IAR representatives on hand for governor’s economic development announcement

Illinois REALTOR® Pradeep Shukla meets with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner at an announcement on Feb. 3 about changes to how the state handles economic development.

Illinois REALTOR® Pradeep Shukla meets with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner at an announcement on Feb. 3 about changes to how the state handles economic development.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, announced the creation of a public-private partnership with a goal of attracting new businesses and jobs to Illinois.

The Governor signed an Executive Order which will create a new economic development entity, called the Illinois Business and Economic Development Corporation. This not-for-profit corporation is charged with recruiting new businesses to Illinois.

On hand for the announcement today were REALTOR® Pradeep Shukla and IAR Government Affairs staff Mike Scobey and Kris Anderson. Shukla, a member of IAR’s Global Task Force and IAR Consulate Liaison for India, said he was pleased to hear the Governor say that the corporation and its Board will work with the consulates of various nations.

The Governor opened up his press conference/announcement this morning by stating “we have been inadequate in selling our state.”

Rauner cited the “anemic job growth” that took place in 2015. He also noted that with the State’s current economic development agency, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), only 14 percent of the agency’s staff is devoted to business development.

The new corporation, a 501(c)(3), will work within the DCEO, but will be funded with private money.  All recruitment measures worked on and recommended by the corporation will need final approval from DCEO.

“Every year, we’re going to set goals for how many companies we’re recruited, how many jobs we’ve brought from other states and other nations here to Illinois.  We’re going to measure and report on it on a constant basis,” Rauner said.

Rauner answered criticism of this concept that it would lack transparency by saying that the corporation and its Board will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

REEF fundraiser raises more than $5,000 for education

A “Fun-raiser” for the Real Estate Educational Foundation raised more than $5,000 on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016.

The foundation, which provides numerous scholarships, holds an annual fundraising event at the Public Policy Meetings held in East Peoria, Ill. The fundraiser features chances to win bottles of wine donated by REALTORS® from across the state.

The event raised more than $5,368. REALTORS® attending the event won bottles of wine in a variety of contests, including a bags tournament and ring tosses.

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Neaves honored for REALTOR® Political Involvement

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Congratulations to Ed Neaves, the recipient of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® 2015 Political Involvement Award. The award honors individuals for achievements and excellence in political and grassroots involvement.

Neaves is the Managing Broker for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Snyder Real Estate in Bloomington.

“It’s an honor,” he said after receiving the award. “It means a lot to be recognized as a REALTOR® who does a lot for political involvement.”

Politics can have an enormous impact on the real estate industry and it’s important for REALTORS® to get involved in political advocacy at all levels of government, he said.

In honoring Neaves with the award, IAR President Mike Drews said he truly exemplifies the REALTOR® political involvement goal of “vote, act, invest.”

Neaves has a long history of political involvement. He has served on the Federal Political Coordinator Working Group, the REALTORS® Political Involvement Committee, the State Legislative Contacts Committee and all three of the state RPAC Committees – Major Investors, Political Fundraising and RPAC Trustees.

He has served with distinction on the REALTOR® Party Member Involvement Committee for the National Association of REALTORS® since 2013.

And in 2015, he led the state’s first REALTOR® Political Involvement Committee Strategic Planning Session, which brought together leaders from local associations to plan for member involvement in Calls for Action, REALTOR® Party Grants and RPAC.


Sign up for Jan. 21 webinar about expense-tracking system

REALTORS Federal Credit Union logoREALTORS® can register now for “Deductr – Expense Tracking and Taxes Made Easy,” a free webinar offered by the REALTORS® Federal Credit Union at 1 p.m. Central Time, Thursday, Jan. 21.

Deductr is an automated expense and tax tracking system designed for owners of small businesses and independent businesses to help identify, track and organize expenses to take advantage of available income tax deductions.  Leading the presentation will be Tyler Thompson, Deductr vice president, business development.

Thompson will explain a special promotion that Deductr is offering qualifying credit union members. However, the REALTORS® Federal Credit Union – a division of Northwest Federal Credit Union – does not endorse or sponsor Deductr.


Help IRRF raise money for holiday flood victims

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Help IRRF raise $5,000 to help victims of the year-end floods that inundated communities along the state’s rivers.

The Illinois REALTORS® Relief Foundation has set up a campaign to raise $5,000 for the victims of the flooding that hit southern and central Illinois.

IRRF, the charitable arm of the Illinois Association of REALTORS®, is accepting donations through a GoFundMe effort. To take part go here.

IRRF has provided relief for those in areas hit by natural disasters, including tornadoes last year in Illinois and flooding near Watseka. The foundation provides living and housing assistance for qualified applicants, and has worked with the National Association of REALTORS® charitable arm to get additional assistance when needed.

A massive storm system dumped as much as 14 inches of rain across the nation’s midsection over the holidays, and across the region more than 20 deaths have been attributed to the storm.