Executive Director Connie Sorn Abruptly Fired From Visitors Bureau Position

Stephenson County, Illinois — Come to Freeport and Stephenson County and meet all the wonderful people, you’ll often hear the leaders of our community tell you. We take care of our own, we watch out for one another and we’re not just partly in when it comes to caring for our community around here, we’re all in they’ll say.

Turns out, they’ll also fire you like a dog after 28 years of community service as well and yes, just like that too. No notice, no warning, no time to prepare for another job or figure out where else you might get income either. The attorney enters the room, asks you to gather your things and in a matter of moments, you are escorted out the door.

That’s pretty much just what happened to the Executive Director of the Stephenson County Visitors Center on Wednesday. She was at work just like she’s been doing over the past 28 years and in walks a SCVB board member with an attorney and surprise surprise, you’re fired. Grab your things, you have to go.

On late Wednesday afternoon, Sorn posted on her Facebook page that she is no longer employed by the Visitor Bureau.  Sorn told the newspaper that chairman of the board Evan Talbert and a Rockford attorney gave her the news around 1 p.m..

The feedback from the community after hearing the news?

  • Stunned and dismayed.
  • Speechless!!!!
  • This is shocking!
  • Shocked….and so sorry to hear this. I’m speechless.
  • A true professional and esteemed advocate for my dear home county of Stephenson
  • Devastating news for you and our community
  • Another stupid decision by the area personnel
  • A very bad turn of events for Freeport

While we do not know why Sorn was fired, it doesn’t appear to be for any foul play on Sorn’s part. It simply appears that someone felt a change was in order and apparently, this was the best way to go about it they felt.

We’ve had other changes recently too.

Like Tiffany Nieman leaving the United Way, Larry Williams and Andra Taylor leaving the Housing Authority under rumors of crazy board member activity and now, Connie Sorn gets fired after lunch on a Wednesday.

You ever get the stench in your nose that something’s rotten in Denmark? That feeling in your gut that things just aren’t quite right? We’re getting that feeling and the manner of Sorn’s firing isn’t helping the matter.

Regardless of what you may personally feel of the job Sorn has done over the past 3 decades, you would just think that after 28 years of public service, in a field centered around the positive aspects of our community, that letting the person know you will no longer need their services could be done in a more thankful, respectful and classy manner. Did they think she might walk off with the life size statue of Pat Gillespie?

You just don’t think the firing of a person like that would be done so disrespectfully. It certainly doesn’t leave a bright spot on our community from a “hey, come work here” stance. Come help us grow, give us your all and when we’re done with you, we’ll drop you like a bad habit, no thank you’s needed.

What’s next at the Visitors Center? We’re not sure. A new Executive Director will be in order we’re sure and as far as the rest of it or what happens next, we’ll all just have to wait and see.

Just, if you call out to the Stephenson County Visitors Center to reach Connie, heads up, she won’t be there.


40 thoughts on “Executive Director Connie Sorn Abruptly Fired From Visitors Bureau Position

  • January 11, 2018 at 11:34 pm

    This is a woman I have known since she was hired as DBA (downtown business assiciation) coordinator. She took over the early Tutti Baker Day, brought a Governors Hometown Award to Freeport, grew her job, and created the current position, was always available almost 24/7 to work on any project to help grow the area. This continued effort to replace every thing that is in place is managing to alienate some of Freeport
    Strongest supporters.

  • January 11, 2018 at 11:39 pm

    After hearing the news, I don’t feel comfortable promoting or even volunteering for any events in the Freeport / Stephenson County area.

  • January 11, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    Connie has given so much to this community for so many years. This is just so sad. It’s bad enough to fire her, but do you have to publicize it for the whole community to see. Let her have her dignity.

  • January 11, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    You have show horses and work horses, mudders. Looks like we lost a work horse. I’m sure we have a show horse coming who will have to hire 3 people to be the mudders.

  • January 11, 2018 at 11:58 pm

    It made me sick when I read the article. They treated her so disrespectfully! 28 years doesn’t count for something? This was disgusting. I don’t know her either, you just don’t treat someone that way.

  • January 12, 2018 at 12:17 am

    Things like this, makes coming to Freeport a lot less inviting…. I have talked to many over the years who were excited to come to Freeport and set up shop only to find a new location…. reasons varying from a lack of desire for their goods and services to issues with the city and county leadership. I am beginning to wonder just what is going on. Believe me….. large companies look closely at community and community leadership when seeking to bring an industry to the area. Take a long look at Wichita, they just recently chased off a company looking to bring jobs to the area, and had planned to set up in an area conducive to that particular industry…. they are now looking elsewhere.

    • January 12, 2018 at 12:28 am

      Yes, I agree. They did that to many employees. I know one guy that had 34 years in – they simply walked up to him, tapped him on the shoulder, said “You’re done. We’ll pack up your stuff for you, and you can pick your box of personal stuff up at the guard station tomorrow,” then they walked him to the door. He works his butt off for you for 34 years and this is how you treat him? I’ve heard they did this to multiple people. Must be the way of the business world now days. It would make me think long and hard about whether I would want to go to work for anybody that treats their employees this way – whatever their reason.

  • January 12, 2018 at 12:19 am

    Politics and business affairs are better demonstrated through computers so we could fill all government positions through a computer simulation

  • January 12, 2018 at 1:04 am

    Until we know WHY she was fired, we should withhold voicing concerns about how it was done!! Get the facts before you form an opinion!!

  • January 12, 2018 at 1:15 am

    I have no idea what some CVB Board members thought they were achieving. Even if I give them the benefit of the doubt that this was the right choice for our community (which I don’t), I continue to be appalled, infuriated, and mortified by 7 people who claim to be community leaders, for the manner in which this was handled. To utterly fail to show any respect whatsoever of Connie Ross Sorn’s tremendous service is simply abominable. To the CVB Board members who voted for this and sanctioned the way it was handled, I’m ashamed of you.

  • January 12, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    Could have been a heartless act, could have been deserved. We dont know, the reason why she was fired may not be spoken of to save her embarrasment? But if that was the case, usually you give the person the option to resign. If it was an uncalled for firing the people in charge will reap what they sow and probably be kicking themselves in the ass later. And when one door shuts a better door opens. If this is completely undeserved may God bless her abundantly!

  • January 12, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Freeport is NOT “ALL IN”. Look at their new commercial. It doesn’t even represent but 1.5 people of color. It represents no teachers, healthcare professionals, no students. Its very misleading and exclusive. Freeport is slowly trying to get rid of people that makes Freeport “Freeport”.

  • January 12, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Did some evil politician put something in the water. The visitor center was always a place I stopped when I came home. So much of the county and city showcased. This is so sad

  • January 12, 2018 at 11:24 pm

    Many people have lost their jobs in this very same manner with as many years. This is nothing new in Freeport. Ask all the Honeywell people, as one example. Called into the office and escorted out of the building. Where Honeywell was down sizing, we don’t know the story behind this job loss.

    • January 13, 2018 at 2:51 pm

      That’s the problem…companies complain because there’s no loyalty to the company anymore…well, that’s a two way street. Companies aren’t loyal to their employees anymore either…Honeywell, as you mentioned, is a perfect example.

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