2017 Business of the Year
Mahomet Ace Hardware
Jim and Amy Hood acquired Mahomet Ace Hardware in 2004 from longtime owners and friends Ernie and Millie Rosenberg of Mahomet. The store had about 7100 sp ft of space. After updating the store they felt that they were still short of the space needed to adequately serve the community. In 2012, Ace expanded east into the old NAPA location and removed the wall, giving Ace 29% more retail space and the opportunity to remodel and expand their selection. Since that time they have added an outdoor display area out front. With long time manager Wayne Munster and an experienced staff they are continually working to tailor their assortment of the needs of the community. From the very first day in Mahomet, the Hood's found the community warm welcoming, and accepting. They are grateful for the tremendous community support and look forward to growing and improving the store as the opportunities present themselves.
In 2017, FCI made cash donations of $650, 000, in-kind gifts of $16,500, and has 10 endowment funds established with not-for-profit organizations which earned nearly $50,000. All of these Rural Marketplace Investments are targeted for either Youth Development, Young & Beginning Farmers, "Ag-vocacy", or Community Charities. This year, FCI will award $60,000 of college scholarships to high school seniors and $20,000 of community improvement grants to 4-H and FFA chapters throughout the rural marketplace. Conference rooms in the FCI Mahomet facility, which can accommodate more than 100 people, are available to the local community and agriculture industry for use at no charge. The cooperative has hosted the various local community and agricultural industry organizations including the Champaign County Chamber, the Champaign County Farm Bureau, Mahomet-Seymour FFA, Champaign County 4-H, and Kickapoo District Association of Student Councils.
In total, FCI employees delivered 2,610 hours of volunteer service in 2017 to youth development, ag-vocancy, and community service organizations. Additionally, each employee is provided two volunteer leave work days annually for volunteering on their own with their favorite not-for-profit organization or cause. The FCI Mahomet office hosts blood drives in Mahomet several times each year and the Mahomet employees have their own donation drive for a cause each Christmas season. Last month, more than $1,100 was raised to support of the Eastern Illinois Food Bank's Day of Giving.
PAST BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
2007 - Mahomet IGA
2009 - Busey Bank
2010 - USPRO
2012 - Fisher National Bank
2013 - First Mid Illinois Bank
2014 - Bridle Brook Assisted Living