A Publication of WTVP


The Employers’ Association will offer three seminars, Building Strategic Partnerships, from 9 a.m. to noon on June 13 at Jameson Inn; Earning the Respect of Others from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. June 14 at the Employers’ Association and OSHA: Bloodborne Pathogens Standard-Compliance Training from 8:30 a.m. to noon on June 27 at the Jameson Inn. For information and reservations, visit

Edith Barnard will facilitate the Peoria and Beyond Success seminars from 6-8:30 p.m. on June 5, 12, 19 and 26. The cost is $245.


Chris Render will serve as band director of Eureka College in the 2007-2008 academic year. Render is currently the assistant director of Instrumental Music at Metamora Township High School. He has a bachelor’s degree in music education from Stephen F. Austin University and earned his master’s degree in music conducting from Illinois State University.

Eureka College has named Cal Lyons of Rock Falls as vice president of development. Lyons is currently the chief development officer at Sauk Valley Community College. He was formerly vice president for advancement at his alma mater, Judson College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in human relations. Lyons replaces Bob Cleeland who retired in April.

Bradley University officials broke ground for the 130,000 square foot Markin Family Student Recreation Center. The center was named in honor of David Markin, a 1953 Bradley graduate, who has given a gift of $8 million to Bradley. It will include four basketball courts for intramural and recreational games, a championship basketball court, 1/8-mile track, climbing wall, juice bar, indoor pool, weight room, exercise rooms and other amenities. The David Markin Tennis Courts at Bradley were also named in honor of Markin’s generous support to the University. Markin served on the Bradley Board of Trustees from 1992 to 2004 and is now an honorary member.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Bradley University’s Cooperative Education/Internship Program. During the 2005- 2006 academic year, the program realized a 16 percent increase in the number of students served. Eighty-six percent of the graduating class utilized Smith Career Center services. New graduates accepted positions with 526 different employers and offers were accepted from employers in 29 states. Seventy-six percent gained career related experience while at Bradley University. Students who participated in the program (23 percent of the graduating class) had a placement rate of 98 percent.

The Smith Career Center recognized the 2006 Outstanding Coop/ Intern of the Year Award winners. These students participated in a career related work experience that was exceptional in content and performance of duties. The winners and their internship employers are Morgan Goodwin – Maui Jim; Natalie LaFranzo – USDA-National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research; Brian McMurray – The Iona Group; John Holmes – Vansco Electronics and Molly Hammar – The Cooper Institute.


AECOM, a leading global provider of professional technical and management support services for government and commercial clients around the world, has acquired STS Consultants, an engineering consulting firm with more than 550 engineers, scientists and support personnel in 18 offices throughout the United States and United Arab Emirates. The combination of AECOM and STS leverages the strengths of both companies. Since its founding in 1948, STS has completed more than 100,000 projects around the world, many of them for Fortune 500 clients.

D.A.S. Consulting Services announced that they are now certified as a Small Disadvantaged Business. Sampa Das Ostrem of Springfield founded the company in January 2006. D.A.S. is also certified as a Female Business Enterprise by the State of Illinois Central Management Services and as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise with the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Michael Whitling, senior designer at D.A.S. Consulting Services, obtained his Lead Inspector Certification in the state of Illinois. Whitling received his associate’s degree in civil engineering technology from Lake Land College, joined D.A.S. Consulting Services in 2006 and is employed in the Springfield office.

Axis announced the election of Murali Krishna to vice president. Krishna has many years of experience in the fields of design and manufacturing engineering. He joined Axis in 2006 after leading the design and manufacturing efforts for an aerospace company in Ohio.

Belcan Corporation has once again been ranked as the #1 valueadded reseller in the Midwest by PTC for their outstanding performance in the region.



RSM McGladrey announced the addition of Dawn Trautmann to the firm as a transaction support director. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in accounting from the University of Texas.

Stacey Zimmerman, Candace Carlson and Cheryl Endress have accepted positions as client service representatives for RSM McGladrey in its Physician Services office.

Heritage Bank of Central Illinois announced new officers and recent employee promotions. The new officers include Jackie Overstreet as vice president controller and Paul Crusen as senior vice president chief credit officer. Kristina Winters is now the assistant vice president branch manager of the Hanna City branch, Matt Hallam is vice president commercial lender, Gavin Harpman is assistant vice president senior credit analyst, Terry Forrest is assistant vice president human resource director, Carolyn Thomas is a teller supervisor and Lynn McIntrye is an administrative loan assistant.

Accounting Today magazine has ranked RSM McGladrey, together with CPA firm McGladrey & Pullen, as the fifth largest accounting, tax and business consulting firm in the United States. In it’s 2007 Top 100 Firms list, the firms had combined 2006 revenues of $1.32 billion, up 8.9 percent from 2005 and the combined number of employees nationwide grew 9.2 percent to 8,094.

Morton Community Bank announced the appointment of Bruce Huber as senior business advisor. Huber has over 30 years of sales and marketing experience and most recently was regional vice president for the Peoria region of STS Consultants. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Harvard University.

Clifton Gunderson has announced that Matt Smutz has been nominated as a partner-elect. Smutz is a graduate of Western Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in accountancy. He began his career with Clifton Gunderson in 2004 as a senior manager and has over 20 years of experience in the Peoria business community.



Secretary of State Jesse White announced that limited liability companies operating in the state are now able to file their required annual reports via the Internet. The filing fee is $250 with a payment process fee of $6.25. Visit

Peoria County was honored by the National Association of Counties for its Special Tactical Assistance Trauma Team (STATT) program and presented with an Acts of Caring Award. Organized in 1998, STATT is comprised of volunteer physicians, nurses and paramedics who respond alongside law enforcement officers into unsecured scenes of high-risk situations. During nine years in service, STATT officers have responded to 75 hazardous situations.

Peoria City/County Health Department announced that April’s employee of the month is Emily Connors.



April McIntyre, Patient Registration, has won the Proctor Employee Personified award for April. The award is presented monthly to employees that demonstrate outstanding efforts in quality and leadership.

Barbara Duncan, Direct Access Network specialist at OSF HealthPlans, was recently awarded the Peoria Chamber of Commerce Ambassador of the Year award. Duncan has been employed with OSF Health- Plans for three years and has been a chamber ambassador for most of that time.

Methodist Medical Center announced the May employees of the month. Jackie Deibner was selected for the category of Nursing. She works on 5-Crescent. Selected for Non-Nursing Support was Tracy Dansby from the Methodist Heart Lung and Vascular Institute. For the category of Patient Care Joyce Snodgrass, who works in Respiratory Care, was chosen.

Andrew Morgan, professor of Clinical Pediatrics and chief of the section of Child Development at the University of Illinois College of Medicine has received the 2007 Lou Lowenkron Program Innovation Award from National Easter Seals. The award recognizes his work as creator and director of the Penguin Project, a central Illinois community theater program that has been serving children with disabilities and special needs for the last three years. Morgan serves as medical director for Easter Seals, Peoria/Bloomington and medical director for Pediatric Developmental Rehabilitation at Children’s Hospital.

Jerry and Helen Stephens have made a $5 million gift to Children’s Hospital of Illinois for use in the hospital’s new neonatal intensive care unit. The donation is one of the largest individual healthcare gifts ever made by a Peorian. Jerry Stephens, founder and chairman of RLI, has been a member of the OSF Saint Francis board since 1983.

The University of Illinois College of Medicine held convocation ceremonies for fourth-year medical students at the Peoria Civic Center. Several of the graduates are from the Peoria area. Sarah Anderson, a graduate of Morton High School, received a bachelor’s degree in psychiatry from Northwestern University and has been selected for the Internal Medicine/Pediatrics residency at the UIC College of Medicine at Chicago. Shayne Fehr, a graduate of Morton High School, received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Illinois and has been selected for the Pediatrics residency at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

OSF Home Care is planning to build this area’s only Hospice Home to support an estimated 1400 terminally ill patients and their families during the final stages of life. Hospice Homes are specifically designed as a residence facility for terminally ill patients while accommodating the needs of family members and friends visiting or staying with the patient. The patient receives 24-hour care. At this time, OSF Home Care is exploring plans to locate the facility on property which OSF HealthCare owns near the Center for Health.

Kathleen Baldwin of UIC College of Nursing in Peoria was recently awarded the 2007 Award of Merit from the Illinois Public Health Association. Honored for her dedication to the advancement of public health nursing, Baldwin has provided leadership for the Advancing Public Nursing Education in Illinois training grant.

The Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation announced that physical therapist Debbie Meyer has been certified in the treatment of lymphedema. Meyer successfully completed certification in Manual Lymphatic Drainage (Vodder Technique) and Complete Decongestive Therapy. She will be treating patients with lymphedema and chronic swelling at IPMR’s Pekin clinic, joining Molly Nettles and Tricia Saylor.

Methodist Medical Center announced the April Employees of the Month. Margaret McDonald was chosen for Nursing. She works in Emergency Services. Selected in Non-Nursing Support was Derek Price from Heartland Home Health. For the category of Patient Care, Doug Zdansky from Cardiovascular Services was selected.

Midwest Orthopaedic Center is offering three new fitness programs to the public. The programs are Elite Athlete, Adult Fitness Training and Youth Fitness Training. The center hired Bridget Schmidt, an exercise specialist, to instruct the programs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and has extensive experience in training individuals and athletes. The Elite Athlete program is geared toward athletes who want to improve their performance. Adult Fitness Training focuses on helping adults determine how to lead a healthy life through a combination of exercise and lifestyle changes. Exposing kids to many different kinds of activities is the goal of Youth Fitness Training. The center also offers Sportmetrics— a jump training program especially effective at helping women reduce knee injury and improve jump height. The center is the only one in the Peoria area with an accredited instructor for this program. Each new program is offered at the center’s new facility at 6000 N. Allen Road and is highly individualized.

The medical staff of Methodist Medical Center announced the Methodist Nursing Excellence Award for April. Brenda Mutchler, an Oncology nurse since 1999, was selected. Mutchler serves as a nurse mentor and a nurse preceptor.

The Cancer Center for Healthy Living welcomes Jennifer Young as office manager and Peggy Maloof to its Board of Directors.

The Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation’s director of Rehabilitation Services, Susan Paul, has been named an accreditation surveyor by the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Paul joins IPMR’s Return to Work Center director Jeanne Griffin, as a CARF surveyor. Since October, the two have participated in surveys throughout the U.S., London, Canada and Nova Scotia.

The 20th Proctor Cycling Classic will be held June 29, June 30 and July 1. All events are free to spectators and free parking will be available at all venues. The three-day event begins with time trials at 6 p.m. on June 29 in Chillicothe. The distance will be 3.7 miles and medals will be awarded. The Illinois State Road Race Championship begins at 8:30 a.m. on June 30 at Brimfield High School. The Men’s Pro I/II event starts at 1:30 p.m. Over $5,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded. The Illinois State Criterium Championship will begin at 8 a.m. on July 1 at Fulton and Jefferson streets. The Men’s Pro I/II will begin at 1:20 p.m. Over $7,500 in cash and prizes will be awarded. Again this year, the Classic Kid’s races will begin at noon on July 1. The Proctor Cycling Classic events include racing categories for men, women, and children as young as 3 years old and for all racing levels. For more information, call 689-6018 or visit

Pekin Hospital has named Greg Aaron director of information technology. Aaron has over 14 years experience in information technology. Prior to joining Pekin Hospital, he was senior vice president of Information Services for MindGent Healthcare Services in Indianapolis. Aaron received his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland in 1993 and his MBA in 1998 from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Robin Winsor, the chief technical officer at Imaging Dynamics, a world leader in digital radiography, visited Midwest Orthopaedic Center to look at the new equipment that was installed there. Imaging Dynamics uses technology similar to that used by NASA on the Hubble Telescope. Capturing images digitally provides clearer images in less time than conventional x-rays. The patient can have their files on CD before leaving the office.

OSF Saint Francis Medical Center was named one of the 2007 Lifesaving Partners by Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network. OSF Saint Francis was selected for overall performance in collaborative practice, process improvements, education and lifegiving donation. In 2006, the center worked with Gift of Hope to achieve the greatest number of organ and tissue donations among all 183 hospitals in Gift of Hope’s donation service area.

Methodist Medical Group Cardiology is now offering Macomb area residents access to cardiology services with Dr. Igor Singer. Dr. Singer is executive medical director of Methodist Cardiovascular Services and is now seeing patients at McDonough District Hospital in Macomb. He is board-certified in cardiology and internal medicine. In addition, he has authored five textbooks in electrophysiology, has been extensively published in medical journals and has contributed to numerous textbooks on cardiac pacing and electrophysiology.

Proctor Hospital was honored with the SCIP6 Commitment to Quality award. The Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) is a national quality partnership of organizations focused on improving surgical care by significantly reducing surgical complications. The focus of SCIP6 is to support the national SCIP project by accelerating improvements in surgical care through a forum of learning, sharing information and promoting best practices and system improvements on a local and regional level.

Pekin Hospital has purchased Pekin MRI from King’s Medical Group of Hudson, Ohio. Pekin Hospital Imaging is Tazewell County’s only provider of full-service imaging.

Pekin Hospital recognized its volunteers at a recent luncheon. Special recognition was given to those volunteers who donated the most hours in their division during 2006. Alexandria Kramer volunteered 97 hours for the Pekin Hospital Volunteer Service, Frankie Altine volunteered 994 hours for the Pekin Hospital Escort Service, Nancy German volunteered 725 hours for the Pekin Hospital Volunteers and Linda Cooper volunteered 511 hours for the Pekin Hospital League. Anyone interested in joining the hospital’s volunteer team should call 353-0204 to receive an application.

The Be a Buckle Buddy! hotline, sponsored by the Children’s Hospital, Peoria Area Safe Kids and the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office, has logged its first 1,000 calls since its inception in 2004. The public service program features a statewide toll-free hotline that any concerned person can call to anonymously report an unbuckled child. No tickets are issued—the program’s focus is to educate those who are transporting children by sending information that reported transporting unbuckled children to the registered owners of vehicles. Analysis of the calls showed that 49 percent of the calls came from Peoria and Tazewell counties. A total of 42 counties and 129 cities are represented in the first 1,000 calls.



Holmes Murphy & Associates announced the addition of Karen Campbell to its team. Campbell will be working in the field of professional liability and commercial lines. Miranda Leininger has earned her Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR) designation. Mark Whitlock earned an ARM designation and Paula Dixon was elected to the 2007 Professional Liability Agents Network Board.

George Bode, senior vice president and managing director at Pearl Insurance, has been installed as the 32nd president of the professional Insurance Marketing Association.

Matt Kuntz of Northwestern Mutual Financial Network has recently qualified for the Core Coalition. Core Coalition is a program created to encourage the sale of various types of core insurance products.

Illinois Mutual Insurance announced its record-breaking 2006 year-end financial results in its recently released annual report. The report details the financial achievements of the company last year and also focuses on the relationships the company has with its agents, policy owners and products. The company’s assets are up 45 percent from five years ago, and gross investment income was up 34 percent from five years ago. At year-end 2006, the insurance in force at Illinois Mutual was backed by aggregate reserves in the amount of $1.014 billion, a 43.9 percent increase in the past five years. To view a PDF of the report, visit

The Unland Companies announced the addition of Joe Shehorn to their staff. Shehorn, a Pekin native, has 15 years of industry experience and will focus on commercial insurance and employee benefits.



Image Element, a service of Simantel, announced the appointment of Chuck Carey to account manager. Carey has 17 years of marketing-related experience. Image Element also announced that production manager Patti Knapp was featured as an “Unsung Hero” in the April 2007 issue of Advantages, a national industry publication for promotional products.

The Sixth District of the American Advertising Federation announced the winners of the coveted ADDY Awards competition honoring creative excellence in advertising. District winners from Peoria Ad Club include Ross Creative + Strategy for the Peoria Jaycee’s International Beerfest Campaign and Prairie Rivers Network Identity; and the Design Farm for the Keystone Steel and Wire “You’re Lucky this is RED BRAND Fence” campaign. Ross Creative + Strategy received two silver and two gold ADDY awards and The Design Farm received a silver ADDY.



Caterpillar announced the appointment of Tana Utley as chief technology officer and vice president of the Technology & Solutions Division. Utley joined Caterpillar in 1986 after graduating from Bradley University with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. She has held a variety of engineering and management positions throughout the company. She will graduate in May with a master’s in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Utley replaces Mark Pflederer, who now has responsibility for the Heavy Construction and Mining Division.



Regent Broadcasting has hired Mark Ebner as interactive sales manager. Prior to coming to Regent, Ebner operated his own online business while serving as president/CEO of the Waupaca, Wisconsin Historical Society.

Todd Bryant was selected for April Employee of the month at Regent Broadcasting and Lindsay Slater was selected for sales representative of the month. Slater has been in the radio industry for over six years and has been a senior account manager with Regent since 2003. Bryant has been with Regent for nearly four years. He is on air for 97.3 RiverCountry in the afternoons.



Stephanie Flater Duquenne was recently named director of development and grants for the Greater Peoria Family YMCA. Duquenne is responsible for diversifying the YMCA’s income. She comes to the YMCA from the American Cancer Society where she was a senior income development representative. Duquenne has a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Illinois State University.

Jim Maloof is Junior Achievement’s 2007 Business Hall of Fame Laureate. Maloof and the 2006 Hall of Fame Laureate, Diane Oberhelman, addressed over 50 high school students who competed in an online business simulation event called Junior Achievement Titan. OSF, Caterpillar, Cullinan Properties and National City headlined over a dozen companies that provided the opportunity to students, including $5,000 in collegiate scholarships.

ArtsPartners is now accepting nominations for the 2007 ArtsPartners of the Year award. Individuals and organizations will be considered for the award based on their outstanding efforts in the areas of advocacy, education, professional service, volunteer service or funding of the arts. The nominee does not have to be an artist. The award will be presented on September 6 at the ArtsPartners Annual Meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. at Lakeview Museum. Nominations must be received by August 3 to be considered for the award and can be found at

ArtsPartners announced that its Executive Director, Suzette Boulais, was selected by the Illinois Arts Council to serve on a statewide grants committee for arts service organizations. Boulais will serve on a panel with seven other art representatives from around the state to determine grant allocations for over 13 arts service organizations.

Toastmaster International’s District 54 elected Aloysia George of Peoria Police Department as their Lieutenant Governor of Marketing. George will be responsible for working with a team to increase the number of Toastmaster Clubs in northern and central Illinois. This volunteer position will be held through June 2008.

CWTC welcomes Jim Dewasme and Max Lalicker to the CWTC Foundation Board. Dewasme is retired from CityLink and Lalicker is a financial consultant with AG Edwards.

The Greater Peoria Family YMCA brought home top 10 finishes in 13 events at the Illinois/Missouri Area YMCA Championships. Caitlyn Scheirer placed in the top 10 in three event finals in the girls’ age 15-21 division. She placed sixth in the 100 yard backstroke, eighth in the 200 yard individual medley and seventh in the 100 yard butterfly. In the girls’ 8 and under division, Morgan Brockhouse placed sixth in the 25 yard freestyle and sixth in the 25 yard butterfly. Natalie Bradshaw finished sixth in the 25 yard breaststroke. Brockhouse, Bradshaw, Breanna Huxtable and Olivia Neff placed fourth in the 100 yard freestyle relay and the same team finished fifth in the 100 yard medley relay. Rachael Kelch secured a third place finish for the girls’ 9-10 division in the 50 yard backstroke. In the boys’ under 8 division, two top five finishes were recorded and another in the top 10. Josh Kelch, Zachary Noll, Matthew Caplis and Grant Streid placed second in the 100 yard freestyle relay. Streid finished fourth in the 100 yard individual medley and sixth in the 25 yard butterfly. Clinton Scheirer of the boys’ 15-21 division placed fifth in the 100 yard butterfly.

The Center for Prevention of Abuse announced the winners of the 2007 Partners in Peace Awards. Those selected have promoted peace and nonviolence through their efforts in the tri-county area. The recipients are Business/Organization – Prairie State Legal Services; Criminal Justice – Mary Taylor; Education-Peoria Public Schools District 150; Family/Individual – Linn Perkins and Medical – Linda Simpkins. Julianne Graver and Rochelle Rotermund were recognized for their direct service contributions and William Keefner was recognized for his non-direct service. Special honor went to Beverly Miller as the winner of the Judi Lasco Outstanding Volunteer Award.

The Heart of Illinois Harvest recently received a grant from the RLI Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois. With this donation, Harvest will be able to continue their not-for-profit food rescue program that daily transports surplus food to local food agencies for free distribution to those in need.

The Junior League of Peoria recently recognized two members for outstanding service to the organization with the “Julep Gem” award. Erin Scherbinske was recognized for her work on the Peoria PlayHouse Public Relations committee. She revised the media contact information and updated the Peoria PlayHouse website with new contact and kid-related links. She also participated in the Community Leadership School “Pennies for the PlayHouse” project. Deanna Shively was recognized for her creativity and innovation on the Special Events committee. She coordinated auction donations for the Dueling Pianos fundraiser and sought out unique items and services that were highly desired for the auction. She was also commended for her leadership and dedication to the project.

Goodwill Industries announces the following June anniversaries: Samantha Geeseman from the Canton store, three years; and Jodi Sullivan, the director of merchandise development, seven years.

Saturn of Peoria and Saturn of Bloomington are teaming up with Easter Seals to help children and adults with disabilities throughout central Illinois by donating a Saturn Sky convertible as the top prize for the Wines & Polo on the Prairie Raffle. The annual wine tasting, specialty food sampling and polo match will take place June 23 at Weaver Farm. Raffle tickets for the Saturn cost $150 with a maximum of 1,000 tickets sold. 686-7755.



The local Tri-County Chapter of the International Association of the Administrative Professionals is the recipient of the 2006- 2007 Illinois Division Presidential award. The award was presented to an Illinois chapter with more than 30 members and who had accomplishments in education, networking, membership and empowerment.

The National Association of Women Business Owners announced that two of its members received awards at the YWCA leader luncheon. Lori Russell-Chapin, co-owner of Chapin & Russell Associates, received the Julia Proctor White Arts & Education Award. Becky Wood, owner of The Service Station Advertising, received the Lydia Moss Bradley Communications Award.

The Women in Leadership of Central Illinois presented the 2006-2007 awards to the following women at the May meeting: Amy Pearson, outstanding new leader; Kathy Schaeffer, outstanding community leader; Traci Johnston, outstanding career leader; Allison Vershaw, outstanding woman of the year. The Women in Leadership also announced its Board of Directors for the 2007-2008 year. Conna Cimino, president; Emma Vandeveer, past president; Marcia Cannon, president elect; Allison Vershaw, president presumptive; Joan Vierhout, secretary; Becky Davies, treasurer; Beth Kolowski, vice president/membership; Brenda Coates, vice president/ programs; Allison Vershaw, vice president/public relations; Julie Morales, assistant vice president/membership. Shawna Knapp, director/awards; Kathy Schaeffer, director/reservations; Amy Pearson, director/special projects; Debbie Sippel, director/monthly luncheons; and Betsy Yarcho, director/network luncheons.

Prime Time ILLIABWA Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association named Thelma Lewis as its chapter woman of the year. Lewis is a retired beautician and has been a member of the chapter for four years.

The Robert H. Michel Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Marvin Hult, community business leader, at the 109th Annual George Washington Banquet sponsored by the Creve Coeur Club. The award is presented annually to an individual who has served the community far and above the usual expectations of responsible citizenship. Hult began his career at WMBD radio in the late 1940s and rose to station manager by the late 1950s. He left WMBD to form the advertising agency Hult, Fritz and Matuszak. Throughout his life, Hult continually supported and led many community endeavors. He was one of the founding members of Proctor Health Care Foundation and today the facility bears his name, The Marvin H. Hult Health Education Center. The Hult Center provides health related education to more than 300,000 people a year.



Gary Matthews, president of EM Properties, announced the official opening of EM Properties’ new corporate offices and GEM Terrace, East Peoria’s new 23,000 square foot office and professional building. GEM Terrace is the area’s first glass curtain building offering occupants views of the river valley and downtown Peoria.

Sheryl Grider of Traders Realty attended the Illinois Association of Realtors 31st Annual Capitol Conference to lobby state lawmakers on issues affecting homeowners and the real estate industry. Attendees visited personally with their lawmakers to press for passage of the Illinois Association of Realtors 2007 legislative agenda. They also reminded lawmakers that the recent boom in home sales in Illinois has played a key role in strengthening state and local economies.



The Washington Park District announced the hiring of a new recreation manager, Mary Toel. Toel comes to the park district with several years of experience in park administration. Toel most recently served as program manager of Franciscan Center for the Peoria Park District. The Washington Park District summer brochure will be out soon with all the summer’s programming and planned events.

The Peoria Park District has been designated as a 2007 Take Me Fishing Park Community and has accepted a $1,000 grant from the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation and the National Recreation and Park Association. The Park District currently offers two programs related to fishing. The Fishing Derby is an annual event held at the Glen Oak Park Lagoon that has been offered for the past 36 years. The Loan-A-Pole program provides rods and reels to area residents and their families for free. Parents can check them out for their children under the age of 16 for a period up to three days.

The Peoria Park District was selected as one of the final four candidates for the National Gold Medal Award. The Gold Medal Award is considered the highest and most prestigious honor attainable by a park and recreation agency. It is presented annually to communities throughout the United States for excellence in park and recreation administration by the American Academy for Park & Recreation Administration in partnership with the National Recreation & Park Association. The Peoria Park District previously received the National Gold Medal Award in 1971, 1994 and 2001.



Kay Jewelers has opened a new store at the Shoppes at Grand Prairie. A certified diamontologist is on staff at the new location and free professional jewelry cleaning is offered.



A variety of natural stone from around the world is now available at the new Global Granite & Marble stone selection center at 515 Maxwell Road, Peoria. The center imports granite, slate, travertine and a variety of other stone slabs from more than 30 countries. The general manager of the Peoria facility is David Brotherton. While the center caters to fabricators, builders and architects, homeowners and consumers are welcome to browse. A list of local fabricators will be available.

The new state-of-the-art greenhouse GardenHouse at Hoerr Nursery is over 10,000 square feet and presents over 120 large display units of annuals, ground covers, perennials, grasses, roses, herbs, vegetables and more.


Web Tech Services announced the opening of their new store at 619 Taylor Street, East Peoria. After 10 years of creating websites for small businesses and organizations, Web Tech Services is expanding its services to computer repair and support and a retail store of computer supplies. Custom built and refurbished computers are also available. For more information, call 699-2849.

Clifton Gunderson Technology Solutions announced that Greg Shaheen, business development manager, has earned the CISCO Sales Expert designation. By completing the CISCO Sales Expert exam, Shaheen has demonstrated a high level of knowledge in CISCO technologies and solutions.



George Weber, acting director of the Illinois Department of Transportation, has made an official request that Amtrak begin a feasibility study to determine potential routes and cost estimates as part of the proposed passenger rail service to Peoria. Under the direction of Mayor Jim Ardis and the City Council, Peoria has been seeking support from Amtrak and IDOT to re-establish passenger rail service to the city. It has been nearly 25 years since passenger rail service was offered in the Peoria area. It is expected that the study could take a year to finish, and further steps to secure local service could take place after its completion. IBI