Author Archives: Joana

Belvidere’s Woestman named Superintendent to Watch


BELVIDERE — Dan Woestman, superintendent of the Belvidere School District, has been named a Superintendent to Watch by the National School Public Relations Association.

He is among 21 superintendents nationwide to win the award for the 2017-18 school year.

The Superintendents to Watch program was designed to recognize outstanding superintendents who are using dynamic, fast-paced leadership with strong communication at its core. To qualify, nominees must have fewer than five years’ experience as a superintendent, understand that effective communication leads to school and student success and use new communication technology to expand two-way communication and outreach efforts.

“Leading our schools is really a team effort, so this is a testament to the hard work of our School Board, administrators, teachers and support staff as much as it is to me,” Woestman said. “I hope that this award is something the Belvidere community can be proud of and something parents consider when choosing a school district.”

Woestman has a doctorate degree in educational leadership from Northern Illinois University, a masters in educational administration from the University of Cincinnati and a bachelor’s in teaching from Brigham Young University.

ComEd Recognized as One of the Top 10 Utilities for Economic Development


Contact:                                                                                          FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ComEd Media Relations (312) 394-3500

ComEd Recognized as One of the Top 10 Utilities for Economic Development

Industry-leading publication recognizes ComEd’s capital investments and job creation in northern Illinois

CHICAGO (September 11, 2017) Site Selection magazine has named ComEd to its annual list of Top 10 Utilities in Economic Development for 2017. The magazine cites ComEd’s 17 direct-involvement project “wins” in 2016. It also noted the anticipated $1.6 billion in projected capital investments creating 6,170 jobs across the 400 municipalities and 25 counties ComEd serves in northern Illinois. There were an additional nearly 40,000 new indirect jobs reported by the utility’s regional economic development organization partners as a result of these efforts.

At the center of this winning strategy is ComEd’s internal “Rapid Response Program,” created to help facilitate the evaluation process for companies interested in locating their business in northern Illinois. The program helps to expedite the move to Illinois by convening all the necessary business units to expedite preliminary cost estimates, engineering information and innovation.

“This recognition highlights our focus on stimulating investment, growth and job creation throughout northern Illinois,” said Sheila Owens, Vice President of Economic Development for ComEd. “We continue strengthening our partnerships with our local, state, and regional economic development stakeholders to provide value to our customers and the communities we serve.”

Site Selection also references three key initiatives that helped secure ComEd’s place in the Top Ten list, including:

  • Modification of its line extension tariff by lowering up-front deposit requirements and allowing for faster refunds, benefiting 27 customers who saved $36 million in reduced costs. The resulting customer projects will create over 3,200 jobs and result in 5 million sq. ft. (464,500 m.) of new facility space.
  • ComEd’s Energy Ready Zones program, which matches areas with available substation electricity capacity with available large vacant land sites primed for
  • Efforts to spearhead the launch of a new statewide business outreach and retention initiative known as CORE (Creating Opportunities for Retention and Expansion,

A strong, resilient and modern grid is the basis for a successful economic development program; ComEd customers have experienced best-on-record service reliability thanks to the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act (EIMA), also known as the Smart Grid law, passed by the Illinois General Assembly in 2011 to improve reliability, create jobs and build smart infrastructure for the future.   This $2.6 billion, 10-year project digitized ComEd’s infrastructure, provided resiliency and prioritized a premier customer experience.

“ComEd is one of our strongest development allies, providing excellent programs and services to not only to support new growth, but for our important existing businesses as well,” said Mark Peterson, CEO of Intersect Illinois, a privately-funded statewide economic development organization. “We know that energy reliability, availability, and price are critical factors in the development process, and ComEd excels with all of these.”

This is the fifth time that ComEd has been recognized by Site Selection for its economic development efforts with a Top Ten listing also in 2015, and three honorable mentions in 2008, 2014 and 2016.

To read the full article, go to enhancers.cfm


Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 6.6 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately

3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to hold skilled trades career fair

BELVIDERE — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will hold a skilled trades career fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Belvidere Assembly Plant, 3000 W. Chrysler Drive.

Fiat is seeking die makers, electricians, millwrights, pipefitters, toolmakers and forklift mechanics. Same-day interviews will be held for qualified candidates.

All skilled trade openings require at least eight years of documented experience or a documented and verified U.S. Department of Labor completion of Apprenticeship Certificate in the trade potential employees are applying for.

To apply:


Belvidere’s Paint on State breaks another record

BELVIDERE — The City of Murals’ largest-ever piece of public art was created by festivalgoers this weekend, and even before the temporary paint washes away, plans are being drawn to make it even bigger next year.

The Boone County Arts Council is considering expanding its Paint on State activity after another sellout, record-breaking event during the Heritage Days festival.

People painted 752 squares stretching for several blocks on Saturday. That compared to 544 in 2016 and 224 in 2015.

“It was just an all-around exciting feel-good day for seeing art in the community and seeing so many people involved,” said Lauren Hart, a Boone County Arts Council board member. “If the city is willing to paint them, we’re willing to sell them.”

Participants painted all types of things during Saturday’s Paint on State. Traces of their creations are expected to last on the street for about a month.

The council created Paint on State for the 2015 Heritage Days festival. Organizers took inspiration from discussions about chalk and community art.

For $5, participants are given a bag of paint supplies including paint brushes, a paint tray and water cup.

“If you run out of paint, you can go to the paint refill table,” Hart said.

The council this year offered an online purchase option and was able to sell 300 squares before the festival.

Paint on State proceeds go toward supplies, scholarships and the local Fifth Grade Arts Festival, Hart said.

Susan Vela: 815-987-1392;; @susanvela

We thank our investors!