RACVB salutes the best in customer service

Some individuals and businesses in Rockford do everything they can to keep you coming back.

The Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (RACVB) honors these outstanding examples of customer service once a month with their It’s a Great Day in Rockford Service Award.

In April, the award went to Wired Cafe, 414 E. State St., and Chad Bryden, director of sales and marketing at Cliffbreakers Riverside Resort, 700 W. Riverside Blvd. In March, the award went to Judy and Dave Bieck, owners of Candle Crest Soy Candles, 604 N. London Ave., and Chris Wachowiak, owner of Kryptonite Bar, 308 W. State St.

Bridget French, director of marketing and public affairs for the visitors bureau, said they’ve been giving these awards for about two years.

“We actually started it in conjunction with our radio show on Rockford College Radio,” French said. On the show, French and RACVB marketing coordinator Liz Wood share the week’s top events and highlight some of the area’s attractions. It airs every Thursday at noon. “The award is a nice tie-in to the show to recognize people.”

French said the award serves a couple purposes. First, she said it’s important to the RACVB to recognize individuals and businesses in Rockford who do good work and might not hear enough praise in everyday life.

“I think a lot of the people that we choose to recognize sometimes aren’t in positions that receive a lot of recognition,” she said.

But rewarding good service is also beneficial to the Rockford area. The idea is that the awards will inspire winners — and other businesses who want to be recognized — to give the best service they can and keep customers coming back and fueling the local economy.

“We know that customer service is certainly a factor in tourism and visitors,” French said. “It plays into the overall experience of hospitality.”

Anyone is encouraged to nominate an individual or a business for this monthly award. Nominees are not limited to business people. 

Honorees can range from public officials, to community leaders, while volunteers can also win the award “by setting a positive example for others,” according to a press release.

French said the number of nominations the visitors bureau receives from the public varies each month. “Sometimes we get a few, sometimes we get a dozen,” she said.

To nominate someone to receive the It’s a Great Day in Rockford Service Award, email Andrea Mandala, RACVB marketing and communications manager, at, or call 815-489-1664.

For more information on the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, visit


–Jessica Cabe