Central Illinois Business Magazine
ACHIEVEMENTS      June 2014
EDITOR'S NOTE: Have you been promoted? Has a colleague completed an intensive education program, or is one celebrating a well-earned retirement? Others in the business community will want to know it. Send milestone employment news and photos to cibm@news-gazette.com, or contact Jodi Heckel at 217-351-5695.

Pinner joins Spiros Law

Matthew D. Pinner has joined the Central Illinois law firm of Spiros Law, P.C., as a senior associate attorney. He graduated from Illinois State University in 2004 with a dual degree in marketing and business administration. He began his career as a law clerk, while attending college, at a personal injury firm in the Chicago area. Pinner graduated from Southern Illinois University School of Law in 2007. He was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 2007 and the U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, in 2008.
    Pinner is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, American Bar Association and American Association for Justice and Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. He is also a member of the board of directors of Developmental Services Center, and he was the Developmental Services Center 2013 Tree of Hope Committee chairperson.

Talmage joins Christie Clinic

Dr. Talmage J. Raine has joined Christie Clinic’s Department of Plastic Surgery. Raine is a board-certified plastic surgeon with more than 25 years of experience in cosmetic and reconstructive plastic.
Raine completed his undergraduate degree in biochemistry at Northwestern University and earned his medical degree at Medical College of Wisconsin, Marquette University. After five years of general surgical training and board certification, he completed specialized training in plastic surgery at Emory University in Atlanta.

Cravens is Pixo's director of technology

Wes Cravens joined Pixo last fall as technology director. Cravens graduated from University of Leeds, United Kingdom, and worked as a freelance consultant and entrepreneur while living in England. He has more than two decades of experience in production, delivery and support. Cravens is active in local tech community groups.

Difanis is Realtor of the Year

Matt Difanis was named 2013 Realtor of the Year for the Champaign County Association of Realtors. The award was based on involvement in the Realtor association and the real estate industry and on contributions to the community. Difanis received the award last fall from the local Realtor association, and he was recognized in April at an Illinois Association of Realtors banquet.
    Difanis was president of the Champaign County Association of Realtors in 2012, and he’s volunteered for numerous committees of the organization.
    Others recognized by the Champaign County Association of Realtors include: Jayme Ahlden of Re/Max Realty Associations in Champaign, Rookie of the Year award; Judy Fejes of Coldwell-Banker Honig-Bell of Champaign, Affiliate Choice award; Joann Thomas of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Affiliate of the Year award; P.J. Trautman of Champaign County Realty of Champaign, recipient of the Midland States Bank Scholarship and Busey Bank Scholarship; and Janice Redman of Twin City Realty in Champaign, recipient of the Helen Stafford Scholarship and The News-Gazette Scholarship.

Hingtgen appointed VP at Hickory Point Bank

Sherry Hingtgen has joined Hickory Point Bank as vice president of mortgage lending. She has 20 years of experience as a mortgage lender. Hingtgen will offer loan services at the Champaign bank, at 701 Devonshire Drive.

Blanck joins Feller & Kuester CPAs

Lori Blanck has joined Feller & Kuester CPAs as a receptionist/bookkeeper. Her duties include bookkeeping, payroll services, sales and use tax returns and quarterly payroll reporting. Blanck received her associate degree in business management from Parkland College.

Hickory Point Bank expands to Peoria, hires Kuntzman

Leonard P. Kuntzman has been named senior vice president at Hickory Point Bank. He will lead the bank’s growth in the Peoria area. Kuntzman has 25 years of experience in managing commercial banking teams and client relationships. The Peoria Hickory Point Bank offices are in Pioneer Square Center, 7501 N. University Ave., Suite 107.

Reed hired as sales manager at Burrus Hybrids

Brian Reed has joined Burrus Hybrids as sales manager for southern Illinois. Reed will be responsible for Burrus regional sales managers in that area and development of customer relation management tools.
    Reed previously worked at Cargill for five years in sales and sales recruiting positions. He also served in management positions for nine years with Sherwin-Williams and Hughes Supply Co.

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Editor's Note

Made in Central Illinois

It was a couple of decades ago when Champaign-Urbana first was referred to as the “Silicon Prairie.” A tech consulting company — Pixo, previously known as OJC Technologies — formed around that time and is one of the success stories of the Silicon Prairie. Pixo President Lori Patterson said Champaign-Urbana has been a fertile ground for companies such as hers, and the community has now developed a “tech ecosystem” where activities at the University of Illinois and the Research Park provide resources for local tech companies.

You can read in this issue about what makes Pixo unique and how it has grown.

Champaign County is home to many manufacturers as well, and our February/March issue featured several businesses that made products here for customers worldwide.

That story has spawned a new feature for Central Illinois Business — Made in Champaign County. We’ve partnered with the Champaign County Economic Development Corp. to feature an area business in each issue and tell you a little about who they are and what they do. And we’ll venture outside Champaign County so you’ll learn about businesses in neighboring counties too.

Jodi Heckel is editor of Central Illinois Business magazine. She can be reached at 217-351-5695 or jheckel@news-gazette.com.