Strolling towards transformation one volunteer at a time

Stroll on State is quickly approaching this Saturday. Last weekend, I had the privilege of working next to 350 volunteers from Heartland Community Church who were committed to cleaning up and decorating downtown Rockford. These community-minded folks used their free time with only one thing in mind; making Rockford an even better place. Together. With all the conversations of transforming Rockford and collaboration buzzing around the city, I feel compelled to chime in on something I witnessed.  I’m not sure when it hit me what was actually...

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Forbes Schmorbes! Misery Loves Company in the Rockford Region

RACVB’s latest campaign, Misery Loves Company, is a fun, friendly, tongue-in-cheek tourism campaign masquerading as a response to Forbes Magazine’s latest ranking of the Rockford Region as the 3rd most miserable city in the USA. As the head of RACVB, I’d like to offer a few thoughts about the campaign, our ongoing role in promoting and developing the region’s tourism industry and why it’s important to address our biggest critics and challenges head on. Following the runaway success of the equally satirical...

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Talent is within, national search not needed for new RPS 205 superintendent

On August 28, the Rockford Board of Education will discuss the process they will follow to select our next Superintendent of Schools. I hope it’s a short and to the point discussion that ends with a decision to look within District 205, foregoing a national search. Desiring stability and believing that District 205 is quickly moving in the right direction, Next Rockford has approved a resolution calling on the Board of Education to narrow its search to the current leaders within the district. Dr. Willis has done a fine job of putting in place...

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Next Rockford members are difference makers, world changers

This might be a few weeks tardy…nonetheless, I was reflecting on the advances our community realized in 2011 and was grateful to note than Next Rockford was involved at a leadership level in big and small ways. Next Rockford embodies Margaret Mead’s statement, “Never underestimate the power of a small, dedicated group of people to change the world; indeed, that is the only thing that ever has.” One of life’s greatest compliments comes when a group of your peers believes in you enough to lead them. I’m fortunate to serve as...

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The Wright Thing: Push is on to save a national treasure in Rockford

Nestled in the trees along Spring Brook Road is a modest red brick house that typically goes unnoticed. Few passersby realize it is a national treasure; the only home in the Rockford region designed by the world-famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. And, if our community does not act quickly, this gem could be lost. The house is currently for sale and will go up for auction December 15. A group of local citizens have formed the Laurent House Foundation and is working to raise the funds needed to buy the home and turn it into a museum, but time...

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