Quad Cities Big Table returns!

The 2019 Quad Cities Big Table season continues Apr 26-27, providing a forum to identify community issues and create solutions. There are two ways to participate this round: 1) community members may attend one of the five forums hosted by community leaders; and/or 2) they may host their own Big Table discussions.

“Last year, the Quad Cities Big Table helped build new relationships and inspire new collaborations that are changing the region,” said Kent Pilcher, Tri-Chair of the Q2030 Regional Action Plan and President of Estes Construction. “As we know, relationships progress into ideas, and I’m looking forward to seeing the innovative solutions that come forward this year.”

New this year, five Big Table conversations will be hosted by community leaders over the two days throughout the Quad Cities. With topics ranging from prosperous economy to youth as change agents, the community is invited to attend the forum that most interests them.

“Creating a prosperous economy is a high priority for the Quad Cities Chamber, but we can’t do it alone,” said Paul Rumler, President and CEO of the Quad Cities Chamber. “I’m looking forward to discussing what community members think will make a difference and hearing how they want to get involved to champion our region.”

Community members are asked to register for these free Quad Cities Big Table discussions in advance (details below). Facilitators will open each session by presenting an issue and offering a series of questions to spur conversation. Participants will be encouraged to hold small-group discussions at each table, report their findings or solutions to the larger group and make a personal commitment to take action to transform the Quad Cities region.

Make plans to attend one of the following Quad Cities Big Table events:


Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Friday Apr 26 from 8:30 – 10 a.m.

Western Illinois University – Quad Cities (3300 River Drive Moline)

Facilitated by Julie Forsythe, Quad Cities Chamber; Tom Trone, Quad Cities SCORE; and Dougal Nelson, Junior Achievement of the Heartland. RSVP here.


Quad Cities as a destination experience

Friday Apr 26 from 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

The Rust Belt (533 12th Ave. East Moline)

Facilitated by Dave Herrell, Visit Quad Cities. RSVP here.


Affordable housing

Friday Apr 26 from 1:30 – 3 p.m.

Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center (630 9th St. Rock Island)

Facilitated by Leslie Kilgannon, Scott County Housing Council; Rick Schloemer, IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union; and Alvaro Macias, Ascentra Credit Union. RSVP here.


Role of preschool in creating a world-class education

Saturday Apr 27 from 10 – 11:30 a.m.

Bettendorf Public Library (2950 Learning Campus Drive Bettendorf)

Facilitated by Marcy Mendenhall, SAL Family and Community Services; Mike Oberhaus, former Rock Island – Milan School District Superintendent; and Don Doucette, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges. RSVP here.


Youth as change agents

Saturday Apr 27 from 2 – 3:30 p.m.

Scott County Family YMCA (606 W. Second St. Davenport)

Facilitated by Jasmine and Teresa Babers, daughter-mother duo and founders of Love, GIRLS Magazine. RSVP here.


Community members also are invited to host their own Big Table conversations Apr 26-27 and take action on issues that matter to them to make the Quad Cities better. Interested table hosts may find resources to help promote and guide meetings here.

Groups launched by the Big Table are encouraged to share their efforts, big or small, via email (q2030@quadcitieschamber.com) and on social media using #QCBigTable and tagging @IntheQ2030.

Big Table discussions started this year with the Student Big Table, when about 60 high school students from across the Quad Cities spent half of their day Feb. 28 developing goals and action plans to make the region the ideal place.

In April 2018, Q2030 organized the Quad Cities Big Table, launching a new tradition and forum for identifying community issues and creating solutions. Over a 48-hour period, more than 5,000 Quad Citizens of all ages gathered around 508 tables to meet new people, share ideas and explore ways to improve lives and our region.

Join the conversation and make a difference in the Quad Cities, this weekend!


Tess Abney was born and raised in the Quad Cities. Her passion for writing and entertainment was apparent at a very young age. Whether it is sharing local events and businesses with readers or sharing her thoughts on life, she finds comfort in the way words can bring people together.