Author Archives: transformrockford

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Education: Douglas J. Jensen selected as next RVC president

Douglas J. Jensen

Douglas J. Jensen

ROCKFORD — Rock Valley College Trustees have chosen Douglas J. Jensen as the college’s next president.

Trustees plan to vote on a contract for Jensen Tuesday night. The proposed contract begins Oct. 10 and runs through June 30, 2019. Jensen will be paid $180,000 a year with benefits.

Jensen, 59, has 30 years of experience working in community colleges. He is leaving his job as the assistant director of educational services for Alabama Industrial Development Training, an independent agency under the supervision of the state’s Department of Commerce.

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Leadership: Rockford Leadership Alliance – Create Transparency


Julia KirbyJulia Kirby is Editor at Large at Harvard Business Review as well as the author of Standing on the Sun: How the Explosion of Capitalism Abroad Will Change Business Everywhere (2012) and Only Humans Need Apply: Winners & Losers in the Age of Smart Machines (May, 2016).  She has written many articles for Harvard Business Review including “Trust in the Age of Transparency” featured in the July-August 2012 HBR magazine.

September 29 | Hilton Garden Inn

Morning Session: 8:00am-12:00pm | Afternoon Session: 1:00-5:00pm
Presenter: Julia Kirby, Harvard Business Review

For more information visit

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Physical Infrastructure: Feds award Rockford airport nearly $2.2M to upgrade taxiway

It’s the latest multimillion-dollar effort to improve the city’s airport and make it a regional business center. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Springfield, and Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline, announced the $2,176,238 award today. The money will be used to rebuild the airport’s 1,400-foot Taxiway F.

Earlier this month, the federal government said it will send $6 million to the airport to defray the ongoing $20 million addition of 25,000 square feet to the airport’s passenger terminal. Weeks before that announcement came a $455,000 federal award to the airport for construction of a 30,000-square-yard cargo apron to accommodate air cargo traffic.

“We have a great relationship with Sen. Durbin and Rep. Bustos and this is part of our overall goal to include the Federal Aviation Administration in our planning process,” said Airport Director Mike Dunn.

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Unity, Pride, Culture: Greater Rockford Italian American Association to hold banquet Oct. 8

ROCKFORD — The Greater Rockford Italian American Association will hold its annual Hall of Fame and Special Recognition Award Banquet at 6 p.m. Oct. 8 at Giovanni’s Restaurant & Convention Center, 610 N. Bell School Road.

The event will honor Rockford-area Italian-Americans who have made significant contributions to the Italian-American community and will feature a social hour, dinner, ceremony and entertainment by the Mike Alongi Trio.

Tickets: $40. For tickets: 815-871-7789; For information:

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Economy & Jobs: Rockford seeing best housing market in ten years

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – If we’re in the market to buy a home here in the Stateline now may be the best time to start looking.

In August, we saw the best month of new homes being sold in nearly 10 years. Much of this success comes from the affordability in Rockford. The average home in the Forest City sold for about $115,000 exactly half the average price on the national scale. Steve Bois at Rockford Area Realtors says that the housing market is slowly improving and he expects the growth to continue.

“We’re expecting a normal seasonal slowdown if you will. But we’re not expecting to see any brakes put on either. So I think we’re going to continue to trend positively this year versus last year,” says Rockford Area Realtors CEO Steve Bois.

Bois says that economists believe it would be beneficial for businesses to set up shop in Rockford because the affordable housing alone would allow employees to buy new homes where they work.

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Unity, Pride, Culture: Rockford church celebrates 180 years

ROCKFORD (WIFR) — 180 years ago Andrew Jackson was president, Wisconsin became a territory, and Davey Crockett arrived in Texas. That was also the year Centennial United Methodist Church in Rockford began its ministry.

The church, now at the corner of Broadway and Parmalee celebrated that big anniversary Sunday with a special service followed by lunch. Although the location has changed through the years, the mission hasn’t. Centennial United Methodist is well known for its neighborhood outreach and serving low income families. It welcomes kids every Saturday for a kids club and offers English as a Second Language classes.

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Healthy Lifestyles: Join experts on Blue Zones; Live Longer, Better. Live to be 100


Blue Zones Project Friends @ Five

Join experts on Blue Zones; Live Longer, Better. Live to be 100.

September 19, 2016 @ 5:00 pm7:00 pm
Discovery Center Museum, 711 N Main St, Rockford, IL 61103, USA

Transform Rockford’s goal of making Rockford a top 25 city by 2025 could become a lot easier if it’s picked to become a Blue Zone.

“The collective effort that the City is getting ready to do, we’d be honored to work here,” said Blue Zones Project National Spokesperson Tony Buettner.

Buettner was the keynote speaker in June at the UW Health Sports Factory. He explained to hundreds of people about the projects initiative to improve a community’s health and well being by helping it secure major grants. But only three communities in the entire United States will get picked as the next Blue Zones. Buettner says he’s looking for something specific when it comes to choosing the zones and Rockford just might fit the bill.

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Education: Rockford Christian Schools earns continuing accreditation

ROCKFORD — Rockford Christian Schools recently earned continuing accreditation from the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement, Northwest Accreditation Commission and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement.

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Families & Neighborhoods: Make your Rockford neighborhood yours

RRSTAR: By Jay Larson

September 14. 2016 7:22PM

Ownership is implied in the phrase “your neighborhood.” The place a person calls home should become a small piece of them. Rockford has many diverse neighborhoods, all of which have unique challenges. It is incumbent upon residents to take an active role in problem solving and leave a place better for them having been there.

A neighborhood association is a great place to start for giving of yourself. If you are not certain how to find your group, simply Google “Neighborhood Network of Rockford.” All of the information you will need can be found there. I have been blessed to serve Keith Creek Neighborhood Association as their vice president for the last eight years. With help from some generous community partners and my neighbors who attend monthly meetings, positive change is taking place.

A neighborhood without safety and security will also lack community. Violent crime is the single greatest challenge that all of Rockford’s neighborhoods must deal with. Fortunately, every citizen has a direct link to the Rockford Police Department via the Community Officer Program. Your officer will attend neighborhood meetings and listen. They will tell you that it takes participation from residents to address Rockford’s crime problems. Being eyes and ears for the police is the beginning of a safer community. Once a partnership between city and citizen is forged, pushing out violent crime is a reachable goal.

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Physical Infrastructure: Rockford Airport receives $6 million for expansion

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – More people will be able to travel in and out of Rockford Airport as the facility’s expansion receives some much needed funding.

Six million dollars in federal funding is announced for improvements and upgrades at RFD. Originally, the FAA approved $20 million for the terminal expansion but the airport would have to receive the funds over the course of three years. The $6 million will go towards the second phase of the expansion that will allow the airport to meet increasing passenger demand.

“There is an excitement in the airline community because they know we are a proven airport. We are running a quarter of a million passengers; to most people is a lot of passengers. It’s not to me. I’d like to see that number be five, six, seven million passengers a year,” says Mike Dunn, Executive Director of Rockford Airport.

Chicago Rockford International Airport hopes the terminal expansion will be open by fall of next year.

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