Business and professional briefs, July 13, 2014

Business and professional briefs, July 13, 2014

New jobs

Three take new roles. Adrian Melendez, Ray Manselle and Mike Aquino have been appointed to new positions, according to I Operations LLC, the management company operating the I Hotel and Conference Center, Champaign.

Melendez had added the title of operations general manager to his duties. He has been the conference center director since 2012 and will now serve the entire facility. Before joining the conference center staff, he was operations manager for the University of Illinois football team.

Manselle has been named repair and maintenance supervisor. He joined the company in November and has an extensive background in construction and property maintenance.

Aquino has been named general manager of Houlihan's Restaurant + Bar. He joined the facility as a conference attendant in November 2011 and was transferred to Houlihan's, where he has been front-of-house manager and kitchen manager.

Four promoted to supervisors. Dae Kang, Deanna Kuester, Anthony Pendleton and Robert Warth have been promoted to supervisor positions at Martin, Hood, Friese & Associates, Champaign.

Kang has been with the firm since 2002 and works in the tax department.

Kuester has been in the audit department since 2010.

Pendleton joined the firm in 2008 and works in both the audit and accounting services departments.

Warth joined the company in 2006 and specializes in accounting services and tax.

Spherion adds two to staff. Kim Pillischafske and Sherice Lotts have joined the staff of Spherion Staffing Services, Savoy.

Pillischafske is a direct hire recruiter. She will work with local companies to recruit and secure talent. She previously worked as a technical recruiter at Wolfram Research, Champaign, where she recruited for programming, analyst and support positions. Before that, she was human resource coordinator at Pearson.

Lotts is a staffing associate. She will manage the new employee onboarding process. She was formerly an office manager at Heartland Dental, Champaign, where she was responsible for customer service and new employee training.

Sempsrott named account manager. Megan Sempsrott has been appointed an account manager at Area-Wide Technologies.

She will focus on managed services, data security, computer hardware and software sales. Her territory will be Illinois and Indiana.

Sempsrott has more than 10 years of experience in business-to-business sales.

Founded in 1999, Area-Wide Technologies is a provider of technology services, products and solutions.


Attorneys' Title marks 50 years. Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund, a family of companies offering services to lawyers in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

The company serves more than 4,000 lawyers, produces more than $100 million in annual revenue and will issue its 3 millionth title insurance policy this year.

The organization was founded in 1964 as a result of efforts by Urbana attorney Stanley Balbach and his law partners Richard Thies and Charles Webber.

Ward McDonald, who served as CEO from 1970 to 1983, is credited as the person most responsible for bringing ATG from a concept into a thriving business.

"Many of our members and a high percentage of our staff and board of directors have been with ATG for more than 20 years," said Peter Birnbaum, who joined the company in 1981 and has been CEO since 1991.

Adviser receives award. Mark Thies has received the Frank Finnegan Award from the Edward Jones financial services firm for exceptional achievement in building client relationships.

He is an Edward Jones financial adviser in Champaign.

Cancer program earns accreditation. The cancer program at Presence United Samaritans Medical Center, Danville, has received three-year accreditation with commendation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.

To earn accreditation, a cancer program must meet 34 quality care standards, be evaluated every three years and maintain levels of excellence. The accreditation with commendation is given only to facilities that exceed standard requirements.

Busey takes social media honors. Busey Bank, Champaign, has been named one of the "Top 50 Community Bank Leaders in Social Media" by the Independent Community Bankers of America.

This is the second year the list has been compiled.

Busey was chosen based on engagement with nearly 14,000 fans and followers: content distributed on social media platforms; and frequency of posting new content.

Nearly 6,500 community banks were eligible to participate. The only other Illinois-based bank on the list was Chicago-based MB Financial Bank.

Also making the list were Greensburg, Ind.-based MainSource Bank, which has area offices in Hoopeston and Watseka; and Woodlands, Texas-based Woodforest National Bank, which has area offices in Wal-Mart stores in Champaign, Urbana, Rantoul, Danville and Mattoon.

Lake Land cited in study. Lake Land College, Mattoon, was recently recognized by the national online publication CNN Money as one of the nation's 100 best community colleges in preparing students for graduation.

Lake Land College's 54 percent success rate is also in the top 25 in the state, tied for seventh.

The study, conducted by a joint venture between CNN Money and College Measures, is based on the success rate of graduating students within three years or students transferring to a four-year university.

Associates commended for client service. Edward Jones financial adviser Walt Ruesch and senior branch office administrators Deb Copher and Julie Lowry were recently honored by the company for client service excellence.

Copher and Lowry work at the branch office of Walt and John Ruesch in Champaign.


Sodemann to retire from Fehr Graham. Steve Sodemann will retire July 31 as branch manager of the Fehr Graham engineering and environmental office in Champaign.

He has been branch manager of the office since Fehr Graham acquired Sodemann & Associates in January 2013.

Sodemann and Associates was founded by his father, George Sodemann. In 1983, Steve Sodemann was named the firm's division manager for land development projects, specializing in large-scale military housing projects throughout the U.S.

In 1989, Steve Sodemann moved to Florida and later became the transportation planning manager for the Lee County (Fla.) Department of Transportation. In 1999, he returned to Champaign and became vice president of operations at Sodemann & Associates. Nine years later, he bought the firm from his father.

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