News From Terre Haute, Indiana


April 19, 2014

Newsmakers: April 20, 2014

The East Central Illinois Development Corp. has announced recipients of the 2014 Recognition Awards, which honor some of the region’s most influential community and economic development leaders and most committed volunteers.

Robert Colvin, of Paris, Ill., was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for his success in community and economic development, his leadership in the public and private sectors, and as someone who has continually made a positive difference in his community for more than 20 years.

Jay Markwell, of Casey, will receive the Business Ethics and Social Involvement Award.

Since 1993, ECIDC has partnered with Lake Land College and Eastern Illinois University to bestow the award, which recognizes outstanding business firms and leaders in east central Illinois who pioneer enlightened business practices and display social leadership.

Colvin is described by his nominators as being a selfless leader who has worked diligently with state and local government officials, schools and business leaders to make Edgar County a better place to live and work. He is the president of the Paris Economic Development Corp. and has been a part of the volunteer organization since 1991.

He has been the driving force and a motivator to many community and economic development projects, including the Clark-Edgar Rural Water District and some major industrial successes for Paris. Through his leadership the city was able to capture $9 million in public funding that has since resulted in more than $70 million in private investment in the community.

Colvin has worked to build partnerships between industry and education to assist in providing companies with a trained workforce, assist companies with expansion and development needs, and work alongside the State of Illinois to develop competitive incentive packages to offer new or expanding companies tax abatements, adequate infrastructure, job training and equipment. Currently, he is part of an effort to bridge the gap between the local schools, Lake Land College and local manufacturers for developing job training programs to meet the local industry’s needs. With the local school districts, he has provided a lead role for the location design and construction of the new Paris Cooperative High School. Also, he is currently working to help develop a Life Long Learning Center in Paris.

Colvin also manages the operations of civil engineering and surveying firm Francis Associates, which he has owned with partner, Louie Curl, since 1991.

Markwell, a lifelong resident of Casey, has shown exceptional dedication and commitment to the betterment of the city and the region, according to a news release. “Through his leadership and professionalism, his business Markwell Funeral Home, has been a caregiving asset, exceptional community partner, and a past Casey Business of the Year award recipient. As a well-respected funeral home director, Jay will be honored by his peers this coming June when he will be sworn in as president of the Illinois Funeral Directors Association (IFDA),” the release states.

Markwell’s volunteer work in community and economic development has spanned more than three decades and has yielded many achievements. According to nominator Nicole Weigand, “Those who work with and know Jay consider his community and economic development successes to be manifold and all-encompassing, from working for the schools through Rotary, to making community events more memorable and special through bringing in unique events, to helping individuals and families through the difficult task of burying loved ones, and to engaging the community through his work with Casey in Action.”

He has been involved with and supported many organizations, such as the Casey Chamber of Commerce, the Casey Reward Group, the Casey Country Club and Casey Industries, Inc., a local not-for-profit economic development organization. As a past Casey Citizen of the Month award recipient in 1993, his service extends beyond his hometown. He was instrumental in creating the first hospice for the tri-county area, and he served as a member and officer for what is now known as Lincolnland Hospice. He also served on the Clark County Enterprise Zone Committee, the Clark County Development Organization, and as a director for ECIDC from 1996-2000. He has been involved in the revitalization of Greenup and active in the downtown revitalization for both Westfield and Martinsville. Additionally, his work with the Peace Corps Fellows program at Western Illinois University laid the foundation for creating an economic development director position for the city. As a result, Casey has since undergone a comprehensive planning process and received grants such as the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity IKE Planning Grant.

He has been active in the grassroots community development organization Casey in Action. He led the efforts to coalesce three very distinct entities with different goals — the City of Casey, the Casey Chamber of Commerce, and Casey Industries, Inc. — into one group, the Casey Liaison Steering Committee, with the shared goal of planning for the future and revitalizing the community.

Colvin and Markwell will be recognized during the 2014 ECIDC Annual Celebration and Recognition Awards Presentation at 5:30 p.m. May 15 at the Thelma Keller Convention Center in Effingham.

Register for the awards ceremony at, or contact the ECIDC office by phone at 217-540-3517 or email to Registration deadline is May 8.


Jason Scott Embry, executive director of development at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, has earned the Merit Key Award from Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the nation’s largest social fraternity.

The Merit Key is the second highest award a Sigma Alpha Epsilon alumnus can receive. It recognizes alumni members for their faithfulness, continuous service and dedication to the fraternity. Approximately 600 Merit Keys have been awarded since 1947 among 190,000 living fraternity alumni.

Embry joined Sigma Alpha Epsilon as a student at Western Kentucky University and has been actively involved in the fraternity as an alumnus of the Kentucky Beta Chapter. He was a member of SAE’s Ritual Committee from 2001 to 2013, serving as chairman from January 2012 to July 2013. In 2012, Embry was part of a small group of fraternity members founding the DeVotie Ritual Institute as part of a national initiative to educate undergraduate members on the fraternity’s history and leadership principles.

Embry has been a faculty member of SAE’s John O. Moseley Leadership School since 2000, conducting etiquette workshops. He has also been a featured speaker on fraternity rituals, alumni relations, fundraising and etiquette at several chapter and province leadership conferences. Embry has also served as SAE chapter advisor at Centre College, and on the alumni advisory boards for chapters at the University of Denver and Indiana State University. He has led initiation teams for eight new chapter installation ceremonies.

Previously, Embry received SAE’s Order of Minerva award in 2010 and Order of the Lion award in 2005, recognizing his dedication to the fraternity as a volunteer, as well as his professional standing in the higher education industry. He received the National Chapter Advisor of the Year award in 2001 for his work with Centre College’s Kentucky Kappa chapter.

Embry has 19 years of leadership experience in development at private colleges and universities, primarily in the Midwest and South regions. He has helped increase alumni participation rates, unrestricted annual gifts and named endowed funds at each institute he has worked. At Rose-Hulman, Embry organizes and supervises fundraising activities, particularly in areas of annual giving and major gifts in the Office of Institutional Advancement.


Each year, employees of the state of Indiana participate in the State Employees’ Community Campaign, during which employees are asked to donate to a charity of their choice through payroll deductions.

The Rockville Correctional Facility was honored at this year’s SECC awards ceremony for exceeding the 2013-14 goal of 20 percent or more of its givers contributing one half-hour’s pay each payday. Out of the 79 staff that contributed to the SECC, 32 of them were Champions. RCF was also honored at the “Silver Level” for the per capita number of donors.

During the awards ceremony, Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann praised and thanked the state employees for their continued generosity. The total amount donated at the state level was $1,372,766, which exceeded this year’s campaign goal.

The Rockville Correctional Facility donated $17,000, contributing to the 1,692 charities that will benefit from the program.


Bob Davidson, an LPL financial adviser at Old National Investments in Terre Haute, was recognized as a top financial adviser and named to the LPL Financial Director’s Club. This distinction is based on an annual production ranking of all registered advisers supported by LPL Financial.

Brian Cain, an LPL financial adviser at Old National Investments, was recognized as a top financial adviser and named to the LPL Financial Chairman’s Club. This distinction is based on an annual production ranking of all registered advisers supported by LPL Financial and is awarded to less than six percent of the approximately 13,300 advisers who are affiliated with LPL Financial nationwide.

William Doan Jr., an LPL financial adviser at Old National Investments, was recognized as a top financial adviser and named to the LPL Financial Freedom Club. This distinction is based on an annual production ranking of all registered advisers supported by LPL Financial.


Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network has for the fifth consecutive year designated Gay Ann Monninger, branch manager, as a member of the firm’s Premier Advisors Program, a distinction that reflects Monninger’s achievement of professional success by meeting or exceeding Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Networks’ high standards as measured by one or more of the milestones for revenue generation, educational attainment and client-service best practices.

Monninger has been a financial adviser with Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network for four years and has 18 years experience in the brokerage industry. She graduated magna cum laude from Indiana State University with a bachelor’s degree in finance.

Monninger lives in southern Vigo County with her husband, Randy Knopp and her youngest of five children, Conrad.


Donald Penn was recently promoted to security officer at First Financial Bank in Terre Haute. He works from the First Financial Bank Operations Center at 1401 S. Third St.

Penn is responsible for security of all banking assets and employee training related to fraud and security procedures. He joined First Financial in 2001 as an adjuster for the collections department and was promoted to security/fraud specialist in 2005.

He is a 1991 graduate of Riverton Parke High School and a 1995 graduate of Indiana State University, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in criminology. He is a member of the Institute of Certified Bankers and the Indiana Bankers Association. He is an ICB certified financial services security professional. Penn has completed Reid Institute training on the Reid Technique of Interviewing and Interrogation. He previously served as town marshal in Montezuma. During college, he worked as a dispatcher for the Clinton Police Department.

Penn and his wife Kristi live in Terre Haute.


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  • Union Hospital cuts to come from support staff

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  • Nursery seeks grant applications

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    The Indiana Arts Commission announced Friday that one regional artist is among 38 artists throughout the state receiving career development assistance through the agency’s Individual Artist Program grants for Fiscal Year 2015.

    July 19, 2014

  • Update: Union Hospital notifying workers of layoff

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    July 15, 2014

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  • Eye on the Pie: Indiana’s small business friendliness: A report card

    It must be the season. Another ranking of the states crossed my desk this week. That’s the second in two weeks. This time it’s from the Kauffman Foundation, the Kansas City organization that promotes entrepreneur development, and its polling affiliate, from San Francisco. Briefly, this report tells us that Indiana’s small business friendliness rates a grade of B-, 18th of 38 states in the survey.

    July 12, 2014

  • Social Security benefits of different flavors

    Do you scream for ice cream? If so, July’s the month for you. If not, please read on just the same.
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    July 12, 2014

  • Davis named interim student affairs VP

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    July 12, 2014

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    July 12, 2014

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    July 6, 2014

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    July 6, 2014

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    Anyone who longs for the “good old days” probably doesn’t own a small business. Given the variety of powerful, easy-to-use accounting software products available today, it’s difficult to imagine wanting to keep records and prepare financial statements by hand.

    July 6, 2014

  • Librarian to take over VCPL west branch

    The Vigo County Public Library has named Lauri Chandler as the new manager of West Branch.

    July 6, 2014

  • DNR seeks new officer candidates

    The Department of Natural Resources is seeking qualified applicants to become Indiana Conservation Officers.

    July 6, 2014

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    A sense of excitement flowed through the air of Providence Spirituality and Conference Center at St. Mary-of-the-Woods on June 20, as Linden Leaf Gifts conducted its official grand opening.

    July 6, 2014

  • Newmakers


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