Expo offers help for female entrepreneurs; state agency to co-host July 24 program in East Peoria

Staff Writer
East Peoria Times-Courier

PEORIA—The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, North-Central Regional Economic Development and Illinois Main Street will host the first North Central regional Women's Business Resources Expo at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites East Peoria on July 24.

“Female entrepreneurs are playing an important part in Illinois’ economic comeback,” said Adam Pollet, DCEO director. “We want to make sure they receive the information they need to thrive.”

Presentations will focus on vendor programs, procurement contracting opportunities, bidding processes and initiatives applicable to women-owned firms.

“Women-owned enterprises in the state of Illinois should be recognized as a driving economic force,” said Carol Bell, director of women’s business development at DCEO. “It’s our hope that this expo will draw particular attention to the resources that exist to help women-owned firms reach the next competitive level.”

The list of panelists include Bell; Arthur Williams, Advantage Illinois; Rebecca Harmon and Deb Waldrop, Workforce Development; Chima Enyia, Central Management Services; Tory Davis, Illinois Department of Employment Security; Karen Fraase, Illinois Department of Agriculture; Debbie Myers Martin, Illinois State Treasurer's Office; Jesse Martinez, Capital Development Board; Ellisa Johnson, U.S. Census Bureau; Philip Dalmage, Illinois Department of Human Services; Susan Gibson, Illinois Department of Transportation; Dennis Kief, Economic Development Council of Central Illinois; Charles Randle, Illinois Business Financial Services; Ross Miller, Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Bradley University; Stan Lynall, Central Illinois Angels; Blake Long, UnityPoint Health-Methodist/Proctor; Fred Remmert, Meridian Health Plan; Charly Ugorji and Celeste Matheson, Caterpillar; Kendra Austin, Ameren; Colleen Callahan and Mary Warren, USDA Rural Development, and Anna Bandy, OSF HealthCare.    

Participating affiliates include the region’s top companies; Caterpillar, OSF HealthCare, UnityPoint Health-Methodist/Proctor, Ameren, Meridian Health Care and sponsors Illinois Main Street and Illinois SBDC at Bradley University.

The event will run from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on July 24. Doors open at 7:30 a.m. Attendees will also receive continental breakfast. To register or find out more information, call 309-647-5896.  On-site registrations are welcomed.

For more information on doing business in Illinois, go to http://www.illinois.gov/dceo.