The Rochelle Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Merry & Bright Window Decorating Contest:
Thank you to all the organizations that participated to make Downtown Rochelle Merry & Bright this season!
ROCHELLE, IL… The Rochelle Chamber of Commerce and 102.3 the Coyote will welcome some of country music’s hottest rising stars to the Summer Country Jam stage on Saturday, August 1 at the Rochelle Municipal Airport, 1201 W. Gurler Road. Five bands from across the country will perform at the annual event. Gates open at 4pm. All tickets are general admission and ticket holders must bring a lawn chair to the open seating arena. Tickets are $20. Kids ten and under are free with a paid adult. Parking is $5. Event is rain or shine.
Music will begin on the concert stage at 4:45pm. Dixon, Illinois’ own Gina Venier will open the festival. Venier was a contestant on American Idol Season 15. Her soulful blues and pop songwriting style make her a true artist on the rise.
Luke Amelang will take the stage at 6pm with his intensely unique voice in modern country music. His writing is based in the traditions of southern folk, blues, and traditional country with ballads of love and loss to swinging numbers about sasquatches and aliens. Luke’s unique style of songwriting comes to life with an amazing line up of musicians including some legendary players on fiddle, tenor banjo, pedal steel and upright bass.
At 7:25pm it’s Dixie Still, the two-time Carolina Music Award-winning, Nashville recording vocal group. Their fresh new sound and tight harmony vocals separate them from other acts. Their sound has been compared to Lady Antebellum and their energy to that of the Band Perry.
Dixie Still will stop by the Switchyard Bar & Grill, 200 N. Washington Street, Rochelle on Friday, July 31 between 7-9pm for a special Summer Country Jam Pre-Party with 102.3 The Coyote. Fans will be able to meet the band and have their last chance to purchase Jam tickets before the price increases at the gate.
Chris Lane will headline the show at 9pm. Chris has opened for Florida Georgia Line, The Band Perry, Eli Young Band, Chris Young and Brantley Gilbert, and Lee Brice. After playing Rochelle he will travel select dates with Florida Georgia Line. Lane, who signed with Big Loud Mountain, is currently recording his first EP. Rolling Stone Country Magazine recently named Chris Lane “One of 10 Country Artists You Need to Know: Summer of 2015”.
Ticket holders can stay at their seats for the Rochelle Comfort Inn & Suites After-Party from 11pm-1am on the airport stage. Love & Thunder, a high energy country band form Northern Illinois will close out the festival. Concert goers must have a $20 Jam ticket to attend the After Party.
“The Rochelle Municipal Airport is a unique and imitate concert venue and a great place for families and friends to gather”, said Peggy Friday, Rochelle Chamber Executive Director/CEO. This Summer Country Jam will showcase some of the best new and rising country music talent with a variety of music styles to please everyone. I encourage everyone to get there early for the best seat and to take advantage of the Happy Hour specials”, she added.
A food court of local vendors will be on hand from Alfano’s Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant, Country School Restaurant, The Flight Deck Bar & Grill, and Pizza Hut. A variety of Budweiser beverages and Ritas will be on sale throughout the day along with water and non-alcoholic drinks. During Happy Hour the Budweiser Montego Sampling Team in full Latino costume will be there featuring samples and giveaways. The adjacent Chicagoland Skydiving Center will be operational so concert goers can enjoy watching multi-colored parachutes descend from the sky.
Sponsors include the City of Rochelle, 102.3 The Coyote, Budweiser, Rochelle Comfort Inn & Suites, First National Bank, Kishwaukee College, DeKalb Harley Davidson, Bee Designs, Big R of Rochelle, Holcomb State Bank, McDonalds, Next Generation Wireless, Quinns Jewelry, Stillman Bank, and Swedish American Medical Group of Rochelle.
Tickets are available at the Rochelle Chamber or www.rochellechamber.net; the drive-up windows at First National Bank of Rochelle, Holcomb State Bank, Stillman Bank, and First State Bank; Pizza Hut locations in Rochelle, Dixon, and Oregon, Big R of Rochelle, and the Flight Deck Bar & Grill at Chicagoland Skydiving Center. Will call is available for ticket holders who live outside of Rochelle. The ticket price increases to $25 at the gate.
Rochelle, Il, March 23, 2015 – America’s most celebrated “helpful place” is opening its doors on March 23rd in Rochelle. The new Sullivan's Ace Hardware store, located in the Sullivan's foods Grocery Store,320 Eagle Drive, will bring the company’s unique blend of personal, knowledgeable, and helpful service paired with quality home maintenance, expertise, and products to Rochelle residents.
Sullivan's Ace Hardware is the second Ace Hardware/Sullivan's Foods combination opened by the Sullivan's Family. The inside of Sullivan's Foods has been designed to reflect the needs of the Rochelle community, including solutions to everyday home maintenance needs, as well as an extensive array of high-quality products in categories such as tools, paint, and lawn and garden. All this plus the quality groceries, meat, and other perishable items you've come to expect from Sullivan's.
“Our mission is to provide customers with the neighborly advice and assistance they have come to expect from Sullivan's Foods and Ace,” says Scott Sullivan, president of Sullivan's Foods and Sullivan's Ace Hardware. “We look forward to continuing to be a helpful and valuable neighbor to the community, both inside and outside the walls of our store.”
The 3200 square foot Ace Department is packed with thousands of essential products and supplies, including some of the most respected brand names and best-selling items to help people take care of their homes. Key product offerings include paint,home decor, hardware, electrical, plumbing, automotive, and key cutting, as well as all of your grocery, meat, produce, bakery, deli, and catering needs you've grown accustomed too.
The grand opening festivities will take place April 24th, 25th, and 26th from 8am-6pm. Activities include cook outs, demonstrations, daily giveaways, special promotions and grand opening discounts, plus much more!
Sullivan's Foods and Ace Hardware Store Information:
· Store Hours: Sunday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
· Address & Phone: Sillivan's Foods and Ace Hardware, 320 Eagle Drive, Rochelle, Il. 61068. 815-562-8579
· Store Management: Seth Holmgren, Ace Harware Manager; Laura Hewitt
Community Branding Project Commences with 2 Public Meetings
Roger Brooks International brings 13-step branding process to Rochelle
ROCHELLE, IL…Over the past thirty years internationally renowned community branding expert Roger Brooks has helped tens of thousands of people transform ordinary places, businesses, and attractions into extraordinary destinations and enterprises. The City of Rochelle will soon undergo a branding initiative that will enable the community to discover its untapped potential as a thriving locale.
Branding is the art of setting yourself apart from everyone else. It is the perception people have of you and the promise that you will deliver on that perception when they arrive as a visitor, potential resident, or to establish a business. Championing the Roger Brooks 13-step branding process will done through a local Brand Development Team (BDT). This 13-member group made up of area leaders, stakeholders, and businesses will take the lead in finding and developing the brand direction.
BDT member Danny Williams, Owner of Lifeworks Photography Studio, Downtown Rochelle said, “The branding initiative is going to be a tremendous help to the City of Rochelle. The program is going to give the community a new identity, while staying true to its roots.” Williams added, “As a business owner, I believe this process will drive more people to become a part of our community which will stimulate the revitalization of our whole region.”
During the first week of March, Roger Brooks will hold stakeholder interviews and public meetings to continue the extensive research process necessary for developing a brand. Targeted groups will be interviewed and the public educated on the branding process.
Two public workshops will be presented by Roger Brooks that will explain the branding process; why it is important; that branding goes far beyond logos and tag lines; and the benefits of branding the area for years to come.
“Rochelle – Through the Eyes of Our Visitors” will be held on Thursday, March 5 from 6-8:30pm at Paddock Hall in the Hickory Grove Civic Center, 1127 N. 7th Street. Roger will compile the results and photographs of his on-site assessment. This workshop is fun and informative and valuable for officials, city staff, economic development, tourism, business owners, and the entire community.
Next, “The Art of Branding” will explain the process Rochelle will undergo, unveil an important online questionnaire, and introduce the members of the Brand Development Team. The public is invited to return to Paddock Hall on Friday, March 6 at 8:30am for this exciting presentation.
Michael Cruz of the Rochelle Chamber and member of the Brand Development Team said, “I am eager to see how we can explore and integrate the cultural diversity we have come to know in Rochelle.” He added, “I am particularly excited to see the Hispanic community get involved because I believe the success of the branding initiative will unite Rochelle in a powerful way”.
For more information about the Roger Brooks 13-step branding process and to view case studies please visit http://rochellechamber.net/programs. Seating is limited for the March 5th and 6th public meetings. Please RSVP by calling the Chamber of Commerce at 815-562-4189 or reserve your seat by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Roger Brooks International
Founded in 1981, the award-winning Roger Brooks International (RBI) team has a singular mission – to help communities become the destination of choice for investment, for business growth and expansion, as an outstanding place to live, and as a premier visitor destination. RBI has assisted in the development, marketing, and branding of nearly a thousand communities, plus numerous states, provinces, and regions around the world. www.rogerbrooksinternational.com
Rochelle, IL – Frontier, DISH and CoBank have teamed up to support the revitalization of small towns and cities across America with the America’s Best Communities prize competition. America’s Best Communities is a $10 million competition to stimulate growth and revitalization in small cities and towns across Frontier’s 27-state footprint.
City of Rochelle Community & Economic Development Directors, Michelle Pease and Jason Anderson headed to Nashville last week to share Rochelle’s vision with the “America’s Best Communities” team including country music superstar Vince Gill and the CEOs of Frontier Communications, Dish Network and CoBank at the Country Music Hall of Fame.
"After meeting with contest officials and attending the press conference with the ABC sponsors and Vince Gill, I am convinced Rochelle has the "right stuff" to win the top prize. In conjunction with the ABC Contest we are about to engage in an initiative to "Re-Brand" Rochelle. This process will be headed up by a group of local business owners, leaders and residents who will create the new "brand". The brand will help us to define our goals in attracting new businesses and new developments to Rochelle and will put us on the path to winning the ABC contest. We are in it to win it!” said Jason Anderson Economic Development Director for the City of Rochelle.
America’s Best Communities $10 million prize competition will reward communities with the best business plans for economic development and improved quality of life. The winners will also share best practices and great ideas for innovative growth among all the communities that participate in the competition, according to a news release.
“There’s a lot of small town community in me. I have a small-town mentality,” Gill told the crowd, for whom the day marked a ceremonial kickoff for their efforts. “This is where I live and I want to make it better, I want to be part of a team focused on supporting the backbone of America.”
“The City of Rochelle is an excellent example of a rural community that is poised for growth. The America's Best Communities Grant would support that continuous investment and ensure we remain healthy and continue to play a vital role in the broader economy. As a strong rural community, we have the initiative and support for entrepreneurism, innovation and creativity that have made us successful in the past,” said Michelle Pease, City of Rochelle Community Development Director.
America’s Best Communities has more than 200 communities, across the 27 states served by Frontier Communications, participating in the contest. Fifty quarter-finalists will be selected in April 2015 and awarded $50,000 in development funds for their revitalization proposals. At the end of the competition in April 2017, the top three applicants will share $6 million in prize money – $3 million to the winner, $2 million for second place and $1 million for third place – money to be used to continue to implement their improvement plans.
Maggie Wilderotter, Chairman and CEO of Frontier Communications, said in a news release, “As the largest broadband communications company focused on rural America, we want to be a catalyst for growth in our towns and cities. America sends billions overseas in foreign aid, she noted, but we need to think domestically in helping rural small towns and cities.
Conceived by Frontier Communications and co-sponsored with DISH Network and CoBank, America’s Best Communities Prize is a competition that will fund economic development opportunities for the winners and share best practices and great ideas for progress among all the communities that enter.
“Our nation depends on a strong rural America,” said CoBank CEO Robert B. Engel in the release. “Rural communities need continuous investment and support in order to ensure they remain healthy and can continue to play a vital role in the broader economy. That’s why we are so excited to support the ABC campaign. We look forward to seeing the proposals generated by the ABC competition, and the tangible benefits it will deliver to all communities who decide to participate.”
Rochelle Tobacco Relocates and Features New Drive-Up Window
Retailer moves to a larger store and offers convenience to its customers
ROCHELLE, IL…The Rochelle Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the relocation of Rochelle Tobacco from 136 May Mart Drive to 222 May Mart Drive, Rochelle. The retailer will take over the commercial space formerly occupied by Taco Bell before their move to the Rochelle Center adjacent to the Walmart Super Center. The new store will be open on Monday January 12 at 8:00am.
Owners Ken and Hema Shah are long-standing members of the Chamber and have owned the Tobacco Shop for more than 11 years. In 2014, Rochelle Tobacco received one of the Chamber’s highest honors being named its “Store of the Year”. A crystal trophy provided by Quinn’s Jewelry is on display at the store.
The new location will feature the convenience of a drive-up window. “This new service will be very helpful to our elderly and disabled customers”, said Ken Shah. “The Rochelle community has supported us well over the years, allowing our family business to grow”, he added.
The retailer will offer a larger walk-in humidor and a bigger variety of cigars will be sold along with Vapor Cigarettes, Vapor Juice, and a wide range of electronic cigarette accessories including rechargeable kits and smokeless flavor cartridges. The Shahs possess a complete knowledge of the products they sell and provide a high level of customer service.
“I am happy for the expansion of Rochelle Tobacco and have appreciated the strong support the Chamber has received from the Shahs”, commented Peggy Friday, Chamber Executive Director & CEO. A special Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will take place at 5pm on January 20, 2015. The public is encouraged to visit the modern and friendly smoke shop. Store hours are Monday through Friday 8:00am-7:00pm; Saturdays from 8:00am-5:00pm; and Closed on Sundays.
Welcome to the RACC's new web site. To learn more about what the chamber is and how it helps business and the community take a look around this site.
Rochelle, Illinois recognized historically for progressive innovation in a variety of areas—railroads, utilities, and economic development—now offers new growth opportunities for both businesses and individuals. Thanks to the efforts of the organization formally known as the Rochelle Chamber of Commerce, community members, business professionals, and citizens can take advantage of value added benefits and programs offered by the new chamber.
The organization, renamed as the Rochelle Area Chamber of Commerce and Business Development reflects the recent merge with the retail arm of GREDCO and the City, the Rochelle Regional Retail Alliance on May 1st, 2009.
“Representatives of the chamber and the alliance met for about nine months. Since we were doing a lot of the same things and because of their need for some resources and collaboration, our boards made the decision to merge” says Peggy Friday, Executive Director/CEO of the new chamber.
“Upon that merger, the boards were dissolved. For the chamber, a brand new nine member board was created. Those are professional men and women who have a passion for chamber and economic development. They are very creative and energetic, and really have worked very hard to establish this new organization,” explains Friday.
Stephanie Whitmer, Executive Assistant of the new chamber, is enthusiastic about the emerging programs that have started to flourish as a result of the merger. “It has been an amazing opportunity to be a part of the merger. I had the opportunity to be involved with the creation and continuation of Chamber and Business Development events and programs. Through partnerships with local industries, I am excited to announce that we are developing environmentally-friendly programs and initiatives that will preserve our neighborhoods and foster greater eco-awareness. The most exciting part of my job, which I love, is having the opportunity to create new relationships and meet someone new every day,” she says. Friday affirms the value of the organization’s ability to bring corporations, businesses and citizens together. “That’s our goal here the networking. We act as facilitators. That’s what we hope our role is going to be, just putting the right people and the right businesses together. Stephanie has amazing talents in creativity and her people skills.” Since the consolidation, Friday and Whitmer have taken the helm of the organization. They both bring a plethora of experience and expertise to the table with their background in government. “We are pleased to be able to continue our work in commercial and retail development in the areas of recruitment, retention, and business services. These critical services, combined with the best of what Chambers of Commerce can offer, we hope will be a great benefit to local businesses,” says Friday. Friday, who previously served as the Retail Development Coordinator for Rochelle, is currently on loan to the chamber for a two year contract period. “With that background in retail development, we brought all of the relationships we have had over the past four years. We bring that connection between city services and the chamber. Now the chamber members and the business community have access to the City, Community Development, and Building Services. We can act as liaisons for that too,” Friday says about her experience.
During Friday’s service to the alliance she focused on creating a strong constituent service program. “If a business had a problem with a government agency or a private cooperation, we could sometimes intervene. Prior to Rochelle, I spent a term with Senator Peter Fitzgerald in the US Senate. We did constituent service work and so a lot of that transferred over to meet the needs of the business community here. That the kind of service that the chamber, we hoped could be doing,” says Friday.
Since the consolidation of the chamber and the alliance, Rochelle citizens have marveled at the success of the chamber and the value-added benefits to membership. “We are finding that during the merger process, there was talk in the community about whether or not this would work, whether you could merge the two successfully. In the three months we have been open, we have been very encouraged by the spirit of volunteerism that we’re getting, the number of businesses that are joining outside of Rochelle,” says Friday. “
People will just walk in the door and say, ‘We have watched the growth that has happened here. We have heard about your new chamber, and we want to be a part of it,’” Friday adds.
Contrary to popular belief, the chamber continues to remain a non-for-profit agency—one that has begun to serve the needs of the entire business community. “We are in the process of a membership campaign, because we now serve the entire business community, not just our members. I say that very carefully because we do have advantages for being a member, and member valued services,” says Friday.