Videos

Rick Barder

Rick Barder

A Man and His Bike Rick Barder made his living in the banking business as a commercial lender. But after retiring more than a decade ago, the Beloit resident now spends his time exploring southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois on his bike. Barder was a “jock” in school but turned to biking later in life….

Mary Ann Smith

Mary Ann Smith

For the Next Generation As a child visiting the Coronado Theatre, Mary Ann Smith fell in love with the magic of the stage. But by the 1990s, Rockford’s movie palace was looking like something “between the opulent Taj Mahal and a white elephant,” she says. Smith and her husband, Gordy, could see the deterioration firsthand…

Tiana McCall

Tiana McCall

  Like Mother, Like Daughter Tiana McCall credits her mother, Birdia Cooper, for instilling within her a passion for volunteer work. “My mother was a community advocate,” McCall says. “I remember every time it rained in the summertime, our streets would flood. And so I would hear my mother calling the alderman saying we deserved…

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…

Todd Tucker

Todd Tucker

A Passion That Keeps Growing In 1995, Todd Tucker was just a young intern at Byron Forest Preserve District (BFPD). But, he showed promise. So, after his six-month internship ended, he was hired on as a full-time naturalist. As he continued to climb the ranks, he learned how to educate others about the surrounding natural…

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…