In Brief: Business people – Rockford Register Star

FROM NEWS REPORTS  |  Rockford Register Star

Beef-A-Roo hires operations, community relations manager

ROCKFORD — Beef-A-Roo recently hired Dawn Durkin into the newly created position of operations and community relations manager.

Durkin will be responsible for helping Beef-A-Roo grow into new markets, staff training and recruitment and also all aspects of community outreach and fundraising.

With a founding principle of dedication to employees and community, Beef-A-Roo annually gives back through volunteer work and partnering with local charitable organizations. Durkin will assist with charitable giving initiatives in each market to support those community’s schools and student-led programs.

Durkin has a background in business administration and a master’s degree in management and leadership and a Master of Business Administration in progress.

Savant adviser named among People You Should Know

ROCKFORD — Allison Alexander, financial advisor with Savant Wealth Management, has been named one of the 2021 People You Should Know by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

Alexander was one of 20 people recognized at a reception June 24 at Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens in Rockford. Honorees include business leaders who impact their respective organizations and industries and who positively affect the local business environment. Since 2011, People You Should Know has honored 145 individuals.

Since joining the firm in2015, Alexander has served as a financial adviser and co-founded Cents of Self, a program designed to empower women to take control of their financial future. Alexander also serves the greater community by teaching investment and retirement planning courses at Rock Valley College and for Women in Aerospace at Collins Aerospace. She is dedicated to improving financial literacy in our community, especially among women.

YMCA officer earns recertification

ROCKFORD — The YMCA of Rock River Valley recently announced that chief advancement officer Michelle Gorham has been recertified as a certified fundraising executive.

Gorham joins over 7,200 professionals around the world who hold the CFRE designation. Individuals granted the CFRE credential have met a series of standards set by CFRE International which include tenure in the profession, education and demonstrated fundraising achievement. They have also passed a rigorous written examination testing the knowledge, skills and abilities required of a fundraising executive and have agreed to uphold accountability standards and the Donor Bill of Rights.

CFRE recipients are awarded certification for a three-year period. The CFRE certification program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute and is the only accredited certification for fundraising professionals.

Gorham joined the YMCA in 2016 and oversees all fundraising efforts for the YMCA.

Region 1 Planning Council hires communications specialist

ROCKFORD — The Region 1 Planning Council recently hired Gabrielle Torina as communications specialist.

Torina will be responsible for implementing agency-wide communications functions with a focus on promoting stakeholder and an inclusive approach to public engagement.

The Region 1 Planning Council seeks to raise awareness of its work and how regional planning councils add value to communities throughout the U.S.  

Torina is a lifelong Rockford resident and graduate of both Judson University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Northwestern University with a Master of Science in Communication.  

She has previously held roles with Collins Aerospace and the office of U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline. She volunteers with the Family Peace Center, Wabongo Leadership Council and Laundry Love. She was a 2019 recipient of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce 40 Leaders Under 40 award and most recently was elected as alderman to the Rockford City Council.