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Rockford native with business development focus joins Extension in Northwestern Illinois

URBANA, Ill. – From helping small farmers provide locally grown foods to supporting businesses through difficult times, new University of Illinois Extension staff are dedicated to meeting the needs of communities around the state.

Mike Delany joined Illinois Extension in mid-August as a Community and Economic Development Educator serving Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Lee, Ogle, and Whiteside counties. He will work to develop and deliver research-based programs, collaborate with community partners, and extend university resources in Northwestern Illinois.

Delany grew up in Rockford and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and an M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, as well as a J.D. from the University of Illinois. He has worked and studied in places as varied as St. Louis, Mo.; Stuttgart, Germany; and Santiago, Chile. 

His areas of expertise are in corporate law and business development. For the past five years, Delany has volunteered with Rockford’s community-development initiative, known as “Transform Rockford.”

Delany is based in the Extension office in Oregon, Ill., and can be reached at

Extension educators and specialists connect every county in Illinois with university research through in-person and distance-learning programming and other educational outreach. They work to provide businesses, families and agricultural producers with the practical tools and resources needed to solve problems.

WRITEREmily Steele, Media Communications Coordinator, Illinois Extension

ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.