In June 2018, four organizations became one: Northwest Illinois Development Alliance – NIDA, Freeport Downtown Development Foundation (Downtown Freeport, Illinois), Freeport Area Chamber of Commerce and Freeport/Stephenson County Convention and Visitors Bureau/Visitors Center. The focus: create a seamless economic development, business services and tourism entity focused on providing outstanding service to those looking to start a business, grow a business and visit the area.
The Greater Freeport Partnership formed when the boards of directors of Northwest Illinois Development Alliance – NIDA, Freeport/Stephenson County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Freeport Downtown Development Foundation (FDDF) and Freeport Area Chamber of Commerce voted to create a new organization that brings together the four organizations and four boards of directors into one organization with one mission, one board and one voice.
Collaborate Freeport, which was formed in 2015, and the All In Freeport brand are part of the new organization.
The Greater Freeport Partnership added two new board members to the 17-person board of directors, Mark Gridley, CEO of the Freeport Health Network (FHN) and Jack Carey, Freeport Park District executive director. The board also includes three representatives from each of the four founding organizations, plus the Freeport city manager, Stephenson County board chair, president of Highland Community College and the superintendent of the Freeport School District.
Business services and programs provided by the Chamber remain intact and provide greater value with all the organizations under one roof focused on growth. All current Chamber members are members of the Greater Freeport Partnership.
The consolidated organization will enter into three- to five-year Service Agreements with the City of Freeport and Stephenson County to deliver services and attain agreed-upon performance metrics. In return, the City and County will compensate the new organization for the agreed-upon services. The County Board’s and City Council’s approval of their respective agreements with the Partnership will represent their endorsement of the consolidation.
Funding will come from the City of Freeport, NIDA investors, Chamber members, FDDF sponsors and Stephenson County. Revenue will also be generated through co-op advertising programs, grants and revenue from events.
The Partnership will be headed by Executive Director, Rebecca Motley and her team of Directors.