(GREATER EGYPT) MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE COMMISSION
DECEMBER 8, 2015 The Annual meeting of the Commission convened on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 6:36 p.m. at the Rend Lake Resort and Conference Center in Whittington, Illinois.
Commission Members Present: Jason Ashmore, Cindy Humm (Franklin County); Don Gass (West Frankfort); Julie Peterson (Jackson County); Steve Damron, Steve Draege, Robert White (Jefferson County); Brian Otten, Sam Robb (Perry County); Eric Pflanz (Du Quoin); Robert Spencer (Pinckneyville); Jeffery Robinson (Williamson County); Steve Miller (Herrin); Robert Butler (Marion).
Commission Members Absent: Stephen Leek, Neil Hargis (Franklin County); Fred Kondritz (Benton); Robert Clodi (Rend Lake Conservancy District); Bill Alstat, Robert Hopkins, John Rendleman (Jackson County); Don Siefert (Kinkaid-Reeds Creek Conservancy District); Jeff Williams (Jefferson County); Mary Ellen Bechtel (Mt. Vernon); James Epplin, Fred Kelly (Perry County); Ron Ellis, Jim Marlo (Williamson County); Gary Bartolotti (Assembly of Local Governments).
Staff Present: Cary M. Minnis, Executive Director, Jenny Richardson, Administrator, and Margie Mitchell, Program Director.
Others Present: Mayor Steve Frattini, Herrin.
Call to Order Ms. Peterson, Chairperson, called the meeting to order at 6:36 p.m. It was determined that a quorum was physically present. The proceedings of the meeting were recorded.
Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Commission, Treasurer’s Report, and List of Bills Motion was made by Mr. Robinson and seconded by Mr. Damron, approving the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Commission of November 10, 2015, as received.All members present voted "AYE". Motion carried.
Motion was made by Mr. Robinson and seconded by Mr. Butler accepting the Financial Reportof November 30, 2015, as distributed.All members present voted "AYE". Motion carried.
Mr. Minnis noted the Commission received $58,688, the federal share of the MPO expenses since July, directly from Federal Highway Administration
Ms. Peterson noted that an addition needs to be made to the List of Bills to pay for the dinner this evening, about $1,200. The other bills are for NADO membership, and MPO Bills for the Herrin Downtown Study and the Bike Plan.
Motion made by Mr. Ashmore and seconded by Ms. Humm,authorizing the payment of expenditures over $500 on the List of Bills, including payment to the Rend Lake Resort and Conference Center for the annual dinner,as distributed. All members present voted "AYE". Motion carried.
Old Business - Administrative Nominating Committee Report Ms. Peterson noted the Nominating Committee had met and prepared a slate of officers for 2016. Mr. Marlo was nominated for Treasurer and declined the nomination. The Committee nominated Steve Leek, Franklin County, as Treasurer. The Committee also recommends that the At Large slot on the Executive Committee be eliminated. The slot was added several years ago because of an EDA requirement. This is no longer an EDA Requirement.
Motion was made by Mr. Ashmore and seconded by Mr. Gass to accept the slate of Commission
Officers for 2016 and they be elected by acclamation. All members present voted “AYE”. Motion carried.
The 2016 Officers are as follows:
Chairperson – Julie Peterson, Jackson County
First Vice-Chairman – Jeffery Robinson, Williamson County
Staff Program Report to the Commission Ms. Peterson noted in the staff report that a watershed presentation will be made at the Illinois Lake Management Association meeting in February. This sounds good. Mr. Minnis said staff is working on the presentation. She also asked about volunteers being needed to monitor various lakes in southern Illinois. She asked if Commission members could help solicit volunteers. Mr. Minnis said a list of lakes that need volunteers would be prepared and Commission member help would be appreciated. Data gathered did help Kinkaid Lake and Cedar Lake receive grants.
Motion was made by Mr. Damron and seconded by Mr. Butler accepting the Staff Program Report to the Commission of November, 2015, as received. All members present voted “AYE”. Motion carried.
New Business - Administrative None
New Business - Program None
Adjournment There being no further business, a motion was made by Mr. Robinson and seconded by Ms. Humm to adjourn the meeting. The meeting adjourned at 6:45 p.m.
Handouts November 2015 Financial Report
List of Bills
Memo Re: 2016 Slate of Officers
Copies of all background documents furnished to the Commission in connection with this meeting are on file in the office of Greater Egypt, Marion, Illinois. -2-
Present at Annual Dinner:
Commission Members: Jason Ashmore & Paige Ross, Cindy & Greg Humm (Franklin County); Don & Linda Gass (West Frankfort); Julie Peterson (Jackson County); Steve Damron, Steve & Cindy Draege, Robert White (Jefferson County); Brian & Becky Otten, Sam & Myrna Robb (Perry County); Eric Pflanz & Pat Rayfield (Du Quoin); Robert Spencer (Pinckneyville); Jeff & Tammy Robinson (Williamson County); Steve Miller (Herrin); Robert & Louetta Butler (Marion).
Others: Rep. Terri Bryant; Mayor Steve Frattini, Herrin; Gail West, City of Marion; Mayor Mary Jane Chelsey, Mt. Vernon.
Those receiving Awards: Marie DeLaney, Robert N. Brewer Family Foundation; Todd and Wendy Goodman, Timberline Fisheries; David & Rebecca Wallace, and Randy & Michelle Puckett; Wallace Electric.
Staff: Cary Minnis, Joe & Valeria Zdankiewicz; Beau Henson, Jenny Richardson, Margie Mitchell.
Cary Minnis, Executive Director, welcomed all to the Commission’s 54th Annual Dinner. Julie Peterson, Chairperson, gave the Invocation.
Dinner was served.
After dinner, Mr. Minnis introduced Chairperson, Julie Peterson, and Representative Terri Bryant. Cary recognized and thanked staff for their work.
He also recognized Robert White, Jefferson County Board Chairman; Herrin Mayor Frattini, Marion Mayor Butler, Mt. Vernon Mayor Chelsey, Pinckneyville Mayor Spencer, and Sesser Mayor Ashmore.
Mr. Minnis noted at the Commission business held before dinner and elected the officers for 2016. Officers for 2016 were introduced:
Chairperson – Julie Peterson, Jackson County
First Vice-Chairman – Jeffery Robinson, Williamson County
Second Vice-Chairman – Brian Otten, Perry County
Third Vice-Chairman – Cindy Humm, Franklin County
Fourth Vice-Chairman – Fred Kelly, Perry County
Secretary – Steve Damron, Jefferson County
Treasurer – Steve Leek, Franklin County
Mr. Minnis thanked the Commission members for their service during the year. The following Commission members were recognized for service on the Board: Don Gass for serving 5 years; Jeffery Robinson for service 15 years; and Eric Pflanz for serving 25 continuous years and 4 1/2 years after the Commission was established in 1961. He was a founding member. Thank you for your service and dedication. A lot has happened in the last 54 years.
The Commission presents annual awards each year at its annual dinner. There were several nominations and members discussed who should receive the awards this year.
The Meritorious Service Award was established by the Commission to recognize an institution, organization, or others for significant contributions and service to benefit the citizens of Southern Illinois. This year the Commission recognizes the Robert N. Brewer Family Foundation, Herrin. The Foundation was founded in 2001 after the passing of Bob Brewer. He was a local philanthropist and outstanding business executive, and always wanted to give back to the area he loved and the educational process. Since its inception the Foundation has awarded 638 scholarships to Marion and Herrin High School Graduates who have achieved a cumulative grade point average of “C” or better. The value of the scholarships awarded is over 7 million dollars. The scholarships reflect his commitment to education and to providing opportunities for students to grow, achieve, and succeed.
Mr. Minnis asked Marie DeLaney, President of the Foundation, to come forward and accept the award. Ms. DeLaney worked for Mr. Brewer for over 20 years and now is in charge of all Foundation business.
Ms. DeLaney accepted the award on behalf of the Foundation. Thanks for the great introduction. She is honored to receive the award. It has been 15 years since Mr. Brewer passed, this plaque remembers him and his community investment. Thank you very much for honoring the Foundation.
The Businesses/Industry Award recognizes an industry in the region which continues to contribute to the Region’s progress and economic growth. This year two firms were selected. One award goes to Timberline Fisheries Corporation.
The Top Bay, a pay fishing lake was created in 1973 located at North 7th Street in Marion. They charged for all the fish that were caught. It became evident that quality live bait to resell could not be easily found. Top Cat began to buy tackle and live bait in large quantities and sold to some to local bait supplies. In 1975 Ray and Sharon Goodman became the sole owners and changed the name to Timberline n Tackle. In 1976 they moved to their present location. In 1981 the name was changed and business incorporated as Timberline Fisheries Corporation. In 1994 preparation was begun to further expand the business by producing live crickets and mealworms, as well as related supplies. This was the beginning of Timberline become a producer. Since 1996 the company continued to expand its growing capability and employee numbers. In 2000 Ray and Sharon Goodman officially retired their daily roles and their son Todd Goodman took over the responsibility of continuing the Timberline growth. 2005 began the research portion of a project that would advance the feeder insect industry to a new level, the exclusive Vita-Bug feeder insect line. Launched in the feeder insect market place in 2013 Vita-Bugs are the only premium feeder insect offering and are exclusive to Timberline. Timberline has positioned themselves as the leading global supply of live food for exotic animals. 2014 was the 40th anniversary of Timberline. They have over 300,000 square feet of growing facility and 130 team members.
Mr. Minnis asked Todd Goodman, General Manager, to come forward to accept this Award.
Mr. Goodman thanked the Commission for the award. Most of their market is outside this area. The company has about a $4 million payroll, which adds to the economy of the area. They started as a bait company and changed to become a supplier for zoos and pet stores. They now ship out about 5,000# a week. Two truckloads were sent today that will be delivered in the morning. Less than ¼ of business is within 130-150 miles, remainder is nationwide and global. Our customers are away from here. We have 130-150 employees from all walks of life; some applicants come through the Brewer Foundation. He has a wife that is patient. He spends a lot of time on the road away from Illinois, but I love southern Illinois. When asks him what he does, he tells people he “grows bugs”. We appreciate the fact that we were recognized. Thanks again.
The second Business/Industry award this year goes to Wallace Electrical Systems in West Frankfort. The company is located in the West Frankfort Incubator. The company was founded in 2003 by David Wallace, President. The Company has grown from a very small operation, 2-4 employees to 67 employees, offering skilled and semi-skilled jobs in the Franklin County area. The company now leases nearly half of the 185,000 sq. ft. in the West Frankfort Business Incubator. The company is a manufacturer of electrical solutions in mining, petro chemical and industrial production sectors. They find high-tech solutions for age-old industry problems. The group designs, manufactures and distribute electrical products to heavy industrial market worldwide. His products are based on finding solution, or even taking an existing solution and tailoring it to fit the specific needs of the customer. This individualized business model allows David to take on jobs that most general companies won’t touch, therefore allowing him to access more potential customers.
Mr. Minnis asked David Wallace, President, to come forward and accept this Award.
Mr. Wallace said he very honored to receive this award. In 2002 he and his wife Rebecca left their careers in Virginia and decided to come back to West Frankfort. It was a huge challenge and risk. He has been fortunate to have a good partner, his wife. The company covers the U.S., but primarily in southern Illinois. They serve the coal mining and oil and gas industries. In some ways, they have enjoyed the curse of rapid growth. He spends a lot of time dedicated to the company to make it better. He spends time talking with youth to interest them in engineering. Again, thank you very much for the award.
Mr. Minnis noted that DRA has approved several grants for the West Frankfort Incubator for improvements. When DRA Chairman Massingill was recently in the area, he asked to tour the Incubator. He could not be there until late afternoon, so Mr. Wallace asked his staff to stay late and paid them overtime so DRA could see them at work. The visit was good and Mr. Massingill was very impressed with the work being done.
The drawing for the Centerpiece was held. The Centerpiece was won by Wendy Goodman, Timberline.
Mr. Minnis thanked everyone for coming and again congratulated the award winners. Have a safe trip driving home.
Mayor Ashmore noted we should thank Cary for all his work for the area.