Katelyn Lancaster Selected DeKalb County Opportunity Unbound Marketing Manager

DeKalb, IL – DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC) is pleased to announce Katelyn Lancaster as the DeKalb County Marketing Manager for the Opportunity Unbound Branding Program. Katelyn brings extensive digital marketing experience, stellar analytical skills, and solid marketing plan execution to DCEDC. In addition, Katelyn has established business and community relationships from past marketing positions in DeKalb County.

“The marketing manager is the cornerstone of Opportunity Unbound,” noted DCEDC Executive Director Paul Borek. Promoting DeKalb County to attract professionals, makers, residents, students, and visitors is crucial to recruiting talent to work at growing county businesses and contribute to county communities and institutions. “We’re thrilled with Katelyn’s ability to elevate awareness of DeKalb County as the top location for business and community development in the Midwest,” Borek added.

Opportunity Unbound is the brand and marketing strategy which tells the story of DeKalb County as a growing, vibrant community where residents and businesses flourish. The county’s unique location and talented workforce attracts top-tier international corporations and provides residents with abundant opportunity to excel in one of several growing sectors. With affordable housing, excellent healthcare, and exceptional education, DeKalb County is truly a place for you to live, work, and play.

 “I am honored and grateful to be selected for this role. To work and serve the community that I love, is a tremendous blessing. I am excited to share what the communities within DeKalb County have to offer. DeKalb County is a wonderful place to live, work and play – I am thrilled to tell the story,” Lancaster said.

“We are so excited to have Katelyn joining our team and heading up the Opportunity Unbound branding and communication strategy.” said Cortney Strohacker, executive director of the DeKalb County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Her experience and deep county roots make her the perfect fit for the Marketing Manager position,” added Strohacker. “The best is yet to come for DeKalb County!”

The DeKalb County Convention and Visitor Bureau (DCCVB) works on behalf of county stakeholders to attract leisure travelers and overnight visitors to the area’s diverse attractions and resources, which include a major public research university (Northern Illinois University) and a group of creative local makers and artisans known as Bold Spirits of DeKalb County. As the county’s only certified destination marketing organization, the bureau serves as a primary point of contact for meeting planners, sports tournament directors, tour operators, special event planners and travelers.

Before joining DCEDC, Lancaster worked for Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora as the Senior Communications Specialist, Northwestern Medicine as a Marketing Specialist and the Sycamore Chamber of Commerce as the Events and Marketing Coordinator. Katelyn holds a Master of Science in Sports Administration from Valparaiso University and is an Alumna of Sycamore High School.

DCEDC is a public/private partnership, established in 1987 as a 501c3 organization. DCEDC facilitates diversified and sustainable economic growth within DeKalb County, IL. The organization serves fourteen communities along I-88 and in the center of the I-39 Logistics Corridor. DeKalb County is a certified Enterprise Zone.

Help us welcome Katelyn to the DCEDC Team!

Katelyn’s Business Card

DCEDC Presents……………….

We are thrilled to honor this milestone with the launch of our website! The Opportunity Unbound website will be a resource for community members, visitors and current or new businesses to find everything they need to know about DeKalb County all in one place.  A special thank you OC Creative, located in DeKalb, for executing our vision and developing a beautiful site.



DCEDC’s Business Retention/Expansion and Talent Pipeline Committee recently hosted a webinar on ‘Benefits beyond the paycheck’ – Exploring what matters most to employees.  As an organization, we have embraced the emerging national hiring challenges our businesses are realizing.  This webinar is the 2nd in a series we are planning, by offering local professional resources and solutions.  To see the webinar and the presentation materials, please visit our Workforce Development & Education page by clicking here


Check out our Sneak Peek-Opportunity Unbound






Krusinski Construction Company’s project is progressing nicely.  See some of the recent exterior photos of the Wehrli Custom Fabrication project that is under construction.


Wehrli Custom Fabrication website

ChicagoWest Business Center website

Krusinski Construction Company website

Curran Contracting Company Projects in DeKalb Co.



Project Barb-70 Acre Site in the ChicagoWest Business Center

DeKalb County Landfill Garbage Cell

Syngenta Ground Breaking


A ground-breaking ceremony was held Wednesday in Malta as Syngenta Seeds, LLC begins construction on its new Research and Development (R&D) Innovation Center. The 96,000-square-foot center, shown in this computer rendering, is expected to be completed by late summer 2022

Agriculture RD A priority for business group

New Syngenta facility aims to bring farmers, research together – AgriNews


The above-captioned photo was taken last week at the Ferrara Candy Company’s  Ribbon Cutting ceremony.   DCEO full Press Release here

Ferrara Candy Company Ribbon Cutting June 30, 2021

Ferrara Candy Company Ribbon Cutting Ceremony


2020 DeKalb County Market Facts

  • Over $943 million dollars in capital investment, 3 million sq. feet of development, and over 800 jobs were created.
  • The DeKalb County Labor Regional Market includes over 729,000 workers.
  • Located on I-88 in the center of the I-39 Corridor, DeKalb County affords congestion-free access to Metro Chicago destinations and Mid-American markets via I-55, I-57, I-80, I-90, and I-94.
  • Convenient access to O’Hare, Midway, and Rockford airports.
  • DeKalb-Taylor Municipal Airport’s runway is open 24 hours, offering very competitive fuel pricing.
  • Proximity to 3 intermodel shipping centers for all 6 major railroads within the region.
  • World Class NIU Research & Innovation Partnerships.
  • Worker Training & Development Resources (NIU, Kishwaukee College, and Waubonsee Community College)
  • Business Incubators IDEAL INDUSTRIES/NIU Intrapreneurship Center, Discover Financial Code Orange Initiative, and DeKalb County Incubator.
  • 140+ Manufacturers Operate in DeKalb County:  Food Processing, Primary Metals, Wood Production, Fabricated Metals, Machinery, Computer & Electronics, Plastics, and Rubber Products.
  • 14 Global Operations or Headquarters in DeKalb County.
  • Shovel-ready development sites are available.
  • DeKalb County offers Speed to Market in a business-friendly climate.
  • Enterprise Zone with pre-approved state and local development incentives in place.

  • DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport is a full-service, all-weather airport with a newly commissioned ILS on our 7,025-foot Runway 2 as well as GPS approaches to all runways.
  • 3M’s fifth DeKalb Distribution Center, a 650,000 square foot facility, was completed in Park 88 by Clayco and Venture One Real Estate in 4 months.
  • Northern Illinois University and Kishwaukee College provide opportunities for growth, education, and training for your workforce.
  • Ferrara Candy Company began construction of their $100 million dollars 1.6 million square foot facility that will add 500 local jobs
  • Facebook announced construction is underway for their DeKalb Data Center covering 505 acres with an investment of $800 million.
  • Syngenta announced plans to build a 96,000 square foot R&D Innovation and Customer Experience Center on 90 acres in Malta, IL.