Nick Povalitis, One Event at a Time

One Event at a Time

Nick Povalitis sees Rockford through a different lens than most people. It’s his job, after all, to find opportunities and fill gaps when it comes to attracting events and new visitors to his hometown.

Povalitis graduated from Auburn High School before attending the University of Illinois, where he earned a journalism degree. He worked in sports marketing at Washington University in St. Louis for four years before returning to Rockford.

“My wife and I had the first of our three children in St. Louis, so it was good to come home and be near family,” he says.

Povalitis found his niche with the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, where for eight years his job was to promote sports tourism. He was good at it, bringing several award-winning events to town including women’s college basketball nationals, ultimate frisbee, quidditch and more. One of the biggest wins, however, was forging a relationship with Rockford native Fred VanVleet. The RACVB teamed up with the Toronto Raptors star for several events, including an NBA draft party, playoff watch parties, and a welcome home parade after the Raptors won the NBA Championship in 2019.

In 2021, Povalitis decided to branch out on his own, starting Plus Seven Company, a business that specializes in events, partnerships and tourism. It was a leap of faith to venture out, he says, but one he was ready to take.

“When is it ever the right time?” he says. “It wasn’t easy and it’s still not. But I decided to go for it.”

In two years, Povalitis has had his fingerprints on several successful events like the Rockford Boxing Classic, an outdoor boxing event and fundraiser for the Rockford Patriots Boxing Club. It was held at City Market Pavilion in front of 1,000 people.

In 2021, Plus Seven Company helped bring the Hoopbus to Rockford to unveil a custom mural basketball court renovation at the Getaway at Blackhawk Park.

Last year, Povalitis’ company helped VanVleet and his foundation host the Fred VanVleet 2022 Fest, which included bowling, a fan experience and a summer basketball camp. And he helped introduce 815SHORTS, a celebration of the region’s filmmaking community that included a screening of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Festival Tour.

Povalitis says his greatest satisfaction is that every event he’s leveraged has had a nonprofit component.

“I believe in doing things the right way,” he says. “It’s important to put people in the seats, but it’s just as important to help organizations in need.”

Source: “25 Most Interesting People.” Northwest Quarterly. The Annual 2023,  page 97.

Articles in this series are by various writers: Chris Linden, Lindsey Lukas, Jim Taylor, Steven Bonifazi, Paul Anthony Arco, Stephanie N. Grimoldby, Paula Hendrickson, and Jermaine Pigee.

Photography by Samantha Behling.

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Source:  Rockford Register Star, April 22, 2021.

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