Valley Industrial Association
EALgreen’s President and CEO Claudia Freed to speak at the Global Summit of Women by EALgreen
Network On the Greens of the Aurora Country Club
Follow Us on Social Media!
Find Out More About VIA Group Programming
Spark Awards Edition
The Making of the Spark Awards by Patty Donahue of Image Awards Engraving, Inc.
2018 Spark Awards Winners
"A Culture of Excellence"
VIA launches first of four IT Lunch and Learns by Rod Kelly of K+L Storytellers
Spring is officially here and things are blooming at the VIA. We are so excited to welcome Trish Overturf to our team as our new Program Manager! We had a fantastic first quarter! Hosting important discussions about Tax Reform, launching NEW professional groups that focus on honing the skills of some of your top people and celebrating excellence right here, in this region, all were things that were important to us in the launch of the newly branded Valley Industrial Association.
The nine professional groups that I mentioned have all launched. I haven't found anyone yet that can't fit or benefit from at least one of these groups. Phase One of our new Website & Database is off and running! As you log on with your User Name (your company email address) hit "forgot my password" to have a link sent to your email inbox. Proceed by clicking on that link and set up a new unique password. Please don't hesitate to call with questions on the new capabilities. Phase Two is making it cool. So, give us another quarter to make it truly something special! Phase Two to come soon, will be making it great.
Things to keep in mind for this next quarter:
SURVEY SURVEY SURVEY! - be sure to fill them out! It helps us stay relevant, in touch AND most importantly gives YOU industry data!
Round two of all of our Professional Groups! Find one for you - is it Sales? Is it our Women's Group? Is it the Executive Group? Marketing? Operations Tours? Safety? Something for everyone is on the calendar.
Culture Day! We have some amazing things happening at this event. Talking about our company's #1 issue: Your Workforce! Please join us!
Fun - why? because you work hard, and deserve it. Join us for something like our awesome Golf Outing to take a little break from the daily grind!
Whatever the reason you are involved with us we are happy to have you.
Happy Spring , friends!
Valley Industrial Association
A Letter from the Chairman
A Letter from the President
Dear VIA Members,
One of the great things about being Chairman of the VIA, is that within the framework of our Mission, you get to steer the focus to subjects that interest you (and there is a presumption that SOMEONE in our 200+ member organization will also share that interest). The bad thing about being Chairman, is that you’ve got to move quickly if you want to get anything done, because you’re a lame duck from the day you start! This year my focus for the VIA revolves around one personal interest of mine, Sustainability, and a subject which is currently affecting the vast majority of our membership, Workforce Development. Sustainability, however you define it, is in my opinion a responsibility of every individual, company, and government, in order to protect the existence and livelihood of our children, our society, and our planet. Whether you believe in global warming or the effects of ozone depletion, there is one thing that is not debatable. This Earth has a limited amount of resources. There is only a finite amount of petroleum to be pumped… and metal to be mined. How long will it last. 50 years? 500? But we as individuals and companies don’t have to solve this problem for the entire World. All we have to do is our small part.
Towards this end, the VIA will be holding an Executive Forum in St. Charles on April 25th to hear about the latest in Solar electric generation and the current incentives that really put a positive spin on its ROI. We also hope to discuss practical sustainability projects that have been implemented right here in the Fox Valley Area. In addition, we will soon be holding a Sustainability Roundtable for interested companies that will be facilitated by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center. If there is enough interest, it is my hope that we can form a regular group that can meet to discuss ideas and solutions for sustainable practices that we can all use in our companies to both help the environment, AND save money. If you have interest in getting updates on the upcoming roundtable or sustainability group, please call or email the VIA office to get on our sustainability mailing list.
MTH Pumps &
2018 VIA Board Chairman
May 4, 2018
a culture of excellence
Get real insights on how our potential VIA Health Plan Captive can help your plan:
Demonstrate effective plan designs that can reduce employer and employee costs by 20%
Understand how to use True Claims Data to generate specific solutions to control costs
Empower your employees by providing them with healthcare pricing information before the services are rendered-- saving you money!
Illustrate prescription drug programs that reduce costs for employers and employees!
NEXT Captive Opportunity: May 11th Lunch & Learn
health plan captive
Join us as we review some solutions to real problems concerning employee benefit plans-- and how small companies can enjoy the same benefits as larger companies with the advantages of a Captive.
Your company is only as good as your workforce. Invest in the long-term success of your business by investing in your people.
Join us for Culture Day 2018 to discuss how to inspire and motivate your team!
Featuring a Discussion with Spark Award Winners:
Jennifer Q. Morales, National Director of Human Resources at United Scrap Metal and Aneesa Muthana, President of Pioneer Services, Inc.
Facilitated by Maria Moran of IMEC
Last week, we celebrated excellence in manufacturing in the Fox Valley with our second annual Spark Awards! We could not have asked for a better evening, and we are already looking forward to 2019!
Congratulations to our winners!
o MTH Tool Company - MTH Pumps, our Sustainability Winner
o Tek Pak, Inc., our Safety Winner
o United Scrap Metal, our Human Resources Winner
o Smith & Richardson Manufacturer Co., our Manufacturing and Career Awareness Winner
o Pioneer Service Inc, our Community Service and Outreach Winner
o Jesus Camargo, Dukane Precast, our Luminary Award Winner
o Sean Story, United Scrap Metal, our Luminary Award Winner
Thank you to our Sponsors!
o Merchants and Manufacturers Bank – Our Premier Sponsor
o Waubonsee Community College & Cast Aluminum Solutions for being our Award Sponsors
o MotherG for sponsoring the Spark Awards Signature drink – the Cranberry Sparkler
o Dugan & Lopatka, CPAs for their Dessert Sponsorship
Pictures from the Ev ening
Although engraving has been Image Awards & Engraving's core process for over 24 years, Dye Sublimation has quickly become the second most requested service we offer. This process allows us to imprint full color images on a wide variety of substrates including specially treated acrylics which is what this year's Spark Awards are made from.
In short, the dye sublimation process is when a liquid (specialty ink) turns into a solid (the printed layout), then into a gas (through heat and pressure), and then back into a solid (image pressed into the substrate) without becoming a liquid again.
In making our products, we start with the bones of what the award is for, who is deserving of it, and why. We gather logos, photos, or any other images the customer may want to include in the end result. Once collected, we work our layout magic in Corel Draw. After the layout is complete, we print it using specialty inks (liquid to solid) and put the print to substrate using heat and pressure (solid to gas). And, once cooled (gas to solid), we end up with the final result. In this scenario, your 2018 Spark Awards!
We're thrilled to be the local maker of these awards!
- Contributor: Patty Donahue, Owner of VIA Member Company Image Awards & Engraving
The Making of the Spark Awards
A thief “spearphished” the city of Batavia this month, netting employee W2 and other personal financial information. It’s an IT department’s nightmare. All of the firewalls, cyber security protocols and network system safeguards were outmaneuvered by the hacker. This was just one of many topics discussed at the first of four IT Lunch and Learns for Valley Industrial Association member companies in 2018.
“It’s not if, it’s when” is the unfortunate mantra that IT professionals are burdened with, said Philippe Schmitt, chief operating officer of Mother G, an Itasca- based IT service provider that joined VIA. Since then, they have lent their high tech expertise to provide critical knowledge for members and guests at VIA events. “It’s imperative for manufacturers and all companies to have regular conversations between the board room and the dark room,” he said, affectionately referring to the IT department. “Cyber threats occur every single day and it’s important for the C-suite to understand what is required to prevent such attacks from penetrating their operations.” One participant said, “I am the IT department, and it’s a challenge for one person to stay on top of all the security threats as well as training employees, monitoring the systems and everything else.” Another concurred saying, "Having port 80 open keeps me up at night," referring to the primary port, an open pathway on the internet people must use to access websites. It’s also a door for hackers to access network servers.
Employees need regular and constant training to help them avoid phishing, the act of fraudulently gaining personal information via an email that appears to be from a reputable source. “Our policy is to trust and then verify email requests” seeking data or account information,” said Caroline Russow of St. Charles Bank & Trust. She said employees are regularly trained and are occasionally sent ‘test’ phishing emails from their IT department to see how they respond. Russow and others found the IT Lunch and Learn to be an extraordinary opportunity to broaden their knowledge of real tech solutions, trade stories with other emerging businesses, and bring back insight they can immediately consider for their individual companies. "That is a great way to keep employees out in front of potential fraudulent activity," said Deb Reiter, owner of CMIT Solutions in Batavia and panelist on VIA's IT Lunch and Learn. Unwitting employees often are the source of security breeches, Reiter said. And in the situation in Batavia, the “spearphishing” targeted a specific person or department to gain access to employee data and financial information. Reiter said the case in Batavia remains under investigation and an update may be available by the next IT Lunch and Learn on Thursday, May 10 where the panel, which also included Bob Snodgrass, owner of Net2Community in St. Charles, will once again lead the IT discussion.
-Contributor: Rod Kelly, Co-Owner of VIA Member K+L Storytellers
We want to share member company "good news" and ask that you keep us informed so we can do so.
When you've got news or kudos to share, please drop us a note or call our office hotline at 630.892.4228.
We are pleased to present these new member companies who have joined since March 2018:
VIA launches first of four IT Lunch and Learns
Welcome, New Members:
New member company, EALgreen’s President and CEO Claudia Freed has been invited to speak at the Global Summit of Women in Sydney on Saturday, April 28. The Global Summit, which has been called the Davos for Women, is holding its 28th forum and represents one of the largest groups of female leaders convened annually. She will be presenting on the topic of Greening Your Business.
At this summit, Claudia will describe the distinctive way that EAL helps businesses “go green,” by engaging distributors, manufacturers and the broader business community in repurposing/ reusing or recycling trailer loads of slow moving and obsolete inventory as well as outdated business equipment to create scholarships. With the United Nations’ announcement of its 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, momentum for action grows. Corporate partnerships with EALgreen facilitates success for companies that support Goal 4: Quality Education and align with Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.
The only organization of its kind in the world, Claudia welcomes the invitation to tell this amazing story to other women who are leaders in their fields. EALgreen forges bonds between people, environment, and business by working with the manufacturing sector to benefit students who lack the financial resources to attend college. A pioneer of the circular economy, EALgreen’s prototype business model increases college affordability by generating financial aid from supply chain partnerships.
Central to EALgreen’s mission is the belief that education can help safeguard our future. The time is now to invest in driving true, scaled social change characterized by purpose-driven (conscious) capitalism.
EALgreen’s President and CEO Claudia Freed to speak at the Global Summit of Women
New: Group Programming!
Do you wish you had the opportunity to discuss the current topics in your industry with other professionals? Engage in productive and eye-opening conversations with your fellow group members, with job-specific VIA Group Programming. Each program will consist of a Round-table or Panel format, and will include featured speakers. Stay in-the-know, and learn from professionals with the same background, and a whole new point of view!
Tour on Tuesday
Engineering Group: Sterling
Women of the VIA
Root Cause Analysis
Problem Solving Tools Interactive
C-Suite, Industrial Members Only
Sales Professionals Group
A Culture of Excellence
IT Group: Lunch and Panel Discussion
Cloud Technology, Cyber Security, Mobile technology, Artificial Intelligence and Open Source Technology
VIA Captive Lunch & Learn
Background Checks & Legal Updates
See Our Entire
Calendar of Events
EARLY BIRD SPECIAL
SIGN UP BEFORE MAY 1st & SAVE
The Day :
9-10:00am - Continental Breakfast and Registration
10:30am - Shot Gun Start
11:00am - 2pm - Lunch at Flag Pole on Course
3:30pm - 5:30pm - Cocktails
3:30pm - Buffet Stations Dinner Served in Dining Room
EARLY BIRD RATE UNTIL April 30th, 2018
Member Foursome $700
Member Single $185
After May 1st, 2018
Member Foursome $780
Member Single $205
Trish Overturf, Program Manager
Trish Overturf has a long history of working in Special Events. In Chicago, Trish found work in the production of large scale Professional Sporting Events. For the past 13 years her hunger and drive for events and meeting management came in the form of working in the education management industry. Trish’s 20+ years of skilled Event Production, Public Relations, Marketing, Customer Service, Fundraising and Public Speaking make her a perfect fit as the Program Manager for Valley.
Meet Our Team
Sue Secondi, Office Manager
Sue’s attention to detail and questioning nature has already proven to be of great service to the association. She is your go-to contact for all things VIA, from registering for a program, getting an invoice or collecting data for one of our surveys. Sue has an extensive background ranging from Insurance to Accounting , Business Administration, Sales, and Construction. Sue has a unique viewpoint and operates with a member centered acumen. No challenge is too large to tackle, making Sue a boon for the VIA.
Kathy Gilmore, President
As the 10th President of the Valley Industrial Association, Kathy expands on her previous role as Membership Manager to work for the brightest future of the organization, so that the VIA can continue to best serve area manufacturers and the businesses that serve them.
Kathy brings an entrepreneurial spirit to the VIA having 20 years' experience as an upper level sales director for a Chicagoland kitchenware company. Rounding out her sales experience with an MBA from Aurora University in 2017, she has some fresh ideas and enthusiasm for the 115 year-old organization.
As President, she continues forward on the path to cultivate the VIA's role as a pivotal part of our community. Kathy firmly believes that the successful future of manufacturing depends upon working with our community and education partners to continue to increase knowledge among local manufacturers and also increase awareness of our vibrant manufacturing companies in the general community and the next generation workforce. As President, Kathy looks forward to seeing our manufacturers and organization continue to flourish.