The Year In Review 2016

Commerce Bank bolsters workforce throughout Southwestern Illinois

By ROBERTA CODEMO    Commerce Bank has been an industry leader for more than 150 years and is committed to serving the Southern Illinois area. Commerce employees live in the communities where they work and understand the needs of their customers.     “Our senior management team is located in the Metro area,” said Matt Gomric, senior…

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America’s Central Port increases its rail capacity by 30 percent

By ROBERTA CODEMO    America’s Central Port, located in Granite City and Madison, completed two major rail projects in 2016, increasing rail capacity by 30 percent.     “We laid 4.25 miles of new track,” said Bill Stahlman, director of engineering and construction for America’s Central Port. “That’s a lot of track to put in.”    The port…

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Growth Association aims to expand popular high school CEO program

By DENNIS GRUBAUGH    Alton area high school students are getting a real-world view of business through Riverbend CEO, a program that supporters want to bring to more schools in the next year.    “I have a fantastic group of students, very eager to learn and enthusiastic,” class facilitator Katie McBee said of her first-year cohort, comprised…

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Associated Bank completes $3 million renovation project

By ALAN J. ORTBALS    Associated Bank completed a year-long, $3 million renovation of its branches in Fairview Heights, Alton, East St. Louis, Glen Carbon, Columbia, Millstadt and the one on West Main Street in Belleville in 2016.    “The investment reflects Associated Bank’s long-term commitment to the region,” said Phillip Hickman, Southern Illinois Community Market president.…

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Illinois American Water Co. honored by J.D. Power for customer satisfaction

By ALAN J. ORTBALS    Illinois American Water received the J.D. Power award for ranking highest in customer satisfaction among water utilities in the Midwest according to J.D. Power’s 2016 Water Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study. The utility also achieved the highest score in the region for price and communications.    The first-time, national study was based…

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Highland programs invest in residences, workforce

By DENNIS GRUBAUGH    The city of Highland made progress on multiple fronts this past year that bodes well for the community’s workforce and quality of life.    Assistant City Manager Lisa Peck says the city’s home buyer program was very successful, with evidence that home values are starting to rise and conditions stabilizing in the historic…

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First Clover Leaf Bank becomes First Mid with finalization in ’17

By ROBERTA CODEMO    First Clover Leaf Bank customers will see a new name and look when they open their bank statements early this year. The merger and conversion of First Clover Leaf Bank to First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust will be finalized in mid-March.    “We’re excited to get to know them,” said Lisa Fowler, chief…

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Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber introduces new growth initiatives

    Leaders of the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce say they had an exciting year, retooling and introducing innovative initiatives designed to serve businesses of all sizes, across industries.     ACCELERATE Edwardsville/Glen Carbon was unveiled early in the year, the purpose of which is to strengthen the business community as a whole through mentoring relationships…

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