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VOTE “YES” SAFE ROADS PAGE 4 The Voice is online at


August 2016 | Volume 29 | No. 8


Founders’ Day

Williams-Manny, Benson Stone latest inductees into Business Hall of Fame

On July 14, the Rockford Chamber of Commerce turned 106 years old, and dozens of community members were there to celebrate during the Chamber’s sixth-annual Founders’ Day Celebration, which was held at Rockford University. Representatives from many of the 15 founding and legacy members of the Chamber were also in attendance. Today, the chamber has grown to 1,100 member companies that employ more than 60,000 people. “Being 106 is


The Rockford Chamber welcomes two into the Northern Illinois Business Hall of Fame during the Founders’ Day celebrations: (above) Dan Ross accepted the award for Henry Williams of Williams-Manny Insurance Group and (left, accepting) Andrew M. Benson and Howard D. Benson of Benson Stone Company, Inc. (below, left) Dr. Eric Fulcomer addressed the crowd attending the festivities held at Rockford University.

a long time for any chamber,” said Einar Forsman, president and CEO of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce. “We formed in 1910 because the Rockford community was growing at a rapid rate back then. The business community was concerned whether the Rockford area was being effectively planned for growth. So they brought in a chamber expert to speak on a riverboat with over 600 in attendance. When they came back to shore, it was decided they were going to form a chamber. We want to make sure we have a strong vibrant climate in our community, not just for businesses but residents as well.” During the event, two individuals and their companies were inducted into the Northern Illinois Business Hall of Fame. The 2016 inductees were

Visit us online at: ■ online registration ■ keynote speaker video clips ■ event photos ■ list of Chamber events Questions? 815-987-8100

Join the Chamber’s LinkedIn Group

Williams-Manny Insurance Group and Benson Stone Company. Williams-Manny was founded in 1896 by Henry “Hank” Williams, who began his insurance career as an employee of the Rockford Fire Insurance Company. At 25, he started his own firm using his mother’s sewing machine as a desk. He was known for his creativity, and was known to follow passing lumber trucks to find out who was building a house or factory and then would write the insurance on it. Within six years, he represented more than three dozen insurers and his increasing volume of work allowed him to hire his first solicitor, Frank Wormwood, who later became a partner. For the past century, WilliamsManny has been committed to serving the Rockford community. The agency also has offices in Freeport, Wheaton, Continued on page 3

Rockford Chamber’s 40 Leaders Under Forty is back! The Rockford Chamber brings back its popular recognition program, 40 Leaders Under Forty, this year. Who are the great leaders under forty you know at your workplace, among your friends and volunteering for your favorite causes? Consider nominating them this year. A member committee will choose those to be announced and honored at a special celebration on Nov. 17.

Each honoree will receive a certificate (or award) from the Chamber in recognition of their contributions and featured in The Voice newspaper and ONE magazine. Nominations are due no later than 5 p.m., on Thursday, Sept. 1. Find the form and instructions at theVoice

The City of Rockford, Rock Valley College and the Rockford Local Development Corporation have partnered to build a new Technical Career Education & Training Campus at the former Barber-Colman factory at 1200 Rock St., in southwest Rockford. The historic 22-acre factory site will be named Colman Village after Rockford industrialist Howard Colman. “A cutting-edge manufacturing campus at Colman Village is the final piece to a facility plan that supports Rock Valley College’s strategic efforts to expand its aviation, nursing, engineering and manufacturing programs,” said RVC board member Michael Dunn, Jr. “Relocating to Colman Village reduces the up-front investment we would have had to make to our former facility to get it to a modern quality standard.” The RVC Technical Career Education & Training Center will offer technical degrees and certificate programs in automotive, welding, fluid power technology/hydraulics and manufacturing systems and include modern programming areas for partnerships in makerspace, small business incubation and entrepreneurship.


Rockford Chamber’s


For more info, see page 31 SPONSORED BY

RLDC AWARDED FOR ADDRESSING COMMUNITY NEEDS Rockford Local Development Corporation received the Diamond Award from the National Association of Development Companies for Partnership in Economic Development at NADCO’s Spring Summit in Washington, D.C., for its innovative partnerships with the City of Rockford in addressing community needs. RLDC manages the city’s $750,000 small business revolving loan program. Other projects cited included: The development of the former Turner School into a police station. The purchase and relocation of nearly 150 property owners from flood distressed properties along Keith Creek. The redevelopment of the former K-Mart property on North Main Street into a mixed-use property anchored by InnovaMed Medical Clinic. The development of the grocery store on South Main Street, now owned and occupied by La Chiquita Food Market.


August 2016


Chairman’s Perspective VIEWPOINT

A Brave New World for Chamber Members I couldn’t help but smile during the recent Founder’s Day event on the grounds of Rockford University. On a beautiful summer afternoon, more than 200 people turned out to celebrate the Rockford Chamber of Commerce’s 106th birthday. There was plenty of food, wonderful entertainment by Carl Cole and an abundance of good conversation. Many of the original founding chamber member businesses were represented, and two outstanding organizations – Williams-Manny Insurance Group and Benson Stone Company – were on hand to be inducted into the Northern Illinois Business Hall of Fame. This two-hour event spoke to what the chamber is truly all about. The chamber board has been thinking about its mission a lot lately. Like with any organization, there are always ways we can improve the chamber experience for our members. While we can’t be all things for all people, we can put mechanisms in place to make sure, you, our valued members are getting the best return on your investment. One member once told us that they viewed the monthly issue of the Voice as “required reading.” I couldn’t agree

more. There is so much information at the reader’s fingertips for discovering what the Chamber policy priorities are, what local businesses are up to, who the new and emerging leaders are in business, and what activities and initiatives one can engage in or develop as a resource. The information contained in the Voice should serve as a road map to you to see the direction of the chamber, and our business community! Another example is networking. I know some people can become intimidated when they attend a chamber event, whether it’s the upcoming Education Outlook Luncheon, after hour socials or the annual dinner. It’s not just enough to go into the room and meet people. You have to step forward and introduce yourself to your fellow chamber members. There are many ways to grow within your chamber membership; these are just a few examples. Recently, two Chamber task forces joined together; the Small Business and the Membership Task Forces. Their goal was to dig deeper to better support our membership. They set up focus groups made up of a broad base of members. There was plenty of great information

shared in these sessions, but here are five important takeaways that our members would like to see from the Chamber: ■■ Developing new approaches to build networks ■■ Creating programs/systems that allow for and encourage deeper engagement opportunities for members. ■■ Deliver targeted, timely and laserfocused educational opportunities for businesses to help them grow and develop their business ■■ Continue to focus on the development of future leaders ■■ Be a leader in addressing workforce quality issues One idea that was proposed is to have the chamber do a “let me introduce you to” event instead of members always having to rely on their own networking ability. Most agree that in business we’re facing worldwide competition, but sometimes we don’t know our business neighbors down the street. We can help people take their first steps! We’ve heard plenty of positive feedback about the Rockford Leadership Alliance and how much it has helped members engage with other members.

The leadership topics have Patti Thayer Rockford Chamber assisted our Board Chairman members to grow individually and helped their company think out of the box when it comes to leadership issues. We are committed to taking the necessary steps to further that success. One thing that was abundantly clear in these sessions is that most people are positive about the Chamber and believe it is important to be part of the community through the Chamber. Still, there are opportunities to further define our mission in order to achieve deeper, more meaningful impact for our members. For me personally, time and value are the two biggest components of my chamber membership. You need to invest the time in order to get the best value. It’s not always easy, and there’s never enough time, but when I make the effort to get involved, I’ve seen tangible results that impact my business. You can, too. Patti Thayer is the chairperson of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce board of directors.



August 2016

The Benson Stone Company

Williams-Manny Insurance Group

Founders’ Day (continued from front page)

Minneapolis and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Williams-Manny has more than 100 employees across the company. Williams-Manny supports many organizations, including Goodwill, Healing Pathways Cancer Resource Center, Milestone, Rockford Park District, Community Foundation of Northern Illinois and United Way of Rock River Valley. “We do what we do because we love it,” said President Dan Ross. “We love the community. It means so much to be honored by an organization like the chamber. I look at the list of past honorees, and I’m humbled that we’re a part of it. These are folks who are making a difference in the community, and we hope that’s what we’re doing. We’re proud of our history in the Rockford area.” Benson Stone Company was founded

in 1930 by Martin Oscar Benson and his son M. Howard Benson. The company primarily produced Indiana Limestone cut stone products, cutting and shaping the natural stone for use in homes and commercial buildings. After surviving the Great Depression, the business temporarily closed in 1942 and reopened after World War II ended in 1945. In the 1950s, M. Howard’s son, Howard, joined the company. His sons, Stephen and Andrew, joined the business in the 1980s. A decade later, Benson Stone was one of the first companies in the nation to fabricate and install granite countertops for residential kitchens.

These days, Benson Stone resides in a massive 130,000 square-foot building on 11th Street that includes showroom space and the HearthRock café. The most recent addition is a new lighting showroom that opened a year ago. “It’s an honor to be recognized for our long history,” said President Andy Benson. “I go back to the work ethic of my great grandfather, grandfather and father. They saw some tough times. We’ve built our business on good, conservative principals. We haven’t gone out on a limb on most things. We are locallyowned, Rockford people. We have a long-term tradition and reputation in the

community that means a lot to us. Having integrity and providing quality customer service is important to our organization.” “The awards were well deserved,” said Forsman. “Williams-Manny is a solid, professional organization. Benson Stone is a multi-generational company. It’s a privilege to recognize these folks who commit their time, effort and people to do things for the good of our community.” The Northern Illinois Business Hall of Fame was started in 1989 by the local Junior Achievement chapter. JA inducted 49 individuals in nine classes, before ceasing operations in 2009. The Rockford Chamber of Commerce took over the hall of fame in 2012, and changed the focus from inducting individuals to adding companies and inducting the founder. There have now been 63 individuals and businesses inducted into the hall. The Founders’ Day Celebration was presented by Rockford University. AT&T was the business sponsor. theVoice


August 2016


Vote “Yes” for the Safe Roads Amendment this November By Jennifer Morrison and Steve Nailor As chairperson of the Citizens to Protect Transportation Funding ballot initiative committee, I join many others across the state of Illinois in urging support of an important constitutional amendment that will protect transportation funding. At the General Election on November 8, 2016, this amendment to require transportation funding to be used for transportation will be the first choice offered to voters on the ballot. I hope an overwhelming majority will vote Yes to add this amendment to the Illinois Constitution. Approval of this amendment will ensure there is a dedicated funding source for projects that will increase the quality and safety of Illinois’ transportation infrastructure, reducing accidents and damage to vehicles caused by road conditions or hazards and ensuring our bridges are safe. The Safe Roads Constitutional amendment provides that moneys raised through State or local motor fuel taxes, motor vehicle registration or title fees, and other user taxes, tolls, and fees dedicated to public highways, roads, streets, bridges, mass transit (buses

and rail), ports, or airports may only be expended on transportation purposes. In other words, the proposed amendment prohibits the General Assembly or a unit of local government from using, diverting, or transferring moneys raised from these transportation revenue sources for nontransportation purposes. Illinoisans pay motor fuel taxes, fees for vehicle registrations and license plates, and other transportation related taxes and fees with the expectation that these monies will be spent to maintain, repair, and build roads, highways, mass transit, and other transportation systems in their communities. Historically, the State and units of local government have diverted portions of monies raised from these revenue sources for other nontransportation purposes. Jennifer Morrison is chairperson of Citizens to Protect Transportation Funding and Managing Director of the Transportation for Illinois Coalition. Steve Nailor, Chairman of the Rockford/ Winnebago County, Belvidere/Boone County Better Roads Association

21st Century Workforce Development CEANCI is proud to announce that it has received a $91,050 grant for 21st Century Workforce Development. The grant was awarded from the Howard D. Colman Memorial Fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois. This CFNIL grant will provide financial support to a region-wide implementation of curriculum and student acquisition of industry-recognized credentials. Receiving the grant will impact more than 4,000 high school students enrolled in graphic design, early childhood, business, automotive technology, engineering, manufacturing, and hospitality courses. Serving the nine school districts of Rockford, Belvidere, Harlem, Hononegah, Byron, Meridian, North Boone, Winnebago and South Beloit makes the overall impact of CEANCI a key player in addressing the issues of a skills gap in the Northern Illinois workforce. CEANCI System Director, Margie Hartfiel shares, “I’m excited to share with our business partners that we are listening and responding - not only with our work in addressing the skills gap with valued credentials, but also moving forward to tackle the soft skill sets that are integral to their success on the job.” For over thirty years the CEANCI, an Education for Employment office of the ISBE, has administered grant funds that target secondary career and technical education. The regional grant delivery system enhances programs by improving curriculum, purchasing equipment and technology, training teachers, involving community and nurturing student career awareness. CEANCI’s Board of Governors, led by President Scott Bloomquist, Superintendent of Winnebago Schools, is comprised of superintendents from the nine districts. Board members work collaboratively toward equitable access for all students, alignment to regional needs, efficient distribution of resources, and respectful partnerships with their stakeholders. The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois has been a regional leader in philanthropy since 1953. CFNIL serves as a catalyst for giving in order to attract, grow, and preserve an endowment for the needs of Northern Illinois. Since its founding, CFNIL has granted more than $60 million for charitable purposes.

Let your Voice be heard The Rockford Chamber of Commerce welcomes and encourages submissions for The VOICE of the Rockford Business Community. Deadline is the 15th of the month preceding publication. 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.


August 2016

Member Profile PROFILE

Chem Processing

Celebrating 45 years in business By Paul Anthony Arco Without question, success takes hard work. No one knows that better than Chem Processing, Inc. The Rockford-based company is a leader in the metal finishing industry that supports the aerospace, agriculture, automotive, construction, defense, food processing, heavy equipment, medical and pharmaceutical industries. “If a company, typically a machine shop, makes a part from a block of material, casting, stamping, any type of material, we add the metal plating or coating,” said Matt Smazik, operations manager. Chem Processing has finished more than 200,000 unique parts for more than 1,500 different customers since it first opened its doors. A majority of Chem Processing’s work takes place in the aerospace industry. Commercial aircraft, military jets and helicopters, and even spacecraft have components plated, anodized or coated by Chem Processing, which provides support for both OEM components and MRO facilities. “We do a lot with heavy equipment — large tractors, for example — along with defense, medical and general manufacturing,” said Smazik. Among its major clients are Woodward, Rockford Toolcraft, Caterpillar, John Deere, UTC Aerospace Systems, as well as many local machine shops. “The cool thing is the diversity of projects we work on,” said Smazik. “We might be talking to an aerospace company to solve a problem one day, and the next day we’re working with a two-man machine shop that’s trying to get off the ground. No two days are the same.”

Filling an Industry Gap Chem Processing was founded in 1971 by Rockford natives and brothers, Curt and Marc Cedarleaf, who first opened their company on 22nd Street in Rockford, before moving to its current location on Linden Road in 1995. The brothers started the company to provide metal finishing processes that were not available to companies in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. “Curt was a chemical engineer who

worked for Woodward and Sundstrand,” said Smazik. “He saw a need in Rockford, so he recruited his brother, Marc, who was working as an accountant for the state of Wisconsin, to help start a company.” The first finishes that Chem Processing offered were: electroless nickel plating, solid film lubricants, and Teflon® coatings. The company expanded in 1977 by adding industrial hard chrome plating, cadmium plating, copper plating and silver plating. Two years later, aluminum anodizing was added to the list of finishes. Marc moved on in the 1990s and at the end of 2014, Curt sold the business to Chad Bertrand, who is Marc’s sonin-law. Chad’s family previously owned Rockford Industrial Welding. “He wanted to get back to small business and had the connection to Curt, who was running the company,” said Smazik. Chem Processing has a team of 80 fulltime employees, including line operators, engineers, accounting and human resources. Many employees have 10 or more years on the job. “It’s a very loyal staff,” Smazik said. “Everyone — from the top on down — works together. There is no division between the management and shop floor. It’s a very collaborative atmosphere. That philosophy goes back to how the company was founded.” According to Smazik, Chem Processing’s recipe for success is based on customer satisfaction. “We believe our future is extremely bright,” he said. “We really strive to be a company that’s easy to work with, that customers can have confidence in. When they send us parts, they know it will be taken care of.” And it all happens right here in Rockford. “Rockford has a solid base of manufacturers,” Smazik said. “There are so many solid precision manufacturers in town – from two-man machine shops to Woodward. And it helps having an airport for customers to easily ship parts in and out. Rockford is a great location for our business.”

CHEM PROCESSING, INC. Chad Bertrand, president 3910 Linden Oaks Dr. 815-874-8118



August 2016


Rockford Chamber’s 40 Leaders Under Forty is back!

The Rockford Chamber brings back its popular recognition program, 40 Leaders Under Forty, this year. Who are the great leaders under forty you know at your workplace, among your friends and volunteering for your favorite causes? Consider nominating them this year. A member committee will choose those to be announced and honored at a special celebration on Nov. 17. Each honoree will receive a certificate (or award) from the Chamber in recognition of their contributions and featured in The Voice newspaper and ONE magazine.

Nominations are due no later than 5 p.m., on Thursday, Sept. 1. Find the form and instructions at PRESENTING SPONSOR



August 2016

Guest Perspective INSIGHT

Business continuity solutions prevent high costs of network outages

John Heimsch U.S. Cellular

All Illinois businesses need to have a system in place to prevent the costs of network downtime. While no solution can prevent all network interruptions, minimizing downtime is critical to business operations. It happens in an instant. Click – and nothing. No email. No phone service. No internet connectivity. You’re out of touch with your colleagues, your vendors, your customers. When a network outage interrupts business operations, every second costs money. A recent study by Avaya estimates that the average business loses $140,000 every hour its network is down. Depending on how long services are disrupted, an outage can damage a company’s reputation, employee morale and customer loyalty. Because most Illinois businesses rely on landline network technology for their day-to-day operations, outages are more a matter of “when” than an “if” proposition. Luckily, there is a simple solution that can keep employees working seamlessly – a wireless business continuity system. Nearby incidents, such as a routine maintenance error or a weather disaster, cause most landline network outages affecting Illinois businesses. Since these events rarely impact wireless networks, cell service is almost always available when landlines are down. A wireless business continuity system safeguards a business network by switching to wireless service when an outage occurs. With this type of safeguard in place, service will never be “down” for your company. Continuity systems like this automatically transfer to the 4G LTE network when landline service is

interrupted. These kinds of 4G LTE continuity solutions are easily scalable for companies of all sizes, which makes them the perfect option for businesses with limited IT resources. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for a wireless business continuity system to pay for itself after just one incident. Network outages can affect almost every aspect of modern business processes, including online ordering, in-store transactions, inventory management, supply chain, human resources and customer service. The costs of network downtime, combined with the high risk of network failure, underscore the need for a wireless business continuity system. All Illinois businesses need to have a system in place to prevent the costs of network downtime. While no solution can prevent all network interruptions, minimizing downtime is critical to business operations. Because they can pay for themselves, the question isn’t how much will a wireless business continuity system cost, but how long can your company afford to be out of business? John Heimsch is director of sales for northern Illinois and Wisconsin at U.S. Cellular. The views expressed are those of Heimsch’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.


Leadership and the bigger picture Have you ever heard the statistic that in cities, as ice cream sales increase, so does the murder rate? The example is usually used to show that cause and effect may not be quite as clear cut as it may seem upon first glance. Clearly, the real trigger for the increase on both sides of the equation is more than likely the rise of the heat index, rather than double scoops leading to more killings. Rather than take the statistic its face value, true leaders will look deeper – they will look for the bigger picture. Often, we hear about opportunities for improvement in our organizations and our communities as if they exist in silos. We forget to look at the big picture – that one area of opportunity could lead to another. We get bogged down in the details that we forget to widen our focus and take a look at what else could be playing into a situation. But, how often are we actually able to take the time and luxury to do that? Probably not often enough.

August 2016


Testimonials from Class of 2016 “Leadership Rockford was an unmatched

look at the inner-workings of this

community. I had the pleasure to talk with and hear the stories of many people whose heart and soul go into the work they do for this region. I also got to hear about the issues that the region faces, and the challenging work it has yet to see done. To me, that provided

the kind of motivation that leads to effective

leadership. The leaders of this area telling me how many opportunities I have to get involved and lead — I couldn’t think of a better thing for a course on leadership to do. Michael Sturm, FIELD, Class of 2016

“Leadership Rockford offered a closer

look at Rockford and its moving parts

— the people, places, ideas, accomplishments and challenges. Our task as leaders

Rockford, the Bigger Picture

is to keep improving our community. Several class discussions drew the same

Leadership Rockford, a 60+ year leadership program through the Rockford Chamber, allows participants to take the time to view Rockford through a bigger picture lens. Participants hear from key leaders from a wide-range of organizations, industries and disciplines and are able to pull back and see how everyone intertwines. The ability to see and understand Rockford from a holistic point of view is a valuable skill for any leader in the community. Through this process, participants develop not only a better understanding of the community, but also a better understanding of themselves and a heightened ability to utilize out-of-thebox critical thinking skills to solve problems. Applications to participate in the 2016-2017 Leadership Rockford class are now being accepted. As class size is limited, applications will be accepted until the class is full or Sept. 1. Tuition for this intensive eight-month program is $1,050. Tuition covers all expenses for meetings and materials. The only additional fees assessed will be for optional social events. Applications can be found at under Events/Programs, Leadership Rockford.

conclusion: Rockford

Leadership Development news is sponsored by Comcast Business.

has so much good going for it, and fortunately, the

passion for this community is infectious. This class offered the groundwork and connections to great people — including my classmates — to contribute on a deeper level and to keep improving.” Cathy Bayer, Rockford Public Schools, Class of 2016

“The Leadership Rockford program provided

countless opportunities for me

that I may have otherwise not had. I was able to learn about the various industries in the region and meet other professionals with diverse backgrounds and expertise. I graduated the program with a

better understanding and

appreciation for the Rockford region, a drive to volunteer, and with a great new network and friends.” Purvi Shah Khare, Rosecrance Health Network, Class of 2016



August 2016


Young Professionals

Burlap sacks & checkers: Unlikely, but necessary tools in attracting & retaining talent

Making friends as an adult can be difficult. After finishing college, young professionals are thrust into a world that is suddenly very different from anything they’ve ever known. For the past few summers, IGNITE has hosted a summer competitive event series for young professionals called IGNITE Cup. Each year, teams of 10 individuals join forces to try to win the coveted cup by participating in a myriad of activities and events. From trivia nights to mini golf, downtown scavenger hunt to field day, the summer event series involves 160+ young professionals participating throughout the Rockford region. But what purpose does racing in burlap sacks down the fairway at Aldeen Park during field day or strategizing just how exactly to get “kinged” in checkers during game night actually have? Besides being fun, is there really any purpose that IGNITE Cup serves? Believe it or not, events like those featured in IGNITE Cup are some of the strongest and most effective tools in our tool belt to attract and retain talent to the Rockford region. Events like IGNITE Cup serve an extremely important role in the development of YPs — they help people make friends.

Developing a Life Making friends as an adult can be difficult. After finishing college, young professionals are thrust into a world that is suddenly very different from anything they’ve ever known. The classroom structure and environment in which you live, play and learn with a large group of people more or less your same age suddenly vanishes, and you’re left swimming in a sea of all sorts of people at different points in their life – many with a firm network of established relationships. It can be terrifying to break in. We’ve been making friends all of our lives, and yet, suddenly in our early

Caitlin Ludwig Rockford Chamber of Commerce

20s, it’s as if we’ve never been plagued with this task before. How exactly does a person make friends? It can be a vexing concept if thought about too long. Enter: IGNITE. IGNITE provides an atmosphere that somewhat mimics the environment young professionals are most accustomed to. The group is comprised of groups of people primarily in the same age brackets, yes, but probably even more importantly, in similar life stages. Within the group, you’ll find people who are brand new to Rockford looking to establish connections. You’ll find professionals who are looking to network and build their professional connections or dig deeper into developing the community. Perhaps you’ll find new parents looking for professionals also trying to balance work and life and looking for a bit of support. IGNITE helps young professionals develop relationships with people who are facing the same obstacles, challenges and opportunities that they are. Events like IGNITE Cup are important to help young professionals develop relationships and form bonds within the community. It’s far harder to leave the city once you’ve established yourself within it. Nothing says “get me out of here” faster than night after night of lonely Netflix binging with fast food take-out because you have no friends and have never ventured out to explore local restaurants. IGNITE opens those doors in safe, friendly environments and helps people develop those relationships. Sometimes it’s over a beer at an After 5 at a local hot spot and sometimes it’s through a donut-eating contest at field day. But, the outcome – helping young professionals build relationships and engage in their community — is always the same. So next time you see IGNITE putting on what appears to be nothing more than a fun, social event, understand that it’s so much deeper than that. It could be the event that keeps your rising star at your organization because suddenly, he has found some friends. Caitlin Ludwig is IGNITE REACH cochair.

For more information about IGNITE and our events, go to


Educational Attainment / Workforce of the Future

August 2016


Is Pokémon Go a dangerous game? Better Business Bureau issues an alert More Tricks

You only need to check your Facebook news feed to know that the “Pokémon Go” craze is hot. But, many players are not taking into account their safety and what precautions they need to take. The Better Business Bureau has a series of tips to help consumers use “Pokémon Go” safely; as well as avoid getting scammed in a “Pokémon Go” phishing scheme. The scheme is an “upgrade campaign” designed to steal money and identity information from unsuspecting victims, who are informed they need a $12.99 upgrade or their accounts will freeze. The fake message and upgrade are new versions of old scams being reworked into a digital age. Dennis Horton, director of the Rockford Regional Office of the Better Business Bureau, says “Scammers are always looking for opportunities to exploit hot trends that spark high

emotions and often, hot events and new technologies are targeted.” Many of “Pokémon Go” enthusiasts are Millennials who have helped lead the way for Baby Boomers and Gen-X’ers to use mobile phones for everything. Horton notes, “For better or worse – there is an overall dependence on technology – texting, social media, apps and browsing, all which makes the mobile world an irresistible target for scammers.”

Some other tricks being used by scammers to advance with the times and trends: One-ring phone scams. The one-ring scam uses automated calls programmed to look like they came from a domestic number. But when you call back, you’re making an expensive international call. Scammers often use these calls, to verify that phone numbers on a list they’ve obtained are legitimate. They then may call again with another scam. BBB recommends that you register your cell phone with the national Do Not Call Registry. Do not respond to unfamiliar numbers, especially if the phone only rings once, and don’t press any numbers in a voice response call from an unidentified number.

BBB SCAM TRACKER If you feel you have encountered a scam -- please check it out or report it to the Better Business Bureau. You can find reputable businesses and search our databases for free at and see the latest scams in your area and report incidents to the BBB Scam Tracker at www. -- a tool that allows consumers to check out scams online and report scammers. BBB works with law enforcement and the media to publicize scams. More than 30,000 scams have been reported using the online tool since it was rolled out last year.

Job scams. False job postings online may look legitimate, but they’re really schemes to commit fraud, either by asking you to pay for merchandise to sell or for pre-employment screenings like drug tests or as a way to get sensitive information like Social Security numbers that can be used to commit fraud. BBB advises job seekers to be skeptical of unsolicited job offers, especially mystery shopping or work-athome schemes, which are almost always scams. Never give your Social Security number to an employer until you’ve been hired. Your employer will need that information to report your earnings and for payroll tax purposes. Public Wi-Fi scams. Free Internet at libraries, coffee shops and malls is a great convenience, but it’s not secure. Scammers often hack into the networks looking for victims using laptops, tablets or phones. Never use public Wi-Fi for sensitive transactions like banking or making online purchases. Social Media Scams. A series of scams on social media platforms are being reported, including a recent warning from the Better Business Bureau of an Instagram hacking campaign.


Educational Attainment / Workforce of the Future

August 2016


Guest Perspective INSIGHT

Common goals to uncommon results Room at the table for everyone

The greatest asset of our community is our people and the willingness and passion to continue to build upon our successes. There is room at the table for all of us. People often say working together is “more important than ever.” However, working together is always important. Isn’t it? The term “collective impact” was coined by a 2009 Stanford Innovation Review article and described as a way to bring people together to address major social issues. Collective impact addresses complex issues in a structured way in order to achieve social change. Looking at our educational attainment outcomes, poverty, crime and other issues in our community, it is more important than ever to work together to achieve a collective impact. Community members have looked at the data and made a rational and moral decision to engage in transformational work. How do we do it? How do we

transform our public education system to increase outcomes for all students? It starts with a common agenda. According to the Collective Impact Forum, that means coming together to collectively define the problem and creating a shared vision to solve it. Alignment Rockford works with the Rockford Public Schools to establish a vision for all of our working teams. We commit to track our progress in the same way, which allows for continuous improvement. We serve as a strong backbone to the effort, which means Alignment staff is dedicated to organizing the work of the group and coordinating collective efforts to maximize the end result. Our teams are comprised of not-forprofits, diverse businesses, individuals, and Rockford Public Schools faculty and administrators.

Alignment Rockford, as the coordinator of the work, uses the moral authority and will of our networks, board members and partner organizations to align existing resources where they are needed the most. We also bring fidelity of implementation with the Rockford Public Schools’ strategic plan. Our tactical and action plans are always developed in partnership with the school district. We are neutral conveners who empower people to exercise their strengths, knowledge and expertise. Very few organizations have the capacity to make a community-wide impact. A collective effort enhances the impact of each organization while generating a much greater overall impact. The greatest asset of our community is

Bridget French our people and Alignment Rockford the willingness and passion to continue to build upon our successes. There is room at the table for all of us. In my two years with Alignment Rockford, I have been impressed by people’s ability to leave agendas at the door and focus on mutually agreed-upon collective outcomes. Yes, it is heavy. Yes, it is worth it. And yes, in collective impact, there is hope.

Bridget French is executive director at Alignment Rockford. The views expressed are those of French’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.


Educational Attainment / Workforce of the Future

August 2016


Rockford University PERSPECTIVE

Educational attainment: The workforce of the future

There are many students who graduate from District 205 and go on to pursue amazing opportunities! The district has gotten its fair share of criticism over the years, and there is still work that needs to be done, but I would like to commend the efforts that have taken place with the academies and the dedicated teachers that are working hard to make sure their students get the life lessons needed to be a significant part of the future workforce. As an Academy Support Team member, I have seen first-hand the difference that teachers, the academy structure and community volunteers have made in our kid’s lives. Others share my thoughts regarding the good work being executed by District 205. As a community, we witness many success stories of people who are tremendously influenced by their education. At East High School, I am on the Business, Arts, Modern World Languages and Information Technology Academy Support Team (BAMIT). The members and I have seen a growth in the students as they go through the entrepreneurship class, where every

student in the class becomes a staff member of a business designed to sell items of the student’s choosing, usually video gaming systems or video games. A business plan is created and students sell items in a virtual reality game. The students learn how to present to their classmates and to the public. Throughout this process they learn “soft skills” needed to interact with the business world as well as interviewing skills. Another pro of the academy model is some businesses allow students to tour their facilities, as a result of the academies, workplace has seen an increase in RPS students securing good employment upon graduation, particularly in manufacturing companies. The academies connect students and local employers.  Students are exposed to meaningful experiences early on in their education related to community, their careers, entrepreneurship and much more. This enables students to have an in depth understanding and desire to pursue opportunities being offered in higher education. Our education systems are becoming more innovative in developing

programs that will initiate student’s interest and sustain their engagement. In higher education we are able to continue to provide opportunities in a variety of ways to ensure their exposure to the workforce. Many students have persevered and become active members of our society. The long-term dedication we have to our students is something we, as a community, should be extremely proud of. Working at Rockford University offers opportunities to witness the dedication of teachers, community members and students and to experience the stories that lead individuals to where they are today. Students are offered many different avenues of opportunity. I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the programs that we have at Rockford University, which include, a traditional bachelor’s degree program, an accelerated bachelor’s degree program and a graduate program, including a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA). We have partnered with local companies who have hired qualified MBA students as interns,

which has Michele Mehren Rockford University been a positive experience for all involved and has led to employment for most of these students. This continues to be a great educational opportunity for students who are interested in life-long learning. In addition to the partnerships that have already been established between higher education and the community, there are local companies who encourage their employees to continue their education through degree programs and/or professional development. If you are looking to change careers, or work your way up the ladder, looking into advancing your education is one way to show you are investing in your company by bettering yourself! Michele Mehren is asst. director of graduate programs at Rockford University. The views expressed are those of Mehren’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.



Educational Attainment / Workforce of the Future

August 2016

Back TO



Back to school is a time that many children eagerly anticipate — catching up with old friends and making new ones, and settling into a new daily routine. Parents and children alike scan newspapers and websites looking for sales on a multitude of school supplies and the latest clothing fads and essentials. The U.S. Census Bureau offers statistics associated with the return to classrooms by our nation’s students and teachers. BACK-TO-SCHOOL SHOPPING

$8.8 billion

The estimated sales at family clothing stores in August 2015. The sales at bookstores in August 2015 were estimated at $1.6 billion.

$83.5 billion

The estimated dollar value of private and public educational construction in 2015.

$2.9 billion


The percentage of college and graduate school students age 35 and older in October 2014. They made up 34.5 percent of those attending school part time.


The percentage of 18- to 24-yearolds enrolled in college or graduate school in 2014. WORK STATUS

The third quarter 2015 after tax profit estimates for apparel and leather product manufacturing corporations, up $1.2 billion from after tax profits in the second quarter of 2015.



3.1 million

77.2 million

The number of children and adults enrolled in school throughout the country in October 2014 — from nursery school to college. They comprised 25.6 percent of the entire population age 3 and older. Pre-K through 12 Enrollment

48.3 million

Fall enrollment for elementary and secondary public school systems in 2013.


The percentage of children 3 to 6 years old who were enrolled in school as of October 2014.


The percentage of children ages 3 to 6 enrolled in kindergarten who attended all day, as of October 2014.


The percentage of elementary through high school students who had at least one foreign-born parent in October 2014. LANGUAGES

11.8 million

Number of school-age children (5 to 17) who spoke a language other than English at home; 8.5 million of these children spoke Spanish at home. COLLEGES


The number of colleges, universities and professional schools in the United States in 2014. There were 1,083 junior colleges.

The percentage of students enrolled in college who worked less than full time, year-round in 2011; 20 percent worked full time, year-round. The number of enrolled high school students who worked less than full time, year-round in 2011; 146,000 students in high school worked full time, year-round. FIELD OF DEGREE

13.1 million

The number of people age 25 and over who held a bachelor’s degree in business in 2014. Business degrees

were reported by 20.4 percent of the population with a bachelor’s degree,

followed by education (13.0 percent); science and engineering related fields (9.2 percent); engineering (7.8 percent); social sciences (7.7 percent); biological, agricultural and environmental sciences (6.1 percent), and liberal arts and history (5.0 percent).


The percentage of those in 2012 who had a bachelor’s degree in science, technology, engineering or math — commonly referred to as STEM — and were not employed in STEM occupations. REWARDS OF STAYING IN SCHOOL


Average earnings of full-time, year-round workers age 18 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2014. Workers whose highest degree was a bachelor’s had mean earnings of $72,896. Mean earnings for full-time, year-round workers with a high school diploma (includes GED certificate) was $42,094, while workers with less than a ninth grade education had $31,288 average earnings.



Educational Attainment / Workforce of the Future

August 2016


Guest Perspective INSIGHT

Businesses provide real-world experiences

Helping students stand out in the crowd Most high school Facebook pages are packed with pictures and stories of its students in a range of activities and academic successes. On Keith’s page, followers will find images from the Geography Olympiad National Competition and History Bee National Competition to Fine Arts Week and state championship athletics. Student projects are also featured that include painting a mural honoring foreign exchange students, building a camera, designing and creating a prom dress, interning at the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, and filming a video portfolio for Rockford Spine Center. Creating these enriching opportunities for students requires collaboration and partnerships with non-profits, businesses and public agencies, and they are critical to students’ ability to gain admission to competitive colleges and universities. Having spent more than 14 years on both sides of the college admissions process, as a college counselor at independent preparatory schools and as an admissions officer at four selective colleges, I am familiar with the stories about “straight-A” students who aren’t offered admission to one (not one) Ivy League institution, or the valedictorian who ended up going to his or her second or third school of choice.

Gathering Application Materials What colleges are looking for is the student who not only successfully tackles academic challenges but who also is a strong citizen in the school community, and one who stands out by showing an interest or passion for something beyond the standard curriculum. As the new director of college counseling at Keith, I, like my peers, look forward to working with employers and community organizations to create opportunities for students to intern, volunteer, job shadow and participate in activities that connect what they are learning in school to the world beyond the classroom. Partnerships between schools and local business leaders can provide invaluable opportunities for students to gain better understanding of various professions, as well as exposure to the job skills needed to successfully begin a career during or after college. A recent development in higher education was the formation of the Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success. More than 90 colleges and universities came together to create a new method for students to apply to college. Through the Coalition Application, students create a free online “locker,” which according to the website is an “online space with unlimited storage.

Lindsey Duerr Keith Country Day School

Here students can add and organize resources and materials that might be helpful throughout their high school careers and for preparing college applications.” Examples of materials that could, theoretically, be added to a freshman or sophomore’s locker are class projects, favorite essays or a video of a theatre performance. For juniors and seniors, suggested materials are extra-curricular milestones or achievements, a research abstract, or a graded capstone project.

Standing Out How do we help students stand out from their “competition?” The answer could be helping them to be part of a professional network in the Rockford community. Students will stand out if they have had challenging and meaningful experiences that expose them to modern workplaces, that introduce them to professional behavior and expectations, and where they have mentors who are outstanding practitioners. Allowing a student to learn soft-skills such as communication, teamwork, problem solving and collaboration through a job shadowing experience or internship, in conjunction with what is being taught in the classroom setting, will better prepare them for opportunities available to them in college and beyond. Keith School’s Leadership Program regularly brings local business, civic and community leaders into our classrooms. Students garner valuable insight from each speaker, but they are also taught critical skills such as writing a hand-written thank you note, preparing for a meeting by researching participants, and gaining confidence through direct interations with community experts. Colleges and universities are continuingly developing innovative new programs, such as Beloit College’s Center for Entrepreneurship in Liberal Education and Rockford University’s Puri School of Business. These kinds of programs are looking to enroll students who will actively engage in such programs of study. Local business leaders can help teachers expose students through career awareness activities and networking so students will have more meaningful high school experiences and ultimately be better prepared to attend the college of their choosing.  Lindsey Duerr is director of student services at Keith Country Day School. The views expressed are those of Duerr’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.


August 2016

Educational Attainment / Workforce of the Future


Largest increase for education revenue since 2008 Per pupil spending

for the nation increased 2.7 percent from 2013

The U.S. Census Bureau released a report in June that elementary and secondary education revenue are up 3.3 percent nationally, from 2013, amounting to $617.6 billion in fiscal year 2014, based on data from all 15,078 public school systems. Per pupil spending for the nation on average was $11,009, a 2.7 percent increase from 2013; the largest increase since 2008. New York spent the highest per pupil at $20,610, while Utah spent the least at $6,500. Illinois spent $13,077 per pupil in 2014. Rockford School District spent $12,753 per pupil in 2014. The top five school districts for per pupil spending were Boston City Schools, $21,567; New York City School District, $21,154; Anchorage School District (Alaska), $15,596; Baltimore City Schools (Md.), $15,564, and Howard County Schools (Md.), $15,358.

Revenue Sources Public school systems receiving the highest percentage of revenue from the

federal government were Louisiana, 15.3 percent; Mississippi, 14.9 percent; South Dakota, 13.9 percent; Arizona, 13.3 percent, and New Mexico, 12.9 percent. Public school systems receiving the

lowest percentage of revenues from the federal government were Connecticut, 4.0 percent; New Jersey, 4.2 percent; Massachusetts, 4.8 percent; New York, 5.5 percent, and New Hampshire, 5.5 percent.

Sources of School Revenue

Federal State Local

U.S. average 8% Illinois


47% 45%

37% 56%


August 2016

The workforce for the region’s future By Stacy Bernardi, RAEDC In the world of business as well as economic development the discussion of education and workforce development is endless. Over the last three and half years, we have seen a shift from tax and monetary incentives to available workforce and the education of that workforce when it comes to business attraction and retention. The RAEDC is aligned, and partners with organizations such as the Northern Illinois Workforce Alliance (The Workforce Connection), Rockford Public Schools District 205 (RPS 205), Rock Valley College (RVC), Rockford University, Northern Illinois University (NIU), University of Illinois College of Medicine, and other area school districts and higher education institutions. As one of the voices of the business community, and as a part of our mission to help local businesses expand and grow, the RAEDC partners with these organizations to help them understand what gaps in education, certifications and training there may be and how we can help facilitate a way to get the training we need into the region. In the manufacturing industry, it is not only educating the potential employees, it is also educating teachers, parents and the public that manufacturing is different than it was many years ago. It is no longer the manufacturing from the early to mid-20th century. Most manufacturing facilities you walk into today are state-of-art buildings that are clean, safe and more technology driven. In a recent Oxford University study, it is estimated that by 2020

the manufacturing jobs that will be available have not even been created yet. The study also showed that in most manufacturing jobs an engineering degree will be required or at least an engineering technician’s degree. With the evolution of robotics and technology, these jobs have become highly skilled.

New for Our Region In the Rockford Region, we have many great advantages to look forward to in the future. This fall, the NIU/RVC School of Engineering will begin classes.


Developing a region of opportunity This will enable individuals to obtain a four-year engineering degree right here in Rockford at a more affordable cost. The new OSF School of Nursing is expanding and growing at RVC with its new building and will help build the talent pipeline for our rapidly growing healthcare industry. The partnership between SwedishAmerican and Rockford University’s nursing program continues to grow stronger every year. RPS 205 just approved a new master’s degree program for their teachers; allowing them to earn a master’s in education while working for the school district. And the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford for the first time will have first-year residents here in Rockford, and that is just one of many new exciting programs they are working on, along with an expansion that will take place at the college. We are definitely headed in the right direction with the Career and College Readiness Academy programs in the high

schools, helping to guide students to a college or career pathway. Significant improvement is being recorded every year in RPS 205 at all grade levels. All of the programs mentioned above, which is in no way an exhaustive list, help us as a community to keep the talent we have here in our community. There are many programs that we, as business leaders and individuals, can do to help in growing our own talent pipeline. Volunteer in the high schools, have your business offer job shadowing to students, as well as teachers. Invite a student’s parents into your manufacturing facility to learn and understand the manufacturing of today, or offer internships to high school and college students. Participate with the NIU/RVC engineering program by providing opportunities for internships. As a Region of Opportunity, we have many businesses growing and creating more jobs. As we grow and technology advances, relevant education becomes more vital to our long-term workforce development efforts; efforts that require partnerships on all levels, public, private and all educational organizations. Stacy Bernardi is VP for development at the Rockford Area Economic Development Council.

RISE OF THE REST Jimsi Kuborn, vice president of investor relations, recently nominated Rockford for the Rise of the Rest, an opportunity for a local entrepreneur to win $10,000. The Rockford Register Star caught up with her to discuss the opportunity. A regional entrepreneur could win $100,000 if the Rise of the Rest bus tour comes here in October. Rise of the Rest will choose five cities to visit, and at each stop, former AOL CEO and venture capitalist Steve Case will award one promising entrepreneur $100,000 to grow his or her business. Rise of the Rest still is accepting nominations that will determine which cities will receive visits. Visit

What’s up with property taxes? This visual depiction of property taxes is part of the work from the Rockford Area Economic Development Council’s Leadership Council. This multi-year project on property taxes has been undertaken by the RAEDC Leadership Council’s EAV/ Mill Rate team. A part of the team’s goal is educating on

the challenges our community faces with regard to low/ dropping Equalized Assessed Value. The property tax white paper is available by contacting Jimsi Kuborn, staff liaison for the RAEDC’s Leadership Council, at



August 2016

Creating a culture of education Serving district’s west side with downtown location In 2010 Rock Valley College responded to a call from the community to provide access to higher education for residents on the west side of the college’s district by opening its Learning and Opportunity Center. Since that time, the LOC has served more than 2,000 students, 82 percent of which have been first-generation college students. Now the college is poised to build off of that momentum with the opening of its new downtown location housed on the second floor of the Rockford Register Star building. The new space, appropriately named “RVC Downtown,” will ceremoniously open on Aug. 2 with a ribbon-cutting event, and classes are set to begin there on Aug. 20. With twice the classroom space of the college’s previous downtown locations, RVC Downtown has already tripled the enrollment of its predecessors.

Many Courses Offered Downtown A wide range of classes is being offered for students at various educational levels.

Students can take many of the same collegelevel credit courses offered at the RVC main campus, such as English, speech, humanities, psychology and sociology. The new location also includes a Mac lab, which will allow the college to offer courses from its graphic arts technology and computers and information systems programs. RVC Downtown also will offer developmental reading and math, and the college has relocated its adult education programs, including High School Equivalency (GED) and English Language Acquisition (ELA), from its Samuelson Road Center location to RVC Downtown. Rock Valley College’s new and improved presence downtown will only help the college’s commitment to creating a culture of education in the community, which is also a crucial initiative of Transform Rockford. “RVC Downtown is a big win for the college and our community,” said RVC President Mike Mastroianni. “Not only

It’s no secret that a more educated community leads to a more employable workforce, but a look at the numbers is quite telling. can we accommodate more students from the west side of our district, but by centralizing our adult education programs downtown, we can reach more people who need and desire an education.” It’s no secret that a more educated community leads to a more employable workforce, but a look at the numbers is quite telling (see chart). In our region, an individual with at least an associate’s degree will earn on average almost $20,000 more per year than someone with only a high school education.

“The region’s economic wellbeing and wealth is dependent upon a skilled, educated workforce,” said Darcy Bucholz, executive director of the Northern Illinois Workforce Alliance. “Our businesses will thrive and new business will locate here because of the quality, skills and education of our workers and the assurance of a steady pipeline of new workers.” To learn more about RVC Downtown, go to or call 815-921-4290.

Make plans for your participation in 2016 Manufacturing Day: Events week of October 3 -7 The national Manufacturing DaySM concept was “born” in Rockford at the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association (FMA) in 2012 and includes as co-producers the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the Manufacturing Institute (MI) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).

Volunteer Your Company for Student Tours Once again local high school students will have the chance to tour area manufacturers and learn about careers and their industry. In the past several years, more than 30 companies have opened their doors to students and some 15 high schools supported their students touring a subset of these local manufacturers. If you would like to have your company participate this year, please contact Einar Forsman at

FMA Plans Special Events for Manufacturing Day This year FMA is hosting its own MFG DAY event, specifically designed for Rockford-area manufacturers

and other affiliated business professionals, educators and elected officials. On Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 4 p.m., those with an interest in learning the facts about How Manufacturing Drives the Economy are invited to attend a panel presentation and reception at FMA, 833 Featherstone Road in Rockford. It’s an opportunity to hear the kind of in-depth analysis about manufacturing that is rarely reported in today’s news world of “soundbites”. This event is endorsed by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce. Three panelists with deep background in manufacturing will provide different and unique perspectives: Stephen Gold, President & CEO of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) Scott Mayer, Chairman & CEO of QPS Employment Group. Dr. Chris Kuehl, Managing Partner of Armada Corporate Intelligence Interested in attending? Go to events/2016/fma-14 to learn more and register online.

There is no charge to attend.

Register Your MFG DAY event on the official event calendar It is important to add your event to the official MFG DAY calendar at -- and it takes just a few minutes. As an official event host, your company will have access to a wealth of resources for event planning and promotion. What’s more, you can use the complimentary Rock MFG DAY Kit provided by MFG DAY’s strategic content partner, Edge Factor, which offers nearly 20 multi-media resources to turn any event into a very special occasion. Learn more at www. Can manufacturing attract the number of qualified skilled workers it needs over the next decade as Baby Boomers leave the workforce? Positive perception change brought about by experiences like Manufacturing Day may be what’s needed to bring about this result. Manufacturing News is sponsored by RVC BPI


August 2016


Will Chrysler again drive manufacturing jobs? In July, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced that it would spend $350 million retooling its assembly plant in Belvidere to make the Jeep Cherokee in an announcement that had to ease the minds of local workers and business owners. Fiat Chrysler is the largest manufacturing employer in Boone and Winnebago counties with 4,500 workers on three shifts assembling the Jeep Compass, Jeep Patriot and Dodge Dart. In the July announcement, FCA said it expects to add another 300 jobs in Belvidere. The Compass and Patriot are holdovers from before Fiat bought Chrysler in 2009. FCA officials have long wanted to discontinue making two small SUV Jeeps in favor of just one and the company wants to make the new one in Mexico. The Dart was launched to great fanfare in 2012. It was the first compact sedan for Chrysler since the Neon was discontinued in 2005. It was the first car 100 percent designed and produced by Fiat and Chrysler developers. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne even was featured on “60 Minutes” saying that FCA couldn’t afford to not get this one right. Despite mostly positive reviews and definitely being a higher quality offering than the car it replaced on the assembly line, the Dodge Caliber, the Dart never became a hit. Sales in

the U.S. hit 83,388 in 2013 and stayed there. Last year, the Dart set a sales record for the model, but sales were just 87,392. To put the Dart’s sales in perspective, compact sedans made up five of the top 10 selling car models in the United States in 2015. They were:

So, as you see, the Dart never really made a dent in one of the most important segments in auto sales. In January, FCA announced it was discontinuing the Dart and the Chrysler 200 in favor of developing more crossover vehicles. In getting the Jeep Cherokee, which now is being built in Toledo, Ohio, Belvidere workers will be building something that already has shown considerable worldwide appeal. Chrysler has been building Cherokees since 1974, but it stopped selling Cherokees in the United States under that name in 2001. Instead, in the United States they were sold as the Jeep Liberty. Chrysler redesigned the vehicle, it’s a midsize crossover vehicle, and reintroduced it as the Cherokee in 2013. In 2014, its first full year in production, dealers worldwide sold 236,289. In 2015,

that increased to 295,081.

Sunnier Picture for Job Growth? As much as Transform Rockford and other business leaders hope to broaden and diversify the Rockfordarea economy, the business community remains largely tied to automobiles and airplanes. Most trace the beginning of the Great Recession to June 2007. In that month, according to state estimates, there were 164,500 people working in non-farm jobs in Boone and Winnebago counties. Of those, 34,600 were working in manufacturing — or about 21 percent of the workforce. By January 2010, overall employment was down to 139,100 and manufacturing employment had fallen to 25,000. The only people working at the Chrysler assembly plant were a few hundred maintenance workers.

Fiat had acquired Chrysler though the 2009 auto industry bailout and later in 2010 restarted production. After it discontinued the Dodge Caliber for the Dart, FCA added a

third shift. As workers flocked back to the plant, local manufacturing employment climbed with them. By August 2012, manufacturing employment locally was back up over 32,000 and overall non-farm employment topped 150,000 for the first time since December 2008. Manufacturing though has leveled off since, remaining between 31,200 workers and 32,500 workers monthly. In May, according to state estimates, there were 32,000 working in manufacturing. Those numbers haven’t budged even after Woodward Inc., opened its new 450,000-sq.-ft. Rock Cut Campus in July 2015. When it opened, Woodward officials said they would add 600 workers to its local workforce of 1,600 by 2021. Those gains have yet to show up in the overall economic picture. With the Belvidere announcement and the gradual ramp up of new programs at Woodward, the Rock River Valley economy has a chance to actually get back to its manufacturing employment levels pre-Great Recession. Who would have predicted that in January 2010? Alex Gary is president of Alex Gary Communications. The views expressed are those of Gary’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

Rockford incomes lost ground again nationally in 2014 The real personal income of people in Boone and Winnebago counties rose two percent in 2014, growing from $37,752 per person in 2013 to $38,520 in 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. On a positive note, it marked the fifth straight year that real personal income grew in the region since declining sharply to $36,027 in 2009, the darkest year of the Great Recession. Still, according to BEA estimates, real personal income grew by an average of 2.2 for all people in 2014, increasing from $41,310 to $42,207. According to BEA definitions, real income is the net earnings from all sources – real estate, investments, salaries.

This is not a new trend. The Rockford region has been losing ground economically compared with the nation as a whole since the early 1990s. If there was a positive to the BEA release, it is that Rockford made up some ground on some regions it would like to be compared with. The goal of Transform Rockford is to make the region one of the top 25 places to live in the United States by 2025. There are a number of regional rankings out there. One of the easier to follow is This year’s 2016 list of top 10 places to live by Livability was: Rochester, Minn.; Bellevue, Wash.; Madison, Wis.; Santa Barbara, Calif.; Boulder, Colo.; Palo Alto, Calif.; Bismarck, N.D.; Ann

Arbor, Mich.; Iowa City, Iowa, and Sioux Falls, S.D. The average real personal income of those 10 metropolitan markets grew 1.7 percent from 2013 to 2014. In fact, Rockford’s real personal income growth

rate topped Rochester, Madison, Santa Barbara, Bismarck, Iowa City and Sioux Falls.

Alex Gary is president of Alex Gary Communications.



August 2016

Regional, National Indicators THE ECONOMY U.S. Indicators June 2016 Consumer Price Index

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

0.2 percent 4.9 percent

      

287,000 $0.02 0.5 percent 0.6 percent (first quarter, 2016) 0.6 percent (first quarter, 2016) 0.2 percent 0.8 percent

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Unemployment Rates Region / State / Nation Feb 2016

Mar 2016

April 2016

May 2016
















United States





Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Safest States in America, 2016 Every state offers different levels of safety in different areas. WalletHub. com compared the 50 states and District of Columbia on 25 key safety metrics; from “number of assaults per capita” to “unemployment rate” to “estimated losses from climate disasters.” Illinois ranked the 17th safest state, but the second best for “most law-enforcement employees per capita” and “road safety” overall. Top States Based on Safety Factors Total

Home & Community




Natural Disasters

1. Vermont







2. Massachusetts







3. New Hampshire 62.57






4. Rhode Island







5. Maine







6. Connecticut







7. Minnesota







8. Virginia







9. Utah







10. Iowa







17. Illinois







States with Best, Worst Economies analyzed the states with the best and worst economies in 2016 across three key dimensions: economic activity, economic health and innovation potential. Where Illinois Ranks (1=Best-Performing; 25=Avg.) 29th GDP Growth 21st % of Fast-Growing Firms 14th Exports per Capita 23rd Business Startup Activity 27th % of Jobs in High-Tech Industries 18th Annual Median Household Income 32nd Nonfarm Payrolls Change 14th Immigration of U.S. Knowledge Workers 22nd State-Government Surplus/Deficit per Capita 48th Unemployment Rate


August 2016

New events, promotions keep the momentum going The more we create, the more visitors will be attracted to our communities. Just another fun way to get out and become a #Rockfordexplorer. It’s always important to never rest on your laurels, to keep finding and discovering ways to improve yourself or your business. And that is exactly what is happening in our region as organizations and businesses continue to cook up new ways to promote what is going on in the region. Here is a sample of three new events headed our way … 1. Rockford Day 8.15. The new community event is plain and simple: “Rockford Day, held on Aug. 15 (or 8.15), is a new celebration brought to you by Rockford Community Partners. It’s a day that highlights the many great places, activities and people throughout our city through fun and interactive experiences. Rockford Day aims to showcase the people, places and things that make Rockford great, and to introduce people to some of Rockford’s best kept secrets.” The event is a fun way for local businesses and organizations to show their community pride (as 815 is the primary area code for the Rockford area), and to add some spice to a typical Monday. Already, more than 20 Rockford businesses have joined the fun with specials that are themed around 815. Learn more at rockfordday. See page 28 of this issue of The Voice for a more complete listing. 2. The Rock River Anything that Floats Race is back this year and the RACVB is happy to be a part of the rebirth of this community tradition. Andrea Mandala, RACVB marketing manager, has been a part of a large group of community leaders that have been meeting for months to plan the RRATFR event for Aug. 21 along a 1.6-mile stretch of the Rock River. Originally launched


Josh Albrecht Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

in 1976, the race was alive through the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. This year teams can compete with their handcrafted boats in a variety of divisions. In the end, Prairie Street Brewing Company will host the after party. For more details, including how to enter, go to 3. A fun new event hosted by the River District Association is coming to downtown Rockford on Saturday, Sept. 24. Picnic en Plein Air will be an outdoor dining experience like no other, as the RDA will host an engaging evening on Water Street near the City Market Pavilion and along the riverfront walking path and Millennium Fountain in downtown Rockford. Showcasing the great food of Abreo and the great beer of Prairie Street Brewing Company, the event will more importantly showcase the downtown core in a fun and exciting new way. The picnic-style event will feature live music, and several artists will be on-hand to create original works of art that will be sold as part of a fundraiser for the RDA. Water Street will be lined with picnic tables and decorated with string lights and art to create a dynamic and engaging space for the evening. For more information, go online to www. As a city rooted in the maker movement and that prides itself on entrepreneurship, it is no wonder that community groups and organizations keep creating new ways to celebrate the community through engaging community events. The more we create, the more visitors will be attracted to our communities. We are excited for these new events, along with all the upcoming festivals and events that our partners throughout the community host each year. Just another fun way to get out and become a #Rockfordexplorer. Get more information at Josh Albrecht is director of marketing & public affairs at the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. The views expressed are those of Albrecht’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

The Rock River Anything that Floats Race is back this year. This photo is from the 1984 race.



August 2016

Issues to Watch LEGISLATIVE New Illinois Laws for 2016 Here are some laws related to education that have taken affect this year. For specific language of the laws, visit


Boundary Change Article of the School Code SB 224/PA 99-0475 Adds new rules that regional boards of schools trustees must follow when considering a territory’s detachment from a school district. Also makes changes to the bonded indebtedness tax rate for detached or attachment of a territory. Career and Technical Education Teacher Certification HB 1790/PA 99-0035 States that for individuals who were issued the career and technical educator endorsement on an Educator License with Stipulations or a part-time or provisional career and technical educator license on or after Jan. 1, 2015, the license may be renewed if the individual passes a test of basic skills. Career and Workforce Transition Act SB 760/PA 99-0468 Requires a community college to accept up to 30 credit hours from an approved non-degree granting institution if a student has completed one of the following programs at the institution: medical assisting; medical coding; dental assisting; Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC); welding, and pharmacy technician. The Illinois Board of Higher Education must approve the non-degree granting institution as an institution that a student is allowed to transfer credit from. Civics Course Requirement HB 4025/PA 99-0434 Mandates that of the required two years of social studies at least one semester must be civics. The civics course shall focus on government institutions, the discussion of current and controversial issues, service learning and simulations of the democratic process. School

districts may utilize private funding available for the purposes of offering civics education. College Entrance Exams SB 1455/PA 99-0185 Requires that one of the assessments administered by the Illinois State Board of Education shall be accepted by this state’s public institutions of higher education, as defined in the Board of Higher Education Act, for the purpose of student application or admissions consideration. Education Standards Ban on Basis of Race HB 163/PA 99-0084 Prohibits the Illinois State Board of Education from establishing different performance standards based on race or ethnicity. Exoneration Education SB 223/PA 99-0199 Entitles individuals who have been exonerated by the Governor on the grounds of innocence, or those who have received a certificate of innocence from a circuit court, to payment for the course of study and the tests needed to obtain a high school equivalency certificate, or eight semesters or 12 quarters, of full payment of tuition and mandatory fees for higher education. Higher Ed Student Mental Health HB 3599/PA 99-0278 Requires all institutions of higher learning to create a policy and

supporting procedures to ensure that every new student is given the opportunity to complete and submit the authorization form to disclose private mental health information. The institution may disclose that mental health information if a physical, clinical psychologist or qualified examiner makes a determination that the student poses a clear danger to himself or others. Medical Assistant Grants HB 3577/PA 99-0359 Requires, subject to appropriation, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to receive and consider applications for grant assistance from anyone who is enrolled or has been accepted for enrollment in a medical assistant program at a public community college that will lead to certification to work as a medical assistant. PUNS Awareness SB 226/PA 99-0144 Requires the Department of Human Services and the State Board of Education to develop and implement an online training program for at least one designated employee in every public school in this state to educate him or her about the Prioritization of Urgency of Need for Services (PUNS) database. Rural Transition Program SB 813/PA 99-0027 Establishes that the Cooperative Extension of the University of Illinois may establish a Rural Transition Program, rather than mandating it. School Board Elections SB 82/PA 99-0091 Provides that for community unit school districts formed before Jan. 1, 1975, and combined school districts formed before July 1, 1983, a proposition to change to an at large school board without restriction by area of residence can be approved by either 1) a majority of those voting in each congressional township in the area comprising the school district or 2) by two-thirds of those voting in the election.

School CO2 Detector Requirement HB 152/PA 99-0470 Requires schools to be equipped with approved carbon monoxide alarms or detectors. Student Teacher Background Checks SB 706/PA 99-0021 Student teacher applicants must submit to a finger print analysis that is performed by the Illinois State Police and FBI. Additionally, school districts must verify that the applicant is not on the sex offender, child murderer or violent offender against youth registries. The requirements apply to all non-profit, for-profit and regular elementary and secondary school districts. Student Transfer Achievement SB 806/PA 99-0316 Creates the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act, which would allow a community college student to be eligible for transfer into a baccalaureate program of an Illinois public university, with junior status, if the student meets certain requirements. University Civil Service Act Changes HB 3102/PA 99-0072 With regard to appointments and promotions at state universities, this legislation states that if a position needs to be filled, or if a superior position in the promotional line needs to be filled, the executive director will certify to the employer the names and addresses of the persons with the three highest scores on the appropriate register, instead of three persons standing highest upon the appropriate promotional register.


August 2016


the News IN Members THEin NEWS

1. Kris Kullberg

2. Dr. Michael Perry

3. Troy E. Haggestad

4. Dr. Shannon Lizer

5. Dr. Eric W. Fulcomer

6. Matthew D. Phillips

7. Ronnie Robertson

8. Kim Ballard

9. Andrea Henrey

10. Amanda Ritter

11. Dr. Kari Chase

12. Lee Yang

13. Dr. Arturo Manas

14. Marlana Dokken

15. Anna Ma

16. Allison M. Huntley

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

BOARD APPOINTMENTS Kris Kullberg (1), account manager, Northwest Community Center, was elected to Remedies Renewing Lives board of directors. Michael Perry (2), Ph.D., Rockford University faculty athletic representative, was selected as a 2016 NCAA Division III FAR fellow. Troy E. Haggestad (3), a partner with Williams McCarthy LLP, joined the United Way of Rock River Valley board. Shannon Lizer (4), Ph.D., APN, FNP-BC, COHN-S, FAANP, dean of graduate affairs & research at Saint Anthony College of Nursing, was inducted as a fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners in San Antonio, Texas in July.

NEW HIRES, PROMOTIONS, RETIREMENTS Dr. Eric W. Fulcomer (5) took over as 18th president of Rockford University on July 1. Matthew D. Phillips (6) was named as interim vice president for enrollment management for 2016 to 2017; the position previously held by Dr. Fulcomer. Ronnie Robertson (7) is the new director of the Burpee Student Center and Student Activities. Kim Ballard (8) joined Illinois Bank & Trust as its newest senior personal banker at the Perryville Banking Center. SwedishAmerican welcomed Andrea Henrey (9), who joined

17. Dr. Thomas Schiller

18. Dr. Timothy Flynn

SwedishAmerican Palliative Care as an adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner with Dr. Juliette Kalweit and Catherine Gentz, APN, and Amanda Ritter (10), who joined Dr. Neal Kellenberger at SAMG/ Belvidere. Curtis D. Cook, P.E., joined Chastain & Associates LLC as a principal and manager of the Rockford office. Ticomix, Inc., welcomed former employee David Achilli as business technology advisor in its IT & Networking group. Kari Chase, DPM (11), joined Mercyhealth’s podiatry team; joining Nathan Norem, DPM, at the Rockton Avenue clinic. Mercyhealth welcomed board Lee Yang, D.O. (12), to its maternal fetal medicine program. Arturo Manas, M.D. (13), obstetrician and gynecologist, joined SwedishAmerican State Street OB/ GYN. Rockford Metropolitan Agency for Planning and EDDNI welcomed Marlana Dokken (14) as regional grants program manager and Anna Ma (15) as metropolitan planner. Allison M. Huntley (16) joined HolmstromKennedyPC as associate. Dr. Thomas Schiller (17) was named chief clinical integration officer for SwedishAmerican and Dr. Timothy Flynn (18) as president of the SwedishAmerican Medical Group, succeeding Dr. Schiller. Jennifer Stark is the new executive director of the Golden Apple Foundation.

19. Matt Lynch

20. Stephanie Hoftender

The Chicago Blackhawks hired Derek King as an assistant coach with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League, joining Head Coach Ted Dent. MembersAlliance Credit Union promoted Matt Lynch (19) to director of marketing and Stephanie Hoftender (20) to branch manager of its Rockton location. Aqua-Aerobic Systems, Inc., promoted Kevin Heasley (21) to vice president, operations and James Horton (22) to vice president, process group. UNION Savings BANK promoted Mary K. Vogel (23) and Stephen R. Kroeger (24) to senior vice president. Charla Salathe (25) joined Blackhawk Bank as a mortgage planner serving the Greater Beloit market. James A. Gibson, PLS (26), joined McClure Engineering Associates, Inc., as survey department manager. J. Joseph McCoy (27) and Jocelyn L. Koch (28) have become shareholders of the law firm of HolmstromKennedyPC. Jim Pieschel (29), Blackhawk Bank, was promoted to senior vice president, business banking.

EMPLOYEE/COMMUNITY RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS Adey Khader, Entré Computer Solutions, completed the requirements to become a Microsoftcertified professional. Aaron McDonald and Mary Caltagerone completed the requirements for Bitdefender as certified technical specialists.

21. Kevin Heasley

22. James Horton

Earl Dotson, Jr. (30), chief of communications and community engagement, Rockford Public Schools, earned his Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) by the Universal Accreditation Board. Meridian named Ken Tillotson (31) as Employee of the Month for May for adoption of its pre press workflow system in record time and adapting to corporate and downtown pre press environments. The American Hockey League named Mike Peck, director of business operations for the Rockford IceHogs, as the winner of the league’s Ken McKenzie Award for the 2015-16 season. William Geske (32), Edward Jones, won several awards at the firm’s summer regional meetings, including the Goodknight Completion Award, the A.F. McKenzie Award and the Circle of Success Award. Steve Danekas, Edward Jones, Rockford, won the firm’s exclusive Spirit of Caring Award. Grant Moore (33), financial advisor, Savant Capital Management, was named to InvestmentNew’s “40 Under 40” nationwide list. At 18, he was hired as Savant’s very first intern and now is overseeing roughly what the firm had in total assets at that time. Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) was named Legislator of the Year at Insurance Industry Legislative Day in Springfield. More than 250 agents and company representatives from five associations attended the presentation.

(continued on page 23)

23. Mary K. Vogel

24. Stephen R. Kroeger



August 2016

the News IN Members THEin NEWS

25. Charla Salathe

26. James A. Gibson

27. J. Joseph McCoy

28. Jocelyn L. Koch

29. Jim Pieschel

30. Earl Dotson, Jr.

31. Ken Tillotson

32. William Geske

33. Grant Moore

34. Rob Adolphson

35. Craig Thompson

36. Adam Fleming

37. Bill Covell

38. Dr. Brian Bear

39. Lana Engen

40. Mike Lopez

Continued from page 22 Rob Adolphson (34), service manager, Pro Com Systems, Division of Ballard Companies, Inc., achieved the certification of Certified Fiber Optic Technician and Craig Thompson (35), project manager, as Certified Fiber Optic Technician Instructor. Adam Fleming (36), partner, WilliamsMcCarthy LLP, was recognized by the Rockford Area Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals for pro bono legal services to low-income individuals in the Rockford region. He was nominated by Prairie State Legal Services Inc.

Bill Covell (37), senior engineering technician, Fehr Graham, is one of only 274 public works professionals in the United States to receive the American Public Works Association’s Certified Public Infrastructure Inspector credential. Castle Connolly Medical, Ltd., named Dr. Brian Bear (38), hand surgery specialist, OrthoIllinois, as a Castle Connolly Top Doctors for the third year in a row. The honor goes to only four to five percent of U.S. doctors. Lana Engen (39), private wealth advisor, Ameriprise Financial, achieved Million Dollar Round Table status by the Premier Association of


41. Dr. Scott Trenhaile

42. Rachel Viel

Financial Professionals® for the second time. Mike Lopez’s (40) control of graphic elements for the new Meridian website, Meridian Company Storefront, and its special marketing projects, lead to it winning the Four51 Excellence in Design award.

Surgeon Scott Trenhaile, M.D. (41), OrthoIllinois, coauthored an article, “Massive Rotator Cuff Repair With All-arthroscopic Patch Augmentation: A Surgical Technique” in the June 2016 Techniques in Shoulder & Elbow Surgery. Rachel Viel (42), M.S., PT, CWcHP, and certified XRTS work capacity evaluator, presented at the 31st annual Claims Handling Seminars hosted by Heyl Royster in May and June. Brian Bear, M.D.; Scott Trenhaile, M.D., and Robin Borchardt, M.D., addressed area employers’ occupational health and injury questions during the annual Spring Workers’ Compensation Dinner Panel in May.

Advertising as a tool for business growth Growth is on top of every business owner’s mind. The U.S. Small Business Administration offers tips on generating sales through good use of advertising and public relations. Advertising done correctly can do wonders for product sales, but is not a panacea for business growth.

■■ Sell useless or unwanted products or services.

Virtues, Drawbacks of Advertising

■■ Promote your business to customers, investors, and others.

Unlike public relations, with advertising, you have complete control of your message: where, when and how often your message will appear, how it will look and what it will say. Be consistent in presenting your company’s image and send your sales message repeatedly to build awareness and trust. However, advertising takes planning and money. Generally, you’ll pay less per ad in newspapers and magazines by agreeing to run several ads over time rather than deciding on an issue-by-issue basis. You’ll save money by preparing a number of ads at once. Results take time and persistence. Effectiveness improves gradually over time because it’s impossible for every customer to see every ad. You must repeatedly remind prospects and customers about the benefits of doing business with you.

What Advertising Cannot Do

Blueprint for Advertising Plan

■■ Create an instant customer base.

1. Design the Framework What is the purpose of your advertising program? Define your company’s long-range goals, then map out how marketing can help attain them. Set measurable goals so you can evaluate the success of your campaign.

What Advertising Can Do ■■ Remind customers and inform prospective customers about the benefits of your product or service. ■■ Establish and maintain your distinct identity. ■■ Enhance your reputation. ■■ Encourage existing customers to buy more of your product/service. ■■ Attract new customers and replace lost ones. ■■ Slowly build sales to boost your bottom line.

■■ Cause an immediate, sharp increase in sales. ■■ Solve cash flow or profit problems. ■■ Substitute for poor or indifferent customer service.

2. Fill in the Details What are the features and benefits of your product or service? With features, think of automobile brochures that list engine, body and performance specifications. Determine the benefits those features provide to your customers. Who is your audience? Create a profile of your best customer. Be as specific as possible, as this will be the focus of your ads and media choices. Identify your competitors and their strengths and weaknesses. Knowing what your competition offers that you lack -- and vice versa -- helps you show prospects how your product or service is special. It also helps you find a niche in the marketplace. 3. Arm Yourself with Information What do you know about your industry, market and audience? Information can come from U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Commerce materials, as well as industry associations, trade publications and professional organizations. Ask your customers about themselves, their buying preferences and media habits. Or hire a professional market research firm to conduct your research. 4. Evaluating Media Choices Knowing your audience will help you choose the advertising vehicles to deliver your sales message most effectively. Take advantage

of any special editorial or promotional coverage. Newspapers often run special sections featuring real estate, investing, home and garden improvement, and tax advice. Magazines often focus on specific themes. 5. Using Other Promotional Avenues Ideas include imprinting your company name and graphic identity on pens, clocks, calendars and other giveaway items. Put your message on billboards, inside buses, on vehicle and building signs, on point-ofsale displays and on shopping bags. Co-sponsor events with nonprofit organizations and advertise your participation, attend or display at consumer or business trade shows, create tie-in promotions with allied businesses, distribute newsletters, conduct seminars, undertake contests or sweepstakes, send ad flyers along with billing statements, or develop sales kits with brochures, product samples and application ideas.

The Advertising Campaign Establish the theme that identifies your product or service in all of your advertising reflecting your special identity and the particular benefits of your product or service. Tag lines reinforce the single most important reason for buying your product or service. Source: U.S. Small Business Administration


August 2016


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

Monday, August 1 Court Street United Methodist Church hosts Amazing Grace Camp, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., through Aug. 5 at 215 N. Court St., Rockford for children in grades 1 to 8. Culminates in a performance during worship service on Sunday, Aug. 7 at 10 a.m. Call 815-962-6061 for more information. SwedishAmerican Medical Group opens its new North Main Clinic clinic in the existing 9,400 sq.-ft. InnovaMed Clinic at 2601 N. Main St., Rockford.

Tuesday, August 2 Ribbon cutting ceremony and self-guided tours of the new RVC Downtown at the Rockford Register Star news tower, 99 E. State St.

Wednesday, August 3 Transform Rockford presents a Community Idea Exchange on Leadership & Youth, Quality, 5:30 to 7 p.m., at Boylan Catholic High School, 4000 St. Francis Dr., Rockford. Draft strategy statements available for review at www.transformrockford. org.

Thursday, August 4 Rock Valley College Center for Learning in Retirement hosts its Annual Meeting, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., at Starlight Theatre on the main campus, 3301 N. Mulford Road, Rockford. Free. Open to the public. Park at lots #1 and #2 off the Mulford Road entrance. Call 815-921-3931 for questions. The YMCA of Rock River Valley presents its Intern Challenge Finale, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Veteran’s Memorial Hall, 211 N. Main St., Rockford. Free and open to the

public. Program starts at 11:30 a.m. “Boardroom” selection of the winner of the local 2016 Intern Challenge, modeled after the hit series, “The Apprentice.” Includes lunch. RSVP at intern-challenge-finaletickets-26550907479.

Friday, August 5 Rockford Mass Transit District presents its 11th annual fundraiser, RMTD Driving the Dream Golf Classic, at Timber Pointe Golf Course, 5750 Woodstock Road, Poplar Grove. The best ball scramble format has a 9 a.m. shot gun start, 18 holes of golf, after-golf buffet and chance to win $10,000. Register by Aug. 1. Contact Lisa Brown, 815-961-2226 or lbrown@ Festa Italiana takes place Aug. 5 to 7 at Boylan High School, 4000 St. Francis Dr., Rockford. Italian food and pastries, entertainment, Bocce tournaments, carnival rides and live music. Visit

Saturday, August 6 First National Bank and Trust Company, 1882 Inman Parkway, Beloit, hosts a free Shred Day, 9 a.m. to noon. Office Pro will ensure secure destruction of paper documents containing personal information. Visit First National Bank and Trust presents a free Electronic Recycling Drive, 9 a.m. to noon, in partnership with Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois at 300 E. Main St., Rockton. Cell phones, computers, printers, small appliances, VCRs, DVD players and stereos accepted. Visit for a complete list. The 32nd annual State Street Mile, presented by SwedishAmerican, a division of UW Health, starts at 5 p.m., near Summit and State and ends at

the Rock River on State Street. Events include Masters, Girls k-12, Boys k-12 and Open. Register at StateStreetMile16. Womanspace, 3333 Maria Linden Dr., Rockford, presents Artscursion to O’Keeffe’s Southwest, its thirdannual Passport to the Arts event, at 5 p.m. The seven-acre campus will be transformed into the Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, N.M., home of Georgia O’Keeffe. Tickets at www. or 815877-0118.

Sunday, August 7 Family Counseling Services presents its first annual Brunch on the Dock at the Prairie Street Brewhouse Dock. Features Bloody Mary and Mimosa bars, music by Paper Airplane, fabulous door prizes. Reservations recommended at www. Tickets onsite if space allows. The Rosecrance Recovery 5K Walk/ Run, “Every Step Counts,” takes place at 7 a.m., at the Rosecrance Berry Campus, 8616 Northern Ave., Rockford. Sign up at recovery5k.

Tuesday, August 9 Women of Today’s Manufacturing hosts a Golf Outing at Timber Pointe Golf Course, 5750 Woodstock Road, Poplar Grove. Registration, 10:30 a.m.; lunch, 11 a.m.; shotgun start, noon; cocktails, 4:30 p.m., and dinner and prizes, 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, August 10 University of Illinois Rockford hosts a free, one-day Pre-Health Advisors Conference, 7:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., for advisors, faculty and career services personnel to tour the campus and meet faculty and students. Complimentary breakfast and lunch provided. Register at prehealth.

Transform Rockford presents a Community Idea Exchange on Living the Brand, Communications, 5:30 to 7 p.m., at Anderson Japanese Gardens, 318 Spring Creek Road, Rockford. Draft strategy statements available for review at

Saturday, August 13 Rockford Art Museum presents a new summer party, Art with a View, at the transformed Riverwalk Amphitheater, Riverfront Museum Park, 711 N. Main St., along the Rock River. Reserve by Aug. 2 at or 815-9682787.

Saturday, August 20 Chicago Rockford International Airport and the United Parcel Service present Run the Runway, with a 5K, one-mile and kid’s fun run at 8 a.m. Fundraiser for local charities, Winnebago County Court Appointed Special Advocates and United Way of Rock River Valley. For event updates and registration information visit www.runsignup. com. Rockford Park District presents Atwood’s Excellent Adventure, 9 to 11 a.m., at Seth B. Atwood Park, 2685 New Milford School Road, Rockford. Bring the family and your favorite hiking shoes for an “Amazing Race”-style trip around Atwood Park. (Use the Rydberg Road entrance.) Free. No registration.

Sunday, August 21 Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau announces the Rock River Anything That Floats Race, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The course runs along the Rock River for 1.65 miles and finishes at Prairie Street Brewhouse for a festive post-race party. Register at

Illinois mosquito reduction strategy

Mosquito that carries West Nile virus.

Mosquito that carries Zika virus.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Illinois Department of Public Health announced a plan in July to reduce the threat of mosquito-borne diseases in Illinois, like West Nile virus and Zika virus, by removing used tires from public and abandoned properties. “Used tires threaten Illinois communities by increasing the risk of disease transmission,” said Alec Messina, acting director of the IEPA. “This collaborative effort between IEPA and IDPH will allow us to assist local governments most vulnerable to West Nile virus and the possible spread of Zika virus by removing prime breeding habitats for disease-carrying mosquitoes.” Under the plan, Illinois EPA will remove used tires from certain locations across the state. The two agencies divided Illinois into three priority zones based on likelihood to see Zika virus, such as the southern counties typically with hotter weather. Zone 1, a

straight east-west line going through Effingham and south, is the highest priority area. Zone 2, a straight east-west line through Peoria south to the Effingham line, is second. Zone 3, a straight east-west line through Peoria north to the Wisconsin border, is third. Illinois EPA will collect, transport and properly dispose of used tires from public and abandoned properties, monitor regulated used tire sites and use larvicide to actively treat and mitigate known sources of improperly managed used tires. The Illinois EPA and IDPH will enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement to allocate $750,000 from the Used Tire Management Fund. Illinois EPA will announce collection locations and results at a later date. The Illinois EPA’s Used Tire Program is funded by a $2.50 per tire fee that consumers pay when purchasing tires at retail. Illinois citizens produce more than 14 million used tires annually.

Source: Senator Syverson’s Week in Review: July 18 – 20



August 2016

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

New Illinois laws passed to aid violent crime investigations; ban addictive bath salts A new law signed in July, “Molly’s Law,” will help the families of crime victims by extending the statute of limitations on violent crimes and strengthening Illinois’ Freedom of Information Act laws. Other measures also signed included: expanding insurance coverage in Illinois to include cutting-edge breast cancer screenings and targeting the retail sales of synthetic drugs.

Governor Signs Molly’s Law Molly’s Law was signed by Ill. Governor Rauner to strengthen the state’s Freedom of Information Act and extend the period of time in which a victim’s family can file a wrongful death lawsuit when the act is intentional and violent in nature. House Bill 6083 allows a lawsuit in a wrongful death case to be brought within five years after the date of a death, or within one year after the criminal case against the perpetrator concludes. Additionally, House Bill 4715 provides for fines — up to $1,000 per day — in cases where a public body fails to comply with a court order resulting from a FOIA action. The new laws (House Bill 6083/ House Bill 4715) were sought by the family of Molly Young, a 21-year-old victim of a gunshot wound who died under questionable circumstances in 2012. The Young family faced an uphill battle in the pursuit of justice for Molly, hindered by the state’s statute of limitations for wrongful death cases and burdensome FOIA compliance issues. As a result, in May 2015 a judge dismissed a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Larry Young, ruling Young failed to file the lawsuit within two years of Molly’s death. House Bill 6083 and House Bill 4715 go into effect on Jan. 1, 2017.

Coverage to Include 3D Breast Cancer Screenings Insurance plans in Illinois, including Medicaid, will now cover breast tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography, following the governor’s recent approval of Senate Bill 466. The legislation was unanimously supported by Illinois lawmakers, and praised as a critical tool to help with

early detection of breast cancer. Breast tomosynthesis is a newer, more effective form of breast cancer screening than low-dose mammography. It works by creating an image of the breast through a series of x-rays from different angles. This enables doctors to have a clear, three-dimensional image; making it easier to see through dense tissue and detect breast cancers. The Illinois Department of Public Health projects that 10,290 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, and that the number will increase to 10,440 women in 2017. Senate Bill 466 took effect immediately.

OSTI-Edgebrook Physical Therapy held a ribbon cutting on July 15 for its first clinic in the Rockford area at 1643 N. Alpine Road. The clinic has been open since February at the Shops of Edgebrook and managed by treating therapist, Josh Meyers, PT, DPT, OCS. It’s the 10th of Orthopedic and Sports Therapy Institute (OSTI’s) clinics.

Law Banning Sale of Addictive Bath Salts Governor Rauner signed Senate Bill 210, giving law enforcement another tool to curb the growing number of retailers selling synthetic drugs, popularly known as “bath salts.” The new law targets the sale of these synthetic drugs by prohibiting retailers from selling, or offering for sale, any material that contains the “cathinone” chemical structure found in bath salts. Once the law takes effect on Jan. 1, 2017, it will be a Class 3 felony if the act is violated, which could result in a potential fine up to $150,000. In addition, units of local government may revoke a violator’s license. Use of bath salts has been on the rise across the country for the last decade. It has been difficult for law enforcement to crack down on the bath salt epidemic, because in order to get around state and federal laws, manufacturers of synthetic drugs continue to modify their formulas. Bath salts are chemically similar to amphetamines, cocaine and MDMA (ecstasy), and produce effects such as paranoia, hallucinations, increased sociability, panic attacks and excited delirium. They often are sold disguised as common bath salts; frequently at convenience stores, smoke shops and adult stores. Bath salts are known to be extremely addictive, and even deadly. Source: Senator Syverson’s Week in Review: July 18 – 20

Alden Park Strathmoor held a ribbon cutting on July 18 at 5668 Strathmoor Dr., Rockford.

Vici Fitness held a ribbon cutting on July 21 at 4911 26th Ave., Rockford.

Integrative Healing Center held a ribbon cutting on July 21 at 6019 Fincham Dr., Rockford.


August 2016


Business Briefs BUSINESS BRIEFS Franklin Park Conservatory. This is his first exhibit in the Chicago region, and the Rockford Park District anticipates roughly 32,500 visitors and an economic impact of $1.6 million.

Rockford Chamber members appear bolded. Thank you for your support of your fellow Chamber members. Several area organizations received $10,000 grants from the Mill Foundation including: Boy Scouts/ Blackhawk Area Council, Winnebago County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), Remedies Renewing Lives and Rockford Reachout Jail Ministry. SwedishAmerican Hospital was named a platinum-level, Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association. Previously it had achieved gold-level. Since 2015, it has reduced workers compensation costs by nearly 10.5 percent, and reduced average sick days per employee. MPOWR, a social software division of SupplyCore, Inc., announced that four community agencies use its centralized data management tool: United Way of Greater Williamsburg, United Way of Door County, The Impact Center and City Mission of Schenectady/Schenectady Works. Ignition Studio, Inc., launched a campaign microsite for Sievert at that promotes its Powerjet handheld torch system. Rockford Health System, along with Rockford Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, announced the 12 winners of the 2016 Minority Nursing Scholarship Awards. Each received $2,000 toward 2016-2017 educational expenses. Since 2008, RHS has given $138,000 to minority nursing students. Six Thayer Lighting Inc. team members were recently approved as qualified Trade Ally energy experts in the ComEd Small Business Energy Savings (SBES) program: Karl Arvidson, Dan Bishoff, Barb Contarino, Henry Eskildsen, Raphael Gonzalez, and Matt Honson. SwedishAmerican, a division of UW Health, announced that UW Health’s American Family Children’s Hospital made the annual U.S. News & World Report Best Children’s Hospital rankings in six medical and surgical specialties: cancer, 36th; gastroenterology, 34th; nephrology, 25th; orthopedics, 31st; pulmonary, 29th, and urology, 23rd. Beef-A-Roo, Inc., is renovating all seven of its area locations. The three at Lexus Drive, North Second Street and Riverside Boulevard have been completed with wi-fi, lounge seating areas, new flat screen TVs and updated furniture. The South Alpine Road renovation starts late summer with completion expected by early fall. The remaining three stores will be completed by the end of 2016 or early 2017.

Per Mar Security Services acquired Neighborhood Patrol, Inc. (NPI Security Services) of Urbandale, Iowa; adding 120 employees.

University of Illinois Extension Winnebago County and Northwest Community Center partner in a 4-H Teen Teacher program. Middle-school-aged youth hosted “4-H Health Day Blast,” with booths on dental hygiene, first aid and fire safety, fitness, nutrition and wellness, education and the dangers of tobacco, for more than 70 younger youth. Shown (from left): Tiffani Singleton, Tatyana Yancy, Nakara Watson, Mary Falls, Javarus Williams, Tyrese Witt and Myarah Jackson. SwedishAmerican held an employee peanut butter and jelly drive at 21 SwedishAmerican locations during Founder’s Week, June 6 to 14, yielding more than 1,000 pounds of peanut butter and jelly for roughly 17,000 sandwiches for children during summer months. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services awarded $700,000 in oral health awards for two clients of theFranaGroup in Illinois and Indiana to expand integrated oral health care services and increase the number of patients served. Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau welcomed the 2016 Midwest Challenge Cup, a youth rugby competition on June 24 to 26; for the second year at Mercy Sportscore 2. Roughly 500 total players competed; generating $99,000 in estimated economic impact. Rockford Health System received Platinum designation in 2015 by the American Heart Association’s Fit-Friendly Worksites program. It had reached the gold level for the three prior years. Klaas Financial celebrated 40 years in business with a Rockford Chamber Business After Hours at its Loves Park office and launched the Klaas Financial Little Free Library mailbox for people to take a book or leave one for others. Rockford Park District, Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, Mercyhealth and Winnebago County Regional Tourism Facility celebrated the completion of Phase 1 of the Mercy Sportscore 2 Expansion with a ceremonial first Frisbee throw. The renovation includes five new multipurpose turf fields, a new pavilion area and improvements to Wedgbury Stadium. Rockford Rescue Mission earned for the fourth time a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator.

The SwedishAmerican Emergency Medical Services department kicked off an Illinois Department of Public Health-approved Mobile Integrated Healthcare program with rural fire departments including Byron, HarlemRoscoe and Rockton. The program includes Metro and Mercy Ambulance Services, specifically for patients in the 61101 zip code. OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center was recognized as a gold-level Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association. Savant Capital Management named Starlight Theatre as its $2,500 grant recipient for June, Friends of the Coronado for July and Rockford Art Museum for August as a part of its yearlong celebration of its 30-year anniversary. Ignition Studio, Inc., completed the design and development of a new brand of paint for Testors, called Testors Craft. SwedishAmerican Foundation approved a grant to hire a nutritionist for Remedies Renewing Lives, and The Mill Foundation a grant for a walk-in counseling position for the domestic violence shelter. Ringland-Johnson Construction is increasing safety protocols by early August according to the National Fire Protection Association’s Life Safety Code for all four schools of Meridian Community Unit School District #223. Software firm WinMan LLC launched its redesigned website, www.winman. com, with a cleaner and more attractive responsive design and closer alignment to its strategic goals for growth and expansion within the United Kingdom and United States. Internationally known artist Bruce Munro will unveil his garden-wide sculpture exhibition, Bruce Munro: LIGHT, at Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, June 3 to Nov. 13, 2017. Other exhibitions have appeared in Longwood Gardens, Atlanta Botanic Garden, Desert Botanic Garden and

Chartwell Agency was hired by theFranaGroup, to develop content, coordinate media relations and manage the planning and logistics for its annual scholarship event at Burpee Museum of Natural History. WNIJ 89.5 FM launched new local and national programs beginning in August: TED Radio Hour, Ask Me Another hour-long puzzle gameshow, and The Moth Radio Hour. Sessions from Studio A in DeKalb will showcase regional and touring musicians. Several programs will end: The World, The Best of Car Talk, Bullseye and Free Range Radio. Illinois Bank & Trust donated $8,000 to the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation in support of Camp Casper, a weeklong, educational day camp for children, 5 to 13, in collaboration with the Galena Art and Recreation Center. 1st Step Chiropractic, S.C., celebrated at a June ribbon cutting ceremony its name change to Upper Cervical Care Center – Rockford to emphasize its work in correcting misalignments of the upper cervical spine. Visit www.myrockford SwedishAmerican Emergency Management Services department through the SwedishAmerican Foundation provided four automated external defibrillators worth $7,200 to the Rochelle Fire Department, Ogle County Sherriff’s Tactical Medical Team and Rochelle Junior Tackle program. The Women’s Center at Mercyhealth, which works in partnership with A Silver Lining Foundation to provide free diagnostic services to uninsured and underinsured patients, received $3,000 from the Victory Lap Committee to fund mammograms and diagnostics for women. The Victory Lap Committee is a group of Rockford Register Star employees that work to provide services to cancer patients, particularly women battling breast cancer. More than 50 percent of the committee’s women are survivors. SwedishAmerican Foundation opened four Little Free Libraries around the hospital campus and surrounding neighborhoods; stocked with free books for the public to take and return.



August 2016

Business Briefs BUSINESS BRIEFS Mercyhealth Roscoe cut the ribbon on July 13 on its newly expanded medical center at 5000 Prairie Rose Dr., Roscoe, with internal medicine, OB/GYN, pediatrics, urgent care, lab and x-ray services, and now physical therapy, podiatry, mammography, CT, MRI and ultrasound diagnostic services. Ignition Studio launched a new e-commerce site for Roper Whitney at; the culmination of an extensive re-brand over the last 12 months. It launched a product innovation microsite for HD Electric, A Textron Company at Rockford Public Library launched a new, free library app, which includes Story Time with Ms. Liliana, who reads children’s books in English and Spanish. Illinois Bank & Trust made an $11,500 donation in July through funds raised by the Pink Ribbon Debit Card program to Crusader Community Health to help hundreds of women who can’t afford to pay for mammograms. KMK Media Group expanded its services to include aerial drone video and photography. Visit www. to view KMK’s drone in action.

Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau partnered with Rockford Park District to welcome the United States Specialty Sports Association 2016 Girl’s 14U Class B National Softball Fastpitch Championships, July 19 to 23, at Mercy Sportscore 1. The event drew more than 900 players, coaches and fans, who spent more than $134,275 at Rockford area businesses. SwedishAmerican, a division of UW Health, will partner with Woodward, Inc., to provide an employer-based health clinic for its 3,600 employees and their dependents. Woodward Health Center will be located in SwedishAmerican’s Immediate Care Clinic at 2473 McFarland Road in Rockford, and is scheduled to open on Jan. 1, 2017.   WNIJ 89.5 FM, managed by Northern Public Radio, will move its Rockford activities from Riverfront Museum Park to the Northern Illinois University campus on East State Street in Rockford as of Oct. 1. SwedishAmerican awarded 15 one-year $1,000 scholarships to children of its employees as a part of its Associates’ Children Scholarship Program. CEANCI received a $91,050 grant for 21st Century Workforce Development from the Howard D.

Colman Memorial Fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, which aims to impact more than 4,000 high school students enrolled in graphic design, early childhood, business, automotive technology, engineering, manufacturing and hospitality courses in area school districts. Rockford Art Deli was designated by the Illinois Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism’s Illinois Made program to be a part of a select group of Illinois makers it will feature in summer through in-depth videos, exclusive web content and Illinois Made-inspired travel ideas at Woodward, Inc., reported financial results for third quarter of fiscal year 2016, with aerospace segment net sales up seven percent to $309 million and industrial segment net sales down four percent to $199 million over third quarter of last year. Richard L. Johnson Associates, Inc., Architects celebrated 35 years in business on July 1, with 30 of those years at 4703 Charles St., Rockford. RLJA specializes in Pre K to 12 educational and commercial planning and design in northern Illinois. Construction is underway on Larson & Darby Group’s new design for the

renovation of the Woodward Technology Center at Rock Valley College. Nearly 2,000 square feet of additional lobby space will be reclaimed under the existing exterior entrance canopy. Rockford Housing Authority will receive $200,961 in grants through the Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency Public Housing Family Self-Sufficiency, a Department of Housing and Urban Development grant program to help families learn skills, gain experience and obtain employment.  V2 Marketing launched a new corporate website for Applied Ecological Services at www.; optimized for mobile devices and easy access to information on the firm’s services. Comfort Keepers Northwest Illinois celebrated its 15-year anniversary with an open house on July 26. The franchise serves Rockford, Freeport, DeKalb, Sycamore, Boone County and surrounding areas.   C.H. Robinson was recognized at the top 3PL in the 2016 Inbound Logistics Top 3PL Excellence Awards for the sixth consecutive year.


August 2016

Membership: 101 101 MEMBERSHIP


What’s the ‘815’? On Aug. 15, Rockford celebrates Rockford Day, a showcase of interactive experiences centered around the city’s traditional area code, 815. Rockford Community Partners modeled the idea after Milwaukee Day in Wisconsin, held annually on April 14 to match that city’s 414 area code. On Aug. 15, area businesses and nonprofits will offer patrons events and specials featuring the number “815.” Below are a few or visit

Rockford Day specials for Aug. 15 (as of July 18) ■ A Family Affair Bridal - Wedding coordination packages for $815 and all other packages for 8.15% off. The deal is valid from Aug. 15 to 21. ■ Beefaroo Featuring $10 gift cards for only $8.15 and t-shirts for $8.15 all day on Aug. 15

Tip for making connections

Get the conversation going using small talk to build bonds It’s easy to feel pressured when meeting new people at

■ Cork Keg & Spirits Purchase eight bottles of wine at regular price and get 15% off all day on Aug. 15 ■ Crimson Ridge 815 T-shirts for $8:15; 815 jewelry sale; 815 tumblers (limited edition); gift certificate offer of $10 for $8.15 ■ CrossFit VisOne $8 per class for 15 classes; specialty punch card ■ Eckburg Insurance Get a quote on your auto, home or business insurance between Aug. 1 and 15 and be entered to win $815. No purchase of coverage required to win — just get the quote! If Eckburg can’t offer you better coverage at a better price, they’ll pay you $81.50. ■ Fur Company Select items on sale for $815

an event to try to talk about yourself, but one good way to

■ JustGoods Fair Trade Marketplace Take 8% off of one food product or 15% off one non-food item.

don’t reveal your own thoughts.

■ Magic Waters Waterpark $8.15 Meal Deal ($9 value) including two slices of pizza, one Bosco stick and a regular size beverage

develop rapport is by asking open-ended questions that

Ask … ■ “What are you hoping to hear at this talk?” ■ “What brought you here?”

■ N’Spired Yoga $8.15 for any drop in yoga class at its studio or the N’Spired Yoga class at Anderson Gardens (Excludes Aerial Yoga classes). Offer valid Aug. 15 to 21, 2016.

■ “What do you know about this place,

■ Petals & Pickin’s Grab and go bouquets for $8.15 from 4 to 8:15 p.m., on Monday, Aug. 15.

■ “What challenges are you facing in your company?”

■ Rockford Auto Glass Special sale on Marvin and Gerkin windows AND a 10% discount off of the final bills all day on Aug. 15

speaker or topic?”

Take the information you hear to launch into your own

suggestions about how they might go about solving an issue

■ Rockford Pro Am Admission is half price ($5) and all children under 13 are free when entering with a paid admission

something and build from there. Once you know that you do,

■ Rock River Times 1/8-page full color ads (4.67”w x 2.5”h or 2.25”w x 5.21”h) for $81.50 (regular price $120 — a 30% savings!) Business may buy up to 13 ads at the special price and all ads must be paid in full at time of purchase. ALL YEAR special.

of fear and isolation can begin to crumble and in their place

■ Sam’s Ristorante & Pizzeria $8 lasagna dinner and 15% off appetizers

or in sharing insights about things you have in common.

Relationships are formed around people with a common

interest. You need to find those people with whom you share share something about yourself or your company. The walls you can form bonds of friendship.

Source: U.S. News blog

■ Shear Renewal Salon Eight favorites for 15% off (eight of the stylists favorite hair, face or body products for 15% off) ■ Sienna’s Kitchen Offering all day special of your choice of panini (Big Luigi excluded), chips and fountain drink for $8.15 (includes tax) ■ Sinnissippi & Ingersoll Golf Courses $8.15 buy one get one free golf special (golf nine holes at either course for $8.15 and bring a guest for free!) ■ Village Green Home and Garden Buy one, get one FREE on all plant material at both locations (6101 E. Riverside and 2640 N. Main) from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 15.

■ Wired Cafe Live music from 7:45 to 8:30 a.m., by Mossy Vaughn and Derek Luttrell from “Name the Moon” and Gavin Epperson from “Taboo Blah Blah.” 15% off all coffee drinks from 8 to 9 a.m.



August 2016

New Chamber Members MEMBERS ALIZE’S GRILL Hot and fresh Chicago-style beef, burgers and gyros 479 N. Springfield Ave., 61101 Moez Hooda 815-995-5137

BARCLAY CONSTRUCTION, INC. General contractor servicing the Rockford area 6464 42nd St., 61109 Joe Miller 815-505-1388

BROADWAY FLORIST Your tried and true Rockford florist since 1929 4224 Maray Dr., 61107 Michelle Joley 815-968-0825

EDWARD JONES JIM ROSE Edward Jones helps people and families prepare for retirement, future education needs and other life-changing events. 881 S. Perryville Road, 61108 Jim Rose 815-398-9092

HOWARD JOHNSON HOTEL Offering easy access to great restaurants and area attractions. Book a room for great value and fun times! 3909 11th St., 61109 Luigi Bozzo 815-397-9000

HUNTINGTON LEARNING CENTER We have the tools and experience to unlock your child’s academic potential and give you confidence in their future success. 5301 E. State St., Ste. 104 Rockford, IL 61108 Jennifer Wilz 815-395-1011

JP ELECTRIC, INC. Residential and commercial electricians P.O. Box 280 Winnebago, IL 61088 Chelsea Lunquist 815-988-9419

OSTI - BELVIDERE PHYSICAL THERAPY Our commitment is to provide our patients with the highest standard of care and the best physical therapy care experience. 1686 Henry Luckow Lane Belvidere, IL 61008 Josh Meyers 815-547-4777

OSTI - EDGEBROOK PHYSICAL THERAPY Our commitment is to provide our patients with the highest standard of care and the best physical therapy care experience. 1643 N. Alpine Road Rockford, IL 61107 Josh Meyers 815-977-4095

OSTI - POPLAR GROVE PHYSICAL THERAPY Our commitment is to provide our patients with the highest standard of care and the best physical therapy care experience. 13524 Julie Dr. Poplar Grove, IL 61065 Josh Meyers 815-765-1155

OSTI - ROSCOE PHYSICAL THERAPY Our commitment is to provide our patients with the highest standard of care and the best physical therapy care experience. 5003 Hononegah Road Roscoe, IL 61073 Josh Meyers 815-623-9700

SAMCO SALES & MARKETING INC. Marketing and Promotional Products 7315 N. Alpine Road, Ste. F Loves Park, IL 61111 Maureen Kwiatkowski 815-282-8500

USHEALTH ADVISORS At USHEALTH Group with our family of companies, we offer a full portfolio of plans that let you tailor health coverage to YOUR specific needs. 5702 Elaine Dr., Ste. D, 61108 David Freise 815-814-8305

VICI FITNESS Taking pride in training and nutrition 4911 26th Ave. Rockford, IL 61109 Kayla Smith 815-323-5981

ZENITH LANDHOLDING, LLC Real estate company specializing in leasing residential, commercial, and industrial space within the Rockford area. 1928 12th St., 61104 Mark Blazer 815-262-2489

Chamber Seeks SBDC Director

The Rockford Chamber is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Small Business Development Center Director. The Chamber will be providing local SBDC services to help businesses get started as well as offering consulting services to local businesses. This is a program funded by the State of Illinois DCEO and Rockford Chamber. The goal of the position is to stimulate economic and community development in northern Illinois through the Small Business Development Center of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce. The center director position will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the SBDC. The position calls for a wide variety of management skills due to the diversity of clientele the center serves. The counseling and training work provided by the director and staff to small business give them the opportunity to learn new information. This information may affect hundreds of small businesses. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that

client confidentiality be maintained by the SBDC director and staff. The promotion of the Region to the public and private sectors through presentations is essential to the center. Desired skills and experience: Bachelor’s degree in business or a related field. 3-5 years of experience in business/industry, including budget management and employee management, is necessary. Experience in starting and running a small business required or prior SBDC experience required. Counseling skills, Accounting, Banking or Finance background (lending experience) helpful; excellent people skills important; entrepreneurship and innovation important; excellent oral and written communication skills with some detail orientation required. For inquiries, or to submit a confidential resume and cover letter, send to SBDC@rockfordchamber. com. Deadline for applications is Friday, Aug. 26, 2016.

Get to Know Your Ambassadors Name: Dave Bennett

Company: T K Group, Inc.

Position: Manager (partner)

How long have you been an Ambassador? Since 2011

What do you like most about being an Ambassador? It has been a great opportunity to get out into the different neighborhoods to connect with the people and the different businesses. I enjoy the ribbon cuttings with new businesses starting up as well as existing businesses expanding. The Rockford Chamber offers their members the opportunity to engage in various social and networking opportunities throughout the year. I have had the flexibility at work to be able to attend many of these events.


August 2016


Membership Renewals Thank you to members who renewed with the Rockford Chamber of Commerce in June, 2016. ATRONA Test Labs, Inc. Barrick, Switzer, Long, Balsley, Van Evera Beggin Tipp Lamm, LLC Bickford of Rockford Bill Doran Company Bisconti Computers Inc. Black & Jones Attorneys at Law Blackhawk Bank Blake Oil Company C. Ander Smith, Attorney at Law, PC Cellusuede Products, Inc. Chuck Brauer Trucking Inc. Comfort Keepers Corporate Services, Inc Court Street United Methodist Custom Home Builders Danfoss Power Electronics DMTG Ingersoll Production Systems Dry Otter Basement Water Proofing/Concrete Raising Fairhaven Christian Retirement Center FIELD Forever Green, Inc. Garden Hotel and Conference Center GE Aviation Harlem Road Automotive Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP Humana JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. K&J Finishing, Inc. Kadon Precision Machining KP Counseling Management, LLC Leading Lawyers Lone Star Steakhouse Marco

MFG, LLC MFG, LLC - Chris Zion Midwest Mailworks, Inc. Midwest Stone Source Murphy’s Pub and Grill Necchi-New Home Sewing Center, Inc. Oak Street Health Our Children’s Homestead Pearson PG Display Plastic Parts International Inc. RAC Adjustment Company Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren P.C. Rock River Valley Blood Center - North 6th Street Rock River Valley Blood Center - Perryville Road Rock Road Companies, Inc. Rockford Ambulatory Surgery Center Rockford Linear Actuation, Inc. Rockford Network of Professional Women Rocknel Fastener, Inc. RSM US LLP Siena on Brendenwood Smeja Foundation Summit CPA Group, P.C. Sunset Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens Terracon, Inc. The Brian Boyer Group State Farm The Terrace Senior Apartments Thermo Fisher Scientific Ticomix, Inc. UPS WPS Health Insurance

August 2016 Member Anniversaries Thank you to the members celebrating their anniversaries with the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.



Northern Public Radio (WNIU/WNIJ/NIRIS)

Blake Oil Company GFI Metal Treating Inc. Radisson Hotel & Conference Center Rockford Apartment Association Sinnissippi Apartments Inc. VITAS Healthcare Corporation


10-YEAR MEMBERS Ethnic Heritage Museum Rasmussen College


Optimum Health & Wellness For information on advertising, call 815




Upcoming Chamber Events AUGUST, 2016 Tuesday, August 2

Ribbon Cutting, Rock Valley College downtown, 10 to 11 a.m., Rockford Register Star building, 99 E. State St. Business Women’s Council, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Rockford Country Club, 2500 Oxford St. Teresa BeachShelow, president, Superior Joining Technologies, Inc., presents The Hard Truth About Being a Manager. Sponsored by MembersAlliance Credit Union.

Friday, August 3

Manufacturers Council, 7:30 a.m., Rockford Chamber offices, 308 W. State St., Ste. 190. Wednesday, August 10 7:30 - 9:00 am NEW LOCATION! Rockford University PURI Business School Bldg. Room 124 5050 E. State St., Rockford

Breakfast Buzz John Groh, president of the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, presents The Business Case for Tourism on how events, tournaments and capital investments boost the economy. Sponsored by RSM US LLP.

Wednesday, August 10

Ribbon Cutting, Dedication of the Puri Family C.O.R.E. (Center of Research & Engagement), noon to 1 p.m., Rockford Lutheran School, 3411 N. Alpine Road, Rockford.

Friday, August 12

Government Affairs Council, 7:30 to 8:45 a.m., Stockholm Inn, 2420 Charles St., Rockford. Sponsored by AT&T.

Wednesday, August 17

Ribbon Cutting, Goodwill Outlet Store, 10 to 11 a.m., 740 W. Riverside Blvd., Rockford.

Tuesday, August 23

Ribbon Cutting, Allen Heating & Cooling Inc., 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 122 N. 2nd St., Rockford.

Wednesday, August 24

Ribbon Cutting, Howard Johnson Hotel, 4 to 5 p.m., 3909 11th St., Rockford.

Thursday, August 25

Ribbon Cutting, USHealth Advisors, 4 to 5 p.m., 5702 Elaine Dr., Ste. D, Rockford.

Tuesday, August 30


August 2016

Chamber 101 with Speed Networking, 7:30 to 8:45 a.m., Rasmussen College, 6000 E. State St., fourth floor, Rockford. Quarterly orientation for new members and new employees of existing members. Sponsored by MembersAlliance Credit Union (presenting) and Rasmussen College (hospitality).

Wednesday, August 31

Ribbon Cutting, Lifescape Adult Day Program, 10 to 11 a.m., 1330 S. Alpine Road. Located in the Heartland Community Church complex, two doors south of the main entrance.

SEPTEMBER, 2016 Thursday, September 8 11:30 am - 1pm Radisson Hotel & Conference Center 200 S. Bell School Rd., Rockford

Education Outlook Luncheon

Advertisers Index ADVERTISERS

Alpine Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 MembersAlliance Credit Union. . . . . . . 6 Blackhawk Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Mercyhealth. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 BMO Harris Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Northern Public Radio . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Brian Thomas Photography. . . . . . . . .20 Rockford Bank & Trust . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Broadmoor Agency, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Rockford Chamber of Catholic Diocese of Rockford. . . . . . . . 7 Commerce. . . . . . . . . . . . . 19, 29, 30, 32 Comcast Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Rockford Public Library. . . . . . . . . . . . 14

First National Bank Rockford University. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 and Trust Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Rock Valley College. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 The Global Leadership Summit. . . . . . 27 RSM US LLP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Huntington. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Illinois Bank & Trust. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 RVC BPI. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 KD Search & Associates. . . . . . . . . . . 11 Saint Anthony College of Nursing. . . . 12 Keith Country Day School. . . . . . . . . . 13 Stillman Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Klaas Financial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Thayer Lighting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 The Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Club. . . . . . . . 6 Van Galder Bus Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Keynote speaker is Dr. Ehren Jarrett, superintendent, Rockford Public Schools. Sponsored by BMO Harris Bank (presenting) and Humana and SwedishAmerican, A Division of UW Health (gold).

Friday, September 9

Government Affairs Council, 7:30 to 8:45 a.m., Stockholm Inn, 2420 Charles St., Rockford. Sponsored by AT&T. Wednesday, September 14 7:30 - 9:00 am Rockford University PURI Business School Building Room 124 5050 E. State St., Rockford

Breakfast Buzz

Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative, 7:30 to 9:30 a.m., Rockford University PURI Business School building, 5050 E. State St., room 124. Speakers include Antonio Riley, HUD; Marium Barker, U.S. Department of Labor; Robert “Bo” Steiner, U.S. Small Business Administration, and Jason Keller, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Sponsored by RSM US LLP.

Monday, September 19

IGNITE Golf Outing, 1 to 5 p.m., The Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Club, 5151 Guilford Road, Rockford. Thursday, September 22 2:00 - 7:00 pm Giovanni’s, Inc. 610 N. Bell School Rd., Rockford

Rockford Chamber

Business Expo The region’s largest business-to-business expo will kick off with a 12:30 p.m., keynote luncheon, followed by an expo with booths, giveaways and unique Business After Hours from 2 to 7 p.m. Sponsored by Ticomix, Inc. (presenting); Comcast Business (gold); Thayer Lighting, Inc. (silver), and Associated Bank (keynote).

Thursday, September 29

Ribbon Cutting, The Pregnancy Care Center, 4 to 5 p.m., 4108 Morsay Dr., Rockford.

Chamber Staff / Call 815-987-8100.............................................. Direct Line Einar K. Forsman, President & CEO.......................................... 815-316-4304 Heidi M. Garner, Chief Operating Officer.................................... 815-316-4312 Doug Hessong, Director of Publications & Technology................... 815-316-4338 Lynette Jacques, Vice President, Member Investment. . .................. 815-316-4317 Caitlin Ludwig, Vice President, Leadership Development.................... 815-316-4337 Stephanie Mathews, Administrative & Finance Assistant .................... 815-987-8100 Stacy Mullins, Director of Events. . ............................................ 815-316-4302 Doug Rand, Accounting Manager/Controller............................... 815-316-4316 Sue Boyer, Member Relations................................................. 815-316-4315 Mary Ann Suprenant, Membership Development Manager.............. 815-316-4336 Joan Sundvall, Membership Contact Coordinator......................... 815-316-4320

Chamber Board of Directors & Officers EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Chairman of the Board Patti Thayer Thayer Lighting, Inc. Chair Elect Richard Zumwalt OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center Vice Chair Michele Petrie BMO Harris Bank Treasurer Amy Ott Boylan Catholic High School Immediate Past Chair Richard Walsh Zimmerman & Walsh, LLP


Andrew Benson Benson Stone Company, Inc. Jan Bowman TLC Construction Joe Castrogiovanni Giovanni’s, Inc. Dr. Rena Cotsones Northern Illinois University

Tim Honquest Honquest Family Funeral Home Jeff Hultman Illinois Bank & Trust Michael F. Iasparro Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP Kris Kieper YWCA Northwestern Illinois

Jean Crosby Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Crosby Starck Real Estate

Paul McCann Stanley Steemer of Rockford

Don Daniels SwedishAmerican, A Division of UW Health

Mike Paterson Mid-West Family Broadcasting

Rebecca Epperson Chartwell Agency Darlene Furst FurstStaffing Ira Grimmett UTC Aerospace Systems

Patrick Morrow Alpine Bank

Mark Peterson CBL Associates CherryVale

Patrick Shaw RSM US LLP Laura Williamson Rockford Park District

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

Dan Ross Williams-Manny Insurance Group

Let your Voice be heard Do you have 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


August Voice 2016  

August Voice 2016

August Voice 2016  

August Voice 2016