FeaturesAnnouncementsThe Chamber Report,

Honors & AwardsMain Street Corner NewsJob Hunt,

Lottery NumbersBusiness News Elsewhere  (fresh daily from the Web)

Tech News Elsewhere  (fresh daily from the Web)


CFA and CFA Asset Management
offer varied financial services

[JUNE 6, 2001]  Many financial services, including accounting, investment advice, insurance and tax preparation, are offered out of the office at 1801 N. Kickapoo.

CFA accounting, CFA Asset Management and H & R Block are all located under the same roof. Dana Sydney and Clarence Barney, individually or jointly, own all the businesses.

The two men first joined forces in 1979 when Sydney began working nights for Barney’s H & R Block franchise in Springfield doing tax preparation. Then both earned insurance licenses and began selling insurance contracts under the name Creative Financial Planning. In 1982 Sydney opened Creative Financial Accounting, using the same name base, but changed it to CFA when an Internal Revenue Service agent asked just how creative his accounting was. CFA Asset Management was formed in 1989 to meet the needs of accounting clients who wanted help choosing investments. At that time both Sydney and Barney affiliated with H. D. Vest, a Texas firm whose representatives are all accountants, and were licensed as investment advisers.


[Dana Sydney]

Sydney said his accounting, investment and insurance businesses are all strongly service-oriented and tailored to the needs of the specific client. He does not represent any single investment product or insurance company but is independent and licensed to offer products from a number of different companies.

Honesty and straightforwardness are qualities he considers important when dealing with clients, Sydney said. He takes pride in listening carefully, tailoring advice to individual needs and making sure clients understand contracts and services before entering into them.

In addition to Sydney, CFA employs two bookkeepers, Tina Schneider and Debra Menzel. Lisa Ramlow, a licensed investment representative, helps service clients of CFA Asset Management.

Susie Lawler of Lincoln, a client, said she and her husband, Tom, rely on Sydney’s advice: "Any time I need to talk to Dana he’s there, he takes time, he explains and he’s a good friend."

Accounting clients are both local and from as far away as Charleston. The first investment clients had previously been accounting clients, but now some people seek only investment advice.

In the current economic downturn, Sydney says he advises clients to buy, not sell. "It’s like going to the grocery store and buying things on sale," he said. "You follow the basic concept of ‘Buy low, sell high.’" Despite his confidence that the market will turn around as it has historically done, Sydney confesses that the past year, with a 67 percent drop in the NASDAC, has been his most difficult. His biggest concern is the investors who have entered the market in the last year and a half. Long-term investors who have experienced declines and recoveries are less likely to be alarmed. "Time heals a lot of wounds," he observed, "especially in the stock market."


[to top of second column in this article]

Jerry Moore Sr., another client, said that when his employer, PPG, closed, Sydney guided him in investing the money from his savings plan as well as family income in subsequent years. As a result his wife, Mary, was able to retire recently from Lincoln Developmental Center, and they feel comfortable with that decision. Moore said the couple’s investments did well during the ’90s, and "we won’t talk about what’s happened lately" but Sydney helped them see the decline in their portfolio as a temporary event.

Although history shows that the market bounces back, Sydney warns that it may lose some of its resiliency in 2010 when the 78 million baby boomers begin cashing in some of their investments. At that time he foresees recommending major changes in clients’ portfolios.

While accounting and investment advising are 12-month businesses, tax preparation is concentrated in 3½ months. Sydney said the normal hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily are extended to about midnight during tax season. He noted that corporations, partnerships, businesses and individuals all have set times when taxes are due. He tries to complete corporate and partnership returns earlier than the deadline for the convenience of clients who need the information for their personal returns.

Sydney said he takes pride in whatever investments he recommends, whether stocks, variable annuities or mutual funds. Factors that enter into the choice include past performance, management strengths and client needs. He picks a mutual fund by portfolio contents, past success and turnover rate.

He said he is not a predictor of what the market as a whole will do but is concerned about the return on individual investments. He prides himself on helping people get the best from what they buy.

Sydney moved to Lincoln in 1990 when he and Barney built the original 30-by-70-foot facility, which was designed to be expandable. In 1992 and again in 2000 they attached additional 30-by-30-foot sections. Sydney said there are no plans for further expansion and that it would occur only if the firms added employees to increase services.

Sydney’s wife, Anne, is a registered nurse in emergency care at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital. They have two daughters, Kathryn and Jennifer.

Sydney attended Lincoln College and Milton College in Wisconsin and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from California State University at Sacramento in 1977. He also served in the U.S. Air Force.

[Lynn Spellman]

Main Street receives awards

Lincoln, a community that’s
improving and celebrating it

[MAY 23, 2001]  Main Street Lincoln won three awards in Springfield on Thursday evening, May 3, at Lt. Gov. Corinne Wood’s ceremony honoring Illinois Main Street communities.

The awards received by Lincoln included Public Improvements in the Design category, given for Scully Park; Business Plan in the Economic Restructuring category, given for Sew Many Friends; and Business Expansion in the Economic Restructuring category, for Grapes and Grounds.

Attending the ceremony were Mayor Beth Davis, Main Street Lincoln Board President Jon Steffens and Program Manager Wendy Bell with her husband, Terry.

Lincoln collected more than its share of the rewards. "There are 59 Main Street communities, 43 awards were available, 200 applications came in," Bell said.



[to top of second column in this article]

She added, "I visit a lot of other Main Street communities, and I am always glad to come home, because we have so much here we can share with the world."

Lincoln and Logan County are in a time of apparent synergism, with historical, tourism, and new business development planning taking place on all fronts.


Scully Park restoration

[MAY 23, 2001]  If the trees could talk in Scully Park, what a tale they would have to tell.

Project description

Violet Mary Simpson, daughter of Sir William Simpson, was educated in England and Paris, France. There she met her husband-to-be, Thomas Scully, and married in 1924. Scully, heir to a land empire, and Violet settled in the United States in 1925. Mrs. Scully was known to be a great philanthropist and gardener. Among other generous donations, she funded and planned the landscaping for the county-owned Washington Park. The park sits one block south of the courthouse square and was renamed for her upon her death in 1976.

The centerpiece of the park was a beautiful fountain in a large pool surrounded by formal flower beds. Tragically, a young teenager was accidentally electrocuted while playing in the fountain during the mid-’80s. The immediate reaction was to drain the fountain pool and fill it in with dirt. Consequently, the park became largely abandoned. "No loitering" signs were put in, the flower beds turned to weeds, and the plaque for Mrs. Scully on the fountain fell off.

In 1999, Main Street Lincoln volunteers decided to investigate the possibility of restoring the fountain. The first phase was to dig out the pool by hand and, unbelievably, the pool floor was found to be intact. The project went on Main Street Lincoln’s work plan in 2000. Funding for the $27,000 project was obtained from several sources. The Logan County Board and the Logan County Parks and Trails Foundation, which Mrs. Scully also initiated, each gave approximately 25 percent of the total. The other half came as a grant from the Woods Foundation, and an extra $100 came from Union Planters Bank’s ribbon of dollar bills when they opened their new drive-through across from the park.


The most important result of this project was the spirit of cooperation and an increase in civic pride. The groups that funded the project are unrelated to each other but each was committed to the legacy of Violet Scully and saw the possibilities of the park.

Local contractors were used throughout the project. Electricity was moved and the fountain rewired at a low voltage by Fitzpatrick Electric. P & W Pool finished the interior of the pool and installed the fountain. Don Bode, a local welder, designed and built a wrought-iron fence to surround the perimeter of the pool. This, combined with all electrical apparatus being housed in a small blockhouse, should ensure there is never another tragedy to close the fountain. Bode also designed a wrought-iron gateway sign for the main entrance. Eight sturdy picnic tables were ordered from Big R Farm Supply, and not one has disappeared yet. Banners were made by a local seamstress and hung by our city street crew.




[to top of second column in this article]

Main Street Lincoln volunteers replanted the flower beds with donated perennials, trimmed the overgrown trees and took the "no loitering" signs down. They trenched the lines for electricity and replaced and poured concrete where necessary. Four contemporary streetlights that surrounded the pool were taken down by volunteers and replaced with new historically sympathetic lighting. Four heavy-duty trash containers were also added so families picnicking had a place to dispose of their garbage. Main Street Lincoln coordinated the entire project and administered the finances.

The "new" park was dedicated Memorial Day weekend in 2000. Officials from the Logan County Parks and Trails Foundation, the Logan County Board, the Woods Foundation, city of Lincoln and Main Street Lincoln were on hand. More importantly, Violet Scully’s two sons, Michael and Peter, as well as family from England attended. Michael and Peter cut the giant violet-colored ribbon at the gateway while hundreds looked on. Afterwards, a punch-and-cookie reception was held near the fountain and the first penny was thrown in by Main Street Lincoln Board President Dale Bassi. The "wishes" from the fountain are collected when the pool is cleaned and donated to another Main Street Lincoln project, restoration of the Indian maiden statue.


The impact of the Scully Park restoration was obvious all summer long. There were people in the park day and evening, when once no one visited. A neighbor who lives in a second-story downtown apartment has adopted the flower beds as "her back yard" and is teaching the neighborhood children to care for them. Downtown employees routinely eat their lunch in the park. Parents visit with their children. In the evening, lovers young and old stroll through. With the gentle sound of water and the scent of roses, it is a romantic spot; the first wedding was held there this fall.

The Scully Park restoration is a success story because of the public-private partnership initiated for the good of the community.

[Main Street Lincoln]

Special award for business plan

Sew Many Friends

[MAY 23, 2001]  Ivy Koritz and Sue Bidwell did their homework before opening the doors of "Sew Many Friends," and it shows.

Project description

Koritz and Bidwell were college roommates who maintained their friendship long after graduation. They each have unique talents but both share a love of quilting and sewing. The lack of available materials drove their desire to open a store with adequate supplies. However, with no retail experience, they took time to study all the options and learn from the experts.

Koritz and Bidwell worked with the local SBDC on their initial business plan and then had the S.C.O.R.E. chapter from Bloomington review it. They also attended a Business Start Up Seminar hosted by Main Street Lincoln and put on by the S.C.O.R.E. chapter from Springfield. This included sessions on SBA loans, marketing, bookkeeping and small-business banking, as well as more on the business plan.


Their next step was attendance at Main Street Lincoln’s Business Nexus, an event to bring prospective business owners and business resources together. During that time, Main Street held tours of available property downtown. When Koritz saw the block-glass window, the breadth of 127 S. Kickapoo and the fact that the property was located next to a needlework and framing shop, she knew she’d found their location.

The final step was to finish their business plan, then use it as a guideline in opening their business in October 2000. Ivy and Sue appropriately named their business "Sew Many Friends" to honor all of the people who had helped and inspired them in planning the new business.


[to top of second column in this article]


Having a quilting supply store next to a needlework and framing shop has installed an arts-and-craft anchor on a corner of downtown Lincoln. Both businesses have benefited from the traffic each individual store brings.

Koritz notes that their target market area of the surrounding 60 miles is still their base, but the word is getting out and some people are coming from even out of state. This is largely due to a "Shop Hop" that Sew Many Friends was a part of. The Shop Hop features quilting supply stores throughout a region and then offers special incentives for quilters to visit all of them. Originally 400 names, their mailing list now includes 1,000 addresses.


Besides the benefit to the business next door, Sew Many Friends offers services previously unavailable to the area. Their inventory includes 650 bolts of fabric, as well as batting, threads and patterns. Lessons are available for the beginner to the experienced quilter. And for those who have no desire to learn to quilt but want to snuggle under one, Sew Many Friends has invested in a machine so they can quilt any design you’d like.

[Main Street Lincoln]


Business expansion project

Grapes and Grounds

[MAY 23, 2001]  After owning Eckert’s Fine Dining for 2½ years, Jon and Jason Steffens decided to expand their business to include a fine wine and coffee shop.

Project description

 Jon Steffens said that they view Grapes and Grounds "as a natural extension of a fine restaurant." Eckert’s Fine Dining Restaurant is open two days a week, and dining is by reservation only. Grapes and Grounds is open six days a week, inviting passers-by to pause for a drink or dessert. When the weather is conducive, tables and chairs are even placed out on the sidewalk to encourage customers to relax.

The new but related business took three months to plan and execute. The Steffens brothers created a doorway between the restaurant and the adjoining shop in their building and renovated the empty storefront to prepare for Grapes and Grounds. During the three months of preparation, they also searched through distributors to acquire particular wine and coffee products.


The result of the Steffenses’ business expansion is very promising. Grapes and Grounds has increased the visibility of Eckert’s Fine Dining, which has led to an increase in the number of Lincoln diners. Prior to Grapes and Grounds, only 15 percent of Eckert’s customers were from Lincoln. Now Lincoln diners account for 30 percent of Eckert’s customers.


[to top of second column in this article]


Jon Steffens believes that Grapes and Grounds gives the public "one more reason to come downtown," as opposed to shopping and dining in west Lincoln or outside of Lincoln. Grapes and Grounds adds to downtown’s diversity and complements other businesses. Next door to the wine and coffee shop is a new bakery—one stop for customers on their way to work.

Besides the healthy impact on downtown Lincoln businesses, Grapes and Grounds will help the Steffens family. Jon Steffens believes that diversifying is stabilizing agent for businessmen in a small town. Business at Eckert’s Fine Dining tends to revolve around holidays. Grapes and Grounds yields steady, year-round business.

Grapes and Grounds opened just over a year ago and is doing well, so the Steffenses' business is expanding again. At the time Main Street nominations were submitted, plans for Eckert’s Bed and Breakfast were in the works. The bed and breakfast has been open for more than six months and has one of four planned thematic rooms open, the Arabian Room.

[Jean Ann Carnley]



Staff promotions and new assistant at college office

[JUNE 13, 2001]  Lincoln College has made several administrative changes in their Office of Advancement.

Debbie Ackerman, formerly associate director of annual fund and alumni relations for Lincoln College, has been named director of annual fund and alumni relations. She will conduct annual fund-raising activities as well as plan and implement alumni special events. Ackerman resides in Lincoln with her husband, Ron, and their two sons.

Jean Ann Miller, formerly associate director of communications for Lincoln College, has been named director of communications. She will continue to manage media relations and produce the alumni newsletter, The Log, as well as organize select special events on campus. Miller and her husband, Mike, reside in Lincoln.


[to top of second column in this article]

Debbie Shull-Andrews has joined Lincoln College full time in the Office of Advancement as donor relations assistant. She is responsible for updating the Lincoln College alumni database and assisting with special events. Andrews was a self-employed screen printer before joining Lincoln College and continues to create whimsical painted furniture. Andrews and her husband, John, along with their children, reside in Lincoln.

[Lincoln College news release]

Illinois Employment and Training Center

New name, new address

[APRIL 20, 2001]  Congress repealed the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) June 30, 2000. A new Workforce Investment Act (WIA) has replaced it. The Logan County Illinois Employment and Training Center (IETC) now houses two offices:  Illinois Department of Employment and Security Office (IDES), "the unemployment office," and Logan County Workforce Office (WIA).

Effective April 30, 2001, the offices will be at the following address:

120 S. McLean St., Suite B

Farm Bureau Building

Lincoln, IL 62656

The new e-mail address is ietc@abelink.com.

Phone and fax numbers remain the same: phone (217) 735-5441 and fax (217) 732-2658.

Staff members are Fred Wiemer, Rod Lewis and Jan Gleason.

Please feel free to contact any of the staff for employment and training services. The staff looks forward to serving you.

The Chamber Report

Upcoming events

Aug. 24-26 — Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival


The Chamber of Commerce is a catalyst for community progress, bringing business and professional people together to work for the common good of Lincoln and Logan County.

Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce

303 S. Kickapoo St., Lincoln

(217) 735-2385

Fax (217) 735-9205



[Provided by Bobbi Abbott, executive director of Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce]

Honors & Awards

ALMH names June Employee of the Month

[JUNE 14, 2001]  Congratulations to Margaret Bent, who was named Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital June Employee of the Month.

Margaret’s nominator says she "cleans above and beyond what is required and is very polite and considerate with customers and fellow employees. She never complains and is very efficient in all areas."

Margaret began employment in the Housekeeping Department at ALMH eight years ago.

She and her husband, Dale, have four children — Dean, Daniel, Denise and Doug — and four grandchildren. In her spare time, Margaret enjoys gardening and spending time with her grandchildren. She is also active with her church and the Jolly Seniors.

[ALMH news release]

Elizabeth Drake named columnist for journal

[JUNE 9, 2001]  Liz Drake, radiologic technologist at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital (ALMH), has been given the privilege of writing as a columnist for Advance for Radiologic Science Professionals magazine. This journal is well-known nationwide for its information on state-of-the-art equipment and ideas in the field of radiology.

Drake received this honor after submitting many articles that were published in the journal and well-received. She is always coming up with creative new thoughts on the ever-changing world of diagnostic radiology. Her column, aptly named "X-ray Vision," will run every other month.

She has worked at ALMH for nine years and is proud to be giving something back to her profession.

[ALMH news release]

ALMH names Nurse of the Year

[JUNE 1, 2001]  Gary Auten, RN, has been named Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital’s 2001 Nurse of the Year.

Gary was nominated by his peers and selected by a committee of ALMH staff. He has worked as an Emergency Department nurse at ALMH for over two years.

Gary lives in Clinton with his wife and three children, Rachel, Emily and Jacob.

Zac Tibbs and Stephanie West
honored by Lincoln Rotary Club

[MAY 17, 2001]  LCHS seniors Stephanie West and Zac Tibbs have been selected by the Lincoln Rotary Club as two youth who are "Ready for the Real World." The annual award that recognizes youth demonstrating exceptional vocational skills and work ethic was presented to the students and their parents at the May 9 Rotary meeting.

Stephanie and Zac were each honored with a plaque and a $250 cash award.

Zac Tibbs, son of Dennis and Beverly Tibbs of New Holland, owns and operates his own produce business, which includes production planning, planting, weeding, harvest, sales and bookkeeping. He has also served as the assistant superintendent in the Floriculture Department at the Illinois State Fair for the past two years.

[Zac Tibbs]

Cherie Lock and Dave Robson, both from the University of Illinois Extension, nominated Zac. Robson writes that in his second year working at the Floriculture Department Zac "took initiative without needing any reminders and even suggested improvements for a smoother working environment."

Zac will study engineering this fall at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.


[to top of second column in this article]

[Stephanie West]

Stephanie West, daughter of Randall and Cynthia West of Lincoln, has been employed for one year as a nurse’s assistant in the long-term care facility at The Christian Village. "Stephanie always has a smile and a soft touch with the residents," says Stephanie’s supervisor, Deidre Berger, RN. Stephanie says she enjoys helping others meet their needs for everyday life. She will attend Lincoln College in the fall to study nursing.


This is the third year for the Ready for the Real World Award. It was established to honor young people who demonstrate responsible work ethics above and beyond what is normally expected for someone in their teen-age years. One award is given to a young person with outstanding entrepreneurial skills. The other is awarded to a young person who has excelled in his or her work for a Logan County business or agency. Nominations are accepted from the student’s direct work supervisor and are due each year in March.

The Lincoln Rotary Club meets Wednesdays at noon at the Restaurant at the Depot. Membership is open to area professionals nominated by current Rotary members.

[Rotary news release]

Main Street Corner News

Main Street Lincoln July calendar

July 1 — Concert in the Park, Lincoln Area Music Society, 7 p.m.

July 2 — Executive meeting, 4 p.m.

July 2 — Design Committee meeting, Eckert’s Restaurant, 5:30 p.m.

July 8 — Concert in the Park, Stone County Ramblers, 7 p.m.

July 11 — Board meeting, Union Planters Conference Room, 5:30 p.m.

July 11 — Kid’s Zone, 7:30 p.m.

July 15 — Concert in the Park, The Nostalgics, 7 p.m.

July 18 — Looking for Lincoln Committee, Union Planters Conference Room, 7 p.m.

July 22 — Concert in the Park, Angel Spiccia and Friends, 7 p.m.

July 23 — Economic Restructuring Committee meeting in Lincoln Public Library’s Pegram Room, 5:30 p.m.

June 25 — Annual program review, Union Planters Conference Room, 5:30 p.m.

July 29 — Concert in the Park, Paul and Win Grace, 7 p.m.

Main Street Lincoln, 303 S. Kickapoo, Lincoln

Phone: (217) 732-2929

Fax: (217) 735-9205

E-mail: manager@mainstreetlincoln.com

Website: www.mainstreetlincoln.com

Job Hunt

Now Lincolndailynews.com makes it easy to look for a job in the Logan County area
with our new Job Hunt feature in the Business section.

Employers, you can list available jobs by e-mailing ldn@lincolndailynews.com. Each job listing costs $10 the first week, $20 for eight days to three months. There is a limit of 75 words per announcement.

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Letters to the Editor