Mary Cacioppi
National Consultant, Aha! Process
Founder/CEO, Bridges to Prosperity Rockford Region

Mary has over 22 years of combined experience in community development, economic development, and poverty reduction. She is the Founder of Bridges to Prosperity Rockford Region which works to reduce poverty and implement a poverty reduction strategy in her local community of Rockford, IL.

Mary is also a National Consultant with the Aha! Process working with communities across the nation to assist them with their poverty reduction goals. In this capacity Mary has created a workshop on “Poverty Reduction as an Economic Development Strategy” that the Aha! Process is offering at the national level. Additionally, Mary is also in the process of writing a book on the same topic that will be published in the Fall of 2024.

At the national level, Mary serves on the board of Emerge Solutions. Emerge Solutions promotes lasting solutions to close the economic gap and build community sustainability at the local, regional and national levels by building a network of advocates to advance economic inclusion and opportunity across our communities. She is also a member of the National League of Cities Economic Mobility Peer Network.

Locally, Mary serves on the Workforce Connection Employer & Public Engagement Committee and the Community Action Agency Board in Rockford. She is a past board member of Next Rockford, the Rockford Area Economic Development Council and Rockford Network of Professional Women.

Her past experience includes working for and running chambers of commerce and economic development organizations, as well as experience leading economic development for a municipality and working in commercial development. This vast experience equips Mary with a diverse view of how poverty reduction plays a role in community and economic development.

Mary holds a B.A. in business administration from Madison University and graduated with Honors Cum Laude. She is a past recipient of the Rockford Chambers 40 Leaders Under 40 and Woman Business Leader of Tomorrow awards, honoring her professional and volunteer achievements. She was also recently named one of the regions "25 Most Interesting People" by Northwest Quarterly magazine.

Professional Certifications:
Bridges Out of Poverty Trainer, Aha! Process
Getting Ahead and Getting Ahead in the Workplace Facilitator, Aha! Process
R Rules Facilitator, Aha! Process
Business Retention & Expansion, International Economic Development Council (IEDC)
Business Marketing & Attraction, International Economic Development Council (IEDC)
Community & Economic Development Professional Core Curriculum Years 1-3, Community Development Institute (CDI)