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• To subscribe: Call 618-351-5000 from Carbondale, Murphysboro and DeSoto; 618997-3356, option 2 from Williamson County; or 800-228-0429, option 2, between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Southern Illinoisan (USPS 258-980) is published daily for $178 per year at 710 N. Illinois Ave., Carbondale, IL 62901. The Southern Illinoisan is owned by Lee Enterprises, Inc. of Davenport, Iowa.

• Dennis M. DeRossett, publisher

• To place a display ad: Call 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, 618-529-5454, option 6; from Williamson County, 618-997-3356; or toll free: 800-228-0429, option 6. • Materials provided by: Metro Creative Graphics, Contents That Work


New Web site among chamber’s most exciting projects in 2009 BY GEORGE TRAMMELL

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Page 2 Friday, January 15, 2010 The Southern Illinoisan


As another year passes, I would like to extend greetings to all those celebrating the 89th Trammell Annual Awards Banquet. I hope this event gives each person the opportunity to reflect upon the great work this organization does to develop and strengthen our community. Thanks to Old National Bank and Golden Eagle Distributing, our Social Hour Sponsors, and Steven McNeill from Diamond Designs, the Diamond Drop Sponsor. We hope you enjoy the evening of socializing and awards. This year we offer our praise to five directors who have served for several years as dedicated supporters of the Marion Chamber. Rob Cash of Cash’s Baker Chevrolet, Teddi Grindberg of Marion HealthCare, John Markley of The H Group, Jim Pugh of Golden Eagle Distributing and Marjorie Wright have all stepped aside to allow others to serve on our board of directors. All have spent many hours working on chamber projects and various committees. Thanks for your time and support. As a result of 2010 board election, we have five new

directors. Ray Altmix of The Bank of Marion, Staci Bynum of Heartland Regional Medical Center, Steve Cook of Farmers State Bank, Ashley Gott of Bank of Herrin and Kimberly Nolen Walker of Kemper CPA Group all will begin their three-year term at the banquet. We look forward to their input for the chamber’s future growth. One of the chamber’s most exciting projects in 2009 was the implementation of our new Web site. The site has many new features available to members and also showcases some new technologies. Current chamber members may request a username and password from our office to access some of these new features. We will use the new site to help promote businesses, as well as a tool to reach out to those looking to relocate, take a tour or start a business in Marion. A special thanks goes to the marketing committee for all of their efforts in designing the changes. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to visit the new site at Congratulations to Black Diamond HarleyDavidson, the chamber’s Business/Industry of the Year Award winner. Coowners Rodney Cabaness and Shad Zimbro opened the doors of Black Diamond Harley-

Davidson at 2400 Williamson County Parkway in August 2007. From the name of the business, which represents the coal industry in our area, to the countless community and charitable events sponsored by the business and their mission to make sure that every customer is completely satisfied, Black Diamond Harley-Davidson has become a valuable asset to the Marion area. In 2009, the company established The Black Diamond Community College Scholarship Fund for the 44 high schools in the area. Black Diamond also donated land to Williamson County Habitat for Humanity and is working on the possibility of creating an annual Parade of Lights event. The Marion Chamber of Commerce is proud to have this business as a member and honored to extend this award to Black Diamond HarleyDavidson. As we venture into the next decade, I look forward to working with all of those who have supported the chamber’s efforts throughout the years and to welcoming new members as we continue to be the largest chamber in the area. GEORGE R. TRAMMELL is president and chief executive office of Marion Chamber of Commerce.

For more information, contact your local Banterra Bank or visit us online at

The Southern Illinoisan Friday, January 15, 2010 Page 3


Growing in members and size Outgoing chamber president offers praise for accomplishments BY STEVE PARKER FOR THE SOUTHERN

As my chairmanship of the Marion Chamber of Commerce comes to a close, I feel we’ve had another Parker successful year. In spite of a questionable economic environment, our membership is still well over

the 600 mark, and we’ve continued to see our community as a whole thrive and grow. As testament to this, we’ve added to our ranks with numerous ribbon-cuttings over the course of 2009. We made major changes and upgrades to our Web site this fall. It’s much more user friendly, and we have utilized some technology that is new to this area. It will allow us to provide greater service to the

community, our members and anyone interested in Marion or the Southern Illinois region. Another milestone this year is that we’ve finally been able to acquire the parcel of property to the west of our current facility. This has been tied up with the state for some time, but it looks like we have finally made it through the hoops and red tape. Our plans now are to expand the chamber office to include a visitor’s center.

Our proximity to Interstate 57 should make this an excellent way to showcase Marion and Southern Illinois. Our challenge now is to come up with the funds needed for this new facility. Personally, this year has afforded me the opportunity to meet new people and get to know others much better. The chairman really has little to do with the day-to-day running of things. The real work takes place behind the

scenes by numerous committees and their chairpersons, CEO George Trammell and Administrative Assistant Joni Edmondson. Without the efforts and talents of these individuals, there would be no chamber. I want to thank all those who helped make this another successful year for our chamber, and, finally, I have to thank my wife, Anne, for sitting through another annual banquet with me.

Proud Supporters of the Marion Chamber of Commerce

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Page 4 Friday, January 15, 2010 The Southern Illinoisan

Serving Marion and all of Southern Illinois!



2010 Board of Directors and Officers Board of Directors Ray Altmix Hayden Gardiner* Jill Lewis Don Bett* Kenya Garner Scott Murrie Sara Bond Cindy Gibbons* Bill Nielsen* Jim Brandt* Tracey Glenn* Darren Pulley* Staci Bynum Ashley Gott Rick Richert Steve Cook Deborah Hogg George Sheppard Patricia Cruse Angela Holmes Kimberly Nolen Walker Rich Davis Doug Kimmel John Fletcher Steve Lappin* Joni Edmondson, administrative assistant * Past Chairman of the Board Officers Chairman of the Board 1st Vice-Chairman 2nd Vice-Chairman Secretary/Treasurer Immediate Past Chairman President & CEO

Brian Ziegler Lisa Hudgens Mary Jo McCurdy Jeanine Ragain James D. Parker, DVM George R. Trammell

The Southern Illinoisan Friday, January 15, 2010 Page 5

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Changing hands Jerry Crouse is REDCO’s new director; Bob Campbell honored for six years of service BY SCOTT FITZGERALD THE SOUTHERN

Robert Campbell, who recently retired after a six-year stint as director of the Regional Economic Development Corp., will be honored at this year’s 89th annual Marion Chamber of Commerce dinner and awards banquet. Longtime area businessman Jerry Crouse is now the nonprofit corporation’s third director since its formation nearly 10 years ago. Crouse worked many years with radio stations in the area and also worked in managerial capacities at a savings and loan institution and at Pepsi Cola, where he directed sales. REDCO’s origins began in 1990 when members of the Economic Development Committee of the Marion Area Chamber of Commerce began talking about forming a separate organization for

industrial development. After several meetings and discussions between Marion and Williamson County officials, a blueprint for REDCO was confirmed and approved by the Illinois Secretary of State’s office in March 1999. Eventually the group purchased 289 acres of land off Illinois 13 in west Marion, which became the REDCO Industrial Park. “Manufacturing has been our focus; our primary purpose is the provision of job opportunities for the people of Southern Illinois,” Campbell said in an earlier interview. REDCO’s largest tenant is Aisin Manufacturing Illinois, which broke ground in 2001 for a 300,000-square-foot plant that employs 700 people. Aisin has since expanded within the industrial park, adding two more plants and expanding the total workforce to nearly 1,000 people.


Jerry Crouse (left) is the incoming director of the Regional Economic Development Corp. He is replacing former REDCO Director Bob Campbell (right).

REDCO also has added other entities to join in a cooperative spirit of

organizations, the city of Herrin and Williamson County

luring industry here, including various economic development

Airport Authority. 618-351-5076

Proud to Support the Marion Chamber of Commerce Visit our website at:

The Southern Illinoisan Friday, January 15, 2010 Page 7



Black Diamond Harley-Davidson in Marion is the chamber’s Business and Industry of the Year.

A gem of a business Black Diamond Harley builds on customer service, a fun experience and giving back to the community BY SCOTT FITZGERALD THE SOUTHERN

It’s a success story that seems almost too good to be true. Two lifelong friends parlay a dream they have shared through the years into one of the most renowned business success stories you’ll see anywhere.

That’s exactly what Rodney Cabaness and Shad Zimbro have done. The two, who are both from Sesser, own Black Diamond HarleyDavidson in Marion. Their dream — and their success — is being recognized by the community where the business is based, as

Page 8 Friday, January 15, 2010 The Southern Illinoisan

Black Diamond HarleyDavidson is the 2009 Marion Chamber of Commerce’s Business and Industry of the Year. “There are a lot of great businesses in Marion,” Cabaness said. “This is certainly an honor. We have to give credit to our customers.” The two men, who have

known each other since they were kids growing up in Sesser, have basically enlarged and brought to life a retail outlet that for anyone loves motorcycles is as exciting as a little kid walking into an amusement park. “The one place in life that should be fun is a Harley-Davidson

dealership,” Zimbro said, laughing. Fun is certainly part of what the dealership offers for people walking through the door. There is live entertainment on weekends and free events to attend such as Alabama motorcycle stuntman Bubba Blackwell jumping

over 12 pickup trucks, which was in July. The dealership also has sponsored group events such as the 102-mile ride to Murray, Ky., last summer for “Hogs & Frogs Weekend,” an allday music festival. But to have fun, you’ve got to be successful, and Cabaness and Zimbro

MARION CHAMBER OF COMMERCE have been just that since they opened for business Aug. 2, 2007, after purchasing the business from Phil Campbell. “He (Campbell) said he a lot of offers,” Cabaness said. “We kept insisting we were serious. We got a credit approval letter.” Zimbro was working at the Mount Vernon Harley dealership at the time. Cabaness had worked in the car industry 15 years with much of his experience gained at Weeks dealerships in West Frankfort and Benton. Zimbro called his friend, Cabaness, and said they had to jump at the opportunity to get the Harley dealership in Marion. After purchasing the retail outlet, both men put the focus of their new store entirely on the customer. That meant doing anything, such as going to Connecticut, Florida or Oregon to pick up special bikes for customers. And they relied heavily on marketing who they were and what they had to offer. Success began mounting almost overnight. “Our five-year goal was to be able to sell 500 bikes a year,” Cabaness said. “The first year, we sold 1,300. We kept running out of inventory. We couldn’t keep up with demand.” To please customers, they accept trade-ins on cars, trucks, boats, campers, all-terrain vehicles and, recently, a horse. “Nobody in the country trades for as much as we do,” Cabaness said. “We get people from all over the country to bid for us.” They are also one of Williamson County’s big employers, increasing the employee base from 14 people when they purchased the store to 42 people today. And they expanded their inventory, which necessitated the purchase of 3.2 acres of land in April 2008, to construct a new building to store and show more items. Of the 680 Harley-Davidson dealerships nationwide, Black Diamond ranked from the second and ninth in sales volume and customer satisfaction in 2009. Cabaness and Zimbro have shared their success with the community, donating more than $60,000 to charities during their first year of business. In 2009, Black Diamond made more than $100,000 in charitable contributions. In May,


Shad Zimbro (left) and Rodney Cabaness are the owners of Black Diamond Harley-Davidson of Marion.

Black Diamond partnered with area community colleges to offer scholarships to more than 40 high school students across Southern Illinois. Black Diamond’s influence in the community hasn’t gone unnoticed. “It’s very important that businesses understand how Black Diamond has achieved success,” said Russell Ward, executive director of the Southern Illinois Tourism Development Office. “They let their customers know what they are doing,” Ward said. “They are very savvy about the way they have achieved success.” Shannon Johnson, executive director of Williamson County Tourism Bureau & Pavilion, said SEE BLACK DIAMOND / PAGE 10


Elder Bennett, a missionary from Utah who is staying in Marion, shops for a new wallet with a little help from Black Diamond employee Leigha Zimbro.

The Southern Illinoisan Friday, January 15, 2010 Page 9


Mayor’s Breakfast theme’s and service award winners

BLACK DIAMOND FROM PAGE 9 Black Diamond has sponsored events at the pavilion and is a major player on the Williamson County Parkway Board Alliance, formed last spring to promote businesses along the parkway. “Their participation takes our meetings to a whole different level,” Johnson said. As always, Cabaness and Zimbro attribute their success to the bread and butter of their business. “We’ve been so fortunate with the support we have had from our customers and all of Williamson County,” Cabaness said.

YEAR 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004


Mike Heern of Marion gets the feel of this Harley-Davidson Street Gilde motorcycle while shopping at Black Diamond. 618-351-5076



‘Porkitic’s’ - Ms Piggy ‘Marion 2025’ ‘Marion’s Y2K’ ‘Who Wants To be a Millionaire’ ‘Ode To The Mayor’ ‘Old Fashion Roast’ Changed format to a Mayors Luncheon; Sept. 9, 2003 Changed again; now awarded at the annual Awards Banquet in January

2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

Robert Bradley Aileen Motsinger Garry Allen Marless Doughty Suzanne McAlpin Yolonde Peterson LC & Marlyn Cavaness

Louetta M. Butler Ivan & Wanda Zwick Charlie Prater Tickie Miller American Legion/VFW Ritual Team Bernard Paul

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2010 Events Calendar Marion Area Chamber of Commerce January 15

Friday, Annual Awards Banquet, John A. Logan College

February 2 9

Board Meeting Monthly Luncheon

March 2 9

Board Meeting Monthly Luncheon

April 6 13

Board Meeting Monthly Luncheon

May 2 9 TBA

Board Meeting Monthly Luncheon Grad Spree

June 1 8 TBA

Board Meeting Monthly Luncheon All-Star Football Game

July 6 13 16

Board Meeting Monthly Luncheon Annual Golf Tournament

Distinguished Chamber Member awards This award was “Man of the Year” from 1959 to 1992. In 1992 is was renamed and called “Distinguished Chamber Member”. YEAR


1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973

Dr. James Felts Oscar Schafale Dr. Martin May Gene Cox Oldham Paisley J. “Pat” Malone James W. Sanders Orland Stanley William S. Giles W. Everett Lynch Harry L. Crisp Harold Chase Melvin Felts Harry W. Beneke Honorable Robert Butler, Mayor of Marion Jesse W. Childers Olie L. Musgrave James Redden Homer M. Butler Bill Bowlby Women of Achievement Larry Hughes Harry L. Crisp II Loren Carter

1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982

NO BOARD MEETING or LUNCHEON Marion Community Day, Rent One Ball Park

September 7 14

Board Meeting Monthly Luncheon

October 5 12

Board Meeting Monthly Luncheon



1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979

Clara Boatright Florence McDonald Powell Barnett Citizens of Marion Thomas J. Redickas Leroy Anderson Rudolph Noleen Harrel Lerch Robert H. Campbell Women of Achievement — Marie Schafale, Yolanda Peterson, Jewell Grimes, Cleta Whitacre, Emma Lou Garrison, Belle Elizabeth, Helen Longbons Dr. Joseph McAlpin Bob Bradley Lu Queen Mr. & Mrs. Ed Soldner Women of Achievement — Ella Mae Allen, Suzanne McAlpin, Elizabeth Noleen, Elileen Rea, Lillian Zoller Otilia Lynch Harold “Boots” Biggs Rev. Joseph Van Roekel L.C. Cavaness

November 2 9

Board Meeting Monthly Luncheon

December 6&7 7 14

Santa’s Hotline Board Meeting Monthly Luncheon

1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988

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2006 2007 2008 2009

Ervin Baker Women of Achievement Carl Goodwin Mary Lou Roberts J. David Thompson Dutch Doelitzsch Women of Achievement Ben Bruce Mike Malone Dorothea Hill-Hope Dodie Logan James Doughty Pat Wiese Dave Thompson Stephen R. Coale Charolette Russell Jim Brandt Cindy Gibbons Don Bett Hayden Gardiner Bill Nielsen Mary Jo McCurdy Ray Altmix Bank of Marion, Don Fisher Marion Ford Darren Pulley John A. Logan Center for Business & Industry John & Lynn Hill, Bennie’s Italian Foods Gail Lannom, Extra Help Payroll Services Steve Lappin, Banterra Bank

Citizen of the Year awards

August TBA

1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005

1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

Women of Achievement — Kathleen Pape, Elsie White, Ann Knewitz, Ida Welborn, Betty Boatright Glenn Clarida Tom Logan George Sims Dr. John Kaeser Dorothy Chamness Ernie Rinella Rev. Shirley and Dorena Milner Marilyn Cavaness Linda Byassee J. Lawrence Sanders Rosemary Crisp Sarah Bethel James and Marless Doughty Marion City Council — Robert “Dog” Connell, Jimmy Stewart, Gary Turnbull, Bob Boyt Roberta Blankenship Citizens of Marion Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts Dr. Jack Keller, MD Marjorie Wright Elaine Melby Citizens of Williamson County

The Southern Illinoisan Friday, January 15, 2010 Page 13


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Lifetime Achievement awards YEAR 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999

Since 1981

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WINNER August L. Fowler Dr. Alonzo Baker, Virgil Bowman Paul Houghton Cliff Storme none given Raymond Allen, Dr. R.D. Morgan Les Stilley, George Dodds, Charles Winters Loren Carter, Harold Chase, Kenny Powless Herman Bearden, Ray Reynolds Cleta Whitacre Sam Stotlar, Evelyn Patterson Orval Leukering, Dr. Joe McAlpin, DDS Ron and Mabel Albright, Wilson Giles Mason Absher, Bob Bradley, William Novick Gordon Lambert, Charles Monroe, Raymond McCormick Dennis “Dutch’ Doelitzsch,

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

Dr. John Kaeser Captain Robert W. Duncan Gene Norman Mayor Robert L. Butler Ray Hancock Tom Oates, Jim Parker, Bob Campbell John Goss, Earl Parks, Guy ‘Pete’ Peterson James B. Bleyer, Glenn Clarida, Father Richard Mohr Charlie Miller, Dr. M.T. Joseph Don Bett, Curtis Palmer, J. David Thompson

YEAR 1963 1964 Service) 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984


Industry of the Year awards COMPANY GTE (General Telephone) CIPS (Central Illinois Public Giles Electric Area Appreciation Unavailable GTE Fabick Machinery Marion Pepsi Cola Bottling Marion Daily Republican USP Marion (Federal Prison) Unavailable Williamson County Airport Authority Women’s Auxiliary Marion Memorial Hospital Olin Corporation Past President’s Real Estate Women of Achievement Coal Industry Small Business WDDD V.A. Medical Center

1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991


1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001

Women of Achievement Blue Cross/Blue Shield Financial Institutions Pennzoil Products Community School District No. 2 John A. Logan College Marion New Car Dealers — Absher Automotive Center, E.N. Baker, Inc., Marion Ford-Hyundai, Foley-Sweitzer Motors, Marion Toyota Rail Transportation — Crab Orchard & Egyptian Railroad, Union Pacific, Burlington Northern, Transload of Illinois Perma Treat Marion Memorial UPS (United Parcel Service) Cree Development (Henry Mitchell) Excel Mining Systems Timberline Fisheries, Inc. Wisconsin Physicians Services Circuit City Marion Pepsi Cola

2002 2003 2004 2005

Bottling Company Aisin Manufacturing Illinois, LLC Franklin Williamson Human Services, Inc. Southern Pride Heartland Regional Medical Center

2006 2007 2008 2009

Southern Illinois Power Cooperative Southern Illinois Miners Baseball Organization Marion Heights, LLC - “The Hill Development Corp” Black Diamond Harley-Davidson

We’re Proud to be a part of the Marion Chamber of Commerce Fountains Nursing Care Facility 1301 East Deyoung Street Marion, IL • (618) 997-1365

The Southern Illinoisan Friday, January 15, 2010 Page 15

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Marion Chamber of Commerce  

Celebrating 89 years