August 2017  

President's Report

On behalf of the newly inducted board and myself, I want to thank you for the opportunity to serve you in the upcoming year!   This month our board will gather to create our strategic plan for the upcoming year. We know we have a fabulous foundation which was created by our predecessors.  Our board is anxious to listen to what you want and are committed to supporting and developing a strong initiative.

We had a strong and exciting start to our year with our annual Fun in the Sun Event in July. This year we gathered at Luthy Botanical Garden in Peoria and under the shade of majestic trees, learned about each other, shared laughs, met guests and ate a picnic dinner catered by Hy-Vee.  Everyone had a wonderful evening despite the heat and humidity.  Special thanks to our devoted Rose Stanton who planned this event and Pat Drake who assisted.  It was an amazing and fun evening!

We have now hosted 4 Information and Libation Events and will have our 5th event this coming Thursday, August 3rd when Michelle Rouland will present information on “Brain Development Through the Life Cycle! " It was enlightening learning more about how our brains work and listening to our energetic Michelle! Last month Susie Platt, shared information we all need to know about concerning home health services.  She did an outstanding job both presenting information and answering a ton of questions that followed.  As past president, Michelle will continue to plan and organize these monthly events and continue the success we have enjoyed so far.

Our wonderful Program Chair, Carol Hayse has a full list of wonderful programming for our regular monthly meetings and the topics promise to be varied and informative. I am so looking forward to our August meeting on the 16th when we will have the opportunity to learn about “Content Marketing” a new strategy using inbound methodology.  I’m sure everyone will leave the meeting with new ideas on how to market their business.

Hope to see you all soon!!!!

Liz Pollack, President

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Welcome New Members

NAWBO welcomes new member Colleen McMahon-Ingraham. Colleen is the owner of McMahon Group which is a small business consulting firm.  Passionate about the small entrepreneur and all stages of that evolution, the McMahon Group enjoys being an experienced recourse for bookkeeping, payroll, HR, staffing, strategy, compliance, CPR liaison and all aspects of the challenges and triumphs of making a small business dream a reality.

Colleen has five children, many of which are entrepreneurs as well: Mathew, Tyler, Cameron, Hannah and Mark.  And, she has a granddaughter, Evelyn.

Along with the attention to her businesses, Colleen enjoys spending time with family, gardening, good food, horses & dogs.

She is the current president of BNI Peoria Power, Founder of the first Illinois Chapter of The FMMA, active with St. Jude and local community events.  Her restaurant, Pints and Plates in Washington, IL has received numerous awards, but she considers those for her team, not herself individually.   

As far as education goes, Colleen says she “went to the school of life and fabulous mentors.”  She is the daughter of a hard-working entrepreneur and did not take the traditional college path.  As many entrepreneurs, she chose to jump in on her own and has been blessed with fabulous teachers and mentors along the way.  Her experience is what brought her to consulting as she feels fortunate to have the ability to pass along the guidance she has received and has learned along the way. Colleen says, “I owe it to the spirited entrepreneurs out there to pay it forward.”

This month we welcomed two new Corporate Partners - Rebecca "Becka" Richardson from 50 Plus News and Views and Denise Jacobus from Kuhl Insurance.

Becka is the sales and marketing manager for 50 Plus News and Views a monthly publication dedicated to adults 50 and over with 125,000 readers in the Central IL and Bloomington regions. She focuses on B2B marketing for the publication while helping advertisers with B2C.

She has over a decade of branding and marketing experience and utilizes her knowledge to assist her clients with campaign development and content marketing generation.

Denise has been at Kuhl Company for over 12 years finding new customers, building an insurance programs for each client and most importantly, letting them know where their exposures are and what they can't insure although they can minimize their losses by putting the right policies and procedures in place. 

Denise is married and has 3 daughters, 2 stepsons and 1 step daughter as well as 13 grandkids!  My husband, Chet and I live in East Peoria.  Radio was my first career where I did everything from selling on air for a Tradio show, to writing commercials and finally as General Sales manager for Regent Radio.  In 2002 I went to work for Federated Insurance, a direct sales company, and worked there for 4 years until a headhunter called and told me what I was missing out on.  In 2006 I started working for Kuhl Insurance.  I love helping people with their insurance needs and have made many friends along the way.  Volunteering has been a major part of my life and while still in Radio, started the Kids Day fundraiser for Crittenton Centers.  She also works on committees for EP!C and Peoria Friendship House where she had the opportunity to rappel down a 500 ft building this spring.  Northwoods Church is also an important part of her and Chet's life and they have been involved in the Doing What Jesus Did class for the last 5 years and continue to do weekly hospital visits for them.  For fun, they like to go “jeeping”, eat, play with the grandkids, eat, travel and of course eat out.  Denise said, "That pretty much sums it up….Faith….Family….Friends and Fabulous Food."

Welcome Colleen, Becka and Denise!  We look forward to getting to know you!!

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Calendar of Events


August 16, 2017 from 5-8 p.m.

Presented By:

Rachel Hensold - Director of Inbound Marketing at ONEFIRE

Jason Parkinson - President & CEO of ONEFIRE

Content Marketing is a buzzword that is said nearly every day in companies around the world, but what does it mean to really be successful with this new way to market your business? How can you attract more millennial customers to your business by publishing the right information at the right time? Jason & Rachel will help your team learn all about growing your business by doing content marketing the right way… with the inbound methodology.

Jason & Rachel will talk about best practices around:

  • Reusing the content you create across multiple delivery channels
  • Attracting more visitors to your website
  • Easily converting your website visitors into qualified leads
  • Nurturing your leads into becoming paying customers
  • Delighting your customers so they become promoters of your brand

LOCATION: Mt. Hawley Country Club, Peoria, IL

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

To register go to: 

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



 Thurday, September 21, 2017

 Par-A-Dice Hotel, East Peoria, IL


This conference will give you the courage to lead in all aspects of your life. It is filled with courageous and inspiring women from diverse backgrounds.

"If there is one conference to attend this year, it is Pathways to Success," says business owner Pat Drake. "The caliber of speakers, networking opportunities and inspriation women is something you won't find anywhere else!" 


Iron Jen, aka Jen McDonough

Author, Motivational Storyteller, Olympian, Firefighter, Ironman Triathlete and more!

Courageous women leaders are in high demand and short supply. As history has shwon, women who have the guts to step forward, take some risks, and lead with courage during times of turmoil and times of prosperity will be winners. 

While this sounds great on paper, in all reality, how does this work in our busy world today?

Join us in this engaging, motivating and empowering keynote where we will look at the three tips to becoming courageous women leaders both at work and at home.

Iron Jen is the perfect pick for our 2017 Pathways Conference. In her roles as a motivation storyteller, engaging Amazon Top 100 author and founder of GRIT (Growing Resilient Individuals and Teams), Jen will inspire you. She is an 8-time national weightlifter, Minnesota Hall of Fame inductee, two-time Olympic Festival medal winner, Ironman triathlete AND volunteer firefighter! 


  • What's Your Leadership Style - Presented by Chris Laible, On Track with Chris
  • Transformation Leadership - Presented by Dr. Leslie McKnight, McKnight and Associates
  • The Courage to Crash Through Your Control Issues - Presented by Liz Pollack, Leg Up Services


Individual conference tickets include Keynote Speaker, Breakout Learning Sessions, Exhibits/Vendors plus Social/Networking Opportunities. Cost - $65 for NAWBO and WIL members/$75 for non-members and guests.  Please follow this link to register: 


October 18, 2017 from 5-8 p.m.

Presented By:

Katie Arnholt Kim, Director and Small Business Specialist for the Kim Group 

Katie will provide an overview of the current economic and business climate of the Peoria county and surrounding areas.  She will also provide her perspectives on the opportunities business owners have to work with governments to enhance their businesses, including sharing first hand experiences of how to partner with government , unlock potential subsidies, grants  and/or financing options.  

LOCATION: Mt. Hawley Country Club, Peoria, IL

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

To register go to: 

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

Please reserve the following dates on your calendars.  Additional details will follow in our September newsletter.

November 15 - Corporate Partner and Pearl Sponsor Appreciation Night

December 13 - Christmas Party

January17 - Lunch Meeting at the Ivy Club

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Special Events

It's a Zombie Cruise on the Spirit of Peoria! 

Are you a fan of the Walking Dead or just Halloween in general? Well we have a treat for you! Dress up as your favorite zombie or Halloween character for a hauntingly good time on the Illinois River. Kickapoo Junction will be performing. Hors D’oeuvre buffet is included.

DATE:  Saturday, October 28.  Boarding at 7 p.m.  Cruising from 7:30 - 9:30.  Adults are $26 and children $13.

Bring your spouse, family members, friends and make this an evening to remember!  Don't wait to sign up as cruise size is limited.



Back by popular demand

If you did not have the opportunity to go on our Small Business Shopping Poker Run and then enjoy a late lunch/early dinner at Biaggi's, you need to mark your calendar NOW so you don't miss this fun event. 

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Information and Libations


Information and Libations is an informal way to network, obtain information and hear a presentation from a woman business owner. 

August's topic is:  Brain Development and it will be presented by: Michelle Rouland, A+ Children's Academy. 

Michelle Rouland is Past President of Central Illinois NAWBO and the owner of A+ children's Academy. A+ Children’s Academy is the only facility in Central Illinois that centers their teaching around the Reggio Emilia approach, which emphasizes visual learning to help brain development in early childhood.  Michelle has been educating children and teachers for over 20 years.

Michelle graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bradley University with an undergraduate in Early Childhood with a focus on Special Education Endorsement, and a Masters in Curriculum Instruction.  The staff and teachers at A+ Children’s Academy promote creativity through visual arts, literacy skills, sciences, and more.

DATE: Thursday August 3, 2017

Time 4 - 6 p.m.

Location: W. E. Sullivan's Irish Pub and Fare, 4538 N Prospect Avenue, Peoria Heights

Meetings are free to attend but please notify if you are attending as we need a count for the restaurant space.  Your only cost is your food and drink.

September's topic is: Starting a Business presented by Carol Hayse, Ron's Carpets

Carol is a Past President of Central Illinois NAWBO and the owner of Ron's Carpets.  When her husband passed away, Carol was thrush into business ownership.  Come, hear and learn from Carol's vast experience.

DATE: September 7, 2017

Time 4 - 6 p.m.

Location: Olio and Vino, Peoria Heights

Meetings are free to attend but please notify if you are attending as we need a count for the restaurant space.  Your only cost is your food and drink.

Information and Libations happens the first Thursday of every month!

Future dates:

October 5, November 2, and December 7. 

If you haven't already, make sure you "LIKE" CI NAWBO on Facebook.  All events are announced there in addition to our website.

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Partner News

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Cindy Byrd's Food for Thought

A Transformative Experience in My Journey to Authentic Leadership

by Cindy Byrd

August 4th will mark the 53rd anniversary of the beginning of a four-month stint for a 9 year old me at what was then known as St. Francis Hospital in Peoria – a significant part of my life story that influenced and shaped the person I am today.  This transformative experience ultimately inspired me to discover the type of leader I wanted to be and the impact I wanted to make in the world.

After a challenging summer of whooping cough, pneumonia, and double pneumonia, I was stricken by a rare disease called Guillian Barre Syndrome that causes severe paralysis. The family doctor just thought I was weak from being sick all summer, and he started me on a new round of antibiotics – pills that were difficult to swallow as you could imagine.  That turned out to be a blessing; I choked on the pill and my parents called the rescue squad.  I was taken by ambulance, headed for the isolation ward because of suspected meningitis.  A spinal tap the next day revealed Guillian Barre Syndrome as the cause of my paralysis instead.  The good news?  With proper therapy and time, I had the potential to make a complete recovery; however, it meant surviving the double pneumonia first and then learning to do absolutely everything all over again, even to close my eyes all the way.  It was a frightening time for a 9 year old, who turned 10 while in the hospital.

Keep in mind, my hospital stay was decades before the Children’s Hospital of Illinois was established. There were no options for my parents to stay 24/7; they had to adhere to regular visiting hours. As much as I loved the sitcom Bewitched, when I heard the theme song play I knew it was time for my dad to leave – he had the evening shift.  My mom didn’t drive, but was fortunate to have neighbors give her rides.  Cards from family and friends were comforting but I had to wait for someone to open them for me.  Nurses came and went; some more compassionate than others.  One nurse left me with a pan of soapy water and a washcloth and told me to bathe myself – I couldn’t even wring out the washcloth! 

The care and compassion I received from others beyond my immediate family had the biggest impact on me. There were Leo and George, the orderlies who transported me through the underground tunnel each day to Forest Park for physical therapy.  I will never forget all the little things they did that added up to a big dose of kindness, like telling me jokes, stopping at the snack stand for a small treat, or admiring the leather coin purse I managed to stitch together in an occupational therapy session.  There was Judy, the nurse who continued to write to me after I was released from the hospital.  And there was Dr. Pitts, my physical therapist, who encouraged me to never give up, dried my tears during a tough round of therapy, and celebrated with me when I took my first steps.  These are the people who influenced my vision for the world – where people are thoughtful and mindful about how they’re showing up and interacting with others, where kindness and empathy dominate over thoughtlessness and disrespect, where people are passionate about their jobs and genuinely want to create exceptional experiences for others.  They also taught me about overcoming fear, taking risks, and being resilient.  They inspired me to be the kind of leader I am today.

What people, circumstances, or events from your life story have influenced and shaped who you are, the values you hold important, and the principles by which you choose to live your life? Rather than being a victim of circumstances, we all can use formative and transformative experiences to find strength, rise above challenges, give meaning to our lives, and discover our authentic leadership. 


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For Your Information

Prepare for an Aging Workforce

The reality in the U. S. Workforce:

  • 35% of U.S. labor force participants will be age 50+ by 2022 (up from 25% in 2002).
  • 45% of unemployed people age 55-64 report being unemployed long-term, 27+ weeks (vs. 33% of unemployed 25-34 years old)
  • 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 each day

The top 5 advantages of hiring older (mature) workers (age 50+)

  • 77% more work experience and knowledge
  • 71% more maturity and professionalism
  • 70% stronger work ethic
  • 63% ability to serve as mentors to younger workers
  • 59% more reliability (Source: SHRM Preparing for an Aging Workforce Study)

Goals of an Aging Workforce Strategy -

Retain and engage older workers as long as possible; transfer their knowledge to younger employees before they leave; leverage their skills after they retire; recruit older talent from outside

The Opiod Epidemic and Your Prescription Drug Policy - Is an Update Needed?  by Jared Bilski

If prescription drug abuse is impacting your workers, you are not alone.

Seven out of ten employers have had to deal with the effects of employees' prescription drug abuse, according to a National Safety Council Study.

And those effects run the gamut from absenteeism and selling prescriptions at work and impaired or decreased performance and overdoeses.

While it may seem like there's little employers can do to prevent issues in this area, that's not the case.

Benefit pros can work with insurers to make sure additive prescription drugs aren't the go-to option for every injury and ailment. How? By giving workers access to insurer-covered alternative therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic, hypnosis, etc. are attempted before addictive prescription drugs are even brought into the equation.

Despite plenty of interest, employers seem to be balking at actually giving this option a shot. In fact, even though 88% of frims were interested in their insurer covering alternative treatments, just 30% planned on actually negotiating on that expanded coverage option.

Employers should also review insurance policies and EAP contracts to make sure employees are covered for prescription drug abuse.

In light of the opioid epidemic, now is a good time to update key policies. The National Safety Council recommends the following:

Create a drug-free workplace program. This states what workers must do if they are prescribed meds that cause impairment.

Test for prescriptions. Working with an attorney, employers can test for drugs that are legally prescriibed and commonly abused.

Spell out what happens when abuse occurs. This should include how the abuse is identified, employees' options (leave, etc.) and how a return works.

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