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February 2014

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Our Customers…

Say it Best!


John was able to help me use SBA financing to make my business

goals come true. Thank you First Mid for caring about my dreams!

- Erica Alford, Owner of Unique Boutique Salon & Spa on State Hwy 121 in Mt. Zion. Look for Unique Boutique Salon and Spa on facebook. Pictured above with John West from First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust.

Life is easier when...

you’ve got it all together.



TOP 200











guaranty L E N D E R



100 South Water • 423-7700 3101 North Water • 872-1400 1688 South Baltimore • 423-4000 For a complete list of locations, visit us online.

Member FDIC • Equal Opportunity Lender Insurance services are not deposits or obligations of the bank, are not insured by the FDIC or any governmental agency, and are not guaranteed. *SBA Top 20 rankings are determined by loan volume only and do not constitute or imply an SBA endorsement.




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February 2014


Monday, Feb. 3 Decatur Noon Lions Club,Main Place Bar & Grill, 101 S. Main St. Decatur Rotary 180, noon, Decatur Club, 158 W. Prairie Ave.

Tuesday, Feb. 4 Forsyth Rotary,7 a.m., Homew ood Suites by Hilton, 333 W. Marion Ave., Forsyth. Kiwanianne Club of Decatur,9:30 a.m., Scovill Banquet Facility, 3909 W. Main St. Prairieland Kiwanis,9:30 a.m., Decatur Civic Center Decatur AMBUCS, noon, Decatur Club. Noon Kiwanis Club,Decatur Club. Noon Sertoma, Decatur Club. Blue Mound Rotary,6:30 p.m., Pleasantview Township shed.

Wednesday, Feb. 5 Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce Breakfast, 7 a.m., Decatur Club. Scheduled speaker is Brian Mclemore of CQI Associates. Decatur Golden K Kiwanis Club,9:30 a.m., Scovill Banquet Facility. Decatur Shrine Club,noon, Scovill Banquet F acility.

Thursday, Feb. 6 Earlybird Kiwanis,6:45 a.m., Scovill Banquet Facility. Decatur Metropolitan Rotary Club,noon, Decatur Club. Human Service Agency Consortium (HSAC), noon, Central Christian Church, 650 W. William St. Thursday Noon Toastmasters,G reater Decatur Y, 220 W. McKinley Ave. Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours,5-7 p.m., Smith Cosmetics & Laser, 304 W. Hay St., Suite 215. Metro Decatur Home Builder’s Association, 6 p.m., Beach House, 2301 E. Lake Shore D r. American Business Women’s Association (Amacita), 6 p.m., location varies. Lincolnland AMBUCS, 6:30 p.m., Easter Seals’ Building, 2715 N. 27th St.

Friday, Feb. 7 Decatur Breakfast Sertoma, 7 a.m., Scovill Banquet Facility. Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce Ag Cafe,11:30 a.m., Beach House. Scheduled speaker is Don Borgman of John Deere North America. Decatur Black Chamber of Commerce First FridayLuncheon, noon, Main Street Church Tea Room, 2000 N. Main St.

Monday, Feb. 10 Decatur Noon Lions Club,Main Place Bar & Grill. Decatur Rotary 180, noon, Decatur Club.

Kiwanianne Club of Decatur,9:30 a.m., Scovill Banquet Facility. Prairieland Kiwanis,9:30 a.m., Decatur Civic Center. Decatur Building Construction Trades Council, 10 a.m., IBEW Local 146 Hall, 3390 N. W oodford St. Decatur Area Society for Human Resource Management, 11 a.m., Doherty’s Pub and Pins, 242 E. William St. Central Illinois Ad Club,11:30 a.m., Decatur Club. Decatur AMBUCS, noon, Decatur Club. Noon Kiwanis Club,Decatur Club. Noon Sertoma, Decatur Club. Blue Mound Rotary,6:30 p.m., Pleasantview Township shed.

Wednesday, Feb. 12 Decatur Golden K Kiwanis Club,9:30 a.m., Scovill Banquet Facility. Mount Zion Chamber of Commerce Luncheon, 11:30 a.m., Beach House Decatur Shrine Club,noon, Scovill Banquet F acility. Decatur Real Estate Investors Association, 6:30 p.m., Perkins Family Restaurant, 2999 N. Monroe St.

Thursday, Feb. 13 Earlybird Kiwanis,6:45 a.m., Scovill Banquet Facility. GFWC Decatur Woman’s Club,11:30 a.m., Scovill Banquet Facility. Senior Resources Network (formerly Mature Resources Network), 11:45 a.m., Keystone Gardens, 1455 W. Mound Road. Decatur Metropolitan Rotary Club,noon, Decatur Club. Decatur Area Women’s Network (DAWN), 5:30 p.m., location varies. Lincolnland AMBUCS, 6:30 p.m., Easter Seals’ Building. Decatur Camera Club,7 p.m., Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Lane.

Friday, Feb. 14

Christian Women’s Network, noon, Decatur Club. Decatur Shrine Club,noon, Scovill Banquet F acility.

Thursday, Feb. 20 Earlybird Kiwanis,6:45 a.m., Scovill Banquet Facility. Decatur Christian Women’s Club,11:30 a.m., Scovill Banquet Facility. Decatur Metropolitan Rotary Club,noon, Decatur Club. Decatur AMBUCS, 6 p.m., Decatur Club.

Friday, Feb. 21 Decatur Breakfast Sertoma, 7 a.m., Scovill Banquet Facility. Noon Women’s Network, 11:45 a.m., Decatur Club.

Monday, Feb. 24 Decatur Noon Lions Club,Main Place Bar & Grill. Decatur Rotary 180, noon, Decatur Club.

Tuesday, Feb. 25 Forsyth Rotary,7 a.m., Homew ood Suites by Hilton. Kiwanianne Club of Decatur,9:30 a.m., Scovill Banquet Facility. Decatur Building Construction Trades Council, 10 a.m., IBEW Local 146 Hall. Decatur AMBUCS, noon, Decatur Club. Noon Kiwanis Club,Decatur Club. Noon Sertoma, Decatur Club. Blue Mound Rotary,6:30 p.m., Pleasantview Township shed.

Wednesday, Feb. 26

Decatur Breakfast Sertoma, 7 a.m., Scovill Banquet Facility.

Decatur Golden K Kiwanis Club,9:30 a.m., Scovill Banquet Facility. Decatur Shrine Club,noon, Scovill Banquet F acility.

Monday, Feb. 17

Thursday, Feb. 27

Decatur Noon Lions Club,Main Place Bar & Grill. Decatur Rotary 180, noon, Decatur Club. W omen’s Progressive Club,6 p.m., Greater Northside Baptist Church.

Earlybird Kiwanis,6:45 a.m., Scovill Banquet Facility. Decatur Metropolitan Rotary Club,noon, Decatur Club. Decatur Camera Club,7 p.m., Westminster P resbyterian Church.

Tuesday, Feb. 18 Forsyth Rotary,7 a.m., Homew ood Suites by Hilton. Kiwanianne Club of Decatur,9:30 a.m., Scovill Banquet Facility. Noon Kiwanis Club,Decatur Club. Noon Sertoma, Decatur Club. Blue Mound Rotary,6:30 p.m., Pleasantview Township shed.

Tuesday, Feb. 11

Wednesday, Feb. 19

Forsyth Rotary,7 a.m., Homew ood Suites by Hilton.

Decatur Golden K Kiwanis Club, 9:30 a.m., Scovill Banquet Facility.

Friday, Feb. 28 Decatur Breakfast Sertoma, 7 a.m., Scovill Banquet Facility.

American Business Women’s Association (Monarch), noon, location varies.

Monday, March 3 Decatur Noon Lions Club,Main Place Bar & Grill. Decatur Rotary 180, noon, Decatur Club. W omen’s Progressive Club,6 p.m., Greater Northside Baptist Church.

Tuesday, March 4 Forsyth Rotary,7 a.m., Homew ood Suites by Hilton. Kiwanianne Club of Decatur,9:30 a.m., Scovill Banquet Facility. Prairieland Kiwanis,9:30 a.m., Decatur Civic Center. Decatur AMBUCS, noon, Decatur Club. Noon Kiwanis Club,Decatur Club. Noon Sertoma, Decatur Club. Blue Mound Rotary,6:30 p.m., Pleasantview Township shed.

Wednesday, March 5 Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce Breakfast, 7 a.m., Decatur Club. Decatur Golden K Kiwanis Club,9:30 a.m., Scovill Banquet Facility. Decatur Shrine Club,noon, Scovill Banquet F acility.

Thursday, March 6 Earlybird Kiwanis,6:45 a.m., Scovill Banquet Facility. American Business Women’s Association (Amacita), 11:30 a.m., location varies. Decatur Metropolitan Rotary Club,noon, Decatur Club. Human Service Agency Consortium (HSAC), noon, Central Christian Church, 650 W. William St. Thursday Noon Toastmasters,G reater Decatur Y. Metro Decatur Home Builder’s Association, 6 p.m., Beach House. Lincolnland AMBUCS, 6:30 p.m., Easter Seals’ Building.

Friday, March 7 Breakfast Sertoma, 7 a.m., Scovill Banquet Facility. Decatur Black Chamber of Commerce First FridayLuncheon, noon, Main Street Church Tea Room, 2000 N. Main St.

To submit items for Your Calendar, contact Scott Perry at (217) 421-7976, at, or click the “Submit an Event” link at

BUSINESS JOURNAL Reader Profile: n 72% read The Business Journal monthly. n 17% are 34 and under.



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February 2014


The Arts Anne Lloyd Gallery: R eclaim, Recycle, R epurpose. Opening reception from 57:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7. Call (217) 4233189. Gallery 510: W atercolor/digital artwork by Larry Steinbauer. Artist reception from 5-7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7. Call (217) 422-1509. Decatur Airport: W atercolors by Michael Delaney. Decatur Public Library: Oil paintings by Barbara Dove. Blue Connection: S weet heARTS, featuring handmade pottery and vases.

Music Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra, Young Artists Concert, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb 1; and “Oratorio Plus!,” 7:30 p.m. Saturday, M a rch 1. Both events at at Kirkland Fine Arts Center. For tickets, call (217) 424-6318.

On Stage “Menopause the Musical,” F eb. 4-9 at the Decatur Civic Center. For tickets, call (217) 422-7300. www.decaturciviccenter. org.

Calendar of events For a complete list ofevents,goto Theatre 7 presents “Cotton Patch Gospel,” M a rch 7-9 and 14-16, at Richland Community College’s Schilling Auditorium. F or tickets, call (217) 422-3866.

Penguin Polar Bowl to benefit Ester Seals of Central Illinois,11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, at Spare Time Lanes. Cost is $60 for a team of four. For more information, call (217) 429-1052.

Kirkland Fine Arts Center: Masters of Motown, 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14; Tomaseen Foley’s Irish Times, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 8. For tickets, call (217) 424-6318.

Rock The Woof , to benefit Homew ard Bound Pet Shelter,10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, at the AIW Hall. The day will include performances by numerous local bands and a live auction. Cost is $10.

Charity events Hearts Around the World, 6 p.m. Saturday, F eb. 1, at Cafe DMH. This event, featuring German, Polish, Swiss, Belgian, Denmark cuisine, benefits the Decatur Memorial Hospital Heart and Lung Institute. Cost is $75. To register, call (217) 876-2105. Valentines Dinner featuring Dueling P ianos,to benefit the Fletcher Park splash pad project, Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Mount Zion Convention Center. Cost is $40 for singles and $75 for couples, which includes a buffet dinner, dessert and dance. For more information, go to w w or call (217) 864-5424.

Polar Plunge,to benefit Special Olympics Illinois Central/Area 10, will be held Saturday, March 8, at the Beach House. For more information, go to w w or call Joanie Keyes at (217) 428-9255.

For the family The Rock Springs Nature Center hosts a long list of mini camps,family adventures and classes during the month. So many, in fact, that there are too many to list. Go to w w w.maconcountyconservation. org and click on the Programs and A ctivities tab for a complete listing.

Featured Business:

Misc. Ice skating at the Decatur Civic Center, W ednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Go to w w for more information. University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener program presents Gardening Insights, featuring Melinda Myers, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, at Richland Community College’s Schilling Center. Cost is $25. For more information, call (217) 8776042. Prayer Breakfast 2014, 7-8 a.m. Thursday, F eb. 13, at the Decatur Conference Center and Hotel. Cost is $10 and advance registration is required by calling the G reater Decatur Chamber of Commerce at (217) 422-2200. Metro Decatur Home Builders Association Home Show,9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, F eb. 15, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, F eb. 16, at the Mount Zion convention Center.

Got an item you’d like listed in the Your Free Time calendar? Send the information to Scott Perry at or 601 E. William St., Decatur, IL 62523.

Mt. Zion Lions Center

Accommodates: up to 300 people Choose your own caterer, bring your own food Ask about our “value-added service”

DECATUR CONFERENCE CENTER & HOTEL Accommodates: 2,000 people 55,000 sq. ft. functional space, food service available

DECATUR CLUB Accommodates: 300 people Banquets & weddings

BUSINESS JOURNAL Printed with environmentally safe w ater-based ink

1595 W. Main St., Mt. Zion Contact: Sharon Spinner 864-3100

4191 U.S. 36 West Contact: 420-8711

158 W. Prairie Ave., Decatur Contact: Jeff Ingle 429-4200

DOHERTY’S PUB & PINS Accommodates: up to 80 seating - 150 capacity Full food & beverage service available

242 E. William St., Decatur Contact: 428-5612

HICKORY POINT BANQUET FACILITY Accommodates: 225 w/additional seating on veranda Award-winning cuisine

727 Weaver Rd., Decatur Contact: Tina McCarnen 421-6657

MAIN PLACE BAR & GRILL Accommodates: up to 100 people 101 Club, business/social functions Full food & beverage service available

101 S. Main St., Decatur Contact: Katy Mize 422-4700

MT. ZION CONVENTION CENTER Accommodates: 1,100 people

1410 Mt. Zion Pkwy, Mt. Zion Contact: 864-5424

SCOVILL BANQUET FACILITY Accommodates: up to 225 people Award-winning cuisine

3909 W. Main St., Decatur Contact: Kevin Brewer 421-7470



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Decatur poised to face challenges Adding local jobs most important By TONY REID and CHRIS LUSVARDI Business Journal Writers

D E CATUR — Larry Altenbaumer sees Decatur being as resilient in addressing its economic challenges as it has been with similar situations it has faced before. Despite concerns raised in the past year about employment levels at two of the city’s major employers, Altenbaumer is optimistic about the potential for growth in the future. “The future is before us to define,” said Altenbaumer, Economic Development Corporation of Decatur and Macon County interim president and a cofounder of the Grow Decatur community development initiative. “We have a variety of opportunities to transfo r m Decatur into the robust community we envision. The overall trend line is extraordinarily positive.” Decatur needs to capitalize on opportunities such as what has been created by the establishment of the Midwest Inland P ort, Altenbaumer said. The port is envisioned to combine rail, air and truck transportation to transform Decatur into a hub for logistics and warehousing. “The port is the most significant piece of economic development we have seen in a long time,” Altenbaumer said. “It can shape the future more than anything else out there.” Finding waysto add jobs is of the utmost importance as Decatur has had the highest unemployment rate in Illinois. Much of how the area recovers will be determined by the giant mining trucks Caterpillar Inc. builds in Decatur, which are used to handle some very rocky off-roading. In Decatur, the loss of well-paid jobs with good benefits hit particularly hard. Caterpillar laid off more than 800 production workers and let an unspecified number of white-collar employees go in Decatur, part of a global cutback that eliminated 13,000 workers worldwide. Some 90 percent of Caterpillar workers also were told to take three weeks of unpaid leave during the year. Caterpillar’stop management has been engaging in an intense strategic review of its operations and, while mining seems set to remain front and center, there have been broad hints of new cutbacks aimed at leaving the firm a permanently leaner and meaner profit machine. “ We are changing the organization, how we operate, and basically low ering costs in existing facilities,” said Mike D e Walt, a Caterpillar vice president in charge of strategic services. Mining has always been a cyclical industry, and DeWalt has no doubt it will turn around. He isn’t so sure when that might be.

Business Journal photos/Jim Bowling

2013 was a tough year for the Decatur Caterpillar plant, which experienced numerous layoffs tied to declining sales of its mining trucks. “It’s been really,really tough to forecast,” DeWalt said. An agreement for the U.S. ExportImport Bank to fund a $694 million loan to an Australian iron ore mine could provide just the boost production at Caterpillar needed for the company to begin adding jobs again. Some of the money will be used to buy Caterpillar equipment, especially Decatur-built trucks. The bank’s board of directors said the deal will support more than 3,000 jobs at Caterpillar and other U.S. companies. Job training is view ed as an essential part of the ability to add to the employment at Caterpillar and Archer Daniels Midland Co., which has been less hard hit by jobs cuts. Much of the debate about ADM has centered on how it will add to its 4,400-strong work force in Decatur, which will become the company’s North American headquarters. Caterpillar has been paying for several w orkersto go through college electrical and mechanical courses aimed at boosting their skills, said Darbe Brinkoetter, dean of continuing and professional education at Richland Community College. “Caterpillar is getting them almost to the associate’s degree level; it’s that extensive,” Brinkoetter said. “I’ve been very impressed.” She said the company continues to w ork closely with the college to improve

Prospective employees line up to meet with Archer Daniels Midland Co. officials during a job fair at the Illinois National Guard Armory. w orker training and better prepare employees for the escalating demands of the workplace. “ Yes, there is a downturn right now for Caterpillar, but they are confident things will eventually come back, and we all hope they’re right,” Brinkoetter said.

Richland recently announced a partnership with Western Illinois University to train students in supply chain management. The agreement with Western is part of




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Community health calendar Screenings Bone density screening, 9-11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, Women’s Health and Breast Center, 302 W. Hay St., Suite 117A. Screening to check your risk for osteoporosis. Register online or call (217) 8764377. Cholesterol screening, 7-10 a.m. Thursday, F eb. 6, 1689 S. Franklin Street Road, and 8-10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, 4775 E. Maryland St. Cost is $20. To register, call (217) 876-4377.

Support groups Growing Through Grief, 10-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays, Cancer Care Center of Decatur, Complementary Education Classrooms, 210 W. McKinley Ave. To register, call (217) 876-4735. TOPS Club IL 49 Decatur,5:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Main Street Church of God, 2000 N. Main St. (enter from Garfield Street). Support group for Real People seeking Real Results with weight loss. F or more information, go to w w or call Chris Granda at (217) 521-2420.

TALK, 500 E. Lake Shore Dr. To register, call Flo Folami at (217) 464-2334. Epilepsy support group, 5 p.m. Tuesday, F eb.11. For more information, call (217) 853-1655. Facing Cancer Together,1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, Cancer Care Center of Decatur, Complementary Education Classrooms,210 W. McKinley Ave. Register online or call (217) 876-4750. Pink Link breast cancer support group, 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13. To register, call (217) 876-4377. Essential tremor support group, 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, St. Mary’s Hospital, Assisi R oom. For more information, call Don Klinker at (217) 423-9667. Post Partum Emotional Support Group, 6:30 p.m.. Monday, Feb. 17, St. Mary’s Hospital, Assisi Room. For more information, call Flo Folami at (217) 464-2334. A New Season – Young Widowed Group, 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20. For more information, call Dawn Follow ell at (217) 8642799.

Helping Hands Bereavement for Children, 3:30 p.m. Thursdays, Cancer Care Center of Decatur,210 W. McKinley, Ave. Register online or call (217) 876-4750.

Renewal bereavement support group, 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, Cancer Care Center of Decatur, Complementary Education Classrooms,210 W. McKinley Ave. R egister online or call (217) 876-4750.

Grief to Hope: Grief Education Group, 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, St. Mary’s Hospital, R oom G24. This grief education group is a time for individual or family bereavement support and care. For information, call Chaplain Marla at (217) 544-6464 ext. 41850.

Us TOO prostate cancer support group, 4:30-6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, Cancer Care Center of Decatur, Complementary Education Classrooms,210 W. McKinley Ave. R egister online or call (217) 876-4750.

SHARE support group, 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, St. Mary’s Hospital, Room G24. Support group for those who have experienced the death of a baby during pregnancy, at birth or early infancy. For m o re information, call (217) 464-2045. Breastfeeding support group, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Monday, Feb.10 and 24, Baby

Classes Art therapyfor cancer patients and families,8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, Cancer Care Center of Decatur, Complementary Medicine Art Room 409, 210 W. McKinley Ave. Clay, paint watercolor, acrylic draw , print make, collage, weave and more. For information, call (217) 876-4750.

In BeTWEEN for Girls,10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, Decatur Memorial Hospital, OB Classroom. Girls age 9-12 years are invited to learn more about the life issues that are important for teens to know , including health, physical and emotional changes of puberty, the reproductive system, the importance of nutrition and exercise, caring for your body, coping with new feelings and relationships. To register, call (217) 876-3100. Real Dads Rock, 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, Decatur Memorial Hospital, Cafe Classrooms 1 and 2 – Ground Level. Program teaches new fathers how to handle, feed, burp, change, clean and respond to their baby’s needs. Register online or call (217) 422-6294. Infant CPR Class,7 p.m. Monday, Feb.10, DMH OB Classrooms-third floor. Register online or call (217) 876-3400. Breastfeeding for the Pregnant Couple,7-9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, St. Mary’s Hospital, Assisi Room,. For information or to register, call (217) 464-2334. New Brother/Sister Day Camp, 6:30 p.m. W ednesday, Feb. 19, DMH OB Classroom. Children ages 3-10 learn what to expect with the arrival of a new baby brother or sister. Cost is $15. To register, call (217) 876-3400.

Happiest Baby on the Block – Magic?, 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, St. Mary’s Hospital, Assisi Room. For more information or to register, call (217) 464-2334. Real Dads Rock!, 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, St. Mary’s Hospital, Assisi Room. This class enriches the father-to-be with skills to be confident in his major role in the care and birth of the new baby. Call (217) 464-2334.

More Red Cross Blood Drive,9 a.m. to 5 p.m. W ednesday, Feb. 12, DMH Classrooms. Cardiopulmonary Risk Factors,1-3 p.m. Friday, Feb.21, Decatur Memorial Hospital, Classroom A. An educational class that assists clients with recognizing and changing their risk factors to maintain a heart healthy lifestyle. F or more information, call (217) 876-2496. Community Health Lecture Series,6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, Decatur Public Library. The St. Mary’s Hospital community health lecture service provides an informational lecture from a local health care provider. This month’s topic is New Advances in Heart Disease. For more information, call (217) 464-5125.



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Now open A pharmacy has opened in Forsyth, filling a gap that existed there. Colee’s Corner Drugs at 845 South U.S. 51 is a second pharmacy location for the Colee family. Dale Colee runs Dale’s Southlake Pharmacy in Decatur and plans to have his daughter, Erica, in charge of the Forsyth location. Erica completed pharmacy school nearly three years ago and has grown up around the family business. She said they’ve had an interest in expanding since opening the South Shores store in 2004. “ We felt like this was the time to do a second pharmacy,” Erica said. They want to reach customers who live on the north side of the area where reaching a pharmacy hasn’t always been the most convenient. Erica plans to bring the same customer-oriented approach to the new store that current customers have come to know . In addition to pharmacy items, the store will offer a line of Fannie Mae candies and Marquis Beverage products. The staff has moved over from the original location, Erica said. Colee’s Corner Drugs has a drive through window on the north end of the building with the main entrance on the south end facing Buffalo Wild Wings. It takes over part of a building that used to be an Asian buffet. The Forsyth store is open 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Call (217) 3309552. nnn A dance-fitness studio has opened in Mount Zion with eight classes offered w eekly. Jazzercise instructor Jenny Moore found a location at 1582 N. Illinois 121to open a studio closer to customers in Decatur. “Jazzercise has offered classes in Sullivan and Lovington for several years and we felt it would also be popular in Mount Zion,” Moore said. “Now we can offer customers in Decatur and Mount Zion a more convenient class location.” Jazzercise provides a 60-minute class that includes a warm-up, high-energy routines, muscle-toning and cool-dow n stretch segment. It combines elements of dance,resistance training, Pilates, yoga, kickboxing and more to create progra m s for customers of every age and fitness level. The classes will be offered at 8:30 a.m. M o n d ay, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 4 p.m. Monday and Thursday; and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. N ew customers can try a free class to learn more about the program, Moore said. New participants should be there 10 to 15 minutes early and wear comfortable clothing and athletic shoes, she said. Call (217) 649-1789. nnn Good new s travels fast. A new M ow eaqua restaurant specializing in authentic Thai cuisine — Mama Chans — only opened in late November but is already pulling in hungry customers from all over Central Illinois. “We’ve had people from Decatur, a lot of people fro m

Decatur, and we’ve even had some people from Champaign and Springfield,” said owner Sounthone Haksasila. “People say the Thai food here is more original.” The eat-in and carry-out menu is wideranging, with dishes such as pad prew w aan — crispy and spicy battered chicken stir-fried with bell peppers, carrots, onions and pineapple — to pad khing — pork served in a house ginger sauce with onion, bamboo, zucchini and ginger. Haksasila, who does the cooking along with his mom, Chan Haksasila (hence the business name) and his sister, Vien Hite, said they’ve added some popular Chinese dishes (like sweet and sour) because diners like it. He describes the naturally very spicy Thai cuisine as “toned down” a little for W estern taste buds but plans to broaden our gastronomic minds with new menu items from time to time. “Good Thai food should have a balance of sweet, sour and spicy,” he said. “There is a lot of range of seasonings.” Mama Chans is at 105 N. Main St. in M ow eaqua, and is open Thursday through Sunday,10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Call (217) 768-3888. nnn The Rev. Jessie Bates has had another God idea. Decatur Plaza Entertainment Center,billed as an affordable meeting and banquet space, has opened in his 19-month-old, near-northside strip mall. “I really didn’t know what we were going to do with the space until two months ago,” Bates said. “We hope to provide a place for worship by startup churches,for meetings and conferences and for weddings and parties.” Bates — pastor of Abundant Life Christian Center, leader of the Ambassadorsfor Christ street ministry and coowner of JRB Enterprises — opened Decatur Plaza Mid-Town in the mall formerly anchored by Sattley’s office supplies in June 2012 after having “a God idea” to anchor it with a Small Business Expo, an incubator of sorts for startup entrepreneurs. Located at 1103 N. Water St., the entertainment center encompasses 2,900 square feet and will feature a stage, sound system, retractable media screen and kitchenette with a microw ave. Its 2,100-square-foot banquet area can seat up to 200 people in chairs and 150 around tables while the kitchenette can handle a meeting of up to 25 people. F or more, call Renee Jones, property m a n a ger for JRB Enterprises, at (217) 791-6406. nnn A familiar name in the world of jew elry and clock repair is back in downtow n Decatur. Decatur Gold & Coin, 111 E. North St., is owned and run by Joe Lara m e e. His late father, Duane, was involved in jew elry and clock and watch repair for 40 years and ran his own business near Central P ark. The son follow ed in the father’sfootsteps,except for the watch repair, but also specializes in buying gold and silver coins and gold and silver in pretty much any form.

Joe Laramee grew up in the jew elry trade and has worked for and ran various businesses before opening Decatur Gold & Coin in April. “ We buy jew elry all day long: broken jew elry, scrap jew elry, any kind of precious metal,” Laramee said. Most of his customers are interested in selling, but there is a sizeable other group who want to buy. Laramee says “Preppers,” people who fear the impending collapse of society, like to stock up on small amounts of precious metals. “If there is a catastrophe, they can use itto trade for food, fuel, whatever else they need,” he explained. Decatur Gold & Coin is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Call (217) 422-4653. nnn The first Kroger’s Fuel Center in the Decatur market is open, along with a newly remodeled Airport Plaza store. Located at 4614 East U.S. 36, the fuel center features a convenience kiosk that is staffed from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. P umps can be accessed by credit card any time, and the center is part of the K roger Fuel Rew ards Program already offered at Decatur Shell stations. “It’s a convenience to the customer any time we can add services to one of our locations,” said Charlene Ward, K roger marketing manager based in Indianapolis. The fuel center is Kroger’s 82nd in a division that covers Michigan, Ohio and Missouri, in addition to Illinois and Indiana. The remodeled supermarket at 1818 S. Airport Plaza features a new beverage center, the addition of kitchen and drug m e rchandise, and upgraded produce, floral, meat and deli departments.

N ew owner Dale Babb was looking for a job that w ould keep him closer to home and feed his love for live music. His wife, Lori, was interested in running a restaurant. Encouraged by its original owners, the couple found what they were looking for in the Korn Krib along Illinois 121 in Latham. They reopened the bar/restaurant in A ugust, which had been closed for a couple years. And while the outside has remained the same, Dale Babb said past patrons will be greeted by some changes inside. The interior was remodeled to include a reconfigured dining room and a stage that hosts Karaoke on Friday nights and will eventually welcome local and headlining bands. Lori Babb, who is the food director for the Warrensburg-Latham School District, has overseen a change in the menu. In addition to the usual bar food, the menu has been expanded to include more home-style offerings such as fried chicken, meat loaf and prime rib specials. There’s also pies baked from scratch by Dale Babb's mother. Babb said Friday’s frog legs and walleye specials have been very popular. The menu also features corn nuggets,

which Babb said is a must for a place constructed out of grain bins. Dining hours are 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Brunch is served from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays, with regular menu items available until 5 p.m. The bar is open until 2 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and until 5 p.m. on Sundays. The business is closed on Mondays. Call (217) 674-3421. nnn The former T.J. Jackson State Fa r m Insurance Agency in Decatur is now the Winston Taylor State Farm Insurance Agency. Taylor is the agent in charge who heads up a team of five staff offering auto, home and life insurance along with a range of financial services. “Mr. Taylor handles mutual funds and securities,” said Erik Canham, an insurance producer at the agency. “We also have bank products like credit cards and checking accounts.” The office is at 1301 W. King St. in the F airview Plaza and its hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Call (217) 422-1441.

Biz Bites highlight businesses that are opening, closing, expanding … you get the picture. If you have information for our Biz Bites column, contact Tony Reid at, Chris Lusvardi at, Theresa Churchill at or call them at (217) 421-6979.





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February 2014

Hospitals look back at 2013 Decatur Memorial Hospital

St. Mary’s Hospital By EMILY STEELE Business Journal Writer

Despite tough economic times and the challenge of adapting to the Affordable Care Act, St. Mary’s president and CEO K evin F. Kast is proud of the progress and growth the hospital has experienced in past year. “ We’re either adding or grow ing in every area,” Kast said. With more than 200,000 outpatient procedures, 8,000 inpatient and almost 40,000 emergency department visits, St. Mary’s is focusing on it’s future as well as honoring its history. The hospital celebrated 135 years in Decatur on Nov. 19. Despite conflicting with Game 3 of the Cardinal’s World Series run, more than 400 people attended their celebratory gala Oct. 26 where they raised more than $230,000. “That is 135 years, same organization, same core values, same ownership, same

presence in this community for 135 years,” Kast said,remarking that it even outdates Millikin University. In 2013, St. Mary’s completed the first phase of its $52 million campus redesign, which included opening a third cardiovascular catheterization lab at a price tag of $7 million. Their renovations have created numerous jobs for local electricians, carpenters, brick layers and other contract w orkers. “So in spite of the economy being the w ay it is in Decatur, St. Mary’s has continued to invest in the community which allow s us to offer jobs even outside of the jobs that we offer here,” Kast said. Citing community outreach, Kast said they’ve been growing their services on the north side of Decatur and the outlying communities of Mount Zion, Sullivan and Forsyth. They are also in the process of adding new beds to all their private rooms. Phase two of the revitalization begins in 2016. Continuing its growth, St. Mary’s has added 40 doctorsto its staff, a list that includes two gastroenterologists, six


By EMILY STEELE Business Journal Writer

Considering all that Decatur Memorial Hospital has done in 2013, President and CEO Ken Smithmier is proud of all its accomplished, but there are a few particular ones that stand out for him. F or the third-consecutive year, DMH w as named as one of the Nation’s 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics. The aw ard is measured by better survival rates, low er complications, shorter hospital stays, as w ell as better long-term outcomes. “That was significant for two things,” Smithmier said. “First of all just getting the aw ard, but now we’ve gotten it three years in a row and it’s so hard to achieve these high levels of quality in just about anything, but in my experience,it’s harder to maintain it than it is to get it the first time.” DMH also received the highest-level of achievement from the American Heart and Stroke Association for the second year. The Get With The Guidelines aw ard recognizes DMH’s success in implementing quality care for stroke patients. “While it’s important to show that this or that piece of data is better, it really

becomes pow erful when you see that something is happening systemically in an organization,” he said,referring to the hospital-wide internal operations striving tow ard improvement. BlueCross BlueShield designated D M H ’s Central Illinois Orthopaedic Center a Blue Distinction Center Plus in knee and hip replacements for its focus on improved patient safety and health. About two years ago, DMH was looking to get a leg up on medical advances so the board invested in a health care venture capital firm. “ We were looking to get exposure to some of these new young companies early, and that’s been happening for us,” Smithmier said. X enex was one company that caught their eye. DMH bought two Xenex


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February 2014

Superintendent decision soon A decision could be announced this month regarding the hiring of a new superintendent to lead the Decatur School District. The school board held a special work session last month, where it heard fro m a representative of Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates, the search firm hired by the school board, about the process of narrowing down 40 potential candidates to six ‘high-quality’ candidates and how the interviewing process will go fro m there. The schedule calls for a decision being announced the first or second w eek of February, Current Superintendent Gloria Davis is set to retire at the end of the school year. She has served as superintendent since July 2006.

Maroa schools see spending cuts Nearly $450,000 in spending cuts approved last month don’t appear to be the end of the Maroa-Forsyth School District’s budget woes. The school board was in support of a plan the district’s administration proposed, but voted 6-1 to keep the high school family and consumer science program part time rather than eliminate it as recommended. The change to that progra m was the only variation from the administration’s recommendations. The district was looking to make up for a $920,000 deficit. Waysto increase revenue by $225,000 have already been identified along with selling working cash bonds to generate $245,000. F urther adjustments to the budget might be needed as revenue could decrease further and expenditures rise, Superintendent Mike Williams said. Williams said the district has faced a deficit for nearly five years mainly as its state aid funding has taken a hit. The district has relied on its financial reserves for several years, but Williams said those are nearly depleted.

United Way surpasses goal A room where 27 extra men slept on cots the night before to escape temperatures that dipped into the 20s became, in a matter of hours, a place to celebrate good new sfor people in need across the community. The Salvation Army’s conference ro o m adjoining its shelter for homeless men w as the scene of a new s conference to announce that the United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illinois has surpassed an ambitious $2 million target, the first increase to Macon County’s goal since 2007. Brian Byers, campaign chairman and

vice president of development for Neuhoff Media, said $2,004,454 has been collected with some United Way campaigns in the Decatur area yet to wrap up. “Less than a week ago, we had temperatures 40 degrees below zero, and there were people in our community who w ould not have had a place to sleep were it not for organizations like this one,” B yers said. “Times have been tough, unemployment is high and some people use that as an excuse not to do good. “I see it as a reason to do more good because more people are in need, and I am proud to say the community sees it the same way.” B yers also praised United Way staff m e m b e rs, many of them relatively new , for “reinvigorating” the organization. The final campaign total for 2013 will be announced at the United Way’s annual meeting March 20.

Water meters being upgraded Decatur officials have announced that an overhaul of the aging water meter system will begin this month, bringing contractors into residents’ homes over the next year to 18 months. The city’s 31,400 water meters will all be upgraded or replaced, with new technology allowing the metersto send data directly to the city. Residents will be asked to make appointments with the contractor, Corix Utilities, after they receive a letter notifying them of the company’s upcoming visit to their area. “Our water system is critical for our success as a community,” said Mayor Mike McElroy, who appeared with other

city officials at a new s conference to discuss the project. “... This is a big-time deal for Decatur, and we’re very, very happy to be a part of it.” The changes represent the largest part of the city’s energy performance contract with Johnson Controls, which was finalized by the Decatur City Council in June. The agreement calls for the city to spend $17 million to increase its efficiency and generate $23 million in savings, so that the improvements would ultimately pay for themselves. Corix Utilities is a subcontractor hired by Johnson Controls. About 23,000 water meters will be replaced with Mueller Hersey meters as part of the project, officials said. Another 8,275 meters are new er and will receive upgrades, and 194 larger water meters will be evaluated on a case-bycase basis.



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February 2014


Heart attack symptoms differ for women Campaign works to raise awareness By EMILY STEELE Business Journal Writer

D E CATUR — Being a woman is hard on the heart. Gender is one of the biggest obstacles for doctors trying to determine if troubled breathing is pneumonia or a wo m a n having a heart attack. P auline Briney is one such example. A former mayor of the village of Findlay, Briney has always been a busy w oman and being 87-years-old wasn’t going to stop that. She’d been home trying on a pair of jeans one afternoon after a busy day around the village in February 2012 when it became hard to breathe. n w w w.goredfor “I thought I was out of breath n w w w. facebook. from trying to put com/GoRedfor those jeans on,” W omen Briney said. She n laid down hoping GoRedForWomen it would pass, but when it didn’t she called a friend who, on arriving at her house, called 911. Briney woke up in Shelby Memorial Hospital. “I never thought I had a heart attack,” she said. “I knew I was in bad trouble and wasn’t going to breathe for much longer.” With her only symptom being difficulty breathing, a trip to another hospital and a slew of tests failed to identify what w as in fact, a heart attack. She was treated for pneumonia and bronchitis and sent home. Cases such as Briney’s are what the American Heart Association hopes to decrease with its Go Red for Wo m e n campaign. Now in its 10th year, the heart disease aw areness program has saved about 650,000 women’s lives, which is a 32 percent decrease in cardiovascular disease deaths Despite heart disease being the No. 1 cause of death for women, very little w as known about women’s sympto m s and treatment. While most people can identify chest pain and pressure as the most common symptom of a heart attack, women don’t always feel that pain. Women may have shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the low er chest or abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness, upper back pressure or extre m e fatigue. That lack of knowledge is what prompted the American Heart Association to raise aw areness, said Carrie Skosberg, communications director for its Central Illinois branch. “ We knew that there needed to be


Business Journal/Danny Damiani

Pauline Briney, 89, of Findlay, looks through the family history she has compiled at her home.

‘I never thought I had a heart attack.’ PAULINE BRINEY

m o re research that pertained just to w oman so that money that’s raised goes to women’s heart disease factors,” Skosberg said. Go Red for Women continues to grow , with outreach programs being focused on social media to promote its National W ear Red Day on Friday, Feb. 7. Skosberg points to new guidelines specifically for treatment of women as a direct result of funding research. D r. Manohar Kola, an invasive cardiologist with Prairie Heart Institute at St. Mary’s Hospital, said when he went to medical school there was no difference between treating men and women for heart disease. “Now , in the last 10 or 15 years, there’s m o re aw areness of that because many people were missed and then they come

back and finally underwent testing and found heart disease,” Kola said. K ola was the cardiologist who linked Briney’s breathing problems to an undiagnosed heart attack. After several weeks, her struggles to breathe continued. She was at an unrelated doctor’s appointment at St. Mary’s Hospital when her breathing became as bad as the first time. “I turned around to my daughter and said ‘I can’t breathe,’ ” Briney said. Her daughter took one look and the nurses at the office rushed Briney to the emergency room in a wheelchair. Combined, her breathing problems, slight elevation in cardiac blood enzymes and a higher risk profile, made Kola suspicious enough to do a catheterization. The noninvasive procedure confirmed blockage in Briney’s heart. “It’s a very good example of how heart disease in women can be subtle,” Kola said. He said in general, studies have proven that women are less likely to be treated aggressively for heart failure by having an EKG taken or even have a consultation with a cardiologist because their symptoms are not convincing. “They’ll be more prone to be sent home with anxiety medication because the presentation is more subtle,” Kola

said. K ola said when it comes to identifying a heart attack without pain, it’s important to look at other health risks, such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, smoking and a family history of heart disease. “Even if the symptoms are not very convincing,” Kola said. “I think they should get more testing and put it all together rather than saying, ‘this is not your heart.’” Both of Briney’s parents died fro m heart attacks when they were older, but out of their eight children, Briney was the only one to have a cardiac incident. She had stent surgery to open up the blocked arteries and was put on medication to low er her cholesterol. Already in remission from cancer, one of Briney’s doctors has compared her to a cat that has already ticked off its nine lives. “I’ve been really fortunate in having good people take care of me,” Briney said. Tw o years later Briney is still involved in village affairs and keeps active by writing regularly on her computer. “I don’t dwell on it,” she said. “I know God’s gonna’ take care of me, I just don’t think you die 'til your time comes.”



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Ask new manager about his goals for team Q: E ver since our department was transferred to a different area of the company, morale has been going dow nhill rapidly. The main reason for this decline is that we have begun reporting to a new vice president. “Greg” is an aggressive executive who seems to have a “my way or the highway” attitude. In addition to being very tough on employees, Greg ignores all suggestions made by the managers who supervise them. As members of the management team, we would like to convince Greg that we are really on his side. We just w ant him to go a little easier on the troops. Any ideas? A: After a reorganization, people often make the mistake of firmly maintaining that past practices should be continued. But even if this advice is wellintentioned, management can easily view it as resistance to change. Therefore, if you wish to show Greg Office Coach that you are “on his side,” you need to stop suggesting and start listening. Instead of pointing out Greg’s missteps, ask what he hopes to accomplish with your group. Once you understand his goals, you may be able to show how your proposals could help to achieve them. You should also find out why upper management decided to relocate your department, since their expectations will undoubtedly influence Greg’s decisions. When presenting suggestions, choose your words wisely. For example, if you say “go easier on the troops,” Greg may hear “accept mediocre performance.” But if you propose a structured process for helping employees adapt to new standards, he may view that as helpful. In short, if Greg believes that you are open to his ideas, he may be more willing to consider yours.

Marie McIntyre

Q: Tw o years ago, the owner of our small family business hired his son as the accounting supervisor. At the time, “Henry” had just graduated from college with a degree in fine arts. He has no business training, has never held another job, and is very immature. Despite Henry’s complete lack of experience, he has always been paid well above the average for his position. On top of that, his father just gave him a 25 percent raise,even though the company is struggling to stay afloat. How can I approach the owner about this without jeopardizing my own job? A: Sadly, you have now learned what everyone employed by a family business finds out sooner or later. In any family owned company, there are two classes of people: relatives and everyone else. And

the relatives are frequently exempt fro m rules that govern other employees. This m ay not be fair, but it’s usually true. Before making the risky choice to talk with the owner, you must clearly understand that you are not complaining to m a n a gement about an employee, but complaining to a parent about his child. Also, this particular child may very well become the future owner of the company. If Henry’s job performance is creating significant business problems, perhaps you could describe them in a calm and constructive manner. But if you are simply irritated by his familial privileges, you should probably keep those opinions to yourself. Q: One of our co-workers has been running a personal business using company time and equipment. During the workday, “Susan” is often observed sending emails, scheduling appointments, and doing billing for a graphic design business that she owns. She also makes lengthy phone calls to her customers. Because of all these extra activities, Susan has trouble keeping up with her regular duties. When she falls behind, m a n a gement asks the rest of us to pitch in and help her,even though our workloads are just as heavy. This is beginning to create animosity in the group. Susan’s business has been listed on her LinkedIn profile for two years, so it is hardly a secret. I mentioned this to our team lead, but nothing has been done. Any suggestions? A: Your ethically challenged colleague is basically stealing from the company, so someone should put a stop to it. Te a m leads typically don’t have that kind of authority, so you need to get the attention of the proper person. In most organizations, that would be either the head of your department or the human resources m a n a ger. After deciding whom to contact, you must determine the best way to deliver the message. A group complaint will have more impact, so involve some other indignant co-workers. Before meeting with management, select a representative and prepare a clear, concise description of the situation. F or example: “We thought you should know that Susan spends a lot of work time running her personal design business. In addition to doing administrative tasks, she is often on the phone with her customers. Our problem is that we’re often asked to take up the slack and do her regular work. We would appreciate your looking into this.” After receiving this information, management will need time to investigate. But once Susan’s theft of company time is confirmed, her outside activities should come to a speedy halt. Q: My cubicle is right beside the office of a high-level manager who is constantly making some kind of noise. “Jackie” is a loud, gregarious woman who spends

WEEKLY TIPS Can’t get enough advice from the Office Coach. Get weekly column updates at w w most of her day on the phone or chatting with colleagues. Sometimes she even talks to herself. She frequently hums along with the radio, which is always on. W orking around Jackie is like trying to sleep with a mosquito buzzing. After a year of this, I politely asked if she could at least tone down the humming. She got upset and yelled at me, which brought me to tears. Jackie later apologized profusely, but I refused to accept her apology. I have complained to her boss, but that didn’t help. What should I do now ? A: F or starters, you should pay less attention to the noise and more attention to the politics. So far, you have insulted a high-level manager,rejected her apology, and complained to management about her personal habits. This is hardly the best way to handle someone in a pow er position. You must also understand that Jackie is not doing anything wrong. In fact, your own sensitivity to sound is also contributing to this little drama. Some people are not bothered by background

noise, because they possess an innate ability to screen out sound. Others, like yourself, are acutely aw are of every noise in the room. Had you been more politically astute, you would have recognized Jackie’s apology as the perfect opening for a calm, friendly discussion of this issue. Guilty feelings about her inappropriate outburst would have made her more receptive to your concerns. Unfortunately, your sulky response negated that advantage, and the ill-advised complaint to her boss only made things worse. If you approach Jackie again, start by offering your own request for forgiveness. For example: “Jackie, I’m really sorry for rudely rejecting your apology. I often have trouble concentrating here because I’m extremely sensitive to background noise. Since you have a very interactive job, I know this will never be a quiet spot. Do you think m a n a gement might consider relocating m y cubicle?” If you can shift the dialogue from personal criticism to a plea for assistance, Jackie might agree to help you find a reasonable solution to this problem.

Marie G. McIntyre is a workplace coach and the author of “Secrets to Winning at Office Politics.” Send in questions and get free coaching tips at, or follow her on Twitter @officecoach.



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February 2014

ASK THE SCORE COUNSELOR Q: What are some simple things I can do to make sure my customers are satisfied? A: Business owners like to think of themselves as providers of great customer service. As small-business ow ners in particular,it’s quite possibly your biggest differentiator. After all, how often is it that you walk into a national chain restaurant and are greeted by n a m e, handed your favorite drink, and made to feel like part of the family? R ecently on a trip out west, my husband and I ate at a great little Italian restaurant in Seattle. The owner treated us like we were old friends. Consequently, we made two more trips back to his restaurant in the two days we were in town. Likewise, one of our favorite restaurants here in Decatur goes out of its way to make sure they have exactly what we want when we walk in the door – that along with their overall friendliness is why we go there several times each week. G reat customer service is also about knowing how to handle problems, responding to and resolving issues — something at which agile small businesses can often excel. If customer satisfaction is your goal, then great customer service will get you there. The Illinois SBDC’s Weekly Connection lists three simple things you can do to embed customer service into your business philosophy and day-to-day operations:

GOT A QUESTION? To learn more about customer service or to submit a question for the “Ask the SCORE Counselor” column, contact SCORE Chapter 296, Millikin University,1184 W. Main St., Decatur, IL 62522 or call (217) 424-6296.

Listen and learn Listening is key to effective customer service and it also can help boost your profitability. Through everyday customer interaction show you are listening to your customers by taking notes or repeating back what your customer has said. Listen to their words and tone. Observe their body language. Provide them clear and concise communication. Ask clarifying questions to gain understanding before you provide a response. If you can’t respond immediately, be sure to provide a timeline for response and make a note in your calendar to do so. Follow up, confirm the resolution, and check for customer satisfaction and completion. If you don’t have a reason for face-toface interaction with a customer, look for ways to stay in touch and show you are listening and eager to keep the lines of communication open. For example, follow up with a customer after a sale to prove to your customers that you


New staff members Laura Stine has joined Zanadu Spa as a licensed massage therapist. John Mahaffey has joined Stine Dansig as a corporate sales executive.

Newell’s Auto Body has achieved Gold Class status for training from the InterIndustry Conference on Auto Collision R epair.

Announcements Mahaffey

A chievements Rob Pickett recently received the Ray Kroc Aw ard, which recognizes the top performing McDonald’s restaurant m a n a gers in the country. Pickett

tors Association International.

ESS Clean Inc.w as honored with the Best Company Website for a Mid-Size Company aw ard by the Building Service Contrac-

Roger Oliver,president and CEO of Van Horn Inc., has retired after 41 years with the company. First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust w as identified as the largest lender of SBA 7(a) loans in the Decatur mar- Oliver ket by the Illinois District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Business Clips are abbreviated versions of paid Business Achievements which appear on Mondays in the Herald & Review. For more information about Business Achievements, go to

BUSINESS JOURNAL Reader Profile: n 48% share their copy of the Journal with others. n 2 3 % are 35 to 44 years old.

w ant to hear from them. Hand out instore or post-sale surveys to find out what they’d like to see from your brand — and stay active on social media. Customer service is, after all, about meeting the needs and expectations of the customer as defined by the customer. By soliciting feedback and using that information to inform your business you will find new ways to ensure your business is relevant to them and hopefully open new lines of profitable opportunity.

Engage them H ow you and your staff communicate with your customers is just as important as what you communicate. R emember that your customer wants to see the sunny side of you and your business. How are customers being greeted? P utting them at ease and making them feel comfortable sets the tone for the rest of the transaction. Demonstrate that your customers are valued. Let them know you think they are important. Your sincerity makes them feel good about you and the organization. Ask how to help your customers. Find out what they want. It’s important that each customer encounter makes them feel satisfied. Don’t challenge disgruntled customers. Listen and reassure them that you’ll act on their complaint and follow through until resolution. Help customers. Make it easy for them

to locate or obtain the information they need. Answer their questions in a timely manner.

Stay connected R emember to carry through on your customer service goals wherever your business has a presence. This means online and offline. More than ever, social media is a systematic part of your customer service model, so if you have a presence on sites such as Facebook or Twitter, be sure you are actively listening, engaging, monitoring and responding to your customers online. — Carol Harding, SCORE counselor

Meet a SCORE counselor


R oger Canuel retired as director of info r m ation technology for the Libman Broom Co. in Arcola. His counseling specialties are IT and general business startups. He has been a SCORE counselor for nearly eight years.

BUSINESS JOURNAL Printed with environmentally safe w ater-based ink



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February 2014

Commercial Real Estate

Using Social Media Q Social Media – How Should It Be Used?

Q Why should I use a commercial real estate agent when expanding or relocating our business or selling property? A After more than 10 years in banking, I found an opportunity in the market to help


existing clients, address a different challenge. Those years in banking were spent helping business owners, just like you, make decisions in all aspect of their business, not just their finances. Having that general understanding of business needs and a deep understanding of the bank and financing process, I can help you get real estate deals closed. I see several positive developments in the community that will lead to increased activity in the market. This market has strong potential based on connections to agriculture and manufacturing, access to transportation and an abundance of affordable real estate.

Chris Harrison Realtor 217-520-2085

As a Commercial Realtor, I work with your business to address real estate opportunities and challenges. Many companies have out grown existing space, but have been reluctant to make the leap. Now may be the time to expand your physical presence.

One way to illustrate this is an example of going to a business event like a ribbon cutting or business after hours. You circulate in the room, meet people and hand out a bunch of business cards. You leave the event and wait for the phone to ring with new business. The likelihood of the phone ringing is unlikely.

Carolyn Ridenour President & Marketing Director

People can find information anywhere so the content needs to add value to your audience. It needs to be current, engaging and at the same time useful in their everyday lives. Managing social media takes time, resources, effort and strategy. This requires some preplanning. It is also imperative that there are no spelling or grammar errors. It can affect the overall view of the company.

You might be an owner with space not fully utilized or have property for sale. No matter the reason, I will work to find a suitable user. As your CommercialAgent,I will facilitate all communication and negotiations for the transaction. Call me!! I will take the time to understand your wants, needs and budget. I will be responsive and committed to help your business with any real estate needs.

Mobile Ready Web Sites Q

What are some benefits to having a mobile ready website?


In the age of the smart phone it is very important to have a website that customers can access easily from their mobile phones. About 88% of U.S. adults own a cell phone of some kind as of April 2012, and more than half of these cell phone owners (55%) use their phone to go online and search. Less than 10% of the web in 2012 is mobile ready. These are important statistics because it was found in a Google survey that 61% of consumers would go to a competitor’s website if a business’s site was not mobile friendly.

Not only does a mobile website allow easy access to your on-the-go consumers, but there are may other benefits. These include:

Cayla Hittmeier Advertising Manager Herald & Review

• “Click to call” and “click to map” ensures a convenient and fast way to connect customers to business. • Detailed analytics for keyword ranking specific to mobile devices allows customer ability to see what keywords are driving traffic. • Dynamic Responsive Design– ensures that customers can read a business’ website and information no matter what kind of device they are using. • Provides convenience to customers using their mobile devices. • Designed to offer better navigation for smaller screens. If you would like to find out more information on how to get your website mobile ready call 217-421-6920 to talk to one of our Multi-Media Specialists today. *Sources: Google (Sterling Research and SmithGeiger) 2012

601 E. WILLIAM ST. DECATUR, IL 62523 217.421.6920

It is important to be approachable. Telling all the time is not communication. It is like the person you are talking to only talks about themselves. How long will that hold your attention before you tune it out? It is the same for social media. Try to find out why people are interested in your company’s social media pages. Post various types of content to find out what it is that grabs them.

As a business owner there are ample real estate options for the following uses: • Office • Retail • Warehouse • Manufacturing

1610 East Pershing Road Decatur, IL 62526

If you want to reach a large audience of all ages, social media can be a great outlet. But that is assuming it is used appropriately. Audiences are waiting for you to talk to them, to engage them, not to hard sell them into a service or product.

132 S Water St. Ste.418 Decatur Illinois 62523

I hope this information is helpful. If you would like to talk more about this subject please, contact me.




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