mission statement: IGNITE’s mission is to attract and retain young professionals to the Rockford Region.  Great!  But how do you actually do that?  Well, we’re glad you asked.  Our goal is to help YPs (young professionals) feel connected to and engaged with their city.  Whether we help you find a great place to get your hair cut, find a local restaurant to bring your family to, a great organization to serve on their board or volunteer with, or new friends and business connections – we’re all about making you feel at home.

If you are thinking to yourself, that sounds great, but how do I know if I am a young professional? 

What is a young professional?
When we refer to young professional, we are referring to individuals who are 21 years of age and up. Young professionals can usually be found in a wide variety of careers and IGNITE is not limited to any specific line of work. Our group is full of diversity and that is how we plan to keep it. 

professional development ( how we help ) : Professional Development is a key area for YPs.  While in the beginning to middle stages of our careers, it’s important that we grow as engaged members of our community as well as professionals.  We offer chances to meet key leaders in our community through our Lunch Outside the Box series as well as our networking events and special events.  We help expand your mind through our Professional Book Club.  We’re happy to help make connections – jobs, board seats, business opportunities – you name it, we can help you make it happen.

volunteering ( what we love to do ) : As young professionals (let’s be honest, as human beings) it’s important that we give back to the communities we live, work, learn and play in.  Not only does this help our communities grow stronger and healthier, but it also helps us!  Volunteering allows YPs an important chance to expand their networks, engage in the non-profit side of our community, learn more, and even improve their resumes.  At IGNITE, we’re pretty sure volunteering is a win/win for all those involved.

community ( where we’re building, how we’re stronger ) : We strive to engage our YPs in their community.  While this is an ever-expanding and changing task, it could mean encouraging YPs to get involved in their local neighborhood association or attend a city council meeting.  It could mean write a blog post about their community or a column in the Rockford Chamber’s newspaper, The Voice.  It could be getting involved with Transform Rockford.  Our community is constantly changing and so in our involvement, but our commitment to Rockford?  That never changes – we’re in 100%.

social: What’s life without a little fun?  Our After 5 series introduces IGNITE Members to local (or locally owned franchises) establishments that are frequently also Rockford Chamber members.  (We especially like to patronize those organization who are members of our parent organization!)  This is a chance for YPs to kick back, enjoy great food and beverage and get to know one another.  Over the summer, we host IGNITE Cup, which is a blast.  We also have special events that keep us social as well!  Join in on the fun!