"Welcome to 2008-a year which, I think it is safe to say, will be a pivotal one for our nation. By the middle of this month, voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and other states will have made their choices for the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees. Enormous issues remain on the agenda, and they’re not going away anytime soon. As we tiptoe through the wreckage of the subprime mortgage fallout and credit crunch, we’re hoping and praying that a recession is not just around the corner. We’re attempting to kick an unsustainable oil habit without putting economic growth at risk. And from terrorism to workforce competitiveness, we face global challenges of unprecedented scope and size."
-Jan Wright, Publisher
The Children’s Hospital of Illinois’ Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was recognized as the top-performing NICU in the world.
Caterpillar, Inc. announced the fifth straight year of record sales and revenues and the fourth consecutive year of record profit.
Peoria County is one of the top 10 digital counties in the nation, according to a survey by the Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties.
There are approximately 1,400 local United Ways throughout America, each classified by the amount of money raised in their annual campaigns, a system called "Metro Size." With the results of its 2007 campaign, the Heart of Illinois United Way moved to a Metro I status, placing it among the top-performing United Ways in the country.
Bradley University is again one of the top universities in the Midwest, according to U.S. News & World Report. Bradley has earned a top ranking for more than 10 consecutive years.
For the sixth time in its 24-year history, the East Peoria Festival of Lights was named one of the Top 100 Events in North America by the American Bus Association.
RESTRUCTURING AT MANUAL
"Due to No Child Left Behind legislation, Manual [High School] is required to undergo restructuring…The Talent Development High School (TDHS) model, developed at Johns Hopkins University, is being used to transform learning and teaching at Manual. This is all being done in collaboration with the community-the neighborhood, teachers, students, business community and anyone who wants to be a part of the change. Several basic components of TDHS are critical to making this change, most notably a 9th grade success academy and three career or interest academies for 10th, 11th and 12th grade students. Additionally, there will be a 7th and 8th grade academy at Manual to facilitate an earlier start on the pursuit of success."
-Roberta Parks, Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce
AUGUST ISSUE REDESIGN
Welcome to the redesigned InterBusiness Issues! You’ll discover a few changes in this issue, in both design and content. Most noticeably, we’ve given the magazine a stylistic makeover, from its sleek, modern logo to the new full-color format. Each issue will have a Focus section centered on the significant topics of the day. The Balance section will help bridge the gap between a life of business and the business of life, showcasing cultural and lifestyle trends. These changes reflect the fast pace of change in the world at large in recent years. What hasn’t changed is our commitment to providing area readers with everything they need to know to thrive in central Illinois.
ENERGY & SUSTAINABILITY
"No mere buzzword, the idea of sustainability continues to gain ground here in central Illinois. Caterpillar leads the way as one of a growing number of companies to issue an annual sustainability report. Analysts see the changes at Cat and elsewhere as a sign that the greening of corporate America is unstoppable, and that products and services that help solve environmental problems can be good for business. Sustainability and business planning increasingly go hand in hand-I would argue that the two are one and the same. The allocation of finite resources to ensure long-term viability is not a foreign concept to business owners-it is the very essence of business."
-Jan Wright, Publisher
Firefly Energy, Inc., the Peoria-based, next-generation battery technology company, dedicated its new 40,000-square-foot world headquarters with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 12th. Bauer Power, an installer of renewable energy products, recently opened a new office in Dunlap.
The Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce and Tri-County Construction Labor Management Council have teamed up to provide a Building Performance Walk-Thru program to area businesses. This inspection of the building envelope, lighting and mechanical (HVAC) systems is designed to identify problems that result in unnecessary energy usage.
"The Peoria NEXT Energy Summit will address the national energy crisis and probe for meaningful policy prescriptions, specifically through the use of Midwestern energy solutions. With the ability to harness the wind and produce ethanol and biodiesel, our production possibilities are truly formidable. With the inclusion of extensive coal reserves, clean coal and coal gasification technology; the evolution of electric battery technology; ecothermics; and nuclear power, our region can achieve energy independence and contribute to national security."
-Kyle Ham, Peoria NEXT
- Easter Seals announced the creation of The Ray and Kathy LaHood Center for Cerebral Palsy.
- Wayne Baum of CORE Construction received the 2007 Tom Connor Award for Community Service.
- Norm LaConte, president and chief executive officer of Proctor Hospital, announced his plan to retire after nearly 43 years of service.
- The Morton Economic Development Council announced the appointment of Jennifer Daly as Executive Director and CEO.
- The Community Foundation of Central Illinois named Mark Roberts as executive director and CEO.
- Tara Gerstner was hired as the Peoria Promise Foundation’s first executive director.
Caterpillar Inc. announced a multi-year capacity expansion that will position key factories in Illinois to compete for the long term. The company will invest more than $1 billion from 2008 through 2010 in five existing facilities in Illinois, including East Peoria and Mossville.
On October 10th, the Greater Peoria Regional Airport became the General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport, and groundbreaking of the new 125,000-square-foot, $65 million terminal building took place.
THEY SAID IT…
"So now the cat is out of the bag–Peoria is looking to build a brand-new hotel affiliated with a national chain and connected via skywalk to the Peoria Civic Center. The project also includes renovation of the historic Hotel Pere Marquette, relocating Big Al’s nightclub, razing an entire city block and constructing a new parking deck. This is by far the most ambitious project in downtown Peoria since the Janssen and Becker buildings were constructed."
-Brent Lonteen, Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
"Excelerate is a five-year, $4 million growth initiative that will propel the Illinois Heartland from its status as a good community to an excellent one. Through an increase in business recruitment and expansion, focused action on infrastructure improvement, and national marketing of the area, Excelerate is aimed at capitalizing on our region’s strengths while establishing and solidifying our position as a top-10 community in the country in which to live and work."
-Jim McConoughey, Heartland Partnership iBi