Smith's active involvement as chairman and prime sponsor of the
chamber's Leadership Academy and as a volunteer and prime sponsor
for the Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival were noted in his selection.
He also serves on the chamber's board of directors. Smith, formerly
with Illinois American Water, is in business development with an
engineering firm, The Farnsworth Group.
Robert's Sysco Food Services, which opened a state-of-the-art
distribution facility in Lincoln last summer, was recognized as New
Business of the Year. By September, Sysco had employed 169 people,
with the total expected to climb to 240 with its purchase of Bunn
Capitol. The company immediately became involved in the community,
with an open house attended by 3,000 people last fall and the recent
donation of 20 truckloads of food to the Central Illinois Food Bank.
Eaton Electrical, Lincoln's largest private employer, was
selected Large Business of the Year. In additional to employing 720
people, Eaton has a strong commitment to the community. Over the
past two years, the company has made significant financial
contributions to the YMCA art program, Junior Achievement, the
elementary and high school districts, the H.O.P.E. Mobile, the Lincoln
Art & Balloon Festival, and United Way. Eaton also prides itself on
employee involvement in the community, especially in leadership
The Lincoln branch of CEFCU was named Small Business of the Year.
The financial institution works with prospective and existing
businesses so they can receive the financial support needed to
locate or expand in Lincoln. CEFCU also volunteers and financially
supports community projects and events.
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Six businesses received Pride and Progress Beautification awards.
Mary Todd's Hallmark and O'Donohue's were recognized for the
attractive restoration of their downtown businesses. Holiday Inn
Express of Lincoln and America's Best Value Inn in Atlanta received
the award for refurbishing their lodging facilities. The extensive
remodeling at McDonald's and the New Holland Banking Center
qualified them for the award.
Cindy Stover was introduced as the chamber's board president for
2007. Stover, director of the Lincolnland Technical Education
Center, has chosen "Working Magic" as the theme for her presidency.
She succeeds Scott Goodman of Eaton as president. Goodman reviewed
the accomplishments of the chamber during his 2006 "Soaring to New
New board members introduced at the luncheon were Eileen Higgs
Parn, of Robert's Sysco; Dave Schonauer, Illinois American Water;
Kevin Kurtz, Stine Seed; Marty Ahrends, Abraham Lincoln Memorial
Hospital; and Don Peasley, Peasley Funeral Homes.
Retiring board members Linda Marini, Dave Hawkinson, Jeff
Mayfield and Diane Slack were recognized for the involvement. New
members, those joining the chamber in 2006, were inducted into the
organization during the banquet.
The chamber board has planned its 2007 initiatives to focus on
work force programs, after chamber members cited work force issues
as their top concern in a recent survey. "Business activity cannot
take place without a skilled and available work force," Stover
Chamber of Commerce news