Economy & Jobs: Rockford lands NCJAA Division III women’s soccer tournament

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — The National Junior College Athletic Association’s Division III women’s soccer championship is coming to Rockford.

Rock Valley College will host the 2018 tournament at MercyRockford Sportscore 2 in Loves Park, one of four large facilities the city operates to boost sports tourism in northern Illinois.

President of the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau John Groh said the four-day NJCAA tournament in November 2018 was expected to draw around 750 people and have an economic impact of more than $130,000.

Quality: Rockford business receives Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful environmental awards

ROCKFORD — Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful presented environmental awards to Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen P.C. on April 7 at KNIB’s Earth Day Awards Luncheon.

Heyl Royster, a Rockford-based law firm, received the 2016 Outstanding Corporate Friend of the Environment Award for developing a green initiative to promote environmental sustainability.

Read more:

Leadership: Rockford Announces New Water Superintendent

ROCKFORD (WIFR) — Mayor Larry Morrissey announces the city of Rockford has a new Water Superintendent.

Morrissey says Kyle Saunders will permanently fill the role left open by Tim Holdeman.


Saunders joined the City in 2011 and has worked in engineering, project management and water operations. He leaves his position as the Water Treatment Supervisor in Rockford’s Water Division to take the new Superintendent position.

Economy & Jobs: Rockford lands national collegiate soccer tourney

ROCKFORD — A national college soccer championship is headed to the 815.

Rock Valley College will host the 2018 women’s National Junior College Athletic Association, or NJCAA, Division III soccer championship tournament. The announcement was made today at the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The tournament will be Nov. 8 to 11, 2018, at MercyRockford Sportscore 2 in Loves Park.

“We were able to bring NJCAA representatives to Rockford and the first thing they pointed out, and pointed out time and time again, was the collaboration of all the parties involved,” said Kevin Vest, baseball coach and sports coordinator at Rock Valley College.

“For the NJCAA to leave a current host site, it’s not something they like to do.”

Read more

Save the Date: Community Conversation, evening of June 1st with author of For the Love of Cities, Peter Kageyama

The “loveability” of a city as a factor in its success is greatly underappreciated

PK Headshot 3.jpg

Peter Kageyama is the author of For the Love of Cities: The Love Affair Between People and Their Places and the follow up, Love Where You Live: Creating Emotionally Engaging Places.  Planetizen recognized For the Love of Cities as a Top 10 Book in 2012 in urban planning, design and development. Peter is the former President of Creative Tampa Bay, a grassroots community change organization and the co-founder of the Creative Cities Summit, an interdisciplinary conference that brings citizens and practitioners together around the big idea of ‘the city.’

Location: Prairie Street Brewhouse
Time: Evening (exact times posted soon)

Front Cover hi res

Healthy Lifestyles: Healthy Rockford: Becoming a Runner

ROCKFORD (WIFR) – As the weather gets warmer, more people are hitting the bike path and the trainers at FitMe Wellness want to make sure we’re prepared if we’re running for the first time.

The experts say we should start by finding a good pair of shoes. FitMe trainers say every time we put our foot down, the force can be up to three times our body weight and that saving a few bucks on shoes isn’t worth our physical health.

Hitting the pavement also does more than just get us in shape. It can also help manage stress.

Instructors say we should go at our own pace and should be able to talk to someone while we run and we are encouraged to rest if we feel we need to.

News Source:

Transform Rockford: Nonprofit key in rallying community to cut crime by aiding parolees

ROCKFORD — Ex-prisoners face a complex transition back into communities.


Brent Walker shares his story with a group of parolees during a “Parole Call-In” meeting in 2014 at Henrietta School in Rockford. RRSTAR.COM FILE PHOTO

It’s hard for many to find a job with limited education; an apartment with narrow housing options; mental health and substance abuse treatment with scattered services.

There’s no doubt there are plenty of social service agencies in the Rockford area that can help parolees make adjustments with the aim of maintaining a crime-free life. But trying to get everybody on the same page and aligning efforts to better benefit returning citizens as well as the community is a tall order.

That’s where Transform Rockford comes in. “They’re setting the tone,” said Mike Dalke, assistant deputy chief of Rockford Police Department. He was referring to Transform Rockford’s emphasis on respect and inclusion in working to gain cooperation among groups. Dalke is the Police Department’s point person for prisoner re-entry in the city.

Transform Rockford was formed in 2013 by business and community leaders as a nonprofit. It galvanized thousands of citizens around the concept of greatly improving the city’s social and economic woes by 2025. Dozens of volunteers are working on committees that are expected in the coming months to outline strategies to boost jobs, educational attainment, safety, economic development and neighborhood involvement.

Read more

Inclusion: Visioning group continues efforts with second Rockford program

RACINE, WI — Visioning a Greater Racine is working to grow the number of groups and community leaders it works with as it pursues its goal of making Racine a better place to work and live.

More than 100 people attended the program, aptly titled “Visioning a Greater Racine and Transform Rockford: Creating a Connected Community.”

More than 100 people attended the program, aptly titled “Visioning a Greater Racine and Transform Rockford: Creating a Connected Community.”

On Friday — two months after taking around 30 community members to Rockford, Ill., to learn about civic building efforts happening there — VGR welcomed leaders of Transform Rockford to Racine to continue the conversation.

More than 100 people attended the program, aptly titled “Visioning a Greater Racine and Transform Rockford: Creating a Connected Community.”

“We are in this intermediate phase now called mobilization and coordination,” said VGR Executive Director Tom Buhler in kicking off the event. “Learning is certainly what we are going to be doing here today.”

Visioning and Racine

Led by community leaders, business people and local officials, VGR has only just begun its efforts, but its goal is to use “strategic visioning” to determine where the greater Racine area can be in the next 10 to 15 years. Its overall aim is “to develop a road map for the community in which future generations and current residents thrive.”

Used throughout the country, strategic visioning is a multistep process in which stakeholders — from everyday residents to elected officials and business leaders — develop and improvement plan for their communities.

The mobilization and coordination phase the group is currently undertaking is about “building the capacity of the organization,” Buhler, an executive at Butter Buds, said recently. It’s also about aligning itself “with community engagement activities already under way,” he said.

The group hopes to start seeking input from the wider community in earnest sometime this summer when it begins the visioning phase in earnest.

Learning from Rockford

Gathered in a conference room at Wheaton Franciscan-All Saints hospital, those who attended Friday’s program spent the better part of four hours together learning about Transform Rockford’s approach to visioning, and in talking with each other about what they want to see from the Visioning a Greater Racine effort.

Breaking into smaller groups, attendees got a quick digest of three strategies Transform Rockford has used in its transformation effort, including a discussion of the importance of shared values; its approach to networking with the government, business, nonprofit and faith-based sectors; and its six-step transformation process.

A key message delivered by all three Transform Rockford representatives during Friday’s presentations was the importance of being “intentional.”

“The amazing does not just happen,” said Mike Schablaske, executive director of Transform Rockford. “If you are not intentional about it, you are going to get the same results.”

Joan Roehre, a project manager for the group, said the plan is to take that information and use it to guide VGR’s efforts.

“The voices we heard today are going to help us modify and adapt our visioning process so that it is a fit for this community,” Roehre said.

Read more

Arts & Recreation: Rockford band kicks off tour downtown Friday

A Rockford band is celebrating the release of its third CD with a show downtown to kick off its next tour.

Miles Nielsen and the rusted hearts new album “Heavy Metal” is going on sale.  The band will perform Friday night at Memorial Hall on North Main Street in Rockford. If you want to attend doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

News Source:

Save the Date: Transform Rockford Community Conversation ~ Thursday, May 12th

Transform Rockford Community Conversation

A Smart and Engaging look at Education in 21st Century America
We All Learn in different ways.

You are invited to attend a free screening of Most Likely to Succeed

Please register through Eventbrite (click the link below), so we can have an accurate count, but you do not need to bring a ticket with you to the event.

Here are the event details:

Thursday, May 12th
The Nordlof Center, 118 N. Main St. Rockford
The film is approximately 90 minutes long.

Evening agenda:
Doors open: 4:30 pm
Film showing: 5:00 to 6:30 pm
Break: 6:30 to 7:00 pm
Facilitated discussion: 7:00 to 8:00 pm

Alignment Rockford is hosting this event in partnership with Transform Rockford, Rockford Public Library and Rockford Public Schools.
Feel free to forward to others who may be interested.

Hope to see you on May 12th!