Vermilion Advantage Councils

Vermilion County Mayor's Council

Created in the early 1990s, the purpose of this group is to facilitate the understanding of and participation in the economic development process among all city, village and municipal leaders within Vermilion County.

The Mayors' Council meets on a quarterly basis. Contact Logan Cronk for more information.

Human Resource Council

human resources council logoIn an effort to meet the needs of all business people in the personnel field, the Human Resources Council has tailored their programs to meet the needs of business personnel situations. The traditional forum for this Council includes tours of other local businesses, discussion relating to human resource issues, sharing of forms and policies, and colleague networking. The Council also brings in speakers who make presentations on timely topics or topics of concern to the profession such as worker’s compensation, FMLA, employee benefits, workplace violence, drug testing policies, etc. Some of the meetings are held jointly with the Safety Council if the topic is of interest to both groups.

The group generally meets most months, usually a Tuesday or Thursday lunch meeting. Contact Machelle Dykes or call 217-442-6201 for more information.

Inter-Governmental Planning Council

The Intergovernmental Planning Council was formed in 1997 to plan, coordinate and prioritize the major infrastructure components needed to propel our county forward.

The main objectives are:

  1. To annually coordinate and plan among the key public-sector bodies regarding capital improvement needs and plans for road and utility improvements;
  2. To determine which projects require outside state or federal assistance to proceed;
  3. To prioritize those projects needing additional capital and provide a signed, agreed upon cost and prioritized list to our state and federal legislators prior to the commencement of their budgeting processes;
  4. To align capital improvement plans to prevent duplication of effort (e.g. a road being repaved or improved, only to be torn up months or a year later to install new water line, etc.).

The Council meets quarterly on the 1st Thursday of the month. Contact Logan Cronk for more information.

Safety Council

Safety council logoThe Safety Council strives to enhance the overall safety and health of the people who live and labor in our community by sharing and applying collective knowledge, skills and experiences for the purpose of promoting and facilitating continuous safety improvements. Some of the meetings are held jointly with the Human Resources Council if the topic is of interest to both groups.

Participants are comprised of safety, maintenance and human resource personnel who handle company/business/plant safety issues like OSHA requirements, ergonomics, environmental safety, and emergency disaster plans.

The group generally meets most months, usually  a Tuesday or Thursday lunch meeting. Contact Machelle Dykes or call 217-442-6201 for more information.

Leadership Tomorrow

The Leadership Tomorrow program has been revised for Class 29 (2017)

Key Changes:

- Instead of one Friday per month, we will generally meet every other Friday to condense the time period from 9 months to 4 months

- We will start in January rather than September

- We will not have a specific class project

- The Volunteer Hours will be reduced to 35 hours due to the condensed time period (no college credit received)

- Program content will stay the same/is not reduced

Purpose of the Program

The Leadership program was created in 1986 to assist emerging community leaders in preparing for leadership positions in local government and community affairs. The program's intent is to help the community face the complex issues of today's world while providing the necessary leadership for tomorrow.

The purpose of Leadership Tomorrow is to be able to provide Vermilion County with a continuing resource of men and women - equipped with community knowledge and leadership skills, challenged to get involved - shaping the future and direction of our community's potential. This is done with 9 sessions, generally every other Friday, starting with a one-and-a-half day Retreat (locally, not overnight) starting in January 2017 and ending with Graduation Day in May 2017. Education, experience and community service are emphasized (see more information at application link below). This is a County-wide program.

The Leadership Tomorrow program benefits include: 

I think the most important thing that I have learned is to just get involved. To realize and recognize that there are lots of people willing to work together for a cause and that I should be and want to be one of them. Leadership has given me an opportunity to be able to speak about things in our community with true knowledge.

Lacie C. Martin, Clinical Pharmacy Technician, VA Illiana Health Care System

Employers - Provides exposure to local social, political, and economic factors that impact business. 

Participants - Encourages and provides opportunities for networking with peers and established community leaders; provides a greater understanding and boarder perspective of local issues; increases understanding of community needs; and reinforces and builds upon personal leadership skills. 

Our Community - creates a pool of emerging and future leaders with a broad perspective of local issues; encourages civic responsibility; and equips leaders with the tools & knowledge to make a difference. Participants are encouraged to get involved in the area where they live, work and play. 

One of the greatest benefits is the close bond, networking and friendships that are the end result. Many of the class members stay in touch, know who they can call for help, and have used the networking in their personal & professional lives. It is a mix of people from different walks of life, age groups and backgrounds - coming together with different perspectives and sometimes perceived notions, who might not have known each other before or be aware of each other's talents and expertise.  Participants must complete 35 volunteer hours (giving back to the community). Classes also include community history and leadership training. 

Leadership Tomorrow Objectives

  • To develop quality leadership talents which lead to creative problem solving and future planning by the participants.
  • To develop in participants an awareness of the community, its problems, challenges, and opportunities, through an educational process.
  • To assist participants in assuming leadership roles in the community.
  • To develop and ensure the continuation of a network of community leaders.
  • To expose current issues and cutting edge information in each session - issues affecting Vermilion County and the area.
  • To provide the participants the opportunity to network and receive quality information on leadership skills.

Leadership Tomorrow – personal & professional development....leadership skills, commitment, involvement, giving back – an understanding of the community – past, present & future.

Application Process

I think it was the best and one of the most important things I have done in my life. the benefits of Leadership Tomorrow are right "up there" with my finishing college and getting my Master's Degree as an adult. I am eternally grateful that my employer gave me the opportunity to participate. Leadership just enhanced and improved my pride and belief in Vermilion County. 

Deb Fridy, Owner, Fridy Realty

Applications will be accepted  October 12 through November 30 for Class 29 of Leadership Tomorrow.

The one-and-a-half-day retreat (takes place locally, not overnight) addresses community issues/concerns; leadership styles; conflict resolution and team building/trust exercises. It begins the afternoon of January 19, 2017, and will continue all day the next day, January 20.  The program will end with Graduation Day on May 12, 2017. The tentative program days are as follows (and are subject to change):

  • Janury 19 & 20, 2017 - 1-1/2 Day Retreat (see above paragraph)

  • February 10 – Business & Industry Day

  • February 24 - Government Day

  • March 10 - Education Day

  • March 24 - Health Care Day/Leadership Training Segment

  • April 7 - Criminal Justice Day Activities (additional dates for police ride alongs & Public Safety Building tour)

  • April 21 - History Day

  • May 5 - Agriculture and Conservation/Natural Resources Day

  • May 12 – Graduation/Review & Critique of the program

A journal must be kept documenting the community hours, and a personal "reflection paper" describing what you learned from your volunteer experiences, will be collected at the end of the program in May.

Applications are available at our office, or by calling 217-442-6201, at a link at the bottom of this web page, or by emailing Machelle Dykes at mdykes@vermilionadvantage.com. Applicants will go thru an interview process. Tuition cost is $750.00 inclusive for the 4-month program (other discounts may apply based on Vermilion Advantage membership level). Applications are due November 30, 2016. For more information, contact Machelle Dykes.