Having grown up outside of Chicago along the Fox River in the small town of Geneva, Illinois, Erik found that the contrast of living between the big city and the cornfield presented a rare opportunity to see the beauty in a variety of experiences.
It was while traveling through Europe that Erik realized that being a resident tourist isn't necessarily a bad thing, but that we might be able to apply the same adventurous and inquisitive nature while being in our own neighborhoods. As his interest in working in a large corporate setting would come to a close, the entrepreneurial spirit in him sought to deliver a new approach to marketing places and spaces. Telling the story of a community and its people in a different way by utilizing new tools helped develop grassroots movements, attract new interest to vacant storefronts, and stimulate a conversation that wasn't being had before.
This ability to get to the root of the marketing and communications issues that organizations have faced has allowed him to develop an untapped niche in the community and economic development industry. Erik brings an exceptional level of enthusiasm, dedication and nuanced perspective that makes Reader Area Development, Inc. the holistic solution for prospective clients.
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We know that finding the right company to represent your community is a choice not to be taken lightly. That’s why we offer free consultations to walk you through your needs, the scope of your goals, and your budget.
Erik W. Reader
From living in small towns to large cities, Erik has been fortunate to learn from and experience the best places across the world. He was searching for a way to take his passion for places and connect his marketing expertise, and in 2011, he founded Reader Area Development, Inc. Since then, he continues to grow and adapt to the ever-changing landscape of new technologies. Starting, building and developing strong digital identities is Erik's specialty.Practicing since the blogging boom, Erik has hands-on experience with how strategic communications affects our downtowns, cities and economic development activities.
Western Illinois University
Noordelijke Hogeschool Leeuwarden
International Business, 2004
Activities & Affiliations
• Downtown Rock Island Partnership, Executive Director
• City of Rock Island Arts Advisory Committee
• Bike Peoria, Past President
• Startup Peoria, Board Member
• Central Illinois Landmarks, Board Member
• Pekin Main Street, Board Member
• City of Pekin Planning Commission
• City of Pekin Zoning Board of Appeals
•Prairie Entrepreneurship Notes
•The Whiskey City Collaborative
•Impact HUB Peoria