Rockford Promise is led by a passionate group of board members who believe in the power of education to transform lives and communities. By volunteering their time and expertise, they are changing lives and transforming Rockford. We thank them for their dedication to making our community better for all who live here.

Susan Fumo

Susan Fumo

Executive Director of School Improvement, Rockford Public Schools

“Rockford Promise is the single biggest strategic thing that can change our city. It's simple; it's practical; it's immediate. Kids win; schools win; businesses win. There are literally no down-sides to this strategy.”

Emily Hartzog

Vice President, Chartwell Agency

“A promise program has the potential to positively impact every resident of our community. It will help us realize the future we want for the Rockford region.”

Maurice Redd

Vice President
President, Redd Insurance Group

“I became involved in Rockford Promise because this is the single greatest initiative that could transform the Rockford region. A fully funded Rockford Promise will attract and retain talent to the region.”

Jorge Herrera

Senior Vice President, Illinois Bank & Trust

“I’m involved with Rockford Promise because I wanted to help at-risk youth, many of whom have the opportunity to be first-generation college students. Helping them obtain scholarships, complete a degree, and encouraging them to stay in the area contributes to progress in the Rockford region.”

Kay Wadsworth

Vice President, Illinois Bank & Trust

''It is with great honor and excitement that I am joining the Rockford Promise Board. I look forward to collaborating with others as we uncover opportunities to empower individuals through education.''


Evan J Bonnett

Attorney, Hinshaw and Culbertson LLP

“I am proud to be involved with Rockford Promise and its amazing mission to change lives and our community. I am particularly excited about our efforts to mentor RP scholars as they begin their college journeys, helping to solidify the students' hard work by working with the whole student instead of just handing a check. It is truly an investment in the student and in Rockford!”

Susan Danforth

Community Volunteer
Keith Krutchen

Keith Kruchten

''Why Rockford Promise? Education is the great equalizer. Education is hope. Education is change. Education is growth. Education is lower crime. Education is better jobs. Education is a vibrant community. Rockford Promise is the key to Rockford's renaissance.''

Jeff Lewis

Advisor, Savant Capital Management

“Investing in yourself is the best investment any person can make. With help from Rockford Promise, our community has the potential to provide affordable education to high school graduates who otherwise may not go to college. If providing access to education for hundreds of individuals who otherwise wouldn't go to college doesn't give you goosebumps, then nothing will.''

Patrick Peyer, Ed.D.

Vice President of Student Services, Rock Valley College

''I am honored to support the amazing efforts of Rockford Promise and serve the Rockford region. The value of one's education cannot be overstated. Education allows us to be the best version of ourselves and improve the lives of those around us.''

Karen Walker, Ed.D.

Dean of Academic Support, Rockford University

“Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” - Marian Wright Edleman

Tiffani Weatherly

Guidance Counselor, Rockford Public Schools

''Rockford Promise's work in this community provides individual students with educational opportunities as well as relieves a financial burden off the entire family. I believe our work will have a generational impact.''

Robert Young

CEO/President, Midwest Container & Packaging

The great African Statesman Nelson Mandela once said, “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela’s compelling words poignantly applies to our community here in the Rockford region. I am a proud Board Member and supporter of Rockford Promise because there is no greater investment in our future than our children. If we aspire to achieve our potential as a community, we must invest in the education and development of our next generation of leaders. By helping our scholars reach their goals and dreams, we are helping Rockford do so as well. ''


Elaine Breck

Advisory Board

“As the years have passed, I have become more committed to and inspired by the Promise Scholars, their energy, and their hopes and dreams. I'm excited when I think about the impact our Scholars will have in our community and the talent and strengths they will bring to our local employers.”

Brian Kobischka

Former CFO, North American Tool

“The economic vitality of a community is reflective of and limited by the collective educational and training levels attained by its citizens.”

Matthew Vosberg

Assistant Superintendent, Rockford Public Schools