Business Bits

Geske wins several Edward Jones Awards

William Geske of the financial services firm Edward Jones recently won several awards at the firm’s summer regional meetings, including the Goodknight

Completion Award, the A. F. McKenzie Award, and the Circle of Success Award. The awards, albeit different in nature, recognize Edward Jones financial advisors for their work helping their clients. He was also nominated for Financial Advisor of the Year in his Edward Jones region.

Jim Weddle, managing partner for Edward Jones, said the firm makes a special effort to acknowledge exceptional work and performance by its financial advisors.

“At Edward Jones, we believe we can better serve individual investors by establishing community branch offices and having our representatives live and work in those communities,” he said. “We realize, however, that because our financial advisors usually work alone, there isn’t much opportunity to congratulate them for a job well done. That’s why these types of awards are so important to us.”

Geske’s office is the largest Edward Jones Branch in greater Rockford/Belvidere, Illinois area.

theFrancaGroup clients awarded $700,000

US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) recently announced the award of $700,000.00 in Oral Health Awards to fund two clients of theFranaGroup in Illinois and Indiana. Awards were $350,000 each to expand their Oral Health services.

The funding enables health centers to expand integrated oral health care services and increase the number of patients served. With these awards from HRSA, health centers across the country will increase their oral health service capacity by hiring approximately 1,600 new dentists, dental hygienists, assistants, aides, and technicians to treat nearly 785,000 new patients.

Community health centers now represent the largest primary practice in the United States. They served more than 23 million patients with 87 million patient visits at over 9,000 service sites in 2014 with a combined staffing of over 153,000 health care professionals.

Founded in 1999, theFranaGroup, is a healthcare consulting firm based out of Rockford, Illinois, that provides solutions for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), including a wide array of services tailored to Community Health Center operations and strategy, both before and after funding.

Video Corner adds U-Haul affiliation

U-Haul Company of Wisconsin, Inc. is pleased to announce that Video Corner has signed on as a U-Haul neighborhood dealer to serve the Beloit community.

Video Corner, located at 1006 Prairie Ave., Beloit, Wisconsin, will offer U-Haul trucks, towing equipment, support rental items and in-store pick-up for boxes.

Hours of operation for U-Haul rentals are 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. After-hours drop-off is available.

Orfordville gets new U-Haul location

U-Haul Company of Wisconsin, Inc. is pleased to announce that Sather’s Service has signed on as a U-Haul neighborhood dealer to serve the Orfordville community.

Sather’s Service, located at 203 W. Brodhead St., Orfordville, Wisconsin, will offer U-Haul trucks, trailers, towing equipment, support rental items and in-store pick-up for boxes.

Hours of operation for U-Haul rentals are 6:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 6:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. After-hours drop-off is available.

Sather’s Service owner Kevin Wellnitz is proud to team with the industry leader in do-it-yourself moving and self-storage to better meet the demands of Rock County.

Local lender receives USDA award

Stan Gruszynski, USDA rural development state director, recently named First National Bank and Trust as a recipient of the 2015 Silver Million Dollar Lender Award.

The Award is presented each year to lenders who have partnered with, and made a significant contribution to, supporting Wisconsin rural residents looking to become homeowners through the USDA Guaranteed Rural Housing (GRH) Program.

In fiscal year 2015, First National Bank and Trust utilized more than $1 million of GRH program funds by financing home purchases to help moderate income families in Wisconsin. Nearly 2,900 families across Wisconsin were able to purchase a home last year through the GRH loan program, totaling nearly $372.4 million.

“Working with our lending partners across the state, we’ve made a difference to those rural families prepared to realize the responsibility and benefits of owning a home,” said Gruszynski. “The last several years have been challenging for homebuyers in rural communities. By partnering with local lenders we are able to leverage our resources and overcome financial barriers in order to help rural communities move forward. We value our partnership with First National Bank and Trust,” he added, “and commend their achievement and contributions to meeting rural housing goals for Wisconsin.”

The Million Dollar Lender Award is given at four levels Million, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, based on the total amount of funding utilized by the lender; Million and Silver levels disbursed more than $1 million, Gold level disbursed more than $2 million, and Platinum level disbursed more than $5 million during the past year.   

Rockford Mutual helps flood victims

In response to severe flooding in Louisiana, Rockford Mutual Insurance Company recently donated $1,000 to Louisiana flood victims.

“Our thoughts are with the victims in Louisiana. We know from our daily work that it is devastating for people to lose most or all of what they have to any type of disaster,” said Joseph DeChatelets, President and CEO.

Rockford Mutual Insurance made their donation through Samaritans Purse, which has three different relief teams on the ground helping families with immediate needs.

Rockford Mutual collects shoes

Recently, a daughter of a Rockford Mutual’s Associate accepted a job as a teacher for the Mississippi School of the Deaf. As she settled in to her new position and her new surroundings, one thing quickly became apparent: the children at the school came from poor areas and needed shoes.

Rockford Mutual sent a message out to the Rockford Mutual associates for help witht he major task of collecting shoes for these children. Within just a week, over $1,100 in cash along with over 300 pairs of shoes were collected.

Rockford Mutual sponsors camp

Rockford Mutual Insurance Company invested in teens in the Rockford community by sponsoring a three-day Engaged Education/Dale Carnegie Training camp for 27 youths last month at the insurance company’s headquarters. Lunch was provided by Vito’s Restaurant, Tavern on Clark and the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

Over the course of the camp, facilitated by Dale Carnegie Trainer Phil Zeller, the youth created visions for their success in school and in life. They focused on key skills for personal development in the areas of self-confidence, communication, interpersonal, leadership and stress management.

As a springboard for their development, the teens were encouraged to reflect upon their own as well as others’ experiences.

The skills learned from this interactive camp are not meant to be short-term, but rather to be used as personal and professional tools by the youth throughout the rest of their lives.

Harlem High School senior, Jacob Sanchez, was nominated and won the highest achievement award after participating in a three day Engaged Education/Dale Carnegie Training camp. Participants selected Sanchez because they felt he best embodied the spirit of leading a positive Intentional Life as Dale Carnegie challenges us to do.