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Summer2015 Get up-to-date with all the latest news from The Chamber and Q5. Also, celebrate the recipients of this year’s Small Business Awards!



Q5 in Action • Member Recognition & Resources

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Our Mission:

Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors 2014 Executive Committee Chairman.............................................. Sheryl Daugherty Arizona Tile Company

Enhance our members’ success and advance our economy.

Chairman-Elect............................................Elena Kezelis Memorial Medical Center Foundation 1st Vice Chairman............................................... Tom Gihl Illinois National Bank Secretary/Treasurer ..................................Cheryl Martin Kerber, Eck & Braeckel LLP Immediate Past Chairman ..............................Tom Fitch Harold O’Shea Builders At-Large Directors R. Lee Allen........................... Brandt Consolidated, Inc. Jeff Ball................. Hanson Professional Services, Inc. Jim Britton...........Express Employment Professionals Carolyn Fleischli.......................... Springfield Clinic, LLP Pamela Frazier................................... All In One On-Site Wash & Detail Jennifer Gill..........................................Springfield Public School District #186 Matt Lamsargis..................Springfield Running Center Mike Murphy................................Charlie Parker’s Diner Karen Paisley.... Underfanger Moving & Storage, Inc. Janette Peak ................................PJP Auto Enterprises Dave Olejniczak................................ St. John’s Hospital Dr. Diane Rutledge . ....................................... Large Unit District Association Tim Smith............................ Evan Lloyd Associates, Inc. Jim Sullivan.................................................. Design Ideas Dr. Charlotte Warren................................... Lincoln Land Community College

Affiliate Directors Richard Lynch............................ Leadership Springfield Sikich LLP

Photo provided by Terry Farmer Photography

Leading the way in small business Recipients of the Small Business Awards were announced Jun 30 at the Crowne Plaza. Those winning awards were, left to right, Terry and Sandy Farmer of Terry Farmer Photography, Joshua Becker of Cocoa Blue Chocolates, Joseph M. Doone of Stanley Steemer of Central Illinois, Jodi Cole of Flea Market to Fabulous and Tiffany Simmons of Community Child Care Connection, Inc. Learn what awards they took home on page 5.

On the Cover Small Business Award recipients announced


Member Services 5

Learn valuable insights from our recipients

Barbara Weatherford.....................Business/Education Partnership of Sangamon County Town and Country Bank


Corporate Cup Challenge a success

Darren Jones.............................................. Ambassadors West Central Bank


Leadership Roundtable groups being formed

Jamie Kuhlmann .................................Young Springfield Professionals Network Bunn O-Matic Corporation


New look for The Chamber brings added services


Network before you need to


Member Milestones


Calendar of Events


Ribbon Cuttings/Groundbreakings

Ex-Officio Directors Troy Benavides.................................... Springfield Hotel and Lodging Association Gina Gemberling......................Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau Mark Hanna .................... Springfield Airport Authority Hon. Jim Langfelder ...........Mayor, City of Springfield Commissioner David Mendenhall...............Sangamon County Board Brian Oaks..............Prairie Capital Convention Center Victoria Ringer................... Downtown Springfield, Inc. Tim Rowles....................................The Springfield Black Chamber of Commerce





Economic Development Ameren continues partnership with Q5 on-site preparedness


Workforce & Education ACT Certified Work Ready Community application complete


Community Impact

GSCC Staff Joshua Collins................................Director of Business and Community Development Brianne Coons..............................................Receptionist Kathy Costa............. Membership & Advertising Sales Representative Julia Donohue....................................... Events Manager David Earhart........Vice President - Member Services Ashley Earnest...................................... Events Manager Sarah Graham...Director of Workforce Development Chris Hembrough............................President and CEO Alex Liberatore.................................Executive Assistant Jim Nelson............. Manager of Business Retention & Expansion Tom Owen............ Membership Sales Representative Lisa Schafer.......................Vice President - Operations Wayne Utterback............... Communications Manager

Chamber advocates for Rail, 183rd in Washington, D.C.


Diversity Development 20

Grow Our Own connects students with STEM


Exploring opportunity with the Summer Youth Employment Program

Transformational Leadership Seeking Sangamon Success


The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce Quantum Growth Partnership 1011 S. 2nd Street Springfield, Illinois 62704 217.525.1173 |

UPDATE (USP 703 630) is published quarterly by The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, 1011 S. Second Street, Springfield, IL 62704. $6.00 of annual dues for members covers yearly subscriptions. Periodical postage paid at Springfield, IL. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to UPDATE, 1011 S. Second Street, Springfield, IL 62704.

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On the Cover

Small Business Award recipients announced The Chamber hosted the 30th Annual Small Business Person of the Year Awards on June 30th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The event, presented by Hickory Point Bank & Trust, recognized five outstanding community entrepreneurs in the following categories: n n n n n

Diamond Lifetime Emerald Award – Small Business Owner with Sales exceeding $1 million Ruby Award – Small Business Owner with Sales up to $1 million New & Emerging Business Person Not-For-Profit Business Director

The Diamond Lifetime Award recognizes an individual or partnership whose for-profit company has been in business for a minimum of 25 years, company based in Sangamon County for that 25 year time period; and who has made significant contributions to commerce and the community. The 2015 recipients were Terry & Sandy Farmer, Terry Farmer Photography, Inc.

Photo by Terry Farmer

Joseph M. Doone, right, of Stanley Steemer of Central Illinois, Inc. receives the Emerald Award from the 2014 recipient, Curt Trampe of Dream Maker Bath & Kitchen.

The Emerald Award (sales exceeding $1 million) recognizes an owner who has demonstrated outstanding performance through innovation, growth, staying power and contributions to the community, and whose company has been established for four or more years, with less than 100 employees. The 2015 recipient was Joseph M. Doone, Stanley Steemer of Central Illinois, Inc. The Ruby Award (sales up to $1 million) recognizes an owner who has demonstrated outstanding performance through innovation, growth, staying power and contributions to the community, and whose company has been established for four or more years, with less than 100 employees. The 2015 recipient was Jodi Cole, Flea Market to Fabulous. The New & Emerging Business Person award recognizes the achievements of the owner of a new business who has demonstrated outstanding performance through innovation, growth staying power and contributions to the community, and whose company has been established for more than one year, and less than four years. The 2015 recipient was Joshua Becker, Cocoa Blue Chocolates. The Not-For-Profit Business Director award recognizes an executive of a Not-For-Profit organization who has demonstrated the innovative use of organizational skills and management expertise to create or expand the organization’s results to the community. The 2015 recipient was Tiffany Simmons, Community Child Care Connection, Inc. Don’t miss your chance next year to be a part of the Small Business Awards! 4

Photo by Terry Farmer

Jodi Cole, right, of Flea Market to Fabulous receives the Ruby Award from the 2014 recipient, Megan Henley Brown of Trendsetters Design.

Photo by Terry Farmer

Tiffany Simmons, right, of Community Child Care Connection, Inc. receives the Not-For-Profit Business Director award from the 2014 recipient, Michelle Tjelmeland of Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation. CHAMBERUPDATE |



On the Cover

Photo by Terry Farmer

Photo by Terry Farmer

Terry and Sandy Farmer, left, receive the Diamond Lifetime Award Joshua Becker, left, of Cocoa Blue Chocolates receives the New & from the 2014 recipients, Brad and Julie Zara of Zara’s Collision Emerging Business Award from 2014 recipients Karen & Court Conn Center, Inc. of Obed & Isaac’s Microbrewery and Eatery.

Learn valuable insights from our recipients One of the best things to come out of the Small Business Awards is learning how our recipients achieved success in their field. Our Meet the Entrepreneurs event provides a platform for our recipients to share their story. Meet the Entrepreneurs will be held September 2, 2015 at Capital City Training Center, located at 103 West Mason Hillier Moving Ad 1-2 H at (Fall 2012).pdf 9/20/12 2:41 PM Street. Breakfast begins 7:30 a.m., 1 followed by the program at 8 a.m. The cost to attend is $15 for Chamber

members and $25 for non-members. The program will feature an informative breakfast with a panel discussion from the 2015 recipients of The Chamber’s Small Business Awards about the challenges and rewards of running their own business. The recipients will share some of their experiences and insights for running a successful business or organization.

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News and Events

Corporate Cup Challenge a success

The Chamber ’s 20th Annual Corporate Cup Challenge was held on July 9 at Piper Glen Golf Club. The rain stayed away and 42 teams participated in the shotgun scramble during the morning and afternoon sessions. Bank of Springfield earned first place in the Championship flight Julie Donohue/The Chamber as well as first place in the bank Bank of Springfield took home the trophy in the Championship Flight as well as first place competition to win the traveling in the bank competition. The team was, from left to right, Scott Belcher, Rob Reidelberger and Greg Marantz. Not pictured, Murph Mathiot. trophy for the second year in a row.

Outing Sponsors

The Chamber would like to thank all of the businesses that participated either by entering a team, sponsoring a hole or donating a prize. We would especially like to recognize our major sponsors, which made it possible for The Chamber to organize another quality golf outing.

Presenting Sponsor

The Chamber would also like to thank Spinner Specialty Awards and AC Crowder Corporation for their support as well as the Corporate Cup Julie Donohue/The Chamber Challenge Golf Outing Committee The Corporate Cup Challenge saw 42 teams for all of their time and effort toward participate throughout the day. Those organizing another successful outing. on the team representing Bunn-O-Matic

Tee Gifts Sponsor

Awards Reception Sponsor

Corporation were, left to right, Greg Fisher, Trina Nees, Desiree Logsdon and Hy Bunn. Golf Cart Sponsor

Luncheon Sponsor

Putting Green Sponsor

Driving Range Sponsor





News and Events

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News and Events

Leadership Roundtable groups being formed Most business owners are not looking for another meeting to attend, but, this is not just any meeting. The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce is launching a new program aimed at business owners, CEOs, presidents, or primary decision makers. Based on the results of a survey sent to members earlier in the year, Leadership Roundtable groups are being formed. These groups are designed to provide business leaders an opportunity to develop lasting relationships with other organizational leaders. The goal of the Roundtable is to facilitate valuable, confidential, peer-to-peer advice and networking among local leaders that will help them grow their businesses. Drawing on the experience of seasoned professionals, participants in these informal advisory boards discuss opportunities, challenges, ideas and other issues relative to each individual’s unique business in a confidential setting. The benefits of belonging to a Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce Leadership Roundtable group include: n

Exposure to a group of business/organizational leaders who can grow to become trusted advisors,

friends and teachers, an alternative form of executive development via frank, honest advice about best practices.


Access to information on a variety of topics integral to managing your company from experts and thoughtful leaders.


Confidential insight and outside perspective on your leadership decisions and decision making.

The groups will be limited to 4-8 individuals from various Chamber member industries. Meetings are held monthly, are controlled by participants and are conversational in nature. Each meeting allows time to discuss successes, challenges or issues that may need immediate attention. Meeting topics may include long-term strategic plans, shortterm plans, financial or operational plans. Each group has a selected roundtable facilitator, a respected member of the group, who will guide the organized discussion and keep the meeting focused. For more information about the Leadership Roundtable program, please contact David Earhart at (217) 525-1173 or at

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News and Events

New look for The Chamber brings added services The Chamber’s redesigned website, located at www., is a resource for reliable business information on Springfield and Sangamon County. It is also a source of information for finding credible businesses when making purchasing decisions for products and services, as well as relocation and visitor information. Plus, it’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to promote the Greater Springfield area and member businesses.

What member services have been added? n

Update Your Online Member Listing - Members can now easily update their member listing and add a business description, hours of operation, search keywords, and driving directions. Update your listing to ensure everyone has access to complete, up-to-date information. Important: Completing your profile is critical to gaining increased visibility and exposure!


Enhanced Listing Options - Consider upgrading to the new Advantage Package which includes access to upload your business logo, preferred directory placement, larger business description, unlimited search keywords, photos and You Tube video.


Hot Deals - Offer coupons and special discounts; fellow members may well be your best customers and we always encourage members to purchase products and services from other Chamber members, whenever possible.


Job Postings - This more user-friendly Job Posting area provides members the ability to post available positions where all job seekers can easily find and review the postings.


Advertise Events - Add your events to our online event calendar displayed with quick links; use these links to share in your social media, text to mobile devices, add to calendar, or email to others.


Network with Other Members - Check out other member listings, jobs, deals.


New Member App - Download our new, free Chamber Member App at ITunes. Search for "MemberPlus." Use it to access all of the above benefits, find other Chamber members, keep upto-date with Chamber events, and more!

What are some of the other features? Our website includes an updated Business Resource section that can provide valuable information when needing assistance or help answering a question. Our Tools for Business Success link is a ‘one-stop shop’ when it comes to starting or growing a business, complying with government requirements, answering human resource questions and many other topics. BIGG Success can provide concise and informative business tools and tips. We also have links to partnering organizations and to the Springfield & Sangamon County Research Center on the Chamber’s economic development website, www. There are links to the elected officials that serve and represent the Springfield and Sangamon area and an online speaker’s Bureau for any member that would like to offer their services to provide education to civic and other organizations that seek speakers for their professional meetings. Additionally, we have other great features, like an upto-date photo gallery of this year’s ribbon cuttings and revamped Community and Chamber calendar sections. The redesign gave the site a more streamlined, clean look and is now responsive so that the information is tailored to fit any smartphone, tablet or computer. is one of the many ways The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce offers valuable resources to its members, the community and visitors.

Utilize The Chamber’s website as a marketing tool for your business so it can be more easily found online and to connect with potentials customers! Also, as Hot Deals and Job Postings are added, they are automatically posted over the Chamber’s social media to further increase the reach.





News and Events

Expanding Neurosciences We are pleased to announce the opening of HSHS Neuroscience Center. Todd Elmore, MD, adult neurology, serves as Director. Dr. Elmore is joined by Merveen Appu, MD, MS, pediatric neurology, and Gordon Chu, MD, MSc, FRCS(C), adult neurosurgery.

Call (217) 757-6868 for an appointment.




Todd Elmore, MD



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News and Events

Network before you need to The Chamber annually hosts a variety of events to encourage members to meet and make connections. These connections can develop into relationships that can lead to business growth. Every Chamber event, such as Business After Hours, Good Morning Springfield, Speed Networking, Business Connections, Small Business Awards and many others are designed to put people together on either a business or social level.

You’ve probably heard ‘It’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know that counts.” Maybe that sounds unfair, but think of it another way: if no one knows about your skills, talents, and projects, who’s going to help you make the best of them? If you want to make contacts in the business world, you have to be willing to network. However, if you aren’t a natural ‘networker’, it doesn’t have to seem like such a daunting task.

When you think about it, networking is really just talking. Networking means getting to know other people, their abilities and interests and doing so in the expectation that this may provide mutual benefit. Contacting someone in your network does involve “using” them but this doesn’t mean that you’re exploiting them in a negative way. So long as you’re prepared to help others out when you’re in a position to do so, most people will respond positively to a request from a valued member of their network.

contacts? There are likely multiple reasons, but it is important to determine the reasons in advance.

Follow up You spent the time to meet all of these people and collected their business cards, so now what? Don’t let that time spent go to waste - follow up with them. You should set tasks on your ‘To Do List’ or utilize Customer Relationship Management software to remind you to reach out and follow up with them.

Remember, Chamber membership Basic Steps for any Networking is a resource. It provides many Event

Know your Purpose What is your reason for attending the networking event? Are you there to promote your company’s brand, gain exposure, or make connections with potential clients and new business

opportunities for networking that can help hone your communication skills. Making connections has a positive impact on the business community and you will be part of a respected business network.

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Member Milestones

Continuous Years of Membership The list below represents businesses and organizations in which their Chamber membership anniversary month falls between February 1 and June 30, 2015, are in good standing and have been members of The Chamber for 20 years or more. Thank you for your important support of The Chamber and the business community.

Celebrating 60+ Years

• Laketown Automotive Sales & Service, Inc. • Lewis Memorial Christian Village

• American General Life Companies

• Anderson Electric, Inc.

• Mansfield Electric Company

• American Red Cross - Illinois Capital Area Chapter

• Bisch Funeral Homes

• March of Dimes Foundation

• Brown, Hay & Stephens, LLP

• McGladrey (Mark Tomaw)

• Brown, Hay & Stephens, LLP (Jeffery Wilday)

• Mel-O-Cream Donuts International, Inc.

• Bunn-O-Matic Corporation

• Memorial Health System

• Glenn Brunk Stationers, Inc.

• Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois

• Graham & Hyde Architects, Inc.

• Modern Mailing & Printing Services, LLC

• AT&T • Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, Inc. • Evans Construction Company • H. D. Smith, Corporate Office • Illinois Municipal League

• Illinois Funeral Directors Association • Mid-West Truckers Association, Inc.

• National Federation of Independent BusinessIllinois

• Pehlman & Dold, P.C.

• P. H. Broughton & Sons, Inc.

• SIU School of Medicine

• RE/MAX Professionals

• Solomon Colors, Inc.

• RE/MAX Professionals (Beverly Collins) • Republic Services

• Security Bank

• Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois/Midstate Division

• Sentinel Insect Control Laboratory

• Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau

• Illinois Telecommunications Association • Jones-Blythe Construction Co. • Mid-West Family Broadcasting • Morgan Stanley • Sangamon County Farm Bureau

• Sorling Northrup • Springfield Airport Authority • Springfield Clinic, LLP • Springfield Downtown Parking, Inc. • Springfield Electric Supply Company • Springfield Metro Sanitary District • Sutton Siding & Remodeling, Inc. • Sysco Central Illinois, Inc. • Wiley Office Furniture • Robert D. Wire, Civil Engineer (retired)

Celebrating 50+ Years

Celebrating 30+ Years

• Saputo's Italian Foods • Selvaggio Ornamental & Structural Steel, Inc. • Sikich LLP (Gary Neubauer) • Spinner Specialty Awards

• Alexander's Steak House

• State Farm Insurance (Ron Mays)

• B. J. Salons Inc.

• Truman L. Flatt & Sons Co., Inc.

• Barney's Furniture, Inc.

• Vono Medical Supplies

• Blakley Lawns, Inc.

• Westbrook Apartments

• Central Illinois Builders of AGC

Celebrating 20+ Years

• Central Illinois Community Blood Center

• AAIM Employers' Association

• Community Bankers Association of Illinois

• Antonio's Pizza

• Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, Inc. (George Cain)

• Benedictine University at Springfield

• Express Employment Professionals

• Better Business Bureau of Central Illinois

• Farmers Insurance Group (R. Allan Hamilton)

• Ameren Illinois

• Greene & Bradford, Inc.

• Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Illinois Capital Region

• Federated Funeral Directors of America

• Hart-Clayton, Inc.

• Big R of Springfield

• Hanson Professional Services Inc.

• Illinois Education Association

• Bird Armour, LLC

• Lee/O`Keefe Insurance Agency, Inc.

• Brenden Gardens

• Pleasant Nursery, Inc.

• Illinois Society of Association Executives (ISAE)

• Steckel-Parker Architects, Inc.

• Illinois Times

• Cabinetland of Springfield

• United Way of Central Illinois, Inc.

• Junior League of Springfield, Inc.

• Calvary Academy

• Kerber, Eck & Braeckel LLP (Dale Becker)

• Chatham Hills Apartment Homes

• Kerber, Eck & Braeckel LLP (Stephen Povse)

• Cowan, Epperson & Associates, P.C.

• Knight's Action Park & Caribbean Water Adventure

• EOS/Springnet1

• WCIA / WCIX (CBS) Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.


Celebrating 40+ Years


• Buraski Builders, Inc.

• Gateway Foundation CHAMBERUPDATE |


• Gorham's, Inc.

• Kerber, Eck & Braeckel LLP (Cheryl Martin)

• Resource One Office Furnishings & Design

• Hanson Professional Services Inc. (Robert Cusick)

• Lincoln Library

• Richardson Manufacturing Company

• M.J. Kellner Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

• Sangamon County Regional Office of Education

• Illinois Chapter - National Electrical Contractors Assoc.

• Marine Bank

• Sorling Northrup (David Rolf)

• Mario's Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria

• Sparc

• Illinois Educators Credit Union

• Nelson's Catering

• Springfield Urban League, Inc.

• Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Inc.

• Northwestern Mutual

• Standard Mutual Insurance Company

• ILMO Products Company

• PNC Bank

• U.S. Bank, N.A.

• JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A.

• Quality Inn & Suites

• Williamsville State Bank and Trust

• Kerber, Eck & Braeckel LLP (James Hagerman)

• Quinn, Johnston, Henderson & Pretorius

• Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP (James Lestikow)

Calendar of Events Meet the Entrepreneurs September 2, 2015 Capital City Training Center 103 West Mason 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

September 17, 2015 Personal Mobility/United Access 2924 N.Dirksen Pkwy 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The Greater Springfield Job & Career Fair

Good Morning Springfield

Good Morning Springfield

August 20, 2015 Levi, Ray & Shoup, Inc. 2401 W. Monroe St. 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

August 31, 2015 The Crowne Plaza 3000 S. Dirksen Pkwy 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.



Business After Hours

Business After Hours

September 8, 2015 Robert’s Automotive 4440 W. Wabash 7:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.


October 13, 2015 Katie Young State Farm Agency 315 Chatham Rd. 7:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.


News and Events

Ribbon Cuttings & Groundbreakings


ACA Marketplace Enrollment Solutions (217) 341-8924

Auburn Child Care 1222 W. Jackson, Auburn (217) 438-4444

Behavior Resource 2073 N. 20th St. (217) 588-8638

Centennial Pointe Assisted Living by Americare 3440 Hedley Rd. (217) 718-5520

Central Counties Health Centers 2239 E. Cook St. (217) 788-2311

Central Illinois Community Blood Center 1999 W. Wabash Ave. (217) 753-1530

DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen 3730 Wabash Ave. (217) 529-9300

Fairfield Inn 3446 Freedom Drive (217) 793-9277

Illinois Home Mortgage 3500 Mitchell Drive (217) 726-9000

JMG Hair Gallery 2445 S. Fifth St. (217) 679-6059

Keefner’s 1941 W. Iles Ave. (217) 546-1941

Lake Springfield Marina 17 Waters Edge Blvd. (217) 483-3625




News and Events

Ribbon Cuttings & Groundbreakings

Luxe Hair Salon 3115 Robbins Road (217) 670-2063

Luxe Nail Bar 3203 S. Veterans Pkwy (217) 546-1168

Magna Dental 1825 S. Sixth St. (217) 525-6980

Merle Norman Cosmetics 2912 Plaza Dr. (217) 698-1200

Nail Bar 66 2337 S. Dirksen Pkwy (217) 679-0579

Ruby Funeral Services and Chapel, Inc. 1520 E. Washington (217) 679-6658

Simply Mac 2831 Veterans Parkway (217) 303-5550

Subway 1601 W. Wabash Ave. (217) 726-8800

The Chiropractors 1000 S. Durkin Dr. (217) 726-0422

The Resiliency Center 3233 Mathers Road (217) 679-0356

Truss/Slater Window and Doors 4117 W. Wabash (217) 679-8410

Woodhaven Woodworks 3112 Normandy Road (217) 585-1717





Economic Development/Workforce & Education

Ameren continues partnership with Q5 on-site preparedness Ameren has been a part of the Quantum Growth Initiative (Q5) since its inception in 2007 and was part of the Economic Development Council before Q5. Ameren and Q5 staff work together on identifying available property in Springfield and Sangamon County served by Ameren gas and/ or electric service. This is all part of identifying industrial and commercial sites that are ready for development. Having sites that demonstrate speed to market is key in attracting businesses and helping our

existing industry with retention and expansion needs. With thousands of communities promoting their industrial sites and business parks, having sites that are shovel ready for development places Springfield and Sangamon County sites higher on the list for site selection consultants and location decision makers. Currently, Ameren and Q5 are evaluating prime job creation sites in Sangamon County and working with land owners, appropriate units of local government and railroads

that serve our community. Q5 and Ameren also partner on Business Retention and Expansion activities that are geared to assist existing industries with expansion in our community. Q5 and Ameren are linked together through the Location One Information System (LOIS) property database, which promotes sites and buildings to location decision makers. Ameren continues to be an important part of Springfield and Sangamon County’s economic development partnership through Q5.

ACT Certified Work Ready Community application complete The Q5 Workforce and Education Council has been pursuing becoming an ACT Certified Work Ready Community (CWRC). Recently, the group was informed that we were accepted to participate in this program. The ACT CWRC initiative is a national effort, led by ACT, to provide a framework for counties to build an economic development, community based approach grounded in certifying counties as Work Ready. The CWRC recognition means a county has a system in place to provide employers’ irrefutable data that it can deliver a quality workforce with the skills employers need. ACT awards this certification when counties achieve goals of individuals in the workforce earning a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) and businesses recognizing or recommending the NCRC. The Workforce and Education Council has compiled a team from Sangamon County to be involved in the certification process. This 18

process, which began with a lengthy application, launches in August 2015 with participation in the ACT Academy. The Academy is a twelve month performance-driven program where our county leadership team will initiate, deploy and drive carefully tailored efforts to eventually certify Sangamon County as work ready. The Academy will provide Chamber representatives with four sessions to analyze data and reports regarding our workforce. From there the team will set goals related to accomplishing specific workforce tasks. The Academy is where our team will move aggressively forward into the 21st century approach to improve work readiness and economic development.

The benefits of becoming a CWRC are vast. Employers will be able to attract and retain talent to their organizations, as well as align with employees that better fit their needs. This credential will be a reliable tool to help employers make better


hiring decisions, resulting in reduced training time, lower turnover and increased employee productivity. In relation to our workforce, our team will be able to identify skill gaps and quantify the skill level of our county. This will help educators build career pathways aligned to the needs of business and industry, and it will help Sangamon County stand out and be recognized for its workforce development efforts. The final outcome will be that our workforce can certify their skills as platinum, gold, silver or bronze based on their education, training and skills. The overall goal is to create a sustainable workforce that will differentiate Sangamon County from any other county in the state, thereby attracting development to the area. Our community will have real, updated data related to the strength of our workforce, which is a tremendous economic development advantage.



Community Impact

Chamber advocates for Rail, 183rd in Washington, D.C. The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce believes in bringing the right people to the table to tackle some of Springfield and Sangamon County’s greatest challenges. The Chamber and a group of local leaders traveled to Washington, D.C. this summer to speak faceto-face with decision makers in an effort to bring positive change to Springfield. Who traveled to Washington, D.C.? In June, The Chamber helped coordinate meetings in Washington, D.C. with federal officials and community leaders including Mayor Jim Langfelder, Sangamon County leadership, Adjutant General Hayes and officials from the Illinois Air National Guard, as well as representatives from the business and labor community. By bringing together such a wide array of representatives, we demonstrated to our federal officials the unity that exists in Springfield and Sangamon County, especially as it relates to the future of our community. Who did you meet with? Our group met with members of our congressional delegation, including Senator Dick Durbin, Senator Mark Kirk, Congressman Rodney Davis and their appropriate staff members. We also met with representatives from the Air National Guard, Federal Railroad Administration and other department staff. What did you discuss? We addressed two critical issues with federal officials, among a handful of other community priorities. The Springfield Rail Improvements Project is the community’s top priority and will take a continued and consistent e ffo rt to s e cu r e n e c e ss a ry federal funds. The Springfield and Sangamon County leaders met with each federally elected official, transportation staff as well as the Acting Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration to discuss ways to continue moving the project forward. The Springfield Rail Improvements Project will make our community safer, better

connected and will create jobs, particularly in the Medical District.

Community leaders also joined the Illinois National Guard in discussing and advocating for a new cybermission at the 183rd Air Base. A cyber-mission at the 183rd will utilize existing infrastructure for the Air Operations Unit. It will create synergies with the private sector as training programs will be in place to train workers, allowing the Guard and business community to continue working together on building a high quality workforce. These are just two of many community priorities discussed with federal officials while in Washington DC. Other priorities discussed included expanding clean energy options at CWLP, ongoing infrastructure/ transportation priorities and community policing initiatives. What do you hope was accomplished during the trip? Our goal was to continue to coordinate advocacy and funding efforts to move the Springfield Rail Improvements Project forward, specifically related to the next usable segments (underpasses at 10th and Laurel, as well as 10th and Ash). We also lobbied for future funding for the rail improvements project in the next federal highway bill. Additionally, the contingent presented a convincing case to secure a new cyber-mission for Air National Guard, utilizing already existing capabilities at the 183rd. The 183rd Air Base in Springfield offers our nation the infrastructure and workforce to help accomplish the Air National Guard’s mission to fight and protect the air, space and cyberspace.

RIGHT: U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, center, listens to Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder, right, during The Chamber’s trip to Washington, D.C. in June. Josh Collins/The Chamber CHAMBERUPDATE |




Diversity Development

Grow Our Own connects students with STEM This is the second in a three-part series about the Grow Our Own Minority Participation Program. Maurice Johnson Jr. had never been on a plane before. The 15-year-old Southeast High School student was about to embark on a long trip — which included a fourhour layover — for a chance to learn about railroad engineering. The five-day summer camp in the upper peninsula of Michigan was an opportunity the Springfield teen may have missed without the Grow Our Own program. “I had an amazing time at Michigan Tech and it was more than I thought it was going to be,” Maurice said after the trip. “This experience really helped me make up my mind that civil engineering is for me.” The program connects students with activities that could inspire them to become an engineer, a scientist or any other of the many professions in the universe of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM. One of those activities is a weeklong rail and intermodal summer camp at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mich. Through UIUC’s National University Rail Center (NURail), two high school students from Grow Our Own attended last year. The program covered tuition of about $900 per student and travel expenses. “We don’t want (cost) to be a limiting factor for high-aptitude students with aspirations of getting a college degree and becoming a young engineer or scientist in the future,” Kevin Seals, Hanson’s chief

environmental scientist, said. Seals coordinates the Grow Our Own program. Johnson and another Southeast student, Fletcher Williams Jr., spent time in the university’s classrooms learning about the rail industry and participating in hands-on activities, such as creating a model of a track section. The group of 24 high school students from across the Ryan Ordonez - Haggard/Hanson Professional Services Inc. U.S. also traveled four Maurice Johnson Jr. attended a rail and intermodal camp last hours to visit intermodal summer at Michigan Technical University in Houghton, Mich., through the Grow Our Own Minority Participation Program. facilities in Superior, Open House, which is facilitated by the Wis., and Duluth, Minn. Another trip took them to a trucking facility. university’s Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC). Hanson “They had a lot of fun. They made coordinated the trip with Frontiers friends with the other kids that were there,” International Inc.’s Springfield club and said Ryan Ordonez-Haggard, a civil provided transportation and lunch. A few designer at Hanson who was a chaperone Hanson employees, including Seals and for students during the camp. “They did Haggard, have accompanied the group learn a lot.” that includes parents and members from “The parents were extremely overjoyed the Frontiers club. with the whole process, and the kids came In March 2014, a middle school student back with glowing reports of what they did attended the American Association of out there on their weeklong trip,” Seals University Women’s Expanding Your said. The summer camp “really sparked Horizons workshop at Lincoln Land the interest in the kids,” he said. Community College (LLCC) to learn about The camp is one of several opportunities STEM careers. LLCC students visited Grow Our Own has offered since 2014. Hanson in May 2014 to learn about the Students have explored engineering firm and its geospatial imaging van. through the University of Illinois at In addition, the program has provided Urbana-Champaign’s annual Engineering internships at Hanson, Springfield’s public works department and the Illinois Department of Transportation. For more information about Grow Our Own, visit LEFT: Hanson’s group of students watches a

drone demonstration during the Engineering Open House at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on March 14, 2015. It was the second annual trip to the event for middle and high school students as part of the Grow Our Own program.

Ryan Ordonez - Haggard/Hanson Professional Services Inc. 20




Diversity Development

Diversity Development

Exploring opportunity with the Summer Youth Employment Program The Summer Youth Employment Program has kicked into high gear and students are hard at work getting invaluable experience in their desired fields of study.

Q5’s Diversity Development Committee has partnered with The Springfield Project (TSP) for the past seven years to bring internships to students. The program kicked off this summer with many Chamber members participating, such as H. D. Smith, Animal Protective League of Springfield, Habitat for Humanity for Sangamon County, Benedictine University at Springfield, SIU School of Medicine and Computer Banc. This year, 15 students have been hired by local businesses and organizations. More than 400 high school and college students have taken part in the program since it began. H. D. Smith, a national distributor of healthcare products, services and business solutions, brought in two students from the program. Alyssa Stultz, a sophomore at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and Tyree Hamilton, a senior at Springfield High School, have been involved in the program since June 19. Hamilton has been helping test websites and creating worksheets, while Stultz has been involved with the company’s IT team with organizing the documentation for new software. Both feel the experience has been beneficial to their education.

Wayne Utterback/The Chamber

Alyssa Stultz, a sophomore at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, has spent the past few weeks at H. D. Smith creating documentation of new software.

“I want to work with medicine, so this is a good business to help see the background of the field,” Stultz said. Hamilton is looking to become a video game developer, so he has enjoyed working hands-on with the computers. He added that he has learned new skills since arriving.

Wayne Utterback/The Chamber

Tyree Hamilton, a senior from Springfield High School, works at his station at H. D. Smith. Hamilton has been involved in testing websites and creating worksheets.

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Transformational Leadership

Seeking Sangamon Success The education of young people should be one of the highest priorities in Sangamon County. The current local system that educates and supports the development of children works well for many, giving them what they need to make their way toward becoming productive, responsible adults. However, it does not work well for all. Despite the opportunities available, less advantaged children are still more likely to begin life behind and never catch up. Fortunately, there is a way forward. Research indicates that using evidencebased, cost-effective programs and practices, such as those proposed in the Sangamon Success Report, could close the achievement gap between less and more advantaged children by 70 percent or more. This strategy could be not just educationally transformational for Sangamon County, but also economically, as better educated citizens contribute measurably more to economic growth and vitality. This transformation is the long-term aim of the 25 recommendations defining Sangamon Success. It is grounded in the idea that doing what works, based on research, and using data to evaluate programs and improve their performance are the essential ingredients of an effective strategy. To get started in the right direction, the Strategic Leadership Council has committed to fund the initiative over the next two years to accomplish the following goals and objectives based on the Sangamon Success Report.

Increase the number of less advantaged children participating in and benefiting from the most effective early home visiting programs by: n

Implementing the NurseFamily Partnership for lowincome, first-time mothers.


Improving the ability of existing local home visiting programs to achieve the best possible outcomes for at-risk children.

Increase the number of young, less advantaged children participating in and benefiting from the highest quality preschool and child care programs by: n


Improving the ability of preschools and child care providers to use data and evaluation to enhance their performance. Increasing the use of proven preschool math curricula, since math ability is a strong predictor of later school success.

Increase the number of school-age children participating in and benefiting from effective mentoring programs by: n


Improving the capacity of mentoring providers to use best practices, data and evaluation to enhance their performance. Developing and implementing strategies to improve the recruitment of adults willing

and able to provide the kind of time and commitment effective mentoring requires. Increase the number of low-income and minority teenagers who complete high school ready for college or career by:


Increasing their participation in dual-credit programs, which allow students to earn college credit while in high school.


Helping local high schools, in collaboration with employers and community colleges, develop more career and technical education opportunities.

Increase educators’, child development professionals’, and organizations’ understanding and practical use of the scientific evidence on the critical role played by the brain’s executive functions (e.g., self-control) in developing the capacity to learn by:


Conducting a series of workshops on what executive functions are, how they support learning, and practical activities that can be used at each stage of child development to bolster executive functioning.

The day-to-day work to accomplish these goals and objectives will be carried out by the UIS Center for State Policy & Leadership under the guidance of the Continuum of Learning Coordinating Council.

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Hanson Professional Services Inc. - Inside Back Cover Heritage Health: Therapy & Senior Care - p. 8 Hickory Point Bank & Trust, fsb - p. 1 Hillier Records Management Company - p. 23 Hillier Storage & Moving Company - p. 5 HSHS Neuroscience Center - p. 11 HSHS St. John’s Regional Trauma Center Back Cover

Lincoln Land Community College - p. 12 Lincoln Tower Apartment Homes Residential - p. 1 Lincoln Land Apartment Homes Commercial - p. 23 Memorial Health System - Inside Front Cover Pro Com Services of Illinois, Inc. - p. 22 River Birch Senior Living, LLC - p. 15 Springfield Electric Supply Company - p. 7

Jim Watts Electric, Inc. - p. 6








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Update - Summer 2015  
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