Marion Chamber of Commerce Newsletter 051017


Marion Chamber Dish Mob

What Claims IL Employers Can Face When Using Background Checks

The Life of a Workers' Compensation Claim

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Open House at Interim HealthCare

Rend Lake Water Festival
05/11/2017- 05/13/2017

One-Day Household Hazardous Waste Collection

Marion Chamber Mastermind Group #2

New Member Quarterly Luncheon - LOCATION CHANGED

Marion Chamber of Commerce Membership Committee meeting

Marion Chamber of Commerce Marketing Committee meeting

Workers’ Comp. Workshop for Illinois Employers

Marion Chamber of Commerce Legislative Affairs Committee meeting

Prevailing Wage in IL - What's Changed for Employers?

Social Media Webinar #2: Most Common Mistakes Made in Social Media Today

2nd annual Art at the Fair

2nd annual Art at the Fair

Marion Chamber Mastermind Group #2

Religion, Politics, and Other Taboo Issues in the Workplace

Marion Chamber Lunch & Learn

Retention Strategies: Creating Team Members Who Stay

Liability Concerns for Small Businesses that Use Drones

Webinar Series: Federal Employment Policy: An Update for All Illinois Employers

Webinar Series: Federal Employment Policy: An Update for All Illinois Employers

Marion Community Day Committee meeting

Marion Main Street Cruise Night

Memorial Day at Ray Fosse Park

Business BEFORE Hours program: AT&T

Preventing Workplace Violence and Bullying and Associated Litigation

Webinar Series: Federal Employment Policy: An Update for All Illinois Employers

Welcome New Members

Miss Illinois Scholarship Association, Inc.
Ashley Hatfield

Join Date: 04/25/2017

Southern Illinois University
Karen Stallman

Join Date: 05/03/2017

PS Ink
Chris Couty

Join Date: 05/04/2017

Sun Loan Company
Tori Withrow

Join Date: 05/04/2017

Majestic Enterprize, Inc.
Elizabeth Patterson

Join Date: 05/04/2017

Pookie's Burger Bar Bocce
Richelle Mick
Join Date: 05/08/2017

Ferges Free Methodist Church
David Sain
Join Date: 05/11/2017


Chamber launches Chamber Gift Certificate program

The Marion Chamber of Commerce is launching a Chamber Gift Certificate program. Members of the Marion Chamber of Commerce are encouraged to sign up to be a part of the program. 

Facts about the Chamber Gift Certificates:

  • Each certificate is personalized at the buyer’s request
  • Certificates can be purchased in any denomination
  • It’s the perfect gift! The recipient has a choice of more than 100 places in the Marion area to use their certificate: retail, shopping, car repair, entertainment, dining, etc.
Participation is smart marketing:
  • Promotion: The Chamber promotes the program on the Chamber Web site, social media, in the Chamber newsletters and more. Your business name is promoted on every certificate. A special icon is used in the Chamber Directory for all participants, and you are provided a special “Marion Chamber of Commerce Gift Certificates Accepted Here” decal to display at your business.
  • Simple and cost-effective: No paperwork, just mail the redeemed certificate to the Chamber. We reimburse you 95% of the face value, in a timely manner. The Chamber keeps 5% to cover supplies, administrative costs and promotions.
  • One year expiration date.
How it works:
  • Marion Chamber Gift Certificate is purchased from the Chamber office.
  • Recipient redeems gift certificate using entire amount (no change need be given) to purchase goods or services, choosing from one of the many participating businesses listed on the face of the gift certificate.
  • Participating business signs the gift certificate acknowledging redemption.
  • Participating business turns in the gift certificate to the Chamber office (via mail or in person) and, within two weeks of receiving the redeemed certificate, the Chamber will issue a reimbursement check for 95% of the face value of each redeemed Gift Certificate.
How to sign up: Requirements for participation:
  1. I agree to honor all Marion Chamber Gift Certificates presented for redemption at my business.
  2. I understand that the entire amount of each Gift Certificate can be used to purchase goods or services in one establishment only, and that no refunds need be given, and no restrictions apply.
  3. As a participating business in the Gift Certificate Program, I understand my business will be listed alphabetically on all Marion Chamber Gift Certificates.
  4. I agree to return to the Chamber office, either by mail or in person, all Gift Certificates redeemed at my business, and, within two (2) weeks or receiving redeemed certificates, the Chamber will issue to me a reimbursement check for ninety-five percent (95%) of the face value of each redeemed Gift Certificate.
  5. Should I wish to discontinue my participation in the program, I agree to notify the Chamber office in writing of my cancelation. I understand that my business will be required to honor any and all outstanding gift certificates that have been issued prior to the date my notification is received. All gift certificates include an expiration date of twelve (12) months from the date of issue.

Save on electricity and gas

The Marion Chamber of Commerce and Affordable Gas and Electric have teamed up to offer chamber members this exclusive opportunity to save BIG on their electricity and natural gas bills.

If you would like to learn more about the Electricity and Natural Gas Aggregation for Marion Chamber of Commerce Members, please contact Marion Chamber of Commerce member AGE at, click here, or fill out this form.

Let us put the Spotlight on your Business!

The Marion Chamber of Commerce is happy promote members on the homepage of the Chamber's Web site in the Member Spotlight section for $150.

Note that one Member Spotlight is featured a month. Slots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. A company may only request a Member Spotlight once a year.

Member Spotlight Schedule:
  • May - December 2017 - AVAILABLE
To grab your spot in the spotlight, email or call 618.997-6311 and let us know what month you'd like.

Send a Member eBlast!

The Marion Chamber of Commerce is happy to send promotional eBlasts once a week on behalf of members as a member benefit for $50. Slots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. A company may only request a Member eBlast once a month. Click here for the form. 

Space available for your business on the Chamber's digital sign AT REDUCED PRICE!

Dear Marion Chamber of Commerce members,

The Marion Chamber of Commerce Marketing Committee members have drastically reduced the cost to advertise on the Chamber's digital sign.

The Marion Chamber of Commerce makes the electronic sign available for rent to a wide variety of Chamber members, local businesses, organizations, community groups and residents. 

Ads can be up to 2 lines of text with the typical line containing about 18 characters (including spaces). Ads run twice for 15 seconds each on a 5-minute loop. We allow for a maximum of 10 ads, which means each ad is live on the board 576 times every day and approximately 17,520 times per month. The sign runs 24/7 so your message gets greatest exposure. All ads must be paid in full before the advertisement goes live.

For more information or to take advantage of this great opportunity, click 

Thank you,
Dalus Ben Avi
Executive Director

Would you like to host a BAH?

Have you thought about hosting a Business After Hours event? Schedule yours today!

Business After Hours events are usually held on the fourth Thursday of the month, unless the Chamber member has a special need for a different date or calendar conflicts at the Chamber arise.

The hours for a Business After Hours event are to be determined by the Chamber member. However, 4:30-6:30 p.m. is recommended.

The Business After Hours Program fee is $100. 

Email, call 997-6311 or fill out 
this form to schedule your BAH event today! 

Chamber responsibilities include:
  • Promoting the event through all of our communications (newsletter, Web site, social media, Monthly Membership Luncheon announcements, etc.)
  • Provide member mailing labels for invitations

Chamber member suggestions:
  • Send special invitations to Chamber Members and their customers (must include Chamber logo on printed materials)
  • Provide food and beverages at the event 
  • Provide door prizes at the event
  • Make a presentation about your business/organization

Business After Hours Program Schedule:
  • July - December 2017 - AVAILABLE

Promote your business to Chamber Members!

Dear Marion Chamber of Commerce members,

Each month, the Marion Chamber of Commerce averages 10-15 new voting members. 

  • The Marion Chamber is in need of your business’ goodies to distribute to all of our new voting members. Do you have cups, koozies, stress balls, coupons, fun trinkets, etc. that you would like to be presented to all new voting members at the Chamber in their new member gift bag? During each New Member Quarterly Luncheon, members of the Marion Chamber of Commerce Membership Committee meet with new members from the past quarter to go over their new member packets and give them a gift bag filled with goodies from our members to welcome them to the Chamber. Call or email the Chamber to include your business in the goodie bags today!
  • Do you have great discounts to offer other Chamber members? We can include you in our Member-to-Member Discounts! Click here to see who is already giving discounts to Marion Chamber of Commerce members. Call or email the Chamber today to start listing your Member-to-Member Discounts.
  • Do you want to offer a “thank you for joining the Marion Chamber Team” discount to only new Chamber voting members? We can include your coupon or discount in all new voting members’ packets. We already include offers from other members, including discounted advertising rates!  We would love to include something from your business in our packets.  This is a GREAT way for your business to get noticed by potential new business customers! 
  • Call or email the Marion Chamber today to list your new member discounts/coupons today!
 Our goal is to promote more business growth and an opportunity for our members to connect.  We hope you will take a moment and let us know what you are willing to offer.  We have so many great members with top notch products and services, we want to make sure we share the news!
Thank you!
Dalus Ben Avi 
Executive Director
Marion Chamber of Commerce
2305 West Main Street
Marion, IL 62959
p 618.997.6311  f 618.997.4665

Marion Chamber Dish Mob, 05-11-17

Join the Marion Chamber Dish Mob on May 11 from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Culver's!

Every quarter, the Marion Chamber invites you to visit a Marion area restaurant armed with cash, a smile, and a love of Marion. We call and block several tables (usually for 20 people) during the breakfast, lunch or dinner hours but we won't let you know where the location is until the day before the Dish Mob.

The Marion Chamber Dish Mob is held the 2nd Thursday in February, May, August and November. 

Click the image below to RSVP.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Open House at Interim HealthCare, 05-11-17

Click the image below to RSVP.

Social Media Webinar #2: Most Common Mistakes Made in Social Media Today, 05-18-17

Click the image below to RSVP.

Grad Spree needs your help

It’s that time of the year again to make plans for the Marion 2017 Friends For Life Graduation Spree, Thursday, May 18, 2017, a drug-free and alcohol-free environment for the graduating seniors.
This year, we have many exciting things planned for our graduates. Brian Madrid, a world class hypnotist, will provide two shows for the seniors. During the show, the volunteers will become the stars of the show with hilarious moments and inspire every person to live life to the fullest. Brian’s past clients include Toyota, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruise Line, Riviera Maya Resorts and Visionary Wealth Advisory. Also, while at the SIU Rec Center, the graduates can participate in: giant board games, such as Jenga, Connect Four and Checkers; swimming; rock climbing; dodge ball tournament; laser tag; professional photo booth; and much more! All of this is provided to each Marion High School graduate free-of-charge.
The cost to provide this event last year was approximately $10,000 with the average cost being about $50 per student. Marion Grad Spree would not be possible without the help of our Chamber and community members. Please consider donating to help cover the cost of the event and door prize items to giveaway to seniors throughout the night. Any item you can donate will help make this a memorable evening for the seniors. 
For businesses and individuals, we have the following sponsorship levels available: Silver-$250, Gold-$500, and Platinum-$1000 or more. Of course, any amount is appreciated. We will honor our Gold & Platinum Sponsors by including their name and link to their Web site in Grad Spree promotional materials, on our website, newsletter and email blasts. A donation statement for your taxes is available upon request. If you would like to donate to this year's Grad Spree, click here. 

Also, please consider volunteering to chaperone during this year’s Grad Spree. Last year, more than 30 people volunteered to chaperone this annual event. We anticipate needing at least 30 chaperones again this year. Any time you can volunteer will help make this a memorable night for the seniors. Grad Spree will be held from 10 p.m. until 4 a.m. on May 18 at the SIU Rec Center. Chaperons are needed from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Individuals may sign up to supervise the graduates all night (9 p.m. report to Rent One ballpark, 10 p.m. - 4 a.m. at the SIU Rec Center, 4-4:30 a.m. on bus to Rent One ballpark), during signup (9-10:30 p.m. at Rent One ballpark), or at SIU Rec Center only (9 p.m. - 4 a.m). To sign up to volunteer, click here to sign-up online, download and fill out this form, call the Chamber at 997-6311 or e-mail the Chamber at 
The FINAL DEADLINE for seniors to register for Grad Spree is May 16. If a graduate must leave early, a written notice must be turned in to the Marion Chamber of Commerce office prior to May 12 and include the time they will be leaving and the name of the parent or legal guardian who will be picking up the student. We are not responsible if the student signs up and does not attend.  For graduating seniors in need of a registration form to attend Grad Spree, click here. Only graduating seniors may attend Grad Spree. Also:

  • Only graduating seniors may attend Grad Spree. No guests.
  • All graduates must sign up in advance. The last day to register is May 16 by 2 p.m. at the Marion Chamber.
  • ALL information on the registration form must be filled out.
  • This is a drug-free and alcohol-free event.
  • All cars are to be parked at Rent One Park parking lot. 
  • All attendees must ride the buses provided to all Grad Spree activities in order to be admitted. NO FOOD OR DRINKS ALLOWED ON THE BUSES. First bus leaves at 9:30 p.m. and the last bus leaves at 10 p.m.
  • All attendees will be given a bag to hold their personal items upon entering the registration area. Attendees will not be allowed to use their own bag. Attendees do not need to bring any money. All activities and food are FREE for the entire night. Graduates are encouraged to bring a swimsuit and towel to swim in the SIU Rec Center pool.
  • If for any reason attendees must leave early that night, their parent must personally bring a written note to the Chamber Office no later than 4 p.m. on May 12 and be the person who will pick you up. Only the graduates' parents will be allowed to pick them up.

The Marion Chamber of Commerce Grad Spree Committee is proud to offer this event to our graduating seniors.  We have kept our seniors safe for more than 30 years.
Thank you in advance for your generosity and continued support,

Matt Carnaghi, Harness Digital Marketing                       Dalus Ben Avi, Executive Director
Grad Spree Committee Chairman                                     Marion Chamber of Commerce

Please make your check payable to “Marion Chamber of Commerce Foundation” and mail it today to:
Marion Chamber of Commerce               
Attn: Graduation Spree
P.O. Box 307
Marion, IL  62959

Platinum Sponsor
Noon Rotary Club of Marion
Watermark Auto Group

Gold Sponsors
First Church of God
Aisin Manufacturing

Silver Sponsors
Peoples National Bank
First Southern Bank
The Insurance House
Zion United Church of Christ
Commercial Janitorial Services
Great Boars of Fire
Pepsi MidAmerica


Marion Chamber Lunch & Learn, 05-24-17

May Lunch & Learn: Leadership from the U.S. Marines to Corporate America
May 24 • Noon - 1 p.m.
Heartland Regional Medical Center Classroom 1

Special guest Daniel Nalley, Vice President of Operations for Pepsi MidAmerica, former
enlisted U.S. Marine and decorated Iraqi War veteran, will share leadership principles and applications learned in The U.S. Marine Corp and used in his role with Pepsi MidAmerica. Come join us for this special “Memorial Day” Lunch & Learn program as we remember, honor, and learn from, the leadership of our military.

Click the image below to RSVP.

Business BEFORE Hours program: AT&T, 05-30-17

Click the image below to RSVP

Marion Chamber Cash Mob, 06-08-17

Join the Marion Chamber Cash Mob! The Cash Mob will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, June 8 at a Marion-area business. The business has agreed to offer appetizers and special deals to the Mob while they shop.

Click the image below to RSVP. 

Marion Community Day at Rent One Park 6/10

Marion Community Day at Rent One Park is Saturday, June 10.  The Southern Illinois Miners will be facing off against the Joliet Slammers.  Show your community spirit and support for Marion Grad Spree this year by attending the game.

As a Chamber member, you have access to deals with the Southern Illinois Miners for Community Day, including the following options to participate:
  1. Table on the concourse and 4 general admission tickets - $125
    1. Your business will receive 4 general admission tickets to the game and a display table on the concourse during the game to promote your business and products.
  2. Tickets to the game - $10/each for box seats. $5/each for general admission.
The first pitch will be thrown at 6:05 p.m. Tickets to the game are only $10 for box seats and $5 for general admission and are available for purchase online here, by calling the Marion Chamber at (618) 997-6311, emailing or by stopping by the Marion Chamber at 2305 West Main. A portion of ticket sales through June 7 will go to the Marion Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Grad Spree program.

The Marion Chamber of Commerce Foundation sponsors Grad Spree, which was started more than 30 years ago to help insure that graduation is the beginning of a new life, not the end of one. The Chamber provides a night of fun-filled activities following graduation ceremonies. The cost of this event is covered by direct donations and dollars raised at various Marion Chamber of Commerce fundraisers. The event costs approximately $50 per student. 

During the ballgame, sponsors will display their goods and services on tables throughout the concourse. 

For more information about Marion Community Day, visit, call the Chamber at (618) 997-6311 or email

Business After Hours program: Changing Seasons Landscape Center, 06-22-17

Click the image below to RSVP.

Marion Chamber Block Par-tee at Heartland Regional Medical Center, 10-13-17

Click image to RSVP. 

Would you like to sponsor a Monthly Membership Luncheon?

The Marion Chamber of Commerce is happy to to offer to members the sponsorship opportunity at the Monthly Membership Luncheons, held on the second Tuesday of each month (except for January) for $150.

Each Monthly Luncheon will have only one sponsor, and that sponsor is entitled to:
  • a logo in the luncheon invitation
  • opportunity to speak for up to three minutes at the luncheon
  • a table set up by the registration table at the luncheon.
The opportunity is limited to one Monthly Luncheon Sponsorship per business per year. 
The Monthly Membership Luncheon Sponsorship Schedule is:

2018: To become a Monthly Membership Luncheon sponsor, email with what month you'd like to sponsor or call the Chamber at (618) 997-6311.
Marion Chamber of Commerce Newsletter - Marion Chamber of Commerce Newsletter 051017