As Neighborhood Specialist for the City of Rockford, Barb Chidley is responsible for engaging with residents, neighborhood associations, and other organizations working to improve quality of life in our neighborhoods. Her favorite part of the job is creating meaningful connections with the diverse residents of Rockford. Having spent six years teaching at Auburn High School when she first came to Rockford, Barb credits her students with everything she has learned about valuing other people’s cultures and experiences. The trust and relationships built together in her classroom led to poignant conversations and significant growth, for Barb as well as her students. This is why she invited some of her favorite Rockford relationship-building experts to join together to start Connect Rockford; she knows from experience that deep, meaningful connections are the foundation upon which all other good things are built.

Barb has also served as a board member of the Community Action Agency and on the Head Start Policy Council. She is a single mom of a twelve-year-old son and a twenty-year-old daughter. They have lived in the North Highland Square Neighborhood for seven years.