An update on business happenings in East Central Illinois:
RK Dixon acquired by Xerox subsidiary
DAVENPORT, Iowa — RK Dixon, which has seven offices in Iowa and Illinois, including one in Champaign, has been acquired by Global Imaging Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Xerox.
RK Dixon will immediately add Xerox's full range of office and printing technology and managed print services to its portfolio. Bryan Dixon will remain RK Dixon's president and CEO, according to a release from Global Imaging Systems.
In a letter to RK Dixon customers, Dixon said: "We're not changing our name. We're not changing our people. We simply want to leverage the success of RK Dixon as a new distribution channel for Xerox products."
Later in the letter, he added: "All of our office locations will remain as they are today, no new numbers or addresses to change."
RK Dixon has been in business for 29 years and will continue to provide customer support for Canon, Lanier and other brands of products it offers, the firm said.
The RK Dixon office in Champaign is at 806 Parkland Court, Suite 2. The company also has Illinois offices in Peoria, Bloomington, Springfield and Rockford, as well as Iowa offices in Davenport and Cedar Rapids.
Bard Optical giving glasses to students
CHAMPAIGN — Bard Optical is celebrating 70 years in business by donating up to 70 pairs of glasses to public school students in each community it serves.
Under a program that begins Monday, the company will work with the Champaign and Urbana school districts to identify eligible students needing glasses.
To be eligible, students must be 13 years old or younger, and their families must have no private optical insurance benefits for glasses.
Each student will be provided with a voucher for one pair of free glasses. Once the voucher is provided, an appointment will be scheduled to provide the student with glasses as soon as possible.
If the student does not already have a current prescription or access to a free eye examination from private insurance or other benefits from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Bard Optical will also provide the eye exam at no charge.
Frames covered by the voucher will be from a special selection, and the lenses will be made of polycarbonate, according to a release from the company.
The local office of Bard Optical is at 907 W. Marketview Drive, C. The Peoria-based company has 18 other offices in central Illinois. More information about the program can be found at http://www.bardoptical.com.
UI licenses IRIS service to Cazoodle
URBANA — The University of Illinois has signed a licensing agreement with Champaign-based Cazoodle to improve the features of the Illinois Researcher Information Service.
That service — a unit of the UI Library since 1994 — offers Web-based funding and research services to the UI community free of charge and to other academic institutions for an annual subscription fee. IRIS features more than 10,000 research funding opportunities from federal agencies and private foundations.
Cazoodle will begin development on the IRIS search engine this month, and an enhanced version of the grant-search platform is scheduled to launch in May.
In the meantime, an alpha-version is planned for February, with a beta-version to follow in April. Both early releases will be available to existing IRIS users.
Cazoodle also plans to provide new features, including a personalized search interface and subscription options for individual researchers.
IRIS users can expect a new name and logo for the search engine in coming months, according to a release from the UI Library.
Spinlight Studios adds apps for kids
CHAMPAIGN — Spinlight Studio in Champaign, which released six Web applications for kids in 2011, is bringing some of those apps to the Android platform.
Last year Spinlight introduced "Swapsies," "TallyTots," "AlphaTots, "TableTots" and "Yodel-Oh!" — many of those apps targeted for young children.
Its newest title is "Operation Math," aimed at ages 5 to 12. Using an action-based spy theme, it invites kids on an international quest to defeat the evil Dr. Odd by going on 105 skill-based missions. Each mission gives them 60 seconds to solve equations that involve addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
"Operation Math" is available in the iTunes App store for $2.99 on iPad and $1.99 on the iPhone/iPod Touch.
Spinlight, an advertising agency since 2000, moved into apps in 2010 and met with success last year. "TallyTots" shot onto the daily Top 100 of all apps selling on the iPad, reaching No. 80 last March. Two months later, "AlphaTots" reached No. 45, according to the company.
This year, Spinlight is releasing "AlphaTots," "TallyTots" and "TableTots" for Android.
All three are aimed at pre-schoolers and are available on Android Marketplace and Amazon Appstore for Android for $1.99 each.
Frasca simulators headed overseas
URBANA — Frasca International announced this week that it will furnish flight-training devices to the German federal police and the Korean forest service.
The Urbana-based flight simulator manufacturer said it contracted with the NATO Maintenance & Supply Agency to deliver flight-training devices to the German federal police for two kinds of helicopters and to upgrade an existing training device.
The company also noted that the Korea Forest Service recently completed acceptance of a helicopter flight-training device built by Frasca.
Midland adds correspondent banking
EFFINGHAM — Midland States Bank has launched a correspondent banking program, specializing in participation loans, holding company financing and executive and director loans.
The new program will be led by two correspondent relationship managers — Rodney Walker, manager of the central Illinois area, and Christine Uram, manager of the northern Illinois. Walker is based in Midland States' Champaign office, and Uram is based in the Joliet office.
Midland States, headquartered in Effingham, has 28 offices in Illinois and one in Missouri. As of Dec. 31, 2011, the bank had total assets of $1.5 billion.