Business and professional briefs, Nov. 24, 2013

Business and professional briefs, Nov. 24, 2013

New jobs

Loman-Ray Insurance adds three. Amy Fredrick of Camargo, Jeri Luth of Newman and Starr Wilhelm of Tolono have joined the staff of the Loman-Ray Insurance Group.

Fredrick and Luth joined the Villa Grove office. Fredrick has been in the insurance field for 10 years, and Luth has been in the financial field for 13 years. Both are fully licensed.

Wilhelm joined the Broadlands office and is licensed in property and casualty insurance. She has 24 years of insurance experience as a claims supervisor.

Houlihan's promotes one, hires one. David Moore has been promoted to assistant kitchen manager at Houlihan's Restaurant and Bar, Champaign. He has been with the restaurant since May 2012 as a line cook.

Bridgette Kellar has joined the Houlihan's staff as assistant front-of-house manager. She trained at the Culinary Institute of Le Cordon Bleu and has managed multiple restaurants.

Sweetland joins I Hotel staff. Sabra Sweetland has joined the sales team for the I Hotel and Conference Center, Champaign, as group sales coordinator.

She was previously front office manager for the Alys Beach Resort in Panama City Beach, Fla.

Sweetland is a 2011 graduate of Auburn University's Hotel and Restaurant Management Program.

Feller & Kuester adds Blanck. Lori Blanck has joined the office of Feller & Kuester CPAs, Champaign, as a receptionist/bookkeeper.

She will focus on bookkeeping, payroll services, sales and use tax returns, quarterly payroll reporting and Sage 50 software.

Blanck has several years of bookkeeping and payroll services experience.


Al-Qadi chosen as institute president. Imad Al-Qadi has been named the next president of the Transportation and Development Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

He plans to increase interaction between the institute and academia, industry and others involved in transportation. He also plans to focus on growing the institute's Younger Members Group.

The institute, formed in 2002, incorporates the society's former Air Transport Division, Highway Division, Urban Planning and Development Division, Urban Transportation Division and Automated People Movers Standards Committee.

Al-Qadi is director of the Illinois Center for Transportation, a partnership between the Illinois Department of Transportation and the University of Illinois.

Filkins receives award. Scott Filkins has received a 2013 James M. Britton Award for Inquiry Within the English Language Arts for his study, "Beyond Standardized Truth: Improving Teaching and Learning through Inquiry-Based Reading Assessment."

The award recognizes exemplary studies conducted by English language arts teachers of any grade level on any aspect of the inquirer's teaching.

Filkins was announced as the award winner at the 2013 annual convention of the National Council of Teachers of English in Boston.

He is English language arts and social studies curriculum coordinator for grades 6-12 in the Champaign school district.

Dowd cited as 'Habitat Hero.' Alex Dowd has been chosen as a 2013 Habitat Hero by Habitat for Humanity of Illinois.

He is treasurer of the University of Illinois Habitat for Humanity campus chapter. He has been recognized for outstanding service and leadership not only to the campus chapter but to the local affiliate as well.

Clapp applauded for safe driving. Richard L. Clapp of Villa Grove has been recognized by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association for 45 years of safe, accident-free driving of a commercial tractor-trailer.

Ten businesses lauded for water project. Ten businesses and organizations in Champaign, Coles and McLean counties were recently recognized by the Illinois Green Business Association and Illinois American Water for practices and policies that reduce water use.

They included: Ippatsu Salon, The IDEA Store and VE Websites, all of Champaign; Progressive Asset Management and the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, both of Urbana; Taylor Studios in Rantoul; the Charleston Chamber of Commerce in Charleston; the McLean County Chamber of Commerce in Bloomington; and the Ecology Action Center and Mueller, Reece and Hinch, both in Normal.

Legion recognizes Slot and Wing. Slot and Wing Hobbies, Champaign, has received American Legion Post 24's December certificate of appreciation for proper display of the U.S. flag. Two flags are displayed inside the business.


Avant retires from school district. Gloria Avant is retiring after 35 years of service to the Champaign school district.

A reception for her will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. today (Sunday, Nov. 24) at the Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center, 1401 E. Main St., U, with a program at 3 p.m.

Items for Business & Professional Briefs should be submitted to The News-Gazette for consideration at least 10 days prior to publication. Items may be emailed to; mailed to Business & Professional Briefs, c/o Don Dodson, The News-Gazette, P.O. Box 677, 15 Main St., Champaign, IL 61824-0677; or dropped off at the main office. Photos submitted with a self-addressed, stamped envelope will be returned.

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