Transform Rockford to launch Community Learning Series

• Expert in rating cities featured in first event Feb. 17 at Heartland Community Church

Staff Report

Transform Rockford, a regional long-term planning initiative to dramatically improve the social and economic condition of the Rockford region, will launch a Community Learning Series in mid-February.

The series will feature national and international experts presenting and discussing their research and experience about a variety of topics relevant to the strategic planning work being facilitated by Transform Rockford.

The first speaker in the series will be Bert Sperling, who will appear from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 17, at Heartland Community Church, 1280 S. Alpine Road, Rockford. The event is free and open to the public.

Sperling is a noted author and researcher responsible for much of the data inputs surrounding ratings of “best places” in the United States. His published studies and books about quality of life in the United States have made him an internationally-recognized expert on cities and the criteria used to rate them. Much of his work is focused on researching and ranking Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs).

Sperling has nearly 30 years of research experience and has become the authority on rating places to live. Some of the categories that may go into these types of analysis include economy, jobs, education, climate, transportation, leisure, arts and culture, and physical setting. He’s completed work for dozens of corporate clients, and his work has appeared in numerous publications, including Men’s Health, Seventeen, Money, Newsweek, Ladies’ Home Journal, Smart Money, Forbes and Fortune.

Members of the community are asked to register for the event at Learn more about Transform Rockford at, or contact Mike Schablaske at (815) 978-1151 or

Posted Feb. 11, 2014

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