Videos

Jay Allen

Jay Allen

Making Life More Colorful Belvidere is known as the City of Murals, and Jay Allen, owner and president of ShawCraft Sign Co., Inc., in Machesney Park, Ill., is a big reason why. Born and raised in Belvidere, Allen is an original member of the Walldogs, a passionate group of mural-painting artists. Since their founding in…

Larry Pittsley

Larry Pittsley

Blending Art and Business By the time Larry Pittsley was 16, he had already worked about 16 jobs. “I started doing lighting and sound with my dad when I was just big enough to carry something,” he recalls. Pittsley and his father worked the lights and sound production at almost all of the theaters in…

Nancy Whitlock

Nancy Whitlock

Working for Women After working in sales and marketing for years, Nancy Whitlock found herself taking on a different challenge in 1996: the presidency of Rockford Woman’s Club. She describes the step as a “presidency by marriage,” since her husband’s great-great aunt, Jessie I. Spafford, was president of the club for 43 years. Whitlock grew…

Tom Heflin

Tom Heflin

The Art of Success Tom Heflin never wanted to be anything but an artist.   Born in Arkansas, the well-known Rockford artist was always in trouble with his teachers for doodling in his school books when he should have been paying attention to his studies. That is, until he met Mrs. Markham, a teacher who…

Kristina Reuber

Kristina Reuber

Getting Things Done Kristina Reuber had no intention of returning home to Rockford after graduating from Loyola University in Chicago. But then she had a change of heart. “I came back with a different set of eyes and a sense of maturity,” she says. “You can get involved and progress in your career at a…

Brad Nordlof: All Aboard in Iceland

Brad Nordlof: All Aboard in Iceland

The Land of Fire and Ice is stunning from the ground, but seeing it from the air puts it into a new perspective. Iceland has more than 150 volcanic mountains, a handful of which are still active. On average, a volcanic eruption occurs in Iceland every four to five years. Because of this constant activity, a good…

Stave Off That Cabin Fever

Stave Off That Cabin Fever

The days are getting longer, and that’s a sure sign spring is on its way. At the same time, you still can’t go outside without a jacket, hat and gloves, so we’re not exactly done with winter just yet. This in between season is what we make of it, and lucky for us, we have…

Dining Profile: Rosie’s Gluten-Free

Dining Profile: Rosie’s Gluten-Free

Not everyone who wants a sweet treat can always have one. For many reasons, including sensitivities or lifestyle choices, it may be out of reach. Pamela Strelcheck understands the dilemma after watching her own mother’s sensitivities for years. It’s a fitting tribute, then, that Strelcheck’s new, standalone bakery, Rosie’s Gluten Free Sweets, 1400 Seminary Ave.,…

Milestone: Marvin’s in Barrington

Milestone: Marvin’s in Barrington

It’s a good indicator a business is thriving when it announces an expansion. All signs look positive, then, for the mother-daughter duo behind Marvin’s Toy Store. They’ve recently opened a second location in downtown Barrington, at 100 E. Station St., Unit 155. For the past six-and-a-half years, Marvin’s has been reaching families from its home…

Dining Profile: Stolp Island Social

Dining Profile: Stolp Island Social

Downtown Aurora’s newest dining destination is unlike anything else in the neighborhood, and that’s by design. Amy Morton, owner of Stolp Island Social, 5 E. Galena Blvd., in Aurora, wants her latest creation to be a place that feels like home for both residents and visitors. “When people walk into Stolp Island Social, I want…

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