A Publication of WTVP

Business News – In Brief | March 2023

by Peoria Magazine |
Business News in Brief

Jessica Linder Gallo is the new vice president of operations at the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce. A native of Morton, Gallo returns to central Illinois after four years as president and CEO at the Aurora Area Chamber of Commerce.

Bradley University has named Jason G. Petrovich as its new vice president for advancement. Petrovich comes to Bradley from Valparaiso University, where he had served as associate vice president for advancement since 2012. Prior to his time at Valparaiso, Petrovich served in numerous roles over 18 years at DePauw University.

ArtsPartners of Central Illinois, Inc. announced that Dr. Mae Gilliland Wright has accepted the position of executive director. Wright previously served as executive director of Big Picture Initiative, a local arts nonprofit. She has a long history with ArtsPartners, including six years of service on the board of directors, three of which were spent as vice president.

Ken Hinkle has been named vice president of leasing for Cullinan Properties. He brings more than 30 years of leasing, property management and retail management experience to the Cullinan team. He will be based in Cullinan’s Atlanta office.

Randy Weatherly, vice president for F&M Bank, Brimfield Market, has announced his retirement. Weatherly began his banking career in 1982 as a loan correspondent for a major life insurance company and joined F&M Bank in 2018.

Judith Marks, CEO and president of Otis Worldwide Corporation, and James Fish, Jr., president and CEO of Waste Management, have been appointed to the Caterpillar Inc. Board of Directors. Marks will serve on the Audit and Compensation and Human Resources Committees. Fish will serve on the Audit, Sustainability and other Public Policy Committees. The company also announced that Ed Rust will not stand for re-election at the 2023 Annual Shareholder Meeting.

Judith Marks
James Fish
Ed Rust

Chris Holmquist is joining CityLink as director of human resources.  With more than 20 years of HR experience across multiple industries, Holmquist will manage the overall operations of the Human Resource Department, including benefits administration, talent acquisition, performance management and legal compliance.

Mark Welp has joined WTVP and Peoria Magazine as senior content producer. Welp has spent more than 25 years in television journalism, most recently as the evening news anchor at WMBD-TV in Peoria. He brings extensive experience reporting, shooting and editing video, as well as production and newsroom management.


Andrea Bjorkman, who founded Bloomington-based Fizz Enterprises with Teri Lucie Thompson, has assumed full ownership of the business. Find Your Fizz, founded in 2021, has served female clients from California to Massachusetts with curated solutions to help them navigate challenges through all stages of professional life.

Katherine G. P. Legge, an assistant U.S. attorney in Peoria, has been selected as an associate judge of the Tenth Judicial Circuit covering Peoria, Tazewell, Marshall, Putnam and Stark counties. She will fill the vacancy created by the December retirement of Judge Albert L. Purham Jr.

Mike Wells has been named president of OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center, replacing Bob Anderson, who now serves as chief executive officer for the central region of OSF HealthCare. Wells will be responsible for directing all internal operations.

Ben Fengel, past board member for The Center for Prevention of Abuse and a current member of CFPA’s Human Trafficking Ad Hoc Committee, has been appointed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker to the Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force. Fengel retired from the Bartonville Police Department in 2019. He is currently the director of the Central Illinois Police Training Center.

Ryan Poettker, president of Poettker Construction, Breese. Ill., has been named the 2023 president of Central Illinois Builders, a local chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America.


Katherine Sarsfield, assistant professor and psychiatric nurse practitioner program director at Bradley University, has been awarded a simulation research grant by Sentinel U®, one of only four projects across the U.S. and Australia to receive the grant. The grant will allow researchers to utilize the company’s cutting-edge virtual simulation products to conduct research in nursing education.


Peoria Charter Coach received the United Motorcoach Association’s (UMA) Environmental Leadership Award during the UMA EXPO 2023 in January. The award, announced by Motor Coach Industries, honors operators that demonstrate the greatest commitment to environmental sustainability in their business practices.

The Unland Companies, a full service, independent insurance agency, has been named one of Society’s Best for 2022 by Society Insurance, a mutual insurance company in Fond du Lac, Wis. The program recognizes exceptional performance in Society’s top 30 agencies.

Better Banks will celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2023 with commemorative events and activities in each of the nine communities it serves — Peoria, Dunlap, Morton, Bartonville, Chillicothe, Wyoming, Glasford and Astoria. Better Banks traces its history to 1898 with the founding of Dunlap Bank.

The W. D. Boyce Council, Boys Scouts of America, is celebrating 50 years of scouting in central Illinois with events throughout the year and a capital campaign. The Council was formed in 1973 from three regional councils in LaSalle, Bloomington and Peoria. The name honors Ottawa newspaper publisher William Dickson Boyce, who brought scouting to America in 1910.


The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Bradley University is sponsoring a free virtual workshop, “Google Business Profile: Get Your Business on Google Search and Maps,” from noon to 1 p.m. March 9. Participants will learn what a Google Business Profile is, why it’s needed and how to create and manage a profile. Learn more at

The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Bradley University will hold an SBDC Day Open House and networking opportunity from 4:30 to 6 p.m. March 15 at the Peoria NEXT Innovation Center, 801 W. Main St., Peoria. 

Registration is open for the sixth annual I Run with Survivors in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The 5K run/1 mile walk, hosted by The Center for Prevention of Abuse (CFPA), is set for 8 a.m. Saturday, April 8 in the Levee District , East Peoria. Registration is at

The Young Professionals Organization of Greater Peoria will conduct an Architectural and History Pub Crawl on Saturday, March 11, starting at 1 p.m. at the Pere Marquette bar. Sites on the tour include PeoriaCity Hall, Peoria Civic Center, OSF Headquarters, Jack’s on Adams, Commerce Bank, Madison Theatre, GAR Hall, Peoria Women’s Club, AFL-CIO and Obed & Isaac’s. Contact Kelly Schneider at [email protected].

Goodwill of Central Illinois President and CEO Don Johnson has released the nonprofit’s community impact numbers for 2022:

  • Services provided — 40,044;
  • Persons served — 3,459;
  • Persons provided or placed into employment — 1,128;
  • Housing days provided to veterans — 5,377; 
  • Free services to veterans — 3,987;
  • Mentoring hours spent with youth — 1,476;
  • Pounds recycled — 4.18 million


First Busey Corporation, which operates numerous bank locations in the Peoria area, reported fourth quarter 2022 net income of $34 million and diluted earnings per share of $0.61. Fourth-quarter performance was down from $35.7 million, or $0.64 per diluted earnings share. Recent quarter earnings exceeded the $29.9 million and $0.53 per diluted common share reported in the fourth quarter of 2021.