A Publication of WTVP

Business News – In Brief | June 2023

by Peoria Magazine |
Business News in Brief

Elizabeth Klise

Peoria native Elizabeth Klise has been appointed executive director of the Peoria Historical Society. Klise recently served as a board member. She has a background in fundraising and special events planning, the fine arts and writing.

The East Bluff Community Center Board of Directors has appointed Jennifer L. Winne as its executive director. She replaces Kari Jones. Winne has more than 15 years of marketing, fundraising and development experience with the Peoria Civic Center, The Sisters of St. Francis of the Immaculate Conception and others.

Jeff Jurgens has been named to the newly created role of second deputy city manager for the City of Bloomington. Jergens previously served as Bloomington’s corporation counsel for 10 years.

Jill Dodaro, director of nursing at Carle Health Methodist Hospital, joined the Pediatric Resource Center’s community board in March 2023.

Pekin Insurance has earned a “superior rating” for its personal lines claims customer experience from Ward Group, the benchmarking division of Aon Hewitt. This is the second consecutive year that Pekin Insurance has achieved this recognition. It is one of only five companies to receive the award, which is determined through a customer survey.

For the third consecutive year, the Greater Peoria Sanitary District has been awarded a Gold Peak Performance Award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies. The award recognizes member agency facilities for excellence in wastewater treatment.

Brenda J. Johnson

Former Peorian Brenda J. Johnson, vice chairman of the board for Advanced Correctional Healthcare, Inc., has been recognized by She Leads America, a faith-based organization, as its honoree from the state of Tennessee. In 2002, Johnson founded Advanced Correctional Health, one of the nation’s largest jail health care contract management companies, with her husband, Dr. Norman Johnson.

The Bloomington Emergency Communications Center has been recognized by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch® (IAEDTM) as an Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE) for emergency medical dispatching. Accreditation from the IAED is the highest distinction given to emergency communication centers.

Heartland Community College has recognized two faculty members with the Outstanding Faculty Award. Jeremy Scott, an instructor in English, is the recipient of the 2023 Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Award. Josh Fitzgerald, an adjunct professor of communications, is the recipient of the 2023 Outstanding Part-Time Faculty Award.

The McLean County Museum of History will recognize four honorees at this year’s History Maker’s Gala at 5:30 p.m. on June 21 at the Brown Ballroom at Illinois State University. This year’s honorees are Dotti Bushnell, Hank and Mary Campbell, Guy Fraker and Charles and Willie Halbert, longtime residents whose contributions of time and talent have made McLean County a better place. Tickets and further information are at

We Hear You LLC, a Peoria startup specializing in innovative communication solutions for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, has announced a strategic partnership with Doğuş Teknoloji, a leading technology company based in Istanbul, Turkey. The two companies will collaborate on the development of We Hear You’s flagship product, leveraging Dogus Teknoloji’s extensive experience in software development and artificial intelligence.

The KBStrong Foundation has awarded $50,000 to support glioblastoma and brain tumor research at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria (UICOMP). The gift is the result of Foundation fundraising efforts, including BrownFest, held each September, and the Kevin Brown Memorial Tournament of Champions held in November. The KBStrong Foundation is named in memory of Washington Community High School head basketball coach Kevin Brown, who died from glioblastoma in 2019.

Live music returns to the Chillicothe Public Library thanks to a community arts grant from the Community Foundation of Central Illinois. The Library’s Live at the Library music series, scheduled to launch in September, will present free monthly concerts for the Chillicothe community.

Lobster Boil 2023, a fundraising gala benefiting WTVP children’s programming and the Hult Center for Healthy Living, will be held Oct. 7 at the WTVP studio, 101 State Street, Peoria. The event includes a lobster dinner from Dixon’s, a silent auction and more. Event tickets and sponsorship opportunities at


The Miller Park Zoological Society will host its annual Brews at the Zoo from 3 to 8 p.m. June 24 at Miller Park in Bloomington. Guests can sample craft beers from 14 local and regional breweries and food from Bloomington-Normal restaurants. There will be a wine booth, live music and zookeeper talks, plus the zoo’s animals. Tickets are available at or Eventbrite.

Registration is open for the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce Marigold Golf Outing on Thursday, Aug. 31 at Lick Creek Golf Course on Parkway Drive in Pekin. Registration information at

The 5th Annual Turner Center for Entrepreneurship Small Business Awards will be presented August 31 at the Hayden-Clark Alumni Center, Peplow Pavilion on the campus of Bradley University. Registration is free and now open. Contact Jennie Hale at 309-677-4321 or [email protected].

Better Banks has announced a new contest for high school seniors who plan to continue their education. The Dorm Room Makeover Contest encourages students to manage their bank accounts by using Better Banks’ digital banking system. Two winners will be selected randomly for cash prizes of $1,000 and $500. Entries are being collected through July 31. More information at