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more for p u b l i c at i o n b u s i n e s s - to - b u s i n e s s


Celebrating the impact of


on Champaign County, p13

GETTING TECHNICAL: Advances in Champaign County, p17 How switching energy providers can save your business money, p.5


t ru s t e d


Presorted Standard US Postage

C h a m pa i g n C o u n t y ’ s


Permit No. 29 Champaign, IL



Volume 19 | Number 1

Winter 2012/ Commerce Connection/

VIEWPOINTS A recent study conducted by the United States Census Bureau found that department stores experience a 44 percent increase in sales during the holiday season. Clothing stores experienced a 33 percent growth; electronics stores 44 percent; sporting goods stores 58 percent and bookstores 92 percent compared to the previous month. For this issue’s “viewpoints”, the Chamber wanted to find out where members’ holiday money was disbursed this holiday season.

WHERE DID YOU DO MOST OF YOUR HOLIDAY SPENDING THIS YEAR? The mall 12% Large box stores 46% Locally owned shops 13% Online 28%

Online 28% Local shops 13%

The Mall 12%

Large Box Stores 46%


None 0 10% 6% 25% 8% 50% 23% 75% 40% 100% 23% IN THE PAST, HAVE YOU CLAIMED YOUR SALES TAX FOR ONLINE PURCHASES? Yes 13% No 48% Irrelevant, I don’t shop online 15% Not sure 24% WHEN GIVING GIFTS, WHAT DO YOU USUALLY SPEND THE MOST MONEY ON?

Electronic Items 50% Home goods 11% Clothing 31%

DID YOU SPEND MORE ON THE HOLIDAYS THIS YEAR THAN LAST YEAR? WHY OR WHY NOT? More 22% Less 19% About the same 69% “Less, I retired this year so I have less to spend.” “Less, decided to quit sharing gifts with siblings.” “More. I didn’t plan well beforehand and didn’t add up my purchases.” “Less, my husband has now been unemployed for two years.” “About the same. The economy is not getting better, income keeps going down.” “Money was a bit tighter this year, so Christmas money was lent more toward necessities (a new front door) rather than bigger gifts.” “More. I bought myself a flat screen.” “More. we had three new additions to our family this year. More grandkids equals more spending.” “More. As my kids get older, they want more expensive things.” “Less, I decided to cut back. Commercialism is not the heart of Christmas, and I finally decided to give more to charities I trust.”


WHAT DO YOU WISH FOR YOUR BUSINESS IN 2012? “Healthy and happy employees and customers and a healthy and prosperous business.” “Success and growth.” “A better return on my investment.” “No layoffs or furloughs.” “Good leadership and good decisions to keep us relevant and profitable.” “Confidence.” “Blanced budget, loan and membership growth.” “To be of greater service to others.” “More opportunity, more buyers, less inefficiencies from institutions. Less short sales and bank owned transactions “stealing clients” from opportunities.” “Prosperity!” “Quality employees.” “Customer satisfaction.” “Financial soundness” “That our customers would feel a sense of freedom to spend what is necessary to improve their business.” “A growing economy and more work to do.” “More consumer confidence which will improve the overall economy.” “Steady workload.” “Increased economic activity and a Republican landslide in the elections.” “High volume of sales and a strong bottom line.”



303 W. Kirby Ave. Champaign, IL 61820 P: 217.359.1791 F: 217.359.1809 www.champaigncounty.org chamber@champaigncounty.org

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

Stephanie Finney Event & Programs Manager StephanieF@champaigncounty.org

Claudette Gonsiorowski Information & Accounts Receivable Manager ClaudetteG@champaigncounty.org

Nikolle Keeney Marketing & Public Relations Manager NikolleK@champaigncounty.org

Michelle Luna Membership & Advertising Services Manager MichelleL@champaigncounty.org

Leslie Lundy Finance Manager LeslieL@champaigncounty.org

Lynette Lykins Director of First Impressions LynetteL@champaigncounty.org

Carole Moore Finance Assistant & Office Manager CaroleM@champaigncounty.org

Christopher P. Sheppard Membership Development Director ChristopherS@champaigncounty.org

Paul Orama Public Policy Manager PaulO@champaigncounty.org

Norma Wesley Administrative Support & Reservationist NormaW@champaigncounty.org


Gold Busey Carle Provena Covenant Medical Center

Chairman’s Circle Illini Radio Group - MIX 94.5, WIXY 100.3, 92.5 The Chief, WIXY Classic 99.1, True Oldies 97.9, Extra 92.1

Silver University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign

NewsTalk 1400 WDWS, Lite Rock 97.5 WHMS & U-Rock 107.9 WUIL

Bronze The Atkins Group BankChampaign, N.A. Benefit Planning Consultants, Inc. Christie Clinic The Hilton Complex First Bank Supervalu Inc. Champaign Distribution Center University of Illinois Employees Credit Union Walmart Supercenters

President’s Circle SJ Broadcasting Business Circle Fox Illinois WCCU TV & CW 23 WAND TV StormCenter 17


Amber Glen Alzheimer’s Special Care Center; Apex Consulting, LLC; Framer’s Market; Custom Mobile DJ Techniques


Martin Verdick

Tabatha Helm

Mark Ballard

Chair, F.E. Moran, Inc., Alarm & Monitoring Services First Vice Chair, Advanced Filtration Systems, Inc.

Michael Wozniak

Second Vice Chair, Livingston, Barger, Brant & Schroeder

Treasurer, RSM McGladrey / McGladrey & Pullen Past Chair, BankChampaign, N.A.

Laura Weis

Secretary, Champaign County Chamber of Commerce


Farnsworth Group, Inc.

Beth Auterman

Clifton Gunderson LLP

Oktay Baran

Baran Marketing

Cindy Guthrie

Three Degrees of Change

Habeeb Habeeb

Benefit Planning Consultants, Inc.

Jeff Ingrum

Health Alliance Medical Plans, Inc.

Dale Morrissey

Victor Mullins

University of Illinois College of Business

Ron Pulera

WAND TV StormCenter 17

Dennis Riggs FIX-IT

Nick Taylor

RE/MAX Realty Associates

Bill Walter

A&R Mechanical Contractors

Michael Hogan, Ex Officio

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Developmental Services Center

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 Nikolle Keeney (NikolleK@ champaigncounty.org) or Michelle Luna (MichelleL@champaigncounty.org) at 217.359.1791.

Winter 2012/ Commerce Connection/


CHAMBER ENERGY CO-OP In an effort to bring even more cost savings to our members, the Chamber has partnered with Fighting Illini Energy to help lower member electricity costs. Since the initiative began last September, members involved in the co-op have saved almost one million dollars and counting on their electricity bills. This amount is a savings above the groups’ previous co-op rate. On average, a Fighting Illini Energy customer saves 15 percent on their energy bills. All participating members are locked in and their rates are secure through 2015. If your business has not made the switch from Ameren to a new provider, you may not be aware that you have a choice in electricity suppliers. Deregulation opened the doors for competition in Illinois and allows for you to secure a low fixed price contract, providing cost savings and budget stability for your business. Through the Chamber’s partnership with Fighting Illini Energy, we will combine all of our members into an aggregate pool to secure a much lower rate than you could receive directly from other providers. The Chamber is excited about this partnership and encourages members who are not yet participating to learn more by contacting Kelly Rund at 217.671.0597 or Laura Weis at 217.359.1791.


WELCOME TO THE CHAMBER >> members who joined between october and november 2011 ABC Sanitary Hauling Stephen Smith 313 W. Eureka St. Champaign, IL 61820-2933 217.356.0909 abc@abcsanitary.com www.abcsanitary.com Garbage & Rubbish Removal

ABC Sanitary Hauling provides the Champaign-Urbana, Savoy and Saint Joseph areas with a complete range of garbage hauling and recycling services. No job is too big or too small. Their highly-trained professionals have been hand-picked from among the best in the industry. ABC Sanitary Hauling is trained to provide customers with the solutions they need as well as the quality they deserve.

Aldi, Inc.

Mindy Friddle 801 W. Interstate Dr. Champaign, IL 61822 3102 E. University Ave. Urbana, IL 61802 dwt@aldi.us www.aldi.us Grocers - Retail

Anita’s Place Home Consignment Ruth Hieser 411 Clarendon Ct., Ste. 100 Savoy, IL 61874 217.363.3202 anitasplaceconsignment@gmail.com www.anitasplacehomeconsignment.com Consignment Services

Auto Mall of Champaign Jim Smith 1912 Moreland Blvd. Champaign, IL 61822 217.352.9999 sales@automallofcu.com www.automallofcu.com Automobile Dealers – Used Cars

Big R Car Wash Neil Richardson

501 E. University Ave. Urbana, IL 61802-2059 217.337.0004 Car Washing & Polishing

The Café

Jeff Edwards 1001 Killarney St. Urbana, IL 61801-1036 217.328.7900 jedwards@holidayinnurbanail.com www.holidayinn.com/champaignil Restaurants Looking to enjoy a nice breakfast in a place where quality is at its finest? Join us in The Cafe for breakfast from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. daily for a meal of items that will have your mouth watering! Offering a full menu of items you’ll love at a very moderate price... The Cafe restaurant is sure to suit your needs!

Central Illinois Natural Health Clinic, Ltd. Andrew Peters 115 W. Main St., 2nd Fl. Urbana, IL 61801 1012 Fairchild Danville, IL 61832 217.443.4372 info@illinoisnaturalhealth.com www.illinoisnaturalhealth.com Holistic Practitioners

Central Illinois Natural Health Clinic (CINHC) is the region’s first fully qualified naturopathic medicine practice. Andrew Peters, DC, ND, licensed chiropractic physician and naturopathic doctor, sees the same conditions your family doctor would but takes a holistic perspective and uses natural treatment methods. They offer conventional lab testing, as well as alternative labs such as food allergy, toxic metals, hormone testing, and gastrointestinal health panels. Treatments include dietary and lifestyle recommendations, nutritional supplements, herbal medicines, and gentle chiropractic treatment. CINHC was founded in 2005 in Danville; they expanded to Urbana in 2011. CINHC’s Urbana office is located inside Green Yoga Spa, at 115 W. Main Street.


Amy Hatch 1717 W. Kirby Ave. #341 Champaign, IL 61821 editor@chambanamoms.com www.chambanamoms.com Media Chambanamoms.com is the premier local online resource for families in and around Champaign-Urbana. They strive to offer the highest-quality information and their mission is to connect members of the community both online and off.

Champaign Center Partnership T.J. Blakeman 301 N. Neil St., Ste. 400 Champaign, IL 61820 217.352.2400 champaigncenterpartnership@gmail.com www.champaigncenter.com Human Services Organizations

Champaign Center Partnership is a new organization focused on the marketing of the Center City of Champaign. Center City is comprised of the districts of Downtown, Campustown and Midtown. The CCP creates marketing promotions and events focused on bringing new awareness to the businesses that populate the Center City districts.

Clark Printing & Marketing David Clark 501 Mercury Dr. Champaign, IL 61822 217.363.5300 sales@clarkprinting.net www.clarkprinting.net Printers

Connor Insurance Agency Rameel Connor 2500 Galen Dr., Ste. 5 Champaign, IL 61821 217.402.9218 connorinsurance@gmail.com www.farmersagent.com/rconnor

Winter 2012/ Commerce Connection/

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION The Champaign County EDC celebrated the grand opening of their new office building on December 7, 2011.

Insurance Robyn Karpen 2500 Galen Dr., Ste. 5 Champaign, IL 61821 217.372.6384 robynkrpn13@gmail.com http://www.farmersagent.com/rconnor Insurance Connor Insurance handles all individual, family and business needs; from personal insurance for health, life, home and/or auto. Connor Insurance wants to help clients choose insurance policies that best suit their needs. They also do group health and life insurance for businesses.

Country Fair Self Storage

Scott Garth 619 N. Country Fair Dr. Champaign, IL 61821 217.355.4552 s.garth@mchsi.com Storage – Household & Commercial

Dog Training Club of Champaign


Rainbow Garden held a ribbon cutting for their new location in Urbana on November 3, 2011.

ATKINS BUILDING AT RESEARCH PARK In dedication of the late Clint Atkins, the former Motorola building at Research Park was named in his honor. A ceremony was held on November 10, 2011.


FRANCES NELSON HEALTH CENTER The Frances Nelson Health Center and Dental Clinic held their grand opening on November 8, 2011.


Fighting Illini Energy

Dave’s Firearms

Fighting Illini Energy is an electricity program that also grants financial support to Fighting Illini Athletics. By choosing Fighting Illini Energy for your local business, you are directly supporting the future of U of I and keeping more of your dollars local. We are going to change the way you think about powering your business forever.

Carole Lindholm 2210 E. Ford Harris Rd. Urbana, IL 61802 217.643.7733 lindholm@illinois.edu www.dtccu.net Animal Behavior Therapy

Dave Costly 1868 County Rd, 1600 N Urbana, IL 61802 217.469.8000 Guns & Gunsmiths

Energy Healing Systems, Inc. Jon R. Link 152 Lincoln Sq. Mall Urbana, IL 61801 217.531.2711 mcc60953@hotmail.com www.energyhealingsystems.com Nutritionist

Kelly Rund 200 E. Randolph St., Ste. 5116 Chicago, IL 60601 217.671.0597 kellyr@brandedretailenergy.com www.fightingillinienergy.com Energy Management & Conservation Consultants

Gift Caddie

Teresa Savage 60 Hazelwood Dr. Champaign, IL 61820 217.493.4909 info@giftcaddie.com www.giftcaddie.com



A ribbon cutting was held on November, 14 2011 to celebrate the grand opening of J & M Auto Repair.

A ribbon cutting was held on October 19, 2011 to celebrate the grand re-opening of the Champaign School of Music.

Internet Services – Online Stores Giftcaddie.com is an evolutionary leap in the wish list and gift registry concepts. Gift Caddie uses new technologies and social networking to make finding the perfect gift as easy as online banking. You can request merchandise, cash, or customize the gifts you prefer – whatever you imagine. It’s an all-inclusive website for giving and receiving gifts.

Goodwill Express Donation Sharon Durbin 113 Calvin St. Savoy, IL 61874




217.789.0400 info@llgi.org www.llgi.org Resale Shops Land of Lincoln Goodwill empowers people with special needs to become self-sufficient through the power of work. The money that Goodwill receives from the sales of your Donations and the recycled materials is put back into Goodwill as payroll to our employees, payment and maintenance on our store buildings and warehouses, maintenance and fuel for our fleet of trucks… and most important of all – these funds support our programs for the developmentally disabled and career services and support for the unemployed. Goodwill teaches our clients how to care for themselves; teaches them how to dress and show up for work every day and gives them the skills they need to support themselves. Without your Support and Donations, Goodwill would be just another thrift store…But YOU enable us to help those in need.

Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference Center Jeff Edwards 1001 Killarney St. Urbana, IL 61801-1036 217.328.7900 jedwards@holidayinnurbanail.com www.holidayinn.com/champaignil Hotels

Ideally located near the University of Illinois Campus, just off I-74 at Lincoln Ave., the Holiday Inn Hotel Champaign/Urbana offers area travelers the utmost in comfort and convenience. This modern, 18,000-sq-ft Conference Center is a great choice for hosting events. A certified sales staff ensures smooth logistics while a 24-hr Business Center provides every resource needed. This awesome location isn’t its only perk. Guests enjoy great amenities, from free hotel-wide Wi-Fi access to an indoor pool and a Fitness Center. On-site dining promises to impress, as well. They hope to see you soon! 99 LuxuriouS guESt roomS 217-352-9970 www.champaignurbana . Stayhgi .com

98 ExtEndEd Stay SuitES 217-352-9960 www.champaignurbana . homEwoodSuitES .com

indoor pooL & Spa, cozy bEdS, ovErSizEd FitnESS cEntEr, FLat ScrEEn tELEviSionS 18,000 Sq. Ft . oF banquEt and mEEting SpacE . compLimEntary airport ShuttLE

Home & Lifestyle Magazine Mason Norton

2 Eastport Plaza Dr. Collinsville, IL 62234 618.345.5400 mason@htpb1.com www.hometownusa.net Publishers – Periodical Hometown Media is a family owned company providing quality publications throughout Central and Southern Illinois. Their Home & Lifestyles magazine provides information about the community that you live in with a magazine that provides the reader with the vital ingredients needed to be on top of what is happening in their community. The editorial content spotlights local business and service providers to assist readers in making good educated choices for home improvements or services needed in everyday life. Our local magazine is tailor-made with the reader and the community they reside in mind. With a local focused magazine being such an important ingredient in the community mixture, this publication is the front runner of resources that consumers will turn to for guidance.

I-Power School of Gymnastics Kevin Burnside 215 S. Staley Rd. Champaign, IL 61822 P: 217.359.3547 ipowergymnastics@yahoo.com www.ipowergymnastics.com Gymnastic Instruction

I-Power School of Gymnastics offers classes in Preschool/Recreational Gymnastics, Competitive Gymnastics, Tumbling, Birthday Parties and Field Trips. They teach tiny tots to have fun while learning and also train competitive athletes to work hard, set goals and become their personal best. The program is co-owned by Kevin Burnside and Dena Slade. Together, Dena and Kevin have 26 years of combined coaching experience.

J&M Auto Repair

Jeff Brinkley 901 N. Market St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.352.2088 jeffbrinkley@rocketmail.com www.jandmautorepair.webs.com

Winter 2012/ Commerce Connection/




Mimi’s Antiques & Uniques held their grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremonies on December 1, 2011.

The Central Illinois Natural Health Clinic held a ribbon cutting for their new Urbana office on November 8, 2011.

J&M Auto Repair is a family owned and operated business. They pride themselves in HONEST, quality auto repair. J & M services most all makes and models of vehicles; they take care of everything from oil changes to engine replacements.

Jimmy John’s

Nic Mueth 102 E. University Ave., Ste. A Urbana, IL 61801 P: 217.328.2700 nmueth@jimmyjohns.com www.jimmyjohns.com Restaurants

Joe’s Automotive

Joe Henderson 24 E. Marshall St. Champaign, IL 61820-4153 217.378.9601 autodoctorphd@yahoo.com www.joesautomotiveil.com Automobile Repair & Service Joe’s Automotive is a full service repair shop. We can take care of any problems you may have with your cars or trucks. We have the lowest rates in town with quality work done.

KDKJ Cleaning Company

Kim Morgan 600 W. Central Ave. Thomasboro, IL 61878 217.643.2805 kimmorgan49@mchsi.com www.kdkjcleaningcompany.webs.com House Cleaning KDKJ Cleaning Company has over 20 years of cleaning experience. They take pride in the work that they do and enjoy helping to maximize their clients’ free time by allowing them to do things they enjoy. They have a zero percent turnover rate, which allows continuity in your cleaning team. They are fully insured and references are always provided. Estimates are free with no obligation. “We are in business to Clean corners - Not cut them!”

Kevin Elliott Counseling

Kevin Elliott 44 E. Main St., Ste 406 Champaign, IL 61820-3649 217.398.9066 Kevin@kevinelliottcounseling.com www.kevinelliottcounseling.com Counselors: Individuals, Marriage, Family, Child Kevin Elliott Counseling Group, in the heart of downtown Champaign, has provided services to individual, couples, and families since 2002. There are over twenty talented therapists available, each with their own experiences, specializations, and styles. To overcome anxiety or depression, address relationship challenges, improve parenting skills or get help with stress or grief- Kevin Elliot Counseling can help you make a positive change in your life. Information about services, therapists, groups, and events is available at www. KevinElliottCounseling.com They also have a fantastic informative blog. Visit today to receive our free mini-ebook, Five Must-Knows to Find the Right Therapist for You.

Little Hearts & Hands, Inc.

Jack Smart 2501 S. Myra Ridge Dr. Urbana, IL 61802-6995 217.328.2532 Terri@littleheartsandhands.com www.littleheartsandhands.com Schools-Pre-School & Kindergarten (Academic) Little Hearts & Hands is a premiere child daycare center in the Champaign-Urbana area. Their experienced and engaging staff helps to create a stimulating learning environment that encourages exploratory behavior, self-expression, creativity, self-control and responsibility. Students grow through interaction with caring professionals who understand children’s needs, while recognizing that individuals are unique.

Liquid Assets Distributing LLC Jason Arrasmith 305 S. Harrison St. P.O. Box 183 Sidney, IL 61877-0183 217.621.0093

liquidassetsdistributing@yahoo.com www.liquidassetsdistributing.com Liquor-Wholesale & Mfrs. Liquid Assets Distributing LLC delivers alcohol products, restaurant and bar supplies and linens to restaurants, bars, hotels, caterers and coffee houses. They supply a wide range of products. Cougar Juice Vodka, Frostshot, MONIN flavoring, disposable wares (plastic glasses, napkins & silverware), glass plates and glasses, linens (tablecloths and napkins, bar condiments and cookware).

M3 Mechanical

Scott Meuser P.O. Box 7526 Champaign, IL 61821 217.202.7250 tim@m3mechanical.com Air Conditioning Repair Heating Contractors Refrigeration Equipment – Commercial – Sales & Service Restaurant Equipment – Repair & Service

Main St. Wingery Richard Minick 608 E. Main St. Mahomet, IL 61853 217.586.3456 minickjr52@gmail.com Bars & Taverns Restaurants

Mimi’s Antiques & Uniques Michelle Morfey 214 S. Lake of the Woods Rd. Mahomet, IL 61853 217.898.2820 mimisantiques@frontier.com www.mimisantiques.net Antiques – Dealers

Coming into Mimi’s is like walking into a small community of bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms, barns, and sitting areas that are displayed as it would be inside the most comforting of places, ones home. Antiques are physical history; Mimi’s offers a place where customers can not only enjoy and view history, but own it and enjoy it for many more years. Check out



Energy Healing Systems, Inc. celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony on November 14.

Leaders for Life celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony on October 27.

www.mimisantiques.net for news, upcoming items, directions to the shop and a photo gallery of unique and collectable items.

Minneci’s Ristorante

Rob Meister 401 S. First St. Champaign, IL 61820-4123 217.352.4425 robertameister@yahoo.com www.minnecisristorante.com Restaurants-Italian

Morgan Express, Inc. Ed Morgan P.O. Box 16 Elwin, IL 62532 217.865.2325 ed@morganexp.com www.morganexp.com Transportation Consultants

Morgan Express, Inc. was founded with one goal in mind; to offer customers the most diverse service available to date. They will custom tailor a program designed to specifically fit all clients’ time sensitive shipping requirements. Structured in a professional, yet personal manner, this is an exclusive use door to door service, no docks, no second handling and no hassles. “Morgan Express is the expedited service you have been waiting for. TRANSPORTING THE FUTURE OF TOMORROW…TODAY!”

Mortgage Services III, LLC Don Ragan 411 W. State St. Paxton, IL 60957 217.379.5363 dragan@msiloans.biz www.msireversemortgage.com Financial Services Mortgages

Pearls & More Jewelry Bill Haworth 211 W. Washington St. Monticello, IL 61856-1652 217.762.2587

info@pearlsandmorejewelry.com www.pearlsandmorejewelry.com Jewelers-Retail From traditional to modern, from fashion-focused to distinctive styles, Pearls & More Jewelry strives to offer amazing jewelry in a variety of metal and gem combinations at unbelievable prices. Owner Bill Haworth combines his two professions, a flight attendant who travels around the world and a gemology student at the Gemological Institute of America, into a unique business offering beautiful jewelry for very affordable prices. Pearls & More Jewelry is always open the first five days of every month, even if those days fall on a holiday or weekend. In addition, around the 20th of each month, Bill publishes the extra days that Pearls & More Jewelry will be open the following month on the website. It’s worth the wait to shop at Pearls & More Jewelry.

Professional Labor Support, LLC Aaron Haunhorst 116 S. Lombard St. P.O. Box 1113 Mahomet, IL 61853 217.586.7757 admin@pls.co www.pls.co Employment Services

Rainbow Garden

Zhituan Song 202 E. University Ave. Urbana, IL 61801 217.390.2630 rainbowgardeninc@gmail.com www.rainbow-garden.com Restaurants- Chinese

Rainbow International of East Central IL Aaron Gallagher 807 E. Perkins Rd. Urbana, IL 61802 217.365.0135 aaron.gallagher@mail.rainbowintl.com Fire & Water Damage Restoration


Lindy Brown 51 E. Green St. Champaign, IL 61820-7933 217.693.4449 events@eventsatrefinery.com www.eventsatrefinery.com Banquet Facilities This unique and modern industrial space has over 4,000 square feet and can seat over 100 people. This venue is perfect for your next special event, holiday party, birthday party, graduation party, anniversary party, or intimate event. To schedule a tour or for more information, please contact Brittany Oakley at 217.693.4449.

Regent Ballroom

David Lin 1406 Regency Dr. West Savoy, IL 61874 217.359.5333 office@regentballroom.com www.regentballroom.com Dancing Instruction The Regent Ballroom and Banquet Center is a one-of-a-kind facility in Savoy. Since 1981 thousands and thousands of people have learned to dance anything from Ballroom to Latin through their reasonably priced group classes. Each Friday the Regent offers public dances where dance steps are perfected and friendships are formed. The Regent’s 5,000 square foot dance floor is the perfect location for weddings and social events of 150-350 guests. The expertise of their in-house banquet director is included with each event. That personalized service is what sets the Regent events apart. From dancing to celebrating, the Regent is a great experience.

Room Service by Checkered Moon Sharon Crow 1705 W. Kirby Ave. Champaign, IL 61821 217.607.0698 irish860@aol.com www.checkeredmoon.com Interior Designers

Reserve your booth space today! Go to champaigncounty.org to download registration materials.


wednesday, march 14 • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. @ the university of illinois assembly hall



he Champaign County Chamber of Commerce will present their twenty-second annual ATHENA Awards luncheon on Thursday, February 19 at the Champaign Country Club. The ATHENA Award and the ATHENA Young Professional Award both honor a local individual who demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in his or her business or profession; provides valuable service to the community; and assists women with reaching their full leadership potential. To register for the luncheon, contact Normal Wesley at NormaW@champaigncounty.org or 217.531.4669. A registration form can also be downloaded on the Chamber website, champaigncounty.org.

Send a Friend Auto Care Greg Sizer 2408 N. Market St. Champaign, IL 61822-1302 217.359.7326 safeautocare@yahoo.com www.sendafriendautocare.com Automobile Repair & Service

Send a Friend Auto Care has been in business since 1993, one might also know them as The Muffler Shop Inc. If it had not been for Muffler Shop customers sending their friends and families, they would not have been able to open their newest location, Send A Friend Auto Care. If you would like to save money and time, please give us a call, we want to help you any way we can.

Skeff Distributing Company Terry Ingram 3585 E. L&A Industrial Dr. Decatur, IL 62521 217.877.3774 terry@skeffdist.com www.skeffdist.com Beer & Ale – Wholesale

Tire Barn Warehouse Allen Jenkins 806 Bloomington Rd. Champaign, IL 61820 217.351.8473 Tirebarn10@tirebarn.com www.tirebarn.com Tire Dealers

Several factors make Tire Barn the right choice for your tire purchase. One of those is their superior customer service. Tire Barn’s knowledgeable technicians are able to expertly match your vehicle and driving needs up to the

The 2012 ATHENA Award Luncheon is sponsored locally by the Barham Benefit Group and Busey Wealth Management. The ATHENA Award has been presented in Champaign County each year since 1989. Past recipients include Lori Gold Patterson; Lynne Barnes; Kathleen Holden; Jane Hays; Donna Greene; Beth Katsinas; Diane Friedman; Traci Nally; Lyn Jones; Linda Hamilton; Anita Broeren; Theresa Grentz; Zelema Harris; Shirley Anderson; Mary McGrath; Linda Mills; Jan Kiley; Nanette Fisher; Gloria Dauten; Elizabeth Curzon; and Ruth B. Jones. The ATHENA Young Professional Award was presented to Rhiannon Clifton in 2011.

best tire. Tire Barn offers most major brands including Michelin, Goodyear, Bridgestone and many others. Tire Barn can also service your current tires with a full line of services including rotations, balancing and alignment. This location is open seven days a week and offers prices that are all inclusive with no surprise installation fees.

TMS Auto Care

Greg Sizer 1605 W. Springfield Ave. Champaign, IL 61821-3013 217.398.4070 www.tms-autocare.com Mufflers & Exhaust Systems-Engine This locally owned company has been in business since 1993, you might also know them as The Muffler Shop Inc. “T.M.S.” has been a part of this company’s growth for years. Along with sister shop “Send a Friend Auto Care”, both locations have provided The Muffler Shop with an opportunity to serve the community far better than they had ever dreamed of. If you would like to save money and time, please give us a call, we want to help you any way we can.

United Car Sales

Jim Smith 606 E. University Ave. Champaign, IL 61820 217.352.7078 automallofcu@yahoo.com www.automallofcu.com Automobile Dealers – Used Cars

Yellowbook 360 Amie Braun 2201 Willenborg Dr. Effingham, IL 62401 217.821.0682

amie.braun@yellglobal.net https://corporate.yellowbook.com Marketing Consultants Yellowbook is a 360-degree marketing company that has been helping small businesses grow and succeed for the last 80 years. Today’s consumer has different options when looking for business information and no single marketing solution will work. Yellowbook offers a full spectrum of marketing tools and services that go Beyond Yellow to lead our clients to success, now and in the future.


Mike Lingenfelter 1306 N. Prospect Ave. Champaign, IL 61820 217.356.0280 ztech61820@yahoo.com www.centralilwindowtinting.com Window Tinting Ztech has been in Champaign since 1986. At that time they were just installing automotive and commercial window film. Since then, they have added several other products such as custom lettering, remote starts, rust-proofing and undercoating, and most car and truck accessories. Their installers have been installing window film for almost 25 years; with this experience they have hundreds of satisfied customers and also offer a lifetime warranty on all automotive window film installations for the original purchaser of the vehicle. They only install legally allowed window film and will gladly explain what the Illinois law is regarding window film on automotive vehicles. Z-Tech takes great pride in their customers’ satisfaction and welcomes the opportunity to serve many more new customers.

Winter 2012/ Commerce Connection/


esigned to advance the university’s economic mission, the Research Park at the University of Illinois has served its purpose and beyond for the university as well as the Champaign County community. Recently honored as the 2011 Outstanding Research Park by the Association of University Research Parks,


the technology venture ranks among the top-tier research parks in the nation; an accomplished feat for being one of the youngest. From small start-up companies to large Fortune 100 and 500 corporations, Research Park provides an environment where innovation and economic development intersect. Technology based businesses are

able to work with University of Illinois faculty and students to take advantage of opportunities for collaborative research. In its first 10 years, the venture has attracted such giants as ADM, Caterpillar, John Deere, Sony, State Farm and Yahoo. Research Park Director Laura Frerichs said the park is often referred to as “the Silicon Valley of the Midwest.” “Our reputation is one that has attracted giants like Yahoo and John Deere. There is great value in being located in the Midwest and having access to university resources. These companies see that; we continue to grow because of it,” Frerichs said. One of the main goals of the Research Park has been to transform the University’s approach to entrepreneurial activity. The State of Illinois provided funding to build the EnterpriseWorks technology incubator in 2003; the facility has been in operation since 2004. Since opening, EnterpriseWorks has incubated 127 start-up companies; successfully translating research into commercial business. In 2011, Inc.com named En-

terpriseWorks among the “10 Start-up Incubators to Watch”. The facility currently hosts 30plus start-up companies in areas spanning biotechnology, chemical sciences, software development, sustainability and materials sciences. “EnterpriseWorks provides entrepreneurs an equipped facility for laying their businesses’ foundation,” Frerichs said. The incubator provides office and lab space, networking opportunities with fellow Research Park tenants and the opportunity to hire student employees and interns from the university. New companies use their time in incubation to develop products and get to the market. At a given time, 45 percent of firms have reached the stage of selling product to customers. Most firms have prototypes completed within the first year of incubation. Of the businesses that “graduate” from EnterpriseWorks, 30 percent remain in Research Park, 65 percent remain in Champaign County and 78 percent remain in Illinois. “Incubating business here, in

Champaign County, has proven effective in keeping business here, keeping tax dollars local,” Frerichs said. Among the venture’s greatest accomplishments have been the impact Research Park has had on Champaign County. Currently, Research Park employs more than 1,200 full and part-time employees who have created an additional 241 indirect and 508 induced jobs in the region. The current annual payroll of Research Park employees is $54,503,179, resulting in an economic benefit of $101,485,000. Indirect and induced jobs garner an additional economic impact of more than $68 million. (Statistics extracted from the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission’s 2011 report on the economic impact of Research Park at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). Of those employed by Research Park, over 78 percent work in the Professional and Technical Services sector; those employees earn an average salary of $61,080. Compared to an average wage of $40,020 for workers in Champaign County,

October + November 2011/ Commerce Connection/

$49,497 for Illinois and $46,751 for the nation; higher wages mean more spending power, improved quality of life and a competitive advantage for Champaign County. According to the 2011 Champaign County Regional Planning Commission’s study, the state of Illinois is expected to benefit by $4.4 million from Research Park tax revenue in FY2013; Champaign County should garner $1.4 million. Last September, the university was awarded a $683,125 federal grant by the United States Economic Development Administration to help support local start-up businesses and expand jobs. It will be funded through the next five years. This being the first federal grant awarded to Research Park, the award was a major milestone, Frerichs said. In addition to helping expand Research Park’s Entreprenuer-InResidence Program and creating more job opportunities within the EnterpriseWorks incubation facility, the grant will help expand Illinois Launch. The program will create a network of alumni, investors and experienced entrepreneurs for students looking to expand their start-ups into viable businesses. It will also launch the Student Entrepreneur Shared Services program, which will aid in establishing community incubator facilities at the Rantoul Business Center as well as EnterpriseWorks. The objective of these facilities is to get more startups going in Champaign County and to provide the resources they need to stay local. To ensure that money is used to benefit the entire community, partners on the grant include Parkland College, the Champaign

All photos courtesy of the Research Park at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The bottom photo shows Laura Frerichs, Director of Research Park, receiving the award for “Outstanding Research Park” from the Association of University Research Parks in November 2011.


County Economic Development Corporation, the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission and the Village of Rantoul. “As the park grows, it connects us more and more with the community,” Frerichs said. “We are now able to build outside Research Park and expand our mission.” Since Research Park’s first building opened in January 2001, eleven more buildings have been completed. The construction of a thirteenth building is underway. A total of 603,721 square feet have been constructed with a total construction cost of $101,785,249 ($63,385,675 funded by a private sector developer and $38,399,574 funded by the university/public sector). Research Park’s evolution has been largely influenced by its relationship with Fox/Atkins Develop-

ment, LLC. A partnership formed by local businessmen Peter Fox (of the Fox Development Corporation) and the late Clint Atkins (of the Atkins Group), Fox/Atkins was solely responsible for transforming the land from fish ponds, agricultural and livestock barns to a “thriving, supportive environment for the modern tech entrepreneur”. “Having them partner with the University 10 years ago was really critical to being able to even move forward with the vision and the dream,” Ed McMillan, chairman of the Board of Managers for the Research Park and a University of Illinois trustee, was quoted in the Research Park’s 10-year publication. As Research Park steps into its next 10 years of development, Fox/Atkins will continue in its role of strategic expansion.

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The next phase of development, on the east side of First Street, includes more than 160 acres of additional land. A new master development agreement was signed in May 2011 to continue further development in research park. “Our hope is that we’ll have that land totally utilized 10 years from now,” McMillan said. “We’re excited about Research Park and we’re excited by the next 10 years.”

Winter 2012/ Commerce Connection/

Q. A.

All were named by Newsweek Magazine as the “Top 10 Hottest Tech Cities”. From the world-class technologies at research park to innovative customer service equipment, businesses in Champaign County are ahead of the game when it comes to technology.





medical technology Both Provena Covenant Medical Center and Carle Foundation Hospital have robotic surgical systems available for minimally invasive procedures. Using state-of-the-art surgical technology allows patients to experience less main, much smaller incisions and benefit from much shorter recovery times. It also allows surgeons greater precision and increased dexterity during complicated procedures. Mike Brown, president of Provena Covenant Medical Center, said that the hospital’s purchase of the da Vinci surgical system is just one of the many ways the hospital has stayed on top of advancing medical technologies.

- The Studio Salon, Photography and Day Spa, loans clients iPads while they are receiving services. The technology allows clients to catch up on favorite television episodes while waiting for their hair color to set, to select music they listen to while getting a massage, to browse video beauty tips from experts at the Studio and so much more. “We want our customers to be an environment as custom and comfortable as possible. We have utilized technology in a way that allows us to do that,” Michael Ryan, co-owner of The Studio Salon, said.

“We strive to provide our patients with the most advanced, up-to-date care possible,” Brown said. “Technology will always be among our highest priorities.”

One Week Boutique has helped developed a new bar-coding system that has revolutionized consignment shopping. Dominos Pizza allows customers to order online and track orders from being received; to being prepared; to going into the oven; to being brought out to your home.

part of a BalanCeD Diet rce e m m o c ber of

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nt y c u o c n g i champa

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s n o i p m a h C of Featuring: mike thomas, University of illinois athletic Director, and keVin hamBly, fighting illini Women’s Volleyball Coach

thUrsDay, feBrUary 9 from 7:15 to 9:30 a.m. at hawthorn suites and Conference Center Join University of illinois athletic Director mike thomas and fighting illini Women’s Volleyball Coach Kevin Hambly for the Chamber’s first breakfast event of the year! hambly will speak on how he led his team to the nCaa finals as well as the teams record-breaking season (32-5). the cost to attend the event is $16 for Chamber members; $27 for non-members. a full breakfast is included in the price. register by calling norma at 217.531.4669 or email normaW@ champaigncounty.org.

SponSored by Fighting illini energy

Winter 2011/ Commerce Connection/

eci score


PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE CHAMPAIGN’S PROPOSED LOCAL MOTOR FUEL TAX Recently, members of the Champaign County Chamber spoke out against a proposed 4-centper-gallon Local Motor Fuel Tax for the City of Champaign. City officials estimate they have a $60 million backlog of unfunded road projects, according to city documents. They expect the gas tax could generate $1.5 million in new revenue and help them begin to chip away at the deficit. Several emails were sent to City Council Members by Chamber members expressing concern with the proposed tax and its probable impact on the business community in Champaign.

Serving East Central Illinois with workshops and free confidential business counseling. UPCOMING WORKSHOPS: Starting a Small Business is an overview of the advantages, hazards and requirements of starting a small business. Content includes defining your business, company and competitive analysis, marketing, cash flow and tips for small business start-up. Thursday, January 12, 3-5:30 p.m. Saturday, February 18, 9-11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 15, 3-5:30 p.m. Writing a Business Plan is a review of the importance of writing a business plan. Content includes business plan format, financial analysis and securing financing. Thursday, January 26, 3-5:30 p.m. Saturday, February 25, 9-11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 22, 3-5:30 p.m. Financing a Small Business is an overview of start-up financing for a business. Content includes business requirements, preparation needed and sources of capital. Saturday, January 28, 9-11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 24, 9-11:30 a.m. Workshops are $25 per one session or $60 for all three. All workshops are held at the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce, 303 W. Kirby Ave, in Champaign. Contact ECI SCORE at 217.359.1791 or visit their website, eci.score. org, for more information.

Council Members postponed a vote on the issue until at least February, which affords those members who did not have the opportunity to speak out before, to take action the next time the measure is up for a vote. The Champaign County Chamber is strongly opposed to the proposed Motor Fuel Tax and will continue to work towards providing a favorable tax and business climate for its members.

CIRCLE The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce has joined several other Chambers in Central Illinois to form CIRCLE -- Central Illinois Regional Chamber Legislative Effort. CIRCLE’s main objective is to strengthen the voice of business in Central Illinois by working together on common issues. Part of this process is planning a day long visit to Springfield in the spring of 2012 to meet with key legislators and committee staff to advocate for three to five issues important to the business community throughout our region. Last week, members of all the participating Chambers completed a survey to help determine the top issues facing the business community in Central Illinois. Champaign County Chamber

(...continued from previous page.) members spoke out more than any other participating Chamber members, helping shape what CIRCLE will work together on in 2012. The top four issues of concern to all who participated in the survey were as follows: Restructuring of the State’s mounting debt, further reform of the Workers’ Comp system, reduction of Public Pension costs and Unemployment Insurance reform. The Chamber will keep you informed of all the efforts of CIRCLE in the coming months. Please contact the Chamber’s Public Policy Manager Paul Orama with any questions concerning the proposed Local Motor Fuel Tax, CIRCLE, or any issue impacting your company. Paul can be reached at PaulO@champaigncounty.org or 217.359.1791.



























MAY 17
















Winter 2012/ Commerce Connection/


MEMBERSHIP NEWS BANKCHAMPAIGN recently named Mark Ballard president. Ballard, who has been with BankChampaign since 1991, was promoted from his position as executive vice president. Ballard has served as chairman for the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce and as both chairman and campaign chairman for United Way. He is a trustee for the Champaign Public Library, a past chairman for the Champaign County YMCA and a past president of the Champaign West Rotary Club. COMMERCE BANK announces the addition of a Wealth Management Consultant to their Champaign office. Services will include family wealth stewardship, family CFO services, comprehensive risk management, investment consulting and advice regarding many other complex financial affairs for very affluent families served by the Commerce Family Office. The Commerce Family Office, recently ranked the 18th largest family office in the world by assets in its September 2011 issue of Bloomberg Markets, is a very specialized team that serves the needs of affluent families with assets totaling more than $25 million. FREESTAR BANK IS NOW FIRST FINANCIAL BANK. First Financial Corporation completed their acquisition of Freestar Bank on December 30, 2011. MARINE BANK opened its second branch in the Champaign-Urbana market last week. Marine’s acquisition of the former Centrue Bank facility at 1001 S. Neil Street was completed. A new drive-up ATM will be installed at the branch immediately, and cosmetic improvements and facility upgrades will be completed in the coming months. Marine Bank’s purchase of the Centrue Bank facility will bring its total assets to $600 million. The employees of the branch have joined the Marine Bank team of 200. Marine Bank serves Champaign-Urbana, Springfield and Bloomington with nine branches and a loan production office. THE NEWS-GAZETTE has a digital services team that’s offering web design, search engine optimization, and many other online marketing services. We have created an online marketing package that’s ideal for small to medium sized businesses. We’re calling the service, the Digital Advantage. It combines search, reputation, and identity management services into a monthly or annual subscription.

PROVENA COVENANT MEDICAL CENTER announced that Phase two of their $5 million Blessed Beginnings Birthing Center modernization project is now open to patients. The addition includes two new C-section operating rooms adjacent to the birthing center, a locker room, a classroom and two more labor/delivery/recovery rooms. The recently remodeled birthing center rooms currently feature luxurious amenities, advanced technology and spa-like decor complete with hardwood-like floors, spacious bathrooms with floor-to-ceiling tiled showers, a large bathtub, a flat screen TV, free wireless internet and a sleeper couch with an extra long, comfortably sized bed. RSM MCGLADREY, INC., AND MCGLADREY & PULLEN, LLP recently announced the promotion of Wendy Johnson to director. With eleven years of public accounting experience, Johnson specializes in corporate and partnership taxation for the manufacturing and distribution industry. She joined the firm in September 2004 and is a graduate of Illinois State University where she earned a bachelor of science degree in accounting, and DePaul University with a master of science degree in taxation. Johnson is a certified public accountant as well as a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Illinois CPA Society. WELLS FARGO INSURANCE SERVICES USA, INC. located at 2107 S Neil Street, Champaign, IL would like to welcome Leslie McDonald. Leslie is joining their Commercial Team as a Commercial Service Agent. Leslie has over 20 years of insurance experience and is looking forward to working with Wells Fargo clients.

WHAT’S GOING ON IN YOUR BUSINESS? Are you renovating your space or revamping your services? Have you won any recent awards or made any additions to your staff? Do you have news to share with the Champaign County business community? Tell us about it and get featured in the Chamber’s next Commerce Connection! Send an email with your news to Nikolle Keeney, NikolleK@champaigncounty.org. Disclaimer: The Chamber reserves the right to reject any editorial item(s) deemed “advertising” by the editorial staff.



seminars The January 2012 seminar will focus on:




January 24, 8:30 a.m. at the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce. Chamber member rate: $32/ Non-member rate: $45

Is Government Contracting for You? Each year, local, state and federal governments purchase more than $500 billion from small businesses. The Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) of Central Illinois was established to help small businesses understand and profit from government contracting. Please join The Chamber and PTAC in a workshop that outlines government contracting basics. This workshop will focus on: • Understanding Federal and State contracting basics • Learning about bids and proposals • Learning about special programs • Understanding who’s there to help you

Business Success Seminars are designed specifically for Chamber members who are seeking quality, practical and affordable education on how to manage and grow their companies. If interested in attending, locate the registration form on our website, champaigncounty.org.


20 than more for p u b l i c at i o n b u s i n e s s - to - b u s i n e s s


t ru s t e d


Volume 18 | Number 3

C h a m pa i g n C o u n t y ’ s


JUNE / JULY 2011






Wine-cations + The Chamber’s

NEW DIGS Photo taken at Alto Vineyards in Champaign, Ill.

Advertise in the Chamber’s Commerce Connection and get your name out to more than 1,200 local businesses in Champaign County! Call 217.359.1791 for more details.


Winter 2012/ Commerce Connection/


of events

September 2011 Flash Economic Index for Champaign County



Champaign County business licenses applied for in December 2011

A speed networking program Thursday, January 12, 7:30 a.m. at the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce (Registration opens at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 5)


Hosted by Chittick Family Eye Care Thursday, January 19, 5 to 7 p.m. at Chittick Family Eye Care 8 Dunlap Ct. Savoy, IL 61874


Presented by the Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center of Central Illinois Tuesday, January 24, 8:30 a.m. at the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce


Hosted by Ashland Farms LLC Friday, February 3, 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Ashland Farms LLC 2757 J T Coffman Dr. Champaign, IL 61822


Hosted by Fighting Illini Energy Featuring Mike Thomas, University of Illinois Athletic Director, and Kevin Hambly, University of Illinois Women’s Volleyball Coach Thursday, February 9 Featuring

ATHENA AWARDS LUNCHEON Thursday, February 16 at the Champaign Country Club 1211 S. Prospect Ave. Champaign, IL 61820

BUSINESS AFTER HOURS Hosted by the Hilton Complex Thursday, February 16, 5 to 7 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn 1501 S. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820

2012 EAST CENTRAL ILLINOIS BUSINESS EXPO Wednesday, March 14, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the University of Illinois Assembly Hall 1800 S. First St. Champaign, IL 61820

See a full list of events at champaigncounty.org.


Unemployment rate for Champaign County in November 2011



59% Percentage of new residents to Champaign County with a household income of over $60,000.

6,627 Individuals departing from Willard Airport in Novemberr 2011

Individuals flying into Willard Airport in November 2011

7 7,026


Number of visitors to www.champaigncounty.org in November 2011



Profile for Champaign County Chamber of Commerce

Commerce Connection - Winter 2012  

Champaign County's premier business-to-business publication for more than 20 years.

Commerce Connection - Winter 2012  

Champaign County's premier business-to-business publication for more than 20 years.