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Taking a risk...

I have to be honest, even though I have often been told I could sell someone their own toenails, I find I don't have that "risk-taking" mentality. Frankly, I have great respect for innovative and forward-thinking people that put themselves out there in the marketplace with their ideas.

This edition is all about those people that have extended their reach in the business world as entrepreneurs, with their vision, their passion and commitment to make a mark in the marketplace. We are featuring four hard-working, local business entities that started here and are very successful.

Twenty-something, Alex Gentner, is our first entrepreneur. Young and ambitious, he has experience that began as a boy as he shadowed his grandfather and father, both very different, but successful entrepreneurs themselves.

We also take a look at Barbara Burch Rogers, an accounting type who in her retirement has taken on the business of video gaming at Jim's Place. Plus, we feature the Dillman Brothers, the local remodeling contractors that pride themselves on treating people as good as they do their buildings, homes and structures.

Finally, we had a visit with Alex Ruggieri, the highly successful commercial real estate broker that has secured interest from around the world for the local economy. Surprisingly, his motive was always about family when it came to his vocation.

As the year ends, I want to thank you for reading our magazine. It is our goal to keep you informed about Central Illinois Business, and we wish you the best in the New Year!