In Good Company- David Sidney
Photograph by Nels Akerlund Photography + Video
Northwest Community Center
1325 N Johnston Ave., Rockford
Except for the six years he spent at the University of Illinois earning bachelor and master's degrees in urban planning and design, David Sidney has lived his whole life in Rockford.
When he returned from Champaign-Urbana in 2006, Sidney went to work as an associate planner with The Buckley Companies and later as senior planner for Gary W. Anderson Architects. In mid-2013, he accepted the position of comprehensive planning and design manager for the City of Rockford.
Sidney thought he had a pretty good feel for the Forest City until, also in late-2013, he got married and began showing his suburban Chicago bride, Michelle, around her adopted community.
"I'm rediscovering Rockford through her lens," Sidney explains. "Things I took for granted, I'm now appreciating. We still have a lot of opportunities to build upon that other regions are crying for."
What impressed him the most? Probably the area's natural resources including Rock Cut State Park and the Winnebago County forest preserves, ironic considering his line of work.
Sidney has long been in demand to serve on governing boards, committees and task forces. He's proud of his current involvement with the Golden Apple Foundation, but his several years leading the youth ministry at Pilgrim Baptist Church is the extracurricular activity closest to his heart.
"I just have this philosophy that it's important to be an engaged citizen, however that looks and how it looks isn't the same for everybody," Sidney says. "There are other folks who have gone before me, who contributed and made a difference. Where do I fit within the story?"
(Written by Mark Bonne)