Our members bring an impressive range of academic, business, economic and cultural experiences to help form a truly diverse group. We believe in our community. And we are working to build a stronger community for tomorrow.
Why are you a NR Member?
When I first opened up our company’s Rockford Office (I have a business partner who started the company 2 years ago and works out of our headquarters in Davenport, IA) it was important for me to meet young professionals not just for networking, but to share ideas and stay up-to-date on current events happening in the region. Within the first few weeks of becoming a member, I was invited to a series of lunches with the Mayor to discuss the Amerock Project. Meeting with Larry Morrissey and later with Tom McNamara (a Next Rockford Member) gave me a clearer understanding of the process and allowed me to make a much more educated decision on where I stood on the project. Recently, Winnebago County Chairman Frank Haney spoke to our group about his vision for the region. The opportunity to have small group discussions with community leaders is an invaluable experience and a strong confirmation that joining Next Rockford was a great decision!
What is your vision for the Rockford region?
To preface my statement, I may be the biggest optimist you will ever meet. I honestly think that Anthony Rizzo is going to hit a home run every time he comes up to bat, and that Jay Cutler was legitimately going to be a great quarterback and lead the Bears to the Super Bowl (and we all know how that turned out). I truly believe Rockford has the potential to become a model community for cities of this size. I started working downtown about 3 years ago and it’s been amazing to see how much the area has transformed over that time frame. My wife and I can walk to a restaurant for lunch and see State Street packed with people and businesses flourishing. I also understand that we have a long way to go to combat the more critical issues our city faces. Since I have started my business in January, I’ve gotten more involved with the YMCA and I’ve also joined the Rockford Rotary. From mentoring children to helping clean up local neighborhoods, these organizations (and many others) have proven to me that there are plenty of selfless individuals in the area that will get us on the right track!
What is your favorite thing to do in the Rockford region/place to visit, etc.?
There are a number of great golf courses in the area that I enjoy playing at (I know it’s north of Rockford, but I probably like Ledges the most). The Rockford Park District in general has a ton of amazing places to visit and I’m sure now that my daughter is getting old enough to walk and explore the world, we will be making more visits to local parks and playgrounds for her to enjoy. I’ve been in bowling and sand volleyball leagues at Forest Hills Lanes for the last handful of years. My wife and I enjoy meeting friends out for dinner, our favorite place is the Olympic Tavern. I also think a pretty underrated spot is Owly Oop at the UW Health Sports Factory. At first it felt a little awkward going to eat at a place with basketball courts and sweaty kids running around, but they have great beer (Prairie Street Brewhouse), a huge TV, and a nice view of the river!