Stephenson County, Illinois — On March 12th, 2018 the boards of directors of Northwest Illinois Development Alliance (NIDA), Freeport/ Stephenson County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Freeport Downtown Development Foundation (FDDF) and Freeport Area Chamber of Commerce announced that they will form a new organization designed to promote economic development, tourism and business services to grow Freeport and Stephenson County. The new organization, dubbed NewCo until it is officially named, brings together four organizations and four boards of directors into one organization with one mission, one board and one voice.
Since announcing the agreement, the newly selected Board of Directors for NewCo has begun its work meeting twice on March 21st and April 4th. A detailed, multi-phased transition plan has been developed to address the many items needed to form this new organization including the selection of a NewCo Executive Director, human resource, legal, financial, communications, and facility needs. Officers were elected, and committees have been formed to complete the tasks required to blend these four organizations into one.
The initial Board of Directors is made up of three representatives from the four existing organizations, plus the City Manager, County Board Chair, a representative from Highland Community College and a representative from the Freeport Public School District. A 17th seat is reserved for a director that is from either of the other taxing jurisdictions in Stephenson County or a not for profit in Stephenson County. That 17th director will be designated by the Board in the coming weeks.
The NewCo Board of Directors includes:
- Gary Quinn, Chair
- Scott Winter, Vice-Chair
- Chris Schneiderman, Treasurer
- Ross Vehmeier, Secretary
- Lowell Crow
- Josh Elliott
- Amy Fairweather
- Bill Hadley
- Brian Helm
- Tim Hood
- Mike Marten
- Mike Meade
- Terri Musser
- Mike Schiffman
- Brooke Wagner
- Mark Wright
During this time of transition, it is business as usual for all four existing organizations, their respective staff, Boards and volunteers. Each organization is committed to providing the services and programs that the members and investors are accustomed to receiving.
There are many questions to be answered and details to be put in place before NewCo can be launched. Your NewCo Board of Directors, all the staff and volunteers are working hard providing their expertise and countless hours of time to make this new organization a success. We ask your continued commitment to invest in these organizations and your patience and trust that as a community we will come through this transition with a stronger organization better positioned to serve the region.
Whether you are a visitor, a business owner or developer, NewCo will provide “one stop shopping” and one main entry point to invest in, and grow roots in, Freeport and Stephenson County. NewCo will market the area with one clear, consistent voice and a clear call to action.