EEI Congratulates another Newly Licensed Professional Engineer

December 14th, 2017

Engineering Enterprises, Inc. (EEI) congratulates Michael Schweisthal who currently resides in North Aurora, Illinois has passed the Professional Engineer (P.E.) exam and has earned the title of Professional Engineer in the State of Illinois.

Schweisthal is a 2010 graduate of Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois with a BS in Civil Engineering with an Environmental Concentration. Michael has been with EEI for three years and is an integral part of our Civil Group with specific expertise on our elevated water storage tank projects. He is also a National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) Certified Coating Inspector Level I which gives him the basic knowledge of coating materials and techniques for surface preparation and application on steel substrates.

With his P.E. licensure, Schweisthal joins 20 other licensed professional engineers at EEI. In addition, he has also been promoted to Senior Project Engineer I status within the organization.

The P.E. license is the engineering profession’s highest standard of competence, regulated by the State in the interest of supporting integrity within the profession and public safety. It is a symbol of achievement and assurance of quality.

Engineering Enterprises, Inc., founded in 1974, is a progressive, award winning consulting engineering firm which provides planning, design and construction services for water, wastewater, transportation, stormwater and GIS to municipalities, counties, and state agencies throughout northern Illinois.  For additional information, visit www.eeiweb.com.

Rich Harvest Farms to Host 2021 Arnold Palmer Cup

December 14th, 2017

Rich Harvest Farms will become the first repeat Arnold Palmer Cup host when the 25th playing of the of the matches are held in 2021. It will mark the fourth Arnold Palmer Cup to be held under the expanded format to include men’s and women’s USA collegiate golfers against their counterparts from around the world. The annual Ryder Cup-style competition will be played June 11-13.

“Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation is pleased the Arnold Palmer Cup matches are returning to Rich Harvest Farms,” said Amy Saunders, President of Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation. “Jerry and the Rich family have shown great commitment to men’s and women’s golf at all levels. Jerry has a passion to introduce the game, and all of the positive attributes it teaches, to young people.”

Located less than an hour outside of Chicago, Rich Harvest Farms is an ultra-private, members-only club, consistently ranked in Golf Digest’s America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses. Owned and built by Jerry Rich, the course consists of 18 perfectly manicured holes and is a 1,820-acre showcase of nature and agriculture. With state-of-the-art meeting spaces, numerous lodging options and non-golf amenities that include a private car museum, miles of horseback riding trails and three fully stocked lakes for fishing, Rich Harvest Farms offers distinguished facilities in a luxurious setting.

Rich Harvest Farms, from its Professional tees plays at a length of 7,715 yards, as a par 72, and continues to play host to numerous amateur, collegiate, and professional tournaments. These includes the Arnold Palmer Cup (2015) and Solheim Cup (2009), as well as the Ryder Cup Captain’s Challenge (2012) and numerous USGA Qualifiers. This list also includes the Western Amateur (2003, 2015) and Western Junior (2019). The Northern Illinois University Huskies Men’s and Women’s Golf Teams are proud to call Rich Harvest Farms their home course and so the following have also been hosted at the course: NCAA Men’s Division I Central Regional (2007, 2014), MAC Championship (2003, 2012), an annual Northern Intercollegiate (2010-Present) and, most recently, the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships (2017).

A hidden gem at Rich Harvest Farms is the Kids Golf Foundation of Illinois, a nonprofit junior golf organization founded in 1998 by Jerry Rich and longtime friend Don Springer. Today, the Foundation has impacted the lives of over 150,000 youth through golf and its valuable life lessons.

“I am very thrilled to bring the Arnold Palmer Cup back to Rich Harvest Farms and the Chicagoland area,” stated Jerry Rich, President and CEO of Rich Harvest Farms. “When we hosted this prestigious event in June of 2015, the community showed great support, and my staff and I are ready to expand on that success. It is exciting to watch the growth of the Arnold Palmer Cup to include mixed teams of men and women from the United States against the rest of the world for these thrilling matches. While showcasing the best collegiate players in the world, the impact of Arnold Palmer’s legacy will also be on display for the duration of the event, and that is what makes this event one of the greatest honors to host.”

Community Foundation Announces Fall 2017 Grant Recipients, $116,789 Awarded

December 14th, 2017

The Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley is pleased to announce that nine agencies were awarded a total of $116,798.44 in grants during the Foundation’s Fall 2017 Grant Cycle! Combined with the spring cycle, the total amount awarded in 2017 is $345,006.44 in discretionary grants.

Additionally, the Foundation approved nearly $740,000 in scholarships and nearly $3.5 million in restricted grants, totaling over $4.5 million in total grants to date for 2017!

Congratulations to the following nine agencies that were awarded a grant during the Foundation’s Fall 2017 Grant Cycle. We truly appreciate the great work you are doing in our communities!

  • CASA Kane County
  • Friends of Aurora’s After-School Programs
  • Horsepower Therapeutic Riding
  • Kane County Bar Foundation
  • Kendall County PADS
  • Renz Addiction Counseling Center
  • St. Augustine College
  • St. Charles Singers
  • TriCity Family Services

 

Grants to these agencies will support office furnishings and renovations, security equipment, website development, educational materials, and more. A Grantee Recognition Ceremony will be held on January 30 to celebrate the accomplishments of these organizations.

“There are so many wonderful organizations in our region,” said Julie Christman, Foundation Director of Community Involvement and Partnerships. “It is our honor as a Community Foundation to partner with these agencies in making a difference in our region in the areas of social services, healthcare, education and the arts. Thank you to all of the agencies that applied this cycle. We truly value the services that you provide in our area. Your hard work and dedication to your missions make the Fox River Valley a great community in which to live!”

If your nonprofit agency is interested in applying for a grant in the spring, Letters of Intent will become available on February 1, 2018 and close on March 31, 2018.

To learn more about the Community Foundation’s Grantmaking Program, please visit our website.

About the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley

The Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley is a non-profit, tax-exempt, philanthropic organization that administers individual charitable funds from which grants and scholarships are distributed to benefit the citizens of the Greater Aurora Area, the TriCities and Kendall County, Illinois.

Founded in 1948, the Foundation provides a simple and powerful approach to charitable giving. Individuals, families, businesses and organizations have the opportunity to custom design their own named funds that reflect their charitable goals and interests. Since its inception, the Community Foundation has grown to nearly $88 million in assets and has awarded more than $60 million in grants and scholarships.

For more information on the Foundation, visit CFFRV.org.

Library to Host Job Fair for Youth

December 13th, 2017

The Eola Road branch of the Aurora Public Library will host The High School and College Job Fair on Saturday, Feb. 10. The event will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. at the branch located at 555 S. Eola Rd. in Aurora. The event will be marketed to teens and young adults who are likely looking for part-time, seasonal, and volunteer opportunities.

Local employer representatives are invited to showcase their opportunities during the fair. There is no charge for employers to participate.

Representatives are asked to be knowledgeable about their businesses and opportunities available. Providing fliers, brochures, and applications is encouraged.

To reserve your table (or obtain further information), contact Flannery Crump, Eola teen librarian, at (630) 264-3417 or FJCrump@AuroraPublicLibrary.org.

EEI Welcomes New Project Manager to Environmental Group

December 12th, 2017

Engineering Enterprises, Inc. announces the addition of Keith E. Powell, P.E., to our Environmental Group as a Project Manager.  Powell brings over 16 years of engineering experience consulting for wastewater conveyance and treatment, as well as drinking water supply, treatment, and distribution projects.  His knowledge and experience in municipal infrastructure, water resources and environmental engineering provide a strong base for project management at all levels.

Powell earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the Prairie View A & M University, Prairie View, Texas and is a registered Professional Engineer in Illinois and Texas.

Engineering Enterprises, Inc., founded in 1974, is an award winning consulting engineering firm which provides planning, design and construction services for water, wastewater, transportation, stormwater and GIS to municipalities, counties and state agencies throughout northern Illinois.  For additional information, visit www.eeiweb.com.

Job Fair for RiverEdge Park Set for Jan. 5

December 12th, 2017

RiverEdge Park Job Fair

RiverEdge Park will be hosting a job fair to fill open positions for the Summer 2018 Season. This job fair is free and open to the public. Bringing a resume is encouraged but not mandatory. 15-minute interviews will be conducted on-site at the job fair. Applicants have the option to interview at the job fair (based on availability) or wait to be interviewed at a later date. Please fill out the form below to apply online now and be contacted for an interview.

  • Date: Friday, January 5, 2018
  • Time: 5-8 p.m.
  • Location: Meyer Ballroom, in the North Island Center directly across the street from the Paramount Theatre, 8 E Galena Blvd, Aurora IL 60506

AVAILABLE POSITIONS

Please click for the job description on each position. Each position is part-time, seasonal and requires weekend availability.

APPLY ONLINE NOW

Whether you’re attending the job fair or not, feel free to apply online now. If you apply online and are attending the job fair, it’ll save you time filling out the application on-site and give you more time to talk with the staff about the open positions and even interview for them (based on availability). If you’re unable to attend the job fair but are still interested in applying, please fill out the form, and you’ll be contacted for an interview. Form may be found at https://riveredgeaurora.com/job-fair/

Your Weekly News from #AuroraChamber

December 11th, 2017
Header
December 11, 2017
In This Issue

 

Quick Links

Follow Us!
Facebook Twitter Blog

Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

+Intention
95.9 The River
Aaron’s
Above Board Indoor Environmental
Accurate Personnel
Advance Auto Parts
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora Bank & Trust
Aurora Limousine
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Beans Greens Proteins
Caterpillar, Inc.
Chicago Steel Hockey Team
City Segment
ComEd
Company 251
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
CyrusOne
Do or Dye Designs
Dolan & Murphy
Downtown Auroran Magazine
Eagle Digital Marketing
Endiro Coffee
First Secure Community Bank
Gateway Mortgage Group
Jiffy Lube Multi-Care
Kluber Architects + Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency, Inc.
Magick Woods, Inc.
Magnetrol International, Inc.
MedCom Group, LLC
Meyer Wealth Advisors
Midwest Coach Limousine, Inc.
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Old Second National Bank
OnLight Aurora
Painters District Council 30
Palo Creative, PLL
Paramount Arts Centre
Pilmer Real Estate
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
Pure Skin Solutions, LLC
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush Copley Medical Center
S&S Metal Recyclers II
Scientel Solutions
ServPro of Aurora
Sign*A*Rama
SmithAmundsen, LLC
Staffing Network, LLC & QPA
Staffmark
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
Stonebridge Country Club
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
The Voice
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
Woodforest National Bank
World Finance Corporation
WSPY

Welcome New Members

Staffmark (Elite)
Albert Santana
184 Shuman Blvd, Suite 160, Naperville
(630) 717-9191
Employment Opportunities

Resilience Home Health Corp
Sunshine Gomez
3845 McCoy Drive, Suite 103, Aurora
(630) 236-8800
Health Services

 

Contact Us

Mail: 43 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180
Fax: (630) 256-3189
www.aurorachamber.com

 

 

Thank you, Sponsors, for a Great Holiday Celebration
Holiday Celebration

What a wonderful holiday celebration with the region’s business community. Thank you to our generous sponsors, our great partners, and the hundreds of business and community leaders that joined us last night for the 2017 Holiday Celebration: Jingle & Mingle. Have a great season and celebrate the accomplishments of 2017. We’ll be back in 2018 with the Regional Economic Pulse, State of the City, State of the Village, Leadership Academy, and so much more. #BusinessSuccess in 2018 is our goal. To see photos from the event, please visit https://www.facebook.com/AuroraChamber/videos/10155915845011382/

Premier Investors
Premier Investors
Calendar of Events
Business After Hours

Ground Breaking: Cyrus One Communications Tower
Thursday, Dec. 14, at 1 p.m.
2905 Diehl Road, Aurora

Business After Hours: First American Bank
Thursday, Dec. 14, 5 – 7 p.m.
3054 E. New York Street, Aurora

Public Policy Update
For the latest in public policy news, be sure and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Visit the Chamber blog:

Illinois Higher Education

Illinois Budget, Bonds

Illinois Jobs

Your Help Is Needed; Please Take Survey on Industry, Employability Competencies

Ill. GA: Telecommunications Modernization

Ill. GA: Wage History

Member News
31 Things

If you have news to share with your fellow members, please forward to info@aurorachamber.com. Be sure and check out our blog and social media for what’s happening in our region.

Know the ‘Real Coffee Story’

Illinois Winter Transportation

Illinois Bicentennial

2017 #GivingTuesday Highest on Record

Holiday Express Lights up Blackberry Farm in December – Eight Days in All

‘Give Your Brand a Hand’

VNA Health Care Offers Enrollment Assistance for Illinois Marketplace, Medicaid

Registration for FVPD Winter Programs Begins Nov. 18

Paramount Theatre Wins Eight Jeff Awards

Section of River Street to Close Until 2019

Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce | 43 W. Galena Blvd. Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180 Fax: (630) 256-3189 | www.aurorachamber.com
This email was sent by Bee Atomic on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

#AuroraChamber News for Dec. 4; Last Chance to Register for Holiday Celebration

December 4th, 2017
Header
December 04, 2017
In This Issue

 

Quick Links

Follow Us!
Facebook Twitter Blog

Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

+Intention
95.9 The River
Aaron’s
Above Board Indoor Environmental
Accurate Personnel
Advance Auto Parts
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora Bank & Trust
Aurora Limousine
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Beans Greens Proteins
Caterpillar, Inc.
Chicago Steel Hockey Team
City Segment
ComEd
Company 251
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
CyrusOne
Do or Dye Designs
Dolan & Murphy
Downtown Auroran Magazine
Eagle Digital Marketing
Endiro Coffee
Face To Face Beauty Studio
First Secure Community Bank
Gateway Mortgage Group
Jiffy Lube Multi-Care
Kluber Architects + Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency, Inc.
Magick Woods, Inc.
Magnetrol International, Inc.
MedCom Group, LLC
Meyer Wealth Advisors
Midwest Coach Limousine, Inc.
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Old Second National Bank
OnLight Aurora
Painters District Council 30
Palo Creative, PLL
Paramount Arts Centre
Pilmer Real Estate
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
Pure Skin Solutions, LLC
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush Copley Medical Center
S&S Metal Recyclers II
Scientel Solutions
ServPro of Aurora
Sign*A*Rama
SmithAmundsen, LLC
Staffing Network, LLC & QPA
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
Stonebridge Country Club
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
The Voice
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
Woodforest National Bank
World Finance Corporation
WSPY

Welcome New Members

Scientel Solutions (Premier)
Nelson Santos
948 Springer Drive, Lombard
(630) 652-3800
Telecommunications

 

Contact Us

Mail: 43 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180
Fax: (630) 256-3189
www.aurorachamber.com

 

Register Today for Holiday Celebration
Holiday Celebration
Premier Investors
Premier Investors
Calendar of Events
Holiday Celebration
Wednesday, Dec. 6, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Belle Salle Banquets, 1920 E. New York St., AuroraGrand Re-Opening: Homewood Suites
Thursday, Dec. 7, 3:30 – 8 p.m.
4320 Meridian Parkway, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4 p.m.

Business After Hours

Ground Breaking: Cyrus One Communications Tower
Thursday, Dec. 14, at 1 p.m.
2905 Diehl Road, Aurora

Business After Hours: First American Bank
Thursday, Dec. 14, 5 – 7 p.m.
3054 E. New York Street, Aurora

Public Policy Update
For the latest in public policy news, be sure and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.Visit the Chamber blog:

Illinois Higher Education

Illinois Budget, Bonds

Illinois Jobs

Your Help Is Needed; Please Take Survey on Industry, Employability Competencies

Ill. GA: Telecommunications Modernization

Ill. GA: Wage History

Member News
31 ThingsIf you have news to share with your fellow members, please forward to info@aurorachamber.com. Be sure and check out our blog and social media for what’s happening in our region.

Know the ‘Real Coffee Story’

Illinois Winter Transportation

Illinois Bicentennial

2017 #GivingTuesday Highest on Record

Holiday Express Lights up Blackberry Farm in December – Eight Days in All

‘Give Your Brand a Hand’

VNA Health Care Offers Enrollment Assistance for Illinois Marketplace, Medicaid

Registration for FVPD Winter Programs Begins Nov. 18

Paramount Theatre Wins Eight Jeff Awards

Section of River Street to Close Until 2019

Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce | 43 W. Galena Blvd. Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180 Fax: (630) 256-3189 | www.aurorachamber.com
This email was sent by Bee Atomic on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Know the ‘Real Coffee Story’

December 3rd, 2017

There has been significant coffee news out of Uganda lately. The Ugandan Coffee Development Authority reported that total exports for the 2016-17 season increased by 18%. Another announcement was recently made by the world’s largest furniture retailer, Ikea, who has entered into a multiyear agreement with Ugandan coffee giant Kawacom to put some 500,000 retail bags of coffee on the shelves of their stores around the world. Such stories were welcomed with excitement by coffee industry players in Uganda, but just how good is this news?

Unfortunately, it is too quickly assumed that increased exports of Ugandan coffee automatically mean good things for the farmers who grow it. Global coffee trade, however, has long been a demand-side industry in which practically every bean has a buyer somewhere. The farmer who sold all of their coffee last year is not necessarily better off when they sell all of their beans again this year. Selling out does not necessarily equal economic growth in business and thus cannot be thought to automatically signal positive transformation in the coffee village.

What does?

Think about it. A farmer, let’s call her Joyce, who sold 500 kilos of coffee cherries at 1000 Ugandan shillings (UGX) per kilo ($0.27 USD) in the 2013-14 season has made a total of 500,000 UGX or $138 USD. If demand for Joyce’s coffee increases during the next year she can still only sell a maximum of 100% of her crop. So, the only way her condition can improve is if she has the means to increase her crop volume or the price at which she sells it. Unfortunately, in Uganda, most farmers don’t have this kind of power.

When we at Endiro began to explore the farm side of coffee a few years ago, we discovered that even the “Fair Trade” farmers were not receiving either fair trade wages or any kind of community inputs which would help them to increase their volumes. Instead farmers were facing annually decreasing crop yields and were being offered ever-decreasing prices for their coffee.

So, the reality was that a farmer like Joyce from our scenario above reached the 2014-15 season and found that she had only 300 kilos to sell and that the coffee buyers were had decreased their buying price to 900 shillings per kilo. Joyce then earned only 270,000 UGX or $75 USD. Her hope that coffee could ever improve her quality of life was quickly diminishing.

A recent report by Lehigh University’s Kelly Austin found that the average coffee farming family in Uganda’s coffee-rich Bududa district earns only about $100 USD per year from their crops. Austin goes on to cite increased illnesses, poor education access for children, and gender inequality as just a few side effects of this extreme poverty.

Facilitating change is, at one level, quite simple. If coffee is going to become a source of hope and positive transformation, two things must happen. First, farmers must get better prices for their coffee and, second, they must achieve better crop yields.

Endiro has been dedicated to pursuing these two things since 2015. We began our work in the Bududa’s Bukalasi community with a group of women and men who had been exploited for many years. These were farmers who were producing coffee that ultimately made it to the shelves of grocery stores in the USA and Europe in packages stamped with a “Fair Trade Certified” label. Their reality however was far from fair. The Bukalasi women were selling their ever-decreasing volumes of coffee to middlemen as cherries for 800-1500 UGX per kilo. The middlemen then resold the coffee to cooperatives and brokers who then continued to move the coffee through several layers of trade on its way to Third Wave coffee joints and high-end grocery stores in the West. No money made it back to Bukalasi in the form of trainings, equipment, or community development projects. The farmers were left to struggle alone against drought, pests, sickness and more. After all, if they failed to produce, there was always another farmer somewhere else who had coffee to sell.

There is little question that we at Endiro had almost no idea what we were doing when we first began to partner with the ladies of Bukalasi. We had never farmed coffee and had almost zero agricultural knowledge. What we did have was a passionate and uncompromising commitment to a few key principles:

1)      Ignoring global market prices, we would pay 8,000 UGX per kilo of coffee, without exception.

2)      We would train and equip the farmers so that they could perform initial processing (floating, pulping, washing, drying) so that we could achieve a specialty grade coffee.

3)      We would do everything in the context of genuine relationship.

The farmers didn’t believe we were serious at first. After all, no one was paying that much for coffee. No one was paying anything close to that. We were surely deceiving them. So, at first, they protected themselves. They used our equipment and continued to sell most of their coffee to the middlemen. When we came for the first portion of the harvest in 2015, we found only a little more than a ton of coffee. But then the money started to be distributed and the farmers realized that we were for real. We finished that season (2015-16) with just under 7,000 kilos of coffee.

Now, remember Joyce, our imagined farmer from above. If she sold us her 300 kilos of coffee that year, she just made 2.4 million shillings ($650 USD). That’s significant.

During the offseason, we continued to coach, pray with and work alongside farmers to re-strategize their farming methods. By teaching them basics of harvesting, pruning, teamwork, how to create natural organic fertilizers and how to control pests through organic methods we saw that the farmers increased their yields for the 2016-17 by over 100%. We bought over 14,000 kilos from Bukalasi last season and the resulting quality has been judged by many to be Uganda’s best tasting coffee. In fact that Bukalasi coffee is now being enjoyed as far away as the USA and Taiwan.

Once again, we check in with Joyce, our representative farmer. Now, her crop has increased from 300 kilos to 600. Joyce now has an annual income on par with the Ugandan national average, something she had never dreamed possible.

During a recent visit to Bukalasi to launch the new season, we heard from all of the Bukalasi team leaders – farmers elected by their peers to represent teams of 50 farmers. Their testimonies were breathtaking. One woman said that it was the first time in her life that she had ever seen 1 million shillings. She was immediately followed by another farmer who said it was her first time to see 2 million! Several farmers reported that they used their money from last year to buy milk cows and that as a result their children were no longer suffering from malnourishment. Many farmers used their earnings to pay school fees for their children who were no longer missing school. A young man reported with pride that he had begun nursing school thanks to the family’s coffee earnings. One can only imagine the long-term impact that an educated younger generation will have on Bukalasi. The reports continued for a long time.

For the 2017-18 season, Bukalasi has set a goal of 50,000 kilos of coffee and so far they are well on pace. Preliminary testing suggests that the coffee this year will be the best they’ve ever produced, approaching cupping scores in the high 80s. Some of our farmers will produce 1000, 2000, 3000 and greater volumes of coffee this year and find themselves quickly approaching the ranks of Uganda’s middle class.

For our part, we have stepped up our commitment to these farmers. We will be paying 8,300 UGX per kilo this season in Bukalasi and investing in additional equipment, training and more. We are even working to develop coffee leaf tea and cascara (a beverage made from the dried fruit of coffee cherries) so as to bring two additional streams of revenue to the Endiro Growers Bukalasi Group.

This is what we mean when we say we are brewing better together. We mean partnering with the farming families, who must be fully participating agents in building their own future, to develop holistic strategies which genuinely bring transformation. The ladies of Bukalasi have a saying that they have adopted as a kind of motto for their forward success – “I am not poor, my head is poor.” We believe that these women have much to teach a world of ultra-wealthy coffee conglomerates who cannot see their way to increasing the amount of money they pay farmers. In fact, they have much to teach all of us. How many of our supposed obstacles are little more than mental blocks. Maybe we aren’t so poor, but our heads are poor.

We hope you coffee lovers out there will take a moment to consider the choices you make with each cup you drink. We hope you café owners will forget about brand names for a moment when you look for a coffee supplier. We hope you micro-roasters will look beyond mere certifications and price tags when you order your next bag of green. Get to know the real story. And, if you are so inclined, join the Endiro story and brew better together with us!

Illinois Winter Transportation

December 3rd, 2017

 “Winter Weather – Get It Together” winter driving preparation push begins. The Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Transportation, and the Illinois Tollway have opened a joint initiative to help concerned drivers and families prepare for winter driving conditions. Called “Winter Weather – Get it Together”, the effort includes videos and a checkoff sheet for motorists to view and get ready.

Helpful tips include the desirability of having an emergency car care kit for cold conditions. The kit could contain jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, an ice scraper, traction material, blankets, non-perishable food, and a first aid kit. Many drivers will already have one of the most important items of all: a fully charged cell phone and car charger.

Illinois drivers are preparing for snow and ice conditions by watching out for road ice, especially on bridges, ramps, and shaded areas. Standard warnings concerning seat belt usage, no driving while using a handheld device, and avoiding stopped first-responder and construction vehicles are repeated and intensified for winter driving conditions.