In Good Company- David Anderson
David Anderson followed his father into the family business, although the business has evolved well beyond its beginnings as a manufacturer of dairy packaging machinery into venture capital, real estate development and investment management. He is a partner at Spring Creek Partners and one of three cofounders of Spring Creek Development Group.
At the same time, David is carrying on his father's cultural legacy at the world-class Anderson Japanese Gardens. John Anderson began constructing the gardens in 1978 on the grounds of the family's home; 20 years and numerous expansions later, he turned the 12-acre horticultural wonder over to a nonprofit organization.
The family remains involved, however, and David has adopted his mission to make the critically acclaimed attraction more accessible for people's everyday enjoyment. Since 2011, Tuesday Evening in the Gardens features live music and local food vendors; family and couples of all ages bring picnic baskets and spread blankets at what doesn't look terribly different from Ravinia on Chicago's North Shore.
"I hear all the time; 'It's Rockford's best-kept secret, but I haven't been there - it's not for people like me.' I'm trying," Anderson says, "to make the gardens more relevant to people who live here."
Anderson serves on the boards of directors for the YMCA and the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau because he believes that economic growth follows improved quality of life.
"I'm a big cheerleader for Rockford. This is where I was born and raised and where I'm raising my family, so I want this to be an awesome place," Anderson said. "The momentum is really encouraging right now. If you can't find something to do here, you aren't looking."
(Written by Mark Bonne)