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A Publication of WTVP

Earlier this year a dialogue began with the Heartland Partnership (H-P) regarding the Peoria Civic Federation’s (PCF) desire to institutionalize itself and its mission. We believe this next step is critical to ensure our future commitment to the economic well-being of the greater Peoria area.

The following options have been discussed:

The PCF is an organization consisting of CEOs from the largest corporations and key community organizations in the region. It is modeled after the Commercial Club of Chicago and is similar to other CEO groups throughout the country. H-P is the parent corporation of the Economic Development Council for Central Illinois, the Peoria Chamber of Commerce and other organizations designed to encourage regional development.

At its May meeting, the PCF Board decided its best option was to pursue a merger with the H-P, and that will mean the transition of the PCF into a more formal structure of the H-P. This transition will also cause the PCF Board to dissolve itself and cease to exist as the Peoria Civic Federation. For the PCF Board, it makes sense to unite under a single purpose. Many people (and I am one of them) have advocated that all economic development activities in the greater Peoria area should unite under one organization to ensure a consistent and positive message of economic development.

The newly merged entity’s mission will be the same as the PCF’s original mission—to ensure a regional plan is developed, maintained, monitored and implemented through an appropriate organization. It has always been the PCF’s goal to prioritize key community initiatives and provide appropriate financial and organizational support to ensure these initiatives are successful and in the best interest of the community. Through our discussion over the past several months, our initial mission and purpose were reaffirmed by the members of our Board. The need for key community and business leaders in the greater Peoria area to meet on a regular formal basis and ensure communication and dialogue was also reaffirmed.

There are several steps that need to occur to realize the PCF’s May Board decision. The Board of Directors of H-P must approve the merger. The funding issues for organizations in the PCF, EDC and Chamber must be streamlined. H-P bylaws must be reviewed and probably revised, with approvals from both H-P and PCF Boards. A determination must be made that there is enough staff in the Heartland Partnership to address the additional responsibilities. A timetable with action steps to reach the desired conclusion at the desired time must be agreed upon. Lots to do!

This is a very exciting step in the evolution of the PCF. The opportunity to advance economic development initiatives within a united business community is greatly enhanced through this new relationship. More to come—stay tuned! IBI

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