Our 2022-2023 District Conference is now behind us.
It was held at the beautiful Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center on the Northern Illinois University (NIU) campus. We are grateful for the more than 100 participants and each of the 30 of our 43 clubs that were represented.


We are also grateful for a wonderful line-up of speakers that did not disappoint. Friday night began with our annual Rotary Foundation Dinner.
After a welcome to DeKalb by Mayor Cohen Barnes, we were fortunate to have Rotary International Director Pat Merryweather-Arges with us who shared information about the impact of the Rotary Foundation both globally and locally.
Pat was followed by Dr. Lauren Ives, a physician from Rockford, who told an incredibly compelling story about Rotary‚Äôs impact on her life through the Global Scholar Program and Rotary Youth Exchange. There was not a dry eye in the room when she finished speaking. To top it off she paid it forward with a $3000 donation to our Rotary Foundation.
It is hard to not feel proud of being a Rotarian after that presentation! Wow!



Saturday was mostly focused on ethical leadership. Clint-Michael Reneau, Vice President for Student Affairs at NIU started off the day describing ethical leadership from the academic and scholarly perspective.
He was followed by Sean Frazier, NIU Athletic Director, who talked about leadership from the sports and sports management perspective.


Two afternoon speakers addressed ethical leadership from the local government perspective (Danny Langloss, City Manager from Dixon) and corporate perspective (Jeff Fahrenwald, SupplyCore Incorporated and Rockford Rotarian). 
Our final speaker, Brendan Wilson, who is also a member of the Sycamore Rotary Club, talked about ethical leadership reflecting on his time as a 25-year Army veteran and NATO diplomat.
We also were lucky enough to hear some great music by the NIU Steelpan Studio prior to our dinner break. And they performed a surprise song...Super job! Check out the video here.


The 2022-2023 District Conference Planning Committee consisting of Steve Bouslog (Princeton), Derek Fetzer (Princeton), Michael Stutzke (Princeton), David Bills (River Cities), Dave Emerick (East Moline/Silvis), Cindi Gramenz (Rock Island), John Hurley (Loves Parks), Tim Neubert (Sycamore), Ciara Stahly (Loves Park), Bob Swanson (Rock Island), and Chuck Watkins (Rochelle) are grateful to all who attended and helped make this such a great event for all.