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BOURN & KOCH PAGE 5 The Voice is online at


A year of expansion for area organizations

November 2016 | Volume 29 | No. 11

Business growth comes in many forms in 2016 By Barbara Connors Business News Daily in January offered a list of 50 predictions for 2016 on its website, stating that it would be a year “ripe with opportunity, yet also teeming with new obstacles to overcome.” Predictions included the growth of ondemand and logistics services and local, same-day delivery. The growth of mobile marketing, mobile beacons and cloud computing would lead to the demand for tighter cybersecurity. Complying

with new regulations associated with minimum wage, overtime calculations and paid sick-leave policy would continue to challenge many businesses. By capturing opportunities and overcoming obstacles as they arose, many Rockford area organizations, both large and small, have expanded in 2016. Below are some of the recent announcements of organizations growing by opening new locations, renovating facilities, expanding service lines, developing new destinations, achieving media recognition, marketing in new ways and accessing new funding sources.

Let’s Make a Deal: Attends Midwest’s Biggest Deal Conference Stacy McCaskill, owner of, the online matching program that hooks fishermen with other enthusiasts, attended Chicago’s threeday FUND Conference in September. More than 140 startups or early-stage companies attended to display their products, services and ideas to angel

investors, venture capitalists, private equity firms and crowdfunders from Chicago to Dallas to Silicon Valley. McCaskill, Rock Valley College business professor and avid fisherman, started in 2014. Her idea took second place in the 2014 NIU EIGERlab FastPitch competition and is the only web-based network that helps everyday anglers find fishing buddies to share costs, tips and techniques. McCaskill has been working with Rockford’s Thinker Ventures to refine its business model, create its website and expand its marketing. She aims to make the of the recreational fishing industry, representing more than 60 million enthusiasts, who spend nearly $50 billion per year.

University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford to Become Four-Year Medical School The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford announced Continued on page 12

ROCPAC endorses Frank Haney for County Board Chair 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

The Rockford Chamber Political Action Committee (ROCPAC) has announced its endorsement of Frank Haney for Winnebago County Chairman on the Nov. 8, 2016 ballot. The PAC interviewed both candidates for the office, Frank Haney and John Nelson, before coming to its decision. “We had very meaningful, specific dialogue with both candidates and appreciated their sincere interest in serving as civic leaders,” said Steve Nailor, chair of ROCPAC. “Ultimately we felt that Haney’s agenda and proposed initiatives were closely aligned with the mission of ROCPAC.” ROCPAC is organized to support candidates, communities and issues that

advance a healthy economy and a favorable business climate for the Rockford region. Frank Haney Voters are encouraged to cast a vote for Frank Haney as the next chairman for Winnebago County. ROCPAC is the political action arm of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce and is independently funded. No Chamber dues are used to support ROCPAC.

In an effort to rid the state of regulations and outdated policies that hinder job creation and economic growth, Governor Bruce Rauner formed the Illinois Competitiveness Council, a part of its Cutting the Red Tape initiative. The business community has raised concerns to lawmakers that duplicative, contradictory and outdated regulations are making it unnecessarily difficult and time- and cost-prohibitive to do business in Illinois. Representatives from each of Illinois’ regulatory state agencies will serve on the council to ensure regulations are up to date and relevant to today’s industries and practices. The streamlining is expected to save Illinois taxpayers and business owners at least 4 million pages in paperwork. The council also will look at the state’s licensing process, where it hopes to save at least $250 million over the next decade on the cost of direct license fees. The Illinois Competitiveness Council seeks public input on which rules and regulations are the most burdensome to people and businesses. Visit https://www2. to give your input.


Bill Strickland:

Changing Community by Changing One Nov. 10 • Giovanni’s

For more info, see page 31 SPONSORED BY

NEW REGS IMPACT LOCAL BLOOD COLLECTION In May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration made changes to blood donor eligibility guidelines that have reduced the donor pools by narrowing the acceptable hemoglobin, pulse and blood pressure levels required for donation. Since June, the Rock River Valley Blood Center has experienced a seven percent increase in donor deferrals, equating to a loss of more than 2,000 units of blood annually. Currently there is less than a one-day supply of most blood types. A threeto five-day supply is preferred. To resume adequate blood collection numbers, the RRVBC seeks to add new or lapsed donors to the active donor pool. Visit


November 2016


Guest Perspective INSIGHT

The last competitive advantage All the competitive advantages we’ve been pursuing during our careers are gone. That’s right. Strategy. Technology. Finance. Marketing. Gone. No, those disciplines have not disappeared. They are all alive and well in most organizations. And that’s good, because they’re important. But as meaningful competitive advantages, as real differentiators that can set one company apart from another, they are no longer anything close to what they once were. That’s because virtually every organization, of any size, has access to the best thinking and practices around strategy, technology and those other topics. In this age of the internet, as information has become ubiquitous, it’s almost impossible to sustain an advantage based on intellectual ideas. However, there is one remaining, untapped competitive advantage out there, and it’s more important than all the others ever were. It is simple, reliable and virtually free. What I’m talking about is organizational health.

and morale soar, and good people almost never leave. For those leaders who are a bit skeptical, rest assured that none of this is touchy-feely or soft. It is as tangible and practical as anything else a business does, and even more important. Why? Because the smartest organization in the world, the one that has mastered strategy and finance and marketing and technology, will eventually fail if it is unhealthy. Trust me; I’ve seen it happen again and again. But a healthy organization will always find a way to succeed, because without politics and confusion, it will become smarter and tap into every bit of intelligence and talent that it has. So if all this is true – and I am absolutely convinced that it is – then why haven’t more companies embraced and reaped the benefits of organizational health? For one, it’s hard. It requires real work and discipline, over a period of time, and it must be maintained. On top of that, it’s not sophisticated or sexy. That means it doesn’t excite a group of executives who are looking for a quick fix or a silver bullet. Moreover, in spite of its power, The Healthy Organization organizational health is hard to measure in A healthy organization is one that has all a precise, accurate way. It impacts so many but eliminated politics and confusion from disparate areas of an enterprise that it is its environment. As a result, productivity virtually impossible to isolate it as a single

variable and quantify its singular impact on the bottom line. But the biggest reason that organizational health remains untapped is that it requires courage. Leaders must be willing to confront themselves, their peers, and the dysfunction within their organization with an uncommon level of honesty and persistence. They must be prepared to walk straight into uncomfortable situations and address issues that prevent them from realizing the potential that eludes them.

The Four Disciplines What exactly does an organization have to do to get healthy? There are four simple— but again, difficult—steps. They include: Build a Cohesive Leadership Team The first is all about getting the leaders of the organization to behave in a functional, cohesive way. Create Clarity - The second step for building a healthy organization is ensuring that the members of that leadership team are intellectually aligned around six simple but critical questions. Over-Communicate Clarity - Only after these first two steps are in process (behavioral and intellectual alignment), can an organization undertake the third

step: overcommunicating the answers to Patrick Lencioni the six questions. The Table Group Reinforce Clarity - Finally, in addition to over-communicating, leaders must ensure that the answers to the six critical questions are reinforced repeatedly using simple human systems. In addition to these four steps, it is essential that a healthy organization get better at the one activity that underpins everything it does: meetings. Yes, meetings. Without making a few simple but fundamental changes to the way meetings happen, a healthy organization will struggle to maintain what it has worked hard to build. Can a healthy organization fail? Yes. But it almost never happens. Really. When politics, ambiguity, dysfunction and confusion are reduced to a minimum, people are empowered to design products, serve customers, solve problems and help one another in ways that unhealthy organizations can only dream about. Healthy organizations recover from setbacks, attract the best people, repel the others, and create opportunities that they couldn’t have expected.



November 2016

Manufacturing Day hosts student tours, Jeremy Bout, and Economic Panel Three days of virtual welding, a panel of experts, and an exciting presentation by Jeremy Bout By Pat Lee, Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Int’l.

Career College’s new welding training facility, a state of the art investment by

Jeremy Bout of the EDGE Factor presented an inspirational talk to more than 375 students in attendance.

the College. National Manufacturing Day 2016 has come and gone, but what a great celebration! The Rockford region has much to be proud of when it comes to manufacturing and this year was a great opportunity to show off that pride. On October 11th a dozen area high schools visited and toured twelve manufacturers to learn more about their industry, careers, and educational tie-ins. After the tours, all 375 students attended a special session featuring Jeremy Bout of the EDGE Factor, who inspired them further about manufacturing, engineering, and innovation. Students also had an opportunity to tour the Rockford

Earlier, on October 4th FMA – the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association





experts in workforce development and the economy to talk about How Manufacturing Drives the Economy. This was a comprehensive presentation that gave manufacturers an opportunity to engage with the experts. On October 6th, a Virtual Welding Experience was hosted for students by Superior Joining Technologies, Inc. and Lincoln Electric. The travelling virtual welding training system allowed students to practice their welding technique in a simulated environment.

Special Thanks for Manufacturing Day Thanks to the companies and schools who supported Manufacturing Day in the Rockford area. Superior Joining Technologies Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Int’l. Jason’s Deli CEANCI Rockford Career College ANPEC Forest City Gear Header Die & Tool Industrial Molds Ingersoll Machine

JL Clark RAEDC Specialty Screw Thermofisher Triangle Metals Woodward Fastenal Bergstrom Byron High School Winnebago High School Guilford High School East High School

Roosevelt Community Center Auburn High School Jefferson High School Stillman Valley High School North Boone High School Belvidere High School Belvidere North High School Hononegah High School


November 2016



Young Professionals

Millennials are not happy about November 6 As November 6 gets closer, and people continue to post and share on social media, try to remember they are entitled to their opinion, as crazy at it may be. It’s an honor to be selected by IGNITE to write about the impact November 6 will have not only on Millennials, but most of our country. It’s frustrating for me personally, because I know there is nothing I can do. You read funny posts on Facebook or Instagram about it, but reality sets in that this isn’t a joke, this is going to happen whether you like it or not. Time Change: YUCK. Actually I’m not even sure millennials hate the time change, because they get an extra hour of sleep, once, but I sure don’t like it. My summer was perfect! I wake up with the sun shining, and the birds singing. After a day of work, I still had three or four hours of sunlight to enjoy. Monday night was my golf league, Tuesdays my wife and I would go to Anderson Japanese Gardens, Thursdays to Dinner on the Dock, Fridays to City Market. We loved going to Rock Cut. So many beautiful places and things to do. Then winter happens and the sun decides to spend most of its time with the other side of the world. The days have actually been getting shorter since June 21, and we’ll continue to get shorter

Derek Erwin through IGNITE December 21. Losing a minute or two each day since the end of June didn’t bother me that much, because it was still light enough for long enough. It’s amazing to me how difficult it is to get up and leave the house to do something at 6:30 p.m., in the winter vs. the ease of doing the same thing in the summer. I’m probably one of the few people that within 15 minutes of it getting dark outside thinks I need to start getting ready for bed. As November 6 gets closer, and people continue to post and share on social media, try to remember they are entitled to their opinion, as crazy at it may be. We’ve gone through time changes before, and the world didn’t come to an end. Canada has time change too, so you don’t need to move there. Starting on December 22, we can anticipate an extra minute or two of sunshine each day, and that is worth celebrating! Need a little help getting out to meet people during the dark, colder months? IGNITE still has great programming – even when it’s dark at a ridiculous time of day. Find us on Facebook to stay up-to-date with our programming and events!

Derek Erwin is IGNITE REACH co-chair and works at Raymond James & Associates. The views expressed are those of Erwin’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

Let your Voice be heard The Rockford Chamber of Commerce ­ elcomes and encourages submissions for The w 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.



November 2016

Member Profile PROFILE

Bourn & Koch

Fostering a creative, learning culture rotary transfer, multispindle and specialty machine tools. The company owns several brands including Acme, American Tool, Barber Colman, Blanchard, Brown & Sharpe, Bullard, Conomatic, DeVlieg, Fellows, Ferguson, Futuremill, J&L, Bourn & Koch is working to offer a creative, learning culture with a goal to be a loyal employer. Mattison, Motch, MWMC, New Britain, Springfield, Rockford Machine Tool and By Paul Anthony Arco White-Sundstrand. In 2012, Alleghany Capital Corp., In 1975, Larry Bourn and Loyd Koch, purchased Bourn & Koch, which is located two co-workers at Sundstrand Machine Tool, left to open a small machine tool at 2500 Kishwaukee St., in Rockford; rebuilder shop with a focus on specialty its home base since 1986. Last year, the machines and remanufacturing and company underwent a management retrofitting. overhaul. Terry Derrico, an experienced Bourn is no longer in the business, business leader, was recruited to become but Koch remains vice president. And for the new president; Kerry Koch was 41 years, the Rockford-based company named chief financial officer; Champion, continues to flourish as one of the bestwith prior sales experience with Mattison kept secrets in Rockford manufacturing. Technologies, Co., was tabbed vice “Rockford is extremely important to president of sales and marketing; and us,” said Greg Champion, vice president of sales and marketing. “Many of our Peter Mischler, formerly of Ingersoll employees are from this area, and I view Machine Tool, became engineer manager. “What prompted the change, was to us as an integral part of the community.” Bourn & Koch is a manufacturer pump new blood into this company,” and remanufacturer/retrofitter of gear said Champion, who came on board in hobbing, gear shaping, vertical turning February of this year. “Alleghany Capital centers, vertical grinding centers, boring, purchased Bourn & Koch as a business

that could be developed into a leading global machine tool manufacturer, and become an integral part of the longstanding organization. They’re a great ownership group that has added value to a great company.”

Creating a Loyal Employer One of the keys to Bourn & Koch’s success, Champion said, is due to a strong workforce of 74 employees that includes engineers, precision assemblers, sales and marketing staff and materials management. “In the past there was a high turnover rate within the organization,” he said. “One of the things we’re doing now is offering a creative, learning culture with enhanced competitive benefits for our employees. One of our goals is to make Bourn & Koch a loyal employer.” Bourn & Koch is a member of several manufacturing organizations, including American Manufacturing Technology, American Gear Manufacturing Association and the Illinois Manufacturing Association. The company is heavily involved with a joint venture between Rock Valley College and Northern Illinois University, where students with associate’s degrees

in engineering science can pursue one of three bachelor’s degrees — electrical or mechanical engineering, or technology in applied manufacturing — from the NIU College of Engineering & Engineering Technology on the RVC campus. “While we seldom sell a machine in Rockford, it’s important to get the word out locally,” Champion said. “We put our money to work. We’re always in the market for good engineers, which is a huge challenge for any company in this area.” Bourn & Koch is also staying on top of economic and technological developments and has a clear focus – to produce advanced manufacturing solutions to a global market and maintaining a relationship with its customers. Champion said the company’s goal is to triple the volume of business within five years. “Bourn & Koch is all about pro-active positive growth,” he said. “We need to become more efficient. There is fierce foreign competition from Japan, Korea and soon China. We have to make it better, faster and stronger so we can compete. We have a huge opportunity.”


Terry Derrico, president 2500 Kishwaukee St. 815-965-4013


November 2016


Rockford University PERSPECTIVE

‘I want that person on my team’ Cultivating the traits of leadership We all know those people that seem effortlessly flawless in just about every area of their lives. When it comes to being a “natural” leader, they make it look easy. However, I think most leaders would agree leadership is hard work. The talents leaders possess were developed over years of practice, persistence and focus. Many of the emerging leaders I have been exposed to in the Rockford area have a considerable amount of experience working in the fields they serve, and have spent a great deal of time preparing for the roles they wish to one day fulfill. It is easy to identify an emerging leader because naturally, you genuinely want them to be “on your team.” So the big question is, how does one intentionally work towards become an emerging leader?

Be Positive We all know this is easier said than done. At times we think it takes a lot of energy to be positive, but in reality, what is more exhausting than being negative? You’re right, nothing. Emerging leaders can begin to distinguish themselves as being deliberately optimistic. Of course you don’t want people thinking you have a false sense of relativity about bad situations, so try to consider the balance of actuality

and bright colorful rainbows. The good news is most bad situations have something that can be considered a learning opportunity or valued experience. Make the decision to change one thing from a negative to a positive right now. You can even write “Be Positive” on your outlook calendar so it becomes official!

of one’s skills becomes more evident over time and with experience. Once you identify your strengths, use them to contribute to the team. This will also help to provide leadership to others around you, because they will witness your confidence and guidance. Use your assets as a foundation to enhance your performance. This will result in you feeling good about Identify Your Personal Brand yourself and will remind you that you are The decisions we make and how we valuable to your surroundings. present ourselves to the rest of the world is Practice Emotional Intelligence reflective of our own personal brand. What If you put effort into the relationships is your mission statement? How do you let it influence all the different areas of your you establish with people, they will improve and grow. life? Your brand should help drive your continuously Meaningful relationships require a great beliefs, values and ideas. By relying on your brand you will deal of attention and desire from both naturally gain confidence through being parties. Emotional intelligence is the consistent. At regular intervals spend time ability to accurately perceive, understand on evaluating yourself and what might be and manage the emotions and motivations beneficial to improving your brand. This of ourselves and of other people. others’ perspectives, will increase your self-awareness, and help Understanding you to stay focused. The most important reaching agreements and forward thinking is necessary in order to provide effective thing to do is just OWN IT! leadership to people. Know Your Assets Most emerging leaders I have To be an emerging leader, you must encountered have the ability to translate add value to your situation or environment the intentions of individuals into a way that in some shape or form. You must be better can be beneficial to the organization or than mediocre. Often times, the recognition group they are serving. If you are unsure of

your emotional intelligence, try periodically Chase Cain assessing the Rockford University thoughts and emotions you have. Use the outcome of your assessment to look at the picture on a larger scale. This will give you an idea of your ability to understand your own emotions and motivations. You can also go online and find many self-tests of emotional intelligence. While the suggestions above are not entirely inclusive of all the practices one must exercise in order to be an emerging leader, they will help guide you on your journey. Being positive, identifying your own personal brand, knowing your assets and practicing emotional intelligence will assist you to improve your relationships with people. Endurance and perseverance are keys in having a successful career, so stick with it and reflect on the progress you are making. Be the kind of leader you want on your team! Chase Cain is the research and proposal specialist at Rockford University. The views expressed are those of Cain’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.


November 2016

Final phase of 10-year facilities plan New schools to revitalize neighborhoods In January, we expect to bid the construction of two new elementary schools in the district. Each will use innovative design. Each will grow out of community partnerships to prepare our young people for success and move our neighborhoods and our region forward. The new schools also mark the final phase of our 10-year, $250-million facilities plan in the Rockford Public Schools. These improvements are not only good for our 28,700 students. They are bringing economic development to the community. Each of the new schools will be open for the start of the 2018-19 school year. Each will have similar designs and serve 650 students. Each will have four strands (four first-grade classrooms, four second-grade classrooms, etc.) A one-story design utilizes open spaces for collaborative learning at each grade level. The schools will be safe and secure and fully accessible for students with disabilities. To allow the buildings to be used for community events when students are not present, a large, all-glass, centralized common area will have moveable walls to accommodate different-sized groups. The community element in these buildings goes beyond the blueprint. We continue to partner with community organizations so the schools will be more-than-ideal learning environments. They will be tools in growth and planned development: In Cherry Valley, a $20.6 million school will be between Swanson Parkway and Perryville Road, south of Harrison Avenue. It will consolidate students who attend the current Cherry Valley, Thompson and White Swan elementary schools. District leaders worked with Cherry Valley village leaders to select the site, which is on land owned by the Rockford Park District. A land swap with the park district involving closed elementary sites would allow RPS 205 to continue an important partnership. What’s more, a brand new school to replace White Swan, Thompson and Cherry Valley schools (average age 65 years) provides a strong educational option for families in Cherry Valley and the southeast side of Rockford. Our other new school will be just south of the existing Kishwaukee School and will serve students who attend Kishwaukee and Nelson elementary schools. At an estimated cost of $21.5 million, this school will be part of a Purpose Built Community — a nationally acclaimed model with a goal to revitalize neighborhoods. Already, this innovative partnership has yielded a pledge of $600,000

each from the City of Rockford and Winnebago County and $200,000 from private sources. By working closely with these entities and Purpose Built, we are confident the school’s 14-acre campus can anchor growth just south of downtown Rockford. And that growth, in turn, could spur growth in adjoining neighborhoods – including the midtown home of the RPS 205 Administration Building on Seventh Street.

Financing the Schools So far, we have paid out about 60 percent – or $150 million -- of our planned spending on facilities work. We have done it on time and under budget. After approving the facilities plan in the summer of 2012 and turning the first dirt in the spring of 2013, we expect to complete the work by 2020 — two years ahead of schedule. The $250 million investment will generate at least $100 million more in additional economic output for the region, according to research by the Rockford Metropolitan Agency for Planning. That figure includes revenue from construction suppliers and other companies, as well as increased spending by workers for these companies. The $250 million investment will generate millions more in economic activity through wages, supplier contracts and increased retail and commercial activity in the region. Meanwhile, our School Board has done as it’s promised: It has practiced smart fiscal stewardship, approving a levy last month that held the line on tax collections for the fifth consecutive year. The levy for the tax year 2016 is an estimated $7.79 per $100 of equalized assessed valuation, a reduction of 14 cents from the year before. The board levied well below its allowable rate, not taking tax revenue tied to the Consumer Price Index inflation rate, not taking new property credits and not taking Tax Increment Financing recovery credits. We know the burden on taxpayers, and we will not pile on. At the same time, we will sustain the investment in improving our learning environment and the quality of our facilities. When the new schools are done, we invite you to come see. Save a date in fall 2018. Dr. Ehren Jarrett is superintendent of Rockford Public Schools. The views expressed are those of Dr. Jarrett’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.



November 2016


The Way We’re Working: Part 2 Everyone wants an advantage. We want to win. We want the Cubs to have the advantage and win the World Series. We want our company to have the advantage, win business and keep us employed! In The Advantage, Patrick Lencioni (next year’s RLA kickoff speaker) points out that healthy is the multiplier of smart. He presents a compelling argument that smart organizations are a dime a dozen, but healthy ones are few and far between. A smart AND healthy company has the advantage and will win every time. Lencioni then breaks organizational health down into four quadrants: 1. Build a Cohesive Team, 2. Create Clarity, 3. Over-Communicate Clarity, 4. Reinforce Clarity. Now hold that thought — I’ll get back to it momentarily. “There aren’t many things you can

assume, but here’s a safe assumption: Who you are drives what you do, which determines what you get.” (That’s how I started September’s article in The Voice and, yes, I just quoted myself). Another way of saying that is: Your character drives your habits, which determines your results. Last time I wrote about four dimensions of health … physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. If we spend time making sure we, and the people we are leading, are healthy in these four areas, their productivity will increase, stress will decrease, and you’ll save a lot on unused sick days! The crazy thing is, if you line up these four dimensions of individual health with the four quadrants of Lencioni’s organizational health, your organization takes on new life. Consider how these four dimensions of Organizational Health correspond to the four dimensions of individual health:

1. Build Cohesion/Physical. Just as your body needs to get sleep, eat right and exercise to work well, your organization needs cohesion in order for it to work well together. A cohesive team finds proper alignment and is able to break free from artificial harmony, make lasting commitments and focus on results together. 2. Create Clarity/Mental. Just as your brain thrives in a setting of self-expression and freedom from distraction, your team needs to come to a place of laser-like focus through achieving clarity on the big stuff. Creating clarity around things like why they exist, how they will succeed, and what’s most important right now, provides the focus your organization needs to gain the competitive advantage. 3. Commun-icate Clarity/ Emotional. Just as emotional security establishes your capacity to function on all cylinders in life, communicating clarity throughout the organization puts everyone on a solid footing for strong morale. As clarity cascades to every level, organizational health grows. 4. Reinforce Clarity/Spiritual. Just as the big questions of life are answered

through your ultimate “why” for everything you do, finding ways to Curt Hughes reinforce the The Anser Group clarity of the organization instills a strong sense of purpose. This final quadrant of Lencioni’s organizational health model speaks to the big picture of what the company is all about to begin with. So stop looking in the wrong places for the market advantage. Spend some time taking care of yourself in each of the four dimensions of energy so you can function optimally. And do your organization a HUGE favor and dive into the four quadrants of Organizational Health. The alignment and focus that you create will take morale to new heights and ground your organization with renewed passion around its ultimate purpose. Curt Hughes is managing partner & leadership coach at the Anser Group. The views expressed are those of Hughes’ and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.



November 2016

Inspiring tomorrow’s manufacturing workforce

Camps introduce exciting world of advanced manufacturing Industry studies continue to sound the warning that the manufacturing industry will be faced with a skilled worker shortage that will only get worse over the next decade. According to a 2015 report by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, the gap in the U.S. labor market is widening. The study predicts that due to baby boomer retirements and economic expansion, as many as 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will become available by 2025. However the current pipeline of future manufacturing workers is estimated at less than 1.5 million, indicating that up to 2 million jobs will be left unfilled. Manufacturing employers, community colleges and technical/trade schools have responded to the crisis by resurrecting apprenticeship programs, developing skilled training curricula and creating career pathways through industry credentials. In addition, industry groups and associations provide scholarships to high school graduates pursuing degrees that may lead to a career in manufacturing. While these efforts are helping to attract students to the field, they are simply not enough to combat a negative perception of manufacturing. Senior year of high school may be too late to change a student’s career direction.

Kids Create at Summer Camps Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs® (NBT), the foundation of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, has found an effective way to reach students at a more impressionable age by providing grants to summer manufacturing camps. Hosted by community/technical colleges and high schools, the camps introduce kids ages 12 to 16 to the exciting world of advanced technology and manufacturing. The one- or two-week camps offer students an opportunity to design and build a take-

Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs® has grown significantly over the last 11 years, providing support to 160 summer camps and serving nearly 3,500 youth. Plans are in progress to expand to host a camp in all 50 states. home project that they make with their own hands. In addition to the financial support, NBT provides camps with instructor and student curriculum guides developed in coordination with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship. The program introduces entrepreneurship concepts to encourage learning about the business side of manufacturing. Each camper also receives a 365-day license for SolidWorks CAD software and an NBT T-shirt with the name of the camp and supporting sponsor logos. The first camp to receive an NBT grant was hosted by Rockford-based Women of Today’s Manufacturing in 2005, under the leadership of Teresa Beach-Shelow, Superior Joining Technologies, Inc. The program has grown significantly over the last 11 years, providing support to 160 camps and serving nearly 3,500 youth. This past summer, NBT supported 39 grant-funded and -affiliated manufacturing camps across the country. Plans are in progress to expand the NBT camp program across the Unites States, with a goal to host a camp in all 50 states.

Making an Impact Close to Home One of the highlights of the NBT camp experience is the opportunity for community businesses to get involved. Many colleges develop training programs based on the needs of the local manufacturing base, so it is in a company’s best interest to participate in a potential feeder system of future employees. A company might provide sponsorships or offer to host a tour of their plant so students can get an inside look at a modern facility and learn about products made in their community. Some employers are invited to visit camps to speak about the variety and earning potential of manufacturing careers and available jobs within their company. In addition to getting hands-on experience in manufacturing processes like welding, laser cutting or robotics, students also learn about teamwork and are inspired to do well in school with a renewed (or new) interest in their STEM classes. Through pre- and post-camp surveys and evaluations, NBT has demonstrated that the camp programs have been successful in influencing students’ opinions

of manufacturing and, perhaps as importantly, Cindy Day their parents’ NBT views, thereby making a greater impact on future career choices. As one camper’s mother said, “My son has been talking non-stop about (the NBT camp), especially the welding portion. What a wonderful opportunity for him! I hope (the school) will offer another camp like this next year as I will be spreading the word.” Another parent expressed her appreciation to a camp’s staff this way, “Thank you for sharing your enthusiasm and wisdom with my son and daughter over the last three years. They have left (the camps) feeling empowered to follow in an advanced technology field with anticipation for the future.” Solving the skilled worker shortage will not happen overnight. While NBT continues to work with our industry partners to promote manufacturing as a viable and fulfilling career choice, summer manufacturing camps are reaching students at the right age to motivate them to pursue the degrees and skills training that manufacturers are looking for. Then, as it is in other industries, manufacturing careers will attract the best and brightest students. To learn more and support NBT’s mission to inspire the next generation of manufacturers, visit Cindy Day is senior manager, Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs Foundation, Fabricators & Manufacturers Association. The views expressed are those of Day’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

Manufacturing News is sponsored by Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Int’l.



November 2016

A reflection of our community


Stroll on State has many stories to share A community gathering together is a powerful and magical experience. For the past three years, Stroll on State (presented by Illinois Bank & Trust) has provided a place, an experience, for friends and family to gather and celebrate the start of the holiday season. Like many events, Stroll on State has the regular fanfare and its own version of pomp and circumstance – a parade, fireworks, music and revelry. But Stroll on State is so much more than simply a festival; more than just a fun night for the community. Stroll on State is a reflection of our community. Stroll on State provides us with an opportunity like many of our cherished holidays – the opportunity to look back with appreciation and forward with anticipation. Behind the scenes, our downtown shop owners spend months preparing for the night in hopes of bolstering their small businesses with what many of them call their 13th month. It takes a lot of late nights and favors asked to make their shop tip top for the event. Our performers practice and plan so that the celebration is just right – from school kids performing with their school band to community theatre groups providing the perfect show. Volunteers give of their time and talents, not just to help the night of the event, but also year-round attending committee meetings, helping at workshop nights building decorations, and planning the special activities that will make the night memorable.

Personal Stories of Hope Stroll on State reflects the spirit of Rockford, a city eager to see their community rise to new heights. A community that is ready to build back up what was too long neglected. For some of us, what was neglected was our downtown neighborhood; for others, perhaps the community in general. But what is great is that we are no

Stroll on State is a reflection on our community.

Josh Albrecht Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

longer ignoring what needs to be rebuilt; we are actively rising up to the challenge and not accepting defeat. We are persevering together and helping one another for a shared vision of being the best we can be. Last year, we produced a mini documentary on Stroll on State with local filmmaker Pablo Korona. The film showcased three stories of perseverance, determination and rebirth. A student who finds an old, beat-up saxophone, fixes it up, learns to play and then relishes the opportunity to perform at Stroll on State. A shop owner who takes a chance to move into a vacant space with very little time and help, but is able to be ready and open just in time for the start of Stroll on State. And a volunteer who has been set back in his personal life, but finds friendship and support by giving back to his community. These stories are why Stroll on State is so important to the community. The event is about experiencing the awe and wonder of the holiday season, but it is also about experiencing the awe and wonder of what a community can do together. How a community can learn from the difficult moments in our adventure and find success when we lean on each other for help. How a community can rise up together. We hope that you join us again this year as we celebrate Stroll on State, and our community, on November 26 in downtown Rockford. Learn more about this new Rockford tradition and watch the mini-documentary “Stories from a Stroll” 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.



November 2016

New Chamber board members slated The Rockford Chamber’s nominating committee, headed by board member Rich Walsh, presented a slate of nominees to the board of directors at its Oct. 25 meeting. There were many qualified candidates for each position on the board, said Einar Forsman, Rockford Chamber president & CEO. “We’re confident those members nominated will represent the Rockford area business community with distinction.” New board members recommended for nomination for a three-year term to begin Jan. 1, 2017 are:

■■ Jan Bowman,

■■ Karl Swanson, Rockford Bank & Trust Co.

nine years of service on the board on

■■ Sam Castree, Staff Management, Inc.

under the current chamber bylaws.

■■ LaVonne Brown, Savant Capital Management ■■ John Schuster, Rosecrance Health Network

TLC Construction ■■ Michael Iasparro, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP ■■ Laura Pigatti Williamson, Rockford Park District ■■ Andy Benson, Benson Stone Company ■■ Mark Peterson, CherryVale Mall Rich




Walsh, LLP, and Paul McCann, Stanley Steemer of Rockford, will complete Dec. 31, 2016; the maximum permitted The board will vote on the nominating committee’s recommendations at its Nov. 22 meeting. For more information about the board nomination process, contact Einar Forsman at 815-316-4304. The following were voted on at the

■■ Jon Thompson, Butitta Brothers Automotive

October board meeting for election as

■■ Paula Carynski, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center

to begin Jan. 1, 2017 and expire Dec. 31,

The following individuals are recommended for reappointment for additional three-year terms, under the bylaws:

officers for the coming two-year term, 2018: Vice Chair: Dan Ross, WilliamsManny Insurance Group Treasurer: Amy Ott, Boylan Catholic High School


Local Business Growth

November 2016


Business growth (continued from front page)

plans in October to offer all four years of medical school. Gary Kaatz, member of the Dean’s Action Council and retired area health system administrator, will lead the $1.9 million campaign to support the M1 expansion project. Traditionally, the students’ first year of medical school, called M1, was completed at the University of Illinois campus in Urbana-Champaign. To make the local program four-year, the college will transform the curriculum, recruit new faculty and staff, and renovate facilities, for an estimated impact of $33.9 million in added income from capital spending from 2016 to 2035. An estimated $10 million will be spent on campus construction and renovations from 2014 to 2024. The UIC Health Sciences Campus - Rockford, the collective home to the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy, also reported a $58.2 million economic impact to the Rockford area, encompassing Winnebago, Stephenson, Boone and Ogle counties, in fiscal year 2015. Emsi, a leading provider of economic impact studies to educational institutions, reported that for every $1 spent by students at the Rockford campus, they would gain $12.10 in lifetime earnings. Taxpayers received $18.60 in added taxes and public sector savings per dollar spent.’s new retail program includes gift membership cards placed in bait and tackle shops, such as the famous Yellow Bait House in Key Largo, Fla.

Millennium Hotel Could Open as Early as Next Spring Madison Street Partners LLC, an affiliate of SupplyCore Inc., announced unanimous Rockford City Council member and Mayoral support in October for a new hotel project set to open as early as next spring at 220 S. Madison St. The Millennium Hotel, next to the newly opened UW Health Sports Factory, will be the first new hotel in downtown Rockford in decades. The $6 million redevelopment project will transform the Millennium Center building into a full-service boutique hotel with roughly 50 rooms, restaurant and bar, walk-up casual food stand, meeting space, indoor swimming pool and family-friendly activities. “This new boutique hotel and

Randy Wright, M.S., ATC, director of occupational medicine, simulates a job-specific task with correct body mechanics to train employees of a Orthopedic and Sports Therapy Institute business client and prevent workplace injuries.

Shown is an illustration of the restaurant and bar in the Millennium Hotel set to open next year in downtown Rockford. restaurant will serve as a community living room, a fun social gathering place for local and out-of-town patrons, and will cater to a growing market of people visiting our downtown venues,” said Peter Provenzano, principal, Madison Street Partners LLC. Provenzano and his real estate entities, Madison Street Partners LLC and Joseph James Partners, are working to create other family-friendly destinations in downtown Rockford by redeveloping existing assets.

OSTI Expands Work Injury Prevention Programs to New Plants Orthopedic and Sports Therapy Institute (OSTI), independently owned by physical therapists at 10 locations in Illinois and Indiana, recently expanded its Occupational Medicine Division. Its work injury prevention programs at the Syncreon plant in Belvidere now will be implemented at the plants in York, Penn., and Kansas City, Mo. OSTI implemented WorkSTEPS Testing to Syncreon’s plant in Belvidere in 2014; matching employees’ physical capabilities to the physical demands of specific jobs and offering ergonomic analysis, job description creation, onsite job coaching and wellness to prevent work injury. Since implementation, Syncreon has experienced a reduction in lost time, workplace injuries, workers’ compensation costs and its Days Away/ Restricted or Job Transfer (DART) rate. Kevin Camden and Randy Wright, physical therapists for OSTI, traveled to York and Kansas City to complete

job descriptions for plant positions, set up job-specific tasks for WorkSTEPS testing and identify particular jobsite modifications in order to reduce repetitive strain injuries. OSTI will continue to support the plant remotely and through on-site visits. OSTI, which has specialized in orthopedic, sports and industrial rehabilitation for more than 15 years, also opened its first location in Rockford this year. Edgebrook Physical Therapy is overseen by Josh Meyers, PT, DPT, OCS, past clinic director of the Belvidere clinic.

Field Fastener Appears on “World’s Greatest!...” Television Show Film crews from How2Media rolled into Machesney Park on July 11 to find out the “story behind the story” on Field Fastener; chosen to appear on its “World’s Greatest!...” television series. The 30-minute show is a fast-paced tour around the world; highlighting the world’s greatest companies, products, places and people. Field, an Illinois-based global supplier of fasteners, made a name for itself not only for its 20 percent annual growth rate over the past 25 years but also for its high ratings as a Great Place To Work. Employees polled by How2Media rated the company 99 to 100 percent in every category: great challenges, atmosphere, rewards, pride, communication and bosses. “We think their story will be meaningful to our viewers,” said Gordon Freeman, executive producer of the show. The shows with the Field segment aired on Sept. 26 and Oct. 10 and will be posted at the website. Field was acquired by Derry Enterprises, Inc., in 1990 and serves more than 1,500 customers worldwide. Visit


Local Business Growth

November 2016


Savant Capital Management Expands Employee Ownership Savant Capital Management announced in October that 28 more employees purchased ownership interests in the company, increasing the number of the employeemembers from 19 to 47. The move will allow the Rockford-based, feeonly wealth management firm with clients nationwide to maintain its independence, according to Brent Brodeski, CEO of the 30-year-old firm. “The new employee-members are leaders in the company and will make certain the growth and vision of Savant is pursued for the continued benefit of our clients,” Brodeski said. “We want to continue to build ideal futures for our clients, our team and the communities we serve. This is a major step in our long-term succession plan.” Visit www.

State Money Approved for Jefferson Street Pedestrian Bridge The Rockford Park District received word from the Illinois Department of Transportation that the Jefferson Street Pedestrian Bridge project was approved to receive an Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) grant of $2 million for repairs. The park district closed the bridge built in 1988 over the Rock River near downtown Rockford in 2015 when an annual inspection revealed deterioration beyond what could be fixed by standard repairs. It remains closed to date. Total cost to remove and replace the pedestrian bridge is estimated to be $2.5 million. Over the last five years, roughly $500,000 from the Rockford Park District’s capital improvements program has been set aside in anticipation of the repairs. The ITEP grant will allow the district to proceed with design and engineering for the new bridge. Completion date is set in 2019. “The Jefferson Street pedestrian bridge was among 241 different transportation projects requesting money for a specific need,” said Laura Williamson, capital planning and management director for the park district.

Expanded Museum a Center for Ecotourism in Byron The Byron Forest Preserve District completed a $1 million renovation of its Natural History Museum at the Jarrett Prairie Center with more than 4,000-sq.ft. of new, interactive exhibits offering hands-on learning opportunities for visitors of all ages. Opened to the public on Oct. 23, the museum includes an immersive indoor theater, sponsored by Byron Bank, a prairie overlook area designed to educate visitors on prairie ecology and a farm conservation exhibit that allows guests to design their own farm. A 2,600-sq.-ft. wraparound outdoor

Completion date is set for 2019 for a new Jefferson Street pedestrian bridge, thanks in part to a recently approved $2 million Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program grant.

The new OSF Center for Health – Parkview in Rockford offers physical therapy and a wellness/ health fitness center, in addition to primary care services.

deck slated to open in spring 2017 will offer an enhanced rental space for corporate and private events. The new museum aims to be a center for learning and eco-tourism; promoting the importance of the natural lands in the Rock River region. Visit www.

OSF Opens Brand-New, Multi-Disciplinary Location OSF Center for Health – Parkview opened its new location at 1502 Parkview Ave., Rockford in October, and currently is accepting patients. The center offers physical therapy services and a wellness/health fitness center, in addition to primary care services. The fitness center includes cardiopulmonary (treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical) and resistance training equipment. The roughly 16,000-sq.-ft., two-story clinic is the 15th OSF Medical Group location in Winnebago, Boone, Ogle and McHenry counties.

New Space for Pregnancy Care Center of Rockford The Pregnancy Care Center of Rockford held an open house on Sept. 29 for its newly renovated, 4,887-sq.-ft. facility and mobile medical unit, funded completely through community donors. The non-profit organization, helping those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, is seeing more than 130 new clients coming to its center every month for pregnancy testing, ultrasound, STD testing, mentoring and educational classes,” according to Executive Director Tiffany Staman. Visit www.

Alpine Bank Opens Branch West of the Rock River In realization of a long-term plan to expand the geographic options for its growing customer base, Alpine Bank opened its 16th location at 1401 N. Main St.; its first full-service branch west of the Rock River. The 2,700-sq.-ft. branch was designed by Hagney Architects and constructed by Stenstrom in late March 2016. Rob Funderburg, chairman of the board for Alpine Bank, had long dreamed

The Natural History Museum at the Jarrett Prairie Center in Byron opens in October with more than 4,000-sq.-ft. of new, interactive exhibits, thanks to $1 million in renovations. of opening a branch in the area. He grew up in the Rockford’s north end area and said he fondly remembers it as a vibrant neighborhood, full of young families and growing businesses. “As do most neighborhoods, the north end has gone through some ups and downs over the years, and we’re proud to be a catalyst in beginning a new chapter for the neighborhood.” The branch will hold its ribbon cutting on Monday, Nov. 7, with grand opening events throughout that week.

Ticomix Implements External, Internal Strategies for Growth Ticomix was named on the Inc. 5000 list, based on its rate of growth,

for the fourth consecutive year. The technology and services provider has made several strategic acquisitions with an aim to fortify its market position as a leading business technology firm, and better leverage its relationships with top technology partners. It invested heavily in brand marketing to emphasize itself as a best-in-class service provider to a broad clientele. Internally, the company made it a priority to create a team-driven culture that would empower employees to deliver on that brand promise. It rallied its employees around a shared vision of turning customers into “raving fans,” in the highly competitive industry of technology and software. theVoice


Local Business Growth

November 2016


2016 FastPitch Competition Gast wins with recoup BEAUTISCOOP By Sherry Pritz, NIU EIGERlab The 10th annual FastPitch competition was a colossal success with 34 eager presenters sharing their ideas, products, services and apps; vying for more than $7,000 dollars in prizes and presenting, possibly, the Next Big Thing!

recoup BEAUTISCOOP First place winner Michelle Gast, with her beauty-related product, recoup BEAUTISCOOP, took home the $5,000 first prize. Gast’s product is a patented, dual-ended beauty tool designed to scoop every last drop from tight-necked containers. It will be featured in the December issue of REAL SIMPLE magazine. During the creation of her unique product, Gast was a client of NIU EIGERlab’s Center for Product Development (C4PD). Visit www.

The Aerator™ Second place winner Charlie Hare, with his patented new tool, the Aerator™, offers an effective, new method to aerate walls that have been adversely affected by a flood. Hare also has taken advantage of the resources of the C4PD, including assistance with engineering, 3D printing, computer-aided design and commercialization.

Renegade Made™ Nicole Jakob, third place winner, presented Renegade Made™, a new line of toys that “help teach kids to do the right thing, even when no one is watching.” Her toys have been manufactured and safety tested for children eight years and up, and were introduced into the toy market at the International Fair in NYC in February 2016. Visit

NowSizing™ Author and coach, Vinni Cavallaro Torrisi, took home the coveted Dale Falconer Spirit of Entrepreneurship award, including a six-month complimentary coworking and counseling at NIU EIGERlab’s LaunchPad! space in Rockford, with her product, NowSizing™. “NowSizing™ is an educational process designed to help older adults navigate a stress-free, later life move.” Now-Sizing…Making Room for Life! is Vinni’s 44-page workbook that guides senior citizens and family members. Visit

Aquarius Fire Protection System™ The Freedom Field’s CleanTech award winner was Branden DeWitt with his Aquarius Fire Protection System™.

Michelle Gast’s beauty-related product, recoup BEAUTISCOOP, wins first place at the 10th annual FastPitch competition and will be featured in December in REAL SIMPLE magazine. DeWitt’s proven technology is a unique way to protect high-end homes in fireprone areas far better than any system currently available. The system is patent-pending, and he’s in the process of seeking UL approval. Branden also is being assisted through the C4PD.

Salted Art Inc. Last but not least, the winner of the Student award was Omar Saulters with his company, Salted Art Inc. Saulters was a published author at the age of 12 and is excited to share his first-ever, teen publishing company. He truly believes in his “mission to redefine, reinvent, and reimagine what we believe teens are capable of.”

Previous FastPitch presenters, Kerry Frank, CEO and co-founder of Comply365, and Kristan McNames, owner of Grace Funeral & Cremation Services, delivered thought-provoking keynote speeches injected with humor and “the good, the bad and the ugly” of becoming successful entrepreneurs. For a complete list of the finalists, those who made the stage, visit www. Sherry Pritz is marketing & events coordinator/ business development for NIU EIGERlab Innovation Network. The views expressed are those of Pritz’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.


Local Business Growth

November 2016


INSIGHT Guest Perspective

Is your company using Design Thinking? Tapping into the natural curiosity of children Design Thinking is a methodology that is a proven and repeatable problemsolving process that any business or profession can employ to achieve exceptional results. The d.School, Institute of Design at Stanford University, defines the process as Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test. Empathize. In order to design for someone, you must understand what is important to them; why they do things a certain way, and how they think about the world. Define. Take all the information you learned in the prior step and condense it into a problem-statement. Ideate. Move from identifying the problem to creating solutions -- this is the fun part! Write down as many thoughts, questions and ideas of which you (or your group) can think. Prototype. Create prototypes that are inexpensive and quick to build. At this stage, you will present many models and gather feedback from your clients. Test. Ask your client to use the product in a real-world setting. What works? What doesn’t work?

Christine Klekamp Spectrum Progressive School

At Spectrum Progressive School of Rockford, we start this process at age 3, using the model LAUNCH, which was created by John Spencer to make the principles of Design Thinking relevant to the classroom. The idea of Design Thinking is often linked to maker spaces or STEM. However, the LAUNCH Cycle is more than STEM. LAUNCH taps into a child’s natural curiosity and allows them to create, test, re-create and eventually show it to an audience. Christine Klekamp is executive director at Spectrum Progressive School. The views expressed are those of Klekamp’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce. If you would like to see design thinking in action, Spectrum Progressive School offers tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 1:15 to 2:45 p.m. Call Christine Klekamp at 815-8771600 for more information on how your company can partner with our students or to set up a tour.


Non-Profit Partnerships

November 2016


Guest Perspective INSIGHT

Natural allies: Where human services and business come together What do human service organizations and the business community have in common? As it turns out, a lot. For too long, these two important sectors of our society have been thought of as running on parallel tracks. Private enterprise is the engine of productivity, employment and economic growth. Meanwhile, human services work to uplift the most at-risk in our population and set them on a path to independence. But never the two shall meet, right? Actually wrong. In fact, the connective tissue between business and human services is extensive and historic. To begin, most human service organizations are, in fact, businesses in virtually every sense of the word. True, we do not have owner/shareholders to disburse profits back to, but in every other way; from making payroll, to managing balance sheets, to curbing costs, to delivering results, to finding and deploying innovation, to ensuring we have the capital resources to invest in the future, we are businesses. We are afterschool programs for youth. We are early childhood intervention and education. We are services for victims of domestic abuse, homeless individuals and families, and people suffering from addiction. We

help the elderly and those with severe physical disabilities live independent lives and avoid institutionalization, and more. Human service organizations must run like a business and think like a business. The connection between for-profit businesses and not-for-profit businesses is also illustrated in the ways we support each other. Human service organizations count on the financial support of the generous business community, especially in the age of contracting public funds. Virtually all businesses, of every size, consider philanthropic giving to be central to their corporate citizenship and we are always grateful. But the support the business community provides non-profits goes well beyond financial. Examine the roster of board members of organizations like Rockford MELD or Rockford Boys and Girls Club and you will find business leaders. That’s because successful business people seek to lend their talents and experiences to something beyond the bottom line of their company. Business people want to make a difference in the community and be a part of something larger than themselves. Human services provide a structure to do that. Consequentially,

through this experience, business leaders get hands-on skills and training that they simply couldn’t find anywhere else. Furthermore, businesses who support non-profits get a “brand boost” when they are perceived by the community to be a caring and contributing part of the community. Businesses benefit in other ways, as well. Thriving businesses depend on thriving communities. Business leaders are rightly concerned with the socioeconomic condition of the communities they sell to, hire from, and operate in. Improving the well-being of the community is what human services is all about. And, we don’t just make a difference outside the company but inside as well. Within virtually any company you will find employees who rely on human services for care and treatment of a child, or an elder or a loved one with disabilities. On the policy advocacy front, businesses and non-profits have been joined at the hip on some of the most important issues of our time. The human services community is grateful for the support so many businesses have provided around the Illinois state budget crisis. I’ve been around Springfield enough to know that when a business leader talks,

politicians listen, and when a business leader and a

Judith Gethner Illinois Partners for Human Service

human service provider walk lock-step into a politician’s office, it makes quite an impression. Indeed, there is so much “common cause” between the two communities that there is no reason the relationships and interconnectedness couldn’t be strengthened even further. As executive director of Illinois Partners for Human Service, the main coalition of human service providers in the state, I have made it one of my top priorities to build a broader, stronger bridge between the business and human service communities. Above all, I hope that every member of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce knows how grateful human service providers are for the support the local business community has provided. Judith Gethner is executive director of Illinos Partners for Human Service. You can contact her directly at (312) 243-1913, ext. 221 or write her at:


Non-Profit Partnerships

November 2016


INSIGHT Guest Perspective

Implement a workplace philanthropy program Build staff camaraderie, leadership skills

Picking a nonprofit agency that can benefit from your philanthropy can be a strategic business decision as well as a charitable investment. The State of Illinois budget continues to be a source of problems. State legislators passed a solution to the budget impasse in July 2016, but it wasn’t a fullstate budget. Areas like K-12 education received full-year funding, but others like mental health and violence prevention only saw a portion of what they might expect in any given year. As we head into another year, legislators face significant budget pressures for funding from other areas across the entire state. This places even more pressure on local social service agencies to trim additional expenses on what is already a very tight budget. As a business leader, this new normal is a good reason to integrate and heighten a corporate philanthropy program in your workplace. Here are some benefits to implementing a corporate philanthropy program.

Increases Positive Company Image According to several studies of consumer practices, a company that is dedicated to helping nonprofits in its community reaps many benefits. Name recognition, customer attraction and a sense of community spirit are just a few of those benefits. Picking a nonprofit agency that can benefit from your philanthropy can be a strategic business decision as well as a charitable investment.

Reinforces Employee Morale; Increases Leadership Skills Giving as a business also builds employee morale and creates a feeling of being a team — meaning corporate philanthropy can be used as a way to build comradery among staff members. Volunteering also provides employees

with an opportunity to develop and strengthen job and leadership skills.

Builds a Better Community The biggest benefit of supporting organizations in our community, however, is that nonprofit agencies help make our community more livable, healthier and more economically stable. Agencies work to promote health, improve education and stabilize income for all people all across our community. By getting involved, your company can directly improve the quality of life of your own customers and employees. State Rep. Tom Demmer, R-Dixon, recently shared his perspective on the Illinois budget. In his talk, he pointed to positive indications of the willingness of legislators from both sides of the aisle to work together toward a long-term solution. But, observing the continuing lack of funding to social service agencies, he noted “if we want to see strong nonprofits remain in our communities, it’s going to be our responsibility as a community to support them.”

Linda Sandquist

I encourage United Way of you to make a Rock River Valley charitable gift to an organization that you feel creates a lasting impact on our community. Get involved and volunteer on local boards. Encourage your employees to volunteer. And, if you’re interested in running a workplace campaign so your employees can invest in the community, reach out to United Way. We’ve been helping people give back to their communities for more than 97 years, and a workplace campaign is easier to execute than you think. No matter how you choose to give, remember that any type of philanthropy helps your company’s bottom line and more importantly, betters our community. Linda Sandquist, vice president, United Way of Rock River Valley, has nearly 20 years of nonprofit experience in the community. The views expressed are those of Sandquist’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.


Non-Profit Partnerships

November 2016

Guest Perspective INSIGHT

Consider the range of collaborative partnerships Working together to address complex issues Agencies choose to collaborate because they can achieve results by working together that could not accomplished alone. The environment for collaboration has changed over the past decade: Where in the past collaboration was rare and hard to maintain, today, collaboration is a standards requirement for many funders. It is widely used in many settings to: ■■ Save money on back-office functions,

Pamela J. Clark Reidenbach NICNE

costs and increase administrative efficiencies by working with another organization, consider an administrative consolidation. ■■ If you wish to create administrative efficiencies by creating a separate business that could provide support to multiple organizations, consider creation of an MSO (Management Service Organization).

■■ Create systems improvements and

■■ If you wish to enhance your ability to achieve mission by integrating your organization with another, consider a parent/subsidiary or merger.

■■ Address complex social issues within our community.

Creating Lasting Social Change

■■ Better serve clients/customers/guest, ■■ Respond to a crisis,

David LaPiana, LaPiana Associates, Inc., describes the range of collaborative partnership as follows: ■■ simple collaboration, where two or more organizations share information or work together toward some mutual benefits while maintaining their independence; ■■ strategic alliance, where two or more organizations work to improve administrative efficiency through an administrative consolidation and/or joint programming driven by a formal agreement; and ■■ corporate integration that includes the creation of a new organization or integration of some or all programmatic and administrative functions to increase program quality through creation or dissolution of one or more organizations (MSO, joint venture, merger, etc.) Organizations often are open to the idea of collaboration, but don’t know where to begin. To determine which form of collaboration/partnership is appropriate, LaPiana created a Decision Tree to help organizations think through desired results, and point organizations toward the strategic restructuring that may be best.

What Form of Collaboration Works? Consider the following: ■■ If you seek access to information or specific programming from colleagues in other organizations with little longterm commitment, consider some form of simple collaboration. ■■ If you seek to achieve specific programmatic results sharing expertise with another organization but want to remain an independent organization, consider joint programming. ■■ If you seek to reduce administrative

Collaboration is not reserved just for and between nonprofits. To address significant complex social issues (i.e. poverty, unemployment or crime), we must employ cross sector collaboration. Our focus can no longer be on alleviating human suffering, but must be on eradicating issues and moving people to self-sufficiency. We need all hands on deck to end poverty and crime. We need the creativity of all sectors and action from all players to solve these complex issues. Collective Impact (first articulated by John Kania and Mark Kramer in The Stanford Social Innovation Review in 2011) is a framework for cross-sector collaboration to expedite significant and lasting social change. This approach tackles deeply entrenched and complex social problems through a commitment to five conditions: 1. a shared agenda, 2. shared measurement, 3. mutually reinforcing activities, 4. continuous communication and 5. a backbone organization. We often claim that we need “all people at the table.” The difference between talk and success is not bringing people to the table, but keeping people there for the long haul and having a structure for identifying priorities, a mechanism for engaging ALL people and a system for measuring success. Significant results, needle-moving results require a long-term commitment from all collaborating partners and multiple sectors. Pamela J. Clark Reidenbach, MSSW, is director of the Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence at Rockford University. The views expressed are those of Reidenbach’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.




November 2016

Growing our own entrepreneurs SBDC to support five-county area By Alex Gary

“I used to have a preamble when I started talking about EIGERlab, but now

Transform Rockford reaches the turn ramp By Alex Gary

Woodward Inc. CEO Tom Gendron ticked off some brutal facts such as:

On Nov. 15, Transform Rockford begins to make the transformation from analysis to action. On that night at Heartland Church, Transform Rockford will reveal a roadmap to guide the Rockford area to becoming a top 25 community by 2025. The doors will open at 5 p.m., with the event running from 6 to 7 p.m. Transform Rockford teams will lay out some of the more than 100 projects identified by the dozens of volunteers that have led hundreds of meetings and community conversations and researched best practices in other cities across the country. The various projects run the gamut from developing a region-wide beautification program and increasing access to the Rock River to targeting atrisk youth to train for high tech careers. “When Transform Rockford started there was so much excitement,” said Patrick O’Keefe, Transform Rockford communications director. “There was a feeling that we’re finally going to tackle all these challenges. Then it took time to put together the teams and develop the vision and strategies. Now, we can share with the whole community the projects. Some are pretty close to being able to get started, others are still a bit off, but the teams know this will get people excited.”

■ A fourth of income in Rockford in 2013 came from government programs.

Where We Were The meeting comes three years and a day after Transform Rockford kicked off at the Coronado Theater. On Nov. 14, 2013, in front of a crowd of 1,300,

■ Twenty-nine percent of youth in Rockford lived in poverty. ■ The violent crime rate was 251 percent higher than the national average in 2011. In 2013, Rockford still was recovering from the Great Recession, which hit harder here than the nation as a whole. The natural business cycle has improved Rockford’s outlook somewhat. In November 2013, the unemployment rate was 12.0 percent. As of this August, it was 7.7 percent. The median home price in Winnebago County as of the second quarter of the year was up year-over-year for two straight years, the longest such streak since 2006. Other challenges have not changed, or perhaps even taken a step back. Through mid-October, there have been 22 homicides in Rockford, already topping 2015, and property tax rates continued to climb during the Great Recession, continuing to strain property owners. “This roadmap defines how we will get there,” said Jacob Wilson, Transform Rockford program director. “On November 15, we will discuss the strategies and projects identified as we continue our transformational journey to be a top 25 community by 2025.” Alex Gary is president of Alex Gary Communications Inc.

Transform Rockford’s goal is to guide Rockford into becoming one of nation’s top 25 communities by 2025. Any research on what makes a community one of the best in the country usually points out some consistencies – healthier living habits, more educated, low crime and above average economic opportunity. Not surprisingly, those kinds of communities attract talent and investment. Rockford needs help in lots of areas, but in one particular area, the region has taken a large step backward since Transform Rockford launched in 2013 – fostering entrepreneurship and supporting small businesses. Because of the state’s budget crisis, the Rockford region in 2016 lost its Small Business Development Center, International Trade Assistance Center and Procurement and Technical Assistance Center. Those organizations helped people form and grow small businesses, find markets overseas and navigate the paperwork it takes to become a federal contractor. Rockford still has a U.S. Export Assistance Center based in the Zeke Giorgi Building, Rockford Local Development Corp., which helps companies finance expansions, and Northern Illinois University EIGERlab, which is charged with helping entrepreneurs grow. The EIGERlab, though, faces issues of its own. Its executive director, Dan Cataldi, is retiring at the end of the year and NIU, while still supportive, has its own funding issues.

I stop myself because nobody cares,” Cataldi said. “We spend all this money on trying to bring companies to town. How many jobs could we create if we used that money to fund innovation and entrepreneurship here?”

Return of the Small Business Development Center At least the Rockford region will get its SBDC back. The Rockford Chamber of Commerce authorized the funding to bring it back under the chamber. It’s a significant investment, as the Chamber is required to provide matching funds for the SBDC grant. The Center will serve a five county area. “Having the SBDC is critical,” said Einar Forsman, Rockford Chamber president & CEO. “You need a place for people with ideas to go to make them happen.” Forsman said the earliest the center will be back up and running is January. In




Rockford hosted a meeting of several of the people who long have been involved in supporting small businesses. Lack of funding was the elephant in the room as well as the fact that no one from the city or county governments attended. Therein lies another opportunity for the region to right its entrepreneurial ship. Alex Gary is president of Alex Gary Communications Inc.

Rockford economy not keeping pace The gross domestic product of Winnebago and Boone counties increased a solid but not spectacular 3.5 percent in 2015, according to statistics released in September by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The gross domestic product is the combined worth of all goods and services produced by a defined region. Rockford’s gross domestic product increased from $14.43 billion in 2014 to $14.94 billion in 2015. Rockford is the 152nd largest economy in the United States. An economic growth rate above 3 percent is solid, but the overall growth rate of metropolitan areas in the United States in 2015 was 3.8 percent.

GDP: Rockford vs. U.S. Year


















It marked the third straight year that the growth rate of major cities overall topped the Rockford metropolitan area. In 2011 and 2012, Rockford’s GDP increased by 5 percent and 7 percent, powered by the ramp up of production at the Fiat-Chrysler plant in Belvidere. Rockford remains an economy largely reliant on manufacturing, and it was a slowdown in that sector in 2015 that depressed growth. An improving housing market – finally – powered gains in real estate, banking and construction, which was offset by a decline in durable goods manufacturing. The metropolitan area with the highest growth rate was the Santa Clara, Calif., area, which saw its GDP increase by 10.4 percent. The falling oil prices severely hurt several formerly rapidly expanding areas. The GDP of Midland, Texas, declined by a remarkable 25.2 percent. Alex Gary is president of Alex Gary Communications Inc.



November 2016

Introducing CORE Conversations and CORE Talent By Karl Franzen, RAEDC The CORE of the RAEDC’s economic development work is the Rockford region’s current employers. Existing businesses have accounted for a majority of new investment in the Rockforward20/20 strategic plan, year to date. The RAEDC appreciates the investments of existing businesses and has sought feedback from the business community to inform its economic development work through the “Voice of the Customer” program since 2005. The “Voice of the Customer” program is now “CORE Conversations” to reflect that existing employers are “CORE” to the region’s economic well being, and that their feedback impacts economic development efforts. The RAEDC outreach efforts are a model for the State of Illinois, which is launching a statewide program for “C.O.R.E” (Creating Opportunities for Retention and Expansion). The RAEDC will continue to reach out to the operational heads of companies with primary jobs through

Supporting EDGE With the EDGE program set to expire at the end of 2016, the Rockford Area Economic Development Council and the Rockford Chamber of Commerce collaborated to develop and distribute a letter of support for extension of the EDGE Tax Credit to each State Senator and State Representative who represents our region, encouraging them to extend the special tax incentive program. The program provides tax credits to qualifying companies that can be applied against corporate income taxes over a period of 10 years. Since 2003, EDGE has supported 42 projects, with commitments to invest nearly $2 billion in the northern stateline region and creating more than 4,300 jobs. This is a critical tool used to attract businesses to our state and the Rockford region, as well as when one of our existing companies wants to relocate to a different state. For details about this initiative, contact the RAEDC at or 815-987-8118.

“CORE Conversations.” The RAEDC uses these confidential meetings to learn about the business as well as about how industry trends are impacting its operations. These conversations provide feedback on the business climate in the Rockford Region, as well as survey satisfaction with a wide range of community resources. The RAEDC and its economic development partners are able to act on feedback to pro-actively address issues for companies and barriers to growth in the community.

Introducing CORE Talent Through these CORE conversations, the RAEDC consistently hears from local companies that the need for an available skilled workforce is at that core of their growth opportunities. The RAEDC has launched “CORE Talent” to address the present and future workforce needs of our employers. Through conversations with human resource managers, the RAEDC will develop real-time information on the workforce, skill gaps and emerging skills required to support the growth of the region’s employers. This information will support training development,

workforce grant proposals and increase connections of area companies to educational institutions and workforce development support organizations. The RAEDC thanks all companies for being an employer in the Rockford Region and looks forward to a CORE Conversation with the management

team. In the meantime, we welcome your feedback. Please call 815-987-8118 to contact Gina Meeks or Karl Franzen to schedule a “CORE Conversation.” Karl Franzen is business development specialist at the Rockford Area Economic Development Council.


November 2016


the News IN Members THEin NEWS

1. Stephanie Johnston

2. Angela Schmidt

3. Nancy Perry

4. Jimsi Kuborn

5. Michael Keefe

6. Robert Reed

7. Mark Clodius

8. Monika Clodius

9. Dr. Pamela Schmidt

10. Dr. Kris Tumilowicz

11. Dr. Matthew Smetana

12. Bill Schmidt

13. Meghan Moss

14. Sarah E. Apple

15. Kyle McDonald

16. Dr. Maryam Hamidi

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

BOARD APPOINTMENTS Womanspace added Stephanie Johnston (1) and Angela Schmidt (2), to its board of trustees. It elected new officers: Nancy Perry (3) as president, Susan Lee as vice president and Amanda Kirchner as treasurer. Kristin Kofoed will remain as secretary. Jimsi Kuborn (4), Rockford Area Economic Development Council, joined Remedies Renewing Lives’ board. Rockford Local Development Corporation announced new members to its board for three-year terms: Chris Black, Earl Dotson, Jr., Stephanie Koch, Michael Schultz and Karen Walsh. Reelected for three-year terms were: Kim Blascoe, Todd Cagnoni, Susan Taylor and Victory Bell. The following were named officers for two-year terms: Brian Peterson, chairman; Linda Heckert, vice chair; J. Daniel O’Boyle, secretary; Thomas Budd, treasurer; Ed Munguia, assistant secretary; Susan Taylor, assistant treasurer; Jeff Fahrenwald, past chairman, and Todd L. Larson, ex-officio. Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful added Michael Keefe (5) and Robert Reed (6) to its board. The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford welcome new members to its Dean’s Action Council: Mark (7) and Monika

17. Dr. Syed Asif Masood

18. Nicole Milani

Clodius (8), Dr. Pamela Schmidt (9), Christie Stenstrom Jarrett and Dr. Kris Tumilowicz (10). New officers are Mike Fager, past chair; Craig Fetty, chair, and Elise Cadigan, chair-elect. Barbara Pittman and Karen Johnson retired from the board.

NEW HIRES, PROMOTIONS, RETIREMENTS Mercyhealth welcomed Matthew Smetana, D.O. (11), emergency medicine and MD-1 physician, to its EMS Training Center staff. Fehr Graham hired Bill Schmidt (12) as landscape architect. Meghan Moss (13) was promoted to vice president, regional banking center manager, for Blackhawk Bank’s north region. theFranaGroup hired Elizabeth M. Burrows, J.D., as a senior associate. WilliamsMcCarthy LLP hired Sarah E. Apple (14) as an associate in the firm’s transactional group. T K Group, Inc., promoted Chris Bennett to operation manager. KMK Media Group hired Sarah France Mitchell as communications specialist and Kyle McDonald (15) as graphic designer. Mercyhealth welcomed Maryam Hamidi, M.D. (16), radiation oncology physician, to its Rockton Avenue Hospital Cancer Center and Syed Asif Masood, M.D.

19. Elissa Russell

20. Dr. Ben Durkee

(17), FAAP, MSc, board certified pediatrician and fellowshiptrained pediatric cardiologist, to its Rockton Avenue campus. SwedishAmerican welcomed advanced practice nurses Nicole Milani (18), joining Dr. Jeffrey Gurtizen at its Stateline Clinic, and Elissa Russell (19), joining Midwest Heart Specialists. It welcomed its newest radiation oncologist Ben Durkee, M.D., Ph.D. (20), to its Regional Cancer Center. Entré Computer Solutions hired Steve Marcum as senior network engineer. J.L. Clark welcomed Peter Graham (21) as director of quality and food safety. YMCA of Rock River Valley hired Nick Maier (22) as director of corporate engagement and Nicole Clewer (23) as director of volunteerism. The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford welcomed Anne Zuba (24), MSW, LCSW, to its University Student Health and Wellness at Parkview. SwedishAmerican Medical Group welcomed Bertram Nanayakkara, M.D. (25), to its new SwedishAmerican Strathmoor Pediatrics Clinic at 5695 Strathmoor Dr., Ste. 3, Rockford. Cassie Alderks (26), PT, DPT, joined the physical therapy department at Rockford Spine Center. Bob Mayerson (27), MS, ATC, CEAS joined Orthopedic and

21. Peter Graham

22. Nick Maier

Sports Therapy Institute’s (OSTI) occupational medicine division. Mary Flynn was appointed as manager of neurosensory testing at Upper Cervical Care Center. Rockford Mutual Insurance Company promoted Lisa Postlethwaite (28) to commercial lines underwriter and Michelle Spates (29) to personal lines underwriter. Deanna Reynolds (30) joined The Harvard State Bank as a relationship banker in Harvard and Lisa Schmidt (31) as a personal banker/retail manager in Rockford. LaShun McGhee (32) was named the compliance and Title IX coordinator at Rockford University. Fehr Graham hired Jesus Hernandez as network technician, Freeport; Lauren Jones as marketing coordinator and Katelyn Kane as hydrogeologist, Rockford, and Nolan ONeil as survey crew chief. Chicago Blackhawks’ Mark Bernard announced that the Rockford IceHogs’ team captain for the 2016-17 season is forward Jake Dowell. Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau hired Kristen Paul (33) as executive assistant and Morgann Hansen (34) as meetings sales manager. Kathy Collins (35) joined Edward Jones as Jen Reisinger’s branch office administrator.

(continued on page 23)

23. Nicole Clewer

24. Anne Zuba



November 2016

the News IN Members THEin NEWS

25. Dr. Bertram Nanayakkara

26. Cassie Alderks

27. Bob Mayerson

28. Lisa Postlethwaite

29. Michelle Spates

30. Deanna Reynolds

31. Lisa Schmidt

32. LaShun McGhee

33. Kristen Paul

34. Morgann Hansen

35. Kathy Collins

36. Marc M. Luke

37. Dr. Dean Fochios

38. Dr. Kevin R. Carlile

39. Michael Lannon

40. Dr. David Ajibade

41. Sue Fiduccia

42. Debbie Crawford

43. Lori BerkesNelson

44. Kelly Lesniewski

45. Laurie Barabasz

46. Jim Sadler

47. Linda Kentner

48. David Ruffin

49. Michelle Polivka

50. Jim Craig

Continued from page 22 Marc M. Luke (36) joined McClure Engineering Associates, Inc., as a senior survey technician. Mercyhealth welcomed Dean Fochios, M.D. (37), board certified orthopedic surgeon and fellowshiptrained sports medicine physician to its staff at Mercyhealth Orthopedic Specialists, Mercyhealth Physicians. Kevin R. Carlile, M.D. (38), joined OrthoIllinois as a fellowship-trained orthopedic trauma specialist in September 2016. Rockford Country Club hired Michael Lannon (39) as executive chef. Mercyhealth welcomed David Ajibade, M.D. (40), FAAOS, to Mercyhealth Orthopedic Specialists, Mercyhealth Physicians.

EMPLOYEE/COMMUNITY RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS The National Federation of Independent Business named State Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) a Guardian of Small Business. Alpine Kiwanis Club of Rockford named Sue Fiduccia (41) as recipient of the 2016 “Touch A Life” award. Comfort Keepers named Debbie Crawford (42) as Comfort Keeper of the Month for August 2016. Lori Berkes-Nelson (43), foundation director, Rockford Park District, achieved Certified Fund Raising Executives accreditation from CFRE International. Kelly Lesniewski (44), PT, DPT, OSTI - Belvidere Physical Therapy, now is certified in ASTYM® (Augmented Soft Tissue Mobilization) to treat tendonitis/chronic irritation symptoms. Meridian named Laurie Barabasz

(45) as its September employee of the month. Zac Gill, engineer, Fehr Graham, and city engineer for Roscoe, received his Professional Engineer licensure. Jim Sadler, (46) senior business analyst, celebrates 25 years and Linda Kentner (47), recovery specialist, 10 years with Rockford Mutual Insurance Company. David Ruffin (48), chair, Crusader Community Health board, received the Consumer Board Dedication Award from the Illinois Primary Health Care Association. Michelle Polivka (49), YMCA of Rock River Valley, received the 2016 Outstanding Marketing Director of the Year in Illinois.

OF GENERAL INTEREST Jim Craig (50), goalie for the 1980 U.S. Olympics hockey team that beat Russia to win a gold medal, spoke at Barbara Olson Center of Hope’s

appreciation breakfast for major donors and future business partners. Dana Smitley, physical therapist assistant, Rockford Spine Center, completed a continuing education course on identifying and implementing appropriate treatments and inventions for patients with vestibular disorders and balance dysfunctions. Jesus Hernandez, network technician, Fehr Graham, is studying for his CompIA and N+ certifications.


November 2016


Business Briefs BUSINESS BRIEFS Rockford Chamber members appear bolded. Thank you for your support of your fellow Chamber members. Crews from Ringland-Johnson Construction are working to renovate part of a SwedishAmerican clinic on McFarland Road to make room for the new Woodward Health Center to provide healthcare for Woodward employees and their dependents. Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden broke ground on its Garden Pavilion & Terrace, to be located next to the Fountain Garden. The popular site for wedding ceremonies will feature a frame-construction, white tent structure to seat up to 400 guests in a landscaped garden setting and is expected to be completed this year with final landscaping in spring 2017. Community Foundation of Northern Illinois contributed $38,614 from the Bengt & Mary Kuller Endowment Fund for five benches, five bistro tables, 13 chairs and way-finding signs as a part of the Forest City Beautiful initiative to beautify downtown Rockford. It contributed $70,000 in 2014 and 2015. Chartwell Agency was hired by Walter Tools, USA to develop an event concept for the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago. It was hired to develop an integrated communications plan for OrthoIllinois and by Belvidere School District #100 to develop staff training webinars on changes to the teacher evaluation process mandated by law. In support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Carz R’ Us General Automotive & Tire took part in Brakes for Breasts; donating 10 percent of all brake services to the Cleveland Clinic Breast Cancer Vaccine Research Fund. It presented a $306 check to Olson Park Elementary School and has donated more than $10,000 over the past three and a half years to a designated school in the Harlem School District through its Harlem Loyalty Program. Goldie B. Floberg Center received a $12,000 grant from the William S. Howard Trust to help fund 2016-2017 Special Olympics participation. The City of Rockford held a ribbon cutting and ceremonial walk of the Rails to Trails Pedestrian Bridge, a pathway for pedestrians and bicyclists across the Rock River to currently existing recreation paths. After reviewing 18 proposals, the Rockford Park District Foundation Finance Committee chose Rockford Bank & Trust to manage its investment portfolio of $4 million, which includes $2 million in endowments and $2 million in non-endowment investments. OSF HealthCare and OSF Saint

Anthony Medical Center pledged $20,000 to Rosecrance Health Network to keep its Mulberry Triage Center open. Crusader Community Health received the $100,000 Wisdom Tooth Award from the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation to help expand dental services for 3,000 schoolchildren in need at the Crusader Auburn HS Campus school-based health center and throughout Rockford. OrthoIllinois met the quality standards for CTs and MRIs, required for participation in the QualityPath program, from The Alliance, a cooperative of 240 employers with self-funded health benefit plans. Goldie B. Floberg Center received a $5,000 grant from the Milestone RocVale Foundation for 2016-2017 camp activities for more than 20 adults with developmental disabilities. Rockford Art Museum opened a new feature exhibition, Deconstructing the American Landscape, which will remain on view through Jan. 29, 2017 inside Riverfront Museum Park, 711 N. Main St. SwedishAmerican, a division of UW Health, purchased a new life-sized, adult patient simulator, SimMan 3G, to train its nursing staff in the new simulation lab on the third floor of the hospital. Club Blue Rockford named the two grant recipients for its 2017 Club Blue event. KFACT Inc., (Keeping Families and Communities Together) will receive funds for the construction of a designated area for GIRLS Space for at-risk girls in Rockford. Rock House Kids will receive funds to expand its current location for more children to attend its after-school programming. Aramark Uniform Services, Inc., employees and the SwedishAmerican Foundation provided 200 backpacks of school supplies and resources to purchase school uniforms for students who live in the Remedies Renewing Lives’ domestic violence shelter. Digital Hive Mind donated creative services, which earned Remedies the 2016 American Graphic Design Award by Graphic Design USA for the video, “One in Four,” and a printed capital campaign piece, “Our New Home.” Remedies received a $5,000 grant from the TJX Foundation. KMK Media Group worked on a new site for the Winnebago County Clerk with online access to important public records at www. The Rockford Park District Foundation will receive up to $12,000 in matching grants from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation for the Native Heritage Garden and

Wildlife Habitat Restoration Project at Midway Village Museum, if the park district raises $4,000. Volunteers already have enhanced stretches of wildlife habitat areas surrounding the museum’s recreation path. The latest J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Wireless Network Quality Performance StudySM named U.S. Cellular the “Highest Wireless Network Quality Performance in the North Central Region,” especially for call quality and data quality. It has received this ranking for the 17th time in the Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin region. In September, eight nursing students and four instructors from the De la Gardiegymnasiet upper secondary school in Lidköping, Sweden, did clinical work and shadowed physicians at SwedishAmerican Hospital. This is the fourth year SwedishAmerican has hosted nursing students from Sweden. Alpine Bank was named one of the top 18 extraordinary U.S. banks with more than $1 billion in assets by the Institute for Extraordinary BankingTM; winning in the “Aboveand-Beyond Customer Service Banky® Award” category for “wow!” experiences for clients. Rockford University reported record enrollments for fall 2016 with 924 full-time undergraduates. The Master of Business Administration program reached a record credit hour enrollment of 736. The total student population now is 1,298, which includes 101 international students from 20 countries. OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center received the American College of Cardiology’s NCDR ACTION Registry-GWTG Platinum Performance Achievement Award for 2016 and the Mission: Lifeline® Gold Receiving Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks. The Bergstrom Stateline Quiz Bowl half-hour television kicked off its 32-week-run with Eyewitness News anchor Eric Wilson as host, testing the knowledge of an estimated 270 students from 32 local high schools three times per week. View at WTVO-17: Saturdays at 6:30 p.m.; WQRF-39: Sundays at 9:30 p.m., and MyNetworkTV-17.2: Sundays at 8:30 a.m. SwedishAmerican, a division of UW Health, donated $70,000 to Rosecrance Health Network to help maintain its Mulberry Triage Center; threatened to close due to the State of Illinois budget impasse. CBL & Associates Properties, Inc., owner of CherryVale Mall, announced that the mall will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, to

reopen at 6 a.m., on Black Friday, Nov. 25. The Rockford IceHogs announced that every regular season and postseason game, home and road, once again can be viewed on WIFR’s Justice Network on 23.3 as well as Sports Fan 1330 AM. A free audio broadcast of each game will be available through 104.9 the X, and once the new Sports Fan website is completed, the audio stream will be carried by 1330 AM. SwedishAmerican, a division of UW Health, earned the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative designation sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund to recognize hospitals with optimal care for breastfeeding and mother/baby bonding. Winnebago County Health Department is offering the Quadrivalent vaccine, designed to protect against two Influenza A viruses and two Influenza B viruses. The complete flu clinic schedule can be found at or 815-720-4274. The flu season can begin as early as October, but most commonly peaks in January or February. Rockford Park District issued a call to artists to apply by Nov. 18 for the 31st annual Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition to take place Jan. 18 to 21, 2017 at Sinnissippi Park. Teams from around the state compete to represent Illinois in the 2018 U.S. Nationals Snow Sculpting Competition. Each year, as many as 70,000 view the massive works of snow art. Visit www.ilsnowsculpting. com for entry rules and applications. Ringland-Johnson, Inc., completed renovations to the Loves Park library of the North Suburban Library District, including restorations of its HVAC, electric, plumbing and lighting systems, upgrades to its Internet capabilities with a new fiber optic network and Wi-Fi availability and expanded computer labs. Renovations included a reading area for teens, local history room, independent study rooms, auditorium and meeting room. University of Illinois Extension, University of Illinois College of Pharmacy and College of Medicine have partnered to offer 4-H Health Jam, an eight-week, health-centered curriculum, to fifth grade students at Nelson Elementary School, with 33 rural pharmacy and rural medical students to guide them through hands-on activities. Edward Jones’ website was named the best in financial services for navigation, straightforward design and available options for users at the Web Marketing Association’s 17th annual Web Awards.



November 2016

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

The Pregnancy Care Center held a ribbon cutting on Sept. 29 at 4108 Morsay Dr., Rockford.

Illinois Material Handling held a ribbon cutting and open house on Oct. 21 for its new Rockford location at 3444 Precision Dr.

Howard Johnson Hotel held a ribbon cutting on Oct. 19 at 3909 11th St., Rockford.

The Byron Forest Preserve, along with the Rockford and Byron Area chambers, hosted a ribbon cutting on Oct. 20 to celebrate the opening of the newly renovated Jarrett Prairie Natural History Museum.


November 2016


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

Tuesday, November 1

Entré Computer Solutions presents TechX, noon at Prairie Street Brewhouse, 200 Prairie St., Rockford. Includes complimentary lunch and keynote speakers Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato, FBI agent Steve Jenson and Williams McCarthy lawyer Troy Haggestad on how to protect company assets with security. Call Tiffany Holdcroft, 815-399-5664, ext. 245, for questions. Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP hosts Environmental Law Update 2016, a free breakfast presentation, 8 a.m., at Northern Illinois University Conference Center, 8500 E. State St. Register at (click Events).

Wednesday, November 2

OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center hosts a free, public Medicare Session, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in its front entrance, 5666 E. State St. For more information, contact 815-395-4668.

Thursday, November 3

SwedishAmerican, A Division of UW Health hosts a Lighting Ceremony, 5:30 p.m., at the Regional Cancer Center, 3535 N. Bell School Road, Rockford, to raise awareness about lung cancer in partnership with Lung Cancer Alliance. For more information, call 779-696-9400. Rock Valley College department of composition and literature hosts a free lecture, Q&A and book signing featuring Kimberla Lawson Roby, alumna and New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, as a part of its 2016 Visiting Writer Series, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., in the student center atrium, 3301 N. Mulford Road. For questions contact 815-921-3323.

Friday, November 4

Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence presents: The Commitments of High-Impact Nonprofits, 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., at Forest Hills Country Club, 5135 Forest Hills Road, Rockford. Register at The City of Freeport and RAMP extended the deadline to Nov. 4 to

file an application to apply for funding for improvements that increase accessibility of buildings within Freeport’s downtown Tax Increment Financing district. Visit www.

Saturday, November 5

Saint Anthony College of Nursing hosts a Fall Open House, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Guilford Square Campus, 698 Featherstone Road, Rockford. Prospective students will learn more about the nursing profession and degrees offered. Register at www. The First Tee® of Greater Rockford, an outreach of Rockford Park District, presents Fore the Kids Bowling Extravaganza, 6:30 p.m., at Park Lanes Bowl, 5318 N. Second St., Loves Park. Bowling, raffles, contests and live entertainment. Register in advance at

Sunday, November 6

Discovery Center Museum presents Smashing Pumpkins, 1 to 4 p.m., at Riverfront Museum Park, 711 N. Main St., Rockford. Construct a minicatapult, fashion a bird feeder and more. Call 815-963-6769 or visit

Tuesday, November 8

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP hosts Recent Developments in Labor and Employment Law, a free breakfast presentation, 8 a.m., at Northern Illinois University Conference Center, 8500 E. State St. Register at www. (click Events).

Wednesday, November 9

Discovery Center Museum presents Sherlock Holmes Forensics and Dr. Watson’s Lab, a two-part homeschool class, 10:30 a.m. to noon, on Nov. 9 and 30, at Riverfront Museum Park, 711 N. Main St., Rockford. To register, visit education or call 815-963-6769.

Thursday, November 10

SwedishAmerican presents a free community diabetes event, What’s Different in Diabetes? with endocrinologist Dr. Sravanthi Nagavalli, 6:30 p.m., in the first floor hospital conference center, 1400 Charles St., Rockford. Register by Nov. 4 at 779-696-4190.

Get to Know Your Ambassadors Name: Carol Lindstrom Company: Sam’s Club

Position: Membership Coordinator

How long have you been an Ambassador? November 2015

What do you like most about being an Ambassador? Learning about the needs of our chamber members to improve the communication within our community. I’ve met many new people and made some new friends along the way as well, being involved with the ambassadors.

Friday, November 11 Legendary blues guitarist and singer Buddy Guy performs with blues, gospel and rock singer, songwriter and guitarist Jonny Lang, 8 p.m., at the Coronado Performing Arts Center, 314 N. Main St., Rockford. For tickets visit the BMO Harris Bank Center box office, or 815-968-5222. SwedishAmerican, A Division of UW Health presents its annual Puttin’ On the Glitz fashion show/ luncheon, 11 a.m., at Giovanni’s, 610 N. Bell School Road, Rockford, for oncology patients and families. Local television news anchors, hospital professionals and individuals touched by cancer will model fashions from Dress Barn and Men’s Warehouse. For tickets contact 779-696-2496.

Saturday, November 12

Rockford Symphony Orchestra and the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center’s Mendelssohn Chorale perform Classics 2: Great Choruses and Overtures from Opera, 7:30 p.m., at Coronado Performing Arts Center, 314 N. Main St. Call 815-965-0049 or visit The 11th annual Remedies Ball takes place at 6 p.m., at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center, 200 S. Bell School Road, Rockford. Entertainment by Joel Ross Quartet and Dorothy Paige Turner, dinner, dancing, and live and silent auctions. For tickets contact Jane Armitage, jarmitage@

Tuesday, November 15

Rock Valley College’s Business & Professional Institute and Furst Search LLC present Personality Traits, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., at Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens, JL Clark meeting room, 1354 N. 2nd St., Rockford. Continental breakfast provided. RSVP to Molly Buhck, or 815-229-7800. University of Illinois Extension presents Agritourism Tour and Roundtable Discussion including a tour of Wishful Acres Farm and Brewery, 6 p.m., at Wishful Acres Brewery, 4679 N. Flansburg Road, Lena. Roundtable discussion with Grant McCarty. Pre-registration required at 815-235-4125, 815-8582273 or University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford presents a free Community Health and Wellness Seminar – Fight the Flu, Pneumonia, Too! 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., at the University of Illinois Rockford, 1601 Parkview Ave., featuring Sahib S. Gill, M.D., chief resident, and Joe Ross, M.D., L.P. Johnson Family Health Center. Contact 815-395-5649 or or visit

Wednesday, November 16

Belcan Engineering hosts an Open House and Ribbon Cutting

Ceremony, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 3381 Forest View Road, Rockford. Tour and short presentation. Call 815-329-1602 for questions.

Friday, November 18

The American Advertising Federation of Northern Illinois presents Email Automation Made Simple with Vanessa Cabrera, Your Social Media Mentor, Inc., Chicago, 11:45 a.m., at Katie’s Cup, 502 7th St., in Rockford. To register, visit Alzheimer’s Association presents Effective Communication Strategies, a free 1.5-hour presentation with Susan Sklar, 10 a.m., at Comfort Keepers, 4835 Manhattan Dr., Rockford. Open to the public. RSVP at 815-229-9100.

Saturday, November 19

The 11th annual Dancing with the Rockford Stars takes place at 6 p.m., at Giovanni’s, 610 N. Bell School Road, Rockford, to benefit Family Counseling Services. Dancers are Doug and Nancy Enke, Eli and Jennifer Nicolosi, Chris and Kelly Manuel, Michelle DeHaven, Michele McAffee, Heather Kelley, Allie Kelley and Jennifer Vause. Visit

Tuesday, November 22

Winnebago County University of Illinois Extension presents 5-Ingredient Fix and More, featuring Diane Reinhold, nutrition and wellness educator, 5:30 to 7 p.m., at 1040 N. Second St., Rockford. Preregistration required at jsw or 815-986-4357.

Friday, November 25

Discovery Center Museum presents Science Cornucopia, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Nov. 25 and 26, at Riverfront Museum Park, 711 N. Main St., Rockford. Turning turkey-day leftovers into zany science fun! Call 815-9636769 or visit www.discoverycenter

Wednesday, November 30

University of Illinois Extension presents Risk Management and Rules and Regulations for Agritourism Businesses, 6 to 9 p.m., at the Stockton Public Library, 140 W. Benton Ave., Stockton. Deb Brown will present on managing risk in your agritourism business and Grant McCarty on State of Illinois rules and regulations. Pre-registration required at 815-235-4125, 815-858-2273 or web.

Saturday, December 3

PAW Patrol Live! “Race to the Rescue,” a children’s stage show based on the hit animated Nickelodeon TV show, takes place Dec. 3, 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., and Dec. 4, 10 a.m., at the Coronado Performing Arts Center, 314 N. Main St., Rockford. For tickets, visit the BMO Harris Bank Center or Coronado box offices or www. or call 815-968-5222.



November 2016

Regional, National Indicators THE ECONOMY U.S. Indicators September 2016

Consumer Price Index Unemployment Rate

0.3 percent 5.0 percent

      

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

156,000 $0.06 0.3 percent 0.6 percent (second quarter, 2016) 0.6 percent (second quarter, 2016) 0.1 percent 0.3 percent

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Unemployment Rates Region / State / Nation May 2016

June 2016

July 2016

Aug 2016
















United States





Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Illinois 11th Most Energy-Efficient State in 2016

Energy is one of the biggest household expenses for American consumers, who, on average, spend nearly $2,000 per year on energy bills, according to About half of that amount pays just for heating and cooling. But energy has much broader implications on the national economy and the environment. According to a McKinsey & Company report, an estimated $520 billion initial investment on energy-efficiency measures could save the economy more than $1.2 trillion in the future and potentially reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 1.1 gigatons — “the equivalent of taking the entire U.S. fleet of passenger vehicles and light trucks off the roads.” WalletHub’s analysts measured the efficiency of car- and home-energy consumption in 48 U.S. states. Due to data limitations, Alaska and Hawaii were excluded.

1 New York 2 Utah 3 Minnesota 4 Vermont 5 Rhode Island 6 Wisconsin 7 Massachusetts 8 Colorado 9 Connecticut 10 New Hampshire

11 Illinois

Home Energy Efficiency Rank 3 1 2 4 9 6 14 8 17 7


Car Energy Efficiency Rank 1 14 22 16 4 24 5 15 6 30



November 2016



Eight benefits from your



According to a research study by The Shapiro Group, Inc., and Market Street Services, when a company shows that it’s highly involved in its local chamber, consumers are 12 percent more likely to think that its products stack up better against the competition. That’s one benefit of joining a chamber of commerce, but there are more!

Membership in the Rockford Chamber of Commerce …

1. Brings credibility to your business. (See above.) 2. Boosts your public relations efforts and increases your visibility

in the community. Publication announcements and articles, advertising, sponsorships, grand openings and ribbon-cutting ceremonies.

3. Offers networking opportunities. Committees, seminars, events. 4. Gives members a voice in government. Puts the needs of

businesses in the mix when legislation is being made through the Government Affairs Council and ROCPAC.

5. Generates business contacts. Advantage Clubs, Ambassadors

Club, events.


Chamber publications. Business Direct, The Voice,, Facebook and other social media keep you informed on news and trends.


Acquires customer referrals. Listings in the Membership Directory and online and calls to the chamber generate referrals.


Provides relevant education. Chamber events, seminars and leadership development programs offer industry best practices and professional development training.

Which benefits do you value the most?



November 2016

New Chamber Members MEMBERS DICKEY’S BBQ BBQ chain eatery featuring house-smoked meats, stuffed baked potatoes and classic sides. 845 S. Perryville Road, Ste. 115, 61108 Ryan McPeek 815-599-1110

KFACT INC. Youth Development and Mentoring Program for At-Risk Young Ladies. P.O. Box 342, 61105 Shamika Williams 815-519-1072

LARSON DESIGN COMPANY Graphic Design, Branding, Advertising 4320 Spring Creek Road, 61107 Jeff Larson 815-229-0931


MIDWEST FOOT & ANKLE ASSOCIATES (formerly known as Seeber Foot & Ankle Clinic) Dr. Shah is devoted to ensuring the longevity of his patients’ health and developing long-lasting relationships with them. 3851 N. Mulford Road, 61114 Biren Shah, DPM 815-282-8145

ROCKFORD SYSTEMS, LLC Headquartered in Rockford, Illinois, Rockford Systems, LLC delivers innovative machine safeguarding solutions for organizations working with industrial machinery. 4620 Hydraulic Road, 61109 Joe Nitiss 815-874-7891

Z RESOURCE Business consultant. Rick Zumwalt 815-979-2220

We strive to delight every guest we serve with a genuine Italian dining experience. 6367 E. State St., 61108 Patrick Lloyd 815-399-3176

Membership Renewals Thank you to members who renewed with the Rockford Chamber of Commerce in September, 2016. Advanced Rockford Eye Care Advanced Window Systems Ambassador Homes, LLC American Heart Association Anderson Environmental & Engineering Co. Benny & Sons Body Shop Benson Stone Company, Inc. Bergstrom Inc. Campos Construction, Inc. ComElec-East, Inc. Cream City Scale LLC Cremation Society of Illinois Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary GiGi’s Playhouse/Rockford, LLC Header Die & Tool, Inc. Heritage Aero, Inc Mid-States Screw Corp. Minuteman Press NLT Title, a division of Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. Olson Enterprises LLC Pathfinder Wealth Management, Inc. Pepper Creek/Fourth Street Greenhouse Premier Homes Cleaning Services

Premium Oil Company

QPS Employment Group

Radisson Hotel & Conference Center


Rise Broadband

River City Sound Chorus

Rockford Cemetery Association, Greenwood Cemetery & Crematorium

Rockford Register Star Skandia, Inc.

Spectrum Progressive School of Rockford

Spider Company Inc.

T. Pratt & Associates, Ltd. The Alliance

the groundUP s.s.i. (gUs, inc) Transform Rockford

Tree Care Enterprises Inc.

Upper Cervical Care Center

Van Galder Bus/A Coach USA Co. Wesley Willows

William Charles, Ltd.

Winnebago County Bar Association

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

35-YEAR MEMBER Rockford Toolcraft, Inc.


GrahamSpencer Brand + Content Solutions Independence Village at Rockford


Midwest Building Management Professional Graphics Inc. City of Rockford

Saint Anthony College of Nursing Summit Radiology Winnebago County Housing Authority


Accu-Cut Inc. Atlas Components Cross Creek Condominium Association Eckburg Insurance Group Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc. Heritage Aero, Inc.


November 2016


Home Maintenance Checklist It’s fall, and many homeowners are preparing their homes for cooler weather by hiring specialists to clean and make repairs, or doing the work themselves. Here is a helpful list from the Better Business Bureau of projects to complete. Do a Roof Inspection. Your roof is your home’s most important protector against water damage. Now is the time to look for possible signs of damage. Clean Your Gutters. Clogged gutters can cause water damage to your home. Keeping your gutters clean ensures they are releasing water to the appropriate locations. Replace Your HVAC Filters. Replacing or cleaning your A/C filters can save you money on energy bills and save the life of your blower. Clean Your Dryer Vent. Lint can escape your dryer vent and get stuck in the dryer trap. Cleaning out the dryer trap and vent can save you money by reducing dryer times. It will also prevent house fires caused by clogged vents. Check the Washing Machine Fill Hose. Check for cracks and leaks in hoses connected to your washer. Leaky hoses can create water damage to floors and foundations. Fix Cracks in Walkways and Driveways. Inspect driveway and walkways for cracks and loose particles in the structure. Cracks can be easily sealed before they become costly repairs and unsafe. Touch up Painted Areas. Do a checkup on painted areas inside and outside of home for peeling or chipping. Clean Around and Under the Refrigerator. Pull out your refrigerator and inspect the coils and clean any dust or debris. Dust on the coils makes the refrigerator work harder.

Replace the Batteries in Smoke Detectors. Take the time to replace the batteries in your smoke detector; a fresh set of batteries never hurts. Examine Seals Around Windows and Doors. Cold weather can crack caulk and other weather seals. Examine and repair as needed. Drain Your Water Heater. Your water heater tank builds up debris through the flow of water. Drain the spigot at the bottom of your tank to prolong the life and reduce energy.

Watch Out When Hiring Out

The BBB also warns homeowners to stay alert for scammers. Chimney/roof repairs. Scammers disguised as chimney sweeps will tell you your chimney needs to be inspected, and then use hard sales tactics to get you to make expensive repairs. Gutter cleaning. Fraudulent gutter cleaners tend to prey on the elderly or those who cannot clean their gutters easily. They will claim they have worked in the neighborhood before, and quote you a very low estimate in return for shoddy, incomplete work. Energy audits/Door to door furnace repairs. Offer a “free” energy audit to reduce heating costs, claiming to be a representative from your local utility company. They insist on costly upgrades and may or may not burglarize your home while conducting the audit. Ductwork cleaning. Ductwork cleaning is rarely a necessity, so take caution. Scammers are known to damage your heating system while cleaning it in order to leech more money out of you for repairs. Report all scams to the police and to to help stop scammers.

STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT AND CIRCULATION 1. Publication Title: The VOICE of the Rockford Business Community 2. Publication Number: 784-120 3. Filing Date: 09/16/2016 4. Issue Frequency: Monthly 5. Number of Issues Published Annually: 12 6. Annual Subscription Price: $25 7. Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication: 308 W. State St., Ste. 190, Rockford, IL 61101-1104 Winnebago County. 8. Complete Mailing Address of Headquarters or General Business Office of Publisher: Same as above. 9. Publisher: Rockford Chamber of Commerce, 308W. State St., Ste. 190, Rockford, IL 61101-1104. Editor: N/A Managing Editor: Doug Hessong, same as above. 10. Owner: Rockford Chamber of Commerce Complete Mailing Address: 308 W. State St., Ste. 190, Rockford, IL 61101-1104. 11. Known Bondholders, Mortgagees, and Other Security Holders Owning or Holding 1 Percent or More of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages, or Other Securities. Full Name: N/A Complete Mailing Address: N/A 12. Tax Status (For completion by nonprofit organizations authorized to mail at special rates.) The purpose, function, and nonprofit status of this organization and the exempt status for federal income tax purposes: Has Not Changed During Preceding 12 Months. 13. Publication Title: The VOICE of the Rockford Business Community 14. Issue Date for Circulation Data: September 2015 15. Extent and Nature of Circulation: Chamber members and distribution sites in the community. a. Total Number Copies (Net Press Run): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 6,000 No. Copies of Single Issue Published

Nearest to Filing Date: 6,000 b. Legitimate Paid and/or Requested Distribution (By Mail and Outside the Mail): (1) Outside-County Paid/Requested Mail Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541: Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 284 No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 281 (2) In-County Paid/Requested Mail Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541: Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 3,175 No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 3,160 (3) Sales Through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors, Counter Sales, and Other Paid or Requested Distribution Outside USPS® : Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: N/A No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: N/A (4) Requested Copies Distributed by Other Mail Classes Through the USPS (e.g. First-Class Mail®): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: N/A No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: N/A c. Total Paid and/or Requested Distribution [Sum of 15b (1), (2), (3), and (4)]: Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 3,459 No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 3,441 d. Nonrequested Distribution (By Mail and Outside the Mail) (1) Outside County Nonrequested Copies Included on PS Form 3541: Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: N/A No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: N/A (2) In-County Nonrequested Copies Included on PS Form 3541: Average No. Copies Each Issue During

Preceding 12 Months: N/A No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: N/A (3) Nonrequested Copies Distributed Through the USPS by Other Classes of Mail (e.g. First-Class Mail, nonrequestor copies mailed in excess of 10% limit mailed at Standard Mail® or Package Services rates): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: N/A No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: N/A 4) Nonrequested Copies Distributed Outside the Mail (Include pickup stands, trade shows, showrooms, and other sources): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 1,900 No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 1,900 e. Total Nonrequested Distribution [Sum of 15d (1), (2), (3), and (4)]: Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 1,900 No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 1,900 f. Total Distribution (Sum of 15c and 15e): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 5,359 No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 5,341 g. Copies not Distributed: Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 641 No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 659 h. Total (Sum of 15f and g): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 6,000 No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 6,000 i. Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation (15c divided by 15f times 100): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 64.5% No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 64.4%

16. Electronic Copy Circulation a. Requested and Paid Electronic Copies: Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: N/A No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: N/A b. Total Requested and Paid Print Copies (Line 15c) + Requested/Paid Electronic Copies (Line 16a): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 3,459 No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 3,441 c. Total Requested Copy Distribution (Line 15f) + Requested/Paid Electronic Copies (Line 16a): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 5,359 No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 5,341 d. Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation (Both Print & Electronic Copies) (16b divided by 16c times 100): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 64.5% No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 64.4% I certify that 50% of all my distributed copies (electronic and print) are legitimate requests or paid copies. 17. Publication of Statement of Ownership for a Requestor Publication is required and will be printed in the November 2015 issue of this publication. I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information on this form or who omits material or information requested on the form may be subject to criminal sanctions (including fines and imprisonment) and/or civil sanctions (including civil penalties): Signed: Doug Hessong, Dir. of Publications and Technology Date: Sept. 16, 2016



Upcoming Chamber Events NOVEMBER, 2016

Thursday, November 10

Tuesday, November 1

Good Morning Rockford, The 8th Annual TeePee Tower, 7:30 to 9 a.m., at Hilton Garden Inn, 7675 Walton St., Rockford. Business Women’s Council, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Rockford Country Club, 2500 Oxford St., Rockford. Features speed networking. Sponsored by MembersAlliance Credit Union.

Monday, November 7

Ribbon Cutting, 2 to 3 p.m., at Alpine Bank’s new location, 1401 N. Main St., Rockford.

Tuesday, November 8

Chamber 101 with Speed Networking, 4 to 5:15 p.m., Rasmussen College, 6000 E. State St., fourth floor, Rockford. Offers new members and employees of existing members an opportunity to introduce themselves and their businesses to other chamber members and chamber staff. Sponsored by MembersAlliance Credit Union (presenting) and Rasmussen College (hospitality). Wednesday, November 9 7:30 - 9:00 am Rockford University PURI Business School Bldg., Room 124 5050 E. State St., Rockford

Breakfast Buzz Steve Schou and Kyle Kite, Klaas Financial, present “A 360 View of Retirement for Employers and Employees.” Sponsored by RSM US LLP.

Thursday, November 10 11:30 am - 1pm Giovanni’s, Inc. 610 N. Bell School Rd., Rockford BUSINESS LUNCHEON SERIES

Changing Community by Changing One

Ambassador November Lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., YWCA Northwestern Illinois, 4990 E. State St., Rockford. Features a speaker from LaVoz Latina.

Wednesday, November 16

Ribbon Cutting, 10 to 11 a.m., for Belcan Engineering, LLC’s, newest facility, 3381 Forest View Road, Rockford. Thursday, November 17 5:30 - 7:30 pm Tebala Shrine Center 7910 Newburg Rd., Rockford

Rockford Chamber

40 Leaders UNDER Forty Reception Join us as we honor the 2016 40 Leaders Under Forty recipients.

Sponsored by BMO Harris Bank (presenting) and Rockford University and Saint Anthony College of Nursing (gold).

Advertisers Index ADVERTISERS

The Alliance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

with Crematory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Blackhawk Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

BMO Harris Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Klaas Financial Asset Advisors, LLC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Brian Thomas Photography. . . . . . . . 27

March of Dimes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Byron Forest Preserve District. . . . . . 12

Northern Public Radio . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Comcast Business. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ? 8

Rockford Bank & Trust Co.. . . . . . . . . . 6

Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Int’l.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Alpine Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Illinois Bank & Trust. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Boylan Catholic High School. . . . . . . 18

Manner Plating, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Broadmoor Agency, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Mercyhealth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Catholic Diocese of Rockford. . . . . . . 18

OSF HealthCare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Comprehensive Community Solutions, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Rockford Chamber of Commerce . . . . . . . . . 11, 25, 29, 30, 32

First National Bank and Trust Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Rockford Rescue Mission Ministries . 18

Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Stillman Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

RSM US LLP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Giovanni’s, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Savant Capital Management . . . . . . . 14

Honquest Family Funeral Homes

United Way of Rock River Valley . . . . . . 17

Thayer Lighting, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Sponsored by workplace (presenting), Illinois Bank & Trust (hospitality) and The Alliance and Savant Capital Management (business).

Friday, November 18

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

Wednesday, November 30

Ribbon Cutting and Open House, 4 to 6:30 p.m., OSF Center for Health – Parkview, 1502 Parkview, Rockford.

DECEMBER, 2016 Wednesday, December 14

Breakfast Buzz, 7:30 to 9 a.m., Rockford University, 5050 E. State St., PURI Business School, room 124. Einar Forsman presents “Positioning Yourself for Growth in 2017.” Sponsored by RSM.

JANUARY, 2017 Thursday, January 19, 2017 5 - 8 pm Giovanni’s, Inc. 610 N. Bell School Rd., Rockford


Speaker Bill Strickland, CEO & president of Manchester Bidwell Corporation and MacArthur Genius award winner, will talk about transforming our city one individual at a time.

Annual Dinner

Keynote speaker Vinh Giang presents The Art of Perspective, on using perspective to find solutions that are difficult to see. Sponsored by OSF HealthCare (presenting), Associated Bank (gold) and Charles Schwab (Citizen of the Year).


Emerging Leaders 40 Leaders Under Forty Honorees Revealed

Wrap Up Your Financial Year For information on advertising, call 815


November 2016


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 Pusateri, 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 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

DIRECTORS 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


November Voice 2016  

November Voice 2016

November Voice 2016  

November Voice 2016