25 Most Interesting People

Joyce Gibbons

Joyce Gibbons

Following Her Roots For as long as she can remember, Joyce Gibbons has been interested in biology and the environment. “I had an aunt who lived up in Wisconsin. We used to go visit them when I was little,” says Gibbons. “She was very knowledgeable about the native plants and some of the medicinal qualities…

Annie Mohaupt

Annie Mohaupt

Walking Her Own Path After studying architecture at the University of Illinois-Chicago, Annie Mohaupt began her career in San Francisco with high hopes. But the Pecatonica, Ill., native quickly moved back home, which didn’t prove to be any easier for her career.  “Things can be hard in the construction industry, and I had done well…

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…