one wk.): $75 (Add footer to the e-Connection for an additional $50.)

Basic upgrade: $40/year

Contact Samantha for details at, SamanthaH@champaigncounty. org or 217.359.1791.

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. Value upgrade: $60/year

Deluxe upgrade: $90/year

Contact Samantha Hendon for more information, SamanthaH@champaigncounty.org 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 Ribbon Cutting Escape Champaign

Thursday, October 1 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 61 E. University Ave., Champaign

First Friday Coffee

Friday, October 2 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Rogards Office Plus 214 S. Walnut St., Champaign

Fall Breakfast Series

Playing in the Professional Sandbox sponsored by Express Employment Professionals Thursday, October 8 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Champaign County Chamber of Commerce 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

ACE Leadership Program

Developing a Leader Within You Thursday, October 8 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Champaign County Chamber of Commerce 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

Ribbon Cutting Fehr Graham

Thursday, October 8 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. 1610 Broadmoor Dr., Champaign

Ribbon Cutting Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics

Tuesday, October 13 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. 401 E. University Ave., Ste. 105, Champaign

ACE Leadership Program Group Presentations

Thursday, October 15 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Champaign County Chamber of Commerce 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

Starting a Small Business Workshop Hosted by ECI Score

Thursday, October 15 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Champaign County Chamber of Commerce 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

Business After Hours

Thursday, October 15 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Meyer Capel, A Professional Corporation 306 W. Church St., Champaign

Connect @ Lunch

Monday, October 19 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Location TBD

ACE Leadership Program

Impact of Young Professionals in Government Thursday, October 22 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Champaign County Chamber of Commerce 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

Financing a Small Business Workshop Hosted by ECI Score

Thursday, October 22 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Champaign County Chamber of Commerce 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

Fast Facts

5.0% Champaign County Unemployment Rate in July 2015

35 business licenses applied for in Champaign County in August 2015


August 2015 U of I Flash Index for Illinois

528,360 rides were taken on CUMTD in June 2015

5,857 visits to the Chamber’s page, champaigncounty.org in August 2015

8,962 average amount of referrals PER DAY the

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Online Business Directory received via search engines and online sources in August 2015.

2014 The year that the Champaign County

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

2015 Chamber Annual Meeting

Friday, October 23 12:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Hilton Garden Inn 1501 S. Neil St., Champaign

303 West Kirby Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 P 217.359.1791 | F 217.359.1809 www.champaigncounty.org







Profile for Champaign County Chamber of Commerce

Commerce Connection - September/October 2015  

A look at the local manufacturing industry - the impact it has and its continued growth despite longstanding and multiplying challenges. Als...

Commerce Connection - September/October 2015  

A look at the local manufacturing industry - the impact it has and its continued growth despite longstanding and multiplying challenges. Als...