Kempen joins First Financial. John N. Kempen of Mahomet has joined First Financial Bank as senior commercial lending executive for the bank's Western Illinois Region.
That region includes Champaign, Vermilion, McLean and Livingston counties. Kempen will work from the office at 1205 S. Neil St., C.
Kempen has 26 years of commercial lending experience and has served as a senior credit officer and senior lender. The past 12 years, he has been affiliated with financial institutions in Champaign, most recently as corporate senior vice president/commercial relationship manager of First Midwest Bank.
Fire department promotes three. John E. Koller, David A. Boberg and Larry E. Happ have received promotions at the Champaign Fire Department.
Koller was promoted to fire marshal. He manages the Life Safety Division, serves as chief fire investigator and is on the city emergency management team that reports to the Champaign County Emergency Management Agency.
Boberg was promoted to captain after serving as a lieutenant since 1994. He was hired in 1986 and was named Exchange Club Firefighter of the Year in 2002 for his role in the rescue of three people from a house fire, two of whom survived.
Happ was promoted to building safety supervisor. He oversees the building safety section of the Life Safety Division and is the damage assessment coordinator for the city emergency management team. Happ joined the city in 1986 as a building inspector and was promoted to plans reviewer in 1988.
Three join Re/Max Realty Associates. Molly A. Jones, Rebecca Stone and Jane Bernthal have joined Re/Max Realty Associates.
Stone is a sales partner with Molly A. Jones and Associates, and Bernthal is a Re/Max sales associate.
Shelby Motors adds Johnson. Scott Johnson Jr. has joined the staff of Shelby Motors, Champaign.
His father, Scott Johnson, began work for the dealership in 1974, eventually becoming service manager and general manager. He died in March 2007.
Johnson Jr. studied criminal justice at Parkland College and worked at Little Hearts and Hands Day Care for four years.
Holdren appointed mortgage originator. Jason Holdren of Savoy has joined Busey Bank as a mortgage originator for Champaign and Ford counties. He was previously an assistant branch manager in Urbana and was formerly a licensed real estate broker and salesperson.
Institute hires Kesler. Richard Kesler has joined the staff of the Illinois Fire Service Institute, Champaign.
As a research scientist, he will focus on biomechanics studies of firefighter gait and balance and will support biomechanics analyses of cardiovascular function changes due to firefighting.
Kesler received a bachelor's degree in bioengineering from the University of Illinois in 2011 and expects to complete a master's degree in the same field in May. While working toward the bachelor's degree, he co-founded Bump (initially Illini Prosthetic Technologies), a nonprofit organization committed to developing low-cost prosthetic devices.
Carle adds two doctors. Dr. Jeremy Henrichs and Dr. Wael Youssef have joined the Carle medical staff.
Henrichs joined the sports medicine department at the Carle North Annex on West Anthony Drive in Urbana.
He earned his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He completed his primary care sports medicine fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh and his residency at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center, Spartanburg, S.C.
Youssef, a gastroenterologist, joined the Carle Digestive Health Center at the main campus in Urbana.
He earned a medical degree from Cairo University Hospitals in Egypt and is certified in gastroenterology by the American Board of Medical Specialties. He served fellowships at Henry Ford Health System, De-troit, and Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, where he completed a residency.
Crull, Norton join park district. Abby Crull and Chelsea Norton have joined the Champaign Park District staff.
Crull is the Douglass Park program coordinator. She will plan community events and programs for the park.
Norton is the marketing coordinator. She will work with media outlets and Adopt-A-Park participants.
Andujo named presiding elder. Pastor Julio Andujo was recently elevated to presiding elder of the Los Angeles District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church.
Andujo, who grew up in Champaign-Urbana, serves the Hays Tabernacle CME Church in Los Angeles.
He is also regional coordinator and chairman of the Joint Board of Finance for the church's Southern California Region.
In 2011, he was appointed as the 9th Episcopal District delegate to the World Methodist Council in Durban, South Africa.
Andujo attended Leal Elementary in Urbana and Edison Middle School and Central High School, both in Champaign.
He graduated from the University of Illinois and received a master's degree in divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in 1998.
Among the churches Andujo has served is Carter Metropolitan CME Church in Danville.
He and his wife, Patricia Lynn Andujo, live in Carson, Calif.
Bidner wins national honor. Brent Bidner of Monticello has been named the 2012 Professional Farm Manager of the Year by Syngenta, AgProfessional magazine and the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.
Bidner is an accredited farm manager and vice president of Hertz Farm Management. In his 24th year with Hertz, he manages more than 18,000 acres in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Colorado.
To honor Bidner for his achievement, Syngenta made a $1,000 donation in his name to the 4-H Memorial Camp in Monticello.
Convention bureau wins state award. The Champaign County Convention and Visitors Bureau recently won the Best Tourism Marketing Campaign Award during the 2013 Illinois Governor's Conference on Tourism.
The award was given for the bureau's new branding campaign, which included new ads, sell sheets and brochures and a shift in social media strategies.
Terri Reifsteck, the bureau's marketing and business development director, wrote, designed and implemented the campaign.
As a result of the targeted marketing campaign, Champaign County has seen a boost in website traffic (from 22,000 unique visits per quarter to 36,000) and a stronger following on social media (a 115 percent increase in Facebook fans and a 63 percent increase in Twitter followers).
Champaign County's international market grew from 30 groups with 2,800 visitors in 2011 to 36 groups with 3,358 visitors in 2012.
Foth collects merit award. Foth Infrastructure & Environment of Champaign received a merit award for its project, "Boneyard Creek Improvements — Phase Two," in a competition sponsored by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois.
The project, designed for the city of Champaign, solved flooding issues from downtown to Campustown in Champaign and provided recreational and transportation enhancements.
This marked the 42nd year for the annual Engineering Excellence Awards Competition.
Leonard cited for advocacy. Mark Leonard recently received the 2013 National Advocacy Award from the Association of Public Television Stations for exceptional efforts in furthering public television's legislative goals.
Leonard is general manager of Illinois Public Media.
In a release, the association's president, Patrick Butler, said Leonard was committed to mobilizing grass-roots supporters through the 170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting campaign.
"We worked very hard to get out the message regarding threats to public media funding," Leonard said, "but the real work was done by the users of our service who came so strongly to our defense."
Westville High salutes three. Three people have been selected as the inaugural inductees in the Westville Wall of Fame, according to a release from Westville High School.
Jeffrey D. Cooke, Dr. Frank L. Lesko and Albert Lee Miglin will be honored at the annual alumni banquet June 8.
Cooke, from the Class of 1979, is an astrophysicist whose techniques and methods of analysis have increased the understanding of galaxy formation. He also pioneered a new technique to detect supernovas.
Lesko, a physician from the Class of 1938, served as a captain in the Army. While stationed in Japan, he led a team of eight soldiers up Mount Fuji to rescue an injured soldier. He was also a pioneer in the use of nuclear medicine in central Illinois.
Miglin, from the Class of 1941, became involved in real estate development and rose to vice president with Arthur Rubloff & Co. in Chicago. In 1982, he formed his own development company with partner J. Paul Beitler and became a giant in Chicago real estate development.
Buchanan hosts Boucek. Dr. Charles Buchanan at Christie Clinic in Mahomet is one of eight family physicians hosting students this month from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine's Family Medicine Preceptorship Program.
Buchanan is host to Lisa Boucek, daughter of Robert and Sue Boucek of Champaign.
The preceptorship experience provides students an opportunity to use their medical knowledge in an office setting under the supervision of an experienced physician.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; 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.