Why You Should Invest in the Jacksonville, Illinois, Region: Diamond Level Investor Spotlight
9 Nov 2022
Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corporation (JREDC) kicked off its next five-year investment campaign at the annual Investor Appreciation Reception. Illinois College was recognized as the 2021 Harold Cox Industry of the Year, and the Morgan County Fair Association was named the recipient of the 2021 Champion Award. Kristin Jamison, president of JREDC, also outlined the organization's successes during a short program.
Jamison referenced the five-year Regional Economic Development Plan listed in the JREDC Annual Report, pointing out the continuing focus to improve the region’s already impressive quality of place through high-speed, fiber internet service and downtown improvements. “The improvements to our downtown districts in Jacksonville and Winchester, and recreation areas including Lake Jacksonville further signal that we are making this region a great place to visit, work and live.”
Jamison went on to highlight the addition of the former MacMurray College properties to the Enterprise Zone, the collaboration with the City of Jacksonville and Illinois Housing Development Authority to complete a Community Revitalization Project and the facilitation of nearly $3 million in local, state and federal grants to small businesses in Morgan, Scott and Cass counties through JREDC’s work as a Community Navigator.
“In line with our commitment to strengthening the workforce, JREDC is also working with the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce to pilot a program to connect area high school students to work opportunities with local manufacturers,” said Jamison.
In short, Jacksonville, Illinois, region investors have much to be excited about. Investors’ commitment to the community facilitates the attraction and retention of quality businesses and workforce. When the economy and quality of life are elevated, business owners directly benefit. Attracting new businesses and helping current businesses expand leads to more jobs, a broadened tax base and enhanced services for the benefit of the whole community.
Rabbi Rob and Lauren Thomas, new Diamond Level investors, made their decision to support the growth of the community when they came home to visit Rabbi Rob’s father after surgery.
“As I showed my wife, Lauren, around town,” said Rabbi Rob, “she said what I was thinking, ‘Should we buy a home in Jacksonville?’ She fell in love with my hometown, and I fell in love all over again. It is a friendly place, full of great memories, and with great people with whom we are making new, great memories. We bought a home, and we now live in Jacksonville part-time.”
Rabbi Rob has a unique background that allows him to appreciate all the Jacksonville region is and all of the potential it can attain. “My upbringing in Jacksonville instilled in me the tenets of tenacity, ethics, and an innovative spirit,” said Rabbi Rob. “I have heard of several businesses that have successfully launched and taken root in Jacksonville. There have been notable losses, yet the town and area remain positive and resilient. There is a dynamic, capitalist spirit here, with entrepreneurs taking a chance at success. That success benefits us all in the form of more jobs and a growing economy.”
Rabbi Rob is the founder and CEO of Team Cymru, Inc., a global cyber security and cyber threat intelligence company. “We focus on the malevolent infrastructures that undermine the Internet and those who use it,” said Rabbi Rob. “Our insight protects companies across a broad range of industries and across the globe; better still, it protects their constituents and customers. If you use a computer, almost certainly our insight is protecting you.”
“In a massively interconnected world, at a time when many are re-thinking life and work in dense and expensive urban areas, Jacksonville has a great opportunity before it,” said Rabbi Rob.
“The region has ready access to larger, urban markets,” continued Rabbi Rob. “In the Internet age, quality connectivity can make any location convenient to the global marketplace; and Jacksonville can be proud of the excellent Internet connectivity that rivals or exceeds that of some larger cities — I speak from experience.”
“Illinois College adds ready access to college graduates. The region has a wonderful quality of life coupled with a low cost of living. The people are friendly and helpful, and keen to see the area thrive. They are invested in their town and area; they want success for themselves and their neighbors.”
Rabbi Rob brings a wealth of experience and interests. “I spend time advising startups and helping them to begin their journey to success with a solid foundation. I am a ‘mistake farmer,’ and my mistakes have produced a great crop of wisdom over the years. I’m only too happy to share my mistakes and lessons learned. In addition to several corporate board positions, I am a member of the board of National Review, Inc., an institution dedicated to the free market and the opportunities it brings to all. As a hobby, I collect, restore and operate WWII U.S. tanks through my foundation, WW2 Armor NFP. We bring them across the U.S. and safely demonstrate them so that the history of the men and machines of WWII U.S. armored units can be preserved and shared.”
“In my formative years, many folks in Jacksonville gave me opportunities and taught me valuable lessons that would be part of my success. It’s important to give back; blessings are best when shared.”
Become an Investor Today!
Calling all investors, businesses, and organizations! JREDC invites you to invest in the future of the Jacksonville area. Public and private involvement and investment result in a more robust economy for the entire community.
Becoming an investor can give you a seat at the table to help guide our coordinated effort for economic success. See who is investing in our future here.
More information about investment levels — and the multitude of benefits that come with each level — can be found here. Don’t hesitate to contact JREDC for the next steps to becoming an investor.