November Voice 2017

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The Voice is online at


November 2017 | Volume 30 | No. 11


Chamber luncheon speaker aims to

crack the code

of healthcare reform The Rockford Chamber’s Healthcare Industry Update Luncheon brought healthcare compliance expert Julie Jagla of Gallagher Benefit Services to Francesco’s Ristorante on Oct. 19. The employee benefits attorney attempted to untangle the maze that is the current state of healthcare reform in our country for area business leaders in attendance. Calling her presentation “ACA and Health Care Reform, Uncertain Time,

Healthcare Compliance expert Julie Jagla (r) shed some light on the healthcare reform efforts. 2017 and Beyond,” Jagla stated that for the employer, there is more confusion than ever coming out of the three branches of government in Washington, D.C. She compared 2017 and beyond as a roller coaster or ever-swinging pendulum. The wild swings were only going to continue for the time being, she said. Jagla stated that the stumbling block to resolution is the lack of a true majority in the U.S. Senate to muster 50 votes and the widespread disagreement of the key priorities for reform. She outlined the rules of the senate’s link to reconciliation. A decision required not only the votes, but any increase in federal spending or the deficit over a 10-year period automatically would bar certain actions. She outlined

the context behind the alphabet soup of the various reform initiatives — AHCA, BCRA, ORRA, HCFA – and why each failed certain required tests.

Planning in Uncertain Times Knowing that the audience was looking for their own strategies and plans to consider, Jagla offered guidance, but acknowledged that the view in the crystal ball of Washington remained murky. What should be on an employer’s wish list, she asked? Repeal the Cadillac Tax in 2020, lower-priced healthcare options, simplified reporting and fewer regulations — all topics giving employers fits in today’s environment. These changes would bring Continued on page 6

■ online registration ■ keynote speaker video clips ■ event photos ■ list of Chamber events

Questions? 815-987-8100

Join the Chamber’s LinkedIn Group

The Rockford Police Department has issued an advisory on recent reports of citizens receiving phone calls from individuals alleging to be soliciting donations for the Rockford Police Benevolent and Protective Association (PBPA) Unit 6. Reports indicate the callers, who may be “spoofing” phone numbers to appear to be from the Rockford Police Department or calling from other areas, are being persistent in this funding solicitation. Citizens are reminded that the Rockford Police Department does not solicit funds of any kind over the phone. Citizens should note the name and phone number from which the call is received and report the call to the police non-emergency number at 815-966-2900.



Business Address November 16 • Giovanni’s For more info, see page 31 SPONSORED BY


Students shown career opportunities in manufacturing

Visit us online at:



Rockford manufacturers open their doors to area students

Governor Bruce Rauner officially marked Manufacturing Day, part of Manufacturing Month (October), with a gubernatorial proclamation stating, “manufacturing in Illinois has been the historical bedrock of the state’s economy for nearly two centuries.” More than 100 events took place in Illinois, hosted by manufacturers, who employ more than 572,000 in the state, representing more than 450 different occupations. Now in its fifth consecutive year, Manufacturing Month introduces millions of school boys and girls nationally to opportunities found in manufacturing careers. As the mass exodus of the BabyBoom generation continues from the workforce, manufacturers in Illinois are

Your participation is needed in a national research study on volunteering, community leadership and chamber of commerce membership. Your participation will help chambers better inspire business professionals to get involved with their organizations and communities. Survey questions take roughly seven to 10 minutes. Visit Type “community engagement volunteering survey” in the keyword search.

faced with finding new workers with the right skills for today’s advanced manufacturing environment. Thirteen manufacturers from the Rockford area, always enthusiastic supporters of Manufacturing Day (MFD DAY), opened their doors to 12 area high schools for tours on Oct. 12. The goal was to show students and educators the rewarding careers offered in manufacturing. The more than 350 students who participated convened at Rock Valley College to hear from local manufacturers about jobs and careers, Continued on page 4

According to the Rauner administration, heroin deaths in Illinois have doubled and opioid overdoses quadrupled since 2013. In response, the state has formed the Opioid Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force, which began a listening tour to develop a comprehensive prevention strategy. The task force is working with experts in law enforcement, medical professionals, community advocates, individuals and families touched by opioid use disorder. It will look at how to increase the number of providers that use the Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program; reduce high-risk opioid prescribing; make information and resources more accessible to the public; strengthen data collection, analysis, and sharing; reduce overdose deaths, and more.


November 2017


President’s Message VIEWPOINT

Leadership, collective impact, and reaching confluence The premise of collaborative leadership says: If you bring the appropriate people together in constructive ways with good information, they will create authentic visions and strategies for addressing the shared concerns of the organization and community. When the Rockford Chamber rolled out its “Confluence Honors” nomination process, we were hopeful to learn about successful partnerships and collaborations that achieve more together than alone or in isolation. Each component of collaborative leadership is important in bringing about a successful partnership, collaboration, or project: ■■ You must bring the appropriate people together – the collaboration must be broadly inclusive. ■■ You must bring people together in constructive ways – design the process so that it can deal with different understandings of the issues and varying degrees of trust. This process encourages people to work together. ■■ Good information is critical to good decision-making – involve experts in the process as informers, rather than drivers of the process.

The traditional concept of leadership is that of the heroic leader – they have a vision, they assert it, they persuade us, and they gain followers. Collaborative leadership turns that concept upside down simply by saying that if we draw good people together in constructive ways, we will be able to make conscious, inclusive decisions. Strong and successful collaborations lead to growth and assemblage of people and organizations to reach collective impact. The collective becomes an advanced form of collaboration which brings together different sectors for a common agenda to solve large, complex problems. Complex system changes require leadership from various partners: government leaders, funding agencies, schools, hospitals, the private sector, the not-for-profit sector, community organizers and more. This is where collective impact comes into play – as a method to engage partners from different sectors to solve the complex social problems of the day. Collective impact is built upon five interconnected components to produce strong alignment and lead to large scale results: Common agenda – All participants

share a vision for change that includes a common understanding of the problem and a joint approach to solving the problem through agreed-upon actions; Shared measurement – All participating organizations agree on the ways success will be measured and reported, with a short list of common indicators identified and used for learning and improvement; Mutually reinforcing activities – A diverse set of stakeholders, typically across sectors, coordinate a set of differentiated activities through a mutually reinforcing plan of action; Continuous communication – All players engage in frequent, structured and open communication to build trust, assure mutual objectives, and create common motivation; and Backbone support – An independent, funded staff dedicated to the initiative provides ongoing support by guiding the initiative’s vision and strategy, supporting aligned activities, establishing shared measurement practices, building public will, advancing policy, and mobilizing resources. For the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, Collective Impact and

Collaborative Leadership leads Einar K. Forsman to a Confluence Rockford Chamber that ultimately of Commerce creates success for our community. “Confluence: A convergence of forces, people, or things.” On Thursday, December 7th, the Rockford Chamber of Commerce presents Confluence Honors. So much of what we do as individuals, businesses and as a community rely greatly on successful relationships, collaborations and partnerships. The Chamber will be highlighting stories and recognizing partnerships that have been instrumental to people personally, to business growth, and in reaching successful outcomes that would not have been possible without the support and partnership of other people and organizations. Please join us in celebrating these great partnerships and success stories! Portions of the article were pulled from the Tamarack Institute, a connect force for community change,



November 2017

Office of the Mayor PERSPECTIVE

Strategic approach needed to make progress on crime As I complete my sixth month as mayor of Rockford, I know there is one issue that is top of mind for citizens and the business community alike: public safety. Crime is having a negative impact on our community and we must do better. Like any metropolitan city challenged by crime and other complex societal issues, there is no simple fix. We are working closely with Police Chief Dan O’Shea and his team and are beginning to see incremental success. Amid the noise of daily headlines, it’s easy to lose focus on the bigger picture. We have a comprehensive strategy to impact the numerous factors that lead to crime. This strategy involves multiple and interconnected initiatives such as community engagement, technology investments, focused deterrence, expansion of programs like Head Start for younger children and partnerships with local, state and federal agencies. We also know that educational attainment, poverty reduction and economic and workforce development—such as the Barber Colman campus project— play key roles in our response to crime. Community engagement is a critical component of our strategy. Officers in District 1 on West State Street, District 2 on Broadway and District 3 on New Towne

Drive are building relationships with residents in those areas, hosting events at the facilities, working in STRONG houses and living in Resident Officer Community Keeper (ROCK) houses. And our police department is now responsible for keeping Rockford Housing Authority properties safe, building relationships with residents that are already showing results. In 2017, the City Council has authorized nearly $1 million in new technology and resources to aid police. This includes: ■■ Gunshot detection software and hardware to pinpoint gunshots in real time, allowing for quicker and targeted response. ■■ License plate readers that automatically scan from squad cars, providing alerts on cars that may require action. ■■ Social media network analysis software to aid in investigations. equipment to improve ■■ New comprehensive video surveillance in public areas. Focused deterrence is a priority. Investigators are tracking specific individuals most likely to be involved in or to be a victim of a crime. Pressuring gang members and others, using social media analysis software and other tools, helps us prevent crimes before they occur and

respond more quickly when they do. Domestic violence is a serious issue for our community. Of all calls for service to the police department, 29 percent are the result of a domestic incident—and these calls account for 25 percent of all of our violent crime. In October, we presented a report to the City Council on the impact of domestic violence and human trafficking in our community. I’m hopeful that the Council will support us in establishing a Mayor’s Office on Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking so we can respond more effectively to this challenge. One of the department’s most significant achievements has been fortifying partnerships with local, state and federal partners, including the Winnebago County Sheriff and State’s Attorney, ATF, FBI, DEA and Illinois State Police. That’s leading to better clearance rates and more coordinated response to incidents. Are we where we want to be? No. It will take all of us to make our city safer.

Our police department does not Tom McNamara bear the only Mayor, Rockford, IL responsibility for improving our safety and quality of life—we all have that responsibility. What can you do? Stay informed. Hold me, Chief O’Shea, the City Council and all of us at the City accountable. Ask questions. Challenge rumors. Don’t believe everything you read or see on social media. Get to know your neighbors, look out for each other and work with the police to help them do their job. The dedicated and talented men and women of our police department put their lives on the line every day. We owe them our support, our involvement and our dedication to the role we also play to make our community safer. I look forward to keeping you updated on our progress in the months ahead.

Attend the Mayor’s Business Address Luncheon Nov. 16 at Giovanni’s

Plan to attend and hear Rockford Mayor McNamara share his priorities for the City of Rockford, which include public safety, the City budget, stronger neighborhoods and enhanced economic development efforts. Joining the Mayor during the Q & A portion of the event, will be Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea. Register online at


November 2017


Manufacturing Day

Young Professionals

(continued from front page)

and Rock Valley College President Doug Jensen spoke on connecting education to manufacturing, in particular the NIURVC Engineering program. The entire day was coordinated by the Rockford Chamber, the Rockford Area Economic Development Council, CEANCI and Rock Valley College.

Survey Says … The National Association of Manufacturers’ Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte released results of a survey on the effect that last year’s nationwide Manufacturing Day had on the public’s views of the industry. Responses from the students, educators and employees showed an improved public perception of manufacturing, with 89 percent of students and 88 percent of educators more aware of manufacturing jobs in their communities. Additional survey highlights: Eighty-four percent of students and 90 percent of educators were more convinced that manufacturing provides careers that are both interesting and rewarding. Sixty-four percent of students were more motivated to pursue a manufacturing career. Eighty-eight percent of students and 90 percent of teachers viewed Manufacturing Day events as interesting and engaging. Eighty-nine percent of manufacturers that hosted Manufacturing Day events


June 29, 2007: The day my life changed Life at the tips of our fingers

Caitlin Pusateri IGNITE

saw value in participating, and 86 percent are likely to host an event again in the future. “Manufacturing Day is all about showing the community that this industry provides sustainable, well-paid jobs, with limitless opportunities for advancement,” said Manufacturing Institute Executive Director Jennifer McNelly. For more information on MFG DAY, visit theVoice California, Texas, Ohio, Michigan and Indiana were the top five states for hiring into manufacturing jobs in 2015, based on U.S. Census Bureau data on workers’ movement between jobs in the United States (for the second quarter of 2015). California and Texas were expected to appear on the list due to the size of their respective workforces. Ohio, Michigan and Indiana have been states with long histories of manufacturing.

Thinking back, it’s a day that really holds no significance for me. It was the summer before my senior year in college. I was 21, turning 22 later that year. I was more than likely working at the public library as a summer intern and participating in the local community theatre. I had previously ended a seven year all-high-school-allcollege relationship, so I was probably swimming in ice cream and Milk Duds to drown my sorrows.

Merely 10 years ago, we were uncontrolled humans running around making eye contact with one another like animals. But looking back, my life changed that day. On June 29, 2007, Apple released the very first iPhone. Merely 10 years ago, we were uncontrolled humans running around making eye contact with one another like animals. We were sitting at stoplights singing along with the radio like children. We were spending time with friends in real time rather than texting back and forth from the comfort of our couches. We were swiping credit cards at store kiosks rather than verifying our Amazon purchase with a thumbprint. What primitive lives we were leading. … To be completely fair, the above isn’t all true. While the iPhone was a serious disruption to the cell-phone market, we had phones before this time. We were already texting and sometimes accessing the Internet from our phones. But, looking back at it now, the technology feels archaic. Never before have we had so much power in our pockets. On a daily basis, here’s what I do with my phone: While in bed, before my feet hit the floor… (I don’t actually use it as an alarm

thanks to a video in which Simon Sinek talks about Millennials. Find it here: ■ Check my email ■ Check the weather ■ Browse Facebook ■ Look through Instagram ■ Scroll through my calendar for the day ■ Text my lunch appointment to confirm ■ Take a picture of my dog because he’s just so cute ■ Flip through ThredUp to see if there’s any great deals I need ■ Finally get my butt out of bed And that’s all before 6:30 a.m. My phone can literally do almost every single task I could ever dream of – all from a screen that fits inside a (large) pocket. But I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Sure, I love the convenience my phone offers me. With the swipe of my fingers, I can solve almost any small first-world problem I’m faced with during the day. But, I’m scared of what my phone has taken away from me. It’s taken away my freedom to let my mind wander when I’m bored. It’s killed my ability to do small brain-stretches and calculate a tip at a restaurant without panicking that I’ve done simple math wrong and needing a double check. It has banished long phone conversations with old friends that last well into the night to my past, not my present. June 29, 2007. I’m not sure it’s a date that should be celebrated or memorialized as the day the world was introduced to our newest addiction. An addiction I’m afraid we may not be able to break. Caitlin Pusateri is vice president, leadership development at the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

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

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



November 2017

Member Profile PROFILE

Ring Container Technologies A well-kept Rockford secret By Paul Anthony Arco It may come as a surprise to local residents that one of the largest plastic container manufacturers is based right here in Rockford. Ring Container Technologies, a producer of plastic bottles for the food service, retail food and other end-user markets, is one of 17 owned by Oakland, Tenn.-based Ring, including plants in England and Canada. The company was founded in 1968 and is only getting bigger. Ring will add two more plants in the near future. The Ring plant opened in Rockford in 1990. “We have a different type of business model,” said plant manager Joe Ricks. “Unlike competitors who build flagships and then go find their customers, Ring will find a customer first and build their plant near that customer. It’s a model


Joe Ricks, plant manager 4689 Assembly Dr. 815-229-9110

that’s been working for all these years.” Ring makes 180 million plastic recyclable containers in Rockford every year. The plant makes 20 products, including eight different mustard bottles, five coffee creamers, cheese puff containers, and salad dressing bottles, among others. “There is some seasonality in what we make here,” Ricks said. “The mustard bottles fly out of the plant during the summer and then the coffee creamer bottles pick up after that.” High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is the most widely used material for plastic bottles. The material is economical and impact resistant. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is used for many food products and provides good alcohol and essential oil barrier properties, and chemical resistance. All of Ring’s material is recyclable. Every week, Ring ships 12 to 15 trucks of material to its customers — most of whom are within a four-hour range — including Conga and Ventura Foods. “We make the empty bottles and ship them to their customers,” Ricks said. “They label it, fill it and send it to their customers. We’re just the beginning of the chain.”

Many local employees, who manufacture plastic recyclable containers, have been with Ring Container Technologies for a decade or more.

Expansion Continues Growth has been steady — two years ago, the Rockford plant added 70,000 square feet to its existing space, as well as 10 employees and three new machines. “We’re highly automated,” Ricks said. “We have only 50 people here across three shifts, seven days a week.” Ring prides itself on solid customer service. The company works with customers to solve problems and address challenges. “We have deep relationships from plant to plant with our customers. They seek us out.” Many of the local employees — from machine operators to warehouse associates — have been with Ring for a decade or more. “Ring has a slogan — ‘we develop bottles and people.’ We put a lot of training into people who show promise and initiative,” Ricks said. “Ring doesn’t

just hire people; we make success stories. It makes employees feel appreciated.” Ring is a strong supporter of the Rockford community. Its employees get behind volunteer opportunities with the Rockford Rescue Mission and the Salvation Army. “We’re still kind of an unknown,’ Ricks said. “We are working hard to get our name out there.” Ricks said the Rockford location will keep expanding as they continue to develop relationships with large distributors. “On a national level, I wouldn’t be surprised if we built two more plants at the rate we’re going.” The industry will continue to see changes too. “There are issues with glass supply,” Ricks added. “We’re going to see a lot of glass conversion moving to plastic bottles. Everyone wants lighter weight material. There’s never a dull moment in this business.”


November 2017


(continued from front page) clarity to employees as well, she insisted. Regarding the recent White House Executive Orders, Jagla stated her belief that many would face court challenges, but others were waiting for federal agencies to publish their rules and other details. Jagla issued some final recommendations to employers and delivered a warning to all. Her primary recommendation: Continue to comply — with reporting, with the Transaction Reinsurance Fee, with end-ofyear non-discrimination testing, with the affordability issue. She also recommended having a contingency plan ready for the Cadillac Tax 2020 effective date. Finally, her warning. Something is lurking in Congress that hopefully will never fully be initiated — the taxing of some employee benefits. Why does it continue to hang around, Jagla queried the audience? Simply put: $2.9 trillion in revenue over 10 years. “This would amount to an income tax on benefits,” said Einar Forsman, president & CEO of the Rockford Chamber. “Let’s hope this proposal remains on the shelf.” The Healthcare Industry Update Luncheon was sponsored by BMO Harris Bank,




Network, SwedishAmerican, A Division of UW Health and Employers’ Coalition on Health (ECOH). theVoice




November 2017

Exposing students to academic rigor The results speak loud and clear “The underlying calculus is simple: Provide access, provide support, expose students to rigor — and equal success stories like Aganze.” If you were at the Education Outlook Luncheon this fall, you heard about Aganze Mihigo, the 2017 salutatorian of East High School. Aganze’s story is personal and powerful, a testament to determination. Aganze is also a metaphor for what we are trying to do as a district. The Aganze story is so timely and telling because it shows the value of students continuing to be pushed and pushing themselves. Aganze entered the Rockford Public Schools as an eighth grader. He did not speak English; his curriculum was designed as an intervention for English language learners. Even so, he continued to practice English. With the support of his teachers and after prodding from his

mother, Aganze started taking courses in English. In time, he was ready for the challenge of honors and then Advanced Placement classes. Aganze graduated from East and now attends the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Obviously we can’t promise that every student we support will end up addressing his or her senior class and going to the U of I. However, the underlying calculus is simple: Provide access, provide support, expose students to rigor — and equal success stories like Aganze.

Increasing Test Scores The data backs up our approach. In 2011, 762 of our students were enrolled in AP courses and took the AP exam. In 2017 — six years later — 1,055 district students took AP courses and took the test. By another measure: In 2011, 1,427 AP exams were taken by district students. By 2017, that number had increased to 2,177 exams. The bottom line is that the number of students getting AP rigor increased more than 38 percent in the district in six years,

East High School salutatorian Aganze Mihigo addresses his senior graduating class in 2017. As an eighth grader, Mihigo did not speak English. while the number of tests taken increased nearly 53 percent. And this expansion occurred without seeing a significant decline in AP pass rates (a student has to score a 3, 4 or 5 on the test to pass). The pass rate in 2017 was 40 percent, compared to the national norm of 57 percent. That’s not where we want it to be, of course. While we increase access, we are working just as hard to give all of our students the tools to demonstrate competency in AP. However, there is immense benefit in increasing AP access alone. In 2015, students who took AP courses in our district scored an average of 25 on the ACT. Even though we now use the statemandated SAT as a college entrance test, we know students who have AP experience do better on their college entrance exams. Don’t take it just from us. Auburn and Guilford have made it to the exclusive list of America’s Most Challenging

High Schools. The brainchild of the Washington Post’s Jay Mathews, the ratio is the number of AP tests divided by the number of high school graduates. Auburn is 13th and Guilford is 59th of the top 71 schools in Illinois. East and Jefferson are not on the list yet, but they are on the other schools’ heels. Our schools are receiving recognition, which is a great story. Then we have stories like that of Aganze — a young man who, through hard work, changed the trajectory of his life in a positive way. Everybody wins when it’s lined up like that. This is the marriage between hard work and sound educational policy. As Aganze said at his graduation, “I’m here before you because I didn’t give up.” Here at RPS 205, we won’t give up either. 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 2017


Agrace volunteers Belinda Johnson (right), Iris Edwards, and pet therapy dog, Gizmo.

Visiting pet program creates smiles Human, canine volunteers drive away loneliness

By Dan Kennedy, Agrace Hospice & Palliative Care Belinda Johnson and her gentle giant, a 4-year-old Newfoundland dog named Gizmo, “The Miracle Worker,” have been creating smiles in Rockford’s hospitals, skilled nursing homes, assisted living communities and other residential facilities for more than three years. In 2017, the duo, along with Johnson’s mom Iris, decided to become volunteers for Agrace Hospice and Palliative Care, a nonprofit, community-based health care organization that provides hospice and palliative care services to Rockford residents living with serious illness. “Gizmo has an amazing effect on people,” Johnson said. “They just gravitate toward him, and I knew volunteering with Agrace would give us an opportunity to give great joy to our community.” Gizmo regularly visits with two Agrace patients at a skilled nursing home in Rockford. “Gizmo has a profound effect on Agrace patients and families. When Gizmo walks in, you can just see the stress and loneliness wash away from their faces,” said Barb Martin, outreach liaison for Agrace. “There is an instant smile and hands reach out to bring him closer. Gizmo brings such a calm and peace to everyone he encounters.” Johnson bought Gizmo when he was 10 weeks old (and already 57 pounds) from a breeder in McHenry who has raised many service and therapy dogs. Johnson has primary progressive multiple sclerosis and was looking for a service dog that could eventually provide therapy for others as well. Newfoundland dogs are known for their calm temperament and friendly disposition, which was what she was looking for. They went through months of training to have Gizmo certified as a service dog through the organization Alliance of Therapy Dogs, and began their volunteering at SwedishAmerican Hospital.

One day, Johnson brought Gizmo to her mom Iris Edwards’ grief and support group and immediately (as you can imagine!) Gizmo became the group’s mascot. “Gizmo brings such joy to people. Everyone just wants to touch and love him. It’s very emotional,” Edwards said. She accompanies Johnson and Gizmo on their visits for Agrace.

The ‘Happy’ Hormone Response Animal-assisted therapy improves mental and physical health. In fact, research shows that the simple act of petting an animal causes the human brain to release serotonin and other mood-elevating hormones. Visiting pets also decrease anxiety, provide comfort, reduce pain and can even lower the blood pressure of the people they visit. “I felt volunteering for hospice was different,” Johnson said. “We could touch people differently and bring more joy to people specifically at end of life, especially for those patients who might not have a lot of other family or caregivers around.” For one patient, it took a few visits for her to become comfortable with Gizmo. “After a few visits though, she is now starting to pet him,” Johnson said. Seeing the comfort Gizmo can bring inspires Johnson and Edwards to continue volunteering. Gizmo is Agrace’s only visiting pet volunteer. More volunteers are needed to brighten lives. Agrace has immediate need not only for pet volunteers like Johnson, Edwards and Gizmo, but also for companionship volunteers. These volunteers provide companionship to hospice patients living in their own homes or in long-term care. They also provide caregiver relief and help run errands. Dan Kennedy is Illinois regional director of Agrace Hospice & Palliative Care. For volunteer opportunities, contact 800-553-4289 or visit



November 2017

Rockford University PERSPECTIVE

The power of social media

The ethics behind the content How much time do you think the average teen spends looking at screens for personal entertainment each day? According to a 2015 survey by Common Sense Media, it is equivalent to the duration of a recommended night’s sleep for 13-to-18-year-olds — nine hours. Astoundingly, this does not account for time spent on homework, but because most teens own a smartphone and have a TV in their bedrooms, reaching that tally is easier than you might think. Surely adults must be better, right? A follow-up “Common Sense Consensus” survey in 2016 found 78 percent of parents believe they are good role models for their children for media and technology use, yet they themselves average nine hours and 22 minutes of screen time each day. This accounts for roughly an hour and a half of time spent using computers and other devices for job-related purposes. Smartphones and social media have made us a screen-obsessed society, and our staggering tallies of tech time make our psyches easy targets not just for omnipresent advertising in our newsfeeds, but also of our own selfdamaging social comparisons to friends projecting seemingly perfect lives in their posts. Today’s traditional collegeage students — Generation Z, born after the Millennials between 1995 and 2000 — do not remember a time before screens were ubiquitous and know no other reality than the frenetically changing online space. In this era of unregulated Instagram celebrities influencing our purchases, content marketing blurring the line between editorial and advertising, and hashtags reflecting society’s collective “fear of missing out,” America is overdue on creating safeguards that will allow our upcoming generation of digital natives to dictate how technology is used in their lives.

Social Media’s Impact Recent academic studies have discovered strong linear correlations between the likelihood of suffering from depression and the amount of time people spend on social media, as well as the number of apps they use. In the United States, suicide has surpassed homicide as the second leading cause of death for teens after accidents. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports several technological risk factors have contributed to this increase, including pathological Internet use longer than five hours a day. Despite these incredible vulnerabilities young people face in

Jeniece Packard Rockford University

the digital realm, they are still exploited online by marketers scrambling to adapt to changes in the beleaguered bricks-and-mortar retail business. This spring the newspaper, The Australian, obtained a 23-page Facebook document that showed the social media giant’s algorithms allowed advertisers in Australia and New Zealand to pinpoint users as young as 14 who had reported feeling one of about a dozen negative emotions when posting status updates, referred to in the internal memo as “moments when young people need a confidence boost.” Companies are keenly interested in capitalizing upon these “micromoments,” using time spent engaging with their promotional content as a metric of success and conveniently ignoring the obvious ethical shortcomings of enslaving people to screens.

People Over Profit At Rockford University, we aim to empower our followers with knowledge and information. We recently added Snapchat — known for its quickly consumed and discarded content — to our portfolio of social media platforms. Our communications and marketing teams pondered the immensely popular app carefully, determined to offer meaningful content rather than create clutter for our students and other potential audience segments on the platform. The university strives to educate, connect and otherwise enrich our campus and broader community with our social content. American consumers lack advocacy groups or federal regulations to protect their well-being online, but small businesses like those right here in Rockford, are ideally equipped to fill this gap, as local institutions are critically involved in their hometown communities. Does your business elevate people over profit? Do your digital marketing and social media practices make your customers’ lives better? Because it is far more cost-effective to retain loyal customers rather than recruit new ones, consider how adopting a truly consumer-centric philosophy can have advantages over a purely dollardriven path. Jeniece Packard is a communications specialist in Rockford University’s Institutional Advancement division. The views expressed are those of Packard’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.


November 2017


Creating a lasting legacy What kind of leader do you want to be? 34 years. That’s about how long I have until I retire. That seems like a long time from now, but considering how fast 2017 has flown by, it wouldn’t surprise me if I blink and the time has passed. 34 years.

Baby Boomers are in the sweet spot to share what they know – to transition their leadership, create their legacy and ensure success continues by teaching the next generation. Within those 34 years, I’m guessing I’ll have a few different opportunities peppered in. I’m assuming I’ll change positions – probably more than once, perhaps start a family, meet new people, say goodbye to others, and hopefully enjoy countless bowls of ice cream while cuddled up on my couch. I’m sure there will be sleepless nights, endless days – both good and bad, tears, and laughter. As a student of generations, I can’t help but notice that a large portion of the population has “retirement” on the brain. Baby Boomers, the second largest population in America right now, is slowly but surely starting to lay down the heavy burdens of professional life and move to the lighter opportunities retirement provides. While many are counting down the days, what I’ve noticed is that some are doing so filled with apprehension. The look in their eyes as they slowly realize

that transition is likely within the next few years is a mixed bag. Some are anxious to move on to different passions. Others are excited for more freedom in their schedule and opportunity to volunteer, travel and spend time with family. Others still are absolutely terrified – not sure who they are without the title on their business card.

Time to Make a Choice I’m not here to hurry anyone along to retirement (Really, what inspired this article was President Washington’s Farewell Address, some of which is heard in “One Last Time” in Hamilton. There are no hidden meanings, no secret agendas, and no wishes of a quick retirement for anyone in particular. With that caveat, read on.) Nor am I here to suggest that transitioning to retirement is easy. Any great life change can be difficult and should be treated with the respect it deserves. I am here to say that Baby Boomers are now faced with a leadership opportunity as they consider retirement. Baby Boomers are in the

sweet spot to share what they know – to transition their leadership, create their legacy and ensure success continues by teaching the next generation. I would be so bold as to say that strong leaders who know retirement is within a few years away believe that they have an obligation to their organizations and their communities to share what they know. Weak leaders, on the other hand, treat the end of their careers as opportunities to push others away, withhold information and power, and suck up ample resources in protecting their own status and reputation. In our community, I’ve seen examples of both strong and weak leaders. I’ve seen the talent that weak leaders push away out of fear that they will be replaced and forgotten. I’ve seen Millennials tapped to be the next leader by the board, managers and all those involved but have never been trained, encouraged or mentored by the existing leader. Guess what? Those Millennials leave. They join other organizations who are willing to have conversations about succession in the “open.” (And

— President George Washington’s Farewell Address, 1796

Leadership Development news is sponsored by Comcast Business.

by open, I understand that varies widely from company to Caitlin Pusateri company. Rockford Chamber Open may just mean between the leader and the successor. Or, it may be community-wide. And everything in between.) On the other hand, I’ve seen strong leaders share their talents, take the time to check-in, and work to provide training opportunities for those coming behind them. They’ve given successors new projects to get their feet wet, began making introductions to people that will be key players later in their leadership, and provide open and constructive feedback regarding leadership and dayto-day operations. Every one of us has the opportunity to make the choice as to what kind of leader we want to be. It’s isn’t just CEOs or executive directors who will pass the reins. Whether we like it or not, there will come a day when we no longer clock in. There will come a day when someone else holds the title on our business card, makes decisions differently than what we would have done, and becomes the new leader. That’s just how life works. But it doesn’t have to be a struggle. It can be a time for a leader to show just how great they are. Caitlin Pusateri is vice president, leadership development at the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.



November 2017





Small Business Enterprise Trevor Gibbs, M.D., created Anestand™ to hold supplies essential for an anesthesiologist to induce anesthesia in a hygienic way .

Doctor wins top FastPitch prize Medical device for anesthesiologists By Sherry Pritz, NIU EIGERlab The 11th annual FastPitch Competition was a colossal success with 32 eager presenters — from a total of four states — sharing their ideas, products, services and apps vying for more than $7,500 dollars in prizes and presenting, possibly, the Next Big Thing! Trevor Gibbs, M.D., took home the $5,000 first prize for his Anestand™ product. Anestand™ holds supplies essential for an anesthesiologist to induce anesthesia in a hygienic way and keeps the items immediately available at arm’s length. Currently, there is no designated location to place all the items doctors use to put a patient to sleep. The device is versatile as it can attach to the operating room table or any pole, post or hospital bed, allowing the anesthesiologist to work in a variety of situations. Gibbs has been perfecting his product with the assistance of NIU EIGERlab’s Center for Product Development Team. Jared Larson took second place with his innovative fishing-related tool, the GunkStick, which offers fishermen and women a solution to tackling the problem of keeping their rods and reels free of debris. It is designed to catch and remove cottonwood seeds, weeds and other debris before they create a problem. This product is currently sold in Bass Pro Shops and online. Larson was proud to share that all of its processes and products are sourced in the USA. Visit for more information. Elisabeth Stecki, the third place winner, presented her Travel Sufficient Alcohol Kits or TSA-Kit™. The TSA-Kit™ allows air travelers to bring their own alcoholic beverages into airports and onto their flights. The glass bottles packaged in the water resistant, transparent, durable bags meet TSA Homeland Security regulations. Her kits provide significant cost savings and hassle-free air travel for the consumer many times over. Visit for more information. Entrepreneur and inventor Emarc

Malavolti, took home the coveted Dale Falconer Spirit of Entrepreneurship award, including six months of complimentary coworking and counseling at NIU EIGERlab’s LaunchPad! space in Rockford with his product Fresh2Go. Fresh2Go provides convenient oral hygiene in one small re-sealable pouch, which is currently sold in a variety of types of businesses throughout Freeport. Chad Wilson took home both The Freedom Field’s CleanTech award and the Student award with his Electric Vehicle Technologies (EVT). He presented the team’s invention by driving an all-electric, street-legal prototype on stage. The EVT team’s goal is to capture a percentage of the ever-growing renewable energy industry market. Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara delivered a thought-provoking keynote speech injected with humor and shared his enthusiasm from being energized by all of the talented, passion-filled presenters at Rockford’s version of “Shark Tank.” The mayor shared the programs his administration is developing to fasttrack entrepreneurs with interest in starting local businesses. He concluded with the sentiment that his door is always open for the engaging entrepreneurial conversation. For the entire list of the FastPitch presenters and their website links, visit NIU EIGERlab embraces startups. Programming and services are in place at both NIU EIGERlab locations to assist startups and existing businesses — entrepreneurs in all phases. To learn more about the programming and services available, visit or phone 815-753-2192.

What does it take to become an entrepreneur? Igniting the spark of an idea

Ever considered your own business? Do you dream of being your own boss? The Rockford Chamber of Commerce, Northern Illinois University and IL Small Business Development Center (SBDC) are partnering to offer informative, onehour sessions, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., at the Rockford Public Library, East Branch, 6685 E. State St. The sessions aim to help future entrepreneurs understand the many steps and requirements of starting a small business.

Time for some soul searching THE SPIRIT OF AN ENTREPRENEUR Perhaps the most crucial problem you will face after expressing an interest in starting a new business is determining the feasibility of your idea. And since it all starts with you, do you know the personal qualities that make for a good entrepreneur? Do you have the personality characteristics to adapt to and enjoy small business ownership/management? This checklist should give you some soul-searching ideas. ■ Do you like to make your own decisions? ■ Do you enjoy competition?

Sherry Pritz is marketing & events coordinator/ business development at NIU EIGERlab Innovation Network.

■ Do you have willpower and selfdiscipline?

The views expressed are those of Pritz’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

■ Can you take advice from others?

ABOUT THE SBDC The Illinois SBDC at the Rockford Chamber of Commerce offers services

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

Session dates are: Nov. 3, 10, 17 and Dec. 3 and 8. For more information and registration contact, 815-316-4301, 815-566-1953 or www. No matter the size of your business, the Small Business Development Center can provide guidance and training in legal structure, sales, marketing, accounting, finance, commercialization, social media and human resources.

■ Do you plan and get things done on time?

■ Can you adapt to changing conditions? ■ Do you have the physical stamina and emotional strength to handle a business?

■ Do you understand that owning your own business means working 12 to 16-hour days, maybe six days a week and holidays? ■ Are you prepared to lower your standard of living for several months or years? ■ Can you afford to lose your savings? ■ Do you know why you are considering this business opportunity? ■ Do you know which skills and areas of expertise are critical to the success of your business? Do you possess these skills and know how to effectively use them? ■ Can you find personnel who have the skills, abilities and expertise you lack? ■ Will this business opportunity effectively meet your career aspirations? For the full feasibility checklist for starting a small business, visit www. (click Small Business Assistance, Step by Step Guide).


Legal Matters


November 2017

Guest Perspective INSIGHT

Recognizing the value of intellectual property in your business Various forms of protection Timothy P. Naill

Many great businesses begin with a great idea. Intellectual property rights protect your idea as a viable form of property that can be owned, bought, sold, licensed and even bequeathed. Recognizing how to harness intellectual property rights, such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets, can help turn your great idea into a great business.

Patent Protection A patent is one of the strongest forms of intellectual property protection. While you may not need a patent to sell your invention, a patent may help protect the time, money and effort invested in bringing your invention to market. A patent grants you the exclusive right to make, use and sell your product for a fixed period of time. A patent is also transferable. For example, you could license your patent rights to others if, for example, you do not have the manufacturing capabilities to fully exploit your invention’s potential. However, you should consult with legal counsel before making any public disclosures about your invention, as patent rights can be lost (both here and abroad) should disclosures be made prior to formally filing a patent application.

Patent Licensing Not all great ideas necessarily involve a new invention. Some great ideas

involve recognizing the potential value of existing patented technology to your business. Of the millions of patents currently in force, many of the inventions described therein are not practiced for one reason or another, such as the patent owner’s lack of business acumen, manufacturing capabilities, financial wherewithal or desire to monetize their patented invention. Such patent owners may be looking to enter into a beneficial relationship with a business through a licensing arrangement. In one historical example of such a relationship, in 1790, President George Washington (as part of his duties with the newly-established Patent Office) reviewed and signed a patent for an automated gristmill for flour production. As a farmer himself, Washington recognized the value of the patent to his own business and within a year purchased a license to the patent and installed the system at his Mount Vernon plantation. Similarly, your business could be improved via a license to existing patented technology.

Trademark Protection The licensing of the gristmill patent was not President Washington’s first foray into intellectual property. Several years earlier, in 1772, Washington had the foresight to record a trademark of “G. Washington” for his flour. He realized that consumers remember a quality product by its name. This

John Paul Kale

association in the mind of a Reinhart Boerner Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c. Van Deuren s.c. consumer between a product or a service and its source is precisely it a secret. If your great idea cannot what trademark law is designed to protect. Thus, the ability to assert your easily be reverse‑engineered or involves trademark rights against a competitor a unique manufacturing technique not who tries to trade off your good name readily apparent in the finished product, is crucial in protecting your business’s you may not need to limit yourself to reputation. As such, your trademarks the fixed term of a patent. Instead, are a valuable asset for your business by keeping your recipe, technique, and that value should be protected. know‑how, etc., secret, you may be able

Copyright Protection

Copyrights are another form of intellectual property that can apply to many aspects of your business. Typical works that may be copyrighted include computer code, logos, advertising, website design, brochures, photographs and forms, among others. Compared to patent or trademark registration, registering a copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office is a relatively simple and inexpensive process. However, the quantity of business‑related material eligible for copyright protection may cause registration costs to quickly add up, so developing a clear strategy for determining what to copyright is advisable.

Trade Secret Protection Finally, while the above-described forms of intellectual property involve public disclosure, the best protection for your great idea may be to simply keep

to retain the competitive advantage of





Enforcing documents such as employee agreements, confidentiality agreements, and






and for

keeping practices secret may be critical to protecting the value of your company. This article provides only a small introduction to the world of intellectual property and the ways in which it can benefit your business. Indeed, whether your business is a startup or an ongoing concern, intellectual property rights can add considerable value to your company. Timothy P. Naill and John Paul Kale are intellectual property practice attorneys with Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c. The views expressed are those of Naill’s and Kale’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.


Legal Matters

November 2017


Guest Perspective INSIGHT

Court provides guidance on interplay between ADA and FMLA What constitutes effective and reasonable accommodations? The differing obligations and requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) are a constant source of difficulty for most employers. On Sept. 20, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, issued a very pro-employer decision that provides employers with significant guidance on these thorny issues. Raymond Severson was employed at Heartland Woodcraft in a physically demanding job that required him, among other things, to lift more than 50 pounds. Because of a chronic back injury that prevented him from performing the essential functions of his job, Severson requested and was given FMLA leave. Two weeks before his 12 weeks of FMLA leave expired, Severson told Heartland Woodcraft that he needed to have back surgery, and that he would therefore need two months of additional leave to recover from the back surgery. Severson’s employer refused to provide the additional two months of leave, and then terminated his employment for

failure to present to work after exhaustion of FMLA leave. Severson sued Heartland Woodcraft under the ADA, arguing that the two months of requested leave would have been a reasonable accommodation for his disability, and thus was required under the ADA. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a brief in the Appellate Court in support of Severson, arguing that the extended leave was reasonable because it was for a definite period of time, was requested in advance, and was an accommodation that would have allowed Severson to return to work to perform the essential functions of his job. The EEOC has long taken the positon that employers are required to provide long term leave as an accommodation for up to a year. The court disagreed with Severson and the EEOC in a strongly worded opinion. The court first noted that the ADA is an anti-discrimination statute, not a “leave entitlement.” The court further noted that an ADA accommodation is something that allows the employee to perform the essential functions of the job, but Severson was essentially asking

to be excused from doing his job for two months. The court acknowledged that the two months requested leave would have been an “effective” accommodation, in that it would have allowed Severson to return to work. Nonetheless, the ADA does not simply require “effective” accommodations, it requires both effective and “reasonable” accommodations. Two months of leave is simply not reasonable according to the court.

Reasonable Accommodation Does the court’s holding mean that leave after FMLA is exhausted could never be a reasonable accommodation? No. The court expressly stated that the two months leave at issue was quite different than “intermittent” leave or leave of “a couple of days.” Intermittent leave, for example, is similar to a modified work schedule, which is an example of a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. Therefore, despite the court’s holding, employers still need to carefully consider requests for additional leave after FMLA leave has been exhausted on a case-by-case basis. A few notes of caution for employers.

If they offer Troy Haggestad extended leave WilliamsMcCarthy LLP to non-disabled employees, they must give extended leave to disabled employees. Again, this is in keeping with the fact that the ADA is a nondiscrimination statute; broadly meaning employers must treat the disabled the same as the non-disabled. Employers may also want to consider accommodations other than extended leave, such as transfer to a vacant alternative position. Finally, if your business has employees in states outside the jurisdiction of the Seventh Circuit (Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana), be aware that the court’s decision contradicts the decisions of several other circuit courts, which have come down more consistently with the EEOC’s position. Troy Haggestad is a partner at WilliamsMcCarthy LLP, with extensive experience representing business clients in commercial litigation and employment/labor law matters. The views expressed are those of Haggestad’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.


Matters of Finance

November 2017

Guest Perspective INSIGHT

Regulatory compliance: A look ahead Higher degree of scrutiny for lenders Financial institutions and their customers are even today feeling the after-effects of The Great Recession, and the shock waves it sent through our economy. Legislators and federal and state regulatory agencies have sought to minimize risk and uncertainty by tightening regulatory compliance – and the stakes have never been higher for lenders who fail to meet these new regulations. Businesses and consumers need to be aware of, and prepare for, the higher degree of scrutiny and complexity that will result from several important new compliance standards scheduled to go into effect in 2018. Here are two of the most noteworthy.

Strengthening CDD (Customer Due Diligence) Standards While the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) has been in effect since 1970, the Customer Due Diligence (CDD) standards mandated by the BSA have now been strengthened even further, and are scheduled to go into effect on May 11, 2018. This will mean that financial institutions will, when opening a new account (checking, savings, certificate of deposit, loans and safe deposit boxes) for a legal entity, be required to gather more information than needed in the past so that the bank can, to paraphrase the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), “Be able to predict with relative certainty the types of transactions in which a customer is likely to engage to assist them in determining when transactions are potentially suspicious…” Most significantly, the requirements of the new CDD rules will mean that banks will be asking legal entities, starting on May 11, 2018, for the identity of beneficial owners with 25 percent or more equity interest in the legal entity. Beneficial ownership can be established through a certification provided by the individual opening the account on behalf of the legal entity which identifies the beneficial owner(s) – or through use of a form provided by the bank that accurately certifies ownership. The requirements and level of detail for the Customer Identification Program (CIP) information haven’t changed, and isn’t particularly onerous: simply the owners’ name, date of birth for individuals, address and identification number. This can, however, potentially involve the collection of more CIP information, since the CDD rules previously required that only beneficial owners with 50

Cynthia D. Dunaway Northwest Bank



more equity be identified.

Changes to HMDA in 2018 For those of you who have financed a home or made a commercial property acquisition using a mortgage product, you have probably felt the effects of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), which requires that financial institutions collect, report and disclose information




lending activity. As determined by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, HMDA’s role, among other things, is to help the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau




mortgage lending activity to ensure that financial institutions are serving the needs of their communities, and to identify potentially discriminatory lending patterns. Effective Jan. 1, 2018, financial institutions covered by HMDA will begin collecting more than double the number of reportable HMDA data fields – from 14 now to 39 after January 1. These new ‘data points’ include, but are not limited to, “Applicant or borrower age, credit score, automated underwriting system information, property value, application channel, points and fees, borrower-paid origination charges, discount points, lender credits, loan term, prepayment penalty,



features, interest rate, and expanded demographic information of applicant and co-applicant.” While these new standards are likely to add to the workloads of lenders and borrowers alike in 2018, they can be more easily accommodated with the knowledge that they’re in place for our collective protection, and to help ensure that all parties are operating in an environment that, ultimately, fosters greater prosperity. Cynthia Dunaway is SVP, chief administrative officer at Northwest Bank. She’s been with the bank since 1998, has more than 38 years of banking experience and currently oversees human resources, compliance, marketing and facilities. The views expressed are those of Dunaway’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.



Matters of Finance

November 2017


Guest Perspective INSIGHT

How to survive a market storm Two tips for better decision making We live in the information age that provides us with a never-ending stream of data and opinion to process as we make our decisions. The markets are nervous and are gyrating all over the place. Your anxiety level is heightened as the news bombards you with non-stop information about each day’s events. There are experts on different sides weighing in on the issue. One is saying that the sky is falling and to abandon your investment strategy while the other is saying that this is a great opportunity to invest for the longterm. To make matters worse, you have some friends who are checking their investments constantly and have gone into full panic mode. They have sold off all of their stock investments and put it into cash. All of this activity leaves you scratching your head and wondering what the heck you should do about your own investment portfolio. This is a situation that I have seen played out numerous times over the last 20 years as there is always something to worry about when it comes to the health of your investments. During these times

of chaos and confusion I have witnessed these two things help people make better investment decisions.

TIP 1 – Limit the Amount of News You Consume We live in the information age that provides us with a never-ending stream of data and opinion to process as we make our decisions. It can be very helpful but it can also prove intimidating to some investors who simply become overwhelmed as they bounce from station to station or from website to website seeking the wisdom they need to manage their portfolio. The problem is that they are not likely to find exactly what they need for two primary reasons. The first reason is that the experts in the media simply do not know your specific situation. And without knowing your situation they are not in the best position to give you the proper advice. The second reason is that the main objective of most of today’s financial media is not to provide you with great investment advice but rather to entertain and to sell advertising space. I know this seems like a harsh statement but the truth is the more sensational the story, the more people will watch or click on their story, which makes

Crusader Community Health’s Spirit of Caring award recipients honored at 45th anniversary event

them more revenue. To illustrate this point, consider the following question – will you be more apt to tune in to the weather channel if the forecast is for clear and sunny skies, or if the forecast is for a major storm? This commentary leads to an idea that runs counter to popular thinking which is that it may be better to consume less news in times of crisis and not more. You want to stay informed but you do not want to become burdened by what you take in.

TIP 2 – Keep the Right Perspective It is during market storms where your financial advisor can add significant value to you as they help you filter through all of the noise and information through the perspective of your overall wealth management plan. For it is your plan and not the headlines of the day that should be the biggest factor in any changes you make to your portfolio. It was designed in times of relative calm when the clearest thinking is done so that when times get tough it can guide you like a map to your desired destination. The bottom line is that a welldesigned plan is fundamental to your long-term success. Not having one

Einar Forsman, president &

Sydney Turner

Marva Brown

Ruth Little

Scott Johnson, CFP®, CPWA®, is a financial advisor with Robert Baird Private Wealth Management. The views expressed are those of Johnson’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

betterment. IGNITE Rockford

CEO of the Rockford Chamber

nominated Sydney Turner, who won

of Commerce, was among those

the “Spirit of the Future Award,”

honored with a Spirit of Caring

which honors persons 40 years

Award at Crusader Community

and younger. She was noted for

Health’s 45th anniversary Evening of

volunteering hundreds of hours in

Caring on Oct. 20 at Giovanni’s.

the Rockford area with many local

Forsman, along with Marva

Einar Forsman

Scott Johnson will leave you Robert Baird Private exposed to Wealth Management these market storms with little navigational guidance to get you safely to your destination. So, if you do not have a plan in place, or if it has been awhile since you updated it, then make this step your first priority. The reality is that there will always be something to worry about when it comes to your investment strategy. It could be a geopolitical event, an election, a public policy announcement, or an unexpected life event that can rattle your nerves and get your thinking off tract. When this occurs you simply need to take a deep breath and refer back to your plan so that you can clear your mind and regain your bearings. Then you will be in a much better place to make the investment decisions that can give you the best probability of success.

organizations including the Rockford

Brown and Ruth Little,each received

Rescue Mission. At the Evening

the honor for their important

of Caring Crusader Community

contributions to community

celebrated their 45th anniversary.


Matters of Finance

November 2017

Guest Perspective INSIGHT

Small-business owners must protect their futures Retirement plans that work

If you’re a small-business owner, you think a lot about today. Is your cash flow sufficient … today? Are your products and services competitive … today? Are you confident in your marketing and advertising efforts … today? And because you are so focused on today, you may be neglecting a key aspect of tomorrow – your retirement. Specifically, do you have a good retirement plan for yourself? Given that your personal finances are so tied up with your business, your plans for the business will obviously greatly affect your financial situation when you retire. Whether you want to transfer the business to another family member, sell it outright to someone else, or possibly just wind it down, you’ll need to plan ahead and consult with your legal and tax advisors. However, you can take steps now to help ensure you can enjoy a comfortable retirement. You have access to a variety of retirement plans appropriate for small-business owners, including these: Owner-only 401(k). This plan, also known as an individual or a “solo” 401(k), is available to self-employed individuals and business owners with no full-time employees other than themselves or a spouse. As the owner, you can contribute to your plan as both an employer and an employee; your total contribution limit for 2016 is $53,000, or $59,000 if you are 50 or older. SEP IRA. If you have just a few employees or are self-employed with no employees, you might consider a SEP IRA. You’ll fund the plan with taxdeductible contributions, and you must cover all eligible employees. (Employees themselves cannot contribute.) You can contribute up to 25 percent of compensation, up to $53,000 annually. (Contributions for a self-employed individual are limited to 25 percent of compensation minus one-half of selfemployment taxes.) And you can fund

Guest Perspective INSIGHT

Jennifer Reisinger Edward Jones

your SEP IRA with many different types of investments. Plus, you can establish a SEP IRA for 2016 until April 17, 2017. Defined Benefit Plan. Pension plans, also known as defined benefit plans, have become less prevalent in recent years – but you can still set one up for yourself if you are self-employed or own your own business. This plan has high contribution limits, which are determined by an actuarial calculation, and as is the case with other retirement plans, your contributions are typically tax-deductible. SIMPLE IRA. As its name suggests, a SIMPLE IRA is easy to set up and maintain, and can be a good plan if your business has fewer than 10 employees. Still, while a SIMPLE IRA may be advantageous for your employees, it’s less generous to you, as far as allowable contributions, than an owner-only 401(k), a SEP IRA or a defined benefit plan. For 2016, your annual contributions are generally limited to $12,500, or $15,500 if you’re 50 or older by the end of the year. You can also make a matching contribution of up to 3 percent of your compensation. You need to establish a SIMPLE IRA between Jan. 1 and Oct. 1 of any year. In fact, if you’d like to set up any of the retirement plans we’ve looked at, don’t delay. The sooner you open your plan, the more years you will have to contribute – and, as you know, time is often an investor’s best friend. Jennifer Reisinger is a financial advisor at Edward Jones. The views expressed are those of Reisinger’s and do not necessarily express those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.


A triple-tax advantaged way to grow personal wealth Strategies for your future

Here is an idea that many people won’t be familiar with for their retirement savings because it is an add-on to your health plan. Have you considered a Health Savings Account? Yes, I just said a Health Savings Account (HSA) and why? HSAs have triple tax advantages. First, contributions are tax deductible. Second, those contributions can be invested and grow tax-free. Third, withdrawals aren’t taxed as long as you use them for qualified medical expenses, such as doctor’s visits, prescription drugs and dental care. “No account has better tax advantages,” said Roy Ramthun, president and founder of HSA Consulting Service. Ramthun led the U.S. Treasury Department’s implementation of HSAs after they became law in 2003. The catch with HSAs is that you have to use a high-deductible health plan. Such a plan means you’ll have to pay a deductible of at least $1,300 for an individual coverage and $2,600 for families this year. The maximum 2017 out-of-pocket costs for these higher deductible plans are $6,550 for individuals and $13,100 for families. This idea may not work if you have children that are at the doctor regularly, but if not, this triple-tax advantaged plan has many merits to consider. Contribution limits for HSAs are much lower than 401(k) plans, so they should not be considered as a replacement to the 401(k), but instead an add-on benefit for your future retirement needs. If an HSA plan is something that you are considering, here is a possible funding strategy. First, contribute enough in your 401(k) to receive your full company match. Second, fully fund your HSA because they have many more tax advantages. Finally, if you still have additional room for investing, and you

Steven Schou Rockford Bank & Trust

have your six months emergency fund for living expenses, then add more money to your 401(k).

Different from Flexible Spending Accounts For 2017, you (and your employer) can contribute up to $3,400 to an HSA for individuals and $6,750 for families. Account holders age 55 and older can contribute an extra $1,000. Many employers give “seed money” to workers to fund their HSAs, according to Fidelity. For 401(k)s and other retirement plans, you can contribute up to $18,000 this year and $6,000 more if you are age 50 or older. Keep in mind that unlike flexible spending accounts, you don’t have to “use it or lose it” with an HSA each year. In fact, more than three-quarters of HSA account holders withdraw less than they contribute, and roughly a quarter of the people don’t touch any of the money from their accounts, according to Fidelity. Based on the institution you choose for your HSA money, you will have a few investment choices for long-term growth. How should people invest their HSA money? General guidelines would suggest enough cash in your HSA to cover expected medical expenses in the year, and invest the rest for the long-term growth. For people who can take advantage of HSAs, there is no better triple-tax advantaged concept available to help grow your personal wealth. Member FDIC. Please consult your tax advisor for more information. Steven Schou, CFP® is vice president, business development & wealth advisor for Rockford Bank & Trust Wealth Management. The views expressed are those of Schou’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.


November 2017

Issues to Watch LEGISLATIVE

New Illinois Laws for 2017

Here are some laws related to transportation, infrastructure and vehicular regulation/safety that have taken affect this year. For specific language of the laws, visit


Foundation special registration plates suitable for a motorcycle.

REAL ID Compliance SB 637/PA 99-0511 Makes the required legislative changes to bring Illinois into compliance with the federal REAL ID Act, which seeks to improve homeland security and authentication of identification. Beginning July 1, 2017, SOS must refuse to issue a driver’s licenses if a person concurrently holds an Illinois SOS issued ID card and must refuse to issue an ID card if a person concurrently holds a driver’s license. Beginning July 1, 2017, all applicants for SOS-issued Illinois Identification Cards and Illinois Person with a Disability Identification Cards shall provide proof of lawful status in the United States as provided by the Code of Federal Regulations. Driver’s license applicants who are unable to provide proof of lawful status in the United States may apply for a temporary visitor’s driver’s license. Provides that Secretary of State-issued ID cards issued on or after July 1, 2017, to a person who has reached his or her 65th birthday shall expire eight years (currently did not expire). Provides that Illinois Person with a Disability Identification Card issued on or after July 1, 2017, shall expire every eight years (currently 10 years). Vehicle Video Event Recording SB 629/PA 99-0689 Allows a person to operate a video event recorder in a contract carrier vehicle, which is a device that allows video to be continuously recorded in a digital loop. These vehicles must have a notice posted stating that a passenger’s conversation may be recorded. Any data recorded is the sole property of the registered owner or lessee of the vehicle.

Chicago Police Memorial License Plates SB 2431/PA 99-0815 Requires the Secretary of State to issue Chicago Police Memorial


Railroad Crossing Failure to Stop SB 2806/PA 99-0663 Doubles the fine for not stopping at a railroad crossing. The first violation is increased to $500 (previously $250) and the second or subsequent violation is increased to $1,000 (previously $500).

Public School Highways SB 2835/PA 99-0740 Includes highways on public school property in the classification of non-designated highways. Requires vehicles to stop prior to passing a stopped school bus on public school highways.

Firefighter Motorcycle Plates HB 5649/PA 99-0812 Allows the Secretary of State to issue Illinois Fire Fighter’s Memorial license plates to motorcycles having an engine over 150cc. Vehicle Registration Expiration HB 5651/PA 99-0644 Allows the Secretary of State to require an owner of a car or light truck to select his or her birthday as the motor vehicle’s registration expiration date. If the motor vehicle has more than one registered owner, the owners may select one registered owner’s birthday as the date of expiration.

Uninsured Operator Offense HB 5723/PA 99-0613 States that a person convicted of operating a motor vehicle without an insurance policy shall be guilty of a petty offense (rather than a business offense) unless the person has been convicted of this same offense three or more times. Blue Light on Motorcycles HB 4105/PA 99-0598 Allows motorcycles to be equipped with a blue light or lights located on the rear of the motorcycle as a part of the motorcycle’s rear stop lamp or lamps.

Route 66 Motorcycle Plates HB 4315/PA 99-0865 Allows the Secretary of State to issue Illinois Route 66 license plates to motorcycles having an engine over 150cc. Airman Registration HB 4387/PA 99-0605 Codifies that registration of an airman with the Division of Aeronautics of the Department of Transportation will come with a one-time fee of $20 payable at registration.

— with at least two going in the same direction — must make a lane change into a lane not next to a disabled vehicle with lighted hazard lights. Further clarifies that if changing lanes is not feasible then the driver must proceed with caution and reduce the speed of the car so to maintain a safe speed for road conditions. A person who violates this rule commits a petty offense.

Vehicular Endangerment HB 6010/PA 99-0656 Provides that the offense of vehicular endangerment includes striking a motor vehicle by causing an object to fall from an overpass or other elevated location above or adjacent to and above a highway in the direction of a moving motor vehicle with the intent to strike a motor vehicle while it is traveling upon a highway in this state.

Traffic Stop Education HB 6131/PA 99-0720 States that starting with the 20172018 school year driver education courses are to include instruction concerning law enforcement procedures for traffic stops. Applies to both public school and non-public school driver education courses.

Bicycle Rules of the Road HB 5912/PA 99-0785 States that a person riding a bicycle has all the rights applicable to a driver of a vehicle and includes those regarding a vehicle’s right-ofway.

Universal Special License Plates Issuance HB 6149/PA 99-0814 Allows the Illinois Veterans’ Homes, which are run by the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, to issue decals for universal special license plates at $26 each. The money will go to the Illinois Veterans’ Homes Fund.

Disabled Vehicle Safety HB 6006/PA 99-0681 Codifies that an individual driving on a highway of at least four lanes

Highway Designation HB 6226/PA 99-0727 Allows a unit of local government to consult a highway design publication outside of IDOT’s Bureau of Local Roads and Streets for the construction of any highway in ownership or control of the unit of local government, except for a highway that is part of the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways if certain provisions are met.



November 2017

A comprehensive information security program CYBERSECURITY IS JUST ONE PIECE OF THE PIE

Little things that matter at work The inspiration of positive psychology By Maria Moran, IMEC Given the constant change and challenges we face as leaders, some foundations are so solid that they are truisms. Yet, sometimes we deserve a few reminders.

A Fresh Look Survival of the fittest instincts run through us all. We are wired to look for the negative in an effort to protect ourselves. What if we created a culture that trained teams to recognize the positive first? Would solutions be created more efficiently? What if you created a vibrant business by changing the lens that your business is viewed through by its employees? Positive Psychology expert Shawn Achor ( suggests that people who cultivate a positive mind-set perform better in the face of challenge. Achor calls this the “happiness advantage.” As one of the world’s leading researchers on the connection between happiness and business success, Achor has documented that people who work with a positive mind-set, perform better on nearly every level — productivity, creativity and engagement. Yet happiness is perhaps the most misunderstood driver of performance.

than constraint and develop more creative solutions. Achor’s research is undeniable. Positive Intelligence unleashes a team’s potential by overcoming the negative thoughts that often plague our efforts. Happy people are more productive at their jobs. Happy people are more creative problem solvers. How do you unleash the potential of positivity through your organization? There are many methods to foster this change, and some of these initiatives require only two minutes a day to begin to retrain our brains, according to Achor. Below are a few examples of simple habits that exercise and train your brain to drive positivity. ■■ Write one positive email each day. ■■ Ask all employees to identify three new things they are grateful for each day.

■■ Make eye contact and smile at all peers that come within 10 feet of you. These simple steps can get you started today. Why wait? Share sincere gratitude during your morning huddles. Smile simply to share a second of positive exchange between employees. Take an extra minute to send a positive message to someone. Do it for 21 days (necessary to create a new habit). Look for the change. Evaluate the data. Can you Unleash Problempush past average? Science says you Solving Potential can. Nimble organizational innovation CAUTION: Positive Psychology is NOT training your workforce through is closer than is seems. Invest in the the proverbial rose-colored glasses habits proven to make your business and ignoring real time challenges! more productive – after all it’s free! Positive Psychology techniques train your brain to identify the Maria Moran is regional manager at positive faster -- see opportunity faster IMEC.

Cybersecurity has become a hot topic within manufacturing over the past months, especially for the defense supply chain, with the federal government increasing its emphasis on addressing threats to the security of information. In December 2015, the U.S. Department of Defense released a rule to the Defense Acquisition Federal Regulation Supplement that requires government contractors to implement the requirements of National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-171 by Dec. 31, 2017. With this deadline fast approaching, conversation and urgency to become compliant is increasing. The requirements of NIST SP 800-171 are intended to protect the confidentiality of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) in non-federal organizations and their supply chains. A failure to meet these requirements may result in the loss of supply contracts and liability for the organization should an escape of CUI occur internally or their suppliers and service providers. While an organization doing business with the federal government should expect these types of requirements to increase over time, it is good practice for all organizations (manufacturers included) to protect information they have been provided during business activities. While cybersecurity, and the external threats commonly associated with it such as hacking, spyware, ransomware and malware, is very important, it’s also important to realize that it is just ONE PIECE of an effective Information Security Program. An organization’s exposure to information vulnerabilities extends well beyond the interconnected world. A comprehensive Information Security program also includes: Privacy: Adequately protecting the information and identity of your employees, customers, suppliers and other resource providers. Ensuring that controls, systems and procedures are in place to restrict access to this information to only those who absolutely need it and include procedures for the archiving and purging of excess, expired or unnecessary information.

Physical Security: Protecting, limiting and monitoring access to John Remsey information stores IMEC and access points. Securing data storage, access points and other means of physical access. Contingency Planning & Disaster Recovery: Developing, testing and deploying the tools and processes needed to quickly and effectively recover information in event of a catastrophe. Speed to recovery from an information event can be the difference between recovery and loss of operations. Operational Security: Protecting private business intentions, processes and media response channels. Limiting the access to strategic and market differentiating information. Developing an informational response plan to quickly and effectively address any potentially adverse information regarding the organization. Personnel Security: Implementing background checks for staff and service providers with access to information as well as behavior monitoring to proactively detect exposure risks. Implement the tools and procedure necessary to have confidence that those invited to access information are focused on using it for the good of the organization and its stakeholders. Monitor activity at all levels and implement triggers and warnings should information flow or user behaviors vary beyond normal expectations. Manufacturers have a variety of tools available to help pursue comprehensive organizational security, starting with cybersecurity. The first step is to determine one’s existing cybersecurity protections and tools and identify easy gaps to fill. Taking protective steps can decrease the time and resources spent on a security breach. Contact IMEC at or 888-806-4632 to learn more about existing self-assessments to get your company started. John Remsey is senior technical specialist at IMEC. Manufacturing News is sponsored by IMEC


November 2017

Regional workforce development update In every sales pitch, any region in the U.S.A. will cite the following advantages they hold over other regions: ■■ Can reach 75 percent of the U.S.A. by truck within 24 hours ■■ Has available land ■■ Offers incentives such as TIF Districts or Enterprise Zones ■■ The one item that separates the Rockford Region, which also has the assets mentioned above, is the workforce and the workforce talent supply chain. ■■ The Rockford Region has established nimble, industry-specific and customized education-to-workforce pipelines ensuring the region has the skilled workforce essential to fulfilling the requirements of jobs that are good today, tomorrow and in the future. ■■ This workforce solution is what sets the region apart. We have begun to build the education-to-workforce pipelines needed to support our aerospace, advanced manufacturing, automotive and healthcare industries. ■■ Northern Illinois University and Rock Valley College have partnered to provide a four-year, ABET-accredited, mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree program. This program is located on the RVC campus and costs

less than $40,000 for all four years. It provides the curriculum as well as the opportunity for establishing mentorships and internships with businesses located in the Rockford Region. ■■ Rock Valley College has invested in an Aviation Maintenance Technology Program located at the Chicago Rockford International Airport that provides a direct talent supply chain to the AAR maintenance repair and overhaul facility. Each federally licensed graduate from the program has had 2,000 hours of instruction and is guaranteed an interview with AAR. ■■ Supporting the expanding healthcare system in the Rockford Region is possible through the Saint Anthony College of Nursing and the U of I Chicago College of Medicine programs. The Saint Anthony College of Nursing offers a four-year nursing degree program located at newly constructed Health Sciences Center on the Rock Valley College campus. The U of I College of Medicine now provides all four-years of coursework on the Rockford campus. ■■ Rockford Career College offers one of a few options for computer numerical control (CNC) programs. Students in the program learn to set-up and operate

a CNC machine as well as program in a manufacturing environment. ■■ TechWorks offers the only cold forming education facility of its kind in the U.S.A. Partnering with Rock Valley College, it provides a 170-hour (SB180), eight-week Fast-Track skills training that leads to a National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) credential in Metalworking Skills Machining Level 1 Skills Standard. ■■ There also are apprenticeship programs offered by regional trade unions. Taught by skilled craftsmen, apprentices earn a living wage throughout the education process. When the apprenticeship is complete, workers receive an internationally recognized trade certification. Depending on the chosen program, apprentices may also earn college credits or an associate’s degree. The community has collaborated on these programs as we differentiate ourselves and ensure the region has the skilled workforce needed to support these jobs that are good today, tomorrow and in the future. Together we have started down a road many other regions have yet to identify. We have created examples to be proud of and commit to continue to build more successful programs.


Airport-based employers filling jobs United Parcel Service, which operates its second-largest airfreight-sorting hub in the nation in Rockford, aims to fill 2,000 parttime and full-time seasonal jobs. Most of the open positions are package handlers, drivers and driver-helpers. Driver positions starting wages are $19.58 per hour; Package handlers start at $11 per hour; and $11.76 per hour for driver-helpers. Attendance bonuses are available, and in past three years, 35 percent of people hired for seasonal package handler jobs were later hired for permanent positions after the holidays. Interested applicants can visit for more details. AAR Corp., the country’s largest maintenance, repair and overhaul provider, is looking to double its Rockford workforce of 125 by the end of the year and eventually meet its goal of employing 500 people in Rockford. The Wood Dale-based company is hiring aircraft mechanics, leads and inspectors. Search job openings at . Pinnacle Logistics is a Dallas-based aviation cargo warehousing firm that handles airfreight flights for three daily cargo flights at RFD. Pinnacle is hiring full-time, part-time and permanent warehouse agent positions, with forklift and supervisory positions also available. Pay starts at $11 per hour for warehouse agent positions. The company is offering a $250 weekly seasonal bonus for perfect attendance in November, and the bonus increases to $300 a week in December. Visit to apply for a position. Pinnacle is hosting open interviews at 60 Airport Drive through the first week in November.

Why the RAEDC’s annual meeting surrounds workforce Regional leaders rally again, creating customized education to workforce pipeline strategies that are relevant to employer’s needs. The Rockford Area Economic Development Council will highlight “workforce” as the topic for its annual meeting, “(Re)Defining the Goal: The True Path to Career Readiness in the 21st Century.” Dr. Kevin Fleming, producer of the viral video, “Success in the New Economy,” and author of the bestseller, “(Re)Defining the Goal,” will discuss his 7:2:1 concept. The principle demonstrates the ratio of education levels required to support a sustainable and repeatable talent supply chain. For each job requiring a master’s degree or higher, two jobs require a fouryear degree, and seven jobs require a twoyear degree, certificate or training. These education levels can be represented within one company as well as in the global economy. The region has started to create a relevant workforce that is skilled and differentiates our region from others in the nation. Recent research has shown the

region leads the country in concentration of cold heading employment, has twice the state average of people employed in manufacturing, and more than 20,000 people employed as engineers due to our aerospace and advanced manufacturing capabilities. As Nathan Bryant, president and CEO of the RAEDC, states in a recent edition of Business Update, “The Rockford Region strives to solve the talents supply chain issue by creating accredited, industryspecific and customized pipelines through partnerships in education and industries.” Following the annual meeting, Dr. Fleming will be working with the region’s educational and training organizations and business community leaders to continue the collaboration. Ensuring a qualified workforce cultivates opportunities for primary job growth that increase the economic well-being of our region and the people who live, work and play here. To learn more about the RAEDC’s annual meeting, visit www.RockfordIL. com/721.



November 2017

Rockford Statistics

In August, the City of Rockford debuted new infographics to help residents and businesses understand the key metrics by which the City measures its performance. City departments use dozens of statistics to track the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of critical city services. Slide presentations of these key metrics are posted monthly on the City website and released to the media and public. You can view the Police and Fire graphics here and view the full presentation deck on the City website:

Startup Weekend 2017



A crash course in entrepreneurism

From the month of September




Jan-Sept 2016: 405:YTD Jan-Sept 2017 312:YTD


Jan-Sept 2016: 1,383:YTD Jan-Sept 2017 1,395:YTD

Jan-Sept 2016: 4,377:YTD Jan-Sept 2017 3,917:YTD



Jan-Sept 2016: 351:YTD Jan-Sept 2017 307:YTD





10.5 % JAN-SEPT 2017

Jan-Sept 2016: 1,997:YTD Jan-Sept 2017 1,869:YTD

12.5 %



10.5 %





6.4 %

AGGRAVATED BATTERY & SHOTS FIRED Jan-Sept 2016: 421:YTD Jan-Sept 2017 465:YTD

7.5 % TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS Jan-Sept 2016: 4,324:YTD Jan-Sept 2017 3,999:YTD

Police Department Non-Emergency Line: (815) 966-2900 City Website:

2017OCT From the month of September




Over YTD 2016

78.76 PER DAY



568 YTD



Over YTD 2016

16,930 YTD





83 %

911 Calls Answered in less than 10 seconds.

Percentage of property value saved from structure fire.

Fire Department Non-Emergency Line: (815) 966-2900 City Website:

82 % GOAL 90%

Over YTD 2016

3.6 %

GOAL 90%

11.4 %

By Alex Gary Organizations such as the Rockford Area Economic Development Council and Growth Dimensions in Belvidere work tirelessly to get companies to consider moving or expanding operations here. That can be a challenge when you look at the area’s crime rates, local education level and tax rates. Transform Rockford was formed to tackle all of those issues. There have been notable successes. Imagine Boone County without the Fiat-Chrysler plant, which was built here in the 1950s and expanded several times. The UPS sorting hub was a major win in the 1990s. The Lowe’s warehouse brought activity to a different part of Rockford in the 2000s, and convincing AAR Corp., in 2014 to come to the Chicago Rockford International Airport grounds will pay dividends for years to come. As great as it is to attract companies who started elsewhere, it’s more cost effective to support entrepreneurs who start and build businesses here. If you look at our top employers, you’ll find UTC Aerospace Systems, Woodward, Packaging Coordinators Inc., and Taylor Co., along with three hospital systems among the top 20. Those seven businesses, all launched here initially, employ nearly 15,000 people. None of those companies though are locally based anymore. For the Rock River Valley to evolve and thrive we need to find and support new entrepreneurs such as Practice Velocity, which was started in 2002 by three physicians and now averages 30 percent growth each year and employs nearly 250 people.

Dive into a Team Experience On Nov. 17, 18 and 19, Rockford is holdings its second Startup Weekend. This is an event organized by TechStars, a Colorado-based company that operates business incubators and accelerators in cities such as Seattle, New York, Austin, London, Berlin and, of course, Chicago. At a Startup Weekend, people with ideas are matched up with designers and developers. The attendees pick

the best ideas presented Friday night and then form teams to turn those ideas into actionable business plans. On Sunday, the teams present the ideas to a panel of judges, with the winners receiving services to move those ideas forward. It’s a 54-hour crash course in entrepreneurism. Many times the ideas don’t move forward, but some do. In October, an Iowa-based company, The Bonding Box, visited Rockford to present its business concept at the weekly 1 Million Cups meeting at Thinker Ventures. Co-founder Jay Larson was a web developer who attended several Startup Weekends before he was part of a team that put together an idea he wanted to run with. Last year, Nikki Jarvis of Evanston area had one of the top three ideas. She’s still developing the business concept, but she made connections that will be invaluable when she’s ready to fully commit. “In the 54 hours, you will dive into a team and an experience that will change your perspective on technology and entrepreneurship,” Jarvis said of the experience. “There is a place for everyone in creating a business, and during this weekend you have the opportunity to see where you fit.” If you’ve ever had an idea you thought would be a good business or if you’d like a chance to get in on the ground floor of something that could be great, you should give this weekend a shot. Rockford has the talent. It’s events like these and EIGERlab’s FastPitch that foster an entrepreneurial community that can launch this generation’s Woodward or Taylor Co.

JOIN STARTUP WEEKEND 2017 To learn more about Startup Weekend, Nov. 17 to 19, visit To take the leap and get involved in the Rockford event, visit usa/rockford/startupweekend/11814.


November 2017

 Destination




Stroll to celebrate five years of awe and wonder This year’s event grows with the Dasher Dash 5K race Awe & Wonder. Sights & Sounds. Memories & Experiences. This is Stroll on State. For the past four years, Stroll on State, presented by Illinois Bank & Trust, has been a signature event not only for the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and its partners who help to make it happen, but also a signature event for our community. Each year at Stroll we all can come together as a city – one collective family – and celebrate all we have accomplished and all we will accomplish. As I reflect on the past four years, and look forward to celebrating Stroll’s fifth anniversary, I can’t help but to be excited with anticipation. Thinking about what it takes to make this event so great — hundreds of individuals putting in thousands of volunteer hours, cooperation from dozens of businesses and organizations and tens of thousands of happy strollgoers — I am immensely encouraged about where we are and where we are going as a community. A few years ago, I wrote: “Stoll on State is about making memories, starting new traditions and coming together as a city, as a family … Lately, as a community, we have been envisioning Rockford as a transformed, top 25 city. Seeing downtown transformed into a winter wonderland, with thousands of people celebrating together, we can begin to see a city transformed.” I wrote that in 2014, after our Stroll on State crowds had increased to 60,000 visitors. This year, we anticipate having more than 75,000 guests. That outpouring of support is even more amazing as I look back to the year before Stroll on State. Flashback to November 2012 and one lone, small Christmas tree was put up near what is now the Rockford City Market Pavilion. A small

John Groh Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

band of Rockfordians, maybe a few dozen, helped to celebrate the season and an evening of shopping in the downtown.

Fanning a Spark into a Flame While the turnout for a simple night of shopping was modest, it did provide a spark for something more. Collectively we shared a vision of what could be if we were able to harness the right talent and the right support behind the right plan. And so, in the fall of 2013, a few folks crafted a plan together with our partners at Heartland Community Church and Rockford Sharefest; we jumped in feet first. Then, as now, we were committed to a cause of helping to transform our community through celebration and with that simple and noble cause, we launched Stroll on State. Some 30,000 people came together that night. Over the course of the last four years, Stroll has grown and evolved and will continue to do so this year as we add the Dasher Dash 5K race and expand Stroll on State’s Holiday Parade, among other exciting additions and changes. We hope Stroll continues to be a catalyst for community advancement; inspiring others to find ways to move the community forward while enjoying time spent with family and friends. This year, Stroll on State, presented by Illinois Bank & Trust, will take place on Saturday, Nov. 25 from 2 to 9 p.m., in downtown Rockford. Stroll’s Dasher Dash 5K steps off at 8 a.m. Learn more at John Groh is president/CEO of the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. The views expressed are those of Groh’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

Stroll on State is anticipating more than 75,000 guests in the downtown area of Rockford.



November 2017

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

Thrive Café hosts a ribbon cutting on Sept. 27 at 6731 Broadcast Pkwy., Loves Park.

New Chamber Board Members Slated The Chamber’s nominating committee, headed by board member Patti Thayer, presented a slate of nominees for the Chamber Board of Directors at its October 24 meeting. In announcing the slate of candidates, Chamber President Einar Forsman noted that there were many qualified candidates for each position on the board. “We’re confident those members nominated will represent the Rockford area business community with distinction.” New Board members are recommended to be nominated for a three-year term to begin January 1, 2018. Kim Blascoe, Wipfli LLP Doug Curry, Stenstrom Elizabeth Lee, Greenlee Textron Sue Schrieber, Mercyhealth

Rena Cotsones, Northern Illinois University;

Dan Ross, Gallagher Williams-Manny Gorman & Company, Bridge Rockford and the Rockford Housing Authority host a ribbon cutting ceremony on Sept. 28 to celebrate the completion of The Grove at Keith Creek, a new, multi-family residential community with 49 apartment homes set on a six-acre landscaped campus. Gorman is partnering with RHA to replace and revision 385 existing units of public housing at scattered sites.

Ira Grimmett, UTC Aerospace Systems Mike Paterson, Mid-West Family Broadcasting



Bank; and Pat Shaw RSM US LLP, will complete nine years of service on the board on December 31, 2017, the maximum permitted under the current Chamber bylaws. The Board will vote on the nominating committee’s recommendations at its November 28 meeting. For more information about the board nomination process, contact Einar Forsman at 815-316-4304. The following were voted on at the September board meeting to be elected as an officer for the coming 1-year term, to begin January 1, 2018 and expire December 31, 2018:




Commercial Banking & Mortgage as the Chair Elect. The

Udaya Talwar, Woodward For an additional three-year terms, the following individuals are recommended for reappointment under our bylaws:









voluntary membership organization whose mission is to be the Rockford region’s leading advocate for business growth.




benefit to the community by leading in





growth, advocating for the interests of business, and providing services

Rebecca Epperson, Chartwell Agency


Tim Honquest, Honquest Family Funeral Home

that help our members grow —




MEMBERSHIP SALES POSITION Seeking a dynamic, self-motivated, credible individual to complete our membership development/sales team. The ideal candidate must be sales-oriented, willing to follow proven success methods and enjoy talking to business leaders. This position is for someone who is:

Mary’s Market hosts a ribbon cutting and open house on Sept. 28 at 4431 E. State St., Rockford.

■ Goal-oriented ■ Works independently ■ Values integrity


■ Wants to work in a position that supports business

■ Proven track record of achievement

■ Seeking a career rather than a job ■ Understands the issues facing business

PURPOSE & AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY: Primary responsibility is to ensure the growth of the Chamber’s membership by creating, developing, sustaining and recruiting new members in a manner that will ensure a net gain in members and an enhancement of the Chamber’s

Project SEARCH at Mercyhealth and RAMP host a ribbon cutting on Oct. 18 at the Ingersoll Building, classroom #5, 2400 N. Rockton Ave., Rockford. Project SEARCH is a oneyear internship program for students with disabilities to equip them with transferable job skills.

investment revenues. Responsible for achieving membership recruitment goals on a monthly basis.

■ Proven success in a professional sales environment ■ Possess superior telephone skills ■ Previous success in a fast-paced environment ■ Ability to communicate with use of imagery, a must ■ Must be able to laugh at yourself and with others

EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree preferred

Send resume and personalized cover letter including day-time phone number to:


November 2017


Membership Renewals Thank you to members who renewed with the Rockford Chamber of Commerce in September, 2017. Olson Enterprises LLC A-1 Dry Cleaners & Laundry Absolute Fire Protection, Inc. PACCAR Parts, A Division Advanced Window Systems of PACCAR Ambassador Homes, LLC Premier Technologies Anderson Environmental Co. Premium Oil Company Axberg, a Division of Black Diamond Presence Cor Mariae Center Plumbing & Mechanical, Inc. Presence Saint Anne Center Benson Stone Company, Inc. QPS Employment Group Bergstrom Inc. Rockford Art Deli Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Rockford Buzz Crosby Starch Real Estate Rockford Cemetery Association, Briggs Floor Sanding & Refinishing Greenwood Cemetery & City of Rockford Crematorium CliftonLarsonAllen LLP Rockford Litho Center Colorwave Graphics, LLC Rockford Structures Construction Dry Otter Basement Water Company Proofing/Concrete Raising Rockford Toolcraft, Inc. Entre Computer Solutions Roy Gayle Pony Baseball Softball Giuseppe Verdi Society/Verdi Club Saavedra Gehlhausen Architects Heritage Aero, Inc Spider Company Inc. Historic Auto Attractions Wesley Willows Holiday Inn Express Winnebago County Bar Association Howard Johnson Hotel Winnebago County CASA Mary’s Market (Court Appointed Special Minuteman Press Advocate) Natural Land Institute WPS Health Insurance NLT Title, a division of Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. Z Resource

New Chamber Members ACTI-LABS LLC

Direct Sales Company Focusing on Cosmetics, Skincare, Haircare and Wellness Products 4904 Colt Road, 61109 Rhonda Schaffer 779-368-5921


The Illinois Tollway Technical Assistance Program is designed to prepare established transportationrelated construction firms as prime and subcontractors in highway and vertical construction contracts. Room 203 - RVC Stenstrom Center 4151 Samuelson Road, 61109 LaTasha Binder 779-423-4295


Manufacturing of Laboratory Equipment. 2501 9th St., 61104 Kyle Johnson 815-670-6400


Location off of Perryville Road on Beechwood Drive. 6551 E. Riverside Blvd., Ste. 111, 61114 Debbie Contarino & Monica Garwick 815-397-7373

November 2017 Member Anniversaries Thank you to the members celebrating their anniversaries with the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.



A.W. Anderson Agency, Inc. Powmet, Inc.

Upper Iowa University – Rockford Center



The Harvard State Bank Rockford Education Association

Carz R’ Us General Automotive & Tire Epilepsy Foundation Keller Williams Realty Signature PANDORA Jewelry Store Sodexo Upper Cervical Care Center Wanless-Brothers Moving and Storage Co.

15-YEAR MEMBERS Rockford I.D. Shop, Inc. University Club of Rockford



November 2017

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

NOVEMBER, 2017 Wednesday, November 1

Rock Valley College hosts an Hour of Code Challenge, “Code with Anna and Elsa,” 5 p.m., at the RRStar building, 99 E. State St., room 2108, Rockford. RSVP at www. or email Chuck Konkol, c.konkol@

Friday, November 3

The Rockford Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, with support from the SwedishAmerican Foundation, hosts a Human Trafficking Conference, 8 a.m. to noon at Heartland Community Church, 1280 S. Alpine Road, Rockford. Register at For more information visit Rockford Rescue Mission presents its annual Perry Pitney Memorial Concert benefit featuring country music artist, 7 p.m., at Memorial Hall, 211 N. Main St., Rockford. For tickets

Puttin’ On the Glitz fashion show/ luncheon at 11 a.m., at Giovanni’s, 610 N. Bell School Road, Rockford. Models for the fundraiser for oncology patients includes local television news anchors, hospital professionals and individuals whose lives have been touched by cancer. Tickets are available at 779-696-2496. Greater Rockford Italian American Association and the Amici Italiani Dance Troupe host the 2017 Italian Folk Art Federation of America conference, Nov. 10 and 11 at Hoffman House, 7550 E. State St., Rockford. Saturday sessions run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., followed by a dinner dance. Email or Deadline to apply for Rockford Area Arts Council’s Community Arts Access Grants for individual artists, arts organizations and non-profit organizations in Boone, DeKalb, Ogle and Winnebago counties for projects in 2018. Visit www.artsforeveryone. com or call 815-963-6765.

Saturday, November 11

questions call 815-977-3496. NIU EIGERlab presents Take a Bite Out of Your Competition! an Innovation Tuesday Meetup, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at NIU-Rockford, 8500 E. State St., Rockford. For questions, contact 815-753-2192 or spritz@

Wednesday, November 15

University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford presents a free seminar, Understanding Data and Research, with Sandra Perpignani, MUPP, 5:30 p.m., at UIC Health Sciences Campus-Rockford, 1601 Parkview Ave. Register at 815-3955649 or email

Thursday, November 23

Court Street United Methodist Church will host a free Thanksgiving dinner for more than 1,000 area residents, served by more than 150 volunteers, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 215 N. Court St., in downtown Rockford. Call 815-962-6061 for questions.

Friday, November 24

Discovery Center Museum presents Smashing Pumpkins, 1 to 4 p.m., at 711 N. Main St., Rockford. Call 815-963-6769 or visit www.

Rockford Symphony Orchestra presents Classics 2: Mendelssohn and Brahms featuring more than 100 voices, 7:30 p.m., at 711 N. Main St. Highlights Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5 (Reformation) and Johannes Brahms’ A German Requiem. Call 815-965-0049 or

Discovery Center Museum presents Black Light Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at 711 N. Main St., Rockford. Gain an understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum and experiment with light and color. Call 815-963-6769 or visit www.

Thursday, November 9

Sunday, November 12

Discovery Center Museum presents Small Science Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at 711 N. Main St., Rockford. Call 815-963-6769 or visit Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and Fleet Feet Sports Rockford present Stroll on State’s Dasher Dash 5K, 8 a.m., at the UW Health Sports Factory, 305 S. Madison St. Register at or Fleet Feet, 1653 N. Alpine Road. The Merry & Bright Holiday Parade takes place at 3 p.m. Visit www. parade. The Rock Valley College computers and information systems department

Sunday, November 5

University of Illinois Extension presents End of the Year Gardening with Jeff White, master gardener, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., at 1040 N. Second St., in Rockford. Free but register at web. or call 815-986-4357. Alden Debes presents Winter Safety Tips, 9 a.m., at 550 S. Mulford Road, Rockford. Learn about precautions you and your loved ones can take to stay safe this winter. Register at www. or call 815-484-1002.

Friday, November 10

SwedishAmerican presents its annual

Chonda Pierce presents her Getting Back to Funny Tour with special guest Karyn Williams, 7 p.m., at the Coronado Performing Arts Center, 314 N. Main St., Rockford. Tickets at the BMO Harris box office, ticketmaster. com, or 815-968-5222.

Tuesday, November 14

2HB Human Resources & Benefits Solutions presents How to ‘Stay Out of Jail’ with Your 401k Plan, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1515 S. Meridian Road, Rockford. Includes lunch. For employers to understand how the DOL Fiduciary Rule will impact them. For

Saturday, November 25

hosts a Learn Coding with Robots workshop, 10 a.m. to noon, at Woodward Technology Center, 3301 N. Mulford Road. Tickets at For questions email Professor Konkol,

Wednesday November 29

UIC College of Pharmacy-Rockford hosts a Pharmacy Review Session, including admission requirements and career opportunities, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the UIC Health Sciences CampusRockford, 1601 Parkview Ave. Register with Rachel Van Den Broek, 815-395-5749 or

DECEMBER, 2017 Friday, December 1

Fairhaven Christian Retirement Center hosts its annual Hollyberry Holiday Bazaar, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 3470 N. Alpine Road, Rockford. Includes crafts, home baked goods, vendors and home BBQ lunch. For questions call 815-877-1441.

Tuesday, December 5

The Rock Valley College Foundation, Community Foundation of Northern Illinois and the Rockford Public Library hosts a Community Scholarship Fair, 5 to 7 p.m., at Mendelssohn Hall, 406 N. Main St., Rockford. Seminars from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. Visit or or call 815-965-7606.

Wednesday, December 6

Rock Valley College hosts an User Choose from 10 App Tutorials, 5 p.m., at the RRStar building, 99 E. State St., room 2108, Rockford. RSVP at or email Chuck Konkol, c.konkol@ 2HB Human Resources & Benefits Solutions hosts 2HB Christmas Bus Trip Holiday Shopping in downtown Chicago. Departs 8:30 a.m., from Rockford (location TBD). Drop off at Water Tower Place and Macy’s. Load up to return at 3:30 p.m. For questions call 815-977-3496.


November 2017

the News IN Members THEin NEWS


1. Larry Williams

2. Dr. Aimen Ben Ayad

3. Charles “Chuck” Olson

4. Bradley Stewart

5. Dr. Kathleen M. Kelly

6. Dr. Gary Rifkin

7. Mitch Leatherby

8. Pam Cumpata

9. Christopher T. Druce-Jones

10. Lisa Abrams

11. Lenny Forsell

12. Dr. Meredith Brawley

13. Nicholas Eskilson

14. Heidi Burds

15. Ryan Miller

16. Mary Golembeck

17. Jorge Herrera

18. Ryan M. Gailey

19. Scott Easter

20. Dr. Srivani Sridhar

21. Dr. Gayatri Sonti

22. Kelly Kampmeier

23. Jacki Gommel

24. Chris Kelley

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

strategic expansion into Kane and McHenry counties.

Bill LaFever, president, Bill Doran Company, was named president of the Society of American Florists.

Rosecrance Health Network hired Christopher T. Druce-Jones (9) as chaplain at the Harrison campus and Lisa Abrams (10) as executive director at the Lakeview Recovery Home and Facility in Chicago.


Lenny Forsell (11) joined Specialty Screw Corporation as director of continuous improvement.


Larry Williams (1), former CEO of the Housing Authority of the City of Freeport, is the next CEO of the Rockford Housing Authority.

SwedishAmerican, A Division of UW Health, welcomed its new obstetrician & gynecologist, Meredith Brawley, M.D. (12)

Mercyhealth welcomed Aimen Ben Ayad, M.D. (2), pediatric and neonatal/perinatal medicine, to its staff at Mercyhealth HospitalRockton Avenue.

Nicholas Eskilson (13), a 2017 graduate of the Comprehensive Community Solutions, Inc., YouthBuild Rockford program, will continue with the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps.

Agrace Hospice & Palliative Care hired Rockford pastor Charles “Chuck” Olson (3) as spiritual and grief counselor.

CYRS Wealth Advisors, LLC hired Heidi Burds (14) as administrative services manager.

Savant Capital Management hired Bradley Stewart (4) as a financial advisor in its Freeport office. The University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford hired Kathleen M. Kelly, M.D.(5), FACP, as assistant dean for graduate medical education. Gary Rifkin, M.D. (6), FACP, FIDSA, is chair of the department of medicine. City of Rockford promoted Mitch Leatherby (7) to street superintendent. Blackhawk Bank hired Pam Cumpata (8) as senior vice president, business banking, for its

First Community Credit Union hired Ryan Miller (15) as its new executive vice president of operations. Mary Golembeck (16) joined Agrace Hospice & Palliative Care as nurse practitioner for its new palliative care service, PalliaHealth by Agrace. Jorge Herrera (17) joined Rockford Bank & Trust as senior vice president, commercial banking. Martin V. Glass, president, Airframe Systems group, will retire on Feb. 2, 2018 from Woodward, Inc., after more than 40 years of dedicated service.

The law firm of Holmstrom KennedyPC welcomed Ryan M. Gailey (18) as an associate attorney and celebrates his first anniversary.

become an accredited professional in the WELL Building Standard, focused solely on the health and wellness of building occupants.

Per Mar Security Services promoted Scott Easter (19) to area sales manager for its Des Moines, Sioux City and Fort Dodge branches.

Per Mar Security Services awarded academic scholarships to 10 children of employees: Joneise Ross, Cal Giese, Madison Campbell, Steven Beda, Sara Mulder, Allison Blaisdell, Jessica Dvorak, Jacob Osterman, Taylor Melk and Tiana Wilmington.

J.L. Clark Inc., named Bob Morris as its new president; succeeding Phil Baerenwald.

EMPLOYEE/COMMUNITY RECOGNITIONS, AWARDS Alpine Kiwanis Club of Rockford gave Dola Gregory, founder and executive director, Rock House Kids, the “Touch A Life” award. Srivani Sridhar, M.D. (20), SwedishAmerican, A Division of UW Health, Woodside Clinic, was board certified in integrative medicine through the American Board of Integrative Medicine. Gayatri Sonti, D.O., Ph.D. (21), neurosurgeon at SwedishAmerican, A Division of UW Health, was named a 2017 Top Doctor in Rockford. Kelly Kampmeier (22) was named Meridian’s September employee of the month. Julie Allen, administrative assistant, Alpine Bank & Trust Co., was among 43 professionals who attended the Cannon Trust School offered by Cannon Financial Institute. Jacki Gommel (23), ASID, IIDA, LEED AP ID+C, principal, Gommel Design, completed the exam to

Rock Valley College student Rachel Dausman is one of 207 Phi Theta Kappa members named a 2017 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar and will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

OF GENERAL INTEREST Dr. Raymond Garcia, medical director, and Dr. Carol Craig, psychiatrist, Rosecrance Health Network, presented on “The Science of Addiction” and “Preventing Burnout among Mental Health Care Professionals” at the 20th annual Clinical Aspects of Medical Psychiatry conference in October in Rockford. Chris Kelley, (24) principal, V2 Marketing Communications, attended INBOUND 2017 in September in Boston.

Mike Mastroianni, president, MDM Consulting, led a discussion on Appraising Employee Performance during the Rockford area Society for Human Resource Management half-day fall conference at Midway Village Museum.


November 2017


Business Briefs BUSINESS BRIEFS Rockford Chamber members appear bolded. Thank you for your support of your fellow Chamber members.

and reliability. Woodward’s board declared a cash dividend of $0.125 per share for the quarter, payable on Nov. 27, 2017, for stockholders of record as of Nov. 13, 2017.

University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony in August for the official unveiling of new learning spaces, including a team-based learning center and new anatomy laboratory for its first class of firstyear (M1) students. OSF Healing Pathways Cancer Resource Center launched a free program for children dealing with cancer in their families, Hope Floats! It offers art therapy, music therapy, group discussions, healthy coping techniques and a supportive social network. Call 815-977-4123. Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden began construction of a new interactive water feature in the Nancy Olson Children’s Garden in October, featuring a natural stream with small waterfalls, and a splash pad. Construction is scheduled for completion next spring. PCI Pharma Services acquired pharmaceutical and healthcare contract packaging services provider Millmount Healthcare near Dublin, Ireland. Millmount has advanced capability in blister packaging, bottling and tub filling, and expertise in late stage customization and Cold Chain packaging services. It has invested in expanding its potent compound packaging capability. It hosted a free educational Serialization and AntiCounterfeiting Forum in November in London, in collaboration with Antares, Crest Solutions, 3C Integrity, Multi-Packaging Solutions (MPS) and media partner Manufacturing Chemist. Crusader Clinic participants received vouchers to purchase fresh produce after attending weekly nutrition classes. The Produce Prescription Program four-week pilot project was a collaboration between GPS Farmers Market of Machesney Park, Crusader Clinic/Loves Park and University of Illinois Extension/SNAP Education. Northwest Bank of Rockford’s Community Awareness Outreach Team (C.O.A.T) hosted a Penny War Fundraising Contest for Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary; raising more than $750 in 10 days. Proceeds from its Jean’s Day Stickers also supported the animal sanctuary. SwedishAmerican, A Division of UW Health, A&B Machine Shop/ Rockford Carbide Die & Tool and State Street Mile presented checks in September for the school challenges. Boylan Catholic won as high school ($1,000), Freeport Middle School as middle school ($750) and Maria Montessori School as elementary school ($500). SwedishAmerican and Aramark employees filled 200

Rockford Systems, LLC., launched a new and improved version of its website,

SwedishAmerican, A Division of UW Health, celebrated seven years of its Caring Canines with a birthday party in September, complete with cake for the dogs from the Canine Crunchery. backpacks with school supplies and delivered them in September to children living at the Remedies Domestic Violence shelter. SwedishAmerican donated more than 2,200 pounds of donated clothing and household items to Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois in a “Clean Out Your Closet” donation drive in September at 21 SwedishAmerican locations throughout the community. KMK Media Group designed a McDonald’s food tray liner for the Golden Apple Foundation highlighting the 2017 Golden Apple winners and encouraging nominations for the 2018 teacher excellence awards. The University Economic Development Association honored NIU Engineering @ RVC with an Award of Excellence for Talent and Place Development. The communitybased, industry-integrated engineering program takes students through their first two years of engineering courses at Rock Valley College, then transitions them seamlessly to courses taught by NIU College of Engineering & Engineering Technology on the RVC campus. Rockford Area Economic Development Council was recognized in September as one of the top 25 digital economic development organizations in North America at the 2017 International Economic Development Council Annual Conference for best use of digital technology to differentiate their communities online and serve businesses.

Rockford community through charities and community involvement. OSF’s pulmonary rehabilitation program was certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. The program helps people with pulmonary problems recover faster and improve their quality of life. Eickman’s Processing Company won Reserve Champion, Dried Beef class, at the American Cured Meat Championships at the annual convention of the American Association of Meat Processors in Lexington, Ky., in July. Edgebrook announced that Enders Flowers at 1631 N. Alpine Road will be closing after 33 years in business. Carz R’ Us for the third year joined other independently owned shops across the country for Brakes for Breasts, donating 10 percent of all brake services performed in October to the Cleveland Clinic Breast Cancer Vaccine Research Fund and offering customers free brake pads with the purchase of brake rotors and labor. Rockford City Market broke a record for its 20-week season this year with 107,365 attendees. This surpassed the previous record of 101,860 in 2015. The last market on Sept. 29 was the most attended closing day in market history.

Representatives from the Chicago Rockford International Airport attended the Freighter’s World Conference, hosted by Air Cargo News, in September in Chicago.

The Charitable Trust of Woodward, Inc., awarded Discovery Center Museum with a two-year, $152,400 grant for an Interactive STEM Education Program and the Great Balls of Fire! Comets, Asteroids and Meteors exhibition for students, teachers and the public. The project will focus on third grade students in the Rockford and Harlem School Districts.

The Fire and Iron Station 53, the local Northern Illinois Fire and Iron Motorcycle Club, rode more than 20 motorcycles in September to OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center to present a donation to the burn unit. The club is made of active, retired and volunteer firefighters and other first responders, including military, who “ride” and support the

Woodward, Inc., signed an agreement with Airbus to supply the Thrust Reverser Actuation System (TRAS) for the new nacelle of the Airbus A320neo aircraft powered by the Pratt and Whitney engine. The TRAS system, a suite of locking and feedback actuators, flex shafts and tertiary locks, for single aisle aircraft will enhance the new nacelle’s design

Hayes Marketing Services, Inc., completed the development and launch of Gleason Cutting Tools Corporation’s Solutions magazine, a publication promoting the company’s new technologies and major accomplishments to audiences around the world. Rockford Park District, the State of Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Rockford Housing Authority, Community Foundation of Northern Illinois and Boys & Girls Club of Rockford celebrated enhancements made to Sabrooke Park, 2900 Kishwaukee St., with a dedication ceremony in September. RAMP now offers visitability assessments to businesses for a fee. Using the Illinois Accessibility Code Checklist, the assessment identifies opportunities for improvement in becoming more accessible for individuals with disabilities. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois insurance holders have access to SwedishAmerican Hospital, providers and clinics throughout Winnebago, Boone and Ogle counties and the outpatient pharmacy. Community Foundation of Northern Illinois released four films available on YouTube in October on grant and scholarship recipients. Students from Harlem High School, recent graduates of the Harlem Veteran Project, produce films about the lives of veterans. The project has received $11,500 from the CFNIL since 2013. The four upcoming films focus on the Bruce Munro: LIGHT exhibit, the Rockford Area Arts Council’s ArtsPlace program, the University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford and the Friends of Nachusa Grasslands. Rockford Park District will host Frosty Fridays discounted indoor public ice skating sessions through April 27, 2018, 8 to 10 p.m., at Carlson Ice Arena in Loves Park. The district offers discounted membership fees for the 2018 golf season at three levels: Ace, Eagle and Birdie. Visit or a park district customer service location. SwedishAmerican BetterLife Wellness hosts free yoga classes for SwedishAmerican cancer patients on Wednesdays from 12:15 to 1 p.m., at Katy’s Place inside the SwedishAmerican Regional Cancer Center.

(continued on page 29)



November 2017

Business Briefs BUSINESS BRIEFS Continued from page 28 Superior Joining Technologies, Inc., received Nadcap accreditation for fusion and laser welding. It’s the only facility in the Rockford area with the Nadcap welding accreditation for companies that excel at manufacturing quality product through superior special processes. The company has been Nadcap certified for non-destructive testing for seven years. Rockford Systems, LLC is sponsoring an educational visit for students from EMMIT (Engineering, Manufacturing, Industrial and Trades Technology) Academies at Jefferson, East and Guilford High Schools. They will go to FABTECH, North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event on Nov. 6 to 9 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. University of Illinois Extension received a $10,000 donation from Alpine Bank for youth development programs in the Rockford area. Rockford Housing Authority received a National Association of Housing and Redevelopment officials’ Awards of Excellence: Project Design for Solar Installation with STEM Resident Platform in Pittsburg, Pa. The RHA incorporated a STEM/SEED platform to help share information on energy literacy, conservation and SEED (STEM, Energy and Economic Development) at Comprehensive Community Solutions, Inc., sponsor of the YouthBuild Rockford AmeriCorps program, seeks applicants, ages 16 to 24, for its pre-apprenticeship training program beginning in January. Classes lead to a high school diploma or GED and hands-on training in construction. Visit or comprehensivecommunity Savant Capital Management was recognized by Barron’s as one of the top independent advisory firms in the nation and by Forbes, which named its CEO as one of America’s top wealth advisors. Youth Services Network hired V2 Marketing to develop a corporate website and brochure for its branding and fundraising efforts. Mercyhealth for the first time in many years is participating in the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois PPO Network, beginning Jan. 1, 2018. Patients will have full in-network access to the integrated hospitals, physicians and services throughout Winnebago, Boone and Ogle counties. The Blazer Foundation awarded Lifescape Community Services a grant to provide case management and oral health services to older adults in Winnebago County.

Rockford Roasting Company celebrated its third year in business as the only coffee roaster and brewhouse in downtown Rockford. It’s expanding its second-floor seating area by at least 25 more seats. MDM Consulting moved its offices to 5758 Elaine Dr., Suite B, in Rockford, to better serve its client base of local businesses. Entré Computer Solutions sponsored the 3 on 3 Classic Cardinals Tournament on Oct. 21, hosted at Meridian Junior High School, Stillman Valley, for girls and boys, fifth through eighth grades. Thayer Lighting, Inc, was re-certified at a national level as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Women’s Business Development CenterChicago, a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. Rock Valley College was selected as one of 150 from a pool of nearly 1,000 public, two-year colleges eligible to compete for the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence of $1 million. The college moves to the next round for a spot on the top 10 Aspen Prize finalists list, to be announced in May 2018. SwedishAmerican Regional Cancer Center celebrated its fourth anniversary. Developed in collaboration with UW Health and its nationally recognized University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, the center has more than 76 doctors from UW Health on staff, representing more than 17 different specialties. Colorwave Graphics, LLC produced a 20 x 50-foot trade show display for Ipsen, Inc., using printed fabric on overhead illuminated canopies, a 16-foot-tall wall with 80-inch video monitor and interactive kiosks. It produced new set graphics for this season’s Stateline Quiz Bowl, a truck wrap for 95.3 The Bull and interior murals for Rockford University’s Starr Science Center. Accuride Rockford was notified that its Wheel End Solutions Rockford Operations plant in Illinois, its premier facility for Gunite-brand wheel-end components, was named a 2017 IndustryWeek Best Plants Finalist. In 2015, it had received an AME Award for Excellence in Manufacturing for its turnaround and culture of continuous improvement that continues to drive sustained world-class results. Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence received a $20,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois to deepen its knowledge of best practices for the nonprofit sector and to expand programming into the realm of system change.


Confluence: A convergence of forces, people or things

Confluence Honors Celebrating Partnerships Plan on joining us as we recognize companies, organizations and individuals for their work on impactful partnerships.

Join us

Thursday, DECember 7, 2017 5:30 – 7:30 pm Rockford Art Museum 711 N. Main Rockford, IL 61103 $45/person includes hors d’oeuvres and beverages Registration at or Mail 308 W. State Street, Ste. 190, Rockford, IL 61101 Phone 815-987-8100




November 2017


STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT AND CIRCULATION 1. Publication Title: The VOICE of the Rockford Business Community 2. Publication Number: 784-120 3. Filing Date: 09/08/2017 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, 308 W. 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: 308W. 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 2017 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: 272 No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 272 (2) In-County Paid/Requested Mail Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541: Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 3,157 No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 3,104 (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: 3,429 No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 3,376 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: 5,329 No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 5,276 g. Copies not Distributed: Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 671 No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 724 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: 64.3% No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 63.9% 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: 3,429 No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 3,376 c. Total Requested Copy Distribution (Line 15f) + Requested/Paid Electronic Copies (Line 16a): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 5,329 No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 5,276 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: 64.3% No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 63.9% 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 2017 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. 8, 2017



Upcoming Chamber Events NOVEMBER, 2017 Thursday, November 2

Good Morning Rockford, 7:30 to 9 a.m., Hilton Garden Inn, 7675 Walton St., Rockford. Bring a donation of wrapped toilet paper, diapers or baby care items to be entered into drawings for prizes given away every 15 minutes.

Tuesday, November 7

Business Women’s Council, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Rockford Country Club, 2500 Oxford St. Laurie S. Miller, MBA, and Sherrie Sisco, PHR, 2HB Human Resources Solutions and Benefits, present Top Ten Tips for Effective Recruiting & Job Search. Sponsored by First Northern Credit Union. Wednesday, November 8 7:30 - 9 am Rockford University Burpee Center 5050 E. State St. Regents Hall, 2nd Floor, Rockford

Friday, November 17

Government Affairs Council, 7:30 to 8:45 a.m., at Stockholm Inn, 2420 Charles St., Rockford. A review and discussion of the pros and cons of Home Rule authority for the City of Rockford Sponsored by AT&T.

Tuesday, November 28

Ribbon Cutting, 11 a.m. to noon, Associated Bank, 2714 11th St., Rockford. Celebrates a new branch grand opening.

DECEMBER, 2017 Tuesday, December 5

Business Women’s Council, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Rockford Country Club, 2500 Oxford St. Sponsored by First Northern Credit Union.

Wednesday, December 6

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

Rebecca Epperson, Chartwell Agency will present: “How to Communicate Like a Pro.” Sponsored by RSM US LLP.

Tuesday, November 14

Chamber 101 with Speed Networking, 4 to 5:30 p.m., Century Plaza Business Center, 7210 E. State St., Ste. 102, Rockford. Sponsored by MembersAlliance Credit Union. Ribbon Cutting at Children’s Home & Aid, noon to 1 p.m., 474 7th St., Rockford. Thursday, November 16 11:30 am - 1 pm Giovanni’s, Inc. 610 N. Bell School Rd., Rockford

MAYOR’S Business Address LUNCHEON Mayor Tom McNamara will share his priorities for the City of Rockford, including public safety, the City budget, stronger neighborhoods and enhanced economic development efforts. Joining the Mayor during the Q & A portion will be Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea.

Advertisers Index ADVERTISERS

Alpine Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Leading Lawyers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Blackhawk Bank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Mercyhealth. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

BMO Harris Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Northern Public Radio . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Brian Thomas Photography. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Comcast Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 CoyleKiley Insurance Agency Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Honquest Family Funeral Homes with Crematory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Illinois Bank & Trust. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Illinois Small Business Development Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 IMEC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Klaas Financial Asset Advisors, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

OSF HealthCare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Quartz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Reinhart Boener Van Deuren P.C.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Rockford Bank & Trust Co.. . . . . . . . . 8 Rockford Chamber of Commerce. . . . . . . 4, 17, 22, 24, 29, 30 RSM US LLP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Stillman Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Thayer Lighting, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 WPS Health Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Chamber Staff / Call 815-987-8100.............................................. Direct Line Harold “Bo” Boger, IL Small Business Development Center Director.............................................................. 815-316-4301 Sue Boyer, Member Relations................................................. 815-316-4315

Breakfast BUZZ

Einar K. Forsman, President & CEO.......................................... 815-316-4304 Heidi M. Garner, Chief Operating Officer.................................... 815-316-4312

Thursday, December 7 5:30 - 7:30 pm Rockford Art Museum 711 N. Main St., Rockford


CONFLUENCE Plan on joining us as we recognize companies, organizations and individuals for their work on impactful partnerships. Sponsored by Mercyhealth (presenting); and Wintrust Commercial Banking (Community Connector Sponsor).

Wednesday, December 13 7:30 - 9 am Rockford University Burpee Center 5050 E. State St. Regents Hall, 2nd Floor, Rockford

Breakfast BUZZ Kevin Versino, Rocktown Adventures; Rex Brown, OrthoIllinois, and Sherry Gaumond, Larson & Darby, present Enhancing Performance, Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace. Sponsored by RSM US LLP.

Sponsored by BMO Harris Bank (presenting); AT&T (gold); and Humana (bronze).

DECEMBER VOICE SPECIAL SECTIONS Confluence: People and Businesses to Watch Building Communities: The Impact of Philanthropy For information on advertising, call 815


November 2017


Doug Hessong, Director of Publications & Technology................... 815-316-4338 Lynette Jacques, Vice President, Member Investment. . .................. 815-316-4317 Stephanie Mathews, Administrative & Finance Assistant .................... 815-987-8100 Stacy Mullins, Director of Events. . ............................................ 815-316-4302 Caitlin Pusateri, Vice President, Leadership Development................... 815-316-4337 Doug Rand, Accounting Manager/Controller............................... 815-316-4316 Joan Sundvall, Membership Contact Coordinator......................... 815-316-4320

Chamber Board of Directors & Officers EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

DIRECTORS Andrew Benson Benson Stone Company, Inc.

Chairman of the Board Richard Zumwalt Z Resource

Jan Bowman TLC Construction

Vice Chair Michele Petrie Wintrust Bank

LaVonne Brown Savant Capital Management

Vice Chair Dan Ross Gallagher Williams-Manny

Paula Carynski OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center Samuel J. Castree Staff Management, Inc.

Treasurer Amy Ott Boylan Catholic High School Immediate Past Chair Patti Thayer Thayer Lighting, Inc.

Joe Castrogiovanni Giovanni’s, Inc. Rena Cotsones Northern Illinois University Jean Crosby Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Crosby Starck Real Estate Don Daniels SwedishAmerican, A Division of UW Health

Rebecca Epperson Chartwell Agency

Patrick Shaw RSM US LLP

Ira Grimmett UTC Aerospace Systems

Karl Swanson Rockford Bank & Trust Co.

Tim Honquest Honquest Family Funeral Home with Crematory

Jon Thompson Butitta Brothers Automotive

Jeff Hultman Illinois Bank & Trust Michael F. Iasparro Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP Kris L. Kieper Machajewski YWCA Northwestern Illinois Patrick Morrow Alpine Bank Mike Paterson Mid-West Family Broadcasting Mark Peterson CBL Associates Cherry Vale

Laura Pigatti Williamson

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

John Schuster Rosecrance Health Network

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 DEADLINE IS THE 15TH OF THE MONTH PRECEDING ­PUBLICATION

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