NEW VENTURES, NEW MILESTONES
New Junction Ventures Ltd., owned by Alexis and Beth Leiter Khazzam, purchased the Junction City shopping center and is planning a multi-million-dollar renovation to improve the 45-year-old center.
Central Illinois Business Publishers, Inc. launched its newest magazine, art & society, the area’s premier art and social magazine. art & society targets patrons of the arts and affluent residents in the central Illinois area.
OSF Saint Francis Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Illinois announced a $234 million modernization and expansion project, the Milestone Project, the largest such undertaking in Peoria’s history. Features will include a new Children’s Hospital, an updated and expanded Emergency Department, more intensive care beds, and expanded surgery and cardiac care facilities.
With a team of 30 agents and staff, Keller Williams Premier Realty launched in January as the largest real estate company to open in the history of the Peoria Area Association of Realtors.
Peoria Bread Company, owned by Dave Koehler and his wife, Nora Sullivan, held a ribbon cutting August 24th at their booth at the Pekin Main Street Farmer’s Market.
TransPORT announced it will begin the redevelopment of its first port project on 80 acres of land that includes the one-million-square-foot former Caterpillar foundry located in Mapleton, just south of Peoria.
ASK THE COUNCIL
IBI: What are the keys to a successful future for Peoria? How can the council help?
"We must make wise decisions. History requires that we continue to diversify our economy to make medical the top employer, thereby placing Peoria squarely on the map as a world-class healing and medical research center…We also must realize that tourism eventually will be a huge draw to central Illinois as the Museum Square project comes to fruition."
-Councilman Chuck Grayeb
The four Peoria and Pekin hospitals and Advanced Medical Transport announced that effective July 4, 2007, each of its campuses will become smoke-free.
Nearly 60 people from greater Peoria visited Friedrichshafen, Germany, in May to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the sister city relationship between the two cities.
ArtsPartners of Central Illinois released "In Plain Sight: A Guide to Finding and Experiencing Peoria’s Public Art," which takes readers on a geographic journey of the many public art pieces in the Peoria area.
"It’s Happening in the Heights" is the new slogan adopted by the Peoria Heights Area Business Association.
"A successful Peoria entails creating an environment that fosters economic development and job creation, supports a strong education system, revitalizes our older neighborhoods and business centers, and recognizes the importance of adequate public safety services. The council can help accomplish those goals by setting priorities, funding them accordingly, and listening to the needs and wants of its taxpayers."
-Councilman Bob Manning
"Strengthening School District 150 and revitalizing older neighborhoods. The council is working very collaboratively with District 150 on a variety of things-from enhanced security to after-hours programs. The council is focusing a great deal of resources in residential areas with clean-ups, enhanced code enforcement, enhanced policing, sidewalk and lighting programs, and assistance in forming and supporting neighborhood associations."
-Councilwoman Barbara Van Auken
TECHNOLOGY MARCHES ON
The Peoria Medical and Technology District Commission took the next step in its development. On December 14th, the commission voted to change the name of the district to "Renaissance Park."
Peoria company iSoy Technologies aims to meet the demand for anti-aging skincare products with a new technology developed at Peoria’s own USDA National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research. Researchers there developed a method to provide a natural anti-aging ingredient as an additive to cosmetic products and are working with iSoy to bring it to the marketplace. The product is called SoyScreen, originally conceived of as a natural biodegradable sunscreen derived from soybean oil.
The Peoria Civic Center announced developments regarding the commemoration of an Underground Railroad site in Peoria. The former home of Lucy and Moses Pettengill was located on land currently owned by the Civic Center Authority. In 2005, it was awarded official designation as a member of the Network to Freedom from the National Park Service. Sculptor Preston Jackson was asked to create a design that would celebrate the Pettengills’ contribution to the Underground Railroad movement in Peoria.
HONORS & AWARDS
Bill Rutherford was honored with Rotary International’s highest honor-the Service Above Self Award-at The Rotary Club of Peoria’s February 3rd meeting. Rutherford is believed to be the first Rotarian in Peoria’s Rotary zone-which encompasses 12 states-to receive this honor.
Mary Ardapple, owner of Apple’s Bakery, was a recipient of the 2006 Make Mine a Million Business award, designed to help women entrepreneurs surpass the million-dollar revenue mark.
ArtsPartners named Sally Page of Lakeview Museum the recipient of the ArtsPartner of the Year Award for 2006. Considered the "Mother of Lakeview Museum," Page was a leader among a group of individuals whose vision was to create a vibrant arts and sciences atmosphere in central Illinois. Her dream was realized when Lakeview Museum opened its doors in 1965.
RSM McGladrey was named to the "100 Best Companies" list by Working Mother magazine.
ADDITIONS & PROMOTIONS
- Jeff Giebelhausen was named president and chief operating officer for Cullinan Properties, Ltd.
- National City promoted Andrew Parmalee to senior vice president and marketing executive of the Private Client Group for Central Illinois.
- Karen Jensen was named president and chief executive officer of Farnsworth Group, Inc.
- The Greater Peoria Regional Airport Authority named Ken Spirito its new director of airports.
- TransPORT named Steve Jaeger as its first executive director.
- The Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau announced that Brent Lonteen accepted the position as the organization’s president/CEO.
"Politics is a rough-and-tumble sport, and negative campaign ads have always had their place, but a nasty low was reached this year in campaigns across the country. We certainly saw our share of misleading attack ads here in central Illinois, but in the end, negative campaigning took a welcome hit. In the 92nd House District, Representative Aaron Schock ran an admirable campaign noteworthy for his refusal to go negative and was rewarded with an overwhelming margin of victory. And in the 46th Senate District, incoming State Senator Dave Koehler won his race handily, despite being considerably outspent, and in the face of a series of negative ads against him."
-Jan Wright, Publisher