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  • Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce 38th Annual Community Thanksgiving Luncheon

    Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce
    38th Annual Community Thanksgiving Luncheon

    November 22, 2013 (Peoria, IL) — As the Thanksgiving holiday nears, the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce and nearly 700 people took time today to reflect on the many accomplishments our community has to be thankful for this year. The 38th Annual Peoria Area Chamber Community Thanksgiving Luncheon, sponsored by Midstate College, was held today at the Peoria Civic Center.  

    People from across the region attended the annual event that included a keynote address from William T. Cirone, CEO and President of Federal Companies. The Chamber’s Young Professionals Organization held a canned food drive to benefit the Friendship House and the Central Illinois tornado relief effort. Several community awards were also announced.  


    Mary Ardapple, Peoria Chamber Interim President, says this annual luncheon is a signature community event. “Each year, this event brings the entire community together to celebrate the many accomplishments the Greater Peoria region has to be thankful for. This event is not limited to the business community or Chamber members, everyone is welcome.”


    Today’s Chamber is grateful to embody community stewardship by leading with a strong voice for business that is inclusive and diverse, advocates to improve the quality of place, and is the community’s resource for leadership development.  


    Cirone’s speech reminded us that we need to give thanks to our community leaders, current and past, and remind ourselves to continue to be giving. Cirone further shared that, “We need to demonstrate to our global neighbors that our region showcases and uses all of its assets to promote growth and vitality.” The entire speech can be found here.


    Several awards presented at the luncheon honored individuals and organizations for their roles in growing and enhancing the Greater Peoria region.


    The Community Wealth Award is presented annually by the Greater Peoria Business Alliance and sponsored by CEFCU. This award recognizes a non-profit organization for its work in creating a brighter future for our region. The 2013 recipient was Greater Peoria Honor Flight.


    The Outstanding Small Business Awards, sponsored by Ameren Illinois, is presented annually to two businesses (based on # of employees) that have demonstrated stability, innovation, commitment to the community and the ability to overcome challenges. The 2013 recipients were:


                    PIP Printing and Marketing Services (1-25 employees)

                    Alliance Benefit Group (26-150 employees)

    The Athena Award, sponsored by Morgan Stanley, is an annual award presented to a woman who strives towards the highest levels of professional accomplishment, excels in her chosen field, and has devoted time and energy to her community in a meaningful way. The 2013 recipient was Susie Ketterer, Principal at Simantel.


    The Tom Connor Award, sponsored by WestPoint Financial, recognizes a person who has shown long term commitment to this region, someone who has put forth time and effort to make this a better place to live and work, someone who is dedicated to seeing this community succeed in every way possible. The 2013 recipient was Jay Vonachen, CEO of Vonachen Services.


    Photos of the award recipients will be available on the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce website and Facebook page.


    About the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce

    The Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization of area businesses, delivering value to its members by cultivating a thriving business community, presenting the united voice of local business to government, offering continuously upgraded products and services for business enhancement and providing strategic business advisory services.  Through the Chamber’s strategic plan, it is focused on being the leading voice for business in the region through political advocacy; inclusive and diverse in the approach to our work; an advocate to improve the quality of place in the region; and a  source for strong leadership development. 

    For more information, visit www.peoriachamber.org or call Rachel O’Connell at (309) 495-5974.