Around The Town

Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corporation recognizes 2023 Economic Development Week:
The Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corporation (JREDC) marks the week of May 8 to May 12, 2023, as Economic Development Week. During this week, communities across North America will celebrate and recognize the contributions made by professional economic developers to create more economically vibrant and livable communities.

“As local and regional economies evolve, the role of economic developers and development organizations are crucial in energizing, preparing and promoting local economic growth,” said IEDC President & CEO Nathan Ohle. “The 2023 Economic Development Week recognizes, distinguishes and shows appreciation for the innovation and leadership of our community leaders building an equitable, sustainable, resilient and inclusive future. I hope communities everywhere will join us in celebrating the accomplishments and important work economic developers perform in their communities year-round.”  

Created in 2016 by International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the largest international professional trade association for economic developers, Economic Development Week aims to increase awareness for local programs that create jobs, advance career development opportunities and improve the quality of life in communities everywhere.

“The Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corporation continues to play an integral role in encouraging the creation of new industry, retaining existing business and improving workforce in the region,” explained Kristin Jamison, JREDC president. “In most cases, our efforts cannot be shared with the public until a project has come to fruition, but it is important for the residents in Morgan and Scott counties to know the JREDC is intently working to strengthen our communities.”

The JREDC has celebrated many recent accomplishments. Through its designation as a Community Navigator, the non-profit has helped facilitate over $3 million in local, state and federal grants to small businesses throughout the region. The JREDC facilitated the addition of properties located on the former MacMurray College to the Jacksonville Regional Enterprise Zone. In collaboration with the Jacksonville Area Chamber, the JREDC worked with Reynolds Consumer Products and Jacksonville School District #117 to launch a workforce pilot program to teach and promote manufacturing skills. In addition, JREDC worked with the City of Jacksonville and Illinois Housing Development Authority to complete a Community Revitalization Strategy, and engaged with fellow community leaders in unveiling a new brand identity that promotes the Jacksonville region as a top choice to visit, work and live.

“There is positive momentum in the Morgan and Scott County region with increases in construction and sales tax receipts,” stated Jamison. “JREDC is committed to continuing our economic development work critical to achieving greater success.”

Pikeland’s Kilver named Superintendent of Distinction:
Dr. Carol Kilver, superintendent of Pikeland CUSD #10, has been named the 2023 Superintendent of Distinction by her colleagues in the Two Rivers Region of the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA).

Dr. Kilver was honored at an awards luncheon May 3 in Springfield. State Superintendent Dr. Tony Sanders was the featured speaker, where 21 IASA regional Superintendents of Distinction were recognized.

“Public education provided me with a solid foundation. It has been a pleasure to spend the past 32 years giving back to public schools,” said Dr. Kilver, who has been an educator for 32 years and superintendent of Pikeland CUSD #10 for three years. “I have never read a student essay entitled, ‘When I grow up, I want to be a Superintendent.’ Most of us are guided to the role by our peers. Over the years, many leaders took the time to help me grow. That type of giving is like no other. Unless you are in the role, most truly don’t understand the challenges of being a superintendent. Acknowledgment from one’s peers is very humbling. My focus is to ensure I continue to contribute to the growth of leaders and public education.”

Those nominating Dr. Kilver noted a number of successes during her tenure including:

  • Promoting Cognitive Coaching and Adaptive Schools as foundational practices.
  • Navigating high-conflict situations.
  • Deploying goal setting and scorecard systems.
  • Serving leaders/principals locally and regionally through coaching protocols.
  • Initiating systems for curriculum, SEL and data points.
  • Balancing educational and facility initiatives through the support of ESSER funds.

The Two Rivers Region is comprised of Adams, Schuyler, Brown, Cass, Pike, Scott, Morgan, Calhoun and Greene counties. Superintendents of Distinction were selected by peers in their region based on their commitment, dedication and leadership.
“Each of these superintendents are great examples of how dynamic leadership can improve the educational environment for students, strengthen communities and continuously push districts forward,” said IASA Executive Director Dr. Brent Clark. “Their commitment and dedication to helping students succeed is unwavering, and I applaud each of these honorees for everything they have done to elevate public education in Illinois.”
The ninth annual luncheon was sponsored by Aflac, America’s most recognized supplemental insurance provider.
“These superintendents excel at providing a supportive, enriching and safe environment to help both students and faculty achieve their best every day,” said Luke Rockwell, Aflac regional sales coordinator.

“As a proud partner of IASA, Aflac applauds each of these dynamic leaders for their dedication, commitment and leadership.”

Epilepsy Support Group to be held at Pathway Services Unlimited: Illinois Epilepsy Support and Resources provides supports to people with epilepsy in Central and Northwest Illinois. These include but are not limited to: peer support, caregiver support, support in accessing benefits, navigating insurance, identification and linkage to medical professionals, access to counseling and help coordinating transportation.

An introductory meeting/support group will be held on Wednesday, May 24 at 5 p.m. at Pathway Services Unlimited, 1905 West Morton Ave. in Jacksonville.

For more information, visit our Facebook page at “Illinois Epilepsy Support and Resources;” our website at; or contact Stephanie Harcharik at 815-673-5574.

Streator Unlimited, Inc. administers this project under a grant from the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Jacksonville moves travel forward this National Travel and Tourism Week: This marks the 40th anniversary of the industry celebration. National Travel and Tourism Week, the annual celebration of the contributions of the U.S. travel industry, will spotlight the essential role that travel will play in driving economic growth and innovation through the theme #TravelForward.

“The travel industry fuels every industry — our industry’s success is the nation’s success,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman. “This week is a prime opportunity to elevate the message that travel is essential to moving America’s economy forward.”

Established in 1983, NTTW (National Travel and Tourism Week) is an annual tradition to mark the U.S. travel industry’s role in stimulating economic growth, cultivating vibrant communities, creating quality job opportunities, stimulating business activity, and elevating the quality of life for everyday Americans.

The 2023 NTTW is May 7-13.

Travel serves as a catalyst for a productive U.S. economy and helps power the success of other industries. The U.S. travel industry generated a $2.6 trillion economic output in 2022 and supported 15 million jobs, fueling communities, small businesses and working families across the country.

Travel spending also generated nearly $160 billion in federal, state, and local taxes in 2022 — revenue that helped fund critical public services while saving each U.S. household an average of $1,270 in taxes.

In the Jacksonville area, the travel industry drove 67.7 million dollars in visitor spending and directly supported 393 jobs in 2021.

Travel plays a significant role in the economic and social growth of the Jacksonville area. The city and the surrounding area are home to numerous events, attractions and landmarks that make it an exciting and unique destination for visitors and locals alike.

This year, the Jacksonville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is recognizing travel’s essential contributions by highlighting some special events throughout the week along with inviting locals to stop in their office to grab local information and swag.

Other fun events throughout the week that can be found by visiting their calendar at or on JACVB’s social media channels.

Executive Director Brittany Henry said, “Travel is at the heart of Jacksonville, powering a strong economy, creating jobs, and strengthening our community’s culture and identity. This National Travel and Tourism Week, we are proud to celebrate all that travel does for our community now, and all that it will contribute to in the future.”

Please visit to learn more about National Travel and Tourism Week.

Remaining events include:

  • May 11 | Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast – 15th anniversary Business After Hours 4:30-6:30pm, Mayoral Proclamation
  • May 12 | All Stars Race at the Jacksonville Speedway

Please visit for details on events above and to learn more about the Jacksonville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Memorial Health rural hospitals honored for student experiences:
The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford has selected Memorial Health to receive the 2023 Distinguished Community Award. The award specifically honors Jacksonville Memorial Hospital, Lincoln Memorial Hospital and Taylorville Memorial Hospital for their support of U of I medical students working in their communities as part of the Rural Medical Education (RMED) program.

This award recognizes community organizations who have enhanced the stature or growth of the College of Medicine with contributions of a special nature.

Jacksonville Memorial Hospital provides students with not only exceptional specialty electives, but also housing, meals and an active orientation to JMH and the communities the hospital serves. Two students have completed the RMED program, with a third set to arrive next month.

“I’m proud of our participation in the RMED program, which asks students to commit to serving patients in rural areas upon completion of their residencies,” said Trevor Huffman, president and CEO of Jacksonville Memorial Hospital. “Memorial Health is committed to providing high-quality care in our rural communities, and this award is a reminder of the importance of that work.”

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