Downtown Development

UW Health Sports Factory
305 South Madison Street | 7:30-10:30am
Optional Tour to Follow
Please note: We will be taking our class picture at 7:35am during this session. Standard business attire.

Healthy downtowns point to healthy communities. There’s a lot happening in Downtown Rockford these days, but that hasn’t always been so.  Today, we are seeing a serious resurgence of life and energy in our downtown. With the advent of City Market, Stroll on State, Shop the Blocks and countless other events and programs, downtown is bustling again. But events aren’t the only side of downtown – there’s so much more!  Learn about new and recent projects that are vital to our city’s renaissance and overall community health.


gary-andersonGary Anderson, Principal Architect – Gary W. Anderson Architects
Gary has over 40 years of experience in renovation, restoration, construction, and development. Gary helps clients visualize and articulate the vision for their project and performs site observations and coordination. He is actively involved in all phases of a project depending on client needs and project scale. Recently, Gary was presented with the Gold Medal Award, the highest honor given by AIA Illinois in recognition of outstanding lifetime service by an AIA member. Gary is a graduate of U of I and is currently a board member for The River District.

Manager of Current PlanningTodd Cagnoni, Director, Community & Economic Development – City of Rockford
Todd Cagnoni is the Director of Community and Economic Development for the City of Rockford and has more than 18 years of experience in various levels of community planning and economic development at the municipal, county and regional level. Todd also serves on the Board of Directors for the Mid-America Economic Development Council, Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Rockford Local Development Corporation and the Rockford Area Economic Development Council. He became a Certified Planner through the American Institute of Certified Planners in the year 2000.

Leah Tuneberg, Executive Director – River District Association
Leah Tuneberg is the Executive Director of the River District Association leading the organization to be strong partner for downtown Rockford’s increased growth, vibrancy and momentum. She has been in this role since April 2015 and brought to the organization solid experience in assisting a blighted neighborhood in Chicago to become a sought after place to live, visit and be involved in.  Leah began her career in PR where she was the Communications Manager for Manufacturers’ News and also climbed the ranks with Hilton Hotels to be the Director of Sales and Marketing for a downtown Chicago Hilton property.

Leah moved to Rockford with her family 3 years ago, August 2013, where they settled near the urban downtown of Rockford. This was an intentional decision as she, and her husband, were interested in the progress downtown was making and eager to become involved to do more for it.  All too often she is asked why she moved to Rockford and without hesitation she says “why not?! There is so much going on and so much to do we thought it was the best place for our family.”  When someone says to Leah there is nothing to do in Rockford she quickly replies with a very long list of things she knows of and encourages them to become more in the know by doing a little research. She and her family are members of the ID Pennock YMCA and are involved in supporting their efforts to be an anchor to the north end of downtown.  Leah and Chad have 2 children, son Matthew (10 y.o., Rockford Christian) and daughter Melaina (3 y.o) and she enjoys spending time on the bike path, Rock River, hiking, her sons baseball and football games, and really just taking in the many, many assets of living in Rockford. They attend Heartland Church.

Breakfast – Catered by Owly-Oop