May 2018  

President's Report

The other day I came across a parable that I had read years ago. As I read it over I immediately thought about our amazing chapter. 

 The Wise Woman
by Author Unknown

A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation.

The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime.

But, a few days later, he came back to return the stone to the wise woman. "I've been thinking," he said. "I know how valuable this stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me this stone."


This is exactly the culture we have and the culture we want to grow and maintain. We are a “sisterhood” of small business owners where our members and our potential members are willing to donate their time and expertise to help other women become more successful.  The story makes me think about what gems I have that I can offer to others and what I’m willing to give without hesitation.  We’ve all heard the statement about our material possessions, “We can’t take anything with us after life”.  But we can certainly leave something behind – lives guided by a wise minds and generous hearts.


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Calendar of Events

May 16, 2018


SPEAKER: Kevin Carter, Executive Director Peoria Area Labor Management/Tri County Construction Labor Management

We are always happy when Kevin agrees to speak to our Chapter.  This time is presentation will cover the Keys to Success.  Napoleon Hill wrote Think and Grow Rich in 1937. It is one of the best selling inspirational business books of all time. Dr. Hill had interviewed the 500 most successful people in America - DuPont, Carnegie, Edison, Firestone, Ford and others. From those interviews Dr. Hill was able to outline a philosophy, which is a valuable and important guide for anyone seeking personal and financial stability.

Keys to Success - The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement developed from that book, and have been studied by many of today's successful business people such as Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Donna Karan and Bill Gates.

When you put this philosophy into action, you will be able to achieve health, wealth and success.


June 20, 2018


Plus, Annual Report to Membership and Officer Installation

TOPIC: Emily's presentation is information gathered by the Gallup Organization on Optimizing Engagement in the workplace and how we need to adjust our behaviors to both earn and retain top talent employees.

SPEAKER: Emily Geerts, Branch Manager for PNC

BIOGRAPHY: Emily has been with PNC for 9 years managing the Washington location. Having worked Retail Management for 10+ years previously to PNC in the Chicago area, she has led teams of 40+ employees with her focus always being on employee hiring, retention, and coaching. She has a Bachelor's of Science Degree from Illinois State Univeristy with a minor in Business. In her 9 years at PNC Bank she has been recognized as a Market All-Star 5 times and most recently was the winner of the Great Gallup Workplace Manager of the Year.


MEETINGS: Our meetings are open to members and guests. Social/networking time begins at 5:30 pm and dinner begins at 6:00 pm with the program following. The Central IL Chapter of NAWBO® meets the 3rd Wednesday each month.

COST: $30 for members and $35 for non-members. 


  • You may pay at the time of registration or at the door.
  • Registration fee must be paid by the meeting date or a $5 monthly administration fee will be assessed.

MEETINGS: Our meetings are open to members and guests. Social/networking time begins at 5:30 pm and dinner begins at 6:00 pm with the program following. The Central IL Chapter of NAWBO® meets the 3rd Wednesday each month.

COST: $30 for members and $35 for non-members. 


  • You may pay at the time of registration or at the door.
  • Registration fee must be paid by the meeting date or a $5 monthly administration fee will be assessed.

LOCATION: Mt. Hawley Country Club, 7724 N Knoxville, Peoria, IL

PARKING: Free, valet parking is available

For more information, please contact  or call 309.692-2225 and leave a message.

JULY 18, 2018

Escape 60

Summer time is fun time.  We start with networking and dinner.  Then we will be going to a locked room with our fellow team members to play a game - there are several rooms to pick from.  Games are visually stimulating as well as intellectually challenging.  Your team will search a room for up to 60 minutes to solve whatever problem/situation that room presents!  After our adventure we can enjoy another glass of wine or beverage and discuss what we came up with!

COST: $30 for members and $35 for non-members. 


  • go to

 LOCATION: Escape 60, Studios on Sherian, 931 N Sheridan Rd, Peoria, IL 61606 

PARKING: On-street or parking lot

For more information, please contact  or call 309.692-2225 and leave a message.

Mark your calendars now so you never miss an Information and Libations meeting.  They happen the first Thursday of every month.  Starting time is 4 p.m.  Come to learn; stay and network.  Happening at Hearth in Peoria Heights.

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Pathways to Success

SEPTEMBER 20, 2018 a

Par-a-Dice in East Peoria

Cost: $70

Our 2018 Pathways to Success features Kim Hodus, a renowned international speaker followed by breakout sessions which are designed to cultivate ideas, discuss challenges and find solutions. In addition, this years conference starts with a networking and training session designed to help women start a conversation to advance
their career or business.

The Central Illinois Chapter of NAWBO and Women in Leadership of Central Illinois have combined to bring the widely recognized annual Pathways to Success Leadership Conference to Peoria and its surrounding communities. We share the common goal of educating and empowering women in business and in leadership positions.

Our Keynote Speaker, Kim Hodus, is the author of the award winning book Show Up, Be Bold, Play Big: 33 Strategies for Outrageous Success and Lasting Happiness, which was a 2013 Finalist for the Indie Next Generation Book Award of Excellence.  Her innovative ideas on communication and time management have been shared in a wide array of publications and have been cited on numerous national networks including ABC, CBS,  NBC and Fox. She will be presenting “Live, Laugh, Love, Lead.”
Our luncheon and keynote speaker will be followed by three breakout sessions (of which registrants can pick two to attend).  Our agenda is as follows:

10:00 - 11:30   Registration (Mimosas and Orange Juice Available)
10:15 - 11:00   Early Bird Networking Session facilitated by Cindy Byrd, Image Potential
11:00 - 11:30   Networking, Vendors and Silent Auction
11:30 - 1:00     Lunch and Keynote Speaker
1:00 - 1:15       Networking
1:15 - 2:15       Breakout Session #1
2:15 - 2:45       Networking, Snacks, Cash Bar, Vendors and Silent Auction
2:45 - 3:45       Breakout Session #2
3:45 - 4:00       Networking, Cash Bar, Vendors and Silent Auction
4:00                 Silent Auction Closes, Door Prizes, Closing Remarks

Come early and enjoy a mimosa while Cindy Byrd, Image Potential helps you understand the art of networking. 

Our breakout sessions include:
- Show Up and Move Up - Drive Your Own Career Progression  Presented by: Meghan Lundeen, Caterpillar
What does showing look like for you? Each leader has her own distinctive personality and strengths. What if you could be bold, and still represent yourself authentically. Come to learn 6 strategies for being sure the message you are sending is yours!
- Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History  Presented by Becky Rossman, Neighborhood House
There isn’t a single path to get to the glass ceiling. Following the rules won’t shatter it once you get there.  This session will help you find your voice, share your brand and empower you to be relentless on your quest for success.
- Show Up, Be Bold, Be Authentic  Presented by Dina Emser, Emser International Inc.
If you are not actively negotiating your own career, you might be behind. This doesn’t just mean negotiating salary - it’s about understanding succession planning and proactively positioning yourself to compete for your next two or three jobs. Learn strategies to drive your own career development and put yourself ahead of the competition for the job you really want!

If you are interested in having a display, being a sponsor, advertising in the conference brochure, supplying a silent auction item or buying a table of tickets, please contact Pat Drake at or call 309-691-1500.

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Welcome New Members

Neighboorhood House is a Pearl Sponsor of CI NAWBO's and we are pleased to welcome to our group, Becky Rossman, who is their President and CEO. Becky oversees a staff of 84, a budget of $2 million and nearly 30 different programs, including Meals on Wheels, Critters on Wheels and Preschool for All, as well as on and off-site location for before and after school care, a summer camp and a senior program.

Becky is very involved in the community through the District 50 School Board, Facilitates Board Development and Strategic Planning for Chuck Weaver’s Leaders Change Illinois, Rotary Peoria North, Advisory Committee for Methodist College’s Social Work program.  She is a recipient of the 25 Women in Leadership Award and 40 Under 40.

Even with her professional and community involvement, Rossman still places family above all else. She coaches two active children, instructing them in archery, volunteering with the Parent Teacher Organization at their school, and attending all of their games, concerts and other activities.

Welcome to Kelly Reardon of Xyngular.  Kelly is a Health and Wellness Coach Coach who helps her clients reach their health goals with energy, pain relief, wellness & weight loss. Promoting optimal health with plant based supplements. 

She was born and raised in Peoria, IL and is a graduate of Peoria High School.  She met her husband while in high school and they were married when Kelly was 21.  They have been married for 25 years and have a son who is 22 and a daughter who is 19.

Kelie loves learning new things. And, has taken a class at ICC just to learn something new or attend seminars. She won first place in printmaking at an ICC art show from a piece entered from her printmaking class. 

She tells us that every once in a while she'll do things on a whim, otherwise she's pretty much a planner. She loves being outside and being active - walking or biking in beautiful weather on the Rock Island trail.

She is currently employed with Peoria Public Schools as a Teacher Assistant for 11 years and work with children with special needs. Her kiddos are Deaf and Hard of Hearing with multiple disabilities. It is very challenging and rewarding. She has also been a Union Representative for Support Staff in Peoria Public Schools for the last 5 years with Local 6099.

Now that her children are older, she is enjoying more volunteering opportunities in the community through Junior League of Peoria having been a member for the past year. Through volunteering she has helped beautify 2 rooms at the Center for Prevention of Abuse as well as Common Place.

Kellie has a health and wellness business for the last 6 years I coach clients to reach goals through proper nutrition and supplementation based on their needs. Most clients come to her wanting help with energy, better sleep, decreasing pain/inflammation, and weight loss. Helping others is part of Kelly's nature.  She states, "It is very rewarding to change another's life and to help them succeed on their journey."

We welcome Joyce Day of Grow Your Green Family.  Joyce moved out west at 20 years old to pursue a degree in Geology/Environment & Natural Resources. She fell in love with the outdoors and developed many hobbies. After working in the Coal Bed Methane industry for 3 years as a consultant she moved back to Central Illinois to pursue her Master's Degree in Hydrogeology. In 2009 she began working in the landfill industry helping companies to manage the groundwater programs at their facilities. 

Becoming an instant mom in 2010 when she married her husband, she was forced to put her knowledge of natural health to practical use with her new family. This proved to be more of a challenge than anticipated :)  She launched Grow Your Green Family in 2016 to help show women how they can take small, simple steps at home to protect their health. More than that, she also works to help women re-think their health - it is more than just dieting, exercise, or achieving the unattainable goals dangled before us in magazines and commercials. She teaches classes about essential oils, natural health topics, green cleaning, and more.

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Member News

Congratulations to Jessica Ford and her family who welcomed Amelia June Ford to their family on March 5th, 2018 at 11:09 PM!

Big sister, Lyla May, holding Amelia.


CUTV News Radio, New York, Spotlights Cindy Byrd and Image Potential

Cindy Byrd was recently interviewed about her business by Jim Masters, one of the hosts of CUTV News Radio in New York.  The interview is available at the following link:


We got news that Rose Stanton fell and broke her ankle.  We have missed you, Rose, and wish you a very speedy recovery.  Here is picture of her new "shoe."

Yep, that's Rose's foot . . . we would recognize it anywhere. LOL 

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Cindy Byrd's Food for Thought

How Does Your Garden Grow?

By Cindy Byrd, Image Potential

Spring means many things to me, and most of all it means gardening season! I’m an avid gardener and look forward to time spent in my flower and vegetable gardens. Of course I feel closer to nature, and also closer to my mom who taught me most of what I know about gardening and is now tending gardens in heaven.  As a child I spent many hours in the garden with her, learning and experiencing what it means to give of yourself to something that not only feeds your family but also your soul.

Perhaps gardening naturally led her to teach me the nursery rhyme – “Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockle shells, and pretty maids all in a row.” People have interpreted many meanings and symbols behind the rhyme, mostly religious; but I like to think of a garden as symbolic of life’s purpose.  While Mary’s response sounds lovely, it makes me wonder how I would answer the question “How does your garden grow?” Am I tending my garden, my purpose, in ways that add value, meaning, and fulfilment or is my garden getting weedy, barren, or the opposite - overcrowded?  Do I have “pretty maids all in a row” or are things a little chaotic?

In my work, I help people discover and express their authenticity and examine whether they’re living their purpose and leading with integrity, which often involves waking people up to their truth. Self-examination and introspection are like gardening – they can help you grow in your purpose yet they can also be painful, like how I feel after a long day of digging, weeding, and transplanting! I know that all my hard work will yield beautiful results, but sometimes the process seems tedious and overwhelming.

It can be easy to let weeds build up or add too many plants to a small space in anxiousness to see quick results (wait, did I just say “too many plants”? – there’s no such thing!). Seriously, the same thing that can happen in a garden can happen in life, too.  Your mind can become weedy with distractions, negative thoughts, worries, and regrets – all of which pull you away from being present, focused, and living your purpose.  Without a clear purpose, you may tend to keep searching the garden centers of life for just the “right plant” and what you’re supposed to be doing with your life.  So you may overcrowd your time and mind with things that are not growing your garden in ways that truly feed the soul, saying “yes” to everything that comes along rather than selectively choosing what aligns with your purpose.

Not that long ago, my garden and my life were a hodgepodge, with no real design that emerged for either until I spent more time in self-examination, reflection, and introspection, until I articulated a clear vision and purpose. From there, my garden and my life took shape.  I became the director of both and chose to orchestrate how to live my purpose and feed my soul.  Interestingly, when my home was on the local garden walk two years ago, many people commented that they came away with a stronger sense of who I am because they saw it reflected in my garden.  It was powerful to hear that, to say the least!  Just like my garden, however, I’m a work in progress and always will be.  I will continue to ask myself “How does your garden grow?” and I encourage you to do the same.



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NAWBO Happenings

This Monday several of our members will go to Manual High School to share Dream, Girl with the AVID class.  This group is 25 strong and we were given this opportunity thanks to Dawn Jeffries, Merrill Lynch, who coordinated it.  Heather Shumacher and Dawn are also working to provide food for the group as they will miss one of their classes and their lunch time in order to see this film. 

Jaci Peters has donated a day as a Page for Illinois Senator, Chuck Weaver, to be given to one of the attendees.  How awesome is that?

We are excited about this opportunity to share with these young ladies and very appreciative of Dawn, Heather and Jaci for making this a standout event!

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