Sometime between Tuesday, Feb. 1 at 5:20 p.m. and Thursday, February 3 at 8:00 a.m. the offices of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, 598 Byrne Industrial Dr., Rockford, were broken into. Chamber Executive Director Brenda Davis reported that her laptop and a variety of other items were stolen. “It wasn’t the main office that was hit, it was my office,” Davis said. She said the Chamber has always been very security conscious, but will be even more so from now on. Officers believe the person or persons gained access to the building through the warehouse located in the southeast end of the property. Davis said a bolt was broken, but with the heavy snowfall there were no footprints or vehicle tracks by the time the break-in was discovered. “Police believe something spooked them and they stopped,” Davis said of the extent of the damage in the office. Davis said vandalism took place in addition to the thefts. She said her laptop was password-protected and files were secure and backed up. “I think the police are trying to be very kind and reassuring to us at this point.” Davis said the break-in is strange, given the Chamber office is not a place likely to have cash on hand. “I don’t have any idea why they would break in,” she said. Davis has not yet replaced her laptop and said those who need to communicate with the Chamber should call the office at (616) 866-2000. A desktop computer and other areas of the Chamber’s offices were left undamaged. Davis said the incident remains under investigation so she is limited to the information she can share. She did say officers gave her no reason to think any other thefts or break-ins occurred during the same time frame. “Unnerving is a good way to describe it,” Davis said. “It’s just creepy.” If anyone has information regarding the break-in, the investigating officer is Dave Robinson of the Rockford Police Department. Call (616) 866-9557.
Rockford Chamber of Commerce to celebrate 50-year anniversary The Rockford Chamber of Commerce (RCC) is preparing to host its annual Meeting of the Membership on Friday, Jan. 28. The premier event will be the launch for the chamber’s 50th year in existence and will feature a special evening of excellent food, lively entertainment and good company. “This is a very exciting time for the chamber,” said RCC Executive Director Brenda Davis. “We are not only celebrating our past and the wonderful loyalty of our membership and volunteers, but are also looking forward to a very promising future filled with change and progressive thinking. We look at the upcoming annual meeting as an important way to note our past history and to show what the chamber’s board and staff have planned for the upcoming year. This includes an interactive website, networking opportunities, an impressive event schedule, and a revamped newsletter, to name just a few.” The event will take place at the Geoffrey B. Bloom Auditorium, housed in the corporate headquarters of Wolverine World Wide Inc., 9341 Courtland Drive, Rockford. The evening will feature keynote speaker Tom Rademacher, author and talented columnist of the Grand Rapids Press. Through the years, Rademacher has provided a voice for those both struggling and soaring in the area. Two other highlights of the annual event will be the announcement of the Business of Distinction awards and the Year in Review. The awards honor area businesses for going above and beyond the call of duty. Award nominees are as follows: • Business of the Year: Fluis, Inc.; Great Northern Trading Co.; Herman’s Boy, Inc.; United Bank of Michigan • Dining/Entertainment: Rogue River Tavern; The Corner Bar; The Dam Dogs; Timbers Inn & Restaurant • Manufacturing: Alloy Exchange, Inc.; ITW Dahti Seating; Wolverine World Wide, Inc. • Retail: A Charmed Life…Nail Salon; Double Take Resale, LLC; WAR Chest Boutique • Service: Creative Concepts; Innovative Sound Solutions; Macatawa Bank; Nance-Martin Accounting Service; Principal Financial Group • Quality of Life: Rockford Area Arts Commission; Rockford Education Foundation • New Business: AIC Insurance Services; Institute for Neuro Muscular Medicine & Rehabilitation; The Dam Taxi For the Year in Review, Jeff Lewis, RCC board member and owner of Fluis Inc., will take the audience on a […]
by BETH ALTENA Hundreds of people waited on the banks of the Rogue River to hear the Rockford High School brass ensemble and choir and words of peace from local leaders as the City of Rockford officially began the holiday season the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 17. The City/Chamber of Commerce event began with an introduction by Chamber Executive Director Brenda Davis, who said the event was the sixth annual. It appeared from the number of participants that this may well be the most well-attended lighting ceremony to date. Outgoing State Representative Tom Pearce spoke about his experiences as a young man on a Souix Indian reservation and then urged the crowd, “If there is someone you are not getting along with, make a truce with them.” He urged the crowd to “make sure this holiday season you are wrapped up in other people, not wrapped up in things that don’t matter.” Mayor Steve Jazwiec shared his inspiration for the holidays, the true story of WWI foes who, for a few hours on Christmas eve, made a truce themselves and stopped fighting to share a time of peace in honor of the holy day. Senator Mark Jansen urged people to start at home in bringing peace to the world and complimented the town for being good stewards of the assets Rockford is blessed to enjoy—our students who stood by to sing and play in honor of the holiday, the beautiful downtown and the river and trail which brings so much to the community. The words of peace were followed by the music of the brass ensemble and choir—hauntingly beautiful and the most moving portion of the ceremony—and the dimming of the lights until the countdown to the town’s holiday lights coming on for the season. The evening ceremony ended with a playful rendition—repeated a few times for fun and to the delight of youngsters and adults—of the “reindeer song” with participation of the crowd encouraged. After the lighting ceremony, a lively downtown night of shopping was held, with promotions, treats and giveaways in the stores and shops. The downtown Rockford Holiday Open Houses is an annual event that lasts two evenings. However, many holiday specials can be found throughout downtown right on through the season, […]