Innovate In Beloit
Innovation is the lifeblood of Beloit. We see challenges as opportunities for our innovation to shine. You’ll see evidence of our innovation and progressive thinking everywhere in our community.
FULFILLING A DREAM: DIANE HENDRICKS
Diane and Ken Hendricks had a dream for how they wanted their lives to play out.
“In 1982, Ken and I had a vision,” says Diane, chairman of ABC Supply Co., Inc., the company she co-founded with her late husband. “We wanted to be productive with our lives, make a difference in our industry and give back to those who helped us achieve our dreams. Ken and I were blessed to be born in this great nation, where we are born with the gift of opportunity and freedom. Our vision was to live the American dream by working hard, working smart, and having fun.”
Ken passed away in 2007, but Diane has carried on, continuing the dream the couple started together. Today, ABC Supply, a Beloit-based corporation, is the largest wholesale distributor of exterior building products in the United States. It is a nearly $5 billion company with more than 450 branches in 45 states and approximately 7,000 associates. The company has received eight consecutive Gallup Great Workplace Awards, which honors the most engaged and productive workforces in the world.
NATURE AT THE CONFLUENCE: A PROJECT FOR 2020
“This is a process of rediscovery and trying to make the Confluence become a community asset once again.”
Beloit is located at the Confluence of the Rock River and Turtle Creek. These streams have played a key part in the history and development of the city. They’ve provided diverse habitats for plants and animals, and also have a rich history of being utilized by people.
The Confluence plays an important part of Beloit’s future as well. Located just yards away from two City Halls, Beloit and South Beloit; Beloit College, major employers and public schools, the Confluence is at the center of the Rock River Trail, a National Water Trail, and has potential to become an attraction for outdoor recreation for families and visitors alike to the area.
Beloit 2020, organized in 1989, has focused its redevelopments plans for Greater Beloit on the Rock River corridor. The framework for this project was done in 2005 and picked up steam six years later, when Beloit 2020 concentrated on the portions of City Center joining the cities of Beloit and South Beloit. The working boundaries of this project are west of Blackhawk Boulevard to the Rock River and between Charles Street on the South to Shirland Avenue on the North. Most of the project area is in South Beloit.
In 2013, Beloit 2020 decided to develop a leverage fund for a project called Nature at the Confluence. This fund will be used to begin the process of transforming the area centered on the Confluence of the Rock River and Turtle Creek from a liability into an asset. Today, the Confluence is surrounded by blight and contamination, all within a flood plain. “Many of the buildings were not being taken care of properly,” says Jeff Adams, Beloit College professor of Economics and a longtime 2020 member. “We’re working to change that.”