State of Winnebago County

     Rockford-native, Frank Haney, was sworn-in as Winnebago County Board Chairman on December 5, 2016.  There is a note in the Chairman’s office that serves as a daily reminder: "Remember why you came here!"
     Frank’s 'why' is simple: relentless pursuit of his ACT Initiative – make Winnebago County the most accountable, collaborative, and transparent unit of government in the State of Illinois. ACT encompasses internal reform, consolidation, resource sharing, system alignment, implementation of evidence-based best practices, and proving the County’s commitment to partner in a wide-range of areas: public safety, economic development, education, community health as well as in initiating good government reforms.   
     Chairman Haney adapted his ACT Initiative from DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin, a leading voice in the local government consolidation and reform movement. He joined Cronin and McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks in Transform Illinois, a collaborative of local elected officials, civic organizations and research institutions dedicated to promoting and supporting local government efficiency efforts in Illinois.
     Frank is the son of a retired Sundstrand UAW electrician and former Rockford Park District team member. He was raised with a great love for the community he grew-up in and giving-back was a core value of his large local extended family. He and his wife Leslie, a Special Education teacher in the Rockford School District, reside in Machesney Park and have three children: Leah, Zach, and Frankie.
     The Chairman is a proud graduate of Boylan Catholic High School. He is a first-generation college student who pursued his higher education with degrees from Rock Valley College (AA,) Rockford University (BA,) and Lewis University (Masters in Organizational Leadership).
     Prior to becoming Chairman, Frank worked in the private-sector. Before that, he served as Director of Alumni Relations at Boylan Catholic High School and also him back to his roots at Boylan where he directed fund development and its 13,000-member alumni association. With his love for basketball and making a positive impact on youth, he became a teacher and coach at the high school and college levels. Most recently, prior to becoming Chairman, he worked in the insurance industry helping clients/businesses navigate the complexities of customizing coverage to their specific needs.
     Chairman Haney has long participated as a volunteer in his community, including:  Next Rockford, Facilitator; Transform Rockford, Volunteer; Rockford Area Economic Development Council, Board of Directors; Carpenter’s Place, Board of Directors;  YMCA Strong Kids, Campaign Volunteer; American Red Cross Campaign, Volunteer; Rockford Sharefest, Volunteer; Boys and Girls Club, Little League Coach, and; Saint James Catholic Church Home & School, Past President.
     He was first elected to the Rock Valley College Board of Trustees in April 2013. He was twice chosen by his peers to lead the Board as Chairman. As a part of the Board, he had part in a number of notable workforce development initiatives: Expansion of the Aviation Maintenance Program, which led to the commitment by AAR Aircraft Services to locate their aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility at the Chicago Rockford International Airport;  Pursuit of community-wide solutions to the region’s general education degree (GED) disparity; Downtown campus development making classes more accessible to all; Partnership with OSF Healthcare to provide a two-, four-, and six-year nursing degrees. Established through a partnership with Northern Illinois University, Woodward, Transform Rockford, and Rockford Area Economic Development Council, four- and six-year engineering degree program.
     Chairman Haney will discuss the "State of Winnebago County", which should be most interesting and insightful, based on events in the last few months.  Just guessing here, but I would think that his decision to not seek a second term as Chairman and the decision of the County Board to stripe him of most of his duties will come up in either his presentation or in the Q & A which will follow.  This will be an excellent opportunity to bring a guest or prospective member.  President Dave Byrnes is scheduled to introduce our presenter and act as Rotary host.