Business and professional briefs May 19, 2013

New jobs

Two join Kesler law practice. Nancy L. Livingston and Andrew C. Mudd have joined the Law Firm of Kesler, Nelson, Garman, Brougher & Townsley, with offices in Danville and Hoopeston.

Livingston's cases will include family, real estate, estate planning and criminal law. She will also work as a divorce mediator.

Livingston has served as an assistant public defender in Champaign and Vermilion counties and as an assistant state's attorney in Coles, Iroquois and Vermilion counties.

She also served in the U.S. Army Reserve for 17 years as a legal noncommissioned officer and as a nuclear biological and chemical operations noncommissioned officer.

Mudd's cases will include criminal law, civil litigation and family law.

He received his law degree from John Marshall Law School and was selected to study international criminal and human rights law at the Universitat Luzern in Switzerland.

Accounting firm hires two. Cody Marsh and Jehan Abbedelal have joined the Danville office of the CliftonLarsonAllen certified public accounting and consulting firm as associates.

Gilman affiliates with McDonald Group. John Gilman has joined The McDonald Group, Champaign, as a licensed sales broker.

He will specialize in residential real estate, working with both buyers and sellers.

Gilman has 20 years of experience as an insurance agent in central Illinois.

Tri Star promotes three. Curtis E. Chaney, Brian Wente and Ryan Moran have received promotions at Tri Star Marketing, Champaign.

Chaney was promoted to vice president, chief operating officer. He has been with the company for 12 years and was previously vice president, retail operations and marketing.

Wente was promoted to vice president, retail operations. He has been with Tri Star for 12 years and was most recently director of marketing.

Moran was promoted to marketing manager. He has been with the company for five years and was previously category manager.

Tri Star Marketing operates the Super Pantry chain with 54 convenience stores across Illinois and Indiana.

First Bank names vice presidents. Erich Franklin, Jason Huddlestun,Ben Syfert and Brian Stolz have been named vice presidents at First Bank & Trust.

Franklin was previously assistant vice president in commercial lending in Champaign.

Huddlestun, Syfert and Stolz were previously assistant presidents in agricultural and commercial lending at the bank's home office in Paris.

Martin joins LDI Inc. Former Champaign resident John Martin has joined Indianapolis-based LDI Ltd. as manager, business unit strategy and performance.

Martin, son of Mike and Sharon Martin of Champaign, recently received a master's degree in business administration from Indiana University.

He was one of three finalists for the Distinguished Professional Award as selected by class members and was recognized for academic excellence.

LDI Ltd. is a family-owned company with holdings in value-added distribution and logistics.

Carle adds two professionals. Rehema Kasasa and Lisa Gibbs have joined the staff of Carle.

Kasasa is a certified registered nurse anesthetist in anesthesiology. She received a master's of nursing in nurse anesthesia from Texas Wesleyan University, Fort Worth.

Gibbs is an audiologist who will practice at Carle — Danville on Vermilion. She earned a doctoral degree in audiology from Salus University, Elkins Park, Pa.

Prairie State hires Cross. Kevin Cross has been named customer service representative for Prairie State Bank & Trust, Champaign.

A recent University of Illinois graduate, he will handle new and existing accounts.

Kuchenbrod joins whiskerDocs. Dr. Ellen Kuchenbrod of Tolono has been named director of clinical operations at whiskerDocs, a round-the-clock, ask-a-veterinarian help line to provide guidance and support to those with pets.

Kuchenbrod, a veterinarian and certified veterinary acupuncturist, writes educational articles for "My Pet Corner" on the whiskerDocs website and oversees and manages veterinarians who interact with those with pets.

Kuchenbrod retired from Good Friends Animal Hospital, Urbana, at the end of 2012 after nearly 30 years.

WhiskerDocs, based in Skokie, offers advice by phone and chat in addition to email.

Achievements

Ruesch qualifies for conference. Walt Ruesch, an Edward Jones financial adviser in Champaign, has qualified for the company's 2013 Financial Adviser Leaders Conference.

Of the firm's nearly 12,000 financial advisers, only 793 qualified for the conference in St. Louis.

Ruggieri hosts podcast series. Alex Ruggieri has been named producer and host of NAR Commercial's yearlong commercial Realtor podcast series.

The series is expected to include 23 podcasts on http://www.realtor.org.

NAR Commercial represents more than 70,000 commercial-focused members of the National Association of Realtors and another 230,000 residential members who conduct commercial transactions.

Ruggieri is affiliated with Sperry Van Ness / Ramshaw Real Estate, Champaign.

Budigs honored as humanitarians. Gene Budig and his wife, Gretchen Budig, recently received the Dole Humanitarian Award from Kansas University's Department of Special Education.

Gene Budig was chancellor at Kansas University from 1981 to 1994, when he left to become president of Major League Baseball's American League.

Budig is chairman of the board of directors for The News-Gazette Inc.

The Dole Humanitarian Award honors people connected to Kansas who have improved the lives of people with disabilities and their families. The Budigs endowed the Budig Teaching Professorship in Special Education.

Childress receives award. Tina Childress of Champaign has been named first-place winner in the practitioner category of the 2013 Oticon Focus on People Awards.

The awards are a national competition recognizing those who help eliminate negative stereotypes of what it means to have a hearing loss.

She and other winners will be honored at an awards center at Oticon Inc.'s U.S. headquarters.

Childress is an educational audiologist who works for Central Affiliation for Special Education (CASE) Audiology in Champaign and Illinois School for the Deaf in Jacksonville.

She has designated the Urbana school district as her choice for a $1,000 donation from Oticon. She has earmarked the donation for specialized equipment used with children with hearing loss.

Oticon said of Childress: "She uses her Internet savvy to expand access to ... online support available to people with hearing loss through her blog, 'Getting From There to Hear,' and her popular 'App List for Kids (and Adults) with Hearing Loss.'"

Barrett finalist for book award. Jerry Barrett, author and illustrator of "Wide Mouth Frog Goes to the Zoo," is a finalist in the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards competition for independent authors and publishers.

Barrett, an Urbana resident, will receive his finalist medal in the children's picture book category during a May 29 reception at BookExpo America in New York.

The book was published by Sunnycrest Press, Urbana.

School earns certification. Carrie Busey Elementary School, Savoy, has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification from the U.S. Green Building Council at the Gold level.

The $18 million project, completed in 2012, resulted in a 63,000-square-foot school with geothermal heating and cooling and high-efficiency fixtures and lighting.

LEED certification at the Gold level means school energy use is 55 percent better than state-mandated code and recycled materials account for 23 percent of the total cost of building products used to construct the school.

The building was designed by Cannon Design and Bailey Edward Architects.

Soucie named partner. Miranda L. Soucie has been named the newest partner of Spiros Law, with offices in Champaign, Danville and Kankakee.

Soucie, who joined the firm in 2010, serves on the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association's legislative committee and on the executive board of the East Central Illinois Women Attorneys Association.

The announcement was made by partners James D. Spiros and Sandra K. Loeb.

CERL honors Suits. Melissa Suits of Penfield has received the Administrative Support Achievement Award from the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, Champaign.

She was recognized for knowledge, initiative, reliability, efficiency, interpersonal skills and a commitment to customer service.

Team wins center award. A four-person team from the Champaign-based Construction Engineering Research Laboratory has won the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center's Award for Outstanding Achievement in Human Capital Development.

The team consisted of Jeffrey Burkhalter of Mahomet, Michelle Swearingen of Tuscola, Paul Loechl of Champaign and Richard Marlatt of St. Joseph.

Their work helped improve the recruitment and integration of well-qualified candidates into the center while encouraging participation in leadership development.

Nelson releases second book. Douglas Nelson has released his second book, "The Mystery of Pain," published by Singing Dragon, an imprint of Jessica Kingsley Publishers in London.

The book explores the science of pain and pain mechanisms, with the premise that the deeper one understands pain, the more power one has to affect it positively.

The book is written for the lay public. Excerpts have appeared in magazines and newspapers throughout England.

Nelson is president of BodyWork Associates, Champaign.

Cler named to 100 Percent Club. Phyllis Cler has been awarded membership in the Re/Max 100 Percent Club.

She is a broker with Re/Max Realty Associates, Champaign.

Smith saluted for 35 years. Connie Smith of Ivesdale was recently honored for 35 years of service to the Developmental Services Center, Champaign.

She began work at the center as a workshop aide on June 1, 1978. Since then, Smith has worked in employment services and has had the classification of production crew leader II since March 2012.

Three area firms cited for support. Buffalo Wild Wings, Savoy, and Carle Foundation Hospital and Central Illinois Bank, both in Urbana, were among 75 Illinois businesses nominated for the 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The award is the highest recognition given to employers who support employees who are members of the National Guard and Reserve.

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