Becoming BN is a program of the McLean County Community COMPACT, a subsidiary of the McLean County Chamber of Commerce.  This program is designed to introduce new residents to the wonderful attributes of the Bloomington Normal community, with specific focus on early career, summer interns, and grad students.  


The program was piloted in 2019 as a way to showcase community events and provide professional and social networking opportunities. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Becoming BN for the Summer of 2020 consisted of four (4) virtual events that exposed participants to panel discussions from  local leaders, young professionals and CEO's from local employers.  Virtual sessions were conducted weekly over the noon hour throughout July.  Session topics will included a Young Professional Panel and "chats" with leaders in Technology, Health & Recreation, and Food & Beverage.   


In 2021, the Becoming BN Program will consist of four events happening quarterly throughout the year.  The program will highlight community attractions, groups, businesses, and provide opportunities to engage and network.  Each event will focus on a particular sector of BN; such as Arts & Entertainment, Community Engagement, Health & Wellness, and Food & Drink.  


The 2021 program is currently being developed by our planning committee.  Information will be announced shortly.  The program is tentatively scheduled to begin in late June / early July.  










A special thanks to our event sponsors who have helped make this program possible! 






2020 VIRTUAL SESSION DESCRIPTIONS:  Becoming BN Welcome / Young Professional Panel

When:  Thursday, July 9, 2020 from 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm central time

Conducted via Zoom

SESSION DESCRIPTION:  This session will kick-off the Becoming BN Virtual Series.  The panel will share insights from young professionals living and working in McLean County.  All three individuals attended school in McLean County and chose to continue their professional careers in Bloomington-Normal.  You will hear their reasons why they thought McLean County was a great fit and how they have grown their lives, got engaged in the community and found professions that fit their passions.


  • Kristin Peterson, Compass Insurance Partners
  • Sean Seibring, VP Citizens Bank of Chatsworth        

  • Samantha Schultz, Palace Events                                            

  Lea rn More  

Technology Chat

                                 When:  Thursday, July 16, 2020 from 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm central time

           Conducted via Zoom 


Technology plays a large part in our community, from STEM education in our schools to cutting edge companies calling this region home, community residents can see innovation at work every day in McLean County.  Today’s “Technology Chat” will highlight some of the unique programs and initiatives happening in McLean County around technology.  During this session we will explore the Challenger Learning Center as well as the Innovation District and Smart City Planning with the Town of Normal and beyond.  Participants will be able to engage with two industry leaders and gain insight into these distinctive aspects of the greater Bloomington-Normal area.


  • Libby Torbeck, Senior Flight Director @ the Challenger Learning Center at Heartland Community College      
  • Vasudha Gadhiraju, Director of Innovation & Technology from the Town of Normal        


Health & Recreation Chat

                                 When:  Thursday, July 23, 2020 from 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm central time

           Conducted via Zoom 


The Bloomington-Normal area is a vibrant community, home to 167,699 people who embrace Midwestern hospitality and a good quality of life. Through health and recreation programs, the greater Bloomington-Normal area provides residents with a long list of things to do. Today's session, the “Health and Recreation Chat” we will focus discussions on our vast trail system, parks, and a unique  attractions that keeps us moving and engaged.


  • Samantha Morehead, Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Vistors Bureau 

  • Erin Williams, Iron Coyote Challenge Park 


Food & Beverage Chat

                                 When:  Thursday, July 30, 2020 from 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm central time

           Conducted via Zoom 


Bloomington-Normal is famous for its concentration of restaurants and its love of food and beverages.  Did you know Bloomington-Normal is home to unique brewers and snack/food manufacturers?  Our final virtual chat for the 2020 program will focus on our two favorite things:  Food & Beverage.  Join us for a peek behind the curtain into a local fan favorite brewery that began with random conversation and take a look at a famous snack food company that has been snackin' in McLean County since 1953. 


  • Chad Bevers, Founder/Head Brewer @ Lil Beaver Brewery 

  • Andy Shirk, President- BEER NUTS® Brand Snacks