Page 1





The Voice is online at

April 2014 | Volume 27 | No. 4

Manufacturers unite for annual celebration Awards go to Rockford Fastener, Rockford educator By Paul Anthony Arco J. Scott Hall has been all around the world. As president of Textron’s Industrial Segment, he knows what it takes to be successful in the manufacturing world. Headquartered in Rockford since 1904, Greenlee is a leading provider of high-quality, innovative tools distributed to trade professionals around the world.


J. Scott Hall, president of Textron’s Industrial Segment, and Einar Forsman, president of the Rockford Chamber. Hall was the keynote speaker at the Rockford Chamber of Commerce’s Manufacturing Expo & Dinner on March 21 at Cliffbreakers Riverside Resort. Hall gave insight into Greenlee’s strategic focus and shared his perspectives on what manufacturers in this region must do to remain competitive. Hall focused on three simple rules that drive profitability and growth – better before cheaper, revenue before cost, and there are no other rules. He stated that the author of these rules were Mumtaz Ahmed and Michael Raynor.

“To be successful you need the best products that people can buy for their money,” he said. “Yes, it may cost more but it’s worth it. Revenue before cost means serving your customers, knowing who they are and having a platform for growth. Finally, if you believe in the first two rules, everything else is in play. There are no sacred cows.” “I like the fact that we had someone like Scott with his broad-national connections, but is locally based and has a strong philosophy about Rockford,” more on page 4

Organizations to share practical financial advice

Visit us online at: n n n n

online registration keynote speaker video clips event photos list of Chamber events

Questions? 815-987-8100

Join the Chamber’s LinkedIn Group

The City of Rockford’s Community Development Department and partner HomeStart has launched their Homebuyer Rehabilitation Assistance Program. Twenty applicants will receive $3,000 to $5,000 for down payment and closing cost assistance and up to $20,000 for rehabilitation of a vacant property in Rockford. Additional grant funds may be available through the City of Rockford’s Federal HOME Investment Partnerships. Homebuyers must own and live in the property during the first five years or the balance not yet forgiven will be due upon sale or transfer of the property. Funds must fix building code violations as a first priority. Properties must meet Rockford’s building code at project completion. To apply, call HomeStart at 815-962-2011.


State of the County

April 17 • Giovanni’s For more info, see page 26 PARK DISTRICT 2014 FUNDRAISING PRIORITIES

Rockford Park District Foundation announced its top priority fundraising projects for 2014, including the Alpine Hills Adventure Park & Golf Center, the Leathers playgrounds, the dock at Riverfront Museum Park, the Sinnissippi Rose Garden slope, and the Sinnissippi perennial garden and wedding pagoda.

Money Smart Week in its seventh year

Jason Haller, 2014 N. Ill. Money Smart Week (MSW) chairperson, and Karen Chan, Illinois MSW coordinator, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, announced at the Discovery Center Museum in March that Money Smart Week will take place April 5 to 12. More than 100 local partner organizations will participate; offering free financial literacy classes throughout Winnebago, Boone, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Ogle and Stephenson counties. Partners will include financial institutions, libraries, not-for-profit organizations, insurance agencies, investment firms, senior living facilities, and state and local government agencies. Find the full listing of area events at www. or MoneySmartWeekNorthernIllinois.


ROCKFORD UNIVERSITY TO BEGIN RENOVATIONS Money Smart Week partners at Midway Village Museum gear up to promote a weeklong series of events in April. More than 2,800 attended at least one Money Smart Week class or event last year.

Some MSW Events Saturday, April 5 Money Smart Week Kids Read: Curious George Saves His Pennies, 10 to 10:45 a.m., Main Library creative corner, 215 N. Wyman St., for ages 3 to 6. Co-sponsored by Country Financial and PNC Bank. Registration not required. more on page 4

Rockford University announced final plans to move forward with $5.175 million in renovations to the Burpee and Seaver Centers, with construction scheduled for May, 2014. Final budgets and project scope were approved by the Board of Trustees at its Feb. 22 meeting. Plans include a complete renovation of the first floor of the Blanch Walker Burpee Center to revitalize it as a central hub for student activity. The Seaver Physical Education Center also will be equipped with new bleacher systems and creation of a new multi-purpose recreational space.


April 2014


Chairman’s Perspective VIEWPOINT

The 25-year initiative

With time and imagination, Rockford will be a much-improved city Much has been made about the importance of Transform Rockford, and what it will take to make this initiative successful. To me, if it’s going to be successful, and I hope that it will be, Rockford will be a much better place in 25 years for a variety of reasons. It will be better for business, it will be better for families and a better place for our community to live, work and play. Of course, it’s reasonable for some people to have doubts about this venture, given that it’s such a monumental undertaking. When you’re laying out a vision for the next 25 years, not only is it hard to visualize, but it’s hard to imagine how to get from Point A to Point B during a certain period of time. There are lots of opportunities to fail along the way if we don’t work to get the momentum going. One of the problems I see in Rockford is that we expect government to always take the lead on these undertakings. They can’t always do it. Those of us in the private sector need to step up and take it upon

ourselves to make it happen. If the business community comes together we can accomplish great things. I’ve been impressed with how effective the initial community meetings have been. In March, Transform Rockford held a “business session” at the Rockford Country Club. Among Rockford’s top assets discussed at this session was the park district, health care systems, river front, improving school system, among many others. Most were in agreement that Transform Rockford’s top priorities are education, transportation, crime and safety. Personally, I believe safety is crucial. It reminds me of when I served as chief operating officer at SwedishAmerican Health System. In 1997, before we unveiled plans for a $32 million campus expansion and renovation project that spearheaded a renewal of Rockford’s Midtown District, the city of Rockford asked the hospital to serve on a panel to look at crime in downtown neighborhoods.

For nine months, the city-wide panel worked hard and accomplished many of our goals. For our part, SwedishAmerican has invested more than $5 million to clear land and sponsor the construction of new owner-occupied homes in the area; purchased and provided land for the City of Rockford to construct additional owner-occupied homes; constructed a neighborhood park and playground; made more than 60 matching grants to home owners for exterior repairs and remodeling; and purchased and rehabbed homes for resale to SwedishAmerican employees, local fire fighters and police officers and public school teachers. What I learned from the entire process was that in order for residents to feel safe, it starts by transforming their neighborhoods. The Rockford Chamber of Commerce shares in a similar belief. Last year, the chamber formed its first public safety council whose mission is to engage the business community in order to prevent and reduce crime in

Rich Walsh Rockford Chamber Board Chairman

the Rockford area. The council serves as an agent between the business community and public officials to maintain an awareness of safety activities; educate business community members on practices to prevent crime; and monitor business community feedback on any concerns associated with crime and safety. So who should get involved in Transform Rockford? Everyone. Businesses of any size can start by identifying individuals within their company, who are assigned the task of working with Transform Rockford. Allow your representatives enough time to make it happen. If Transform Rockford is going to succeed, it’s going to take plenty of energy and motivation. I encourage the chamber’s board of directors and business members to get started today. If we don’t, and the effort comes up short, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

theVoice April 2014

Money Smart Week Continued from front page

Plan for the Future: How an Estate Plan Puts You in Control, 11 a.m. to noon, East Branch, 6685 E. State St. Presented by Deborah Webb, Ameriprise, and attorney Timothy Whitham, Schlueter Ecklund; cosponsored by Ameriprise Financial. RSVP by April 4 to 815-637-9366. MembersAlliance Credit Union presents a free Community Shred Day, 9 a.m. to noon, 2550 S. Alpine Road, (corner of Alpine and Harrison) in Rockford. Maximum limit of two boxes per car. Call 815-226-2260 or visit www.

Monday, April 7 Home Equity Conversion Mortgages, Government Insured with No Monthly Payments, 1 to 2 p.m., East Branch, 6685 E. State St., 4 to 5 p.m., Main Library classroom B, 215 N. Wyman St. Presented by Thomas J. Conwell; co-sponsored by MSI Reverse. RSVP to 815-520-4046. Strong Women, Powerful Financial Strategies, April 7, 5 to 6 p.m.; April 9, 1 to 2 p.m., East Branch, 6685 E. State St. Co-sponsored by Ameriprise Financial. RSVP requested to Deborah Webb, 815637-9366.

Tuesday, April 8 The Money Tree, April 8, 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Main Library little theatre, 215 N. Wyman St.; and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Rock River Branch, 3128 11th St., and April 10, 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., East Branch children’s area, 6685 E. State St. For ages 2 to 10. Registration not required. Are You and Your Spouse Maximizing Social Security Benefits? 1 to 2 p.m., East Branch, 6685 E. State St. Co-sponsored by Pathfinder Wealth Management. Registration not required. Securing Your Identity-How to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft, 3 to 4 p.m., East Branch, 6685 E. State St. Co-sponsor by Alpine Bank. RSVP requested by April 4 to Jessica Hendon, Jessica.hendon@bankalpine. com, or 815-398-6500. Presented in Spanish on April 10, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., Main Library, classroom B. Registration not required. Keeping Energy $$ in Your Pocket: Simple Steps to Home Energy Savings, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., Cherry Valley Public Library District, 755 E. State St. Presented by University of IllinoisExtension educator, Jay Solomon. Also on April 9, 6 to 7 p.m., North Suburban

Library District, 6340 N. 2nd St., Loves Park. Register at web.extension.illinois. edu/jsw or call 815-986-4357.

Wednesday, April 9 Financial Recovery: Getting Back on Your Feet, 1 to 3 p.m., Rock River Branch, 3128 11th St. Taught by Woodforest National Bank. Registration not required. Turning 65: Get the Facts about Medicare, 3 to 5 p.m., East Branch, 6685 E. State St. Co-sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois. Registration required at 815-965-7606. College 101 – Explore Your Options for Funding, 6 to 7 p.m., Main Library, classroom B, 215 N. Wyman St. Presented by ISACorps (Ill. Student Assistance Comm.). Registration not required. Managing Finances During Difficult Times, 6 to 7 p.m., East Branch, 6685 E. State St. Co-sponsored by Family Credit Management Services. RSVP to Heidi Berardi, 815-484-1608 or Heidi.

Thursday, April 10 Smart Seniors Avoid Scams and Fraud, 1 to 2 p.m., East Branch, 6685 E. State St. Presented by retired Rockford Police Lt. Dennis Olson; co-sponsored by Riverside Community Bank. Registration not required.

Friday, April 11 Goodwill/VITA Tax Preparation Assistance, April 11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and April 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Nordlof Center Small Multi-Purpose Room, 118 N. Main St. Free tax assistance to those with low-to-moderate incomes (families with income less than $50,000; individuals with income less than $25,000) and persons with disabilities. Call 815-965-7606. Money Smart Gardening, Lunch n’ Learn, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., East Branch, 6685 E. State St. Tips and ideas from Univ. of IL Extension-Winnebago County master gardeners. Registration required at 815-965-7606.

Saturday, April 12 Teen Financial Reality Fair – Your Future in the Virtual World of Mad City, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., East Branch, 6685 E. State St. Co-sponsored by Rockford Area Chapter of Credit Unions. Pizza and pop provided. Register by April 10 at 815-316-2900, ext. 104, or DLeonard@generationscu. org. Space limited.

Let your Voice be heard The Rockford Chamber of Commerce ­ elcomes and encourages submissions for The w VOICE of the Rockford Business Community. Deadline is the 15th of the month preceding ­publication. Send news releases and other items of interest to the business community to: The VOICE Rockford Chamber of Commerce 308 W. State St., Ste. 190 Rockford, IL 61101

For information about advertising contact Customer Service at 815-987-8100. The VOICE of the Rockford Business Community (USPS 784-120). ISSN number 1086-0630, is published monthly by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, 308 W. State St., Ste. 190, Rockford, Illinois 61101. Periodicals postage paid at Rockford, Ill. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: The VOICE of the Rockford Business Community, 308 W. State St., Ste. 190, Rockford, IL 61101.



April 2014

Manufacturing Expo Continued from front page

Brian Burgy of Rockford Fastener, the 2014 Manufacturer of the Year, receives his award from Teresa Beach-Shelow and Einar Forsman.

The Surgeons of Steel interact with a local manufacturer.

said Einar Forsman, president and CEO of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce. “He’s seen what we don’t do well, but he shared it in a positive way. He’s involved in some pretty good national policy groups, but he’s not afraid to share his opinion or disagree with the groups he’s involved in.” More than 450 people turned out to visit 50 booths from area manufacturing and related services. The Manufacturer’s Council also hosted several high schools and middle schools to promote manufacturing careers to area students. “We use this event to connect the dots,” Forsman said. “For example, we had one or two robotics teams five years ago, and now we have eight. The Surgeon of Steel program is coming out of the middle schools. They spend all this time in robotics and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) in the schools, but we need to applaud their interest in manufacturing, otherwise they may lose interest and awareness of what is in their own backyard.”

Annual Awards Announced

Teresa Beach-Shelow of Superior Joining Technologies, Cindy Day with FMA and Fran Morrissey and Mary Beth Clausen of The Morrissey Family Businesses meet at the Expo.

The chamber also presented its Manufacturer of the Year and Individual Business Catalyst awards to members who are outstanding contributors to the local business community and manufacturing industry.

The Manufacturer of the Year Award was presented to Rockford Fastener. In 1977, a small group of skilled and motivated individuals started the Rockford-based company to provide fastener buyers an efficient, prompt, responsible source. Today, the company employs 85 people. “We try to keep a low profile. We just keep our heads down and do our jobs,” said company president Bryan Burgy. “But to receive this award is quite an honor.” The Individual Business Catalyst Award went to Christina Magee, a teacher at Guilford High School. Magee is a catalyst for supporting young students interested in manufacturing and engineering. She has been instrumental, along with Dave Morgan, in the Surgeons of Steel program in all Rockford Public Schools’ middle schools; developing robotics programs at all high and middle schools, and leading the effort to get Project Lead the Way into the school district. “To create change, you can’t do it by yourself,” Magee says. “We need everyone’s support to help these young people. We can change the face of manufacturing.” The Celebration of Manufacturing Expo & Dinner was presented by QPS Employment Group. Other sponsors included the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Rockford Bank & Trust, Wipfli LLP and Thayer Lighting, Inc. n


The Thayer Lighting team is out in full force at the Expo!

QPS Employment Group explains their services to Patti Bigger of Specialty Screw.

Don Williams and Jimmy Rozinsky representing Rock River Valley Tooling & Machining Association discuss their services with attendees.

The RK Dixon Team man their booth at the Manufacturing Expo.

Kim Schleiff of Greenlee speaks with fellow attendees.

Phil Baerenwald of JL Clark interacts with the students attending the Expo.

Mayor Larry Morrissey visits with exhibitors, including Scott Dobbs and Ashley LeVoy of Wipfli.

John Lombardo and Mike Lombardo of Colorwave Graphics.

The Behr Iron & Metal Group’s’ representatives at the Expo.

theVoice April 2014


Member Profile PROFILE

The museum’s biggest draw is the John F. Kennedy exhibit, which includes the historic secret service car.

Historic Auto Attractions

Making a museum a travel destination By Paul Anthony Arco Spend a few minutes walking around the Historic Auto Attractions museum in Roscoe, and it’s easy to get lost in time. For starters, there’s the 1956 Cadillac secret service car that was located directly behind John F. Kennedy on that fateful day in 1963. There’s Emperor Hirohito’s 1935 Packard limo, Adolph Hitler’s sixwheeled, 1939 Mercedes staff car, and Eva Peron’s 1950 Rolls Royce. But the museum’s name is misleading. There are also wax figures, White House furniture and World War II artifacts, including knives, uniforms and maps. “I started with a couple of cars, and now I have all this other stuff,” said owner Wayne Lensing. “It’s become like an addiction for me.” In addition to operating Historic Auto Attractions, Lensing is president of Lefthander Chassis, a company, located across the street from the museum, which builds and manufactures chassis for shorttrack racing, as well as distributes parts for all kinds of racecars. For many years, he and son, Dan, raced professionally at the Rockford Speedway.

Building His Collection Lensing’s other passion is history. Over the years, he’s traveled the country, visiting treasures such as the Henry Ford Museum and the Smithsonian Institution. One particular destination that caught his eye: the famous Auto Collection, located in the fifth floor parking garage of the Imperial Palace Hotel in Las Vegas that was owned by businessman Ralph Englestead. “It was the most fantastic museum I had ever seen,” Lensing said. “That was the kind of place I wanted to open, if I had the money.” In 1999, Lensing learned that Englestead was terminally ill and planning to sell his collection. Working with a local bank, Lensing secured a loan to build his museum and purchase 14 cars from Englestead’s collection, including gems that belonged to Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Nixon; as well as world leaders such as Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, the King

Lefthander Chassis president Wayne Lensing lives out his passion for history and cars with Historic Auto Museum in Roscoe.

of Siam and the Queen of England. Lensing’s dream was realized. Historic Auto Attractions opened in 2001. Each year, it draws between 5,000 and 10,000 visitors. The museum is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and weekends only from September to November. “I want this museum to become a destination,” said Lensing, who buys most of his collection from well-known auction houses. “I want it to be a place for the whole community to enjoy. “This isn’t about muscle cars. This is about history.”

Wax Figures, Memorabilia The museum is broken up into different sections. In the “Famous Cars and Stars” section, for example, are cars owned by Conway Twitty, Howard Hughes and Elvis Presley. On display in “Wild West Americana” are wax figures of John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and the cast of the television show “Bonanza.” Lensing has more than 300 wax figures, such as Yasir Arafat, Vincent van Gogh, Ernest Hemingway, Gerald Ford and both George Bushes. There are hundreds of pieces of furniture from the White House, the “Ghostbusters” ambulance, and a car and driving suit on loan from local racer Danica Patrick. The biggest draw, however, is the John F. Kennedy exhibit. In addition to the secret service car, Lensing has the ambulance that transported Lee Harvey Oswald to the hospital; the flag draped over JFK’s casket when he lay in state in the East Room; clothing belonging to both Kennedy and wife Jackie, and much more. Lensing hopes to expand his pride and joy one day. “I never thought it would get this big,” he said. “But I get so much enjoyment out of seeing people come visit the museum. It means a lot to me.”

HISTORIC AUTO ATTRACTIONS Owner: Wayne Lensing 13825 Metric Road, Roscoe 815-389-7917


April 2014


How does economic development happen? By Mark Podemski, RAEDC I recently came across a video discussing how our economy works, which was created by Ray Dalio, the 64-year-old founder of Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world (search YouTube for “How The Economic Machine Works” by Ray Dalio). At times, economic growth seems a bit like magic; however, we can simplify the conversation by talking about transactions ... buying and selling if you will. There are three transactions we should consider for the Rockford Region: Those that occur with the world outside our region, those that occur within our region, and those that leave or negatively impact our region. Simply put, we want to maximize transactions with those outside of our region, since this is the only way we will create new wealth. Examples of this type of transaction include manufacturers that sell goods and services to companies outside of the region and bring that money back via payroll, taxes, etc. Another example is tourism dollars that

come in to our community from groups and individuals that do not live here. If we do not grow these transactions, our region will not be prosperous. Jobs that support transactions outside of our region are called primary jobs, and they traditionally have been the focus of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council.

Keeping Dollars Here We need transactions within our region to accelerate and grow. The longer we can keep the dollars that we do have in our community, the more local jobs we can create. You may have heard of “Buy Local” campaigns. This is one method for attempting to keep dollars within our community longer. Additionally, attracting new businesses that provide services or goods that are not currently within your community is another way to keep our wealth within the community, resulting in more local jobs. Finally, we must minimize transactions that remove wealth from our community, either by reducing transactions that are completed with

Five Reasons to Attend Go Global! 1. Take away practical information on relevant global topics 2. Learn from globally recognized experts in their fields 3. Network and compare notes with business executives from around the Stateline 4. Build your resource network with the highest concentration of experts in the Stateline 5. Brand your organization as a global leader at this premier international trade event

Leave confident and inspired, feeling better informed and genuinely excited about your business’s global growth opportunities!

Globally-recognized Experts Include: Linnea Bengtsson, International Business Developer, City of Lidköping and Skaraborg County, Sweden Russell L. Dennis Jr., President & Chief Technology Officer, Leading Edge Hydraulics Jim Foley, Director, Turner Center for Entrepreneurship - International Programs

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 8:00 am-6:30 pm

Hikaru “Koh” Fujimoto, CPA, MBA, JD, Principal-in-Charge of International Practice, Corbett, Duncan & Hubly, P.C.

Giovanni’s Restaurant & Convention Center 610 N. Bell School Rd., Rockford, IL 61107

Luanne Mayorga, Coordinator, Business and Workforce Development, Northern Illinois University

$99 per person for the one-day event (All-inclusive. Enjoy a continental breakfast, lunch, and reception with hors d’oueuvres.)

Pete Mento, Director, Global Customs and Trade Policy, C.H. Robinson


Tom Rohlfs, Supply Chain Director Fuel Systems CoE, Woodward, Inc.

Terry Houghton, PLC Sourcing Supervisor - Global Sourcing, Woodward, Inc.

providers outside the region (buying on Amazon for instance) or by reducing the amount our community must spend on social issues created due to crime, poverty, poor educational attainment and dependency. At a basic level, our region’s economy will grow if we: 1. Maximize transactions with organizations and individuals that live outside of our region. 2. Increase the number of

transactions within our region through buying as much as possible locally. 3. Decrease the amount we lose to purchases made outside our region or spend on negative social impacts. As you can see, successful economic development is a real community effort; we all play a part! Mark Podemski is vice president for development at the Rockford Area Economic Development Council.

Economic development incentives DON’T create jobs By Terrance Hall, RAEDC

in mind, they can be tailored to create winning business strategies for all primary Economic development incentives industries, regardless of business sector. don’t create jobs. Thriving, globally Local Assistance competitive businesses create and retain The Rockford Region offers a jobs. So why are incentive programs such variety of financial tools and support as TIF districts, enterprise zones and training grants (just to name a few) vital resources for businesses looking to to economic development? Economic engage in initiatives that enhance the development tools incent companies competitiveness and viability of local to invest in initiatives that help them businesses. These initiatives can come in remain viable and compete globally. the form of assisting businesses in Quality economic development programs invest in the health of companies and, in turn, viable companies invest in the health of the community -- usually via the direct and indirect benefits of added jobs, tax revenue, community involvement and capital investment.

■■ expanding facilities,

Characteristics of Viable Companies

■■ implementing programs,

■■ upgrading infrastructure,



■■ creating new positions/adding jobs, ■■ exploring entry into domestic and foreign markets, energy


■■ employee skill attainment and According to the Alliance for Illinois development, Manufacturing, to be viable in the longand the list goes on. term, manufacturers must: For a comprehensive list of available business resources, visit the incentives ■■ Be innovative page of ■■ Embrace lean principles (continuous For more information on a specific improvement) program or to discuss assistance for ■■ Invest in their workforce implementing initiatives mentioned ■■ Expand into new markets above, please contact me at 815-969-4258 ■■ Prepare for ownership or management or succession Terrance Hall is business development specialist Although these principles were at the Rockford Area Economic Development identified specifically with manufacturers Council.



April 2014

Rock Valley College receives national recognition for its manufacturing program Rock Valley College, 3301 N. Mulford Road, in Rockford was designated as one of only 10 Right Skills Now colleges in the country, and the only one in Illinois. The college also was named as one of only 70 schools in the nation on the M-List from the Manufacturing Institute for its Right Skills Now program. The M-List showcases the best programs across the nation for quality manufacturing education and training programs matching the needs of manufacturing employers. Only five exist in Illinois. Right Skills Now is part of the Manufacturing Institute of NAM (National Association for Manufacturers) Manufacturing Certification System that includes national, portable, industry-recognized certifications combined with credit education. These pathways align to career pathways in manufacturing, and students can earn national certifications with labor market value, college credit towards a degree, and hands-on technical skills. The focus of RVC’s Right Skills Now designation is on technical-machining and metalworking skills. Job seekers can take stackable credentials that translate into college credit, and internships to help bridge them from education to career. At RVC, students take the ACT Work Keys Assessment Test, and choose from four programs that end in NIMS credentials: CNC level 1, materialsmeasurement-safety, bench work and planning, and set-up and programming for both mill and lathe. Students who enroll in RVC’s manufacturing engineering technology (MET) program and complete basic level classes, can transfer their credentials to college credits towards their certificates and degree. Local businesses like Eclipse have come forward to accept these students as interns. As high unemployment rates continue, there is a need to produce skilled workers, ready to accept open positions in industry. President Obama put forward a goal to credential 500,000 workers with skill certifications aligned with manufacturers’ hiring needs. For more information, visit, or

Building solid leadership through continuous improvement As a leader in manufacturing, it is critical that your machines are running at the optimal levels, producing high-quality parts in a time frame that is conducive for your customers. Getting superior output from your machines takes skilled input, which is a result of a well trained workforce. The other half of the equation in leading a successful business involves the team of individuals you have assembled. Getting the most out of your team takes solid leadership. You can have great talent, but leading poorly will yield subpar performance and production. An average pool of talent lead correctly can produce remarkable results. As you strive to become a better leader in your company consider the following five concepts when leading your team. ■■ Being open to others. It is not just an open office door that counts, but having an open mind that truly matters. Being open to your employees will encourage them to be more engaged, resulting in positive ownership of day-to-day responsibilities. ■■ Investing time in others. Spending time with your employees on a daily basis is an extremely beneficial use of your time. Building strong relationships with your team members relays the message that you genuinely care about them as an employee and a person. ■■ Listening to others. One way to build trust between you and your employees is to be a good listener. Your business will be negatively impacted if you do not value an employee’s idea or opinion. Being a good listener helps you understand what someone is trying to say, and even more importantly, what they are not saying.

■■ Offering encouragement to others. Employees need hope while working: Hope that their work matters, hope that they can get the job done,

Bernie Luecke RVC BPI

and hope that they will be

appreciated. By telling an employee that you believe they have the skills to accomplish a task goes a very long way. ■■ Expressing appreciation for others’ abilities. When you give away genuine appreciation to employees, it will be returned in improved attitude, commitment and better performance. Expressing appreciation is about changing your employees’ opinion of themselves. Helping employees believe in their own skills and talents will build a successful work environment. If you are interested in learning more about how to lead your team, contact me at Rock Valley College’s Business and Professional Institute, 815-921-2067 or Note: Contents of this article were compiled from the January /February 2014 Today’s Facility Manager publication article written by Barry Banter, founder and CEO of Banther Consulting. Bernie Luecke is director, Rock Valley College Business & Professional Institute.

Participate on Thursday, April 24

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day ®

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work® Day is an important opportunity for kids to think about their futures and explore possibilities. Recommended for girls and boys, 8 to 18, the day helps kids to understand what goes on in the workplace, the importance of establishing work-life balance, and the steps necessary to achieve lifelong goals. This year’s theme is “Plant a Seed, Grow a Future” and suggests that an even bigger and brighter future is ahead for all our nation’s daughters and sons. To learn more about the history of this event, visit the Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work® Foundation’s website, The site also has tools to plan a successful day at the workplace, with a variety of planning checklists, activity ideas, and forms for workplace coordinators. The Activities Center has fun online activities to help kids prepare for their day of learning.

Manufacturing News is sponsored by RVC BPI


April 2014


PERSPECTIVE Rockford University

How to export your products overseas Using the direct or indirect method We live in a time of major globalization. More and more companies view the overseas market as vital to future growth plans. Many firms end up selling overseas because someone in another country buys their products, however they may not have a well-thought-out strategy for exporting. If you’re considering exporting your products, your company should be proactive and develop a method of market entry that fits your firm. Two options to consider are the indirect export method of market entry, which typically requires less investment, and the direct export method, which necessitates a larger investment, but allows for more control over exports.

Indirect Export Intermediaries For some firms, it is most advantageous to use an indirect export intermediary. These types of intermediaries handle all of the risks and complex tasks involved with the export transaction, leaving you more time to run your domestic business. There are different types of domestic and overseas intermediaries that you can work with. Domestic intermediaries include export management companies and export trading companies. The advantages of using these types of firms are: ■■ expertise in dealing with the details of exporting, ■■ lower out-of-pocket expenses, and ■■ quicker foreign market entry. The disadvantages are that you lose control of some of your export strategies, and there potentially could be a loss of quality control and after sales service. Other disadvantages include foreign buyer reluctance to deal

with intermediaries, and higher selling prices due to added costs of including a domestic intermediary into the mix. Overseas intermediaries allow you to have rapid foreign market entry with reduced capital requirements. Some of the methods for this type of export include the licensing of: knowhow, copyrights, designs, patents and trademarks. Although there is a potential of losing control over certain aspects of your business (i.e.: product design, development and manufacturing) by licensing your intellectual property, your licensee will be able to pay better attention to the marketing and selling of your products.

and sell to your customers in foreign markets. You manage these relationships through your export sales department and export manager.

Direct Export Intermediaries

■■ what kind of representation you are seeking, and

If you decide to direct export your products, you may be using one or more export intermediaries to help you. Some export intermediaries include: ■■ sales agents, ■■ manufacturers representatives, ■■ foreign importers and distributors, ■■ overseas retailers, ■■ trading companies, and ■■ central trade offices. These intermediaries directly market

■■ current clients and customer base,

Stan Klatka Rockford University

■■ product lines they carry,

Contacting, Contracting with Potential Overseas Representatives

■■ territories they cover,

In developing your export strategy, consider contacting potential representatives. The initial communication with potential foreign country representatives should include:

■■ resource facilities and personnel thy have to meet your requirements,

■■ background information on your firm, ■■ a deadline for securing representation, ■■ a discussion of your target market and consumer,

■■ information on your product line. You also should ask for information on the representative candidate. Common requests and questions include: third-party evaluations, bank and trade references, and current business. It also is important to ask details about the potential firm that will be representing you in a particular market. Questions to ask include: ■■ kind of sales force, ■■ past performance,

ROCKFORD UNIVERSITY RELEASES ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDY RESULTS Rockford University announced in March the results of a study by Economic Modeling Specialists Intl., revealing its economic impact to be $118 million into the region’s economy each year. Some highlights were that for every dollar spent, $70.90 is gained in added state income and social savings for society, and $7.10 is gained in added taxes and public sector savings for taxpayers. University graduates enjoy $131.4 million in increased earnings over their working lives, with a 13.6 percent annual rate of return for students on their investment. Summary documents for each of the study’s components can be found at

■■ current size of inventory and sales volume,

■■ qualifications of owners and principles, and ■■ company’s history and experience within your product category and industry. Eventually you’ll have to execute an agreement with your chosen representative. Consult an attorney for any written contract since laws and regulations differ throughout the world. Some of the items to be included in every agreement include product descriptions, territory exclusivity, compensation methods, product pricing, sales goals and market share expectations, as well as confidentiality and non-compete clauses. In the long run, don’t lose sight of the goal, which is to sell your product in other markets where you currently don’t have sales. To do this effectively, you should make the most advantageous arrangement for your company as well as with the intermediaries you use to market your products overseas. Stan Klatka is assistant professor of economics, business and accounting at Rockford University. He consults and speaks on international sales, marketing and product development. The views expressed are those of Klatka’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

theVoice April 2014


Guest Perspective INSIGHT

2014 Academy Expo to go regional Plans to expand to include Belvidere About 5,000 Rockford Public Schools students entered the doors of the BMO Harris Bank Center last September for the Academy Expo. In order for students to reach the 140 booths that would help them make their high school academy choices, they had to walk through a gauntlet of clapping and cheering volunteers. Some students high-fived the volunteers; some students wore sheepish smiles. But they all reveled in the support from their community. We want to make that great experience even better. For the 2014 Academy Expo, we’re opening the event to students of Belvidere Public Schools as well as our own. We want to do everything we can as a region to attract, retain and recruit young talent. We want to showcase the region’s economic opportunities so we have the best chance for students to stay in the area -- or to come back home after their schooling and training is done. We know job opportunities don’t stop at the boundaries of District 205, or the boundaries of any of our regional school districts, for that matter. The expo is designed to introduce students to a variety of careers. Much more than a field trip, it’s a critical step in choosing an academy to enter for their next three years of high school. The allday format allows a comprehensive college and career readiness focus. It’s an extremely successful event, but we think we can build on the success.

Expanding the Scope of Expo Expanding now makes sense for these reasons: ■■ Less than half the number of RPS students will participate at the expo this fall. Last fall, because of the academy rollout schedule, we needed to prepare a few more high school class levels for their

choices. This coming September, just the freshmen at our high schools will be attend the expo. That will free up room at the BMO Harris Bank Center. ■■ Belvidere will help shoulder the cost of running the expo, always a factor in getting the best value for our public education dollar. ■■ Adding Belvidere means as many as 30 more businesses at the table (actually, the booths). Among the targeted additions: Chrysler, the region’s biggest employer, as well as many of the company’s suppliers. ■■ Partnering with the Belvidere district -- and showing our willingness to expand – could save us from offering a more limited expo if other districts start hosting their own events. Businesses might be unable to commit to more than one event a year. ■■ While Belvidere doesn’t have high school academies like Rockford, the expo day still is a great way to excite students and promote college and career readiness. The expansion idea came out of discussions with Alignment Rockford. ■■ In the next three years, we’ll explore adding Hononegah and Harlem to the expo, too. Ultimately we’d like to include all public schools in Winnebago and Boone counties, expanding our business footprint to the entire region. After last year’s expo, we surveyed the nearly 600 industry experts who staffed the booths. An astounding 98 percent of those businesses wanted to come back and help. It only makes sense – for students, for the community and for the region’s economy – to share the wealth. Dr. Ehren Jarrett is superintendent of Rockford Public Schools. The views expressed are those of Dr. Jarrett’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

Are you ready for the new credit card transaction standards? Regulations effective this year

Douglas Berry SVA

The PCI (Payment Card Industry) Security Standards Council, a body established by the large credit card companies, released a new Data Security Standard (DSS) for credit card transactions. The standard is designed to incorporate security awareness into merchants’ daily routines. PCI DSS requires companies to protect credit card terminals from physical tampering, to compile an inventory of system components that comply with the standards and to evaluate evolving malware threats. Organizations that breach the standard might be fined up to $500,000 per incident or face revocation of processing privileges. And in the event of a data breach, organizations also might be forced to make disclosures to customers. The regulations are effective Jan. 1, 2014, and organizations have until the end of 2014 to ensure compliance.

American Express, Discover and JCB. The card companies follow the standard and enforce it on merchants’ banks that in turn enforce the standards on merchants. All businesses conducting credit card transactions are affected. Debit, credit and prepaid cards that carry one of the five major payment card company brands also are included in the scope of the PCI DSS. Larger merchants (such as “Level 1 merchants” with more than six million transactions per year) will be required to provide expensive on-site security assessments and quarterly network scans from an approved vendor (cost estimates run from $50,000 to $1.5 million for an on-site security assessment). Smaller merchants are required to perform an annual PCI DSS self-assessment and attest that they are eligible to and have performed the self-assessment. Because of the complex nature of completing the PCI DSS self-assessment, organizations often enlist the help of security professionals. SVA can assist your organization by designing agreedupon procedures to help you gain the assurance you need to confidently attest to your self-assessment, through its partnership with CompliancePoint, Inc., a PCI qualified security assessor. If you would like more information, please contact me at 608-826-2225 or John Himmelspach at 262-923-5177.

Ramping Up Basic Security Practices

Douglas Berry is principal with SVA Certified Public Accountants.

The new PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) establishes baseline security practices for major payment-card companies including Visa, MasterCard,

The views expressed are those of Berry’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

PCI DSS requires companies to protect credit card terminals from physical tampering, to compile an inventory of system components that comply with the standards and to evaluate evolving malware threats.


April 2014


Comcast Business launches April 22: EARTH DAY Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs contest Time for spring cleaning, recycling Essay due April 30 on how you use technology Comcast Business, and Inc. magazine, seek submissions by business owners for the “Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs” contest, which will reward entrepreneurs who are resourcefully leveraging technology to enhance their customers’ and employees’ experiences. The contest is open to those, 18 years or older, in the Comcast business service area with an independent, non-franchised business of 50 employees or less. Two winners will be chosen in each of the 16 Comcast business regions based on an essay: ■■ best use of technology to enhance the customer experience or ■■ best use of technology to enhance the employee experience. Winners will receive $5,000 in cash, Comcast business internet and TV services for two years, up to $2,500 in Comcast business account credit services, and services from Comcast’s Upware partners, Cisco, Microsoft, Symantec, DocuSign, Soonr and Swiftpage Engage for one year. The total estimated value is $15,000. The visibility gained in the market is priceless.

Winners Eligible for Grand Prize Six grand-prize winners will be named from among the 32 regional winners and will receive $20,000. They and a guest will be flown to New York for one-on-one consulting with four business experts: ■■ Michael Angelakis, vice chairman and chief financial officer, Comcast; ■■ Amy Banse, managing director and head of funds, Comcast Ventures; ■■ Marcus Lemonis, businessman, investor, TV personality and philanthropist, and, ■■ Robert Irvine, celebrity chef and entrepreneur. Winners also will get a VIP tour of 30 Rockefeller Center and an awards dinner prepared by Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine. The total estimated value is $40,000. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to visit to submit their application and essay by April 30. Regional winners will be notified the week of May 19. From May 20 to June 1, public voting on the 32 regional winners will help determine the six grand-prize winners, who will be announced on June 23, with the New York awards event on Aug. 26.

April 22, 2014, marks the 44th anniversary of Earth Day; intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment. The day came from reaction to a massive oil spill in waters near Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1969. The average American generates 4.4 pounds of trash per day, adding to the grand total of about 250 million tons of trash the United States accumulates per year. American communities recycled and composted nearly 35 percent of municipal solid waste in 2011, diverting 85 million tons to recovery according to the U.S. EPA. Nearly three-quarters of Americans have access to curbside or drop-off recycling programs. Less data are available about recycling access in workplaces and “on-the-go.” Keep America Beautiful estimates that only about 12 percent of public spaces may have recycling receptacles. The challenges and drivers of recycling revolve around issues like: capacity and technology to collect and process recyclables; access to recycling programs and convenient bins at home, at work, at school and on the go; participation rates, and global demand for recycled materials.

Top Five Reasons to Recycle ■■ Conserves natural resources. Recycling conserves natural resources such as trees, water and minerals — preserving the environment for future generations. ■■ Reduces the need for landfills. Recycling reduces the need for landfills and incinerators because when materials are recycled, less waste is sent to disposal facilities. ■■ Prevents pollution. Recycling prevents pollution and reduces greenhouse gas emissions caused by the extracting and processing of raw materials. ■■ Saves energy. Recycling saves energy by eliminating the need to extract and process raw materials. ■■ Creates jobs. Recycling helps create new jobs in the United States for both the recycling industry and manufacturing. Some products, like aluminum and steel cans, can be recycled again and again, while others, like paper, may be recycled once into bathroom tissue. It is always important to buy recycled products to keep them “in demand” and support the recycling cycle. Source:

theVoice April 2014


2013 home office deduction Six facts to determine if you qualify Those who work from home should learn the rules for claiming the home office deduction. Starting this year, the Internal Revenue Service has a simpler option for figuring the deduction for business use of your home, which also makes it easier to keep records. It does not change the rules for who may claim the deduction. Here are six facts about the home office deduction.

can deduct. You claim your deduction on Schedule C, Profit or Loss From Business, if you use either the simplified or actual expense method. See the Schedule C instructions for how to report your deduction. ■■ If you are an employee, you must meet additional rules to claim the deduction. For example, in addition to the above tests, your business use must also be for your employer’s convenience. For






■■ Generally, in order to claim a deduction for a home office, you must use a part of your home exclusively and regularly for business purposes. Also, the part of your home used for business must be your principal place of business, or a place where you meet clients or customers in the normal course of business, or a separate structure not attached to your home. Examples might include a studio, garage or barn.

Publication 587, Business Use of Your

■■ If you use the actual expense method, the home office deduction includes certain costs that you paid for your home. For example, if you rent your home, part of the rent you paid could qualify. If you own your home, part of the mortgage interest, taxes and utilities you paid could qualify. The amount you can deduct usually depends on the percentage of your home used for business.

credit if it has fewer than 25 employees

■■ Beginning with 2013 tax returns, you may be able to use the simplified option to claim the home office deduction instead of claiming actual expenses. Under this method, you multiply the allowable square footage of your office by a prescribed rate of $5. The maximum footage allowed is 300 square feet. The deduction limit using this method is $1,500 per year. ■■ If your gross income from the business use of your home is less than your expenses, the deduction for some expenses may be limited. ■■ If you are self-employed and choose the actual expense method, use Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home, to figure the amount you

Home at or by calling 800-TAXFORM (800-829-3676).

Small Business Health Care Tax Credit The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit helps small businesses and tax-exempt organizations pay for health care coverage offered to employees. A small employer is eligible for the who work full-time, or a combination of full-time and part-time. For example, two half-time employees equal one employee for purposes of the credit. For 2013, the average annual wages of employees must be less than $50,000, and the employer must pay a uniform percentage for all employees that is equal to at least 50 percent of the premium cost of the insurance coverage. The maximum credit is 35 percent of premiums paid for small business employers and 25 percent of premiums paid for small tax-exempt employers such as charities. If you are a small business employer who did not owe tax during the year, you can carry the credit back or forward to other tax years. For small tax-exempt employers, the credit is refundable, so even if you have no taxable income, you may be eligible to receive the credit as a refund so long as it does not exceed your income tax withholding and Medicare tax liability. Source: Internal Revenue Service


April 2014 theVoice


Lace up your SilverSneakers for a healthy spirit, mind, body Building a quality long life By Jane Johnson, YMCA As baby boomers funnel into retirement, it is becoming increasingly important to offer affordable opportunities in our community to maintain healthy, active lifestyles. Regular physical activity and exercise are important to the physical and mental health of almost everyone, including older adults. Staying physically active and exercising regularly can produce long-term health benefits and even improve health for some older people who already have diseases and disabilities. That’s why health experts say that older adults should aim to be as active as possible. According to the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health, inactive people are nearly twice as likely to develop heart disease as those who are more active. Lack of physical activity also can lead to more visits to the doctor, more hospitalizations, and more use of medicines for a variety of illnesses. For nearly 10 years, the YMCA of Rock River Valley has been a part of the SilverSneakers national program to help older adults live healthier, more active lifestyles. The program helps participants to achieve a healthy spirit, mind and body through an abundance of instructor-led classes and socialization opportunities specifically for members, an indoor walking track, pools and equipment. SilverSneakers is for individuals 65 and over with a supplemental insurance plan, which includes a free fitness membership. This is especially helpful for individuals on a fixed-income. Retirees can pick from a variety of locations for their fitness membership.

Built-In Support Network A bonus of a fitness program is the ability to make new friends. Community

41.4 million

and support-system classes are extremely beneficial for participants. It’s not uncommon for couples to come to classes together, and as spouses are lost, widows and widowers make it a priority to keep coming, if not to maintain their physical health, then to maintain the benefits of the built-in social network they’ve come to depend on. At SilverSneakers, classes take place Monday to Friday in a range of activity levels. Beginner classes use elastic bands, exercise balls and a set of weights – all centered around a chair to decrease the likelihood of over-exertion. There also is a cardio class, friendly yoga and an aquatics-based class. In addition to the fitness and health education classes, there are fun group activities such as summer picnics and holiday parties as well as a senior women’s club and retired men’s club. It is incredibly rewarding to see participants in fitness programs reach levels of health they may not have thought attainable. Numerous men recovering from heart surgeries feel like they are able to regain control of their lives. Participants lose weight and, in turn, are taken off medications for health problems such as blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes, and more.

92.0 million

The number of people who were 65+ in the United States in July, 2011. In 2011, this group accounted for 13.3 percent of the total population.


Projected population 65+ in 2060. This age group would comprise just over one in five U.S. residents. Of this number, 18.2 million would be 85+.

The year in which, for the first time, the population 65+ would outnumber people younger than 18 in the United States.

The percent of 65+ who were in poverty in 2011 = 3.6 million seniors in poverty.




Percentage of householders 65+ who owned their homes as of fourth quarter 2012.

Education 81.1%

Proportion of people 65+ in 2012 who had completed high school or higher education.


Percentage of the population 65+ in 2012 who had earned a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Jane Johnson is SilverSneakers coordinator at the YMCA of Rock River Valley. Visit www.


The 2011 median income of households with householders 65+, not significantly different from the previous year.

Voting 70.3% Percentage of citizens 65+ reporting casting a ballot in the 2008 presidential election. Not statistically different from those 45 to 64 (69.2 percent), people 65+ had the highest turnout rate of any age group.

Jobs 16.2%

The views expressed are those of Johnson’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

The percentage of 65+ who were in the labor force in 2011, up from 12.1 percent in 1990.


Among those 65+ who worked in 2011, the percentage who worked full-time, year-round. Among states and equivalents, the District of Columbia had the highest rate, at 62.2 percent.

States & Counties


Percentage of Florida’s population 65+ in 2011— which led all states.


Percentage of the population of Sumter County, Fla., that was 65+ in 2011, which led all of the nation’s counties. Source: U.S. Census Bureau



April 2014

Guest Perspective INSIGHT

Advance directives Ensuring your wishes are fulfilled At least once a month, I get a frantic call from a son asking for help for mom because the bank is refusing to allow him to manage mom’s finances. Or the hospital is refusing to allow a daughter to talk to her father’s doctor. I bring the elderly parent in and talk to her about signing a legal document allowing her child to act for her. Unfortunately, many times, mom’s dementia is so far advanced that I cannot ethically prepare these documents, because she won’t understand what she is signing. I have to explain to mom that now the only option is for someone to go to court to seek guardianship. This is a situation we all want to avoid. Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to nominate someone to make healthcare, financial and other decisions for you when you no longer are able to make those decisions. You probably are familiar with the most common advance directives: Healthcare and Property Durable Powers of Attorney. A Healthcare Power of Attorney document allows you (the principal) to nominate one or more people (agents) to make healthcare decisions when you are unable to make those for yourself. These documents often also include instructions about how you would like your agent to

proceed in the case that you need lifesustaining treatment. A Property Power of Attorney document allows you to nominate one or more agents to handle your financial and legal decision-making in the case that you are unable to handle these on your own. Don’t want your agent to be able to sell your baseball card collection or your Apple stock? Both documents are highly customizable and can include specific provisions concerning what your agent should or shouldn’t be allowed to do.

Problem of Competence Here’s the problem: These documents will not be valid when signed by you unless you have “capacity” or are “legally competent.” This boils down to the fact that you have to be able to understand what you’re signing in order for them to be valid. Often by the time you are unable to make healthcare and financial decisions on your own, you lack capacity, and it’s too late to have these documents executed. It is up to the attorney drafting the documents to determine whether you have capacity to sign them, but he or she may ask for confirmation from your doctor that you are legally competent. So, what happens if you didn’t go

to your local lawyer and have these documents drafted? Your family and friends might have to seek guardianship of you in court, which is time consuming and expensive. If you did not execute a Power of Attorney for Healthcare, the Illinois Health Care Surrogate Act states that in certain dire situations family and friends can make healthcare decisions for you. However, there is no guarantee that the person available to act on your behalf knows your healthcare wishes or is the person whom you would want to make decisions for you, and therefore it is better to make sure that your wishes are known by drafting a Healthcare Power of Attorney. Healthcare Power of Attorney documents can be revoked by you at any time, regardless of capacity. Property Powers of Attorney, on the other hand, can only be revoked by you if you still have the capacity to do so. Despite all of the benefits, there are risks to drafting both documents. In particular, you need to be very careful about whom you pick to be your agent under a Property Power of Attorney. Although there are civil and criminal penalties for those who misuse their powers under the Power

of Attorney documents, many times Ellen Samuel Prairie State it is too late Legal Services to get money back that has been stolen by unscrupulous agents. You should think long and hard before choosing an agent who has had issues with drugs, gambling, money troubles, or domestic violence. I get it -- this all seems very remote and distant and something that you’ll handle next week, or next month. But we both know that you’ll probably forget, or be too busy, or whatever. So please, for me, for you, and for your loved ones, make an appointment with an attorney today to draft your advance directives. The information contained in this article is not meant to be legal advice or to replace the advice you should receive from an attorney. Each individual case is unique. If you have additional questions or want legal advice, contact an attorney. Ellen Samuel is a staff attorney at Prairie State Legal Services. She has practiced public interest and elder law in Rockford since 2010. The views expressed are those of Samuel’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.



April 2014 theVoice

Dementia does not discriminate

Memory care services should be professional and personal By Bernie Marinelli, Anam Glen Dementia can happen to anyone, but it is more common as we reach our “golden years” -- age 65 and better. Even if we “exercise” our brains continuously on a daily basis, we can be at risk for early onset of dementia in our 50s. We must pay attention to those we love for signs of dementia. Some of the early signs include confusion, apathy, withdrawal, personality changes, frequent and progressive memory

DEMENTIA TRAINING FOR HR PROFESSIONALS A group of local experts will present a half-day conference on May 8, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center, 200 S. Bell School Road, on interacting with employees with family members challenged by dementia or memory loss. Speakers will come from Satori Pathway Memory Care Resource Network, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, KP Counseling, Schlueter Eklund Law Offices, and National Alliance on Mental Illness, Northern Illinois chapter. Continuing education units may be available for HR professionals. Call Anne Grindle, 779-537-5249.

loss, and a declining ability to perform everyday tasks. To be most effective, dementia and memory care services should be both professional and personal. When it becomes time for a loved one to get a higher level of dementia and memory care, it’s important to choose a facility with direct experience in a wide range of specialized services in dementia, co-disabilities, geriatric medicine, family dynamics, behavioral health and geropsychiatric care ... along with loving hearts. Special care units (SCUs) should be strongly considered. SCUs are designed to create a dignified balance between securing a loved one’s safety and maximizing his or her enjoyment of life. Managing the journey of dementia takes a team of specialists who are experts in the delivery of care, from a medical and social perspective. Providers with a thorough knowledge on medication effects, potential side effects, application and dosages are an important part of the management of the symptoms of dementia. Practitioners such as geropsychiatric nurse practitioners and physicians make up an important part of the care team in an outpatient practice center.

Normalizing Residents and Families The most effective care for dementia patients and their families is based on

genuine confidence in the specialized experience of management and caregivers from the start. The goal in this approach is normalizing the family’s and resident’s lives. Another part of normalizing families’ and residents’ lives is creating a real sense of community. An on-site day care center and community center accomplish this. The Anam Care Community Center and the Memory Oasis Café opened recently to residents, their families, those with mild cognitive impairment, and the entire community as a place for resourcing, learning, educating, fun and socializing.

Bernie Marinelli and Joan Marshall confer over a resident’s notes at Anam Glen. three areas: traditional care, holistic care and spiritual care. Traditional care begins with a thorough assessment, with the family. After consultation internally and with area physicians, a personalized care program is devised that is most effective for each individual resident. Holistic care practices should be a part of this program, such as massage therapy, aromatherapy and music therapy. This initial assessment and planning prevents families from experiencing any sense of crisis by ensuring complete and

Bernice “Bernie” Marinelli, RN, BHCA, LNHA, is founder and executive director of Anam Care, Anam Glen and Satori Pathway. Anam Care and Anam Glen are built on the Anam Cara philosophy of love and friendship in the Celtic tradition. Anam Cara means “soul friend.” Satori Pathway Memory Care Resource Network helps families dealing with dementia navigate a confusing healthcare system and avoid making pressured decisions about placement of a loved one in a care facility. It also is a resource for healthcare providers and organizations that work with persons who have dementia. Visit www. and The views expressed are those of Marinelli’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.



April 2014

Guest Perspective INSIGHT

Generating wellness in the workplace Early interventions for long-term health The United States is facing an epidemic of “lifestyle diseases.” Unhealthy lifestyles, such as inactivity, poor nutrition, tobacco use and frequent alcohol consumption, are driving up the prevalence of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and chronic pulmonary conditions. These chronic conditions have become a major burden, as they lead to decreased quality of life, premature death and disability, and increased health care cost. Although chronic disease once was thought to be a problem mostly impacting the elderly, there is a shift toward earlier onset during Americans’ working age. This further adds to the economic burden, because of illness-related loss of productivity due to absence from work and reduced performance while at work. Workplaces where jobs do not require any physical activity contribute to a sedentary work environment where there is little to no exercise or physical activity available to employees. Such environments may have negative health effects on employees and may even increase the likelihood of chronic diseases.

Workplace Wellness as Competitive Advantage This is a significant problem in our region. According to 2013 data from the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program, collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, Winnebago County ranks 82nd out of 102 Illinois counties in a variety of measure that affect health status. Those measures include obesity, smoking, physical inactivity, as well as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and respiratory problems. Out of concern about the impact of chronic disease on employee health and well-being, the cost of health care coverage, and competitiveness, employers are adopting health promotion and disease prevention strategies, commonly referred

to as workplace wellness programs. Offering a workplace wellness program may be one way to put a company ahead of its competitors, demonstrating a belief in job satisfaction and keeping employees healthy and happy. In addition to the potential financial impact associated with lowering personal healthcare costs and improving health status, well run workplace wellness programs can yield additional benefits for employees by decreasing workplace injuries, increasing productivity at work, developing knowledge on how to improve one’s body and spirit, and offering a tremendous amount of camaraderie and friendly competition in the workplace. For employers, the impact of workrelated outcomes, such as absenteeism, productivity, and retention, is of critical importance as they directly affect business performance. A 2013 workplace wellness program research report sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and conducted by RAND Health, a division of the RAND Corporation, found “solid evidence that well-run wellness programs operated by committed employers can meaningfully improve the health-related behaviors and health status of participating employees.” Workplace wellness programs can also help companies attract and keep employees, reduce absenteeism, lower workplace stress levels, reduce health costs, boost recruitment potential and improve company morale. The RAND study further reports, “workplace wellness takes advantage of employers’ access to employees at an age when interventions can still change their long-term health trajectory.” Because of the provisions regarding health promotion in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act), there has never been a better time to consider workplace wellness programs for your employees.

BetterLife Wellness One company that is committed to the health and well-being of its own employees as well as the entire community is SwedishAmerican Health System. SwedishAmerican recently teamed up with the Rock River Valley YMCA to create BetterLife Wellness. This new medical wellness center, located within the I.D. Pennock Family YMCA, is a prime example of SwedishAmerican’s substantial investment in the health and wellness of our region. The center is committed to delivering measurable health improvement by offering a variety of services for its members, including: ■■ Wellness and education programs, classes and support groups ■■ Biometric screenings and health risk assessments ■■ Weight management services ■■ Nutrition education and healthy cooking classes ■■ Freedom from Smoking classes ■■ Young Hearts for Life teen EKG screening program

■■ Personal health coaching ■■ Preventive health services immunizations)

Sharon Whelan SwedishAmerican Health System




■■ Therapeutic massage It’s never too late to make healthy changes. Effective workplace wellness is about taking care of employees and establishing a positive work environment. Pay attention to factors that keep employees healthy and motivated at work and focus on the bottom line: healthy employees tend to be happier and more productive employees. BetterLife Wellness is prepared to partner with local employers to offer measureable workplace wellness programs tailored to the needs of their employees. Sharon Whelan serves as director, patient advocacy & holistic health & wellness services for SwedishAmerican Health System. The views expressed are those of Whelan’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.



Positive health behaviors for longevity The Department of Health & Human Services Administration on Aging released its key indicators of well being and longevity for the U.S. population age 65 and over, based on data from more than a dozen national agencies. Following the data trends, it came up with a list of positive health behaviors that improve the lives of older Americans.

Vaccinations Vaccinations against influenza and pneumococcal disease are recommended for older Americans, as they are at increased risk for complications from these diseases compared with younger individuals. Influenza vaccinations are given annually, and pneumococcal vaccinations usually once in a lifetime. The costs associated with these vaccinations are covered under Medicare Part B.

Mammography Health care services and screenings can help prevent disease or detect it at an early, treatable stage. Mammography has been shown to be effective in reducing breast cancer mortality among women age 50 to 74.

Diet Quality Poor diet quality is associated with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and some types of cancer. The Healthy Eating Index-2010, developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, looked at older Americans’ compliance with 12 diet-related recommendations. The recommendations included eating enough fruit, vegetables, greens and beans, whole grains, dairy, protein, seafood and plant proteins, and fatty acids, and eating less refined grains, sodium and empty calories.

Physical Activity Physical activity is beneficial in reducing the risk of certain chronic diseases, relieving symptoms of depression, maintaining independent living, and enhancing overall quality of life. Research has shown that even among

frail and very old adults, mobility and functioning can be improved through physical activity. Strength training should be part of a comprehensive physical activity program to improve balance and decrease risk of falls.

Obesity Obesity is a major cause of preventable disease and premature death. Both are associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease; Type 2 diabetes; endometrial, colon, postmenopausal breast, and other cancers; asthma and other respiratory problems; osteoarthritis, and disability.

Cigarette Smoking Smoking has been linked to an increased likelihood of cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive lung diseases, and other debilitating health conditions. Among older people, the death rate for chronic lower respiratory diseases (the third leading cause of death among people age 65 and over) increased 57 percent between 1981 and 2009.

Air Quality As people age, their bodies are less able to compensate for the effects of environmental hazards. Air pollution can aggravate chronic heart and lung diseases. Fine particle pollution has been linked to premature death, cardiac arrhythmias and heart attacks, asthma attacks, and the development of chronic bronchitis. Ozone, even at low levels, can exacerbate respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma.

Use of Time How individuals spend their time reflects their financial and personal situations, needs, and desires. Time-use data show that as Americans get older, they spend more of their time in leisure activities. Source: Department of Health & Human Services, Administration on Aging

April 2014 theVoice

Living a good life Inspiration from the ages

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” — STEVE JOBS “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ― ANNE FRANK

“There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

— NELSON MANDELA “Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.” — ALBERT EINSTEIN

“Any idiot can face a crisis – it’s day to day living that wears you out.” — ANTON CHEKHOV “I don’t mind living in a man’s world as long as I can be a woman in it.” — MARILYN MONROE

“It is better to have a meaningful life and make a difference than to merely have a long life” — BRYANT H. MCGILL

“The secret of long life is double careers. One to about age sixty, then another for the next thirty years.” — DAVID OGILVY “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” — MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” — WINSTON CHURCHILL “When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.” — TECUMSEH

“My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can.” — CARY GRANT “We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.” ― ANAÏS NIN Source:

theVoice April 2014

Issues to Watch LEGISLATIVE New Laws for 2014

More than 200 new laws took effect on Jan. 1 in Illinois. For specific language of the laws, visit ilcs/ilcs.asp.


Roth IRA SB 1534/ PA 98-0491 Allows state employees with a deferred compensation plan also to participate in Roth IRA plans. The bill also instructs the Department of Central Management Services and local governments to allow designated Roth IRA contributions and in-plan rollovers to designated Roth accounts.


Elder Protections SB 1287/PA 98-0120 Would ban people from being appointed to serve as a guardian of a person or an estate of an elderly person, if they have been convicted of felony harm or threat to a minor.


Exempts MABAS Land from Taxation HB 1206/PA 98-0206 This legislation exempts property owned by the board of a Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) from taxation. MABAS works with fire services, EMS professionals and other personnel to create a resource response plan to any location when the Governor orders a declaration of disaster.

in jail and/or a $1,500 fine). Concerns were raised because the minimum tethering distance could make it impossible for homeowners with small yards to comply with the law. Unlawful Wildlife Possession SB 1170/PA 98-0119 Makes it illegal to possess any wildlife or wildlife parts taken unlawfully in Illinois, any other state or any other country, whether or not the animal is indigenous to Illinois. This is an attempt by conservation police to help other states and countries with cases involving wildlife or wildlife parts that have been taken illegally. Other states and countries are able to prosecute these offenders, while Illinois is not. Wildlife Disposal SB 1620/PA 98-0183 Makes it unlawful for any person having control over harvested game mammals, game birds or migratory game birds that have a bag limit to waste or destroy usable meat of the game. Usable meat is defined as the breast meat of the game bird and the hind ham and front shoulders of a game mammal. Provides it is unlawful to leave, dump or abandon wildlife carcass on highway — targeting situations where outfitters are killing deer, removing the head/antlers as a trophy and then dumping the carcass.

Animal Fights HB 3388/PA 98-0311 Establishes a training program in animal fighting awareness for law enforcement officers. Would help law enforcement officers to identify animal fighting Department of Revenue Updates operations and respond appropriately. HB 3157/PA 98-0478 This is an Illinois Department of Revenue Training would include non-lethal ways to subdue a dog. 2013 Omnibus Income Tax Proposal. The measure would update and Commercial Fishing streamline certain business tax forms HB 1650/PA 98-0336 and regulations. Requires commercial fishermen and Department of Revenue Omnibus SB 2169/PA 98-0496 Represents the Illinois Department of Revenue’s 2013 Omnibus Enforcement Proposal. Among the provisions, the measure allows the Revenue Department to deny a certificate of registration to a retailer who is in default on taxes due, provides a six-year statute of limitation on notices of deficiency when a taxpayer understates his withholding by more than 25 percent and also extends the statute of limitations for certain businesses that file an Illinois return. Truck/SUV Rental Taxes SB 1772/PA 98-0574 Expands the exemption on sales taxes for rental vehicles to include trucks and SUVs used primarily for transporting passengers.


Tethering Dogs HB 83/PA 98-0101 Provides standards for dog owners to lawfully tether a dog outdoors. Exempts walking with a leash, cultivating agriculture products and shepherding or herding livestock. Violations would be a Class B misdemeanor (up to six months

individuals assisting commercial fishermen to obtain a sport fishing license in addition to a commercial fishing license. Allows watercraft to be used as a primary collection device for commercial fish by licensed commercial fishermen, as long as it is tagged with a commercial watercraft device tag and is licensed by the State and in compliance with Coast Guard boating regulations. The bill exempts persons taking Asian Carp by boat for non-commercial purposes.

Puppy “Lemon Law” SB 1639/PA 98-0509 Creates a lemon provision, in which a customer may receive monetary compensation, up to the cost of the pet, if a veterinarian finds that a diseased dog or cat was sold by a pet shop. Requires pet shops to inform pet owners and the Illinois Dept. of Agriculture of any potential diseases if there is a breakout in the pet shop. Customers can choose which warranty that would apply (pet shop warranty or lemon law provisions). Opponents raised concerns that the measure applied only to pet shops and not other sellers of animals, when pet shops account only for 14 percent of all dogs and cats sold in the state.



April 2014 theVoice


Pitch in to clean, beautify our city Time to spring clean closets and recycle

Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful is offering several ways to help spruce up your business, neighborhood and residence in the next few months. The 26th annual Great American Cleanup™ in northern Illinois takes place Saturday, April 26. Volunteer registration is open. The cleanup is a region-wide litter collection, involving hundreds of citizens from all municipalities, agencies and service organizations in Winnebago County as well as Belvidere Township. Individuals and teams from businesses, civic groups, churches, youth or neighborhood organizations can select specific routes or be assigned to an area. Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful and its partners provide safety and littercollecting equipment at staging sites the day of the event, returned at the end of the collection. The bags of litter are retrieved within the next week by municipal waste haulers. “Last year we had more than 1,200 volunteers clearing more than 300 miles of roadside,” said Frank Manzullo, litter coordinator. “We hope to attract even more volunteers this year. Now that the

Volunteers of all ages pick up litter during The Great American Cleanup™ held annually in northern Illinois on the last Saturday of April.

equipment, appliances, metal scraps, grills, phones, cords and more may be dropped off. Recycling most items is free, with a $10 fee only to decant Freon from dehumidifiers, refrigerators and freezers, and for propane gas tanks. No televisions are accepted.

“Last year we had more than 1,200 volunteers clearing more than 300 miles of roadside.” — Frank Manzullo

snow has melted and litter is visible again, we need to tidy up our neighborhoods and thoroughfares. Employers and residents want visitors to know that we take pride in our community.” The Great American Cleanup™ originated with Keep America Beautiful in 1985 and has been endorsed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Organizations, groups or individuals interested in participating should call Manzullo, 815-637-1343, or visit www. by Friday, April 18. Cooperating partners and local sponsors include Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful, Burger King, the City of Rockford, Don Carter Lanes, FritoLay, McDonald’s, Mid-West Family Broadcasting, Pepsi Cola of Rockford, RK Dixon, The Rock River Times, Rock River Trail, Rock Valley Culligan, Winnebago County, Winnebago County Highway Departmen, Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department and 23 WIFR Gray Television Inc.

Other Spring Cleaning Options The Spring Metals and Electronics Drive takes place Saturday, May 3 at Machesney Park Mall’s south lot, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Old computers (including monitors), electronic office

After cleaning out closets and estates, drop items off at the Spring Clothing Drive, Saturday, May 10, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at all 10 Winnebago County Schnucks parking lots and Belvidere Township Building (8200 Fairgrounds Road). Volunteers are needed for each location to assist donors in unloading bagged clothing, shoes, linens and more. Contact Martha Byrnes at or 815-637-1343 to sign up as an individual or team. Every Saturday, Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful hosts free drop-off recycling at its two recycle centers morning, 9 a.m. to noon at 4665 Hydraulic Road, Rockford (off South Alpine Road) and 13125 N. 2nd St., Roscoe (north of McCurry Road). In addition to corrugated cardboard, recyclable paper and chipboard, aluminum, glass and metal food containers, the sites accept electronics, metals, appliances and bagged clothing. (no TVs, CRT monitors or appliances with Freon) For more information as well as recycling tips and tricks, plastic codes and sorting, and an alphabetized listing of where items can be recycled, visit or the organization’s Facebook page.



April 2014

Best Bites: Chamber Member Restaurants As spring arrives, enjoy eating at our Chamber member restaurants. We have a comprehensive set of choices for you to experience. From locally sourced food to natural ingredients to a variety of food ethnicity options, our Chamber restaurants are here for your delight. Abreo Restaurant 515 E State St Rockford, IL 61104 (815) 968-9463

Applebee’s Restaurant 6845 E State St Rockford, IL 61108 (815) 226-8818 Applebee’s Restaurant 1675 E Riverside Blvd Rockford, IL 61114 (815) 654-8339

Aunt Mary’s Restaurant 4431 E State St Rockford, IL 61108 (815) 397-6461 Beefaroo, Inc. 6364 Sebring Way Loves Park, IL 61111 (815) 637-1008 Behr Iron & Metal 1100 Seminary St Rockford, IL 61104 (815) 987-2600

Capri Restaurant, Inc. 313 E State St Rockford, IL 61104 (815) 965-6341

Chick-fil-A Rockford 280 N Perryville Rd Rockford, IL 61107 (815) 381-1010 Ciao Bella Ristorante 6500 E Riverside Blvd Loves Park, IL 61111 (815) 654-9900 Cronies Grill 9032 N 2nd St Machesney Park, IL 61115 (815) 282-2262

Culver’s Restaurant 5610 Wansford Way Rockford, IL 61109 (815) 398-9938 Der Rathskeller 1132 Auburn St Rockford, IL 61103 (815) 962-2922

Hoffman House 7550 E State St Rockford, IL 61108 (815) 397-5800

Panino’s Restaurant 2725 N Main St Rockford, IL 61103 (815) 636-0036

Jason’s Deli 575 S Perryville Rd Rockford, IL 61108 (815) 397-8606

Pizza Hut - 11th Street 3329 S 11th St Rockford, IL 61109 (815) 229-2929

Hooters of Rockford 6904 Argus Dr Rockford, IL 61107 (815) 229-0539

Jersey Mike’s 6284 E State St Rockford, IL 61108 (815) 226-0118

Jersey Mike’s 1513 West Lane Rd Unit C Machesney Park, IL 61115 (815) 633-4200 JMK Nippon Restaurant 2551 N Perryville Rd Rockford, IL 61107 (815) 877-0505 Johnny Pamcakes 3700 E State St Rockford, IL 61108 (815) 229-7415

Lone Star Steakhouse 6690 E State St Rockford, IL 61108 (815) 226-1122

Longhorn Steakhouse 6655 E State St Rockford, IL 61108 (815) 397-4685

Lucha Cantina, Inc. 1641 N Alpine Rd Ste 212 Rockford, IL 61107 (815) 977-4319

Maciano’s Pizza Columbia Parkway 5801 Columbia Pkwy Unit 101 Rockford, IL 61108 (815) 227-5577

Egg Harbor Cafe 1603 N Alpine Rd Ste 121 Rockford, IL 61107 (815) 399-2650

Macianos Pizza (Perryville Pizza, LLC) 6746 Broadcast Pkwy Loves Park, IL 61111 (815) 633-7500

Gene’s Place 4412 Manchester Dr Rockford, IL 61109 (815) 977-4365

Napoli Pizza & Catering 6560 N Alpine Rd Loves Park, IL 61111 (815) 877-9888

Franchesco’s Ristorante 7128 Spring Creek Rd Rockford, IL 61107 (815) 229-0800

Giordano’s 333 Executive Pkwy Rockford, IL 61107 (815) 398-5700

Giovanni’s, Inc. 610 N Bell School Rd Rockford, IL 61107 (815) 398-6411 Granite City Food & Brewery 7140 Harrison Ave Rockford, IL 61112 (815) 332-7070

GreenFire 6795 E Riverside Blvd Rockford, IL 61114 (815) 316-3473

Meg’s Daily Grind 1141 N Alpine Rd Rockford, IL 61107 (815) 316-7669

Napoli Pizza & Catering 8289 Burden Rd Machesney Park, IL 61115 (815) 633-4800 Old Chicago Restaurant 6280 E State St Rockford, IL 61108 (815) 227-4040 The Olive Garden Italian Restaurant 6367 E State St Rockford, IL 61108 (815) 399-3176

The Olympic Tavern 2327 N Main St Rockford, IL 61103 (815) 962-8758

Panino’s Restaurant 5403 E State St Rockford, IL 61108 (815) 227-9200

Pizza Hut - North Main 3748 N Main St Rockford, IL 61103 (815) 963-6363

Pizza Hut - South Alpine 2560 S Alpine Rd Rockford, IL 61108 (815) 399-0128

Pizza Hut (Rockford Pizza Inc.) 1533 West Lane Rd Machesney Park, IL 61115 (815) 639-1111

Red Mango 6876 Spring Creek Rd Ste 118 Rockford, IL 61114 (815) 282-1020

Red Mango 1093 West Lane Rd Machesney Park, IL 61115 (815) 885-8574 Restoration Cafe 625 W State St Rockford, IL 61102 (815) 977-4361 Shogun Japanese Restaurant Izakaya 88 293 Executive Pkwy Rockford, IL 61107 (815) 394-0007 Stockholm Inn 2420 Charles St Rockford, IL 61108 (815) 397-3534

Taco John’s - South Alpine 3269 S Alpine Rd Rockford, IL 61109 (779) 386-0832 Thunder Bay Grille 7652 Potawatomi Tr Rockford, IL 61107 (815) 397-4800

Victory Golf Range 7003 N Alpine Rd Loves Park, IL 61111 (815) 633-7075

Vito’s Ristorante, Inc. 1620 N Bell School Rd Rockford, IL 61107 (815) 312-5080

Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers (K & K Foods Inc.) 50 W Douglas St Ste 1101 Freeport, IL 61032 (815) 235-7515

Wild Wild Westmor Lanes Bar & Grill 2407 N Central Ave Rockford, IL 61101 (815) 963-7210 Wired Cafe 414 E State St Rockford, IL 61104 (815) 316-2524


April 2014



Rockford Chamber members appear bolded. Thank you for your support of your fellow Chamber members.

Carlson Ice Arena and Webbs Norman Center customer service. Visit www.

Saint Anthony’s Health System signed a Letter of Intent to affiliate with OSF Healthcare System (OSF). Saint Anthony’s sponsor, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George, Alton, Ill., and OSF sponsor, The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, Peoria, Ill., originate from the same region in Germany and share similar missions in health care. Each organization will spend time learning more about each other in a process called due diligence. A decision to move forward is expected later this year.

Riverside Community Bank grew from four to seven branches when Freedom Bank changed its name to Riverside Community Bank. Locations in Illinois are: 1609 1st Ave., Rock Falls; 301 Maple St., Seaton, and 2403 N. Locust St., Sterling.

Williams-Manny insurance group held a cyber liability seminar, “What You Should Know About Data Breaches,” in February at Giovanni’s with speakers from the law firm and Travelers Insurance. Rockford Health System received 2013 Quality Excellence Achievement Awards from the Illinois Hospital Association’s Institute for Innovations in Care and Quality for two programs. Its Door-to-Balloon Lean Rapid Improvement Event won for Operational Excellence in Infrastructure by modifying the door-to-balloon procedure for emergency room patients with heart attack symptoms. Its preoperative approach to reducing surgical site infections was recognized for Patient Safety and Quality. Rockford Park District’s “2014 Therapeutic Recreation Summer Program Guide” is available at

Heartland Church, 1280 S. Alpine Road, Rockford, hosts Celebrate Recovery every Friday night with dinner at 5:45 p.m.; worship at 7 p.m. YMCA of Rock River Valley receive a $15,000 grant by the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois for LIVESTRONG at the YMCA® — a 12week, small group program designed to help adult cancer survivors build their strength and energy levels through purposeful, safe exercise. Comfort Keepers® of Northwest Illinois was named #1 franchise in the senior care category and #59 among the top 500 franchises in Entrepreneur magazine’s Annual Franchise 500© rankings for 2014. The company also received Home Care Pulse®: the 2014 “Best of Home Care Provider of Choice” and 2014 “Best of Home Care Employer of Choice.”

of Healthy Options among fastcasual restaurants in the 2014 Chain Restaurant Consumers’ Choice Awards program conducted by Technomic research and consulting firm. It also was named one of the 2013 Top 10 Excellent Fast-Food Chains by the Sandelman & Associates’ Quick-Track® study annual Awards of Excellence. Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois hosted a grand opening for its new store at 1016 Central Park Dr., Crystal Lake, in March. The location includes a 400-sq. ft community room with free conference and classroom-style space, seating for 30, internet connectivity and audiovisual equipment.

In February, associates of Boyer & Associates, LLC, joined Wipfli LLP’s health care industry practice. First Rockford Group announced negotiations with the village of Palatine, Ill., to develop an empty Menard’s site at 1775 N. Rand Road, which has been off the market for more than five years. If completed, plans are to recruit new stores.

Packaging Coordinators, Inc., completed expansion of its packaging facilities in Rockford, adding 20,000 square feet to accommodate growth Van Matre HealthSouth Rehabilitation in cartoning, overwrapping, heat seal carding and compliance prompting Hospital ranked in the top 10 percent packaging, and support for biotech of qualifying rehabilitation hospitals, delivery forms, such as secondary 2006-2013, from Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation for the eighth packaging for injectable vials, syringes, devices and transdermal products. consecutive year. Jason’s Deli is the number one consumers’ choice for Availability

For the third consecutive year, Cruise, the SwedishAmerican Foundation’s

annual fundraising gala, sold out with more than 500 supporters, raising nearly $174,000 to benefit the new SwedishAmerican Regional Cancer Center. KMK Media Group will handle social media for Campfire Marshmallows, one of the nation’s leading marshmallow producers. Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden seeks vendors for its 21st annual Garden Fair, June 6 to 8 at 2715 S. Main St., Rockford. More than 5,000 shoppers attend each year. Visit klehm. org or call 815-965-8146. Hanson Professional Services Inc., earned national recognition for exemplary engineering achievement for the Auburn and Main St., roundabout in Rockford at the American Council of Engineering Companies’ 48th annual Engineering Excellence Awards. Youth Achievement YMCA, a branch of the YMCA of Rock River Valley, offers ACT Preparation Tutoring to help high school students ace the test, and Y Learning, one-on-one tutoring for Kindergarten to 12th grade. Call 815489-1194. T K Group, Inc., expanded its mobile occupational health services with the acquisition of Concentra Mobile Medical Division, Houston, Texas. CherryVale Mall announced the opening of Francesca’s, which offers boutique-style shopping of woman’s clothing, accessories and gifts.

theVoice April 2014

Rockford Chamber members appear bolded. Thank you for your support of your fellow Chamber members.

Tuesday, April 1 Rockford University hosts a lecture with Juan Egea, Ph.D., Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, 7 p.m., at Fisher Memorial Chapel, 5050 E. State St. The University of Wisconsin Spanish professor is an expert in Spanish cinema and poetry. For tickets contact 815-226-4100 or Rockford Park District invites adults, 50 and older, to play softball with its drop-in program, Tuesdays, April 1 to Sept. 23, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., at Dahlquist Park, 29th St. and Oak Grove Ave., Rockford. Visit www. or call 815987-1603.

Thursday, April 3

Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful presents passionate environmentalist actor/director Daryl Hannah at the 7th Annual Earth Day Awards Luncheon 11:30-1 p.m., Giovanni’s Restaurant & Convention Center, 610 N. Bell School Road. Environmental Stewardship and Hutchcroft Environmental Youth Awards will be presented. Visit www. Tickets at 815-637-1343 or Investigative journalist Eric Schlosser will keynote the free, third-annual David H. Caskey memorial lecture, Nuclear Weapons: Our Aging Nuclear Arsenal and the Illusion of Safety, 6 p.m., Rock Valley College, Physical Education Center, 3301 N. Mulford Road, Rockford. Visit

Saturday, April 5 Rockford Symphony Orchestra presents Spectacular Strings for children, 5 to 10, featuring a brass quintet, 11 a.m. to noon, Kresge Hall, Riverfront Museum Park, 711 N. Main St. Call 815-965-0049. Gardening guru and radio talk show host Mike Nowak presents Guys on Grass, 10 a.m., at Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 2715 S. Main St.,


Community Events COMMUNITY

Rockford. Free with admission. Visit

The Parks Kiwanis Club hosts its second-annual Pork Chop Sandwich Day, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with drivethrough service in the VFW parking lot, 2018 Windsor Road, Loves Park. Tickets $5 in advance; $5.50 day-of event. Contact Verla Sterett, 815-2436909 or

Tuesday, April 8 Northern Illinois Hospice and Grief Center hosts a Volunteer Training Orientation, 6 to 8 p.m., 4215 Newburg Road. Training will continue Tuesdays, 6 to 9 p.m., April 22 to June 3. Contact 815-398-0500 or visit

Thursday, April 10 The First Tee of Greater Rockford celebrates its 10th anniversary and the Masters Golf Tournament with a fundraising event at Joey C’ Cucina*Cocktails, Brynwood Shopping Center, 2583 N. Mulford Road, noon to 9 p.m. Lunch menu and golf club-regripping; evening cash bar, appetizers, dinner, with local celebrity bartenders and servers. Charity No-Show Golf Tournament allows chance at prizes as the Masters concludes. Visit www.

Friday, April 11 Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity hosts a groundbreaking ceremony, 11:30 a.m., 804 Arnold Ave., to celebrate the first homes the nonprofit will build and sell in the 61108 zip code. Join afterwards for a Family Lunch Break at Lino’s restaurant, 5611 E. State St. Tickets at, homes@ or 815-636-4573.

Saturday, April 12 The Great War: World War I at Midway Village Museum, 6799 Guilford Road, Rockford, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., April 12 and 13. An exhibit opening for “Propaganda Posters from WWI,” (running through July 30) kicks off on April 11, including a special lecture, “From Neutrality

To All Out War,” by local historian Mark Herman, Byron Forest Preserve District. For tickets call Laura Furman, curator, laura.furman@midwayvillage or 815-397-9112, ext. 108, or visit

11th annual Red Shoe Run-For Donor Awareness at Northern Illinois University-Rockford. Chip-timed 5K run, 8 a.m., sharp; fitness walk, 8:10 a.m. Pre-registration packet pick up at Rock River Valley Blood Center, 419 N. Sixth St., on April 10, 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; April 11, 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. Visit

Wednesday, April 16 Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden presents Botanica: a gardener’s luncheon, “Creating Perennial Plant Communities - The Know Maintenance Approach,” 10 a.m., Giovanni’s, 610 N. Bell School Road, Rockford. Featured speaker is perennial garden advocate and author, Roy Diblik. Includes his book signing and workshop, “Integrating Antiques in Floral & Plant Arrangements,” with Louise Poska and Karen Hill. Register at www. Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence presents Firearms in the Workplace, the Impact of Illinois’ Concealed Carry Law: A Seminar for Employers, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Grace Roper Lounge, first floor Burpee Center, Rockford University, 5050 E. State St. Presenters are Christopher M. Breck, Alper Services LLC, and Robert T. Bernstein, Laner Muchin, Ltd. Register by April 9. Contact Karen Ream, or 815394-4384.

Saturday, April 19 Discovery Center Museum hosts an Egg Hunt, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Riverfront Museum Park, 711 N. Main St., Rockford. Hunt for children, 9 and under, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Call 815-963-6769 or visit www.

Friday, April 25 Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 2715 S. Main St., Rockford, presents its first Arbor Dash 5K, a non-competitive fun run through 155 acres of trees and gardens at 6:30 p.m. Registration prior to April 18 at

Saturday, April 26

Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful holds its 26th annual Great American Cleanup™ in Northern Illinois 9 a.m. – Noon, with supply pickup of bags, tongs and safety equipment at one of 20 locations 8-9 a.m. Pre-register groups or individuals at programs/great-american-cleanup/ or call Frank Manzullo at 815-637-1343. Rockford Symphony Orchestra presents Love of Homeland, 7:30 p.m., Coronado Performing Arts Center, 314 N. Main St. Features pieces by Dvorak, Smentana, Dohnányi and Prokofiev. Tickets at 815-965-0049 or RAMP hosts its ninth-annual Boone County Wheel-A-Thon, 9 a.m., Community Building in Belvidere, 111 W. First Street. Visit www.stayclassy. org/BooneCountywheelathon to sign yourself or a team or make a donation.

Monday, April 28 The Texas Tenors headlines The Rosecrance Foundation Benefit, 6:30 p.m., Giovanni’s, to benefit The Kinley Charity Care Fund, which provide financial assistance to families for treatment of substance use and mental health disorders. Tickets with Lynne Vass at 815-387-5602 or lvass@

Wednesday, April 30 ZION Development’s 23rd annual Spring Banquet and Silent Auction, Forest Hills Country Club, 5:30 p.m., dinner; 7 p.m., program. Visit www. Deadline for the Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs contest hosted by Comcast Business, and Inc. magazine. Winners will receive $5,000 in cash and prizes totaling $15,000. Visit to submit an application and essay.


April 2014


the News IN Members THEin NEWS

1. Lori Wallace

2. Karen Brown

3. Gerald Long

4. Jakob Thompson

5. Dereck Schurch

6. Larissa DuMelle


9. Gail Daer

10. Mary-Stuart Carruthers

11. Cathy Gentz

12. Dr. Juliette Kalweit

Karen Brown (2), OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, was named vice president, chief operating officer. The Rockford Area Economic Development named Michael P. Nicholas as its new president. He will begin April 7 and most recently was the president and chief executive officer of Continental Datalabel in Elgin. The Rockford Aviators signed four new players to the 2014 roster: catchers Jaime Del Valle and Ryan Breen, right-handed pitcher Michael Schaub, and third baseman Travis Clark. Pitcher Jesus Del Rosario resigned with the team for 2014. First National Bank and Trust Company hired Fran Sorenson, wealth management trust tax officer; Bradley Steinberg, vice president and commercial banking manager, and Kirk Stowers, vice president and operations manager. Gerald Long (3) was promoted to director of claims with Rockford Mutual Insurance Company. KMK Media Group named Mitch Brechon as senior account executive. Jakob Thompson (4), CPA, joined Benning Group, LLC as a senior manager in Rockford. Dereck

8. Medric Rainbow

location. They have received the award twice for both their Rockford and Peoria locations.

BOARD APPOINTMENTS, RETIREMENTS Lori Wallace (1), communications specialist for KMK Media Group, joined the Rock River Valley Pantry board in December.

7. RaeAnn Dombrowski Borchers

13. Bradley Gummow

14. Thomas Weightman

15. Emily Maney

16. Aimee Bermen

Schurch (5) joined as a staff accountant in Freeport. Larissa DuMelle (6) was promoted to office claims representative with Rockford Mutual Insurance Company. Honquest Family Funeral Homes With Crematory added RaeAnn Dombrowski Borchers (7) as a licensed funeral director. Packaging Coordinators, Inc., welcomed Medrick Rainbow (8) as general manager of its Rockford location.

EMPLOYEE/COMMUNITY RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS Gail Daer (9), branch manager, First National Bank and Trust Company, Roscoe, was honored with the Roscoe Area Chamber of Commerce Civic Service Award. Earl Wilsey won the 2014 Golden Apple Foundation Jan Jones Service

17. Brandon Latino

Award. He is a founding member of the Alignment Rockford Pathways Committee. Lesley Medrano, organization development performance & e-learning specialist, SwedishAmerican Health System, was awarded the 2014 YWCA Promise Award at the annual YWCA Leader Luncheon in March. Mary-Stuart Carruthers (10) earned MassMutual Wisconsin’s Honor Agent of the Year award at a banquet in February in Madison. Franchisees Bob Christensen and Cory Christensen received an Achievement in Excellence award by Two Men and a Truck for their Peoria

Rock Valley College student Angelica Cagle was named a Gold Scholar and received $1,500, based on the score she earned in CocaCola’s All-USA Community College Academic Team competition, with more than 1,700 participants. Cathy Gentz (11), APN, palliative care, SwedishAmerican Health System, received the Advanced Certification Hospice and Palliative Nurse (ACHPN) designation. Gentz works directly with Dr. Juliette Kalweit (12) as the only boardcertified hospital palliative care team in Rockford. Pearson held a raffle at the 34th annual Home Show in Rockford with winners: Charles Sutton (furnace), Polly Knobbe (sump pump package) and Barb Glasscoe (water softener).

OF GENERAL INTEREST Bradley Gummow (13), managing director–investment officer; Thomas Weightman (14), financial consultant, and Emily Maney (15), registered client associate, all of Gummow Wealth Advisory Group, Wells Fargo Advisors, attended Barron’s Top Advisory Teams Summit, hosted by Barron’s magazine to promote best industry practices in Orlando. Aimee Bermen (16), Spectrum Insurance Agency, took several courses in March towards her continuing education requirements for insurance. Brandon Latino (17) attended the OSHA 30-hour compliance course in Peoria in March.

theVoice April 2014


New Chamber Members CHAMBER MEMBERS CASTLE BANK Banking 1725 S. State St. Belvidere, IL 61008 Mike Goelitz 815-901-2770

COUNTRY FINANCIAL DAVID SOMMERFIELD We have a wide range of solutions to meet your unique insurance and investment needs. 2126 N. Perryville Road, 61107 David Sommerfield 815-633-9313 sommerfield

COUNTRY FINANCIAL ED COLSON 2126 N. Perryville Road, 61107 Ed Colson 815-633-9313 ed.colson

COUNTRY FINANCIAL GREG HANSEN Multi-line insurance representative; financial planning 2126 N. Perryville Road, 61107 Greg Hansen 815-633-9313 hansen

COUNTRY FINANCIAL KEITH WATSON Helping clients find financial security through a variety of avenues. 2126 N. Perryville Road, 61107 Keith Watson 815-520-3325 watson

COUNTRY FINANCIAL KYLE PECK To provide financial security by protecting what you have today with what you have in the future. 2126 N. Perryville Road, 61107 Kyle Peck 815-633-9313 peck

COUNTRY FINANCIAL ROBERT ANDERSON Provider of financial security by offering solutions through insurance and investment products. 2126 N. Perryville Road, 61107 Robert Anderson 815-633-9313 anderson

COUNTRY FINANCIAL TODD HARMSEN We provide financial security by using different insurance products and investments. 2126 N. Perryville Road, 61107 Todd Harmsen 815-633-9313 harmsen

CRUSADER COMMUNITY HEALTH - LOVES PARK Providing access to affordable, quality primary health care. 6115 N. Second St. Loves Park, IL 61111 Gordon Eggers, Jr. 815-490-1600

EDWARD JONES JEFF AURAND Offering time-tested investment advice to serve clients well over the years 7177 Crimson Ridge Dr., Ste. 2, 61107 Jeff Aurand 815-394-1625 index.html&CIRN=529467

EYE SPECIALIST OF ROCKFORD High-quality technology and care to ensure the best possible vision 4857 Manhattan Dr. Rockford, IL 61108 Debbie Klinefelter 815-399-0599

JENNIFER WOOD, CPA Certified Public Accountant 6845 Weaver Road, Ste. 200, 61114 Jennifer Wood, CPA 815-978-3922

MISSMAN, INC. Professional engineering firm providing civil engineering, surveying, municipal, structural, governmental, industrial and commercial services. 333 E. State St. Rockford, IL 61104 Corey Stout 815-965-6400

NICHOLSON HARDWARE Retail hardware 1131 2nd Ave., 61104 Julie Shalbrack 815-963-4821

PACKAGING TAPE, INC. (PTI) Full-Line distributor of packaging, janitorial and safety equipment and products 730 Landmark Dr. Belvidere, IL 61008 Steve Larsen 815-544-3789

PLASTIC PARTS INTERNATIONAL INC. Plastic Injection Molding 1248 Shappert Dr. Machesney Park, IL 61115 Tony Beall 815-316-9732

ROCKFORD ENGINEERED COMPONENTS, INC. Sales agency representing manufacturers and powertrain components to industrial and off highway markets. 3750 Foxborough Lane, 61114 Bradley Wilfong 779-348-9925

WELDSTAR CO. Independent welding distributor. ASME Certified. 9710 Forest Hills Road Machesney Park, IL 61115 Matt Winkle 800-774-9063


A boutique Business Management Consulting firm specializing in Regulatory Compliance, Intellectual Property and Legal Assistance. George Russell 815-985-3244

The YMCA offers a wide variety of facilities and programs for individuals and families to come together to exercise, have fun, meet people and play. 5804 N. Main St., 61103 Rockford, IL 61103 815-489-3374




Dementia care case management & care navigation 7978 Newburg Road, 61108 Bernice Marinelli 815-332-1919

SUGARJONES INC. Cup cakes, cookies, dessert Bars, and custom Cakes.Rockford’s first and only dessert bakery. 6336 E. Riverside Blvd. Loves Park, IL 61111 Kathryn Pomerene 815-708-0801

THE BUCHANAN GROUP - SOUL NEWS NETWORK Diverse consulting firm focused on customized solutions through an umbrella of businesses. Soul News Network - Eventus kbcommunications 11392 Aberdeen Road Belvidere, IL 61008 Kimberly Buchanan 815-978-2385

THE FIRST TEE OF GREATER ROCKFORD Impacting the lives of young people by providing educational programs through the game of golf P.O. Box 184 Rockford, IL 61105 Patty Henk 815-965-5057

THE HELPS GROUP Our mission is to elevate the foundational principles of integrity throughout the construction and service provider industries P.O. Box 32 Pearl City, IL 61062 Timothy Cassell 815-618-2386

The YMCA offers a wide variety of facilities and programs for individuals and families to come together to exercise, have fun, meet people and play. 200 Y Blvd., 61107 Tabatha Endres-Cruz 815-489-1133

YMCA ID PENNOCK FAMILY YMCA The YMCA offers a wide variety of facilities and programs for individuals and families to come together to exercise, have fun, meet people and play. 200 Y Blvd., 61107 Trisha Tousant 815-489-1252

YMCA NORTHEAST FAMILY YMCA The YMCA offers a wide variety of facilities and programs for individuals and families to come together to exercise, have fun, meet people and play. 8451 Orth Road Loves Park, IL 61111 Brent Pentenburg 815-885-6852

YMCA YOUTH ACHIEVEMENT YMCA The YMCA offers a wide variety of facilities and programs for individuals and families to come together to exercise, have fun, meet people and play. 5596 E. Riverside Blvd., Unit 2, Applewood Plaza Loves Park, IL 61111 Audrey Kunert 815-489-1194


April 2014

Membership: 101 MEMBERSHIP

What has your Chamber been up to?


Members Caught on Digital ON DIGITAL Ceremonial ribbon donated by SERVPRO of Rockford.

YOUR CHAMBER HAS… …led the support of the toll road expansion project from Elgin to Rockford and is a co-supporter of the completion of expanding I-39 to 3 lanes from the Stateline to Madison.


…been the first in the state to take a position against the Gross Receipt Tax Bill, a tax that would apply duplicate taxes to OEM’s and the like for the entire supply chain transactions. The bill was ultimately killed by Illinois Chamber’s rallying together to kill the bill.

Rockford Bank & Trust Co., held a ribbon cutting on March 12 for its new branch in the Stewart Square building, 308 W. State St., Ste. 100, Rockford.


…consistently lobbied for continued improvement in our roadways and bridges within the region; advocating for our fair share of state and federal funds for improved infrastructure.


…created the Northwest Illinois Blackhawk Express Rail Coalition to have grass roots leadership to bring rail service to Rockford, collecting over 12,000 signatures in 30 days to get the attention of legislators as to this regional priority.


…been a proponent of “zoned” student assignments for elementary students in District 205 based on a survey of our membership stating that 88 percent of Rockford businesses believe that the current method, “choice” student assignment, is negative for business.


…been a leader in the State of Illinois as a chamber to advocate for revisions to the State Telecommunications Act to balance out competition among communication companies that would improve service and lower costs to business.


…advocated support for municipal electrical aggregation to allow electrical utility users to be consolidated into single bids to lower costs to small businesses and residents.


… took a lead role, along with the Chicagoland Chamber, to have the business community support the SmartGrid program to upgrade electrical services and management of power resources for consumers and businesses.


…regularly hosted candidate forums for people seeking elected office. This allows businesses direct access to candidates at Federal, State and local levels to voice their concerns about the needs of small business.

That’s what your Chamber does for you!

Edward Jones held a ribbon cutting on March 13 at 7177 Crimson Ridge Dr., Ste. 2, Rockford.

April 2014 Member Anniversaries Thank you to the members who celebrate their anniversaries with the Rockford Chamber in April, 2014.



Kelley Williamson Company Sjostrom & Sons, Inc.

ESCO Grinding & Supply Company Rockford Area Crime Stoppers, Inc.




Dixon Automatic Tool, Inc.

60-YEAR MEMBERS Gambino Realtors Home Builders, Inc. Lamar Outdoor Advertising of Rockford Mack Paper Company, Inc. Testor Group, a Division of Rust-Oleum Corporation

50-YEAR MEMBERS Kent Feeds, Inc. SwedishAmerican Health System US Bank

45-YEAR MEMBERS Rockford Park District Rockford Public Schools, District #205

35-YEAR MEMBERS Clock Tower Resort & Conference Center, Home of CoCo Key Water Resort Red Roof Inn

Crimson Pointe Rockford Orthopedic Associates 12th Street Business Center

10-YEAR MEMBERS Alpha Controls & Services Employee Benefit Association of Northern Illinois Thunder Bay Grille Youngberg Industries, Inc.

5-YEAR MEMBERS B/E Aerospace, Inc. Kaney Aerospace Leading Edge Hydraulics State Farm Insurance – Julie Weaver Staybridge Suites United Realty, IL – Teri Watts, Commercial

theVoice April 2014


Regional, National Indicators THE ECONOMY

Membership Renewals Thank you to members who renewed with the Rockford Chamber of Commerce in February 2014. 23WIFR Gray Television, Inc. Above and Beyond Associates APAC Customer Services Inc., an EGS Inc. Company Aqua-Aerobic Systems, Inc. Best Events Hospitality Group Boy Scouts/Blackhawk Area Council Broadmoor Agency, Inc. Bug Lady Pest Control Burpee Museum of Natural History Byron Forest Preserve/ PrairieView Golf Club Choice Furniture, Inc. CIT Group Inc, Rockford Cliffbreakers Riverside Resort COMTECH Multimedia Marketing Cord Construction Company CRASH1 Off Alpine Employers’ Coalition on Health (ECOH) Enders Flowers ESCO Grinding & Supply Company First Evangelical Free Church Forward Equity Marketing Group Freeway Rockford, Inc., Subsidiary of Freeway Corporation G & O Landscaping Inc. Galapagos Rockford Charter School Gambino Realtors Home Builders, Inc. Gemini Computer Systems, Inc. Glenwood Center Ltd. Golden Apple Foundation Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois Gordon Food Service/GFS Marketplace Greater Rockford Airport Authority d/b/a Chicago Rockford International Airport Hampton Inn Rockford Hurd Properties II, LLC I. Spinello Locksmiths, Division of Nate, Inc. Kantorei, The Singing Boys of Rockford Knopp Construction Inc. L.K.G. Industries, Inc. La Voz Latina Lindstrom Travel Lynde Consulting Marden Tire & Auto (Marden Distributors, Inc.) Martin Group Maxim Healthcare Services McClure Engineering Associates, Inc. Meridian

Metronor Metropolitan Title Agency Montel Technologies, LLC Mutual Management Services Next Rockford Northern Illinois Food Bank Rockford Branch Northern Illinois Health Plan Northern Illinois Workforce Alliance NTS Technical Systems Olson Aluminum Casting Ltd. Olsson Roofing Company, Inc. P. A. Peterson Center for Health Phantom Regiment PS Designs & More, Inc. Pumilia Family Dental Group R.R. Floody Company, Inc. RAC Adjustment Company Residence Inn by Marriott/Rockford Restoration Cafe Rock River Training Corp. Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Rockford Area Realtors Rockford Foundries Rockford Gastroenterology Associates, Ltd. Rockford Health Council Rockford Metal Polishing Co. Rockford Nephrology Associates (RNA of Rockford LLC) Rockford Rescue Mission Ministries Rockford Woman’s Club/ Rockford Theatre Sam’s Club, A Division of Wal-Mart Stores Schmeling Construction Co. Sikich LLP Skyward Promotions State Farm Insurance - David Zierke Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated, Member SIPC & NYSE SWITS, Ltd. T K Group, Inc. T. R. Excavating Inc. The Carriage Homes of Park Hills VI The Global Small Business Incubator Transformations Plastic Surgery Transit Van Shuttle V2 Marketing Communications Van Matre HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital Williams-Manny Insurance Group Wilson Electric Co. Windstream Communications Woodward

Get to Know Your Ambassadors Name: Michelle Bowman Company: Edward Jones Position: Financial Advisor How long have you been an Ambassador? Four months What do you like most about being an Ambassador? I love making people feel welcome and comfortable. The chamber is such a wonderful resource to our community, and I have a passion for the work we do as ambassadors. I especially enjoy helping others develop profitable business connections through the chamber. If there is a person or business entity you would like to be introduced to, just let me know.

U.S. Indicators February, 2014 Consumer Price Index

 0.1 percent

Unemployment Rate 6.7 percent Payroll Employment

 175,000

Average Hourly Earnings

 $0.09

Producer Price Index

q 0.1 percent

Employment Cost Index

 0.5 percent (fourth quarter, 2013)


 1..8 percent (fourth quarter, 2013)

U.S. Import Price Index

 0.9 percent

U.S. Export Price Index

 0.6 percent

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Unemployment Rates—Region, State, Nation

Jan 14

Dec 13

Jan 13

Change/Mo. Change/Yr.


12.9 11.7 13.0

1.2 q 0.1


8.6 8.3 10.0

0.3 q 1.4


9.1 8.6 10.2

0.5 q 1.1

United States





q 1.5

Source: U.S. Department of Employment Security

Population Clock As of March 18, 2014:

U.S. 317,712,396 World 7,153,840,415 Source: U.S. Census Bureau


April 2014



Upcoming Chamber Events APRIL, 2014 Tuesday, April 1

Business Women’s Council, “It’s Not Always ‘Happily Ever After’ … The Dark Side of Social Media,” 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Forest Hills Country Club, 5135 Forest Hills Road, Rockford. Sponsored by Siena on Brendenwood.

Wednesday, April 2

PYSK Talk, noon to 1 p.m., Rockford University, 5100 E. State St., 5100 building along State Street. Bradley Gummow, Gummow Wealth Advisory Group, presents “Life is Great: Why All the Stinkin’ Thinkin’.”

Tuesday, April 8

Advantage Club – Superstars, noon to 1 p.m., Giovanni’s, 610 N. Bell School Road, Rockford. Contact Thomas Conwell, MSI Reverse, Ribbon Cutting, Jason’s Deli, 11 a.m. to noon, 575 S. Perryville Road, Rockford.

Wednesday, April 9

Breakfast Buzz, 7:30 to 9 a.m., Rock Valley College, Woodward Technology Center, 3301 N. Mulford Road, Rockford. Fran and John Morrissey present “Family Ties: Growing and Cultivating a Successful Family Business.” Sponsored by McGladrey. Advantage Power Network Club, 11:45 a.m., Franchesco’s, Rockford. Contact Teri Watts, United Commercial Realty, Teriw1214@gmail. com. Advantage Club – Originals, 11:45 a.m., various locations. Contact Rachel Thomann, Furst Pros, 815997-1417, rachel.thomann@furstpros. com.

Friday, April 11

Government Affairs Council, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., Stockholm Inn, 2420 Charles St., Rockford. Registration required. To join, contact Heidi Garner at 815-316-4312. Thursday, April 17 11:00 am - 1:00 pm Giovanni’s, Inc. 610 N. Bell School Rd., Rockford

State of the


Winnebago County Chairman Scott Christiansen presents “Game On!” on the past decade and what lies ahead. Is the jail population up or down? What is the latest company to locate in the I-39 corridor? How are we positioned for the next decade? Sponsored by BMO Harris Bank (presenting), SwedishAmerican Health System, and Humana (gold), AT&T (silver), Alpha Controls & Services and Ballard Companies, Inc. (bronze).

Tuesday, April 22

Advantage Club – Superstars, noon to 1 p.m., Giovanni’s, 610 N. Bell School Road, Rockford. Contact Thomas Conwell, MSI Reverse,

Wednesday, April 23

Advantage Power Network Club, 11:45 a.m., Franchesco’s, Rockford. Contact Teri Watts, United Commercial Realty, Teriw1214@ Advantage Club – Originals, 11:45 a.m., various locations. Contact Rachel Thomann, Furst Pros, 815-997-1417, rachel.thomann@

MAY, 2014 Thursday, May 8 11:30 am - 1:00 pm Cliffbreakers Riverside Resort 700 W. Riverside Blvd., Rockford

Celebration of Leadership Graduation of the Rockford Chamber’s 59th leadership class. Dr. Robert Head, president, Rockford University will share his perspectives on leadership. Sponsored by PNC Bank (presenting). Graduation sponsors: Comcast Business, McGladrey LLP, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center and SwedishAmerican Health System.

Friday, May 9

Government Affairs Council, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., Stockholm Inn, 2420 Charles St., Rockford. Registration required. Call Heidi Garner, 815-3164312.

Tuesday, May 13

Advantage Club – Superstars, noon to 1 p.m., Giovanni’s, 610 N. Bell School Road, Rockford. Contact Thomas Conwell, MSI Reverse,

Wednesday, May 14

Advantage Power Network Club, 11:45 a.m., Franchesco’s, Rockford. Contact Teri Watts, United Commercial Realty, Teriw1214@

Wednesday, May 14

Breakfast Buzz, 7:30 to 9 a.m., Rock Valley College, Woodward Technology Center, 3301 N. Mulford Road, Rockford. Sponsored by McGladrey. Advantage Club – Originals, 11:45 a.m., various locations. Contact Rachel Thomann, Furst Pros, 815-9971417,

Thursday, May 15

Ignite: Lunch Outside the Box, noon to 1 p.m., Rockford University, 5050 E. State St. (5100 building). Julie Bousma presents “Volunteerism in the Rockford Community.”

theVoice April 2014


Upcoming Chamber Events Friday, May 16

Tri State Alliance 2014 Summit, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Chicago Rockford International Airport, 60 Airport Dr., “Transporting People, Commerce and Information for Regional Prosperity” will draw many regional chambers, economic development and governmental organizations. Monday, May 19 11:15 am Rockford Country Club 2500 Oxford St., Rockford

Rockford Chamber

Golf Classic

Sponsored by SwedishAmerican Health System (presenting), OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center (photo).

Tuesday, May 20

How to Supervise People & Lead A Team, 8:30 a.m. to Noon, Giovanni’s, Inc. Presented by Glenn Shepard, speaker and best-selling author.

Tuesday, May 27

Advantage Club – Superstars, noon to 1 p.m., Giovanni’s, 610 N. Bell School Road, Rockford. Contact Thomas Conwell, MSI Reverse,

Wednesday, May 28

Advantage Power Network Club, 11:45 a.m., Franchesco’s, Rockford. Contact Teri Watts, United Commercial Realty, Teriw1214@


ADVERTISERS Advertisers Index

The Alliance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

MembersAlliance Credit Union. . . . . . 18

Alpine Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

P.A. Peterson Center for Health. . . . . 14

Anam Glen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Riverside Community Bank . . . . . . . . . 8

Anderson Japanese Gardens. . . . . . . 19

Rockford Bank & Trust. . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Aspen Counseling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Rockford Chamber of Commerce . . . . . . 9, 17, 20, 22, 25, 27

BMO Harris Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4, 21 Brian Thomas Photography. . . . . . . . 26 Broadmoor Agency, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Comcast Business. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Rockford Health System. . . . . . . . . . . 10 Rockford University . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Rock Valley College BPI. . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Comfort Keepers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Siena on Brendenwood . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Giovanni’s, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Kiwanis Club of Rockford. . . . . . . . . . 18

SwedishAmerican Health System . . . 13

Lincolnshire Place. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Thayer Lighting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Advantage Club – Originals, 11:45 a.m., various locations. Contact Rachel Thomann, Furst Pros, 815-997-1417, rachel.thomann@

McGladrey LLP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Van Galder Bus Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Friday, May 30

Chamber Staff / Call 815-987-8100.............................................. Direct Line

Ribbon cutting and open house, 4 to 6 p.m., La Voz Latina, 730 N. Church St. Door prizes, giveaways and activities; Latin dishes from local businesses, and folkloric dance children’s performance.

Stillman Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Einar K. Forsman, President & CEO.......................................... 815-316-4304 Heidi M. Garner, Executive Assistant to the President.................... 815-316-4312 Doug Hessong, Director of Publications & Technology................... 815-316-4338 Lynette Jacques, Advertising and Sponsorship Executive............... 815-316-4317 Vee Jevremovic, Manager of Education Programs and Events. . ........ 815-316-4337 Cyndie Landis, Financial Assistant. . .......................................... 815-316-4300 Joy Moriarty, V.P. Finance. . ..................................................... 815-316-4316 Stacy Mullins, Director of Events. . ............................................ 815-316-4302 Diane Navickis, Member Relations Manager.. .............................. 815-316-4315 Mary Ann Suprenant, Membership Development Manager.............. 815-316-4336 Joan Sundvall, Membership Contact Coordinator......................... 815-316-4320

Chamber Board of Directors & Officers EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE


Chairman of the Board Richard Walsh SwedishAmerican Health System Chairman Elect Patti Thayer Thayer Lighting, Inc. Vice Chair Richard Zumwalt OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center Treasurer Larry Bridgeland Mid-City Office Products Immediate Past Chairman Mike Broski Entré Computer Solutions

Andrew Benson Benson Stone Company, Inc. Jan Bowman TLC Construction Paul Callighan ComEd, An Exelon Company Joe Castrogiovanni Giovanni’s, Inc. Dr. Rena Cotsones Northern Illinois University Darlene Furst Furst Staffing Jeff Hultman Riverside Community Bank

Paul McCann Stanley Steemer Pat Morrow Alpine Bank Amy Ott Chicago Rockford International Airport Mark Peterson CBL Associates Cherry Vale Michele Petrie BMO Harris Bank Laura Pigatti Williamson Rockford Park District Timothy Rollins WilliamsMcCarthy

Michael F. Iasparro Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Henry Seybold Rockford Health System

Michael Mastroianni Rock Valley College

Pat Shaw McGladrey LLP

Somchan Thatsanaphon K-I Machine Tool & Production Inc. Josh Trust Rockford Register Star Tim White UTC Aerospace Systems Jennifer Wood CPA

EX-OFFICIO DIRECTORS Don Thayer Rockford Area Economic Development Council Einar K. Forsman President & CEO, Rockford Chamber of Commerce John Groh Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

May 2014 Special Section: BY THE NUMBERS:

Banking & Financial Services Do you have news to share? Send news releases and other items of interest to the business community to: The VOICE, Rockford Chamber of Commerce 308 W. State St., Ste. 190, Rockford, IL 61101 Deadline is the 15th of the month preceding p ­ ublication.

For information on advertising, call 815 987-8100

April Voice 2014  
April Voice 2014  

April Voice 2014