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Spotlight on Southwestern Illinois: Women in Banking and Finance
 
Julie Huelsmann, Commercial Loan Officer, First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust, Highland

By MELISSA CROCKETT MESKE
    Growing up on the family farm in St. Rose, Julie Huelsmann developed a passion for living the agricultural life. She had always liked working alongside her father on the farm; it was this passion that would guide her when it came time to attend college and pursue a career.
p10 huelsmannHuelsmann    “Ag had always been a passion of mine. I also knew I wanted to work with numbers and I wanted to work with people,” said Huelsmann. “I had some relatives who worked in the finance industry; I talked with them about opportunities there and decided to focus on the business side of agriculture,” she added.
    Huelsmann completed a Bachelor of Science in agricultural business economics from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in December 2013. She had previously attended John A. Logan College for two years on a volleyball scholarship.
    Upon graduation from SIUC, Huelsmann’s first job was with Midwest Tractor Sales, where she worked with accounts payable and receivable, equipment inventory and customer financing.
    In March 2015, Huelsmann joined First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust of Highland. As a commercial loan officer, she now works primarily with farmers and agricultural loan financing. She is also a member of the Highland Rotary Club and the St. Rose Development Club.
    “First Mid-Illinois is known for their work with SBA loans; we are also highly successful with the Farmer Mac and USDA Farm Service Agency loan programs on the agricultural side,” Huelsmann said.
    She continues to live in St. Rose on the family farm where she grew up, as she has her whole life.
    “Knowing first-hand what life is like every day on the farm is why I am able to serve my customers so well,” she said, “I’ve shared in the same kinds of experiences and fully understand their triumphs and trials.”
    She marked her first anniversary at First Mid in March and said she still has much more to learn. She said she would like to continue to grow and move up within the bank.
    She also noted that the bank is always looking to expand, which means there is plenty of potential for more women to join her.
    “Our bank is community-oriented and people-focused; we know our customers individually and provide them with a strong level of professionalism that is balanced with a strong sense of home,” she said.

IBJ Business News

SCORE, SBDC set East St. Louis stop

    The Illinois Metro East Small Business Development Center, in partnership with the city of East St. Louis and the Southwestern Illinois Chapter of SCORE, will hold an open house for small-business owners and entrepreneurs at the East St. Louis City Hall, 301 River Park Drive.
    The event will take place Thursday, June 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Counselors will be available to take business questions, discuss growth opportunities, and connect people with resources.
    Everyone is welcome to stop in during the open house, but if you prefer a 30-minute one-on-one appointment with a counselor, contact Jo Ann Di Maggio May, small-business specialist, at
(618) 650-2929 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hospital installs robotic surgery system

    BELLEVILLE – HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital has acquired the da Vinci Xi Surgical System, designed for minimally invasive surgery.
    The system can be used in the areas of gynecology, urology, thoracic, cardiac and general surgery.
    The surgeon is 100 percent in control of the robotic-assisted da Vinci System, which translates his/her hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of tiny instruments inside the patient’s body.
    Among the advantages are shorter hospital stays, quicker recovery and less need for pain medication.