Illinois Stewardship Alliance awards Golden Beets to pioneering local

food practitioners

Illinois Stewardship Alliance is pleased to announce the 2015 Golden Beet Award winners. The Golden Beets, now in their 5th year, are a series of awards created by the Alliance in order to highlight progressive local food practices and recognize the people who are pushing the local food movement forward in Illinois. The winners represent some of the most innovative practitioners and pioneers of local food throughout the state.”Through our work across the state we come across so many amazing people and local food projects, yet they often never receive the recognition they deserve. When people think of agriculture in Illinois they think of corn and soybeans and often don’t realize that there is so much more going on. We think of the Golden Beet Awards as a way to draw attention to the people and projects that are proving local food systems can work in Illinois and are leading by example,” says Molly Gleason, Illinois Stewardship Alliance Outreach Coordinator. Illinois Stewardship Alliance solicits nominations from the general public in six categories: farm to school; community food projects; restaurants and institutions; innovative farmer; scaling up; and other varieties. The 2015 winners wer awarded at the Illinois Stewardship Alliance’s annual meeting on December 3. The winners were: Farm to School: Real Food at Northwestern University; Community Food Project: Cheryl Muñoz of Sugar Beet Food Co-op; Scaling Up: Marnie Record, developer of Lincoln Land Community College’s Value Added Local Food Program; Innovative Farmer: Dustin Kelly of Autumn Berry Inspired; Restaurant and Institutions: Big Grove Tavern; Other Varieties: Eden’s Place Nature Center.  More information about the winners and their photos can be found at

Home builders associations install

2016 officers

For the first time ever, the Springfield Area Home Builders Association (SAHBA) and the Home Builders Association of Illinois (HBAI) combined their installation of officers ceremonies. The event was held Tuesday, December 8th and was performed by Ed Brady of Brady Homes, who will become President of the National Association of Home Builders in January. Not only does this make history, but also shows how both associations are working together for the advancement of the home building industry. At the banquet, SAHBA and HBAI announced the new officers for 2016 and presented the following prestigious awards for exceptional work within the industry: SAHBA:  A Presidential Citation was presented to Jim Lauwerens with United Community Bank and Steve Sturm with Truss/Slater; Member of the Year was presented to Becky Luzinski with Illinois National Bank; Associate of the Year was presented to Ryan Warden with Woare’s Inc.; Remodeler of the Year was presented to Chris Mikus with Safeguard General Contracting; and Builder of the Year was presented to Dean Graven with Legacy Homes of Illinois. HBAI: A Presidential Citation was presented to Allan Drewes with Old Towne Custom Builders (NIHBA), Jason Huelsman with New Tradition Homes (HBA of GSWIL), Pete Stefani with Kings Court Builders (NIHBA), John Cooney with Cooney Corso & Moynihan, Heather Runge with Nicor Gas (NIHBA), Tracy Butler (EO of Greater Southwest HBA) and Lee-Ann Burgener (EO of SAHBA). In addition, Senator Sam McCann was in attendance and presented Fiore Belmonte of Prairie Insulation (2016 SAHBA President) and Dean Graven of Legacy Homes of Illinois (2016 HBAI President) with a Senate Proclamation. Visit for more details.

Local home sales down, prices up

Capital Area Realtors  report existing residential median home sale prices increased during November compared to a year ago as did sale pending properties while new listings, time on market and the number of homes sold declined. For November 2015, 218 homes sold, reflecting a decrease of 5.6 percent from the 231 homes sold in November 2014. Year-to-date home sales through November of 2015, totaled 3,488, reflecting a 2.1 percent increase over the 3,415 sales during the same time in 2014. There were 287 sales pending in November 2015, up 5.5 percent over the 272 sales pending during the same time last year. The 18 foreclosure sales in November 2015, represented 8.3 percent of all sales as compared to the prior November total which represented 12.1 percent of all sales. Average cumulative days on market for all home sales was 71 in November 2015, down from 78 days during the prior month and 86 days in November of 2014. Total housing inventory at the end of November 2015 reflected 1,350 listings representing a 4.3 month supply at the current sales pace. The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. reported the national average commitment rate for 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgages was 3.9 percent in December 2015, down from the 4.0 average rate during November of 2014. The Capital Area’s Resource for Real Estate Information can be found at

Chamber announces new 2016

board members

The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce welcomed new board members at its annual board meeting on Dec. 8, including Ruby Davis, Ruby Funeral Services & Chapel, Inc.; Pamela Hart, Scott & Scott, P.C.; Bill Kienzle, Brother James Court; Mayor Jim Langfelder, City of Springfield; Dr. Charles Lucore, HSHS St. John’s Hospital; Greg Matthews, Levi, Ray & Shoup, Inc.; John McCarthy, The Horace Mann Companies; Lori Milosevich, Estes, Bridgewater & Ogden; and Lisa Clemmons Stott, Downtown Springfield, Inc.     

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