May Voice 2018

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of the Rockford Business Community


Rockford Chamber Celebration of

Manufacturing There was a strong vibe at the Rockford Chamber of Commerce’s Manufacturing Expo and Dinner. More




industry and community leaders turned out for the April 25 event, which was held at Giovanni’s Restaurant and Convention Center. Before the dinner, attendees visited 27 booths from area manufacturing and related services. “The state of manufacturing is good but these companies need workers,” said Einar Forsman, the chamber’s president & CEO. “Four years ago, you

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Dietmar and Harold Goellner were presented with the award for 2018 Manufacturer of the Year. had good talent looking for good jobs. Fast forward and now you have good jobs looking for good talent.” Dr. Federico Sciammarella, chair of the department of mechanical engineering at the Northern Illinois University College of Engineering & Engineering, addressed that concern as the keynote speaker. He discussed the future of manufacturing and the success of NIU Engineering @ RVC. The engineering program allows Rockford-area students to take their first two years of engineering courses at Rock Valley College, then transition to courses taught by NIU College of Engineering & Engineering Technology faculty on the campus of RVC. Students gain experience in paid internships with local companies and can access scholarship funds raised by Rockford area supporters of the program. More than 120 RVC students are in the first and second year pipeline and 44 NIU students are in the third and four year classes. NIU-RVC students are working as interns across the region, including Alpha Controls, Greenleee, Woodward and Rockford Process Control. According to Sciammarella 21 percent of all employees in the Rockford region work in manufacturing. Still there are more jobs to be had. “We have 4.9 percent unemployment rate, and while that’s generally good for Rockford, we still lag in improving that rate nationally, with about 3,000 jobs currently going unfilled,” said Forsman. “Companies can’t find the people they need. These students are the future.” It was a good night for Advanced Machine & Engineering (AME), who was named manufacturer of the year at the dinner. The company was founded in 1966 by Willy Goellner, who came to the U.S. from Germany and has grown into

With spring officially here, Edgebrook announces the opening of its Farmers Market for the season on May 2. Local farmers will offer vegetables, fruits, flowers, plants, organic produce, baked breads and sweet treats, artisan cheeses, honey, farm fresh eggs, jams and jellies every Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., through Oct. 31. Visit for more merchant news.


Don Williams of RRVTMA (retired) was selected as the 2018 Business Catalyst of the Year for his long standing efforts of supporting the manufacturing community in many different roles. a leading manufacturer and distributor of custom machine tool components and metal cutting solutions. In the last year, AME broke ground on a new $3.5 million facility expansion that will create 100 new manufacturing jobs. AME struggled through recessions in the early 1980s. Its leader credits a faith in God and staying the course as reasons the company survived. “Since Rockford is such a hub for manufacturing, this award is overwhelming,” said Dietmar Goellner, CEO, who joined his father’s company in 1979. “What it does is motivates me and the team to continue to improve. Success today does not guarantee success tomorrow. We need to work hard and stay passionate about our customers. I’m very bullish on manufacturing.” “AME has made a deliberate investment in our community,” said Forsman. “Some of it doesn’t get recognized by the lay community, but the manufacturers know. They do it the right way which has created a great culture within their organization.” The business catalyst of the year went to Don Williams, a longtime leader Continued on page 6

The Rock River Development Partnership is taking applications for its annual, free Vintage Market to take place this year on Saturday, June 23 at the City Market Pavilion in downtown Rockford. Vintage vendors sell quality vintage, antique and re-purposed items, including home and garden goods, furniture, clothing, jewelry, art and children’s items. The market also features food, beverages and live music. Apply at become-a-vendor. Early applicants get priority placement.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR! Rockford Chamber


May 21 • the mauh-nah-tee-see club For more info, see page 27 SPONSORED BY

ROCKFORD PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMUNITY ENVISIONING SESSION Rockford Public Library is working with a team of architects and facilitators to plan the new main library building to replace the one that stood for 114 years at 215 N. Wyman St., in downtown Rockford.

Join a Community Envisioning Session to give your input on May 2 at 10:30 a.m., at the District#1 Police Station, Community Room (cohosted by West Gateway Coalition). For more information or to send your ideas via email or social media, visit

2 | May 2018

theVoice •

positionChairman’s Perspective Yesterday, today and tomorrow As I approach one of those benchmark birthdays, I have taken some time to think about my life. Reflecting on the past, evaluating today and planning for the future. Please allow me to take a couple of minutes to engage the same reflection regarding your Chamber of Commerce. In my humble opinion, the history of the Rockford Chamber is rivaled by few and matched by none. Since 1910 the Chamber has been the advocate, ambassador, supporter and champion of business in our community. Throughout its history, the Chamber has maintained a membership of 1,000 or more businesses. These members have represented the full range of businesses, smallest to largest. In every era the Chamber has boldly addressed the needs of our business community, seeing itself as a community-centered problem-solving organization that emphasizes cooperation among business, government and education communities. The impact of the Chamber’s 108 year history can be seen, literally on every corner.

Jumping to our current Chamber and its engagement. The focus on the community and positive change are still the hallmark of the Chamber’s work. After much research and due diligence, the Chamber recognized the need to back a return to Home Rule for Rockford. One driver of the decision to support was to return more control to the citizens, allowing local realities to shape our community’s destiny. Secondly, recognizing that Rockford, like so many other communities, is facing increasingly pressing financial issues, realizing that Home Rule provided more options to address the growing need and bring about new solutions. The current momentum of the Chamber continues to be focused on our business community. The creation of a home for the Small Business Development Center is testament to the investment in the full range of businesses housed in our community. Almost all businesses started as small businesses. How fitting to focus on the next generation of hard working innovators who are willing to invest their

dreams in our community. The rewards of the SBDC’s success will be a part of our community legacy for decades. A key factor in the success of any business is the availability of a prepared and ready workforce. Your Chamber, teaming with partners across the area are committed to help address this need. The work of the Education and Workforce Development Council keeps this critical issue front and center. This collaboration is already producing results. The work is providing clarity of direction so diverse resources can help our community become a stronger source of the trained worker needed to succeed in business. Your Chamber has arguably become the pace setter in leadership education in our community. Focusing on the needs of businesses of all sizes. Educational programming under the Rockford Leadership Alliance, continues to expand and foster growth by leaders, emerging talent, and high potentials at every level in our business community. Taking a small step into tomorrow, soon we will graduate our 64th class

of Leadership Rockford. This long successful Richard Zumwalt Rockford Chamber program does Board Chairman an excellent job of introducing some of the best and brightest in our business community to the “business Rockford.” The program assures knowledge of their communities needs and strengths. As you look at this class, you can only be hopeful for the future of business in our area. With that I again make my affirmation of your Chamber and your community. The Chamber is staying focused on the issues that will shape the business community for years to come. The Chamber, our business community and our citizens are all part of my belief that the Rockford area is a wonderful place to live and engage in business. The issues that challenge us are not equal to the combined strength of our community. Rick Zumwalt is Chairperson of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

theVoice •

May 2018 | 3

Guest Perspective viewpoint

Matching right skills with the right jobs Employee education plans with a long and short focus Not only is labor market participation low, but jobseekers tend to see jobs as disposable when they are plentiful. The Workforce Connection recently held employer forums with small to midsize manufacturers. During the conversation, we heard the consistent refrain we often hear from employers, “job seekers lack soft skills.” Additionally, employers say the talent pool doesn’t possess the skills they require for open positions. There’s a disconnect. The supply of jobseekers is not meeting the demand of employers. Not only is labor market participation low, but jobseekers tend to see jobs as disposable when they are plentiful. Those who decide to participate in the labor market know they have options and can rotate employers, depending on who’s paying the most at any given time. Furthermore, with unemployment the lowest it’s been in nearly 20 years, there are more jobs than jobseekers. Far too often, there is reference to

the skills gap, which has varying root causes and is not linked to a singular factor. There are instances where the skills an employer needs are unique to that employer, and then there are unique skills related to specific occupations. No matter how it’s phrased, the skills individuals possess don’t match the skills employers expect of individuals. Whether there is a lack of essential skills required for today’s workplace or a candidate lacks technical skills,

employers are struggling to find qualified talent. Solutions are as varied as the skills gaps.

reside in our

Customized Education Plans


The Workforce Connection works with regional training providers and employers to develop solutions to workforce issues. Oftentimes, an education plan is part of the solution. Education plans vary from short-term training that can be done in less than four months to work-based learning or traditional learning methods that can take up to two years. Other times, onthe-job training between an individual and an employer can be quite effective. I’m convinced that solutions

Employee training



collectively we

Lisa M. Bly The Workforce Connection


our workforce and meet the needs of our local employers. The goal is to connect the right employer with the right jobseeker. We further realize that without skills





unlikely that an individual can be a successful employee. Our aim is to get individuals the skills they need, provide opportunities to utilize the skills they acquire, and ultimately, obtain and retain permanent employment. This is the ideal scenario for jobseekers, employers and our regional workforce. Lisa M. Bly is executive director of The

SwedishAmerican, a division of UW Health, received $166,000 in

Workforce Connection.

and Opportunity Act to cover the cost of training nearly 3,000 staff on its

The views expressed are those of Bly’s and do

funding from The Workforce Connection under the Workforce Innovation new EPIC electronic health record system, internally called HealthLink.

not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

4 | May 2018

theVoice •

Rockford University PERSPECTIVE

Are these three things on your vacation itinerary? Planning your legacy for future generations Planning is an important part of any getaway. Even a weekend at the beach or the lake requires some legwork, while longer trips to more exotic destinations can involve months of preparation. But before you pack your bags and print your boarding pass, or fill your car with gas, make sure that your travel itinerary isn’t the only plan you’ve put in place. The list below includes some important items you may not have thought about or associated with getting ready for a well-deserved vacation. So whether vacation plans spur taking action, or you just know you’re overdue for making sure your affairs are in order, the three items below are worth taking the time to address. A will. Your will is the foundation that your future plans are built on. Through your will, you can direct the division of your property and make special financial arrangements for family members who are minors or who have special needs. A living will and power of attorney for health care decisions. A living will outlines your preferences about lifesaving medical treatments. Combine

this with a health care power of attorney, which gives someone you choose the power to make your medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so. A durable power of attorney for financial matters. This document provides someone you choose with the legal right to manage your finances and make financial decisions on your behalf. Helpful Tip: The people you’ve selected as your powers of attorney for health care or financial matters may need to present the original documents to establish their authority to act on your behalf. Make these documents easily accessible, telling the person you select where to locate them. In general, the most important thing is that you communicate with your loved ones to ensure that they know what to do if the unthinkable happens while you’re away.

Relax with Peace of Mind While it may seem like a daunting task and something more easily rationalized away to do another day, it’s very important to stop putting off these

important tasks in order to protect your assets and provide for your family. You may also want to ensure that your assets are properly directed to support a particular organization. An important part of Rockford University’s overall development efforts is in helping individuals include the university in their estate planning and legacy giving. There are many helpful tools available that can help you start the process and help you determine what kinds of options are best for your particular situation. Feel free to visit to learn more about wills and living trusts, beneficiary

designations, charitable Denise Noe gift annuities, Rockford University endowed gifts and more. So jump in the car, catch that plane or simply enjoy a relaxing stay-cation knowing that you’ve taken the necessary steps to protect yourself and your family. Denise Noe is assistant vice president for advancement at Rockford University. The views expressed are those of Noe’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

Let your Voice be heard The Rockford Chamber of Commerce welcomes and encourages member submissions for The VOICE of the Rockford Business Community. Deadline is the 15th of the month preceding publication date. Send news releases and other items of interest to the business community to: The VOICE Rockford Chamber of Commerce 308 W. State St., Ste. 190 Rockford, IL 61101

For information about advertising contact Customer Service at 815-987-8100. The VOICE of the Rockford Business Community (USPS 784-120). ISSN number 1086-0630, is published monthly by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, 308 W. State St., Ste. 190, Rockford, Illinois 61101. Periodicals postage paid at Rockford, Ill. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: The VOICE of the Rockford Business Community, 308 W. State St., Ste. 190, Rockford, IL 61101.

theVoice •

MAY 2018 | 5





Small Business Enterprise When conflict benefits an organization Turning differing opinions into shared understanding, solutions Conflict is inevitable and often good. As an example, good teams always go through stages of development and maturation that are rife with conflict. Getting the most from diversity means contradictory values, perspectives and opinions. Some experts call conflict a form of competition between perceived or actual incompatible needs, goals, desires, ideas or resources. Or conflict is when two or more values or opinions are contradictory in nature and have not been aligned or agreed upon. There are a variety of descriptions of what it is. The most important aspect of conflict is “how does it benefit people, relationships, and the overall organization?” Well, conflict is created, developed and cultured through our need for it: ■ It helps raise and address problems ■ Energizes work to be on the most appropriate issue. ■ Helps people to “Be Real.” ■ Help people recognize and benefit from their differences

All Starts with Communication I often ask myself, how did this conflict start, or the origination point. Sometimes I believe the reason behind it is some basic human derivation that is preventable. No surprise to you or me, the number one (1) cause of conflict is: a drum roll please, yes, you guessed correctly, “poor communication.” What are some of the positive effects of clear, concise communication? If you work in teams, you have shared and aligned goals and similar values, whatever those goals are: increasing revenue, establishing customer-centric values or reducing costs.

You want to understand their views, values and what brought them to this perspective. Sincerity is everything. Communication is one of the most underutilized forms of employee recognition -- in written format, group meetings or one-on-one, it does not matter. Sincere recognition is the number one most rewarding motivator for all employees.

Causes of Conflict There are four basic causes of business conflict: Let’s see how these fit through your life. 1. Communication 2. Insufficient alignment of resources or “Who Does What?” 3. Personal chemistry: Strong personal natures do not match, keep in mind, we often do not like in others what we do not like in ourselves 4. Inconsistent, uninformed leadership Managing conflict is difficult for a multitude of valid, various and vivid reasons. The pinnacle of all reasons is our emotions. Those nasty little bugs in our psyche can and will dominate our rational thinking, then subsequently allow our clear thinking to move sideways. Here’s a few “tips” for your consideration, and helpful to me. (I’ll spare you my heritage however, our whole family runs a little hot.) Take a minute and write five traits

that really bug you when you see them in others – be wary – they might be what you don’t like about yourself. This will give you some insight into managing yourself. When you are in the midst of altercation or even a relatively calm conflict, avoid using the word “you.” Maintain good eye contact. If the person says something that you agree upon, say so, quickly. The keys to the kingdom are stamped by good listening skills and defining the areas of disagreement and agreement. Verify that you are accurately hearing each other. Phrases like, “I want to make certain I understand your concerns; what I just heard you say was.” When a discussion gets heated and possibly out of control, move to a private area – don’t give the other person an audience. Give the other person time to vent, never losing eye contact. Let them wind down and their emotions calm, and get their mind involved. Avoid why questions, when possible; they have a tendency to make people feel defensive. Acknowledge where you disagree and where you agree. Work the issue not the person. If possible, identify at least one action that can be done by one or both of you. Ask the other person if they will support the action. Thank the person for their work to bring this to a reasonable resolution. If not possible, confirm a time to

revisit the issue and work the conflict process again. If the Bo Boger situation SBDC remains a conflict, then consider agreeing to disagree or invite a third party to hear both sides and help resolve the issue.

Reading the Cues How you approach the subject of the conflict, the person themselves, your demeanor, the tone of your voice, the timbre of your voice, your body language, the set of your eyes and your openness to their physical and mental cues. All are mandatory for us to read and understand – don’t miss the cues. If you get it right, you will know immediately. If you don’t, you will also. If all systems are go, then agree on a mutually acceptable time and place to discuss the subject; state the problem as you see it and list your concerns. Let the other person have their say, listen and ask questions. You want to understand their views, values and what brought them to this perspective. Sincerity is everything. For goodness sake, stick to one conflict at a time, seek common ground, and last but not least, brainstorm solutions that allow everyone to win! Bo Boger is director at the Illinois SBDC at the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

ABOUT THE SBDC The Illinois SBDC at the Rockford Chamber of Commerce offers services free of charge to aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Rockford area, both chamber members and non-members. As a partnership between the Rockford Chamber and the Illinois DCEO, it operates out of NIU EIGERlab, NIURockford, 8500 E. State St., and maintains an office at the chamber’s downtown location. For questions, contact Bo Boger, SBDC director, at 815-316-4301.

6 | MAY 2018

Manufacturing Expo (continued from front page)

of the Rockford area manufacturing community and former apprentice administrator for the Rock River Valley Tooling & Machining Association. “This award is a culmination of my career in manufacturing,” he said. “Rockford is a manufacturing community, and I found that out very quickly.” “Don has given his life to manufacturing,” said Forsman. “The award is well deserved.” Prior to the dinner, traffic was steady during the expo. JC Milling, a machine shop for manufacturing components, fixtures, cutters, and prototypes, had a booth for the first time. The company opened a new facility in Machesney Park eight months ago. JC Milling was also nominated for the manufacturer of the year award. “This is an opportunity for the community to know that we’re here,” said President Dean Svarc. “People don’t know that we do precision. This was a chance to tell our story.” Scott Cooley, national sales director for Hennig, also had a booth for the first time. Hennig is a worldwide provider of fabricated machine protection and chip management solutions. “It makes sense to support the Rockford area,” Cooley said. “We are growing, adding 25,000 square feet to our existing building that will be ready in June. We feel blessed with what we’re doing.” Attendees were able to view a premiere of a video demonstrating 9 area manufacturers and their manufacturing floor activities. Vixen Productions developed the video in conjunction with the Chamber and Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren sponsored the video premiere. The presenting sponsor was QPS Employment Group. Gold sponsors were Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International; Rockford Bank & Trust and WIPFLI. The silver sponsor was Thayer Lighting and the award sponsor was United Way. theVoice


8 | MAY 2018



Students complete Capstones before heading to college

Teaching leadership that addresses real-life challenges As the 2017-18 school year comes to a close, I am reflecting on the wealth of leadership we have in the Rockford Public Schools. Last week, East High School senior Cole Bathje pulled off a successful concert to benefit the Rockford Promise scholarship program. It was Cole’s Capstone, a project that allows students to apply their academic learning to real-life challenges. Cole’s project began with a survey of his classmates, in which he found out only 18 percent of them planned to return to Rockford after college. To him, the problem had a clear solution: Raise the educational attainment in our community. Cole started to think about a way to meld his lifelong interest in local music with the Promise’s interest in removing financial barriers to post-secondary education through full-tuition scholarships. Cole convinced Miles Nielsen & the Rusted Hearts to headline the April 27 concert at Veteran’s Memorial Hall. By planning and executing every detail of the concert, Cole learned a lot about real-life leadership. The same night as Cole, an RPS 205 student leader, helped to celebrate this year’s 22 Promise scholars, the Golden Apple Foundation celebrated teacher leaders at its annual Excellence in Education Banquet. We add our congratulations and gratitude to Golden Apple teacher Rachel Huetson of Nelson Elementary School, along with Principal Amber Miller of Johnson Elementary, who received the Puri Family Outstanding Principal Award from the Golden Apple Foundation. The Golden Apple is always a powerful event that celebrates the

Dr. Ehren Jarrett Superintendent RPS 205

lasting impact of the teacher-leaders in our community.

Fostering Leadership Leaders don’t happen by accident. They are formed over hours of collaboration and critical thinking about ways to address challenges. It’s the kind of work we value highly in RPS 205, and it’s why we were honored as a Ford Next Generation Learning Community. Ford NGL is the signature program of the Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company. It honors communities like Rockford that have developed and implemented high school academies. The goal is to create a new generation of young people who will graduate from high school both college- and careerready. Capstone projects are a big part of readiness in RPS 205. In past years, Capstones have focused on cancer research, a bone marrow drive, an original




market investment, and an art showcase on the beauty of Rockford. Cole Bathje will take the skills he learned in his Capstone project and head to Augustana College in the fall. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of radio interviews and nonstop emails. Before that, there were meetings with businesses to see how they could help. “I’m never going to look at concerts the same way again,” Cole said. Those, too, are valuable lessons to prepare Cole to compete successfully in the 21st century economy, whether he pursues his chosen field of multimedia journalism and communications, or something else. Especially





graduate the class of 2018, we salute all the leaders in the Rockford Public Schools who take college and career readiness to the next level. Dr. Ehren Jarrett is superintendent of Rockford Public Schools. The views expressed are those of Dr. Jarrett’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Cole Bathje

Rockford Chamber of Commerce.


MAY 2018 | 9

Young Professionals ignite

Making friends when you’re new to town Putting yourself out there for yourself and others

I want you to put yourself out there so intensely that you embarrass yourself at least two times a week. Moving to a new place straight out of college was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. All of my friends were still finishing up their senior year, while I was thrust into the real world on my own. This is one of the many positions being a December grad put me in. It’s intimidating enough not being familiar with an area, but it’s even harder when you’re trying to figure out where to start. How do you make a meaningful connection to a city that you didn’t grow up in? While some of you have probably already experienced this and have had to learn for yourself, I know there are some people who haven’t. I can also guarantee there’s probably quite a few people just like me that are new to the Rockford area. Since young professionals in today’s society tend to move around a lot more than they used to, I thought I’d share some of my experiences and advice on how to make that connection. Whether you’re moving for a work opportunity, personal reasons or even because it’s your dream location, I think a couple of these tips universally apply. You may have heard them already from a parent or friend, but I’m here to reiterate them anyways.

Embarrass Yourself First things first: when moving to a new place, PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE. I’m serious. I want you to put yourself out there so intensely that you embarrass yourself at least two times a week. Don’t think that group of people at Prairie Street want to be your friend? Oh well, go talk to them anyways. You will be surprised with the results. People are nice, whether you believe that or not, and they really sympathize with people who are new to the area. If you go up to anyone — especially a local — and mention you’re new to town. I guarantee you will get at least 10 recommendations of awesome places to go and things to do. Be proactive and even look up events in the area yourself! You will be amazed how many things are happening each weekend that you would have never known about. Ask

Phoebe Morris Rockford Chamber

a co-worker, a friend you just met, or even go by yourself. People are so intimidated by going to things solo, but I promise, you will meet more people going to an event by yourself than sitting at home!

Make Bonds by Getting Involved Going to social events in the area are great, but another way to completely immerse yourself in a new city is to volunteer. As odd as it sounds, it’s a fantastic way to meet some of the nicest people and to learn more about the new community you live in! Volunteer opportunities are good at providing that “team” feel, and people bond as they work together to accomplish amazing things. However, involvement goes beyond volunteering, and many cities have young professional groups that you can join that help you grow personally and professionally. That may seem like a shameless plug for IGNITE, but it couldn’t be more true. It’s the most efficient way to pursue professional goals while at the same time making great friends along the way. Organizations outside of your workplace go a long way to make a large city seem smaller. They provide opportunities to not only meet people besides your co-workers, but can also help you find people that share common interests with you. Finally, if you do move to a new place with someone else — whether it’s a spouse, a friend, etc. — don’t use them as a crutch! It’s so easy to stay in with people you already know, but it closes off all kinds of opportunities you might have done if you were by yourself! If you branch out, I guarantee it’s going to make you happier and more independent. By all means, go out with your friends and spend time with the people you love, but there is also a great feeling that comes with connections you’ve made on your own. These tips might all sound like common sense, but a lot of people who are new to an area don’t push themselves to do them. So, to everyone moving to a new place, you can do it! And to anyone who just moved to Rockford, welcome! I’ve learned it’s an amazing place. Phoebe Morris is program & event coordinator at the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

10 | on the move: transportation, logistics & travel

May 2018 • theVoice •

Leveraging a small-business mindset for long-term success Why smaller companies are ready to thrive in the age of disruption By Ellen Ewing, UPS We hear a lot these days about disruption. Hardly a day goes by without the announcement of a new disruptive technology. Talk of well-established companies being overtaken by new and nimble startups is commonplace. Large multinational corporations worry if they can move fast enough to respond to the next big thing. But the threat of disruption – as well as the opportunities it presents – is every bit as relevant to small businesses. That’s because small business owners know better than anyone how thin the margin of error is between success and failure. So how do the best businesses adapt to stay relevant and thrive over the long term?

No Detail Too Small First, they’re never complacent. They’re always adapting and finding new opportunities in the face of potentially daunting disruptions. Second, they focus on every detail, almost like an engineer pushing for efficiency during each step in a given task. Companies of all sizes must keep in touch with new definitions of success, watching how their competitors adapt and flourish in a rapidly changing world. This is especially true for small businesses that have limited brandbuilding and marketing resources. Success today requires a fine balance. When companies find it, they must be careful not to lose sight of what got them there. But, they also can’t be obligated to maintain time-honored approaches that eventually become irrelevant.

Never Satisfied There’s a term we use at UPS: constructively dissatisfied. That basically means we’re never content. We’re always looking for areas of improvement. And perhaps most importantly, we’re not inhibited by the fear of failure. Thomas Edison once said, “Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.” Today, our company delivers more than 4.6 billion packages a year in more than 220 countries and territories. We owe much of our success to UPS founder Jim Casey, who said the most vulnerable companies are those where the management was old or self-satisfied or both, and did not work as hard as the more aggressive newcomers. UPS’s early growth can be traced back to this thinking. When the telephone took off, Jim saw the newfound potential in home deliveries,

completely overhauling his business model. At several times in our company’s history, we have needed to recall Jim’s counsel. One of the first examples came after World War II, when our home delivery service faced a critical test of survival. A growing number of Americans owned cars and began picking up their department store purchases themselves. UPS had to change. So, Jim again changed his business model, focusing on deliveries for catalog retailers and facilitating business-tobusiness shipments. Re-invention is

Sixteen inches of snow and subzero temperatures in January 1994 paralyze Louisville for nearly a week. Air hub operations were disrupted in one of the worst weather events ever to affect UPS air services. no easy feat. But as Jim proved, it’s necessary for survival.

New Disruption The age of online shopping is another transformational moment. I would love to hear Jim’s thoughts on how e-commerce caused a resurgence in home delivery and how UPS is deploying new technologies to meet those needs. With technology effectively speeding

A 30-Year Timeline: UPS Airlines Date


Feb. 1, 1988

Aircraft N880, a DC-8, operates UPS Airlines’ first revenue flight from Louisville, Ky., to Milwaukee, Wis.

Oct. 7, 1994

After 26 weeks of construction, the Rockford Air Hub opened to provide redundancy in the air network.

March 21, 1994 UPS initiates an on-time guarantee for delivery of letter, documents and packages from the U.S. to key business centers in 46 countries. Feb. 25, 1997

Vice President Al Gore commends UPS for becoming the first major airline in North America to reach 100 percent compliance with Stage 3 noise rules.

March 7, 1997

Less than 56 hours after receiving FAA approval for passenger operations, aircraft N946UP flew UPS’s first revenue passenger flight from Pittsburgh to Orlando, Fla., with all 113 seats filled. (The final UPS passenger charter flight landed at Louisville International Airport in September 2001.)

April 2001

UPS China Express, UPS’s first flight to China, departed from Ontario, Calif., for Beijing.

Sept. 2002

UPS Worldport opens in Louisville, doubling the size of the sorting complex to 4 million square feet and automating the express-package sorting process with advanced technology.

June 2005

UPS moves two of the world’s heaviest fish, whale sharks, from Taipei, Taiwan, to Atlanta’s new Georgia Aquarium.

Sept. 2005

UPS moves more than four million pounds of emergency relief following Hurricane Katrina.

Oct. 2005

UPS move two beluga whales from an amusement park in Mexico City to Atlanta.

Oct., 2006

The Rockford Air Hub opens a new 70,000-sq.-ft. building specifically designed to accommodate air cargo.

Dec. 2008

UPS’s new Shanghai International Hub opens. The 1,000,000-sq.-ft. hub, the size of 14 football fields, was the first of its kind to be built in mainland China by a foreign carrier.

July, 2017

The Rockford Air Hub expands, opening a day sort to support the rise in ecommerce.

Jan. 6, 2018

UPS flies its first nonstop flight, N607UP, from Louisville, Ky., to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Feb. 1, 2018

UPS Airlines celebrates its 30th anniversary!

up innovation – and the speed at which we do business – the cost of not responding to changes is felt earlier than ever in the business cycle. Consider that the average lifespan of an S&P 500 company has decreased from 67 years in the 1920s to just 15 years today. Failing to adapt is a death knell for large enterprises. Complacency is equally threatening for small businesses. They need to be nimble and innovative or they quickly fail. Many startups will pivot and radically change their business model, multiple times if necessary, until they get it right. Their vision, energy and attitude are inspiring. Finding that sweet spot for adaptability can be difficult because it changes over time. But seeking out change, no matter how minor it might seem, keeps you ahead of the inevitable evolution of any industry or business segment. From that perspective, disruption is more of an opportunity than a threat. To the small business owner, I’d say, never forget the early days at your company and the inspiration that drove its inception. For some businesses, success seems to be their downfall, especially if it comes early. Revenues and recognition can lure some into a false sense of security. Management figures it has all the answers and gets comfortable. And yes, you should actually sweat the small stuff. As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “A small leak will sink a great ship.” Big-picture ideas too often overshadow the smaller details that make any business hum. Construct strategies with every angle in mind or else you’ll find yourself wondering what went wrong when a small detail trips you up again – and other companies pass you by. This article first appeared on Smart Business Network. Ellen Ewing is vice president of small business marketing for UPS. The views expressed are those of Ewing’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

May 2018 • theVoice •

on the move: transportation, logistics & traveL | 11

Guest Perspective insight

RFD: Cargo by the numbers

Plans in the works to expand cargo operations The Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) saw a 50 percent yearover-year increase in landed cargo weight in 2017 with nearly 1.4 billion pounds of cargo traveling through the airport. These are impressive numbers, but what does it take to manage more than a billion pounds of cargo in a year? The first UPS cargo aircraft landed at RFD in 1994. One of the aircrafts being used at that time, a 727-F, could handle eight to 10 aircraft pallets and could fill four semi-trailers with cargo. Today, RFD, ranked in the top 30 nationally as a major cargo airport, manages 35 to 40 flights from its cargo tenants every 24 hours. Many of the cargo planes landing at RFD are 747 freighters, which require 11 semitrailers to offload the freight. Boeing’s latest aircraft, the 747-8, can carry up to 140 metric tons of cargo, which is equivalent to 140 small cars. These aircraft can fill nearly 13 truckloads. UPS, RFD’s largest cargo tenant, will add 28 of these planes to their fleet, so we will hope to see some of these magnificent aircraft at RFD. The airport also sees smaller daily

charters arriving with “special cargo.” This type of cargo could be anything from a critical part needed by a local manufacturer to keep its line moving or perhaps a donated organ for one of the local health systems. Smaller cargo, but still very important.

A Good Economic Choice These daily flights keep our tenants’ employees busy, but the efficiency at RFD far outweighs that of other major hub airports such as Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The 747 and 767 freighter aircraft burn enormous amounts of fuel while taxiing – in some cases nearly 20 gallons of jet fuel can be burned per minute. During longer taxiing times (25 minutes), aircraft can burn roughly 500 gallons of fuel. Cargo organizations realize major cost-savings by choosing RFD because average taxiing time is less than five minutes at RFD compared to around 25 minutes at other airports. Landing fees at our airport also run lower, which makes us a very attractive choice for cargo organizations. The increases in cargo numbers are

a result of UPS, ABX, ATI and Atlas increasing their day-to-day and seasonal operations through RFD this year. Nearly 2,500 new jobs were created to support these enhanced operations – one of the largest job growth and economic impact figures the Rockford region has seen in years.

Room for More Cargo Aircraft Due to the growth of cargo at the airport, RFD is also receiving federal funding to support expansions. In August, members of Illinois’ congressional delegation led by Sen. Dick Durbin announced more than $10.5 million in funding for RFD, and $5 million of that was used to expand the cargo apron to provide additional aircraft parking. This project allowed RFD to support three additional 767300F cargo aircraft or two 747-8Fs. And the airport expects to see this growth continue as RFD has more than 1,000 acres of land to support additional expansions. The growth and need for expansions have created opportunities for local

contractors and construction companies, as well. Most

Ken Ryan RFD

recently, a local construction company was hired to build two ramps to support the additional need for loading and unloading at the airport for our cargo tenants. This project alone required 10 general contractors and subcontractors and employed nearly 130 local workers. So far, the first three months of cargo activity bodes well for RFD’s continued success. Growth and economic impact will always be a priority for RFD and based on some early indicators and discussions with partners, we anticipate another stellar year in cargo. Ken Ryan is director of business development at Chicago Rockford International Airport. The views expressed are those of Ryan’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

12 | on the move: transportation, logistics & travel

May 2018 • theVoice •

PROFILE Member Profile Parkside Warehouse Inc.: Providing more than just public storage Parkside Warehouse Inc., has come a long way since its humble beginnings 56 years ago. Parkside is a Midwest public warehouse with 400,000 square feet of six interconnected buildings located on the grounds of the Chicago Rockford International Airport. Public warehouses provide short or long-term storage to companies on a month-to-month basis, as well as inventory management and inventory counts. “We are fundamental to the world of commerce,” said co-owner Steve Tigner, who owns the business with his brotherin-law, Bert Thomas III. “Our customers want a distribution source in this part of the country but don’t want to set up employees or an operation. If someone is in need of a public warehouse for transporting goods, they’ll look for anywhere from two to six warehouses strategically located around the country, depending on the location of its customers.”

A New Opportunity The Rockford-based company was started by Thomas’ father, Bert Thomas Jr., in 1962, in a building adjacent to Blackhawk Park. It moved to its current

“As long as people are consuming products, there will be a demand for distribution centers,” Steve Tigner, co-owner of Parkside Warehouse Inc.

location in 1968. Thomas Jr. was an independent truck driver who stumbled upon a unique business opportunity when he picked up a load of roofing supplies in Chicago and brought it back to Rockford, only to have it rejected. “The shipper said, ‘I don’t want to pay you to bring it back and deliver it again. Can you store it for a month?’” recalled Tigner. “He found an affordable building and rented it. As luck would have it, the same thing happened a month later with another commodity. My father-inlaw thought there might be something here. No one else was publicly storing commerce at the time.” Under Thomas Jr.’s watch, Parkside housed mostly food brands including General Mills, Nabisco and Quaker Oats. “You name it, we had the biggest names here,” Tigner said. These days, Parkside’s customers come from the plastic, wood,

paper and pharmaceutical industries. Parkside Warehouse serves customers as far away as Germany, Japan and South America. “It’s extremely rewarding to provide services for so many people all over the world,” said Tigner, who joined the company in 1972, followed by his brother-in-law two years later. The distribution industry has opened plenty of doors for Tigner. Through his work, he became the board chairman of the American Warehouse Association and an ad hoc professor at Michigan State University. He’s also lobbied in Washington on behalf of the warehouse industry. Business has been good with a couple of exceptions. “In the early 1980s the deregulation of the rail and truck industry was difficult for our business,” said Tigner. “We lost a lot of rail business. We went from 250 to 5 box cars a year coming into the warehouse. It affected the way people looked at logistical decisions.” The other time was 2008 when the phone didn’t ring for weeks. Parkside

had less than 50 percent occupancy. “We wondered what we were going to do; it was tough,” Tigner said. “But we made sure we didn’t lay off any employees.” Parkside weathered the storm and now business has never been better. “As an industry we will always be niche specific,” Tigner said. “As long as people are consuming products, there will be a demand for distribution centers.” Tigner and Thomas also believe in giving back. The Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois, for example, store their cookies in the warehouse at no charge. And Parkside donates fiber board to Habitat for Humanity that is used in building walls. “Rockford has been good for us,” Tigner said. “It’s important to return that support.”

PARKSIDE WAREHOUSE, INC. Co-owners Steve Tigner and Bert Thomas 5940 Falcon Road (815) 397-9614


MAY 2018 | 13

Guest Perspective insight

Human services critical to families, communities Enabling individuals to reach their full potential means providing access to the building blocks that sustain well-being; supports like early childhood development and education, preventive health and behavioral health services, substance abuse treatment, affordable housing and transportation, legal services, workforce training, services for older Americans, and more. Collectively, the human services ecosystem plays a vital role in providing those supports. Comprised of an integrated web of public health and human services agencies, public human serving organizations (education, employment, justice), community-based organizations, philanthropic organizations, academic institutions and the private sector, the human services ecosystem touches the lives of one in five Americans. Community-based human services organizations (CBOs) are a key component of the ecosystem, providing on-the-ground services that directly impact families and communities. The work that CBOs do on a local level, in partnership with government and the philanthropic sector, is essential for enabling healthy, equitable communities. The impact on the communities from CBOs is immeasurable, improving health outcomes and bending the healthcare cost curve, reducing crime and the need for costly incarceration, improving access to quality jobs that enhance the American workforce, and ensuring that our children have access to the educational tools and resources they need to become thriving and participatory citizens. Despite these tangible impacts, CBOs are facing challenges and threats to our ability to build strong families and communities and contribute to the economic health of this nation. A groundbreaking new report commissioned by the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) and drafted by Oliver Wyman and SeaChange Capital Partners has outlined the challenges facing the human services sector. “A National Imperative: Joining Forces to Strengthen Human Services in America” examines the economic and social impact of CBOs and provides a call-to-action for the human services sector, government and the philanthropic sector to strengthen and preserve the role of CBOs in the greater human services ecosystem. While human services CBOs are providing clear value today, our potential value is much greater than what has been realized so far. Against the backdrop of an increasing need for human services, driven by poverty rates, income inequality, an aging population and the challenge

of the opioid epidemic, Susan N. Dreyfus NICNE the financial stability of our sector is increasingly tenuous, which will make realizing our transformative potential and contributions to a healthy society and strong economy difficult. According to the study’s findings, too many CBOs operate under persistent deficits, have few or no financial reserves, and lack access to capital to invest in technology and modern data sharing tools. Addressing these complex and interrelated challenges will require a comprehensive response by human services CBOs, government and the philanthropic sector.

Culture of Knowledge Exchange The human services sector must develop its capacity for innovation by shifting its focus from delivering services to delivering outcomes, and through better data sharing and analysis, technological strategies and knowledge and leadership exchange. This means adopting more robust finance and financial risk management capabilities and the development of strategic partnerships across the sector that can broaden their strengths and reach. Public and private funders will also need to recognize the importance of the capacity for innovation, and the need to support that through funding. Funding should be targeted to outcomes and results rather than outputs or services delivered, and financial resources should be allocated for innovative partnership opportunities. Regulators at all levels should engage with community-based human services organizations in a review and reform of CBO regulation, particularly in the area of litigation risk, which has become a serious issue for CBOs. We know we can and must do more to improve our financial status in order to continue to serve populations that are critical to the success of our economy and the vibrancy of our society. As a field and sector, we are in a time of uncertainty, challenge and opportunity, and we look forward to working across agencies and systems to continue to improve the lives of all Americans and enable everyone to reach their full potential. Susan N. Dreyfus is president and CEO of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and was the featured speaker at Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence’s State of the Sector Luncheon on April 20. The views expressed are those of Dreyfus’ and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

14 | May 2018

theVoice •

Guest Perspective insight

Hit a homerun with tax-efficient investment strategies Time to re-evaluate and use investment tax tools

individuals and Matthew Armstrong Savant Capital Management

families with high-deductible health plans to

set aside funds for health care expenses on a pre-tax basis. ■ Gifting







Donor Advised Funds and Qualified Charitable Distributions with your trusted financial professional. Their

Figure 1

With the new tax reform, now is a good time to re-evaluate your current and future tax strategies. With the ultimate goal of increasing after-tax return, the focus here will be less on items like standard deductions, personal exemptions or child tax credits and more on investment tax tools (see Figure 1) that can be used to form a taxefficient investment approach. In the spirit of the great American pastime – baseball – here are some tips to help you hit it out of the park: 1. Tax-efficient Index Mutual

Funds and Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) Funds that attempt to “beat the market” are called actively managed funds. Funds that simply try to match the performance of an index (i.e. S&P 500) are called passively managed funds. Actively managed funds usually have higher turnover and typically have higher costs than index funds or ETFs. For tax efficiency, consider using index mutual funds or ETFs. If you have a taxable account such as an individual or joint brokerage

account, consider utilizing taxmanaged mutual funds that minimize tax. Tax-managed funds look to reduce embedded gain distributions that many mutual funds generate, as their goal is to minimize tax. 2. Asset Location Think of this often-overlooked concept as “tax-engineering” your investment portfolio. There is value to holding the right investments in the most tax-efficient account, or “tax bucket” (taxable, tax-deferred/IRA, and tax-exempt/Roth). These three main buckets catch and hold your growth. The key is to understand how, when and at what rates your investments are taxed. For example, investments with the highest long-term return prospects should be located inside a tax-exempt bucket, like a Roth IRA. Having multiple tax buckets in your portfolio also allows you to have options when and where cash needs are required in the future. 3. Tax-Loss Harvesting The investment world offers taxable investors a consolation prize when recognizing capital losses. Tax-loss harvesting allows us to recapture some of the loss from Uncle Sam. Investors have the ability to control the timing and recognition of gains and losses. A taxpayer can use capital losses to offset current or future capital gains. 4. Specialty Tax-advantaged Accounts and Strategies Just like a relief pitcher, designated hitter or a late-inning defensive specialist, it is beneficial to know about a variety of other potential taxadvantaged options that may come into play depending on your situation. ■ Qualified Tuition or 529 Plans – Tax-advantaged savings plans are typically sponsored by an individual state and are available to help fund a beneficiary’s future qualified higher education expenses. Many states offer a tax deduction for contributions made by residents to that state’s plan. ■ Health Savings Accounts – These savings/investment vehicles allow

benefits vary with your tax rate, charitable intent and estate planning needs. Like picking the perfect starting lineup, making investment decisions in light of tax consequences is both an art and a science. While many tax management techniques are small, collectively they can add up to real value. Consider these strategies to help create your run for the championship!

Key Points to Remember ■ Be open to tax education ■ Active management is inherently tax-nasty ■ Avoid gimmicky tax-advantaged products ■ Tax laws are continually changing ■ Evaluate your portfolio as a whole ■ Proper asset location = tax efficiency ■ Harvest losses ■ Be wary of outdated beliefs ■ Weigh tax benefits against marginal risk/cost ■ Only after-tax returns matter Matthew Armstrong is a financial advisor with Savant Capital Management. He is a *CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and a Chartered Retirement Plans SpecialistSM. The views expressed are those of Armstrong’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce. This is intended for educational purposes only and should not be construed as tax or investment advice. Please consult your tax and investment professionals regarding your specific circumstances. *Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

theVoice •

MAY 2018 | 15

It’s cake season

Finding our own graduations among the mundane In just a few short weeks, my family and I will travel down to Bloomington, Ill., to watch my sister graduate with her master’s in athletic training. You know the site – lots of caps and robes, cake, flowers, cheering – the whole graduation package. It’s easy to see the celebration of an accomplishment in situations like there. There is a program that outlines exactly what happened and a moment in which each individual is commended for reaching that milestone. Plus, there’s usually cake, which is a great exclamation point to any milestone. Graduations are important milestones

REGISTER FOR THE LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP MINI SERIES! May 17: Emotional Intelligence July 26: Coach-Like Leadership 8:30 to 10 a.m., at Rockford University’s PURI School of Business. $100 per session or $185 for both. Register online at

worth celebrating. They neatly punctuate the end of something -- usually something that required a set accomplishment of specific tasks and duties. Everything is neatly tied into a bow. The end is clear – the accomplishment easily understood. But, I’d gamble to say that formal graduations actually are not great representations of real life. In real life, there are far more moments of “graduation” that go unnoticed and cake free (the tragedy!). What about those graduations?

Unobserved ‘Graduations’ My last robe-wearing graduation was 10 years ago. I graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a bachelor of art in music (vocal performance) and business (marketing), and then moved to Rockford to begin my career. In those last 10 years, a lot has happened (including getting my master’s), but I haven’t donned a graduation robe since. Looking back on that time, I can’t help but notice a few “graduations” that went unnoticed: The day I stood up for myself

against an employer who was clearly taking advantage of my naiveté and inexperience in the working world. The day I negotiated for a higher salary based on my merits and accomplishments. The day I started a new, successful program that had tangible and measurable outcomes – and the day I turned that program over to someone else to run. These are only a few of the millions of moments that have made up my time post-robe. I’ve learned more than I can possibly know. I’ve failed. I’ve succeeded. I’ve done good work. I’ve found room for improvement. I’ve stood up for myself. I’ve learned when quiet is a better option. I’ve learned that sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference between the two until years later. I’ve grown, changed, and reflected. And yet, most days, there is not cake. That’s the funny thing about life. So many of our most important graduations go uncelebrated – unnoticed for years until one day we look back and say to ourselves, “Huh. Well, I guess that was



that changed everything.” But those tend to be some the

of most


Caitlin Pusateri Rockford Chamber

moments. During this season of graduations, I encourage you to applaud those that have completed the outlined tasks laid before them. They have done good, hard, cake-worthy work. But I’d also use this as a moment to celebrate your own victories along the way. Take a look at your struggles, the long nights and the fast days; the moments you’d sometimes rather forget. Those are the moments when real graduation – real change happens. And have a piece of cake to celebrate. Caitlin Pusateri is vice president, leadership development at the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

16 | MAY 2018

theVoicE •

Restoring Rockford’s manufacturing legacy To restore Rockford’s manufacturing legacy, the private, public, and academic sectors need to be aligned to resolve the challenges the industry faces within the community. By Meaghan Ziemba, AME The origin story of Rockford, Ill., as a machine tool mecca was back in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. The demand for fasteners that rose with the demand for war-time machinery around the 1940s led to Rockford’s proclamation as the Screw Capital of the World. The city and others nearby dominated the machine tool industry. The area was strong in aerospace, heavy machinery, automotive, fastener and cabinet hardware products, and packaging devices — making it the place to be for industrial manufacturing. Due to a few bad recessions, including in the early 1980s, many of the prosperous companies went out of business or relocated, causing a rapid decline of manufacturing job opportunities and increasing the level of poverty within the city. The infrastructure that supports aerospace and other machine tool industries still exists, along with a rather sophisticated supply chain that supports manufacturing; however, it is scaled down from what it used to be due to challenges including: Lack of Support. In Illinois, manufacturing is not supported in the way it ought to be. Workers compensation and insurance are high, and there are other regulatory hurdles that some manufacturers have to jump to be successful, such as high taxes. Lack of Skilled Labor. The whole of manufacturing has taken a major hit in the last few decades, but there has been a resurgence due to a renewed commitment to the industry as a result of insourcing and reshoring — but, how do we find the skilled people to fill the vacant positions? As Andrew M. Davis points out in his book Town Inc.: Grow Your Business. Save Your Town. Leave Your Legacy, there is a simple link between building a booming business and growing a prosperous town. To restore Rockford’s position as a prosperous manufacturing powerhouse, it’s going to take a three-legged stool in which the private, public and academic sectors need to align with one another to find solutions for these challenges.

A news clip from the Register Republic in 1970 highlights Rockford manufacturing during its prime.

Public Sector Dietmar Goellner, president and CEO of Advanced Machine & Engineering (AME), believes that favorable proposals from the local government are a critical component to the solution. “Such proposals would spur investment into the Rockford community and entice companies that are already here to stay and attract new companies to locate their businesses here.” Local authorities also need to come together on solutions that address some of the city’s social problems. The publicschool systems need work, and there is an increase in violence that would make outside businesses apprehensive to locate in this area. Rockford needs to revive its origin story, which Davis defines as the backstory of a person, place or thing — it’s the legend behind the comic book character, a corporation, a product, or even a sport. In Rockford’s case: machine tools and industrial manufacturing.

Private Sector The public sector can’t do it on its own. Local visionaries, business owners and citizens need to embrace Rockford’s manufacturing history of machine tools and industrial production to stake a unique claim that in turn, creates a sense of community pride. According to Davis, claims have the power to change the demeanor of an entire town from the inside out and to reinstate three things that may have been missing within the city:

■ Optimism about the future ■ A true sense of community pride ■ A productive spirit of unity Industry surveys from the Federal Reserve have revealed significant gains in manufacturing across the Unites States, creating a sense of optimism that Rockford can thrive in industrial production as it once did before. To recreate Rockford’s community pride and productive spirit of unity, the private and public sectors also need to collaborate with the academic sector.

Academic Sector “Academia needs to provide more services that support Rockford manufacturing at a greater level than it is now,” says Goellner. One solution involves robust apprenticeship programs with local community colleges and universities such as Rock Valley College and Rockford University. These programs help students learn various skills associated with the trade by providing them hands-on experience in parallel of schooling. A good example is the “build our own” apprenticeship model from AME. “It is extremely difficult to find skilled machinists and CNC operators,” says Goellner. “That is why we believe in training our own.” AME’s program is a federally approved, four-year program administered through the Rock River Valley Tooling & Machining Association (RRVTMA). Students are required to complete 8,000 hours of manufacturing

training in parallel to four years of schooling. It’s similar to the European apprenticeship model that AME founder, Willy Goellner, went through during his training days. Another solution involves nonprofit organizations, such as Transform Rockford and Alignment Rockford. These groups bring community members together in a unifying force through strategic and tactical solutions in areas of the greatest need. Alignment Rockford, in particular, helps attract younger generations to areas like machine tooling and industrial manufacturing by incorporating the skills into their daily curriculum. The Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) Institute out of the University of Wisconsin - Madison (UWM) is another helpful movement that has been very active in Rockford. This approach helps educate businesses, so they can increase their overall competitiveness on a global basis by decreasing their lead times in all phases of manufacturing and office operations. “QRM focuses on any process and analyzes wait time (white space) vs. actual work time (gray space) so strategies can be developed to eliminate the white space,” says Noah Goellner, vice president of global business operations at Hennig, Inc. “Less white space means quicker response time to your customer.” At the QRM Institute, students and faculty work with various businesses within a community to help push the success of that company, which in turn pushes the progress of the community. As Davis mentions in his book: “You must leverage the power of your progress to create location-envy in the minds of others.” Location-envy is built on a community’s visionaries and the power of their origin stories, the cornerstone’s they’ve founded, and the places they’ve helped create. Machine tools and industrial production are the roots that the Rockford community originated from. To restore Rockford’s manufacturing legacy, the public, private and academic sectors have to consistently collaborate with one another to see how the needs of the community are being aligned to the manufacturing environment. They also need to develop strategies to attract outside companies to relocate their businesses here or encourage them to do business with Rockford. Meaghan Ziemba is content marketing manager at AME.

theVoice •

MAY 2018 | 17

ROCKFORD MSA DATA MADE APPROACHABLE The Rockford Area Economic Development Council has redesigned the Rockford Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) Quick Reference Guide into an easy-to-digest, graphic-oriented document showcasing our awardwinning regional assets from Boone and Winnebago counties. To download the Quick Reference Guide visit: QuickReferenceGuide.

Upcoming Tradeshows, Events & Training Opportunities ■ AS9100 Rev. D Auditor Training, June 7 & 8, Hilton Garden Inn Rockford: This course prepares you to perform internal QMS audits using industryproven techniques and to apply proper interpretation of the ISO standard to real-life audit situations. This workshop is made possible through a support from the Illinois Defense Industry Adjustment (DIA) Program and the University of Illinois. Inquiries contact: ■ DFARS Cybersecurity Assessment and Training, June 21 & 22, Hilton Garden Inn Rockford: DFARS Cybersecurity flowdowns, requirements overview and assessments will be covered over a one-and-a-half-day course. The course will also include information for mitigation and next step remediation for non-compliance as well as when and who to call for help. This workshop is made possible through a support from the Illinois Defense Industry Adjustment (DIA) Program and the University of Illinois. Inquiries contact: ■ SelectUSA, June 20 to 22, Washington, D.C.: SelectUSA uses the convening power of the U.S. government to showcase investment opportunities and bring investors and U.S. locations together. The RAEDC will represent our region as we connect with investors looking for opportunities.

RAEDC GETS RESULTS DURING ROCKFORWARD20/20 The Rockford Area Economic Development Council has released the 2017 Results Report for the Rockforward20/20 strategic plan. This is the second year of a five-year initiative lead by the RAEDC, as the data collection agency for the region. The region is well on its way to completing the economic development impact measurements by the year 2020. Download the 2017 Rockforward20/20 Results Report at:

18 | eat, greet & meet: venues that rock

May 2018 • theVoice •

 Destination



Summer brings celebration of Peaches’ first season

Turning Rockford into a mecca for baseball enthusiasts

White Pines Resort Retreat White Pines Forest State Park (less than an hour from Rockford) has been THE Good Natured traditional family and friends get-away destination for over 90 years. With the launch of White Pines Resort’s Retreat Center, we are now proud to offer organizations an opportunity to Stop the Dash – Connect the Dots… in the setting we call “Sanctuary!” Our facilities have been expanded to meet the needs of teams that require the latest in audio visual equipment for presentation and interactive sessions, all while nestled in a lodge that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Our 25 cozy cabin accommodations within the Park are ideal for small group interactions — from conferences to campfires. The Sycamore Room, located within the Lodge, includes a full stage and is perfect for intimate presentations and can comfortably accommodate more than 140 attendees.


Welcome to Sanctuary

At the beginning of the 1992 movie, “A League of Their Own,” an aging Dottie Hinson is reluctantly packing to go to the opening of an exhibit at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown showcasing the athletes who played in the first women’s professional baseball league. The fictional Dottie had been a Rockford Peach, one of four real-life teams playing in the inaugural season of 1943. “When are you going to realize how special it was, how much it all meant?” her daughter asks. With four championships, the Peaches were the winningest team in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which existed between 1943 and 1954. The league was created to help American baseball moguls maintain interest in the sport while so many of “our boys,” including a lot of big-name ball players, were overseas fighting in WWII. While millions of American women punched in at factories to support the war effort in the absence of men, 60 women from across the country and Canada were recruited to play for pay on baseball diamonds in the Midwest. They were talented athletes, and people in the teams’ home cities of Rockford, South Bend, Kenosha and Racine turned out to support them. It was special, and it meant something – then and now. The legacy lives on, especially in Rockford, the Cradle of Baseball in the West. A women’s team called the Rockford Starfires, named after a variety of peach, has called Beyer Stadium home since 2012. The team plays the same women’s hardball rules used in the original women’s league. On May 30, 1943, the Rockford Peaches played the South Bend Blue Sox in the all-girl league’s opening day game at Beyer Stadium.

Weekend of Family Fun White Pines Retreat Center offers ala carte items, as well as turn-key services and packages including: ■ ■ ■ ■

Full catering & bar services (buffet & plated options) Conference & breakout rooms (20-140 attendees) 25 onsite cabins and three group cabins Facilitated indoor/outdoor teambuilding exercises

■ Customized entertainment (theater, concerts, etc.) ■ Outdoor “BBQ & S’mores” after-hour receptions ■ Guided trail hikes w/stationed activities

Call today to schedule a relaxing lunch n’ learn session here at the place we call Sanctuary and find out how we can assist you in stopping the dash and connecting the dots with your team! C: 224-217-8741 | 815-946-2400 x102

Numerous events this spring and summer will celebrate the 75th anniversary of that first season. Rockford hosts two all-girls baseball tournaments this summer, one for the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) and another for Baseball for All, a national organization with the mission of empowering girls to play the game. In addition, several upcoming events support a capital campaign effort for the International Women’s Baseball Center,

John Groh Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

which was announced two years ago and will be housed in a building across the street from Beyer Stadium. Celebrities who acted in the movie will be on hand for a family-friendly fundraiser titled, “Diamonds, Denim and Stars” at the Coronado Theatre on Wednesday, May 30. The celebration continues through the weekend. The Peaches will be recognized at City Market on Friday, June 1, and “A League of Their Own” will be featured at Friday Night Flix at Davis Park. The fun continues at Beyer Stadium on Saturday, June 2, with Family Day, which includes educational activities for kids and an exhibition game between the Starfires and celebrity guests. Sunday, June 3, features a Home Run Derby, a friendly competition between local police and firefighters, and closing ceremonies. Find a full listing of the IWBC’s 75th anniversary events at Looking toward the future, Rockford could greatly benefit from the efforts of the IWBC to make the city a mecca for baseball enthusiasts. IWBC President Kat Williams is especially interested in how baseball can be used to teach children about science, technology, engineering and math. To the popular STEM formula, she has added an A, for the arts, calling it STEAM education. That is truly a meaningful effort for our city’s children. Meanwhile, the RACVB is working with the Illinois Film Office to try to attract the attention of Hollywood executives who are considering producing a new TV series based on the story of the Rockford Peaches. It would be an amazing economic and public relations boon to the city to have a series filmed here. At the RACVB, we’re doing all we can to keep Rockford at the center of the story, where it belongs. John Groh is president/CEO of the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. The mission of the RACVB is to drive quality of life and economic growth for our citizens through tourism marketing and destination development. The views expressed are Groh’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

May 2018 • theVoice •

eat, greet & meet: venues that rock | 19

Guest Perspective insight

Rocktown Adventures Rocktown Adventures is your Invitation to Outdoor Recreation. Providing Sales, Rentals, Lessons, and Public and Private Trips for Paddlesports, Nordic Sports, Camping, and Hiking. Plus premium technical and lifestyle apparel that will excite your outdoor passions.

This is YOUR Rockford Park District Tell us your recreational needs for master plan I am truly blessed, having been born and raised in parks and recreation. My grandfather opened and established Rock Cut State Park in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, and my father opened and created Shabbona Lake State Park in the ’70s, ’80s and early ’90s. Growing up, my role models taught me firsthand the important role parks and recreation play in people’s lives. They also taught me that a community could take a park a lot further than they could alone. Your Rockford Park District is where it is today thanks to many donors, volunteers, sponsors, participants and dedicated team members over the past 109 years. At the very beginning, Swedish immigrant Levin Faust convinced the community to vote through a public referendum, endorsed by the Rockford Morning Star newspaper, for the creation of the Rockford Park District. His two main concerns and reasons were simple. First was his concern about the breakdown of the family unit. In 1909, play and recreation were considered a waste of time, as families worked seven days a week in factories and around the home. Faust argued that a day of rest at a park could strengthen the family bond. Second was his concern about kids causing trouble due to the lack of positive recreational opportunities. Levin believed, “After a long week toiling in the shop, a working family should be able to spend their free time in the green grass under the shadow of trees without fear of their children playing in the streets.” Fast-forward 109 years, and those principles that started your park district have never been more important than they are right now.

Tell us your recreational needs for community-led master plan As it was then and is now, this is YOUR Rockford Park District. Our team of dedicated public servants is here to help connect you to the recreational opportunities you want to experience and collaborate with others to make that happen. Even during the recession, the district continued to provide outstanding park and recreational offerings to the community. In the past four years, the Rockford Park District Board of Commissioners elected not to increase tax dollars for the district’s operating budget, saving taxpayers $1.7 million. A decline in two main revenue streams — fees and property taxes — along with

Jay Sandine Rockford Park District

population and demographic shifts, have made it extremely difficult to provide the same level of service as in past years. Without new revenue streams or reducing our footprint, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to provide the same level of service. This is why we need your involvement. This is a critical point in the district’s history, and in order to make sure we are meeting the recreational needs of this and succeeding generations, we need your help! Now through June 15, we are undergoing a community-led master plan to determine district priorities and allocation of resources of taxpayer dollars. A community-led master plan will provide a series of recommendations to guide investment in district assets, along with decisions regarding obsolete, underutilized or non-trending parks, facilities and amenities over the next five years. Input will be received through multiple community engagement sessions, an online survey and a community hotline at 815-987-8871. Visit to learn more about the variety of ways to engage with us and provide your feedback. We want you to guide our future and determine which recreational assets are most important to you. Your ideas and suggestions will be used to make sure we remain a relevant park system that meets the needs of this and future generations, and that we continue to live within our means. The Rockford Park District improves the quality of life for citizens by providing a vibrant park system that increases property values, stimulates economic development, decreases juvenile crime and improves our communities’ health. The Rockford Park District also protects the environment, employs thousands of area kids for the first time, and brings people from different backgrounds, ethnicities and neighborhoods together for the common love of play. Thank you for your continued support, involvement, and for making this the greatest park system in the country. Jay Sandine is executive director of the Rockford Park District. The views expressed are those of Sandine’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

20 | MAY 2018


New Chamber Members FAUST LANDMARK High rise affordable senior apartment community for those who want independent living 630 E. State St., 61104 Gloria Fay 815-962-3731

RU RECOVERY MINISTRY Faith Based Addiction Recovery Program International 333 E. State St., Ste. 201, 61104 Brad Woodbury 815-847-0667

STRATUS NETWORKS Telecommunication Provider; Internet Service Provider Dave Diana 815-222-5304

CHASE 8 AUTO SALES Auto sales 1711 Broadway, 61104 Bill Joley 815-962-8191

MANNER PLATING Locally owned and operated. See us for all your needs for zinc, yellow dichromate, clear chromate & passivate plating. 926 River Lane Loves Park, IL 61111 Alan Milton 815-877-7791

MENDELSSOHN PERFORMING ARTS CENTER Our mission is to present exciting, personal, interactive music experiences and to enrich our community by fostering and supporting the performing arts. 406 N. Main St., 61103 Matthew Guschl, DMA 815-964-9713

SEVERSON DELLS EDUCATION FOUNDATION Environmental education opportunities for all ages, including school field trips, camps, lectures, guided hikes and our monthly Science Saturdays. 8786 Montague Road, 61102 Ann Wasser 815-335-2915

THINKER VENTURES We are a strategic advisor, marketing company, technology company & connector to resources to accelerate businesses or get them unstuck. 317 W. Jefferson St., 61101 Jaclyn Kolodziej 815-516-0500

What’s my ROI on my Chamber Membership? Some business owners might say their schedule is demanding enough at the moment — why should they try to cram time into their already hectic schedules to join and actively participate in their local chamber of commerce? Because membership in the local chamber offers numerous benefits and keeps business owners on top of important, ever-changing issues and trends within their community and local marketplace. And, research points out that consumers are more likely to do business with a company if it’s a member of their local chamber of commerce. According a research study by The Shapiro Group, Inc. and Market Street Services, when consumers know a small business is a member of their local chamber of commerce, they are 44 percent more likely to think favorably of it and 63 percent more likely to purchase goods or services from the company in the future. If you still don’t think you have time to join and participate in your local chamber of commerce, consider the following: • Most consumers (59 percent) think that being active in the local chamber of commerce is an effective business strategy overall. • If a company shows that it’s highly involved in its local chamber (e.g., sits on the chamber board), consumers are 12 percent more likely to think that its products stack up better against its competition. • When a consumer thinks that a company’s products stack up better against the competition because the company is highly involved in its local chamber of commerce, it is because he or she infers that the company is trustworthy, involved in the community and is an industry leader. How does all that sound? Isn’t it fantastic to hear that consumers are more likely to choose your business over a competing, non-member business because you’re a member of your local chamber of commerce?

We think that is great ROI!

theVoice •

May 2018 | 21


Community Events

Rockford Chamber members appear bolded. Thank you for your support of your fellow Chamber members.

MAY, 2018 Tuesday, May 1 Thinker Ventures presents Analyze Your Business’ Online Presence, 9 a.m. to noon, at 317 W. Jefferson St., Rockford. Get feedback from peers and experts and analysis of how you are perceived online. Contact 815-5160500 or or visit

Wednesday, May 2 Rockford Public Library and West Gateway Coalition host a Community Engagement Session, 10:30 a.m., at the District#1 Police Station, community room. Visit auth. to give your input online.

Saturday, May 5 Natural Land Institute hosts a free Spring Community Stewardship Day, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Burr Oak Valley Preserve on Elevator Road in Roscoe. Snacks and water will be provided. Register by May 4 at 815-964-6666 or

Sunday, May 6 Ethnic Heritage Museum, 1129 S. Main St., Rockford, will host a special program at 3 p.m., unveiling its newest Exhibit honoring the life and career of Judge K. Patrick Yarbrough, Winnebago County’s first AfricanAmerican judge in the African American Gallery. The museum is open every Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m. Call 815-962-7402 to pre-register for group visits.

Monday, May 7 90.5FM WNIU presents an Encore Presentation of Rockford Symphony Orchestra’s Celebrating Leonard Bernstein, 7 p.m. Visit www. Rock Valley College hosts U.S. History and Today, an American history seminar with John LeGear, 6 to 9 p.m., at the Bell School Road Center. The show will tour 16 Illinois community colleges. Register at rockvalleycollege. edu/ceonline or 815-921-3900. University of Illinois Extension hosts a free Pop-Up Shop Workshop, 6 to 7:30 p.m., on May 7 at Pretzel City Kitchens, 1 E. Spring St., Freeport, and May 8 at the Easterseals building, 650 N. Main St., Rockford. Register at web. or 815-9864357 (Rockford) or 815-235-4125 (Freeport).

Wednesday, May 9

Alzheimer’s Association presents Know the 10 Signs: Early Detection Matters, 1:30 to 3 p.m., at Heritage Woods of Freeport, 1500 S. Forest Road. Register at 815-484-1300 or

third party administrators, legislators, community leaders and innovative vendors to learn how health care became big business. Register at (click Events).

Veterans of the Civil War, Logan Camp #26, present a Memorial Day Observance, 5 to 7 p.m., at Veterans Memorial Hall, 211 N. Main St., Rockford. Features music and vocals by the 1st Brigade Band playing antique Civil War-era instruments, and Joe Wiegand.

Saturday, May 19 Rockford Park District hosts Prairies, Photos, and Prose, 1 to 3 p.m., a part of In the Outdoors, at Atwood Center in Seth B. Atwood Park, 2685 New Milford School Road. Groups of five or more should call 815-966-8747. Visit www.

Volunteers pull invasive garlic mustard at Natural Land Institute’s Spring Community Stewardship Day last May. Photo by Jill Kennay

Thursday, May 10 Rockford Park District hosts Community Engagement Sessions, May 10, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at UW Health Sports Factory; May 12, 10 to 11 a.m., at Loves Park City Hall – City Council Chambers; May 16, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., at Loves Park City Hall - Richard Brinker Room; May 19, 9 to 10 a.m., at Elliot Golf Course. Or take the community needs assessment by June 15 at or 815-987-8871.

Friday, May 11

Tickets are available for Rockford Park District’s 12th annual Great Golf Ball Drop to benefit the Fore the Kids Golf Outreach youth program, 5 p.m., at Aldeen Golf Club, 1902 Reid Farm Road. Buy tickets through May 8 at or call 815-987-1602. Kiwanis Club of Rockford hosts its fifth-annual gala fundraiser, Budding Artists, 6 to 9 p.m., at Mauh-Nah-TeeSee Club, 5151 Guilford Road, Rockford. For tickets, visit

Saturday, May 12 Keeping Families and Communities Together (KFACT) presents the fourth-annual Thrifty Teen Fashion Show, 2 p.m., at Giovanni’s, 610 N. Bell School Road, Rockford. Includes appetizers and show. For tickets visit

Wednesday, May 16

The Alliance® presents Diagnosing an American Sickness: What Employers and Patients Can Do to Take Back Health Care, 8 to 11:30 a.m., at the Monona Terrace, One John Nolen Drive, Madison, Wis. For employers, health care providers, brokers, health plans,

Community Foundation of Northern Illinois hosts a presentation on the Carroll H. Starr Endowment Challenge, 3 to 4:30 p.m., at Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 2715 N. Main St., Rockford. Applications from May 30 to July 9. Registration required. Contact at jpatterson@cfnil. org or 779-210-8206 for questions or (click News).

Monday, May 21 Project SEARCH Graduation takes place, 1 p.m., at Mercyhealth Hospital Funderburg Auditorium, 2400 N. Rockton Ave., Rockford, with reception to follow in Cafe 2400.

JUNE, 2018

Wednesday, May 23

Saturday, June 2

Rockford Art Museum presents its Pop-Up Restaurant Series, 7 to 9:30 p.m., at 711 N. Main St. Features restaurant Toni’s of Winnebago, DJ and cash bar. For tickets call 815-968-2787.

Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 2715 S. Main St., Rockford, presents its 25th annual Garden Fair Weekend 2018, June 2, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and June 3, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Features vendors selling gardenrelated items, antiques, art, plants and food. Visit gardenfair2018 or call 815-965-8146.

Monday, May 28 Circle of Change Veterans Dog Program and the Sons of Union

National Indicators theRegional, economy U.S. Indicators March 2018

Consumer Price Index Unemployment Rate

0.1 percent 4.1 percent

      

Payroll Employment Average Hourly Earnings Producer Price Index Employment Cost Index Productivity U.S. Import Price Index U.S. Export Price Index

1033,000 $0.08 0.3 percent 0.6 percent (fourth quarter, 2017) 0.1 percent (fourth quarter, 2017) 0.4 percent 0.3 percent

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

University of Illinois College of Pharmacy Rockford hosts a Pharmacy Information Session, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., at the UIC Health Sciences CampusRockford, 1601 Parkview Ave. Register with Ken Smith at 815-395-5736 or

Thursday, May 17

Wednesday, May 30

Unemployment Rates Region / State / Nation Dec. 2017

Jan. 2018

Feb. 2018

March 2018
















United States





Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

22 | May 2018

theVoice •

in the news Members in the News

1. Brad Duffy

2. Thomas R. Hughes

3. Jessica Hendon

4. Sara Porter

5. Jeremy Lochner

6. Andy Swick

7. Shannon Dunphy-Alexander

8. Jim Nemeth

9. Robin Scott

10. JoAnn Lane

11. Andrew Insko

12. Conni Pickett

13. Kristy Pierce

14. Pamela Holstrum

15. Kelly Robison

16. Mike Krach

Rockford Chamber members appear bolded. Thank you for your support of your fellow Chamber members.

BOARD APPOINTMENTS Mick Gronewold, owner, Fehr Graham, was appointed to The Alliance board. Brad Duffy (1), president, security officer division, Per Mar Security Services, was elected president of the National Council of Investigation & Security Services for the 2018/2019 year. Thomas R. Hughes (2), president and COO, Stillman BancCorp N.A., was elected to the board of the bank’s holding company and promoted to its executive vice president.

NEW HIRES, PROMOTIONS, RETIREMENTS Blackhawk Bank hired Gary Binicewicz as senior vice president, business banking; Jessica Hendon (3) as vice president, physical and information security, and Sara Porter (4) as assistant vice president, digital solutions. Per Mar Security Services promoted Jeremy Lochner (5) to installation process manager. J.L. Clark hired Andy Swick (6) as plant manager of plastics for the Rockford facility. Mercyhealth appointed Shannon Dunphy-Alexander (7) and Jim Nemeth (8) as vice presidents of finance. Illinois Bank & Trust promoted Robin Scott (9) to senior vice president, treasury management

17. Peg Wilkerson

18. Jeff Kellen

EATON RECEIVES NELSON J. BRADLEY CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Rosecrance President/CEO Philip Eaton received the Nelson J. Bradley Career Achievement Award, which recognizes significant contributions to modern addiction treatment, from the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers. Eaton began his career as a social worker at Rosecrance in 1971. As CEO and president in 1982, he led Rosecrance to open the first treatment program for adolescents in northern Illinois. Eaton received the Northern Illinois University College of Health and Human Services Alumni of the Year Award in 2001, the Administrator of the Year Award by the American College of Addiction Treatment Administrators in 2002 and the Distinguished Community Award from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford in 2002. In 2011, he was named Alumnus of the Year by Trinity International University in Deerfield, Ill. services; JoAnn Lane (10) to assistant vice president, retail assistant manager; Andrew Insko (11) to assistant vice president, commercial portfolio manager, and Conni Pickett (12) to assistant banking center manager at the Harrison Avenue location. Kristy Pierce (13) will lead Rock Valley College’s volleyball program. She ranks fourth in Illinois high school women’s volleyball history with 939 career wins and was named Best of the Rock River Valley Coach of the Year in 2015. Fehr Graham hired Pamela Holstrum (14) as human resources manager. Kelly Robison (15), relationship manager, joined the retirement plan consulting team at Illinois Bank & Trust. Mike Krach (16) joined The

19. Dr. Yaser Siraj

20. Debra Morey

Alliance® as business development manager. Peg Wilkerson (17) joined Rockford Bank & Trust as senior vice president, commercial banking. Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Club named Jeff Kellen (18) as assistant golf professional. SwedishAmerican, a division of UW Health, welcomed interventional cardiologist, Yaser Siraj, M.D. (19), FACC, FSCAI. The Center for Sight & Hearing welcomed Debra Morey (20), MOT, ORT/L, SCLV, as low vision occupational therapist. CoyleKiley Insurance welcomed Bryan Heidemann to its team as an employee benefits consultant. Forest City Gear hired Erik J. Spurling (21) as director of sales. The Stillman BancCorp N.A. board

21. Erik J. Spurling

22. Sherri L. Hayes

promoted Sherri L. Hayes (22) to executive vice president and chief financial officer, Jeffrey A. Hartle (23) to senior vice president and David M. Mecklenburg (24) to senior vice president and chief credit officer.

EMPLOYEE/COMMUNITY RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS Dr. W. Stephen Minore (25), president and CEO, Rockford Anesthesiologists Associated, Medical Pain Management Services and Rockford Ambulatory Surgery Center, received the Distinguished Service Award by the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians at its annual meeting in Orlando. Brent Brodeski (26), CEO, Savant Capital Management, was named #3 out of 101 to Forbes’ 2018 list of Best-In-State Wealth Advisors. Hand surgery specialist, Dr. Brian Bear, OrthoIllinois (27), was named to the list of Castle Connolly Top Doctors for the fifth year in a row. Only four to five percent of doctors in America earn this honor. Amanda Kieper (28), professor of speech, was the 30th recipient of the Rock Valley College Faculty of the Year award. Rob Grindle, mortgage planner, Blackhawk Bank, was named the number one mortgage originator in the Northwest Region in 2017. University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford researcher Mathew Thoppil-Mathew, Ph.D. (29), received the Cedric W. Blazer Endowed Professorship in

Continued on page 25

23. Jeffrey A. Hartle

24. David M. Mecklenburg


MAY 2018 | 23

in the news Members in the News

25. Dr. W. Stephen Minore

26. Brent Brodeski

27. Dr. Brian Bear

28. Amanda Kieper

29. Mathew Thoppil-Mathew

30. Xue-Jun Li

31. Sherry Libby

32. Tom Custer

33. Jacki Gommel

34. Dr. Richard Olson

35. Dr. Scott Trenhaile

36. Dan DeGryse

(continued from page 24)


Biomedical Sciences and Xue-Jun Li, Ph.D. (30), the Michael A. Werckle, MD, Endowed Professorship in Biomedical Sciences.

Richard Olson, M.D. (34), and Scott Trenhaile, M.D. (35), OrthoIllinois, and Ted Schoenfeldt, medical student, University of Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford, co-authored “Glenohumeral osteoarthritis: frequency of underlying diagnoses and the role of arm dominance - a retrospective analysis in a community-based musculoskeletal practice,” published online in February 2018 by Rheumatology International.

Meridian named Sherri Libby (31) its March employee of the month. Kiwanis Club of Rockford gave $12,000 in KCOR Education Grants in 2018 to: Jania Collins, Tara Griffith and Taylor Weatherly, Auburn High School; Katherine Leeson, Harlem High School; Antonio Ramirez III, Jefferson High School, and Andrea Zwonitzer, Rockford Christian High School. Maureen Mall, president, Center for Sight & Hearing, received the Lions of Illinois Foundation Fellow for dedication to helping those in need. Tom Custer (32), 1st vice president, financial advisor, Morgan Stanley, wealth management office in Rockford, earned Morgan Stanley’s Family Wealth Director designation. Jacki Gommel (33), WELL AP, LEED AP ID+C, ASID, IIDA, principal of Gommel Design, was recognized by the Center for Active Design as a FITWELL Ambassador.

Dr. Kelly John, along with podiatric residents at OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center, did foot care for clients of Carpenter’s Place on March 29. Matt Aukes, Carz R’ Us, attended the Automotive Training Institute’s ATI SuperConference 2018 in Orlando. Dan DeGryse (36), director of the Rosecrance Florian Program, keynoted and taught a class at the international Fire Department Instructors Conference on behavioral health in April in Indianapolis.

Are you a Member with News to Share? Send news releases and other items of interest to the business community to: The VOICE, Rockford Chamber of Commerce, 308 W. State St., Ste. 190, Rockford, IL 61101 DEADLINE IS THE 15TH OF THE MONTH PRECEDING PUBLICATION

24 | May 2018

theVoice •


Business Briefs The Workforce Connection announced that the Rock River Homeless Coalition seeks input from community members on issues of homelessness in the Rockford area. The coalition is recognized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as the decision-making body for the coordination of homeless programs serving the Boone and Winnebago county area. Visit

Rockford Chamber members appear bolded. Thank you for your support of your fellow Chamber members.

The Bergstrom Stateline Quiz Bowl Tournament of Champions will air for eight consecutive weeks, May 26 to July 15. The locally-produced, halfhour game show took place live from April 28 and 29 in the Nordlof Center in downtown Rockford and featured 22 academic teams from area high schools. WTVO/WQRF-TV anchor Eric Wilson was the show’s host. KMK Media Group was hired by Aurora Educational Technology in Ogle County for its new website. It also launched a website for Soil Essentials at KMK Media Group was hired for the 11th consecutive year to handle marketing, social media and public relations for the Parks Chamber’s “Young at Heart” festival over Memorial Day weekend. The Mercyhealth Ronald McDonald Care Mobile celebrated its 15-year anniversary. With 11,805 visits of 8,645 children, it has provided more than $2.2 million in free medical and dental care since 2003. SwedishAmerican, a division of UW Health’s goal with its Mobile Integrated Healthcare program with Rockford Fire is to meet the needs of an underserved population. From August 2016 to December 2017, participants experienced a 35 percent reduction in emergency department visits, a 42 percent reduction in ambulance runs and a 40 percent reduction in hospital admissions. Rockford Systems, LLC, was a silver sponsor of the Wisconsin Safety & Health Conference and Expo at Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., in April. Blackhawk Bank was named the number three lender in the Northwest Region for 2017 by the Illinois Housing Development Authority. V2 Marketing Communications recently organized, promoted and facilitated a four-day workshop and banquet event for the Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor (AATH) in Phoenix, AZ. First Free Rockford presented a $18,000 check to beneficiaries, Rockford Park District, Rockford Rescue Mission and Whitehead Elementary, raised through its annual reSTART concert that sold more than 1,500 tickets. Rockford Bank & Trust will expand its local presence in Rockford. QCR Holdings, Inc., RBT’s holding company, signed definitive agreements to acquire Bates Financial Advisors, Inc., Bates Financial Services, Inc., Bates Securities, Inc., and Bates Financial Group, Inc., headquartered in Rockford. The Bates Companies will be a subsidiary of Rockford Bank & Trust.

SwedishAmerican pediatric nurses and Rock Valley College student nurses hold a free Teddy Bear Clinic for Kindergarteners from Jackson Charter School and pre-Kindergarteners from Ryan Jury Child Development Learning Center. Students interacted with common medical equipment, practiced healthy habits such as hand-washing and learned what doctors and nurses do. Burpee Museum of Natural History opened its permanent learning space for young scientists. The SPROUTS Learning Lab, for children ages 1 to 10 and their families, features interactive, natural science learning experiences, career role-play, exhibit of living frogs in their rainforest habitats and examination of animal skulls and furs. OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony is the only medical center in northwest Illinois designated as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, based on an extensive survey by DNV GL on all aspects of its stroke program, surgical procedures and related treatments. Valley Expo partnered with Nadi Creative on www.ValleyExpoDisplays. com, which gives customers the ability to search hundreds of display designs, order online and register for exhibitions. Chartwell Agency received seven ADDY Awards from the American Advertising Federation of Northern Illinois, including a gold for Wesley Willows, two silvers for Anderson Japanese Gardens and the Police Benevolent & Protective Association (PBPA) Unit #6, and four bronzes for its blog, Chartwell Insights, Northern Illinois Vein Clinic, Wesley Willows and Rockford Bank & Trust. Savant Capital Management was recognized as a 2018 Best Places to Work for Financial Advisers by InvestmentNews. Chicago Rockford International Airport partnered with Alderman Frank Beach and the Rockford Police Department to raise funds to help send fallen Officer Jaimie Cox’s family to Washington, D.C., for the annual National Law Enforcement Fallen Officers Memorial in May. YMCA of Rock River Valley formed a new partnership and renamed its downtown riverfront location the

SwedishAmerican Riverfront YMCA (formerly the I.D. Pennock Family YMCA). The Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois GoodTAXES volunteer income tax assistance sites completed more than 2,200 returns to community members in its first two months of opening on Jan. 29. Rockford Symphony Orchestra announced that the Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra was named Youth Orchestra of the Year for 2018 by the Illinois Council of Orchestras. Remedies Renewing Lives received funding from the National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators through a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime. The goal is to increase community awareness and encourage victims of crime to call 2-1-1, in partnership with agencies such as United Way of Rock River Valley. In celebration of 15 years of service in Rockford, Upper Cervical Care Center – Rockford will host special events throughout the year. Call 815-398-4500. SwedishAmerican, A Division of UW Health, along with UW Organ and Tissue Donation, hosted Pause to Give Life, a flag raising ceremony to honor and recognize local organ donors and their families in April near the southeast corner of SwedishAmerican Hospital. Rock Valley College now is offering to students in its exercise science program the opportunity to seamlessly transition to Northern Illinois University for a bachelor’s degree. With the new “2+2” agreement, students would complete the exercise science option of RVC’s A.A.S. degree in fitness, wellness and sport, and then transfer to NIU to complete a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology.

More than 300 students from 85 different departments participated in one of the largest emergency responder training events in the Midwest, the 10th bi-annual Amboy Fire and Extrication School, in April. They performed hands-on training in simulated fires and crashes where extrications are needed. Dr. Matt Smetana, a Mercyhealth MD-1 physician who provides EMS support on critical calls, and instructors from as far away as Texas and New York provided instruction. The Amboy Fire Protection District is under the medical direction of Mercyhealth. Rosecrance was named one of 184 “Healthiest Companies in America” by Interactive Health. Recipients reached or exceeded a 70 percent participation rate in its wellness program and had a workforce with an overall health risk that was low, based on results of an annual health evaluation involving a blood draw, lab tests and questionnaire. This is the sixth consecutive year Rosecrance has won the award. Local YWCA associations from across Illinois, including YWCA Northwestern Illinois (Rockford area), have created the YWCA Illinois Policy Council, a statewide policy council for women and families. It will be a mechanism to bring racial, ethnic, socio-economic and age diversity to the policy table. Woodward, Inc., announced specific charges for second quarter of fiscal 2018 totaling $17 million pre-tax, or $0.20 per diluted share, primarily related to its previously announced decision to move its operations located in Duarte, Calif., to the recently renovated Drake Campus in Fort Collins, Colo. Rolls-Royce and Woodward, Inc., have signed an agreement for Woodward to acquire fuel injection systems technology company, L’Orange GmbH, and its related operations in Germany, the United States and China. For the fourth consecutive year, Becker’s Healthcare magazine named SwedishAmerican, A Division of UW Health, in its “150 Great Places to Work in Healthcare” list for promoting workforce diversity, employee engagement and professional growth.

Continued on page 27

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May 2018 | 25

on digital

Members Caught on Digital Ceremonial ribbon donated by SERVPRO of Rockford.

OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center holds a ribbon cutting and open house on April 5 for the North Tower at 5666 E. State St., Rockford. The four-story addition houses 78 private rooms for medical and surgical beds, PromptCare and Women’s Services comprised of mammography, ultrasound and bone densitometry.

Rockford Art Deli holds a press conference on April 5 at 402 E. State St. Owners shared details as co-founders of a new t-shirt manufacturing company, Allmade. Aiming to disrupt the t-shirt industry, the shirts are made from organic U.S.-grown cotton, recycled polyester and Modal, a Rayon alternative derived from beech trees that regenerate. Each shirt contains the equivalent of six plastic water bottles.

MOD Pizza holds a ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration on April 12 at 6470 E. State St., Rockford; promoting its individual artisan-style pizzas and people-first culture. It gave free pizzas or hand-tossed salads to the first 52 guests and donated 100 percent of the remaining pizza sales that day to Generosity Feeds; fighting childhood hunger.

Keller Williams Realty Signature holds a ribbon cutting and open house on April 12 at 4201 Galleria Dr., Loves Park.


Business Briefs

(continued from page 26)

OC Creative received a gold Addy award for its work with Fuse and two silver Addy awards for work with Lincoln Land Community College and the Democratic National Convention. For the fourth year, Rockford Park District received national recognition as one of 184 “Healthiest Companies in America” from among more than 1,500 Interactive Health clients across the country. Winnebago County Health Department warns that using synthetic cannabinoids can cause a potentially life-threatening reaction, with 17 people, mostly in northeastern Illinois, suffering severe bleeding since March 10 of this year, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Poison control identified that the synthetic cannabinoids might be laced with highly potent rat poison. Currently, no cases have been reported in Winnebago County. These synthetic cannabinoids are sold using many names, such as fake weed, K2, Mind Trip and spice, and are made from hundreds of different chemicals.

The Center for Sight & Hearing now offers low vision occupational therapy for those suffering from eye disease, brain trauma or stroke. In February, it began expanding the Vision Clinic services by offering orientation and mobility training. Adult & Child Health, a theFranaGroup client, receive the Community Impact Award by the Franklin Chamber of Commerce, Franklin, Ind.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore hosts a ribbon cutting on April 20 for its new location at 7141 Harrison Ave., Rockford. It also held a community grand opening party on April 21 with sales of its gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories and building materials.

Students from the Northern Illinois University dance program performed at the Central Conference of the American College Dance Association at the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign in March. They earned the top honor and an invitation to perform at the National College Dance Festival, June 6 to 9, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Thinker Ventures completed a new branding campaign for Lino’s, including updating its iconic 40-yearold logo; redesigned the website for Forest City Gear, and completed new marketing and tradeshow materials for Water Surplus.

Rockford Christian Schools broke ground on April 13 on an expansion project at its Bell School Road campus. It includes an indoor fitness and recreation facility, 16,000-sq.-ft. center for the arts, 11,000-sq.-ft. theater and 200-bed residence hall for students from around the nation and world. Ringland-Johnson Construction will lead construction, with completion for the arts and recreation centers this August and the residence hall by spring of 2019.

26 | May 2018

theVoice •

Membership Renewals Thank you to members who renewed with the Rockford Chamber of Commerce in March, 2018. [design] [build] by architects Accuride Wheel End Solutions Rockford Gunite Agrace Hospice & Palliative Care Alorica Androck Hardware Corporation Ballard Services, Inc. Barbara Olson Center of Hope Birch Plumbing Inc. Boy Scouts/Blackhawk Area Council Broadmoor Agency, Inc. Butitta Brothers Automotive Camp Seguin Countryman Inc. Days Inn Rockford Dickerson & Nieman Realtors Dixon Automatic Tool, Inc. Employers’ Coalition on Health (ECOH) Faith Center First Free Rockford First National Bank Freeway Rockford, Inc., Subsidiary of Freeway Corporation G & O Landscaping Inc. Gemini Computer Systems, Inc. General Mitchell International Airport Geostar Mechanical Glenwood Center Ltd. Greater Rockford Italian American Association/Festa Italiana Guler Appliance Company Helen Hill Communication Hoffman House HolmstromKennedyPC HR Green Inc. I. Spinello Locksmiths and Security, Div. of Nate, Inc. IMEG Corp. In Home Medical Group LLC Interstate Graphics Johnson Controls, Inc. Judson University Kent Feeds, Inc. Lamar Advertising of Rockford LaMonica Beverages, Inc. Larson & Darby Group Lehan’s Medical Equipment LSP Industries, Inc. M2 Landscaping LLC Macktown, A Living History Education Center Mark Pack Inc. Mercyhealth Meridian - Starwood Drive Meridian - North Second Midwest Scale Company, Inc.

New Leaf Remodeling Nicor Gas Northern Illinois Building Contractors Association OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center Paper Recovery Services Corp. PCI Pharma Services Pepper Creek/Fourth Street Greenhouse Phantom Regiment Red Roof Inn #10035 Rock Valley Compounding Pharmacy Rocket Industrial, Inc. Rockford Area Crime Stoppers, Inc. Rockford Coronado Concert Association Rockford Gastroenterology Associates, Ltd. Rockford Mercantile Agency, Inc. Rockford Metal Polishing Co. Rockford Radiology Associates Rockford University Rockford Urological Associates, Ltd. RSM US LLP Rustoleum Corporation (Testor) Sam’s Club, A Division of Wal-Mart Stores Specialty Screw Corporation Spring Ridge Senior Housing Sprinkmann Sons Corporation Staybridge Suites Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated, Member SIPC & NYSE Talecris Plasma Resources Terra Creek Apartments The ALS Association Greater Chicago Chapter Ultrasonic Power Corporation Van Sickle & McLaughlin, CPAs Village of Machesney Park Vixen Productions Voss Metals Company, Inc. Wells Fargo Advisors Willett Hofmann & Associates, Inc. Winnebago County Board Office Wipfli LLP Women of Today’s Manufacturing (WOTM) Woodward (Loves Park Campus) Woodward (Rock Cut Campus) WQRF-TV/WTVO-TV Zavius Jewelers, Inc. Zuba and Associates, P.C.

May 2018 Member Anniversaries Thank you to the members celebrating their anniversaries with the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.



Beefaroo, Inc.

Swanson’s Discount Vacuum, Inc.



Chem Processing, Inc. Gruno’s Diamonds Service Machine Company, Inc.


Our Children’s Homestead Schafer Gear Works Roscoe, L.L.C. Spring Ridge Senior Housing Visions Lighting and Accessories

Rockford Urological Associates, Ltd.



MFG, LLC MFG, LLC - Chris Zion Regal Cutting Tools Rockford Radiology Associates

Discovery Center Museum of Rockford

20-YEAR MEMBERS Forever Green, Inc. Stillman BancCorp N.A.

Community collaboration for Kindergarten readiness Alignment Rockford’s Healthy Starts team launched two pilots for Rockfordarea families with children 0 to 5 years old to increase Kindergarten readiness. Research identifies Kindergarten readiness as the foundation for success throughout a child’s educational experience, based on high-quality early childhood experiences. To increase parent-child engagement, Kim Nelson, Rockford Public Schools, in partnership with the Rockford Housing Authority, took the lead in a Playgroups pilot in the community room of Rockford Police Department Station 3 across from The Grove at Keith Creek in March. Volunteer organizations facilitating playgroups included Barnes & Noble, City of Rockford Early Head Start, Discovery Center Museum, Puri Family YMCA, Rockford Public Schools Early Childhood and YWCA Northwestern Illinois. A second pilot, the Connected

Families: Single-Point-of-Entry (SPOE), stemmed from local gap analysis and survey data by a Healthy Starts team and the Rockford Area Case Management Initiative. It found a lack of a single-pointof-entry for families for eligible early childhood services. The pilot identified several local organizations to lead as SPOEs and listed key contact information on a referral card for distribution. Organizations that agreed to serve as SPOEs for the pilot beginning March 14 included: Children’s Home+Aid/ Motherhouse Crisis Nursery, City of Rockford Head Start, City of Rockford Human Services, Crusader Community Health, Remedies, Rockford Mass Transit District, Rockford Public Schools Early Childhood, Winnebago County Health Department, The Workforce Connection, YMCA of Rock River Valley and YWCA Northwestern Illinois. The Rockford Park District sponsored printing of the referral cards.

City of Rockford and Gorman & Company break ground at Amerock facility Gorman & Company and the City of Rockford hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking at the former Amerock facility, soon to be a four-star Embassy Suites Hotel and Rockford Convention Center. The groundbreaking was held on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, at 10 a.m.. at Davis Park, 416 S. Main Street in Rockford. Gorman & Company, in partnership with the City of Rockford, is developing the former Amerock building into a 160-room hotel and 40,000-square-foot convention center. This development will create an estimated 676 jobs through construction and opening. The venue will feature two restaurants, rooftop lounge with two levels of outdoor seating, access to Davis Park, swimming pool, game room for kids, and more. “People are going to come to this hotel and conference center and they are going to be impressed,” says Gary Gorman. “The image of Rockford is going to be created by the first impression they get when they walk

into the hotel, when they walk into the conference center, when they go up to the 12th floor deck and they see the view down the river — which is the most spectacular view in the city.” The project was finalized in December of 2017 with several funding partners being crucial to financing the development. The $87.5 million hotel and conference center are being financed by CitiBank N.A., Twain Financial Partners, Rockford Bank & Trust Company, Associated Bank, Rockford Local Development Corporation, the City of Rockford and EB-5 investors from across the eastern hemisphere. “I believe this is a major turning point for our downtown,” says Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara. “Between the construction jobs and the hotel service jobs, this will have a tremendous impact on our entire community. I’m proud of the work done by the previous and current City Councils to make this vision a reality.”

theVoice •

May 2018 | 27


Upcoming Chamber Events

MAY, 2018 Tuesday, May 1

Business Women’s Council, noon to 1 p.m., Mary’s Market Banquet Facility, 4431 E. State St., Rockford. Kelli Peterson, CFP®, CPA, MPA, Savant Capital Management, presents “Start Planning for Your 2018 Tax Return Now!” Sponsored by Associated Bank.

Thursday, May 3

Ribbon Cutting, 4:30 p.m. and Open House, 3:30 - 5:30 p.m., at Cheri Bustos, 17th Congressional District of Illinois Local Office. 119 N. Church St., 1st. Floor, Rockford. Wednesday, May 9 7:30 - 9 am Rockford University PURI Business School Bldg., Rm. 124 5050 E. State St. , Rockford

Breakfast BUZZ Penelope M. Lechtenberg and Brett Strand present “Business Compliance 101: Preparing for When ICE and DOL Come Knocking.” Sponsored by RSM US LLP.

Thursday, May 10 11:30 am - 1:15 pm Tebala Event Center 7910 Newburg Rd., Rockford

Celebration of Leadership LUNCHEON

Celebrate the 64th class of Leadership Rockford. Keynote speaker is Chief Derek Bergsten, Rockford Fire Department. Sponsored by PNC Bank (presenting); Agrace Hospice & Palliative Care, ALPHA Controls & Services LLC, Alpine Bank/Midland States Bank, LaMonica Beverages, Inc., Larson & Darby Group, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, RSM US LLP, Savant Capital Management, Schmeling Construction, and Woodward (graduation).

Friday, May 11

Government Affairs Council, 7:30 to 8:45 a.m., at Stockholm Inn, 2420 Charles St., Rockford. Jasper St. Angel, Rockford Township Supervisor, along with Dan Conness, Highway Commissioner, and Ken Crowley, Township Assessor, will present.

Tuesday, May 15

Chamber 101 with Speed Networking, 7:30 to 9 a.m., Century Plaza Business Center, 7210 E. State St., Ste. 102, Rockford. Sponsored by MembersAlliance Credit Union. IGNITE Adulting 101- Homebuying, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Aero Ale House, 6164 E. Riverside Blvd., Loves Park.

Thursday, May 17

Leadership Workshop - Emotional Intelligence, 8:30 to 10 a.m., PURI School of Business - Rockford University, 5050 E. State St., room 124. Facilitated by The Anser Group.

Advertisers Index advertisers Alpine Bank / Midland States Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . .14

RMTD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

Monday, May 21 11:00 am The Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Club 5151 Guilford Rd., Rockford

American Rigging & Millwright Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

Rockford Chamber of Commerce . . . . . . . . . .8, 15, 17, 19, 20

Rockford Chamber

Brian Thomas Photography. . . . . . . .23

Blackhawk Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13


Illinois Bank & Trust . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

Registration and lunch, 11 a.m.; shotgun start, noon. Dinner immediately follows golf.

Illinois Small Business Development Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

Sponsored by Stratus Networks (presenting); Baker Tilly (gold); SwedishAmerican, A Division of UW Health (cart); Blackhawk Bank (gift); OSF HealthCare (photo), and The Alliance (greens).

Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful . . . . .20

JUNE, 2018

Rockford Bank & Trust Co. . . . . . . . . .9

Rocktown Adventures . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Savant Capital Management . . . . . . . .6 Schmeling Construction Co. . . . . . . .12 Stillman Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Thayer Lighting, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

Mercyhealth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford . . . . . . . . . . . .18

Northern Public Radio . . . . . . . . . . . .25

United Way of Rock RIver Valley . . . .28

OSF HealthCare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

UPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

Northern Public Radio . . . . . . . . . . . .13

White Pines Resort . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

Quartz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

Wintrust Commercial Banking . . . . . . .6

Thursday, June 7

Business After Hours at Alden Park Strathmoor, 5 to 7 p.m., at 5668 Strathmoor Dr., Rockford.

Friday, June 8

Government Affairs Council, 7:30 to 8:45 a.m., at Stockholm Inn, 2420 Charles St., Rockford. Wednesday, June 13 7:30 - 9 am Rockford University PURI Business School Bldg., Rm. 124 5050 E. State St. , Rockford

Breakfast BUZZ Sam Castree presents “Harassment Issues in the Workplace.” Sponsored by RSM US LLP.

Friday, June 15

Cliffbreakers Riverside Hotel & Conference Center hosts a Ribbon Cutting and Open House, 3 to 6 p.m., at 700 W. Riverside Blvd., Rockford.

Tuesday, June 19

Hennig, Inc., hosts a Ribbon Cutting, 11 a.m., at 9900 N. Alpine Road, Machesney Park.

Wednesday, June 20

Advanced Machine & Engineering Co. (AME) hosts a Ribbon Cutting, 11 a.m., 2500 Latham St., Rockford. Thursday, June 21 10 am - 1:15 pm Cliffbreakers Conference Center 700 W. Riverside Blvd., Rockford

Women in Business EXPO & LUNCHEON Jill Manzo, Midwest researcher, Illinois Economic Policy Institute, will present “Women in High-Ranking Positions: The Few, The Need, and the Path Forward.” Includes the announcement of the Woman Business Leader of Tomorrow, Woman Business Owner of the Year and Woman Manager of the Year. Sponsored by Mercyhealth (presenting), OSF HealthCare (gold), Northwest Bank (awards) and PNC (ATHENAPowerLink).

of the Rockford Business Community

Chamber Staff / Call 815-987-8100 ............................................. Direct Line Harold “Bo” Boger, IL Small Business

Development Center Director ............................................................. 815-316-4301

Einar K. Forsman, President & CEO ......................................... 815-316-4304 Heidi M. Garner, Chief Operating Officer ................................... 815-316-4312 Olivia Guzman, Administrative Assistant .............................................. 815-987-8100 Doug Hessong, Director of Publications & Technology .................. 815-316-4338 Lynette Jacques, Vice President, Member Investment ................... 815-316-4317 Phoebe Morris, Program & Event Coordinator............................. 815-316-4302 Caitlin Pusateri, Vice President, Leadership Development .................. 815-316-4337 Doug Rand, Accounting Manager/Controller .............................. 815-316-4316 Joan Sundvall, Membership Contact Coordinator ........................ 815-316-4320

Chamber Board of Directors & Officers EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE


Chairman of the Board Richard Zumwalt Z Resource Chair-Elect Michele Petrie Wintrust Commercial Banking & Mortgage Vice Chair Dan Ross Gallagher Williams-Manny

Andrew Benson Benson Stone Company, Inc. Kimberly Blascoe Wipfli LLP Jan Bowman TLC Construction LaVonne Brown Savant Capital Management Paula Carynski OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center

Treasurer Amy Ott Boylan Catholic High School

Samuel J. Castree Staff Management, Inc.

Immediate Past Chair Patti Thayer Thayer Lighting, Inc.

Joe Castrogiovanni Giovanni’s, Inc.

Sue Schrieber Don Daniels SwedishAmerican, A Mercyhealth Division of UW Health John Schuster Rosecrance Health Rebecca Epperson Network Chartwell Agency Ira Grimmett UTC Aerospace Systems

Karl Swanson Rockford Bank & Trust Co

Tim Honquest Honquest Family Funeral Home with Crematory

Udaya Talwar Woodward

Jeff Hultman Illinois Bank & Trust Michael F. Iasparro Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP Elizabeth Lee Greenlee Textron

Kris L. Kieper Jean Crosby Machajewski Berkshire Hathaway YWCA Northwestern HomeServices Crosby Illinois Starck Real Estate Mike Paterson Doug Curry Mid-West Family Stenstrom Excavation Broadcasting and Blacktop Group Mark Peterson CBL Associates Cherry Vale

Jon Thompson Butitta Brothers Automotive

EX-OFFICIO DIRECTORS Einar K. Forsman President & CEO, Rockford Chamber of Commerce John Groh Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Nathan Bryant Rockford Area Economic Development

JUNE VOICE SPECIAL SECTIONS Financial Aspirations Manufacturing Ingenuity (Makers & Designers) For information on advertising, call 815


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