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August 2011 | Volume 24 | No. 8

Chicago Fed forecasts solid growth in 2011, 2012 Manufacturing picks up pace “Great Recession” lasted six quarters, beginning in the first quarter of 2008 and bottoming out in the second quarter of 2009. What does the future hold for the U.S. economy? The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago published in its August, 2011 Chicago Fed Letter reviews of the economic forecasts for 2011 and 2012 given at the 2010 Automotive Outlook Symposium (AOS). More than 90 economists and analysts from business, academia and government attended the event on June 2 to 3 in Detroit.

By William A. Strauss, senior economist and economic advisor, and Norman Wang, associate economist According to participants in the Chicago Fed’s annual Automotive Outlook Symposium, solid economic growth is forecasted for the nation this year and in 2012. Inflation is expected to rise in 2011 and then ease in 2012, and the unemployment rate is anticipated to move lower, but remain high by historical standards through the end of 2012. Light vehicle sales are forecasted to improve in 2011 and 2012. The U.S. economy still is recovering from the longest and deepest drop in economic activity since the Great Depression. The “Great Recession” lasted six quarters, beginning in the first quarter of 2008 and

bottoming out in the second quarter of 2009. During the seven quarters following the end of the recession, the annualized rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) growth was 2.8 percent — roughly in line with what is considered the historical trend rate of growth for the U.S. economy. But this GDP growth rate is very disappointing, given that real GDP fell from its peak by more than 4 percent during the Great Recession.

Pace of Recovery Slowed by Financial Crisis Usually, the pace of economic recovery is quite sharp following a deep recession. Consider what happened after the deep drops in economic output more on page 8

Time out to strengthen business Third woman chosen for ATHENAPowerLink® By Barbara Connors

Visit us online at: ■ online registration ■ keynote speaker video clips ■ event photos ■ list of Chamber events Questions? 815-987-8100 Join the Chamber’s LinkedIn Group

On June 23, Kristan McNames, coowner of Grace Funeral & Cremation Services, 1340 S. Alpine Road, learned she was the third woman chosen for ATHENAPowerLink® (APL). The mentoring program pairs one woman entrepreneur with a panel of business experts at no charge for one year to grow her company. The Rockford program is a partnership between the Rockford Chamber of Commerce and ATHENA International and is co-hosted by PNC Bank. The year-long professional consulting package is valued at $40,000. “I am so honored and excited to have been selected for this program,” McNames said. “I’m hoping to bounce ideas off of the panel, and am open to whatever insight and direction they can provide.” McNames co-owns her funeral home with her husband Bob. She meets with

Municipalities throughout the Rockford region joined forces to send a message to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn that a casino in Rockford would benefit all of Winnebago County. Leaders from the City of Loves Park, Village of Machesney Park, Village of Pecatonica, City of Rockford and Winnebago County held a news conference to announce their joint support for Senate Bill 0744, which opens the door for a casino in Rockford. Additionally, the community of South Beloit passed a measure approving a resolution in support of a casino. Community leaders pointed out that building a casino would generate an estimated 300 construction jobs. Once a casino was operating, there would be an additional 1,300 jobs. Some would be low-skill jobs like cleaning crews and wait staff. Others would require more training like management, accounting and marketing. It’s also estimated a casino would generate $7 to $12 million in revenue that could be strategically leveraged for economic development. The Rockford Casino Coalition founding partners represent more than 1,500 organizations and their 60,000 employees. For more, visit the coalition’s Facebook page, Rockford Casino Coalition, or


Mayor’s Business Luncheon Clock Tower Resort Wednesday, August 10 RPD FOUNDATION OUTLINES STRATEGIC PLAN

Kristan McNames families to assist in planning a funeral or memorial service that’s a fitting tribute to loved ones. “Ninety percent of what I do as a funeral director is behind the scenes. My goal is to have each service be flawless and as perfect as possible. Unlike other milestone events in life, we have more on page 4

The Rockford Park District Board of Commissioners approved the Rockford Park District Foundation priorities for the next three years include fundraising to support: Fun for All Kids, a youth programming endowment, a free family event, and a child to participate in a summer camp, program or lesson. Specific capital requests for 2012-2014 include boat docks for the Nicholas Conservatory and Burpee Museum of Natural History; winter activities for Alpine Hills Golf Course Complex; the Chuck and Becky Brown Memorial, which would provide lighting on the Auburn Street bridge; Sinnissippi Riverfront recreation, and a wood basketball court for Washington Park Community Center.

August 2011 theVoice


President’s Message VIEWPOINT

N2K People frequently say that Rockford is a big city with a small-town feel. One where everyone seems to know each other. Well, we are going to put that notion to the test. We want to know who you think are the business people to know in the Rockford region. I am talking about the people on the business side of Rockford who “get it done.” I am not talking about elected officials or people like me who represent the interests of the business community. I am talking about people in business. That’s right, businesses — big and small — CEOs, owners, managers and key people who just make things happen.

Who Inspires You? The Rockford Chamber introduces “The People You Should Know” — a new series highlighting Rockford

Who are the ‘need to know’ people in Rockford business?

I am talking about the people on the business side of Rockford who “get it done.” … I am talking about people in business. business leaders! We’ll identify 20 business leaders and recognize them this October at a special reception and in a new publication. Now is the time to “drop a few names” that are known and common to all. Think about who — from your own, personal perspective — is a leader in their business, their industry or the Rockford business community. Time to dig out your Rolodex, search your LinkedIn site, or think about the last few power lunches you had. Who are the people who inspire you? Who are the people who always seem to be involved in the success stories? Who do you seek for advice or ideas? Who are the ones who “get ’er done?” Who are the unsung heroes?

We want to know from you, who you think should receive recognition for what they do in business or for the business community.

It’s Time to ‘Name Names’ The nomination process is simple. Visit our website at www.rockford and find “People You Should Know” in the events section. There will be a simple nomination form to download or a link to an electronic form. We will ask you a few simple questions to nominate someone for consideration. The nomination deadline is Friday, Sept. 9 at noon. A committee of Chamber members then will review the nominations and select the 20

Einar K. Forsman Rockford Chamber of Commerce

PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW 2011 Nominate someone now! We promise, it’s simple. Visit www.rockford, “People You Should Know” in the events section. Deadline is Friday, Sept. 9 at noon. People You Should Know for 2011. There are a lot of truly great business people out there. Help us identify those folks and shine a spotlight on them! Einar K. Forsman is president & CEO of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce. You can contact him at eforsman@rockford theVoice August 2011



Young Professionals

You’re never too old to be young We all benefit from being youthful Youth: It’s a funny, fickle beast. As kids, we only want to grow up, but as adults we only want to slow down, and to invest in anti-aging everything. Frequently, when I tell anyone over 30 that I run a young professionals group, the person starts to flush and panic while trying casually to ask, “What exactly is young? Do you think I qualify?” They stare me down, awaiting an answer that will deem them as cool, hip and young — or two steps away from AARP. I have to ask, who made me the Queen of Youth? Apparently, because I run a young professional group, I get to decide who is and who is not young. Well, let me tell you this: young is the way you live — not necessarily your age. Don’t get me wrong, the power to proclaim youth (and the lack there of) is kind of fun, but your youth is not in my hands – it’s in yours.

Young is a State of Mind Youth is all about how you live your life. There is no cut off; no line-in-the-sand between young and old. Young professionals have a zest for life — they are “go getters” that think outside the box. They value life/work balance, volunteering and making a difference in their community. These are the people IGNITE seeks to attract and retain for the Rockford region. There is no magical number that defines the perfect age of a young professional or an IGNITE member. Anyone, regardless of age, is welcome to join our group! Actually, nowhere on the application does it even ask for your age. If you consider yourself young, be it in age or at heart, I welcome you to join our group. Okay, I know there still are those of you out there who don’t think you’re young enough (*cough*, for the record, 35 is not even CLOSE to old…). Even if you think you’re a little bit past your young days and consider yourself more seasoned, there still are plenty of reasons to join or support the group.

Caitlin Ludwig IGNITE

IGNITE’s mission is to attract and retain young professionals to the Rockford region. How could you benefit from these individuals in your community? Would young professionals bring more business to your organization? Would they buy homes in your neighborhood and potential increase your home’s value? Could these young professionals sit on a local board that works to improve our school system or early childhood education, which in turn would benefit your child or your employee’s children? The answer to all of these questions is a roaring “YES!”

Further Our Future: Support Our Next Generation When thinking about supporting or investing in IGNITE, think beyond the black and white, the — ‘Am I young or am I old?’ ” Think of the good that can come from supporting the mission. Think of the rippling effect that attracting more young professionals to the region would have on our area. The opportunities for improvement are endless if we all work together – young and old. This is our community, and we need to take the steps now to ensure our future is bright. That, my friends, involves investing in the next generation. So, come one, come all! No matter what your age, there are ways to get involved. Stop by an After 5 and offer casual career advice to a job seeker. Come to a Lunch Outside the Box and learn about the community through the eyes of the younger generation. I promise, no one will point and laugh and ask you what the heck you’re doing there. There is a place for everyone in our mission. I promise — I won’t even card you at the door…unless you really want me to. Now I’m off to convince more people that 42 is in no way old. The Queen of Youth has spoken! Caitlin Ludwig is director of IGNITE. Learn more at

Let your Voice be heard The Rockford Chamber of Commerce welcomes and encourages submissions for The 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 10860630, 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.

August 2011 theVoice


MEMBERSHIP Member Category of the Month

The following is a listing of Rockford Chamber members highlighted in a specific industry.


Paul Davis Restoration (JRD Construction)


A-1 Restoration Advantage Kwik Dry Kelce & Company Stanley Steemer of Rockford


3G’s Clutter Cleaners 4EverClean APEX Cleaning Centurion Janitorial Services Inc. Gleam Clean Services Inc. Morgan Building Maintenance Inc. Pinnacle Cleaning Corp R. J. Bowers Distributors, Inc. Vanguard Cleaning Systems

FIRE & WATER DAMAGE CLEANING/RESTORATION A-1 Restoration Flood Pros LDR Cleaning and Restoration Paul Davis Restoration (JRD Construction) Service Master of Rockford Servpro of Rockford Universal Restoration Services

PROPERTY MAINTENANCE AAT Infra Red Image Pros LR Harris and Associates The Ground Up

SECURITY SYSTEMS ADT Security Services, Inc. Alpha Controls & Services Ballard Companies Johnson Controls, Inc. M. Spinello & Son Locksmiths Rockford Tech-Systems Inc. Securitas Security Services USA Service Security Technologies, Inc.

ENERGY CONTROL/HVAC A/C’s Best Cooling & Heating Co. Axberg Heating Company, Inc. Cool-Heat Supply, Inc. Honeywell Building Services Kinovate Heating, Cooling & Indoor Air Quality LM Sheet Metal & Service, Inc. MP Heating & Cooling Inc. Mechanical Inc. Rockford Heating & Air Conditioning

PEST CONTROL Bug Lady Pest Control Honest Pest Control Inc. Smithereen Pest Management

MOVING Christofferson Moving & Storage Springfield Van & Storage Company Two Men and a Truck

INTERIOR DESIGN Mid-City Office Products Modernspace Studio/Techline Rockford

Chamber Board of Directors & Officers EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Chairman of the Board Mike Broski Entré Computer Solutions Vice Chairman Rich Walsh SwedishAmerican Health System Treasurer Larry Bridgeland Mid-City Office Products Immediate Past Chairman Pam Maher KMK Media Group DIRECTORS Teresa Beach-Shelow Superior Joining Technologies, Inc. Romero Bennett Blue Sky Insurance Agency

Andrew Benson Benson Stone Company, Inc.

Paul McCann Stanley Steemer of Rockford

Walt Boothe Harris Bank, N.A.

Patrick Morrow Alpine Bank

Ryan Brauns Rockford Consulting & Brokerage

John Oller PBC Linear, A Pacific Bearing Company

Paul Callighan ComEd

Mark Peterson CBL Associates CherryVale

Joe Castrogiovanni Giovanni’s, Inc. J. Chapman Maverick Media Rena Cotsones Northern Illinois University Darlene Furst Furst Staffing Penny Lechtenberg Hinshaw & Culbertson Mike Mastroianni Rock Valley College

Dee Premo Whitehead, Inc. Realtors Peter Ricker Rockford Register Star Tim Rollins WilliamsMcCarthy LLP

Patrick Shaw RSM McGladrey, Inc. Patti Thayer Thayer Lighting, Inc. Jennifer Wood Sikich LLP Richard Zumwalt OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center EX-OFFICIO DIRECTORS Janyce Fadden Rockford Area Economic Development Council Einar K. Forsman President & CEO, Rockford Chamber of Commerce

Dan Saavedra Saavedra Gehlhausen John Groh Architects Rockford Area Convention Henry Seybold & Visitors Bureau Rockford Health System President/CEO

2010 ATHENA recipient Toni Brown (left) celebrates 20 years as owner/executive director of Stepping Stones, 11364 2nd St., Roscoe.

Entrepreneurs cont from front page one opportunity to make the service perfect for the grieving family and friends.” McNames said she intends to get a better grasp on her financial statements and cash flow and to establish a succession plan, as well as to increase staff and expand her service area. “Next year at this time, I’d like to have a firm grasp on our pricing structure and a marketing plan in place so that we can reach more people.”

Taking Time Out to Strengthen Business Antoinette “Toni” Brown, owner/executive director of Stepping Stones, 11364 2nd St., Roscoe, was the 2010 APL recipient and recently completed her year working with a panel of area business experts. Brown began the early child education center in Rockton in 1991, expanded to a second center in Roscoe in 1995, and merged and renovated the two into one in 2004. Brown said meeting with the ATHENA panel gave her a chance to work on areas that needed attention. She bought her business in her mid-20s with no formal business training. “I didn’t think I would be selected for the program because I had been doing the business for so long. I had been doing so well, but doing a lot of the ‘same old,’ ‘same old.’ I had figured out how to make it work, but that doesn’t mean I was doing things in the most efficient way.” With a budget that mostly was in her head, she was able during her year to get it down on paper. As it was her 20-year anniversary, she also worked on her priority goal of creating a new logo and brand. Today her business is introducing a new logo, signage, marketing materials– even branded t-shirts for the staff to wear. “It feels like a renewal,” she said. Brown said her favorite part of the ATHENA process was meeting the extraordinary people on her panel. “It was extremely humbling at the first panel meeting to realize these executives had important things to do, but were volunteering their time. These busy people were there for me, and I made good friendships.”

She admits participation in the program was a big commitment – a year of pushing yourself in all areas. “You want to push yourself because you know you have only one year,” she said. Now that her year is completed, Brown said she plans to continue with some of her business goals, including revamping the staff handbook and working on job descriptions as part of a human resources committee. “I want to say ‘thank you’ to the people on the panel and would encourage any woman to start thinking now about taking advantage of the program.”

Taking it to the Next Level In 2009, Jennifer Anderson, president of Anderson Environmental & Engineering Co., 124 N. Water St., Ste. 206, in downtown Rockford, became the area’s first APL participant. Her business was growing rapidly, yet she took time out to create a business plan, a marketing plan and an employee handbook. She said one good tip she received was from her marketing mentor, Pam Maher, KMK Media Group, who emphasized the importance of reaching out to clients at least once a week with lunch meetings and other forms of contact. “One thing I learned through this process,” Anderson said, “was that I already had most of the knowledge and tools that I needed, and that I was doing pretty well. Yet, the program was essential in helping me get to the next level.”

Panel Customized to Participant’s Needs A woman business owner is chosen from the Rockford market to participate in ATHENAPowerLink®. A panel then is formed catering specifically to her needs, and comprising professionals in law, accounting, finance, marketing, human resources and technology who fully commit themselves to the business for an entire year. The business may accept or reject any advice the panel gives, although consideration for the applicants is based on their willingness to accept the panel’s advice. For more on the ATHENAPowerLink® program, visit Click on the logo at the bottom of the home page. theVoice August 2011


Get to Know Your Ambassadors RSO Music Director Steven Larsen, Mendelssohn Choral Conductor Marti Bein, Rockford Dance Company Instructor Jessica Mackinson, and Kantorei Conductor Joel Ross represent performing arts organizations to benefit by Bike for the Arts on Sept. 11.

New fall bike event to benefit area nonprofits Bike for the Arts (BART), a new event to raise funds and the profile of four Rockford performing arts organizations, was announced for Sept. 11, 2011. The goal for the inaugural event is the participation of more than 1,000 riders in the five-mile family fun ride, 35-mile ride and 64-mile ride beginning and ending at the Riverfront Museum Park in downtown Rockford. Musical performances and a

large party for participants will follow completion of the ride at Riverfront Museum Park. Funds raised will be divided among the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, Rockford Dance Company, Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, and Kantorei, the Singing Boys of Rockford. Registration and information can be found at T-shirts are included with reservations.

Better Business Bureau’s money saving tips Smart phone usage when traveling abroad With today’s technology, cell phone users can surf the web, receive emails and watch movies on their smart phones. When traveling abroad, many users fail to recognize their data plan is constantly in use, even when they think their phone isn’t. “Vacationers often rack up more expenses than initially planned when traveling,” said Dennis Horton, director of the Rockford Regional Office of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois. “It’s important to make sure you aren’t paying extra for a cell phone not being used.” According to the Federal Communications Commission, “roaming” is the term that describes a wireless phone’s ability to make and receive calls outside the designated coverage area under your service plan. BBB advises consumers to do the following with their cell phone and cell phone provider in preparation for a trip abroad: Turn off your phone. If you don’t need your phone and don’t plan to use it while

traveling abroad, turn it off. Another option is to rent or buy an international cell phone. Many rental plans offer services that work in several countries and may provide free incoming calls. Contact your cell phone provider. Cell phone users generally know not to make calls or send text messages while out of their coverage area or abroad. For the occasional traveler who doesn’t frequently talk on the phone, it may be worth looking into an international addon plan. Your cell phone carrier can provide specific tips that cater to the roaming needs of your individual cell phone and data plan. Invest in a prepaid SIM card. For frequent, chatty travelers or long-term travelers, investing in a prepaid SIM card may be the best option. With access to a local phone number, you’ll be able to make phone calls at the country’s local rate. Check with your BBB. Travelers can check with your BBB before choosing an international service provider at

Name: Adriana Durán Krauss Company: Aflac Position: Independent Associate/Advisor How long have you been an Ambassador? 4½ years What do you like most about being an Ambassador? I love meeting new people all the time. Being a Rockford Chamber Ambassador has helped me to “get to know” people, rather than just “greet” people in the community. It also has helped me because by meeting new people/businesses, I’ve been able to get more involved with and volunteer with various not-for-profit organizations and agencies in the Rockford community. I’ve also formed various and deeper friendships of a “non-work nature” with several of my long-time fellow Chamber Ambassadors. All in all, it has been a great opportunity for me, and one that I greatly encourage old, new and “newest” Chamber members to get involved in. So come on and join me, and really “get to know me.”

August 2011 theVoice


Study reports on region’s workforce preparedness, availability By Matthew Simpson, RAEDC

Photo by DeWayne Fellows

2011 Stateline FastPitch Competition winners, Dan Nicholson (left) and partner, Erek Benz with Position-Tech; Dale Falconer, Seward Screw Products (far left); and Sherry Pritz, EIGERlab (far right).

FastPitch competition, 2011 Presenters hit it out of the park By Sherry D. Pritz, EIGERlab EIGERlab’s fifth-annual FastPitch Competition (FP) on June 22 at NIURockford proved quite successful. Seventy entrepreneurs with the dream of winning first prize and connecting with experts to help move their idea, service or product to the next level, completed their three-minute pitch, sharing as much substance as possible in the 180-second timeframe. Presenters, interested in what the region has to offer in the way of business development and assistance, came from various locations in Illinois and Wisconsin. The role of the wonderful judges proved to be very challenging, though positive, this year. Their dilemma was to choose, from the list of 70 effervescent presenters, who would be the 13 finalists to appear on stage — a challenging assignment! The winners’ ideas ranged from Position Tech’s customizable replacement football cleats, first prize ($5,000); Wet Will-E Water Balloons, second prize ($1,000); and MyidentiKEY, an inventive way to assure your expensive keys are returned if lost, third prize ($500). In the student division, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater students (UWW),, a global academic assistance network, won first prize

($1,000), and Renwig Custom, with a robotically-controlled tube amplifier for musicians, won second place (iPad). “A good elevator pitch takes very little time to deliver, but it takes very large amounts of time to prepare,” said William Dougan, Irvin L. Young, professor of entrepreneurship and professor of management at UWW.

Ideas Cooking in EIGERlab Incubator The FP winners’ ideas, products and services ranged from start-up and early stage businesses, to entrepreneurs who, at this stage, have a wonderful idea which they intend to passionately pursue, but aren’t currently in business. EIGERlab’s business consultants already have met with many of last month’s contestants; some have signed leases and now are included in the plethora of incubating businesses/clients at EIGERlab. Orlando Saez, deputy director of the office of entrepreneurship, innovation & technology for the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, was FP’s keynote speaker. “We watch ABC’s Shark Tank all the time — this competition is fabulous!” he said. Sherry D. Pritz is technical specialist at EIGERlab.

Photo by DeWayne Fellows

Michael McGuire, owner of On-the-Go Inflatables shares his product during the FastPitch Competition Expo.

The Boone & Winnebago Workforce Investment Board, Inc., contracted a consulting firm to undertake a Labor Shed Analysis to support proactive recruitment and training activities. The study was designed to better understand regional workforce issues in the Boone and Winnebago counties area from site selection, relocation, business retention/expansion, and workforce training perspectives.

Understanding the Skills, Education and Commuting Patterns The objectives of the Labor Shed Analysis were to understand the skills, education and commuting patterns of area workers; and local employer’s viewpoints and needs regarding the existing workforce, including availability, quality, costs and training. It also was to determine ways to better attract and retain businesses that can use this important labor information and to train their employees. The analysis included a survey of area residents and an employer analysis. Important conclusions and

recommendations on the regional workforce were: ■ The workforce is experienced with 55 percent having more than 10 years on the job. ■ The region contained a very robust manufacturing workforce with over 17,000 and many skilled workers. ■ Prospects would find a very attractive climate for hiring, perhaps the best in 10 years.

Significant Information The available workforce numbers in the report (47,293) are only 73 percent of the 2007 report number (65,500). This is significant when viewing the much smaller labor shed. Conclusion: There are a large number of available workers within a reasonable commuting distance. The study, which contains a lot of significant information, can be found in its entirety on the Workforce Connection’s website at http://www.theworkforceconnection .org/pdf/BooneWinnebagoLabor Study_FINAL_4611.pdf Matthew Simpson is business development specialist at the RAEDC.

RAEDC adds new staff member By Helen Hill Yulia Sopina (“U” lia) joined the Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC) as a national business development assistant. She will work on business attraction efforts and the new Illinois Small Business Development Center International Trade Center of the Rockford Area, established in April, 2011. Sopina brings strong international skills to the RAEDC as a graduate of the National Agriculture University in Kyiv, Ukraine. She received both her bachelor of arts degree and master’s in business administration with an emphasis on economic development. She is fluent in Ukranian, Russian and English. Her work experience includes global sourcing and supplier management

Yulia Sopina is the new RAEDC national business development assistant. for an international chemical distribution company and a metals distribution company while based in the Ukraine, as well as an internship with a produce company in England. Rockford Chamber members are encouraged to contact her about the International Trade Center as well as for questions about exporting or for business attraction matters at or 815-969-4267. theVoice August 2011

Automotive sector gaining strength By William A. Strauss, senior economist and economic advisor, and Norman Wang, associate economist Presenters at the 2010 Automotive Outlook Symposium on June 2 to 3 in Detroit gave their outlook for the automotive sector. The following are some summaries provided by The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its August, 2011 Chicago Fed Letter. Jeff Schuster, executive director, J. D. Power and Associates, presented the light vehicle sales outlook. He said that 2011 began with strong global sales for light vehicles, which he anticipated to continue in the coming years, with global sales to reach 76 million this year, up 6 percent from 2010, and to eventually cross 100 million by 2015. Most of this growth will come from emerging markets, such as China. In 2010, emerging markets’ share of global light vehicle sales surpassed 50 percent for the first time (51 percent). By 2015, this share is expected to account for 60 percent.

Commercial Vehicles Rebound Kenny Vieth, partner, Americas Commercial Transportation (ACT) Research Co., provided the outlook on commercial vehicles (medium- and heavyduty trucks), explaining why commercial vehicle demand recently has rebounded. Truckers’ profits have increased because the demand for hauling freight by truck has risen, tightening trucking capacity — there’s now too much freight for too few trucks. With greater profits, truckers have improved their creditworthiness, increasing their ability to borrow funds. Many truckers put off buying new vehicles during the past two years because of the poor economy, increasing the average age of the commercial fleet and generating pent-up demand for new trucks. Given these factors, heavy-duty truck orders have risen to five-

plus-year highs in March and April of 2011.

Environmental Vehicles Gaining Market Share Gary Vasilash, editorial director, Automotive Design and Production, presented the outlook for automotive technology, saying that environmental vehicles are becoming legitimate alternatives to internal combustion engine vehicles, rather than niche vehicles that require consumers to sacrifice performance or aesthetics for fuel economy. Their sales reflect that reality. During the first four months of 2011, Toyota’s hybrid Prius outsold General Motors’ entire Cadillac division. Vasilash noted that one of the biggest hurdles for the widespread usage of environmental vehicles is the lack of infrastructure to support it. Still, environmental vehicle sales are expected to increase in coming years, as emerging markets like China drive up the demand for, and hence the price of, oil.

China Surpasses United States Vasilash noted that China overtook the United States as the world’s largest auto market in 2009, even though China has an extremely low car ownership rate. That said, Vasilash also argued that internal combustion engine vehicles still will have a place in the market, as too much knowledge, infrastructure, and technology have been invested in them. Vasilash expected the market to move toward a combination of less expensive electric vehicles and more fuel-efficient internal combustion engine vehicles. Copyrighted 2011. Chicago Fed Letter is published by the Economic Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The views expressed are the authors’ and do not necessarily reflect those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago or the Federal Reserve System. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.


Challenges of the shrinking manufacturing applicant pool A future shortfall of skilled employees will have enormous impact Of America’s 11 million manufacturing employees, 2.7 million (or 25 percent) are 55 years of age or older and likely to retire in the next 10 years. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that by 2012, manufacturing will have a three million skilled worker shortfall due to a resurgence of manufacturing in the United States.

Bernie Luecke Rock Valley College BPI

incredibly important issue for our community, considering the number of manufacturing companies that have helped make this region what it is today.

A Three-Pronged Remedy How do we remedy this situation? Is has been suggested

Despite the offer of good pay and benefits, the noble skills that involve working with your hands and mind do not hold the same appeal they did in decades past. These numbers are staggering and have a huge impact when you consider that American manufacturing is one of the world’s 10th largest economies. Within our own community (Rockford and Belvidere), the same story is told. Manufacturing businesses are desperate for skilled workers. Despite the offer of good pay and benefits, the noble skills that involve working with your hands and mind do not hold the same appeal they did in decades past.

Reinvesting Pays Dividends Human Resource departments indicate that they need to find talent that not only can perform a set of tasks, but can really understand the why and the how in the overall operation. This is an

and aggressively implemented by some communities, including ours, to first, encourage students at a younger and younger age to enter the world of manufacturing. Second, spend time and resources to train the current workforce to develop necessary skills particular to meeting organizations’ needs. Third, steer community efforts in the same direction as the industry. Reinvesting in our manufacturing workforce has become a critical path and will ensure that we remain competitive on a global scale. In need of assistance to meet current and future manufacturing workforce needs? The Business & Professional Institute at Rock Valley College is here to help. For more information, contact Bernie Luecke at 815-921-2067 or B.Luecke

Manufacturing News is sponsored by Rock Valley College BPI

August 2011 theVoice


Economic forecast cont from front page

experienced during the mid-1970s and early 1980s. During the first seven quarters of positive output following these two recessionary periods, the annualized rate of real GDP growth was 4.6 percent and 7.1 percent, respectively (significantly higher than that of the current recovery). Unlike the deep recessions of the mid-1970s and early 1980s, the current Great Recession has been accompanied by a major financial crisis. Recoveries both in the United States and in other countries that follow recessions associated with financial crises tend to be quite restrained. Employment losses that began in February, 2008, continued to mount following the end of the recession until February, 2010. Since then, the economy has been adding jobs, but the number of jobs added is just under 1.8 million — around 20 percent of the 8.7 million jobs lost. In addition to making up for these lost jobs, the U.S. economy needs to generate jobs to accommodate all the new entrants into the labor force. During the past decade, the labor force in the U.S. economy increased by an average of 1.3 million each year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Thus, about 4 million potential workers have been added since the start of the recession. All of these factors are reflected in the very high unemployment rate, which stood at 9.1 percent in May, 2011. The current unemployment rate illustrates the significant output gaps that persist

Oil Prices Impact Inflation With such slack in production, labor markets, and other parts of the economy, inflation has stayed low for the most part. Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), was 1.2 percent in 2010. However, following the unrest in the Middle East, oil prices rose more than 15 percent, to $94 per barrel, in the first quarter of 2011. Largely as a result of this jump in oil prices, inflation increased to an annualized rate of 5.2 percent during this period. Oil prices rose further in April, 2011, to $110 per barrel, but then pulled back in May, 2011, to $101 per barrel. Core inflation, which removes more volatile food and energy prices, is more reflective than total inflation of the underlying slack in the U.S. economy. Core inflation remained low, with a yearover-year rate of 1.5 percent in May, 2011.

Manufacturing Picks Up Pace The weakest sector of the economy remained housing. There were 0.58 million housing starts in 2010, well below the nearly 1.4 million annual housing starts that the U.S. averaged during the 1990s. The change in real residential investment was – 4.6 percent in 2010,

The economy is forecasted to grow at a solid pace in 2011 and 2012. The growth rate of real GDP is predicted to be 2.6 percent in 2011 and 2.9 percent in 2012. following an average annual change of – 24.2 percent over the previous three years. The manufacturing sector, whose level of production fell by more than 20 percent during the Great Recession, has been increasing its pace of production rapidly since the end of the recession. From June, 2009, through May, 2011, manufacturing output grew at an annualized rate of 6.6 percent, recovering just over half of the loss experienced during the downturn. The two industries that fell by the largest percentage — automotive manufacturing and primary metals — are the two industries that have shown the strongest growth since the end of the recession, with annualized growth rates of 29.2 percent and 21.2 percent, respectively. Light vehicle sales (car and light truck sales) improved from 10.4 million in 2009 to 11.6 million in 2010 — a nearly 12 percent gain. This increase in light vehicle sales was much larger than the 2.6 percent increase in real personal consumption expenditures for 2010. The annualized selling rate for light vehicles rose to 13 million units in the first quarter of 2011 from 12.3 million units in the previous quarter. However, the March 11, 2011, Japanese earthquake and tsunami and the subsequent nuclear disaster affected production facilities — especially those for automotive manufacturing — not just in Japan, but around the world. The change in manufacturing output in the United States was –0.5 percent in April, with motor vehicles and parts experiencing a change of –8.9 percent.

But excluding motor vehicles and parts, factory production was actually up in April, recording a change of 0.2 percent.

Forecasts Versus Results At last year’s AOS, which took place a year after the end of the Great Recession, participants forecasted the economy’s real GDP growth rate to be 3.1 percent in 2010, slightly more than the actual rate of 2.8 percent. The unemployment rate was predicted to average 9.5 percent in the final quarter of 2010 — this was quite close to the actual average of 9.6 percent. Inflation, as measured by the CPI, was predicted to average 1.7 percent in 2010 — 0.5 percentage points higher than the actual 1.2 percent increase in prices that occurred during 2010. Light vehicle sales were expected to rise substantially, from 10.4 million in 2009 to 11.6 million in 2010, which matched the actual total. Housing starts were forecasted to rise from 0.55 million units in 2009 to 0.68 million units in 2010, but they actually only edged higher to 0.58 million units.

Outlook for 2011, 2012 The economy is forecasted to grow at a solid pace in 2011 and 2012. The growth rate of real GDP is predicted to be 2.6 percent in 2011 and 2.9 percent in 2012. The quarterly pattern shows the annualized rate of real GDP growth to be between 2.6 percent and 3.2 percent over the forecast horizon (2011:Q2-2012:Q4). This rate of growth is considered to be right around the historical trend. The unemployment rate is predicted

to edge lower through the end of 2012: It is expected to fall to 8.5 percent by the fourth quarter of 2011 and then ease to a still very high 8.2 percent by the final quarter of 2012. Inflation, as measured by the CPI, is expected to rise quite a bit in 2011, to an annual rate of 2.6 percent, but this anticipated rise is largely due to increases in energy prices in the early part of 2011. Oil prices are predicted to peak in the second quarter of 2011, at $104 per barrel, and then remain relatively flat. Inflation is then anticipated to fall slightly to 2.2 percent in 2012. Real personal consumption expenditures are forecasted to expand at a solid rate of 2.8 percent in 2011 and at a slightly lower rate of 2.6 percent in 2012. Light vehicle sales are expected to rise to 13.2 million units this year and then improve to 14.4 million units next year. Real business fixed investment is predicted to record strong growth rates of 7.7 percent in 2011 and 6.8 percent in 2012. Industrial production is forecasted to grow at a rate of 5.4 percent this year and at a still solid rate of 4.1 percent next year. The housing sector is predicted to improve over the forecast horizon. Real residential investment is anticipated to grow in 2011, at a rate of 3.8 percent, and surge in 2012, at a rate of 16.2 percent. Housing starts are expected to increase to 0.59 million units in 2011 and 0.78 million units in 2012. The long-term interest rate (ten-year Treasury rate) is forecasted to increase 84 basis points in 2011, to 3.70 percent, and 50 basis points in 2012, to 4.20 percent. The short-term interest rate (one-year Treasury rate) is expected to rise 12 basis points this year, to 0.38 percent, and 98 basis points next year, to 1.36 percent. The trade-weighted U.S. dollar is predicted to edge down this year, at a rate of –0.3 percent, and then increase in 2012, at a rate of 0.7 percent. The trade deficit (net exports of goods and services) is predicted to remain unchanged this year and next.

Conclusion The participants at this year’s AOS predicted the economy to grow at a solid pace in 2011 and 2012. However, because economic growth still is being restrained following a recession accompanied by a financial crisis, the unemployment rate is expected to remain high by historical standards through 2012. Inflation is anticipated to rise but remain contained through 2012. Light vehicle sales are forecasted to improve this year and in 2012. Copyrighted 2011. Chicago Fed Letter is published by the Economic Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The views expressed are the authors’ and do not necessarily reflect those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago or the Federal Reserve System. The views expressed also do not necessarily reflect those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce. theVoice August 2011


Servicing is king Tournaments returning year after year

If you work in sales, you know service is king. It is less expensive to retain current customers than to develop new ones. This is true for the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, too. Our staff works hard year round marketing to groups and organizations that have the potential to bring tournaments and conventions to the Rockford Region. But what some folks might not realize is just how hard our team works to provide excellent service to our customers once they commit and come to Rockford.

Dressing Up for the Occasion Earlier this summer the Rockford Region hosted the American Bicycle Association’s (ABA) Mid-West BMX Nationals for the 24th consecutive year. The event, June 17 to 19, drew more than 1,000 pro and amateur racers to our area to compete for national rankings. It also generated an estimated $280,000 for area businesses.

RACVB is able to use its commitment to customer service to help grow tourism in the Rockford Region. Word of mouth is an important tool and our staff has seen their commitment to service generate new business. In addition to coordinating room nights for the competition, providing welcome bags for V.I.P.s and hosting information tables, the RACVB sales and servicing team assisted in planning the opening ceremonies. This included coordinating music, arranging for an honor guard and managing a balloon release. Staff assembled local mascots, from Ice Hog’s Hammy to the Rocky the bear from the Rockford Park District – even donning some of the costumes themselves to ensure the mascots were present! According to local organizer Candy Karau, the ABA says this is one of their top five national events, which includes those held at million dollar facilities in Texas and New Mexico. As Candy says, “Not too shabby for a little not-for-profit track in a city park!”

Wowing New Events Last month staff worked to wow a new event, the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) girls 14 and under, class “A” division World Series held July 19 to 24. The community beat out several

John Groh RACVB

other cities to host this event, including Kissimmee, Fla., near Walt Disney World. In making their decision to bring the girls’ event to Rockford, USSSA concluded the convenience, value and customer service provided by the region would allow them to grow attendance at future tournaments. RACVB sales and servicing team members were determined to show them how right they were. Staff coordinated room nights and facilities, created welcome bags for V.I.P.s, assisted with team registration and staffed information tables. Additionally, the sales and servicing team arranged for coupons and discounts from local establishments, coordinated music and entertainment for opening ceremonies, and planned and executed a special Mom’s Breakfast. This event and the coinciding USSSA Women’s World Series drew a combined 2,600 players, fans and coaches to the Rockford Region and generated nearly $500,000 for area businesses.

Commitment to Service Generates Business It’s because of this commitment to customer service that events like the Illinois High School Girls Bowling State Tournament returned earlier this year for the 19th consecutive time, and the Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation will return next year for its 10th consecutive year. Customer service also helps others, like Bison Sporting Events, expand and grow. Bison has gone from four tournaments to more than 20 in just two years, and event organizer Kelly Robison says it’s partly because players feel welcome. “They have a wonderful time and share their experiences with others. Their referrals carry a lot of weight for other teams and players.” Just like Bison Sports, RACVB is able to use its commitment to customer service to help grow tourism in the Rockford Region. Word of mouth is an important tool and our staff has seen their commitment to service generate new business. If you would like to see this commitment for yourself, please contact our staff at 815-963-8111 and learn how to bring your event or reunion to the Rockford Region, or volunteer to help us greet and welcome these guests to our community. John Groh is the president/CEO of the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, the region’s chief ambassador and the agency charged with growing our economy by growing visitation to the region.

August 2011 theVoice



Member Company Profile

Roma and Mark Hailman, former employees, have been owners of Mrs. Fisher’s since 2007.

A crunch that’s music to the ears Mrs. Fisher’s celebrates nearly 80 years making tasty potato chips By Paul Anthony Arco There are potato chips, and then there are Mrs. Fisher’s potato chips. It seems that everyone knows about Mrs. Fisher’s, the popular Rockford-based potato chip company that’s been in business for nearly 80 years. And chip lovers know the company’s logo -- a dancing potato named Spuddy. “My absolute favorite chip, by far,” said Pam Andrew, who grew up in Rockford and now lives in Wheaton, Ill. “My parents bring them every time they visit us.” “I love picking them up from the plant, freshly made that day, in the brown paper bags,” said Sylvia Waldsmith. “The flavor is wonderful.” That’s music to the ears of longtime employee Roma Hailman and her husband, Mark, who bought the potato-chip maker in 2007, when owners Chuck, Pete and Paul DiVenti retired after nearly 30 years. For nearly three decades, Roma worked her way up the company ladder – from production to accounting. “A month into working here, I knew I wanted to own the business some day,” she said. “I came from working on a factory assembly line, so this was a relaxed atmosphere. And I always enjoy seeing the same faces come in week to week.” The business was founded in 1932 by Ethel and Eugene Fisher, who started frying potato chips in their basement as a way to make extra money during the Depression. It was called Fisher’s Potato Chips at the time, but when Eugene left his wife, she changed it to Mrs. Fisher’s and moved to a larger facility. She eventually sold the business to route driver Sylvester Hahn in 1949. In fact, all four owners in the company’s history have been previous employees.

A Plant Rockford Can Be Proud Of Mrs. Fisher’s is known for its regular, ripple, barbecue, and now “dark” thickcut potato chips, an idea that Roma came up with. “It’s a different potato with a higher sugar content that causes them to cook much darker and with a different taste,” she said. “Some people think they are burned, but it’s just the caramelized

sugar in the potatoes that causes the distinct color change.” The company buys an estimated 2.5 million pounds of raw potatoes each year from suppliers across the country. Once they arrive, a SpudNik machine unloads the potatoes onto a conveyor belt to be washed, sliced, fried and salted before they are placed in bags. Mrs. Fisher’s produces approximately 10,000 pounds of potato chips each day. Three route drivers deliver the chips to customers in a 25-mile radius of Rockford. Distributors also take Mrs. Fisher’s chips into Wisconsin and the Chicago area. Mrs. Fisher’s employs a staff of 13, including its owners, at its 10,000-squarefoot plant on Fulton Avenue. Mrs. Fisher’s chips can be delivered to all 50 states. Parents ship them to their college students, while others mail containers of chips as holiday gifts. The Hailmans have a folder full of letters, cards and e-mails from customers who rave about the chips. Some of the most memorable notes have come from soldiers – who fought in Vietnam or are currently serving in Afghanistan – whose parents sent them Mrs. Fisher’s chips from back home. Lara Bacino Althaus hasn’t called Rockford home for years, but some of her fondest childhood memories include a certain brand of potato chips. “Mrs. Fisher’s is one of the things I miss about living in Rockford,” said the Mattoon, Ill., resident. “I’ve passed along the love for them to my daughter who, although has never lived there, makes sure we get some when we visit. If she meets someone from Rockford, she’ll ask them about Mrs. Fisher’s.” “We have very loyal customers who have fond memories,” Mark said. “We look at ourselves as caretakers of something that Rockford can be proud of. We’re fortunate to have been in business for 80 years.”

MRS. FISHER’S INC. Owners: Mark and Roma Hailman 1231 Fulton Ave. Rockford, IL 61103 815-964-9114 theVoice August 2011


INSIGHT Guest Perspective

Accessing costs, benefits of higher learning Four reason to pursue continuing education For most jobs, education is a necessity. It enables an individual to maximize performance, serves as an important credential or both. Typically, people won’t debate the importance of education. What they may challenge is how much is enough — High school? College? Master’s? Doctorate? There is no disputing that a doctorate is necessary for some professions. I don’t know about you, but I want to be certain that the physician operating on me has his medical degree. I tend to be forgiving in most instances, but not that particular one. There are four primary reasons for pursuing education. You should consider each before making a decision one way or the other. They are: 1. Requirements of the job, 2. Performance on the job, 3. Demands of society and 4. Ego. Let’s take a brief look at each.

Education Necessary … or an Image Thing? You may need a specific credential in order to hold a particular position. Examples that come to mind include welder certification, nursing license, CPA, MD, DDS or other recognized levels of achievement. Without it, you are not able to deliver your craft. Getting a particular education may increase your productivity. It could be something like learning how to utilize an individual software program or developing a skill set to excel at something like human relations management. Although not necessarily a requirement, it is conceivable that individuals in your circle of life may expect you to have one degree or another. For example, if you want your children to value education, it makes sense for you to invest in it for yourself. Or, driven strictly by self-image, you may always have aspired to attain a particular degree. Perhaps nobody else in your family has achieved it before.

More Simple Than Costs

Thomas H. Berliner, Ph.D. Judson College

But remember that there is a cost to developing your education. Typically, it is expressed in terms of money. However, anyone considering additional educational steps needs to think about other resource investments as well. There is the matter of time. When it comes to the clock, life is a zero-sum environment. In other words, if you do something here, you won’t have time to do something there. There also is the issue of tradeoffs. Will you be able to discipline yourself to invest the necessary time in and outside of class to maximize your decision? There also is the issue of choice. Can you forego that television program in order to do some necessary research? Can you meet with your study group in order to help one another on a project that you have been assigned? And, if you have a family, can you compensate them in some fashion for the encouragement that they give you, and the time that they make available to you? Perhaps that has meant that they are taking a bigger role in raising the children, handling finances or taking care of the house. Decide what education you need and why you need it. Then determine how to achieve it. Once done, be the best that you can be in attaining the certification, license or degree. We have wonderful institutions in the area to help you realize your goals. Thomas H. Berliner, Ph.D., is the dean of the School of Leadership and Business at Judson University in Elgin, Ill., as well as a seasoned educator, senior business consultant, author and entrepreneur. He can be reached at or at 847-628-1520. The views expressed are those of Dr. Berliner’s and do not necessarily reflect those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

August 2011 theVoice


Public schools spent $10,499 per pupil in 2009 Illinois ranked 18th, spending $12,457 per public school pupil in 2009

Nationwide, public school systems spent an average of $10,499 per pupil in fiscal year 2009, a 2.3 percent increase over 2008, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Public schools in New York spent more than any other state or state equivalent, with $18,126 per pupil in 2009. The next-highest spending was District of Columbia ($16,408), New Jersey ($16,271), Alaska ($15,552) and Vermont ($15,175). The least-highest spending were Utah ($6,356), Idaho ($7,092), Arizona ($7,813), Oklahoma ($7,885) and Tennessee ($7,897). States or state equivalents that saw the largest percent increases in per pupil spending from 2008 to 2009 were the District of Columbia (12.4 percent), Utah (10.3 percent), Minnesota (9.4 percent), North Carolina (7.4 percent) and Maine (6.3 percent).

Funding Sources Public school systems received $590.9 billion in funding in 2009, up 1.5 percent from the prior year. Of that, state governments contributed 46.7 percent, local sources 43.8 percent, and federal sources 9.5 percent. Property taxes accounted for 65.2 percent of revenue from local sources. The $258.9 billion in funding

schools received from local sources included 87.9 percent from taxes and local government appropriations. Total spending by public school systems was $604.9 billion in 2009, a 2.0 percent increase from the prior year. Instructional salaries accounted for the largest spending category for public elementary and secondary education, totaling $209.0 billion in 2009. Total school district debt increased by 5.8 percent to $399.1 billion in 2009. More details can be found at www.census .gov/prod/2011pubs/g09-aspef.pdf.

MORE YOUNG HISPANIC ADULTS HAVE HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMAS Proportionately more young Hispanic adults are completing high school and fewer are dropping out than a decade ago, according to an analysis of enrollment trends by the U.S. Census Bureau. Among Hispanic 18- to 24-year-olds, 22 percent were not enrolled in high school and lacked a high school diploma or equivalent in 2008, compared with 34 percent in 1998.

Big Brothers Big Sisters take on RAISE Program The Junior League of Rockford announced that Big Brothers Big Sisters of the YMCA of Rock River Valley will oversee the RAISE Program after serving as program partner since 2010. The RAISE (Reaching And Inspiring Students for Education) program began in 2007 to help financially disadvantaged, underrepresented and first generation college students from the Rockford Public Schools gain access to post high school education. RAISE mentors have worked one on one with selected Jefferson High School juniors and seniors to identify interests, skills and abilities, navigate the college application process, research specific colleges, and set career goals. Sixty students were mentored during the 20102011 school year. The program reached a new milestone this year with 100 percent of new RAISE Program graduates expected to attend a college or a postsecondary school during the 2011-2012 year. RAISE graduates secured nearly

$100,000 in grants and scholarships to fund their education. The RAISE Program started as a collaboration with the Junior League of Rockford, the Mayor’s Office of Education and Lifelong Learning, the Community Education Partnership, and Rockford Public School District 205. The Jefferson High School initiative was developed as a model for all Rockford area high schools.

ACCORDING TO THE U.S. CENSUS, only 20 percent of adults in Rockford over 25 years of age have a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to the national average of 27 percent of the U.S. population. Yet Rockford’s business community and the Higher Education Alliance of the Rock River Region report that 80 to 85 percent of all new jobs in the area require a post-secondary education. theVoice August 2011


Back to School: 2011 to 2012

By the numbers With summertime winding down, and vacations coming to an end, back-to-school time is near. The following statistics highlight the return to classrooms by our nation’s students and teachers.

in kindergarten who attended all day, as of October, 2009.

55.5 million


The projected number of students to be enrolled in the nation’s elementary through high schools this fall.

$7.4 billion


The amount of money spent at family clothing stores in August, 2010. Only in November and December were sales significantly higher. Similarly, sales at bookstores in August, 2010, totaled $2.2 billion, an amount approached in 2010 only by sales in January.

Projected percentage of elementary through high school students enrolled in private schools this fall.


77 million The number of children and adults enrolled in school throughout the country in October, 2009 — from nursery school to college. They comprised 27 percent of the entire population age 3 and older.


52% Percentage of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in school in October, 2009.

74% Percentage of children 3 to 6 enrolled

43% Percentage of elementary through high school students who belonged to a minority population as of October, 2009.

23% Percentage of elementary through high school students with at least one foreignborn parent in October, 2009.

Nearly 80% Percentage of students ages 12 to 17 who were academically on-track in 2006, up 8 percentage points from 1998. The odds of being on-track were 48 percent higher for these students if they were in a gifted class and 34 percent higher if they had never been suspended or expelled from school. (Students were considered to be academically on-track if they were enrolled in school at or

above the grade level appropriate for their age.)



Percentage of all college students 35 and older in October, 2009. They made up 37 percent of those attending school part time.

11.2 million Number of school-age children (5 to 17) who spoke a language other than English at home in 2009; 8 million spoke Spanish.


31.3 million

50% Percentage of 18- and 19-year-olds enrolled in college in 2009.


Average number of children participating each month in the National School Lunch Program in 2009.

Percentage of college students who were women in October, 2009.



19.7 million The projected number of students enrolled in the nation’s colleges and universities this fall — up from 14.4 million 20 years ago.


Number of public schools in 2008 to 09. In 2007 to 08, there were 33,740 private schools.

more on page 14

August 2011 theVoice


Back to school cont from page 13

4,409 Number of degree-granting institutions of higher education in 2008 to 2009.



The number of public charter schools nationwide in 2008 to 09. These schools, exempt from selected state and local rules and regulations, enrolled 1,433,116 students.

7.2 million Number of teachers in the United States in 2009. Almost 3 million taught at the elementary and middle school level. The remainder included those teaching at the postsecondary, secondary, preschool, kindergarten levels, special education and other teachers or instructors.

$65,800 Average annual salary of public school teachers in California as of the 2007 to 2008 school year — the highest of any state. Teachers in South Dakota received the lowest pay — $36,700. The national average was $52,800. High school principals earned $99,365 annually in 2008 to 09.

$16.44 Average hourly wage for the nation’s school bus drivers in 2008 to 09. Custodians earned $14.59, while cafeteria workers made $11.94.


14.2 million Number of computers available for classroom use in the nation’s schools as of the 2005 to 2006 school year — one computer for every four students.


$15,876 Average tuition, room and board (instate students) at the nation’s four-year public colleges and universities for an academic year 2008 to 09 — more than double the cost in 1990.

$40,633 Average tuition, room and board at the nation’s four-year private colleges and universities for one academic year 2008 to 09 — more than double the cost in 1990.


$83,144 Average annual 2008 earnings of workers 18 and older with an advanced

degree. This compares with $21,023 for those without a high school diploma. In addition, those with a bachelor’s degree earned an average of $58,613 in 2008, while those with a high school diploma earned $31,283.

$85,417 Average starting salary offered to bachelor’s degree candidates in petroleum engineering in 2009, among the highest of any field of study. At the other end of the spectrum were those majoring in a social science, who were offered an average of $36,217.


3.2 million Projected number of high school diplomas that will be awarded in the 2011 to 12 school year.

3.4 million Number of college degrees expected to be conferred in the 2011 to 12 school year.


$10,499 The per-pupil expenditure on public elementary and secondary education nationally in 2009. New York ($18,126) spent the most among states or state equivalents, followed by the District of Columbia ($16,408), New Jersey ($16,271) and Alaska ($15,552). Utah ($6,356) spent the least per student, followed by Idaho ($7,092) and Arizona ($7,813).


89% Among K-12 students, the percentage with a parent or other household member who attended a general school or PTO/PTA meeting during the 2006 to 07 school year. Additionally, 65 percent had such a relative who participated in school fundraising and 46 percent who volunteered to serve on a school committee. Source: U.S. Census Bureau theVoice August 2011


Rockford College PERSPECTIVE

It all starts with your good name Simple tools go far in marketing, communications

Paul Westerman Rockford College

“What’s in a name?” Shakespeare first asked that question. For a business, a good name can mean everything. Businesses need positive name recognition to grow. Whatever goods or services your organization offers, wide knowledge and positive name association can increase sales to customers, help you negotiate with suppliers, and communicate more effectively with consultants or prospective partners. Conversely, bad name association can hurt or even destroy your business. This basic truth is an issue that companies must deal with successfully in order to set themselves apart from the rest and gain market share.

Obviously it’s more fun to work on releases that convey good news and stories, but we all know that bad news happens as well. Don’t shy away from confronting it, by issuing a release to help explain an unfavorable topic. For example, your company has not its met sales goals, or false rumors have spread that layoffs are imminent. A well crafted media release can help to explain in positive, understandable terms the background of the current situation, and the strategies in place for advancing your organization.

Share What is Special

Now that you have the release ready – where should it go? Take the time to create a current distribution list of media and industry contacts that is relevant to your company. It ultimately will save time and energy. You’ll most likely want to send releases through e-mail, post them on your company Web site and push them out onto Facebook and Twitter. Experts say you should consider adding some digital features, like photos, or a short video clip or audio file that support your written word. Provide links back to other company information available online — such as previous press releases and related matter, like customer testimonials or performance reports. This gives the news media additional context and background information.

An important part of any marketing and communication plan is the news release. It can be targeted to industryspecific media or shared generally. The best part is — it’s free. Used properly, a news release or media advisory is a valuable way to encourage the media to share news about your business and its products or activities. A well-written release should present facts in a positive light and can provide valuable name recognition, credibility or residual sales benefits. However, it is important to remember that the release’s basic premise is to communicate something newsworthy. An introduction of a new product, employee distinctions, recognition for excellence, anniversary milestones, and opening a new facility are among many occasions for a news release. Remember the basics — tell the “who, what, when, where and why” of your story. Write in third person, follow “The Associated Press Stylebook” guidelines, be brief – but thorough, exact, and grammatically correct. Use an insightful quote as a good option to provide context to the announcement. And don’t neglect the headline. A strong headline tells reporters at a glance why this release has appeal to their audience.

A Preemptive Strike on Negative News There can be a lot to consider, and at times it can be hard to hone in on what the “news” of your announcement should be. If you’re just not sure where to start, or if it’s time to freshen up your presentation, a quick Internet search will reveal several references and examples that can help you find the best fit for your particular situation.

Repurpose Your News for Different Outlets

Stay Current Promoting your business will continue to evolve with advances in the Web and social media. It always will be important to stay as current as possible with communications trends. However, even as news releases morph — from print, to electronic, to the blogosphere – the basic premise is the same. Start with your good name and the solid foundation of value your business provides, and use the simple news release as an important tool in maintaining and advancing your standing. Paul Westerman is a 2005 graduate of Rockford College with a bachelor of arts degree in political science. Currently he is an MBA student at Rockford College and graduate assistant in the communications office in the Institutional Advancement Department. The views expressed are those of Westerman’s and do not necessarily reflect those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

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August 2011 theVoice

Members Caught on Digital ON DIGITAL

Parks Big & Tall, 314 N. Alpine Road in Rockford, held a ribbon cutting event on July 14. The store sells casual and dress clothing for big and tall men.

Standard Mileage Rate The IRS announced that the standard mileage rate for business miles increased to 55.5 cents a mile July 1. This is an increase of 4.5 cents from the 51 cent rate in effect for the first six months of 2011. theVoice August 2011

17 theVoice August 2011


Guest Perspective INSIGHT


Look better, feel better, perform better...every day

Fun fitness initiatives chip away at company’s health care expenses

Focus on four simple steps We all want to look and feel better, yet sometimes we aren’t really sure where to start or what to focus on. So, I’ve made it easy for you. Start by focusing on these four simple steps during your day — hydration, supplements, balanced diet and exercise.

Hydration Your body is comprised mainly of water, and proper hydration is essential for energy, proper digestion, joint function, healthy skin and overall body function. Drink eight, eight-ounce glasses of cold water per day. Stay away from soda and flavored drinks, and instead try adding fresh berries or lemon to your water to give it a nice change in flavor.

Supplements It is important for your body to get enough of the vitamins, minerals and oils it needs on a daily basis. I always recommend a high-quality capsule multivitamin and fish oil, as part of a healthy daily supplement to your diet. There also are natural supplements that can do everything from increase your energy levels to help regulate your hormones, which are great if you are feeling like you are lacking more energy than normal.

Balanced Diet It is important to eat three small meals a day, and include two snacks — one fruit and one veggie are ideal. Focus on portion control for each of the small meals, and be sure to include a lean protein, complex carbohydrate and vegetable. Say “no!” to bad fats, processed foods and sugar as much as possible.

Guest Perspective

Jennifer Smith Complete Nutrition

Exercise Exercise is the best energy booster! Plus, it increases oxygen flow in the body, which increases your metabolism; causing your body to burn more calories. Try to set aside time each morning for 30 minutes of walking or weight training before you start your day. You will feel so much better and have more energy throughout the entire day. Jennifer Smith is lead consultant at Complete Nutrition in Rockford. The views expressed are those of Smith’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

It generally is understood that healthy employees and staff can boost a company’s bottom line. Many businesses of all sizes see their health care costs as one of the largest line items on their P&L reports. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 75 percent of employers’ health care costs and productivity losses are related to employee lifestyle choices. According to the Wellness Council of America, a $1 investment in wellness programs saves $3 in health care costs. However, in this difficult economy, how is a company supposed to find the funds and the time to create a wellness program? As with other costs associated with businesses, it actually makes the most

OFFICE EXERCISE: BURN CALORIES AT WORK You may spend your workdays at a desk, but you don’t need to take it sitting down. Here’s advice for incorporating fitness into your business routine by the staff Mayo Clinic. Remember, any physical activity counts! Make the most of your commute. Walk or bike to work. If you ride the bus, get off a few blocks early and walk the rest of the way. If you drive to work, park at the far end of the parking lot. Look for opportunities to stand. You’ll burn more calories standing than sitting. Stand while talking on the phone. Better yet, try a standing desk — or improvise with a high table or counter. Eat lunch standing up. Trade instant messaging and phone calls for walks to other desks or offices. Take fitness breaks. Rather than hanging out in the lounge with coffee or a snack, take a brisk walk or do some gentle stretching. Trade your office chair for a fitness ball. A firmly inflated fitness or stability ball can make a good chair. You’ll improve your balance and tone your core muscles while sitting at your desk. Keep fitness equipment in your work area. Store resistance bands — stretchy cords or tubes that offer weight-like resistance when you pull on them — or small hand weights in a desk drawer or cabinet. Get social. Organize a lunchtime walking group — and hold each other accountable for regular exercise. Enjoy the camaraderie, and offer encouragement when the going gets tough. Conduct meetings on the go. When it’s practical, schedule walking meetings or brainstorming sessions. Do laps inside your building or, if the weather cooperates, take your walking meetings outdoors. Pick up the pace. If your job involves walking, do it faster. Source:

Greg Georgis FitMe Wellness

economic sense to outsource it.

A Great Return on Investment There are numerous wellness options out there. The difficulty becomes finding the options that make the most sense for your company and that are affordable to fund. Ideally, a company should find a single wellness provider that can offer staff health risk assessments, biometric screenings, incentive-based solutions for weight management, nutritional counseling, and other coaching/counseling options. Critical to the success of any of these programs is finding a facility that can offer these services in a centralized location that allows your staff to congregate in a fun and clean atmosphere, and where they can focus on their goals of self improvement. If they are having fun, enjoy what they are doing, and are being rewarded for reaching their goals, you begin to find your workforce getting healthier. Studies show that employee participation in wellness programs increases dramatically when upper management is actively involved in the program and leading by example — so a well designed program should engage every member of your organization. When this is achieved, you and your benefits consultant should begin chipping away at your health care expenses. This return on investment does not happen overnight, but a sustained approach to employee wellness can create both financial and staffing benefits over the long haul. Greg Georgis is owner/founder of FitMe Wellness. The views expressed are those of Georgis’ and do not necessarily reflect those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

August 2011 theVoice


Issues to Watch LEGISLATIVE News from the Illinois Chamber, State of Illinois Released July, 2011 For the most recent State of Illinois legislative actions, visit GOVERNOR QUINN SIGNS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LEGISLATION INTO LAW With most of the media stories focusing on the verdict in former Governor Blagojevich’s trial in early summer; some of Governor Quinn’s signatures to legislation may have been missed. On June 28, the changes to the workers’ compensation system became official. HB1698 becomes a Public Act, which makes various changes to the workers’ compensation system regarding the medical fee schedule and AMA guidelines.

GOVERNOR SLASHES MEDICAID, EDUCATION FUNDING BEFORE APPROVING NEW BUDGET The Governor signed off on the state’s budget – just hours before the new fiscal year took effect on July 1 – and not before he used his line-item veto powers to reduce spending by more than $370 million. Nearly 75

percent of the cuts come from a single reduction to the Medicaid program – a move that Governor Quinn claims has been used to put pressure on Illinois hospitals to negotiate rate cuts and Medicaid reforms. The Governor also carved out funding for transportation reimbursement for K-12 education and zeroed out funding for regional superintendents. Although the Governor’s line-item veto reduces Medicaid funding, he does not have any statutory authority to reduce rates. Medicaid reimbursements to providers, therefore, likely will take longer and could get pushed into the next fiscal year, adding up to $1 billion in new Medicaid liabilities for FY 2013. The General Assembly can override the Governor’s line-item vetoes when they return to Springfield in the fall veto session in late October. The bills regarding the Governor’s specific line-time and reduction veto action are: HB117, HB123, HB132, HB327, HB3717

EVERYONE REQUIRED TO WEAR SEAT BELT IN ILLINOIS A smaller known bill is the new seat belt law. Previously, only passengers in the front of a vehicle were required to wear their seat belts. Starting July 1, all passengers in a vehicle, including the backseat, must wear their seatbelts. Illinois becomes the 15th state to require this of all passengers.

NEW HEALTH REFORM EMPLOYER PENALTY Under the Affordable Care Act, employers with 50 or more full-time employees that do not offer affordable health coverage to their

full-time employees may be assessed a penalty. These employershared responsibility provisions, included in the federal health reform law, take effect in 2014 and specifically exempt employers that have fewer than 50 full-time employees. Federal regulations have yet to determine exactly how a fulltime employee is defined or lay out standards to be used to determine affordable coverage.

ILLINOIS’ PER CAPITA DEBT THIRD WORST IN NATION According to the Institute for Truth in Accounting, each Illinois citizen owes $26,800 for combined total state debt. The Institute ranks Illinois’s per-capita debt as the third highest of all 50 states; falling behind Connecticut and New Jersey. The ranking includes the pension and retiree health care obligations. Data for all states can be accessed at iles/States_financial_burdens.pdf. theVoice August 2011


Regional, National Indicators THE ECONOMY Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index The Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index (CFMMI) increased 0.6% in May, to a seasonally adjusted level of 84 (2007 = 100). Regional output in May rose 7.1 percent from a year earlier, and national output increased 4.1 percent. Updated June 27, 2011 Monthly Index Mar 11

% Change

Apr 11


Chicago Mfg. Index




















National Index




May 10 - May 11

 7.1  6.7  16.5  12.1  1.4  4.1

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Unemployment Rates—Region, State, Nation May 2011

Apr 2011

May 10














 1.2  1.1  0.4

United States







3.5 0.6 1.1 0.6

Source: U.S. Department of Employment Security, June 23, 2011

Population Clocks

U.S. Indicators June, 2011 Consumer Price Index  0.2 percent Unemployment Rate 9.2 percent Payroll Employment  18,000 Average Hourly Earnings  $0.01 Producer Price Index  0.4 percent Employment Cost Index  0.6 percent (first quarter, 2011) Productivity

 1.8 percent (first quarter, 2011) U.S. Import Price Index

 0.5 percent

U.S. Export Price Index

 0.1 percent

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

July 17, 2011

U.S. 311,784,092 World 6,949,545,887 Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Local Unemployment Drops Statewide for Record Ninth Month According to a report by the Illinois Department of Employment Security, year-over-year unemployment rates for May dropped in every metropolitan area in Illinois for nine consecutive months. In the Rockford Region, the May unemployment rate fell to 10.7 percent from 14.2 percent—the 12th consecutive month the unemployment rate was lower than one year ago. Total non-farm employment expanded compared to May, 2010. Manufacturing, transportationwarehousing-utilities and professional-business services led other industries in payroll gains. Financial activities and educationalhealth services reported the largest declines from May, 2010.

August 2011 theVoice


Member in the News IN THE NEWS

1. Jeff Klarman

2. Michael Houselog

3. Daniel Ross

4. Heather Kelley

5. Dennis Horton

6. Gary Tiffany

7. Kathi Bouland

8. Henrietta Dotson-Williams

9. Kevin P. King

10. Chris Davenport

11. David Green

12. Russ Hoffman

13. Kyle Lee

14. Adam Cox

15. Tanner Kitelinger

16. Gerald M. Shankel

17. Edward S. Youdell

18. Erica Hebel

19. Holly Johns

20. Nicole Wadley

21. Pratik Parikh, M.D.

22. Anitha Nimmagadda, M.D.

23. Marisha Cook, M.D.

24. Cheryl Davis

Whitewater, were appointed financial representative interns.

BOARD APPOINTMENTS Jeff Klarman (1), president of KMK Media Group, is part of the Multimedia Technologies advisory board at Rasmussen College.

The Rockford Public School District’s Board of Education approved the contracts of three new assistant superintendents, Martha Hayes, Ehren Jarrett and Matt Vosberg, and a new executive director of communications and community empowerment, Earl Dotson, Jr.

Michael Houselog (2), superintendent of schools for Belvidere School District #100, and Daniel Ross (3), president of Williams-Manny Inc., joined SwedishAmerican Health System’s board of directors. Ellwyn Englof, principal consultant, Ingenium Technologies; Reed Sjostrom, project engineer, Sjostrom and Sons, Inc., and Will Hoff, field engineer, Northern Illinois Service, were elected to the Natural Land Institute board of trustees. Dan Williams was elected as board president, Dave Arnold as vice president, Karen Blomgren as secretary, and Tom Ptacin as treasurer. Volunteers Mark Ackerman, telecommunications administrator, Woodward Governor, and Lisa Normoyle, art teacher, Rockford School District #205, joined Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois’ board of directors. Girl Scout Aubrey Baker-Clark, Guilford High School, is national council delegate. Jasper St. Angel, principal broker at St. Angel Agency, was appointed for a two-year term on the Winnebago County Board of Review. Heather Kelley (4), owner and marketing strategist, Argyle Marketing, was appointed to the

Woodward, Inc., hired Sagar Patel as president, Aircraft Turbine Systems. The Woodward board of directors intends to appoint Patel as an executive officer of the company.

25 A&B. Courtney Clayton (left) and Shynia Summerville, Illinois Jets, travel to New Orleans for the Amateur Athletic Union National Junior Olympic Championships.

Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful marketing committee.


Pamela M. Duffy, RN, MSN, MBA, MSMOB, vice president, patient care services and chief nursing officer, KishHealth System, DeKalb, was named chair of the Saint Anthony College of Nursing board of directors.

Reverend Calvin Culpepper (9) began his ministry at Court Street United Methodist Church on July 3. Reverend Keith KelseyPowell retired after 27 years of service – the past five for the Court Street congregation.

Northern Illinois Hospice and Grief Center welcomed the following to its board: Dennis Horton (5), Better Business Bureau; Gary Tiffany (6), MSFS, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF, Pekin Life Insurance Company; Kathi Bouland (7), RN, BHN, SwedishAmerican Health System, and Henrietta DotsonWilliams (8), community volunteer and fire and police commissioner.

Chris Davenport (10), David Green (11) and Russ Hoffman (12) were appointed as financial representatives by Northwestern Mutual Financial Network The Krueger Financial Group in Janesville, Wis., and Rockford, Ill. Students Kyle Lee (13), University of Whitewater Wisconsin; Adam Cox (14), Northern Illinois University, and Tanner Kitelinger (15), University of Wisconsin

Gerald M. Shankel (16), president & CEO, Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Intl. (FMA) will retire effective Oct. 1. The FMA board of directors appointed Edward S. Youdell (17), group publisher of FMA Communications, Inc., to succeed him. Northern Illinois Hospice and Grief Center hired Erica Hebel (18), LPN, CHPLN, as a full-time nurse; Holly Johns (19), as development assistant, and Nicole Wadley (20), RN, CHPN, as a parttime RN case manager. Theo Glover was sworn in as Rockford Park District police chief. Pratik Parikh, M.D. (21), cardiologist, joined SwedishAmerican Health System. Anitha Nimmagadda, M.D. (22), an endovascular neurosurgeon, theVoice August 2011


Member in the News IN THE NEWS

26. Scott Johnson

27. Cindy Pederson

28. Patricia Wagner

29. Eve Whitaker

30. Bruce A. Graham

31. Chris Kelley

Brent Brodeski, CEO and financial advisor at Savant Capital Management, was named one of the regular contributors to Wall

Management Center, was named as one of only 33 diabetes professionals in the nation a fellow of the American Association of Diabetes Educators.

Herbert “Herbie” Stolt, a resident at Morning Star Village, is honored by Hospice Care of America for his service in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. joined the Brain and Spine Center, 2350 N. Rockton Ave., at Rockford Health System. East High School graduate Marisha Cook, M.D. (23), internal medicine and allergy/immunology specialist, joined Rockford Health Physicians, 2300 N. Rockton Ave.

EMPLOYEE/COMMUNITY RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS Tawn Jacobs, senior financial planner at Savant Capital Management, earned the Personal Financial Specialist credential by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Joel Nettesheim, CPA, principal, and Eric Trost, CPA, MST, principal, at SVA Certified Public Accountants, S.C., were selected by clients for the ‘FIVE STAR Overall Satisfaction Award’ published annually in Milwaukee Magazine. Rockford Park District presented Quarterly Excellence Awards to: John Piccolin, park district police, outstanding performance; Zachary Zage, park district police, notable service to community/citizens; Dave Rutherford, financial services, creative contributions; Garrett Jones, capital planning & asset management, notable service to staff; Matt Dutkiewicz, golf services (Ingersoll), Safety First, and Pam Lindstrom, purchasing, Dollars for Ideas. Linda Dries, manager of SwedishAmerican Health System’s Diabetes Self-

Graham (30), completed an annuity training course by Pekin. Chris Kelley (31), Argyle Marketing, attended the American Advertising Federation national conference in San Diego, Calif., which included the national ADDY Awards.

Cheryl Davis (24), program services director, and Lori Huff, caseworker, at Lifescape Community Services were recertified within the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems with a specialty in aging. Scott Johnson, CPWA® (26) , vice president at Robert W. Baird & Company, Inc., Rockford, earned the Certified Private Wealth AdvisorSM designation. Fifteen Illinois Jets area athletes are headed to New Orleans at the end of July for the Amateur Athletic Union National Junior Olympic Championships. During the Midwest regional competition, Courtney Clayton (25 A) won first place in the 800-meter run for intermediate girls, Shynia Summerville (25 B), won the 800-meter run for the sub-youth girls, and Nicholas Pierson won gold in the sub-midget boys discus throw with a distance of more than 70 feet.

OF GENERAL INTEREST Robert A. Wright, CPA, partner, McGladrey & Pullen, LLP, co-lead a session on the components of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs at ANI 2011: The Healthcare Finance Conference by Healthcare Financial Management Association. Cindy Pederson (27) and Patricia Wagner (28), Spectrum Insurance Agencies, attended An Ethics Class for the Multi Lines Insurance Professionals presented by Pekin Insurance Company. Eve Whitaker (29) attended a 12-week virtual training/self study course by Safeco Insurance Company on property and liability insurance principles, personal insurance, and customer service and sales skills enhancements. Bruce A.

Street Week, an online information source for investors. Visit Dr. Fred Sweet, Rockford Spine Center, was interviewed for a feature article in the June issue of Inside Healthcare magazine on how the practice started, its philosophy of comprehensive care, and a new way to use an antibiotic following surgery to reduce infection rates.

August 2011 theVoice



Chicago Rockford International Airport announced tickets are on sale for nonstop flights to Denver International Airport. Flights begin three times a week on Frontier Airlines starting on Dec. 16. Tickets start at $99 each way at or 800-432-1359. RBC Wealth Management ranked highest in investor satisfaction among full service brokerage firms, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Full Service Investor Satisfaction StudySM. KMK Media Group, Inc., completed an email newsletter campaign for Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen’s “Christiansen for Chairman” campaign. Emails will inform recipients of county accomplishments, special events, and campaign-related news and events. Visit www.scottfor to sign up. Rockford Park District partnered with Veolia Environmental Systems to inform patrons of efforts to recycle pop bottles at the Indoor Sports Center and Sportscore Complexes. The park district established a recycling program in 2000, thanks in part to a $145,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. From 2007 to 2010, more than 7,111 cubic yards of materials were diverted from area landfills. Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, Inc., is the first professional engineering consulting firm in Illinois to receive the Lincoln Bronze Award for Commitment to Excellence from the Naperville (Ill.)based Lincoln Foundation for Performance Excellence. Chicago Rockford International Airport announced that starting in December, Apple Vacations will offer weekly flights to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Service also will return in December to Cancun. Tickets are on sale. Punta Cana flights run Dec. 26 through April 8. Cancun flights run Dec. 24 through April 7. In peak season in January, Cancun flights will expand to Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. SwedishAmerican Breast Health Center, part of the SwedishAmerican Center for Women, was designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology. Thayer Lighting, Inc., a ComEd trade ally, completed a ComEd Smart Ideas project for Anderson Toyota by upgrading showroom lighting to costsaving, high-energy efficient fixtures. Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful held its Medication Collection on June 11 at six sites in five counties with nearly 5,000 pounds of unused, unwanted and expired prescription and over-thecounter medications disposed of in a safe and environmentally friendly way. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians

University of Illinois College of Pharmacy students Renata Sutter and Juhae Lee sort medications as part of Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful’s Medication Collection at Machesney Park Mall on June 11. sorted the medications. Veolia Environmental Services staff packaged medications for disposal. Police department officers from Winnebago County, Belvidere, Carroll, Freeport and Jo Daviess Counties monitored the process and provided security for the controlled substances. Rockford Park District staff is working with Lohmann Golf Design to redesign the Alpine Hills Golf Course, 4402 Larson Ave., to focus on introducing new players and youth golf programs and to develop a youth learning golf facility, and a winter activity center. In spring 2011, the Hansberger family donated the 52-acre facility to the Rockford Park District Foundation. Woodward, Inc., secured new contracts to provide key products for the Bombardier* CSeries* aircraft including the fly-by-wire LRU (Line Replaceable Unit) rudder pedal assemblies, cargo compartment door and APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) door actuation systems, including integral electronic control units. The CSeries aircraft family includes the single-aisle 110-passenger CS100 and 130passenger CS300 jets, expected to enter into service in 2013. Rockford Park District Board of Commissioners renamed the softball diamonds at the Sportscore One Complex to Papich Fields in honor and memory of Rockford Park District staff member Robert “Bob” F. Papich, credited with bringing prestigious sports tournaments to Rockford, and helping Rockford become the amateur sports capital of the Midwest. The Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center was awarded a $500 grant by the President’s Discretionary Fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois for a free outreach to middle and high school students to increase their enjoyment and knowledge of music on Nov. 4 with the NIU Steelband, a 35-member ensemble. Local technology firm Ticomix, Inc., acquired Redstone Softbase (Cleveland, Ohio), maker of GoldBox data management software. Redstone Softbase President Dave Petonic joins Ticomix

Winnebago County CASA celebrates the graduation of its spring, 2011, class, Pictured in the photo (from left to right): Scott Richardson, Peggy Timmerman, Sherri Cultra, Karen Baker, Connie Cameron, Judge Mary Linn Green, Evonne Myrick, Mindi Searle, Amanda Shadden, Rachel Schultz, Beth Ingle, Sarah Manley. Taryn Marko is missing from photo. as director of GoldBox development & sales, as part of the acquisition. Rockford College launched Project 165 – a year-long initiative paying tribute to its 165-year history in February, 2012. Work includes $1.6 million in capital improvements to the campus including road reconstruction, acquisition of a lighting control system for Maddox and Cheek theaters, acquisition and installation of a 30-unit computer lab for the nursing program, and renovations to the Jane Addams Peace Garden and three of the oldest residence halls. Rockford Urban Ministries hosted 55 volunteers from church mission groups from Swartz Creek, Mich., and 20 volunteers from Coralville, Iowa, to help local families repair their homes as part of its 12th annual Rockford Work Camps project. Rockford Human Services Department provided funds for materials and some supervision. Rockford Park District Foundation selected Eventus to oversee planning of Cruisin’ on the Rock — a series of summer-themed cruises along the Rock River. The events are fundraisers for the foundation, including a wine tasting cruise on Sept. 15 with entertainment, refreshments and networking. Farmers Insurance started a new product, a farmers graded death benefit whole life for ages 45 to 80 who need permanent insurance coverage with cash values and guaranteed level premiums to help with final expenses. Winnebago County CASA is hosting training sessions in October for volunteers interested in appointment by the Juvenile Court Judge to act as a Guardian ad litem for abused and neglected children who proceed through the court system. An hour-long orientation is required within the two weeks before training begins. Training is in 10, three-hour sessions on Mondays, Tuesdays or Thursdays, mostly evenings. Visit www.winnebagocounty or contact casaoffice@win or 815-319-6880. Careers, Etc., received a $14,870 grant to provide community computer training and access, and a $48,020 grant to provide job readiness training and resources for unemployed and underemployed U.S. military veterans. Both are from the Illinois Department of

Commerce & Economic Opportunity. Lifeguards at Magic Waters and aquatics facilities received the 2010 Ellis and Associates Platinum Award with perfect scores in five categories. This is the first time the Rockford Park District’s entire aquatics team received such recognition. Magic Waters received the distinction in 2009. Rockford Park District Board of Commissioners named the Sinnissippi Riverfront Accessible Fishing Pier in memory of David F. Johnson, and the Olson Park Picnic Shelter in memory of Ed Enichen. Enichen was a longtime member of the Rockford Park District Foundation board. Crimson Pointe, an assisted living community in Rockford, formed a relationship with Five Star Quality Care, Inc., a senior living company that operates more than 200 senior communities: assisted living, independent living, dementia care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation clinics in 30 states, as well as institutional pharmacies and two rehabilitation hospitals in Boston. Visit The Rockford Park District and the City of Loves Park are redeveloping a brownfield site at 5101 Louisa St., (once the Hines Lumber Company property) into a community park with a youth softball/baseball diamond; basketball, pickleball and grass volleyball courts; a playground, and more. Funding came from an Illinois Department of Natural Resources Open Lands Acquisition and Development grant, and $100,000 in state funding. Rockford Health Physicians – Byron, 130 Kysor Dr., will see its first patients on Monday, Aug. 1. It’s staffed by Karen Gellada, M.D., family practice specialist, and Lucy Martin, F.P.N.P. Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful received clothing and other soft goods from 2,064 area residents on July 9, an estimated 72,000 pounds. Illinois Department of Employment Security will launch in August its new, improved online resource at with job and employer tools and information geared to individuals, businesses and workforce partners. theVoice August 2011

MEMBERS New Chamber Members

CHALKDEAL.COM Providing a Venue for Advertising Business Specials through Real Time Internet Timothy Scordato 815-621-9067

EARTH WORKS, INC. Our Specialty is Perennial Gardens. Design, Build and Maintenance 3614 N. Meridian Road, 61101 James Gustafson 815-988-5906

GOMMEL DESIGN Full Service Commercial Interior Design 2926 Northcliffe Court, 61114 Rockford, IL 61114 Jacqueline Gommel, ASID, IIDA 815-877-9206

HULSEBUS ROCKFORD CHIROPRACTIC Providing Chiropractic Care and Education of the Benefits for Healthy Living/Team Chiropractors for the Rockford IceHogs and Foresters 1877 Daimler Road Rockford, IL 61112 Dr. Cory Thiele 815-398-3434

IRO CUSTOM COSMETICS Cosmetics, Skin Care 3600 E. State St., Ste. 1, 61108 Kathy Copeland 815-394-1100

ISA’S BOUTIQUE Providing a Wide Selection of Beautiful Purses 308 W. State St., Ste. 100, 61101 Rocio Hernandez 815-708-6224

KIMBERLY NEYER PHOTOGRAPHY Offering Custom Portrait and Wedding Photography, Design Services, and a Variety of Photo Products 2132 Maxine Lane, 61102 Kimberly Neyer 815-608-2917

KINOVATE HEATING, COOLING & INDOOR AIR QUALITY Full Heating and Cooling Contractor for Commercial & Residential; Specializing in Service, Repair, Installation and All Indoor Air Quality Products and Services 9853 N. Alpine Road, Ste. #218 Machesney Park, IL 61115 Rebecca Kinison 815-270-0777

PBC LINEAR, A PACIFIC BEARING COMPANY World Leading Manufacturer of Linear Actuators, Linear Bearings, Linear Slides, Roller Bearings, Linear Guide Rails, V-Guide Bearings, and Custom Linear Motion 6402 Rockton Road Roscoe, IL 61073 John Oller 815-389-5600

ROCKFORD SPINE CENTER Only Facility in Northwestern Illinois Dedicated to Multi-Disciplinary Spinal Care Specializing in Surgical and Non-Surgical Spinal Disorders 2902 McFarland Road, Ste. 300, 61107 Krystal Pendzinski 815-316-2100

ROYAL CROWN EVENTS FOR RUE LA PARIS Refined Art of Catering – Preparing Fabulous Food – Providing Personalized Service 4001 N. Perryville Road Loves Park, IL 61111 Sarah J. Gamble 815-654-0900

SMEJA FOUNDATION Family Foundation for Preservation of Historic Sites and Conservation 6901 Kishwaukee Road, 61109 Jill Smeja Gnesda 815-964-6464

3G’S CLUTTER CLEANERS Providing Residential, Commercial, Hoarders One Time, Move In and Move Out, Organizating Cleanings Tammy Livingston 815-742-8781


Membership Renewals Thank you to the members who renewed with the Rockford Chamber in June.

Access Services of Northern Illinois Adams Letter Services, Inc./Magnum Creative AFLAC - Andy Krauss ARCO Machinery Movers/ MRS Industries Inc. Axberg Heating Company, Inc. Barrick, Switzer, Long, Balsley, Van Evera Brian Thomas Photography, Inc. Bridge Ministries Byron Bank C & H Design Center Caraotta Chiropractic Orthopedics P.C. CherryVale Tire & Auto Chuck Brauer Trucking Inc. Cicero & France, Barch & Alexander, P.C. Comfort Keepers CompuDocs of Rockford, Inc. Countryside Meats & Deli D.Q. Grill & Chill Ege WorkSmart Solutions, PC Englewood Electric Supply Fairhaven Christian Retirement Center Ferrellgas GE Aviation Gunite Corporation Heartland Community Church Hilton Garden Inn Home Instead Senior Care Horizons Inc. Ideal Welding Systems, L.P. JC Milling Co., Inc. Jerome S. Weiskopf, MD, PC Kadon Precision Machining KLOVE-AIR1 Radio Network KP Counseling, Inc. Krup Electric Company LDR Construction Services Inc. /LDR Cleaning & Restoration LTM Water Treatment Maurices Midland Financial Strategies Midwest Community Bank Midwest Mailworks, Inc. MS2

NAACP (National Association For the Advancement of Colored People) Nexus Office Systems, Inc. Northwest Bank of Rockford Old Chicago Restaurant PNC Bank R. J. Bowers Distributors, Inc. RAMP RBC Wealth Management Reliable Rehab and Remodeling Reno & Zahm LLP Ring Container Technologies Riverfront Museum Park Rj Link International, Inc. Rock Road Companies, Inc. Rock Valley College Students in Free Enterprise Rockford Heat Treaters, Inc. Rockford Litho Center Rockford Structures Construction Company Rocknel Fastener, Inc. Roto-Rooter Schafer Gear Works Rockford, LLC Shelter Insurance Companies SMACNA of Northern Illinois, Inc. SPX Hydraulic Technologies Stateline Youth for Christ Stillman Bank Summit CPA Group, P.C. SWITS, Ltd. Sylvester Enterprises Talecris Plasma Resources Terracon, Inc. The Brian Boyer Group The Business Edge Inc. The Johnson Group, A Deluxe Company The Olive Garden Italian Restaurant Todd Transit, Inc. Two Men and a Truck Universal Die Cast Universal Feeder, Inc. UPS Valley Expo and Displays Widmer Interiors William Charles, Ltd. Zuba and Associates

August 2011 Member Anniversaries Thank you to the following members who celebrate their anniversaries with the Rockford Chamber in August, 2011.



Northern Public Radio (WNIU/WNIJ/NIRIS)

Eagle Video Corp Ethnic Heritage Museum Kids Club Playcare LaserCare, Inc. Rasmussen College Rockford ETTCO Second Congregational United Church of Christ

20-YEAR MEMBER PACCAR Parts, a Division of PACCAR

15-YEAR MEMBER Rockford Capital Leasing

TRENTEC, INC. Representing RABCO Solutions which Supplies Solar Thermal Systems (Water Heated by Sunlight) for Commercial Buildings 8392 Leesburg Court, 61114 Randy Theien 815-282-8000

September Focus on Healthcare & Wellness Regional Business Exhibitor Services For information on advertising,

call 815- 987-8100

August 2011 theVoice



Rockford Public Library presents Movie Tuesdays in August (2, 9, 16, 23) from 6 to 8 p.m., at the main library auditorium, 215 N. Wyman St. Family movies in English with Spanish subtitles and free popcorn. A Dementia Caregiver Support Group takes place at 6 p.m., at the Rockford Public Library, 215 N. Wyman St., room B. Call 815-7211616 or email

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3 Winnebago County Health Department presents Grand Slam for Good Health – second-annual Back to School Health & Safety Fair, from 3 to 7 p.m., at 555 N. Court St., Rockford. Required health services for school children including physicals and immunizations. Bring child immunization record and Medicaid/All Kids Card if applicable. No appoint- ments for free dental exams - first-come, first-served, basis. Call for appointments at 815-7204150, 815-972-7200 or 815-720-4213.


Mosaic in Rockford presents its third-annual Mosaic by Moonlight fundraiser from 6 to 9 p.m., at Cliffbreakers Riverside Resort, 700 W. Riverside Blvd. Fifteen local restaurants compete for best martini, best appetizer, best display and best in show. Dean Moriarty Jazz Band, 50/50 raffle and silent auction. Tickets at, 815387-8390, or 3520 N. Main St., Rockford. RAMP presents the second-annual Bad Pants Golf Open at Timber Pointe Golf Course. Registration at 2 p.m.; shotgun start at 3 p.m.; dinner to follow. Register a foursome at, 815-968-7467, or, 815-544-8404.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 5 Discovery Center Museum presents Pizza Pizza, a Family Friday event, from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Call 815-963-6769 or visit Discovery Center Museum presents Discovery After Dark, an event for adults to experience the museum without children from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Giovanni’s will provide food for sale; cash bar. General admission $7. For questions or advanced reservations, contact Lori Radean at 815-972-2839 or Rockford RiverHawks play the Normal CornBelters at 7:05 p.m., on Aug. 5, and 6:05 p.m., on Aug. 6 at Road Ranger Stadium, 4503 Interstate Blvd., Loves Park. Tickets at


The 27th annual SwedishAmerican State Street Mile begins in front of SwedishAmerican Hospital’s State Street entrance. Races include the Open, Masters, Kids Fun Run, and Male and Female Ben Newson, Jr., heats for Kindergarden-12th grade students. The first heat is 5:15 p.m.; awards ceremony at 7 p.m., on the corner of Water and East State streets. Visit, or call 815-963-2171. P. A. Peterson Center for Health, 1311 Parkview Ave., presents a Craft and Vendor Fair, Corn Boil and Classic Car Show from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., a part of its 70th anniversary celebration. The classic show is fundraiser for the P.A. Peterson Memory Walk team. For questions, call 815-399-8832 or visit

MONDAY, AUGUST 8 Northern Illinois Hospice and Grief Center presents its 24th-annual Charity Golf Event at Rockford Country Club. Registration includes 18 holes of golf, a buffet lunch, golf cart, chances on prizes, gifts and dinner. Call 815-398-0500.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 9 Women of Today’s Manufacturing hosts its ninth-annual Golf Play Day at Timber Pointe Golf Club, 5750 Woodstock Road, Poplar Grove. Registration at 10:30 a.m.; shotgun start at noon; dinner and prizes at 5:30 p.m. Register as an individual or foursome by Friday, July 29. For more information contact joy.baldwin or 815-231-1639.


SUNDAY, AUGUST 14 Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden presents a Woodsong Concert with the Saturday June Band at 6 p.m. Contemporary to rock. Has performed at Navy Pier and Chicagofest. Register at or 815-965-8146.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 16 AAIM Employers’ Association Education Center presents Succession Planning: Planning for the Future of Your Organization, a part of its 2011 Leadership Webinar series, from 1 to 2 p.m. Registrations can be made at 800-948-5700 or Byron Forest Preserve District hosts Stream Ecology, a visit to Hall Creek to search for aquatic life, from 5 to 8 p.m. Register at 815234-8535, ext. 200, by Aug. 15.


Veterans Memorial Hall presents The American Civil War, a lunch and learn series, with lecturer Terry Dyer on the area’s citizen volunteers and Camp Fuller from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tour of building at 12:30 p.m. Lunch by ABC Catering. Reserve at 815-969-1999.

Womanspace presents its Wine Dinner fundraiser from 6 to 9 p.m., at Wind Ridge Herb Farm. Owner Liz Fiorenza presents a five to six course dinner and complementary wine pairings. Chef Tim, Forest City Pub at the Radisson, will conduct lessons on cooking with herbs. Call 815-877-0118 or visit


Byron Forest Preserve District hosts a Full Moon Hike from 9 to 11 p.m. Register at 815-234-8535, ext. 200.


Rockford RiverHawks play the Windy City ThunderBolts at 7:05 p.m., at Road Ranger Stadium, 4503 Interstate Blvd., Loves Park. Tickets at


Rockford Spine Center, 2902 McFarland Road, Ste. 300, presents a free Community Health Care Talk from 9 to 11 a.m. Fred Sweet, M.D., will discuss common spinal disorders and their treatments. RSVP to Krystal at 815-316-6873.

Rockford Public Library presents How Will We Pay for College? from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Friends of RPL community room, east branch, 6685 E. State St. Registration required at 815965-7606.




Rockford Public Library presents 4th Tuesday Book Discussion from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m., in the main library classroom C, 215 N. Wyman St. Discussion of The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean, by Susan Casey. Registration NOT required. Call 815-965-7606 for information.

Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence hosts a presentation by Bill Gorski, M.D., president and CEO of SwedishAmerican Health System, as part of its Perspectives on Leadership from Community Leaders series from 8 to 9:30 a.m., on the patio, Colman Library at Rockford College, 5050 E. State St. Register by Aug. 15 at 815-394-4384 or

AAIM Employers’ Association Education Center presents Can My Employer Really Look At This? Internet searches, background checks, HIPAA and other privacy issues, from 8:30 to 11 a.m., at NIU-Rockford, 8500 E. State St. Presenter is Jim Pirages, Hinshaw & Culbertson. Register at 800948-5700 or

Discovery Center Museum presents Splish Splash Splat, a Family Friday event, from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Dress to get wet. Call 815-963-6769 or visit for more information.


MELD presents its fifth-annual Golf Play Day, “GREEN AND BEAR IT,” with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m., at Prairie View Golf Club, Byron. Register by Aug. 10 for early bird twosome and foursome rates at www.rockford or 815-633-6353, ext. 10.

Rockford RiverHawks play the Washington Wild Things at 7:05 p.m., at Road Ranger Stadium, 4503 Interstate Blvd., Loves Park. After the game, players and coaches will auction off their game-worn jerseys to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Tickets at

MONDAY, AUGUST 22 Byron Forest Preserve District presents the Basic Principles of Safe Hunting, a Department of Natural Resources hunter safety course, on Aug. 22, 24 and 26 starting at 6 p.m., at Jarrett Prairie Center, 7993 N. River Road in Byron. Register at 815-234-8535, ext. 200.

Rock Valley Children’s Choirs fall registration for Crescendo Choir and Encore Choir at Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, 415 N. Church St. Crescendo registration (sixth to eighth grade, auditioned) from 4 to 6 p.m.; Encore registration (high school) from 5 to 7 p.m. Call director Leah Baskin at 815-229-3413 to set up an audition. Visit www.mendelssohn or call 815-964-9713 for forms or more information.


Rockford Art Museum, 711 N. Main St., opens Rockford Made 4356: Deill/Julin, featuring work by Rockford natives John Deill and Jim Julin through Jan. 8, 2012. These selftaught artists are known for their use of found objects and functional materials. Visit or call 815-968-2787.


Harlem Community Center presents the second-annual Families First Exposition, a free day of family fun, activities and entertainment, at the Indoor Sports Center. Get information on ways to plan and save for college, ideas for decorating, educational toys and gifts, and child care. Call 815-885-4862. Crusader Community Health hosts a Community Open House for the opening of its fourth location, Crusader Community Health Loves Park, 6115 N. Second St., from 9 a.m. to noon, with tours, refreshments and giveaways. theVoice August 2011


Upcoming Chamber Events AUGUST, 2011

Tuesday, August 16

Tuesday, August 2

Ribbon Cutting, RVC, Karl J. Jacobs Center for Science and Math, Rock Valley College, 3301 N. Mulford Road. Community open house 3 to 6 p.m.; ribbon cutting at 3:30 p.m.

Business Women’s Council, 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., Forest Hills Country Club, 5135 Forest Hills Road. Joe Rosner, director of Best Defense of Illinois, presents Personal Safety & Self Defense for Everyone. Sponsored by AAIM Employers’ Association.

Wednesday, August 3 IGNITE Family Fun Night at Alpine Park, 950 S. Alpine Road, 5:30 to 9 p.m., at shelter/diamond #2. Bring your family and enjoy two games of kickball at 6 p.m., and a more competitive young professionals one at 7 p.m. Children’s crafts and lemonade and water pro- vided. (No alcohol allowed in the park.)

Tuesday, August 9 Advantage Club – Superstars, Giovanni’s, 610 N. Bell School Road. Contact Anthony Mencarini, PIP Printing, Wednesday, August 10 11:30 am - 1 pm Best Western Clock Tower Resort 7801 E. State St. Rockford, Illinois

Mayor’s Business Luncheon Rockford Mayor Lawrence Morrissey will give an update on topics of interest to the Rockford business community. Presenting Sponsor is Harris N.A., Bronze sponsors are Clifton Gunderson LLP and AT&T

Wednesday, August 10 Breakfast Buzz, 7:30 to 9 a.m., Rock Valley College, Woodward Technology Center, 3301 N. Mulford Road. Melissa Seeling, partner/owner, Beefaroo, Inc., presents Service With A Smile: Why Should Employees Care? Sponsored by McGladrey. Advantage Power Network Club, Franchesco’s Ristorante, 7128 Perry Creek Pkwy. Contact Teri Watts, Whitehead Inc., Realtors®, tlwatts@ or Holly Hanson, The Business Edge Inc., Advantage Club – Originals, alternate locations. Contact Karla Fernet, Healthy Balance Reflexology,

Friday, August 12 Rockford Chamber Government Affairs Council Meeting, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., Stockholm Inn, 2420 Charles St. GAC brings together all sectors to create one voice for business. All advocacy efforts are founded on saving your business money, promoting a strong local economy and protecting the favorable business climate of Rockford. Call Heidi Garner at 815-316-4312 to join.

Wednesday, August 17 MultiCultural Business Council Lunch and Learn, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Rock Valley College in downtown Rockford, 308 W. State St., Ste. 214.

Thursday, August 18 Ribbon Cutting, Lakeshore Title Agency, 4053 N. Perryville Road, 4 to 5 p.m.

Tuesday, August 23


Advertisers Index ADVERTISERS Alpine Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 BART Bike for the Arts . . . . . . . .20 Blackhawk Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Broadmoor Agency, Inc. . . . . . . . . . .3 Brian Thomas Photography, Inc. . . . 9 Columbia College of Missouri . . .15 Entré Computer Solutions . . . . . .14 Humana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Judson University . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Lydia Urban Academy . . . . . . . . .11 McGladrey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Northern Illinois University Conference Center . . . . . . . . . .10 Northwest Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 On The Waterfront . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Rasmussen College . . . . . . . . . .14 Renew-U . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

Riverside Community Bank . . .5, 19 Rockford Career College . . . . . . .13 Rockford College . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Rockford Chamber of Commerce . . . . . . .16, 20, 23, 28 Rockford Health Physicians . . . .21 Rockford Health System . . . . . . .16 Rock Valley College . . . . . . . .7, 12 Sikich . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Stillman Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Thayer Lighting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 The Other Guys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 The Workforce Connection . . . . . .11 Upper Iowa University . . . . . . . . . .15 Van Galder Bus A Coach USA Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

Advantage Club – Superstars, Giovanni’s, 610 N. Bell School Road. Contact Anthony Mencarini, PIP Printing,

Wednesday, August 24 Advantage Club – Originals, alternate locations. Contact Karla Fernet, Healthy Balance Reflexology, Advantage Power Network Club, Franchesco’s Ristorante, 7128 Perry Creek Pkwy. Contact Teri Watts, Whitehead Inc., Realtors®, tlwatts@ or Holly Hanson, The Business Edge Inc.,

SEPTEMBER, 2011 Tuesday, September 6 IGNITE Breakfast & Business: Entrepreneur Edition - From The Pros (Non-Profit), 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., Radisson Hotel & Conference Center, 200 S. Bell School Road. Dan Hinz, founder of Grassroots Church, will talk about beginning a non-profit and the importance of work/life balance for young entrepreneurs. Breakfast included. Sponsored by McGladrey.

Friday, September 9 Rockford Chamber Government Affairs Council Meeting, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., Stockholm Inn, 2420 Charles St. GAC brings together all sectors to create one voice for business. All advocacy efforts are founded on saving your business money, promoting a strong local economy and protecting the favorable business climate of Rockford. Call Heidi Garner at 815-316-4312 to join.

Tuesday, September 13 Advantage Club – Superstars, Giovanni’s, 610 N. Bell School Road. Contact Anthony Mencarini, PIP Printing,

Wednesday, September 14 Advantage Power Network Club, Franchesco’s Ristorante, 7128 Perry Creek Pkwy. Contact Teri Watts, Whitehead Inc., Realtors®, or Holly Hanson, The Business Edge Inc.,

Chamber Staff / Call 815-987-8100

Direct Line

Einar K. Forsman, President & CEO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .815-316-4304 Heidi 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 Caitlin Ludwig, Director of Ignite! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .815-316-4335 Joy Moriarty, V.P. Finance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .815-316-4316 Stacy Mullins, Director of Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .815-316-4302 Diane Navickis, Membership Development Manager . . . . . . . .815-316-4315 Joan Sundvall, Membership Contact Coordinator . . . . . . . . . . .815-316-4320 Valerie Tippitt, Membership Development Manager . . . . . . . . .815-316-4336

Wednesday, September 14 7:30 to 9:00 am Rock Valley College Woodward Technology Center 3301 N. Mulford Road Rockford, Illinois

Breakfast Buzz Top sales professionals from various industries share their Top Sales Secrets/Insights. Sponsored by McGladrey.

Advantage Club – Originals, alternate locations. Contact Karla Fernet, Healthy Balance Reflexology,

Thursday, September 15 Ribbon Cutting/Open House, Ameriprise Financial, 6735 Vistagreen Way, 4:30 to 7 p.m. Ribbon cutting at 4:30 p.m.; live remote with Aaron Wilson, WROK, from 5 to 6 p.m. Food and beverages. Please bring donations for a “Fruit for Kids” food drive for the Rock River Valley Food Pantry, especially peanut butter, cereal, tuna, veggies, pasta, etc.

Tuesday, September 20 Chamber 101 with Speed Networking, a quarterly membership orientation, 7:15 to 8:30 a.m., Whitehead Inc., Realtors®, 839 N. Perryville Road. Sponsored by MembersAlliance Credit Union.

Thursday, September 22 1:00 to 7:00 pm Former Sears Essentials/ Kmart location 1515 E. Riverside Blvd.

Regional Business Expo 2011 New this year: Green Expo Corridor, educational seminars, keynote lunch and extended hours. Returning favorites: Restaurant Row and speed networking sessions. Expo is free for attendees, but registration costs apply for speed networking. Sponsored by TDS (presenting) and Humana (gold).

Tuesday, September 27 Advantage Club – Superstars, Giovanni’s, 610 N. Bell School Road. Contact Anthony Mencarini, PIP Printing,

Wednesday, September 28 Advantage Club – Originals, alternate locations. Contact Karla Fernet, Healthy Balance Reflexology, Advantage Power Network Club, Franchesco’s Ristorante, 7128 Perry Creek Pkwy. Contact Teri Watts, Whitehead Inc., Realtors®, or Holly Hanson, The Business Edge Inc.,

August Voice 2011  

August Voice 2011