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October 1, 2013

Making a Difference in East Central Illinois and Beyond

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form] I’ve been busy in a good way. For the past nine months I’ve served as the Communications Chair for the Association of Fundraising Professionals East Central Illinois Chapter. The AFP is the premier professional association for the fundraising profession. Our Chapter is made up mostly of fundraisers from local charities including healthcare, social service, education and environmental organizations. We soft launched a new website for the AFP ECI today! Thanks to my new friends in communication arms Chantelle Thompson and Carl Catedral for making that happen.

The web I’ve been weaving is full of cool feathers, interesting characters and wonderful surprises.  Carl and Chantelle are two of the most enjoyable people I’ve been working with. In April, Carl and I launched a social media webcast called #SMLiveECI  to capture the heart and soul of social media in Central Illinois – the people and their causes that make Central Illinois an awesome place to live, work and play! So far we’ve produced 22 episodes. SMLiveECI, is a weekly talk show that has two main segments:  1) A 20 minute interview with a local company/character/institution where we discuss how they are using social media to further their mission and make a difference in the world. 2) A 10 minute recap of recent news and events in the social media marketing world. Some of my personal favorites include: Mayor Don Gerard (champion for #Chambana); Cracked Food Truck (UofI alumni entrepreneurs); Andy Krug (on SEO optimization); Amy Snyder (Miss MTD!) and Seth Fein (Pygmalion Music Festival)   http://www.carlcatedra.com/smliveeci

Another cool thing that I’ve been part of is the Social Media Club of #Chambana another social media venture led by Carl Catedral, Amy Snyder (Miss MTD), Carly McCrory (Champaign County EDC), Laura Bleill (UofI Research Park | Chambana Moms), Michelle Lepka (UBA), Christa Dubson (Busey), Gary Frankie (Busey) and Cynthia Johnson (UBA).  Together, we are raising the bar for social media marketers and creating community in ECI! Bring it on!

One of my greatest privileges and joys is working at the IL Small Business Development Center at the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation where I’m the Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Specialist. Forgive the long title and suffice to say, that if you are starting or building a company, you need friends. I’m one of them! I do a lot of coaching and coaxing, catalyzing and connecting – helping entrepreneurs bring their passions to fruition, creating value in the market, and occasionally disruptive innovation. Nuff said! More to follow on the blur that is my life. Special thanks to my family, friends, colleagues and collaborators. Couldn’t do it w/o you!

In my next installment I’ll touch on Bootstrappers Breakfast for Tech Entrepreneurs, CU150 – a new talk show focused on the intersection and social impact of entrepreneurship, art/design, and technology in Central Illinois and the surrounding metro areas (Chicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis), Co-Lab, Ctrl-Z FRC 4096 (youth robotics) and other stuff I’m up to! In the mean time, connect with me on Twitter, Linkedin, and Web. @tgmontague | tim@montaguebrands.com | @CUSBDC

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