Business & Economy
Winners Named for MRA Business Community Award and Regional Impact Awards PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Mark McLaughlin   
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 08:27
IOWA/WESTERN ILLINOIS – On Oct. 27, MRA - The Management Association, Inc., held their inaugural 2014 Business Appreciation & Awards Reception and announced the winners of their Business Community Award and Regional Impact Awards.

MRA, a Midwest-based employers association, hosted the ceremony at the iWireless Center, Moline, IL. The theme of the event was Celebrating Our Past, Growing Our Future. In keeping with the theme, keynote speaker Jim Edgar, former Governor of Illinois, shared his vision of growing opportunities in the Midwest through compromise, civility and compassion. 

Earlier this year, MRA asked residents of Iowa and western Illinois to nominate businesses in their areas for the awards. “The finalists were all companies that have touched people’s lives and helped the community,” said Heather Roberts, Executive Director of the Iowa/Illinois Division of MRA. “The finalists were judged based on their levels of community involvement.”

In the Business Community Award category, five finalists were chosen and the winner was Royal Neighbors of America. The other finalists were Arndt Chiropractic Center, Inc.; Bush Construction; DHCU Community Credit Union; and Modern Woodmen of America.

The Regional Impact Awards category had 10 finalists – five Not-For-Profit companies and five For-Profit. 

In the Not-For-Profit category, the winner was Renew Moline. The other finalists were Ascentra Credit Union; Career Cruising Quad Cities; Greater Quad Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and the Quad City Botanical Center. 

In the For-Profit category, the winner was Alcoa - North American Rolled Products. The other finalists were Group O; KJWW Engineering Consultants; Missman, Inc.; and Tennant Truck Lines.

Also, MRA presented Visionary Awards to their charter members who created the association in 1948. Visionary Awards went to Deere & Company; George Evans Corporation; Hansaloy; M. A. Ford®; Nestlé-Purina; Nichols Aluminum; Parr Instruments; Rock Island Arsenal; and Roth Pump Company. MRA also honored the retirement of employee Debra Carlson after 19 years of service. 

About the Winners

Business Community Awards

Royal Neighbors of America, Rock Island, IL, has been part of the Quad Cities landscape for more than 100 years, interweaving the empowerment of women through education and the sale of insurance products with social responsibility. As a not-for-profit organization and one of the nation’s largest women-led life insurers, Royal Neighbors uses a portion of its earnings to fund such member benefits as scholarships, disaster relief, and health and retail discounts.

Regional Impact Awards


Renew Moline, Moline, IL, is a non-profit economic development entity, planning for the future, facilitating development, connecting resources and people, and advocating for public policies and programs. These efforts work to realize opportunities for continued investment in, and repositioning of Moline’s riverfront, so it can become a place to live, work, play and learn. More than $300 million has been invested in the area Renew Moline serves, with more than $150 million in additional investment underway. 


Alcoa-North American Rolled Products, Bettendorf, IA, is a global leader in lightweight metals technology, engineering and manufacturing. Alcoa technologies enhance transportation, from automotive and commercial transport to air and space travel, and improve industrial and consumer electronics products. Alcoa’s efforts to make the world a better place enable smart buildings, sustainable food and beverage packaging, high-performance defense vehicles, deeper oil and gas drilling, and more efficient power generation.

“Everyone had a great time at the 2014 Business Appreciation & Awards Reception,” Roberts said, “and we look forward to our 2015 event. We encourage members of the community to consider who they might like to nominate for these awards next year.” 

MRA is one of the largest not-for-profit employers associations in the nation. Organizations join MRA as corporate members for the latest information, resources and guidance on recruiting, compensation, benefits, compliance and talent management. Members are supported with a 24/7 HR Hotline and InfoNow e-mail, access to crucial survey data, and HR, management and leadership training. To find out more about MRA, call 888-516-6357 or visit

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4 Reasons Why Retirees Don’t Need a Nest Egg PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 08:09
Conventional Wisdom Has Its Flaws for
Middle America, Says President of Advisory Firm

We are quickly coming to a reckoning in this country regarding the well-being of retirees, says Jeff Bucher, a financial advisor who helps working-class Americans plan their golden years.

“I suppose it’s cliché for the head of a financial firm to say that he cares for his community, but we really do put our money where our mouth is,” says Bucher, who, through his firm, Citizen Advisory Group, (, has contributed to the local Boys & Girls Club, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and to development of an Olympic training center for wrestling at Ohio State University, his alma mater, where he earned a wrestling scholarship.

“My clients represent the bulk of America: honest, hard-working and typically blue collar or middle class. Most of them weren’t executives at Fortune 500 companies, and many are stressed out when they first come to us because they’ve been sold this idea of needing x-amount for a retirement nest egg.”

In reality, you don’t need a hulking nest egg to get by in retirement, and you may be better off without one, says Bucher, who explains why.

•  Lifetime income vs. nest egg; reconsider what wealth means to you. What’s preferable to you: stockpiling money throughout the entirety of your earning years so that you can have a large nest egg for retirement, or investing your money wisely so that you can both use it during your younger years and receive paychecks during retirement?

“Two million dollars in savings is not the optimal perspective for true wealth,” Bucher says. “True wealth is not serving money; it’s having your money serve you. I’m more interested in offering folks true wealth via ethical financial structures suited to individual goals.”

•  Obsession with a nest egg prevents you from doing things. Consider the mentality of an obsessive nest-egger: Hoard your hard-earned money your entire life, decade after decade, straight through retirement. Don’t spend anything on travel, or a vacation home, or anything else you may enjoy, because you have to protect the egg.

Life is short, and by the end of it, these folks haven’t done anything but work and save money.

“You don’t have to be a millionaire to do so many things for yourself, family and community with your money,” he says.

•  Consider supplementing a smaller savings with a part-time job – seriously. You hear the scare tactics – Grandma doesn’t want to spend her golden years greeting shoppers at Walmart.

“That’s nonsense; retirees are some of the most talented people in our country, working as a greeter is not their only option,” he says. “Most of us have something we’d like to do that we couldn’t during our earning years. Retirement is the perfect time to indulge that passion! People are better off staying active, no matter who or how old they are.”

Supplemental income through a fun, part-time job cuts the income needed from a retirement next egg and adds healthy activity. Teach swimming at the local YMCA, work at a golf course or as an usher at a sports venue. Or start a small business selling the crafts you’ve developed a skill for creating.

•  Volunteering actually saves retirees money. When you’re at a job, you don’t have much opportunity to spend money. You won’t run up the electric bill at home, nor go to the movies, amusement parks, shopping or use much money getting there. While working, you’re too busy, and the same is true when folks volunteer somewhere. Volunteering at the hospital or elsewhere gives retirees purpose, engages their minds and bodies, gives them the happy knowledge that they’re helping others, and prevents them from spending money on entertainment to keep from being bored!

About Jeff Bucher

Jeff Bucher is president of Citizen Advisory Group, (, and is an Investment Advisor Representative of AlphaStar Capital Management, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. He has a life and health insurance license with the state of Ohio. His membership affiliations include the exclusive Ed Slott's Master Elite IRA Advisor Group™, National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), the National Association of Fixed Annuities (NAFA) and the Forum 400. He has earned Top of the Table honors through the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT). Bucher is a former standout wrestler at The Ohio State University, where he earned an athletic scholarship and honed his leadership skills en route to earning four varsity letters.

In Iowa’s Interest: Focus on Safety and Health of Farm Families and Workers is Crucial PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 09:31

Tens of thousands of Iowans are pushing to harvest huge quantities of food, feed, and energy in a short time. As we thank them for hard work and dedication this is also a key time to focus on farm safety and health. Time pressure, workloads, equipment breakdowns, weather, and stresses all add up. Life-altering and fatal injuries can happen in an instant.

Farm families and workers face many risks and hazards throughout the year in producing both crops and livestock. Just a few of the dangers include tractor rollovers, powerful, fast-moving machinery, electricity, grain bins, livestock, slips and falls, skin cancer, ATVs, and roadway collisions. Unique stresses and demands in farming can also create special needs for behavioral and mental health assistance.

Agriculture’s human resources must be treasured, conserved, and protected no less than land, water, and natural resources. Farm safety and health have improved over the years, but the plain truth is that people in agriculture still suffer excessively, and unnecessarily, from injuries, illnesses, and death. We have to do more to heighten awareness, resolve, and action to prevent such losses. That is why I strongly support this year’s national farm safety and health theme: “Safety Counts: Protecting What Matters.”

Through increased attention and effort, farm families and workers have made significant progress in agricultural safety and health. Much credit also goes to the work and contributions of many people in agricultural businesses, private non-profit organizations, as well as educational and research institutions. All of this effort enhances safety and wellness on our nation’s farms and ranches. Safe farming practices save lives. I am very proud of my work during my years in Congress to support and dedicate increased federal funding to farm safety and health.

Upon becoming chairman of the U.S. Senate subcommittee that funds health programs, I provided added funds to create a new, concentrated federal focus on agricultural safety and health at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. A big, early step in my initiative was the landmark 1991 Surgeon General’s conference on agricultural safety and health held in Des Moines. Over the years, I have continued funding for this purpose, particularly to our nation’s agricultural safety and health centers, such as the Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health at the University of Iowa and the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety. My appropriations subcommittee also supplies ongoing funding for agricultural safety grants through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The U.S. Department of Agriculture also supports farm safety and health initiatives, especially for young people in agriculture, which I have proudly supported as a longstanding member of the Senate appropriations and agriculture committees. My support includes funding specifically for the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) at the Northeast Iowa Community College in Peosta, Farm Safety 4 Just Kids in Urbandale, and AgrAbility, which helps agricultural producers and workers having a wide range of physical or behavioral conditions.

Please be especially careful out there this fall and throughout the year. Safety on and around Iowa’s farms requires extra care on everyone’s part – including motorists and the general public. Fortunately, a lot of good people and organizations are working successfully to help make farms not only wonderful places to live and work, but also safer and healthier. I am proud to support these efforts and wish everyone a safe harvest!

For additional information on farm safety:

Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America (ASHCA):; International Society for Agricultural Safety and Health (ISASH):;

Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health at the University of Iowa:; Iowa State University Extension; AgriSafe Network:

Wescott and Jacobs host successful Senior Fair in Rock Falls PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Reena Tandon   
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 09:16
ROCK FALLS – On Wednesday, local seniors visited the Rock Falls Community Building for a Senior Fair hosted by Rock Falls Mayor Bill Wescott and State Senator Mike Jacobs (D–Moline ) with assistance from the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, the Whiteside County Health Department, Walgreens and several other state agencies, non-profit senior service providers, the fair offered vital senior services and information in one convenient location.

“I’m happy we were able to bring this program to Rock Falls. We are able to bring the state to them through senior fairs throughout the district. It’s like a one-stop-shop, said Jacobs. “I’m grateful to all the local organizations who donated their time and resources and look forward to meeting with more people in Rock Island.”

Jacobs has hosted free senior resource fairs throughout the district in Fulton, East Moline and Sterling. An additional senior resource fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on October 28 at St. Anthony’s Nursing and Rehab Center (767 30th St., Rock Island).

For more information visit- or call 309-797-0001.

USDA Releases New State-by-State "Made in Rural America" Report PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 08:19

New Data Demonstrates Obama Administration's Record Breaking Investments in Rural America

WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2014 – As part of the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) commitment to strengthening rural economies, Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new state-by-state "Made in Rural America" report illustrating the impact of USDA investments in rural communities. Each state factsheet highlights specific USDA investments in rural businesses, manufacturing, energy, water and other infrastructure development. They also outline how USDA is helping rural communities attract businesses and families by investing in housing and broadband.

"This report shows what investment in rural America means in real terms for families and businesses across the country," said Vilsack. "Throughout the Obama Administration, USDA has created employment opportunities in rural America through investments in manufacturing, energy and small businesses. At the same time, we are bringing reliable services like water, housing and broadband to make these same communities attract and retain a talented workforce. This report proves that the entrepreneurial spirit is strong in rural America."

These fact sheets reflect Secretary Vilsack's efforts to strengthen the "four pillars" of a new economy in rural America: developing a robust bio-based economy; promoting exports and production agriculture fueled by increased productivity and research; encouraging conservation including land management, stewardship and outdoor recreational opportunities; and building a strong local and regional food system to harness entrepreneurial innovation and help small and medium-sized family farms succeed in rural America.

The report's state by state fact sheets are available at


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