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The first community meeting for Transform Rockford was held at the Coronado Theater on November 14, 2013. With over 1,300 people in attendance, the “brutal facts” of the Rockford area were laid out and community members joined in a call to action for improving the living and working conditions in our region.

Video: Inaugural Meeting at the Coronado on November 14, 2013


The response to the call to action was a series of forty-two visioning sessions held from January 2014 to March 2014 to gather opinions from the community. Over 3,000 people from all over the region participated and told us what our transformed region is, has, will and looks like. Additional comments were gathered as community members went digital and continued the conversations online via the Transform Rockford website and social media sites. After months of holding visioning sessions where members of the Rockford community shared their thoughts and dreams, all of this information was tallied, gathered and dissected during the vision drafting. The Vision Drafting team had a very important and tough job of listening to all the voices of our community and drafting our community’s vision. Presented to the community on July 9, 2014, the vision belongs to each one of us and will take all of us coming together to make OUR vision, OUR future.

With the community’s vision, known in short as “Top 25 by 2025”, and the 14 impact statements, teams were created to begin work on the next step of the transformation process. Spoke teams, consisting of over 300 volunteers, began the work of identifying the strategies our community could follow to become a Top 25 community as described in the vision statement and impact statements. The community strategies were developed by the 14 spoke teams after rigorous research and benchmarking, identifying the best practices locally and across the world. Teams drafted these strategies and the community provided feedback starting in December of 2015. The teams also began the work of collecting project ideas through community input throughout the Summer of 2016. Twelve input sessions were held during this time where community residents could provide feedback on the strategies and provide project ideas.

Following the revision of the community strategies, the spoke teams drafted the strategic plan of transformation.  This plan included projects, expected outputs and outcomes. The teams sequenced these elements based on impact towards the community’s vision as well as alignment with the strategies and shared values. This plan was presented as a draft Transformation Map (T-Map) on Nov 15th, 2016.  Community feedback was given and the plan was revised and published in early 2017.

Transformation is currently underway as the implementation of the plan has begun. We are now on the path to becoming a Top 25 community where our people are engaged, inspired and are leading successful and fulfilling lives.