Photographer Jeffery Noble lines up the shot while designer Erika Haedicke looks on. Terrell White, production coordinator, and Sarah Hayes, executive assistant, flank either side of CEO Christine Deehring.
Our story begins on a cold day in January when I happened to bump into Jim Foley, director of the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship at Bradley University, at a fundraiser. While catching up, he mentioned their idea to launch an awards program celebrating the successes of the Center’s small business clients, and we discussed how we might work together.
As a member of the Turner Center Advisory Board, I’ve seen firsthand how pivotal it can be in helping Peoria-area businesses grow and achieve success on a larger scale. From landing government contracts to expanding international opportunities and much more, the Turner Center provides professional guidance and support for local entrepreneurs and businesses of all kinds—and does so at no charge to the client. It’s an extraordinary resource for central Illinois’ business community.
We decided to showcase the ten award winners in this issue (set to hit mailboxes just a few days after the August 27th award ceremony) and bring their stories to the wider community. When photographer Jeffery Noble signed on to create unique images for the project, all the pieces fell into place.
Our plan was to highlight Bump Boxes, Small Business of the Year, on the cover. Somehow we arrived at a conceptual portrait based on the HBO series Game of Thrones—with those trademark pink Bump Boxes stacked high to create a “throne” for founder and CEO Christine Deehring. “It was like a light bulb went off,” Noble suggests. “When a client is excited about a project, it changes the whole dynamic. I get more excited… and it just makes it fun.”
Assisting Noble was artist/designer Erika Haedicke, who sketched the initial concept and was onsite to stage the background and bring it to life. What a fun shoot! Beginning on page 38, you can check out the rest of the award winners and Noble’s fantastic images, which really make this feature pop. Jonathan Wright, Editor-in-Chief