Next Rockford – Our Year In Review

Next Rockford is an organization that  exists to connect generational leaders to one another, educate our generations on the issues important to the community and to individual members, and once connected and educated, successfully advocate for issues important to generations, members, and the community.  The Next Rockford organizational year runs from October through September making this a great time to reflect on the past twelve months of activities and a great year!

Special Event

  • Hosted, with State Representative Sosnowski,  Governor Rauner on his visit to Rockford at the Prairie Street Brewhouse on March 5th, 2015.


  • Conducted a Winnebago County Sheriff general election forum.  Both candidates endorsed Next Rockford‘s platform, including the successful candidate, Sheriff Caruana.


  • Boots and Coats Drive – 5th year of collecting hundreds of boots, coats, gloves and undergarments in elementary age kid’s sizes for students in RPS 205 to ensure that the winter elements will not deter any child from attending school or impact their learning day.
  • Book Drive – collected over 7,500 books and put 3+ books in the hands of over 2,000 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at Beyer, Kishwaukee, Ellis, Lewis Lemon, Nelson, Riverdahl, CICS Jackson, Galapagos, Legacy, King, and McIntosh, as well as children at Rock House Kids and Fairview Early Childhood Center.
  • Transform Rockford – members served as support team members and leads, segment leads, spoke team members and leads, facilitators, and volunteers.  Hosted the Community Idea Exchange on Education and Leadership & Youth.

Issue Learning:

  • Met at at the Chicago Rockford International Airport where Executive Director Mike Dunn gave the organization an update on the history of the airport, road and facility upgrades, and the exciting AAR MRO opportunity.
  • Hosted Assistant Deputy Chief Doug Pann in Midtown at Katie’s Cup to hear about Geopolicing including the pilot effort and it’s results, and the future plans.
  • Met with RACVB CEO John Groh and Rockford City Engineer Matt Vitner at Rockford Park District’s  Sportscore II Complex to hear about Reclaiming First, including the upgrade and expansion plans at Sportscore II, the downtown sports complex, and the synergies with downtown development projects like the hotel and train station.
  • Met at Jane Addams Park Apartments on a hot topic critical to the city of Rockford, the surrounding region, and equitable neighborhoods which affects the quality of life and opportunity for all.  Ron Clewer, CEO of the Rockford Housing Authority, spoke to the organization about the Choice Neighborhoods proposal, affordable housing strategies, and neighborhood equality as well as the impact of these issues on the Rockford region’s economic growth and attractiveness.
  • Hosted a panel speaking on emerging development in Rockford’s downtown including the hotels, City Market, and Indoor Sports Complex.
  • Hosted Mayor Morrissey and Chairman Christensen with updates on current status and key strategic initiatives for the City and County.
  • Hosted a panel including Rock Valley Trustee Ashley Burks, Rockford Alderman Tom McNamara, and Winnebago County Board member John Sweeny, Jr. to share their experiences about the opportunities that exist and the steps for pursuing those opportunities in elected positions and appointed boards.

Next Rockford will be meeting Thursday September 10th at 7:30am at the YWCA for its annual strategy session where input is needed to set direction for organization for the upcoming year.

To learn more about Next Rockford contact:

Scott Anderson