Berty, DCDC Recognized by ECIDC

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Published on May 13 2013 3:20 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The East Central Illinois Development Corporation (ECIDC) has announced recipients of the 2013 Recognition Awards which honor some of the region’s most influential community and economic development leaders and most committed volunteers.

Robert M. Berty of Robinson was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award and Dieterich Community Development Corporation (DCDC) was awarded the Outstanding Leadership in Community and Economic Development Award. 

(BOB BERTY)

Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Robert (Bob) M. Berty was awarded for his success in community and economic development, his leadership in the public and private sectors, and as someone who has continually made a positive difference in the community in which he lives, works and serves for over 20 years. Bob is currently the Executive Director of Crawford County Development Association. He has been associated with Crawford County development leaders since moving to the area in the 60’s. After starting as an insurance and real estate salesman, Mr. Berty eventually purchased his own insurance agency which grew to include five companies under his management and ownership. From 1975 to 1987, Bob served on the Robinson City Council as Alderman and as Mayor Pro Tem in 1980, serving his constituents tirelessly and loyally. During his tenure, he chaired the Enterprise Zone committee and was instrumental in bringing the Zone to Crawford County, which was voted the number one zone in 1992 following a large expansion of the Marathon Refinery. Above and beyond his business acumen and public service, Bob has served as chair of First United Methodist Church for 30 years. He is a past president of Quail Creek Country Club and served as Chairman of the Board for the Second National Bank for many years. In 2005, Bob became officially involved with the Crawford County Development Association (CCDA) as its Executive Director. He is a member of the ECIDC Board, the Greater Wabash Regional Planning Commission (GWRPC) Board, Robinson Chamber of Commerce having served as president, and is currently President of a regional economic group Southern Alliance of Illinois (SAIL). Through his leadership, numerous grants have been obtained for improvements to sewer lines, bridge repairs, road extensions, and many other projects. Through some tough economic times, Bob has led CCDA through one of their best years ever. He was instrumental in assisting the City of Robinson in obtaining over $3 million in grants by working closely with GWRPC and the City. He worked with Ameren on electrical aggregation, saving Crawford County residents 20 to 30 percent on their electric bills. Through his leadership, CCDA was instrumental in helping Newton Power Plant receive a five-year compliance extension from the Illinois EPA and saved the plant from being shut down. With the assistance of former State Representative Roger Eddy, Bob was able to help save the Robinson Airport by forming the Crawford County Airport Authority and bringing funding to the struggling facility. He has assisted in bringing over 30 loans to help new business start-ups or expansions and has been instrumental in assisting Leadership Crawford County and bringing Rides Mass Transit to the County. Maybe more importantly, multiple nomination testimonials refer to the kindness, dedication, moral ethics and sacrifice that Bob has shown repeatedly to all who interact with him. With his wife Jeanette, they have raised two children and contributed to the community in countless ways. They have 2 grown children, Scott Berty and Donna Wetherell and four grandchildren, Kristen, Alex, Nick and Meredith.  

(DIETERICH COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION MEMBERS {front row} BRITTNY GIPSON, ERNEST GARBE, JOHN WALDHOFF AND DELBERT MUNDT; {back row} TOM NIEBRUGGE, STEVE KIBLER, MIKE MERRY, BRUCE OWEN AND BILL McCLAIN)

DCDC has been awarded for their significant contribution of time, resources and leadership for many quality of life projects for Dieterich and the surrounding area. In 1986 a small group of community leaders formed to promote the Village, school district and the community at large with the goal of providing jobs and opportunities for the next generation and the entire community. The group had members with banking, business, education, governmental and agricultural experience. They have a weekly lunch meeting, and six of the original members are still active after 27 years of service. Now numbering 13 individuals, over 30 successful activities and projects have been promoted, developed or completed during the DCDC tenure. While the list is numerous, some of the highlights of DCDC’s community support projects and achievements are as follows.  E J Water Cooperative, which began with the Dieterich Community Ruritan Club and strong support from DCDC, is now the largest rural water cooperative covering a 10-county area in south-central Illinois. The Dieterich Community Medical Center serves the area with both a medical doctor and an eye specialist. Twelve new businesses have been attracted to the Industrial Park. North Pointe Subdivision, an outgrowth of the creation of two tax increment financing (TIF) districts, now includes over 40 homes.  Liberty Park expanded to include a new park pavilion. The Dieterich Community Improvement Foundation was created and is a 501(c)(3) tool DCDC uses to facilitate tax deductible improvements.  Formal community planning has occurred, including three community MAPPING Projects with Western Illinois University, two MAPPING Projects aided by the University of Illinois Extension Service, and numerous joint meetings with the Village Board, the Unit 30 School Board and DCDC.  They’ve also brought representatives from Eastern Illinois University, University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University, Lake Land College, the Illinois Department of Rural Health, the Cooperative Extension Service, and speakers from a wide area to utilize expertise in specific areas in support of local projects.  A part-time development professional has been employed for the Village. The Dieterich Community Veterans Memorial has been constructed and is broadly considered to be one of the finest in any small community. Dieterich community projects completed this past year include: the building of a home for a local individual in dire need of help with cooperation of the entire community including the demolition and site prep of the previous home for future development; promoting the construction of a new cell phone tower adding coverage to an area without service; and providing land and incentives for a new Subway Restaurant now serving the Village. Current DCDC members include: *Bill McClain - President, Mike Merry - Vice-president, *Tom Niebrugge – Treasurer, *Ernest Garbe -  Secretary, Cary Jackson, Bruce Owen, Wayne Behrns, *Cedric Wright, Bill Teichmiller, Tom Wright, *Delbert Mundt, *John Waldhoff, Mike Winters, Brittny Gipson, Steve Kibler, Brad Hardiek, and Mark Probst.   (* founding members in 1986) 

DCDC representatives and Robert Berty will be recognized during the 2013 ECIDC Annual Celebration and Recognition Awards Presentation. The ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. on May 16 at the Thelma Keller Convention Center in Effingham.  Cost to attend is $35 per person. The evening will include a cocktail hour and silent auction, dinner, and a keynote by youth entrepreneur Daniel Kent, executive director of Net Literacy – a nonprofit organization honored by two American Presidents for its digital literacy efforts by student volunteers.   

To register to attend or to learn more about ECIDC’s Annual Banquet & Recognition Awards Ceremony, contact the ECIDC office at (217) 540-3517 or via email to info@ecidc.com.