2017 August Issue

A wine lover’s guide to buying a winery

Hidden Lake’s humble new owners plant passion with vines By DENNIS GRUBAUGH    AVISTON — There’s no hiding the hard work at Hidden Lake Winery and Banquet Facility.    Steve and Angela Gorazd haven’t stopped hustling since closing on their $1.5 million purchase of the facility on June 8 from former owner Angela Holbrook. The deal was…

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Highland tackles the soft skills of its workforce

By DENNIS GRUBAUGH    HIGHLAND — When employers in Highland look around today’s workplace, they see much the same thing as counterparts in other communities — employees lacking in some basics.    This month, the city ramps up a plan to tackle the issue head-on.    A series of weekly programming modules will be presented, aiming at building…

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Drone footage in the picture with new HBA marketing program

By DENNIS GRUBAUGH    MARYVILLE — The Home Builders Association of Greater Southwest Illinois is taking video of its builder projects to a whole new level.    Sky high, in fact.    HBA is preparing to launch Home Envy, a program in which member projects are being filmed via a drone to capture not only the residence but…

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POINT: Should telecom firms be allowed to end landline service?

Yes, operators should have choice on realizing vision of a fully connected America By JONATHAN SPALTER    To connect Americans, smoke signals gave way to stage coaches. Stage coaches gave way to the Pony Express, which gave way to the telegraph. The telegraph gave way to party-line phones. Party-lines gave way to rotary-dial home phones. And,…

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COUNTERPOINT: Should telecom firms be allowed to end landline service?

No, this is no time to hang up on landline customers By BRYAN MCDANIEL    The best arguments against a new Illinois law that allows AT&T to eventually end copper landline service are the exemptions found within it.     The legislation, which passed the General Assembly in July, abolishes the state requirement that the company offer…

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Q&A with Shawn Schukar, chairman and president, Ameren Transmission Co.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Shawn Schukar, a 32-year veteran of Ameren, was promoted in May to chairman and president of Ameren Transmission Co., a subsidiary dedicated to electric transmission infrastructure investment and expansion in Illinois and Missouri. The transmission system includes more than 7,800 circuit miles of high-voltage transmission lines in the two states. Schukar lives with…

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Sherry Keith, owner, CertaPro Painters

By ROBERTA CODEMO    Sherry Keith learned a strong work ethic from her parents. She grew up on a farm near Peoria. Her parents ran the farm at the same time her father worked full time in banking.    She’s always loved finance and graduated from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale with a degree in management and…

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Tammy Hines, Tammy Mitchell Hines and Co., Fairview Heights and Columbia

By ROBERTA CODEMO    Tammy Hines never envisioned owning her own business.     She had always dreamed of being a television reporter and graduated from Webster University in St. Louis with a degree in media communications.     After four months as a weather girl in St. Genevieve, Mo., she hated what she was doing and left.…

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Dana Korte, Renee Wittenauer, Cecil Management Group

By RITA DUCKWORTH    If you’ve rented property in the Metro East, you’ve likely heard of Cecil Management Group. For more than 40 years, CMG has managed residential properties and homeowners’ associations.    Founder Dorcas Cecil sold the O’Fallon, Ill.-based company in 2015 to Dave Kunkel and Terry Lammers, but women are still at the helm. Dana…

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Becky Venuti, franchisee, 9Round Fitness & Kickboxing

By RITA DUCKWORTH    When Becky Venuti decided to open her own gym, she started researching franchise opportunities. During an online search, she stumbled upon 9Round Fitness & Kickboxing, a unique concept with over 500 locations nationwide. Hers would be the first in the Metro East. Venuti and her husband Guy purchased three licenses. Their first…

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