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Business, specifically local business, was the topic of discussion at an invitational event with the purpose of identifying possibilities and revitalizing business in the Illinois Valley. Leaders from financial institutions, CEO's, city leaders and more influential community members assembled in the St. Bede auditorium in Peru to hear a number of speeches from some of the Valley's most successful a business leaders. Everett Solon opened the event with a highlight of the goals for the multi-county job growth program. Entrepreneur Peter Limberger spoke about the need to invest in young entrepreneurs, including a call to action to invest in a one million dollar business incubator for young and upstart businesses in the Illinois Valley. Cherry native Jack Rooney and president of Capital Strategies spoke of the unique and proud history of the Illinois Valley area and Jason Johannas, president of Johanns Bus Service, spoke of his process of bringing his business to the Illinois Valley. The keynote speaker was Jack Schultz, author of Boomtown, USA, gave examples of other small towns that have flourished using his 7 1/2 steps toward industrial and economic success. The event ended with a closing remark from longtime valley businessman Dick Janko.
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