iBi - July 2014

  • For the second year, iBi pays tribute to some familiar faces. They’ve been pillars of our community, making it a little better with each and every activity in which they get involved.

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Entrepreneur and Adventurer

You may know him from his 80 appearances on television every week across two decades. You might be aware of his racing career and land speed records, or remember his 20-year stint as chairman of the Easter Seals Telethon. And you probably bought a car from him at one time or another.

Developer, Businessman and Conservationist

Growing up in Lacon, Lowell “Bud” Grieves has been on the river his whole life—a consistent thread that has guided his many entrepreneurial pursuits. A thoughtful iconoclast, Grieves is never afraid to take a stance on an issue, even if it’s unpopular, and always has a unique project or two up his sleeve.

A Partnership in Service

Gene and Harriet Swagers’ names pervade many circles in Peoria. Together, the couple is something of an unstoppable force, having been involved with a list of organizations seemingly longer than their own lives.

Teacher and Counselor

Her rise from teacher to counselor to administrator in Peoria Public School District 150 was no easy climb, but with a self-proclaimed “loud mouth” and a gratitude for life that’s extended well beyond any obstacle thrown her way, she’s spent over half a century imparting wisdom to Peoria’s youth.

Businessman and Community Leader

As a young boy, Jay Vonachen remembers sweeping floors and emptying wastebaskets, eager to help out at his father’s business. Little did he know growing up that those early days would lead to a lifelong career in distribution, cleaning services and manufacturing support.







A new project expands the possibilities for persons with developmental disabilities.

J.K. Williams Distilling revives Peoria's "Whiskey Capital of the World" legacy.

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