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Meet the Team

The expertise at the Greater Freeport Partnership spans decades of service to community excellence. You can contact us via our general email or call the office at 815-233-1350.

Andrea Schultz Winter is the Executive Director for the Greater Freeport Partnership. Andrea works on economic development efforts for the Partnership, including downtown Freeport beautification efforts, data analysis, business support regarding financial incentives and loan programs, and employer workforce development support. Andrea has a wide range of experience–from working on complex architecture and construction projects to urban and regional planning developments.  Andrea started her professional career in the Pacific Northwest where she gained an understanding and appreciation for ‘green’ design and best practices.  More recently, Andrea has worked with a local architecture, construction, and development firm where she led local urban planning efforts.  Andrea attended the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where she received her Bachelors of Architecture, Masters of Architecture and Masters of Urban and Regional Planning.  Freeport has been Andrea’s adopted hometown for the past 10 years.  She loves being back in the Midwest and closer to family.  Andrea and her husband have three energetic children.  She values the Freeport community and volunteers her time sitting on multiple non-profit boards.

Bill Clow is the Business Engagement Director for the Greater Freeport Partnership. Bill has had a long and varied career, including involvement in 4 different chambers, working in healthcare, education and consulting, and the running of two radio stations, including one of which he helped to start. Bill enjoys working with local businesses, learning of their stories and helping them overcome challenges. He is happy to be a resident of Freeport and Stephenson County.

Bill lives near downtown in Freeport with Sarah and, except for a three year stint in  northern Wisconsin, lived his adult life in northern and central Illinois. Before his adventure in the Northwoods, Bill lived for 20 years in Woodstock, IL. Bill has a BS in Communications and an MBA from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He has two adult children, who live on opposite coasts, giving him good vacation options. Bill is always anxious to get his kayak wet in some of the rivers and streams of northwest Illinois. In the meantime, he will mark time sampling all of the great food and drink and meeting the interesting people of Stephenson County!

Nicole Haas is the Brand Director for the Greater Freeport Partnership. She is charged with telling the story of the beauty and innovation of Freeport and Stephenson County to attract visitors, employees and residents to the region.  She also helps to curate visitor and community information in multiple media channels to draw visitors into the county and showcase all of its amenities.

Nicole grew up in Pearl City and received her degree in communications and public relations from Western Illinois University and master’s degree in Organizational Psychology from Adler University. She worked as general manager for Erickson Publishing in Madison, WI before returning to the area to work in non-profit development and fundraising for several local agencies. Before becoming part of the Partnership’s team, she was the executive director of the Illinois Association of Groundwater Association. Nicole serves on several boards in the area and volunteers her time regularly in a variety of professional capacities. She resides on a farm in rural Stockton with her husband and two sons.

Katie Gentz is the Events & Engagement Manager for Greater Freeport Partnership.  She manages volunteer resources and exectution of the Partnership’s signature Downtown Freeport events.

Katie has over eight years experience with event planning. She worked on many of the events in Freeport when she was with Freeport Downtown Development Foundation. Katie has been married to her husband Aaron for over 15 years and they have 2 children, and have lived in the Freeport area for over 16 years together. In Katie’s free time she loves to spend time with her husband and kids. They enjoy going camping.

Billy George is the Administrative Coordinator at the Greater Freeport Partnership. He holds an A.S. in Digital Media from Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida.  From there he moved back to the Midwest because he missed the winters.  Freeport is lucky to have him back in the area, first working for his family’s business, Bill George Plumbing and Heating, and now at the Partnership.

In his free time, Billy can be found checking out the awesome food that Stephenson County restaurants have to offer.

Key Industries

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Construction, Plumbing, Heating, & Service

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Private Label Food Manufacturing

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New Messaging Tools Available to You February 14, 2024 greater freeport partnership You don’t have to be in marketing to understand that it is increasingly difficult to get your message out! Additional social and media channels, homogeneous algorithms, and the expense of advertising make reaching customers a challenging endeavor. The Partnership has recently upgraded our customer management software (CMS) and with it, the opportunities for our members to utilize tools within the […]
Diversity in Business February 8, 2024 diversity, greater freeport partnership Last week we had the first class of our 2024 BASE Camp program. The Business Academy for Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs (BASE) Camp is an opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners to learn more about the important elements of business ownership to be successful. We had great instructors in Kim Ewoldson, executive director of the Sauk Valley Small […]
Celebrating Black History Month: Local Events in Freeport and Stephenson County February 5, 2024 Black History Month, Celebrating, Freeport, Stephenson County As we usher in the month of February, celebrating Black History Month takes center stage across the nation. In Freeport and Stephenson County, these events serve as a platform to commemorate and pay homage to the rich and diverse African American heritage in the community. From educational seminars and cultural exhibitions to artistic performances and community discussions, the local events […]
Manufacturing is Key to Stephenson County’s Economy January 31, 2024 Freeport, greater freeport partnership, Manufacturing, Stephenson County A key pillar in Illinois’ economic base is manufacturing. The manufacturing industry has a variety of subsectors with a very diverse employment base and is the state’s largest industry when ranked by contribution to GDP (gross domestic product). The total economic impact of manufacturing in Illinois is estimated to be between $580 and $611 billion annually. This figure reflects the […]