Rochelle, IL – Frontier, DISH and CoBank have teamed up to support the revitalization of small towns and cities across America with the America’s Best Communities prize competition. America’s Best Communities is a $10 million competition to stimulate growth and revitalization in small cities and towns across Frontier’s 27-state footprint.
City of Rochelle Community & Economic Development Directors, Michelle Pease and Jason Anderson headed to Nashville last week to share Rochelle’s vision with the “America’s Best Communities” team including country music superstar Vince Gill and the CEOs of Frontier Communications, Dish Network and CoBank at the Country Music Hall of Fame.
"After meeting with contest officials and attending the press conference with the ABC sponsors and Vince Gill, I am convinced Rochelle has the "right stuff" to win the top prize. In conjunction with the ABC Contest we are about to engage in an initiative to "Re-Brand" Rochelle. This process will be headed up by a group of local business owners, leaders and residents who will create the new "brand". The brand will help us to define our goals in attracting new businesses and new developments to Rochelle and will put us on the path to winning the ABC contest. We are in it to win it!” said Jason Anderson Economic Development Director for the City of Rochelle.
America’s Best Communities $10 million prize competition will reward communities with the best business plans for economic development and improved quality of life. The winners will also share best practices and great ideas for innovative growth among all the communities that participate in the competition, according to a news release.
“There’s a lot of small town community in me. I have a small-town mentality,” Gill told the crowd, for whom the day marked a ceremonial kickoff for their efforts. “This is where I live and I want to make it better, I want to be part of a team focused on supporting the backbone of America.”
“The City of Rochelle is an excellent example of a rural community that is poised for growth. The America's Best Communities Grant would support that continuous investment and ensure we remain healthy and continue to play a vital role in the broader economy. As a strong rural community, we have the initiative and support for entrepreneurism, innovation and creativity that have made us successful in the past,” said Michelle Pease, City of Rochelle Community Development Director.
America’s Best Communities has more than 200 communities, across the 27 states served by Frontier Communications, participating in the contest. Fifty quarter-finalists will be selected in April 2015 and awarded $50,000 in development funds for their revitalization proposals. At the end of the competition in April 2017, the top three applicants will share $6 million in prize money – $3 million to the winner, $2 million for second place and $1 million for third place – money to be used to continue to implement their improvement plans.
Maggie Wilderotter, Chairman and CEO of Frontier Communications, said in a news release, “As the largest broadband communications company focused on rural America, we want to be a catalyst for growth in our towns and cities. America sends billions overseas in foreign aid, she noted, but we need to think domestically in helping rural small towns and cities.
Conceived by Frontier Communications and co-sponsored with DISH Network and CoBank, America’s Best Communities Prize is a competition that will fund economic development opportunities for the winners and share best practices and great ideas for progress among all the communities that enter.
“Our nation depends on a strong rural America,” said CoBank CEO Robert B. Engel in the release. “Rural communities need continuous investment and support in order to ensure they remain healthy and can continue to play a vital role in the broader economy. That’s why we are so excited to support the ABC campaign. We look forward to seeing the proposals generated by the ABC competition, and the tangible benefits it will deliver to all communities who decide to participate.”