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.

Karli Smith

Karli Smith


Chartwell Agency


How long have you been a Next Rockford member?

I have been a member of Next Rockford for three years.


Why are you a Next Rockford Member?

Next Rockford provides a great opportunity to meet and network with my peers in the Rockford region. It’s also an excellent way to learn about issues that are affecting our city. I step away from every single meeting and event with a new nugget of information or a new way I can help the region continue to grow. I also love that Next Rockford partners with local organizations to host book drives, coat drives and other community support initiatives.


What is your vision for the Rockford region?

My vision is for community leaders and members to continue working together to improve our city and downtown and that includes continuing to focus on decreasing crime, improving our schools, investing in redevelopment, attracting businesses and creating jobs. I would also like to see more people change their perspective, understand that change doesn’t happen overnight and be a part of the change.


What is your favorite thing to do in the Rockford region/place to visit, etc.?

My favorite thing to do in Rockford has to be heading to the City Market in the summer with my family and friends. Not only is there great local shopping and food, but it’s also a relaxing way to enjoy a beverage and some live local music after my work week comes to an end. We usually end up at a local restaurant or watering hole downtown after the market.  We have some incredibly talented locals and great restaurants and I encourage anyone who has not been to the market to check it out.