Business Bits

YWCA hires V2 Marketing to develop corporate website 
YWCA of Rockford recently hired V2 Marketing Communications to develop a corporate website. The website will reflect new branding requirements of the national YWCA and users will be able to read the website content in either English or Spanish.
YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) draws together members who strive to create opportunities for women’s growth, leadership, and power in order to attain a common vision: peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all people.
V2 Marketing Communications is a full service marketing agency in Rockford, Illinois, provides advertising and marketing consulting services, association management services, brand strategy, inbound marketing, graphic design and web site development.
Nellie’s Barn Sale gets national attention in Romantic Country
Nellie’s Barn Sale, celebrating their 12th year, recently was named one of the “Best Fall Fleas & Tent Events” in Romantic Country magazine, published by Athlon Sports Communications. The annual two-day market, tagged as a “Vintage Extravaganza,” is located at 10985 Main Street in Roscoe, Illinois. This year’s shopping scene included 60 vendors selling a variety of vintage loot in a two acre field and adjacent lot.
Action License & Title moves to new office on Phelps Avenue
Action License and Title is pleased to announce its recent move to larger and more customer-friendly office. Action License and Title was located at 2448 B S. Alpine Road in Rockford.
“The facility was just not meeting our needs,” said owner Rich Schindler. “Plus we wanted to offer a safer, more centrally located office for the convenience of our customers.”
Franchesco’s Ristorante hits 30 year business milestone
Franchesco’s Ristorante was established on October 10, 1986.
This date is significant to the founders, as it was exactly 20 years to the day that Frank and Anna Salamone and their two young sons, Benny and Charlie, sailed past the Statue of Liberty after a week long trek across the Atlantic, from the little village of Aragona, Sicily. The date was Oct. 10, 1966 and Benny Salamone was just 9 years old.
Determined to live the American Dream, Frank Salamone and his two sons, Benny and Charlie, successfully opened Franchesco’s Pizzeria in Cherry Valley, Illinois on October of 1986. The pizzaria closed in 2008, but the dream remained for the family, and they continued on.
“It was a culmination of a life’s work...my father’s. You see, he and my mother made amazing sacrifices to save enough money to get us from Italy to America. My dad, he worked in a coal mine - 16 years of hard labor with hardly a day off, driven by the vision of bringing his family to this country to give us a better life,” said owner Benny Salamone. “That’s why this restaurant means so much to me, that’s why our customers are family.”
Edward Jones wins award for website design, client navigation
Industry professionals have ranked the Edward Jones website as the best in financial services in terms of ease of navigation, straightforward design and available options for users, according to Will Geske, Financial Advisor.
The award recently was presented as part of the Web Marketing Association’s 17th Annual Web Awards. Judges included chief executive officers, creative directors and web developers across 96 industries including technology, health care and financial services.
“We believe this award offers evidence of our focus on delivering an outstanding experience for our clients — whether that experience is in person or online,” said Tim Rea, principal and chief marketing officer for Edward Jones. “We’re extremely pleased to receive this recognition and continue to work every day to make the online experience even better.”
Blackhawk earns Silver Award ‘Military Friendly’ designation
Blackhawk Technical College is pleased to announce for the second year in a row it has earned the 2017 silver award as a Military Friendly School designation by Victory Media.
“We are honored to be recognized for the work we do for our students who have served, or who are currently in service to our country,” said Michael Olmsted, Veterans Resource Specialist. “These men and women make a valuable contribution to our campus community every day. We’re grateful to be recognized for our service to all of our students.”
First published in 2009, Military Friendly Schools is the most comprehensive, powerful resource for veterans today. Each year, the list of Military Friendly Schools is provided to service members and their families, helping them select the best college, university, or trade school to receive the education and training needed to pursue a civilian career.
Institutions earning the Military Friendly School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from Victory Media’s proprietary survey. More than 1,600 Midwestern schools participated in the survey; 1,160 were awarded with the designation.
Ratings methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by Victory Media with input from the Military Friendly Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for Student Retention, Graduation, Job Placement, Loan Repayment, Persistence (Degree Advancement or Transfer) and Loan Default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.
ABC Supply Co. Inc. finalizes purchase of L&W Supply
BELOIT — ABC Supply Co. Inc. has finalized its purchase of L&W Supply from USG Corporation (United States Gypsum Corporation).
L&W Supply is a leading specialty distributor of drywall, ceiling tile, steel framing and other building materials used by commercial and residential contractors. L&W Supply will operate as a separate division of ABC Supply.
“We are excited to begin this next phase of our growth strategy, and we look forward to welcoming the L&W Supply associates into the ABC family,” said Keith Rozolis, ABC Supply’s president and chief executive officer. “As a world-class distributor of interior building materials, L&W shares ABC’s deep commitment to serving the professional contractor.”
The acquisition of Chicago, Illinois-based L&W Supply adds 136 locations to ABC Supply. ABC Supply, based in Beloit, is the nation’s largest wholesale distributor of select exterior and interior building products and now has over 700 locations in 49 states and sales of more than $8 billion.
Since its founding by Ken and Diane Hendricks in 1982, ABC Supply’s sole focus has been serving professional contractors—taking care of them better than any other distributor and offering the products, services and support they need to build their businesses. It accomplishes this by being an “employee-first” company that treats its associates with respect and gives them the tools they need to succeed.
Spartan Motors enters into deal with Smeal Fire Apparatus
DELAVAN — Spartan Motors, a global leader in specialty chassis and vehicle design, which operates facilities in Delavan, has entered into a agreement to acquire Smeal Fire Apparatus, an industry-leading innovator and manufacturer of fire apparatus in North America for $36.3 million.
The acquisition will enable Spartan Motors to strengthen its Emergency Response business, gain scale and geographic reach in the industry, and accelerate its Emergency Response business unit turnaround plan.
The transaction is expected to close in January 2017, subject to customary closing conditions.
Smeal is expected to generate 2016 revenues of approximately $100 million, which includes approximately $30 million of Spartan chassis sold to Smeal. The newly combined Spartan Emergency Response business unit will rank as one of the top-four North American fire apparatus manufacturers and will be well positioned, in an increasingly consolidating industry.

Stocks