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Permit No. 29 Champaign, IL

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C h a m pa i g n C o u n t y ’ s t ru s t e d

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20 years



this issue is sponsored by Windsor of Savoy


Volume 22 | Issue 2


2015 ATHENA® Award Luncheon Brought to you by:

Amy Randolph (Right), ATHENA Award® Recipient and Kathryn J. Bermingham, (Left) ATHENA Young Professional Award® Recipient Amy Randolph is the 27th local recipient of the award, which honors individuals who assist women in reaching their full leadership potential; demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession; and provide valuable service by devoting time and energy to improving the quality of life for others in the community. As Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer of Busey Bank, Randolph exhibits strong leadership, determination and positive change throughout her career. She received her Bachelor of Liberal Arts Degree in Communications and Political Science from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. While working full time at CliftonLarsonAllen LLP (previously known as Clifton Gunderson, LLC), she completed her Master’s degree in Science and Technology with a 4.0 grade point average. At Busey, Randolph contributed countless improvements and strategic changes to the company. Last year, she established Pillar Relations, a 30 associate team made up of three departments— Brand Strategies, Growth Strategies and Human Resources and Performance Management. Since this new addition, she has implemented training programs, online development course videos and other hands-on opportunities to help others gain personal and professional growth opportunities. Randolph also helped develop Busey’s MoneySmart Youth program, which teaches children ages 5-10 the importance of financial responsibility. Randolph’s nominator, Abby Hendren, Senior Vice Present of Brand Strategies, said even though Randolph has significant responsibilities and leadership roles, she always finds time to support and coach members on her team. “Her graceful leadership style and passion has formed the foundation of excellence for Pillar Relations at Busey,” Hendren said. “If you asked Amy what makes her such a great leader, she would respond that she is still growing and learning how to be truly impactful. Being a leader is

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

FY15 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 Kraft Foods, Inc. McGladrey Midland States Bank Presence Covenant Medical Center

CHAMBER STAFF Laura Weis President & CEO LauraW@champaigncounty.org

Jennifer Kammerer Membership Sales Director JenniferR@champaigncounty.org

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

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

Samantha Hendon Marketing & PR Director SamanthaH@champaigncounty.org Garret Hill Public Policy Director GarretH@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


Mike DeLorenzo

University of Illinois

Stephen Flynn Sleep Inn

Perry Greene

Stone Creek Golf Club

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

Cindy Guthrie


Tabatha Helm

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

Mary Murphy Events & Programs Coordinator MaryM@champaigncounty.org



Lynette Lykins Director of First Impressions LynetteL@champaigncounty.org

Susan Jepsen

Reynolds Towing Service, Inc.

Kurt Lenschow State Farm

Chuck McReaken

Rod Roberts

Chair, Thunderstruck Design

Jim Lyons

First Vice Chair, Birkey’s Farm Store

Becky Von Holten

Tri Star Marketing, Inc.

Second Vice Chair, Midland States Bank

Dennis Riggs

Beth Auterman

FIX-IT, Sidney Dairy Barn

Three Degrees of Change Chris Shroyer Busey DSC Logistics

Treasurer, CliftonLarsonAllen

Michael Wozniak

Past Chair, Livingston, Barger, Brandt & Schroeder

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.

FINANCIAL SERVICES Provided by CliftonLarsonAllen

not an end result for Amy, it is a continuous journey—a path desired by every single woman on her team.” Randolph’s long list of accomplishments does not end in the workplace. In 2011, she established the Ryken Bailey Foundation in memory of her one year old nephew, Ryken, who lost his battle with a rare and aggressive brain tumor known as Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor (ART). The organization provides financial assistance to families of children in central Illinois with serious health issues and has raised more than $1 million to families in need. Randolph also volunteers with Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA). Andy Miller, WCIA 3 News Director and CASA Board Member, said Randolph was “instrumental in the success” of the campaign and organized a “Casual for CASA day,” in which she encouraged major employers in the area to allow their employees to dress down in exchange for a donation.

Past ATHENA Award® Recipients with Amy Randolph

Randolph has also served with several other causes, including the American Cancer Society, Atwood Zoning, Busey’s United Way Campaign and many others. As an avid leader and advocator, Hendren believes that Randolph is an inspiration to those around her and truly empowers women of all ages. “It is a delicate balancing act for women—keeping your career on track while dealing with daily demands of children and family,” Hendren said. “Amy has found a way to effectively balance the two and serves as an example to her colleagues of what working women can accomplish.” Randolph joins a distinguished list of past ATHENA® recipients including Sandra A. Jones (2014); Bianca Green (2013); Cindy Somers (2012); Lori Gold Patterson (2011); Lynne Barnes (2010); Kathleen Holden (2009); Jane Hays (2008); Donna Greene (2007); Jayne DeLuce (2006); Sue Grey (2005); Beth Katsinas (2004); Diane Friedman (2003); Traci Nally (2002); Lyn Jones (2001); Linda Hamilton (2000); Anita Broeren (1999); Theresa Grentz (1998); Zelema Harris (1997); Shirley Anderson (1996); Mary McGrath (1995); Linda Mills (1994); Jan Kiley (1993); Nanette Fisher (1992); Gloria Dauten (1991); Elizabeth Curzon (1990); and Ruth B. Jones (1989). The Chamber also recognized the ATHENA Young Professional Award® recipient, Kathryn (Katie) J. Bermingham, Senior at CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP. As a Certified Public Accountant, Bermingham works with the firm’s Public Sector Group to grow governmental and non-profit client service and works throughout Illinois. She also serves as a Career Coach at CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP and has mentored three young women in building their careers both locally and in other communities.

Amy Randolph and her nominator, Abby Hendren

Kathryn Bermingham and her nominator, Jane Brockway

In addition to her work, Bermingham has volunteered as the Finance Advisor for the Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority and the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign for the last five years. She also serves as Assistant Scholarship Chair for the Women’s Business Council.

Bermingham’s nominator, Jane A. Brockway, Vice President of Wealth Management at the UIECU, said Bermingham continues to work to achieve high service results with all of her clients. “Katie has not only helped promote young accountants in her field, but at the young age of 29, she continues to be active in her community,” Brockway said. Past recipients of this prestigious award include Amy Rademaker (2014), Laura Frerichs (2013), Sarah Zehr (2012) and Rhiannon Clifton (2011). The ATHENA Award® program was sponsored by the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce and Spherion Staffing Services, corporate underwriter for the ATHENA Award® program. The award recipient’s jeweled lapel pin was provided by Busey Wealth Management. Desserts were sponsored by Pekara Bakery & Bistro. The ATHENA Young Professional Award® is also sponsored by past recipients of the ATHENA Award®.

HAVE YOU BEEN CARDED RECENTLY? Not this kind of carded:

This kind of carded!

Watch on the Chamber’s social media pages and at events to see what we mean and learn how you could win a Commerce Card! It’s the first of it’s kind, county-wide gift card program that supports shopping local. Don’t want to wait to win? Purchase one today over the phone (217.359.1791), online (www.champaigncounty.org) or in person (303 W. Kirby Avenue, Champaign).


Where the elite of academic excellence convenes, where families reminisce and celebrate memories, where companies cultivate ideas.

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

WELCOME TO THE CHAMBER >> members who joined between January 5 and March 6, 2015 Action Advertising

convenience and confidence - whether they are down the street or across the country. Champaign Barter is an independent trade exchange and is locally owned and operated by Dennis Cluver & Associates. It is part of the Barter 21 network with over 50 other barter exchanges around the country.

Action Advertising is a promotional products distributor and a member of the Advertising Specialties Institute. Ad specialties are useful products imprinted with your advertising message. There are over 3000 companies supplying this industry with everything from ash trays to zipper pulls and Action Advertising helps zero in on just the right products at the right price to meet your objectives. Businesses and organizations of all types have found that advertising specialties provide an excellent and cost effective way to keep their name and message in front of their clients and prospects. At Action Advertising the goal is to be a valuable resource by providing prompt personal attention to every inquiry and every order.

City of Monticello

503 S. Country Fair Dr. Champaign, IL 61821 217.355.5550 www.callactionadvertising.com Advertising Specialties

Central Illinois Rental Property Professionals P.O. Box 1792 Champaign, IL 61824 217.344.2222 www.cirpp-live.com Social Service Organization

210 N. Hamilton St. Monticello, IL 61856 (217) 762-2583 www.cityofmonticello.net Government Offices In addition to being the home of the well-known Monticello Railway Museum, Allerton Park, and the Monticello Family Aquatic Center, Monticello is known for low property taxes, a high quality of life, excellent school systems, and wonderful opportunities. In 2014, Business Insider named Monticello the 44th best suburb in the nation, and SafeWise listed Monticello as the 17th safest city in Illinois. Located between Decatur and Champaign on I-72, Monticello offers cutting edge technology, affordable to executive housing, and professional healthcare services, with the business support and amenities of the larger metro areas. In essence, Monticello is a big city that doesn’t act like it.

Champaign Barter

503 S. Country Fair Dr. Champaign, IL 61821 217.355.5550 www.callactionadvertising.com Champaign Barter is a business-to-business trading network where members buy and sell their products and services to each other without using cash. Barter exchanges first began to appear in the late 1970s but today the internet, personal computers, and bankingclass software have taken the concept to a whole new level. By joining a local barter exchange you can trade for a wide variety of products and services with

Leaf It To Us held a ribbon cutting on February 11, 2015, to celebrate the purchase of their new location. Renovations began promptly and their retail space will be open later this year.

First Bank celebrated the grand opening of their new location with a ribbon cutting on March 5, 2015.

branch in Farmer City IL. He will be providing insurance and financial services in the Champaign, Piatt, and DeWitt County areas. COUNTRY Financial® offers a variety of insurance products including home, auto, life, disability income, long-term care, and commercial insurance. In addition, Swift offers investment and retirement solutions. Swift has six years of experience with COUNTRY Financial®. Prior to taking over the Farmer City office, he served as the District Underwriter, overseeing commercial and agribusiness underwriting. He can be contacted at 309-928-3174 and you can also follow his business on Facebook at Trent Swift Country Financial.

COUNTRY Financial® - Nathan Hubbard 426 E. Champaign Ave. Rantoul, IL 61866 217.892.4479 www.countryfinancial.com Insurance

Nathan Hubbard is a Financial Representative with COUNTRY Financial® servicing Champaign and the surrounding area. He has been with COUNTRY for 15 years and is focused on building relationships with his clients. He uses a needs-based approach to helping individuals, families and business owners with their insurance and financial needs. Tim Tatman’s Collision Repair held a ribbon cutting on March 16, 2015 to celebrate their grand opening.

COUNTRY Financial® - Travis Heath 3123 Village Office Pl. Champaign, IL 61822 217.352.4555 www.countryfinancial.com Insurance

Travis and his wife reside in Mahomet and have a three year old son, Brooker. He began his work in the Financial Services and Insurance industry over six years ago with COUNTRY Financial® and works with clients who are primarily comprised of individuals and small businesses in insurance (auto, home, life and business) and investing (retirement planning, distribution planning and asset preservation).

COUNTRY Financial® - Trent Swift 112 W. Clinton Ave. Farmer City, IL 61842 309.928.3184 www.countryfinancial.com Insurance

Trent Swift has taken over the COUNTRY Financial®

Athletico Physical Therapy has combined with Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers to provide patient-centered physical therapy at over 330 locations in 8 states. Accelerated Champaign-Urbana North 217-355-1961 champaign.clinic@acceleratedrehab.com Athletico Champaign-Urbana South 217-352-3330 urbana@athletico.com

He specializes in providing a tangible plan for people to meet their financial and retirement goals. Nathan resides in Champaign with his wife Sara and their one year old son Leo.

Glenn Shepard Seminars P.O. Box 210559 Nashville, TN 37221 0559 615.353.7125 www.glennshepard.com Seminars

Leaf It to Us – Total Tree Care Plus, LLC 604 Ash St. Villa Grove, IL 61956 217.621.7911 www.totaltreecareplus.com Tree Service

Leaf It To Us Total Tree Care Plus LLC is owned and operated by Brad S. Drew, who brings over 15 years of experience to the company. Brad is a Certified Arborist (IL-1733AMUL) credentialed by the International Society of Arboriculture. They are a fully insured company and are ready to handle any tree care jobs that you have. They have assured that their team is trained in the proper handling of the Emerald Ash Borer and are ready to provide you with

a consultation to save your Ash trees. Leaf It To Us provides professional tree care services throughout East Central Illinois. They provide a multitude of tree and landscaping services including tree diagnosis/ treatment, pest management, fertilizing, pruning, planting, mulching, removal when needed, stump grinding, storm damage cleanup, firewood and snow removal. They also offer free estimates and look forward to having the opportunity to work with you soon.

Jet’s Pizza – Springfield Ave. 1907 W. Springfield Ave., Ste. A Champaign, IL 61821 217.352.9992 www.jetspizza.com Pizza


2752 County Rd. 350 E. Mahomet, IL 61853 217.377.3044 www.monsanto.com Agriculture Suppliers

Pinnacle Door Company

1001 Morrissey Dr. Bloomington, IL 61701 309.829.3667 www.pinnacledoor.com Garage Doors – Sales & Repairs

Refinery Gym & Events

2302 W. John St. Champaign, IL 61821 217.693.4449 www.eventsatrefinery.com Banquet Facilities and Health Clubs

Synergy Home Care

2407 General Electric Rd., Ste. 2 Bloomington, IL 61704 309.808.3047 www.synergyhomecare.com Home Health Services & Senior Citizens Services Synergy HomeCare is a non-medical home care agency servicing Champaign and surrounding areas. They provide assistance with all aspects of daily living; bathing, meal preparation, dressing, personal care, housekeeping, medication reminders and transportation to medical appointments or provide respite for family caregivers. Whether you need care for a few hours a day or 24 hours a day, their champaigncounty.org/ 9

caregivers are there for you no contracts; just care. Their office is located in the Shoppes of Knollwood: 2213 S. Neil Champaign, Illinois. Stay tuned for our grand opening late spring of 2015.

Tim Tatman’s Collision Repair 701 N. Mattis Ave. Champaign, IL 61821 217.607.0119 Automobile Body Repair & Painting

After climbing his way up the collision repair shop business ladder for 35 years, Tim Tatman finally achieved his dream of owning a collision repair shop in Champaign. Tim’s wife, Donna, co-owns the business as well. The store is locally owned and will always have an on-site owner at all times. His goal is to deliver the best customer service with the best quality while being the best employer.

10 \ champaigncounty.org

TownePlace Suites by Marriott 524 E. Green St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.344.1600 www.marriott.com/CMPTS Hotels

Opening June 2015, the TownePlace Suites by Marriott Champaign Urbana showcases a bright new look, designed to meet the needs of the growing segment of “do-it-yourself” travelers – guests who want more than a place to stay when they’re away from home, they want a place to live. The hotel features 95 guest suites and specializes in delivering service that helps guests settle in to the Champaign Urbana area. The TownePlace Suites is honored to be located right in the heart of campus at 524 E. Green Street. Follow them on Twitter (@TownePlaceCU) for the opening progress. They look forward to becoming a premier destination to welcome all those arriving to the Champaign Urbana area.

photo from middlegeorgiaric.org

e c r o f k r o w g in t c a p issues im t and future employees.

The importance of investing in It’s no secret—the ever-growing skills gap in the United States workforce is an ongoing issue. Fortunately, many companies, including those in Champaign County, are combating the issue by vigorously researching and educating our future workforce through school programs, seminars and online training modules. However, the struggle to find qualified employees continues to affect employment rates.

Although U.S. Millennials have the highest level of educational attainment of any generation in history, some evidence points to a lack of knowledge of the skills needed to succeed in the workforce. As a result, major gaps are emerging between the number of job openings and qualified candidates for these vacant positions. According to a report released by the Educational Testing Service, American Millennials are among the lowest performers in literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments. Mark D’Alessio, blogger for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the main issue is not that students lack an education in general, but rather students are not learning the necessary skills to be successful in the 21st century workforce. “This will have a dramatic effect, not only on the economy, but on this generation’s ability to be productive citizens in our democracy,” D’Alessio said in his blog. D’Alessio is not the first to point out the significant number of people unprepared to enter the workforce. Inadequacies in education and workforce development systems have played a substantial role in the growing skills gap. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the pool of skilled workers will decline resulting in nearly five million unfilled jobs by 2018 if left unchanged. A recent report done by the East Central Illinois Economic Development District, which was


Written by: Samantha Hendon & Megan Vasiliadis

assessing the workforce, came to similar conclusions and found that the lowest rating for employers in Champaign County was the availability of qualified job applicants. David Vukelich, business development representative at Kelly Services, recognizes the lack of qualified candidates is due to the growing population of retiring skilled trade workers. “Large amounts of skilled trade workers are leaving the workforce and the amount of skilled trade candidates to replace them is extremely low,” Vukelich said. In an effort to reduce the skills gap, more companies across the country and in Champaign County are implementing strategies to provide useful solutions to employees. One strategy, known as talent pipelining, allows companies to team up with local institutions (high schools, universities, community colleges, etc.) to create coursework directly related to specific career opportunities for the company. These alternative education opportunities are often called Career Technical Education (CTE) programs. These programs are valuable for all stakeholders. Employers gain a consistent group of trained candidates, who are also proficient with the skills necessary for the position at hand. Local educational institutions win by directing students to solid job opportunities after completion of the program, while also creating a competitive advantage which allows them to recruit more students for the program. Students benefit because they are receiving a hands-on education and graduating with jobs. More companies are beginning to utilize such strategies. Lynn Yoerk, owner of Express Employment Professionals, pointed out that CTE programs provide students with specific training on a wide range of high-wage, high-skill experiences. CTE-trained workers are in demand, and the programs are affordable, lead to high-paying jobs and give America a competitive advantage.

R U O T E E M : S T R E P EX Dale Carnegie Training

Sandy Pistole, Territory Manager 7820 N. University St., Ste. 110 Peoria, IL 61614 www.centralil.dalecarnegie.com 815.685.6948

Education for Employment System #330

Nick Elder, System Director 2400 W. Bradley Ave., Room A113 Champaign, IL 61821 www.efe330.org 217.355.1382

Express Employment Professionals

Richard & Lynn Yoerk, Owners 2117 W. Park Ct., #1 Champaign, IL 61821 www.expresspros.com 217.355.8500

Kelly Services

David Vukelich, Business Development Representative 113 N. Mattis Ave., Ste. K Champaign, IL 61821 www.kellyservices.com 217.351.0937

Spherion Staffing

Cindy Somers, Owner 1805 Woodfield Dr. Savoy, IL 61874 www.spherion.com 217.359.4488

Thank you to all members that participated as experts and for the work you do to better our local workforce and community.

The U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan also spoke about CTE programs, stating that these programs are “helping to connect students with the high-demand science, technology, engineering and math fields – where so many good jobs are waiting.” Nick Elder, system director at Education for Employment System #330 (EFE #330), a K-12 career and technical cooperative, emphasized the versatility of CTE programs, saying they lay a foundation of skills and education. “The reality is that there is a large percentage of jobs available which lead to a quality lifestyle that requires more than a high school education, but less than a bachelor’s degree,” Elder said. “The reason I am so passionate about CTE is that it provides pathways for all students, no matter what path they want to pursue,” he added. In addition, some companies are providing general hands-on career exploration events for prospective students. This April, EFE #330, in conjunction with Parkland College, is hosting Trade-Up 2015, an event where students will work with representatives from local labor unions to participate in different tasks related to the building trades. As serious as the apparent skills gap is, it is not the only concern. Yoerk stated “if we can’t engage our youth and demonstrate the great opportunities available in the skilled trade, we will continue to see these great paying jobs being shipped overseas.” Vukelich of Kelly Services agreed, saying that in order to lessen the skills gap, an increase in technical training opportunities is needed, as well as the need for students to gain interest in these positions. “Companies are still expecting the same amount of experience and skill level for incoming skilled trade workers, but the expectations don’t always meet the reality of the current skilled trade workforce in the Champaign area,” Vukelich added. Yoerk explained, “Not only are business leaders having a difficult time finding talent with the right mix of skills and expertise they need to maintain productivity and drive innovation, the emerging workforce has brought about a lot of change.” Although major employers throughout the country and some local businesses have made talent pipeline management a priority, a systematic approach that will allow other businesses to adopt successful and sophisticated hiring and training techniques has yet to be established.

Furthermore, while finding qualified skilled labor has been a growing challenge, employers have found that some basic behavioral attributes are also lacking. Elder, with EFE #330, emphasized that the importance of “soft skills” is often taken for granted by applicants. These soft skills include the ability to be on time for work, basic communication skills and the ability to work with others, according to Elder. “One of the things we hear from employers and relay to students is that many times a resume, cover letter and solid interview might get you a job, but the soft skills are what will allow you to keep a job and advance in your career,” Elder said. Cindy Somers, owner of Spherion Staffing, an organization that works to find candidates a career opportunity that fits their goals as well as meeting the needs of their clients, also added that employers have expressed the need for “a positive attitude and good work ethics.” With the market becoming tighter, meaning more opportunities than qualified candidates, Somers has also found that employers in Champaign County are looking for individuals to meet basic hiring criteria, including background checks and pre-employment drug screens and physicals. Sandy Pistole, territory manager for Dale Carnegie Training, an organization that works with companies in furthering the development of employees, said employers need critical thinkers who have the ability to collaborate with others. While as important as it is to invest in the training of young people looking to enter the local workforce, it is also critical to invest in current employees. Our local experts were in agreement with this statement. Elder said, “Continuing education and training for employees provides an excellent opportunity for career advancement for employees, but also a proven ‘grow your own’ strategy for employers.” Somers, of Spherion Staffing, stated investing in employees improves retention and overall company strength. “We need to continue to educate and inform the employment base on the importance of basic workforce expectations and encourage continued learning,” Yoerk said. Pistole added that local businesses also have urgent needs to “build the bench.” Stressing the importance of employee engagement and investing in the front-

line leadership, she said companies are looking “to develop employees who can step up into a leadership role.” The workforce training provided to current and future employees is changing, largely in part to the advancements in technology. “There are several industry specific certifications that can be achieved online. The availability is instant, it’s very cost effective and in most cases completely flexible,” Yoerk explained. “Some training is live online, allowing for nearly the same interaction as one would experience in the classroom,” added Pistole. “Technology is becoming increasingly more sophisticated allowing for mobile learning through apps, internet sites and high-level virtual conferencing.” Unfortunately, with the current state of the economy, businesses are trying to do more with less. Pistole commented that, “in this type of environment, management tends to focus on day-to-day operations without taking sufficient time to plan ahead and invest in the long-term benefit of training.” Although America’s workforce has gone through significant changes over the years, today’s employers and employees are faced with a unique set of challenges. “From the struggles associated with some entry level workers, to the generational struggles the emerging workforce represents, our workforce is the most diverse in the history of the nation,” Yoerk said. “The need for educating ourselves on how to adapt to this changing landscape will be critical to successfully meeting the struggles represented in our workforce.” This is not a situation in which one solution fixes all nor is it one organization’s or industry’s responsibility. It requires a unified and joint effort. “Adequately preparing a workforce must, at the very least, be a partnership between K-12 education, higher education and employers,” Elder of EFE #330 stated. This could include any number of activities such as mentoring, providing speakers, job shadowing, internships, participation in advisory committees and more. With the current dedicated and hardworking business community, Champaign County has the ability to face these challenges head on and develop a workforce that leads the state.

champaigncounty.org/ 13

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Do I need to pay my interns at my small business? National Federation of Independent Business | July 2010 As the head of a startup or budget-conscious small business, you may have thought about hiring unpaid interns. It’s a win-win for both parties, right? Young, inexperienced workers can benefit from real-world training while your company benefits from a fresh perspective and cheap labor. But when deciding whether or not to pay your interns, keep in mind the U.S. Department of Labor requires organizations to meet six strict criteria in order to use unpaid interns. Here are the criteria, taken from the Fair Labor Standards Act: RULE 1: “The training, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to what would be given in a vocational school or academic educational instruction.” Meaning: Your interns’ training should be more centered on the craft they’re learning—accounting, writing, welding, etc.— than your business’ specific operations. RULE 2: “The training is for the benefit of the trainees.” Meaning: In line with Rule 1, an unpaid program should only be teaching interns skills they can take elsewhere and are in their long-term interest—not skills or processes that can only be used at your business. RULE 3: “The trainees do not displace regular employees, but work under their close observation.” Meaning: If your small business would have to hire additional employees or require current employees to work overtime if the interns weren’t around, you don’t meet the criteria for an unpaid program. However, interns can be unpaid if they are primarily

shadowing you or your employees while performing minimal work. RULE 4: “The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees, and on occasion the employer’s operations may actually be impeded.” Meaning: More of the work associated with an unpaid internship program should fall on the business when training its interns, rather than on the interns in completing work for the business. In other words, like Rule 2 states, the program is largely for the benefit of the interns, not the benefit of the business. RULE 5: “The trainees are not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period.” Meaning: The Labor Department does not look kindly on unpaid programs that frequently offer a job upon completion. Why? The practice, the department contends, can be used to lure workers to a job in exchange for unpaid labor. RULE 6: “The employer and the trainees understand that the trainees are not entitled to wages for the time spent in training.” Meaning: Because of the practice outlined in Rule 5 that the DOL wants to avoid, the basic premise of an unpaid internship must be understood by both the business and the intern before the program begins. There cannot be a promise for “back wages” if an intern is eventually hired.

champaigncounty.org/ 15

PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce actively advocates for pro-business policies in Champaign County. The Chamber does this through various means, by educating membership of upcoming and/or potential policy changes, through policy formation at the grassroots level, by advocating directly to our elected officials and agencies, and finally through candidate endorsements through the Business Empowered PAC which is a subsidiary corporation of the Chamber with a separate board of directors.

impacted by the April 7 referendum. Before formulating any policy positions, the Chamber’s goal was to meet and hear opinions and concerns of all stakeholders and interested parties. The Chamber has also sent a representative to open forums, public meetings and discussions to report back to the Public Policy Committee and the Board of Directors. After education, the next step in advocacy is formulating public policy. The Public Policy Committee recently requested the Board of Directors take two official stances so far. The board of directors held a formal vote on these policy positions and have decided to support an update to Illinois’ Communications Bill to provide better communication infrastructure and promote business growth in already established companies and various startups which often come out of Champaign County. By doing this, we have joined a coalition that includes many Chambers around Illinois in supporting modern day communication regulation.

Educating Chamber members on upcoming policy changes is crucial to the advocacy process. On February 23, the Public Policy Committee invited our Springfield delegation to speak to members and preview the upcoming Spring Session. Senators Scott Bennett and Chapin Rose along with Representatives Adam Brown and Chad Hays accepted the invitation, Representative Carol Ammons was invited but unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict. Most of the conversation revolved around Governor Bruce Rauner’s The board of directors also voted to oppose the budget proposal, but also touched on topics such as $144 million referendum on the ballot April 7. While workers compensation reform and minimum wage. it is clear that the school district could be improved with various renovations and a new high school, the The Public Policy Committee also recently accepted an invitation to tour the Unit 4 School District’s facilities Chamber’s board of directors could not support a

referendum developed in what they believe is a flawed, non-transparent process and hands over these nonallocated taxpayer funds to a new school board which a majority of the members have yet to serve a day in office. The board of directors would like to give the new school board, with new leadership, a chance to formulate a new proposal and would like to extend our membership and expertise in helping formulate a proposal to address the school district’s needs. Once membership is educated on potential policy changes and our policy positions have been drafted, we need to advocate directly to our elected officials and agencies. The Champaign County First Committee, a public-private partnership with a united countywide effort to identify projects and initiatives to help spur economic development in Champaign County, went to Springfield and met with Representatives Carol Ammons, Adam Brown, Chad Hays and Bill Mitchell. We also met with representatives from the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Department of Transportation. The purpose of the trip was to advocate for various projects around Champaign County while also supporting the city and county Enterprise Zone applications. Our local Springfield delegation was very supportive of our projects and ensures us they will advocate for our community before they are scheduled to adjourn on May 31. The Champaign County First

Committee will also be traveling to Washington DC in May to meet with Congressmen Rodney Davis and John Shimkus and Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk, while also meeting with federal transportation and rail agencies to advocate for similar projects including increased passenger rail in Champaign County and improvements to the I-57/I-74 interchange. After education, policy formation and direct advocacy is complete, the Business Empowered PAC, a subsidiary corporation of the Chamber with a separate Board of Directors, chooses which candidates they believe will best represent the business community in Champaign County. Candidates for Mayor of the City of Champaign and the Unit 4 School Board of Education were invited to be a part of the endorsement process, first with a candidate survey, followed by a candidate interview. After this process, the Business Empowered PAC chose to endorse Deborah Frank Feinen for City of Champaign Mayor and Kerris Lee, Amy Armstrong, Christopher Kloeppel, and Kathy Shannon for the Unit 4 School Board of Education. The PAC endorses and supports local candidates who they believe will promote pro-business policies in Champaign County. If you have any questions or concerns, or wish to recommend the Chamber take part in a policy related discussion, please feel free to contact our Public Policy Director, Garret Hill, at GarretH@champaigncounty.org.

GLENN SHEPARD SEMINAR How to Supervise People and Lead a Team

“Be the Manager Other Managers Envy and Bosses Can’t Wait to Reward” In this short, intensive and enjoyable seminar, at a minimum, you’ll learn: • How to keep employees from challenging you with just five perfectly polite, but powerful words. • The one strategy you MUST know to fix bad attitudes; use it and watch problem employees turn into stars. • Two simple things that actually motivate people more than money. Plus much more... REGISTER BY CALLING: 217.359.1791 or email caryni@champaigncounty.org

Thursday, April 9, 2015 Hyatt Place 217 N. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820 7:30 - 11:00 a.m. $129 for members | $149 non-members When three or more enroll, the fourth person attends for free!


Because you’re sick of being a babysitter and frustrated by the results. You’re ready to learn the most successful management strategies on the planet.

HELP US WELCOME Jennifer Kammerer recently joined the Champaign Chamber of Commerce as the Membership Sales Director. She graduated from Texas Tech University in 2010 with a degree in Marketing and Management, and continued on to receive her MBA from the University of Colorado Denver in 2011. Since graduating she has spent most of her career in the sports world, specifically with amateur and professional soccer teams in Florida and Texas. She played soccer in college so the sport and the business of it was a strong passion for her. But since moving to Illinois in December she has decided to expand her knowledge and see what the Chamber and the Champaign business community have to offer. Jennifer enjoys creating relationships and determining solutions to problems, and will work with local businesses to make the Champaign Chamber that solution for their needs. She can be reached at JenniferR@ champaigncounty.org or by calling 217.359.1791.

MEMBER ACCOLADES & Jackson Chiropractic & Acupuncture is celebrating 10 years of business in Champaign this month. Dr. Clint Jackson is a 2004 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, and chose to open his business in his hometown in 2005. Dr. Jackson is a board certified Doctor of Chiropractic and has been educated by faculty and teachers worldwide. He is a licensed Illinois Chiropractic Physician and a member of the American Chiropractic Association, International Chiropractic Association, Illinois Chiropractic Association, Champaign County Chamber of Commerce, a Fellow of the Acupuncture Society of America and has been featured in Central Illinois Business’ “Forty under 40.” Dr Jackson is a very active member of the community participating in a variety of activities, with most notably being his sponsorship of the Eastern Illinois Food Bank’s Prom Benefit. Dr. Jackson uses the latest innovative technique ‘specific prone,’ a light, gentle and comfortable technique with outstanding results. He also utilizes acupuncture techniques that treat a wide variety of conditions with favorable responses. Dr. Jackson treats individuals of all ages, working to bridge the gap between traditional and alternative medicine. Congratulations on 10 years of business. Hickory Point Bank announced that Karla Miller has been named Director of Marketing and will oversee the bank’s advertising, public relations and marketing activities. “I am confident that Karla will help us develop and implement the marketing strategies necessary for success throughout our markets,” said Anthony G. Nestler, President and Chief Executive Officer. Ms. Miller has past experience working for Archer Daniels Midland Company, where she held various positions including Corporate Communications Manager and Vice President Public Relations. Most recently, Ms. Miller served as Director of Advancement at St. Teresa High School in Decatur, IL. She is a graduate of Millikin University and founder of the Rodney T. Miller Lakeside Triathlon. Twin City Tent and Awning Co., of Urbana, Illinois, was recognized with four awards for design and craftsmanship at the Midwest Fabrics Product Association and Canvas Products Association, Zone 7, joint Convention held in St. Louis, Missouri, February 4-6, 2015. Twin City Tent and Awning was recognized twice with Honorable Mentions in the category of Commercial Awnings and Canopies over 30 Linear Feet and in the New and Unusual category. They took a second place recognition for Fabric Graphics and a first Place honor in the category of Tent Manufacturing. The meeting is made of companies in the specialty fabric industry throughout the Midwest who manufacture awnings, tents, boat covers, and other products. For more information contact Kevin Yonce at Twin City Tent and Awning or call 217.328.5749. At the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois – 2015 Engineering Excellence Awards, Fehr

& NEWS Graham received an Illinois Engineering Excellence Merit Award. Todd Weegens, Managing Member with Fehr Graham was onsite to accept the award alongside Stephen Keeffer, County Engineer for Jo Daviess County Highway Department. The Engineering Excellence Awards Competition recognizes projects of engineering achievement by Illinois consulting engineering firms. Entries are judged on the basis of engineering excellence, the degree to which the client’s needs are met and the benefits to the public welfare and private practice of engineering. Michelle’s Bridal & Tuxedo is pleased to announce that they have been selected as a 2015 winner in The Knot Best of Weddings, an award representing the highest-rated wedding professionals as reviewed by real couples, their families and wedding guests on The Knot. In 2015, only two percent of the 250,000 local wedding professionals listed on TheKnot.com have received this distinguished accolade. The Knot Best of Weddings 2015 provides an annual by-couples, for-couples guide to the top wedding professionals across the country. Nationally, Comcast Business has launched a contest which gives you an opportunity to win up to $30,000 to get a jumpstart for your business. The contest is centered around how a business would invest in technology. The contest’s panel of judges will select one startup (in business less than two years) and one entrepreneur (in business more than 2 years) from the Greater Chicago Region (which also includes the areas of Rockford, Peoria, Bloomington, Normal, Quincy, Galesburg, Springfield, Champaign, Urbana, Decatur, Danville, NW IN, South Bend, Mishawaka, and SW MI) as part of the 16 winners nationwide. Visit business.comcast.com/i4E for details and check out their winners from last year. Four Champaign Unit 4 School District educators have been recognized by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards as National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) for 2014. “We are proud to have some of the very best in the teaching profession right here in Unit 4,” said Superintendent Dr. Judy Wiegand. “These teachers show a great level of dedication and commitment to our students, and we commend our newly certified NBCTs as well as those who pursue this distinction.” Congratulations to the following teachers: Michele Trueblood – Deaf/Hard of Hearing Teacher, Carrie Busey; Jill Flodstrom – Teaching & Learning Coordinator; Eric Immke – Special Education Teacher, Franklin; Brandon Rutherford – Third Grade Teacher, Stratton.

are located in Carbondale, DeSoto, Murphysboro, Mount Vernon, Lawrenceville, Harrisburg, Mount Carmel, Carmi, Carterville and Marion. “These communities fit well geographically and the services offered align well with our product lines of banking, insurance, trust and wealth management,” said Joe Dively First Mid Chairman and CEO. First Mid is recognized as a top-performing community bank, having earned a five-star Bauer Financial rating, been recognized as a top 200 community bank by American Banker, as well as being named Small Business Administration (SBA) 2014 Community Lender of the Year by the Illinois District. Alex Ruggieri from Sperry Van Ness in Champaign, Ill. was recently awarded the Partnership Circle’s Award and recognized as a top advisor. Sperry Van Ness is one of the nation’s largest commercial real estate investment brokerage firms. Regency has been selected for the eighth year in a row as the winner of the 2014 National Multifamily Customer Service Award for Excellence. They would like to thank all Regency employees whose hard work and dedication has helped to earn this award for yet another year. Congratulations. Busey is pleased to receive the Financal Literacy Award from the Illinois Bankers Association (IBA). The award is presented annually to a financial institution for their work and dedication in providing financial education to community members of all ages. The award was presented at The ONE conference in East Peoria. Busey was recognized for a variety of initiatives, including MoneySmart Youth. The online program teaches children ages 5-10 the importance of money – how it’s used, earned, saved and taxed – through video lessons and interactive worksheets. Have news to share with the local business community? Tell us about it and get featured in the Chamber’s next Commerce Connection. Send an email with your news to Samantha Hendon, SamanthaH@champaigncounty. org or submit the news via our website: http:// champaigncounty.org/membership/member_accolades. aspx

First Mid-Illinois Bancshares, Inc. (“First Mid”) recently announced the execution of a definitive agreement under which First Mid will acquire 12 Southern Illinois banking centers of Old National Bancorp, which is based in Evansville, Indiana. Through this transaction, First Mid will acquire approximately $502 million of deposits and $160 million of performing loans. The branches to be acquired

champaigncounty.org / 21

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 4,100+ 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 2,500 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 Golf Outing: Title Sponsorship (1) - $3,500; Hole-in-One (1) - $1,000; Golf Ball Sponsor (1) - $750; Hole Sponsorship (17): $300; Contest Holes (3) - $325; Lunch & Dinner sponsorship - SOLD Additional sponsorship information for events such as Business Success and Solutions Seminars is available upon request. Contact Mary Murphy at MaryM@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 Business After Hours

Thursday, March 19 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Presence Covenant Medical Center 1400 W. Park St., Urbana

Financing a Small Business an event hosted by ECI SCORE Thursday, March 26 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

Election Day

Remember to vote! Tuesday, April 7

Etiquette Series:

How Etiquette Savvy Are You? Wednesday, April 8 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

How to Supervise People and Lead a Team with Glenn Shepard Thursday, April 9 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Hyatt Place 217 N. Neil St., Champaign

First Friday Coffee

Business After Hours

Thursday, April 16 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. U of I Division of Intercollegiate Athletics Colonnades Club 1402 S First St., Champaign

5.5% Champaign County Unemployment Rate in December 2014

23 business licenses applied for in Champaign County in February 2015


Starting a Small Business

February 2015 U of I Flash Index for Illinois

Thursday, April 16 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

1,564,487 rides were taken on CUMTD in

an event hosted by ECI SCORE

Connect @ Lunch

February 2015

Monday, April 20 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. El Toro Bravo Mexican Restaurant 2561 W. Springfield Ave., Champaign

6,514 visits to the Chamber’s page,

Etiquette Series:

8,853 average amount of referrals PER DAY the

Mastering Mingle-Ability Wednesday, April 22 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

Writing a Business Plan

an event hosted by ECI SCORE Thursday, April 23 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

Friday, April 10 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center Champaign Urbana Chapel 710 N. Neil St., Champaign

Etiquette Series:

Etiquette Series:

Etiquette Series:

Wednesday, April 15 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

Wednesday, May 6 noon to 2:00 p.m. Location TBA

Powerful First Impressions

Fast Facts

champaigncounty.org in February 2015

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

2014 The year that the Champaign County

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

Suit Up for Success

Wednesday, April 29 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign

Etiquette Luncheon

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

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Profile for Champaign County Chamber of Commerce

Commerce Connection March/April 2015  

A look at the local workforce - the issues impacting our community and the importance of investing in current and future employees. Check ou...

Commerce Connection March/April 2015  

A look at the local workforce - the issues impacting our community and the importance of investing in current and future employees. Check ou...