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JUNE 2012

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


The world’s most famous, most celebrated,




, p13


What to do with your kids while you’re at work, p. 16 Access Chamber business anywhere you go, p.21


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 3

June 2012 / Commerce Connection/

VIEWPOINTS Every two months, the Chamber surveys its membership on a topic of relevance. Eager for summer, we wanted to learn how working parents handle their children being out of school and what options they have.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS SUMMER IN CHAMPAIGN COUNTY? 35% Area festivals 28% Grilling out 24% Hitting the pool 21% Visiting local parks & forest preserves 6% Other OF WORKING PARENTS WITH CHILDREN BETWEEN THE AGES OF 5 AND 12, WE ASKED: During the summer, who attends to your children while you’re at work?

In the past few years, have you sent your children to a summer camp or daycare program in Champaign County? 83% Yes 15% No 2% Not applicable

What program did you send your child to? Would you recommend it/ them?

20% 20% 44%



A parent A babysitter, older sibling or grandparent A day care or summer camp program No one, they are old enough to take care of themselves Other

YMCA, Champaign Park District, FCA Camp -- TOTALLY would recommend. Chesterbrook Summer Camp. Yes (would recommend), because of all the activities and field trips they take the kids on that also allow them to continue to learn. Champaign Park District Theatre Camp; Sholem Sharks Swim Team; UI Sport


Camps (Soccer, Volleyball, Basketball); and yes, I would recommend all of them, especially to offer a variety of experiences. Champaign Park District day camps are the best. They have one adult for every 8 kids, are safe, convenient and they take amazing field trips and even swim lessons are included! Parkland’s College for Kids, Savoy Recreation, Champaign County YMCA- I would recommend them all. Urbana schools has great summer programs - I am sending both of my kids to a new program they started this year. It is only two weeks long, but it looks amazing!

AS A WORKING PARENT, WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGES WHEN SCHOOL LETS OUT FOR THE SUMMER? The cost associated with putting my child in daycare/camps. Finding a safe, reliable sitter. Identifying fun, challenging camps and programs. Trying to continue learning during the break so there is no “drop” in educational progress. Summer activities that last all day while I am at work and Monday through Friday. Transportation - especially for 1/2 day specialty camps. Providing safe and interesting activities at a reasonable cost. Most of the classes/lessons/events geared for children take place during the day, which makes it very difficult to get kids involved. For instance, swim lessons are 10 to 11, which no working person would be able to take their children to. There are a few weeks at the beginning of the summer and at the end where care is difficult to find for private school students. Not retaining knowledge learned during the school year. Finding the best day camps that offer affordable programs with before and after care with a variety of activities.



303 W. Kirby Ave. Champaign, IL 61820 P: 217.359.1791 F: 217.359.1809

CHAMBER STAFF Laura Weis President & CEO

Stephanie Finney Event & Programs Manager

Claudette Gonsiorowski Information & Accounts Receivable Manager

Nikolle Keeney Marketing & Public Relations Manager

Michelle Luna Membership & Advertising Services Manager

Leslie Lundy Finance Manager

Lynette Lykins Director of First Impressions

Carole Moore Finance Assistant & Office Manager

Christopher P. Sheppard Membership Development Director

Paul Orama Public Policy Manager

Norma Wesley Administrative Support & Reservationist


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


Cooper Asset Management Corporation


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

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

Health Alliance Medical Plans, Inc.

Dale Morrissey

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 the Chamber at 217.359.1791.

June 2012 / Commerce Connection/








he 2012 East Central Illinois Business Expo, held Wednesday, March 14 at the University of Illinois Assembly Hall, was a great success. Over 1,400 people in attendance, more than 70 vendors participated and 12 restaurants helped cater the event. Stephanie Finney, Events and Programs Manager for the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce, said the event “just keeps getting better”. “There is so much Champaign County has to offer and the Business Expo highlights a great range of those offerings. Attendees were given access to so many products and services, all in one convenient location,” Finney said. Finney added that the event would not have been possible without support from our sponsors. Thank you to Provena Covenant Medical Center for sponsoring the 2012 Provena Ultimate Power Lunch and to BankChampaign, N.A. for sponsoring the 2012 BankChampaign Wine Tasting. Also, a special thank you to all of our media sponsors (WICD, WCIA, FOX 55/27, WDWS/WHMS, the Illini Radio Group, SJ Broadcasting and Adams Outdoor Advertising).

Thank You


to all sponsors, food vendors, exhibitors, volunteers and attendees. ... without you, the expo wouldn’t be possible. OUR WONDERFUL SPONSORS Provena Covenant Medical Center BankChampaign, N.A. Adams Outdoor Advertising WICD ABC NewsChannel 15 Fox Illinois and the Central Illinois CW The Illini Radio Group: MIX 94.5, WIXY 100.3, 92.5 The Chief, WIXY Classic 99.1, True Oldies 97.9, Extra 92.1 NewsTalk 1400 WDWS

Lite Rock 97.5 WHMS U-Rock 107.9 WUIL SJ Broadcasting: Connect FM 93.5/95.3, Q96, Classic Rock 105.9 WGKC

OUR TASTY FOOD VENDORS Alexander’s Steakhouse Bleu Harvest Dish - Passionate Cuisine Eastland Suites J. Gumbo’s Jet’s Pizza Jimmy John’s Louie’s BBQ Marble Slab Creamery Minneci’s Ristorante Pekara Bakery Piato Cafe

OUR STAND-UP EXHIBITORS Cramer Siding & Windows DNDC ABC NewsChannel 15 Provena Covenant Medical Center FOX ILLINOIS WCCU-TV & CW 23 American Cancer Society Parkland College WDWS/WHMS Chesser Financial Hall Insurance Services Champaign Telephone Company CQI Associates LLC Kemper CPA Group LLP Service Master by DSI Merry Maids

Salt & Light - donated by Adams Outdoor Advertising Judah Christian School A-1 Roof Coatings LLC Rogards Office Plus The Prairie Center Wireless Mike’s Watts Copy Systems Chittick Family Eye Care AT&T Regency Properties AAA Chicago Motor Club Central Illinois Bank Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Verizon Wireless Sam’s Club Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC Office of Equal Opportunity and Access, U of I Bundy Business Systems ECI SCORE Maligaya’s Store Comcast Business Class Noodles & Company Terminix Services, Inc. USPS Servpro of Champaign/Urbana/ Vermilion County Granite Transformations Champaign County Chamber of Commerce 004 Technologies USA, Inc. Bendsen Signs & Graphics Ameren Illinois Chamber Golf Outing Business Furniture SK Home Improvement Express Employment Professionals Health Alliance Medical Plans Eastern Illinois Foodbank Sprint Humana Marketpoint Martin, Hood, Friese & Associates Peoria Charter Coach BJ Grand Salon & Spa Benefit Planning Consultants, Inc. Champaign County Republicans Wagner Machine Co. Coventry Healthcare of Illinois LRS Web Solutions Getz Fire Equiptment Worden Martin BankChampaign, N.A. Flightstar Corporation SJ Broadcasting Fighting Illini Energy The Hilton Complex Bridle Brook Adult Community Story to Tell Productions Z Wireless FE Moran Alarm

Hilton Complex Champaign-Urbana Conveniently located at the corner of Kirby Avenue & Neil Street Two blocks from the University of Illinois . 18,000 sq. ft. of Banquet & Meeting Space


99 Luxurious Guest Rooms


98 Extended Stay Suites Complimentary Airport Shuttle

Personal Attention. Fast Answers.

OUR TRUE BLUE VOLUNTEERS Carol ZuHone Brad Helms Daniel Williams Heather Roark John Olson Adam Osterbur Tonia Ribbe Thai Caston Cathy Rector Jean Bruner Jachino Ryan Fleming Carol Hickey Lisa Keating

At BankChampaign, we still believe banking is a people-to-people business. Contact Kay Machula at our downtown Champaign location to discuss your business banking needs. N.A.

Main Bank 2101 South Neil • 217.351.2870 MarketPlace Facility 5 Convenience Center • 217.351.2876 M2 Facility Downtown 301 North Neil • 217.351.2877

WELCOME TO THE CHAMBER >> members who joined between february and march 2012 A & A Creative Homes, Inc. Aaron Wozenkraft 1100C Bloomington Rd. Champaign, IL 61820 866.436.5572

A&A Creative Homes has been a leader in Central Illinois’ construction and restoration industry since 2005. The Champaign-based business offers painting, drywall, siding, window replacement, new decks, custom carpentry, bath and kitchen remodels, hard surface flooring, as well as fire and water repair/ restoration. They have done work on more than 250 homes and businesses in east Central Illinois. A&A Creative Homes, Inc. proves that quality home repairs and restoration projects can be completed on time and on any budget.


John Quinn 1902 N. Prospect Ave. Champaign, IL 61820 217.351.8180

Acres of Green Lawn Care Mike McLain 533 CR 700 N Sadorus, IL 61872 217.649.4148

Acres of Green Lawn Care is a locally owned and family operated business that provides lawn and garden services to clients located in Champaign-Urbana and surrounding areas. The company is owned by husband and wife team, Mike and Nicole McLain. Services provided include mowing and full service lawn care, irrigation installation, spring/fall clean up, mulching, hedge trimming, core aeration, de-thatching, seeding and over seeding, stump removal, tilling, and snow removal. Acres of Green offers free estimates for professional work done with honesty and integrity.

Amanda Overmyer Photography Amanda Overmyer

41 E. University Ave., Ste. 3C Champaign, IL 61820 217.649.0677 Amanda Overmyer is a professional photographer who provides both studio and on-location portrait sessions. She specializes in photographing newborns, children, families and weddings. With over ten years of education and experience, she is a skillful photographer who relishes in the uniqueness of each portrait session. People are her business; photography is her passion.

American LED Lighting Solutions Robert Nagle 777 Lake Zurich R., Ste. 150 Barrington, IL 60010 630.414.2630

American LED Lighting Solutions provides high efficient LED lighting products and evaluation services to commercial, industrial, hospitality, municipal and residential end users. The business represents numerous LED lighting manufacturers and carry a wide-range of products for virtually every lighting need, be it new construction or a lighting retrofit. As the lighting industry evolves, American LED Lighting Solutions looks forward to serving and benefitting our partners in Champaign County.

Bailey Edward Design Kevin Schnebly 1103 S. Mattis Ave. Champaign, IL 61821 217.363.3375

Established in Chicago as a woman-owned firm in 1991, Bailey Edward is one of the region’s most reputable architectural practices committed to clients that serve, support and protect the public. Founding principal, Ellen Bailey Dickson, AIA, was joined in 1993 by Robin Edward Whitehurst, AIA, deepening the firm’s design and technical skills to serve a growing client base. A Champaign, Illinois firm

was acquired in 2001, accommodating clients to the south and integrating four decades of educational and institutional experience. A Michigan office was established in 2006 and a Wisconsin office in 2008 to better serve clients to the north.

BarnYard Treasures Auction Services Jim Naylor 200 N. Highway Ave. P.O. Box 193 Deland, IL 61839 217.649.0463

BarnYard Treasures Auction Service specializes in auctions spanning general merchandise, estate, business liquidations, store liquidations, storage units, machinery, antiques, and so forth. Sales are held biweekly on Friday evening starting at 5 p.m. Consignments are accepted weekly. BarnYard Treasures’ auction house is a brand new handicap accessible facility with seating and public restrooms. BarnYard Treasures also operates a 3,000 square foot retail store.

Bellas Landscaping

Justin Bellas 2405 Fox Creek Rd. Bloomington, IL 61705 309.827.5263

Bleu Harvest

Kari Kramer 705 Burkwood Dr. Urbana, IL 61801 240.595.9213 Bleu Harvest is a personal chef business providing meals based on customized menus for families and individuals, as well as catering for dinners, parties and private cooking classes. Bleu Harvest provides meal plans based on client’s preferences, does the shopping, cooking, meal packaging and labeling, and the clean up! Owner Kari Kramer has experience with special diets, including kosher, glutenfree and vegetarian/vegan. Many clients are

busy professionals who simply want weekly meals. Others enjoy cooking, but want a healthy, well prepared meal stashed away for those days of the week they just don’t feel like cooking.

801 N. Country Fair Dr., Ste. B Champaign, IL 61821 217.352.0012

Boneyard Bar & BBQ

As a Financial Representative with COUNTRY® Financial, Todd Howe is committed to helping clients achieve financial security no matter where they are starting from. Licensed in Illinois to sell Life, Health, Property and Casualty Insurance, including business insurance; COUNTRY®Financial has products to meet your need. For those looking for investment solutions; investment management, retirement, trust and planning services provided by COUNTRY® Trust Bank. Securities offered through COUNTRY® Capital Management Company.

George Dries 25 E. Springfield Ave. Champaign, IL 61820 217.239.7625

Clutch Cuts

Whitney Fleming 202 S. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.355.2887

Chambana Sales

Kent Weeks 3310 N. Mattis Ave. Champaign, IL 61822 217.351.1951

Country® Financial – Todd Howe Todd Howe

Country Health Care & Rehab Jenifer Clements 2304 CR 3000 N Gifford, IL 61847 217.568.7362

Country Health Care and Rehab is newly remodeled nursing facility. Accommodating 89 beds, the space features large, open living spaces and common areas for all residents.

Included is a rehab-to-home unit for individuals needing inpatient therapy who could return to the community following their personalized rehabilitation program. Country Health has a restorative nursing program, wound care, and is able to accept IV and feeding tube therapies. Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy is offered seven days a week. They also provide hospice care, respite stays and adult day care.

CU Aerospace

David Carroll 301 N. Neil St., Ste. 400 Champaign, IL 61820 217.239.1703 CU Aerospace (CUA) is engaged in identifying and developing promising new aerospace technologies with the ultimate goal being commercialization and distribution of those technologies. CUA is involved in six primary aerospace markets including gas phase lasers, space propulsion, space systems software, aircraft safety, aerospace materials, and modeling and simulation software. CUA has designed and built CubeSail, a system of two highly-scalable CubeSat satellites that presently have a NASA launch opportunity scheduled.

C. CTY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU The Champaign County Convention and Visitors Bureau celebrated the grand opening of their new location as well as the grand opening of their “Community Welcome Center” on Tuesday, May 8, 2012.

Culligan of Champaign Miles Weinmann 101 E. Sangamon St. Mahomet, IL 61853 217.586.2313

DCC Marketing

Katherine Smith 225 N. Water St., Ste. 300 Decatur, IL 62523 217.421.7580

Den Liquor

Nick Patel 606 S. Sixth St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.344.5474

Destinations with Donica

Donica Halcom 113 W. Tomaras Ave., Unit C Savoy, IL 61874 217.321.1792 Destinations with Donica offers unique smallgroup tour experiences with local departures. By blending a combination of “sightseeing” and cultural experience with exceptional value, Destinations with Donica offers terrific travel at great prices. Owner Donica Halcom has planned and escorted groups world-wide for over 20 years.

Head-Quarters Barber Shop Jim Lambert 909 N. Cunningham Ave.

VINEYARD CHURCH HOPE CENTER The Vineyard Church celebrated the grand opening of their new “Hope Center”, a community outreach facility that includes a food pantry and social services. They held a ribbon cutting on March 28, 2012.

Urbana, IL 61802 (217) 344-1688

Inman Place

Denise Fulton 17 E. University Ave. Champaign, IL 61820 217.352.7017

Innovative Staff Solutions Deb Hendren 704 Broadway Ave. Mattoon, IL 61938 217.235.2305

Innovative Staff Solutions is a family owned and operated business that has served employers for more than 18 years. They have 17 locations throughout Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. Innovative Staff Solutions’ mission is to build successful and unique partnerships with clients to meet their staffing needs. The agency offers not only general staffing solutions, such as temporary and temp-to-hire staffing, but also offer direct hire, or professional recruiting services for professional and management positions. In addition, Innovative Staff Solutions’ offers onsite solutions service for clients needing help managing a large temporary workforce.

J. Gumbo’s

Melody York 700 S. Gregory St. Urbana, IL 61801 217.337.4840 J. Gumbo’s offers authentic Cajun cuisine for

those on a budget or on a lunch hour. Every entrée on the menu is $8 or less, including a drink and garlic bread. Dishes vary from sweet and mild to hot and spicy. They offer samples of anything on the menu, so you can be sure you like your food before you order. J. Gumbo’s menu format easily allows you to eat in 30 minutes or less, which is perfect for a lunch hour. They are open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

Kemper Technology Consulting Michael Gibson 1701 Broadmoor Dr., Ste. 120 Champaign, IL 61821 217.355.3848

Kemper Technology Consulting is devoted to providing reliable IT support and managed IT services for businesses desiring improved productivity that results in increased profitability. Their goal is to partner with clients to help manage their IT infrastructures. Kemper Technology Consulting wants clients to think of them as their own technology department, providing the reliability and performance they expect from their IT systems. Kemper’s dedicated team of consultants, technicians, and software specialists will provide clients with unlimited IT support, allowing clients to focus on their business.

Keri Powell Therapy

Keri Powell 701 Devonshire Dr., Ste. B-1 Champaign, IL 61820 217.352.0200 Keri Powell Therapy is a local group practice dedicated to providing the highest level of outpatient mental health and substance abuse



Amanda Overymyer Photography celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, April 23, 2012. Amanda Overmyer specializes in newborn, children and wedding photography.

Eastland Suites Hotel and Conference Center celebrated their recent room remodel with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, April 25, 2012.

treatment in the area. The staff is strongly grounded in using empirically supported approaches to meeting the client’s needs. While the counselors depend on these evidence-based treatment plans, they also stay on top of the latest research and cutting edge techniques. Clinicians have specialized training in some unique techniques such as breathwork, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, theraplay, and guided imagery. The staff is able to provide counseling services to all ages—young children through the elderly. Keri Powell Therapy does individual sessions, family therapy, group therapy, and couples counseling.

LaVida Massage

David Peters 1812 Glenn Park Dr. Champaign, IL 61821 217. 363.2811 LaVida Massage opened May 10 in Champaign Village, around the corner from County Market. LaVida’s mission is to provide top quality therapeutic massage at an affordable price. They provide Swedish relaxation and deep tissue massage with added hot stone and aromatherapy services. They offer high end massage services in a caring, comfortable, affordable, gender neutral and professional environment. LaVida’s goal is to ensure client comfort, satisfaction and overall wellness.

Michael P. Graham, LTD., CPAs Mike Paul (Red) Graham 216 E. Sangamon Ave., Suite B Rantoul, IL 61866 217.893.9250

Mike Graham started his Certified Public

Accounting firm thirty nine years ago in Downtown Rantoul. Mike’s knowledge base includes all aspects of accountancy, the automotive business and political science. Michael P. Graham, LTD., CPAs specializes in the following areas: tax preparation and planning; small business; governmental representation; consulting and mentoring start-up companies; political campaign management; and economic development for private and small government entities.

Piato’s Organic Food Nanny

Daniel Stites 111 S. State St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.352.9440

Kelly Jo Lamb 300 S. Broadway Ave., FC-2 Lincoln Square Mall Urbana, IL 61801 217.344.9025

Piato’s has launched a new concept in food service. Piato’s Organic Food Nanny is the only all organic, all locally sourced meal delivery service in Champaign-Urbana. Featuring meat from Triple S Farms and field fresh vegetables from Blue Moon Farms; Piato’s Organic Food Nanny is changing the way people eat dinner in CU. Sign up for one month or one year, with no joining or cancelation fees, it is easy to eat local and organic.

Prairie Fire Glass

Jim Downey 217 W. Washington St. Monticello, IL 61856 217.762.3332

Quick Package Pickup Matt Bradley 202 E. Green St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.649.4471

Quick Package Pickup solves package receiving problems. No more packages going missing, shipments destroyed by the elements, or you having to trek across town for a package pickup. Say hello safe, simple and convenient package receiving, holding and pickup; say hello to Quick Package Pickup.

Regions Bank

Re/MAX - Max Mitchell Max Mitchell 2009 Fox Dr. Champaign, IL 61820 217.373.4808

MobileWise Media

Jeff Robinson 1303 Goldenrod Dr. Mahomet, IL 61853 217.202.8261

Screen Past,a Division of Berklin Cents, LLC LaKhaun McKinley P.O. Box 8151 Champaign, IL 61826 877.904.7263

Security Finance #838



J. Gumbo’s Cajun & Creole Cooking Co. celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting on Wednesday, March 7. J. Gumbo’s specializes in fast, affordable Cajun food. Jet’s Pizza celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting on Monday, March 12. A growing franchise, Jet’s is known for their signature square, deep-dish pizza and “flavorized” crusts. Quick Package Pickup celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting on Monday, April 30. Located on campus, Quick Package Pickup is a new business that allows students to have packages sent to Quick Package Pickup’s address instead of their own, preventing theft and lost packages.

QUICK PACKAGE PICKUP Jo Sidell 823 W. Bloomington Rd. Champaign, IL 61820 217.352.6922

Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center Champaign Urbana Chapel Donna Walthall 710 N. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.442.2874

Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center is a local, family owned and operated business with six funeral homes, a cemetery and a crematory. Their main focus is to create healing experiences for the community through personalized print materials, a devoted and caring staff, and modern facilities. Services extend well beyond the actual funeral itself. They also provide after care, children’s classes, and are great supporters of their communities through various events. Sunset Funeral Homes prides themselves on their reputation of quality, sincerity and trust.

State Senator Mike Frerichs, 52nd District Mike Frerichs 45 E. University Ave., Ste. 206 Champaign, IL 61820 217.355.5252

The Ribeye Restaurant Buck Plummer 1701 S. Neil St. Champaign, IL 61820 217.351.9115

Thomas & Ellars Insurance David Ellars Justin Thomas 401 Devonshire Dr. Champaign, IL 61820 217.356.2400

Trigard Plaques & Signs Donna Walthall

3901 N. Vermillion St. Danville, IL 61834 217.442.9224 Established in the 1960s, Trigard is a family owned and operated business based in Danville. Trigard has created plaques and signs for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Walt Disney World, the Ronald Reagan Ranch, the University of Alabama and numerous state and local businesses. Trigard Plaques and Signs evolved out of the company’s bronze memorial division, which was established in 2003. The company has developed innovative new techniques for shaping, coloring and finishing pure bronze and other materials to produce unique, lasting tributes.

VooDoo Rhino

Robert Brend 1907 Nancy Ct., Apt. 1 Champaign, IL 61822 217.917.4407


John Frankenbach

Continued on page 22...

June 2012 / Commerce Connection/


DIPLOMACY & BARBEQUE and served food to American and British Armed Service Members.


axton-based grill maker Chris Engelbrecht never imagined he would dine with an astronaut.

To add to the list, Engelbrecht never imagined he would have a conversation with four-star secretary general Colin Powell; that Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton would praise his work; or that he himself would build a grill for President and Mrs. Obama to present as a gift to David Cameron, prime minister of the United Kingdom. What Engelbrecht never imagined has since become a matter of great national and international news. Engelbrecht’s one-of-a-kind wood and charcoal burning Braten 1000 Series Grill was presented to Mr. and Mrs. Cameron as a gift of personal friendship from the Obamas in March. The gift commemorates their May 2011 visit to 10 Downing Street where the Camerons and Obamas grilled

The grill itself is customized with American and British friendship flags, engraved into the utility shelf, and a personalized plaque, featuring the presidential seal, mounted on the exterior lid. During a lunch for Cameron at the State Department, Secretary of State Clinton described the grill as “a real, downhome American barbeque with a smoking compartment and everything else.” Engelbrecht, in attendance at the luncheon, noted that speaker after speaker made reference to the grill. “I was sitting at a table with Piers Sellers, an astronaut for NASA, and one of the prime minister’s personal secretaries. It was confusing that people kept coming over to our table, excited to see me,” Engelbrecht said, laughing. The journey to Washington began with what Engelbrecht first assumed was a prank phone call.


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Someone from the protocol office of the State Department asked if he would be interested in building a custom grill as a gift from one diplomat to another. “I thought, there’s no way this could be real,” Engelbrecht said. But, as communications continued, the request became inarguably legitimate. Though the State Department would not initially disclose who the grill was for, they requested the project kept a secret and that the grill be 100 percent American made. “Our grills are normally around 95 percent American made to begin with,” Engelbrecht said. “That’s something we have always taken pride in. He continued “The parts that we do have to outsource—nuts and bolts and smaller details, we do because they are almost impossible to find in the states... creating something entirely ‘all American’ was definitely a challenge.” To ensure the grill was 100 percent “Made in America”, Engelbrecht had to phone all of his vendors and inquire about the exact origin of all the structure’s bits and pieces. The parts that couldn’t be purchased from American suppliers, he had custom-made. “I was raising a lot more questions than I was answering,” Engelbrecht said. “A lot of vendors thought I was giving them the cold shoulder, fielding their questions. Now that the news is out, hopefully they’ve forgiven me.” A month after he started work on the project, Engelbrecht found out who the grill was actually for. “It definitely added more pressure, you know, making a grill for two of the most important people in the world,” Engelbrecht said, laughing.

Kyle Bloomstrand, Vice President of Engelbrecht Grills and Cookers and the other half of Engelbrecht’s twoman shop, was one of the select few who knew about the project during the two and a half months Engelbrecht was required to keep it a secret. “We built the grill just like any of our other Braten grills, the base was exactly the same. We had to start hiding the project once we started adding embellishments,” Bloomstrand said. Bloomstrand said that during the final weeks of the project, only Engelbrecht and himself were allowed in the shop. The embellished pieces—a brass utility tray with British and American friendship flags and a presidential plaque mounted onto the exterior lid—were added last minute, with help from a Ohio metal company. When Engelbrecht received a call from NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams asking if they could come to Paxton to do a news segment, Engelbrecht said “sure” but told them they would still be working. “I don’t know how we got it done in time,” Engelbrecht said. “The last moments of work on the grill, right before it was due to be shipped, were literally filmed on NBC. It was absolutely wild.” Engelbrecht followed his grill to DC in mid March and was invited to attend a welcoming ceremony for the prime minister as well as a state luncheon. The highlight of the trip, according to Engelbrecht, was getting to speak with Colin Powell. “He came up to me and started asking all sorts of questions ‘What do you farm?’ ‘How many acres?’; and I’m asking, ‘How’s retired life?’. We ended up having a very normal, very easy conversation about how he’s happy to spend more time with his grandkids.” Engelbrecht continued, “The whole time this was happening, I’m thinking,

‘This is unreal, I’m talking to Colin Powell’.” While in DC, Engelbrecht also had the opportunity to briefly speak with Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Clinton. He did not get to meet Obama (though he stood 10 feet away from him), as Obama’s schedule was very busy. Other highlights of the trip included standing on the South Lawn (a place forbidden to White House tourists); an unguided tour of the White House; and a luncheon on the top floor of the State Department building. “I have always been very interested in history—It was amazing to see some of the artifacts that hang out there [in the State Department]; not behind glass displays, just out in the open, for anyone to view and even use,” Engelbrecht said. Such artifacts included a desk Thomas Jefferson used to draft the Declaration of Independence and silverware handmade by Paul Revere. Now that Engelbrecht has returned home and has had time to reflect on the enormity of his completed project, he says he can still “hardly believe it.” When asked what he was most proud of, “Serving my country by making a quality all American product.” “We all know fifty years ago we Americans used to build quality products. Since that time, the manufacturing of products has moved overseas and the overall quality of our goods has declined,” Engelbrecht said. “Our involvement in this project demonstrates that the knowledge, skill and determination to build a quality American made product that will last decades still exists and excels right here at home, even in small companies like ours.” For more information on Engelbrecht Grills and Cookers, visit their website,


for the summer

he summer sun almost upon us, working parents need not sweat this school-free season. From swimming camps to horseback riding to photography classes to astronomy lessons, Champaign County provides a great number of camps and programs children can attend while parents work.

12:15 and end at 4:30 p.m

Here’s the SHORT list:

For more information: Visit

College for Kids

Parkland College, Champaign College for Kids summer programming provides the opportunity for students who are entering grades three through seven to explore areas of study and interest in a non-graded, fun-filled environment through quality, hands-on experience.

Classes include: Claymation; Create Your Own Comics; Sculptural Fashion; Japanese Language; Crime Scene Investigation; Kids in the Kitchen; Astronomy; Lego Engineering; Radio Broadcasting and many more.


Stephen’s Family YMCA, Champaign

Ages: Entering grades three through seven

Summer fun is better than ever at Stephen’s Famiy YMCA. The facility offers over 55 camps that appeal to children of every age and interest. Traditional Y Camp, speciality camps and half-day camps add variety and help children stretch their imaginations, gain self confidence and learn new skills.

Dates and Times: Session one runs from June 20 to June 30; Session 2 runs from July 11 to 21. Classes begin at

Dates and Times: Morning, afternoon and all-day programs run throughout the summer, Monday through

June 2012 / Commerce Connection/


Almost all area day camps take field trips in and around Champaign County. A popular spot is Prairie Farms, a petting zoo run by the Champaign Park District. Other fun field trips include: Anita Purves Nature Center Curtis Orchard Homer Lake Museum of the Grand Prairie Sholem Aquatic Center Spurloch Museum Staerkel Planetarium Photo courtesy Benjamin Lapid Photography

Friday Ages: Preschool through entering eighth grade

Leonhard Recreation Center Day Camp Leonhard Recreation Center, Champaign

Camps include: Swim, Basketball, Paintball, Horseback, Gladiator, Dr. Dolittle, Extreme Sports, Junior Scientists, Gymnastics, Wearable Art, Shutterbug, Slumber Party, Dance, Cheer and many more.

Leonhard Recreation Center Day Camp is a traditional camp that keeps children physically and mentally active by focusing on week-long themes ranging from the arts to athletics, astronomy to discoveries.

For more information: Visit and download registration forms

Douglass Day Camp Douglass Community Center, Champaign

Champaign Park District The Champaign Park District provides a variety of all-day summer programs for children between the ages of 6 and 11. Programs center around a variety of weekly themes and also include traditional day camp activities such as pool time and outdoor recreation.

Douglass Summer Day Camp focuses on three key elements: education, sports and fun. Each week, daily activities are led with a theme. For more information: Visit

Savoy Recreation Center

Dates and times: One week sessions span from June 4 to August 10, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The Savoy Recreation Center offers week-long morning, afternoon and all-day camps that span from traditional summer camps to special interest camps.

Camps Include: Creative Kids Day Camp Springer Cultural Center, Champaign

Ages: 3 to 12

Along with traditional day camp activities, Creative Kids Day Camp offer children an introduction to the arts with workshops in visual arts, crafts, dance, and performing arts by specialized instructors.

Dates and times: One week sessions are offered from June 4 to August 24; morning, afternoon and all-day time slots available. Camps include: All Star Sports, Photography, Art, British Soccer, Baskeball, Baseball, Softball, Gymnastics, Lego

Challenge, Jr. Engineers, Camp Hollywood and many more.

Camp Zone

Chesterbrook Academy, Champaign Camp Zone allows campers to jump into action, participating in sports programs, exploring nature, becoming involved in performing and creative arts, playing a part in group activities and attending special events. Camp Zone offers a range of outdoor activities, indoor activities and field trips. Ages: 4 to 14 Dates and Times: June 6 through August 12, M-F, 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information: Visit

Also check out: Boy Scouts of America Champaign County Forest Preserve District - Garden Adventures, Golf Camps and Eco-Adventure camps throughout the summer; ages 3 through fifth grade Girl Scouts of America

La Petite Academy - Runs all summer long; Monday through Friday, all-day; ages 5 to 12 Leaders for Life Martial Arts - Offers Karate Kid Camp, Star Wars Camp and Rank Camp; ages 4 and up Soccer Planet - Full-day and half-day soccer camps; ages 6 to 14 University of Illinois Sports Fitness Program - Half day and full day enrollment in two-, four- and eightweek sessions; ages 7 to 12 University of Illinois Summer Sports Camps- Led by U of I coaches and players across a spectrum of sports; ages 6 through high school University of Illinois Young Writers Summer Camps Urbana Park District- Camps focused on nature, sports, aquatics, visual and performing arts Urbana School District (STEM Enrichment Camp)- Exploration in science, math, engineering and technology; June 4 - 14; ages 6 through eighth grade An even more comprehensive list can be found on Please note: Listed in this section are camps and programs that were recommended in our “Viewpoints� survey, sent out in April. By no means is this an exclusive list. There are TONS of other day camps and programs in Champaign County.

June 2012 / Commerce Connection/


PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE CENTRAL ILLINOIS CHAMBERS STAND TOGETHER ON ADVOCACY Recently, the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce joined 17 other regional chambers as part of CIRCLE (Central Illinois Regional Chambers Legislative Effort), on a trip to the State’s Capitol to discuss various issues important to Champaign County. Nearly 90 people met with legislators and key committee staff members on issues including: public pension reform; workers compensation reform; extension of the enterprise zones; unemployment insurance reform; extension of the research and development tax credit; and Medicaid cost reductions. Champaign County Chamber mem-

bers who took part in the effort advocated for change in all areas, but especially stressed the need for unemployment insurance reform. Members expressed to legislators that significant reform is needed in the arbitration process to help protect employers from being unfairly harmed by layoffs or termination due to the employee’s actions. One Champaign County Chamber member spoke to legislators about the burden that is placed on an employer to prove that termination of an employee is due to that individuals “willful and deliberate” action. An employer may have documented

instances of an employee’s pattern of misbehavior, yet this information is discounted if the employee’s specific action the day of termination cannot be proven “willful and deliberate.” Champaign County Chamber members made a difference in Springfield. A regional unified effort to stress the need for change in these key areas lets our elected officials know that the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce, our members, and CIRCLE are and will continue to advocate for a better business climate in Champaign County. If you have any questions regarding any of these issues, please contact the Chamber’s Public Policy Manager, Paul Orama at PaulO@champaigncounty. org

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MEMBERSHIP NEWS SANDRA JONES OF BRING IT HOME PRODUCTS HAS CHANGED THE NAME OF HER BUSINESS TO ALL THINGS ILLINI. More information can be found at www. CARLE congratulates John A. Aucar, MD, MSHI, FACS, on achieving the status of Certified Physician Executive by the Certifying Commission in Medical Management. This honor demonstrates Dr. Aucar’s high level of professional excellence, his educational achievements and leadership skills. Dr. Aucar earned a medical degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, Kan. He completed his residency in surgery at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich. Dr. Aucar is a member of the American College of Surgeons and is certified by the American Board of Surgery. The Chicago Advertising Federation recently awarded the Bronze ADDY Award to CARLE’S BARIATRIC SURGERY PRINT CAMPAIGN. The campaign titled, “Break the Cycle,” was developed in conjunction with Marc USA advertising agency and encourages the public to attend free weight loss seminars offered by Carle to learn about different surgical options. Carle’s campaign competed against national and international brand campaigns with only eight silver and bronze awards given for the “Newspaper” advertising category. The Board of Education for CHAMPAIGN UNIT 4 SCHOOLS has confirmed the permanent appointment of Dr. Judy Wiegand as Superintendent of Champaign Unit 4 Schools. At the March 12 meeting, Board members unanimously approved her contract. COMMERCE BANCSHARES, INC. is one of 17 new members included on the 2011 KBW Bank Honor Roll of banking institutions that achieved positive earnings per share growth over the last decade, regardless of the economic environment. (Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, March 20, 2012) This is a significant honor that has already been picked up by the Forbes and other business publications. THE KRAFT FOODS FOUNDATION IS AWARDING $15,000 TO THE EASTERN ILLINOIS FOODBANK to help fight hunger in 14 eastern Illinois counties. The grant will provide 7 Foodmobile, or mobile food pantry, distributions in underserved communities. Many of these communities are very rural and lack adequate access to grocery stores, food pantries and soup kitchens. Each distribution will provide groceries to an estimated 100150 families.

LINCOLN’S CHALLENGE ACADEMY is proud to announce that the Illinois Adjutant General, Major General William Enyart, received the Challenge Champions award for his commitment to combating the dropout crisis in the state of Illinois. He was recognized at the Seventh Annual Gala Event in Washington with FOX News’ Jon Scott serving as the emcee. MCGLADREY & PULLEN, LLP ANNOUNCED THE CHANGE OF THE FIRM’S NAME TO MCGLADREY LLP. This change follows the acquisition of RSM McGladrey by McGladrey & Pullen last November and further aligns the firm’s name with its brand, which was launched in June 2010. SARA ORTIZ OF ACADEMY FOR SELF EDUCATION HAS CHANGED HER BUSINESS TO ORTIZ DESIGN STUDIO. More information can be found at PRAIRIE VILLAGE RETIREMENT COMMUNITY is expanding their services again by creating “Katy’s Cottage” memory care supportive living of Rantoul. The building is undergoing a remodeling as it did thirteen years ago when the Assisted living and Independent living community was made. The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting has been awarded to the URBANA PARK DISTRICT by the Governmental Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for its comprehensive annual financial report. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management. The URBANA WALMART donated $140k to the Eastern Illinois Foodbank to purchase a refrigerated truck which enables the foodbank to move more food and in particular fresh produce to area food pantries.


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,

June 2012 / Commerce Connection/



We’ve got an app for that... The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce the launch of our new mobile website. From restaurants to banks to auto repair shops, it has never been easier to search Champaign County businesses. Upon accessing the Chamber’s website from a mobile brower, users are directed to a easy-to-use mobile site that provides a convenient directory of all Chamber member businesses, a calendar of events and coupons from Chamber members. To access the mobile site, simply log on to via your mobile browser. For convenient use, users can add the link to their home screens.

Tools for Business Success The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce a great new resource on our website, Tools For Business Success. Businesses of all types and sizes can access this tool for up-to-date, reliable business advice and information. Tools for Business Success has local, state, federal and best-of-the web resources to help start, grow and maintain your business. Log on to to access this new feature.

2012 chamber


Go to to register or call 217.359.1791.

Continued from page 12... 104 N. Lombard St. Mahomet, IL 61853 217.586.3460

Kelly Clark 1701 W. Curtis Rd., Ste. 1024 Champaign, IL 61822



Phyllis Berry 1757 W. Kirby Ave. Champaign, IL 61820 217.351.0665

Tamika Thomas 220 S. Century Blvd. Rantoul, IL 61866 217.892.8175


Wines at the Pines

Erin Sharp 602 W. University Ave. Urbana, IL 61801

Dan Horlander 2860 S. Philo Rd., Ste. L Urbana, IL 61802 217.607.0048


Jodi Butler 1001 Heather Dr. Mahomet, IL 61853 217.586.2317

Wines at the Pines believes that wine, coffee, and tea all share a bond of incredible taste thanks to the farmers who first give them respect. Their wines, offered by the glass, provide an extensive range of styles and taste profiles, with a focus on natural wines. They focus on small production wines that represent a range of varietals from around the world.



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.

Wilbur’s Taxi

Wilbur & Sheila Keesey P. O. Box 612 Champaign, IL 61824 217.781.0310

W.K. Cooper II Asset Management Corporation William Cooper Village at the Crossing 3011 Village Office Place, Suite B Champaign, IL 61822 217.356.2575

Cooper Asset Management provides professional money management and investment advisory services to individual and institutional investors. The mission of Cooper Asset Management is to provide the highest standard of personal service in the development of wealth creation and management. Cooper Asset management is located at Village at the Crossing in Champaign, and is locally owned and operated.



of events

April 2012 Flash Economic Index for the State of Illinois


FIRST FRIDAY COFFEE Friday, June 1, 7:30 to 9 a.m. Hosted by the Champaign Urbana Mass Transit District At CityView Banquet and Meeting Center, inside the Illinois Terminal 45 E. University Ave., Champaign FINANCING A SMALL BUSINESS - ECI SCORE WORKSHOP Cost is $25 per workshop; Call 217.359.1791 to register Saturday, June 2, 9 to 11 a.m. Held at the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign GOLF OUTING Thursday, June 7 Held at Stone Creek Golf Club 2600 S. Stone Creek Blvd., Urbana STARTING A SMALL BUSINESS - ECI SCORE WORKSHOP Cost is $25 per workshop; Call 217.359.1791 to register Thursday, June 14, 3 to 5 p.m. Held at the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign WRITING A BUSINESS PLAN - ECI SCORE WORKSHOP Cost is $25 per workshop; Call 217.359.1791 to register Thursday, June 21, 3 to 5 p.m. Held at the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign COME WINE WITH US Sponsored by the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Agribusiness Committee Thursday, June 21, 5 to 7 p.m. Held at Farm Credit Services of Illinois 1100 Farm Credit Dr., Mahomet NO FIRST FRIDAY COFFEE IN JULY Due to the Fourth of July Holiday EARN: EXCHANGE AND REFERRAL NETWORK Thursday, July 12, starting at 7:30 a.m. (Registration opens Thursday, July 5 at 3 p.m.) At the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign STARTING A SMALL BUSINESS - ECI SCORE WORKSHOP Cost is $25 per workshop; Call 217.359.1791 to register Thursday, July 12, 3 to 5 p.m. Held at the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign WRITING A BUSINESS PLAN - ECI SCORE WORKSHOP Cost is $25 per workshop; Call 217.359.1791 to register Thursday, July 19, 3 to 5 p.m. Held at the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign BUSINESS AFTER HOURS Thursday, July 19, 5 to 7 p.m. Hosted by Provena Covenant Medical Center 1400 W. Park St., Urbana

See a full list of events at

Champaign County business licenses applied for in April 2012

Unemployment rate for Champaign County in March 2012



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

13,662 Individuals departing from Willard Airport in February 2012 Individuals flying into Willard Airport in February 2012



Rides were taken on CUMTD during March 2012

7 8,287

Number of visitors to in April 2012





Commerce Connection - May/ June 2012  

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

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