Visioning 2020

As we look to the year ahead, we are thankful for everyone who is doing their part to keep our community vibrant and healthy.

by Jan Wright, Publisher

It’s another new year, and what better way to kick it off than to focus on health and wellness? That may be a cliché, but clichés are clichés for a reason. We can never be reminded too often of how we can be proactive about improving our health. Here in Greater Peoria, we are fortunate to have a world-class medical community that is not only keeping us healthy, but leading the way on economic development. 

Healthcare is our region’s top employment sector—and the fastest-growing. OSF HealthCare is investing in its new downtown headquarters building and the Peoria Innovation Hub. UnityPoint Health, Human Service Center and Tazwood Center for Wellness are transforming behavioral healthcare through UnityPlace. The University of Illinois College of Medicine is celebrating 50 years in Peoria. Illinois Central College, Bradley University, Peoria Public Schools and other institutions are hard at work feeding the workforce pipeline. 

As we head into this new decade, it is clear we have a lot to look forward to. The healthcare sector is certainly at the top of that list. Meanwhile, our region remains a stronghold for manufacturing and agriculture, even as these industries are being revolutionized through cutting-edge technologies. Groundbreaking research is being conducted right here in Peoria. There are new pathways for growth in autonomous mobility, and our region is focused on innovation and entrepreneurship like never before. 

The arts scene has become a vital part of our community, from the sculptures planned for Donovan Park, to local artwork in the new Ronald McDonald House and beyond. New entertainment options are thriving—think axe throwing, escape rooms and eSports. Restaurants are reinventing the flavors of the Midwest. Retail spaces are being reimagined. Our nonprofits continue to find ways to innovate. 

As we look to the future, we are also finding new ways to embrace our past. Kim Blickenstaff and KDB Group are investing in our historic buildings and natural areas, while telling the stories of our region in new and unique ways. The Peoria Riverfront Museum is doing the same through the phenomenal leadership of John Morris. And there is so much more…

The past year has been a blur—change is happening at record speeds. I’ve often had to pinch myself when I realize that Peoria Magazines is more than 30 years old! As we look ahead to 2020, we are thankful for everyone who is doing their part to keep our community vibrant and healthy. And we remind you again to shop and support local—all year long. PM