NEWSLETTER                                          September  2018
Bedford Park - Clearing Industrial Association
5101 West 67th Street
Bedford Park, IL.  60638

President's Message

I would like to thank everyone involved for making the last golf outing of the year a very successful event. Special thanks to the participants, event and hole sponsors and volunteers. Each year the outings prove to be a networking opportunity for our members and guests, a gathering of people with similar interests and business goals. Interaction through the Association's events creates a foundation for overall business achievement. Your attendance and support deserves our thanks. Steve Parker, Golf Chairman, coordinated an outstanding golf season along with Donna Smith, the BPCIA Executive Director.

The Association will be trying out a new series of business round-table discussions called "Lunch and Learns". These "bring your own lunch" events will address important issues for our members and hopefully connect business leaders with one another. If you have a topic that is important to your business or know of another business that should become a member please contact Donna Smith at (708) 496-0336. Thanks for your continued support of BPCIA.

Rob Mead
AERO Agrees to Buy Queen of Peace For $3.25 Million
AERO Special Education Cooperative announced last week it had reached in principle to purchase the former Queen of Peace High School in Burbank for $3.25 million.  Picone Advisory Group aided the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters in the negotiations for the 13-acre campus at 7659 S. Linder Ave. in Burbank.  The Queen of Peace site includes two buildings, a parking lot, athletic fields and green space.  AERO was formed in 1963 to provide special education services for students with physical and intellectual disabilities from 11 public school districts in the southwest suburbs including Argo, Evergreen Park, Reavis and Oak Lawn high schools along with seven of their feeder elementary districts.  These services are provided in both public and private schools throughout portions of Stickney, Worth, and Lyons townships.  AERO, a legal entity under the School Code of Illinois, is governed by a board comprised of one board of education member from each of the 11 districts in the cooperative.  AERO is funded through a combination of local school district funds, state and federal grants, and state reimbursement.  AERO owns a building in Burbank and leases a school building and classrooms from member schools in the cooperative.  AERO said in a new release that the purchase will give the co-op the option to centralize its operations in educating hundreds of students from pre-k through 12th grade as well as young adults through age 22.  AERO said the purchase of the Queen of Peace property will allow the co-op to enhance the services that it delivers to the most vulnerable students in its communities.  Indian Springs School District 109 Supt. Blair Nuccio, who has been on the co-op's executive board since 1999, said the deal was "absolutely great for the co-op.  They could have sold it to anybody."  Every year, we are always looking for new space," he said.  "We're always looking for new options, more room.  Co-op enrollment keeps climbing.  This definitely helps with that.  I'm very excited about this."  He cautioned, however, that the deal is not yet finalized.  "We are still trying to nail down the details."  He also said there was no clear time-table on when the school might be ready to take in special ed students.  "we are discussing all options on how well it fits the needs of special ed students," he said.  "It was a general high school.  We have to see how that works for our special need students."  Summit School District 104 also is a member of the co-op.  Supt. Troy Welan said the deal was "potentially good for the co-op."  "It will provide some options for the co-op.  It will provide a permanent place for the students."  The Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters opened Queen of Peace High School in 1962 and closed it at the completion of the 2017 school year.  The Catholic, all-girl, college preparatory school educated more than 15,000 women over 55 years.  Many of the Queen of Peace students transferred to neighboring St. Laurence High School, which agreed to go co-ed after the girl's school announced it was closing last year.  Other member elementary districts include Willow Springs District 108, Central Stickney District 110, Burbank District 111, Ridgeland District 122, and Evergreen Park District 124.    

Are You Taking Advantage of BPCIA Benefits? 

Every year we strive to bring new and interesting events to our membership.  This year we are adding a "Lunch & Learn" series with informative business topics.  The sessions are "FREE" and we invite you to bring your lunch and join the discussions.   
The Lunch & Learns will be held at the  
Bedford Park Library  7816 W. 65th Place
Lower Level Auditorium
11:45 Registration  ~  12:00 Seminar Promptly Begins  ~  1:00 Seminar Ends
September 19 - Human Capital Management and What it Means to Me  
  • Market shifts and trends in Talent Management, Compensation & Benefits, and Risk Mitigation Challenges of the dwindling talent pool
  • Managing productivity in a 4-generation workforce. GIG Economy
  • Healthcare Reform - Concealed carry, marijuana, HR, 199A Tax Credit
  • Employment liability concerns
  • Strategies to gain a competitive advantage
October 17 -   Bedford Park Police Department
  • Concealed Carry and what we have learned over the past few years.
  • Medical Marijuana in the work place and the impending legalization.
  • Insight on the collusion of the Cook County Board President, Cook Co. Sheriff's Office, Judicial System and the Cook County State Attorney's Office.
  • Overweight and Oversized Trucks: we have a new process for obtaining permits.
  • Community Outreach: we have a new "distribution" system for getting information out to the public.
  • Introduce Deputy Chief Thomas Hansen as the new Chief effective January 1, 2019.
  • K9 Unit Presentation
November 7 - Belt Railway Company of Chicago Operation Lifesaver Safety
  • Overall operations and geographical location of the Belt Railway Company of Chicago.
  • Operation Lifesaver- The 3 E's: Education/Engineering/Enforcement.
  • Crossing safety/awareness of dangers.
January 16 -   Marketing & Attracting New Customers in the Digital Age
           Understand the fundamentals of marketing and how it has evolved throughout the years.
  • Receive a high-level overview of current trends in marketing, as well as some of the pros and cons of digital marketing.
  • Understand the importance of competing online and learn how to establish your company's online presence using a website.
  • Understand the role that search engines play in attracting new customers and how to effectively compete in this growing market.
  • Understand the fundamentals of the most prominent social media platforms, including their demographics and how to best leverage them for business.
  • Obtain tips on how to perfect your company's "Digital Footprint".
February 20 -   TBD

DID YOU KNOW?  This Bedford Park Lab is on the Front Lines
of the Fight Against Food Poisoning  

A biohazard box hold samples that are hit with high-intensity light to kill foodborne pathogens at the Institute for Food Safety and Health, a unit within the Illinois Institute of Technology.

After the scientists step safely out of the airtight lab in the biocontainment plant, and after their spacesuit-like protective wear is disinfected, the room is flooded with chlorine dioxide gas.
"We make sure anything that's in there stays in there," said Robert Brackett, director of the Institute for Food Safety and Health.
The sterilizing gas and claustrophobia-inducing suits are mandatory in the lab, where researchers from the Food and Drug Administration and Illinois Tech come together to conduct research on foodborne bacteria.
Once a 5-gallon bucket of salmonella-infected peanut butter splattered all over the researchers. The impervious suits were well-warranted then, Brackett said.
This year alone, consumers have been sickened by cyclospora linked to salads at McDonald's, salmonella connected to pre-cut melon sold in grocery stores and to Kellogg's Honey Smacks cereal, and E. coli bacteria on romaine lettuce, to name a few incidents. With human lives and billions of dollars on the line, researchers at the facility in Bedford Park, just a half-hour outside Chicago, work with the FDA and food companies to test the technology that could help prevent outbreaks.
America's food industry has a major stake in the research conducted at the institute, a unit within the Illinois Institute of Technology. The annual economic impact of foodborne illness in the U.S. is estimated to be between $55.5 billion and $93.2 billion, according to a 2015 Ohio State University study.
At the Bedford Park facility scientists study all the big-name bacteria: salmonella, listeria, E. coli. They infect foods and test the bacteria's resistance. They validate technology and processes the food industry might use to prevent contamination.
In July, Mondelez International, which makes Ritz, and Campbell Soup Co., which makes Goldfish, recalled several of its products over fears of salmonella. News that a dry product could have contained salmonella shocked some, as traditional wisdom taught the bacteria grow in wet foods, Brackett said.
But research and experience have shown that salmonella can survive for years in a dry state, he said. At the Bedford Park facility, researchers are testing technology that could kill the resilient bacteria on dry goods, such as nuts, grains or spices.
"When I went to school, no one ever thought the dry ingredients would be a problem," Brackett said. Beside him, a piece of machinery rained down cool plasma gas like a waterfall of blue fire on the food moving along its belt.

Sanjana Potluri, left, and Sargun Malik use high-intensity light to kill foodborne pathogens at the Institute for Food Safety and Health.

The energized gas kills the bacteria in the food - or at least that's the idea. A nearby glass-walled chamber housed flour and peanut butter in containers marked with the dates they were contaminated. Researchers will monitor those substances after subjecting them to the bacteria-killing technology.
"Sometimes bacteria can be injured," Brackett said. "If you keep them around long enough, they can come back."
Another machine nearby tests how high-intensity light kills bacteria. Though the machine is fairly compact, the light it emits could be powerful enough to strip paint off an airplane, Brackett said. Of course, it's not used at such high levels in the lab.
As the researchers at the lab test the technology, the science behind it will be validated for the FDA. They re-create the environment in which foodborne bacteria would survive and figure out how to kill them. Findings are published in scientific journals for the food-safety community to learn from. Meanwhile, scientists closely monitor outbreaks in the wild - like the salmonella-infected Honey Smacks - to inform their research.
At first glace, the labs at the facility look like any other - safety googles and lab coats by the entrance, sinks and racks of equipment lining the walls. The occasional researcher moves from one lab to another or tests a piece of equipment.
But visitors to these labs are met with stark warning signs. "DANGER: Hazardous chemicals," one reads. "Restricted Access Area, Authorized Personnel Only," says another. A bright orange warning screams, "BIOHAZARD," and another has a skull and crossbones.
A loud industrial area at the facility substitutes the lab coats by its door for hard hats. Some of the machinery towers above the people who run it. A cylindrical piece of equipment that targets botulism spores in soup cans requires the user to turn a wheel that wouldn't be out of place on a pirate ship.
A nearby machine applies pressure equivalent to that at the bottom of the ocean onto foods. Pressurizing kills bacteria such as listeria, salmonella and E. coli without compromising the freshness or flavor with heat, Brackett said.
The potentially fatal listeria has been the focus of several recent recalls, including one this year in which Whole Foods Market voluntarily recalled Explorateur French Triple Creme cheese from nine stores in Illinois, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Connecticut and New Jersey.
It is common to process products like fresh guacamole, deli meats and juices with high pressure, Brackett said. It maintains the quality of the product better because it doesn't subject it to such high heat as other processing methods. The process isn't new, but as consumers demand fresher food with fewer ingredients, it's gaining popularity as a way to kill bacteria in fresh products.
"They're trying to reduce the number of ingredients in the food," Brackett said. "Many of those ingredients were antimicrobial."
In the facility, a white board next to the high-pressure processor tracks other products that were recently tested: apple sauce, Crisco, mashed potatoes and peanut butter, which has been the source of the highest-profile foodborne illness outbreaks in recent decades.
In 2016, Conagra agreed to pay an $8-million fine plus $3.2 million in cash forfeitures for its role in an outbreak that sickened hundreds in the mid-2000s. The culprit was Peter Pan peanut butter contaminated with salmonella. It was the largest criminal fine to date in a U.S. food safety case.
Fortunately, the peanut butter sitting on store shelves now is much safer than it was a decade ago, Brackett said. Technology has advanced and new protocols have been established. The Food Safety Modernization Act, which became law in 2011, requires food producers to create better safety measures. Companies and regulatory agencies are paying more attention to products like peanut butter that previously posed high risks.
Besides the testing and tracking the researchers do at the institute, companies also can come to be trained on good manufacturing processes. Some Kraft Heinz employees, for example, are trained at the institute on how to identify and control the risks of ingredients and processes.
"In many cases, the outbreaks can be prevented if everyone just did what we knew they were supposed to be doing," Brackett said.
(By Ally Marotti / Chicago Tribune)
BPCIA August Golf Outing

The BPCIA and all the golfers want to thank our many sponsors

August Outing Sponsors:
ACH Foods Company
Garfield Ridge Contractors
Wintrust Community Bank

Hot Dog Sponsor: 
Village of Bedford Park

Beverage Sponsor: 
Chuck's Southern Comforts Cafe

Beverage Cart Sponsor:
The Weglarz Company

Golf Cart Sponsors:
First Midwest Bank
Independence Tube

Longest Putt: 
Nalco Water an Ecolab Company

Closest to the Pin:
Line Drive Baseball Academy
Fabrication Specialties

Hole Sponsors:
Chicago Office Products
Jett Cutting
The LAM Group
Midway Hotel Center East Campus
Midway Hotel Center - The Weglarz Collection
Wirtz Rentals / Summit Division


Upcoming Events:

Lunch & Learn Series

September 19
October 17
November 7
January 16
February 20

The Lunch & Learn Seminars will be held at the Bedford Park Library
7816 W. 65th Place (Lower Level Auditorium)
11:45 Registration   -   12:00 Seminar Promptly Begins   -   1:00 Seminar Ends


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Bedford Park - Clearing Industrial Association
5101 West 67th Street, Bedford Park, IL.  60638

Phone: 708-496-0336   -   Email:   -   Website: