Barbi Brewer-Watson, Converge Conference, Advanced Professionals Panel

Barbara Brewer-Watson is the Executive Director of the Economic and Community Development Agency for the City of Kankakee. She is a 1998 graduate of Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School, a 2011 graduate of Spoon River College with her associate’s degree, and in December of 2014, she graduated from Western Illinois University with her bachelor’s degree. In May of 2019, upon completion of a four-year program, Barbi received her certification as a Professional Community and Economic Developer from the Community Development Institute, a program created by the Southern Economic Development Council in Atlanta, Georgia. She also earned her graduate degree in organizational leadership from Olivet Nazarene University in May 2019 and went on to complete her Master of Business Administration degree in May 2021. She is the Chairperson for Drug Free Kankakee, Inc., which helps to financially support the Kankakee County Drug Court program, and the Secretary for the Kankakee Regional Land Bank Authority. In the spring of 2022, Brewer-Watson was added to the Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District Housing Task Force facilitated by Congresswoman Kelly.

Her position with the City of Kankakee allows her to work alongside many businesses and organizations in neighborhoods across the city. Her primary goal is to keep connecting people and firms to opportunities and resources that will help them thrive here in Kankakee. Kankakee is home to Barbi and her husband Michael Watson and their dog Snickers.