Meet Rocky

“I have served the United States Marine Corps. I’ve traveled the world. With fine leadership teams, I’ve built businesses and we’ve championed economic development. We’ve addressed workforce development with high schools and universities. As a volunteer and mentor, I’ve shared my compassion and resources. For nearly two years, neighbors, friends and family have encouraged me to take a leadership role in Naperville and now just seems like the right time.”   – Rocky Caylor

Rocky Caylor – A Lifetime of Service

Rocky Caylor came to Naperville 28 years ago, to marry his wife, Carey, a long-time Naperville resident and Naperville North graduate.  The Caylor’s have a son, two daughters and seven grandchildren, all living in Central Indiana. Their oldest granddaughter is currently attending Benedictine University and plays on the Women’s Soccer team.

Service in the Marines

Upon graduating from high school Rocky followed his grandfather, U.S. Army, and father, U.S. Navy, in military service by joining the U.S. Marines. After rigorous background vetting Rocky was assigned to the Marine Barracks, Washington D.C., the elite post known as “8th and I”.  While stationed at “8th and I” Rocky was assigned to several heads of state and foreign dignitary details at our nation’s Capital and the White House. He performed numerous Marine Ceremonial and Army Honor Guard ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery. Other USMC assignments include First Battalion 9th Marines and NTA instructor, 3rd Marine division.

When asked, what is the one thing that he carries in his heart from his U.S. Military service, Rocky replied, “… how important people are, over politics or anything else. The Marines are always the first to fight, but the Marines are also the first to have boots on the ground for humanitarian relief.”

UPS Career

After leaving the Marines, Rocky joined UPS.  During his management career at UPS, Rocky learned the importance of working with the community and recruiting employees to reflect the demographics of the community.  Rocky took to heart UPS’s promotion system, which focused on maximizing human potential. He witnessed firsthand the positive effect UPS’ pioneering effort to treat women as equals to men had on the company.   Rocky noted that the UPS promotion philosophy was “you are expected to have two people that report to you, get promoted to the same level as you. “You didn’t leave people behind – just like the Marines. You learned to value teams.” Rocky also credits UPS for teaching him the importance of community service.

Humanitarian Relief

Rocky became an executive of CDN Logistics after leaving UPS.  It was during this period that Rocky took more of a lead with humanitarian relief efforts. Starting with Hurricane Katrina, Rocky took charge and was the point-person of the logistics to provide relief that sent almost 200 tractor-trailer loads to Mississippi and Louisiana.  When Super-Typhoon Haiyan flattened the Philippines, Rocky and his team were asked to step in to take control of the relief effort. As a result seven large containers full of medical and other relief supplies were shipped across the Pacific to the disaster site.

Rocky worked to provide local relief to tornado disasters in Coal City and Washington, Illinois. More recently, Rocky orchestrated relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Florence, in support of the Naperville Rotaries. “No FEMA dollars were involved with any of these efforts,” Rocky emphasized. “The cost of those hauls were donated by the company.”

Board of Illinois Truckers Association – Making Positive Change for People

Rocky serves on the board of the Illinois Truckers Association.  Of the many pieces of legislation that the Illinois Trucking Association has advocated for, he is most proud of two laws, both focusing on people.  The first was legislation to require companies to recognize certifications that veterans had earned during military service.  Although passed at a federal level, Rocky said “We had to work very hard with Illinois legislators to get the bill introduced and passed.” The second legislation that he helped get passed was the “Move Over Law” also known as “Scott’s Law.” Rocky and their team worked long and hard to get legislators to pass this law that now requires drivers to move over when approaching emergency vehicles and personal vehicles displaying blinking hazard lights on the side of the highway.

Cadence Premier Logistics – Development the Right Way

In 2014 Rocky partnered with Tom Maciulis to found Cadence Premier Logistics, a company dedicated to provide safe, environmentally-sound, and technologically-advanced transportation solutions.  After starting the firm in Alsip and considering a move to Northwest Indiana to lower their costs, Rocky considered the impact the move would have on the more than 20 employees that had built the company.  Rocky and Tom relocated Cadence to Will County, instead.

Cadence found available land south of Joliet that included the site of the historic Wilhelmi Airport.  Rocky met with the community and with school boards to determine their needs and to discuss how Cadence’s development would impact them.  As the result of these conversations, Cadence gained approval from Joliet City Council, and the Will County Board (which included two board members representing Naperville), by committing to modify its hours of operation consistent with community input. “You can speak with any community leader near our business, and they’ll tell you that community is of the greatest importance to Cadence.”

Cadence values the local community and the global community, it is an EPA SmartWay Partner. SmartWay Partners acknowledge the potential adverse impacts of the freight industry and make a commitment to advance supply chain sustainability by measuring, benchmarking, and improving freight transportation efficiency. Rocky proudly speaks of the “green” initiatives at Cadence.

Active in Economic Development

With Cadence growth in Will County, Rocky became a board member of Will County’s Center for Economic Development. At the CED, Rocky’s focus has been on responsible, strategic economic development of this growing county. The CED was instrumental to getting Amazon to choose Joliet as it first Illinois location.  This has rippled to several additional Amazon facilities in the region, including in Naperville. Amazon now provides over 7,000 local jobs to the area. The Will County area, known as the largest inland port in America, continues to grow thanks to CED’s efforts.

Rocky sits on the I-80 Coalition, which advocates to accelerate needed improvements to Interstate 80 in Northern Illinois. On the Will County Freight Advisory Council, Rocky has helped the Council tap into $20 million in grants for infrastructure. These grants positively affect not only Will, but also DuPage and Grundy Counties.

On the Will County Workforce Investment Board, Rocky is designated as a “Champion”, working with companies, several high schools, Joliet Junior College, St. Francis, Governors State and Lewis Universities to determine the employment needs of corporations, and to assist in and promote the development of training and internship programs to meet those needs.

Cadence Soccer & Futsal LLC and Social Good

Using Cadence Premier’s indoor soccer field, originally built for employees, Rocky has helped provide local youth with lower-cost opportunities for playing traveling soccer. Cadence Soccer and Futsal LLC operates on a break-even principle, serving a couple hundred kids from age six into their teens. The Center has a former Brazilian soccer pro as a training director, and coaches from Brazil and Argentina. The Center provides financial assistance to many families, allowing their children to travel and play in Barcelona and other top soccer locations.

The Center also provides a perfect stage for the “Teens, Trucks, and Traffic” safety program. Started in Carbondale, Illinois, this program focuses on high school sophomores and features four classrooms for the kids. Bringing this program to Chicagoland, last year Cadence served 800 student from Joliet Central and Joliet West High Schools, and is now looking to expand to other high schools in the area. 

Awards and Recognition

Rocky received the “Directors Award” from the Illinois Crime Commission for all his work in mentoring and helping veterans. Rocky calls the award “my most prized award from my time either during or after the military.”

Cadence was recently recognized for its support and dedication to veterans in employment with the EANGUS Patriot Platinum Award – over 25 percent of Cadence employees are veterans.

Naperville Civic Involvement

In 2017 Rocky joined the Save Old Nichols Library organization bringing his experience in responsible development to the team which successfully advocated the preservation and adaptive reuse of the Old Nichols Library building on Washington Street.

Rocky is on the 5th Avenue Development Land Use Working Group, providing input to the City on potential redevelopment by the Naperville Metra train station.

Rocky is also a long-time supporter of Loaves & Fishes and volunteer with Junior Achievement.