About Us

In October of 1893, a group of civic-minded businessmen incorporated the Citizen’s Improvement Association of Pekin. The organization was formed for the purpose of “advancing the business interest and promoting the commercial growth of the City of Pekin.” The five directors that were selected to control and manage the corporation for the first year were:  Everett W. Wilson, George Herget, Jesse B. Cooper, Henry Block, and Joseph V. Graff.  These men banded together with a goal:  systematic activity to secure new industries for Pekin. Everett W. Wilson was president of the group.

A second business association, the Pekin Retail Merchants Association, was organized in 1900 with Ferd Pauley as President and Fred Helm as Secretary. The purpose of this organization was to promote better business practices and systems.

In 1904 the Citizen’s Improvement Association of Pekin changed its name to the Commercial Club of Pekin.

In 1911 Commercial Club of Pekin and the Pekin Retail Merchants Association merged, retaining the name of the Commercial Club of Pekin.

Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director

Amy Whiting-McCoy

Amy Whiting-McCoy has held several positions in her career spanning over 20 years in the insurance industry, including agency ownership and management. Amy was named Executive Director of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce in March 2020.

Amy received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Western Illinois University.  She also holds Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) and Registered Health Underwriter (RHU) designations.

Amy has been recognized for her community service and leadership many times. Amy has been a participant in the St. Jude Memphis to Peoria Run since 2004 and co-coordinator of the Macomb to Peoria Run from 2001 to 2003. Amy was the Memphis to Peoria Runner of the Year in 2018 and she currently serves as a Director on the St. Jude Runs Board. Amy has served on the Parent Board of the Dragon Aquatics Swim Team and is a Past Board member and volunteer for Pekin Main Street. 

She is a 2002 graduate of the Pekin Area Chamber Leadership Academy and a Class of 2009 Peoria Area 40 Leaders Under Forty recipient. In 2017, Amy was honored as a 25 Women in Leadership by the Peoria Chamber and WEEK TV.  She also recently received an Outstanding Achievement Award in Community Service from the YWCA of Pekin at their annual Women’s Recognition Day Luncheon.

Amy is active in the community and has been a Kiwanis member since 2001.  She is a Kiwanis Club of Pekin Past President and Board Member, as well as a Kiwanis Division 20 Past Lt. Governor. 

Amy was honored with the Kiwanis Hixson Award in 2011.  Amy has served on the Pekin Marigold Festival planning committee since 2005, and chaired the Pekin Marigold Festival in 2019. Amy currently serves on the Board of Directors for Camp Hope presented by the Dax Foundation, the St. Jude Gala Committee, and will be awarded Volunteer of the Year at the 2021 St. Jude Gala.

Amy is married to Mike and has three daughters, Molly, Samantha & Claire.  She enjoys running, vacations, and time spent with her family.

Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

The Chamber’s leadership comes from a Board of Directors, elected by the membership. The Board meets on the second Wednesday of each month, at 4:00pm. Objectives of the Board shall be in accordance with the purpose, as stated in the by-laws, and the Board shall set the policy and direction for the Chamber.

The Executive Committee is comprised of the officers of the Board of Directors, and meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 4:00pm. All officers are directly accountable to the Board of Directors. Objectives of the officers shall be in accordance with the purpose, as stated in the by-laws, and the responsibility of seeing that the organization runs properly and remains financially sound.

Officers elected April 2021 to April 2022:

Baylee Gambetti

President

Coldwell Banker
The Real Estate Group

Chris Deverman

Vice President

Deverman Advertising, Inc.

Laurie Gruse

Treasurer

Pekin Insurance

Dennis Short

Past President

Pekin Community Bank

Directors elected April 2019 to April 2022:

Megan Olt

TCRC, Inc.

Scott Roher

Pekin Country Club

Danielle Bernier

Servpro of Peoria & North Central Tazewell County

Directors elected April 2020 to April 2023:

Todd Benton

Pekin Insurance

Karen Shorey

LMI Central IL

Debbie Fornoff

Debbie Fornoff Interior Design & Draperies

Directors elected April 2021 to April 2024:

Eric Hill

SNH Investment

Jason Proehl

Kuhfuss & Proehl

Anthony Howard

UnityPointe Health

Past Presidents

1916 – 1917    William. E. Schurman
1917 – 1919    James M. Rahn
1919 – 1921    Franklin L. Velde
1921 – 1922    William J. Reardon
1922 – 1923    James M. Rahn
1923 – 1924    Elmore G. Heisel
1924 – 1925    Franklin L. Velde
1925 – 1926    James J. Crosby
1926 – 1928    Willis M. Beardsley
1928 – 1929    Louis A. Birkenbusch
1929 – 1931    Arthur E. Severe
1931 – 1932    Paul H. Massey
1932 – 1933    Henry B. Koch
1933 – 1935    George B. Stolley
1935 – 1937    Irving M. Weimer
1937 – 1938    E.M. Marshall
1939 – 1939    Charles V. Frings
1939 – 1940    Robert E. Bryan
1940 – 1941    Albert LaFrenz
1941 – 1943    A.B. Foster
1943 – 1944    George D. Holiman
1944 – 1945    Leslie L. Jones
1945 – 1946    Arthur L. Grob
1946 – 1947    E. Oscar Winkel
1947 – 1948    Eugene P. Maurer
1948 – 1949    Karl E. Stoll / E.E. Lawson
1949 – 1950    Dr. D.W. Turner
1950 – 1951    Harlow R. Summers
1951 – 1953    John C. Kriegsman

1953 – 1954    Morton Bowman
1954 – 1955    A.V. Martens
1955 – 1956    Orville Deppert
1956 – 1957    Thomas H. Harris
1957 – 1958    R.H. “Bud” More
1958 – 1960    Robert Culshaw
1960 – 1962    E.M. Kumpf
1962 – 1963    A.R. Sutton
1963 – 1966    John E. Monge
1966 – 1968    W. Dean McNaughton
1968 – 1970    Charles E. Gagnier
1970 – 1972    Melvin V. Burling
1972 – 1975    Ralph T. Brower
1975 – 1977    Charles F. Wolfe
1977 – 1979    A. Dean Willock
1979 – 1980    Richard Hayes
1980 – 1981    James Johnston
1981 – 1982    Paul Koch
1982 – 1983    Merrill Parsons
1983 – 1984    Larry Wichman
1984 – 1985    Louis Steger
1985 – 1986    Ronald Claussen
1986 – 1987    R. David Tebben
1987 – 1988    Charles H. “Chic” Renner
1988 – 1989    James E. Warning
1989 – 1990    Patrick E. Oberle
1990 – 1991    Dr. Virgil Petty
1991 – 1992    E. Baird Woolsey
1992 – 1993    Carol A. Shields

1993 – 1994    Bill Schade
1994 – 1995    Andrew Sparks
1995 – 1996    A. Richard Kriegsman
1996 – 1997    Robert Moore
1997 – 1998    William T. Fleming
1998 – 1999    Thomas Tesar
1999 – 2000    Perry Soldwedel
2000 – 2001    Vince Udry
2001 – 2002    Patrick Taphorn
2002 – 2003    Cindy Galyean
2003 – 2004    Ron Miller
2004 – 2005    D. Neal “Buster” Hanley II
2005 – 2006    Margaret “Marggie” Seelye
2006 – 2007    Glen Rittenhouse
2007 – 2008    Peggy Collins
2008 – 2009    Dr. Timm Schwartz
2009 – 2010    Mike Vonderheide
2010 – 2011    Althea Geiser
2011 – 2012    Charles “Skip” Schermerhorn
2012 – 2013    Drew Leman
2013 – 2014    Tom Hornstein
2014 – 2015    Aindrea Balagna
2015 – 2016    Gregg Ratliff
2016 – 2017    John Franks, III
2017 – 2018    Becky Saban
2018 – 2019    Scott Kriegsman
2019 – 2020    Dan Pfeifer

Past Executive Directors

1916 – 1920    Phil H. Sipfle
1920 – 1923    James H. Braucht
1923 – 1925    Leonard D’Ooge
1925 – 1929    Ormond F. Lyman
1929 – 1938    John S. Patterson
1938 – 1941    Francis O Neer
1941 – 1945    Ross E. Anderson

1945 – 1952    Britt B. Blair
1952 – 1953    A.W. Tarter
1953 – 1959    R.J. Lindley
1959 – 1962    Paul E. Burkhardt
1962 – 1970    R.H. “Bud” More
1970 – 1984    Leland S. “Lee” Williams
1985 – 1987    Ralph T. Brower

1987 – 1989    Kevin L. Rosner
1959 – 1993    Willard E. Birkmeier
1993 – 1996    Charles H. “Chic” Renner
1996 – 2001    Carol A. Shields
2001 – 2020    Willam T. Fleming
2020 – present    Amy Whiting-McCoy

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