Rockford University Family Business Center

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The mission of Rockford University Family Business Center (RUFBC) is to bring together a cross-industry group of family business organizations to help develop discussions dedicated to sharing information about growing business in the Northern Illinois and the South-eastern Wisconsin community. Through facilitated discussions, decision-makers can make an impact on developing business not just within their own organization but outside their organization as well. Our goal is to foster the types of discussions that get at the heart of existing knowledge in the community and how to utilize it for business community growth.

Our Commitment to RUFBC members is to:  

  • Facilitate dedicated discussions about family business that encourages learning through sharing information and best practice examples from leading organizations.
  • Create an environment where attendees can candidly share information with peers in a confidential setting.
  • Bring together strategically-minded decision makers interested in not only solving problems within their own organization or industry, but to think "outside the box” and develop solutions that may affect many local businesses.
  • Drive agenda, topics and speakers through a local RUFBC Committee that understand the concerns and problems family businesses face every day.

We are a charter member of the State of Ingenuity consortium serving Winnebago, Boone, Racine, Rock, Walworth, and Kenosha counties. The State of Ingenuity partners embrace the following principles:

  1. Enhance regional economic competitiveness.
  2. Support regional businesses and entrepreneurs
  3. Coordinate policies/procedures and leverage investment

Starting or expanding a business? Not sure where to find the information you need? The collaboration of RUFBC and the State of Ingenuity consortium can connect you to many service providers across Northern Illinois and Southeastern Wisconsin. >Visit the website to find how local businesses have gotten assistance to broaden their market share and grow their bottom line.

Consortium partners are:

  • The Economic Development Councils of Rockford Area, Racine, Kenosha, Rock and Walworth Counties
  • University of Wisconsin - Whitewater
  • Ag-Tech
  • Eigerlab of Rockford
  • Northern Illinois University


Clarence Harper

Director, Rockford University Family Business Center
Phone: 815-226-4109

Emily Horst
Assistant Director of BSMS
Phone: 815-394-5119

Leah Nelson
Coordinator of Community Outreach

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