A Publication of WTVP

Funny how the more things change, the more they stay the same. In 1989, when this magazine was founded on the heels of a recession, many pessimists thought the lights would go out in Peoria. Yet not only did we survive–we prospered. Today, against the backdrop of another economic downturn, many of us are again uneasy about the future. Change is essential, but wrenching, and its pace continues to accelerate. Yet the fundamentals of hard work, expectant optimism and an entrepreneurial spirit remain anchors in the storm.

For 20 years–through thick and thin–we’ve weathered that storm, and 240 issues later, I am proud to be among the minority of those who have survived the challenges of running a small business-and thrived.

Life is a risk. It was a risk to start a business magazine-eight-page newsletter, rather-in 1989, when my late husband, Dave, and I barely knew a soul in the Peoria-area business community. It was a risk to take over the company and keep the magazine going after we lost Dave to leukemia 12 years ago. For the small business owner, it’s a risk to change, yet it’s often even riskier to stay the same. It just comes with the territory.

Is it difficult to work with your spouse? Your child? Over the years, I’ve done both, and I am thankful for the opportunity. The only negative I’ve found is that one must work a little harder at compartmentalizing to achieve that elusive work/life balance.

An anniversary is a milestone-an occasion to catch one’s breath (if just for a moment), look back and reflect on the journey. Month in and month out, putting together a magazine recalls nothing more than the nurturing of a child. The demands are constant, and the calendar year never offers a break, but the finished product delivers a tangible sense of pride and craftsmanship that is all too hard to find in this world. For that, I feel very fortunate.

We thought you’d enjoy reading excerpts featuring the past 20 years of business in central Illinois. It’s not a comprehensive history, but it does tell a story. You’ll recognize some familiar faces, and, perhaps, become acquainted with others who have moved on, having left behind their mark on Peoria progress.

We’ve grown and changed with the times, just like you. Our logo and cover design have evolved over the years, and the names in the masthead are different, but we are still excited by our mission. iBi is and will continue to be the go-to resource for the business community in central Illinois.

A sincere thanks to all of you-our readers and friends, advertisers and sponsors, columnists and contributors-for your roles in making this happen. We couldn’t have done it without you! iBi