Growth Dimensions Participates in First ACE Event

Growth Dimensions Participates in First ACE Event Main Photo

31 Mar 2022

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Recognizing the need to bring partners, resources and connections to regional entrepreneurs, Transform Rockford worked with partner organizations to plan and execute the ACE Conference & Expo, which took place on March 2 & 3, 2022. 

Growth Dimensions Economic Development was honored to be a sponsor, as well as a speaker at the event. With the first day being held virtually and the second day in-person, there were numerous opportunities to learn and network.


On the first day of the event, being virtual allowed participants and speakers the flexibility to join from home or the office. Keynote speakers and presenters inspired and educated existing and aspiring entrepreneurs during online sessions.

Chris Wachowiak, owner and founder of Ronin Branding & Consulting, started the day with his keynote speech centered around “Turning Failure into Opportunity.” 

After Wachowiak’s presentation, attendees were able to chose sessions to join based on their individual interests.  Among these sessions, two Growth Dimensions representatives were presenters. Pamela Lopez-Fettes, Executive Director, served as a moderator for “Traditional Funding Sources.” Matt Branom, Boone County Shopper Vice President and Growth Dimensions Board Member, instructed attendees on how to turn their “Idea to Reality” with a business plan.

Other ppeakers represented Transform Rockford, Small Business Development Center – Rockford (SBDC), Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, Rockford Local Development Corporation (RLDC), and many others.


Day two was held at the Discovery Center Museum in Rockford, Illinois. This in-person networking day was kicked off with keynote speaker Brett Whitacre, artist and Belvidere native, who spoke of “Turning Passion into Profit.”

Following the keynote, entrepreneurs had the opportunity to network with each other and service providers at the expo. Event and Exhibitor Sponsors, including Growth Dimensions, lined the expo area with booths, promoting their small business and entrepreneur services.

During the expo, entrepreneurs and exhibitors each took time to address the audience and speak about their businesses and organizations. 

The day and conference concluded with a social hour and presentation from Stan Valuilis, who appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank”, and along with his daughter Lindsey Fleischhauer, successfully pitched their idea for Totes Babies.


Growth Dimensions will continue to work with ACE as they bring future events to the Boone County region.