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THEVOICE • rockfordchamber.com

October 2019

IGNITE: YOUNG PROFESSIONALS

Get your exercise in Rockford LINDSEY GAPEN LUKAS IGNITE ROCKFORD

Soccer, baseball, volleyball, basketball … and now dance

If you’re working a typical “9 to 5” job, you’re probably sacrificing sleep in the morning or social time after work to get a quality workout in. Or, you’re forgoing exercise entirely because work and life make your schedule perpetually busy. (Don’t feel guilty — you’re not alone). Finding the time can be difficult with so many other priorities. If you’re the type of person who hits the gym every day — great! Teach me your ways. But if you’re more on the “I don’t have time for this” train, I totally relate. There’s a million other articles about the importance of exercise, work/life balance and making time for yourself. But what are some Rockford-specific ways to do this?

Exercise + Social

dodgeball and basketball teams — there are even more options.

New All-Adult Dance Company The one thing lacking that I really wished for, however, was an adult dance company. Dance was always my main passion growing up, and taking a beginner Adult Ballet class just doesn’t cut it when you have 18 years of dance experience. I’m so excited that Rockford will now have this available for young professionals. Dance LIFE, an 18+ company, begins its inaugural season this fall housed within Rockford Dance Company. Dance LIFE offers adults the opportunity to perform high-caliber choreography on stage, the opportunity to enter into a community of fellow dancers, and, for non-dancers, the opportunity to see talented members of our community perform. It’s a win for me personally, and I expect it to also be a win for Rockford. Auditions have already been held, but interested dancers can email mary@ rockforddancecompany.com to inquire about a private audition. No matter what your interests, you can exercise in a fun, social way. Visit mercyhealthsportscore.com, uwhealth sportsfactory.com and rockforddance company.com to learn more about teams, classes and schedules for various sports and athletic activities in Rockford.

I’ve found that a great way to start prioritizing exercise is to join a sports team or athletic activity in our community, and Rockford has so many options. When your name is on a roster, there’s a stronger sense of commitment. When I moved to Rockford four years ago, I was impressed with how much there was for young professionals to do in terms of exercise. I discovered adult soccer teams at Mercyhealth Sportscore, where I was able to meet new people while casually sprinting across a field. There were also softball and baseball teams, which I joined despite a lack of experience. I found that by signing up for sports, I was able to double down on exercising and socializing. I made new friends within months of moving to a new city. And now Lindsey Gapen Lukas is managing editor of with the UW Health Sports Factory — Northwest Quarterly Magazine and a member of where you can join volleyball, pickleball, IGNITE. ROCKFORD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND ROCKFORD AREA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

Next Steps in Unification Process The board of directors of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC) and the Rockford Chamber of Commerce (Rockford Chamber) passed a resolution to pursue and develop plans for a “Partnership Umbrella” model as the structure to unify the organizations. A joint task force made up of Rockford Chamber and RAEDC board members concluded a threemonth study to research and evaluate ten national models for unification. They chose and recommended the “Partnership Umbrella” model used in cities like Topeka, Kansas, as the best solution for Rockford. The task force set a goal for completion of the plan for the first quarter of 2020. “We believe this model will work very well for Rockford in allowing the organizations to retain their individual boards and mission while aligning their community agendas for the

betterment of our region,” said Task Force Chairman Jeff Hultman. “They will be unified, but not merged and the existing political action committee will be held outside of this structure.” Outlining the various, advantages of the umbrella partnership model include: ■ Speaking with a stronger, unified voice on behalf of the community. ■ Making it easy for business leaders and site selectors to know who to call for assistance. ■ Align goals for stronger benefits to business and the community. ■ Alignment of volunteer hours and activities. ■ Greater focus and impact on local, state and federal government affairs and advocacy. ■ Accountability and tracking of results.

Profile for Rockford Chamber of Commerce

October Voice 2019