By Todd Houston
Following is an interview with AnnDee Hancock Nimmer, an ABC Shark Tank hopeful.
Rockford Rocked Interviews (RRI): Hi, AnnDee! Tell us a bit about yourself.
AnnDee: I was a first-grade teacher for 20 years and now entrepreneur/owner of RoomTagz, a hallway signage company that offers a unique, updatable wayfinding system for schools, churches, and businesses that replaces obsolete nameplates above the doors. After two years in business, RoomTagz is in over 28 states and more than 75 schools and continues to grow weekly! I’ve also been happily married for 22 years to my best friend, Bronson Nimmer. We have three children who are each wonderfully unique individuals: Boston (19), Dylan (15) and Brooklynn (13).
RRI: What do you like to do for fun?
AnnDee: Anything active and outdoors! Boating, traveling, photography, sports, reading and spending time with family and friends.
RRI: Let’s talk about how you got involved with the television program Shark Tank on ABC!
AnnDee: Sure! I was working with the wonderful people at the Small Business Development Center of Rockford and saw a flier announcing a local Shark Tank competition for women entrepreneurs at Rock Valley College sponsored by Enactus. I felt like this would be a good opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs and introduce my business on a local level. As it turned out, I won, and helped launch me in a forward-moving direction. It wasn’t long after, ABC’s Shark Tank co-producer contacted me to apply for the show for consideration after an informal interview over the phone. Although I’m still waiting to hear back from them, I want to re-apply each year until they ultimately select me! I have been in business more than a year now, and feel I have established a product need and interest, which may translate into a more serious consideration next time around.
RRI: What’s the best part about living in the Rockford area for you?
AnnDee: The variety of things for kids and adults to do for recreation and entertainment from the Rockford Park District parks, pools and programs, theaters, restaurants, libraries, colleges, convenient shopping, bowling, the Rock River, bike path, museums, the resources … there really is a lot to offer the community.
RRI: Something you would change or add to the Rockford area if you could?
AnnDee: Aside from the obvious, I have a vision for another Belford-type drive-in theater, but with an updated twist! I think it’d be a big hit and give people another reason to visit. Fun, fun!
RRI: Favorite local restaurant to go for dinner?
AnnDee: I miss really Maria’s! I also love Lino’s for their food and unique setting. My husband brought me there when we dated in high school, and I thought the little private villas were so neat, and I can’t get enough of their special salad.
RRI: Favorite TV show?
AnnDee: I don’t watch a lot of TV, but do enjoy watching The Voice, The Tonight Show and Shark Tank, of course!
RRI: What’s next for AnnDee Hancock Nimmer?
AnnDee: Expanding my business to include a handful of other products needed in the schools and other products that will lend themselves to the mainstream population. However, before any of those products are introduced, I need to streamline my website for a better customer experience able to virtually create their signs.
RRI: Best of luck and thanks for chatting with us!
AnnDee: Thank you!
From the Jan. 14-20, 2015, issue