Rockford, Illinois News

Transform Rockford director stepping down to start consulting firm

ROCKFORD — Transform Rockford Executive Director David Sidney announced he will step down from his current position effective May 31, the organization reported Thursday.

Sidney plans to combine his urban planning experience and passion for entrepreneurship to launch a consulting company. He will continue to volunteer with Transform Rockford’s Innovation Ecosystem and Great Neighborhoods initiatives.

“Transform Rockford continues to evolve just like our community,” Transform Rockford Steering Committee Chair Christie Jarrett said. “David helped us forge partnerships with other organizations and create a solid foundation of projects our steering committee will evaluate and build upon in reimagining Rockford as we emerge from COVID-19.”

Sidney’s key project accomplishments include Ready to Learn, a community collaboration of resources to support kindergarten readiness; Great Neighborhoods, a program helping residents discover their area’s strengths and work together to improve their surroundings; and launching the Community Scorecard, a tool to measure Rockford’s success in achieving the ultimate goal of becoming a “Top 25” community by 2025 in comparison with similar-sized regions nationwide.

Sidney began working with Transform Rockford as one of its first volunteers in 2013, joined the organization’s staff as a project director in 2016 and became executive director in 2018 after former leader Mike Schablaske retired.

“I feel very fortunate to have worked with dedicated staff and hundreds of volunteers to transform Rockford into a welcoming community where everyone feels like they belong and can be successful,” Sidney said. “I know we are on the right path to reach our goals.”

The search has begun for a new executive director.