Business and professional briefs, June 15, 2014

Business and professional briefs, June 15, 2014

New jobs

Nate Evans Group adds three. Josh Hinkle, Kelly French-Strube and Stacy LaCour have joined the Nate Evans Group with Keller Williams Realty, Champaign, as sales partners. All three will focus on residential real estate.

Hinkle previously spent several years in sales at Coldwell Banker and Sullivan-Parkhill in Champaign.

French-Strube has 15 years of sales experience at Adams Outdoor Advertising, plus experience in commercial property management.

LaCour has several years of sales experience at WCIA-TV.

Hickory Point announces staff changes. Toni Delporte of Champaign has been promoted to vice president in the commercial banking division at Hickory Point Bank & Trust, and Kirk L. Harney and Ray Bliefnick have been added to the bank's staff.

Delporte also serves as secretary of the bank's senior loan committee.

Harney has joined the bank as vice president for corporate cash management. He will develop and implement cash management strategies for clients. He has more than 40 years of bank experience, including commercial cash management, business management, merchant services and innovative product strategies.

Bliefnick has been added to the bank's dealer services team. He will be the primary relationship manager for automobile, motorcycle and recreational dealership clients throughout central Illinois.

He has 30 years of sales and relationship management experience, including nearly 10 years working with automotive dealerships in central and eastern Illinois.


Changes made on Stevick Foundation board. John Hecker has succeeded Greg Cozad as chairman of the board of directors of the Marajen Stevick Foundation, owner of The News-Gazette Inc.

Hecker is a partner at Stipes Publishing, Champaign. Cozad, president and CEO of Cozad Asset Management, continues to serve on the board.

Tony Clements recently joined the board, replacing former Parkland College President Zelema Harris. Clements served as director of the University of Illinois Division of Campus Recreation from 1979 to 2009 and has served on the board of the United Way of Champaign County.

Broeren named to bank board. Stuart W. Broeren has been appointed to the board of directors of Hickory Point Bank & Trust.

Broeren is president and CEO of Broeren-Russo Construction, president of Broeren-Russo Builders of Florida and president of Prairie Steel Services, a subsidiary of Broeren-Russo Construction.

He has served two terms as president of the Central Illinois Builders Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America and has also served as a national director of the AGC of America. Broeren also served as a trustee on the International Association of Ironworkers' Health, Welfare and Pension Fund.

Two from Christopher & Co. earn designations. HeatherAnn Layman and Julie Luckenbill, both of Christopher & Co. in downtown Champaign, have earned professional designations after passing exams.

Layman earned the designation of Certified Sales Professional from Jewelers of America, and Luckenbill earned the designation of Certified Management Professional from Jewelers of America.

Layman is customer concierge and events manager at Christopher & Co., with an emphasis on the Gemshow Roundtables held there. Luckenbill is the firm's artisan studio manager and senior bench jeweler.

Agents named to Diamond Society. Jim Waller, Reggie Taylor, Paula Shurtz and Marty Carlson, all of Champaign, have earned membership in Coldwell Banker's International Diamond Society.

That level is achieved by only the top 11 percent of sales associates and representatives in Coldwell Banker's worldwide system.

All four are associated with Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell.

Mortenson opens China conference. Royal Mortenson opened the annual inFire Conference in Guangzhou, China, with a welcome speech and a presentation on "Meeting the Fire Service Challenge of the 21st Century through Training, Education, Research and Information."

Lian Ruan was co-chair for the conference planning committee and also made a presentation, "Supporting Dynamic Information Needs of Firefighter Instructors in the Digital Age."

Mortenson is director of the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute, and Ruan is head librarian for the institute's fire service-dedicated library.

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