Grantor Members:



Cellular One

Coles County
Regional Planning

Consolidated Communications

Eastern Illinois University

First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust

Forsythe Land



Lake Land College

Met Demand

Benefactor Members:


Coles Together

Edgar County Bank & Trust

Metro Communications Company

Midland States Bancorp, Inc

Prairie Power Inc.

Ruben Boyajian MD.

Shelby Electric Cooperative

State Bank of Arthur

Tuscola Economic Development Inc.

Tuscola National Bank

All ECIDC Members

ECIDC Current Newsletter

Published February 1, 2012

Downstate Voice Initiative Moving Forward

On September 29, 2011, ECIDC hosted Creating a Common Voice for Downstate Illinois at the Keller Convention Center, Effingham. The event brought together over 200 community and economic development leaders from throughout the state to network and collaborate on common development issues facing rural Illinois. By the end of the Summit, 125 attendees volunteered to serve on various task forces to carry forward the Downstate Voice initiative. The 2011 Downstate Summit Executive Summary and presentation materials are available at Please visit this site and create a free user account to receive future updates from

A steering committee and task force chairs have been appointed and will focus on key issues such as TIF Districts, Enterprise Zones, and Making Illinois More Competitive. The leaders will meet again in January, 2012 for strategic planning of each task force and initial planning for a second Downstate Summit to be held this coming fall.

To date the following are the appointed Steering Committee members:

~Jerry Townsend, Chair, Rural Partners 
~Christopher Merrett, Director, Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) 
~Norman Walzer, Senior Research Scholar, Center for Government Studies  
~Robert Wesley, SIU School of Medicine – Robert Wesley 
~Illinois Development Council (IDC) representative – Angela Griffin (Current IDC Education Chair) 
~Edward VanHoose, Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives – Ed VanHoose
~Christina Rogers, Rural Affairs Policy Advisor to Lt. Governor Sheila Simon
~Stepheny McMahon, Director, President, Sullivan Chamber  

The appointed Task Force Chairs are:

Brian Moody, Executive Director, Tuscola Economic Development Inc. (TEDI) and ECIDC Vice President - Making Illinois More Competitive Task Force

Steve Kline, President, The Economic Development Group, Ltd. - TIF Districts Task Force

J. Craig Coil, President/CEO, EDC of Decatur & Macon County - Enterprise Zones Task Force

Brett Gilsinger, General Manager, Frontier Communications - Communications Task Force

Members of the Communications committee are currently working to update the website with contact information and details for each steering committee member and task force chair, goals for each committee, and developing more effective means for virtual communication of interested Downstate Voice members. 

Look for more to come in the near future from