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Transform Rockford: An update on our region’s transformation

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BY Tom Gendron and Bobbie Holzwarth

Published Saturday February 4, 2017 at 5:37 pm

Updated Saturday February 4, 2017 at 11:39 pm

Below is our review of the progress and next steps in that effort to transform this region into a top 25 community in the nation.

It starts with the climate

The community has created and reinforced a climate for transformation. Shared values, best practices, broad engagement and a clear and compelling vision have been embraced by many. This climate has helped to create unity and a common purpose. There is now a strong expectation that things can, should and will be better as a result of joint efforts in our community.

We see climate progress through

— Increased use of vision and positivity.

— Frequent best practice discussions and benchmarking to explore and consider proven practices.

— Concerted efforts to build unity through community engagement.

— Challenging discussions about how and when we need to work together for the common good.

This climate is foundational for all of the work to come. Efforts to expand this climate across the community must continue.

Read more

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TransformRockford Region is Transforming! Find Out How You Can Help Continue the Transformation!

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This scorecard looks at key measures and changes in our region. This is an update to what community members presented at the initial Transform Rockford meeting in November 2013 at the Coronado Performing Arts Center. That meeting launched our community on a transformational journey to become a Top 25 city by 2025.


Community Report Card



Here’s How YOU Can Be A Part Of Our Continued Transformation!

  1. Get involved, either in a roadmap project or some other way that makes our community stronger
    View the TransformRockford Roadmap! 
  2. Share our region’s progress
    – Share this web page and others by clicking on social media icons under “Sharing is Caring!”
    – Like and share our Facebook posts
    – Retweet our Twitter posts
    – Like and share our LinkedIn posts
    – Like and share our Instagram posts
    Sign-up for monthly newsletter
  3. Commit to living by the shared values
    View the communities Shared Values

Download “Transform Rockford and Community Report Card”

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Visit the Transformation Map & Transformational Projects

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What is the Transformation Map?

The Transformation Map (T-Map) is a visual representation of our community’s transformation process. It includes the important elements of successful strategic change: projects, milestones, metrics, timelines, results and impact.

Transformational Projects Evaluation Process

    • Project ideas were evaluated using a Project Funnel (see visual below). Volunteers utilized this process to evaluate project ideas for their transformational impact to achieve our region’s vision.
      Here’s more:
    • Each submitted project idea was evaluated against the Shared Vision, Shared Values and Impact Statements.
    • Does the project align with the direction our community established at the beginning of this transformational journey?
      If the answer was yes, then next volunteers analyzed the projects through a lens of aligning with our community’s strategies.
    • Finally, each project was then gaged on whether they would significantly move the measures and outcomes toward becoming a Top 25 community.
    • If a project met these criteria, it was placed on the strategic plan, the roadmap of transformation. If it didn’t or if a project didn’t readily and apparently meet these criteria, it will remain in our project inventory for further research and evaluation.

View the T-Map

      If you have questions on any project, please leave your feedback.

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How Do We Become Top 25 By 25?

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The Rockford region was once an area in its prime with thriving businesses and residents experiencing a high-quality of life. During the past four decades, our region has witnessed a decline resulting in an environment where many in our community are challenged economically and socially.

Transform Rockford accepts the challenge to dramatically improve the social the economic conditions of our region and its residents through a structured and inclusive process where all ideas will be heard and given weight for the betterment of our community.

Join us today, become involved, and be part of the movement for a better community.

Get Connected, Get Involved

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Check out the Transformational Project Inventory! #RockfordRegionProjects

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Jake Wilson literally in the middle of the draft T-Map

Jake Wilson literally in the middle of the draft T-Map


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1 MILLION CUPS Program (Every Wednesday)

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1 Million Cups is led by more than 300 volunteers in 35+ states, one U.S. territory, and six time zones. It attracts an estimated national weekly attendance of more than 2,500 people.