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IBJ Business News

IBJ Business News

Riverbend Family Ministries expands space

    Ten-year-old Riverbend Family Ministries recently expanded its space, adding more rooms for therapy and offices for the collective of nonprofits that operate out of 131 E. Ferguson Ave. in Wood River.
    When Riverbend Family Ministries first opened its doors in 2007 it served 51 families. This past year, it helped more than 1,800, said Tammy Iskarous, the executive director.
    “The thing each of our families has in common is they’ve reached a point in their lives where they need a little extra support. Whether it may be help paying for their utility bills, rent, mortgage, working on their resume and finding a new job, or just having someone to talk to and pray with; we’re happy to be that safety net,” Iskarous said.
    The collective of nonprofits includes: Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Client Service Department, Pathways Counseling, Refuge, Youth Development, Group Intervention, Warm Neighbors Cool Friends, and their newest, Amare. Amare’s mission is to promote personal and public wellness by helping those in active addiction or early recovery and becoming their resource.
    The groups collectively work to holistically provide families and individuals the resources, training, and tools they need to be self-sufficient.
    One reason for the expansion was the collaboration with Amare.
    “Madison County has the highest rate of kids in foster care per capita in our whole state. We have a real big problem,” said Erin Bickle of Refuge, which works to prevent childhood exposure to violence and abuse through direct therapeutic work with families, supportive services for child-serving organizations, and community-wide prevention education.
    Walk-ins are welcomed at the offices. The center can be reached by phone at (618) 251-9790.

Ed/Glen Chamber offers members job postings

    The Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce is allowing its members to post employment opportunities on the chamber’s website.
    “We are seeing a growing demand for qualified workers in every industry,” said Katie Haas, membership director.
    Members can go to and enter the details of the position.

Illinois American invests millions in Metro East

    Illinois American Water’s Interurban (Metro East) District is investing over $5.6 million to upgrade its water service distribution system. The investment includes replacing and installing over six miles of water main across the southern Illinois service area including Belleville, East St. Louis and Granite City. A map of the proposed work can be viewed at
    According to Karen Cooper, senior manager of field operations and production, Illinois American Water’s water main replacement program focuses on replacing mains where leaks occur, corrosion has caused damage or the size of the pipe isn’t sufficient. Much of the pipe to be replaced will be upsized from 2-inch galvanized pipe to 4-inch and 6-inch ductile iron pipe.
    Cooper said, “Continuous investment in our local water infrastructure is critical for ensuring customers receive quality, reliable drinking water service. This work to replace and upgrade water mains will help ensure adequate water pressure and flow to homes, businesses and for fire protection. Water main replacements also help to decrease the occurrence of water main breaks and related traffic and service impact.”
    Customers affected directly by the work will be notified via letter about the impact and any necessary steps. The letter will include a local contact for questions.

Work begins on Plummer Family Park

    Edwardsville officials broke ground in June at the site of the future Plummer Family Park, a planned, multi-sport, state-of-the-art recreational park located along Goshen Road, 1.2 miles east past the Edwardsville YMCA Meyer Center.
    The park is part of the city’s “A Better Place to Play Campaign,” which seeks donations and grant money to continue the development of the Plummer Family Park and a yet-to-be named ice hockey rink and teen facility. The Leon Corlew Park and Splash Pad in Edwardsville was developed in 2016 because of the initiative. The campaign continues to actively seek donations for these projects.
    Mayor Hal Patton said the facility will attract thousands of visitors to the community and provide much-needed space for regular community groups and leagues as well as a number of large-scale regional and national tournaments that will bring added tourism revenue to the city.
    To make a donation to the Better Place to Play Campaign, go to or contact the Edwardsville Community Foundation at

Brecht’s Database Solutions is now Embrace Software for Educators

    The former Brecht’s Database Solutions, based in Highland, has rebranded to better reflect its dedication to providing educators with effective, easy-to-use software for Individual Educational Plans, which are written strategies for students with identified disabilities.
    IEPs vary in format and design from school district to school district, due to local interpretations of the legal mandates that govern them. These plans can be very difficult to complete, especially with multiple students, and teachers often need help to effectively implement them in their classrooms.
    In 2009, Brecht’s adopted the PowerIEP brand names for its software solutions. Over the past several years, however, a competitor entered the IEP market and adopted the same “power” naming convention.
    To distinguish its brand, Brecht’s has changed its name to “Embrace Software for Educators.” The core software programs will also be rebranded with the Embrace name.
    “After careful consideration and lots of conversations with our customers, we landed on the name “Embrace” because it reflects the passion we share to help teachers spend more time in the classroom and achieve the best possible outcomes for their students. says Gus Brecht, president.”
    The company, which formed in 1999, is on the third floor of the U.S. Bank building on the corner of Broadway and Washington.


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