East Central Illinois Development Corporation
Fostering Regional Economic Development Since 1984
ECIDC Annual Report
"We are privileged to have some of the most successful community-minded business owners, citizens and organizations in the state of Illinois!"
Incorporated in 1984, East Central Illinois Development Corporation (ECIDC) is one of the longest-running regional economic development groups in the state of Illinois.Community, business, and education leaders from throughout the area formed ECIDC to encourage a collaborative and planned effort to promote East Central Illinois, spur economic growth, and address regional concerns which impact jobs and the economy.Our economic development strategy focuses on establishing a regional identity as a foundation to promote the region state-wide and nationally with the goal of retaining and supporting the growth of current businesses as well as attracting new business, industry and tourism to the region, while providing educational opportunities to its membership, governmental units, and residents.
Since its inception, educational leaders from Lake Land College have been an integral part of ECIDC. This support was enhanced in 2000 when Lake Land College began offering a neutral and central location for ECIDC’s regional meetings and supplying in-kind office space, general technical support, and administrative oversight.
ECIDC’s goal has been to remove the invisible boundaries between our communities, counties, organizations and sectors so we are able to work together in mutually beneficial ways that will move our region forward.
ECIDC has a leadership structure conducive to hearing the voices of all the counties and communities in which it represents. The Board of Directors is composed of 26 respected public and private sector leaders. The Board meets quarterly and is responsible for making decisions regarding the organization’s key functions and activities. The Advisory Staff is composed of additional community representatives from the region and of professionals willing to give ECIDC their time and talents in order to guide current and future endeavors. They are considered experts in their fields and participate in Board of Director meetings.
ECIDC welcomes all individuals interested in economic development who wish to use their skills and abilities to assist in expanding opportunities for East Central Illinois.
Welcome to the East Central Illinois Development Corporation’s (ECIDC) 33rd Annual Meeting and Recognition Awards Ceremony. Thank you for joining us to honor the 2017 Regional Recognition Award Recipients. We are privileged to have some of the most successful community-minded business owners, citizens and organizations in the state of Illinois! Today we have the opportunity to recognize some of these individuals awarding the Volunteer of the Year Award, Business Ethics and Social Involvement (BESI) Award, Outstanding Leadership in Community and Economic Development Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award. The BESI award is jointly sponsored by ECIDC, Lake Land College and Eastern Illinois University. These two educational institutions are a great example of collaboration in the region. We are pleased to share additional examples of collaboration, development and growth from the counties throughout East Central Illinois in the 2017 ECIDC Annual Report.
| 2017 Annual Report
ECIDC Meetings and Events
Save the Date
IMA Manufacturing Roundtable
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
7:30 am to 9:00 am
Lake Land College
Webb Hall, Room 081
Rural School Forum:
Building Rural Schools and Communities Together
Central Illinois Rural School Collaborative
Buzzard Hall @ Eastern Illinois University
June 15, 2017
8:30 am - noon
ECIDC Quarterly Board Meeting
Thursday, August 17, 2017
11 am to 1 pm
6017 E 300th Rd
"closing at 1:00p.m., grill shuts off at 12:30 p.m. SHARP! Cash or check only"
Special Tourism event following August 17th Board Meeting
Author, Bill Clevlen
2 pm to 3 pm
ECIDC Quarterly Board Meeting
Thursday, November 17, 2017
11 am to 1 pm
CENCERE Center at EIU
|2017 Annual Report
Ameren Economic Development * Coles County Regional Planning Commission * Consolidated Communications * Eastern Illinois University * First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust * Forsythe Land Company * Frontier Communications * Lake Land College
2nd Chance Wood * Agracel, Inc. * Coles Together * Edgar County Bank & Trust * Metro Communications * Midland States Bank * Shelby Electric Cooperative * St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital * State Bank of Arthur * The Great Pumpkin Patch * Tuscola National Bank
Agri-Fab, Inc. * Bolin Enterprises, Inc. * City of Arcola * City of Casey * City of Effingham * City of Marshall * City of Mattoon * City of Paris * Clark County Board * Dieterich Bank * Dimond Bros. Insurance, LLC * E.B. Yoder, Inc. * First Bank & Trust, SB * First National Bank of Pana * IHI Turbo * Journal Gazette Times Courier * Lindenmeyer Insurance * Peoples Bank & Trust * Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center * Shelby County Economic Development Group * Siemer Milling Co. * Tuscola Economic Development Inc. * West & Company, LLC
Arthur Area Economic Development Corporation * Casey Industries * City of Charleston * City of Neoga * City of Taylorville * Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative * Crawford County Development Association * Crossroads Bank * Cumberland County Development Corporation * Dieterich Community Development Corporation * Effingham County Chamber of Commerce * EJ Water Cooperative, Inc. * Farnsworth Group * Finley Engineering * First Neighbor Bank, N.A. * First Robinson Savings Bank * Hydro-Gear * Jasper County Economic Development Organization * Lithia Springs Marina * Norris Electric Cooperative * PIDC, Pana Industrial Development Corp. * Power and Tel Supply * Sta-Rite Ginnie Lou, Inc. * Sullivan Chamber & Economic Development * Teutopolis Community for Progress * Tick Tock Energy * U of I Extension – Unit 20 * Versatech, LLC * Village of Dieterich * Village of Strasburg
Forsythe Land Company
Coles County Regional Planning Commision
Board of Directors
President - Tiffany Macke, University of Illinois Extension
Vice President - Bob Doan, Arthur Area Economic Development Corporation
Immediate Past President - Brian Moody, Tuscola Economic Development Inc.
Treasurer - John Vogt, West & Company, LLC
Secretary - Sasha Althoff, City of Effingham
Dr. Jim Hull, Lake Land College, Mattoon
Randi Bohannon, ECIDC, East Central Illinois Development Corporation
Executive Committee Members
2016-2017 Board of Directors
Economic Development Advisory Members
Economic Development Advisory Members
Angela Griffin, Coles Together
Chris Kaler, Frontier Communications
Julie Bounds, Casey Industries
Mary Renner, Christian County Economic Development
Mike Sullivan, Illinois Eastern Community Colleges
Todd Hull, City of Effingham
Anna Kiley, Shelby County Economic Development
Bill Steichmann, Past ECIDC President
Bill Wagoner, City of Arcola
Camie Sanders, City of Marshall
Cassie Hill, Crawford County Economic Development
Doug Abolt, Consolidated Communications Inc.
Dr. David Glassman, Eastern Illinois University
Dr. David Lett, Pana School District
Dr. Josh Bullock, Lake Land College
Jennifer Bishop, Marshall Chamber of Commerce
John Gardner, Peoples Bank & Trust
Josh Shallenberger, Shelby Electric Cooperative
Ken Larimore, U of I Extension, Jasper County
Lloyd Murphy, Tuscola National Bank
Mac Condill, The Great Pumpkin Patch
Mark Donaldson, Dimond Insurance Inc.
Mike Cohan, Agri-Fab
Norma Lansing, Effingham County Chamber of Commerce
Paul Ruff, City of Paris
Steph McMahon, The Great Pumpkin Patch, Arthur
Tim Gover, City of Mattoon
Kevin Pierce, LWIA 23
Michael Defend, President, Crossroads Bank
Mike Rudibaugh, Lake Land College
Steve Warren, Ameren
ECIDC Board and Advisors
The Back 40 Market at The Great Pumpkin Patch in Arthur, Illinois
Year in Review
ECIDC continues to facilitate important conversations about the issues that effect businesses, organizations, individuals and communities in the 11 counties represented in East Central Illinois. Workforce Development, specifically addressing the need for a skilled labor force, and Tourism Development, using our combined resources to promote the assets we have in our region, remain two very important aspects of economic development in our East Central Illinois.
ECIDC continues to promote and encourage events, conversations, host and attend meetings and share opportunities to learn from each other and help each other succeed.
In the past year, ECIDC continued efforts to increase the visibility of our organization, expand and grow our relationships and share information and events related to economic development. A few of the highlights from the past year are listed below.
ECIDC welcomes our two newest members/investors; 2nd Chance Wood and The Great Pumpkin Patch, both of Arthur, Illinois.
Board of Directors
ECIDC welcomes three new members of our Board of Directors; Anna Kiley of Shelby County and Shelbyville Economic Development, Bill Wagoner of the City of Arcola and Cassie Hill of Crawford County Economic Development.
ECIDC hosted two Workforce Roundtable events and conducted the expanded Regional Workforce Assessment (skills gap survey) to identify employment needs in 2017.
The February 2017 Quarterly Board Meeting was hosted by Aikman Wildlife Adventure in Arcola, Illinois. Attendees learned how the owner of the former Rockhome Gardens has successfully utilized social media to promote attendance to the wildlife refuge which features drive through tours. Mac Condill of The 200 Acres also shared best practices for increasing attendance and promoting tourism related facilities and events.
Collaboration, Networking, Education
ECIDC Regional Snapshot
Regional Workforce Assessment
Developing a Creative Economy
Emsi, Economic Modeling Systems
Emsi - Economic Modeling Systems
ECIDC has joined a consortium with other communities and organizations beyond our region to purchase a license for the Emsi program at a very reasonable cost.
Emsi specializes in using labor market data to connect and inform people, education, and business. Featured tools include, Strategic Planning, Workforce Analytics and Tools for Attraction.
This investment will enable ECIDC to provide timely, accurate demographics, workforce information and other economic development related information in a report ready format to our members/investors at no cost.
More information about the capabilities of the Emsi program will be available soon.
CEO Alumni Panelists
Keith Sutterfield (Effingham Co. ’10)
Keith Sutterfield is a graduate of the 2010 Effingham County CEO Class. While a student in CEO, he turned his interest in video production into his individual business and continued to operate that business through his four years at Eastern Illinois University where he studied Communication with a concentration in Electronic Media Production and Film Studies. Throughout college, Keith maintained relationships formed during his time in CEO and applied his ongoing education to projects for local businesses and non-profits in the Effingham area as well as Mattoon and Charleston. He also worked for the University, producing videos for the school’s online magazine EIU360. Upon graduation in 2014, Keith made the decision to pursue his business full time, and incorporated as Sutterfield Media, Inc. The company provides video production services for several local businesses as well as for clients in Chicago; Denver, Colorado; and Portland, Oregon. Sutterfield Media is a full-service video production company that works with clients from initial development to delivery and activation of video content for marketing, branding, fundraising and internal purposes.
Adam Doty (Effingham Co. ‘14)
Adam has been reaping the benefits of the CEO Program since he graduated from the Effingham CEO Class in 2014. He currently studies Organizational Leadership at Greenville College and has earned an Associate Degree in Business Administration from Lake Land College in Mattoon, IL. While at Lake Land, he served as Student Representative to the Board of Trustees, Chair of the Illinois Community College Board Student Advisory Committee, and Editor of the student newspaper. He even helped spearhead an effort to bring the CEO brand to the collegiate-level by proposing a Lake Land CEO class. Adam lives out his passion for hospitality, sales, and good food by working as a server at Firefly Grill in Effingham. In his spare time, he provides freelance graphic design and marketing consulting services to businesses and organizations near his home in Beecher City, IL.
Christopher Pitcher (Jasper Co. ’15)
Christopher Pitcher, an alumni of Jasper Co. CEO, graduated from Newton Community High School in 2015. Some of his hobbies include fishing, hunting and anything outdoors related. Ever since he heard about the Effingham CEO class and sat in on one of their meetings, Christopher was excited to be part of the inaugural Jasper Co. CEO class and is very thankful for the fantastic opportunity.
Jessica Winter (Christian Co. ’16)
My name is Jessica Winter and I am from Pana Illinois. I am a graduate of the Christian County CEO Class of 2016. Currently, I attend Lake Land College in Mattoon Illinois, and I am studying Agriculture Business. After two years at Lake Land I plan to transfer to Western Illinois University to get a Master’s in Business. Currently I own my own business, DKJ Designs and Show Clothing and I am interning at Pana Tri-County Feed and Seed.
Cameron Ireland (Crawford Co. '17)
Cameron Ireland is a senior from Robinson High School. Cameron is very involved in extracurricular activities. His favorite class is CEO. This summer, Cameron plans to grow his company, The Kale Mitchell Group LLC, which is also owned by Carson Brown. He believes that the best way to succeed is to spend time with successful people. Cameron and Carson’s business is Kale Mitchell Marketing. This business is a subsidiary of The Kale Mitchell Group LLC. Cameron and Carson also run an ecommerce business. Cameron’s personal mission is to be a trend catcher, and create businesses that can create viable income for future investments.
REGIONAL AWARD RECIPIENTS
ECIDC Volunteer of the Year
Mac & Ginny Condill
Mac and his wife Ginny Condill are the owners of The Great Pumpkin Patch, The Homestead Bakery and The Homestead Seeds, which operate on The 200 Acres, in rural Arthur. Mac Condill, a 5th generation farmer at The 200 Acres, and his wife, have helped create one of the major agri-tourism attractions in downstate Illinois, welcoming over 60,000 visitors last fall to their family farm. Featured in Martha Stewart Living and Country Living magazines, they have also been invited to decorate at the White House, Longwood Gardens, Chicago Botanical Gardens, Missouri Botanical Gardens and the National Heirloom Exposition.
Additionally, Mac receives many invitations to speak for various clubs, organizations and conferences throughout the year on horticulture, tourism and entrepreneurialism.
Mac has always envisioned running the family farm and has been an integral part of developing The Great Pumpkin Patch since 1989. Ginny joined the family business in 2002 bringing with her extensive experience in food service. Together they opened The Homestead Bakery in 2006 and The Homestead Seeds in 2008 in an effort to bring the farm’s offering full circle, from “dirt to dessert.” One of the missions of The Great Pumpkin Patch is to help connect people to the land which has led them to host several Farm to Fork events, which support local growers
Mac and Ginny feel strongly about being involved in the community with the Arthur Area Association of Commerce, the Arthur Area Tourism Council and the Arthur Area Economic Development Corporation. Mac is a board member for the East Central Illinois Economic Development Corporation. They are also involved in Community Vacation Bible School, coaching softball and basketball and various committees at the Vine Street Christian Church.
Mac, a 1999 graduate of Illinois State University, has been involved with the ISU Horticulture Center since its inception, 10 years ago. Mac and Ginny have 3 children, Charley, Mackenzie and Coewn and reside in Arthur.
Business Ethics and Social Involvement, BESI Award
The inspiration for the BESI awards was the creation of the Business Enterprise Trust* during the 1980’s and the presentation by the Trust of national awards to recognize and publicize outstanding ethical conduct and social involvement by business. Dr. Ted Ivarie, former Dean of the Lumpkin College of Business & Applied Sciences at Eastern Illinois University, recognized that the concept of these national awards was applicable to the local east central Illinois area. With the permission of the Business Enterprise Trust, the College initiated the Business Ethics and Social Involvement, or BESI, Awards, and they were first presented in 1991.
Funding in support of these awards comes from the Bertrand P. Holley Distinguished Professorship and Business Ethics and Social Responsibility Fund. Bert Holley was a Professor of Business for over 40 years at Eastern (1946-1987), and in his teaching, he espoused the ethical conduct of business and commitment to community service that the BESI Award celebrates.
In 1993, Lake Land College and ECIDC joned EIU in what has been a great partnership to jointly sponsor these BESI awards to area individuals and businesses.
BESI Award History
BUSINESS ETHICS AND SOCIAL INVOLVEMENT (BESI) AWARD
Since 1993, ECIDC has partnered with Lake Land College and Eastern Illinois University (EIU) to award the Business Ethics and Social Involvement (BESI) Award which recognizes outstanding business firms and leaders in east central Illinois who pioneer enlightened business practices and display social leadership.
The intent is to publicize creative, long-term-oriented and morally thoughtful efforts by business owners that might serve as models or examples for aspiring entrepreneurs, as well as for college of business students. Nominations are submitted for individuals and businesses engaged in “for-profit” business activities in the counties of: Christian, Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Jasper, Moultrie and Shelby.
Metro Communications is a facility based provider of telecommunications services operating in 32 Central Illinois Counties. Having constructed over 2,000 route miles of fiber since 2011 and providing wholesale, carrier, enterprise and consumer services that touch the majority of Central Illinois residents on a daily basis, a staff of 50 professionals work hard to deliver advanced services deep into underserved rural areas.
Founded in Sullivan in 2000, the firm has grown over the past 17 years by delivering cost effective telecommunications in a highly customizable and personal manner. Vertically integrated, all aspects of service delivery and network operation are managed in-house from engineering to construction through to network monitoring and protection. We are rural Central Illinois residents serving and employing others in Central Illinois and take our commitment to reliability, safety and community seriously.
Zak Horn, Metro Communications
"providing wholesale, carrier, enterprise and consumer services that touch the majority of Central Illinois residents on a daily basis,"
Zak Horn, President & CEO
'banking institution with a community focus located in Mattoon ... immensely beneficial to the east central Illinois area.'
The First National Bank has been focused on its local community for over 110 years as it was first chartered in Mulberry Grove in 1904. In 1998, this banking institution with a community focus located in Mattoon which has been immensely beneficial to the east central Illinois area. In particular, Lake Land College and the students who pursue a higher education degree have benefited from the generosity of The First National Bank.
Since 1999, Mr. Preston Smith, president of The First National Bank Mattoon has been an integral member of the Lake Land College Foundation board of directors. In that time, the bank has made numerous gifts to the college Foundation and supported approximately 33 students with scholarship assistance to Lake Land College. This is in addition to the high school scholarship program that the bank offers to local high school seniors who pursue a college education at an institution of their choice following graduation.
In addition to scholarship support, The First National Bank has been a major sponsor of several community enrichment and events in our communities. For many years, The First National Bank was the corporate sponsor for the Lake Land College Foundation Art Heritage Show which gave local artists an avenue to display their works of painting, sculptures and drawings. This show also exposed students and community members to the arts and for many this was the only such opportunity to view such work. Each May the bank also serves as corporate sponsor for the Lake Land College Foundation Golf Classic, the single largest fundraising event for the Foundation; an event in which Mr. Smith annually serves as committee chair.
The employees of The First National Bank have provided support to the Mattoon Area Family YMCA for many years with many individuals assuming leadership roles in the organization. Employees have also served as leaders in the One Stop Community Christmas, an annual event designed to help families in need during the holiday season in Coles, Clark, Cumberland, Edgar, Shelby, Moultrie and Douglas counties. The First National Bank employees have provided not only monetary support for the program but more importantly, many hours of volunteer service to assist local families during the holidays.
The support provided to these organizations aligns with their philosophy of supporting their communities and their “Go Local” business initiative. This initiative state that they are “committed to the Go Local initiative, in which we provide better community-oriented services and you in turn, keep your business local. This partnership allows us to keep the money with in the Coles County area rather than it going to skyscraper buildings in far off cities.” Ultimately, this leads back to a stronger Mattoon, Coles County and a much stronger east central Illinois.
First National Bank of Mattoon
Preston G. Smith, President – CEO,
First National Bank of Mattoon
Martinsville on the Move Volunteers
OUTSTANDING LEADERSHIP IN COMMUNITY & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AWARD
The ECIDC Outstanding Leadership in Community & Economic Development Award was created to honor the region’s most influential community and economic development leaders and most committed volunteers for their measurable success in community and economic development. The intent is to publicize creative, long-term oriented and morally thoughtful efforts by an individual, nonprofit, or volunteer organization for their measurable success in community and economic development. Nominations are submitted for individuals and organizations in the counties of: Christian, Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Jasper, Moultrie and Shelby.
Martinsville on the Move
Martinsville on the Move was formed in 2009 with the goal of focusing on Martinsville’s future to promote a growing community that will provide a quality of life that is attractive to new businesses and residents. In the spring of 2012, the City of Martinsville and Martinsville on the Move contracted with Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs through Western Illinois University to conduct a MAPPING program to identify the assets of our community and develop a vision for the future. Over 40 area residents participated in the program and out of those sessions, the following Action Teams were established: Festival and Events, Education, Downtown Renovation, Housing, Green, and Industrial.
The opening of “Changing Hands Resale Shoppe” in 2009 has served Martinsville well. It is the primary funding source for Martinsville on the Move. 100% of all labor to operate the store is volunteered and all merchandise is donated. The store is open 24 hours a week, with two volunteers scheduled for each 3-hour shift making the total volunteer hours over 1200 per year. Martinsville on the Move’s Changing Hands Shoppe was a Finalist in the 2012 Governor’s Hometown Award.
The following is a list of the various projects Martinsville on the Move has undertaken over the last five years. The group is planning to conduct a “MAPPING Refresher Program” this spring. According to Martinsville on the Move President, Norma Calvert, “the organization has had a positive impact in our community and we look forward to reestablishing our project priorities for the future”.
Projects and Accomplishments
Established Changing Hands Resale Shoppe – Operated since Oct 2009 and is the principle fund-raising tool for the organization. All labor is volunteered and all merchandise donated. * Co-sponsored the MAPPING project to determine areas of need in the City * Volunteer Recognition Event * Co-sponsored Community Development Intern with the City of Martinsville * Supports Martinsville School District Teachers and Students thru field trips, specialized curriculum, advanced education, etc. * Presents an Etiquette Class for 8th Grade Students each year * $500 Scholarship to a Graduating Senior * Adult Cooking Class * Coordinated with the Linn Foundation to develop Linn Park including raising funds and overseeing design & construction of the amphitheater, laying the brick path to the amphitheater; establishing & maintaining gardens, had the garage on the Linn Park property painted and upgraded west side for a concession stand, erecting Linn Park Signage in partnership with Rowe Foundry, purchased 10 picnic tables to use at Linn Park activities, and will be building a bathroom in Linn Park this spring. * Developed the Heritage Days Festival (including Draft Horse Show, Market, etc.) * Developed Our Hometown Christmas Festival * Sponsor of Concerts, Redneck Pool Party, Teen Dances, a Talent Show, Movies in the Park, Ice Cream Social and other events in Linn Park * Established a Recycling Program * Coordinated the Farmer’s Market * Assisted residents with City-Wide Clean-up Days * Provided Grants to businesses for facade improvements; offered grants for demolition of unsightly homesites. * Painted downtown businesses in partnership with Littlejohn Grain * Developed a Community Profile * Published a local Business Directory * Redesigned the City Website —martinsvilleil.com * Supported other Not-for-Profit groups, including Martinsville Ag Fair, Chamber of Commerce, School District, Library, Santa’s Helpers, ProDads Program and others. * Developed & publish Martinsville Moves —weekly email newsletter/calendar * Awards Received, 2012 - Governor’s Hometown Award Finalist, 2017 - ECIDC’s Outstanding Leadership in Community & Economic Development Award
Lifetime Achievement Award
The ECIDC Lifetime Achievement Award was created to honor east central Illinois’ most influential community and economic development leaders and most committed volunteers for their measurable success in community and economic development. The award recognizes a community or business leader for his/her outstanding leadership in the public and private sectors and who continually makes a positive difference in the community in which he/she lives, works, and serves. Nominations are considered for individuals in the counties of: Christian, Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Jasper, Moultrie, and Shelby.
Robert C. (Bob) Johnston
Born at the tail end of the depression to E. I. and Frances Johnston, Robert C. (Bob) Johnston grew up and graduated from High School in Shelbyville, Illinois. Following his University of Illinois graduation, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, U. S. Army, Ft. Lee, Virginia, then earned an MBA at Michigan State University. He returned to Shelbyville and became an officer in the family businesses, Johnston Super Markets, Inc. and Johnston Properties, Inc., growing the food business to six supermarkets in two states, and developing Johnstowne Mall, before retiring from the business in 2000 and investing in several other Decatur enterprises. For over 6 years, he was a reserve officer in the 816 Quartermaster Company, Mattoon, until honorably discharged. He is married to Debra Breeding Johnston, and is the father of one daughter, Melinda Bateman, Dallas, TX, two sons, Jeffrey of Decatur and Anthony of Champaign and has two step children, Stacia Pfeiffer, Decatur, and Alison Hopkins, Clermont, FL. One brother, Thomas, a retired attorney, lives in suburban Chicago.
Shortly after returning to Shelbyville, thanks to the then Superintendent, Dr. Robert Webb, he became involved in the area effort to found Lake Land College. He actively supported the 1966 referendum establishing the college and was elected a founding trustee where he served sixteen years, twice as chairman. He served multiple years as a member of the Lake Land College Foundation Board of Trustees. Through the Foundation, the family has sponsored the Frances Watts Johnston Music Festival each spring for over thirty years in memory of his mother, Frances.
He served as board member of the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce and for many years chaired its Industrial Development Committee. During that period Shelbyville was fortunate to welcome the location and enlargement of the International Paper plant, IHI Turbo America plant, the growth of P & H Manufacturing, Inc., the SIRS Rail Spur, and Lake Shelbyville.
Prior to the sale of the supermarket operations, he and his wife, Debi, moved to Decatur where he served twice on the Chamber Board, and chaired the Decatur Memorial Hospital Board. For over twenty-five years, he served as a Board Member, Chicago Motor Club and was its final Board Chair on merger with the Auto Club Group where he also served as a board member. Recently they moved to Marco Island, Florida where he is actively involved in real estate development. He is a senior active Rotarian, a member of Phi Gamma Delta, and a member of Wesley United Methodist Church.
Robert C. (Bob) Johnston
Kenneth A. Hart
Born in Portland, Indiana in 1945, Kenneth moved to southern Illinois at 6 months. He attended elementary and high school in McLeansboro, Illinois and graduated in 1963 and graduated from Illinois State University in 1967. Hart taught vocational Agriculture at Leland Community Unit School in LaSalle County from 1967-1971 and then moved to Carlyle, Illinois to work as a fieldman for the Illinois Farm Business Farm Management Association serving farmers in Clinton, Marion and Clay counties.
Hart accepted a position as farm loan officer at First Trust and Saving Bank in Taylorville, Illinois in February of 1973. He served as loan officer for 7 years and was then promoted to trust officer and served as the head of the Trust Department for 7 years. He became President of First Trust and Savings Bank in January 1987. Hart retired from what was First Trust Bank, now US Bank in 2003. After 2 years of retirement, he returned as the Community Bank President for Peoples Bank and Trust in Taylorville where he continues to work today.
During his years in banking he attended many banking schools that include Illinois Banking School at Carbondale, Northwestern Banking Trust School and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University.
While working in Taylorville, Ken served as Director on numerous Boards which include: 4H Foundation * Lincoln Land Community College Foundation * Christian County YMCA founding President in 1980 * Board of Trustee at Lincoln Land Community College * Taylorville Public Library * Taylorville Rotary Club * Taylorville Country Club * United Way of Christian County * Taylorville Chamber of Commerce * Named Citizen of the Year in 1984 by Chamber of Commerce * Admitted to Taylorville Sports Hall of Fame as a friend of sports in 2016 * Past President of Christian County Economic Development Association * Current President of Taylorville Development Association * Red Bland Little League * Route 29 Improvement Board * St. Vincent Memorial Hospital Treasurer 1989-1990 & Chairman of the Board 1991-1995 * Christian County Millennium Celebration & Anniversary Committee
Kenneth A. Hart
Past ECIDC Award Recipients
A.F. Holding Co. * N.W. (Bud) Althoff * E.C. Bauer * James and Robert Bitzer * Mark Bolander * Bolin Enterprises, Inc. * Ruben Boyajian, M.D. * CHI Overhead Doors * Citizens National Bank of Paris * Noreen Connolly, OCE Imaging Supply * Consolidated Communications * Max Cougill * Doehring Winders & Co. LLP * First Mid Illinois Bank and Trust * The First National Bank in Toledo * The First National Bank of Pana * Gerald Forsythe * Don Hackerson * Sara Holmes * William Hopper, First Trust Bank * Imperial Bondware * John Inyart * Edward H. “Ned” Jenison * Frank Kabbes * Scott Kabbes * Kingery Printing Company * Kitchen Seed Company * Carl Koerner, Koerner Distributors, Inc. * Leach-Wilson Chevrolet-Buick * Lenders Bagels and Employees * Mike Lindenmeyer * Melvin C. Lockard * Joyce A. Madigan * Marathon Pipe Line Company * Newlin Martin, Martin’s IGA * Jim McDaniel, Effingham Truck Sales * Dr. George Mitchell * The Monahan Family, The Monahan Company/First National Bank in Arcola * Jerry Moon * Mooney Motors, Inc * Delbert D. Mundt * Old School Esshaus * Petro/Iron Skillet Restaurant * Don Portugal, S & K * Jerry J. Ray, Schrock Cabinet Co. * R.R. Donnelley and Sons * Roger Roberson, Roberson Corporation * Rowe Foundry and Machine Co. and Employees * Ryan, Bennett, and Radloff * Jim Ryan * John M. (Jack) Schultz * Jim Short * Siemer Milling Company * Simonton Windows * State Bank of Arthur * U.S. Soy * Times Courier-Journal Gazette * Victor Products (Dana Corporation) * Ken Vogt * Dr. Robert D. Webb * Bob Willenborg * Dr. Rick Workman * Wright’s Furniture * James “Jim” Yoder * Don Yost * Jay Markwell * Richard C. (Dick) West * Wells Fargo of Coles County * Yargus Manufacturing * Mac & Ginny Condill/The 200 Acres * Joe Forbes, Versatech
Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients
Robert M. Berty * Pat Ehrhart * Dale Fitzpatrick * Louis V. Henchen * Gary Kuhns * Robert K. Luther * Thomas Niebrugge * Henry “Hank” Stephens * Pam Crisman * Robert Colvin * Doug McDermand * Freddie Beth Schmutte
Outstanding Leader in Community & Economic Development Award Recipients
Ken Larimore * Paris Economic Development Corporation (PEDCO) * Tom Wright * Dieterich Community Development Corp. (DCDC) * Norma Lansing * Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation * Craig Lindvahl & Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship
Treasurer's Report & Annual Budget
ECIDC Team Information
Develop and implement a revenue plan for the organization. This team would work closely with the treasurer on proposed budgets and potential income needed to run a successful organization Meet on a quarterly basis in January, April, July, and October.
Develop and implement a plan for regional workforce development including the Annual Workforce Roundtable and Regional Workforce Assessment, Meet on a quarterly basis in February, May, August, and November.
Develop and implement a plan for regional tourism including overseeing the East Central Illinois Events website, Meet on a quarterly basis in March, June, September and December.
Develop a calendar of quarterly meetings, secure locations, lunch sponsors and guest speakers including organizing the Annual Dinner, Meet on a quarterly basis in April, July, October and January.
Taylorville Development Association and the City of Taylorville are applying for funding through the Economic Development Administration (EDA) Public Works Grant Program to provide infrastructure to the new Taylorville Business and Industrial Park. The new park is located off of Illinois Route 29 on the north side of Taylorville. A Pre-Application will be submitted to EDA in the next few weeks.
The City of Taylorville is in the process of deciding upon a TIF consultant to oversee the designation of a TIF in Taylorville. The TIF will include at a minimum the new industrial park and property just off of Route 29 which is under consideration as the future site of a Cobblestone Hotel.
The Christian County CEO Program is in it's second year and is going strong. There are 8 students in this year's class and 22 applicants for the program next year. CEO students are currently putting together business plans and starting their individual business which will be showcased at a trade show at LLCC Taylorville Campus on May 18, 2017 6 to 7:30 PM.
On behalf of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce, we would like to welcome you to our town. Taylorville is an outstanding place to live, work and grow a business. Whether you’re visiting for the day, looking for a new place to call home, or you’re already a resident of our thriving community, Taylorville is a small home town with a big heart and plenty of opportunities. Our rich history dates back to 1839, and the Chamber was established in 1906 to advocate for and support the prosperity of Taylorville and area businesses.
It is an exciting time to be a member of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce. We are always creating new networking and promotional opportunities to help our member businesses succeed and grow, including business referrals, monthly networking opportunities, and continuing education. Other great events that allow our member businesses to gain visibility include the Taylorville Chillifest, Annual Spring Swing and the Annual Banquet and Awards of Excellence.
We continue to partner with local government and other organizations to pursue improvements in the overall quality of life for the city, county, and region, particularly in the areas of transportation and development. Our success in achieving our mission and purpose is due to a collaborative effort Christian County, Chamber members, and area professionals.
Casey’s Candy Depot: 20 W General Robey St. – Casey’s Candy Depot is owned by David Liebenow, and located in the old train depot on the Doty Railroad in Casey. The shop is home of the world’s Largest Wooden Shoes, and offers a variety of gourmet chocolates, bulk candy, nuts, fudge, gummy candy, taffy, popcorn, specialty oil & vinegar, and gift items.
Java on Central: 5 North Central – Java on Central is a unique coffee shop. Definitely not your average Joe coffee shop. They serve quality espresso based hot and cold drinks including breve, lattes, cappuccino, americanno, iced coffee, caramel apple cider and amazing hot cocoa.
Sweet Norma Jean’s Bake Shoppe: 5 North Central – Sweet Norma Jean’s Bake Shoppe is a local bake shop specializing in homemade cinnamon rolls, cupcakes, cookies, muffins and pies.
Deborah’s Attic: 18 & 20 S Central – Deborah’s Attic is owned by Deborah Black and is an upcoming antique, collectibles and good “junque” shop.
Crazy Beautiful Boutique: 6 W Main – Crazy Beautiful Boutique is a “A Boutique on a Budget”. They offer the same clothing and accessories as other boutique shops and sites, however at a fraction of the cost.
Just Paws Grooming: 4 W Main – Just Paws Grooming is a full-service groom shop for dogs located in downtown Casey. They also offer Obedience training classes.
The great thing about all of these new businesses, they are all downtown!! We’ve got some exciting things happening in Casey, Illinois.
June 2016, 150 artists took over Marshall. Painting 16 murals and 1 custom glass piece. Since then we have seen several groups touring the murals, learning the history of the community and finding the hidden item in each mural.
More than a dozen ribbon cuttings have taken place (Sassy Southern Chics, Pet Paradise, Lavish Salon, Johnny Provolone’s, Richey’s Automotive, H&R Block, Route 1 Simply Southern, CCI Redimix, Dorsett Automotive and Main Street Supper Club)
Autumn Fest saw its biggest numbers for its annual festival and Marshall’s Night out on the town event grew exponentially.
The Marshall Public Library celebrated its 100th birthday.
City of Marshall Frolic and Chamber Trunk or Treat saw the biggest turn out, the entire downtown was closed for a safe place for kids to get a treat and enjoy a costume contest, all in time to also trick or treat, door to door.
The City Band still plays every Friday night June-August for a crowd that grows each week.
The group 100 Women Who Care was formed and to date has donated more than $28,000 to local organizations, this group of ladies continues to grow and impact the community.
A Marshall Community Foundation was formed by a local donor and it continues to grow as people become aware of the opportunity to make a long lasting impression on Marshall.
Ameren Galatin line new 69kv feed to Marshall
Marshall and Casey have come to an agreement and will now sell water to Casey. New waterline has been installed between Marshall and Casey.
The City of Charleston and the City of Mattoon (in Coles County) received an $800,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation’s / Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) to connect the Amtrak Train Station in Mattoon with Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. We are in the process of working with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) through an Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program grant to make improvements to the Lincoln Prairie Grass Trail that connects the 2 cities. The trail is currently a mostly crushed limestone trail, but the ITEP grant would be used to pave the trail with asphalt. This project will extend the completed “Lincoln Prairie Grass Trail” project, that was originally developed in 1998, to evolve the existing multi-use recreation trail to a key transportation facility with a durable asphalt hard surface and this project will add new trail extensions (for a total of about 15.7 miles), in order to improve the existing facility, by providing needed commuter connections to regional facilities such as the Cross County Mall and Sarah Bush Lincoln Hospital.
As part of this Lincoln Prairie Grass trail improvement project, the cities are formulating a “beautification development plan” (and partnering with several local groups) for the trail which includes cultural, recreational, natural and historical improvements to make the trail a transportation “experience”; while still performing its multi-modal function.
Charleston has also added a trail head at Sister City Park (18th Street) to allow access to the Lake Charleston Trail System. Other improvements such as art sculptures, boardwalks, benches, shelters and an additional trail head near the spillway have also been added. The levy on the east side of Lake Charleston has been asphalted and four covered benches have been placed in that section. The city is in the process of building a pavilion and improving the parking near the spillway.
Charleston Recreation Trails
Lake Land College
Lake Land College continued to thrive in fiscal year 2017 despite challenging funding issues with the state. By focusing on sustaining an excellent learning and service experience for students, Lake Land College faculty and staff celebrated many accomplishments this past year.
Automotive and welding students returned to campus in August 2016 to a state-of-the-art renovation of the VoTech Building. Improved ventilation and restructuring of lab space has greatly enhanced students’ real-life hands-on lab experiences.
Preparing students to enter the workforce is one of the college’s top priorities. Faculty regularly seek feedback from professionals in their industries to update courses and develop new programs. In a direct request from industry, the college developed the new Public Safety Telecommunicator certificate to prepare students to be dispatchers in 911 or emergency response centers. A new LPN to ADN Cohort program offered at the Kluthe Center paved the way for a full class of students to advance in their careers. A new Building Construction certificate focuses on hands-on experiences, while a three-course welding series provides training opportunities at Effingham High School.
With a combination of new programs, academic rigor, caring faculty and staff and affordable tuition, Lake Land College remains the number one choice for higher education among graduating seniors in our district.
Nationally, Lake Land received national recognition from the Center for Digital Education for the use of technology; from Community College Week magazine which named the Agriculture Division 13th in the nation for conferring degrees and the college 28th for the awarding of short-term certificates.
Center for Business & Industry
The Center for Business and Industry has served the Lake Land College community by working with 25 regional employers to provide customized training for almost 200 incumbent employees. Services covered include customized leadership, safety training, technical training and consulting services. The Commercial Truck Driver Training program enrolled students in two communities, with 20 students graduating from the Marshall location and 50 from the Mattoon site. Additional services offered through the Center for Business & Industry include paraprofessional testing, Traffic Safety courses and community and professional education courses/services.
Laker Louie Mascot at Lake Land College
"Preparing students to enter the workforce is one of the college’s top priorities."
Coles County has experienced expansions and new product lines at nine manufacturers. Nearly all manufacturers are adding positions and continue to hire new employees. Coles Together is currently working with two new leads in the industrial sector that are evaluating the county as a location option.
Manufacturing Day participation continues to grow.
Coles Together hosted 160 high school students from Oakland, Mattoon, and Charleston as part of an effort to draw attention to the job openings and opportunities a career in manufacturing is able to provide. Facility tours at Mattoon Precision Manufacturing, Inc., Lender’s Bagels, Lester Building Systems, Birkey’s Farm Store, Hi-Cone, JJ Collins, Rural King, and the Coles County Airport provided students with an opportunity to experience modern manufacturing.
Aldi’s will be expanding their Mattoon Store
Legacy Heating and Air Conditioning-a new business- has opened on East Dewitt Avenue across from the new Public Works building will be located.
A day care center will open in the remodeled D and W building on East Dewitt Avenue, relocating from West Park Plaza.
The O’Reilly Auto Parts Store opened on Charleston Avenue.
Harber Freight opened in the former Staples building.
A strip shopping center will be constructed to the west of Cracker Barrel to house a Starbucks, AT&T phone store and three other businesses.
Sarah Bush Lincoln has constructed a new stand-alone Walk in Clinic on Dettro Drive to the east of Walmart.
At the intersection of Dettro Drive and Country Club Road a memory care center, Copper Creek Cottages, is being constructed.
First National Bank of Mattoon has constructed a 4,000-square foot building across from Cracker Barrel to house their Wealth Management Department.
Fujiyama Japanese restaurant has opened in the former Cody’s Restaurant building
Planet Fitness has opened in the former location of Walmart to the west of the mall.
Dunkin Donuts plans to open in Mattoon with the location to be determined.
March Village Square Real Estate, a new business, has opened an office at 821 Charleston Avenue.
Three new businesses will locate in the former Ben Tire Store at 1300 Broadway.
A coffee shop will be located in the former liquor store at 6th and Dewitt.
The new Public Works building construction is beginning.
Marshall Avenue, from 6th to 9th streets, has been reconstructed and 9th to 14th street will be reconstructed in 2019. In 2019 Marshall will be reconstructed from 14th to 17th street.
KC Summers GMC showroom and service department has opened at 19th and Charleston Avenue.
Pilson Auto Center on South Lake Land Blvd. has completed an expansion and new showroom.
The Sarah Bush Lincoln Cancer Center has opened
The Heart Center at Sarah Bush Lincoln is under construction.
New starts in retail and service:
Summers GMC Dealership
O’Reilly Auto Parts
Copper Creek (Memory Care)
Sarah Bush Walk-in-Clinic
First National Bank
Windy City Pizza
Eastern Illinois University
In September, President Glassman announced the Vitalization Project for EIU. This project continues to advance EIU and guide our budgetary and planning decisions. The viability and operational efficiency of all programs and services have been and continue to be assessed as we write our vison for the university’s future. As part of the visioning initiative, new high-demand programs are being implemented. These new programs support economic development and professional careers that are actively sought after in today’s market. Additionally, new methods of delivery are being offered.
In response to student interest and workforce development needs, new undergraduate and graduate programs have been created in the areas of computer technology, cybersecurity, health communications, human resources talent development, and public relations throughout the past 18 months. Thirteen of EIU’s 37 graduate programs have been converted to online delivery, providing educational opportunities for working professionals. This effort and others resulted in an 11% increase in graduate student enrollment for Fall 2016.
International student enrollment reached a record-breaking high at EIU. More than 400 international students from 42 countries joined the EIU family. The countries with the largest representation were India, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, China, Nepal, and Nigeria.
EIU is engaging more prospective students than ever. We understand that the growth of our enrollment is imperative for our university, our community, and our region. Over one million emails were sent to prospective students. More than 50,000 phone calls and personal text messages were sent by Eastern’s admissions counselors, who also made more than 800 high school visits this year. Several new recruitment events were hosted both on and off campus, including college-specific events and an open house designed specifically for prospective students with undecided majors. Prospective students were engaged based on their unique extracurricular interests. Eastern’s Greek community hosted an open house this spring; this open house provided prospective students with tours of Greek Court (the only on-campus chapter housing in Illinois), a meet and greet with current Greek Life leaders, and complimentary tickets to the Air Band competition (the kick-off event for Greek Week).
We are marketing EIU through new, innovative means. During the spring semester, Eastern engaged a major marketing firm to assist with branding and marketing efforts. We are showcasing EIU with an increased presence in print media, advertisements, radio promotions, and digital pop-ups through Google and social media. Television advertisements featuring EIU are playing during Cubs games and running in many theatres across the state. Mobile EIU billboards are traveling across the country on the sides of semi-trucks, with special thanks to our partners at Rural King.
Eastern Illinois University continues to garner national honors for our commitment to excellence, affordability, and individualized attention to meeting our students’ academic, professional, and personal needs. EIU remains the highest-ranking Illinois school among the Midwest’s top public regional universities, according to U.S. News and World Report’s annual college ranking. Ninety-two percent of classes at EIU have fewer than 40 students, and 98% of classes are taught by faculty. Eastern has the highest freshman retention rate and highest graduation rate among all Illinois public universities in its class (master’s granting institutions). The “Washington Monthly” named EIU in the top 10 (of more than 300) in their “Best Bang for the Buck” report for the Midwest. “The Business Insider” ranked Charleston as the 2nd most affordable college town in America.
In Spring 2017, Eastern hired a Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Jay D. Gatrell, a professor of geography and environmental studies and vice provost for faculty affairs and research at Bellarmine University (Louisville, KY) was selected to join EIU’s leadership team, effective July 1, 2017. Dr. Gatrell will replace Dr. Blair Lord, who is retiring after 16 years of service to EIU.
EIU student-athletes continue to make the grade in the classroom, while simultaneously excelling in their sport. During the Fall 2016 semester, Eastern’s student-athletes posted an overall GPA of 3.15, with 16 of the Panther’s 19 intercollegiate teams posting team GPAs over 3.00. The women’s golf team earned the highest team GPA (3.74). Sixty-eight student-athletes earned a perfect 4.00 GPA.
Eastern Illinois University has established a tradition of being a pipeline to the NFL; that tradition continued this season. In Week 1 of the NFL’s 2016 season, Eastern was the only school to claim a starting quarterback (New England’s Jimmy Garoppolo), a head coach (the Saints’ Sean Payton) and a general manager (Chicago’s Ryan Pace). Had Tony Romo been healthy, the Panthers would have been the only college program to claim two Week 1 starting quarterbacks. Additional EIU alumni in the NFL include Brad Childress, Assistant Head Coach for the Chiefs, and Kamu Grugier-Hill, linebacker for the Eagles. We look forward to watching Tony Romo in his new role as an analyst for CBS.
Career Services reported that 94% of EIU’s May 2016 graduating class had found jobs in a field related to their major, went on to graduate school, or entered the military within six months of graduation. EIU’s career outcomes exceed the national average for medium-sized universities by 7.5% and large-sized universities by 15.2%. Eighty-one percent of Eastern’s graduates accepted jobs in Illinois. Employers continue to provide feedback about how well-prepared Eastern’s graduates are to enter the workforce. In addition, EIU’s alumni satisfaction rate is 98% one year after graduation and 99% nine years after graduation.
Eastern’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteerism, dedicated to cultivating citizens of good character and integrity, was once again hard at work contributing to our communities. During the Fall 2016 semester, EIU was recognized on President Obama’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the 5th consecutive year. During FY16, students volunteered more than 130,000 hours of service to agency partners throughout the region. The economic impact to our communities is valued at more than $3 million.
Eastern is home to more than 200 RSOs (Recognized Student Organizations). Whether students want to get involved in Greek organizations, gather with Harry Potter enthusiasts, or hone their Xbox skills with fellow gamers, they will find ways to expand their collegiate experience outside the traditional classroom setting. Some RSOs are centered on academics, while others focus on service, politics, religion, or culture. This year’s Student Action Team traveled to Springfield to meet with legislators and discuss issues affecting the EIU campus and the lives of our students; the University Board Concert Committee hosted Kesha for a live concert in Lantz Arena with more than 2,200 people in attendance. The Residence Hall Association won the bid to host the annual Illinois Residence Hall Association Leadership Conference that took place in February. The EIU Speech Team placed seventh in the team competition at the National Speech Championship in March; two individual students were named national champions, and a third was named a national finalist.
This fall, Eastern was named Institution of the Year for 2016 by the Illinois Residence Hall Association (IRHA) for its outstanding achievements within EIU’s on-campus living communities. This is the highest honor an IRHA member school can attain. This award is a great reflection of the quality of Eastern’s on-campus student leaders and their effectiveness in building impactful on-campus living environments.
Last summer, more than 10,000 visitors arrived on campus as a part of Eastern’s Camps and Conference program, designed to promote academic, athletic, cultural, artistic, and educational experiences for participants and their families. The 47 camps and conferences included the IHSA Girls and Boys State Track Meets (which each continue to bring about 5,000 visitors to the region), Premier Illinois Boys State, Illini Girls State, and the Smith Walbridge Clinics that specialize in music-related workshops and training.
East Central Illinois Consortium for Economic and Energy Security, ECICEES
Center for Clean Energy Research and Education (CENCERE) at EIU
Announcing East Central Illinois Consortium for Economic and Energy Security
ECICEES is a partnership of industry representatives, educational institutions, governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders to promote economic and energy security in central Illinois, the State of Illinois, and United States.
Illinois’ energy horizon is full of new opportunities and potential pitfalls. This partnership of stakeholders is intended to foster local innovation for the future of our economy and our communities by:
• Providing inclusive leadership for beneficial adoption of energy technologies;
• Ensuring reliable, affordable energy supply for current and future development;
• Maximizing educational, job creation opportunities;
• Preparing for diversification of energy resources;
• Promoting economic vitality and long-term sustainability;
• Establishing East Central Illinois as a center for resilient collaboration and innovation that profits from change.
The consortium is promoting the demonstration of a microgrid project, an essential step for linking distribution systems with distributed energy resources, storage, and flexible loads. Starting as a proof of concept project at EIU’s CENCERE, the goal is to scale up in stages to provide reliable and cost effective power to the region.
Sarah Bush Lincoln is a regional economic engine as the organization continues to grow. Employing more than 2,300 people who live throughout the region, Sarah Bush Lincoln has been transforming how people receive care since it opened its doors 40 years ago in 1977 with just more than 400 employees. Today, Sarah Bush Lincoln’s footprint includes 14 extended campus primary care clinics and a newly opened and beautifully designed Regional Cancer Center to meet the critical needs of people battling cancer.
As it strategically looks forward to serving the expanding cardiac needs of area residents in partnership with Prairie Heart Institute of Illinois, Sarah Bush Lincoln is building a new heart center with two cardiac catheterization labs and adding 21 additional medical surgical beds to the hospital. The $31 million 65,235-square-foot addition is set to open in 2018.
While its main campus continues to evolve, Sarah Bush Lincoln finds new ways to help children and families become healthier through outreach efforts in area schools with its Healthy Kids programs and Dental Services.
The organization promotes a culture of excellence through continuing personal and professional growth and has an active and consulting medical staff of approximately 175 providers representing 28 specialties. Sarah Bush Lincoln has earned the Illinois Performance Excellence Gold Award for Achievement of Excellence, the highest performance honors in the state.
Sarah Bush Lincoln
Sarah Bush Lincoln's Regional Cancer Center
Love's Travel Stop, IHOP opening in Greenup
Story by Rob Stroud, Reporter, Journal Gazette & Times-Courier, firstname.lastname@example.org
A newly constructed Love's Travel Stop service station containing an IHOP Express restaurant is set to open today near the Interstate 70 exit in Greenup.
Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores spokeswoman Kealey Dorian said this site will offer a parking area for 92 semitrailers and a 12,000-square-foot Travel Stop building, plus a Love's Truck Tire Care Center that will open in a couple of weeks. This facility is on Illinois Route 130, south of I-70.
Dorian said the Travel Stop's store will sell snacks, soft drinks and other general convenience items, as well as auto supplies, electronics and other goods for truck drivers. She said the stop also will provide showers, truck scales, and the center's tire and light mechanical services for truck drivers.
"We do our best to be a one-stop shop of sorts for professional drivers," Dorian said.
In addition, Dorian said the Travel Stop's restaurant area will feature an IHOP Express and a Chester's Chicken. Dorian said Love's just started hosting IHOP Express restaurants last year and Greenup will be the seventh location for one, with the next nearest Love's IHOP being in South Jacksonville.
Dorian said both the Travel Stop and the IHOP Express will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. She said customers can place their orders for IHOP's signature pancakes or other menu items at the sales counter, and then servers will bring the food to them in the dining area.
Greenup will be the first Love's Travel Stop location on the nearly 180-mile stretch of I-70 between Belleville, Ind., and Greenville, Dorian said.
"For us, we saw a very significant gap where we were not offering services," Dorian said.
Love's chose Greenup to host a new Travel Stop because the company likes the community and its location along I-70, Dorian said. She added that the Travel Stop, which will eventually employ about 80 workers, will also draw customers and employees from the nearby Effingham and Mattoon areas.
Love's Travel Stop, IHOP
Neal Center, Toledo, Illinois
Neal Center is a vision that Burnham E. Neal had for Toledo, Illinois and the residents of Cumberland County all made possible by funds provided by Burnham E. Neal and the Neal Foundation. The plan has been set into motion to make the Center a reality.
Located in Toledo, Illinois, the Neal Center will provide many education, health and wellness education, recreational, social, fitness, fun and entertaining opportunities for all ages.
The facility is proposed to host an indoor swimming pool, fitness center, combined basketball court and auditorium with stage, meeting rooms, kitchen and much more. The facility will be open to the general public as well as private meetings and events.
The Oldest Amish House in Illinois To Be Main Attraction at The New Illinois Amish Heritage Center
The oldest known Amish house in Illinois now has a new home at the newly established Illinois Amish Heritage Center just west of Chesterville, Illinois.
The house was built by Moses Yoder shortly after his arrival in Illinois in 1865. Yoder, Daniel Miller, and Daniel Otto and their families were the first Amish immigrants to settle near Arthur, Illinois in that year. Moses Yoder’s house along with a second house built in 1882 by later immigrant Daniel Schrock were saved from demolition in 1999. They had been in storage behind Yoder’s Kitchen in Arthur ever since, waiting for a new home.
The Yoder house was moved part of the way with an eight-horse hitch of Amish horses on Tuesday, September 20, 2016. Both houses made the rest of the trip pulled by trucks to the new five-acre site located on the north side of Route 133 about a mile west of Chesterville, Illinois.
The Moses Yoder and Daniel Schrock houses will be the centerpieces showcasing the area’s Amish heritage. They will both be restored to their 19th century appearance. The Yoder house and outbuildings will be operated as an Amish living history farm while the Schrock house will be used more as an education center for visiting groups and school children.
Once the houses are restored, plans call for the construction of a Museum and Heritage Center building which will feature exhibits that tell the history and story of the Amish culture and include such interesting items as a historic Amish buggy and an Amish Church bench wagon. Current Amish culture will also be featured to give visitors an understanding of how the Amish live, work, play and socialize. The museum’s gift shop will feature a wide range of locally made Amish quilts, crafts, foods and other items.
First Annual Steam Threshing Show on July 21-22
The Museum and Heritage Center will feature tours of Amish homes, farms, businesses, and dinners in an Amish home. Also, a wide range of special events will showcase historic agriculture activities such as horse plowing and steam threshing. The First Annual Steam Threshing Show will take place on the Heritage Center grounds this summer, on Friday and Saturday, July 21-22. Plans are to have the initial restoration of the Schrock house done for the Steam Threshing Show. Guides will conduct tours of both historic houses, explaining their historic significance and the restoration process. The event will also feature other historic agricultural demonstrations as well as craft and vendor booths and a food tent.
Phase I - 2017 Goals
The development of the new Amish Heritage Center will be accomplished in phases. In addition to the threshing event in 2017, plans are to complete restoration of the Daniel Schrock house so that it can be used as an initial visitor center and offices. The two-story porch on the front of the Schrock house is unique to Illinois Amish houses and will be a defining feature of the house. The house restoration will include bathroom facilities, a heating system, and temporary exhibits on Amish history and culture in addition to staff offices.
Also planned for 2017, is the new entrance road and parking lot, running of underground utilities, moving the Yoder workshop to the site, and the hiring of one or two part-time staff.
Phase II - 2018 Goals
In 2018, plans call for the restoration of the Moses Yoder House and workshop, and the addition of fences, orchard, garden, and other features of the Yoder historic farm. The two-part time positions will expand giving the site a period farmer and a director of marketing and tours. This will allow for historic farming activities and the re-establishment of the Amish Country Tours. Also planned, is the hiring of an Executive Director.
Phase III - 2019 Goals
The primary goal for 2019 is the construction of a Museum Center facility which will offer state of the art exhibits on Amish history and culture, an up-dated orientation film, a gallery for visiting exhibits, and a gift shop that features Amish-made crafts, quilts, foods and other items.
Phase IV - 2020 Goals
Hopefully by 2020, the site will have located an appropriate Amish Barn and other historic farm buildings to move to the site. This will allow the site to acquire horses, cows and other large livestock necessary to a historic farming operation.
Local Support Needed
About $100,000 has already been raised in the local area for the initial moving and restoration of the two historic Amish houses. The whole project will cost several million dollars, so everyone’s support will be important to the project’s success. A fund-raising campaign will be conducted in 2017 for the first two phases of the project.
Benefits to Local Tourism
Successful Amish museums and heritage centers can be found in Amish communities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and other areas. An Amish Heritage Center for the Illinois Amish is long over-due. Over 220,000 tourists visit the Arthur Welcome Center each year. Welcome Center Director, Christy Miller, estimates that maybe as many as a half million visitors come to the area each year. Most come to see Amish Country and the new Amish Heritage Center will give them an educational and enjoyable introduction for their visit to the area. The Center will work with other attractions, hotels, and businesses in the area to market tour packages, attract bus tours, and make Illinois Amish Country a major tourist destination. Moving the two historic Amish houses in 2016 was the first step in this exciting project for Illinois Amish country.
For more information, call Wilmer Otto at 217-721-9266 or Bob Doan at 217-543-2232. Also, look for the Illinois Amish Heritage Center on Facebook and GoFundMe.
Railroad Component Rebuilders Inc.
Railroad Component Rebuilders Inc. constructed a new facility at 205 N Chestnut in Arcola in 2016. The family owned business has 35 years experience in repairing specialty equipment in the service of the railroad industry. This new business venture by the Eric and Kelly Headrick family is focused primarily on manufacturing and repairing Hydraulic Vibrator Units for constructing and maintaining rail beds, the company maintains an inventory of units as well as parts for same day shipping.
The 4th generation family owned Libman Company celebrated their 120th year in American manufacturing in 2016. Since their start in 1896, the Libman Company continues to experience significant growth in their production, becoming one of the largest manufacturers of household cleaning products ranging from the traditional corn broom and rag mops to more specialized tools for kitchens, bathrooms and industrial cleaning.
The vertically integrated manufacturing principals employed by Libman have seen advancements in automated production allowing growth in production capacity while still continuing to produce jobs. In 2016 alone, they added over 100 manufacturing jobs.
In August, the company broke ground on a warehouse expansion project. Once completed, there will be 280,000 additional square feet added to their Arcola facility. The Company plans to break ground in 2017 on a new corporate office facility in the community.
Several projects opening recently or underway:
A new Mexican restaurant Mi Veracruz recently opened in the downtown in a newly renovated space. Sale Street Boutique has just opened in Downtown Tuscola after the extensive renovation of three buildings which also added three new upstairs apartments in the district. The City Council approved a TIF grant a few weeks to Tony & Sarah Vitale who will be renovating multiple downtown buildings to open a new restaurant.
Curves recently completed a move back into a freshly renovated building in the Downtown district as well. Sierra’s Place has opened a new gaming parlor next door to Curves.
The former Liga’s Restaurant on Route 36 has been completely remodeled and the new Sol del Mar Mexican Bar & Grill opened there last week. Finally, Dollar General in now open in their new building on Route 36.
Douglas County CEO Program had our initial kickoff meeting for Board members and Students to finally meet. Douglas County CEO has hired Stepheny McMahon to be our Facilitator. We are very excited to have various communities come together to start the CEO program in our county.
"We are very excited to have various communities come together to start the CEO program in our county."
Paris and the Edgar County area have new health care, recreational and meeting facilities for 2017.
Paris Community Hospital has expanded its “walk-in” clinic to seven-day convenience and announced plans to construct a new clinic building this year. The new 6,500-square-foot building will be on a new site at the south edge of Paris along Illinois Route One, and across from the PEDCO Industrial Park. The facility will accommodate the walk-in clinic known as “E-ZCare,” as well as a clinic dedicated to employees and families of North American Lighting. NAL is a major industry for the area, located in the industrial park across the highway, with health services covering approximately 1,500 lives.
The hospital also announced plans for the hospital itself to construct a new surgical pre-op and post-op center, which will open in 2018. This past fall, it also opened a new rural health clinic staffed with a physician and nurse practitioner in the nearby village of Oakland, Ill.
A unique addition to the community’s recreational offering also is now located in Twin Lakes west park. It is an “All-Abilities Playground,” especially designed with play equipment for children with physical or developmental handicaps. It is located adjacent to the “Tiger Falls” Splash Park which was installed a year ago.
The new playground is the result of a volunteer community campaign which raised over $200,000 in funds and donated services. It will be managed by the city’s park department and is scheduled to open on Memorial Day weekend.
The Bloomfield Barn destination venue, which opened this spring, is a new 5,000-square-foot meeting facility in a rural setting north of Paris and south of Chrisman, just off Illinois Route One. The barn was built this past year from the ground up to recreate a traditional barn complex. It serves as a destination for weddings, anniversaries, reunions or other events. With 31-foot timbered ceilings, full air-conditioning, landscaped grounds, and catering capabilities, it already has been the location for weddings, club dinners, and even a high school prom.
The Equity, formerly known as Effingham Equity, recently acquired the new grain-handling and rail facilities of Coshockton Grain, located at Horace, Ill., in northern Edgar County. Equity is in the process of constructing a major feed processing mill adjacent to the elevator, which is designed to serve the confinement hog production market in east-central Illinois.
Crawford County blends historic charm with a zealous devotion to providing the best place to raise a family, and this year we doubled down on that vision.
Robinson has continued to grow with new retail business and restaurants. A new community recreation center is now in the works that, along with the completely remodeled Robinson City Pool that now includes upgraded water slides and a full splash park, is slated to make Crawford County one of the premier places to live with young families in Illinois.
Palestine continues to have great success with their festivals offered throughout the year including the Pioneer City Rodeo in September and the Palestine, IL, Wabash Valley Wine & Art Festival the first weekend in October. Between its festivities and charming historic buildings, Palestine, one of the oldest cities in the Midwest, continues to be a beautiful community to visit. Make sure to check out the newly-renovated Fife Opera House in when you visit downtown.
The Village of Oblong achieved a long-standing goal of having zero vacancies in its historic Downtown area. Main Street is lined with shops including a thriving village grocery store brought back through the cooperation of village leaders and citizens to help insure a thriving commercial center in the community.
Flat Rock was able to bring down a defunct school building and replace it with a beautiful new community center that promises to be a hub of village life for decades to come.
Hutsonville has Riverfest the first weekend in August and it features several activities that draw a crowd including its famous car show, boats, fireworks, pancakes, a pageant, music, food and a fishing tournament. The village is home to one of the county’s favorite new restaurants in recent years, the Wabash Coffee House & Big River Antiques that draws people from all over the area to come visit for their home cooked meals, amazing desserts and antiques.
Robinson City Pool
Archer Daniels Midland - ADM is in the process of consolidating and expanding operations in the 284,000 square-foot former Southeastern Container building. The $35 million dollar expansion will introduce industry leading technology. They plan to have all operations moved to the new facility by 2018.
Accuracy Fire Arms and Range - Accuracy Firearms and Range opened in the fall of 2016.. The Accuracy complex includes a state of the art shooting range, a retail store, a gunsmith, and training facilities.
John Boos and Co. - John Boos and Co. is relocating their wood plant to a brand new 122,000 facility that is currently under construction next to their metal plant.
Trucking Industry - The trucking industry continues to boom in Effingham, especially near Exit 159 of the I57/70 corridor. Truck Centers, Inc has commenced construction on a new 36,000 square-foot full service truck dealership. Joe’s Truck Lube, 10,000 square-foot trucks lube and filter business has also begun construction. Kenworth of Effingham also opened a new 21,000 square-foot full service dealership featuring a 12 bay service shop and a 2.200 square-foot parts department.
Boutiques - Two new boutique clothing stores opened in Effingham this year. The Red Thread is located in downtown Effingham and the Wild Rose Boutique is located near Kohl’s. These two boutiques join the B Line Boutique and Ten Brooke LeAnne to increase the shopping choices for the Effingham Area.
Float Effingham - Float Effingham recently opened along Keller Dr. They offer float pod therapy, chiropractic and weight loss services.
It’s Almost Home - This furniture and decor store moved into the former Sunbeam building on South Banker St. The building was remodeled both inside and out.
New Restaurants - The number of restaurants in Effingham continues to grow. In the past year, Chipotle and Innova Bar and Grill have opened. Two new national chains will also be coming to Effingham in 2017.
We were recognized as the 2016 Outstanding Chamber of the Year by our peers in the Chamber Industry by the Illinois Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives November 4th in Quincy. The award recognizes organization excellence and benchmarks a chamber’s strengths in the areas of leadership, governance, finance, advocacy and membership development.
With our mission of providing innovative programs and services to address business success and community growth, the Chamber is proud to announce formation of the Chamber Business Outreach Center. When many of the State’s Small Business Development Centers closed at the end of 2015 due to state budget cuts, the free and confidential business consulting services the chamber was able to provide to entrepreneurs and growth businesses ceased. Our Business Development team went to work to find other options for providing these needed services to ensure the start of successful businesses in Effingham County. Our response is the Chamber Business Outreach Center Mentor program. Through this initiative, we will be using a team of highly qualified volunteers to provide mentoring assistance as a step toward building and strengthening our business community. Led by Brad Hastings and Dan Woods, we are currently recruiting local residents willing to provide mentoring support. By utilizing subject matter experts with real world experience, we will be able to provide advice, guidance and support for entrepreneurs and business owners facing growth challenges and keep Effingham County full of active, involved and successful businesses.
What’s Next For Effingham County Vision 2020
In 2005, a group of community leaders came together to dream big about what they wanted our community to look like in 2020. Many of those dreams have become a reality in Effingham County through Vision 2020. In September 2016, the original leadership of Vision 2020 reached out to the next generation of leaders in Effingham County and asked them to look beyond 2020…and create new aspirations for this place that we call home – and the legacy that we hope to pass on to future generations. The result…Impact 2030: Beyond the Vision. The Impact 2030 Steering Committee represents the next generation of leaders in Effingham County. They are currently working to finalize a brand for Impact 2030 and develop strategies for gathering community input, involvement and successes moving forward.
How can you get involved? (1) Tell us your next big idea for our community. (2) Attend a committee meeting. Contact the Chamber for more information.
Impact 2030 will be our road map to a bright future in Effingham County!
Effingham Regional Career Academy has elected its first Board of Directors
Effingham County residents place a high value on education because of the opportunities it provides to strengthen our communities. Studies have shown that education and learning, not just in the traditional classroom setting, but in all aspects of our lives, enhances our social interaction, active citizenship and personal development. From pre-school programs to the public and parochial grade and high schools, and on to Lake Land College’s Kluthe Center for Higher Education and Technology, Effingham County’s education system delivers quality academic programs and student activities for young and old alike. Innovative programs like the CEO class, health occupations, Construction Trades of Effingham County (CTEC), manufacturing skills and laptop learning initiatives among others, place Effingham County in the forefront of learning opportunities for the next generation. The Effingham County Chamber of Commerce has been a key player in expanding educational opportunities for Effingham County residents. We have been working with the local schools to increase technical training opportunities for students and adult learners, as well as working with the business community to create education and training programs to address the skilled labor and workforce readiness needs of the current and future workforce.
The Joining forces helps us maximize the resources available to our students to help them get a jump start on their career paths and to key in on the development needs of incumbent workers by creating pathways to sustainable employment. This collaboration has led to the formation of the Effingham Regional Career Academy, a state-of-the-art career and technical training center that will accommodate a high school curriculum, along with technical skills training for present and returning adult workers. The proposed physical structure will be about 36,000 square feet in size. The addition to the Lake Land Kluthe Center will encompass flexible classrooms, hands-on lab and wet lab space. While we continue to work toward funding a new facility, efforts are underway to identify collaboration within existing high school programs so that students across Effingham County will have access to a wider variety of technical programs starting in the Fall of 2017. Local school districts are being proactive in developing additional avenues to share resources by designing programs that are open and available to all county students. Certificate- level technical and workforce readiness skills training will strengthen innovation, competitiveness, new partnerships and prepare citizens for increased employment opportunities. These programs have been identified to begin in the Fall of 2017.
The Jasper County Business Incubator in downtown Newton is completed. The new facility already has two individuals leasing cubicles. The Jasper Chamber of Commerce is in the front of the building looking out at the county courthouse square. There are 4 cubicles, a more private room and a more open business space available for lease.
Businesses can lease by the month or even by the day. The lease includes the cubicle, the meeting room, free Wi-Fi and use of office equipment. The meeting room can easily seat 30 individuals includes a smart screen and white board. The Jasper CEO class uses the room most mornings. The business incubator provides a space for startup businesses to have a professional location to work but also a place where all the new businesses can network and collaborate on the intricacies of entrepreneurship. The Newton incubator is also a member of the Effingham Regional Incubator Network ERIN that has other sites in the ECIDC region.
Jasper County Business Incubator
Sullivan was excited to welcome six new businesses in 2016, and three in 2017 already. Downtown Sullivan continues to add more retail shopping every year, increasing traffic to the downtown area.
The Sullivan Historic Façade program has seen a major project start in 2016 at the corner of Jefferson and Washington Streets. That project will be completed in 2017 bringing two retail store fronts to the downtown. Three other projects are in the works and hope to be completed before the program comes to a close in 2017.
The No Job Left Behind workforce initiative continues to work on addressing the labor needs in our region. Some of the 2016/17 highlights include:
Agri-Fab hired students from Sullivan and Okaw Valley High Schools as part of their Student Worker program.
NJLB hosted a Student/Business Luncheon in April with students from Sullivan, Okaw Valley, Windsor and ALAH and businesses from Sullivan, Arthur, Shelbyville, Assumption, and Mattoon. Our largest yet!
Lakeland College offered FREE Adult Welding classes at Sullivan High School.
NJLB promoted Manufacturing Week tours at Hydro-Gear, Agri-Fab, Justrite, GSI, IHI Turbo, Masterbrand, Caterpillar and Marvin Keller Trucking. These businesses hosted students from four different school districts.
2016 Skills Gap Survey forecasted 506 manufacturing jobs to be filled at businesses in Coles, Douglas, Moultrie, and Shelby Counties in 2017.
NJLB screened the documentary “Most Likely to Succeed” at LTOTS.
Leaders taught 8th grade, Freshman, and Seniors of Sullivan Schools the “100 Dreams Inventory” program.
The NJLB Student Business Luncheon was held in April 2017, nine area school districts sent students and ten area manufactures were represented.
Sullivan continues to work with Arthur, Arcola, and Tuscola in a partnership for marketing the area called Amish Country of Illinois. This partnership has allowed us to advertise in some major publications such as Midwest Living, American Road and the State of Illinois tourism guide, Travel Illinois (Spring and Fall publications). Amish Country of Illinois was able to create a map of all four communities, highlighting shopping, dining, and lodging. We also created an Amish Country of Illinois brochure that can be mailed to those interested in visiting the area.
SCED has reached many goals in 2016. The SCED has worked with the City of Sullivan to begin development of TIF 4 area which will be completed in 2017. This will entice developers to come to the area with some much needed incentives. The new City Administrator began working in January 2017, and we feel this position will be able to handle the day-to-day happenings of the City and allow our commissioners to become future planners. The SCED is extremely excited to see progress happening with the city.
The SCED with help of our volunteer pool was able to build a parklet in the downtown in 2016 and we are in the process of building the parklet for 2017. For 2016 we repurposed pallets into loveseat type chairs and added a giant checker board. Agri-Fab generously built and donated a giant xylophone using their actual products! Many enjoyed the area for lunch, played a game of checkers, or just stopped by to play a little song. For 2017 we will be focusing on Farm to Table theme for the parklet, stay tuned for details.
Washington Street Plaza was built with help from several businesses and organizations. It was amazing to see the community come together to build the project. The space was used by guests of The Little Theatre and people sitting outside to enjoy the sun or having lunch. Out of town visitors looked in amazement at the plaza with the pergola, tables, and planters overflowing with flowers and wished for something like that where they are from. Not only did it serve the purpose for entertainment, but it also provided a safe place for children to meet their favorite character after a show at TLTOTS, rather than spilling onto the streets. The plaza was removed for the winters and will be reconstructed in 2017! Visit downtown Sullivan and check it out!
With the help of SCED & Sullivan Area Arts the Sullivan Farmer’s Market will return to Downtown Sullivan with fresh homegrown produce every Friday May until September. The market has recently been approved to accept Illinois Link cards. In addition to the farmer’s the market will host weekly entertainment ranging from acoustic bands to zoo animal visits, no matter the entertainment fun for the entire family is guaranteed.
Shelby County is delighted to welcome new businesses as well as note the expansion of several major industries locally. To capitalize on recent growth, Anna Kiley has been hired as Director of Economic Development for Shelby County.
Collaboration among Shelby County's communities has increased in two very important ways. First with the introduction of Shelby County CEO Program (coming in the fall of 2017), and secondly with Shelby County Partners.
The CEO Program is a business education course for high school seniors that has participation from 5 schools countywide. It is expected to positively influence the lives of students as well as facilitate long-term growth in the entrepreneurial economy within Shelby County.
Shelby County Partners group has completed the MAPPING Program (Management and Planning Programs Involving Nonmetropolitan Groups) provided by the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs. Continuing their mission of "Common Vision on Common Ground," they debuted their first initiative, “Main St. Makeover”, with astounding success. Main St. Makeover took place on Earth Day, with each community volunteering to help small business owners on "Main St." spruce up their storefront with paint, window displays, flowers and more to attract customers. In turn, the community is enjoying updated, cleaner, and more vibrant Main Streets throughout the entire county.
Located at the Dam spillway of Lake Shelbyville, the city provides significant opportunities for visitors, residents and business.
The city is growing and welcomes new businesses including Triple B Home Center and Tractor Supply Co. for hardware and farming needs. Meanwhile Ace Hardware has new ownership and a recently remodeled store. My Little Bird and Simple Blessings Boutique are two new downtown businesses, and Simply Yours Boutique has expanded their clothing line. Druby’s restaurant is celebrating their 25th anniversary in Shelbyville.
Software Solutions Inc., the agriculture software company, has completed its two-story addition in the downtown area. It added work and training space. IHI Turbo America received a boost in its expansion project with a $1 million loan from the USDA and Shelby Electric Cooperative. “This is the second loan given to IHI Turbo through the Rural Economic Development Loan program,” said Shelby Electric Cooperative President and CEO Josh Shallenberger. “We gave them $2 million through this program a few years ago, which helped in the first phase of their project. This in turn helps us grow the community, create jobs, and benefits Shelby Electric.”
In December, the city applied to the state to create an Enterprise Zone, which officials say will spur business development. Shelbyville was also awarded a grant from the state to remove blighted housing in residential neighborhoods.
Shelbyville is pleased to offer several new options for health care services for the community. In January, Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) announced that Shelby Memorial Hospital became the 15th HSHS hospital affiliate and was renamed HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital. Decatur Memorial Hospital followed with a new 6,755 square foot medical center that is a collaboration between DMH, SIU HealthCare, DMH Medical Group, Vita Center for Women and Sav-Mor Pharmacy.In April, Sarah Bush Lincoln began construction of a fully modern medical clinic in Shelbyville at the former Pizza Hut location. It will feature nine exam rooms, a procedure room, laboratory and diagnostic imaging and an expanded reception area.
The upcoming 2017 boating season is poised to be another successful year of growth for Lithia Springs Marina. There are several new additions that will make an immediate impact to the atmosphere and customer satisfaction at the marina. Working in cooperation with County Market, Lithia Springs Marina will be hosting a wine tasting on May 25th to kick off the 2017 boating season. A fall wine tasting is tentatively scheduled for August 31st to end the 2017 season. New for 2017, Lithia Springs Marina is proud to announce that all boat reservations can now be completed easily online or from any smartphone. In addition, in 2017, kayaks will be available to rent from the Ship Store where Becki Spesard has been named the new Manager. The service department has a new trailer capable of pulling out or putting in any large Houseboat up to 100ft in length. Finally, the pavilion overlooking Lake Shelbyville has been enhanced by the construction of a fire pit. All in all, 2017 is promising to be another exciting year for Lithia Springs Marina.
Windsor is a patriotic community home to friendly neighbors, honest merchants, good schools. Windsor continues to attract locals and tourists for its annual Windsor Harvest Picnic (August) and Spores ‘n More Festival (April), which features a morel mushroom-finding contest and food such as mushroom sandwiches and shish-kabobs. Musical entertainment, delicious food, and family activities continue to draw large crowds for these events, with the Picnic topping off at 10,000 attendees. The Windsor Harvest Picnic is the longest running festival in Illinois, and this year will mark its 120th anniversary.
$18,000 in renovations were completed at the Community Building, with more funds being raised for additional repairs. The Township Board is preparing a USDA grant application for at 55/45 grant to support this plan. A Super Bowl luncheon hosted by W.H.A.T. (Windsor Happenings Around Town) plus frequent plant sales, bake sales, and rummage sales have been held to raise more funds and complete this project.
Stewardson is a warm community of 750 people founded in 1824. Stewardson’s featured events include Memorial Day and Fourth of July festivities, The Lions Club Homecoming (which is a three-day even in August loaded with entertainment and food), and the annual Chili Cook-Off. A recent addition to the village is the Community Center that is available for weddings, parties and events, and can accommodate 300 persons.
Guten Tag (Good Day) from Strasburg! Strasburg is a friendly, clean and a quiet community home to Hidden Springs State Forest and near to Lake Shelbyville’s five federal and two state parks. Of predominately German heritage, Strasburg is known for gnomes – the lovable little garden character that you can see throughout the village.
Strasburg continues to host Quarter Auctions with Chili Lunches and Fourth of July festivities. A Farmer’s Market runs from June – August on Thursdays from 4:30 – 6:00 P.M. The annual Gnomefest (September) is known for its Hog Roast and entertainment. The Leo Junior Lions Club is the largest in the state of Illinois. Along with the Strasburg Lions Club, the Leos host Trivia Nights, 5k races, the Strongman Competition, Octoberfest, and Gnomecoming events.
The community group S.C.A.N. is a large group of residents who ensure this community is a great place to live. S.C.A.N. members participate in strategic planning and economic development. S.C.A.N. and has raised money to repave Main St. and plans to put in a permeable pavers parking lot at the newly remodeled community center. Plus, S.C.A.N. has provided the village with flowers, mulch, new park benches and more.
York Acres Subdivision is beautifully located in the South-West part of Strasburg off Franklin Street. Each new owner of a lot in this subdivision is entitled to receive a 50% tax abatement up to the purchase price of the lot. The lots are $2,500 with city utilities. Homes must be constructed with wood, have a minimum 1,300 ft.2 of living space and a minimum 2-car garage. More details at www.strasburgil.com.
The Village of Findlay is home to the Findlay Marina and Eagle Creek Golf Course at Eagle Creek State Park, which is a premier 18-hole championship public course. Findlay is known for its Walleye Festival held the last weekend in July, with several related events leading up to it including 5k runs and recycling festivals. Tailwinds Steakhouse and Niemerg Family Winery continue to draw customers from a 100-mile radius, and the Winery is beginning expansion into the building next door. The Community Building has live music the first Friday of every month. Come out and enjoy country/bluegrass music jams before filling up your belly in town.
Use the links below to learn more
How to Join
Why support economic development?
Stimulate economic growth
Increase contributions to local tax base
Increase employment opportunities
Increase desired goods and services available locally
Expand on business-to-business opportunities
Improve the quality of life for citizens of East Central Illinois
“By connecting the assets and resources in East Central Illinois, an awareness of potential opportunities will allow us to learn how to work together to more fully utilize those assets and market these aligned clusters in hopes to increase commerce and expand our sense of community,”
Brian Moody, Tuscola Economic Development Inc.
For Information, contact Randi Bohannon, ECIDC Executive Director
Economic development is fundamentally about a better quality of life for everyone in our region.
East Central Illinois Development Corporation
1204 Network Centre Dr.
Effingham, IL 62401