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About the Partnership

About the Partnership

One organization. One voice. One mission:
To grow Freeport & Stephenson County.

Our Mission

The Greater Freeport Partnership is the place where organizations and people unite to advocate for the region, drive economic growth and champion a talented, workforce ready community.

Our Values:

  • Art, Design and Culture
  • Diversity in all Forms
  • Hard Work and an Entrepreneurial Spirit
  • The Outdoor Experience
  • Giving Back
  • Always Learning

What does the Partnership do?

2019-2021 Strategic Goals

1. Assess and align government, nonprofit and educational efforts into a cohesive plan of measurable programs and services that address current and future workforce needs.
2. Develop and implement a broad-based Stephenson County marketing and promotion plan.
3. Captain the development and implementation of a county-wide, local business economic educational program(s) to increase their long-term success rate.
4. In collaboration with the public and private sector, develop and implement a plan to improve the aesthetics of the corridors leading into Freeport including wayfinding signage directing visitors to the downtown retail area. Orchestrate enhancements to downtown Freeport’s image creating more local pride and favorable first impressions.
5. Build the Partnership’s capacity to be the resource of business and economic development information. Analyze and distribute relevant data to businesses, developers and consultants.
6. The Partnership board of directors, committees and staff, in its composition and practices, will reflect the diversity of the area it serves.

Vision 2029

In 2029 the Partnership is celebrated for their inclusion and collaboration with the diverse communities of Greater Freeport. We are well known as:
• The chief advocates of Freeport and Stephenson County as a great and safe place for all ages to live, work and play.
• The region’s workforce development leader effectively identifying needs and linking (s) the public and private sector to recruit and retain employees.
• The repository for business and economic development information; a resource for businesses to find answers and creative approaches to grow their business.
• The driver of revitalization and development of the area’s retail scene, outdoor activities, and community events championing the idea that people want to come to Greater Freeport to visit, shop, eat and stay.

Our History

The Greater Freeport Partnership promotes Stephenson County and support businesses.  We accomplish these goals through workforce development, marketing, beautification, business education and providing data resources.

Our history:  In June 2018, four organizations became one: Northwest Illinois Development Alliance – NIDA, Freeport Area Chamber of Commerce, Freeport Downtown Development Foundation, and Freeport/Stephenson County Convention & 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.

Funding comes from the City of Freeport, Stephenson County, partner investors and members.  Revenue is also generated through co-op advertising programs, grants and revenue from events.

The Greater Freeport Partnership board includes members of the Freeport and Stephenson County business community, the Freeport City Manager, Stephenson County Board Chair, and representatives from Highland Community College and Freeport School District.

Annual & Quarterly Reports

We are the Greater Freeport Partnership

The Greater Freeport Partnership Board:


Board Position

Gary Quinn


Mark Gridley

Vice Chair

Josh Elliott


Chris Schneiderman


Randy Bukas

City Manager, City of Freeport Representative

Scott Helms

Stephenson County Representative

Mark Wright

Board Member

Mike Meade

Board Member

Mike Marten

Board Member

Chris Kuberski

Board Member, Highland Community College Representative

Dr. Anna Alvarado

Board Member, Freeport School District Representative

Ross Vehmeier

Board Member

C. Mark Williams

Executive Director

Key Industries

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Construction, Plumbing, Heating, & Service

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Private Label Food Manufacturing

Calendar Feed

Blog Feed

Local Marketing Tips for Small Business Month May 20, 2022 While there have already been so many reasons to celebrate the month of May, we can not forget National Small Business Month! Small businesses and entrepreneurs employ almost half of America’s workforce and that is an even greater percentage locally. As these businesses grow and evolve, they have found innovative ways to set themselves apart from others and become necessary […]
Entrepreneur Ecosystem & Digital Community Business Academy May 13, 2022 Happy National Economic Development Week! In the spirit of celebration, and because entrepreneurial development and small business support is important to the overall economic health of our region, I wanted to share some exciting news about an upcoming program the Partnership is developing.  Since September 2021, Partnership staff have been participating in the National League of Cities, City Innovation Ecosystem […]