Executive Director

| April 12, 2021


TRANSFORM ROCKFORD is a community-driven initiative formed to move Rockford, IL from ranking as Forbes’ third most miserable city in 2013 to a member of the top 25 communities in the nation.  Rockford’s bold transformation effort is a powerful story about energetic, committed community leadership and broad resident engagement. Building on its rich industrial heritage and the grit of the local community, Rockford is undergoing transformation.  Capitalizing on the proven process utilized since the organization’s inception in 2013, the next executive director of Transform Rockford will serve as an inspirational leader to move toward fulfillment of the community’s vision.


This is your chance to contribute to a powerful movement, perhaps unique to any other in the nation.  In this high profile/high visibility role, you will have ongoing opportunity to make a significant mark as a leader through:

  • Your courage & self-confidence
  • Your orientation toward collaboration
  • Your big-picture thinking
  • Your ability to drive results

You will foster relationships through:

  • Your ability to have crucial conversations
  • Your utilization of good listening skills
  • Your talent for cultivating key partnerships

ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITY (Position Description):

This is the executive position for the organization and reports directly to the Steering Committee.  You will have direct responsibility for the community’s transformation to become the Top 25 community described in the community’s vision. In addition, you would be responsible for:

  • the engagement and alignment of community stakeholders in the community’s transformation,
  • maintenance and proper use of the community’s shared values, shared vision, and transformation plan,
  • providing leadership and focus for short- and long-term strategies in support of the transformation plan,
  • implementation of the projects in the community’s plan,
  • monitoring and communication of community progress toward achievement indicators, specifically the scorecard,
  • local and national awareness of the assets, progress, and transformation plan of the Rockford region, and achievement of the community’s vision.


Essential Functions

  • Demonstrates and leads the community’s commitment to its shared values, brand, and transformation.
  • Establishes direction, strategy, metrics, and priorities for the movement.
  • Builds effective strategic partnerships with key regional leaders.
  • Drives effective strategy execution plans, both within the organization and with regional leaders, to achieve desired transformational outcomes effectively and efficiently.

·         Aligns parties and resources critical to the implementation of projects identified in the community’s transformation plan.

·         Regularly engages stakeholders in issues of the community and its transformation.

·         Accountable for (and facilitates where necessary) the community’s implementation of projects identified in the community’s transformation plan.

·         Accountable for appropriate and continuous improvement and course corrections in the community’s transformation plan and projects.

·         Researches, analyzes, and communicates key trends in transformation and community and economic development.

·         Creates a climate within the organization, movement and community of broad engagement, best practices, positivity, accountability, continuous improvement, and performance.

  • Publicly represents the organization and movement by providing background, positions, and insights consistent with the community’s vision, values, and plans.
  • Accountable for communications raising national and local awareness of the region’s assets, brand, progress, and transformation plan.
  • Leads periodic reviews and changes to the community’s shared vision and shared values.
  • Prepares monitoring and performance reports and assessments for the Steering Committee consistent with policy governance and requests.
  • Accountable for community project management and reporting to support the transformation plan and its projects.
  • Supports the work of the Steering Committee, Executive Committee, Finance Committee, and Nominating Committee.
  • Assists the Chairperson in the planning work of the Steering Committee and organization.
  • Provides leadership for the work of the Staff Team.
  • Accountable for the administrative work of the organization, including financial transactions, records and audits, regulatory compliance, legal work, policies, and staff compensation and benefits.
  • Accountable for the attraction, development, and accountability of staff.
  • Ability to develop and execute strategy.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively establish self as a strategic partner to key regional leaders.
  • Ability to identify or generate opportunities for collaboration.
  • Demonstrated ability to practice broad engagement.
  • Effective communication skills – able to craft and deliver messages publicly, including messages of brutal facts, inspiration, empowerment and accountability.
  • Demonstrated use and accountability for Shared Values.


The Rockford region is a place that’s affordable, convenient and brimming with potential.  Opportunities abound, and there’s always an open seat at the table for anyone who steps forward to become an integral part of the Rockford community. Home ownership is attainable, short commute times are enviable, and diverse entertainment options range from food to beer to arts and culture make building a life in Rockford an easy choice.

We are well known for innovative roots. The Rockford region’s economic future is bright thanks in part to the nation’s sixth-highest concentration of aerospace production employment, as well as thriving advanced manufacturing and healthcare industries.  Educational partnerships ensure that hard-working, skilled talent is ready to fill the labor pool.

Residents in Rockford are ambitious and driven by values. There’s a willingness and desire to collaborate to solve problems, deal with the tough stuff as it arises, and have the conversations necessary to move the needle.  It’s from this foundation that TRANSFORM ROCKFORD was launched.

For a complete Position Profile OR to apply for this position, please send a resume, cover letter and career narrative to:


Cheryl Church, SHRM-SCP

4701 East State Street

Rockford, IL 61108

E-mail: Cheryl@workplacesearch.com

Office: 815-961-0400



To apply for this job email your details to cheryl@workplacesearch.com