A Springfield native, David moved away from the area post-college and didn't expect he'd ever return. But his career brought him back to Springfield in 2015 and coming home has become a defining part of his own story. David has inserted himself into efforts to revitalize Springfield's downtown area as a volunteer and committee chair for Downtown Springfield, Inc. (DSI) and is a member of Innovate Springfield. A graduate of Augustana College, David is a territory manager for Stryker Medical Devices.
DAVID'S VIEW FROM HERE
What are the top three things a potential resident should know about Springfield & Sangamon County?
1) There's a lot going on here. Outdoors, arts, festivals, music, fitness, sports, craft beer, etc. Whatever you like, there's a way to plug yourself into that community with similar likes. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. 2) We have big city amenities without the hassles. But keep in mind, you may have to insert yourself or look for opportunities more than if you lived in a big city like Chicago. But once you get involved, it is so much easier to foster relationships here in Springfield. 3) Choose a side- Cubs/Cardinals is a big rivalry here. You better take your stance!
What do you love most about the Springfield & Sangamon County area?
For me, it starts with my own family all being in the area, but that has branched out to amazing friends and community. The size of Springfield is one of my favorite things about it. You have all the activities of larger areas, but also the small town USA feel. This can be very advantageous in business, social interactions, meeting people, etc. I'm amazed at the connections and relationships I've been able to build in Springfield. This town is no small potatoes. There are legitimate movers and shakers here, and it is much more accessible to interact with and connect with others. Even though I am from here, it is the people I've met and connected with since I've moved back that has made the last few years especially extraordinary.
What makes the Springfield & Sangamon County area unique?
I've kind of hammered this home but the small CITY, and emphasis on CITY, atmosphere that we have here provides a lot of opportunities. This is not a small town. There are big things happening here and a lot of social and cultural attractions. I think the size of ~200k in the area creates enough opportunity for advancement and critical mass but also provides a different type of exposure that you may not get in a large city. Also, what makes us truly unique is the designation of being the state capital and the HUGE historic implications of being the home of Lincoln. No other community in Illinois can claim they have Lincoln's home or the capital. This leads to a huge influx of government-related activities and jobs and tourism advantages.
How are you involved in the community?
I am deeply involved in the revitalization efforts of Downtown Springfield. I have personally acquired Downtown buildings that I am working on renovating and am also part of the Public Market project. I have committed numerous hours to DSI as a volunteer and founded the Momentum on Main Street committee, which I also currently sit on as Chair. I am a member of two Lake clubs and participate in several local sports leagues. I am also deeply involved in my community at Hope Church.
What Springfield area neighborhood is your favorite?
By far the Downtown. Downtown is the heartbeat of any community, and ours is one of (if not the only) walkable neighborhoods that truly has a neighborly feel. It is the business center, medical center, and social center of the city. In my opinion, Downtown should be the first place people look to for entertainment, business activity, and cultural attractions.
What are your favorite things to do around the city and county?
Buying a boat and enjoying the Lake has totally changed my summer experience of Springfield. This is a hidden gem in our community that unfortunately has a high barrier to entry due to the lack of publicly accessible space, but it has enhanced my summer fun experience immensely. I also own a kayak and paddleboard and these are available for rent at the marina too. The south side of the lake, without the houses and boats, is a water getaway that makes it feel like you're miles from a city. I highly recommend people get more active on the water. I also enjoy a good local brew, and Buzz Bomb, Anvil & Forge, and Obed's are all within walking distance of each other Downtown. I also enjoy playing in local sports leagues (sand volleyball is #1) and playing golf.