Page 1

chamber connection JANUARY 2020








EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Mike McManus, President Memorial Regional Health Services, Inc.


Memorial Regional Health Services, Inc.


HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital

Edmond Brown, President Elect ELB Enterprises, Inc.


Illinois American Water Company


Ameren Belleville Boot Company Belleville News-Democrat Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C.


Associated Bank Auffenberg Belleville Commerce Bank Eckert’s Country Store and Farms Four Fountains Nursing and Rehab Gonzalez Companies, LLC Grey Eagle Distributors Homefield Energy Regions Bank Scott Credit Union Southwestern Illinois College TerraSourceGlobal TheBANK of Edwardsville The ROHO Group


Abbott EMS Allsup, Inc Balke Brown Transwestern Bank of Belleville Belleville Area Special Services Cooperative BOS Metro East Banking Center Breakthru Beverage Group Cannon Utility Services, LLC. Casino Queen Chelar Tool and Die CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP Cooling Concepts ELB Enterprises, Inc. Empire Comfort Systems FCB Bank First Bank FKG Oil Company Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP Holland Construction Services International Paper Jack Schmitt Chevrolet Korte & Luitjohan Lewis Rice LLC Liberty Bank Mathis, Marifian & Richter, Ltd. McDonald’s - Burris Management, Inc. Siteman Cancer Treatment Center McKendree University National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows Print Master Sam’s Club SIHF Healthcare Southern Illinois Builders Association Strano & Associates The Esquiline of Our Lady of the Snows Volkert, Inc. Walmart Willowcreek Rehab & Nursing Center

Kevin Vick, Vice President Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C. Amy Richter, Second Vice President Hospice of Southern Illinois Dr. Jeff Dosier, Immediate Past President Belleville Township High School District #201

Board of Directors Lisa Adams, Marketplace Magazine Brett Baltz, Egyptian Workspace Partners Ryan Boike, Belleville School District #118 Cathy Dupertuis, People Ready Mayor Mark Eckert, City of Belleville Jerril Jones, Center for Racial Harmony Jared Katt, Chelar Tool & Die, Inc. Mary Lamie, Bi-State Development Dan Lovekamp, Auffenberg Dealer Group Tracy McCollum, Standard Rule Promotions Kayla Mitchell, Scheffel Boyle CPAs David Nosacka, Hospital Sisters Health System Jessica Orelt, Albert Orelt Allstate Agency Scott Schanuel, Holland Construction Services Ron Stephens, Bank of Belleville Kevin Vick, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C. Ben Wanless, Commerce Bank Joseph Weissert, Ameren Illinois

EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS Chairman Mark Kern, St. Clair County Christine Spargur, Scott Air Force Base

CHAMBER STAFF Wendy J. Pfeil, Executive Director Peggy Schifferdecker, Membership/Event Manager Diana Goebel, Marketing & Communications Manager Alicia Slocomb, Main Street Manager Cathleen Lindauer, Director, Belleville Tourism

Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce 216 East A Street, Belleville,IL 62220 Phone: (618) 233-2015 Fax: (618) 233-2077

AMBASSADORS Rebecca Boyer, Kaskaskia Engineering Group, LLC Justin Chapman, TheBANK of Edwardsville Lynne Clapp, Vertical Performance Terri Dambacher, CompuType IT Solutions Julie Fetters, Associated Bank RoseMarie Fitzgerald, Community Member Mary Jo Foerste, Community Member Cari Frick, Metro Lock and Security, Inc. Sharon Goff, Self-Employed Patty Gregory, Art on the Square Dean Hardt, City of Belleville Dennis F. Korte, Sr., Community Member Tracy McCollum, Standard Rule Promotions Dorothy Meyer, St. Clair County Mark Mueller, Mueller Furniture Al Orelt, Albert Orelt Allstate Agency Lisa Phillipson, Hospice of Southern Illinois Joy Prigge, Dieterich Bank Leslie Schmidt, Abbott EMS Loretta Stammer, Community Member Brandy Steely, CTS Technology Solutions, Inc. Anne Thomure, Memorial Regional Health Services Jack Weck, Community Member Sheri Welch, Independent Insurance Agent Susan Wobbe, St. Clair County Office on Aging John Wunderlich, Community Member Sharon Zika, Scott Credit Union

ADVERTISE IN THIS PUBLICATION 2020 Advertising Rates Business Card: (3.5 x 2.5in)

$25 per month

1/4 Page: (3.5 x 5in)

$50 per month

1/2 Page: (7 x 5in)

$100 per month

Full Page: (7 x 10in)

$200 per month

Ads must be received by the 15th of each month, electronically in JPEG or PDF form. Please call 618-233-2015 or email to reserve your ad space.

Page 2

January 2016

COVER STORY YAEKEL & ASSOCIATES INSURANCE HONORED WITH DECEMBER COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITY AWARD The Commitment to Community Award is presented quarterly to a Chamber Member who demonstrates a commitment to improving the quality of life for residents and/or businesses in the greater Belleville area. The Ambassador Committee is honored to present the 2019 fourth quarter’s award to Yaekel & Associates Insurance Services, Inc. Yaekel & Associates Insurance is an independent agency located at 1915 West Main Street in Belleville. Formerly known as the Niemeyer Agency, they were founded back in 1897. For well over 100 years, they have been committed to carrying on a tradition of excellent customer service that clients can rely on. Since they are an independent agency, that means they work for you, not the insurance companies. They have a stellar reputation with hundreds of businesses, professionals, and individuals in our communities. They offer a wide range of options for both personal and commercial insurance needs. They focus on risk management, helping you reduce your insurance costs. Their mission is to work diligently to provide excellent service and superior products at competitive prices while helping their clients to feel as comfortable working with them as if they were asking a friend for assistance. President and Vice Presidents, Jerry and Jill Yaekel, were born and raised in Belleville. They have always been active in the community following their father’s footsteps as a member of the local rotary group as well as a member of the Chamber. Yaekel & Associates has been a great supporter of the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce over the years, including attending and sponsoring events such as the Annual Otto Golf Classic and volunteering at the Belleville Chili Cook-off. They have also had two employees graduate from the Leadership Belleville program. The company continues to grow their roots in Belleville with the recent purchase of their current location in the old Cedarleaf building, allowing them to expand and grow their team to 18 employees. The Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce and our Ambassadors are proud to honor Yaekel & Associates Insurance with this quarter’s Commitment to Community Award.

The Chamber Connection

Page 3

CHAMBER NEWS The Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce I N V I T E S






Annual Dinner & Silent Auction 2020


January 30


RSVP's with all names & payment by January 18, 2020.

call for ANNUAL DINNER auction items As you start to plan your 2020 calendar, we want to make sure you save the date for our upcoming Annual Dinner on Thursday, January 30th beginning at 5:30 p.m. at St. Clair County Event Center. Formal invitations will be mailed and e-mailed later in December, but it’s not too early to mark your calendars. As has become a popular tradition, we will again host a silent auction with the dinner. Your generous donations are the reason it has been such a huge success. Those interested in participating, please fill out a Silent Auction Donation Form. Your company name will be listed along with the item donated not only on our evening’s program but also on our website prior to the event. Items are due to the Chamber office by Thursday, January 16, 2020. Past event items include: Artwork, Hotel Stays, Golf Packages, Sporting Event Tickets, Theater Tickets, Gift Baskets, Gift Certificates, & much more! Please fill out a Silent Auction Donation Form and submit with your item. You can find this online at

Page 4

January 2016

CHAMBER NEWS greater belleville chamber closed january 20 for martin luther king day. the office will reopen on tues., january 21. annual meeting highlight On Thursday, December 19, the Chamber met to conduct its Annual Meeting. This meeting takes the place of the Chamber’s regular monthly Board of Directors meeting and is open for all Chamber members to attend. The Annual Meeting provided a forum for a wrap-up of the year by Mike McManus, outgoing Board President, and Wendy Pfeil, Chamber Executive Director. Incoming Chamber President Edmond Brown was introduced to attendees. A compilation of the year’s events was provided by each of the Chamber member committees. This event serves as a great opportunity for Chamber members to come to hear in detail all of the accomplishments and projects that the Chamber has been a part of over the past year, as well as things to come. Many that come to find out a lot about the Chamber that they are not aware of or find new ways to get involved. The Chamber encourages members to consider participating next year and thanks those that join us this year!

2020 Board President Edmond Brown The Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce 2020 Board of Directors

welcome new board members As 2020 begins, we also welcome a few new members to our Board of Directors.

Jeff Bair, Grimm & Gorly Cathy Dupertuis, People Ready Mary Lamie, Bi-State Development Brian Mentzer, Belleville Township High School Dist. 201 Kayla Mitchell, Scheffel Boyle Paula Nixon, Ameren Illinois Scott Schanuel, Holland Construction We also welcome our new board president, Edmond Brown with ELB Enterprises, LLC. Thank you to all for your commitment to the Chamber and we look forward to your new ideas and leadership in the coming year. The Chamber Connection

Page 5



to the following businesses and organizations who joined the Chamber in November.

Bicycle World 4516 West Main St., Belleville 618-234-0041

Minds Eye Radio 9541 Church Circle Dr., Belleville 618-394-6444

Mers Goodwill Career Center 100 Carlyle Plaza Dr., Suite A, Belleville 618-257-1080

Thank you

to the following members for renewing their membership with the Chamber in November.

AgeSmart Community Resources Albert Orelt Allstate Agency Alzheimer Association Eckert Florist Gabrielle’s Step by Step Illionis Center of Autism McCulloughs Flooring Systems, Inc.

Melroy B Hutnick St. Clair County Economic Development TerraSource Global The College of Governor French The Sonoma Group Toot’s Cake & Candy Supply

For a complete list of our members, visit For Membership Information, please contact Peggy at 618-233-2015 or

Advertise your organization’s job opportunities for free! Email your job descriptions to or call 618-233-2015 for more information.

Did you know the Chamber has a members-only event calendar? Submit your event online at and click “Calendar” to see the calendar and submit your event! All events will be featured in our Weekly Friday E-blast. Page 6

January 2016

Ribbon Cuttings Heartlands Conservancy

Events at the U, LLC

Tuesday, November 26 3 North High Street | Belleville

Wednesday, December 4 4715 West Main Street | Belleville

Celebrating a new business opening, anniversary or remodel?

Celebrate with a Ribbon Cutting! Contact Peggy Schifferdecker, Membership/Event Manager, for more info. Call the Chamber Office at (618) 233-2015.

January 2019

Upcoming Chamber Events

1/1 1/7 1/9 1/9 1/13 1/15 1/15 1/15 1/16 1/16 1/17 1/20 1/21 1/21 1/23 1/30

Office Closed for New Year’s Day Education Committee Meeting Healthcare & CSA Committee Meeting Ambassador Meeting PR/Marketing Committee Meeting Issues & Eggs Leadership Belleville Committee Meeting Young Professionals Luncheon Coffee Cup Connections Diva’s Night Out Leadership Belleville Healthcare & Community Service Day Office Closed for MLK Day Board of Directors Meeting INforM Committee Meeting Lunch & Learn Annual Dinner & Silent Auction

If you’re interested in getting involved with a committee, please call the Chamber at 618-233-2015.

Watch your mailbox for our full-color, glossy magazine featuring all local content on home and garden, health and beauty, arts and entertainment, coupons plus special features on interesting people and places.

Business owners: Would you like to reach 50,000 homeowners in St. Clair, Madison and Monroe counties seven times per year? Call our office at (618) 416-1839 or e-mail ST. CLAIR • FALL ISSUE 2015




Happy Holidays Peace, Love, Comfort And Joy

Warm Up To Winter Holidays, events and local businesses thrive in brisker weather.




Happy Anniversary To Carpet Care Plus "Love Where You Live" At The HBA Home Show February Is National Heart Awareness Month


Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate: Giving Back To The Community

home & garden



Bike Surgeon "Elves" Are Back And Hard At Work Making Dreams Into Reality At Herzog K&B Dr. Lashley's Pet Care Tips For Winter

Read About Spengler's Total Kitchen Remodel For The "Cupcake Girl" Marketplace Magazine



Interior Design Firm In Edwardsville Customizes To Your Tastes Polished Concrete Is Safe, Attractive And Affordable Honoring Those Who Have Fought Breast Cancer

Early Spring Issue 2011



The Grille At The Mansion Expands Its Popular Menu

Safety Is #1 Priority For Recreational Play Systems The Jacob Family Continues To Grow Big Brothers Big Sisters Changes Lives For The Better

Marketplace Magazine wishes you a Happy Holiday Season!

Marketplace Magazine

Fall 2010



Love Where You Live With Spencer Homes Marketplace Magazine

Fall 2010



Marketplace Magazine

Early Spring Issue 2011


1 Marketplace Magazine

Offers Complete Publication Services From Start To Finish: • Sales/Invoicing • Design/Production • Copy Writing/Editing • Distribution (618) 210-3626 •

Books | Annual Reports | Company Newsletters Show and Event Programs | and More!

The Chamber Connection

Page 7


Upcoming Business After Hours January NONE February FCB Bank RSVP for events online at! Just click on the event you wish to attend and log-in. Need help? Email your RSVP to or call 618-233-2015.

March Memorial Hospital April Olde Town Mall May The Weingarten June Belleville Area Humane Society & Breakthru Beverage July The EDGE August St. Elizabeth’s Hospital September Fletcher’s Kitchen & Tap

Page 8

January 2016

BUSINESS AFTER HOURS On December 5, Breakthru Beverage Group and The Callison Family hosted Business After Hours at Bellecourt Place. Over 120 Chamber members and guests enjoyed drinks, a wonderful buffet, and took home a pint of Jack Daniels Apple to kick off the holiday season. Hamilton Callison spoke to the group about the local history of the Callison family and how they started in the beverage business. The Callison family has been in the metro-east for over 120 years and has a strong sense of community spirit for the area. Breakthru Beverage Illinois is the state’s oldest and most established distributor. Callison also mentioned that they were the first distributor to sell Jack Daniels after prohibition and has long since held a special relationship with the company; a reason why they decided to feature the new whiskey at this year’s event. Formerly known as Wirtz Beverage Illinois, the company began operations out of a single warehouse in 1946 and has since grown to become a flagship distributor. Today, Breakthru Beverage Illinois reaches every corner of the state, utilizes the most innovative technology and employs the industry’s most knowledgeable sales force. Thank you to Breakthru Beverage Group for their hospitality at the December Business After Hours.


For more information about Breakthru Beverage, visit their website at


The Chamber Connection

Page 9

LEADERSHIP BELLEVILLE Business Day The 2019-2020 Leadership Belleville class participated in Business Day on December 13th. The goal of the day to witness firsthand how different businesses operate from all sizes and customer focus. They learned who influenced these leaders, how they inspire their employees, the challenges they have faced on their leadership journey and how they have overcome them. Their day started with breakfast at Eckert’s and a presentation by Chris Eckert followed by spending time on their Performance Enhancement Plans with Vertical Performance. Once they were finished, they traveled to Cardinal Buick GMC and Old Towne Mall. The class toured and had discussions with the leaders at each location along the way. The group finished their morning with lunch and discussion at Bouse Properties. The afternoon continued to be busy with a panel discussion including Jennaver Brown (Eye on Design), Kevin Pesko (Bank of Belleville), Andria Powell (Circa Boutique), Russ McCullough (McCullough Flooring) and Mandy Wuebbels (Meckfessel Tire & Auto). The group then traveled to Chelar Tool & Die where they took part in a leadership discussion and took a tour of the facility. The afternoon finished with a tour and some fun at The EDGE. A special thanks go out to all of our speakers as well as our day coordinators, Eric Schauster (Class of 2000), Kevin Bouse (Class of 2019) and Jessica Orelt (Class of 2018). To learn more about the Leadership Belleville Program, visit

Class Member Spotlight

Sarah Castiller

emily dohle

Jacqui Owens

I am so grateful to be a part of the Leadership Belleville Class of 20192020. I have already learned so much in the past three months from this program. My classmates and facilitators have been amazing to work with, and it has been a great experience hearing their perspectives on leadership. Education Day and Law Enforcement Day were very eyeopening and moving. At the end of each session, I can’t wait to see what is in store for us the next month. Being in Leadership Belleville makes me want to be more involved in our community and excited for the future of Belleville.

I am in the business of providing memorable experiences, and Leadership Belleville has done just that for me! In a short 3-months, the Leadership Belleville program has given me the motivation to be a better version of myself as a manager, in my home, and in my community. This program provides a unique opportunity to dive deep into the inner-workings and discover the heartbeat of the City of Belleville...a chance that you don’t get every day. However, it’s the relationships built with fellow classmates that have proven to be the true gem of the experience overall. These peers quickly turned friends and professional cheerleaders of personal goals! What a joy it is to live and work in a city that values investing in its people!

Being part of Leadership Belleville has been a pleasant experience. I have worked in healthcare for my entire career and it’s awesome to meet new people learning about their personal and professional experience in addition to learning what resources and businesses are all part of the livelihood of Belleville. During the educational session, we visited with students and faculty. There was such a caring spirit of the teaching professionals taking the role and responsibility they have been charged to do to the highest. Then the law enforcement day was such an eyeopener for the men and women who serve to protect the community of what truly happens but left with the hope of a promising rehabilitation for the young men on the panel that were so open about their story. Both sessions have made an imprint in my spirit to do better for myself and the community I am a part of.

Page 10

January 2016

EDUCATION SPOTLIGHT Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy® (IMSA) develops creative, ethical leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. As a teaching and learning laboratory created by the State of Illinois, IMSA enrolls academically talented Illinois students (grades 10-12), in its advanced residential academic program. Graduates are leaders in the business, education, scientific, and civic sectors. IMSA is both a public, tuition-free residential Academy and a catalyst and laboratory for the advancement of STEM teaching and learning statewide, with responsibility to stimulate further excellence for all Illinois schools in mathematics and science through student and educator outreach, teacher training, student enrichment opportunities, and entrepreneurship and makerspace education. This statewide STEM Outreach is developed, coordinated, and implemented by IMSA’s Center for Teaching and Learning staff. IMSA educator development initiatives promote professional learning with programs and events that advance content expertise, increase pedagogical knowledge, and develop lessons for students that foster 21st century skills. IMSA student enrichment programs focus on discovery, exploration, and the development of students’ problem-solving skills, with an over-arching goal of encouraging students’ positive disposition toward STEM. IMSA Allies IMSA Allies is a STEM leadership development program for high school students which follows the near-peer or kids-teaching-kids model. ALLIES advance their understanding of STEM content while teaching and leading Funshops and summer programs. Our local ALLIES group resides at Belleville East High School. IMSA STEM at Your School IMSA can visit your elementary school or after-school program and provide an hour-long, IMSA-created, hands-on STEM activity to your students in grades 3-6. Our programs employ the practices scientists use to study the world—questioning, forming hypotheses, conducting investigations, and collecting and analyzing data to effectively teach STEM content while developing scientific habits of mind at the same time. IMSA can also participate in your STEM night or fairs, provided we have available personnel. IMSA STEM at Home Coming in January, 2020, IMSA STEM at home will be available to any student or parent with an Internet connection, and will be comprised of three different categories of offerings: 1. Activities: IMSA-created, quick activities introduced by our mascot, Darwin the bearded dragon, and his furry friends. These are activities students can do on their own, targeted to grades 2-6. There is no cost to download/access. 2. IMSA-created, longer activities needing a parent or adult to help guide students through them. For grades 3-8----there is no cost to download/access. 3. IMSA STEM League - A three-month, online mini-course designed around a hot topic in STEM, which will include a book read, documentaries/TED Talks, and other source material. For students in grades 8-11. This course will run annually from mid January - mid-April. Moderate participation fee. For more information on educator programs offered locally, contact Kelly Wamser Remijan at . To learn more about local student programs, including Funshops, IMSA at Your School, and summer programs, contact Dawn Waller at

The Chamber Connection

Page 11


Find the contract online at All ads and contracts due January 3, 2020. chamber honors past presidents at annual luncheon For the fourth year, the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce hosted the Past Presidents Luncheon to recognize and thank all past presidents that have helped propel the Chamber forward. This year’s event was held at 4204 on Wednesday, December 18. During this event, it is also a chance for the past presidents to talk with the Chamber staff about what the Chamber has accomplished in the last year, give suggestions for the future, and also let us know what they hear about us in the community. Thank you

for sponsoring this event.

Page 12

January 2016

MEMBER UPDATES St. Clair County Named 2020 ‘Great American Defense Community’ St. Clair County, Il., home to Scott Air Force Base is one of five communities across the country named to the 2020 Class of Great American Defense Communities, the Association of Defense Communities (ADC) announced in conjunction with USAA, the program’s official sponsor. “The strength of our military starts at home, in America’s defense communities,” said ADC President Joe Driskill. “We are proud to recognize St. Clair County as a community that stands out as supporting service members, veterans and their families.” The communities recognized by the Great American Defense Communities program demonstrate exemplary work in improving the quality of life of military personnel and their families through programs, initiatives and partnerships in their regions. “More than 60,000 active duty, guardsmen, reservists, spouses, retirees, and their families bring their wealth of knowledge and experience to the area. Having military families mixed into neighborhoods throughout the county brings new cultures, the opportunity to be a part of diverse communities, and exposes our residents to new ideas and traditions,” said Mark Kern, St. Clair County Board Chairman. “The region’s dedication to a joint partnership with Scott AFB has created a sense of community that extends far outside of the gates and has ensured local communities and businesses understand the quality of life, career opportunities, and personal satisfaction our service members, retirees, and their families are looking for.” The Great American Defense Communities program, now in its fifth year, was established to recognize the role that communities and regions with active installations in the U.S. play in supporting service members and military families. Communities are chosen through a competitive nomination process based on community building and integration, support and collaboration, and educational and employment opportunities, and family support. ADC is the connection point for leaders from communities, states, the military and industry on communitymilitary issues and installation management to enhance knowledge, information sharing and best practices. With nearly 300 communities, states, regions, and affiliated industry organization as members, ADC represents every major defense community/state in the nation. Visit to learn more. The USAA family of companies provides insurance, banking, investments, retirement products and advice to 12.3 million current and former members of the U.S. military and their families. Known for its legendary commitment to its members, USAA is consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee well-being and financial strength. USAA membership is open to all who are serving our nation in the U.S. military or have received a discharge type of Honorable – and their eligible family members. Founded in 1922, USAA is headquartered in San Antonio. For more information about USAA, follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@USAA), or visit

The Chamber Connection

Page 13

Page 14

January 2016

The Chamber Connection

Page 15

Saturday, February 8, 2020 4:00– 7:00 pm 15 Samples of either Sparkling Wine or Beer, plus Sweets! $25/person sale in advance at

Page 16

January 2016

MEMBER UPDATES Explore captivating Iceland or set sail on an island cruise with PSOP in 2020 Dreaming of your next big adventure? Let Southwestern Illinois College Programs and Services for Older Persons help make it a reality! Plan to attend the Travelogue program on Thursday, Jan. 9 at 11 a.m. at PSOP, 201 N. Church St., Belleville. The meeting will highlight the following excursions: Iceland Explorer – June 3-9, 2020 Discover picturesque landscapes created by volcanoes and glaciers, and learn about Viking heritage. The seven-day, sixnight trip includes roundtrip airfare from St. Louis, motorcoach transportation, eight meals, sightseeing and admissions per itinerary, five nights lodging, hotel transfers, travel insurance, baggage handling and a professional tour director. A valid passport is required. Highlights of the adventure include visiting several museums such as Iceland’s National Museum, Skogar Folk Museum and the Viking Ship Museum. Also, view the Skogafoss, one of the biggest waterfalls in the country; swim in a geothermal pool in the center of a large lava field called the Blue Lagoon; explore Thingvellir National Park; view hot springs and mud pots; explore five original Viking ships from the 11th century and visit Bessastadir, an ancient site and home to Iceland’s president. Taste “Hot Spring Bread” which is cooked using the heat from geothermal activity; learn Viking history and culture; and much more. The cost starts at $4,739 per person, based on double occupancy. Ecuador & Galapagos Islands Cruise – Sept. 29 through Oct. 6, 2020 Have you been dreaming of tropical sands, coral reefs and island blue water? Join PSOP for a journey to explore five islands and all the MV Galapagos Legend cruise ship has to offer. This unique excursion is jam-packed with things to do and features something for everyone. The eight-day, seven-night trip includes roundtrip airfare from St. Louis, round trip motorcoach transportation, 17 meals, sightseeing and admissions per itinerary, roundtrip airport transfers, two excursions per-day, professional tour director, baggage handling and a travel protection plan. A valid passport is required. Highlights of the activities include visiting the “middle of the world” in Quito, Ecuador; snorkeling; viewing land iguanas, giant tortoises, pelicans, sea lions, penguins and other sea and wildlife, plus the flightless cormorants, found only in Isabela Island;. Also, visit a pirates hideout; view stunning volcanic landscapes; visit Jesuit Church of the Society of Jesus, one of the most significant examples of Spanish Baroque architecture in South America; swim with sunfish and sea horses; visit a black volcanic beach and a red sand beach; and much more. Also enjoy the naturalist MV Galapagos Legend cruise ship, a luxury vessel which offers all the amenities of a large cruise liner without sacrificing the intimacy of a small sailing craft. The luxurious Legend is equipped with five decks, mouthwatering dining options, a swimming pool, a library, exercise equipment, international phone/fax/internet, 24-hour pay medical service, the most technologically advanced safety system in the archipelago and much more. The cost starts at $7,555 per person, based on double occupancy For more information or to reserve a seat to the Travelogue program, contact Group Travel Specialist Nancy Bauer at 618234-4410, ext. 7020.

Learning Center & Driving School Brad Garland, B.S. Ed. & Elissa Garland, M.S. Ed. 4212 North Belt West, Belleville, IL 62226 Phone: (618) 277-7323 | Fax: (618) 277-6786 Email:

The Chamber Connection

Page 17

MEMBER UPDATES Belleville Attracting Young Homeowners Who Look for Something more than ‘Homogenized Suburb’ Jacob Surratt, 26, grew up in the small town of Chapin, Ill. before coming to the St. Louis area almost a decade ago for college at Saint Louis University. After living in the Delmar Loop for four years, he was ready to settle into his own place long term. “I did an extraordinary amount of research spanning the entire metro area which essentially helped me narrow down my home search to the City of Belleville,” said Surratt. “The factors that were most important to me were a central location and commute time, sense of community, open spaces, and diversity within the community and my neighborhood specifically.” As a commercial real estate professional, Surratt used a variety of resources to strategically look at how investing in a property in Belleville compared to other cities in the region. “For starters, there is no other place in the metro area where you can find a home like this, at this price, in a quality school district, and be 12 minutes from downtown,” he said. “Also, the sense of community and history that Belleville offers is really appealing to me.” Surratt noted that Belleville has a lot of unique aspects not often found in other communities surrounding St. Louis. “The City of Belleville was around and thriving well before it was even counted as part of the metro region, which happened for the first time in 1920,” he said. “With that, you see its heritage, its unique architecture, and a community culture that was here well before St. Louis sprawled around it. Belleville isn’t just a homogenized suburb; it’s unique.” Given his line of work, Surratt studies other urban areas throughout the nation and notes the value added to the region from cities like Belleville. “I do work on a national level, and places like Belleville, Edwardsville, St. Charles, Alton, and Florissant are what set St. Louis apart from places like Dallas-Ft. Worth, Phoenix, Denver, and Charlotte,” he said. “In cities like that, the outward growth is single-family residential sprawl into largely uninhabited areas which lack the historic town centers and medium density of a place like Belleville.” With that, Surratt purchased a 3100 square foot home for about $170,000 in July of 2019 on Belleville’s far west end and has been ecstatic ever since. “There are so many attractive assets in Belleville – our trail system, the schools, multiple MetroLink stations, a historic yet active downtown square, the culture and sense of community – so many things that are often overlooked and under celebrated,” he said. “It’s so important for young people to set aside any stereotypes they may have heard and explore to find out what is important to them in the place they call home.” Surratt said that for him, Belleville is perfect because while it reminds him of a small town, where neighbors know each other and are involved with one another, it’s also appealing because of the benefits of being part of an urban area. “I’m not sure of a lot of places where you can see a deer on your drive to the metro station,” he said. “Belleville is kind of a mash-up of urban and rural, like a big, small town.” He also celebrates Belleville’s diversity and said that people from various races and socioeconomic backgrounds are in every neighborhood of the city. “You can tell a lot about a place by looking into its neighborhoods,” he said. “Belleville is again unique because it feels less fragmented by the things that often divide us like race or income. We have a diverse mix of people here in every neighborhood, and that enriches the town.” Surratt said that he’s never once regretted buying a home in Belleville and intends to be in his home long term and grow into it by raising a family and continuing to be part of the community that he is proud to now call home. Surratt holds an undergraduate degree in urban affairs and sociology and a Master’s in Business Administration, both from Saint Louis University.

Page 18

January 2016

MEMBER UPDATES J.D. Power Names Ameren Illinois in List of Top Utilities for Business Customer Satisfaction Ameren Illinois’ progress in building a stronger energy infrastructure, offering energy management services, and implementing environmentally-friendly technology has landed the company among J.D. Power’s top utilities in the nation for business customer satisfaction. J.D. Power surveyed business customers of 87 large U.S electric utilities; Ameren Illinois ranked 13th nationally and in the top five in the Midwest. “We know that access to flexible, affordable energy is a key economic development driver, whether to manufacture goods, provide transportation, or run computers,” said Richard Mark, Chairman and President, Ameren Illinois. “We’re pleased to see that our business customers report that they are seeing the benefits of the investments we have made to strengthen the grid and provide superior service.” J.D. Power researchers conducted online interviews with business customers that spend at least $200 a month on electricity. Overall satisfaction was examined across six different categories: power quality and reliability, corporate citizenship, price, billing and payment, communications and customer service. “We have worked hard to develop flexible programs that make it easy for our business customers to manage their energy usage and save money,” Mark said. “Our Economic Development team is on the front line, providing individualized services that meet the unique needs of our business customers. The J.D. Power ranking is an indication that this strategy is working.” The following are benchmark scores of the top quartile of the Midwest large electric utilities surveyed. Ameren Illinois sits 10 points above the average with a score of 793. (All scores are based on an index of 1,000 points.) Business Customer Satisfaction Midwest Large Business Partners Customer Satisfaction Rating MidAmerican Energy 807 DTE Energy 798 Duke Energy 795 Ameren Illinois 793 AEP Ohio 790 Ameren Missouri 784 Ohio Edison 784 Midwest Large Average 783 Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 816,000 natural gas customers throughout central and southern Illinois. Our service territory covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles and our mission is to power the quality of life. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois and Facebook.

Think Big

Shop Small

Grow Belleville

The Chamber Connection

Page 19

MEMBER UPDATES A Surgeon’s Magic Wand Through advanced robotic surgery utilizing technology like the da Vinci® Xi™ Surgical System, our surgeons can implement a streamlined surgical approach with a faster healing time for every patient, including less pain.


Next Generation SURGERY. Laser Focused HERE.

switch to

Visit for a list of surgeries performed and to find surgeon.

& Get More




FREE Online Banking FREE Bill Pay FREE Mobile Banking

FREE eStatements FREE Debit Card FREE Thank You Gift*

We have business accounts too!

618.234.9500 • Fairview Heights • 4600 North Illinois St


save &Closing

450 OFF




Switch your mortgage to us. You’ll get $450 off closing costs when you have a checking account with Providence Bank!


& Get More!

*Free Gift may be reported on a 1099-INT or 1099-MISC. Free Gift provided at time of account opening. Minimum opening deposit is $50. Your cell phone provider may charge additional fees for web access or text messages for Mobile Banking. Other fees such as NSF, overdraft, dormant fee on inactive accounts, etc may apply. See bank for details. **A Providence Bank deposit account, opened a minimum of 10 Home Loans Lines ofloan Credit: Subject to credit approval. available on applications submitted 11/1/19 and 11/30/19. Minimum amount calendarEquity days prior to your&mortgage closing, is required to receive the $450Offer off Closing Cost offer. Special offer is available onlybetween on applications submitted by 12/31/2019 that areloan funded. Specialofoffer $10,000 more.towards Loan-to-Value bank for details. insurance required. Home Equity Lines Credit only:Applicant Introductory rate ofcash 3.99% can only beorapplied payment of(LTV) closingrules costs,apply. up to aContact total amount of $450.00. Any Property portion of the discount amount not used towards closing costsofwill be waived. cannot receive back from this offer. OfferPercentage is not availableRate on Home Equity or Home Lines of The Credit. This offer is non-transferable andapplied cannot beiscombined other offer.after Normal qualifications and other Annual (APR) willLoans be fixed forEquity 12 months. current rate that would have 5.25% with APR.anyThe APR, thecredit introductory period mayterms varyand conditions apply. Thisnot doesexceed not represent offerAPR to enter into a loan agreement. subject in to credit approval. Products, rates and terms changewas without notice.asCertain restrictions may apply. Ask for details. and will 20% an APR. is based upon the rateLoans published The Wall Street Journal Money Ratesubject table.toPrime 5.25% of 10/1/19.

Page 20

January 2016

MEMBER UPDATES Citizens Renovate Properties in Belleville’s Brewery District Refreshing Neighborhood and Bringing History to Lif As owners of Keil’s Antiques & Gifts on Main Street, Jason Buss and Dan Hamilton are known to have a knack for living history. The couple has a passion for all things aged, and the once dilapidated properties at 907 W. ‘C’ Street in Belleville are no exception. “I’ve been in the antique business for a long time and I’ve also always loved real estate,” explained Buss. “So, when it comes to fixing up old homes, which I consider to be a big antique, I love it; I simply love these kinds of projects.” Since Buss and Hamilton purchased and began renovations at the old Cedar Terrace Apartments and the two additional buildings on the property, it’s been more than just a labor of love for the couple. “For starters, the neighborhood started unofficially responding to the changes going on here,” said Hamilton. He noted that once the overgrowth was removed from the property in the summer, neighbors started to notice and would stop by to extend their gratitude about the renovations and clean up that was underway.

Dan Hamilton, left, and Jason Buss, right, are renovating the old Cedar Terrace Apartments in Belleville’s Brewery District neighborhood, along with two other homes on the property, all of which were built in the mid-to-late 1800s.

“I’ve had folks come up and actually thank me for reinvesting here, not to mention the neighbors driving by and waving or giving a thumbs up,” Buss said. “Perhaps most important, I’ve seen a bit of a change in how some homes are being kept. Neighbors are cleaning up their properties more, elevating the way their neighborhood looks and taking pride in the awesome homes that are in this part of the city.” The Cedar Terrace Apartments, an eight-unit building, was built as the Humboldt School circa 1880 along with a duplex on the same lot. Additionally, a single-family home also sits on the property, which was built in 1858. The property is half a block from the historic Voss Place Neighborhood and sits in the middle of the West Belleville Historic District, perched in the center of the neighborhood as a major focal point. The school was converted into an apartment building in the middle of the 20th Century. Since sitting vacant for several years, the apartment building has undergone a complete renovation including HVAC and electric updates, structural renovations to the basement, new appliances, and other cosmetic updates. Beyond their passion for maintaining and celebrating the history of aged items, Buss and Hamilton see this renovation as more than just a construction project or business venture. For them, it’s about supporting the creativity, culture, and community in the City of Belleville. “It’s important to us to keep the historic integrity of the buildings, while providing tenants with modern amenities,” said Buss. “Bringing these hold homes back to life is something that is important to us and to the City of Belleville. We’ll continue to salvage these gems so that we can lift up our community and enhance what it means to live and work in Belleville.” “I believe in this,” said Hamilton. “I believe in investing in my community. This is my home and as a resident, I feel like it’s my responsibility to be a good steward of the history of our city, but in a way that makes it accessible to the coming generations. Reinvesting in a neighborhood like this is a great way to do that.” The couple intends to complete renovations by the summer of 2020 and is happy to announce that the new name of the apartments will be the Humboldt School Apartments, a nod to the living history prevalent in Belleville today. “We’re proud to be here,” said Hamilton. “The city has been great to work with, and the mayor even came to see the progress of our work. We are a proactive and energized city, and I am proud to be part of it.” To learn more about leasing options at the homes and apartments at 907 W. ‘C’ Street, contact Yellow Brick Realty and Management at 618-398-2400. To learn more about investing or reinvesting in the City of Belleville, visit The Chamber Connection Page 21

MEMBER UPDATES City of Belleville Announces Details for 2020 Census As promotional and outreach activities are ramping up across the nation ahead of the 2020 Census, the City of Belleville recently announced its plan to help ensure all residents in the city get counted. As part of its outreach initiatives, the city established a Complete Count Committee, a diverse group of community representatives who were selected as trusted voices, representing various constituencies throughout the City of Belleville. “The Complete Count Committee brings together a cross-section of community members who will utilize their local knowledge and expertise to reach out to all persons in our community,” said Mayor Mark Eckert. Eckert said that the committee is set to deploy a comprehensive communication and community outreach campaign at the top of 2020 to ensure that every person who resides in Belleville has the resources and knowledge to get counted. According to the Illinois Municipal Review’s Sept. 2019 revenue estimates, the forecasted total of state-shared local government tax-revenue is $164.40 per person. For the city the size of Belleville, that calculates to approximately $7 million. “An accurate and complete census count is important to the City of Belleville in determining federal dollars for healthcare, education, transportation, child and elder care, emergency preparation and response, and public and social health programs,” said Eckert. “The city receives a large portion of our general fund revenues from the state based on population, including State Income Tax and State Use Tax, which support general operations of the city, including public works departments. The city also receives Motor Fuel Tax based on population, which is used for infrastructure maintenance and repairs throughout the city.” In March 2020, the Census Bureau will send each residence in the City of Belleville a request to participate in the census. People may respond by mail, phone, or for the first time in the history of the census, online. Those residents who do not respond by the end of April will be contacted in-person by a Census Bureau enumerator to complete the count. The Census Bureau conducts special counts for those populations living in group home settings or those experiencing homelessness. “It’s extremely important to know that the data you provide to the Census Bureau is kept completely confidential,” said Eckert. “The Census Bureau is bound by federal law to ensure the safety of the data; they don’t share information with law enforcement or other governmental entities. The main goals are to ensure everyone is counted and everyone’s personal information is kept safe in that process.” The city will host various town hall meetings to address questions regarding the census in addition to hosting open census days at the public libraries and other key locations throughout Belleville to assist people in getting counted. Members of the Complete Count Committee include: Joel Glasscock, City of Belleville; Jennifer Ferguson, City of Belleville; Annissa McCaskill, City of Belleville; Johnnie Anthony, Alderman of Ward 4; Dr. Ryan Boike, Belleville School District 118; Kevin Bouse, Crime Free Housing Committee; Gloria Crowder, Friends of 17th Street Neighborhood Corridor, Deacon Douglas Boyer, Diocese of Belleville; Cheryl Biver Brunsmann, Southwestern Illinois College-Programs and Services for Older Persons; Kurt Daesch, St. Clair County Veteran’s Assistance; Dr. Jeff Dosier, Belleville School District 201; Randy Elser, Metro East Pride Southern Illinois; Scott Ferguson, Alderman Ward 3 and St. Matthew United Methodist Church; Lennox Forrester, Downtown Belleville YMCA- Kern Center; Christine Green, Belleville Office of General and Community Assistance; Kinsey Mordini, Avenue Realty; Wendy Pfeil, Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce; Mike Todd, SW Illinois Laborers’ District Council; Jim Young, Interfaith Food Pantry, Leslie Wagner, Southwestern Illinois College-ESL; Ada Jimenez, Office of Hispanic Ministry Belleville Diocese; and Aretha Lumas, Racial Harmony. The U.S. Constitution mandates that a census of the population be conducted once every 10 years for the purposes of reapportioning Congress. Census data is also used to determine how more than $675 billion in federal funds are distributed back to states and local communities every year for services and infrastructure, including health care, jobs, schools, roads and businesses. For more information, visit

Page 22

January 2016





NATIONALLY The Memorial Network—with its hospitals and specialized Centers —has the caring employees and exceptional BJC Medical Group physicians you know and trust in the Metro East. And they’re backed by BJC HealthCare’s renowned services and technology. Together, we’re making connections to bring outstanding care to our patients in the communities we serve. The Chamber Connection

Page 23

LOCALLY OWNED AND OPERATED Just like our business customers. If your big bank isn’t serving your needs very well, try a bank that’s more your size. See what a difference it makes when your bank’s shareholders, team members and directors live in your community, and may even be your customers. Let’s talk – small business to small business. Business Loans • Business Checking Merchant Services • Small Business Solutions

We believe in small business. Because we are one. 215 South Illinois St. • Belleville, IL 62220

Member FDIC and Our Community

Kirk Sonnenberg Sonnenberg Landscaping Customer since 2005

Celebrating the best of everything for 20 years

Client Satisfaction Rate of 91%

Call for To Go Orders, Reservations, Catering and Party Events! Watch

Come Experience

Modern Cuisine and Crafted Cocktails

Our services include: • Supportive Services • At-Home Nursing • Companionship • Transportation • Homemaking Services

for our Specials 200 E. Main St. Downtown Belleville (618) 235-5010

The best care. The best place - Your home. 877-884-8480 •

Community Happenings in January Wednesday, January 1 Ringing of the Bells | 12:00pm Belleville Downtown Public Square Thursday, January 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Singer Songwriter Thursday | 7:00 pm Cigar Inn Jazz Club | Belleville Monday, January 6, 13, 20, 27 Althoff Catholic Fathers & Friends’ BINGO | 7:00 pm CKL of I Country Club | Swansea

Tuesday, January 7 Gain Confidence and Find Your Voice: Toast of Belleville Open House Artigem | Belleville | 11:15am

Thursday, January 23 Gateway Wedding Show | 5:00pm Gateway Center | Collinsville

Saturday, January 18-19 Flea Market | 9:00am Belle-Clair Fairgrounds | Belleville

Saturday, January 25 Chiro-Med Winter Luau 5K & Main Street Mile | 9:00am Lindenwood University | Belleville

Wednesday, January 22 Starting a Small Business in Illinois East St. Louis | 3:00pm

Friday, January 31 Chorale Up Close | 7:30pm Philharmonic Hall | Belleville

We are constantly updating our community calendar. Please visit for an up-to-date list of events! To submit an event, visit the calendar page at or email

Thank you for your Support. “Advancing Business. Supporting Community.” The Chamber Connection

Page 25

Edward S. Bott, Jr. Belleville, IL John H. Chassaing Belleville, IL John. C. Hanson Glen Carbon, IL Thomas F. Hennessy, III Swansea, IL Garrett C. Reuter, Jr. Belleville, IL William A. Schmitt Waterloo, IL Donald K. Schoemaker Shiloh, IL Kurt S. Schroeder Shiloh, IL Russell K. Scott Belleville, IL L. Kevin Vick Belleville, IL Donald E. Weihl Belleville, IL Andrew V. Wolkiewicz Waterloo, IL David W. Ybarra Fairview Heights, IL

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.

Page 26

January 2016



While some are born confident, charismatic leaders, others must work to develop their leadership skills. Toastmasters helps members become the leader and speaker they want to be. Come see what it's all about!

Tuesday, January 7 15 N. 1st St, Belleville | 11:15 AM-12:30 PM

RSVP by Monday, January 6 Page 27 The Chamber Connection

Page 28

January 2016

Profile for The Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce

Chamber Connection Newsletter | January 2020  

Chamber Connection Newsletter | January 2020