WHO: Mayor Tom McNamara
EMPLOYED AT: City of Rockford
AGE: 36
LIVES IN: Rockford
HIGH SCHOOL: Boylan Catholic High School
COLLEGE: John Carroll University for BA and MA

Q: What brought you to Rockford?
A: I'm a lifelong resident. However, I went away for eight years for undergraduate and graduate school and came back to be closer to family and to be in a community where you could make an immediate and long-lasting impact.

Q: What do you like most about the Rockford region?
A: We're a big city with a small-town feel - you have some of the amenities of a bigger city and you have the closeness among residents that you might find in a much smaller town.

Q: What do you like to do in Rockford?
A: My favorite thing to do is to be with my wife, Sarah, (who I do not deserve) and my kids, Olympia Rose and Malachy John. If I am not working or with my family, I love Rockford's golf courses.

Q: What do you tell non-locals about Rockford?
A: My hometown has a river that runs through its historic downtown, a downtown that has seen more than $400M of investment in the last eight years. We have a dance company, a symphony, a nationally-known art museum, an internationally-known natural history museum and one of the best children's museums in the country. We have the best wake park in the state, one of the top five Asian gardens in the U.S., a perennially nationally-ranked park district, affordable housing, some of the best food, some of the most creative artists, a diverse community, and a citizenry that does not shy away from our challenges but is at its best when we face our challenges together, head-on.