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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




myths about



Breaking down the

Local perspectives on organic food, pg. 3

FOOD vs. FUEL Debate, pg 13


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 2

Photo courtesy Heather A. Miller

VIEWPOINTS What are your thoughts on organic produce and sustainable food products? How do those thoughts affect your purchasing decisions? Agriculture in general is “sustainable”. We have the most affordable food in the entire world and should be very grateful to have the many options that we have. Choices involving organic produce are nice to have but the means to feed the world masses in this manner are not yet in place. I’m very comfortable with the choices I have and salute the growers who provide them. I view organically grown and sustainable produce to be a major factor with purchasing decisions. I see it as an investment in my health and a sense of comfort when considering what I put into my body. Even when my paycheck decreased briefly, I continued to purchase the more expensive produce because it will be better for me in the long run... not to mention it tastes fresher too. Without fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides, we would not have enough food to feed the world population or even the US population. If everyone were to purchase organic there would not be enough food to feed the world. Organic is a fad, it is not scientifically better for you. In season, it’s all we eat. However, in Central Illinois, we are very limited to the variety and availability of locally grown, organic produce and paying the price for organic items imported or delivered from other states within the US is unaffordable. From May -November, we purchase most produce, eggs, some meat from Urbana’s Market at the Square. During the winter, most food is purchased from supermarkets, with some from food coop. Sustain-

ability is very important to us, as is cost, so we have to balance both factors. I support expansion of the local food system. I won’t pay more for inferior products. Organic produce just isn’t as robust looking as the non-organic.

On an average trip to the grocery store, what is the most important factor when making food purchasing decisions?

If money were not an issue, what would be the most important factor when making food purchasing decisions?

I love the thought of organic produce, etc... unfortunately, I cannot justify the added expense with six kids in the house. We don’t make a lot of money, but we shifted our purchasing/eating habits to local first, organic second about seven years ago, and we would never go back. Clean food tastes better, is better for eaters, is easier on our environment, and is often (not always) more ethical. The ethics of eating isn’t just about animals - it’s about labor and it’s about access, too. Then there’s also the knowledge that the local food economy is being supported and invested in - much more tangible than investment far away by people we don’t even know. I don’t believe organic is better, in fact I don’t eat it unless forced to. I know farmers do the best they can to provide safe healthy food for the public, organic or not. Organic is not widely available and is so much more expensive that I rarely consider it. We need to use everything we have to our advantage to create as much food as possible to feed the global community. There is nothing wrong with mass production of food. The less efficient methods of organic production probably emit more carbon for the same amount of food anyway, so what good is organic production doing? DISCLAIMER: Viewpoints is a bi-monthly forum for Chamber members to voice their own opinions on important and sometimes controversial issues in the community. Featured comments in no way portray the opinion of the Chamber. The Chamber values its members’ thoughts and opinions; entries, however are not guaranteed to be printed.

Purchasing free range, organic, ect. Buying local, seasonal produce Wider food variety Purchasing healthier food items Purchasing quick/ ready-made food items Affordability


Average amount of surveyed participants’ paychecks that go to food purchases. Where do people in Champaign County purchase the bulk of their produce?

33% Purchase at superstores such as Meijer or Walmart

58% Purchase at grocery

stores such as Schnucks or County Market

8% Purchase at local farmer’s markets or food cooperatives

1% Grow their own



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 UrbanaChampaign

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


Chair, F.E. Moran, Inc., Alarm & Monitoring Services

Tabatha Helm

First Vice Chair, Advanced Filtration Systems, Inc.

Michael Wozniak

Second Vice Chair, Livingston, Barger, Brant & Schroeder

Martin Verdick

Treasurer, McGladrey

Mark Ballard

Past Chair, BankChampaign, N.A.

Laura Weis

Secretary, Champaign County Chamber of Commerce


Farnsworth Group, Inc.

Beth Auterman


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), Michelle Luna (MichelleL@champaigncounty.org), or Christopher Sheppard (ChristopherS@champaigncounty.org) or call 217.359.1791.

March + April 2012/ Commerce Connection/


ATHENA Award Luncheon Honoring Cindy Somers, ATHENA Award Recipient, and Sarah Zehr, ATHENA Young Professional Recipient


he Champaign County Chamber of Commerce named Cindy Somers the 2012 ATHENA Award recipient on Thursday, February 16 at a luncheon held at the Champaign Country Club. Cindy is the 24th local recipient of the award, which honors individuals who assist women in reaching their full leadership potential; demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their businesses or professions; and provide valuable service by devoting time and energy to improving the quality of life for others in the community. Cindy is the owner of the Spherion Staffing franchises in both Champaign and Decatur. Since starting at the company in 1992, then called Norrell Temporary Services, Cindy has held the title of office manager, franchise partner and, most recently, franchise owner. After doing business in Champaign and Ford Counties for nearly 30 years, Cindy had the opportunity to purchase the Decatur Spherion franchise. She has recently expanded the operation into that community, assisting local businesses with their staffing needs. Last year alone, Cindy and her team placed nearly 900 people in jobs around the community.

In addition to her work with Spherion, Cindy is involved with many volunteer organizations in Champaign County, including as a board member for United Way of Champaign County, a member and former board member of the Champaign West Rotary, a member and former chair of the Junior Women’s Club and a past president of the C-U Oneto-One Mentoring Scholarship Foundation. Cindy has also been involved with the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club, Junior Achievement, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce, the American Cancer Society, the Champaign County YMCA and the Crisis Nursery. Among her many achievements, Cindy’s work was recognized by the State of Illinois in 2008-2010 as she was listed among the “100 Top Woman Owned Businesses” in the state. In 2011, she was awarded the “Local Community Business Impact Award” by the CU Schools Foundation. Cindy is also a 2011 graduate of Leadership Illinois. Sandra Alsop, Cindy’s nominator, has worked with Cindy for 16 years. A female dominated staff (6 women, 1 man), Sandra noted that Cindy “always strives to provide oppor-

Cindy joins a distinguished list of past ATHENA recipients including 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). In addition to the ATHENA Award, the ATHENA Young Professional Award was presented to Sarah Zehr, Assistant Dean and Director of Engineering Career Services and Assistant Dean of Communications in the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Sarah has served board roles in the Leadership Illinois program, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the United Way Emerging Community leaders program. In addition, Sarah led development on CUVolunteer.org, a website that matches would-be volunteers with programs and projects that they can join to donate their time, money or other assets. Her vision for the project was to bring residents and students together to work side-by-side on needs throughout the community, from feeding the hungry to building homes to keeping the community beautiful.

From top to bottom: The Spherion Staffing “family” congratulates Cindy on her win; Cindy and her two longtime “mentees” tunities for us all to reach our full potential.” “Cindy takes great pride in the fact that the women who stayed on her staff have tenure of up to 15+ years. Our loyalty is a result of her investment in all of us,” Sandra said. Another example of Cindy’s leadership skills has been her work with the C-U One-to-One Mentoring program. In 1998 Cindy was matched with one young woman—they met for the required one hour session each week but their pairing turned into much more than a mentor/mentee relationship, she became a part of Cindy’s family. When the girl’s younger sister was in need of a mentor, Cindy also took her under her wing and mentored her through high school. Both girls now have successful jobs and families of their own but they still talk to Cindy on a regular basis and know they can find her whenever they need guidance, advice and support.

Rhiannon Clifton, 2011 ATHENA Young Professional Award recipient, noted that “Sarah strives to involve others in meaningful ways… she is always looking out for others, in her own professional and social circles and in the community.” Bruce Vojack, Associate Dean of Administration for the College of Engineering, said that Sarah’s “successful navigation of challenging situations and interactions has been noted very positively by other women. She has set the standard high in terms of dealing in a responsible manner while still acknowledging the difficulty faced.” Vojack, Clifton and numerous others commented on both Sarah’s substantial impact on the community as well as her positive influence as a mentor. The ATHENA® Award program is sponsored by the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce and the Barham Benefit Group, corporate underwriter for the ATHENA® Award program. The award recipient’s jeweled lapel pin is provided by Busey Wealth Management. The ATHENA Young Professional Award is also sponsored by past recipients of the ATHENA Award.








12 2012

Agribusiness Committee

chamber breakfast Featuring Charles f. Connor, Former United States Deputy Secretary of Agriculture

Charles F. Connor, former United States Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, will be discussing how the US Department of Agriculture is more than just an “Ag Department”; it’s a consumer’s department. The areas that fall under the USDA impact all consumers, from food inspection to forestry, from conservation to food stamps. Connor will also touch on some of the ongoing challenges that face consumers in ensuring a safe, abundant and affordable food supply for the United States as well as the world. The event is sponsored by the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Agribusiness Committee. The event will take place Thursday, March 8 starting at 7:15 a.m. at the Hawthorn Suites and Conference Center, Champaign. The cost to attend 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.

NET WT. 12 OZ.


WELCOME TO THE CHAMBER >> members who joined between december 2011 and january 2012 A Ride to Remember Limousine Service

Michael Noe 1312 N. Lock Raven Rd. Champaign, IL 61821 217.550.3083 aridetorememberlimousineservice@yahoo.com www.ridetorememberlimos.com Limousine Service

A-1 Roof Coatings, LLC Lester Hostetler 102-A Rhema Dr. Arthur, IL 61911 217.273.9604 Lester.a1coatings@gmail.com www.aoneroofcoatings.com Roofing Contractors

Ansel Law Ltd.

Fran Ansel 301 N. Neil St., Ste. 480 Champaign, IL 61820 217.359.0200 fansel@ansellaw.pro Attorneys Ansel Law Ltd. is a commercial and business litigation firm with over 35 years of experience in contract, construction, real estate, financial institutions, intellectual property, labor and employment disputes. The firm’s experience also includes mediation, arbitration, and other forms of alternate dispute resolution. Ansel Law Ltd. combines their experience with efficient case management and competitive fees, all to provide the highest quality legal representation at a reasonable cost to their clients. Ansel Law Ltd. accepts clients and referrals from local and out-of-area counsel needing assistance or representation in and around East Central Illinois; their admissions to practice include all Trial and Appellate Courts in Illinois and Federal venues, including the Illinois and Unites States Supreme Courts.

Community Shares of Illinois Nick Quealy – Gainer 44 E. Main St., Ste. 208 Champaign, IL 61820 217.352.6533 info@cs-il.org www.communitysharesillinois.org Social Service Organizations

Community Shares of Illinois represents a diverse group of charities with a common mission: to make our world a better place. Whatever your passion—women’s issues, protecting children, helping animals, preserving the

environment, promoting health care or curbing poverty and disease—Community Shares members provide options for you to make positive changes in your own community. Look for Community Shares of Illinois and our member charities for a choice in payroll giving.

Country Financial – Adam Osterbur

Adam Osterbur 801 N. Country Fair Dr. Champaign, IL 61820 217.352.0012 Adam.osterbur@countryfinancial.com Insurance

C-U at Home

Melany Jackson P.O. Box 8816 Champaign, IL 61820 217.819.4569 Melany@cuathome.us www.cuathome.us Social Service Organizations C-U at Home is a new organization dedicated to engaging and mobilizing our community to house and support the most vulnerable homeless on their journey to healing and independence. They are committed to restoration of all those involved with their mission —both residents and volunteers. C-U at home hopes to house and support those who are the most at risk of dying on the streets unless their circumstances change. They also serve in various capacities as advocates on behalf of the homeless in the community. Key ways to get involved with C-U at Home include volunteering in the areas of social work and healthcare, mentoring, administration, advocating, marketing, fundraising, event planning, construction, maintenance and repair.

Dale Carnegie Training

Steven Grant 806 W. Trailcreek Dr. Peoria, IL 61614 309.691.6808 Steven.grant@dalecarnegie.com www.centralil.dalecarnegie.com Training-Program Design, Development, Presentation, Etc.

Fertilizer Dealer Supply Cathy Evans 106 Monroe St. Philo, IL 61864 217.684.2080 cevans@fertilizerdealer.com www.fertilizerdealer.com

Fertilizers In 1967, Fertilizer Dealer Supply founder John Grady recognized the need in the agricultural market to supply component parts to fertilizer and chemical retailers. With this vision, Fertilizer Dealer Supply has become a premier supplier for the retail and chemical dealer, custom applicators, and growers. They offer the most extensive inventory of fertilizer and chemical application parts in the country and a broad line of equipment as well. Their focus is to provide the customer with an unmatched selection of stock items to service their needs. Fertilizer Dealer Supply has seven locations throughout the Midwest: Philo, Illinois; Anna, Ohio; Jesup, Iowa; Milton, Wisconsin; Morrice, Michigan; Boonville, Missouri: and Brookston, Indiana.

Harbor Freight Tools

Cory Rials 1508 N. Cunningham Ave. Urbana, IL 61802 217.344.4856 Mgrhft290@harborfreight.com www.harborfreight.com Tools

The Hudd Group, Inc. David Huddleston 3011C Village Office Pl. Champaign, IL 61822 217.398.2506 dave@termfirm.com Financial Services

Jet’s Pizza

Donald Wiese 512 S. Neil St., Ste. B Champaign, IL 61820 217.352.3333 Donwiese66@yahoo.com www.jetspizza.com Pizza Fasten your seatbelts, Champaign! The area’s first Jet’s Pizza is coming in for a landing in late February. Jet’s, a Michigan-based chain, is one of the fastest growing pizza franchises in the country. Jet’s is best known for their signature square, deep-dish pizza, with pizza dough and sauce prepared FRESH daily at each store. Customers can “flavorize” their crust for free from a choice of eight flavors: butter, poppy seed, parmesan, garlic, Cajun, Romano, sesame seed or Jet’s Turbo Crust®. The menu also includes salads, subs, wings, breadsticks and Jet Boats for carry out or delivery. Jet’s motto says it best: “Life is short. Eat better pizza!”

March + April 2012/ Commerce Connection/


Jones Insurance Group Christopher Jones 412 W. Jennifer Ct. Mahomet, IL 61853 217.417.0834 jonesinsurance@me.com Insurance Consultants

Lewis Wealth Management Group Paul Lewis 1717 S. Philo Rd., Ste. 29 Urbana, IL 61802 217.377.5584 paul@paullewis.com www.lewiswealthmanagement.com Financial Planning Consultants & Services


Louie’s Southern BBQ & Comfort Food Leah Petit 142 Lincoln Square Mall (inside 88 Broadway) Urbana, IL 61801 217.419.6521 leah@louiesbbqdelivery.com www.louiesbbq.com Caterers

Louie’s Southern BBQ & Comfort Food is a casual catering business specializing in the foods from the delta south. Pulled Pork, Italian Beef, Mac & Cheese, Warm Bread Pudding and Cole Slaw are just a few of their specialties. A favorite at local festivals, Louie’s provides attendees a taste of their most popular foods under a lime green tent. Louie’s has a full line of catering from a southern breakfast to a backyard BBQ as well as a full lunchbox menu for delivery. Louie’s BBQ also offers an upscale catering line which provides southern antebellum style foods.


Michael P. Graham, C.P.A.

Michael Graham 216 E. Sangamon Ave. Rantoul, IL 61866 217.893.9250 mikepgraham@earthlink.net www.mikepgraham.com Accountants – Certified Public & Public

Meatheads Burgers & Fries Christopher Cabrera 1305 N. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.352.5555 champaign@meatheadsburgers.com www.meatheadsburgers.com

3 held a grand opening for their new Champaign 1 Aldi location on December 15, 2011. celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon 2 AT&T cutting ceremony on December 15, 2011. held a ribbon cutting to commemorate 3 ZtheirWireless grand opening on January 19, 2012.

Meatheads Burgers and Fries serves 100 percent fresh, never frozen Angus beef burgers, fresh cut fries, fresh chicken sandwiches and hand dipped milkshakes. Everything is always made to order and served in a comfortable atmosphere with great hand picked music, and free WiFi. Meatheads is also all about serving others and runs many programs designed to enhance the community around us including our “Voracious Reading” program, our “Meathead of the Game” awards, and our “10 percent Back 2 U” fundraising program. Meatheads Burgers and Fries, “where we truly go Beyond the Burger”.

Neves Group

Christy Gibas 801 W. Bradley Ave. Champaign, IL 61820 217.377.8850 Christy.gibas@nevesgroup.com www.nevesgroup.com Real Estate Management



he Champaign County Chamber of Commerce will host our eighth annual East Central Illinois Business Expo on Wednesday, March 14 at the University of Illinois Assembly Hall. Running from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., vendors ranging from Fortune 100 companies to home-based businesses will showcase products and services that make Champaign County a great place to do business.


Starting at 11 a.m. will be the Provena Ultimate Power Lunch. Enjoy sample-sized portions from local restaurants and caterers such as Minneci’s Ristorante, Alexander’s Steakhouse, Piato Cafe, Louie’s BBQ, JT Walker’s, Marble Slab, Nelson’s Catering, Eastland Suites, Jimmy Johns, Dish- Passionate Cuisine, J. Gumbo’s and Pekara. Come hungry as scheduled food items include teriyaki kabobs, bourbon chicken, cheddar potatoes, ice cream and cannollis. The Provena Ultimate Power Lunch runs until 2 p.m. Wrap up the day with the BankChampaign Wine Tasting from 4:00 pm to 6:00pm. Experience free sample-sized reds and white wines from Wines at the Pines. The 2012 East Central Illinois Business Expo is open to the public with free admission and free parking.

Pavlov Media, Inc.

Christine Younger 206 N. Randolph St., Ste. 200 P.O. Box 25 Champaign, IL 61824 217.353.3030 sales@pavlovmedia.com www.pavlovmedia.com Internet Service Providers

Prairie Village Retirement Community

Rhonda Dimose 200 W. International Ave. Rantoul, IL 61866 217.892.2800 rhondadimose@aol.com www.prairievillagerc.com Retirement & Life Care Communities & Homes Prairie Village Retirement Community is located in Rantoul, IL, just 20 minutes fro Champaign. It offers independent living, assisted living and memory care community living options. Veterans may qualify for discounted independent living apartments. Call for information and pricing.

State Farm Insurance – Steve Tarrant Cindy Tarrant 106 W. Springfield Ave. Champaign, IL 61820 217.352.1188 Steve.tarrant.nqwf@statefarm.com www.steve-tarrant.com Insurance

Mutual Funds For quality and service you can trust at affordable rates, contact Steve Tarrant State Farm insurance. His office offers auto, home, renters, life, annuities, health, disability, longterm care and Medicare supplement insurance. Steve has over 20 years of experience with State Farm and has been an agent in the Champaign area for 8 years. Steve Tarrant has four experienced team members on his staff to make sure all of your insurance and financial needs are handled.

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

Upgrade Screen Printing

Jacob Crawford P.O. Box 52 Seymour, IL 61875 217.687.4411 upgradescreenprinting@gmail.com Screen Printing

United Graphics, Inc. Cynthia Scrimager 2916 Marshall Ave.

P.O. Box 559 Mattoon, IL 61938 217.235.7161 Cynthia_scrimager@untiedgraphicsinc.com www.unitedgraphicsinc.com Printers

Z Wireless

Justin Holdren 2500 S. Philo Rd. (Inside Meijer) Urbana, IL 61802 217.344.6440 Justin.holdren@gozwireless.com www.gozwireless.com Cellular telephone Equipment & Supplies

free admission • free parking • open to the public


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

Featuring: The PROVENA ULTIMATE POWER LUNCH from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the BANKCHAMPAIGN WINE TASTING from 4 to 6 p.m.


BUSINESS Fighting Illini Energy is the official electricity partner of the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce and the only electricity partner of Illinois Athletics.


Fixed contract rate protects you from market volatility and ensures budget stability.


Plus tons of new ways to reach potential customers and show your Fighting Illini pride with unique branding materials and outreach.


If you choose one of Fighting Illini Energy’s green plans, you will directly fund the creation of renewable wind power in Illinois.


By virtue of being a Fighting Illini Energy customer, your account will generate an on-going donation to the University of Illinois athletic programs. You help to keep your money local and still benefit from having the most competitive electricity rate and term available.


March + April 2012/ Commerce Connection/


FOOD VS. FUEL Written by Nikolle Keeney, Marketing and Public Relations Manager for the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce


he 2006-2008 commodity boom was one of the largest since World War II, impacting a vast spectrum of market items. Gas prices in the US doubled; world-wide high food prices pushed over a hundred million people into starvation.

ethanol was to blame for higher food prices as it was being produced at the “expense of food�.

Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, wrote that the grain required to fill a 25-gallon SUV gas tank with ethanol would be enough to feed one Looking to blame someone for this international crisis, person for an entire year. He continued, the grain several food industry representatives spoke out required to fill the tank every two weeks over a year against the production of ethanol. The spoke that would feed 26 people.

Brown’s argument centers around the fact that, as crude oil prices climb (prices currently circle $100/ barrel, the average was $78/barrel in 2006), the price of market food items will also increase, not only because of higher transportation and fertilizer costs, but because the demand for grain to produce fuel would also rise. In turn, Brown argued that the “stage is being set for a head-on collision between the world’s 800 million affluent automobile owners and food consumers. For the 2 billion poorest people in the world, many

of whom spend half or more of their income on food, rising grain prices can quickly become life threatening. The broader risk is that rising food prices could spread hunger and generate political instability in low-income countries that import grain.” On Jan. 20, corn futures closed at $6.115 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, almost triple from the $2.1175 a bushel for the grain a decade ago (one bushel equals 56 pounds of corn; there are nearly 9,000 pounds of corn in one acre). Mike Doherty, senior economist for the Illinois Farm Bureau, explained that though Brown’s statistics are compelling, “humans can not survive on corn and corn alone.” Last year, one-third of the US corn crop went to produce ethanol. Worldwide, that percentage was less than three percent of all feed grains. While some of the corn crop is used directly for human consumption, a larger percentage of rice and wheat crops are used directly. “If you put all of the feed grains in one big basket for the whole world’s production, only three percent of feed grains are used to make fuel,” Doherty said. The percentage of price in a final product that corn had any influence on is “very very small,” said Doherty. According to the National Corn Growers Association, there is only 6 cents worth of corn in a 12 oz. box of Corn Flakes. Don Mulligan, Chief Financial Officer of General Mills, Inc., recently noted that for every dollar spent in a grocery store, approximately three cents goes to corn-related costs at the farm. He added that grain was only five to ten percent of the company’s costs. Mulligan’s statistics are significant as corn is in an overwhelming portion of what we eat. Based on a study conducted by the Corn Refiner’s Association, the average grocery store contains 4,000 products that contain corn in some form, not including poultry, dairy and beef products. Fifty-five percent of sweeteners are corn-based; corn is even used in paint, paper products, cosmetics, tires and plastics. The

makers of the documentary King Corn found that fifty-five percent of the carbon content of their hair is from corn’s family of plants. This is especially significant considering the largest percentage of the US corn crop goes to feed livestock, Doherty said. “To humans, corn is more of an indirect food product. It feeds the meat that we directly consume.” Doherty said that, except for the meat from corn-fed animals, the impact on all other food products is small relative to other cost factors. Another aspect of the debate that people don’t realize, Doherty continued, is that though onethird of the US corn crop goes to produce ethanol, only two-thirds are fully used-up. The remaining portion comes back out of the ethanol plant as a “dried distiller grain”, a concentrated, high protein animal feed. Cattle are able to consume fifty percent of their diet

Champaign County Farm Bureau President Lin Warfel takes a moment out of harvest to speak with young consumers.

distiller grains has been a win-win for some farmers as many have elected to build ethanol plants next to cattle lots. In 2005, the United States became the world’s largest producer of ethanol fuel. In 2010, the US produced 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol fuel—most was produced in the Midwest; Illinois was the third largest supplier. Together with Brazil’s 6.9 billion gallons, 88 percent of the world’s ethanol fuel

According to the National Corn Grower’s Association, there is only 6 cents worth of corn in a 12 oz. box of Corn Flakes. through these dried distiller grains; similarly, hogs are able to consume a third of their diet through the product. The production of

was accounted for. By 2011, most cars on US roads could run on blends of up to 10 percent ethanol and manufacturers had begun

producing vehicles designed for much higher percentages. The ethanol blend rate in gasoline is currently capped at 10 percent; Doherty said he hopes to see this rise to 15 percent in the next few years. “There is great benefit in growing the ethanol industry- especially in Illinois,” Doherty said. “It is mostly a farmer-owned industry that employs a lot of people. It’s keeping jobs here and also helping us to utilize our own resources for oil rather than us relying solely on imported oil.” Josh Tickell, author of “From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank” (the world’s best-selling book on biofuel) and director of FUEL (Sundance Award Winner for Best Documentary), has made it his mission to put an end to America’s

“oil addiction”.

transported on a cooled truck.”

As Americans, nearly everything we do requires oil. For infinite reasons, this is a huge problem: there is a limited (and dwindling) amount of oil; oil is expensive; Americans rely heavily on the Middle East to provide oil; oil production is damaging to the environment, people living near refineries and humanity in general.

In 2010, food products that contained wheat or corn products actually decreased in price. Commodity items that fluctuated (sugar up 10 percent, wild tomatoes down 4 percent...) were subject to very regular price variation. This, mainly due to factors in product supply—climate variability, weather extremes, seasonal fluctuations, et cetera.

Tickell argues that “biofuels can solve this problem.”

Food processing is energy intensive and packaging frequently uses petroleum-based raw materials. To add to the argument, ethanol (among other Transporting food around the world also requires biofuels) is significantly cheaper than gasoline. In large amounts of oil. The cost of oil has much more to 2010 the addition of ethanol to the fuel supply reduced do with the cost of food to consumers than does the wholesale gasoline prices by as much as 90 cents per increase in demand for ethanol. gallon. According to a study conducted by Iowa State University, the average driver saved 25 cents per gallon over the past ten years. SOURCES INCLUDE:

“In reality, biofuels play a very limited role in rising food costs,” Doherty said. “People don’t realize that when buying a food product, the price attributed to corn is very small. When meat prices rise, people jump to the conclusion that it’s due only to fuel costs. Really, it has more to do with energy costs. The meat had to first go through a slaughter process, which costs energy, then it must be cooled, then frozen, then

Baffes, John, and Tassos Haniotis. Placing the 2006/08 Commodity Price Boom into Perspective. Rep. World Bank, 2010. July 2010. Web. 14 Feb. 2012. Brown, Lester. “Starving for Fuel: How Ethanol Production Contributes to Global Hunger.” The Globalist. 6 Aug. 2006. Web. 28 Feb. 2012. <http://www.theglobalist.com/storyid. aspx?StoryId=5518> “Food vs. Fuel.” Growth Energy. Web. 14 Feb. 2012. <http://www.growthenergy.org/ethanolissues-policy/myths-about-ethanol/food-vs-fuel-/>. FUEL. Dir. Josh Tickell. Netflix/ FUEL. Web. 13 Feb. 2010. “Interview with Mike Doherty, Senior Economist for the Illinois Farm Bureau.” Personal interview. 8 Feb. 2012.

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, March 15, 3-5:30 p.m.; Thursday, April 19, 9-11:30 a.m.; Saturday, May 12, 9-11:30 a.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, March 22, 3-5:30 p.m.; Thursday, April 26, 3-5:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 19 9-11:30 a.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, 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.

TOP 10 Top10

Photo courtesy Heather A. Miller

Winter 2012/ Commerce Connection/

MYTHS about


Myth: The majority of the Federal Farm Bill spending provides subsidies to farmers. Farmers are getting rich off of these payments. Fact: While it is called the Farm Bill, 75 percent of the total bill spending will go to nutritional programs. The breakdown of farm program spending is 9 percent to crop insurance, 7 percent to conservation, and 7 percent to subsidies. This equates to one-tenth of one percent of the entire Federal budget. Farmers use subsidies as a risk management tool so that they can continue to produce an affordable, abundant food supply. For more information on the Farm Bill, visit: http://www.ers. usda.gov/FarmBill/.

Myth: A degree in agriculture is useless. Fact: There is a shortage of college graduates to fill jobs in several sectors of the agriculture industry. The ag industry is diverse and degree programs can include engineering, crop science, horticulture, animal science, economics, food science, education, natural resources, and more. The College of Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois boasts an 86 percent placement of graduates within six months of completing their degree. For more information on agricultural degree programs, visit: http://aces.illinois.edu/ or http://www.ag.purdue.edu/USDA/ employment/Pages/default.aspx.

Myth: Farmers don’t take proper care of their


List compiled by the Chamber Agribusiness Committee

livestock. Fact: Farmers recognize that superior animal care leads to the production of high-quality, safe and wholesome meat, milk and eggs and are constantly seeking ways to improve the wellbeing and comfort of animals. Livestock barns help farmers control the environment and provide personalized attention while protecting the animal from weather extremes, disease, and predators. Farmers use antibiotics strategically, carefully, and according to label instructions to prevent or treat illness. They stop use during a mandated withdrawal period prior to harvesting the animal. For more information on animal welfare, please visit: http:// www.avma.org/issues/animal_welfare/policies.asp.

Myth: Organic food is healthier. Fact: Both organic and conventionally grown foods must meet the same standards of safeness determined by the Food and Drug Administration. There is no scientific evidence showing that organic foods are healthier or safer than conventionally grown foods. The most important thing is to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, organic or not. Simply washing conventionally grown foods prior to consumption removes virtually all traces of pesticides that can be used. For more information on organic foods and farming, please visit: www.acsh.org

Myth: High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is much unhealthier than sugar. Fact: HFCS is no “less natural” or “more processed” than table sugar. In fact, cane sugar undergoes as much—if not more— processing than HFCS. Each provide about 4 calories per gram. According to the American Dietetic Association, HFCS is not “high in fructose”—the name was derived from the fact that it has more fructose than regular corn syrup.

For more information on HFCS, please visit: http://www. sweetsurprise.com/.

Myth: The majority of farms today are corporate farms Fact: Ninety-four percent of Illinois Farms are still family owned. Farms that have INC or LLC behind their name are not necessarily “corporately” run farms. They are incorporated to protect the daily business of the farm and make things more economic. Nation wide, 97 percent of farms are operated by families – individuals, family partnerships, or family corporations and they account for 82 percent of farm production. The vast majority of the farms that are corporate farms raise fruits and vegetables, not grain and livestock. For more information on family farms, please visit: www.ers. usda.gov, www.fb.org

Photo courtesy Susie Harbaugh, Assistant Manager of the Champaign County Farm Bureau

Myth: The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) uses your donations to support local animal shelters. Fact: The Humane Society of the United States is not affiliated with local humane societies and with the good work they do to rescue and care for animals. They have been given four straight “D” grades by the CharityWatch report for misleading donors. Recent data shows HSUS donated $0 to help humane societies in Illinois. Through ballot initiatives and other measures, HSUS attempts to dictate farming practices and livestock production while having no expertise in either. If you wish to support your local animal shelter—donate directly to them. For more information on the misleading practices of HSUS visit: http://humanewatch.org/.

Myth: Using corn for ethanol is causing people to go hungry. Fact: Corn used in ethanol production is field corn that is fed to livestock, not the type of corn typically consumed by humans. The ethanol production process transforms this corn into ethanol—as well as a high-value livestock feed, corn sweeteners, corn oil and lots of other food products that actually increase the volume of food available at the grocery store. The U.S. ethanol industry currently uses 23 percent of the U.S. corn supply. Something else to consider: making ethanol doesn’t use the part of the corn kernel that’s good for livestock feed. For more information on ethanol, visit: www.ethanolfacts.com

Myth: Farmers only work four months per year. Fact: Farmers have important jobs throughout the year such as book work, record keeping, paying bills, marketing their grain (i.e. corn and soybeans). They wear many hats such as manager, marketer, agronomist, accountant, human relations manager, mechanic, conservationist, safety coordinator and many more. They spend the winter months hauling grain, working on machinery, and preparing for the next season.

Myth: Agriculture (more specifically farming) is not “green.” Fact: Conservation tillage methods have become the standard for grain farmers in the last 20 years. As a result of those changes, along with the development of biotech crops and global position satellite systems (GPS), farmers have greatly reduced the need for traditional pesticides, better control the application of fertilizer, and have reduced soil erosion tremendously. The conservation tillage techniques have enabled farmers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through less fossil fuel consumption and increased soil carbon sequestration (i.e. reduce carbon dioxide or “greenhouse gasses”). In 2007, the result was the removal of 14.2 billion kilograms of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, an amount equivalent to removing nearly 6.2 million cars from the road. For more information on conservation in agriculture, please visit: www.fsa.usda.gov The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Agribusiness Committee addresses agriculture-related issues, encourages good working relationships and understanding between rural and urban constituents, and develops events that promote and encourage agricultural awareness. For more information, contact Stephanie Finney at the Chamber, StephanieF@champaigncounty.org or 217.359.1791.

March + April 2012/ Commerce Connection/



Proposed Stormwater Utility Fee Written by Paul Orama, Public Policy Manager for the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Champaign and Urbana are in consideration of implementing a Stormwater Utility Fee to generate revenue to cover the cost of millions of dollars of unfunded stormwater projects. Champaign City Council has supported a plan that would generate $3.2 million annually in new revenues and Urbanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plan would generate $1.7 million annually. Currently, stormwater maintenance dollars come from the General Fund. According to both cities, the fee goes towards unfunded stormwater projects and maintenance of each cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stormwater systems. Several Illinois communities have instituted a stormwater utility fee including Aurora, Bloomington, Highland Park, Moline, Morton, Normal, Rock Island and Rolling Meadows. The fee is based on the concept that every property in a watershed contributes runoff and

should support the operation and maintenance of the stormwater drainage system in the watershed. If implemented, the proposed fee would range from $4.94 to $13.64 a month for Champaign residents, depending on the square footage of the properties impervious area. An impervious surface includes anything that produces storm water runoff instead of letting rain water penetrate into the ground, like concrete driveway surfaces and roofs. Commercial properties can expect to pay a rate of $5.24 per 3,478 square feet of impervious surface (average impervious area of a single family unit in Champaign). This can translate into thousands of dollars a year for large properties in the city. One Champaign Commercial property owner can expect a Stormwater fee of over $18,000 a year. Some incentives and credits will be provided by each city. (continued...)

Champaign County Economic Seminar Great by Choice Tuesday, May 8, 7:45 - 9:00 am University of Illinois Assembly Hall Please join us for our 60th Economic Seminar in Champaign County. Ed Scharlau, Vice Chairman of Busey Bank, will once again provide interesting news and information about the national and the local economies. We hope to see you there! Visit busey.com for more information.

1.800.67 | Busey busey.com

Member FDIC

The City of Urbana has proposed a flat fee estimated to cost residents between $4.90 and $5.15 per month. Mayor Prussing has asked council to reconsider a tiered system similar to Champaign’s proposed fees. The Chamber has been involved in many meetings and committees over the last year on the proposed fees. Chamber Staff is advocating on behalf of its members to ensure both City’s are aware of the potential impact of this fee. If you have questions, please contact the Chamber’s Public Policy Manager Paul Orama at PaulO@champaigncounty.org.











MAY 17














March + April 2012/ Commerce Connection/


MEMBERSHIP NEWS MATZNER CHIROPRACTIC celebrated Dr. Douglas Matzner’s thirty years of practice at a ceremony held in February. Over 100 of Matzner’s patients and peers attend the event, presenting him with an award for his achievement. In turn, Matzner presented awards to four of his long-standing Dr. Douglas Matzner recently celebrated 30 years patients. of business in Champaign County.

As both a licensed chiropractic physician and a legislative advocate fighting for patient rights, Dr. Matzner has been following the unmistakable trend of disease as our nation’s health care crisis has reached epidemic proportions. Although he continues to treat patients for orthopedic problems, using primarily chiropractic, acupuncture, exercise and nutrition, he also guides his patients into creating an improved level of wellness, focusing on three key areas of physical health: improving the body, enhancing nutritional intake, and reducing stress. His commitment to the health and wellness of his patients was recognized in 2010, when the Illinois Chiropractic Society honored him with the Chiropractic Physician of the Year award. Dr. Matzner’s passion is to speak with individuals and corporations about the very real possibilities of achieving good health, reducing health care costs, increasing productivity, and improving workers’ sense of well being. He is also a member of the elite group of doctors called Wellness Champions which works with corporations to achieving employee wellness. BARD OPTICAL is celebrating 70 years of providing vision care excellence! As a “Thank You” to the communities in which Bard Optical has an office, they are donating up to 70 pairs of glasses to “in need” public school students in each community. They began this program in Unit District #4 and District #116 on February 20, 2012. CARLE welcomes new emergency medicine providers James Yu Park, DO, and Charu K. Mahajan, PA. Dr. Park earned a doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioscience, Kansas City, Mo., and completed a residency in emergency medicine

at the University of Illinois Medical Center, Chicago, Ill. He is a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians. Ms.Mahajan earned a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. She serves as Central East Regional Director of the Illinois Academy of Physician Assistants and is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. FOX 55/27- WRSP/WCCU TV, serving Champaign, Decatur and Springfield, was ranked 14th in the nation out of over 200 Fox affiliates in primetime. This data was seen in the results of the Neilsen November Sweeps. GETZ FIRE EQUIPTMENT of Peoria, Illinois has received the honor of being named an ANSUL Triple Diamond Alliance Partner. This level of distinction is a testament to the hard work put forth by the organization over the past year. Springfield native Laura Grman recently joined LRS WEB SOLUTIONS as a User Experience Specialist. Grman brings more than 25 years of business experience to LRS after working previously in the Minneapolis/St. Paul and Madison, Wisconsin areas. She has received numerous achievement and excellence awards for her business analysis, project management and technical work in a wide range of industries, including retail, service, healthcare, insurance, financial, software, manufacturing, marketing, and entertainment. SKINNIGIRL YOGURT IS NOW CITY GIRL YOGURT. In addition to frozen yogurt, they are now offering lunch specials.

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.



Tuesday, April 3, 8:30 a.m.

JUNE / JULY 2011


oCt./nov. 2011

Volume 18 | Number 3

A publiCAtion of the ChAmpAign County ChAmber of CommerCe

more for




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

p u b l i c at i o n

C o m m e r C e






Volume 18 | Number 5



t ru s t e d


C h a m pa i g n C o u n t y ’ s





Contact Norma at the Chamber to register, 359.4669 or NormaW@champaigncounty.org.

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.


The cost to attend is $32 for Chamber members; $42 for non-members

- At least 51 percent owned and controlled by persons who are minority, women or designated as disabled - Must be a United States citizen or resident alien - Annual gross sales of less than $75 million

p u b l i C at i o n

Join Carlos Gutierrez of the Illinois Department of Central Management Services to guide your enrollment in this program.

To qualify as a diverse business under BEP if you must meet the following criteria:

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

Certification with the BEP will offer your business the opportunity to participate in the State’s mandated goal of 20 percent inclusion of minority, or female, or persons with disabilities owned companies in the State’s procurement award. You can grow your revenues, build your capacity, and enhance your credentials.

at the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign, IL 61820

t ru s t e d

The Business Enterprise Program promotes the economic development of diverse businesses, those owned by minorities, women, and persons with disabilities. Last year the state of Illinois awarded nearly $400 million to BEP-certified firms!



how to create them p. 3 how to get one p. 9

Permit No. 29 Champaign, IL

+ The Chamber’s



Presorted Standard US Postage

C h a m pa i g n C o u n t y ’ s

From small town shops to hospitals, banks and colleges, the Chamber’s “Commerce Connection” gets great exposure in Champaign County. Distributed to over 1,200 local businesses and more than 3,500 area business people, advertising in the “Commerce Connection” is a benefit of your Chamber membership. Contact the Chamber today and get your business SEEN. Call 217.359.1791 for more details.

Photo taken at Alto Vineyards in Champaign, Ill.


March + April 2012/ Commerce Connection/


of events

January 2012 Flash Economic Index for Champaign County



Hosted by the Chamber Agribusiness Committee Featuring Chuck Conner, Former US Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Thursday, March 8 at Hawthorn Suites and Conference Center 101 Trade Centre Dr. 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


Hosted by the Farnsworth Group at Fat City Bar and Grill Thursday, March 15, 5 to 7 p.m. at Fat City Bar and Grill 505 S. Chestnut St. Champaign, IL 61820


Presented by the Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center of Central Illinois Tuesday, April 3, 8:30 a.m. at the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce

FIRST FRIDAY COFFEE Hosted by First Bank of Savoy Friday, April 6, 7:30 to 9 a.m. at First Bank of Savoy 1251 Woodfield Dr. Savoy, IL 61874


Hosted by Twin City Tent and Awning Thursday, April 19, 5 to 7 p.m. at Twin City Tent and Awning 308 E. Anthony Dr. Urbana, IL 61803


Hosted by Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC Friday, May 4, 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC 2237 S. Neil Champaign, IL 61820

2012 CHAMBER GOLF OUTING Thursday, June 7, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Stone Creek Golf Course 2600 S. Stone Creek Blvd. Urbana, IL 61802

See a full list of events at champaigncounty.org.


Champaign County business licenses applied for in January 2012

Unemployment rate for Champaign County in December 2012



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

7,010 Individuals departing from Willard Airport in February 2012 Individuals flying into Willard Airport in February 2012



Champaign Urbana MTD customers in January 2012.

7 8,124

Number of visitors to www.champaigncounty.org in January 2012




www.ar-mech.com 217-819-5188


Profile for Champaign County Chamber of Commerce

Commerce Connection - March/ April 2012  

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

Commerce Connection - March/ April 2012  

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